Last week, on the most perfect May day ever created, me and my friends dressed to the nines and headed out to a gorgeous meadow with our friends Bluebird and Dylan from the band Lasher Keen, to shoot their new music video. Without giving anything away, I will say that there were nymphs, satyrs, chasing, dancing, and magic... here are some behind-the-scenes shots to wet your appetite!
Big meadow, and big oak
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair...
our hostess, Bluebird, getting punchy
me and Summer, making eyes at the camera again
scene from a surreal picnic
Beautiful Bluebird and Summer
Bev stuffs the satyr's pants
Crystal ball gazing...
the masked dance
Serenading us while we dance
walking back to the road at the end of a long, inspiring day
I'll post the video here when it's done (you know these things take time!) but meanwhile, you can enjoy the INCREDIBLE new Lasher Keen album here.
additional photos by Bev La Fae, Julia Boorinakis-Harper, Bluebird Gaia, and Jessica Henry
I know it's shocking, but I don't actually have a smart phone... which is fine with me, most of the time, except that this means that I also don't have a small camera that's handy at all times. Lately, however, I started constantly carrying a little camera in my bag, and as a result, I have been taking soooo many more spontaneous photos. Here are some scenes from the past few weeks:
me and our kitten, Lily Belle
my friend Kirsten from Arabesque Aromas making a new friend
wild life/ still life
band members making wishes
Rainy Day Chia at the studio
Band, about to play a show
They bought us champagne!
Lily Belle, from the outside looking in
Kirsten and I at our favorite Chinese restaurant
more yard art
Inside a friend's fantastic cottage
In the interior of The Phoenix Rose, Nevada City
What better way to bring in the May than with beautiful friends, music, and food?
The sacred ritual of women- getting dressed
A Victorian ghost floats down the stairs
Leonna Sapphire prepares beautiful food in the kitchen
A Hungarian skirt, and roses for head wreaths
Girls grab instruments and walk to the May Pole site, preparing to call the men forth with the pole
The pole is placed firmly in the ground, and the dance that weaves the ribbons begins:
Contests to choose the May Queen and May King- the ladies jump over a broom, while the men, with backs to us, play music. When they stop, the last person over the broom is out.
The ladies play music for the men in the same fashion, as they do an egg toss:
Our beautiful Queen and handsome King!
Hanging with sweet friends:
Me and the Sugatroll
Getting a head massage from the Queen herself:
At night we dance between the double bonfires, for protection
Happy May to everyone!
You might have noticed the Mount Whateverest tshirts flitting through my Etsy shop lately. I am having so much fun exploring the world of iron ons..... transforming cool shirts into Band Shirts with a nip, a tuck, and applied heat.
I am starting my third month at the studio, and I've really settled in... it's my home away from home. It's soooo nice to be able to spread everything out and leave it there, if need be. Space truly allows opportunites for creation. I am so grateful!
My mom came up for an Easter visit, and of course I had to take her to see the tulip display at the Crystal Hermatige Gardens in North San Juan:
There are 13,000 Dutch tulips in this garden, artfully arranged to make the eyes happy and the heart sing.
We brought Kirsten from Arabesque Aromas with us, because her middle name is Tulip... and because she smells really good.
I literally get chills looking at this part of the garden. This year, the white Dogwood and purple irises were in bloom at the same time as the tulips, which usually does not happen, and the effect was like a painting come to life. Kirsten helped to complete the look:
Here we are, feeling the Italian vibes of the gardens, and pretending we are in one of our favorite feel-good movies, Enchanted April:
Me and mom!
If you are in this area in the Spring, I really recommend that you go out to the Crystal Hermatige... these photos turned out well, but it's nothing like seeing the flowers in person!
My band, Mount Whateverest, has been hard at work to bring you some rather psychedelic new material- we just released a new EP for "Flaming Eye" on our Bandcamp, downloadable for free, and a new music video made by our own Steve Melendez. Huge thanks to my friend Jessica Henry at Brightest Star on Etsy, who was the source of the amazing gold dress that I'm wearing in the video. I hope you enjoy!
EP artwork by Chris Streng
Springtime is my favorite season to get dressed- it's not too cold,and not too warm, and that means you can go sleeveless or with sleeves, long or short, any fabric, any shoes, and it's still okay to wear any hat, even a wool or faux fur one-- it's the greatest number of wardrobe choice of the entire year.
It also is the season when you can stop thinking about the layers of tights and undershirts and overshirts and jackets and just wake up in the morning and throw on a dress. This is a new favorite, with a Balinese batik style print, in flowing rayon. It is so comfortable that sometimes I wear it for several days in a row.
The ferns on the hillside behind the houst just unfurled and went shooting for this sky this week:
One of the best parts of Spring is that I let myself get new sunglasses. Last year's beloved neon orange glasses started to get a few scratches, so I had a good excuse when I saw these in the Nordstrom teen department:
I have never gotten more compliments on a pair of sunglasses, ever! I am thinking I might craft some of my own, playing on this theme of three dimensional floral additions.
Here is to the unfurling:
It's Springtime and all the windows in the studio have been flung open, and there are so many projects bubbling! It feels like a lot of the work of the past few months has been laying the foundations, in the physical and conceptual planes, for what is unfolding now.
Chia, celebrating the beautiful 60s maxidress (gifted from Shawna- thank you!) that decorates our central communal work space
for Cosmic Dancers- upcycled silver moccasins (size 10)
Drawstring dresses with appliques handmade from 1960s psychedelic fabric
My studio fundraiser last week went off like gangbusters- I actually exceeded my goal! I became a textile collage card factory for a while:
There is so much beautiful light in this studio!
The coming of the warm weather has heralded the return of funk and soul music into my life. I am obsessed with this album right now, a comp that documents the short-lived and amazing 60s/70s juncture of soul and hippie psychedelic music:
psychedelic dress available here
...and I don't think I spend a day in the studio without playing the Wanda Jackson album, The Party Ain't Over.
This incredible dress is available here.
I did manage to make a solo album this winter, but I had no plans on playing live until my friend Sara Zahn asked me to be on a bill with the amazing Future Twin from San Francisco. I thought they were so cool that I said yes before my logic could intervene (aka "you're a busy girl!" "you have enough going on!"). I definitely experience some stress leading up to the show, because since I don't usually play under the Sasha Sylvanaut moniker, I didn't initially know exactly what I was going to do.
I considered trying to recreate songs off of my latest album, but sitting on stage working a bunch of pedals just didn't seem visceral enough for this rising Spring energy that's all around and in the air and in my blood. Eventually I decided that stripping it down to the absolute basics felt like the strongest performance option. I write songs on the acoustic guitar, but it is very rare that I get up in front of anyone and play it. I've done it around the late night campfire at the Northern California Women's Herbal Symposium, which is pretty much the most supportive and nurturing environment on earth, but I just never really considered doing it on a stage.
The guitar you see here is my old and trusted friend, known as The Mardou. She is named after the girlfriend in the Jack Kerouac book The Subterraneans, so I guess you could say she respresents the (often-unsung) women's perspective on the world.
My dress is also an old favorite- 1960s Hawaiian psychedelic. The head piece is a vintage devil mask with added fringe.
My friend Mike Meals filmed this number, which is a somewhat Americana-flavored piece called "Oh! Marianna":
For more of my work, both solo and with backing musicians, you can visit the Sasha Sylvanaut Bandcamp site.