A lot has happened in the past six months since my last post. I've written drafts but they're all depressing so I couldn't take them to the finish line. So I feel like this post is akin to a sort of belated family Christmas letter but instead of celebrating a birth or a large purchase like a house or a boat I get to tell you about how many cats we live with now and how we're operating an illegal Airbnb to make some extra money to fund our Rock 'N' Roll career...
This is actually what we want the rock career to be like. Let's not get too crazy.
We played out first show with the new band in New York City under the name Revel at Pianos in the Lower East Side on November 10th. It was a great time, and my dear friend Kelly Maxwell even surprised me with a visit from Madison. I just kept staring at her with my mouth agape and blinking when she was suddenly there in the apartment after I biked home from work. It was great. Kelly is a goddess from planet sunshine.
Our first venue in NYC. They don't sell pianos anymore.
As you may or may now know, we re-branded away from Meghan Rose & the Bones to the name Revel when we moved out here because we wanted it to feel more like a band and less like a singer-songwriter outfit. Jake and I spent a whole year jotting down ideas as we thought of them, strategizing what made a good name, what we didn't want, etc. For example, I didn't want anything that sounded European because I think it sounds pretentious, like Eclat. Jake didn't want anything with animals or colors in it because it's a 'strong flavor' that could be limiting. We knew we didn't want anything too long or hard to pronounce or difficult to understand in a loud bar. We wanted something vague enough for our sound to fill in whatever we wanted, but something specific enough to be memorable. We wanted it to be one word if possible because all of the great bands are one word and it's simple to remember and brand. We wanted the a flying pig. We wanted a giant fluffy happy puppy who is hypoallergenic, doesn't shed, never needs exercise, and completely trained. We wanted a god damn pony that could live inside the god damn house.
How we felt asking the rock gods to bless us with the perfect name
We though we struck gold with Revel. Turns out, when we tried to trademark it all official like we mean serious business, that name was already taken by an entertainment group. Not a band, but in the same category. Fun fact #2: When you try to trademark a name for a band, you also need to secure the name in the apparel category so you can sell shirts and hats and neck warmers and shit. There was already a clothing company who had Revel trademarked. So it was a no go, but by the time we learned that, we had already booked a show under the name, made a logo, and updated our Facebook page. Cart. Horse. Wrong order.
Ok, so it can work to put the horse *inside* the cart, but then you have to have a truck. And I don't have a truck. In the metaphor, the truck would be my experience level at trademarking a band name. Just go with it.
Just for fun, here are some of the terrible names that were on our list that spans a year's worth of ideas. We can't remember which ones were jokes or not:
Hundreds of pounds of clouds The 45th Academy Awards Teeth and Eating Fat Val Kilmer Dog Body Wrong Sandwich Owl's Gold Prince Eric Chimes Factory Fat on purpose Solar babies Pipes Form Rules Rulers Face All Red Lather Dad's castle Technique New business Petals Ditch flower The Wizard's Shotgun Masterful husband Ditch Vixen Honeybasket Temper Weapons Prizes Crown Throne Monarch Hand cannon War and Snakes Harlots Cannonade Winedark Neon God The Artists Rifles Baby heart Satin Captain Satin Captain? Stealth Mountain Crusher Ballade Couplet Power couplet (2 cute 2 furious) Voxen Raust- old Norse for voice Vocem Revel (RIP Revel 2016-2016 never forget 🌹) Spheres Tacet Her human dad The Persuaders Syreni (Latin) Løve (lion Swedish) Orozlan (lion Hungarian) Hafmeyjan (mermaid Icelandic) Hafmeghan lol Colossus Charm Smokeshow Len Starboat
We just really didn't want to be yelled at by Zoidberg.
When we realized Revel wasn't going to work, it took some wind out of our sails. But we had a late nite band meeting over some diner food and came up with The Loud Soft Loud. Jent said something while describing our songs. 'Loud quiet loud' was a phrase used to describe the Pixies, and this was a spin on that. It felt immediately special. It fits our music, and how we structure our sets and how we like to be dynamic. It was also available for trademark, so we immediately snapped up the domain name and social media handles once we made the call. We are extremely relieved to have found another name.
How we felt about everything once we realized Revel wasn't going to work
Around the same time as our first show in November we started working with a manager who has been helping us prepare and learn the music industry game here in the big city. He is great to work with and yes, I am paying him for his services. He found us an awesome photographer and we had a blast at his studio in Philly. Jent, our bass player, couldn't be with us but we decided to do the shoot anyway so we could get some shots to help us book shows. Me, Jake, and Ross piled into our manager's car and drove to the part of Philly where the sidewalks are lined with garbage.
Seriously the garbage in the part of Philadelphia we were in was out of control. I think we should get all the trash pandas to suit up and run for mayor. Headline: "Thousands of raccoons just voted mayor of Philadelphia"
Our manager also helped us get a meeting with a really great producer in Brooklyn and we are planning on recording in the summer. More to come on this, and we are very excited to share it with you soon.
We have been writing new songs and are honing our sound to prepare for shows and recording. We cannot wait to play more shows and we're ready for the new name and photos to help us with that. Here are some (unedited) to show you. Credit: Aaron Stallworth
Isn't this the most bad ass of chairs?! Majestic AF.
After a whirlwind adjustment period involving new jobs, a new apartment in Brooklyn (less rent, helps us save money to afford recording, plus we like having roommates), some terrible open mikes, some interesting punk shows, lots of over-crowded and over-priced bars and learning to avoid them, Jake learning to cook, me learning to pack my lunch and ride my bike everywhere, we finally feel some stability and like we are on the right path. A path toward creating and playing the music in our hearts and loins and to share it with people. I've learned that the phrase 'oh how hard could it be' is always a curse in this city because the answer is 'really fucking hard'. It will be twice as much time, twice as much money, and twice as many road blocks as you think. Patience ironically becomes a greater skill in the city that runs faster than any other I've known. Patience with yourself, with others, with the sheer volume of every being pushing and pulling toward what they need and want. It creates a beautiful and difficult chaos. My mantra remains: I didn't move here to get comfortable.
I'm learning how to flush ten times the amount of energy I used to that isn't mine out of my space every day. Which is to say, I feel like I'm getting stronger. A lot of people say this city can change a person; perhaps even kill your spirit. I don't think that will happen to me, even though I was scared of that at first. New York City is built on rock, not on dirt. She is powerful who can figure out how to bore roots through rock.
This is me. I'm a little tree trying to grow into a big rock.