I recently had the pleasure of doing a photo shoot with one of my favorite photographers and best friends, Erika Lewis. Erika and I have been BFFs since 7th grade and she is the only person who makes me feel comfortable behind a camera lens pointed in my direction. These days she’s usually traipsing around cathedrals and ballrooms shooting high-end weddings, but she was thrilled with the idea of going back to our hometown to do promo shots at the county fair. A majority of the carnival workers were young european boys, and after hours of shooting I think we had them convinced that I was some actually famous blonde something. A couple of them even asked to take pictures with me. I let them believe the hype rather than letting on to the truth, and it earned us an all-access pass to the fun house! As always, I am blown away by Erika’s work. Everyone should have a BFF photographer.
With my newfound freedom from a traditional day job, the first thing I did was fulfill a promise to my mother to help out with the annual Balke Family Yard Sale. I headed up to Pierceton, Indiana for a week and managed to attend several birthday parties, a bridal shower, help put on a Huge, Giant, Massive Yard Sale, make fresh green sauce from the fields at a local farm, and play a show at The Blue Lion with some dear friends. All of this while attempting to coordinate my future and critique final mixes of the record, which has a looming mastering date of September 1. It was one of the most exhausting weeks of my life but I was grateful to have seen so many awesome people and to be a part of loved one’s milestones. I also got to pick up the new Bro Stephen AND Kalispell eps at the Blue Lion show. My ears have been very happy about that.
Perhaps I’ve been telling you for years that I’m working up to doing music full-time. Perhaps you’re one of my dear clients at Static Salon who I recently had to break the news to that I’m retiring. Perhaps you don’t know about any of the above. For the latter, let me elaborate…
I’ve been a hairstylist at Static Salon now for over four years. It’s become my second home, and the “girls at work” have become dear friends of mine. As much as I gripe about the emotional exhaustion of talking, listening, and being on all day, many of my clients have become friends as well. My time at Static has taught me many lessons about humanity and about myself, and also allowed me to save money for the biggest investment of my life thus far, which is my forthcoming album (To be released in November!). As a hip hop producer once told me, “you’ve gotta have dough to make bread”.
Before I get too lost in the bitter, let me introduce the sweet: I will be leaving the salon to pursue music full-time. When I first started doing hair, the pairing of hairstyling-by-day, music-by-night seemed to be perfect. But as both began to make inflexible demands on my schedule and the dexterity of my hands, I realized that one would ultimately have to be sacrificed to the other. And if I didn’t make a conscious decision, the decision would be made for me. So two years ago I began the attempt to get all my ducks in a row in preparation for life as a full-time musician (they’re still not quite in a row, but I suppose they may never be). And with a new album recorded, a band of musicians that make me proud to be on the same stage, a beautiful website (thanks Liz and Neil!), and countless hours logged as a recluse working on music, I feel ready.
Saturday will be my last day at Static Salon. We’ll be celebrating my retirement with an evening out in broad ripple, so come out and wish me luck! (I’m going to need it). As far as the future is concerned, I plan on spending countless more hours in as a recluse working on music, countless nights out playing that music all over the country, and possibly moving back in with my parents. The sky’s the limit! I hope you’ll be along for the journey.
All my love, Laura
I’m working up some magic with Mudlove Pottery, which may have something to do with a sneak preview of my new album. Consider this the sneak preview of the sneak preview!
I am looking so forward to this show. Bro. Stephen has written some of my favorite songs, ever. The ringleader of Kalispell filled in for my sick drummer at a basement show this spring, and he kept up like a champion. With the intuition and musical skill to play along with songs he’s never heard before and totally kill it, I’m dying to see a live set of his own songs. And I’ve been a fan of Corey Drake’s music since the Darkroom days, so I’m looking forward to hearing his latest project, Sioux Ste. Marie.