“With every choice, something is gained something is lost” – John Green
Hey it’s tamar. Thank you for being in my life: every time we interact I learn something new. Here’s what I’m up to:
1. TOUR: I went on my first one in June. I wrote an essay about tour life and it’s both dark and light, and entirely honest. It’s at the end of this post.
2. SHOWS: I have a few shows coming up, but mostly I’m recording music, which…. I can’t WAIT to show you.
08.01 Sat — @The Sound Hole ~ with Sports Coach (MA) & Bronze Thesaurus (NJ)
08.11 Tue — @The Fire ~ with Ill Fated Natives (philly)
08.30 Sun — @Blair st b/w Dreer & Norris ~ Death Magic Sounds BBQ 1-8pm
All of these are supremely amazing parties. If you come you will make friends, which is my goal for you at every show I play.
3. REAL MOMENT: It’s nearly been a year since my first live show. My first show was on my birthday, July 24th. Coming up, y’all. Is it me or is every year getting better? I’m excited to mature: every year I learn more about what makes me truly happy, every year is less chaotic, more focused. Every year is a chance to bring people together. So I dedicate this 2nd year of shows to you, for coming together. To gather. You’re fun.
4. COLLABS: feeling saucy?? send me an email (email@example.com), and tell me of a recent REAL MOMENT you’ve had. It can be: “snuggling with my dog this morning made me late for work”. Or maybe “I was singing Sam Cooke in my car, and I looked over and a truck driver was waving at me and smiling at me.” I’m going to make a list and put it on my site. It’s going to make people smirk, a constant #lifegoal of mine.
Thank you kindly for reading, listening, participating, and breathing.
The Performer: Part 3 Tour life
I’m romantic, here’s why: I have always wanted to make music the reason I travel. In early June of this year I did it, I went on my first tour ! I hit Miami, Gainesville, Atlanta, New Orleans and Tallahassee, that’s 3 states and lots of driving. I now have some adult conclusions, which are entirely up for debate. Take a walk with me?
Why do I want to go away from my home? I almost always want to go, because more than anything on this twirling, glowing orb of an earth, I love learning about languages and cultures. For me, one adult issue has been rising steadily these days: I happen to absolutely want to maintain and grow personal relationships. Real love: I want real connections from friends and family. In other words I want to build and maintain my temple, not just hand out a pamphlet with my face on it and a cool slogan under it, like: “great meeting you, keep in touch.” It’s clearer to me now.
Tour. Tourist. I built my tour based on cities that I wished to be a tourist in, and cities that for me, overflowed with nostalgic meaning, which is why I called the tour Hurricane Nostalgia. Some cities were former homes, some were just a postcard, but all contained important people from my past: my friends. I booked my friends to play with me; friends that I’ve watched grow as musicians as well as people, over the years. I could not be more proud. These friends also got to see me, as tamar the human lady person, as well as Little Strike, a project that is the newest extension of my heart. None of them had seen this side ever before! This is a bit like seeing your little brother on his prom night with his prom date and he’s nervous but actually more than anything, he’s totally his goofy self, ready for that dance floor. His date keeps looking at him, laughing warmly at her goof, and you, you want to laugh too but you can’t, because you know that if you do you’ll eventually cry. You don’t want to embarrass him; He’s grown. He’s a big strike now.
It was beautiful to be able to share music and moments with my friends and family, and I feel grateful and honored to have people in my life I can share ideas with. Yes. But think about it: tour is a collection of separate, albeit special moments. It is, in essence, a bunch of chain-linked hello goodbyes. I kept thinking this while riding in the car with my touring mates, the fantastical band Bora from Miami: am I doomed to always be missing somebody?
Forever always leaving means forever always sighing wistfully in cars. My (tour) dates with my friends, so lovely and so short and so on my own terms, were a mere forkful of key lime pie. A tease. A great way to remember what I keep leaving behind. That’s a big part of tour: coming and leaving on your own terms. You go to play the show, if you’re lucky you already have friends that come see you, if not you make some. People tell you they appreciate what you’re doing, that music brings us closer to each other, that yeah, you have a nice voice and “wow cool shirt”. It’s all on your terms. You both hug, and then you’re gone the next day. Trust that I tried my hardest to blur this idea, and make the moments I share with people feel like they are ours, not just mine for the taking. But still, there’s something in this brief exchange, an emptiness — like bungee jumping from a building: the adrenaline, it’s thrilling, but you’re only inching closer to concrete.
Nonjudgmental statement alert: I find that the highs and lows of tour, including the beauty and rush of meeting new people, playing your heart out to strangers, revealing something honest about yourself, disassociating from responsibilities back home, sleep deprivation, delighting in getting lost and found in a new place, finding and losing money — it all smells a little funky and a little fresh. I find that this lifestyle, if pursued as a lifestyle, attracts people with addictive tendencies. No wonder, honestly, tour is one glorious escape.
Let’s talk real life: emails, phone calls and texts on tour. Emails, calls and texts on tour can quite frankly go suck a lemon. Let’s use our most delicate paintbrush here: unless traveling totally alone, while on tour you are constantly surrounded by people. Every moment minus bathroom time, and that’s pretty much every moment. It is very fun, very tiring, and also really damn fun. It is a fantastical distraction from wherever it is you call home, because traveling is sensory overload’s twin brother, and sensory overload is currently in a relationship with distraction city. One big family of fearless cowards (that seems harsh but it’s also an oxymoron, which shouldn’t be taken too seriously, y’all). The highs and lows, the excitement of new faces, new lakes, new snacks, snacks! little sleep , the generosity of strangers, the road, the music! All the music that you choose to either ignore due to sensory overload or completely get lost in, it should all be cherished as well as examined. Is there sadness in the joy? I don’t doubt it // Are we strong enough to maintain our avocado trees while we go planting papayas on some faraway island for months at a time? Maybe, but it is damn hard.
I’m lucky, I know this. I got to try out an idea I’ve had for years with three amazing people in the same vehicle. But I’m no kid, and I’m thankful for having some perspective; I can see that this tour life, prolonged, could be destructive to any real structure I try to architect back home. Highs and lows and escapes can be quite selfish, and all selfish endeavors are ultimately empty. Where’s the balance in today’s music scene? Musicians feel they have to tour to make money, so how do you make your life full of the things that aren’t empty? I don’t know this, but I sense it. I sense it involves carving your own pumpkin, making your own lane, and building something real //The ocean, helping others, being challenged creatively, staring at mountains, feeling respected, stretching, getting involved in a community, feeling empowered = bricks to one bad ass temple.
“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s” said my best friend Joseph Campbell. So if the actions I perform tell the story of my life, it seems dishonest to tell someone else’s, right? I’m still testing what’s right for me and listening in, with tour, with music, with people; but I figure if I look over and she’s still there beside me, laughing warmly at my dance moves, I know I’m doing something right. Right?
End of part 3. Stay round for part 4