Cincinnati, OH

I Don't Have A Title For This Except I Guess This Is Now The Title

Is the title of this blog post a Panic! at the Disco song? No? Ha ha I'm not funny.

Anyways! I've been in a weird state of mind recently and I haven't done a blog post in pretty much a whole ass year, so here I am. I've been writing a lot, and all of it has a lot of substance, but I always want more. I want to do more, I want to be more. Everything could always be a little bit better. I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing, but where do I draw the line?  

The two halves of me are constantly battling each other. One half says "Hey, it's okay to take time off from doing shows and making appearances and constantly thinking about what the next move is. Just breathe, get some rest" and the other half is like "Uh, you can rest when you're dead; Don't breathe ever. Keep yourself busy, that's what you need in order to function properly. Push yourself until you feel like you can't push yourself anymore... and then push yourself even more after that. Grind that shit out because in the end it will be worth it."

Don't get me wrong; I think it's worth it right now. I do this because I genuinely have a passion and love for it. I beat myself up for not being further, but I seem to easily forget that at one point I never thought I would even be where I'm at right now. It's still surreal and I don't think it will ever stop being that way.  If you would have asked me two years ago if I would ever have an album, I would've laughed in your face probably. And now I have 5. Oversaturation is very real, but I honestly couldn't care less. I'll make 500 songs and it doesn't matter whether you like that or not, because it's MY outlet and it's MY channel for emotions. If you don't like it, then don't follow it. Simple as that!

At the end of the day, it's not about me though. I've struggled a lot in my life, and music has always been there to make it all feel okay. If just one person can relate and feel a little less alone... my job here is complete. Truthfully, I've been feeling very apathetic about continuing this all recently. It would be easier if I didn't, but I've decided that "easy" has never been and never will be the route for me. I'm not stopping 'til I'm six feet under.

I've made so many genuine connections at my shows recently, and they've truly made me fall in love with music all over again. Thank you to anyone who's ever believed in me and everyone who continues to do so. It does NOT go unnoticed, I promise you.

All my love,

The Tale of Xenia Rubinos, Marcus Alan Ward, and Xzela

Look who finally got around to making her first blog post! (It me, Xzela)

Okay, so last night was the show at Urban Artifact in Cincinnati with Xenia Rubinos and Marcus Alan Ward and let me just say... HOLY F**K. I had heard of both artists prior to playing with them, but seeing them live was absolutely mind-boggling. I went on first, with assistance from my longtime friend (and only high school dance date in the history of ever... yay prom) Corey Shrader. He and many of my friends showed up in Xzela shirts and I WAS FLOORED, cuz I mean how fucking cute and awesome is that?
Anyways, when I first heard about the show, I had contacted Corey like "Hey boi is u interested in playing?" and he was like "UM, YEAH" so over the course of the next few months we got together and discussed how the set would go. We practiced some songs here and there, but it was not until about 4 or 5 days ago that we actually took a look at the timeframe and were like "Yeah, fuck, this is on Thursday. We should probably practice this whole thing"... So we did.

He used a drum machine, keyboard, and guitar; I was using the backing tracks and vox. We performed Static Lemons, About You, Take Care, Monster, Summer Love, Phone Call, Paint, and I Found A Boy (by Adele, the plump British goddess whom I love so dearly). Aside from my "Paint" birthday party EP release, where I played a Rihanna/Amerie mashup with a 5-piece jazz band, this was my first performance with live support. I don't think it could have gone better; I had so much fun, and now I'll probably never be content just singing with my tracks again... So that's good.

Alright, yeah, I'm rambling now. So anyways, Marcus (Cleveland, OH) was on after me and he had the most beautiful ass stage presence I've seen in a very long time. Not to mention, he kept his cords in a black sequin backpack, had a bejeweled keyboard stand, and was wearing a goddamn cowboy tie. This man was as fly as fly can be. (How much fly could a fly guy try if a fly guy could try fly?) If I could describe his vocals, it would be something along the lines of "hype ass John Legend... but better than John Legend." Seriously. This guy was so unique and talented... I believe I read something from a man in NYC who described Marcus with the following sentence: “Think Prince arm wrestling Frank Ocean after gobbling a handful of shrooms at a Moody Blues pool party, while D’Angelo spins the classics.” To which I respond: TRUE. He interacted extremely well with the crowd, had a very unique set, and played several different instruments/loops/drum pedals. He also did a version of "Eleanor Rigby" and to be totally honest I fan-girled a little bit inside (shh... no one needs to know). In short, Marcus was a super cool dude with an even super coolier stage presence and style. Extremely impressive artistry. 10/10 would recommend. Visit him @ http://marcusalanward.com/home/

And now we speak on Xenia Rubinos! I'm surprised I actually even have words for this, because she's a goddamn angel and I can't honestly comprehend how lucky I am to have met and opened for her. Not only is she a phenomenal artist, her care and love for the music shows through her performance. She's beautiful, passionate, and sweet as hell too. The show began at 8, and I got off work at 5:30. I live 45 minutes from the venue so I rushed home, changed, put my face on, let my lion's mane do it's thang, and scooted my lil' hiney on down to the city. As soon as I began loading in, I heard a voice smoother than a million silk bags full of puppy dog ears. I'm not a super huge fan of making people feel weird by going up to them (wide eyes, heavy breathing and drooling included) and being like "Hubba hubba, I think I loooove ya" But if we're being real, on the inside I was like "Yeah, that's a good idea, you should do that"
Luckily, my head works harder than my heart (sometimes?) so I just set up my merch table and minded my own damn business. Sound check went on for a bit; I had a beer and shot the shit with a few people that I love. We performed, Marcus performed, and then I went and got some pizza & wings with a couple friends of mine and came back to Xenia taking the stage. The one thing I always look for in artists is their stage presence. You can be hype as all get-out but still have no presence. Alternately, you can not move the whole time, but still be able to move everyone in the room. It doesn't matter what it looks like, it matters what people feel; And the whole room was feelin' that shit! Everyone was dancing and it was really good to see that. Her vocals were on absolute point the entire time and so was the band. Her bassist used the same Fender Jazz bass that I have, which made me excited cause I love it, though mine is Mexican and his is Japanese. The whole night was just great. The band, as well as Xenia, were all super friendly and talkative. It's nice to meet musicians who are humble about their craft even though we all know that they're pretty aware of how perfect they are. Anyways, if you'd like to fall in love like myself and the rest of Cincinnati did ----> http://www.xeniarubinos.com/

In conclusion, I meant to write a short blog post about how fun last night was and ended up writing a short novel about it instead. I'm also going to pretend I didn't pen this blog while I was at work... Arrivederci. Until next time!