City Arts Festival

While most Seattleites might know Zera Marvel from her onstage appearances with Head Like A Kite – she’s tough to miss – the singer also writes and performs her own material, dark, intimate and bare, yet somehow uplifting. A solo performance from Marvel is a rare one – the singer claims to suffer from stage fright – so… this, her first show in a year, should be a special treat. Show up and give her your support. -City Arts Magazine

Buy Your Tickets HERE

New show confirmed

By the time I step onto the stage at The Crocodile on Saturday, October 23rd, it will have been over a year since I’ve played live. If you’ve been wanting to see a live show, this is your chance. As some of you may have noticed, I do not play live very often. Admittedly I am plagued by stage fright…although no one that comes to see me ever seems to notice…seriously, my knees are shaking regardless of how pulled together I may appear! I’ve been lucky enough to have joined Head Like A Kite on the Crocodile stage many times, but this will be the first with my band. This past year has been filled with the stresses of growing up: buying a home & losing a parent…so there are quite a few new songs that will be debuted on the 23rd. Come on out, drink a few beers, and help me ease back onto the stage…just don’t look at my shaking knees! xo

City Arts Festival

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Doors: 8pm

The Crocodile
2200 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121

Zera Marvel (with full band / opening)
Star Anna
Sera Cahoone

Buy your tickets here

Head Like A Kite photo update

Head Like A Kite @ The Mural Amphitheatre 8.20.10 Photo by: Pavel Verbovski

Head Like A Kite (Zera and Barb) at the Capitol Hill Block Party 7.23.10 Photo by: Bailey

Head Like A Kite (Zera, Tilson and Barb) at the Capitol Hill Block Party 7.23.10 Photo by: Leigh

Head Like A Kite: Graig, Dave, Zera, Trent & Tilson 6.12.10 Photo by: Zack Arias

Head Like A Kite (Zera) 6.12.10 Photo by: Zack Arias

Head Like A Kite shooting the video for "She's Wearing That Costume" 5.9.10 Photo by: Amelia Gyde

Head Like A Kite shooting the video for "She's Wearing That Costume" 5.9.10 Photo by: Amelia Gyde

Above: The music video for “She’s Wearing that Costume” by Head Like a Kite from the album Dreams Suspend Night. Featuring Zera Marvel with camera prowess by Robert Bailey.

Above: The music video for “We’re Always on the Wrong Side of Sunrise” by Head Like a Kite from the the album Dreams Suspend Night. Featuring Tilson, Zera Marvel & Brent Amaker. Directed by Matt Wesson.

New Website

Welcome to my new website.

I’ve been in the mood to simplify things in my life lately. My website was one of the things that’s been under-construction for far too long. I needed something that would be easy to access and update, so I choose this blog format. I’ve imported old posts from my last website. This new site will encompass all the things I am currently involved in musically, including my solo project, Head Like A Kite, Animals At Night, and a few non-musical updates as well. In this age of Twitter and Facebook, it is difficult to tell where to draw the line between personal stuff and music stuff…but at the end of the day it all comes out in the songs anyhow.

I am in the deep, dark process of trying to write songs for the follow-up to Birds And Bullets Fly. As you will read below I’ve had lots of inspiration lately. I hope some good songs come of it all.


My Father

Eddie and Zera

My father passed away. He was 61 years old. I had my flight booked to Boston to visit him in the hospital, and he died the day before I was scheduled to leave. I never got to say farewell to him in person. Instead I got to go to his wake, his funeral, and to his small room to sort through all the belongings he left behind.

I thought the hardest part of my trip, aside from flying (which I hate), would be seeing his body in the open casket. That was hard, but not the hardest part. It took all the strength I had to walk into the funeral home. The first thing I noticed, after his pale, painted lips were the rosary beads draped in his hands. My father was not a religious man. A great friend of his suggested I put a pair of drum sticks in his hands. That was exactly what was missing. The next day she brought me a set of sticks and I placed them under his hands. He would have loved that.

My father was a drummer. He also had a deep, soulful singing voice. All these years I’ve been playing music and I never gave him much credit for influencing me musically, but he did. He always had music gear around the house, and I loved plugging his microphones into his amplifier and making up songs or putting on radio shows with my friend. He took me to my first concert when I was about 7 or 8. We saw one of his favorites, Willie Nelson. My father never “made it” as a musician. He never really made much of his life. He got heavily involved in drugs and sadly that consumed him.

The hardest part of the trip was going through his belongings. What a strange thing to have to do. I felt like I was invading his space, snooping through things I shouldn’t be looking at. I kept waiting for him to walk in and ask what I was doing. It felt wrong to try to decide what I wanted to keep and what should be discarded. I packed two boxes filled with his journals, photos, drawings, a painting, hats, a shirt, and legal documents. Reading through his journals has proven to be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. If that doesn’t conjure up the need to call someone and clarify things, I don’t know what would.

It’s been over a month now since he’s passed. The urge to call him is slowly fading. For the first few weeks after he died it seemed I thought of a reason to call him every other minute. A few times I actually dialed his cell phone number and listened to his still-active voicemail message. He had been sick for years, but didn’t suffer many symptoms until the very end. I guess, in a way, I am thankful the end came as suddenly as it did.

The Crumbling Stags (my father, Eddie, back row/center)

Rest In Peace.

The Carpenter from Birds And Bullets Fly. Written by: Zera Marvel

Photo by: Amelia Gyde

I’ve been reporting more on the fun I’ve been having with Head Like A Kite lately than I have on my own project. Truth be told Head Like A Kite *is* more fun. I don’t have to book the shows, write the songs or do any of the hard work. I simply pick out a fun outfit, jump up on stage, sing some back up vocals, interact with the usually sold-out crowds…you can’t beat that.

My band has started to question whether or not I will ever play again, and I secretly wonder that myself sometimes. I feel like I’ve been too overwhelmed lately to write anything new.

On the evening of the last Head Like A Kite show I was at home getting ready, standing in front of the mirror in my black, sequined hot-pants when my phone rang. My father had been admitted to the hospital and was told he would probably not be leaving alive. I cried all my makeup off. Then I reapplied all my makeup and went to the show. I wondered all night if it was the wrong thing to do, but the show must go on.

I’ve had a troubled relationship with my father. He is a troubled man…listen to the song I wrote called “The Carpenter”. Since I moved to Seattle over 10 years ago I’ve developed a nice phone relationship with him. Our phone calls have given me the opportunity to get to know and understand him better than I ever did when we were face to face. It is a strange feeling to think of him not being here anymore, not being able to talk to him. I have a lot to process. I’ve booked a flight to visit him on the East coast. I’m hoping he makes it till I get there so I can say farewell.

I have a strange feeling this might be the start of some new songs. He has always been an inspiration in my writing…that is his gift to me, as painful as it’s been sometimes. He was not the worlds best father, but he taught me exactly how I should *not* live my life, and for that I am very thankful.

Photos from Head Like A Kite at Neumos…collaborating with Fresh Espresso, Truckasauras w/ special guests Tilson, Zera Marvel, Graig Markel, etc…

Photo by: Kristen Blush

Photos below by: Dagmar and Amelia Gyde