Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Black out days...I don't recognize you anymore.

Has it really been since Christmas that I've been on here???  

Good Lord.

Since then, much has happened.  A big highlight was going to a Phantogram concert.  Dear God, I don't think I had felt a rush that big since...well I don't know when, but I assure you...the rush was big.  I had eagerly been working on a cover to Phantogram's, "Black Out Days".  It's rare that I hear a song for the first time, and I'm instantly addicted.  Even without doing my dissection for anything I'd do differently in a song...or..parts that I don't feel fit well..really all of my critiquing.  This song didn't need that.

So naturally I had to cover it.  
Here she is:

Black Out Days - Phantogram cover performed by Raquelashakti

Another big thing that has occurred for me?  In exactly one month from today...I will be leaving to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail.  This will be a week-long trip, and I'm still not sure if I'm in shock...denial...or numb to the fact that I will be putting myself in a situation that I have never been in, and also something I know nothing about.  

Fortunately, I'm married to a man who lives and breathes the outdoors, and who has also done a section of it before.  He knows what to expect, and how to deal with the wildlife.  I, however, do not.  

I guess you could say (as dramatic as this sounds) I really wanted to make sure to at least get this song up...you know, in  case I get eaten by a bear...or bit by a rattlesnake...Oh the joys of nature!

On a more positive note, I do feel that the experience will be very cleansing, and will get me in touch with God's beautiful creation.  That part I very much look forward to...just keep the animals away from me!

Check out the original:
Black Out Days - Phantogram

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Life on the disconnected side.

I still remember the panic that set in when we got the "Disconnect" notice from our internet provider.  Thoughts of, "What will I watch?", "How can I keep putting videos up?", "What if someone needs to get a hold of me?".  Well it's been about two months now, I believe, and I'm OK.  I haven't put any holes in the walls from banging my head against them out of sheer boredom.  I'm not enduring sleepless nights, and cold sweats for fear that I'll never get my "fix". 
What I have realized, is that I'm better off. 
Sure, it's inconvenient.  Especially when you're an introvert who prefers to keep things over email rather than an actual phone conversation.  I think the biggest impact for me, is that I can't freely search for music the way I used to.  That one point still bothers me a lot actually, but I will make do. 
This internet vacation, has taught me a few things. 
1.  How stupid and mindless and repetitive most TV shows are.
2.  How much more I can accomplish when I'm not sitting on Pinterest for hours. 
3.  Facebook really does not matter, and no, no one cares about what you ate for dinner.
4.  Between "selfies", snapchat, vine...instagram...gah, we're all a bunch of self-centered a$$holes!
5.  The more time I have to sit and look at clothing sites, the more money I will want to spend on clothes, shoes, etc.
6.  That this is all a vicious cycle.  A society full of people with their faces glued to their TV's, computers, smartphones, rather than observing the beautiful colors of a trees leaves in Fall, or engaging in meaningful conversation with your children who will one day not want to bother engaging in anything with you. 
7.  We're just a bunch of consumers, and all the advertising companies are just interested in our dollars. 
My husband and I never had cable throughout our whole marriage.  That is one way I was happy we were cut off from the world.  When I visit anyone's house, and they put TV on, I would say 60% of what I see are commercials.  Then if you're lucky, you get about 5 min. of the actual show, then it's back to a commercial. 
The amount of sex appeal used in marketing is appalling.  Even Burger King is trying to "sex-up" their burgers....what??  (Just watch the Heidi Klum burger Ad)
I don't like to play the paranoid card, but I feel like I was being made into a mindless pawn, and that, that was the exact intention.  I found myself watching shows that tried to make an adulterous relationship look "innocent", and that it was "true love".  All because I loved the fashion in it!  Cheating is a whole different topic for a whole different day, but something that I in no way support.  Ever. 
I hope people wise up to this.   I hope that we see the messages that are innocently snuck into our homes, and are polluting our minds.  I really hope that we put down our damn phones, and give our loved ones the attention they deserve before it's too late.  I also hope (and I'm certainly not innocent of this) that we stop buying so much unnecessary junk when there are people all over the world who are starving to death. 
This all makes me feel ashamed, and I hope to one day contribute vastly in order to make the changes that this world needs.
Here, have some music, and Merry Christmas.
Oh, and see what I mean about those Ads?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I know there's better Brothers, but you're the only one that's mine.

Didn't think I went anywhere did ya? 
Due to some inconveniences, I no longer have internet at home.  So I'm now in the dark ages.  Which also means I have to be a bit more resourceful when updating my blog/youtube videos. 
For my latest cover, I chose "Brother" by Murder by Death.  This is just one of those infectious songs that you have to sing along to, because trust me, it gets stuck in your head (check out the original version). 
I still remember being a young and hopeful, yet gloomy teenager, and seeing Murder By Death live for the first time.  I of course was inspired by Sarah, the female Cellist.  She's up there in a group of men, just entranced by the music.  I see a lot of females in groups like this who try too hard to stand out, who try to be sexy, or try too hard to seem "Bad Ass".  With Sarah, she seemed as an equal.  She's part of the band, just as much as every other person up on that stage, regardless of looks and gender.  I appreciated her subtle yet commanding performance.  Not to mention she absolutely shreds that cello. 
This is quite a ways back when they were touring with their CD, Who Will Survive, and What will be left of them? To this day, that is still my most favorite album.  It's hard to believe that it has now been a decade since I first discovered them!  I owe my gratitude to my brother for really opening my eyes up to all sorts of genres of music, and really pushing me into all sorts of unique directions.  I would say that I could dedicate this song to my brother, but the song isn't exactly...err...flattering to ones' brother.
~Brother - Murder by Death cover performed by Raquelashakti~
For the next cover?  I'm actually awaiting one that will hopefully speak to me.  If there's one thing I learned while doing this.  It's that I need to "let it happen".  I normally think of a handful of songs, print the lyrics, light a candle, sit at my piano, and something just comes out.  One thing that I don't ever want to do again is trying to learn tabs or music for the exact song melody.  By nature, I can mimic well, but where is the creativity in that?  I only keep the lyrics exact, and try to keep the original "spirit" alive in the song.  (Did I lose ya yet??)  Hence the reason I put my own "twist" on the songs I perform.  Much more fun that way! 
Anyways, here's the original version:
Au Revoir!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Everything you do is a gem in my collection...

Well folks, I now have my new video up on youtube.  I felt it only appropriate to do a song by Oh Land, because I've been overly excited to see her live in the next few weeks here!  She also has a new CD which comes out in the US next week.  

Fortunately you can stream it this week here:

I absolutely love it.  In fact, I've been listening to it non-stop ever since it was shared on Oh Land's facebook page.  

As for my video, I decided to sing the first song of Oh Land's that I had ever fallen in love with.  

Perfection - Oh Land cover as performed by Raquelashakti

Once again, youtube, never fails to find 3 equally atrocious stills of me.  How does that always happen?!  Should this even come as a shock to me at this point?


So far this Fall has proven to keep my creative juices flowing.  I have come to one understanding though.  I need more people than just myself to carry out my vision.  Question is, who?  Locally I'm not sure of anyone that has the same vision for music that I have.  While I would love to create it all myself, I don't have the preferred instruments, or necessary equipment.  I guess it would be nice to stumble upon just the right person/people.  That doesn't happen often though.  I am a firm believer that everything does happen for a reason though, and that if something is supposed to happen...one way or another it will.

I "feel" it, I know what I'm supposed to do, there's just that lingering uncertainty of how to get there.  Seems God didn't intend for us to know every piece to this puzzle that we call life right away.  All I can do is remain patient, and keep on going.

Guten Nacht.

Oh Land's newest video ;-)

Don't you just love her hair??

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ohhh Fall.

It could be just me, but I really feel that the transition into Fall is when I feel most inspired.  Maybe there's something in us, that alerts us to all the changes outside, and really gets things ticking creatively.  All I know, is that I love it.  I recently realized that the same thing happened last year about this time.

Along with cravings for Pumpkin Spice Lattes and the endless search for a beautiful pair of boots, start the urges for paints and canvas to paint on.  Urges to chop off my hair, and then dye it purple.  Then there's the melodies.  

Well the melodies just start flowing, and haven't stopped.     

As mentioned in my last post, I was working on an original.  Well I finished and performed it, at the benefit I had also mentioned.  Well now there are 2 more songs.  So much is happening in my head, that makes me realize if I were in fact a signed artist, I would need to do my writing on a seasonal basis.  I also have a routine that I now do, that really helps get things flowing.  

Very dim lighting, and a scented candle are my absolute "Musts".  It also must be night-time (Once a night owl, ALWAYS a night owl).  I also have to be comfortable.  In other words, no restrictive clothing, and my face washed, and hair completely out of my face.  Kind of weird, right?  For some reason, being completely natural, and "clean-feeling" really help.  Last but not least...QUIET!  I'm sure my poor neighbors wish the same as I pound on my keys until all hours of the night.  These are the key components that aid me in getting lost in my own little world, and awayyyy I go.  It was so much easier to do when I was a child.  

My latest song, reminds me of something that would be played in "Game of Thrones".  Only the melody though, certainly not the lyrics.  For some terrible and very confusing reason, I keep seeing Joffrey when I start playing the bass line, and I haven't decided if that's a good thing or not.  I'm also hoping my brain didn't dig up a melody from watching the show back when it was airing, and it turns out to be the same thing.  Perhaps I have some seasons to re-watch.  

Either way, this all excites me greatly.  I performed onstage with my piano live for the first time.  I was horrified, and yes, I made mistakes, but I loved it.  I felt alive.  I feel an inner voice pressing me to get out there more, and try to do more live performances.  Really put myself out there.  

Also, more happiness, and something I found by complete surprise:

Something I certainly cannot miss.  

On that note, here's some good music for the night:
 Isn't it beautiful?

Guten Nacht.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Well folks, I'm back once again!

As stated in my last blog entry, I was indeed working on a new cover, and here it is!

I've discovered, that the further away the camera is from you, the harder it is for youtube to randomly select an atrocious snapshot for you to choose from!

Anyways, on to more important things.  I am fortunate enough to have had a friend of mine from High School (I know!  Friends!  I'm shocked too.) ask me to perform for an event coming up that will help raise money for a film that her brother is working on.  I guess she saw some of my videos up on youtube, and asked if I would participate.  So that's good news!  I won't deny the fact that I'm terrified.  

If you ask me to sing for something, that's no big deal.  I've been doing that since I was 3 years old for crowds.  Playing piano?  Live for the first time?  It's a bit nerve wrecking, and most can hear the mistakes I make as one finger accidentally slips onto the wrong key at various points throughout most of my videos!  I made a deal with myself though.  This year, I'm taking chances.  It's not enough to sit in my own head and "wish" and "dream", about the things I want.  I have to "do".  

All these thoughts, ideas, etc, need action.  

So...this is another leap on my list of "do's".  Here is a flyer advertising the show coming up in a few weeks:

It'll just be me, my piano, the covers I have put up on youtube, and my plans to debut an original song that I had been working on.  

For the original, I had written the lyrics quite some time ago.  I remember I thought I had music, I remember sitting at my piano...then I remember nothing at all.  In other words, I always start writing music, then I forget it.  All.  It's incredibly frustrating.  Well about 2 weeks ago, a melody started coming to me.  Then I flipped back in my little "notebook of lyrics with forgotten melodies", and it fit perfectly.  I'm proud to say the melody won't leave me.  I keep playing it over and over, and nearly forgot about the ET-Katy Perry cover, that I posted tonight, because completing this song is all I can think about.  I have high hopes that I will finish in time....here's hoping!

Have a good night, and here's some good music:

Au Revoir.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


So I get some alone time to myself tonight.  Which as many may know, is a very wonderful and cherished thing.

I'm currently taking a break from darting around in my own mind.  Which, yes folks, that means, a new project is underway.

The other night out of curiosity and sheer boredom, I was scrolling through the latest titles on Netflix.  Now, I see this Katy Perry, Part of Me, movie up.  Naturally, I roll my eyes, and let out one of my infamous *sighs*.  Most would never find me giving Ms. Perry's music the time of day.  It was however, 2:30 in the morning, and for some reason, I couldn't get to sleep.  Me being me, and needing some background noise figured, "well...maybe this'll put me to sleep."  

Now while I will say...this movie certainly wasn't noted for its depth.  I did, however, connect.  I even *teared up* a bit.  I come to find, that she had been signed to multiple labels (she started out as a Christian music artist!), and dropped from most.  Very few believed in her, and one person took the initiative and willingness to believe in her, and now, well it's Katy Perry.  Most anyone who has internet or a television know who she is.  Point is, is that here's a young woman.  She's failed many times at being recognized or taken seriously as a true artist/performer, and now she's everywhere.  All because she knew, this is what she was destined for.  

My other point?  Is that I was born to love, live, and breathe performing.  To this day, no matter how much I doubt myself, I know my purpose in life.  Now matter how much the world tells me, "Your goals are unrealistic, and very few could achieve", and a part of me starts to believe it.  The idea in my head still won't shake.  I won't apologize. 

To see someone like her, fail fail fail, achieve!  It gave me hope.  

So as a hint, yes, it has to do with one of her songs.  I won't say which one of course.  

All I can say, is that it will most certainly have my twist on it.  I just sit down at my piano, and my fingers start moving, and I can already hear the melody in my head.  It's all a matter of building from bare bones to something more...complete.

In light of beautiful melodies, Here is a musician that nearly brings me to tears with his melodies.  Listen and enjoy.

(the track is pretty new, so there is no youtube for it yet)

Au Revoir.