"My Own Way": Red Line Blues is 1 year old but I still have Teen Angst

One year ago I “Pulled A Beyoncé” and dropped Red Line Blues as a surprise.  To thank everyone for their support, here's a new tune called "My Own Way".  I suggest playing it loud.  ;)

The idea for "My Own Way" came to me in a very unlikely place: my high school's cafeteria.  (What, that doesn't suggest eau de glamour to you?!)  I had bravely returned to good ol' Boston Latin to volunteer as a mentor to current students interested in the arts.  While the day was super rewarding, it forced me to remember some teenage memories that the only good thing about was that they were old!  I've got at least as many embarrassing stories as anyone, but speaking with teens who were both attracted to and nervous about a career in the arts made me all the more certain about going for what you want in life.  Some of my peers back in the day probably thought I was crazy or that I'd just end up becoming a degenerate in addition to a weirdo, yet here I am. 

Best wishes to all new grads and the Class of 2016!

Spring with Miss Thing! New Song & Make Way for Ducklings Made Over

If you know them, you love them.  Make Way For Ducklings are a fictional bird family that inspired the title of Robert McCloskey's classic children's book.  The ducklings and their Mama shut down the city of Boston with their stubbornness, proving they can walk- or waddle- anywhere they want.  (Now THOSE are some city peeps!)  The bronze statues are a top attraction in the Public Gardens, and tourists and locals visit year round.  Occasionally, they are anonymously decorated with santa caps, red sox shirts or other fun treats.  It's an adorable mystery!  Lately they've been fully glamorized with spring bonnets.  Cuz why the heck not?!

Well, I must take after their stubbornness cuz I'm still making music (ba-DUM-tsh!)  No, seriously folks, I still am making new music and would love to share it with you.  I've got a new song called "Take Me Home" that you can listen to at

https://soundcloud.com/laurenflahertyrocks/take-me-home

I learned a lot during my winter week in LA and tried to incorporate some of the feedback I received into this tune.  It's more laid back and acoustic with the vocals up front.  Maybe I'm on to something, or maybe I've got Bird Brain.  Let me know what you think!  Again, cuz why the heck not?!

Ireland, Inspiration & How To Cook With Guinness

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all my party people.  May your craic be mighty and your shoes stay dry when it rains.  (Cuz if it didn’t rain so much, Ireland wouldn’t be green.  D’oh!)

I hope everyone is having a lovely time, or at least can sneak in some fun once the work day ends.  I’m working on a new acoustic indie tune I hope to share with you soon but had to take a break to hit the famous (and infamous) South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade.  From Storm Troopers to Step Dancers and a whole lot of green, we had it all!  It rained on our parade but we kept on dancing to welcome our newest guests, Boston Pride and OUTVETS.  With that controversy settled the Mayor and other VIPs were able to rejoin the march, leading to epic high fives and green beads everywhere… until we got three more inches of snow and broke the all-time winter record, so then there was white everywhere AGAIN.

All that dancing and crazy weather required some hearty food so I would love to share my authentic Irish beef stew recipe with you.  It’s somehow been “reposted” on the Guinness website.  How funny… I swear I didn’t see it there first!  ;)

http://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en/Cooking.aspx

Ireland has always been an inspiration to me.  In 2007 I stayed alone in Dublin and ventured into the North to see the Giant’s Causeway.  I didn’t fully understand what it would be like to hit the two separate countries in under 12 hours and was surprised when my cell phone lost signal the second I crossed the border.  I had to convert my Euros to Pounds only to change them back again later that day.  Also the (ahem) uniquely Irish sense of time kicked in when my tour that was supposed to end at six PM did… still in Northern Ireland, meaning I had another several hours of no phone and sparse correct currency required to get back to Dublin around midnight.  (Sorry if I put some new grey hairs on anyone’s head that night!) 

It was a crazy adventure and I anticipated I would be too exhausted to do anything the next morning but amazingly, I woke up with the entire song “Just Rain” in my head.  I fumbled for a pen while all my instruments and recording gear were on the other side of the world but I captured enough that I could record the song the following year, only to watch it truly make an impact over six years later

Ireland is a magical land and I work in a crazy business.  Thank you for sharing the rollercoaster ride with me!

We all have the Red Line Blues... but pizza helps

A historic winter.  Fire and brimstone- being used to clear the subway tracks no less.  Snowzilla vs. the third rail.  We are building some character up in this joint for sure...
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Back in my youth (about three weeks ago), one was able to do crazy things like take public transportation, walk on a sidewalk or visit a friend after dark without fearing an icicle would hit you on the head and knock you into a snowbank where you might be found sometime after July 4th.  I did outrageous things such as go to New York City for a music business seminar and ladies' pizza night.  Here are some highlights of my trip:
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The conference was hosted by social media wizard Ariel Hyatt and her friend, Emmy award winning composer Michael Whalen, at the Aaron Davis Hall in Harlem.  The event turned out to be not only free but friendly as well.  We sat in a large auditorium facing brick walls that lead to a black stage with a grand piano everyone joked about itching to play.  The first panel cheerily suggested that everyone in the auditorium should introduce themselves to each other because we were "probably the people in our bands who did all the work."  For several hours we learned about the new music industry (which has probably changed since I started writing this *groan*).  We discussed conversation as currency, meaning music that is shared from one fan to several friends can actually increase in value between them because it becomes a shared personal experience.  We also talked about PR strategies, crowd funding and the pros and cons of Youtube.  SESAC's Doreen Ringer Ross even did an inadvertent magic trick of managing to balance almost a dozen torn pieces of paper to symbolize how a song's ownership can get split more ways than well, one can easily balance!
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I'm proud to say I had a definitively NY moment while there (and no, I'm not just talking about the awesome pizza at Lombardi's in Little Italy- look it up, trust me).  After the usual scrambling to be one of the scrappy few able to ask a question to the panels- New Yorkers move a lot faster than the LA crowd I last saw, yeesh!- I was finally able to get the mic on my third attempt.  I thought I would ask a fairly simple question about what to do after a TV song placement.  But little did I think ahead to realize, I'm asking this of a publicist and there is no way she's gonna let me downplay my accomplishment.
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Sure enough, Ariel stopped me after my question, and before I knew it I was telling an entire auditorium my name and the name of the television show that picked "Just Rain" and "Ghost Town".  I hadn't planned on something like this when I left for the city at 6 AM, but at this point I was in it to win it.  I started to have a little fun up there because sure enough, after I said the words "Dance Moms" a beat or two passed before I could feel the crowd respond.  In return for this bold step I was honored with claps, business cards passed to me during a break, new twitter buddies and my favorite, a college student working the event who stepped away from his post to congratulate me and wish me a safe trip back to Boston.  
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Honestly, when the New Yorkers make you feel like you've done good, you buy the pizza, get a nice drink and sit back.  What more is there to life?  ;)
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Of course, now I'm back home, hunkering down with some Bailey's and recording some new material I will hopefully share with you in the future (assuming Snowzilla doesn't get me).  Remember, if winter blues are getting you down, you can always crank out some Sassy Sounds of mine from iTunes or Bandcamp at https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/lauren-flaherty/id128677630?uo=4 and https://laurenflaherty.bandcamp.com/album/red-line-blues
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Got any other tunes that help you feel warm and fuzzy inside?  Write back to me with them and I'll share them in my next mailing!  If you'd like to read more about the conference, fellow attendees have write-ups about what they learned at http://cyberprmusic.com/category/blog/ (scroll down to January 20th).
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Stay safe and warm!

New Year, New Song (and a Shameless Celebrity Sighting)

As I write this it’s about zero degrees in Boston with a wind chill I’d rather not think about.  The silver lining to this frigid day is that I get to share a new song with you called “Me Without You.”  I decided to release it around the new year since it's about breaking habits and letting go of people who bring you down.  It's on iTunes and you can listen here: 

I’d also like to share one of my highlights from 2014: meeting one of my Rock God idols.  I’m tempted to make up some ridiculous story about how I got this picture with Trent Reznor.  Maybe we worked on something together or maybe he sent ME fan mail.  (To quote Wayne’s World “Shyeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt!”)  In reality, he was kind enough to pose for this picture during a music conference I attended in LA.  It was a definite high point in a crazy week of insane driving, watching people take selfies of themselves with sunglasses on indoors, notorious LA traffic (and more talk of traffic) and me attempting to wear fashionable fall clothes on a 90 degree day.  (In my defense, it WAS November!)  It was amazing to hear a mentor say great things about my music while overlooking the famous Hollywood Hills and see old friends who have relocated*, but I’m definitely an East Coast girl living the Red Line Blues.

 

*Technically, this does not include Trent... yet.  ;)

GOOD GIGS & GOOD OMENS

Hello Party People!

I hope you've all been well since I last said hello.  I now have the pleasure of telling you the band and I have finally gotten our CD Release Party footage online.  You can watch our full half-hour set at Cambridge's T.T. the Bear's at these links:

Part 1 (Battle Scarred, The Second Act, Junkies On The Train):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbXPmjCxPSU

Part 2 (Heartsick & 3 AM):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cEATL2COgE

Part 3 (Just Rain & What Makes An Angel):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAlhW2q2Ezs

 

It was amazing to see so many friendly faces at the gig and the excitement helped energize our set.  Special thanks to everyone who came out, cheered and bought a CD (or even two!)  The limited printing of “Red Line Blues” is almost sold out!  If you'd like one of the remaining copies, you can order a signed CD at https://laurenflaherty.bandcamp.com/  If you prefer digital copies, you can buy them straight from my store at the same site, or at iTunes (shortcut: http://bit.ly/GUCITw)


Playing with a live band and being supported by the crowd would have been awesome enough, but I later discovered Lifetime TV's "Dance Moms" decided to air another one of my songs... DURING OUR SET!  Talk about a good omen!  They selected "Ghost Town" from my second album "You Don't Know Me" and renamed it "They Don't Want My Kind Around Here" to suit the plot of the show since the song was referenced on camera by the lead.  Watching Chloe dance to my song while outfitted in a Les Misérables inspired costume was one of the most beautiful things I have seen in my life. You can view the televised performance here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ystwwO0YzBc

Red Line Blues is only a few months old and it's already spoiled rotten!  J/k, but I have been blessed lately.  I'll keep you all posted on our next baby steps promoting the record.

Rawk on,

-Lauren

 

Red Line Blues is one month old and now on iTunes!

In honor of Red Line Blues turning one month old, I've made a collage about its journey, which mostly in a loop.  It is the subway we're talking about here!  Ba-dum-TSH!

The Boston and Camberville music community was very kind to me, allowing me to make a surprise appearance on WMFO's The Dweezil Show and be spun on a brand new radio station called WEMF that is located inside the building my old band used to practice in.  (How neat is that?!)  I was also invited to perform on BNN TV's "Bostonian Rap".  You can watch a clip of it at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br7K7dAPZdY


Red Line Blues is now available on iTunes and LaurenFlaherty.Bandcamp.com

Dropping A Surprise Record TODAY 6/17! I'm pulling a Beyonce!

 Today is 6/17- the date that corresponds with the 617 area code of my beloved Boston.  I’ve been working on a new release for over a year and am celebrating by pulling a Beyonce and dropping it as a surprise today! 

 

My five song EP is called Red Line Blues in honor of the most passionate love and hate relationship I've ever experienced: me vs. the subway.  The Red Line train route connects many of my favorite places in the world.  I’ve taken it from my blue collar hometown of Southie to play hipster rock clubs in Cambridge near Harvard University.   I’ve schlepped to South Station with a guitar on my back and bought a cheap bus ticket to New York City and auditioned in cattle call lines that stretched for blocks (“The Second Act”).  I’ve gone to Alewife to sneak out of the city and into a speakeasy for a few hours (“Anti-Love Letter”) and on very special occasions I’ve even added a few transfers and wound up on a plane to Dublin (“Dust And Bones”).

 

In a way, the Red Line can take you anywhere.  Except the days when everything goes wrong and it basically takes you nowhere, giving you the Red Line Blues (“Junkies On The Train”).  I’ve had plenty of those days over the years! 

 

Red Line Blues is my fourth self-release.  It was recorded using gear funded by television placements, gigs and song downloads.  For the first time, I didn’t step foot in a professional studio except to record the vocal for “You Save You” (which was an epic session!)  I wrote and produced all the songs but happily teamed up again with Lainey Schooltree for mixing, Jonathan Wyner for mastering and Maegan Wright for album art. 

 

Downloads are available now on iTunes and www.LaurenFlaherty.BandCamp.com.  

(There are currently no plans to press physical copies but I will have commerative swag at live shows.)

 

I will be filming an appearance on BNN TV's "Bostonian Rap" to discuss Red Line Blues with host Rachel Miselman this Friday.  I will keep you all updated about the air date as well upcoming gigs, videos, TV and radio appearances for Red Line Blues. 

Looks like I'm gonna be taking a whole lot of train rides this summer!

My song “Just Rain” reached 2 million viewers on Dance Moms?!?

I’ve been focused on recording my new EP but I have some awesome news I can’t wait to share.  The lovely people at Lifetime TV’s “Dance Moms” selected my song “Just Rain” to air alongside a choreographed lyric dance routine that was seen by over TWO MILLION VIEWERS.  And the best part is… they played the full vocal version, allowing my singing to reach every one of them!

I learned about the placement by accident when I was on a bus, stuck at a long red light and goofing around online.  I was trying to check a link for one of my websites only to have information about the episode keep overwhelming my search.  (At first, I thought it was the meanest prank ever!)  I rushed to my Mom’s so we could watch it together and soon enough we showed it to everybody.  My whole family is overwhelmed by how beautiful Kendall’s dancing was and I feel like this unique placement accomplishes an awful lot of my dreams as a singer/songwriter.

The song and performance have tens of thousands of views online and people have made fan art, lyric videos and posted multiple versions.  Some viewers have written in with comments like, “I love this song.  Who is it?”  Only to have a sassy teen correct them: “HeLLoooOOO, it’s Lauren Flaherty!  (Duh!)” 

!!!

Here is one of my favorite fan-uploaded versions you can watch.  It shows some of the backstage drama as well as Kendall’s fantastic performance. 


Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiXdQtYlwBk

ONE FUND Benefit Concert on Tuesday 5/14 at Johnny D's, Cambridge

For someone "trying to take a break from gigging and just record" I've been pretty busy lately!  :)

My friends at Johnny D's have organized an excellent benefit concert for Tuesday, May 14th to raise money for the One Fund and who am I to decline playing such an important night?!  I will be one of twenty regional acts (yup, you read that right- TWENTY) donating our time in a show of community and support.  Each act will play for ten minutes, allowing the audience to not only help those harmed in the attacks but to also see a unique sample of some of Boston's best musicians on the same stage. 

Performers will include Barrence Whitfield of Rounder Records, Jason Dunn of the Luxury (who opened for Coldplay at the Garden), Marc Pinansky of Township (who shared the stage with Bad Company at the Pavilion) and Amy Black who I've personally seen rock the stage supporting Chris Isaac.  I'll be playing a rare full-band set and can safely say we will give it our all!

Here's a link for tickets: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=3546134&pl=jds

And the facebook invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/384132168372366/

There will also be a raffle, silent auction and compilation CD of donated local music.  Audiences can order dinner and minors can attend with a parent or guardian if they make a dinner reservation.

I hope you all can make it!  Now, I just have to keep repeating the mantra "I am trying to only record right now" to myself until I am inevitably invited to open for Aerosmith and Carole King at the Garden.  That works, right? ;)

Keep Boston Strong,
-Lauren

P.S. If you can't attend but would like to contribute, here is a link to donate to the One Fund: https://secure.onefundboston.org/page/contribute/default .  If you donate as a result of this, let me know and I'll send you a twitter and facebook shout-out as a thank you!

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