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Head Like A Kite at Neumos

Another fun-filled night in Seattle with Head Like A Kite! Check out more pictures and the full show review at: http://www.threeimaginarygirls.com

Photos: Amelia Gydé

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The CD’s Are HERE!

I finally have my CD’s! I’m in the process of assembling the CD packages myself – had to cut costs somehow. I must remember to find a different way to cut cost next time. I’ve been inhaling way too much glue lately while putting these things together! I’ll be announcing a release date very soon!

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Well, I finally sent my CD artwork off again to another company, Stumptown Printers, and I am confident they will stay in business long enough to finish the job…unlike the last company that took my money and went out of business (see August news for the dirty details). Stumptown Printers are a letterpress and offset print shop in Portland, Oregon. In addition to using recycled paper, their printing methods emphasize environmental responsibility by using vegetable based inks, alcohol free dampening systems and low impact press room chemicals. I am happy to be working with them, and I will be sure to keep you posted on the progress of the release of this damn CD! In other news: I started recording new songs which I am very excited about. By the time I get my first CD out, I will already be well on my way to having the second one complete. The next time around will go much smoother…I sure! I have been having such a blast joining Head Like A Kite on stage. If you get the chance to see them you should, they are a very fun band to see live. I’ll be joining them for a few songs on October 3rd at Neumos in Seattle – details below: KEXP presents John in the Morning at Night with: Two Gallants Harvey Danger (acoustic) Blue Giant (featuring Viva Voce) Head Like A Kite Neumos/Doors: 8 PM/Age: 21+/$13 advance/$16 at the door LIVE Broadcast on 90.3 KEXP Seattle DJ Michele Myers spinning between set

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Singing with Head Like A Kite

I will also be joining Head Like A Kite for a few songs on September 10th at Nectar in Seattle. Come join in on the fun!

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Head Like A Kite at Bumbershoot

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Show in Yakima with Star Anna

I’ll be playing in Yakima, Washington on 08-08-08 with Star Anna. Check out the show preview from On Magazine:

“Yakima Sports Center regulars may recognize Zera Marvel as the stunning blond who sang a little back-up during Head Like A Kite’s last show there — she and husband, The Animals At Night electro-wiz Graig Markel, both have guest spots on HLAK’s latest album.However, Marvel’s solo material is something quite different, falling somewhere in that lonesome prairie between dusty alt-country and indie-singer/songwriter sirenship.But you don’t have to wait for her upcoming solo album “Birds & Bullets Fly,” to hear Marvel’s haunting, melancholy music. She plays tomorrow night at the Sports Center, 214 E. Yakima Ave. Also on the bill is Ellensburg songstress Star Anna and her pack of Laughing Dogs.” – Kim Nowacki

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Turns out that the company manufacturing my CD’s wasn’t just “behind schedule” – after paying them, and listening to their false promises for the past 5 months, they’ve gone out of business. Thingmakers in Tacoma, Washington was respected for their creative CD packaging. They were not your everyday printing company, they were artists. They did jobs for family and friends of mine, as well as CD packaging for Barsuk Records including releases for Death Cab For Cutie, Jesse Sykes, Rocky Votolato and more. I chose them because I wanted to use a local company, and I wanted something special for my first release. Now I am preparing myself for having to pay for this job all over again. I am getting quotes from other companies, and trying to figure out how to dumb down the packaging so it is less unique….but still something I am excited about and proud of. This is a set back but I’m still going to make it happen. Damn you, Thingmakers!!!

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Head Like A Kite played the Capitol Hill Block Party yesterday – check out the review of the show on the Three Imaginary Girls website: Live Show Review

The show was also broadcast live on KEXP. Thanks to Dave and Trent for having me join them on stage once again!

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The company manufacturing the covers for my CD are still “behind schedule” and I have not been able to confirm a date with them as to when I will actually see the CDs.

While I grow more impatient by the day, I do have some exciting things to keep me preoccupied. The new Head Like A Kite CD, “There Is Loud Laughter Everywhere” on LA-based electronic label Mush Records is out now and # 1 on KEXP. Head Like A Kite is Dave Einmo, joined live by drummer Trent Moorman, and in the studio by a revolving cast of musical friends including members of The Long Winters, Radio 4, Crooked Fingers, Smoosh, The Animals at Night and others. I am honored to have contributed backup vocals on a track. We just celebrated the release of the CD with two shows – one in Seattle and another in Yakima, WA.Here is a link to a review of the Seattle show on the Seattle Weekly website: Head Like A Kite show reviewI also sing on a track from the new The Animals At Night CD, “Rain Falls On Asphalt”. AAN also has a remix CD, “Northwest Remixed”, which includes a remix of my song “Honeymoon”, as well as songs by Kristin Hersh, Daniel G. Harmann, The Transmissionary Six, and more.

Head Like A Kite CD release show at Neumos - From left to right: Asya from Smoosh, Zera, Graig and Dave - Photo by: Louise Wall

Dave Einmo of Head Like A Kite with Graig Markel from The Animals At Night & Zera Marvel - Photo by: Jeanine Anderson

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Below is a new review on the from the Radio Free Seattle music blog. I wish I had an update on the release of my CD. Unfortunately the company I chose to do the packaging is running behind schedule.

Zera Marvel has finished her first solo album titled, “Birds & Bullets Fly”. The recording features her enchanting, sometimes low timbered, dusky voice audiences have come to love so much from her Tagging Satellite days. The song “The Carpenter,” the first up on her MySpace player, is a definite lament of a ballad about a father gone so bad he shoots heroin and abuses animals. This is sad music, but not the kind that bottoms out on you. It’s that interesting.

Recorded by Graig Markel (Marvel & Markel are married and work out of a studio named Recovery Room), a prolific and fine musician in his own right who has become a venerable veteran of the NW music scene in bands such as The Animals at Night, Marvel seems to have found a home in the slow and long, contemplative form of her songs.

A lonely slide guitar over acoustic strumming spike the intro to “Honeymoon,” leading us into the story of a woman contemplating the next day on which she is to be married. This is an exploration of a would-be marriage gone quite awry and the subtle drumming during the bridge highlights the “crashing wreck” the relationship has become. It’s seems a very well thought out arrangement using a monotone approach to the singing which reflects well the lack of emotion one can encounter after such a disastrous union.

I especially love the second verse: “Tomorrow is our honey moon, today I didn’t quite understand, it was nothing like pretend, we said out loud, the lies we vowed.” Marvel’s voice is perfectly drained, sad and done on this bitter sweet torch song.

The music Marvel has written also has a definite “cowboy on the lonesome prairie” vibe going as well. That is not to say it’s strictly country. It’s definitely no where approaching “young country,” so if that awful genre is not your thing, don’t shy away at all. These are torch songs with a lonely cowboy sound.

This new work by Marvel is, by her own admission, a long time coming. She reportedly recorded at least 20 songs to get down to exactly what she wanted to end up on her debut solo record. You can hear the wrestling of contemplation that went into putting this record together.

Marvel has no upcoming shows listed on her MySpace profile page at the moment, but check back often and read her blog. There are highlights of her 5,000 mile tour in 12 days and other jottings of the journey she took to complete “Birds & Bullets Fly” as well as links to reviews and interviews and a cool link to a video documenting the recording the album to a song called, “People Like Us”.

– Radio Free Seattle (May 24, 2008)

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Show with J. Tillman

Upcoming show: May 6th at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle. I will be playing with a full band including: Graig Markel on guitar, Johnny Shea Bliss on drums, Jon Hyde on pedal steel, Doran Bastin on bass, and Gregg Panto will be playing banjo.

Also on the bill: J. Tillman & Monahans

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Cosmonautical

Transmissionary Six Zera Marvel posterJoin us as we celebrate “Cosmonautical”, the beautiful new release from my friends Transmissionary Six. Check out their website and have a listen: http://www.rodeosatellite.com

Zera Marvel followed by Transmissionary Six playing all the songs from their new CD. We will both be playing with full bands.

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Sunset Tavern, Seattle

It’s an early show, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

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Sold-Out Tractor Show (Photos)

What an amazing evening we all had on Friday. The show was sold-out!  xo

Photos by: Louise Wall

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Interview from The Stranger

Photo by: Troy Critchlow

The Zera Marvel

Also on the bill Friday at the Tractor will be Zera Marvel and Shane Tutmarc. Zera has just finished recording a full length album. She sings low and serenely. The compositions are dark and long. There are gothic turns in her stoic stance and she shades country into night.

Zera talked about her recording and the show on Friday:

Are you psyched for Friday? That is such a good bill.
Zera: I am excited and nervous. Sometimes I get nervous about shows. Sometimes I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t think straight.

I will be playing with a full band:

Graig Markel – guitar, Johnny S. Bliss – drums, Doran Bastin – bass, Jon Hyde (Transmissionary Six) – pedal steel guitar, and Greg Panto (the Bad Things) – banjo.

What are the first thoughts out of your head about the recording you just did?
To say I took my time recording this CD is kind of an understatement, but it took a while to find my direction. Have you ever seen the movie Driver 23 / The Atlas Moth? It is a documentary about an obsessive compulsive musician that plays in a really bad metal band, and it takes him about 7 years to record a CD. It’s kind of like Spinal Tap but it follows a real band, which makes it more sad than funny. When I watch that movie, sometimes it hits a little too close to home!

How has it been since your previous band, Tagging Satellites broke up?
After we broke up I didn’t think I would play music again. But I can’t help myself. I struggled for a while because in some respects it is easier writing with a full band, since there are others contributing song ideas. On the other hand it has given me more confidence to do it on my own, because it proves that for better or worse I can do it.

When I first started recording this CD the songs sounded harder and darker, like old Tagging Satellites songs. And I wanted to get away from that. I started playing a lot of acoustic guitar and that helped. When I was a kid my best friend and I had a “band” called the Country Cowboys. We put on shows for our parents. We were not really a band because we lip-synced other people’s songs, none of which were country, but our characters were. I feel like I am going back to my youth a little bit with this record – making up for what the Country Cowboys lacked.

Where did you do your recording?
I recorded the songs at the Recovery Room here in Seattle with Graig Markel – which translates to: in my basement with my husband! I mixed a few songs at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco with Aaron Prellwitz. I ended up only using one of the songs on the CD though. After my trip to San Francisco I wrote a bunch of new songs that were a better fit for the direction I was going in. I probably wrote / recorded about 20 songs and was able to pick from those the ones that meant something to me.

What’s the name of the album going to be?
The name of the CD is Birds and Bullets Fly and it will be released in April. There are 10 songs. I am working on the artwork for the CD now.

Kick ass.

Click HERE to see the interview

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Poster design by: Tracy Bliss

Friday, January 18th at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle. I will be playing with a full band including: Graig Markel on guitar, Johnny Shea Bliss on drums, Jon Hyde on pedal steel, Doran Bastin on bass, and Gregg Panto playing banjo. Also on the bill: Shane Tutmarc & The Traveling Mercies, and Jesse Sykes!

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The Carpenter

Listen to a mix of a new song called “The Carpenter”

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Mastering

I am done recording. Graig Markel is working on the mastering and I should have a finished record within the next few weeks! The bad news is that I will be delaying the official release until this spring. It will be called “Birds And Bullets Fly” – I look forward to the finished product and will let you know more details as it comes together!

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Seattle Magazine

Check out the July issue of Seattle Magazine. I am very honored to share the page with two of my local favorites, Jesse Sykes and Sera Cahoone.

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Home Safe

5,000 miles in 13 days is a lot of driving, but we are safely back in Seattle. We had a great time on tour. We saw Taco Bell’s, Wal-Mart’s, cacti and palm trees, cows and sheep, strip malls and condos (both are taking over America), sun and snow, mountains, desert, and the sea…and lots and lots of highway! Happily there wasn’t much road kill. We did kill billions of bugs though – sorry bugs! We avoided traffic tickets and parking tickets and hospitals. We met many nice people and saw a lot of great music. I do believe it was a success! Looking forward to the summer and recording more music now that we are back home.

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West Coast Tour

About to embark on a West coast tour! Please check Myspace for dates and venues.

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Highway Swan

“Zera Marvel. She’s drifting acoustic and dark. There’s a mist, and fireflies. Zera slows and points. Reminders on the wall. She’s been recording and mixing at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco. A new album is close.”

– Trent Moorman, The Stranger

Click HERE to see this review.

Photo by: Troy Critchlow

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Writing and Recording

It feels like I have been working on my solo record for a lifetime, and well, I guess I have been! Since it is my first solo release I want to take my time and make sure I love each song. I will not be playing any shows for the month of December so I can focus on writing and recording. Happy Holidays.

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Show with Micah P. Hinson

I am very excited about opening for Micah P. Hinson at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle on Halloween! Micah has an old-soul voice and a story to match. I can’t wait to see him perform. If you are in Seattle on Halloween, you should come out to the Tractor, it will be a great night.

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Live on KEXP

On Saturday, September 2nd I will be playing at the High Dive in Seattle. It is a KEXP Live Remote Broadcast – so even if you are not in Seattle you can tune into www.kexp.org and listen. Check out the Calendar Page for more info.

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Stage Fright

I didn’t die of stage fright! Thank you to everyone who came out to the High Dive on June 28th for my first solo show. I was a wreck all day with nervous energy. Even as I got onto the stage, I wasn’t sure I would be able to remember my songs. But I did, and it was a wonderful night! I am sure I will be nervous the next time I play, but last night reminded me that it is all worth it. The other bands that played were amazing -Transmissionary Six, Graig Markel, and Jen Wood. I felt honored to share the stage with such great talent! Thanks to everyone who came out to support me and those of you that sent your love and support from miles away. I appreciate it. xo

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