Just wanted you to know that this is HAPPENING!! OMG.
Pre-order if you wanna!
Just wanted you to know that this is HAPPENING!! OMG.
Pre-order if you wanna!
Yep, it’s true, we are hitting the road again in the second installment of the Everybody is a Babe Tour in January!!!! I have always dreamed to be an incarnation of the Snow Queen and wear a white robe and feed children turkish delights while the snow falls (in this alternate story, the Snow Queen is an adorable fat lady that just wants to hug you), and I really am banking on this tour to offer that kind of experience. Metaphor: turkish delights are feelings!!!
In other non-tour news, my life is a revolving door of bizarre and painful and also beautiful. All I really feel comfortable saying about my relationship in this blog is that I had a wonderful 4 years with my partner whom I loved very much. We are no longer in a relationship and the break up was mutual, though very difficult. Being diplomatic is hard, because I am a chronic over-sharer, and I also use social media and the internet as a means to connect with people, so the restraint in talking about my feelings or what this situation means to me is difficult. As far as my art is concerned, well, you’re going to hear a fuck ton of break up songs over the next long while.
I have also been reflecting about the intimacy and beauty of platonic relationships; I am forever grateful to my friends and those who I hold dear for providing a soft space to land and process. My assistant/bff, Nadia has been staying with me so I don’t completely lose it in a 3 bedroom house alone. I have been crying a lot and feeling so much, but I’ve also been going dancing and buying ridiculous things and eating all the chinese food and letting myself have crushes and drink margaritas, because I don’t believe in wearing black and hiding in a cave of sadness in order to be present in heartbreak and healing.
In a compounded and arguably symbolic tragedy, my house caught fire a few days ago. The dryer I had was so ancient (had to be like 80s or 90s), and was very finicky to begin with. The fire department ruled that it was literally clothes that got too hot and caught fire. I lost about half my clothes, and some other belongings, but all in all, I was so so lucky. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced. I felt really alone and terrified and sad. Seeing the fire rip through the basement window, and smoke billowing out is an image I will never forget. The house still needs a few things done before it is totally safe, but I am mostly back to normal there. I haven’t put christmas lights up. I don’t know if I will this year. I’ve been writing a lot of poems. Maybe I will write a poem about christmas lights!
I hope you are well, dear reader. It has been a JOURNEY the last 2 months, but I am confident we’ll get through this together! Mercury is in retrograde until the 22nd, so hang the fuck on. I hope I get to see you all on this second installment of the tour. I have been feeling and desiring connection and community more than ever, and I am grateful for the encouragement and kindness I have felt from you all.
My precious peanuts, I hope:
that you stay warm as winter approaches,
that you drink water,
that you surround yourself with people that love you unconditionally,
that you recognize small victories in your life,
that you feel no shame in being exactly who you are,
that you are seen and met with the kind of love that you offer,
that you are gentle to yourself,
that you have a comfy blanket or robe,
that you eat your favorite foods without shame
that you see a cute dog and it wants to be pet by you!!!!!!!
This is all to say I hope you are taking care.
Love you all so much, it’s ridiculous.
YOU READ THE TITLE!!!!
It’s true! I’ve been doing everything I can to work with the over 21 venues to allow minors into a meet and greet, and all but one (Boise) was able to accommodate (no shade to Boise, liquor laws are tough!). This means that I am upping the ante on these VIP passes.
Yep. ON TOP OF a polaroid of us in front of a giant rainbow, unlimited selfies, a laminated pass that will last forever, I’m also gonna do a song or two with my acoustic guitar during the meet and greet and serenade the shit out of you.
You can get your ALL AGES pass here: YOW! YES! ALL AGES!
I am super excited about this and I am also hopeful for the day that music venues don’t penalize people under 21 that want to watch music.
Here are ticket links!!!! YAY!!!!
8/25- Syracuse, NY- New York State Fair- Get Tickets
9/3- Nashville, TN- Church Street Block Party- Get Tickets
10/21 – San Diego, CA – The Casbah – Get Tickets
10/22 – Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater – Get Tickets
10/24 – San Francisco, CA – Cafe Du Nord – Get Tickets
10/26 – Boise, ID – Neurolux – Get Tickets
10/28 – Eugene, OR – WOW Hall – Get Tickets
10/29 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile – Get Tickets
10/30 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios – Get Tickets
11/8 – Columbus, OH – A&R Music Bar – Get Tickets
11/9 – Indianapolis, IN – The Hi Fi – Get Tickets
11/10 – Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen – Get Tickets
11/12 – Toronto, ON – The Drake Hotel – Get Tickets
11/14 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Upstairs – Get Tickets
11/15 – Boston, MA – Sonia’s – Get Tickets
11/17 – New York, NY – Highline Ballroom – Get Tickets
The Everybody is a Babe Tour begins in October!!! Tickets go on sale on FRIDAY August 11th!!! Can you even stand it?!? Stupid excited for this run. It feels like I haven’t toured in a million years. And truthfully, I don’t imagine I’ll be doing a tour like this for awhile. There’s so much to create and foster in my life (super not so secret sidenote: working on a second LP, a fashion line, and a new collection of poetry), and being on the road is one of the greatest joys that is easy to take for granted, especially when it feels like you are somewhat forced to be touring. In reality, touring is a gift. It is a gift to be an artist full-time, it is a gift to create, it is a gift to share. Yes, music is a job for me and many folks I know, but fuck if it isn’t a joy, you know? Lucky lucky lucky, I am. What a life.
I am slightly embarrassed that I’m only just now getting to the blog, BUT YO, life has been insane in the queer membrane, y’all. I independently released Bold on May 5th, and a super queer super fun music video featuring Sara Ramirez (babe alert paging dr. callie torres) and a star-studded cast was released today! Watch here:
Also, I performed “Know Your Name” on Good Morning America:
More updates to come! I LOVE YOU, my little peanut cookies.
I’m kidding, you don’t actually get a bunny guys, but you get an instant download of the first single “Know Your Name” when you pre-order the new EP, Bold! It’s very gay and very dancey and I hope you like it!!!
Over the course of the last few months, the Dakota Access Pipeline has been etched in my mind as one (among many) painful realities of this sci-fi novel we seem to be living in. In conjunction with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, I decided to record a song that was true in the 1970s, and has only become increasingly relevant since then. Donald Trump has vowed to completely dismantle the EPA, “cutting it by 70%” in an attempt to reconcile the national debt. As the increasingly horrifying dystopian future we are living in unfolds, I am afraid of what people believe are truths and what is false. The EPA holds 1% of the national debt. It is a fallacy that dismantling an institution THAT PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT will be beneficial for anyone besides wealthy business owners. Scott Pruitt, someone that LITERALLY IS NOT CONVINCED HUMAN-MADE CLIMATE CHANGE EXISTS is our new head of the EPA. Climate change is undeniable, is human made, and can be helped. The future is depending on us, and we are failing. The DAPL shit-show wouldn’t exist if we were able to shift our reliance from fossil fuels to cleaner energy. This is where we live. This where animals and plants and trees live, where our children live. Protecting the environment isn’t a liberal-hippie-schtick, it’s fucking reality that effects all of us. For more information about protecting your home, health, and your family (also known as protecting the earth), check out these sites:
My babies! It’s here! It’s queer! It’s my Kickstarter!
(Check the link here to bypass my long-winded newsletter)
For the last year, I’ve been polishing this EP and getting it ready to release to the world, but hit a financial roadblock, and had to put moving forward on hold. I briefly considered signing to a record label, but ultimately felt that a partnership with a company would not be in my best interest, creatively and logistically. So I have decided to come to you, dear reader! I believe that YOU are the record label I have been looking for. I am so grateful to be an independent artist, and to have the anxieties of making music solely for-profit out of my life, but realistically, I need some capital to get this project out of my room and into the world.
I posted a blog this last weekend about the peculiarity of promoting a pop record in the state our country is in, and feeling strange about it. Someone on my Facebook posted that they were doing intensive activism work in support of the resistance, and played my music while doing grueling paperwork, and that made me hopeful and less anxious about the prospect of promoting my music in this climate. My contribution to the good fight might not look like other’s activism, but maybe being unashamed and proud of who I am and what I create is it’s own resistance.
It occurred to me that the whole point of all of this- sharing music, touring, even promotion- is about connection. It is about facilitating something beyond the traditional artist-to-fan relationship. It’s not about “collecting fans” or facebook likes, it’s about expression as a conduit to create something unquantifiable and dismantling the commodification of performers and artists. My intention is for the art to be a catalyst in someone else’s healing, to be a friend, and to be an harbinger of kindness. As a creator, I deeply value that connection, and when I start to feel inadequate or that my contributions might not be valuable or “enough”, I think of your stories. I remember the people that came to the first shows I had and cheered me on even though I thought it may not have mattered, I remember the poetry slams and snaps, I remember the emails from girls in rehab for eating disorders when I released “Body Love”, I think about the couples who used “She Keeps Me Warm” as their first dance, the gay Christians who felt a friend on the radio, those with a mental disorder feeling a little less crazy hearing a pop song reclaiming bipolar disorder, I remember the plus-size girls who wore a crop top for the first time and owned that shit. It moves me. It makes this journey feel so much more than vanity or ego. And maybe the whole point of vulnerability, at it’s core, is about humanity.
I know this newsletter has been a rambling stream of consciousness and not even filled with one kitten photo (here’s one! Phew!),
So here’s the meat and potatoes:
My kickstarter will run for 31 days, and the money will go towards mixing, mastering, designing, printing, duplicating, and promoting the EP. There are some AMAZING rewards that I am so so so excited about fulfilling: obviously the physical EP, and a download before anyone else gets it, but there are also exclusive rewards that I’ve never done before. At a high reward tier, you can get a fancy dinner with you and a friend and me and probably at least one serving of pasta. Because, pasta. There’s also a reward I am super giddy to ship out (and shop for): Femme Magic- which has some of my favorite things: Lipstick, books, albums, scarves, and snacks. And if you are in need of some ML merchandise, there’s the superfan bundle which has literally every piece of media I’ve created.
I also wanted to give you a track list of the super gay super fun EP so you can be as stoked as I am! There’s even a song my mom wrote and sang on!! WHAT?! YES! There’s also a fun pop song where I say “lady” a bunch of times, and an older song called “I’d Be Your Wife”. Ugh, I’m so pumped for this release and to dance around! Just in general! I love dancing! I’ll be touring this EP in the fall and we can all hang out together and WHEEEEEEE I CANNOT WAIT
1. Do Anything
2. Lay Your Head Down
3. Hang Out With You
4. Know Your Name
5. I’d Be Your Wife
6. Love is Love (ft. Mary Kay Lambert) (MY EFFING MOM)
7. Know Your Name (The Reverb Junkie Remix)
I love you all so so much and I wish I could hug every single person and bring each one of you a donut. Or a vegan donut. Or a carrot. If you are staying away from refined sugar.
xoxo forever and ever amen,
I don’t even know where to start. It is a strange world we live in; My heart oscillates between fury, despair, resilient hope, exhaustion, engagement, and back to fury again. But there is certainly and most always a heaviness I cannot shake. Mostly, the feeling is- where do I begin? How can I use the platform I have to reject hatred and narrow-minded thinking without being hateful or narrow-minded myself? How can I exercise empathy and kindness when there is injustice, and a major faction of people supporting that injustice? Is there a part of me or my lifestyle that is contributing to pain in others? My fear for this country does not only lie with the current fascist regime of the T***p administration, but for staunch supporters of this regime as well. How can I begin to understand someone’s thought processes and viewpoints without my own biases and traumatic stressors being triggered and inviting judgement? Could I really see myself going to lunch with someone who would reject refugee children? Then claim that rejection is in the name of safety? Also, HOW THE FUCK am I supposed to promote music right now? It seems so trivial.
I just don’t know. I don’t know where this ends- but I am deeply afraid for our country, for the earth, and our future. It does feel like we’ve woken up in a dystopian twilight zone, on the brink of WWIII, and then I all I want to do is hide. Curl on the couch in heaps of blankets next to the cat and my partner and pretend that there is no pain outside. And I know that not only that desire, but the ability to hide, is it’s own kind of privilege; something that contributed to the tangled evil and seemingly impending doom. But I have to believe that humankind can and will demand better, more loving action and rhetoric from our chosen leaders. And music can also act as a part of that dismantling; Radical self-love and vulnerability, especially from artists, especially from marginalized people, is the nemesis of active oppression. I remind myself these things- and also understand that I may not be able to always show up in the way that others can, and that my contributions to the upheaval of tyranny may look differently than some, but if I remain as engaged as possible, alive and awake, and intentional with my work, then that is the best kind of combat I can think of. One of my favorite quotes of all time is:
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman
I’ve been working on my EP, called Bold, and will be announcing a Kickstarter campaign on Monday. Again, I am grappling with the bizarre notion that creating, releasing, and promoting a pop record in the state our country is in, could even remotely be somehow…important? Or helpful? I’m not sure. Maybe that is a comfort I am telling myself to feel better about this potentially tactless act? Nonetheless, I have to trust my instinct, and my instinct says that being a shameless fat, bipolar lesbian is it’s own kind of “fuck you” to the patriarchy and the systems that are in place to keep people quiet.
Stay safe, stay awake, and protect your heart. There is still love in this world (also chocolate cake!). I care deeply about all of you and I am glad you are alive, because sometimes the hardest thing is just getting out of bed, sometimes survival is the most radical thing we can do. Stay alive.
Love and light,
Hey my little red pandas,
I’m working on my next collection of poetry!! I’m working on a lot of things, really, (the EP, the album, composing classical work, etc.) but I’ve been trying to write a poem a day amidst all my ongoing projects. I posted a photo on instagram recently and decided to write a short poem with it, and it felt pretty neat. I thought that it might be a cool way to explore form and encourage different ways to think about poetry, and 30 days feels like a healthy number for poetry (much like the 30/30 NaPoWriMo Challenge). Sharing is a unique part of the writing process that is unnecessary for some and vital to others, but I personally find that it strengthens my writing and voice. Sharing is often difficult for some as it requires courage in one’s vulnerability and comes for many at the risk of being self-indulgent or ostentatious. Let me be the first to say- sharing thoughtful art is a gift to the reader/listener/watcher!
Sharing in the context of social media, though- I understand that dilemma…
My relationship to social media is complex, but overall, an enjoyable one. My favorite is when it’s used as a unifier and facilitator of ideas, but of course is sometimes used in the pursuit of vanity and can be an anxious place to spend wistful hours living comparatively to one’s peers. But this is not my essay on social media’s complex implications- this is a blog post about rousing my poetry mind and hopefully inciting yours as well!
SO! I’ll be posting a photo and poem a day on my social media platforms and I’m inviting you to try it with me if you are looking to experiment with writing and sharing. I’ll be using the hashtag #30PhotoPoems and will try not to make each one a photo of cats with bad haikus (no promises).
I have so many more things to share- most importantly: my team has successfully retrieved my website from my old record label, so now I’m free free free and also my website is free free for me to blog and tell you what kind of cheese I’m eating (pecorino!) and I can post like this blah blah blah and nobody can stop me because I’m a powerful unicorn goddess that is captain of this website and I can eat ice cream for breakfast and do whatever I want WEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! More updates to come, cute butts. I said BUTTS!
Butts butts butts butts
Holy balls! It’s here!! It’s here! It’s heeeeeeere! “Hang Out With You” is out today! Michelle Chamuel and I wrote this song when I was under serious pressure to write the next “hit.” I got so fed up trying to write something everyone else wanted me to write and at one point I just said, “I don’t want to write a song. I just want to hang out with you.” Michelle yelled, “HOT DOG! That’s a song!” And then I thought, “who should produce it…? YOU, most talented woman!” And it was done. Michelle killed in the studio and engineered and produced the track. Our friend and very talented Jeremy Cays did the mixing. Emily Lazar and Chris Allgood did the mastering and I did the graphic design.
This collaboration has been 3 years in the making, and I am pee-my-pants excited about being able to finally share what we’ve been working on! I AM SO HAPPY TO BE MAKING MUSIC ON MY OWN TERMS AND I’M JUST REALLY PROUD OF THIS LITTLE PUPPY (pun absolutely intended).
I haven’t been advertising the fact I’m no longer on Capitol Records, but I think it is important to let y’all know I’m independent. It is a little scary doing this on my own, but I love being at the helm. Being held accountable on all terms of the music is a welcome change. In this way, I’m betting on myself, you know? In that way, it is such a relief to be out of an industry that is often propelled by fear, but now there are many new challenges that I am still navigating. We’ll see how it goes! I am hopeful! The video for “Hang Out With You” features ME hanging out around Seattle with a golden retriever, co-star Lana (my sister’s adorable dog). I reached out to my dear friend and talented director, Zoe Rain, and said, “Okay, I got this idea: Lesbians, Dogs. Crop Tops.” I wanted to incorporate rescue animals, so I reached out to The Shelter Pet Project and friends that worked at local shelters, and as a result, most of the dogs featured in the music video were rescues.
One thing I’ve learned from this project is to repeatedly check in with myself when I am making art. Rather than ask myself, ‘Is this cool?’ I have been asking myself, ‘Am I having fun? Do the people I love smile when they see this?’ Every time I do that, I’m able to step back, re-evaluate, and make sure that what I’m creating is genuine, without a barometer of ‘coolness’.
I love you guys. Thank you for supporting me and allowing me to be an artist that is able to fully express all facets of my artistic identity. So much love to you. Thanks for watching! You can buy the track here:
Hey my little green bean sprouts,
I peek around on social media every once in awhile, and I am always so impressed with how you guys rock all of your “Mary Lambert” shirts. Whether it’s the “Gender Roles Are Gross” crop top with jeans, the “Body Love” shirt with no make-up, the “Mary Lambert Makes Me Emotional” tee matching with other babes, or the “Everybody Is A Babe” in your sleepy jam-jams, YOU ALWAYS LOOK THE MOST CUTEST. I want to start a fan-of-the-week photo series that shows you cuties donning your Mary Lambert shirts along with a brief interview I hold where I ask you about how great you are and what your patronus is.
If you want to be involved, just use the hashtag #MaryLambertFan on instagram, twitter, or facebook.
PS. PS. PS. YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL AND MADE OF SUNSHINE AND ANNIE’S CHEDDAR BUNNIES AND I HOPE YOU HAVE THE BEST DAY EVER
My dearest, most precious snow angels,
It’s January! How was your holiday?! How was your New Years? Did you make a snowperson in your yard then wished them to life and then it became your very best friend?!?!?! Did you eat all the fudge in the land?! Did you watch Elf and cry?! Did you hug a nice cat or a friend or a friend’s cat?!
WOW ME TOO.
On the real real babes, I had one of the best holidays ever. I went horseback riding in the snow with my family, had snuggles with our cat, sang Christmas songs in a sleigh, started BOXING, ate delicious food, wrote music, bought flannel sheets LIKE AN ADULT, went skiing, WROTE A NEW SONG WITH MY GIRLFRIEND, looked at Christmas lights, listened to Christina Aguilara’s Christmas album, and most importantly, spent quality time with the people I love. And most most importantly, ate pie.
I have a TON OF EXCITING UPDATES!!!
-Just in time for the Winter season: CROP TOPS on my website. I also released T-shirts in the same style in case you want to stay warmer.
– I’m working on the next album! I’ve been brushing up on my classical composition chops, as I am composing string quartets for some songs! It’s thrilling to put my degree to work, after primarily focusing on performing the last year.
– I’m working on my next collection of poetry! I’m 60 pages in! It is scary! It is a lot of work! I have trouble making myself sit down and write. I wonder if you writers out there have any tricks for becoming more prolific?
Now the foremost excitingest:
You may recall that we have been working on this video for a hella long time, and that’s because we ran into a few snags along the way. Partly because I funded this project by myself and I don’t even own a car, so that was an adventure in finances! But mostly because I wanted this video to be a piece of art, and that ended up taking a lot more time than I expected. Working on this project felt pretty symbolic for me; I can’t remember the last time I worked on anything creative simply for art’s sake- so much of my life has become about promo, about social media, about making the right career move, or writing songs with the sole intention of having people like them, to the point where I almost feel paralyzed to create. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to sit at the piano and not think “OK. GOTTA WRITE A HIT” “IS THIS CHORD PROGRESSION A HIT CHORD PROGRESSION?!” “WILL PEOPLE LIKE THIS OR WILL THEY HEAR IT AND WANT TO SEND ME ONE OF THOSE GLITTER ENVELOPES AND SAY MEAN THINGS?!” Rather than thinking “Do I even like what I’m creating?” “Is this fulfilling?”Ribcage is a dark song. I wrote it because something dark happened to me. The full explanation of why I wrote the song is here, in this editorial I wrote for FADER, but the idea for the music video, though related, is a little bit different. You can watch it here.
Ribcage is about the unintentional (or intentional) voyeurism of being a fan. My art is an extension of my innermost thoughts, and because I’m a (sometimes involuntarily) vulnerable soul and choose to tell my story (or cry it in a song), I put myself in a precarious trust fall into the audience every night. Most of the time, it is the most gratifying experience an artist could ever dream of. I am able to freely talk about trauma, body image, sexual abuse, being bi-polar, and the audience (read: YOU, YOU GORGEOUS ANGEL CUPCAKE) looks at me and says “I see you. I feel you. Me too.”
The beauty of being vulnerable is that there is an incredible opportunity to connect on a metaphysical level with other human beings. I believe that vulnerability is what makes humanity so moving. When you are vulnerable, you take a leap of faith that the person you are attempting to connect with will reciprocate your openness. If the energy or openness is not returned or sometimes worse, feigned or made fun of, it can feel like the walls are caving in. I took a big break from touring this year after I realized I was having too many grisly panic attacks post-show. Being a vulnerable artist can be so rewarding when you connect with an audience, but when the vulnerability is non-reciprocated or devoid of compassion, it can crush you, your spirit, and your art.
I mean being asked about my sexual abuse on a live television show without any warning or relevance.You, you scrumptious little cookie, might be thinking- WOAH MARY CHILL OUT. Protect yourself! Why do you have to show everyone your naked self all the time? And you would be right! I’m working on that. The problem is, it doesn’t come naturally. You know how a lot of people have to learn how to be vulnerable? I have to learn how to not be vulnerable when it’s unsafe, without changing my identity to fit into this lifestyle. That’s one of the scarier things I’ve noticed about this industry, and largely in the world- how frequently and easily we adapt to harmful situations. I had some people in my life suggest going on anxiety medication, but I realized that these panic attacks had only started this year, and I didn’t want to adapt to this lifestyle. The same thing happened when I was losing my voice and about to start a tour. I was urged to get on vocal steroids, but steroids are a quick fix and can seriously harm your vocal chords with extended use. If my voice is giving out, then I need to change my schedule. If my brain is having these minute combustions, then I need to figure out where it came from, and address it. That said, I took some media training last year specifically to learn how to deflect when a writer is trying to be exploitive with my story. At the moment, I am trying to figure out how to retract safely when I feel unsafe on stage without shaking, running off and crying into chocolate bars.
ANYWHOOZLE. That is the Ribcage story. No kitten mentions in those paragraphs, so HERE, HERE’S A KITTEN:
I also released a video called “Lay Your Head Down” which is a song poem in which I talk about ALL MY FEELINGS. I have so many feelings.
Hey my little tinsel babies. I wrote a new poem-song a couple weeks ago and I thought it might be relevant to anyone that has feelings and/or cries a lot. The holidays can be tough sometimes, and if you’re anything like me, it’s way easier to look at what Laverne Cox is posting on her Instagram (because, LAVERNE COX) than be present with any actual sadness or pain. I cry almost once a day, and I’m proud of it. I think crying is good for you. It cleans your eyeballs out, and it shows vulnerability- which I personally think is one of the strongest, most courageous traits a person can have.
So Happy Holidays, babes. Here’s to crying!
How are you?? Did you see something cool today like a cloud that was shaped like a rock that was shaped like a shark?! Me too. I have so many things to tell you! Aside from the fact my entire world is COMPLETELY CRUMBLING DOWN A WORMHOLE OF CHILDHOOD MEMORIES. I will elaborate: late last night I discovered the simple fact that the Berenstein Bears are not, in fact, Berenstein Bears but BERENSTAIN BEARS with an A, and I am being SO REAL WITH YOU RIGHT NOW that I have never legitimately questioned alternate timelines and parallel universes until now. ARE ANY OF YOU REAL?!@?@?@?Ok. Calming down because this is my own crisis. You are all real and adorable and I love you and you are reading this on my website that has photos of me and poems and I play music and we are all okay. I’m just going to eat some friut and ride my bicycle later.Great news, I’m in the UK again! I am feeling like it’s almost a second home by now. “Heart on my Sleeve” is being released there IN 2 DAYS omgomg! YAY MUSIC! I’ve never quite understood holding releases for different countries, because the internet, but nonetheless, IT HAS ARRIVED TO THE UK! I have a show in London that is unfortunately (but for me, very fortunately) sold out, but have no fear little kitten, I am also doing a small set at Brighton Pride! So come see me and be gay or trans or an ally or queer and PROUD and if you are none of those things, I will pray for you and bless your little homophobic heart with my two very gay hands.
Saturday, August 1 at 12pm – Brighton & Hove Pride – Preston Park – Brighton, UKAlso also the Ribcage music video is in editing now! EXCITING!!I am also hard at work writing a ton of things. Occasionally some of the things I am writing feel very relevant to the world, and I can’t help but share. Recently, a male editor from Oprah magazine responded to a question that was pretty alarming to me. A woman asked if she could pull off a crop top, and he responded by saying, “If (and only if) you have a flat stomach.”
I know, right? THE WORST. If I had a magazine, it would just be poems about how beautiful everyone is, and then in the margins it would have pictures of baby animals mid-sneeze. The statement from the editor was so relevant to a piece I had just written for my next book (!!!!!!!), that I decided to share it on faceland. I have also decided to post it here, so that you can reference it when someone sucks really bad and says stupid bullshit like “glorifying obesity” when fat girls aren’t ashamed of their bodies. Ok, angel kittens, I leave you with this poem. xoxo
“These women need to stop glorifying unhealthy obesity”
1. The body acceptance and radical self love that I practice when wearing a crop top has nothing to do with glorifying obesity or thin-shaming. It’s about loving my body RIGHT NOW, as I am.
2. Also, the fuck is ‘glorifying obesity’?
3. Oh, you are my doctor?
4. NO, YOU’RE ACTUALLY A DOCTOR OF BEING AN ASSHOLE
5. I like my belly button.
6. This is a new revelation.
7. My belly button does not interrupt your life
8. Why do you hate so much my belly button?
9. When I was in high school, I fantasized about taking a knife
to my stomach so I could be normal-sized.
10. I have always been normal-sized.
11. Denise Jolly. Tess Holliday. Sonya Renee. Lindy West. Michelle Allison. Gabi Fresh. Kim Selling.
12. One night I found a website that just had photos of girls with stomach rolls and back rolls and they were smiling and so happy and I cried because I was uncomfortable and envious of their joy.
13. Swimsuits are scary for everyone.
14. I have performed a poem about how to love your body almost every night for 6 years. Sometimes I have to fake it.
15. I have never seen a legitimate sex scene in a feature film with a woman over a size 16 that was not used as a comedic tool. Ever.
16. I used to drink a fifth of tequila and smoke a pack of cigarettes every night.
17. Interestingly, no one criticized my health then.
18. Everyone is terrified of their naked body.
19. Including men.
20. We are all complex. Everyone is breaking and healing and hating all at the same time. You are not exempt. I am not exempt.
21. Photoshop is the devil incarnate.
22. You cannot love what you hope your body to be, without loving it for what it is.
23. My body is what it is what it is.
24. The mirror is what it is what it is.
25. I have found myself at the mercy of my own reflection, wondering if my size diminishes my femininity.
Answer: It does not. I am adorable as fuck.
26. Do you know how miserable it feels to maintain a body that has been deemed unworthy by society? In the same breath, do you know what a joy it is to take care of something that you love?
27. Therefore, celebrating your body is a revolutionary act.
28. I feel my own self breathe. I feel my organs when I breathe and when I shower, I feel my skin on my skin. I know that it is mine. I listen to what my body asks for.
I put on a shirt that shows my stomach. I wing my eyeliner up and I ride my bike into the sunset and I will pick wildflowers with my love and later I will eat brussels sprouts and maybe a martini with lots of olives in it and I will do all this because it makes me feel good and because I am worthy of love and cute clothes and happiness.
29. Feeling worthy has taken so long.
30. I am my own holy revolution, welcome to the church of my thunder thighs, I am awake and alive, I’ve come to wear all of the crop tops that the glittering world has to offer, I’ve come to dance the shame out of my childhood, I’ve come to win back my joy. You may not snatch it from me like a purse.
I win whether I have a mouth full of pretzels or a mouth full of kale; you have not been granted the privilege to know how I consume my world and what makes me most delight in my skin.
I will glorify the shit out of my body.
Hello glorious babes and gentlebabes!
I am unicorn president of this website, and I feel like it’s been a long time since I waved a hello to you! HELLO!
I miss you!!! How are you?? Did you make any new friends or learn something exciting like quantum mechanics or a new state capital or hug your cute dog this week?!?! (The capital of Maine is Augusta just in case you didn’t do any of those things and felt sad or something. I got your back)
Exciting things are happening!
I want you to be in the haps of what is haps-ening!
Here’s a little update:
–I’m working on my second collection of poetry!!! YAY!
Feelings Friday Poetry Writing Extravaganza was so much fun to share with you all and so helpful for my writing. I miss it already!! Luckily, April is National Poetry Writing Month or NaPoWriMo (because words are hard) and 30/30 began on the 1st! 30/30 is a poetry writing challenge (not a math thing) that asks you to write a poem every day for 30 days. I’m on Day 21, and KILLING IT SO HARD. You can join in halfway through if that kind of sick self discipline excites you too. Maybe I’ll post a poem!
–I am a National Parks Ambassador!!!!
I was selected to be a Centennial Ambassador for their #FindYourPark campaign. I found mine in Boston and made this cute little video with some BFFs about it.
It is one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of. My friend, Tim and I went on a long walk in a park in Harrisburg last week and I saw deer and a pretty lake and I wore crocs because deer don’t care about fashion.
–Two incredibly important organizations want to give me awards?!
I’m beyond humbled that Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationare giving me awards. All I’ve ever dreamed of was to use my art, my music, my voice to shine light on issues that are important to me. That’s why such an honor to be recognized by these two entities who are doing amazing things to bring awareness to the cause. Thank you Didi Hirsch and SAMHSA for working tirelessly to bring an end to the stigma associated with mental health.
–I’m making a music video for “Ribcage” with my friend, Zoe Rain. I thought of the concept a couple of months ago, and now it’s really happening!! Of course, nothing this big happens without HELP. I’ve had so many generous people lend their time and energy, so a big
THANK YOU ANGEL CUTIE BBs to:
Alibi Room Greenwood
Naked City Brewery
Christina and Alexis Threlkeld from Beauty by Christina
The Drouin Agency
Urban Light Studios
–I joined a gym a couple months ago and it’s really fun!! I’m getting really good at the rowing machine and watching Shark Tank while I use the elliptical. Can I win an olympic medal for that?! Ellipticallizing?! Also I made polenta! I watched a cooking video and then I cooked it!! It was so exciting! We’ve been trying to cook fun things in our kitchen. I’ll keep you updated with the latest from our kitchen, because I’m sure you are burning with desire to know what we put in our toaster oven (kale! All the kale!)
–I’m going on tour with the Script! They are a bunch of cutie pies and I’m so excited to play music with them and cry backstage at how pretty their songs are. Here are a list of dates, and all ticket info is on my SHOWS tab!
I also have a few shows before then!! With Not The Script (please note: that’s not a band)
It’s officially Sentimental Sunday, which is a close relative of Feelings Friday, which mostly means ‘hi, I ate excessive amounts of cereal and watched re-runs of “Amazing Race” instead of writing poems for the last two days sorry not sorry’
HOWEVER This week’s poems were my favorite of this whole series, little lambies. Even the ones I picked of my favorite favorites, I found so hard to pare down!!
So much love to my favorite favorites Susan Manners, Kaitlin Boatman, and Clara Johanna for their beautiful writing, and to all of you for your bravery and thoughtfulness with your writing. Excerpts of their work are posted to below.
This week’s Real and Honest Feelings Friday (Sometimes on Sunday) Poetry Extravaganza Not For Little Babies is our FINAL prompt. I’ve had so much fun reading your writing and loved being included in your processes. It’s been an honor to feel so connected.
Today is International Women’s Day, and there is a campaign going on called, “Dear Me”. I thought- WOAH DUDE THAT’S A POEM WAITING TO BE WRITTEN.
So your final challenge is to write a poem to your younger self. It could be you at 16 or 19 or 5. You could warn yourself about that burrito that smelled kind of funky but you ate anyway, you could encourage your younger self, tell your self to invest in google, to hug your mom more, whatever you want! As always, you can submit your work to email@example.com.
Look out for a video of A BRAND NEW POEM that I’ll post later today based on this prompt!! EEEEE HAPPY WRITING!!!
I love you, cute little lambies.
I never miss a chance to hike the rolling hills & covered bridges of the Laurels, or Stroud’s yellow and pink wildflower fields or The Meadow Garden at Longwood. Thank you.
I never miss a chance to see and cuddle babies Eloise, Ben, and Wyatt and big girls Grace or Ella. Thank you.
I never miss a chance for watching a pink and orange winter sunset with tunnels of sunlight touching the sky. Thank you.
I never miss a chance for a good morning kiss, the last of the day, hand on cheek, good night, sweet dreams my love kiss, or the in-between, I’m heading to work, hello, I’m home, or I’m walking past you so let’s kiss, kiss. Thank you.
There is this girl with bright blue hair
And electric cobalt lipstick
I swear tacky has never looked so good
She is sometimes the only silence I find on bad days
When the world is too loud
And my brain refuses to rest.
There is this girl who dons a clean face
She owns a pair of loud green sweat pants
Proof that beauty can’t be found in a bottle
I catch myself over-sharing
I’ve never dared say to anyone else
I freeze when our knees bump
I can feel the chemicals rushing through my body
Hoping for just a few moments more
“You know, if you hurl clay with the right velocity at a cement pavement, it sounds almost delicate.
The blue mosaic pot that you made during the summer you said I need to keep busy.
You’d said, I’m recreating the ocean, in concentration your tongue curling like a wave over your lip.
Cyan and azure and aquamarine and deep, black-blue.
Palms scratched and running red rivers.
The red sea parting.
I had always been a horrible swimmer.
Après moi, le déluge.”
Hey cutie pies,
YAY IT’S FEELINGS FRIDAY!!! I’m drinking tea with honey and apples and the sun is happy and I wonder how all of you are.
I hope the day is kind to you and you have warm toes and you are excited about how your life is unfolding. I loved reading your pieces over the last week. You are all so thoughtful and I am so grateful that you are sharing your work with me! I picked excerpts of my three favorite poems below:
“Dear Mustard Yellow Shoes,
…I hope you don’t take this letter the wrong way, because I truly love having you around. Perhaps just be more cautious of getting too close to the edge. Oh, and next time maybe stop by for lunch instead? I simply don’t want to somehow be a part of taking yet another pair of lovely shoes away from this world.
Be well, my friend.
“Letter from Needle to Vinyl Record;
..Your sophisticated velvet black exterior
gleamed as you slid from your crib.
I sat in awe staring
Wishing I was that breathtaking.”
“To the Tree,
…Even physics foresees my kinetic life fulfilled.
The sun will shine on my leaves
and I will dance in its warmth and sway with the gentle zephyrs
The earth delivers…”
THIS WEEK’S PROMPT FOR REAL AND HONEST FEELINGS FRIDAY POETRY EXTRAVAGANZA NOT FOR LITTLE BABIES
This weeks prompt is going to be very simple. It is a list poem.
In this poem, you are going to start every sentence with the same beginning. You see lists a lot in popular music- it’s an awesome way to find consistency in verses by creating familiarity for the listener. I find that writing these types of poems are best created out-loud. I do my best writing when I write on my computer and read every line out-loud as I’m creating. I find that my brain already knows what it wants to say. It’s also totally cool to go off on a tangent, once you’ve started a line. Don’t feel restricted that the starting phrase has to repeat every line. It could repeat every stanza, if you choose.
Here are some examples:
“I can’t remember the last time…
I can’t remember the last time…
I can’t remember the last time…”
“When I am with you…
When I am with you…
When I am with you…”
I chose two poems this week, both from one of my favorite writers and spoken-word poets, Rachel McKibbens.
In both of these pieces, Rachel uses the tool of repetition, and then twists it. It’s like she finds a new meaning with every line.
“Its okay to hang upside-down like a bat,
to swim into the deep end of silence,
to swallow every key so you can’t get out.
It’s okay to hear the ocean calling your fevered name
to say your sorrow is an opera of snakes,
to flirt with sharp and heartless things.
It’s okay to write, I deserve everything,
to bow down to this rotten thing
that understands you, to adore the red
and ugly queen of it, to admire
her calm and steady rowing.
It’s okay to lock yourself in the medicine cabinet,
to drink all the wine, to do what it takes to stay
without staying. Its okay to hate God today
to change his name to yours, to want to ruin all that ruined you.
It’s okay to feel like only a photograph of yourself,
to need a stranger to pull your hair and pin you down,
it’s okay to want your mother as you lie alone in bed.
It’s okay to brick to fuck to flame to church to crush to knife
to rock to rock to rock to rock to rock and rock.
It’s okay to wave good-bye to yourself in the mirror.
To write, I don’t want anything.
It’s okay to despise what you have inherited,
to feel dead in a city of pulses. It’s okay
to be the whale that never comes up for air,
to love best the taste of your own blood.
— Rachel McKibbens, from “Letter From My Heart to My Brain”
“And you will hear yourself say:
Last Love, I wish to die so I may come back to you
new and never tasted by any other mouth but yours.
And I want to be the hands that pull your children
out of you and tuck them deep inside myself until they are
ready to be the children of such a royal and staggering love.
Or you will say:
Last Love, I am old, and have spent myself on the courageless,
have wasted too many clocks on less-deserving men,
so I hurl myself at the throne of you and lie humbly at your feet.
Last Love, let me never roll out of this heavy dream of you,
let the day I was born mean my life will end
where you end. Let the man behind the church
do what he did if it brings me to you. Let the girls
in the locker room corner me again if it brings me to you.
Let this wild depression throw me beneath its hooves
if it brings me to you. Let me pronounce my hoarded joy
if it brings me to you. Let my father break me again
and again if it brings me to you.
Last love, I have let other men borrow your children. Forgive me.
Last love, I once vowed my heart to another. Forgive me.
Last Love, I have let my blind and anxious hands wander into a room
and come out empty. Forgive me.
Last Love, I have cursed the women you loved before me. Forgive me.
Last Love, I envy your mother’s body where you resided first. Forgive me.
Last Love, I am all that is left. Forgive me.
Last Love, I did not see you coming. Forgive me.
Last Love, every day without you was a life I crawled out of. Amen.
Last Love, you are my Last Love. Amen.
Last Love, I am all that is left. Amen.
I am all that is left.
-Untitled by Rachel McKibbens
So there’s this week’s prompt, boo-boos. Create a list, using the same repeating phrase. Make it personal. Twist it. Find new meaning.
As always, you can keep it for your own personal work, or you can share it with me! Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
First off: YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!! Thank you for all of your wonderful poems last week, little lambies. Here are a few uninvented inventions that I liked:
Gorgeous, you guys. I loved every single submission. Thanks for sharing with me!
I am so so so excited for this week’s prompt, I can barely contain myself. This week, I want you to write a letter. Not a letter to your crush or your boo or your cute mom- this one is very different. And of course, a little complicated.
I nabbed this exercise from a poem in Rose McAleese’s book “Strong. Female. Character.” The poem is “Match and Flame”:
letter from match to flame
“They told me this was a coming-of-age thing,
a rite of passage,
That this is what is supposed to happen.
But I am beginning to question the ways of the world.
Why must we both go the second you are born?
Our lifespan is too quick, not enough time to know each other.
First we are put under such pressure,
forced to spark.
Does this heat ever get to you?
Is this too rough for you?
Does this hurt?
Oh, love. The friction makes me so aware.
You are split from yourself and moved to wick
One that holds you longer, one that holds you tighter.
I can’t help but stare and watch you go.
Hurrying up the walls,
a wedding dress made of smoke.
I watch as you linger from my tip to the ceiling.
Where do you go from here?
Are you locked in the vents of the floorboards?
Do you soak the wallpaper with your sweat?
Press yourself clean to windows, head north for the valley above.
Such bitter partings, my beloved.
letter from flame to match
You are so young, weak at heart.
Made of wood,
Earth’s best creation, man’s worst conductor.
You are so naive. You wish nothing more than to be their soot, their chalk, their ash.
Don’t you see what they do with me,
what damage they make of me,
what harm I am capable of?
All you see is my smoke,
a veil fit for a funeral.
I hurry away not for the mystery but out of shame.
If only I could leave you faster.
There is no beauty in my creation.
My scream, a warning;
they should have listened to the crackle from my rush
My throat is raspy; it’s hard to breathe.
No need to sweeten this.
You are just my maker,
I met you with such disgust in mind,
I flicker out of struggle, not of dance.
Have fun with this prompt! When you’ve chosen your objects, make sure you give them life! Connect yourself to them. Give a personality to the 20-year-old couch in your parents basement.
As always, you can keep these poems very close to your heart and not share with a soul, or you can share with me, and I’ll pick my favorites next week! email@example.com
Thank you for your bravery,
First of all, you guys made me cry and I’m so happy and I had so much fun reading your writing!! I got 200 submissions! SICK! It was so fun picking favorites! Thank you for your bravery and vulnerability. One little reminder: these prompts are about writing NEW work. It is very cool to have a collection of old pieces of writing in your catalog that are not related to the prompt, but let’s write new stuff! It’s fun! I promise!
Here are my picks for favorite submissions:
-Amanda Hawk (she juxtaposed her name with her body which I thought was super cool and original)
-Salla Junetunen (broke down their name with the feelings of each syllable. Sounds have connotations! COOL!)
-Donny Winter (his poem was multi-layered, but one of my favorite layers was about seeing his name published as a writer, which stuck out to me because names are also tied to recognition! Like when you win an award, they don’t call you by your moon-child-spirit-self, they call you by your name.
-Troy Osaki (Just read this: “America has taught me to be less foreign- an unmarked atlas of where I am from. A Japanese accent pronounced like a small war in my mouth conquered in english”. LIKE SHUT UP AMAZING UGH)
-Annabelle Zaluski (Journey she had with her name from first as a little girl, to teachers in school, to then hearing her partner say it- names grow with us- they evolve and we evolve with them. Neat direction!)
Now to this week’s poem and prompt!
ONION-VISION by Shira Erlichman
A man who forgets himself is poor at making bread.
That is a cookie fortune I never got.
Three virgins in the sack are like three happy vowels: aoe!
That is also a cookie fortune I never got.
The mountains have really big hands.
Once more folks, a cookie fortune I never got.
Don’t turn around – there are babies being made.
That is, again, a cookie fortune I never got.
The bubble bath was filled with lemons when I kissed her.
A secret, just nobody’s secret.
The extra pillow is to hump.
Somebody’s secret, someone close by, maybe right here.
I lick every scented marker in the set.
Gregory “Long-legs”s not-so-secret in fourth grade.
Every bad thing that ever happens to you
is either a thermometer or barometer.
A secret I wish someone had told me sooner.
I am not brave.
The heart’s secret.
I am too brave.
The heart’s secret.
A dishwasher that plays the dishes as notes.
Uninvented Invention #23
A holidiary where everyone shares entries
in a highly ritualized public format.
Uninvented Invention #68
“Burn the water” – a blues song revealing
the impossibility of abandoning those that abandon us.
Uninvented Invention #104
A miniature movie-theater suspended above the forehead
during sleep to, of course, project movies to a loved one.
Uninvented Invention #19
Walking campfire: built small and safe enough to store
in the breast pocket and familiar to all, so all may sing along.
Uninvented Invention #859
Onion-vision, so we may see sadness as it is, artichokes
as they are, sound, muscle, the truth as it is.
Uninvented Invention #44
Word-kites: you tie them to what you say
and they go wherever they want to go,
like, a tree-tangle or your mouth, some hot moon like that.
Uninvented Invention #960
So here is my challenge to you:
What is your uninvented invention? I want you to avoid the literal type of invention, like a different kind of soap dispenser- BORING- though I myself have tons of inventions! my drummer, Heather and I came up with something called “Shoe Party” and I would tell you what it’s about but I can’t because it’s genius and we’re going to go on Shark Tank someday and Lori Grienier is going to put it on QVC and we’re going to be bagillionaires and everyone will have “Shoe Party”.
INSTEAD- Everyone knows that the best inventions solve problems or make things easier, so I’m asking you to write a metaphysical invention for a metaphysical problem. Are you having a problem in your life? Are you going through grief? Are you having trouble communicating? Is there someone else in your life that could use a metaphysical solution? You can even think bigger- go global! What could solve world issues? Go magic! Go surreal! But I want you to think really carefully- spend your whole day observing people, observing yourself and think about this issue you would love to magically fix- and think about the name! Naming your uninvented metaphysical invention is half the fun.
Just like last week, you can submit your writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love you guys. You are inspiring.
Today is our inaugural weekly FEELINGS FRIDAY where we write about our feelings in poetry and it’s Friday and I love you and your beautiful feelings.
My first poetry prompt for you is based on a poem by Tasbeeh Herwees.
“Your name is Tasbeeh. Don’t let them call you by anything else.”
My mother speaks to me in Arabic; the command sounds more forceful in her mother tongue, a Libyan dialect that is all sharp edges and hard, guttural sounds. I am seven years old and it has never occurred to me to disobey my mother. Until twelve years old, I would believe God gave her the supernatural ability to tell when I’m lying.
“Don’t let them give you an English nickname,” my mother insists once again, “I didn’t raise amreekan.”
My mother spits out this last word with venom. Amreekan. Americans. It sounds like a curse coming out of her mouth. Eight years in this country and she’s still not convinced she lives here. She wears her headscarf tightly around her neck, wades across the school lawn in long, floor-skimming skirts. Eight years in this country and her tongue refuses to bend and soften for the English language. It embarrasses me, her heavy Arab tongue, wrapping itself so forcefully around the clumsy syllables of English, strangling them out of their meaning.
But she is fierce and fearless. I have never heard her apologize to anyone. She will hold up long grocery lines checking and double-checking the receipt in case they’re trying to cheat us. My humiliation is heavy enough for the both of us. My English is not. Sometimes I step away, so people don’t know we’re together but my dark hair and skin betray me as a member of her tribe.
On my first day of school, my mother presses a kiss to my cheek.
“Your name is Tasbeeh,” she says again, like I’ve forgotten. “Tasbeeh.”
Roll call is the worst part of my day. After a long list of Brittanys, Jonathans, Ashleys, and Yen-but-call-me-Jens, the teacher rests on my name in silence. She squints. She has never seen this combination of letters strung together in this order before. They are incomprehensible. What is this h doing at the end? Maybe it is a typo.
“Tasbeeh,” I mutter, with my hand half up in the air. “Tasbeeh.”
“Do you go by anything else?”
“No,” I say. “Just Tasbeeh. Tas-beeh.”
“Tazbee. All right. Alex?”
She moves on before I can correct her. She said it wrong. She said it so wrong. I have never heard my name said so ugly before, like it’s a burden. Her entire face contorts as she says it, like she is expelling a distasteful thing from her mouth. She avoids saying it for the rest of the day, but she has already baptized me with this new name. It is the name everyone knows me by, now, for the next six years I am in elementary school. “Tazbee,” a name with no grace, no meaning, no history; it belongs in no language.
“Tazbee,” says one of the students on the playground, later. “Like Tazmanian Devil?” Everyone laughs. I laugh too. It is funny, if you think about it.
I do not correct anyone for years. One day, in third grade, a plane flies above our school.
“Your dad up there, Bin Laden?” The voice comes from behind. It is dripping in derision.
“My name is Tazbee,” I say. I said it in this heavy English accent, so he may know who I am. I am American. But when I turn around they are gone.
I go to middle school far, far away. It is a 30-minute drive from our house. It’s a beautiful set of buildings located a few blocks off the beach. I have never in my life seen so many blond people, so many colored irises. This is a school full of Ashtons and Penelopes, Patricks and Sophias. Beautiful names that belong to beautiful faces. The kind of names that promise a lifetime of social triumph.
I am one of two headscarved girls at this new school. We are assigned the same gym class. We are the only ones in sweatpants and long-sleeved undershirts. We are both dreading roll call. When the gym teacher pauses at my name, I am already red with humiliation.
“How do I say your name?” she asks.
“Tazbee,” I say.
“Can I just call you Tess?”
I want to say yes. Call me Tess. But my mother will know, somehow. She will see it written in my eyes. God will whisper it in her ear. Her disappointment will overwhelm me.
“No,” I say, “Please call me Tazbee.”
I don’t hear her say it for the rest of the year.
My history teacher calls me Tashbah for the entire year. It does not matter how often I correct her, she reverts to that misshapen sneeze of a word. It is the ugliest conglomeration of sounds I have ever heard.
When my mother comes to parents’ night, she corrects her angrily, “Tasbeeh. Her name is Tasbeeh.” My history teacher grimaces. I want the world to swallow me up.
My college professors don’t even bother. I will only know them for a few months of the year. They smother my name in their mouths. It is a hindrance for their tongues. They hand me papers silently. One of them mumbles it unintelligibly whenever he calls on my hand. Another just calls me “T.”
My name is a burden. My name is a burden. My name is a burden. I am a burden.
On the radio I hear a story about a tribe in some remote, rural place that has no name for the color blue. They do not know what the color blue is. It has no name so it does not exist. It does not exist because it has no name.
At the start of a new semester, I walk into a math class. My teacher is blond and blue-eyed. I don’t remember his name. When he comes to mine on the roll call, he takes the requisite pause. I hold my breath.
“How do I pronounce your name?” he asks.
I say, “Just call me Tess.”
“Is that how it’s pronounced?”
I say, “No one’s ever been able to pronounce it.”
“That’s probably because they didn’t want to try,” he said. “What is your name?”
When I say my name, it feels like redemption. I have never said it this way before. Tasbeeh. He repeats it back to me several times until he’s got it. It is difficult for his American tongue. His has none of the strength, none of the force of my mother’s. But he gets it, eventually, and it sounds beautiful. I have never heard it sound so beautiful. I have never felt so deserving of a name. My name feels like a crown.
“Thank you for my name, mama.”
When the barista asks me my name, sharpie poised above the coffee cup, I tell him: “My name is Tasbeeh. It’s a tough t clinging to a soft a, which melts into a silky ssss, which loosely hugs the b, and the rest of my name is a hard whisper — eeh. Tasbeeh. My name is Tasbeeh. Hold it in your mouth until it becomes a prayer. My name is a valuable undertaking. My name requires your rapt attention. Say my name in one swift note – Tasbeeeeeeeh – sand let the h heat your throat like cinnamon. Tasbeeh. My name is an endeavor. My name is a song. Tasbeeh. It means giving glory to God. Tasbeeh. Wrap your tongue around my name, unravel it with the music of your voice, and give God what he is due.”
Tasbeeh Herwees, The Names They Gave Me
via Rachel Mckibbens
I love this poem. It feels like an instruction manual of how to honor yourself, starting with your own name. Do you like your name? Do you like it when other people say it? How does it roll off your tongue? Is there another name you’ve always wanted to go by?
If you want to share your poem with me, send it here: email@example.com. I’ll pick and post my favorites next week!
-Follow your instincts.
-Freewrite first and then edit later. Let the critics in your head take a backseat today- nothing is off limits, nothing is wrong, nothing is stupid.
-This is simply a jumping off point! Sometimes I end up so far from the prompt itself, I can’t even remember what it was! Though I also never remember where I parked the car when there are only two other vehicles in the Stop & Shop parking lot, I find that when I stray from a prompt, it is often my inner-self hungry to process an issue. If I end up writing a soliloquy to a sandwich, I may just be hungry. To me, free-writing is as much poetry as it is therapy. Go there, boo boo.
I lay in a too-large bed watching the sunset in a hotel high rise,
decadent truffle wrappers strewn on the sheets
of the most comfortable bed I have ever laid on
Newly purchased clothes haphazardly hurricained around the room
narrowing my eyes
angry about a fly
that is now dancing a mating ritual around my kombucha
Simultaneously I read the headlines from my friends
about another body killed without accountability
If this were two years ago
I would be skipping work
marching alongside my friends
Asking questions about allyship,
Burning with the desire for political justice, for social justice,
For human rights.
But I’m a pop singer now. I have fans. And a record label.
Not to mention a persistent insect asshole roommate that won’t leave my delicious beverage alone.
After all, I wouldn’t want to let the fans down by speaking out.
It could offend people. It could make them uncomfortable.
After all, people only want to listen to my music, right?
Not be force-fed my ideology or stance on human rights
But when I think about it-
Isn’t being a plus-size, bi-polar, crop-top wearing lesbian inherently political?
If not me, then who?
If not now, then when?
1. The word “indict” means simply to bring to trial.
Just because you didn’t mean to kill somebody doesn’t mean that they are not dead by your hand.
2. Drunk drivers never mean to hit families
3. Sometimes I get drunk
4. Sometimes I get drunk with my own privilege
5. Perhaps talking about race isn’t easy. Perhaps the conversation should be about police accountability. There are a lot of necessary conversations. Perhaps we should talk about the asshole fly trying to weasel itself into my expensive drink.
6. Yes. All lives matter. This conversation is not about white people and the thirst to be included, white people. This conversation is about being a person of color and that relationship to authority.
And the naiveté of some whiteness, along with the concept of being “colorblind”
is endearing at best
Segregation ended in 1954, but there is no statistic I can give you
that says systemic racism ended just because you were born.
I appreciate your soft youth, your hunger for peace
If you are indeed “colorblind” my loves,
How could you ever see the vibrance of any canvas
Of Magritte or Basquiat or Picasso
Or the world around you
Reality is terrifying.
Humanity is frightening.
But when you see the dark
with full eyes, wide as all
You have the gift of illumination
To see also the facet of humanity that is starkly beautiful
That is the core of humanity’s magic
To stand shivering in it’s wake
Aware of your own humanness.
7. I want to be a paintbrush
I want to paint this beautiful sunset on the eyelids of every single one of them surrendering mid-death
i can’t breathe
My sheets are twisted around me
My sheets are crisp and rich and the building is tall I am sweating in my own privilege
and the fly is back.
Did I mention the fly
Did I mention the fly was black
Did I mention the fly was a black man
I didn’t kill him
I went on the patio of this high rise
and wrote this
while the sunset held my hand with unfiltered indigo and pomegranate
Did you see it too
I’m happy to announce that we’re opening for The Script in the spring! I LOVE TOURING AND MY BAND AND CREW AND LATE NIGHT PUNS ON THE BUS. YAYAYAYAY!!!!
Visit my shows page to get the most up-to-date info, but here are the dates right MEOW:
Don’t worry if you don’t see your city here, babes. I’m sure I will be coming to a city near you at some point in 2015.
Love you boo boos!
THINGS HAVE BEEN CRAZIER THAN A SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN 1994 AT DC DISCOVERY ZONE. Tour is so fun and everyone that has been coming to the shows has made me happy cry all over the place. Plus, last night we roasted hot dogs (my favorite food group) and marshmallows and I didn’t think life could get any better, but THERE ARE EVEN MORE THINGS TO BE EXCITED ABOUT BEYOND NOSTALGIC PROCESSED FOOD.
First off, I’m so overwhelmed and humbled by the amazing things people have said about Heart on My Sleeve. I really poured my heart and soul into the record, so it’s amazing to hear that fancy people, like Good Morning America, The New York Times, NPR, and of course, YOU BABES, to have embraced it so lovingly. I am so touched. Thank you.
Another neat thing about an album release is that I GET TO PERFORM AT SO MANY NEAT PLACES AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, EAT ALL THE HUMMUS AND WHITE WINE ON ALL THE MANY HOSPITALITY RIDERS. So much kombucha, y’all.
First ridiculously super cool performance:
I’m a part of VH1’s You Oughta Know Concert on November 13th alongside some of my friends A Great Big World, Sam Smith, and Echosmith!!!!! Please watch it!!! I’m so excited for the TV THINGS and also SAM SMITH IS SUPER ADORABLE AND I ENJOY HUGGING HIM. My “You Oughta Know” commercials have been airing on VH1, and I maybe screamed in my hotel room the first time I saw them. You can watch here if you would like to freak out by proxy!
ALSO THEY INTERVIEWED ME WITH KITTENS AND I HAD AN ALLERGIC REACTION BUT IT WAS WORTH EVERY MINUTE.
This year I was so honored to be a part of the OUT100 of 2013, and I’m equally honored to perform at this year’s OUT100 20th Anniversary Gala on November 20th! At the event, OUT will honor five remarkable individuals for their significant achievements including Samira Wiley, Zachary Quinto, Ellen Page, and Tyler Oakley. NEAT! Sidenote: Tyler Oakley is the cutiest of all the patooties.
THEN, I’m performing on the Red Carpet LIVE pre-show at the American Music Awards on 11/23!!! WHAT IS MY LIFE?!?? You can tune in via Yahoo Music and learn more about it here. I’m gonna wear a fancy dress or skirt or glitter or combination of all of those things.
More things! All of the things!:
I’m a VevoLIFT artist this month!! Some of the dear friends I mentioned before were previous LIFT artists, so I’m totally stoked to a part of this group!!! I get to launch exclusive videos with them this month! Yay! In the meantime, you can watch what we’ve launched thus far here.
I’m also an American Express Artist-In-Residence! Over the next couple of weeks, they’re also releasing super sweet videos that I did with them that include Betty Who and Rixton, too. Stay tuned!!! So many videos! All of the things!
I’m still on this crazy beautiful tour, so if you haven’t seen a show, there’s still time to come see Maiah, Heather, Tim and me out on the road!!!
I LOVE YOU BABES SO MUCH. I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS:
In case you missed it, boos!!
My dear friends,
Today marks one of the most important days of my whole life, both personally and professionally. After 9 months of pouring my entire being into this project, ‘Heart on My Sleeve’ is finally here for your ears & hearts to enjoy.
This record would not be possible without Eric, Benny, Mozella, Eesean, Dillon & everyone at Capitol & UMG. My heart is so full. Most of all, this music would not be possible without YOU. My beautiful babely babe-unicorn-lambies, you propel me with every message, word, and positive energy. I cried a whole heck of a lot making this album, both happy & sad tears – and I am so grateful for every moment. My wish is that ‘Heart on My Sleeve’ inspires you to feel whatever it is you need to feel. Feeling fully is actually really hard but an important practice. I hope that I’ve honored your support and you fall in love with this album. I love you all SO MUCH!!
Dream come true to be on NPR. All Things Considered is how I discovered some of my favorite artists.
Listen to the interview here.
A lot of posts have been about promo, which is super important, because I want to tell you what I’ve been up to and how we can connect with each other. Connection is so cool and great and I want to hug everyone!
In a similar sense, I’ve been experiencing entitlement from interviewers. Because I speak openly about my traumas in my music and poetry, it often appears as fair game to interviewers. And there’s nothing that gets ratings like a shocking story, right? The problem with prying about trauma details is that it has the potential to re-traumatize a survivor. Again, like the fans breaking into the green room, I believe the intention is positive. Most often what sends me into panic attacks is the interviewer citing specific examples of my traumas. Here I’ll disclose, because I’m in control (I’m unicorn
queen of my website) The question that frequently pops up is “You suffered a gang rape in an army barracks and were molested by your father. How did you get through that?” The question is so abrupt, unkind, and insensitive. I am happy to talk about trauma in a general sense- I think dismantling stigmas is an important part of what I do. A much kinder question to ask is, “You have experienced a lot of trauma in your childhood, how did you get through that?”
Again, I also feel as though I’ve invited these questions because of my vulnerability. Can I fault people for asking? Is this the negative implications of vulnerability? I’m not sure. I question whether this re-traumatization is self-inflicted in some way. Talking openly about being a survivor is something I value, and maybe part of my job as a vulnerable artist is to educate in some way. I’m still figuring it out. I think there is a clear difference between “telling” the story of trauma and “processing” through the trauma. I have done a lot of the processing in therapy and in
my personal life. In my music, I tell the story of my trauma. Is there more work to do after that? Perhaps in the public eye, the next step is to educate. Still seeking the answers for these questions in my personal and public life.
Until then, on behalf of your friends that have survived traumas, be respectful, sensitive, and kind when bringing up those topics. Remember: Is it relevant? Is it kind?
One word: Confetti.
I’M PACKING ALL MY SHOES AND GLITTER AND GOING ON TOUR BABES. HOT DOGS FOR EVERYONE!!!!!!
It’s my first headlining tour with a band and a crew and I feel so fancy! YAYAYAYAYAYAY!
See all the dates below and get more information here.
And my prince and princess unicorns, don’t fret if your city isn’t on the list above. More cities and shows to come later this year. Pinky promise.
The BAND! My band is the absolute best. My whole team is the absolute best.
But I don’t think you know for real real how incredible my band is. They are ridiculously talented, kind, and a complete riot to hang out with. It should be noted that they are also total babes, and should totally do a Macy’s Christmas commercial or something.
I’ll be touring for the bulk of this year. SO MANY SHOWS MY GOD SO MANY SHOWS.
And you’ll see these virtuoso musicians/friends/soulmates with me along the way. Buy them beer. And buy me a hot dog. And a whiskey. And a puppy.
This is Heather.
When I grow up, I want to be Heather Thomas. She is a fucking beast of a drummer. She’s the newest of the team, but it feels like she’s been with the crew forever. We’ve been playing shows together for about 6 months, and she is one of the funnest people to hang out with, play music with, and talk serious shit with. On tour, we call her Lone Wolf Thomas. You can too. I’ve learned so much from Heather in such a short amount of time. She is one of those people that puts things in such a wise perspective that you’re like “UGH Heather, why do you have to make me think about compassion and empathy for other people, I just wanted to run them over with my car for laughing and walking slow,” but then you’re also super grateful because she for real for real shifted your consciousness with one sentence. I can’t wait to spend more time playing music with her and learning more lessons about humanity. Heather is also a skateboarder, lead singer of her own band, hackey sack enthusiast, and former tap dancer (SHE DID A SET ONCE WHERE SHE PLAYED THE KIT AND THEN TAP DANCED BECA– USE SHE CAN DO ANYTHING BECA– USE SHE IS A GODDESS AMEN). Heather is an institution, and I can’t wait for her to take over the world.
This is Maiah.
Maiah Manser and I met in college at Cornish College of the Arts. I was instantly blown away by her songwriting and her unbelievable vocals. She is one of the kindest, most talented human beings that has ever come into my life, and she is a rare treasure to anyone that knows her. Maiah never ceases to amaze me with her insane vocals and emotional connection to her writing and voice. Maiah inspires me to be a better musician and human being. One of my favorite videos of all time is her owning the shit out of her loop system. On top of being a master of her craft, Maiah can multi-task like no other. I asked her to sing back-up. Then I asked her to play synth. Then I asked her to play bass. Then I asked her to do them all at the same time. And she nails it every fucking time. On tour, Maiah’s nickname is (sorry Maiah) Wormhole. This is due to her third eye actual psychic abilities. You may not call her that. She is one of my favorite people to tell secrets to and I feel like we’ve been friends for millions of years in so many lives. Maiah just released her first single, “Hold Your Head Up” which completely slays. She has a show (with TIM) on Sept 6th in Seattle and if you live in Seattle and don’t go, you better be having a colonoscopy or getting married or something terribly important/awful.
This is Tim.
Tim is my very best friend. We met working at a restaurant in Seattle where I farted on him and we crushed on cute girls together and got drunk and cried way too often.
Tim plays every instrument you can think of. And not just half-assed. He is one of the most brilliant guitarists/bassists I’ve ever met; a true master of his craft. I sent Tim the new album (which I wrote without the band in Los Angeles) two weeks ago, and said, “Hey can you learn all of these songs in two days/program all the sounds/help design playing to track/teach me how to play them/play three instruments at once? IS THAT COOL TIM?” And Tim said, “fuck yes I will, Mary, because I’m a damn boss.” AND HE DID. Like the rest of the band, Tim’s solo writing is phenomenal. The sounds he makes with his guitar literally move me to tears.
Tim’s nickname varies. The rest of the band calls Tim, “TimTitty” I have a hard time getting those words out of my mouth, so often I just call him “Asshole” because every day is opposite day. You may not call him either of those names, though he would insist you can call him whatever you like and then give you a hug and ask you what your birthday is. He is the brooding lead singer of his band, Dark Hip Falls, a band that has been the movie music for my 5-margarita-kind-of-nights. The Summer I turned 19, Tim came to my apartment and stayed with me through the night when I wanted to kill myself. Now we get to play music together all the time. And I still fart on him.
Can’t wait for you guys to meet the rest of the crew! See you on the road!
Hey my pretty little angel muffins. Last week was a cray zay week. Let me recap:
B.o.B dropped a serious rhyme on “Secrets” AND IT’S SO GREAT HAVE YOU PLAYED IT FOR YOUR MOM OR YOUR WEIRD COUSIN YET? They will probably both like it. Incidentally, I am usually the weird cousin.
I was actually really hesitant to have a rap feature on this song, but B.o.B put such an incredible verse down, and it complimented the song in a way that I never expected. THANK YOU B.o.B YOU ARE SO BOSS.
Listen to it here:
Also also also!
I released the lyric video for “When You Sleep” !! It is one of my favorite videos I’ve ever made. Huge props to Samantha Soo for bringing the song to life. ISNT SHE AMAZING?! I met Sam on MySpace when I was 15. Embarrassing.
Another fun thing this week: I made a neat playlist! I also made myself toast! And I cut an apple up! All by myself!
Unrelated to anything: I’ve been watching HGTV nonstop. Related to something: Instead of installing a kitchen backsplash or tearing down walls for an open concept living space for you, I made you a Spotify playlist of all the songs that influenced the making of Heart on My Sleeve. I’ll be adding new tracks every week, so you can subscribe if you want to, boo boos. You may even hear some more nuggets from the album. And no not chicken nuggets, ear candy nuggets. That kind of sounds like a terrifying jelly bean flavor. Gross.
Another ‘nother thing: THE FIRST ROUND OF SECRET POSTCARDS HAVE GONE OUT AND THEY ARE SO AMAZING YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST. When you get yours in the mail, I want to see it. Take a pic with the secret you receive, share on your favorite social meeds (Twitter, Instagram, Vine or Facebook), and tag it with #MarySecrets. Your pretty face will appear on my super secret wall of secrets that’s actually not super secret. Secrets secrets secrets.
HI HARRY STYLES YOU HAVE PRETTY HAIR AND I’M GLAD WE SHARE SIMILAR FEARS MAYBE WE SHOULD GO ON FEAR FACTOR TOGETHER
P.S.S. SHAZAM! Tag “Secrets” everyday on the app and you’ll get a new secret video from me. You can watch the first secret on YouTube here.
PSSSSSSS I think you’re all cute.
Hello pretty babies.
(I’m going to do my best to remain collected because I feel like I yell at you in excitement on the regular but…)
YAAAAASSSS, YOU GUYS. YOU CAN PRE-ORDER MY ALBUM AND I ALMOST CHOKED ON GRANOLA. You can get “Secrets” AND “When You Sleep” instantly when you pre-order! Holy smokes.
When I think about you being able to hear these tracks I’m instantly like: OH I FEEL LIKE UNICORNS
Thank you so much for all the love, feels, and support. You guys are seriously the best.
Ok, remember way back when I promised that the lyric video was only a placeholder for the really amazingly glorious music video we shot for “Secrets”?! Well, in all its Viking-helmet-wearing, confetti-blasting, and tiny-kid dancing glory, the video for “Secrets” is HERE!!
I’M SO EXCITED!!!! WATCH BELOW!!!!
I know, it’s amazing (kudos to the actress who plays my therapist…).
But now I want to get serious(ish) dudes and dudettes. For those of you who just tuned in, I have a neat postcard secret exchange happening! It’s kind of like a therapeutic Post Secret chain letter. Have you shared a secret with my #MarySecrets campaign? Click here to anonymously share something with me AND someone else. You never know who you could inspire or affect by just one little truth. My wish is that the freeing effect occurs not only with the receiver, but also the writer.
I still have a few super cool limited-edition copies of Heart on My Sleeve that I’m signing just for you. Have you pre-ordered yours yet? Speaking of pre-order…. HEART ON MY SLEEVE OFFICIALLY GOES UP FOR PRESALE ON ITUNES TUESDAY!!!!! That means we’re getting closer to the album release. OMG I can’t wait for you guys to hear it. Seriously.
That is all.
You can get it now and scream with me in excitement because I’m perpetually four years old at Christmas (that was the year I got “Little Mermaid.” A very pivotal year for me) and I like sharing things with you, cuties.
Now that I’ve divulged all my secrets to you in an adorable polka dot video with manicured nails, I want to hear YOURS!!!! Part of this song, though it’s super fun, surrounds the belief that sharing vulnerable parts of ourselves with other people can be really freeing. When we share our secrets with each other (secrets often meaning aspects of ourselves that are shrouded in guilt and shame), we’ll be one step closer to a more beautiful and fulfilled society.
That said, I LOVE TELLING SECRETS. I LOVE LETTERS. I love postcards. I love stamps. I love cat stickers.
I bet some of you do too, which is why I thought:
Wouldn’t it be neat if we all sent each other postcards of our secrets??
Click here to get in on the secret-postcard-fun! Share your secrets and get an anonymous secret snail-mailed from someone else. I want us all to know that we can share who we are and what we are with everyone and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
Check out the postcards that you can choose from:
There are so many amazing things happening I can barely contain myself. I’m like a kid with ten rolls of bubble tape and very little self-control (what’s good 90’s reference)!
My new single “Secrets” has officially hit the radio!
To the lucky angel baby pies who have heard it already, it means the world to me that you are saying such nice stuff about it. I’m so proud of this song, and I’m SO excited you like it! If you haven’t heard it on your radio station yet, CALL, TWEET OR SEND A CARRIER PIGEON TO REQUEST. We’re getting an easy bake oven for the bus. I will attempt to send each of you cupcakes.
The official music video for “Secrets” where I rock a viking helmet and party hard with confetti is on it’s way, but to tide you over, here’s a super cute lyric video that’s got polka dots and fun animations and a magic notebook.
(Also, don’t worry pretty babes, the song will be available on iTunes soon)
ALSO ALSO! My FIRST full-length record, Heart on My Sleeve, is going to come out in the next couple months (ISN’T THAT AN ACCURATE TITLE FOR ME AS A HUMAN BEING?!? The alternate title was: Crying Ball of Feelings and Magic, but the pitch didn’t go well).
The greatest news ever is that I’m signing a buttload of limited edition CDs and vinyls and you can pre-order it now!!!! (VINYL! I’M SO HIP!). You can pre-order one for you and your grouchy next-door neighbor who needs a good dose of feels by clicking HERE YAY
I feel all your love all the time, and I give you so many bear hugs back, babes. Let’s save the world with feelings and positive magic rays of goodness.
Yay yay yay yay! I am so excited to show off some new merch! I will ship it to you ANYWHERE IN ALL THE LAND. Here is a link to the merch store!
You can now purchase the bandanna with Body Love in my handwriting.
Or maybe you want a neat something to hang on your wall! You can pick up a ‘She Keeps Me Warm’ lyric poster!
Maybe Body Love is something that touched you! Well I want to touch you! That sounded better in my head! I meant I want you to feel soft in a comfy T-shirt. There are Body Love posters too!
And remember, the merch site is the only place you can order my collection of poetry, ‘500 tips for fat girls’. It’s kind of like ‘500 days of summer’ except it’s not. Not even close. I lied.
Also, HAPPY FOURTH!!
EEEEE PATRIOTIC CATS!!!
Hey beautiful babes,
My new single, SECRETS, is now being played on the radio!!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! I’ve been pinching myself the last couple days. Totally surreal.
Secrets is a song about being unapologetically yourself! And it’s catchy! And I’m so so proud to have made something that has a message AND is fun. After thinking I could only write music to cry to, this is an amazing step in my journey to be the best songwriter I can be.
The song will be available for download on iTunes on August 5th. I know that is far away, but it’s okay! It’ll be so worth it! And maybe we can make it to the Top 40!!!
I really hope you like it. I made it for everyone to enjoy and hopefully relate. We’re all trying to figure it out, right? So let’s dance like idiots and snort when we laugh and tell people our secrets, because life is so much more fun when you realize no one actually knows what they’re doing.
Can’t wait for you to see the super fun video that goes along with it!
[Do note: there are no fun photos of cats or 90’s TV shows in this blog post. It is not because I am not fun. I am a fucking hoot and a half and I can limbo lower than your 4 year old nephew. This is just some real shit that I wanted to explore without distractions and minimal self-promotion]
Two weeks ago, I was in the studio working on my new record. I’ve decided to put a poem about rape on this record. It is graphic and a trigger warning will be needed and it is beautiful and so completely necessary. We were talking about the Nigerian girls, the UCSB shooting, and the multitude of tragedies that seem to be happening more frequently. That day I asked my friend Benny his opinion on why people were shooting each other, raping each other, and operating in disturbingly apathetic ways. I really appreciated his answer.
Benny roughly said this: Our society, in general, operates in a dog-eat-dog mentality. If you lose your job, if you can’t afford medical insurance, if you are homeless, the resources to aid are terrifyingly limited. It is a systemic problem that is hungry for real legislative solutions.
This is part of the problem.
I started realizing that because some members of our culture do not feel safe or valued by their government institutions or communities, they are looking to other avenues to find an equivalent of security in other ways. Hopefully we have awesome families or communities that provide that sense of security, safety, and value. Hopefully we are all able to foster healthy, meaningful relationships with those around us. But what if some of us don’t? What if some of us never feel safe or feel like we belong or that we aren’t worthy of love and friendship?
I’ve been thinking really critically about what it means to be in my position (quasi-celebritydom as I often refer to it). When I read of tragedies, I try to ask myself: How can I help? Is there anything I can contribute to make this situation better?
I have a couple thoughts about these questions. The first is that we are lacking legislature in the world that prevents and adequately serves justice to violence, rape, and just plain, awful crimes. Additionally, we are living in a society that doesn’t like to talk about uncomfortable things.
But what I believe to be one of the sole contributors to the pandemic is pop culture and media saturation of a certain ideal (whether you feel valued in your life or not- but if you don’t, I imagine this gap widens massively and popular culture becomes a sole means of personal calibration). I believe that we are fed an ideal that is exclusive to a certain few, and they appear as such:
WE ARE BEAUTIFUL. THIS IS YOUR STANDARD OF BEAUTY AND ALL THINGS GOOD. WE ARE FUN AND YOUNG AND SKINNY AND WHITE. WE ALWAYS LOOK FLAWLESS. WE HAVE A DISPOSABLE INCOME. WE DO NOT HAVE PANTY LINES OR ACNE. WE KNOW HOW TO PARTY AND WE HAVE FRIENDS AND BOYFRIENDS AND GIRLFRIENDS THAT ARE ALSO ALL OF THESE THINGS. WE GUYS HAVE A LOT OF SEX. WE GIRLS DON’T SLEEP AROUND BUT EVERYONE ALWAYS WANTS TO HAVE SEX WITH US. WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT SERIOUS THINGS BECA– USE WE ARE HAVING TOO MUCH FUN AND YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE AMIRITE.
Often, the celebrity that is shoved down our throats, also have: A REALLY COOL TALENT INVOLVING ENTERTAINMENT WHERE WE SING ABOUT DOING AND BEING THOSE THINGS. SOME OF US ACT IN FILM AND TV AND VERY OFTEN WE PORTRAY THE AFOREMENTIONED STANDARD OF BEAUTY AND GOOD.
Which begs to ask, what about the rest of us? And there are a lot of us. Like, 99% of us. The funny thing is- the idea of being unattainable is just that- it doesn’t actually exist. The notion of celebrity flawlessness is a total lie.
I just finished shooting the music video for my upcoming single and asked a lot of people on set about post-editing. Basically, some of your favorite music videos and singers have varying amounts of post-editing- not to fix prop issues or anything technical- but to change actual BODIES. Make stomachs smaller, add abs (YOU CAN SERIOUSLY MAKE ABS), add more butt mass, shave a chin down, make whiter.
When this- the unattainable- is the standard (Again, IS COMPUTER GENERATED PERFECTION), it’s impossible to fit in. There is little or inaccurate representation of every day bodies in pop culture, it’s almost as if we don’t exist. There is another large component in all this: As we become more disconnected to each other (often because of technology or a desire to distract), a lack of empathy settles in. These two components: living in a society where we are alienated or invisible or not good or beautiful (and constantly reminded of it) paired with a lack of empathy causes a massive human disconnect. I believe both of these things have come to an extreme in our culture.
What are the effects of this saturation? The effect of not fitting the standard of good and beauty, is crippling. The result is the desire to not feel; No one wants to fucking feel bad all the time. I believe it causes people to implement a myriad of debilitating coping mechanisms, some of which:
1. We cease feeling. The sadness and alienation that is caused by the unattainable is the absolute worst, so we shut off our sensory. We distract. We play with our phones. We drink to forget. We watch The Bachelor (I can’t help it. That show is everything). Feeling nothing feels so much better than feeling bad, right?
2. We punish ourselves. We throw up. We physically harm. We overeat. We live recklessly. I believe to be the most dangerous of all of these is actually mental punishment. Listening to the mean people inside our heads that say we are not worthy because that standard of beauty and goodness is something we’ll never measure up to.
3. We punish each other. Because we don’t fit the standard, then Andrea wearing a crop top when she most def is not skinny enough to pull it off and just because they are called skinny jeans doesn’t make you skinny sweetheart, shouldn’t be allowed to either.
Lastly, We re-traumatize by reinforcing the media’s messages. We talk about and listen to and watch and read about the people we will never be, the bodies that are not ours, the lives we do not live.
I’m currently on the verge of an even larger platform than I could have ever imagined. The single I wrote two months ago has caught the attention of some of the most powerful people in the music industry. These people control the industry, thus your very consumption of media. They control your radio, your TV, and what you see in stores. That is a crazy amount of power and money. There is a belief that says the execs want to control our minds and force us to consume shallow things to make us stupid. Here’s the thing: They don’t want you to not feel. That’s not their intention. They don’t want you to punish each other. And they aren’t a part of a government conspiracy to make you mindless drones.
They want to make money. And in 1999, Brittany Spears sold 10 million copies of one song: “Baby One More Time”. One of my favorites. That formula worked. And it has continued to work. And although CD’s are becoming increasingly obsolete, there is still a lot of money to be made in the record industry, and that model is tried and true. They know you are going to consume the shit out of a pop singer’s Summer party song that tells you how fun and young and sexy it is to get wasted (seriously, I hope someone makes that song, because I want to listen to it right this second). The industry says, you are consuming.
They are merely filling a demand. You may also consume a cute, plus-size femme lesbian singing about gay rights, but it’s a total gamble. Because listeners are unpredictable and will like what they like, and this is a risk-averse business, why would you fix something that isn’t broken?
It’s not to say that there aren’t exceptions and I believe wholeheartedly there are a few heroes in popular culture that feel similarly about deconstructing this as well. There are a lot of songs coming out with empowering messages, campaigns about not touching-up photos, it’s okay to be yourself songs, television writers being more inclusive, gay rights anthems (sorry I couldn’t help myself), and a whole host of other folks in pop culture shifting the dialogue simply by existing. But what if:
What if the entertainers and the industry heads didn’t spend $40,000 on post-editing a music video to make a singer’s arms or stomach look smaller, didn’t touch up photos to remove wrinkles, didn’t post photos of themselves objectifying women, didn’t write vapid songs solely about their own vanity, but instead asked us to feel. Demanded us to think. To feel valued. What if their images were more…human? Accessible? Is it possible to create pop music that is present in feeling and thoughtfulness and vulnerability without sacrificing fun elements and is catchy?
Or maybe it is the honest-to-god truth:
Do we really enjoy idolatry? Do we prefer the idea of the unattainable? Did we just feel shitty before, and the idolatry and shallow content is a symptom of distraction?
I don’t know. I like to think that we are just a little lost. I think humanity is moving and brilliant and kind and the standard of unattainable beauty and goodness is destroying us from within. There are so many lovely things to see, kind things to say, bodies to hold with our eyes, words to make us think, songs to excite us, and art to hungrily eat. Let’s create and consume them together.
I am performing at the white house for her goddess, Michelle Obama and his infinite coolness, Barack, this week for a private ceremony for the Harvey Milk stamp issuance. Good news, I already know what dress I’m wearing. It’s hella patriotic.
Most people are unfortunately unable to be at that performance (unless you have a zillion dollars or are in the FBI or are Harry Styles or are an Animorph or something), BUT if you are in the D.C. area, I am performing a few songs for the Harvey Milk Foundation fundraiser event the night before.
THIS Wednesday, May 21st at Cobalt.
For those of you who don’t know, Harvey Milk was an inspiring leader for LGBT rights. He was one of the world’s first openly gay elected officials and was subsequently assassinated because of his sexual orientation. His story is beyond moving.
You can check out and support the foundation here.
This blog post could also be appropriately titled:
I Just Ate A Chicken Patty By Itself While I Was Crying at YouTube Comments and It May Have Been A Little Bit Frozen: Tales from Lonely Los Angeles
I’m in L.A. again! I’m here working on my record with the best humans in the music industry. Best, meaning music-wise, and also people-y-wise.
I’ve had the pleasure to spend time with Eric Rosse, Benny Cassette, and Mozella while we’re working on my upcoming album. I love them. I love them and writing music with them has never been more fun or important.
I was so scared to co-write; for a long time I believed the only way I could write music was if I was on a manic binge without sleep, chain-smoking in the kitchen and crying into children’s books at 3am. Jokes on me! And on Dr. Seuss! You can be healthy and write music!
Good news, tortured artists of the world!
This album is making me think a lot about my motivations and what I want to put out into the world.
When I started the record I was like, cool, Mary. We have goals for this album! For my goals, I enter third person for absolutely no reason at all:
First things first- Buy all the stickers from all the craft stores so you can make cool christmas cards and send love letters with buttons on them that say, “you’re as cute as a button”. I recognize this is irrelevant. But it’s kind of relevant because you need to:
1. Make money! Buy your mom a house! Start a charity! Tip brunch waitresses hundred dollar bills!
2. Stay true to yourself, boo-boo. That means don’t slack on your lyrics. Then you’re just being lazy.
3. Make sure you’re laughing! Music is fun!
4. Make something you want to hear on the radio so you can hear a DJ say, “Damn, that Mary Lambert, she’s even cooler than in third grade when she beat the older kids at tetherball.
5. Be 100% aware of your output on the world. Quasi-stardom is a tricky friend. It can make you think that your actions only matter when you want them to, that your lyrics don’t have gravity, or that your platform is a throwaway.
All actions, but especially actions made within the media and pop culture, have an inherent responsibility, no matter how seemingly miniscule.
The idea is that we are all in charge of our own output and our energy into the world.
I just finished writing a song called ‘Chasing the Moon’ (as a poet, it is an unwritten rule to have at least one piece pay tribute to the moon) (I think) (I just made that up, but it sounds like a really cool life lesson to give new poets now), and the song is surrounding high school nostalgia. In my last year of high school, I was drinking and partying and had become an all around obnoxious delinquent. If I’m writing a song about my experience in high school, do I leave out the parts of the story that might offend other people? Am I unintentionally glorifying high school partying? Do I leave it out because I don’t want to condone underage drinking? But isn’t censorship, itself, offensive? Haven’t I fought tooth and nail to unflinchingly tell my story?
I came to terms with the new song we recorded. I have to believe that intention is as important as I think it is. I am attempting to catch a glimpse in time of my own life with this song. This song is my experience and I am relaying my story through art. It’s not a party song. It’s not a song about not drinking, either. It’s just a story.
The Body Love music video is also a story; it has multiple threads. I have so, so many thoughts on this piece of work and the reception it’s garnered the last week. I wrote Body Love when I was 19. At the time, I was self harming, felt worthless, and I was struggling to find any beauty in my reflection. All I could see was FAT GROSS UNLOVABLE written all over me. After I wrote the poem, I saw a ton of ways the video could go. To be completely honest, this is not the video I originally intended to make, and towards the end, I gave up my need for control and let go of trying to make it exactly what I wanted it to be, and let the amazing director and the crew do what they do best: Make this music video, with a vision and a specific artistic hand. Here, I’ve collected some of the thoughts I have had about the filming and some criticism I received as well.
1. The writing of this poem is my story. I can only write from my experience. I am a white, plus-size bi-polar lesbian that struggles with body issues and used to self harm. I don’t know what it’s like to be tall, or thin, to be a man, a person of color, or to be trans*. I do my best with acknowledging my privilege and the point of view I have. It’s the only one I’ve got.
2. I love this poem and it’s message. It’s one of my proudest moments as an artist. However, I don’t actually think this is my finest poetry. The subject changes too much, it’s metaphors are callous, and it doesn’t look great on the page, though it is a poem meant to be spoken. In the same way, I don’t think that ‘She Keeps Me Warm’ is my best song. I do know that Body Love is an important poem and SKMW is an important song and I get a ton of valuable feedback about their impact. Both LGBT* rights and self-worth are issues I care deeply about and affect me on a daily level. I can’t believe I get to sing every night about things that mean so much to me. But anyone who is a writer can understand the (hopeful) growth in craft and all the critiques that you give yourself retrospectively (“wish I would have said, can’t believe I rhymed ___ with ___, etc.).
3. I think it’s important to constantly challenge the marginalization of minorities. Whether it’s deliberate or not. It’s important to question privilege, motives, intention in the media, in pop culture, and in our daily lives. Dissection of art and pop culture is valued, but equally, so should celebration. It is an exciting time to be alive and to be an activist- the little victories deserve to be reveled in! When a baby is first walking, you don’t yell at her when she attempts and then falls; you cheer on her fearlessness, and encourage her to move forward with insight and advice. I welcome criticism to be a better artist and a better human. I’m hungry to grow! To spread positive light! To hug everyone all the time!
4. I use the metaphor of a mosque in the poem. The line is, “I know girls who are fleeing bombs from the mosques of their skin”. The intention of the metaphor is to paint our skin, our bodies as holy as a mosque, as a temple of worship. In 2006 and 2007, when I wrote this poem, there were a slew of mosques that had been bombed in the Middle East. I was emotionally shaken by these holy places completely demolished. At the same time thousands of miles away, friends of mine were shooting heroin, forcing themselves to throw up in the bathroom, and exhibiting severe destructive behavior. I use the parallel of war language in the poem throughout: “Our bodies deserve more than to be collateral”. In this specific metaphor, the bombs represent media pressures to be a certain kind of woman. As I see my poem now, I recognize that I am a woman that does not know the visceral impact that a bombing has. There might have been a better way to say what I intended, perhaps using the metaphor of a church, since my experience is that of a Christian. My sincerest apologies to anyone that was offended by this metaphor. I will try to be more conscious of my use of language and events in the future.
5. Jon Jon Augustavo directed this music video. He did an incredible job shooting intimate portraits of vulnerable human beings. This is a stunning piece and I’m so proud to call him a friend.
6. There were a ton of people involved in making this video happen. Their time, energy, and passion was so generous. The energy around the making of the video was electric. It was sacred and safe and involved a lot of crying for both the subjects and the crew.
7. We had an open casting call to any of my fans that wanted to take part in this project. The people who submitted photos and stories were a direct correlation to who we cast. This video is truly only successful because of the vulnerability of every single human that bared their soul and body. It was inspiring watching them from behind the camera. They were all so brave.
8. I wanted to include men (cis and trans), because everyone has body issues. Self harm and body image struggles are not exclusive to gender. Men also submitted to the casting call, which I was really impressed with, and it felt important to reflect that in the piece.
12. After we filmed, I became increasingly anxious. I realized afterward that we neglected to cast some demographics, and casted multiples of other demographics. Not on purpose, of course. We just had a certain amount of submissions of people who had incredible stories and backgrounds and chose to focus on them. In the video, there are no subjects with a physical disability, no trans women, no women over 50, no middle-aged men, no one who identifies as gender queer, and plenty of other demographics the video lacks. The omission of any demographic was not intentional. As a child who was always left out, I am obsessed with inclusivity. The lack of certain demographics weighed heavily on my mind post shoot, and I’ve had anxiety about the lack of certain bodies since then. I had to come to a place of peace. I didn’t want the casting call to be me yelling “we need one asian! we need an anorexic!” I see casting calls and I know that’s how hollywood does it, but I wanted this video to be different. To be inclusive organically. I wanted to hear people’s stories, not base casting solely on their demographic.
13. All of that being said, I really wish we would have searched harder to cast a trans woman in the video. That is my biggest regret of this experience. Especially with the poem being directed towards all women, written by me, a cis woman, it would have been such an incredible statement to have a trans woman play an active role. As someone that dated a two-spirit soul, gender identity is something I think about a lot.
I don’t intend this information to be likened to the sentiment of “I can’t be racist! I have a black friend!”– what I mean to convey here, is that trans* issues are really important to me and being in a relationship with someone that was constantly discriminated against for their gender identity affected me and changed my 19 year old doe-eyed view of the world. My heart hurts for any trans women that felt deliberately excluded. It was so far from my intention. I had a good cry about it today, and the only thing I could think to do is to offer an apology to the trans* community. I still have a lot to learn, and I am grateful for all of the teachers in my life, including my beautiful audience. I want to honor all of you. With my art, my media, my stories, and my existence- both publicly and privately.
I can’t wait to make another music video! I really can’t. There are so many things I want to accomplish and I’m learning the most effective, kindest way to do them all. I appreciate all of your love and positive light and kind criticism and even the militant criticism of the video. I am also going to try super hard to not read YouTube comments anymore. Cyber bullying is alive and well, y’all. I have so much to learn, and am really excited to have complete world domination. Did that sneak in there? Oh. Yes. Did I mention my world domination is rampant with kittens and little girls in sailor hats singing christmas carols and gluten-free baguettes? But also, inclusivity and safe spaces and locally grown food and free higher education and funding for the arts and a lot of glitter?
Welcome to the age of SPACE KITTENS Y’ALL.
forever and ever,
Dear citizens of the universe (and beyond) (like bed bath and beyond) (but actually not at all like bed bath and beyond),
I’m releasing the Body Love music video in one week.
I decided to launch The Body Love campaign in conjunction with the anticipation of the video starting today. Every day on my Instagram, I will focus on a part of my body that I embrace, and offer you to do the same- posting a picture with it, hashtags, and a description that will automatically post to the Body Love Campaign website. Your empowerment and strength can be a tool for others. I believe we can build each other up. I think self love is one of the most important and potentially culture-shifting movements that is happening and can be propelled. I was inspired by Denise Jolly’s “Be Beautiful” project, and Sonya Renee’s “The Body is Not an Apology” movement.
How beautiful is that phrase? The body is not an apology. It almost makes me cry. Being a lesbian, a plus size woman, and an incest and rape survivor born in poverty, I have spent much of my life in guilt. All of these identities that are a part of me have effected my body in one way or another, most for the worse– especially in my teens. I binge ate, cut myself, slept with whoever validated me, and drank to oblivion. I made a vow at 21, when I wrote the final edit of the poem, “Body Love” that my self-destructive behavior would end with the birth of this writing. This is a live video of the poem, and probably the most vulnerable I’ve felt performing.
I also want to take a brief minute to say that I write these things from the point of view of a plus-size woman, which is my experience. I can’t tell you what it’s like to be too tall to find clothes at department stores, or too petite to fit into regular women’s clothing, or be criticized for not being a buff enough man. But I do know what it’s like to feel simultaneously invisible and also the subject of brutally mean comments. All body dysmorphia is valid; Everyone is going through something. I try to remember that as much as I can. The girl at Starbucks who doesn’t look up to even make eye contact or bother to say ‘hello’ back to me is going through something. Regardless of my indignation, I am not entitled to any kind of response. I am in charge of my own energy output into the world. I realize now we are all simultaneously victims and villains with our judgments.
Sometimes I wake up and I’m like,
“Hell yeah. what a great bod. I’m gonna dance all naked in front of the mirror for way too long.” and then sometimes I look at myself and I only see what the mean girls in middle school told me. In my head I hear:
“You’re too fat to be loved.”
Despite the guise of curvy confidence, with an EP titled ‘Welcome to the Age of My Body’ to shout it from the rooftops and borderline preachy posts on social media, I think about it daily. A couple months ago, my girlfriend kissed my stomach for the simple reason that she truly loved it, loved every part of me, and I found myself sobbing uncontrollably. For completely baring my soul on stages around the country, I was terrifyingly shaken by this sheer act of pure love. How could someone possibly love this stomach? These stretch marks? Our stomachs are made to tuck, to hide, to put spanx on, to smooth out, right?
The thought occurred to me:
I am not an isolated incident. This is not the first time a human has had any of these thoughts. In fact, this is a universal fear, regardless of size.
“I am too ______ to be loved.”
To this, I say:
You are not, nor have you ever, been alone.
Your body is worthy.
Of love, of dignity, of sexiness, of glory.
We are all stumbling to find ourselves.
We are all aching to love each other in the mess.
You are capable of exercising self-love.
You have all the knowledge and power to heal your own wounds, and no one can do that for you.
Starting today and through the week, I will focus on a body part every day, and tell you why I like it and why it’s hella real. I want you to share why YOU like YOUR hair, booty, face, etc. on social media with me. Let’s make this big.
Today on Tuesday the 15th, I begin my #BodyLove campaign with LoveMyHair. I love my reddish/brownish hair that sometimes I dye and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I don’t have time to wash it and it gets hella dirty and gross and the hair stylist looks at me like I’m trying to get white girl dreads. I put it in a bun on my head! I wear a headband and look like a soccer mom! I side-pony it! I let it curl naturally! I put bandanas in it, who cares? I love it. #LoveMyHair. #BodyLove
Love you babes.
Share with me why you love YOUR hair today (tomorrow is a new Body Love) and please feel free to rhyme. Upload an image of yourself to Instagram (and boos, include both hashtags and @marylambertsing so I can see it!) #BodyLove #LoveMyHair
Oh my babes. Woah babes. OH MY BABES I AM HEADING ON TOUR WITH GAVIN DEGRAW AND MATT NATHANSON.
I know the dates are selective, boo boos, but don’t worry your pretty little heads; I got some pride festivals and random other shows to gay up this Summer, and there are even some dates that haven’t been announced yet.
At first I was like, yo agent, how do I fit in with these dudes? I super respect them, but how is this gonna work?! Are they even into crying?! Rabble rabble I asked for Tori Amos rabble rabble. And then I saw THIS. Hella props to Matt Nathanson for that video. And then I thought about how cool Gavin Degraw’s hats are and how his live show must be killer because, really, that voice omg, and how my best friend and I used to blast Chariot in the car when we
skipped school went to bible study and made charm bracelets. And then I was like, WHY DON’T I ADD A FULL BAND and hire all my friends to go on tour with me?! And so it was, pretty kittens. I’m gonna have a bus and put a candle in it and put pictures of baby animals and Beyonce everywhere and make an altar for Tegan and Sara.
AND I’M GONNA SEE YOU OUT THERE THIS SUMMAH.
6/15 – San Diego, CA @ Humphrey’s (on sale 4/5)
6/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre (on sale 4/5)
6/20 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre (on sale 3/28)
6/22 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ Avila Beach Concerts at the Cove (on sale 3/21)
6/29 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Red Butte Garden Amphitheater (on sale 5/5)
6/30 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Pikes Peak Amphitheater (on sale 3/21)
7/1 – Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theater (on sale 3/21)
7/3 – Kearney, NE @ Viearo Events Center (on sale 3/28)
7/5 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah’s Council Bluffs Hotel & Casino (on sale 4/4)
7/6 – St. Paul, MN @ The Myth (on sale 3/21)
7/9 – Kansas City, MO @ The Crossroads (on sale 3/21)
7/10 – Cedar Rapids, IA @ McGrath Amphitheater (on sale 3/21)
7/11 – Fargo, ND @ The Venue (on sale 3/21)
7/16 – Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy (on sale 3/21)
7/17 – Toledo, OH @ Toledo Zoo Amphitheater (on sale 3/21)
Woah babes. I have so much on my mind. And I haven’t talked to my therapist in a hot minute, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
First things first- I’m in LONDON! This place is so cool. I’ve had fish and chips, Indian food, went shopping, gotten freaked out by cars going the wrong way, sang a lot of songs, caught myself speaking with an accent in my head, took a bus tour, walked in the rain, saw a guy pee outside, ate really really really good sourdough toast, been homesick, and recorded a REALLY COOL new song. I have yet to watch a single episode of AbFab. Is that sacrilegious?
I’m recording here, working with Eg White (see what he did there?), and we’re making SUCH COOL MUSIC. In LA, I’m working with Benny Cassette (WHO MAKES REALLY COOL DRUM SOUNDS AMONG OTHER THINGS), and Eric Rosse (AHHHH Sara Bareilles, Tori Amos) who is producing my record as a whole. I’ve also been co-writing with these fine gentleman. Basically, the album is sounding incredible, and I can’t wait to share it with you all.
I’ve been experimenting with different kinds of sounds: somewhere between spoken word and song. Something still raw, but not as mellow as “Letters Don’t Talk”. I’m doing a lot of vocal layers and playing with lyrics a lot more. Every day I get more excited about the record.
ALSO ALSO ALSO ALSO!!!! We’re shooting a video for Body Love. YAY!!!!!!!!!
And, not sure if you saw it BUT I PERFORMED AT THE GRAMMYS. YEAH MY BOOS, WE PERFORMED A GAY RIGHTS SONG AT THE GRAMMYS.
And then PEOPLE GOT MARRIED BY QUEEN LATIFAH AND THEN MADONNA and a BEAUTIFUL CHOIR SANG MY LYRICS. AND I WAS SPARKLY and joyous and had an incredible time. You guys, I literally cried for 10 hours straight the day before show. I couldn’t even get through the damn rehearsal, and then Madonna, in all her cutoff-leather-gloved-glory stands there and wipes my tears. I remember standing there in rehearsal thinking,
“How is this real life? In what universe does this happen? Like, for real, for real. Hi, I’m Mary, I was bartending last year, usually sweaty from lifting beer kegs and now Madonna’s hands are lovingly on my face while we rehearse for the Grammys. Cool. ” This performance was a big fucking deal, and it was one of the most monumental days in my entire life. I still find myself shaking my head in disbelief.
WANT TO KNOW WHO MADE MY DRESSES AND HOW FAB THEY ARE?! I know. I know you do, you adorable kittens.
TA-DAAAAAAH: Helen Castillo. Helen and I collaborated on these two dresses together and then she worked tirelessly for weeks, meticulously hand picking off the beads at the seams of the red dress so she could stitch them, flew out to meet me for fittings and alterations, and was there with me the whole day of the Grammys. SHE IS THE GREATEST.
My make-up and hair was stunning (RIGHT?!?!) and was done by Kaija Towner.
Also! My pretty shoes were hand painted by Hourglass Footwear. These ladies kick so much ass. All of their shoes are unreal. They will paint anything you want on a shoe!
It’s a little different than the time you drew “Go to hell, Bush” on your converse in ninth grade and your mom got really mad at you, but the same general idea.
YAY SHOES! THANK YOU HOURGLASS FOOTWEAR!!!
After the Grammys, my parents kicked it with Skrillex and Katy Perry, I embraced Natasha Beddingfield in a warm hug ofsparkles, and only had one super minor panic attack (YEAH! TOTALLY KILLED IT THIS YEAR! SCREW YOU MENTAL ILLNESS!). I was also able to cut a rug with my brilliant, beautiful, inspiring girlfriend, Michelle (truly, anyone that knows her, knows that it is a privilege to merely be in her presence. OR DANCE WITH HER). We grooved with Anna Kendrick and ate treats and when I told my parents that I was exhausted and it was time to go, my mom looked at me like the way I used to look at her when she said we had to leave the McDonald’s Play Place (specifically the ball pit) and it felt like the end of the universe.
MY PARENTS HAD SO MUCH FUN. WE HAD FUN TOO.I’m reading back over this, and I’m starting to feel like one of those schmucky gross industry people that one-ups everyone and talks about how he “discovered Fergie” and makes you feel bad about yourself while he cleans his teeth with a toothpick and mentions how great caviar actually is. I don’t feel like that. I do feel like I had a once-in-a-lifetime, totally cinderella-y, surreal day, and tried very desperately to take every bit in. I hope that translates.
Over that week, I did a TON of press and in addition to answering questions about the Grammys, I was also asked about things I’m not sure I was prepared to talk about on major TV:
(1) being raped when I was 17 (2) my new relationship and (3) my mom’s sexual orientation and history
I felt a little uncomfortable but okay at the time, especially since I’m trying to live my life (public and private) as vulnerable and as honest as possible.
I try to do this even with media and gossip shows, because I think at the heart of all of these shows and celebrity gossip news are real people with a variety of motivations for asking things, and at home,
there are real people watching and thinking and drawing their own epiphanies from a conversation you’re having with a host. I have an opportunity to have an influence for 10 minutes on national television so why wouldn’t I speak candidly about my rape, especially if I believe so strongly in vulnerable honesty?
I think I’m now learning that it’s possible for me to lose ownership of my own experiences through media. It’s a thought that never occurred to me before. After one interview in particular, I spent the day tied up in knots; feeling like I gave up something I didn’t want to give. And with an exchange like that (through no fault of the interviewer), there is no reclamation that exists. And that’s okay; it just means I have more tools for next time and that my gauge for comfortability and safety has been calibrated.
The totally awesome thing is that I feel SO SUPPORTED AND LOVED by everyone around me! Including you, you beautiful reader, reading this with your beautiful eyes!
The other awesome thing is that, HOLY FUCK I have so much to learn. I’ve been reminded of my own fallibility and this past year of lessons has been really humbling.
Thanks for your incredibly beautiful energy and support, Lambies, babes, and Lambie-babes.
I hope you’re HAVING THE BEST WEEKEND EVER!!!!
Hey all my babes!
I’m at it again. Making sad songs and singing them and recording them and sharing them and crossing
my fingers and toes and eyes that you’ll like them. Just kidding about my eyes. I have sensitive sockets.
This is a video of me singing ‘Sarasvati’ off the “Welcome to the Age of My Body” EP that I released a couple weeks ago. I wrote this song when I was 19, and it was close to the time I attempted suicide. I was in a very dark place.
For a long time, I think I had an obsession with the glory of my own death. I wrote this as sort of a love song to death that also contains the sentiment of being sickly co-dependent within a relationship– in a way that you would allow yourself to totally self-destruct for another person. I don’t recommend listening to this for light background music with your mee-maw, but maybe if your grandmother is hard of hearing and likes a lot of chord changes, then go nuts for cowboy butts and take it to grams and gramps house for an after-pie listening party! Truthfully, my hope is that rather than seeing this as a sad song, you might see it as an exploration of vulnerability.
I was hesitant to put this song on the EP simply because it is so dark, and I never want to “bum anyone out”. I’M A BLAST! I’m like a kitten playing with yarn in a basket you guys!
But part of being a vulnerable artist/babely babe means that I believe in equally sharing both my joys and my darkness with you.
It’s important to me that my audience understands that my story involves sadness. I think it’s okay to be honest with ourselves and say “Yes. I have thought about suicide. I have been in a dark place.” You’re not crazy for it, you know? None of us are. The really neat thing I learned through all of this is that my capacity for joy and love has exponentially grown since I wrote this song, and I think partially it’s because of the openness itself. It should also be said, IT’S SUPER AWESOME IF YOU’VE NEVER HAD SUICIDAL THOUGHTS. I think that’s incredible, and I give you metaphysical hugs and release red balloons in your honor! And I also kiss a baby’s forehead!
I’ve got so many neat things coming up that I’m busting at the seams to tell you about (EXAMPLE: WORKING ON MY FIRST FULL-LENGTH ALBUM MAYBE), but I’ve been studying the element of surprise from winding up jack-in-the-boxes, and judging by my heart rate, I’m almost positive you’ll love what’s coming especially without anymore hints.
I love all of you. So much. You who are hurting or healing or celebrating or having great sex or making a pizza or trying to remember to love yourself or feeling alone or maybe feeling nothing at all: YOU ARE SO LOVED OVER HERE. I’m high-fiving all of you for having such a divine human experience, whether it feels shitty right now or not. I implore you to be present in your grief and be just as present in your joy.
You are also allowed to cry when you listen to it, because I spent a lot of the time making this EP with tears in my eyes- both sad and happy ones. If you’ve been a fan for a little while, you’ll notice that ‘Bodylove’ and ‘She Keeps Me Warm’ are being re-released. You might be like, UGH MARY CAN’T YOU JUST RELEASE NEW MUSIC AND GIVE US A BONUS PACKAGE THAT COMES WITH A BOX OF CHEEZ-ITS or something, and I couldn’t agree with you more, babes. The full-length will come out in the Spring! Sans Cheez-its, unless we can convince all major labels to partner with tasty snacks. BUT THIS IS EP KICKS A LOT OF ASS and I’m really proud of it.
If that weren’t enough, my lyric video is also released today. I’m a cutie patootie in a red dress serenading a cute girl (in my head) and you can listen to it whenever you want because that’s how the internet works.
HAPPY CHRISTMASTIME BABES I LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK
OK babes. Let’s be real. I’ve been real stinkin’ busy and haven’t had a heart to heart with you. So let’s catch the fuck up. Some bullet points of my last couple months:
* I signed to CAPITOL RECORDS in October and I get to do pretty much whatever I want, which is amazing because I want to do a lot of cool things that save humanity.
* The NEW YORK TIMES did a piece on me and it was front page of the Arts section and I may have carried it around with me for a month showing flight attendants, cab drivers, annoyed baristas, and other unsuspecting employees preoccupied with working.
ugh the nerve.
* My new EP comes out NEXT WEEK, on TUESDAY 12/17. It’s got some old tracks that are re-vamped and ready for radio and world domination, and a new track that will gut your insides and you’ll need blankets and a kitten and frozen yogurt probably and I apologize in advance. The four track album is called “Welcome to the Age of My Body” which is great introduction to how cute of a butt I have. I have a cute butt.
* “Welcome to the Age of My Body” is a line from a Brian Ellis poem that I fell in love with because a dear friend read me his book on a drive from Portland. It’s always stuck with me. It is brilliant and simple and beautiful and you should purchase his book as well as other talented writers I adore.
* I have great blood pressure. I used the air-puffer-tester when I was at CVS. This feels relevant somehow.
* I have been on the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ arena tour since October singing ‘Same Love’ and crying often about the beauty of life. I have been on a tour bus with 11 incredibly talented angel-humans for almost two months and it has been a life-altering experience. To say that I’m honored is an understatement. I spent my childhood performing sad songs to thousands of invisible people that loved me. I was so lonely then. I don’t know how I got to this point or if it’s divinity or what, but I am doing my best to honor every moment and the incredible impact our song has had.
* ‘Same Love’ is nominated for Song of the Year at The Grammys. I don’t even. I can’t. I’m just. Heaven on earth. I just cry and cry and cry out of sheer disbelief, happiness, and gratitude. The nomination is not about Ben, Ry, or me as songwriters, but about the reflection of our society that makes a song like this soar. It says that we have come leaps and bounds regarding equality and that NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT A LESBIAN BASED “SHE” PRONOUN IN A SONG. That’s an incredibly beautiful thing to witness and be at the epicenter for. I’m ecstatic. Humbled. Completely shaken in the best way possible.
* Fun fact: Two years ago, I ran a Kickstarter for my first EP, “Letters Don’t Talk” before we recorded “Same Love”. I made an offer to anyone donating $1000 that they would be my +1 to the Grammys. See below.
You will receive a letter, digital download, the EP, my chapbook, your name in liner notes, a shout out, a singing telegram, a song written for you, a show at your house, 10 songwriting lessons, and my PLUS ONE AT THE GRAMMY’S. i’m not joking. get on this now. it could be next year. or five years. but it’s happening.”
Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
* It’s Christmastime and that means all wonderful things happen. Like magic. I hope you are having magic this December.
* I moved into a new apartment by myself. It has big windows and a real washer and dryer and a place for my bicycle and I am feeling many things. Loneliness, peace, discovery of self, joy, mourning of my relationship, and welcoming the struggle to find independence. I am definitely a different person than I was prior to ‘Same Love’ and those feelings definitely reflect that. I don’t think it’s necessarily a better or worse change, just different. I’m learning things about myself that I never knew existed. The change is simultaneously welcomed and terrifying.
* I am extremely late, but I discovered jeggings.
* The new radio edit of She Keeps Me Warm debuted on Seattle radio yesterday on KISS 106.1 and will be on many stations starting next week!! There’s a cool video of me freaking out online.
* I HAVE A LOT OF SHOWS COMING. I will let you know, babes.
I hope you are all having the best December ever, and you love each other and are kind to your babies and the cashier and your neighbors and your spouses and most importantly, yourself. You can’t take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself.
Some things I’ve been doing to take care of myself that you can try if you want:
Dancing to Robyn’s Body Talk in my panties
Putting salsa in my salads instead of dressing- GENIUS
Making my bed
Ordering CRAZY AMAZING PLUS SIZE CLOTHING FROM CITY CHIC
Reading Andea Gibson‘s poetry
Having a crush and writing cute songs and poems and feeling tingly
Eating dried mango slices
Introducing myself to strangers and smiling at everyone
Talking to my beautiful family
Letting myself cry before bed if I need to
Drinking champagne and celebrating nothing and everything
Loving and loving and loving and loving
That said, all of my love to you and one massive hug and kiss on the nose from me to you.
You are all wonderbeings with skin on.
I want to preface this blog post by saying I’ve never claimed to be the healthiest person. I’m extremely busy, travel frequently and often too exhausted to hit the gym. Touring is an entirely other issue. What do you eat at 2am after a show when you’re on the road? I posted a status update that got a lot of love (and it’s share of tear-inducing fat shaming comments), and it explains how I live my life; with hella self-care and salad and heirloom tomatoes and a goddamn gin martini whenever I so choose.
PS. Can someone open a drive-thru vegan restaurant that’s open forever and has cute girls working and is only 5 dollars for anything and is in every city and has puppies you can hold while you wait?? PLEASE??
I want to talk about bodies. Bodies are sometimes broken, sometimes violated, sometimes nurtured, sometimes healing, sometimes sick. But your body is your own. It is a beautiful and dangerous thing, that freedom; we can do whatever we want with our bodies. Why are bodies a sensitive subject? Because we live with them every second of our lives. And there are a crazy amounts of critics that attempt to define beauty.
I have a theory about plus size bodies, specifically women, but not limited to. I believe that if a person has been violated, raped, abused, or harassed, they view their bodies differently after an incident(s). I’m not even going to start a rant on poverty and it’s correlation to obesity, because I could go forever on that subject as well.
When I was in high school, I was athletic and active. After my 17th birthday, I snuck into a party on the Army base with a friend. I didn’t realize it would be all men in their 20’s.
That night I was raped in a room with 3 men. I didn’t realize it at the time, that my saying ‘No’ softly and trying to hold thighs off of me meant rape. Didn’t think about the immorality of a 23 year old heavily coaxing me into his bed. After the rape, I went into a gradual depression. There were several other factors (the obvious: coming out as a lesbian, high school in general), but one thing that was interesting about that time, was that during those months and the years that followed, I wanted to destroy my body. I became increasingly self-destructive and reckless. I gained weight. I slept around. I cut. I drank myself into oblivion. My body did not feel worthy. If someone so easily took advantage of my body, violated every part of me, and planted a rotten fruit in my psyche, then I could not possibly be worthy. My body did not deserve to be loved, least of all by me.
If a person has been physically violated, I believe that that abuse directly correlates to eating disorders and self-harm.
When you shame another’s weight (be it thin or fat), when you claim to call out someone’s body size because you “care” about their health, it is not a beneficial statement in any sense of the word, and in actuality is far more harmful to any progress a person might have with relation to their health. What right do you have to talk about someone else’s body or health? You are hammering a distorted ideology that they are not normal, that they are not worthy, and convincing them that they are going to die early. The reason that there is a body positive movement is because we’re celebrating our bodies for the magic that they are and the beautiful things they are capable of. We are letting go of past abuse and judgement, and loving ourselves again. We are practicing self care, in whatever way we choose. We are saying fuck you to clothing lines that only go to a size 12 as if we don’t even exist as people, and we are saying fuck you to a mainstream media that says our bodies can only be used as comedic props and can’t possibly be sexy or romantic.
We are reclaiming our bodies.
I can’t believe it. I’m going BANANAS IN PAJAMAS about how excited I am for all you babes out there to watch this.
I spent two years thinking about making this video and why it was important and necessary. Your resounding support for “Same Love” and “She Keeps Me Warm” is the reason I feel empowered to release this video today. I never expected to hear men AND women singing the lyrics, “she keeps me warm” right along with me. I thought girls would feel weird about the pronoun of “she” and I certainly didn’t want to alienate an audience. But you didn’t care. Nobody cared about a fucking pronoun. You let me sing about my girl across the country and supported me and cried with me and laughed with me. You cared about love. BECA– USE THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT.
This music video is about love and it’s about visibility. I could be wrong, but I’ve never seen a relationship like mine accurately portrayed in a music video. I’ve seen women rolling around in lingerie, bisexual love triangles, women cheating on their boyfriends with a girl- definitely.
So this is where I need to say one thing explicitly: gay relationships are not, nor have ever, been a novelty. My love is valid, equal, and beautiful.
With this video, my hope is that you think of the first time you fell in love with that one person. The person you were so terrified to hold hands with. You daydreamed about them, wrote letters you might never give to them, had to know anything and everything about them, and couldn’t believe that they actually liked you back. Maybe it was a time when you were less jaded, or maybe you had your defenses up and they slipped the rug underneath you when you weren’t expecting it. Whatever it was in those moments, it was incredible. It was easy. It was nervous glances and sweaty palms.
OMIGOD OMIGOD Only two days until we release the music video for ‘She Keeps Me Warm’. I can’t believe it. I’m so proud of my video baby. It’s totally like my baby. And I’m inducing labor on Friday.
In case you missed some of the behind-the-scenes photos, here are some!
Not to mention, I have some PNW shows-
SEATTLE! Wednesday August 28th. It’s for real for real ten dollars. Buy those cheap ass tickets here.
Also on the horizon, OPENING FOR TEGAN AND SARA on August 30th at the Britt Pavilion. 17 year old Mary has had 4 heart attacks and stayed up all night writing string quartets to impress those babes. There’s a reason their album is called ‘Heartthrob’.
Buy those tickets HERE.
I’M SINGING AT THE VMA’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Holy smokes. My life is outta control.
I’m going to go do cartwheels badly and fist pump around Seattle. So look for that.
LOVE YOU GUYS
As if today couldn’t be more exciting with the announcement that I’ll be SINGING SAME LOVE AT THE VMAS with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (not included in the announcement: lots of sequins and spanx) (also not included in the announcement: trying to hold Beyonce’s hand),
I’M OPENING FOR TEGAN AND SARA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’M NOT LYING LIKE IN 5TH GRADE WHEN I SAID I VACATIONED IN PARIS, IT’S ON THEIR WEBSITE FOR REAL
IS THIS REAL LIFE????
I’ve been peeing my pants all day. I hella need new pants.
Our show is in Jacksonville, Oregon on August 30th- GET THERE!!
TEGAN AND SARA AND MARY= <3<3<3<3 4 EVR
Come say hello and hug me and hug my heart.
For tickets and location email:
AUGUST 28th / NEUMOS / 8pm
Mary Lambert with The Passenger String Quartet
and Daniel Blue from Motopony
LOS ANGELES, CA
September 27th / HOTEL CAFE / 8pm
It’s here!!!!!!!!! WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!
Here’s a little forward about ‘She Keeps Me Warm’.
Ben, Ryan, and Hollis approached me to write the chorus to ‘Same Love’ at the time I needed it most. For years, and especially at 23, I had been processing my seemingly contradictory life: The Christian and The Queer, all the while battling a history of sexual abuse and manic-depression. I wrote about being a gay christian often in my poetry, but never expressed it in music without it feeling contrived.
The second the song played through my computer speakers, I knew this was why I had never been able to kill myself through the years of my mental illness. I knew this is why I was still alive: This was the song that was so important, my God. I wanted to write a chorus that was poignant and honest; genuine. I really tried to not be gay at points in my life, but I was (and am) at a point where I refuse to apologize about my identity. I am not sorry about my gayness. I am not sorry I’m a Christian, either, though that’s far less persecuted than my gayness, which is ironically, instigated by the Christian community. “Not crying on Sundays” was a huge lyric for me to write. I cried and cried in church for a year, believing that I was going to Hell, trying to reconcile “the demons”. At some point, it became absurd.
I will not apologize for love. And my God, the God that I believe to be true, would never condemn love like this.
‘Same Love’ had to be written from a place of love, I believed. I think that the best way to impact the world positively is to come from a place pure of heart, with complete and total love for humanity. I love. I love so much it makes me cry for no reason. I love humanity even when it is sickening and fails miserably at taking care of each other. When humanity seems devoid of love, it’s because it hasn’t been nurtured enough. I believe in nurturing it.
Releasing ‘She Keeps Me Warm’ today is a massive and scary step. Simply because this song is not political. It’s not about oppression or marriage equality. This song is a love song. That’s all it is. It’s an honest love song, an extended version of my chorus from ‘Same Love’. It’s another side of the story. The only difference with this song is that there are female pronouns. I’m not trying to be shocking. I suppose it’s inadvertently making a statement, but I hope this song sits in all hearts- gay or straight. It’s not about any of that. It’s about love. It’s always been about love.
Here are all the beautiful people that made this happen:
Written from the chorus of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song, ‘Same Love’ featuring Mary Lambert. Available for download exclusively on Bandcamp from 7/22/2013 to 7/29/2013. Available on iTunes 7/30/2013. Written by Mary Lambert
Strings composed by Andrew Joslyn, performed by The Passenger String Quartet
Tim Mendonsa- Guitar, Bass
Tommy Whiteside- Drums
Maiah Manser- Back-up Vocals
Jonathan Plum- Guitar, Aux Percussion
Andrew Joslyn- Violin
Sarah Chung- Violin II
Seth May-Patterson- Viola
Rebecca Chung Filice- Cello
Mary Lambert- Piano, Vocals
Produced by Jonathan Plum
Mixes by Jonathan Plum and Geoff Ott
Recorded at London Bridge Studios in Seattle, Washington.
Mastered by Glenn Schick
Cover Photos by Mego Lin
Cover Design by Jesse Codling
Cover Models are Mary Lambert and Bryn Santillan
ENJOY THE TRACK!!!!!!
For real. For real, for real. You can purchase it on the music tab of my site, or at www.marylambert.bandcamp.com on Monday morning at 8am.
Washington state, you can listen live to NPR/KUOW 94.9 at 9:30am to hear the radio debut and an interview and probably me crying about how excited I am about this release. If you live anywhere else you can stream it live on their website!!
The track will be available on iTunes Tuesday, July 30th.
You can hear a second interview and a DJ set from me on Sunday night, July 28th at 11pm on 107.7 The End in Seattle, or listen live wherever your heart is living.
I have put everything into this song, and had an amazing team of people make this happen. I couldn’t have done it alone, so I want to credit some beautiful people before it goes live and you fall in love with the track and you play it at your wedding.
Dillon Larkin is my manager
Jonathan Plum produced the track
Geoff Ott and Jonathan mixed the track
Recorded at London Bridge Studios
Andrew Joslyn composed all the strings
Glenn Schick mastered the track
Mego Lin provided stills from the not-yet-released music video
Jesse Codling designed the cover art
Bryn Santillan, from the band Wishbeard is the cute girl on the cover
BUY IT ON MONDAY WHILE I LISTEN TO THAT SONG FROM MATILDA WHEN SHE FIGURES OUT HER POWERS AND THE POKER CHIPS ARE FLYING EVERYWHERE
And it was the most incredible thing I’ve ever done. A vision that I’ve had for over a year not only came to fruition, but was executed more beautifully than I ever could have imagined. This last weekend was so humbling.
A year ago, I was feeling sappy and sweet thinking about how in love I was with my boo. I had just watched a cute lesbian movie on Netflix, and thought I would make a search for the cutest lesbian music videos on YouTube. It hadn’t occurred to me that I had never seen one. There’s a reason I never saw one.
It doesn’t exist. THERE ISN’T EVEN ONE DAMN MUSIC VIDEO WITH TWO CUTE GIRLS IN LOVE. Sure, little clips of women holding hands or kissing in conjunction with other couples, and of course there are videos with two lipstick femmes going at it in lingerie. It’s been my vision to change that for the last year, and why not do it with ‘She Keeps Me Warm’. As a gay singer-songwriter, I have often struggled with pronouns in my writing. My thoughts were always, “I can’t say ‘She’s the bomb dot com,’ I have to say ‘You’re the bomb dot com.'” After singing ‘Same Love’ all over the country and hearing teenage girls not giving two shits about what the pronoun of the chorus was, it’s given me strength to believe that the world can handle ‘She Keeps Me Warm’.
The song is purely about love. And I think that resonates with everyone. Love is universal.
We had a total of 60 extras that came out to help, and made the shoot so much more real. I didn’t even know that I knew that many people. We had to start cutting people off the extras list because we had too many people! THAT’S NUTSO BOO. Our director was Mego Lin, the Cinematographer for ‘Same Love’ and ‘Can’t Hold Us’.
Mego was unbelievable. This was her first major solo project, and she is one of the most rewarding people to work with, and it’s an honor to call her a friend. Zoe Rain, made her music video debut as an AC/gaffer for Mego. She’s also cute as a button and is featured in a little snippet at the end of ‘Same Love’ with her lady, Allison.
Our producer, Jennifer O’Brien made everything run so smoothly and pulled magic out of her ass. Her main job was just making sure I didn’t get drunk on set at the bar scene. Bryn Santillan played the part of my girlfriend and was the best video girlfriend anyone could ever ask for, and the femmes of the world will swoon for days. She is also the lead singer in a damn good band, Wishbeard. Listen to them, dumb-dumb. Special shout out to my real girlfriend for feeding 60 cast and crew and being totally okay with me having an on-screen romance! Dream girl.
Another thing I loved about making this video is that it was an all queer female crew. It felt empowering and safe. I have no doubt in my mind that this video is going to be a very important one. You’re going to cry when this video comes out, I’m telling you. A non-political, non-sexualized, lesbian love story. Because it’s about fucking time.
P.S. IS THIS MY LIFE?? I GET TO CHANGE THE WORLD ALL THE TIME?? OKAY. I’M ON IT, UNIVERSE.
And I’m gonna, Seattle!! July 11th at The Sorrento Hotel.
And it’s free. And it’s sexy. And I’m gonna wear a black dress and curl my hair and pretend to be Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady” or just Audrey Hepburn in general.
Just me, a piano, and a fireplace, but maybe not the fireplace because it could be really hot that day, so maybe I’ll serenade you by the bomb AC.
Also I’m gonna be at the Mainstage at PrideFest in the Seattle Center on June 30th being hella gay with other gays and allies and beautiful people.
See you there, cuties!!
PS: CD’s are no longer sold out! You can buy them here if you wanna.
<3 <3 <3
Hey my beautiful babes,
I’ve been glued to twitter for the last 12 hours. This Boston stuff is crazy scary. My thoughts and prayers are with you Watertown, MIT, Boston. <3 <3 <3
I just want to write poems and songs for the whole world and stop anger and hatred.
In other news, the fire alarm in my building went off the other night, and the fire department came and everyone was in their pajamas and a little frightened. But it turned out it was burnt popcorn. I know, riveting story, Mary.
For the real reason of this post: I GOT NEW T-SHIRTS! WHAM! BAM!
Black v-necks that make your boobs look great, and are comfy and good for hugging. Not good for cat hair. Crew shirts for the dudes that want to wear an umbrella with a heart inside of it. C’mon, add it to your wardrobe and then your girlfriend can steal it and cry in it. BUY THEM HERE.
And, of course, there are new shows announced for Vancouver (WITH LEMOLO), Seattle, Portland, New York City, and Bellingham on the shows tab. You better be there or I’m going to hold a grudge against you like I did with my 3rd grade teacher for telling me my stuffed animal, “Bear-nard” was not an acceptable show-and-tell item.
April 9th, 7pm
Hedgebrook Rising with Carolyn Forche, Karen Finney-Frock
with Rose McAleese
Benefit for Camp Ten Trees & Queer Rock Camp
May 14th, 8pm
The Round, with Daniel Blue (Motopony), River Giant, Karen Finney-Frock
WWU, UNDERGROUND COFFEEHO– USE
May 15th, 9pm, FREE
with Whitney Ballen and The Intimates
New York City, NY
May 21st, doors @6:30pm, $15 presale/$18 doors
May 23rd, doors @7:00pm, $10 presale/$15 doors
with The Cellar Door
performing ‘Same Love’ with Macklemore
Des Moines, WA
HIGHLINE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
October 31st, 12:00pm
Hey my babes,
Put that pink and red equality sign on your shit. The bacon one is cool too. Tell your friends why it’s important. Tell the fundamentalists to suck it, because they haven’t read the bible. Pray. Pray. Hug people. Pray some more. Sign petitions. Be an ally. If you’re gay, come out. Something like 20 percent of Americans claim that they don’t know a gay person. The more vocal our community is, the stronger we are.
On an unrelated topic, new shows are going to be announced this weekend! I went to SXSW and it was the most stressful week of my entire life. I think I forgot to shower for 4 days. Don’t worry, I didn’t get white people dreads. I’m grateful for the opportunities I have, totally. But my SXSW showcase was probably the worst performance I’ve ever had. I’m telling you this because I trust you, my babes. Thankfully, I redeemed myself at a beautiful charity event for Arts Corps, a non-profit for arts education. They help the poetry organization that saved my life when I was 18, Seattle Youth Speaks. I gave a speech! A real one! I only almost cried 4 times. There were hella generous people there and they gave Arts Corps something like 180,000 dollars. That’s bananas in pajamas.
Can’t wait to see you: Portland, Vancouver, Bellingham, and New York!! Venues, dates, and line-ups will be announced soonsies. As always, I appreciate every ounce of your support. Thanks guys, you’re the best.
Here’s a picture of me in the 3rd grade.
Wowie Zowie, my babes. Where do I start??
The Northeastern/Canadian Good Feelings Tour was AMAZING. Washington D.C. gave us so much love. We ate Sprinkles Cupcakes, went to the zoo, and had amazing food. A woman drove her kids an hour to see our show. On a school night!
Thanks, cool mom in D.C.
Rochester proved to be one of the most rewarding shows we’ve done. The amazing Poetry & Pie Night held by the insanely talented and generous Rachel McKibbens (who is one of MY favorite writers
on planet earth in the universe, forever, amen) was otherworldly. We cried with you. Hard.
Ottawa and Montreal were a total blast. Montreal is hella French, and I was able to embarrass myself and Rose with my sloppy high school French at every opportunity available. Totally worth it.
We finished the tour off in Burlington, Vermont where I was blown away. We hadn’t done a ton of promotion in Vermont, and couldn’t believe that the entire place was packed.
Actually, we’re proud to say that every Northeastern venue WAS AT CAPACITY.
WHAT IN THE WHAT.
After being home for 9 hours, I promptly left Seattle for a songwriting retreat at Hedgebrook, on Whidbey Island. I am so humbled to be sharing meals, friendships, and talks by the fire with Victoria Legrand of Beach House, TheeSatisfaction,
Angel Olsen, and Choklate. I have a little cottage in the woods with my piano, french press coffee, birds, fresh air, hiking trails, and a clawfoot bathtub for A WEEK. It’s kind of like the hippie female illuminati, except there’s nothing evil and we don’t have a zillion dollars. I keep pretending I’m Laura Ingalls Wilder, mostly because I get to make a badass fire every morning. I’m so good at making fires you guys! I’m kicking fire’s ass right now! I will be sad to leave, but I am excited for…
SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST!!! YAY!!!! It’s been a dream of mine to play this iconic festival since I was a wee babe. I have a whole roster of shows for this Spring and Summer and they should be released within the coming weeks.
MUSIC VIDEO!!!! The video for “Forget Me” debuts in the next week!! It’s hella sad, and I am sad in it, but mostly because I didn’t sleep for 72 hours while we were filming. It will be released soon, and when it does, you have to post that shit all over everything, ok? Send it to your third grade teacher, even. She’ll be all, “Oh, Carlton, this video is hella sad, but thank you because Mary Lambert is pretty and now I’m going to give her my pet monkey and my life savings.” Then I can make more sad videos and have a monkey. Also, Carlton? You should change your name.
Stay beautiful, my babes.
Crazy. Crazy. Crazy.
Seattle, Boston, New York, Toronto: all shows were AT CAPACITY. FOR FUCKING REAL.
What in the hell. I had to order more books for the other shows. I can’t thank you guys enough for coming to the shows, supporting me and the beautiful Rose McAleese, buying our merch, but most of all, sharing your stories with me.
I don’t know how many times I’ve cried at these shows. I am overwhelmed; my heart is so big for you guys. To hear that women have reached out for treatment for their sexual abuse, for their eating disorders, to hear that both men and women have begun loving their bodies, have come out to their families– it’s like one massive cry in my hotel room, y’all.
New York was so lovely. After my mixed experiences on the Macklemore tour concerning New York City, I was apprehensive, but holy hell. Rose and I had an amazing time.
I discovered TopShop, which (of course) didn’t carry pants big enough to embrace all of my awesome booty (their loss), but they had some bangin’ shoes and jewelry. Which brings me to my next topic: I GOT A CHAIN, courtesy of Rose. Which also begs me to say to my curvy sisters- motherfucking TORRID. I have been shopping there for 4 years, and it has changed my life. I almost don’t shop anywhere else, besides thrift store finds, of course. Just wanted to throw that out there.
Rose McAleese and I are currently somewhat snowed-in in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We were almost snowed-in at the border from Toronto, but escaped it early this morning. We’re on our way to Washington D.C., where we have hella shows. 3 to be exact. So if you live in D.C., you gotta come, ok?
The one good thing about being in Harrisburg, PA, is that it’s right next to Hershey, PA, WHERE THE HERSHEY FACTORY IS LOCATED OMG. Needless to say, we’re taking a little detour tomorrow. I’ll be calling my dentist in advance.
My book is now available online!!!
Whaaaaaaaa?! I’m working on the kindle thing. That’ll be later, okay, my boos?
These are our last shows on the tour:
Monday February 4, 8- 10 pm
Busboys and Poets Shirlington
251 Campbell Avenue Arlington, VA 22206
2/5/2013, 9- 11 pm
Busboys and Poets 14th & V
2021 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Busboys and Poets 5th & K
2/6/2013 9- 11 pm
1025 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
(Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for address and details)
The Rainbow Bistro
Ok. Let me preface all of everything ever:
‘500 tips for fat girls’ is not an advice book. It is a collection of poetry surrounding body image, rape, and relationships. There are no actual tips. The title poem, is a jabbing list poem that comments on misogyny, self-hatred, and media pressures. This is an inner dialogue of tragic thoughts that I’ve had and curvy women often have.
“always turn the light off before fucking
always lie on your stomach, always be on a diet,
always be generous, always smile,
don’t be a bitch- don’t be a fat bitch”
I can’t speak for all big girls, and I don’t want to try. To me, most curvy women end up having to navigate themselves through a frustrating process to find self-love. I think that navigation to self-love is universal. This book is a collection of poetry exploring that.
Let me be totally real with you here: this book is so goddamn honest that it terrifies me in a really great way. I believe in the power of vulnerability. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we have the most beautiful opportunity to find human connection, to see humanity in it’s greatest light.
All of that said, I WROTE A FUCKING BOOK, and I am so damn proud of it. It is writing from the last 5 years, and took me 2 years to compile, edit, re-edit, and re-re-edit the manuscript. The books are only available at shows. For now. We’re working on getting it in my merch store, and it will be available internationally very soon!
Other great news, I DID A FUCKING MUSIC VIDEO. Can’t wait till you see it.
Also, I’M ON A FUCKING TOUR, infamously known as The Good Feelings Tour performing both my songs and poems and I have to pinch myself about how cool this is. Especially that I’m touring with my BFF, Rose McAleese, who’s got talent up the wazoo. Lastly, I miss this babe:
Ahem. Pardon me, I forgot my name and my face got dumb for a minute.
Our first two shows (Seattle and Boston) both reached capacity. that’s insane. Thank you for supporting us and coming to the shows!!
There are still dates left on the East Coast and Canada- so take a looksie if you haven’t yet. West Coast tour is in the works, so please don’t cry yourself to sleep, ok?
Worcester, MA 1/25/2013 Old Oak Smithy
New York, NY 1/27/2013 Bluestockings
Toronto, ON 1/31/2013 The Boat
Arlington, VA 2/4/2013 Busboys and Poets
Washington, D.C 2/5/2013 & 2/6/2013 Busboys and Poets
Rochester, NY 2/9/2013 House Show
Ottawa, ON 2/12/2013 The Rainbow Bistro
Montreal, QC 2/14/2013 Le Cagibi
Burlington, VT 2/16/2013 Radio Bean
Hi my babes, I’m leaving for tour in a little over a week. This is crazytown. My book is done! It’s a doozy! My first collection of poetry, titled, “500 tips for fat girls” is going to be released at The Fremont Abbey on January 19th in Seattle. From there, I go on a Northeastern tour and up to Canada! The tour dates are as follows:
GOOD FEELINGS MUSIC AND POETRY TOUR 2013
(appearing with poet Rose McAleese)
Fremont Abbey Grand Hall
BUY TICKETS HERE
Berklee College of Music
New York, NY
Busboys and Poets
(Contact email@example.com for address and details)
The Rainbow Bistro
I’ll be annoyingly blogging about my escapades, so watch for it! Or don’t and be sad.
Here is an excerpt from my poetry collection. If you want to read my dumb rantings about body image and childhood trauma, look no further! The book will only be available on my merch site or at shows starting on January 19th, until a publishing company has a lapse in judgement.
(from 500 tips for fat girls)
When we were in 6th grade,
everyone was reading “a child called ‘it’”
even the kids who could barely read, loved that
i swallowed the pages whole because i wanted my abuse
if my tortures were more extreme, i could write a book and then
everyone would love me and hold me like a child or kill my father or bury me already
Once when I was 7 I took scissors to all of my clothes in the closet. I don’t know why. I made little slits in them.
maybe Oprah would give me a new life or a pair of jeans
but then i realized
everyone’s dad or uncle or brother or neighbor fucked them up
in some way
so here we are, reading ‘a child called “it”’ coping for our shit, saying
“at least he didn’t use the stovetop and burn my limbs” but i think we realized he might as well have
i wish i could make little slits in the years of my life
or put them in a book or something
Christmas came. I am a happy lady with a Christmas brooch that has a snowman on it. I’ve been able to be home a lot more and listen to Schumann, and compose, and write songs, and kiss Rachel, and watch the entire season of The Amazing Race in 3 days.
I have a lot of really neat stuff in the works. We’re shooting a music video in January! New merch is coming! My book is at the printers! Hopefully I have enough heads and hours in the day to murder my “to-do” lists.
The beautiful thing about being home for this extended period of time is the grounding. I’m feeling so charged with creative energy and I finally have the time to devote effort into my art. I’m trying not to take it for granted. Two nights ago, I was awake at 3am, as usual, and was overwhelmed with writing something on my piano. I played for near a half hour straight, and let God do what needed to be done. I rarely feel like that. Not that God isn’t in my presence when I’m writing, but that I am straight-up channeling some spiritual heaviness. As a vessel. I don’t claim to be one of those writers that “must be composing for God”; I compose for the sake of art, for the sake of vulnerability and human connection. God is with me regardless.
I wrote this in one fluid sitting. It’s not my best work, nor is the audio great, and it’s a lot of arpeggios, and you can hear the clicking of my fingers on the keys, and also I kept holding my breath on accident. But, it’s there if you’re curious.
I have received a couple emails about my “seemingly contradictory” relationship with God and my gayness. This is something I’ve thought a lot about. I’ve heard speculation about my lyrics in ‘Same Love’, my gayness, and perhaps I can answer some questions.
I grew up in a strict Pentecostal home. My parents would speak in tongues and were devout in prayer and we were at church 3-4 times a week. The church was known for ostracizing folks who were said to “go against God”. After a traumatic upbringing, and having my family shunned from the church because of my parent’s divorce, I was decidedly agnostic for many of my grade-school years.
A friend brought me to an Evangelical church in high school, known as Mars Hill, where I fell in love with the music and the bands that played on Sunday evening. The pastor was funny, charismatic, and made the bible seem simple. I was sad that my gay friends were going to hell, but the pastor said that I could still be friends with them. “Love the sinner, hate the sin” was the accepted rhetoric. When I fell in love with my first girlfriend, I recognized my sin immediately. She was also Christian. When you’re 17, and you feel like a freak already, and you’re in love with a girl, and high school is a battlefield, you can’t stand to let another part of your life down. I remember making a conscious effort to accept my sin. My recognition allowed me to repent daily. I prayed often, apologizing to God, but accepting that this is who I had always been and always would be. I still went to Mars Hill. I was never hated on, never felt rudeness from the community, but the sermons were difficult to hear.
The final line in ‘Same Love’ is “I’m not crying on Sundays”. I cried every Sunday for nearly a year in high school and afterwards. In apology to God, with guilt, with shame. I was out and proud to the world, but I had been battling Christian rhetoric inside of me for a long time. After suffering with my diagnosed bipolarity for awhile, a suicide attempt, and the war within my head and heart, something had to change.
I don’t know when it happened. I think it was when I opened the bible. Like really, really tried to read it; read Jesus’ teachings of compassion and selflessness, the beauty of the new testament. Maybe it was when I watched the documentary, “For the Bible Tells Me So”. Maybe it was when I stopped attending Mars Hill, and started going to Compline service at St. Mark’s Cathedral. But I think it really happened in prayer. Suddenly, the bible texts used against gay marriage seemed really wretched. That, when in context, were ludicrous and far-reaching. And mean! Using the bible as a tool to be self-righteous and deprave others of rights is mean. That’s sneaky bullying, you guys.
I’m also not trying to coerce anyone to Christianity, here. I think everyone has their own journey to God, and if they don’t believe in God, that’s totally cool too. I am happy for everyone that has found happiness. This is my experience, and maybe some of yours, too.
I still value my faith. My partner, Rachel, is also Christian. Now that we have equal rights as our peers, we will someday get married in a church with our friends and families there, under God, and have one bombass party.
The Paramount, Sunday December 9th
for ‘Love Wins’, a public wedding reception celebrating the legalization of gay marriage.
Live on Jet City Stream with Marco Collins, Friday December 14th
For the Jet City Stream Holiday Open House
ON AIR, 4pm
East Coast Music and Poetry Tour
(appearing with poet Rose McAleese)
(ticket links available soon!)
Berklee College of Music
New York, NY
Busboys and Poets
(Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for address and details)
The Rainbow Bistro
It’s real! I’m home! Our Christmas tree is up! I bought a wreath and mistletoe because I can! I like exclamation points! I want to buy a sweater with tinkly bells and possibly polar bears that maybe have hats on them!
So, I’m back in Seattle. I tackled Rachel by baggage claim and it’s pretty much been like that for the last 4 days. I’ve had two shows this last week, and have started back at my normal-people job where I get people drunk and wear cute boots and put fancy cocktails in nice glassware. The really exciting thing is that I get to work less, and focus on my art. SO LET’S GIVE A HOO-RAH FOR THAT.
Let’s also recap the last days of the Macklemore tour!
Lansing was a really fun show. The green room was literally covered in hand-drawn penises so I kind of hated being in there. The show itself was incredible. It was one of the only shows we’ve had where it was a significantly older crowd (older meaning a lot of flannel and beards), and the vibe reflected that.
Our next night was in
Along with Vermont, New York, and Boston, I fell in love with Chicago. What a beautiful city. I had vegan lunch, walked around, and took pictures of the pretty river (read: instagram). I also got super sick in Chicago! I’m still mad about that. After shows, I try to come out and say hi and hug as many people as I can, but I had to leave right after I sang because I was a nauseous Annie.
Madison was where I got to see MY SUPER AMAZING BFF THAT LIVES FAR AWAY, so my heart was full and happy. Thanks, Will Giles. You are the best. In non-related news, this was in our hotel lobby.
For quite a few of us, Minneapolis was our last stop. We had two incredible nights at the First Ave, met so many beautiful people and drank a fair amount of whiskey (HALF OFF DRINKS AT THE VENUE WHAT IN THE WHAT).
It was really really hard to say goodbye. This is the end of The Heist tour for me, but the beginning of so many incredible personal endeavors. I’ll still get to be with the crew once in awhile for appearances and random shows, but it’s time for me to get down with my own thing (don’t take it like that, perv) and finish my book, release a music video, and plan a tour of my own. I owe Ben and Ryan the biggest debt of gratitude. I would never be in the position I am without being offered to help write ‘Same Love’. I’m going to be releasing tour dates for the East Coast very very soon (like, when I’m done writing this), and I hope you’ll come to a show that’s near you. I’m actually kind of scared to tour on my own, and there’s nothing worse than having no one show up to your performance. But I’m gonna put it all out there, ok? I’m counting on you, my babes (Sidenote: on his twitter, Aaron Carter calls all his fans, ‘babe’ and I’m trying to make it catch on for me), so get ready for the tour announcement.
Lastly, my Seattle babes (ugh this is not working), I am performing AT THE PARAMOUNT (!!!) this Sunday evening. There are a gajillion gay weddings happening this weekend, and I’m going to sing at a free reception for all of them and cry super hard. Please come. Cry with us, celebrate with us, hug your gay dads, and your best friends, and eat cake. Then sing ‘Same Love’ with me.
Mostly, just bowling.
And getting a cold. A cold is one big joke. It lasts for weeks and screws with you but is never as debilitating as the flu, which after 2 weeks of a head cold, you’d probably prefer puking. Nonetheless, I have cough drops and every cold medicine ever.
Additionally, my laptop fritzed out last week, I mean, I guess it was melting for a couple months.
Since I last wrote, we’ve traveled to Toronto, Detroit, Cleveland, and Lansing. We also had a bomb-ass Thanksgiving, courtesy of our booking agent’s adorable family (but seriously, I felt like I was in ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ except for not being a crappy TV show).
After our time in Cleveland, a few of us perhaps had too much to drink, left the bar, and went to the casino….? Basically we just watched Ryan lose money.
Since our XM interview with Sway on Shade 45, we were also able to perform for Spotify. That was pretty awesome. Mostly because the prince of Saudi Arabia was there and proceeded to play ping-pong with Ray Dalton. I was also able to get my Spotify listing cleared up (no big deal, I’ve just been listed as a children’s singer from Canada with the same name and “Letters Don’t Talk” is her latest album. *That lady is so concerned about fire safety)
Toronto was an insane crowd. That line was hella long and hella cold. I can see why people live there though. I can’t wait to spend more time there; totally beautiful. In Detroit, we stayed in what looked like a fairly new hotel, but just one block down were the saddest looking vacant streets I’ve ever seen. I’ve
heard that of Detroit, but it’s a completely different thing to witness it in person. That said, we went to an amazing bakery in the morning called Avalon, where I fell in love with everybody.
Tonight we are in Lansing, where I am cold and sick, but going to prevail. I’m going to re-read these texts from my girlfriend and wish I had a sleeping bag.
Hello my loves.
Let’s play a game! What different belongings have I absent-mindedly forgotten at venues this last week?
phone charger, meds, tea, cold medicine, headphones, laptop charger.
geez louise. That said, I haven’t been up on my blog game and have been semi-irritable. Enough with the whining. Let’s re-cap!
If you didn’t know, I was flown into New York last week to make an appearance on VH1 on the show, Big Morning Buzz. Watch it here! Super FUN!!
It was so surreal to watch it the next morning. Every thing we do, every appearance, every venue, still blows me away. I am constantly awestruck.
Immediately after VH1 (except shopping in Manhattan for a red Manhattan jacket, obvi) (if you live in Manhattan, you have to have a red jacket, I think) (I digress), we took the train to Philly to perform. It was a great show, and I wish that I had had more time to enjoy the city. : (
We had to book it right after to head to Boston, which is the other greatest place on earth. Boston was a complete blast, It was the most packed house we had since WaMu, and there were fans lined up in the cold-ass cold since 10am. Dedication, y’all.
In Boston, we also met up with The Macklorettes (our hella fine, talented, sweetie-pie dancers), Wanz (Thrift-shop KING!) and Hollis Wong-Wear (Seattle hip-hop queen, wrote the chorus to ‘Wings’, ‘Cadillac’, and all-around filthy).
From there we headed to Burlington, Vermont where I want to have babies with my girlfriend and go Christmas caroling every day.
I sat in a coffeeshop (ok whatever, it was starbucks), and gazed at the beautiful Church street. We had two nights there, which is so so nice to be off the road if just for a little bit. The other thing I loved about Burlington, was how goddamn polite everyone was. Multiple fans ran up to me to shake my hand. HOW COOL IS THAT. Needless to say, I’m coming back to Burlington in February for my solo tour. It’s happening. We left for New Haven, CT, which had a fantastic crowd (someone from my youth orchestra in Snohomish County came?! what?) and we are now in New York City, once again.
This time around, I had a less pleasant experience in New York. Perhaps it was the Manhattan glow wearing off on me, or my red jacket suddenly looked like everyone else’s, or maybe I was in a different part of town, but whatever the reason, I was a total sad-bear. I was also missing both chargers and I had to pay an arm and a leg for them. I finally took a deep breath yesterday, re-treated to the hotel, ordered chicken parm to my room, and after getting a call from Mack’s manager that we were doing SIRIUS/XM radio the next morning (TODAY WHAT) and talking to my boo, I felt way way better.
I had no idea I was going to meet Sway this morning. You remember him?? The super cool dude on MTV telling you about releases and stuff you could tell your friends to pretend you were with it. (no, just me?) Today’s interview was my favorite that we’ve done thus far. It aired this morning without an archive, but we’ll hopefully have a video to post soon. I was really able to talk about my role in ‘Same Love’. I was able to share my story about being a gay Christian; coming out and still being present in the
Christian church and God. Plus Sway was hella genuine, funny and kind. When I arrived back to my hotel, these arrived at my room.
Also, since our smoke alarm was dying and beeping all night, Anna scored us free drinks and breakfast for the rest of our stay! BAM! Today is way better. ALSO ALSO. I have been booking shows left and right on the East Coast for January and February. Be ready for the tour schedule to show up soon!!
Check in soon, babes.
I’m in New York. This is bananas. I know a lot has happened in the last couple months, but it never stops me from freaking out every ten seconds. I’ve always wanted to go to NYC, but never knew that it would happen like this.
Wanz and I flew out of Seattle to meet Ben and Ryan here for a secret something that you’ll all hear about soon. I am known for having a big mouth around here, so I gotta keep the cats inside of the kennel. Or bag. Or foot out of mouth. Choose your idiom!
We’ll be here just until 5pm tomorrow, and then we have to book it to Philly to perform at TDA. Don’t worry New York, I’m coming back for your cocktails. Next week, actually when we perform at IRVING PLAZA FOR TWO NIGHTS. AHHHHHHHHHH.
In other news, I really have sang every song about NYC today. My favorite being from “Annie”, and it’s totally awesomely relevant because I actually do have two bags and only three bucks, and one me. I just spent ten minutes crying to my mom about how I used to sing this song at the top of my lungs in the 4th grade, pretending I was on a stage in front of thousands. I wanted it so badly. I am a crying ball feelings and magic and never-ending gratitude that I get to live my dream.
I’m now officially back on the tour, and so happy to see everyone. I’ve also had some neat stuff happen back home. I have (finally!) finished the manuscript for my book. Really really. A lot behind schedule, but the physical copies should be in my hands by January! The incredible, extremely talented, Crystal Barbre is going to be doing sketches, and I feel so privileged to have her on this project. I’m also in the midst of planning a real, legit solo tour! My partner in crime, Rose McAleese, just got her book of poetry published! Rose and I have been friends since we were in Youth Speaks Seattle, an incredible poetry organization for young writers. Our show will consist of my songs, probably some bad jokes, booty-shaking, and both of our poems! Tour is shaping up to be on the East Coast between late January to early February. I’ll be posting shows as they are confirmed!
Here’s a dumb video of Wanz and I fresh off the plane:
Because I’m sappier than a mother dropping her kids off to kindergarten,
I have to tell you how much I love weddings. I love singing, I love playing piano,
I love wedding dresses, I LOVE HAPPY TEARS.
A thought occurred to me as I was on my 13th hour straight at my bartending gig,
all sweaty and exhausted, very close to collapsing and breaking down.
Perhaps, I could really be a singer-songwriter for a living. Maybe, just, maybe people
might want to hire me to perform at their stuff. Maybe I could go on tour for weeks
and then sing at weddings the rest of the time. Why the hell not.
Also, people can totally get gay married here, and nothing makes me happier/cry more
than watching 2 people use their civil/inalienable/human rights to seal their love.
With that said, there is a new “weddings” tab ^ up top, with a variety of options for your
wedding. Contact me with any questions, y’all.
Also, this is MY FAVORITE BLOG EVER dedicated to only lesbian wedding photos and so
I spend hours at home annoying my girlfriend with “AW THEY’RE SO CUTE TOGETHER”
“GREAT TASTE IN DECOR” “I LOVE MASON JARS TOO”
and it was totally awesome in every way, because I used to be a bad creeper there and wistfully look at women who always thought I was straight because my eyeliner is and was perpetually flawless.
Okay. I know this is about to be hella pictures. The night was just so incredible, and I can’t believe how well Nate Gowdy did documenting the entire night. You can get in contact with him here and look at more fantastic pictures. Thanks for the incredible photos, Nate!
AND YOU CAN, AND YOU CAN, AND YOU CAN, AND WE CAN ALL GET MARRIED BECA– USE THIS STATE IS SO GODDAMN EQUAL AND I LOVE IT WITH ALL MY HEART.
Last night’s agenda consisted of Rachel and I hopping around town, meeting with friends, trying to figure out the easiest path of consumption between us and whiskey. We started at The Showbox around 9pm, on account of I made really great pasta with wine beforehand. Showbox had Dan Savage and his husband dancing on-stage making me cry. Actually crying a lot with all of our friends. A great mix of music and updates, and so many high-fives and hugs. I miss being on tour with the Macklemore crew, for sure, but I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.
We departed for the hill, and naturally went to The Wildrose (one of the only remaining LESBIAN bars in the country), and totally sang “Same Love” together. Rachel does a really great impression of a tall,
straight, white dude. The place erupted in cheers when we kissed during the instrumental break, which, in my opinion, really made the song. Why don’t I get to make out with my boo onstage when I’m on tour!?
After being treated like lesbian royalty for two hours and watching the president’s speech, we bounced and headed toward this overjoyed, boisterous, intoxicated, and crying mass of people. Rachel and I kissed in the street! We hugged in the street! We laughed and cheered and then cried of happiness. Rachel said softly to me, in the midst of all of this, “We’re going to have the most beautiful wedding.”
You guys, I know I never shut up about it, “Duh, you’re gay. You have a gay song. You talk about being gay all THE TIME”. But it’s really not about being gay. It’s that I am so goddamn head-over-heels, fire in the entire of my heart, in love with my girlfriend. And we get to have the same rights as our friends. And that’s what it’s about.
So, obviously, I haven’t been on tour! I got home about a week ago, and slammed right back into regular-people life, which I am totally ok with. My boss (at the bar I work at) was on a much-need vacation, so I kind of worked hella. I literally just unpacked yesterday. The great thing was having the Ellen show air the day that I got back. I called our favorite restaurant in the whole wide world, Tutta Bella in Columbia City, and we totally watched it there.
I didn’t get to talk to Ellen, and I don’t think she ever knew my name or announced it, but that woman is like, CELEBRITY, and has done everything for the gay community, so I’m totally cool about an ego bruise.
Do you want to see her parking spot? Sorry guys, that’s all I got for you,
As of now, I am trying to not get too comfortable to routine, since I’ll be leaving for the East Coast in a couple days. But I totally caught up on Project Runway and I’m really sad that neither Melissa or Fabio won.
Life is hard.
Love you guys, and y’know,
fuck yeah for gay rights.
BUT IF YOU DIDN’T- I released my solo album in August of this year. It’s a really sad album consisting of sad songs to cry to your also sad roommates.
I’ve lowered my prices on Bandcamp, where I still prefer to sell my songs because it’s the most user-friendly, and best website ever. you can also stream the full album whenever you want.
And boo, it’s way cheaper on bandcamp.
The album is on iTunes as well, but if you didn’t know, iTunes however accessible for the consumer, is not the best avenue for the performer financially.
Lastly, I GET TO MEET ELLEN TOMORROW!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
AHHHHHHHH!!! GAY HEAVEN INSTALLMENT NUMBER 2!!!
Watch at 4pm PST Tuesday as I attempt to make Ellen cry.
I was added to the East Coast portion of the Macklemore tour.
Which, unfortunately means I’ve had to cancel a few of my Seattle shows. I am sad to announce I won’t be involved in the Hugo House show any longer. But I am totally excited to explore the East Coast and sing my heart out to you. I’ll add these updates as they come. Can’t wait to serenade y’all.
Also Cali is hella hot right now. I hate heat.
Holy shit. I can’t even keep up with the momentum of my career/gay heaven.
On top of having stellar shows in Santa Cruz and San Diego, having drinks with lovely poetry friends, bonding with my incredible tour crew, I have two INCREDIBLE announcements.
Wednesday, I got to hang with the beautiful, stylish, extremely talented, TEGAN AND SARA. I literally had a gay heart attack. I was able to hear their soundcheck, front row, with no other people watching. I had to pinch myself. We spoke about working together in the future, and I would love to have that materialize.
So that was kind of the greatest day of my life other than the first day I met Rachel.
In other massive gay news for Mary Lambert, I’m TOTALLY GOING ON ELLEN DEGENERES.
Tuesday. 4pm. Singing “Same Love”. THIS IS REAL. THIS IS ACTUALLY REALLY REALLY HAPPENING.
I can’t believe my life. My first thoughts about the show were instantly about how many people will be able to see my face and hear my voice, and all things very ego-centric. It really didn’t reach me until today, when the idea of what a massive platform Ben, Ryan, and I are on. The very idea that we are loudly vocalizing gay rights, that I get to sing about how much I love my girlfriend, and the hope that it will reach an unbelievable amount of viewers around the country is almost unfathomable. I couldn’t have even projected “Same Love” to take us this far. I am so utterly blessed. If you don’t believe that we’re going on (I still need a reminder), here’s the link!
I am also exhausted and want to whine about the fact I have not had a real meal in days. You guys, I am so sick of chex mix and beef jerky. Whatever, YOLO. We’re getting up earlybird style and getting ear molds made in L.A. for our show packs (in-ears). Basically, it’s essential for me, cause y’all don’t sing the last chorus right, ever. But you know, I would way much rather you sing with me, on account of marriage equality needs all the voices in the universe ever. So keep on singing!!
Going to bed! Nice to meet you, San Diego.
IMore and more driving. This tour is like a marathon. Like a sitting marathon.
I don’t think I’ve sat this much ever. I’ve recruited the dancers (who’ve resumed the tour with us! YAY!) to help me with my sweet dance moves. So far I’ve only had one concussion.
San Francisco was a blast and a half. I can’t believe I was able to sing in the legendary Fillmore. So so humbled. I started crying before I even got on stage; obviously. I was more excited to pee in the same bathroom as Jimi Hendrix than anything else. I mean, I’m sure they’ve cleaned it since then, but whatever.
I was approached by one of my twitter “soul sisters” that night. I cry almost every show, for one reason or another, but San Francisco really made a soft spot in my already cushioned heart. She told me that she had played “Same Love” for a friend of hers, and the next day, the friend came out to her family. I’m getting to a place in my career that I’m realizing there’s no turning back now. I know it seems ludicrous to think about: like “Mary, why would you want to go back to bartending and waitressing and playing shows to 5 people at a shitty venue and getting wasted all the time?” But there’s a sort of anonymity that I won’t be able to ever have again. It’s like I’m finally committing to doing music for real. Not just having my Bachelors of Music, but doing this for my life, pursing it as a career. It’s a daunting feeling. I’m going to own it.
I am officially homesick though. Seeing Rachel made it apparent that I need to put on my big girl panties and learn how to tour like a real performer.
Highlight: My boo flew out to see the show! She rented a room in a castle for us, no big deal.
For the record, San Francisco is hella stressful. If you ever considered renting a car or buying a car there -don’t.
EVEN IF IT’S A CUTE VW BUG BECA– USE YOU’VE WANTED ONE SINCE YOU WERE A LITTLE GIRL AND HAD ONE FOR YOUR BARBIES.
In addition to playing a sold-out show at The Fillmore, we had a day off to hang around SF. I’ve barely traveled in my life, so it was a much needed day to be a lame-o tourist.
The highlight of the day for me was visiting City Lights Bookstore, where a ton of the first beat poets used to hangout and wear weird hats. Swoon.
We’re currently in Arcata, CA. At Humboldt University. On a Tuesday. Performing at 12am. For 200 people. It’s like a bomb-ass house show. This isn’t lame, I’m just tired.
As soon as we’re done here, we jet to Santa Cruz for the morningtime. I need 20 soy latte somethings (Sidenote: I’ve been putting honey in my lattes, and it’s improved my quality of life, drastically).
We are doing something very special in the morning that I’m not at liberty to talk about- but I can say that I am living the greatest lesbian week of all time.
Also, I just found out that Macklemore’s (INCREDIBALLS) girlfriend is driving the van to Santa Cruz and letting me sleep on the tour bus, so I can perform well tomorrow. With that, I bid you adieu, and leave to answer 68 emails. Mostly from Michelle Obama. What a babe.
It’s official. I’m in love with Oregon. I already knew that I loved Portland. Great food, great strip clubs, great bike paths, etc. But I didn’t know that I loved the rest of Oregon. The upside about driving in a van that’s trailing the tour bus, is that we have a lot of freedom. We’re an autonomous group (Hollis, Wanz, Andrew, Natalie, and myself). We performed in Bend last night, which rocked super hard.
And then we went out drinking which also rocked. hard. There was a lot of jameson that occurred.
I believe I got back to our hotel room and wrote a song about fried chicken with Ray. Pancakes were consumed in the morning. I am still in awe of the people I get to spend my time with for these weeks. Not a single person is lacking in talent, beauty, kindness, grace, or support.
Alsoalso. In Washington state, most people should have gotten their ballots in the mail. I can’t stress how important and vital to civil rights it is to vote. Please, please vote. Vote for love. Vote for me, your cousin, your uncle, your co-worker.
We’re in the middle of soundcheck in Eugene, OR. The theater looks fantastic, and there’s a great line of fans outside. CAN’T WAIT!
Directed by Sam Soo (Hit the Streets- Vancouver, CAN)
Apparently, there is hella driving involved in touring? LIKE HELLA DRIVING YOU GUYS.I had a genius idea of playing fans on Words With Friends, but there is no service in the boonies. Rough life! I have to be careful, or else I’ll start playing something scary like Warcraft and be a recluse with pet ferrets.
On the upside, I get to dress up pretty and perform in front of crazy amounts of people every night. Hollis and I have decided to set up our stuff at the merch table after the show, and it’s been really incredible to give hugs and connect with people. My heart literally swells at the stories I’ve heard.
Spokane had the most welcoming audience. They were kind and wanted to talk and say hi and give hugs. GOOD NEWS, I’M A REALLY TALENTED HUGGER. I had delicious cocktails with a dear friend of mine, 2 blocks away (dessert martinis, anyone?). Our drive in the morning wasn’t terribly long. Wanz is a hella good driver; I guess he used to drive delivery trucks, so we’re super thankful for him.
I mean, look at that shit. Missoula was off the hook last night. Crazy, but off the hook. The line outside was unbelievable. Usually, security makes sure Ben is super protected after the show. For those of you that don’t know, Mackstacks had to cancel his meet and greets and interviews due to vocal issues. I know he wishes he could connect, but it’s doctor’s orders and he’s gotta save his voice for the rest of the tour. That said, two ridiculous girls snuck into the back of the venue as we were loading up in the van. Also, two ridiculous guys mooned the tour bus. Like, forreal? Show some respect, my peeps.
I digress. The drive to Boise is about 6-7 hours, so we decided to drive about 3 hours after the Missoula show. We didn’t arrive at the hotel until 3am, and of course had to be back on the road at 9. Feeling pretty hardcore right now. As we drove through Idaho, Andrew Joslyn (violin, composer), had to pee real bad. We pulled off in some very very small town (pop.350), and pulled up outside of this treat:
Like, WHAT IN THE FUCKETY FUCK. Andrew went to the bathroom at a nearby gas station, because he was scared to step foot inside (he was wearing a V-neck and a cardigan, god forbid).
We are now in Boise, happy to be away from the racism of Cambridge, ID (also also: Cambridge? Seriously? That’s the name?) Soundcheck is soonsies. I think we’re going to rock it tonight. I have a good feeling. Boise, I am glad to be back.
Here is something I wrote last night after we arrived to our hotel in the middle of nowhere:
It is one of those nights where you’re in the middle of Idaho and it is
darker, quieter, and more sparse than any loneliness has ever brought to you.
I am on my first real tour. I do not feel like I earned this tour.
I have fans that know my name and I sign autographs
to girls who are crying, girls who are telling me that I
changed their lives with my voice, with my songs, and none of it
Or all of it is maybe too real.
I played to an empty venue only once.
I have not spent years trying to make connections or
practicing or trying and failing.
All of this; everything is simply too easy.
I am struggling to accept this
and ride it out without questioning the permanence in anything.
I must be fluid. It is the time for no expectations.
We drove in the dark for hours and have reached our mid-point between venues.
I can literally see every single star that exists, ever. I am watching individual reds
and browns fall from foreign trees outside of our nameless hotel at 3am.
When they are quietly broken from their mother,
they land on the concrete with an audible and satisfying crackle.
Next city, I will hold, like my heart is open
and vulnerable and will try to grapple
with a chorus of ‘love is patient, love is kind,’
from the mouths of many.
I am humbled, and for once,
have no metaphor for this.
Today is Monday! And that means it’s our first and only day off from the tour to be home. It also means I get to catch up on Project Runway. Thank God. BUT SERIOUSLY WHO IS GOING TO FASHION WEEK?! It’s anybody’s game right now. I also have a crap-ton to pack, so I’ll be doing that.
The crew and I spent the weekend in Vancouver with 2 sold-out shows at The Vogue. Vancouverites are fucking insane. The energy both nights was so hype- from start to finish. We had a little down time on Sunday to shop, wander, what-have-you, so obviously my lesbian senses wandered me to the gay district.
And of course, what gay district wouldn’t be complete without a massive fucking community garden? It’s so beautiful. Why can’t Seattle have a community garden next to Babeland or something?
Vancouverites also party hella hard. I saw at least 6 fights on Saturday night, the best of which was a verbal altercation I am calling “The Tale of Two Jessicas”.
While I was away, the warm and kind folks at Jet City Stream, posted this beautiful video of my solo acoustic version of “Same Love”.
Now I must pack and clean and try not to cry about how much I’m going to miss my girlfriend.
Dear God. I have not had a spare moment to reflect on how crazy this week has been for me. I just got home from WaMu Theater, with a sold-out crowd of 7500 screaming beautiful people. My life has never felt more surreal than singing Same Love live. Singing it with a bazillion other people who miraculously know my words.
Highlights of The Week:
Duh. WaMu Theater tonight was out of control. I felt everything. I felt your hearts tonight. I have never been more grateful to be on this planet.
Ellen Degeneres, Tegan and Sara, and Ben Gibbard tweeting our Same Love video. What in the hell. If I sing on Ellen, I’m going to retire as the happiest lesbian in history, ever.
Holding my girlfriend underneath the glow of the streetlamps as we departed the afterparty tonight. She is my rock, my only star, my truest one.
All of you are making this possible. All of you are making history. Thank you; I adore you.
Today, in bad ideas for breakfast that still taste pretty great: tuna salad.
Also, and likely more importantly, THE SAME LOVE VIDEO HIT A MILLION.
(duh, i had to find the screenshot where i’m in it, obvi)
I woke up this morning and snuggled my girlfriend extra long and teared up thinking of all the stories people have been sharing with me; folks offering their coming out stories, tragedies of being bullied, or beaten, or ostracized by their families. It is an epidemic, but we can change things. I believe that with all of my being. I hope you all are staying strong, and will continue to push forward with societal change.
Macklemore, Ryan, the crew and I head on tour in less than a week. I’m nervous. I’m in a place in my career that I never could have fathomed. My girlfriend texted me to come home the other night because videos of Ben performing “Same Love” live in Europe were up on youtube. I was in tears (shocking, I know). It’s thousands of people singing words that I wrote. That’s insane. It’s something I’ve consistently dreamt of as a performer, but due to the improbability, I’ve always left it as a dream.
This is absolutely surreal. I appreciate all the immense support that’s been coming in, and while I’m not able to respond to everything, know that I read and feel every bit of love radiating out and send it right back.
Before I leave for tour, I’m doing a last hurrah at the Fremont Abbey. One of my dearest friends in the whole wide world, Rose Estelle McAleese, is releasing her book at a beautiful show called The Round. I’ll be playing pretty songs and making myself cry. It’s this Tuesday at 8pm. See you there.
Additionally, I’ve released a song through an organization, Protosong. I listened to the playlist I was asked to contribute to, and even if I wasn’t on it, I would be listening to it 100 times a day. Beautiful, beautiful work by incredible local singer-songwriters. Protosong is donating 70 percent of the proceeds to efforts for clean water. The other 30 goes to the artists that contributed. And and and you can pay what you want for it. For serious.
pretty please download the playlist.
I’m going to go back to my terrible tuna salad breakfast decision and think long and hard about why I eat like a pregnant woman.
ARE YOU READY FOR ME TO SERENADE YOUR GODDAMN PANTS OFF?!
At rehearsal today, I tried to convince Ben and Ryan that I should enter on a unicorn.
I don’t know why they were so against it. I also demanded rhinestones and sequins on my mic, along with a projection of a rainbow on my face. duh.
Hope you like this video- I’m a
bridesgroomsmaid! Also I’m holding a sparkler trying not to burn anything down.
AAAAND TA-DAAAAH! My canvas bags arrived! They’re real cute.
This adorable thing is available on my merch site, along with sweet Mary Lambert T-shirts and my entirely sob-fest of a DEBUT ALBUM, called “Letters Don’t Talk”. If you’re interested in crying really hard, you can listen, here
take a peep (not a peep show idiot).
See you at the shows, y’all.
I CAN’T WAIT.
Hey guys. New stuff!
Just received super cool, totally rad, great-for-carrying-groceries-in-seattle-because-plasticbags-are-the-devil canvas tote bags! They’re pretty fly. They will be available in the merch store this week!
ALSOALSOALSO I have a show next saturday with freaking Courtney Marie Andrews. This girl is a total goddess, and if I wasn’t playing in the show, I would probably still be there just to hear her.
Check the faceland invite, RSVP if you wanna, tell your friends if you wanna, cause I’d really love to see you there!
hugs and kisses and puppies and apple pie and letters to my grandma, and just my grandma in general,
Two REALLY exciting shows announced for this month!
September 20th I’ll be playing at the Nordstrom Flagship store on 6th and Pine. The beautiful grand piano ringing around the whole store is going to be absolutely gorgeous. I’ll be playing at the lunch hour of 12pm for 30 minutes. Would love to see some pretty tear-stricken faces!
September 29th I am headlining at Columbia City Theatre in the company of Sean Neil, Jessie Ann Fouts, and the amazing Courtney Marie Andrews. It is going to be such an incredible night and definitely a must see if you missed the great CD release party last month.
In other news, it was mine and Rachel’s anniversary yesterday! Here is a picture of us getting slizzard with sparking wine.
The generous kickstarter donors (who funded my beautiful EP) will get their CDs starting Monday of next week. And I gotta say, those personalized letters with found objects look pretty darn neato. Did you think anyone would ever own so many stickers of cats? Probably not. And no one ought to.
If you are pea-green jealous that those kickstarter angels got a CD and you didn’t, then dry your tears! You can purchase the physical CD here. You can buy the digital album here. Now stop whining, you sissy.
We filmed the “Same Love” video on Tuesday, and it was so incredibly wonderful. I think it’s going to be a big hit.
It was the first real music video I’ve ever been in, and it was an honor to be apart of it. My back-up vocalist, Maiah Manser got a large part in the video as well! Glad to share that with her. It’s not like she’s a model or anything…
I start rehearsals for Mack’s tour that kicks off in October, so if you don’t have your tickets…like, get on that, bro.
I also wanted to announce that I will be releasing a brand new song in conjunction with protosong, which is a music based charity that donates all proceeds to a different cause every month or so. They do this by getting really fucking awesome bands and singers to write and record a brand new song all compiled into a mind-blowing playlist. Other groups in this crazy good line-up are:
Damien Jurado, Lemolo, Big Sur, The Cellar Door, Noah Gunderson, Kris Orlowski, Campfire OK, and Motopony. I am honored to be on this playlist, and can’t wait to see how much money we raise for clean water!!
In other news, I am really good at catching fruit flies with one hand.
OVER 200 PEOPLE CAME?! WTF. I’m feeling so very blessed. Thank you for all the support in the world. I had one of the best nights of my life.
I’m still reeling from the night. What an incredible show.
WOAH! Thank you! I receive some income from the songs I sell, so if you want to buy one, that’s like buying me a frozen pizza. And you know I love frozen pizzas. Freschetta anyone?
If you want to purchase songs to put on your phone or computer and listen to a sad girl whine about sad things, please PURCHASE ON BANDCAMP. Bandcamp is awesome for musicians and really user friendly. Thanks for buying my music, dogs.
When I was 13, I used to play at the coffee shop by my house in south Everett every friday night. It started small, but by the time I was 15, it became a really popular hangout spot. One time, the coffeeshop got so crowded you couldn’t even walk through. I have my large EP release show on Wednesday, but I am very proud to be doing an acoustic, FREE, intimate show in Everett TONIGHT as an homage to those formative years. Thanks for your support and I hope to see you there!
SEATTLE WEEKLY AND SOUND ON THE SOUND??? SERIOUSLY? This is insane.
I have to do laundry, guys. I can’t just keep reading articles about myself and crying.
Where should I go? Do you know a booker or have a big house for house shows? Do you have a kitchen for kitchen shows? I want this to be as personal as possible. Contact me or my booker!