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The Importance of Being Earnest: Booking a Tour in Five Acts

When you’re a small band with dreams of going on tour, booking shows is an exercise in networking and persistence, with a sprinkle of charm and a dash of desperation. Fans in San Diego and Salem aren’t begging us to come and play. During our last tour, we learned that it’s about meeting up with old friends in other cities, playing some music together, and crashing on a friend’s couch. We learned that shows with high expectations can disappoint, and shows with low expectations can be surprisingly invigorating.      

Act I: Hope

San Francisco is my Candyland. Since college graduation, I have visited once a year. My best friend Caty and my brother have taken me to underwater puppet shows, burlesque circuses, the western lesbian saloon, and the white tablecloth vegan restaurant. SF is perfection.

Western lesbian saloon

Last time we went on tour, my favorite show was in Oakland. We walked through the purple fur lined doorway and played for an audience of 8 people. A bicycle hung over our heads. We took band photos in old mirrors. Martin passed the hat and we made $200. We played with my brother’s band, McPuzo and Trotsky, a retro 1921 band whose debut songs were Suffrage is for Suckers and Warren G Harding is a Horse’s Ass. In a regular world (like Seattle), we would never play a show with McPuzo and Trotsky. But San Francisco is not the regular world.

Back in the day. Oakland.

Act II: Obstacles

I had fantasies about another fabulous yet low key show. When I was booking this year’s tour, I landed shows in San Diego, LA, Irvine, and Olympia relatively easily. But in the city that I worship, the city that have such a strong connection to, it was nearly impossible. I hit up my contacts, used Indie Booker, wrote to recommended venues, and tried to add us to existing bills. My contacts in San Francisco have kids (boring! ;)) and are less connected to “the scene.” All my contacts bemoaned the “creative drought” in San Francisco. It’s been overrun by TwitFaceGoog, and tech bros drove away all the rainbows and unicorns.

Act III: Desperation

One week before we left for our tour I said, “It’s time to stop booking and time to start promoting.” I booked two nights at a cabin in Mt. Shasta, precluding us from doing a show on a Tuesday night. “We’ll just chill out for two nights and do some songwriting,” I said to myself. But my fingers kept reaching for the keyboard. I looked up feminist radio shows and organizations. I researched rentals in shared spaces, like yoga studios and yachts.

I finally posted a request on Facebook. Duh. Ask people in Seattle for a show in SF. 

Act IV: Renewed Hope

I wish I could find the post on Facebook, but man oh man, we got about 5 leads. The one that worked was Judith Blair’s ex-boyfriend’s friend who started up a community space ever since SF outlawed Airbnb. It is called Mango Dome, where our new-best-friend Victoria runs the show.

Victoria and I booked the show as we were rolling away from Seattle in our 20-wheeler touring van. Victoria wanted to try out music in her community center, so she gave us a shot. We were Mango Dome’s guinea pigs! After I got off the phone with her, I shouted at the band, “Hey everybody! We have a show in San Francisco, and the contact person is really cool!”

“Cool,” said my band.

Teresa: We got a show in SF! Cheerful: Don’t bother me. I’m busy chewing.

Act V: The Show

We rolled into the Mango Dome on Tuesday at 4pm, listening to ourselves on BFF radio show. Victoria climbed out of her cupboard under the stairs and helped us unload. 

This is not Victoria.

After setup, Victoria handed me the key and left to run an errand while I welcomed my brother and his bandmate. She trusted me with that key.

Our new best friend, Victoria

McPuzo and Trotsky played their set. They serenaded Mango Dome, AKA Man-Go Do-Me, dedicating each song to Mango Dome’s workshops, such as How to Lick Pussy Like a Champ and Butt Stuff 101: Intro to Anal. I sat on a couch, and Victoria reassured me that the blanket hadn’t witnessed last night’s Kinky Tea Time.

We played our set for my sister-in-law, two homeless guys, my friend Sarah from college, and 12 of Cheerful’s friends from Guam. Then I went home and cuddled with my nephews while Cheerful, Jeanne, and Natalie slept in a cookie factory.

 

Fun Lessons from Tour:

  • Cheerful has 20 friends from Guam in every city. She can invite them 3 hours before showtime and they will all show up.
  • Always play a house show in Portland. Especially with Sparkle Princess Forever and Heart On.
  • Even if the show is unsuccessful, take some nice photos and tell people it was awesome.
  • Always book a radio interview with DJ #3 at KUCI 
It was awesome.

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Announcing the 5th Woman Campaign!

IT HAS BEEN SO LONG SINCE WE HAVE BEEN IN THE RECORDING STUDIO.

*cough* *cough* *desert* *in* *my* *songwriting* *soul*

We are excited to launch the APC 5th Woman campaign. By donating, you help us make the album of our DREAMS: to record for the first time with Jeanne, to lay down tracks as a live band with Brandon Busch, and pay the artists that contribute to the overall design (photographers, illustrators, graphic designers).

Help us make this happen. Our campaign will last 30 days: http://igg.me/at/5thwoman

If we exceed our goal, we will record MOAR TRACKS!

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The Boys Night Video is HERE!

In 2009, Natalie and I were sitting in the backyard complaining about the subtle sexist things that people said to us as musicians. I had just been on the phone with a guy recruiting me for a cover band. After I spent about five minutes telling him I just taught girls how to play in rock bands, he said, “So you play acoustic, right?”* Natalie tells the full story in our blog post about Boys Night.

When we first wrote Boys Night, we felt kind of alone. At that point in time, Rain City Rock Camp (RCRC, or rather, Girls Rock! Seattle) had just put on its first camp. We were longing for a community, and Natalie decided to build it. Or as Rebecca says, “If you want people to come to your show, start an effing nonprofit.” While there were many amazing volunteers, it was not yet a united voice.

A lot has changed in four years. Today, I can post that quote from acoustic-man on Facebook and get a chorus of support. We now know our experience is not unique. Our community discusses the sexism, racism, ageism (and more!) on a daily basis. No apologies.

Today, we are excited to release our Boys Night video. Watching it, we are reminded of how far we have come. It’s not a video of our band grumbling to one another about undercurrents of sexism polluting our psyches. Instead, it features a bunch of our friends singing those lyrics with us. It symbolizes the voices and stories from the awesome rock camp family that sustains us. Maybe this is cocky (heh), but it feels like an anthem that reflects our movement.

Video credits to Todd Tibbetts of Happy Awesome, who did an amazing job helping us realize our vision! Thanks to Kate Cofell,Wayne Foley, Margaret Fulton, Jenn Johnson, Jeani Krogstad, Mandy Hubbard, Dacia Saenz,Robin Smith, T-Rex, Reese Tanimura,Barb Telford, Sally TerBeck, and Jess Wetter.

Releasing this video marks the end of an era for our band. Yesterday, we went into the recording studio for the first time since You Have To Care. Boys Night talks about the problem. The next album is about taking action. It’s about the flood of support we have for one another. It’s about Natalie helping Sasquatch break through industry barriers and put more women onstage. We (not just our band, but the entire international rock camp community) are trying to build something huge and it is starting to work. Stay tuned for our Indiegogo campaign.

What about you?

Boys Night is not limited to the music industry. The same could be said about tech, finance, cooking, fashion, engineering. Um. everything. So a friend of ours wrote an adaptation of Boys Night for female software engineers.

You’re not sexist, it’s just I’m not that good
You’re not sexist, it’s just I’m not that smart
You’re such a good male speaker! I can’t believe you’re on an all male team!
Did you write your storage layer?? How long have you been coding??

Document your own work, Troubleshoot your own bugs, Unit test your own code(x2)
Cuz you’re that special!

You’re not sexist, it’s just I don’t know how to build for scale
You’re not sexist, it’s just you’re a real developer
It’s so cool you were hacking mainframes when you were in 3rd grade!
Man, I wish I knew how to use the command line back then!

Document your own work, Troubleshoot your own bugs, Unit test your own code(x2)
Cuz you’re that special!

Thanks for the mansplanation
I guess I’m a little slow
Interrupt my presentation
glad you’re sharing how much you know

If one girl’s just a token
and two can write the docs
then three can be the booth babes
and five hundred are devchix dot com !!!!!!!!!!!

Document your own work, Troubleshoot your own bugs, Unit test your own code(x2)

It’s boys night at the Startup
boys night, boys night(x2)
x3
BOYS UNITE!

And hey, when I was in business school I threw down a few lyrics myself:

You’re such a good male leader
I can’t believe you are a working dad
Did you pass accounting?
That guy is such a f@**0t

What would the lyrics from your world sound like? We want to hear from you. Don’t limit yourselves to sexism. Racism, ableism, homophobia… What would they sound like in accounting, customer service, restaurant, product management, radio, film, fashion, advertising, the list goes on? Type them in the comments below.

Better yet, download the instrumental of the mp3 here, record your vocals, and upload it to soundcloud. We will add it to our Boys Night Playlist.

Lyrics to Boys Night
You’re not sexist
It’s just we’re not that good.
You’re not sexist
It’s just we’re not that smart
 
You’re such a good male drummer
I can’t believe you’re in an all-boy band
Do you write your own songs?
How long have you been playing?
 
Chorus
Listen to your own voice
Listen to your own song
Listen to your own speech
‘Cause you’re that special
 

You’re not sexist
It’s just we don’t know how to book a show
You’re not sexist
It’s just you’re a real musician
 
It’s so cool you heard that record
When you were in third grade
Man, I wish I knew how to listen
To music back then!
 
If one girl’s for the money
And two are just for show
Then three is just a gimmick
And five are the (Go)-Go-Go’s
It’s boys night in Seattle
Boys Unite!!

*We love acoustic music and acoustic guitars. It’s just this assumption that people make about women musicians that’s annoying.

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First Show in 14 Months!

We have a show! At the Crocodile! All Ages! In a month! Exclamation points!!!

6/18 show poster

*sigh* It’s been awhile. 14 months, to be exact. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

We are playing with Bleachbear – an awesome band from the Rain City Rock Camp community and Spider and the Webs – Tobi Vail’s current band. We grew up on Bikini Kill and can’t help but swoon a little.

The last show that APC performed was for Jenn and Teresa’s wedding weekend on April 20th, 2013. The house was packed to the gills with cousins, parents, high school friends, college friends, former bandmates and future bandmates. We played a show with our extended rock family: Pablo Honeys and She’s Your Sister. Teresa was 6 months pregnant. Natalie and Rebecca played two sets. Jeanne melted faces.

APC show April 20 2013

Since then we have written 5 songs, hosted 4 rock camp sessions, played in 3 other bands, bought 2 houses and had 1 baby.

You: What?! You wrote five songs?
Us: Yes. Maybe more than that. We disappeared into the woods (again) and wrote more songs.
You: If a band writes a song in the woods, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Us: Not until it’s played live.

Therefore, you should come hear a ton of new songs at the Crocodile on June 18th. Little song embryos have been incubating and growing and we are excited to give birth to them. (Thank goodness this show is all ages!) They are about the dearth of female performers at music festivals, United We Band, and this crazy little thing called loooooove.

BTW, we don’t intend to wait this long until our next show. Summer is comin’ and we want to melt your faces.

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Songwriting Weekend: Creativity is a Priority

Retreatin Ain’t Cheatin

We escaped this weekend to write music. We needed space and time to JUST. PLAIN. WRITE. Back in the early days of Another Perfect Crime, before Jeanne and before David, we would write songs from teatime to pizza time all day on a Saturday. We were just learning how to write and it took a lot of hours. Because we are more experienced now and can complete one another’s musical sentences, we started believing we didn’t need those long stretches.

Except for the fact that we still need them. As our lives get busier, it becomes more important to claim time for writing.

So we headed out to Ike Kinswa State Park and set up shop in a primitive cabin decorated like Great Aunt Ethel’s Holiday Craft Shop. (“Everybody gets three cubbies!”) With mini practice amps (Jeanne’s was 6” tall!), flip chart paper, an H4N Handy Recorder, and journals, we set out to write songs.

We had neighbors. Some of them had gun racks. So Jeanne cranked up her amp and Teresa walked away from the cabin, using elaborate hand signals to tell Jeanne the appropriate volume. When the hunters woke us up at 6:00 in the morning with explosives and gunfire our guilt evaporated.

We wrote three new songs and completed a fourth one. Their titles: Red Attic, Flowers for Your Grave, Hobo Code and Telekinesis (working title). We write collaboratively. You may wonder, how the heck does that collaborative songwriting thing work? Here’s the formula:

How to write a song by APC

  1. Jam in the practice space on Monday nights.
  2. Always record jams.
  3. Store one million jams in band’s Dropbox.
  4. Patiently sit through laughter and conversation in order to hear song pieces.
  5. Choose good song pieces. (Make sure to use fast forward.)
  6. Decide which song pieces go with other song pieces.
  7. String the pieces together. Write the order on flip chart paper.
  8. Play the song. Record it.
  9. Listen to the new song.
  10. Rearrange song part order.
  11. Write lyrics.
  12. Celebrate.

We were missing one essential ingredient this weekend. Our beloved drummer, Rebecca, had to stay home and fix bugs in a medical app. Missing Rebecca was like missing the Theo Chocolate bars in Teresa’s homemade hot cocoa. We did our best. We wrote songs, listened to them on the H4N recorder and made videos of wild drummer gesticulations. Here’s a helpful video for Rebecca to use when writing her parts:

We were not always so serious. We also ate banana pancakes, hiked through trails of gigantic maple leaves, skipped rocks, and invented a few inside jokes.

Bonus Track: Jeanne’s Outhouse Ritual

  1. Kick open the door and spray Febreeze
  2. Put bandana over face
  3. Run in
  4. Pee
  5. Run out
  6. Wipe hands on “KanDoo” wet wipes
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No Stars: An Ode to Seattle

[wolf_playlist id=”1604″]

Background on “No Stars” (by Natalie)

Behind the Lyrics: I had just recently read a facebook post from a sister Girls Rock Camp about the long line of celebrities and big names that they were able to secure as guests for their week of Summer Camp, and I was feeling a little glum. Rock Camp isn’t about celebrities, but I must say that I was nevertheless feeling slightly jealous. The words, “no stars here” came into my brain, and kind of lingered there. I was sitting on the sofa in my living room, which looks out onto Lake Union, and started thinking about how we rarely see real stars in Seattle. Weather it’s due to constant cloud cover, or light pollution, we do not have a typically starry sky. That connection felt very poignant to me- no stars- literally and figuratively.

The rest flowed out fairly easily, because Seattle is an easy city to write about. It is so complex, the love affair that people have with living here. We love it, and we hate it. It is so good to us, and it can be so brutal. Today the sun is shining, and everyone will be wearing shorts. Today everyone will finally wear one of their 6 pairs of sunglasses that they have been buying since April at department stores- stores with a national distribution plan that assumes that “seasons” happen simultaneously throughout the country.  Today the temperatures will reach “well into the 60s!” and we will all jump for joy… and you know why? Because yesterday sucked. Yesterday was rainy, cloudy, windy, and drab. It was June 26th, and I wore my winter coat to walk to the bank. And you know what also sucked? All of June. And why don’t you throw in a little May, April, March, Feb, Jan, Dec, and November while you’re at it. But today… oh glorious day! It turns out we have mountains here! And I can see them! The glory of this city!! I will never move! Ever!

I worked for many years in a psychology clinic in a hospital on a hill. Many of the patients were suffering from chronic PTSD, but along with that, many of them had depression, and   as I’m sure you could guess, (given the locale), Seasonal Affective Disorder. A disorder that comes from a lack of sunshine. The more people I saw getting prescribed “Happy Lights” as their treatments, the more I started thinking about this city, and what we might look like to a bird, or an alien, looking at us from above. If they could see into our houses, what would they see? They’d see all these tiny people, sitting like robots in front of flickering lights, hoping to get the happiness from a light box that the sun does not afford them.

As I am writing this, my friends and family in Colorado are at great risk with uncontrollable fires devouring their wilderness and their homes. The temperatures are up past 100, and the humidity is at 9%… aka, not a drop of moisture in the air. As I breathe in the cool, damp air of Seattle, I feel very grateful, and never want to take for granted the lovely… rainforest… that I live in. I often wish that we could send our abundant rain to places that need it the most. I only ask one small favor in return… can you send us back some sunshine?

xoxoxo

PS: We think this song would sound really great in cars driving down I-5, listening to KEXP. Want to help make that happen? Request us: dj@kexp.org

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Pre-Orders of “You Have to Care” Available Now!

It’s two weeks before we release our new album, and Another Perfect Crime is offering three bonus tracks for people who order “You Have to Care” before June 27th. These tracks will not be available on June 27th. The early bird catches the worm!

To Order
1. Go to our bandcamp page and purchase the album. You can choose either the digital or the physical version.
2. You will receive three bonus tracks immediately. Download them before the 27th!
3. If you order the digital version, the full album will be available for download on June 27th. If you order the physical album, we will mail it to you on the 27th.

About the Bonus Tracks

Sludge
This was the first song that APC wrote as a band. It changes keys between major and minor, switches up tempos, and has a very imaginative structure. That’s probably why we love it. Either that, or because the lyrics started off being about stealing dry erase markers from our office jobs in order to feel better about our corporate servitude. Heads up parents and kiddos- this one contains an f-bomb. Recorded and mixed by THE David Smith.

Yodeling Figs (The Margaret Song)
This is one of our most recent songs, played live at the Skylark with the lovely Jeanne. Inspired by Marnie Stern, Sicko, and Margaret Fulton, it is a jovial tune that will make you skip around the living room. The end of the song begins to descend into a live number called “Different Every Time.”

No Stars (acoustic)
Natalie and David recorded an acoustic version of No Stars for Planned Parenthood’s “Sex Positive” compilation. It is so sweet that babies stop crying and teenagers stop whining when you play it. It has been remastered for your listening pleasure.

Download these protein packed tracks before it is too late!

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Tales of Imperfection (PG-13 blog post by Teresa)

[wolf_playlist id=”1605″]

by Teresa Demel

This is the shmaltzy romantic song. I’ll try to keep the history of the lyrics a little more tidy so that you don’t retch.

Lyrics of Looooooove…….. xox oxoxoxoxo

I could have settled for half what I wanted but instead I waited twice as long for everything

Here’s the deal. Now that I’m in a relationship with someone who is really awesome, stable and a good fit for me, I realized that everyone leading up to that point was just practice for the real thing. If I had to live my life all over again, and if I knew everything I know now, I would have spent more time reading books and playing my guitar instead of hitting the dating scene.

When I was dating a jerk, people told me, “Relationships are hard,” and “relationships are work.” Sure, maybe that’s true. But maybe I was getting advice from people who had settled for mediocrity. Suckas.

The Making of the Song

This song includes handclaps. At first, Natalie, David and I recorded the handclaps in Rebecca’s kitchen. When we listened back the claps sounded a little like a “you’ve-been-naughty” spanking. I insisted that we re-record the handclaps with lots of people, which sounds less like one hand on one… ahem.

So about 10-14 friends gathered at Rebecca’s house for recording. We snacked on cookies and beer and told a joke or two. When we headed down to her basement, we realized we had only four headphones. Oops. But the show must go on! After working out intricate gestures and dance moves, we strategically placed sets of headphones throughout the crowd and many people recorded handclaps without hearing the song. Watch them work their magic in this video!

This song does not follow the convention of Verse, Pre-chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-chorus, Chorus (VPC, VPC). Oh no! It is VPCPVPCPV. In my brain it looks like the picture below. The verses are soft and sweet like a sigh, the pre-chorus adds some energy (with the handclaps!) and the chorus is full and swelling. And then the prechorus takes it down a notch before we revisit the soft and sweet verse. And then back up the hill to the chorus via the pre-chorus! Hooray! Hooooraaaay for LOOOOOOOOOOOVE!

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Boys Night

Background of Boys Night (By Natalie)

[wolf_playlist id=”1606″]

Playin’ acoustic guitar… like the ladies that we are

Behind the music/instrumentation:

Have you ever had to write a paper and the white page (or screen, these days) just stares back at you and you think, “I don’t know if I can ever write another word. I just can’t write. I can never write a paper again.” Well… that’s similar to the feeling I was having before I wrote the music behind Boys Night. I was over-editing all the music I was writing, to the point that I was finding myself left with nothing. Everything had to be JUST RIGHT, otherwise it could not be. Eventually I thought, I’ve got to just power out a song. Even if it’s ‘bad’, even if it has the most expected of progressions and changes… I need to just prove to myself that I can write a song. I wrote the progression on my ‘ol nylon string, just klunking out powerchords, and moving from one section to the other without the usual, “Oh, maybe it should do a weird thing here, and maybe it needs a more creative chord,” etc, etc. I just did what I thought would be obvious and didn’t edit at all. When we first started playing the song live, I figured everyone would view the song in the same way… it’s sort of a fake song… not a real song… because it’s just very basic. But, I was wrong. People continue to come up to me after shows, and say that Boys Night is their favorite, or that they enjoyed it the most. At first I thought it was a little insulting… here we have all these other songs that are so intricate, so thought out, and SO CREATIVE, and everyone likes this fake songy-song better? All those years of voice lessons and music lessons, and people like the one where I’m not really singing in a real voice, and I’m just playing along on the root note?!!?! But now I think it’s kinda cool. Sometimes the formulas are formulas because they work. It’s just that I had never really followed those formulas before : )

Background behind the lyrics:

I did not write all of the lyrics to Boys Night.  I wish I could give authorship credit to everyone who said any of the statements that we satire in this song, but some of them are so common, it’s nearly public domain.

There was one precipitating event that led to the birth of Boys Night. Our good friend David Smith joined our band back in 2009, right before our CD release show for Get Out! David came off the stage after the show and one of the attendees approached him and said, “You know, I’m really glad you’ve joined the band. It makes them seem like less of a… gimmick.”

Oh, so because we are all women, we are somehow a joke band? Our gender makes us a gimmick?

Teresa and I sat in my backyard on a sunny day and brainstormed stories of all the ridiculous things that have been said to us, or that we’ve overheard being said about other female musicians over the years.

“People only care about that band because they have a hot chick singer. If I just wanted my band to be famous, I would get a hot girl to sing for us.”

“I’m a real musician, and I’d like to tell you that the last song you played was by far your best song.”

“So you play guitar? Yeah, we don’t really need an acoustic guitarist in this band”

“Another Perfect Crime scares me. Their songs are about hating men.”

Then there’s the little snippets about how we’re always compared to other all female bands (ALL of which we are very honored by the comparison, and I really do hope it’s true!… that’s not the point)… The first time I ever heard of anyone comparing us to a band that was not all-female was in a voice lesson with the amazing Wolf Carr (after we’d been a band for two whole years, mind you!). In the span of 1 hour he compared us to both Fugazi and Black Sabbath, and his ability to see beyond gender and to hear the SONGS forever won my respect. Plus… Fugazi? Black Sabbath?? I’ll take it!

Some of the lyrics in Boys Night are statements that were directed at us, but we turned around as if it were being said to a man, so that the true idiocy of the statement could be revealed.

You’re such a good male drummer- I can’t believe you’re in an all-boy band!

We had recently played on a bill that consisted of all female-fronted bands, and it was advertised as “Ladies in the Limelight.” I don’t have a problem with playing female centered shows, or female focused events, etc. In fact, I love it. But it brought up the thought… if we’re “Ladies in the Limelight” on Friday night, what were the other shows billed as that week? Saturday? Sunday? Monday? Tuesday? Were those all billed as “Boys Night?”

The lyrics in the chorus are a reference to the dominant male voice, and relays my frustration with the lack of awareness that I have seen from very smart people about how one-sided their art and media consumption has been in their lives. Those who don’t seek out a balanced voice will most likely hear male produced music- performed by men for men, from the male perspective. I challenge everyone to at least LOOK at your book collection, CD collection, movie collection, art collection, and your list of idols and role models. Are all of your favorite authors and directors men? Do you feel like there’s probably “enough” women onstage when you see a few here and there? At Sasquatch this year, where women were only 15% of the performers, we still had folks coming up to us and saying, “Really, only 15%? It seemed like there were a lot more than that!” See the Geena Davis video for more on why that is likely the reaction…

There will be further explanation of the rest of the song via a series of skits that act out some of the scenes from Boys Night. These will be filmed over the next few weeks, so be on the lookout! Interested in being in the skits? Contact us at: anotherperfectcrime@gmail.com

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You Have to Care/ “The Cloud”

[wolf_playlist id=”1607″]

Why “You Have to Care” (by Natalie)

The brainstorming session for our album title was a perfect example of how our band works. We all shouted out ideas that built off of each other, with Jeanne adding in increasingly profane options, Teresa loving the most nerd-ily creative and punny, and Rebecca reeling in embarrassment at both. We all got very involved with the possibility of the album title being an anagram of “Kathy Bates” such as “A Tab The Sky,” and “That Ask By” (check out http://wordsmith.org/anagram/anagram.cgi?anagram=Kathy+Bates&t=1000&a=n for hours of fun). We all love Kathy Bates, but we knew we couldn’t call the album Kathy Bates, because no one wants a lawsuit from Kathy Bates… although it would be good for publicity…  So, none of the anagrams quite worked, and we moved on. Rebecca loved “Markers Before Erasers,” and I have to admit that one had me for a minute. Jeanne wanted “Thunderclap,” because it could reference a storm AND the sound of thighs clapping, all in one swoop. Go figure.

I was dedicated to the idea that our album title should be a song lyric from the record, and one that also captured the essence of our band. Our band is not cool. We are not cool because, well, we care. And somewhere along the way (maybe forever?), not caring became cool. This band arrives to shows on time (even when we try to be fashionably late, we’re always there first, wtf??), we say please and thank you to the soundpeople, and we try to stick around for the next band. I have recently become disillusioned with a cultural and musical trend that seems to exalt apathy. “Hey whatever, I don’t care about you, I don’t care about your feelings, and shit, man! I’m cool.” I loved the idea of using the lyric “you have to care,” because it comes from the last song “The Cloud,” and it’s not super obvious where it comes from.

I like the idea because it’s telling someone to do something (which I like to do), and that something is caring. And you just can’t force someone to care. But you know what? We’re going to tell you to do it anyways. And while you’re at it, why don’t you care about our band? Can we make you care by making it our album title?? And lastly, there are so many things that we care about as a band. Feminism. Equality. Girls Rock Camp. Ladies Rock Camp. Stories. Collaboration. Personal Growth. MUSIC. Empowerment. So, even when we try not to care, we have to care. And so do you, because we said so.

Background of “The Cloud” (by Teresa)

I worked at a consulting company over the summer of 2010 between my first and second year in business school. As an intern in their marketing department, I spent a lot of time writing up case studies about cloud computing / Microsoft Azure and Sharepoint migration. When I looked at other case studies that our company had written, I found myself reading them, re-reading them, and re-reading them yet again in an effort to find actual content. “The cloud” is the perfect metaphor for this kind of marketing speak. I can’t touch it, it’s constantly changing shape, and I can’t prove that it’s real.

We’re building cities in the clouds
Like 1,2,3
Where superman is just a guy
We’re lightning speed

After spending two years in b-school and a summer doing marketing for a consulting company, I am very sensitive about meaningless business lingo. Business zombies say, “leverage your assets” and their zombie friends nod in agreement as if something of substance was stated. It’s lazy. I think people like the cloud because everybody’s supposed to like the cloud. Nobody knows what it is, but it will magically rain money.

I’ve got a tool that you can use
To synergize
It will increase your processes
They’ll multiply

I love the way Natalie sings the lyrics in the verses. I asked her to emulate the queen in Snow White, who is elegant, powerful, captivating, and EVIL. She played the part beautifully. “Why won’t you join us in the sky?” Isn’t her voice just tempting and beautiful? But people! Do not fall into that trap!!

When we named the album, “You Have to Care,” I had to divorce the meaning of the album title from the meaning in this song. I would often have this conversation with myself during my job, while taking the GMAT, etc:

Teresa: I don’t care
Teresa: You have to care
Teresa: I don’t care
Teresa: You have to care

And the truth is, when it comes to Microsoft Azure or the Adobe Creative Cloud, I don’t care. And I don’t have to care.

In other contexts, the album title does have meaning. You do have to care… about the real things in life. You can read Nat’s blog post about why “You Have to Care” is the 2012 APC mantra (see above).

Nat is also jumping in right now to add a few things about musical background of The Cloud:

1. This song started off as us trying to be/write like PJ Harvey. Currently we have started writing about 10 songs that have the working title of “PJ Harvey,” and we are completely confusing ourselves. “This is the PJ Harvey one, right?” “Yeah!” “Oh wait, not THAT PJ Harvey one, or that one, but the other one!” It’s comical.  

2. There are two drum kits playing during the bridge/whacked out part. David (who recorded us) instructed Rebecca to wail on the drums as if she were playing them like a 9 year old. It was an amazing sight, and now you get to have the sound, too 🙂

3. Teresa and I recorded our back and forth vocals (I don’t care/you have to care) at the same time. The last time we do it on the track, I was supposed to come in with one more YOU HAVE TO CARE, but I didn’t/couldn’t. I was cracking up at Teresa, who was screaming her lungs out to a degree that had all of us on the floor. We decided to keep it that way because the take was so good. So when you’re listening, imagine me saying “you have to care” one more time, as it was originally intended.