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Posts Tagged ‘Miwa Gemini’

This song Hattie was inspired by a character from Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown. It’s about a fictional “the second greatest” jazz guitarist Emmet Ray. I love the costume (it’s set in 1930’s) the music and Emmet’s obsession with Django Reinhardt (the greatest jazz guitarist ever) but the character that fascinated me the most was Hattie, Emmet’s girlfriend. Hattie is a mute but she emits so much energy and somehow looked more alive than Emmet who just can’t stop talking! I always wanted to give her a voice and this song was my attempt to give her one.

The video was shot by a very talneted photographer Megan Senior. This was our first video collaboration and I’m really happy with what we came up. Not to mention blowing up and wrangling 72 balloons was a blast! (pun intended)

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Spring is coming and with it, it’s bringing lots of changes. I like changes. It’s exciting and challenging, and really who doesn’t like a new adventure? But what if it’s your friends who are about to embark on a new adventure, and you have to see them off while wishing them luck? Lots of my friends are about to start new chapter of their lives. I know I should be excited for them but the problem is I have a hard time saying good-bye.

I’ve been living in NYC for a while now so I’ve had my share of saying good-byes. But I never seem to get used to it. Each good-bye hurts and the pain surprises me like it never happened before.

Last weekend, I had to say good-bye to one of my most favorite people in the world. My 3-year-old friend Gretsey. Gretsey and her family, who are all close to me, are about to start a new life in suburbia. I know it’s only a train ride away but past three years, I got to see Gretsey on a weekly basis. Being only a walking distance away, I could just pop in to see them at the end of the day or meet them at a park near by. Gretsey and her little sister Maddie, made my life so much better and so much more fun. Sometime we spin ourselves till we are dizzy, or sing a song badly and loudly on the street. It’s nothing like seeing their faces light up when I walk in the door.

I cried like a kid when they drove off in their packed car. As I sat down in my very quiet room – kids are noisy! – with the pain in my chest, I did what I usually do when that happens. I wrote a song. I didn’t want say “Good-bye” so I used “Goodnight” instead. I don’t really know why but maybe that goodnight sounds a lot less final.

My band performed the song at our last show. (There was another good-bye at the show but that’s for next time) I asked James to take a video and asked audience to say “Goodnight Gretsey” at the end of the song. I hope she gets a kick out of it! A little of bit of singing makes you feel a whole lot better – that’s something I definitely re-learned from her.

Hope you enjoy!

Oh the sun has long gone down
Here we are still holding hands
Wasn’t today amazing?
Wasn’t it so much fun?
But the clock is ticking and it’s almost time…

Isn’t it hard to say Goodnight?
Isn’t it hard to say Goodnight?
Though I know I’ll see you soon
But I know I’ll still miss you
Isn’t it hard to say Goodnight my love, Goodnight

I love the stories you told me
While we waited our train
How we couldn’t stop laughing
No one else seems to find it funny
But the clock is ticking and it’s almost time…

Isn’t it hard to say Goodnight?
Isn’t it hard to say Goodnight?
Though I know I’ll see you soon
But I know I’ll still miss you
Isn’t it hard to say Goodnight my love, Goodnight

Maybe one day, someday, I find you far away
Drifting apart from one another
All but a memory fading away

Though you maybe near or far
Though you maybe happy or sad
Remember you’ll always be my friend
Call my name I’ll be there again
Isn’t it hard to say Goodnight my love, Goodnight
©Miwa Gemini 2013

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I met Sophie when we happen to play on the same bill at the Living Room in the lower east side, Manhattan. I loved her beautiful songs, voice and her ukulele so I was thrilled when she asked me to do a duet with her.

Choosing what song to cover was the most difficult part of the project. I mean there are so many to choose from! In the end we settled on 9 to 5, because we both love Dolly Parton. Turns out, Dolly wasn’t the only thing we love in common. We both love old films (Jimmy Stewart, Hitchcock, Audrey Hepburn…) studio Ghibli (My neighbor Totoro!) Agatha Christie (Poirot or Miss Marple?) and of course, Murder She Wrote. “You have Murder She Wrote board game!” was the first thing she said, when Sophie arrived at my place in Brooklyn. Jessica Fletcher just makes everything alright, you know?

Every time we get together to work on the video, we end up drinking numerous cup of tea (hello, English and Japanese over here) and chatting about old films. It was very pleasant. We did work hard though, especially Sophie with all the sound and video editing. I couldn’t be happier with the finished video. Did I tell you that there is a surprise ending? Maybe I will tell you about how it came about one day, but for now, please enjoy! I hope it brightens your 9 to 5 day with a smile.

You should go check out Sophie’s website, http://sophiemadeleine.com/
She’s amazing!

And also yours truly at http://www.Facebook.com/MiwageminiMusic

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Do you feel like the beginning of the year is just another day? Or do you, like me, feel like it is a chance to start fresh? I like January because you get to do the things for the first time just because it’s new year. Like first day of the year, first dinner, first drink, first run, first dance, first song, first…

I have lots of “first” things coming up. First show of the year, first recording day of the year, first project of the year – so exciting! I’m superstitious so I feel like if the first show of the year goes well, I’m off to a good start! I know it’s silly, but I can’t help it. I hope you have lots of “first” things.

Sat. Jan. 12
Freddy’s Bar (Brooklyn, NY)

Sun. Jan. 20
Rockwood Music Hall (NYC)

Sat. Feb. 16
Living Room (NYC)

Here’s to a wonderful 2013. May it be filled with exciting adventures!

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Our next show is back at our beloved Living Room in Lower East Side, NY with the whole band!
Yes that means:
Matt – durms
Nick – upright bass
Ben – banjo
Rebekah – trumpet
Ryan – electric guitar

Needless to say, I am very very excited about the show and we got some new songs!!!
The show is Friday, April 20th at 9pm. (Free!!!)
Living Room is located 154 Ludlow street between Stanton and Rivington.

See you there!

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Grizzly Rose, Grizlly Rose, who did you kill?
How about Gil?
No, he was ill.
How about Phil?
No that was an accident at the mill.
How about Cecile?
No, she rolled off the hill.
How about Jill?
No, she drank a gallon of oil.
How about Basil?
No, he was lost in a mountain trail.
How about Will?
Alas, I stabbed him in his heart and now he’s lying still!

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After losing her aunt and her best friend in New Orleans, Grizzly Rose joins a circus.
This story is the beginning of the transformation from “Little Rose” to “Grizzly Rose.”
Please enjoy with a little swing of trapeze act and a thrill of knife throwing!

Between the Seasons

Impaled Heart
Recounted by Zoe the circus elephant

The knife throwing is sometimes called an art of impalement. Actually, “impalement” is something you really want to avoid as an impalement artist. Of course it’s bound to happen sometimes, no matter how skilled you are.

My name is Zoe, and I’m a circus elephant. I suppose I’d be happier roaming about in the plains like my mother used to tell me, but I was born in a circus tent. You can’t miss what you never had, and I’m happy here as long as those silly circus folks leave me alone. I don’t mind the audience, especially children. I just don’t like most of the people in the circus, especially the ones that walk around swollen with their own importance. There are some that I like though. I like Scarlet; she’s a trapeze artist. And I don’t mind Sweet Mel either. She trains and takes care of the poodles. Those poodles are too chatty for my liking. Mel dyes their hair with beet juice so I try not to look at them too much. If I do, I just start laughing—they do look funny in beet red curly hair. But they think they look great, so who am I to contradict them? These days, I try to hold my tongue. I also like William Bell and Rose, the impalement artists.

When Rose showed up at the circus, Mr. Charlie, who runs the show, wanted her to train as a trick pony rider and a sharp shooter. I don’t know where she learned how to shoot but she was good at it. She is good at everything, though—she rides horses beautifully, walks tightrope better than most of people in the business and she’s a first-rate acrobat. On the other hand, William is not a very good impalement artist. He couldn’t impale anything, target or otherwise. William is the son of Franz Dagger, famous German knife thrower known for his rapidity. Franz assists Mr. Charlie now—he retired after losing William’s mother to an accident during their routine practice. Franz doesn’t throw knives anymore, but he trains his son. Unfortunately, William is horrible at it, but not for want of practice. As a matter of fact he practices a lot. I watch him practice late at night, throwing knives over and over again to the target board. Stray cats would come and tease him walking back and force in front of him as if to say “Strike me if you can but I know you can’t!”
God, he’s awful. He doesn’t impale things that he’s supposed to and impale things that he isn’t supposed to. Rose would join me once in a while. There were a few nights she and I sat together and watched William practice. She winced and grimaced watching him but also smiled.

One night as we were watching yet another stray cat taunting William, Rose got up and walked over to him.
“Those cats aren’t a very good target,” she shooed the cats away.
William was a little taken back at first but said,
“Well, I’m not good enough to have a target girl.”
“Sure you are,” Rose said.
“I’ll be your target. Come on.”
William didn’t say anything.
“Come on, throw the knife at me. I’m quick, I promise you won’t hit me.”
William raised his hand then lowered it, shaking his head.
“You know I’m no good. I might hit you.”
“Stop being a coward,” Rose chided. “I told you I’m quick.”
“I will probably hit you.”
“No, you won’t.”
“I will!”
“You won’t.”
“I will!”
With that last shout William let go of the knife. The knife went straight for Rose but she dodged it so nimbly that not one hair was out of place. William was speechless, staring at his knife stuck right
next to a smiling Rose’s head.
“That was fun, come throw another one and make sure it hits me this time!” she said.

It was a shock to everyone—except me—when Rose asked Mr. Charlie if she could train to be a target girl for William. There were some mean comments made in hushed voices, but Rose ignored them. I was rather surprised that Mr. Charlie said yes, but in a way, Rose probably was the only target girl for William and being a smart manager, he probably realized that. So it was that they became “William Bell and Rose” and they were a hit, much to everyone’s surprise, including William.
Of course it was Rose’s amazing escapes that kept the audience going, but William seemed very happy. I even saw Frank pat him on his shoulder once or twice. They still practice at night and when they take break, they would sit with me.

It wasn’t anybody’s fault what happened later. One night during a show, a knife thrown by William struck my back leg. Nobody saw it so I kept quiet, but it hurt pretty badly and I fell down immediately after their act. Rose and Scarlet hurried off to town to look for a doctor while William and Sweet Mel stayed with me. Sweet Mel is used to tending injuries because of her poodles. She tended my leg while William paced back and forth, repeating, “It’s all my fault. I know I’m no good at throwing knife.”
Sweet Mel is a good listener. She must be, dealing with those poodles. William told her how he never wanted to be an impalement artist but kept on trying, first to make his father proud then to make Rose happy. I was only half conscious as I listened to William’s low murmur.

By dawn, Rose and Scarlet came back with a doctor. Much to the relief of everyone, including me, my injury was nowhere near as bad as it looked. I was to be back on my feet in a few days time. However William’s guilt lingered on.

Rose was all excited hearing about “Wheel of Death”—it’s a trick invented by a legendary impalement artist in Germany, but nobody here in America has done it. The target girl is fastened to a spinning wheel while the knife thrower works blindfolded. Rose really wanted to try it, but William wasn’t too keen on the idea.
“Seems so dangerous and I’m not sure I will be able to aim well blindfolded.”
“Don’t worry. I’m thinking I will do somersault instead. Besides it won’t make any difference to you if you are blindfolded or not.”
It was meant to be a joke but William didn’t laugh. Noticing his seriousness, Rose corrected herself hastily.
“It will be ok! Come on!”
“Rose, I’m thinking about quitting knife throwing,” William said.
“Don’t be ridiculous! We are doing great and we can even do better. Now stop whining and throw a knife at me!”
Do you ever get that sinking feeling like your heart is falling into your stomach and your whole body is falling through endless pit? I had that as I watched William put on a blindfold. I wanted to stop him but I’m an elephant, I don’t speak people’s tongue. William stood still for a minute or two and threw a knife at Rose as she somersaulted. I watched the knife hit the heel of Rose’s left boot and ricocheted straight back to William.

The whole thing probably took only a moment, although it felt like days. By the time Rose finished the somersault, William lay dead on the ground, a knife through his heart. Rose stood by William’s body just dazed when miss Scarlet and Mel noticed what happened. They called for help but they knew it was too late.

There’s not a thing you can do for an impaled heart!

Death keeps following Grizzly Rose. Where will she go next? To the desert is my bet. We’ll see…

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