Category Archives: sarah mac

Put A Bird On It!!

I was always a Girl Gone Green… even early on.

In April of my 13th year, I used my hard earned money to buy Seventeen Magazine. It had an attractive, clean looking cover with lots of green for Earth Day (April 20th for those of you who don’t recycle and drive Hummers). I felt so cool and grown up reading all about natural exfoliants, using chamomile and lemon juice for natural highlights, and recycling…

…and a whole section on the truth about safe sex (gasp!).

Mama Bear did not feel that this was appropriate reading material for her tweenaged daughter so she took it away (as she did with baby Sarah’s Flashdance soundtrack and then later, teenaged Sarah’s spaghetti strap tank tops and shorty shorts). Extending an olive branch, she replaced my glossy conduit of Satan with a subscription to its much lamer, less worldly, little sister, Teen Magazine.

I think that I read Teen exactly once. So one might say that the consolation prize was a waste of money. Probably true, but the whole experience did serve two purposes:

1)     I met my BFF (we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary this Autumn)

2)     All the girls looking so suave and sophisticated (in Seventeen, not Teen) made me realize that I was totally destined to be a supermodel, for which the first step was to get a makeover and some photos at Glamour Shots to jumpstart my portfolio… obviously!

Sarah-model-6

It’s not a real Glamour Shot, but I still have some key elements. Please note the cool accessories and a prop!

I’m not sure what the hold up was on Mama Bear’s part (probably telling Mister Elwood that we were going to shell out the big bucks for something as frivolous and vain as Glamour Shots). Regardless, she would not permit a trip to Glamour Shots. Much like her offer of a subscription to Teen, she set up a drape on our back porch, bought me a Caruso Molecular Hair Setter  to make fancy makeover hair, and took pictures of me for my supermodel portfolio.

Although I am still quite bitter about the magazine switch-up, I will eternally praise my mother for her wisdom in preventing my modeling debut with Glamour Shots. Had I adorned myself with the bedazzled denim and cowboy hat of all of my peers, I might find myself twenty years later on a website such as this one (Seriously, you need to look at this stuff!).  Instead, all photographic evidence of that phase in my teenagedom are locked up in a cedar chest in a remote location, guarded by expert markswoman Katniss Everdeen and three vicious wiener dogs.

One thing still remains… my desire for a makeover. I mean, I don’t think that I’d be okay about being on What Not To Wear, but the idea of people investing in making you beautiful is a fun idea. Give me some pretty hair and teach me how to do makeup (specifically how to rock the liquid eyeliner).

old logoThere are perks to being a rock star, though. Even if you don’t get a fancy makeover, sometimes PR companies get really excited about your music and your band and then decide to give your brand a makeover! We loved our old bird in tree logo (“Put a bird on it!”). So when they said, “a key marketing tool is visually distinguishing your brand,” I got all defensive about our little bird.  They said, “No, this is cool, we can work with it.” We bit our fingernails and waited until the big reveal, which was met with jubilation and thanksgiving.

Our old bird in a dead tree got <GASP!!> a makeover! And not only that, but the new made over logo won an ADDY award for Taproot Creative because it’s so dang cool.

new logo

Here’s the funny thing, with the exception of the Purple Martins, Goldfinches, and such that Mister Elwood used to bring to the yard with his homemade peanut butter/birdseed treats, I don’t know a whole lot about birds. Since the bird is so prominent in our new logo, without fail, at every show we play, I am asked what type of bird it is. I always get so flustered because:

1)     I have no idea

2)     The guy who created it was an artist and not a bird enthusiast… so there is a really good chance that it’s just something that he made up, pulling together all of the things that he knows about birds to make one that was pleasing to the eye and fit all the rules of logo making

I admitted this to a gentleman at one of our recent shows in Asheville, NC and then two days later received this email.

Sarah,

I did a little research and determined that the bird in your logo is Veery Thrush.  Just for fun: Hylocichla fuscescens.  It summers in deciduous forests and nests on or near the ground.  The Veery’s song is a loud, rolling series of rapid flute like notes, dropping down the scale, 8-14 per minute (kind of like a riff I guess).

We really enjoyed your show in Asheville.

Let it be known henceforth, that the Sarah Mac Band’s mascot is the mighty, Fighting Veery Thrush.

If you’re like me and your Mama Bear never let you go to Glamour Shots and get a makeover… put a bird on it (preferably a Sarah Mac Band Veery Thrush)! That’s just as cool.

Alex, Silas, Major Man and Minor Girl

Back in the days of yore, when I had more free time and more expendable money, I used to frequent the movie theater. I had two adventurous movie companions—Alex and Silas, whose box office courage was unequaled—proven by their willingness to go to midnight showings of Spice World (more than once). Silas has long since grown up, married, given up his frequent buyer card (this was before Tallahassee had an AMC 20, so…let’s just assume that it was for the Miracle 5), and taken a responsible faculty position teaching something important at a University in Alabama. Alex… I’m not really sure about him. Apparently, he shuns Facebook, so he’s a bit more difficult to online stalk. Nonetheless, I’m confident that whatever he is doing is probably amazing and just this side of changing the face of the world forever (more like Jonas Salk developing a polio vaccine and less like the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand).

Of course I still have some friends who enjoy movies as much as I do, but it’s hard to stand against years spent learning each other’s quirks and likes and dislikes and building a comfortable routine. Plus, you always remember your first as a special one.

Now that it’s a heck of a lot more expensive to go to the movies, I don’t do it as often. It also doesn’t help that I practice or play music most nights. On my free evenings, the idea of forcing my way through the throngs of kids at the mall movie theater just doesn’t appeal as much as having a nice meal and a bottle of wine or two, and then a bubble bath, book and early bed. In spite of that, I’ve seen what seems like a million movies in the past few weeks. I think that the night that I sat down with Housemate and watched the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers a few weeks ago reawakened the ancient spirit of movie watching in me and somehow I re-finagled my time and spent many an hour on either mine or someone else’s sofa getting lost (or not, in some cases… such as the ever-lame School of Rock that I feel like I ought to love, but can’t bring myself to do) in the suspension of reality and sucked into someone else’s story.

Since I’ve delved back into movie watching, I’ve learned some very important things about life and myself that I’d like to share..

I was scared to watch Pulp Fiction when it came out because I knew that I was totally, needlessly violent. But, I’ve realized as I’ve grown older that I can appreciate the finer points of well choreographed, stylized, gratuitous violence, which has pervaded my movies of the last few weeks. But before we start to analyze my personality and decide what is wrong with me for liking said violence, let us heed the words of one notable creepster bad guy: “The leader who stays in the rear, takes it in the rear. Besides, violence is one of the most fun things to watch.”–Mr. Hertz in Shoot ‘Em Up

Another notable thing I learned… Heros are awesome—especially if they’re superheroes… especially even more if they’re 11 year old girls who save the day. After watching Kick-Ass, I decided that the world needs a whole lot more in the superhero department. Although I don’t have any special talents and I’m old, beyond unfit and out of shape, not to mention unsure of which side of a gun you actually shoot from, I decided that to hope for the fact that overpowering desire might be enough… that if I concentrated hard enough and showed myself to be of pure heart,  I might be imbued some magical power from the higher ups and be able to use my powers for the greater good of all mankind. Unbeknownst to him, Charlie fed into that the other day when he accidentally named us while differentiating our modal preferences for chord structures in songwriting, “Sarah, it’s like I’m Major Man and you’re Minor Girl.”  Definitely not as cool sounding as Kick-Ass and Hit Girl, but way cooler than Red Mist. We could still maybe get t-shirts… (something to think about, Claire!)

And as much as I think that School of Rock is ever-lame, and I said upon walking out of the home of the man that I watched it with, “I am far too old to take any pleasure in such a movie,” (say nothing of the fact that I will still be there at midnight on opening night of the next Twilight and the next Harry Potter) my old pal Dewey Finn from said movie gave me a bit of perspective. Of course, I still go to sleep every night with a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies under my pillow in hopes that mad kung-fu skills will diffuse into my brain while I sleep in a supernatural cerebral osmosis, I will satisfy myself for now with the understanding that even if my Grandma doesn’t quite get it (“I don’t understand why you won’t just play gospel music at the church!?!?”), what I do for a living might-could-maybe be really important in the big picture.

True words from Dewey Finn, School of Rock:

“Dude, I service society by rocking, OK? I’m out there on the front lines liberating people with my music!”

And in other news, here are some cool photos that Baby Bear (my younger sister, who is also a freelance photographer) took at our Martin Theater show.

We were on the marquee at the historic Martin Theater, so we had a little photo shoot. Here you see us with our hosts and friends, international touring folk act, Lucky Mud.

Baby Bear did a photo shoot of our photo shoot.

And for all of you who only hang out with us because that’s your best chance of getting close to Ruby, I thought it only proper to let you know that we celebrated her 1st birthday this month!

Happy Birthday, ROO! We love you and we’re super excited that you’re grown up enough to stop chewing on our cds and rendering them useless!

(Final note: Erin McDaniel, if I have mistakenly credited Baby bear for any photos that should be credited you, I want to take this opportunity to profusely apologize– I’m on my third glass of wine and it’s 2 hours past my bedtime. LYLAS!!!)

Something Beautiful

Hi everyone! I hope that your gardens are growing well… all of your little seedlings found good ground to put roots down in and didn’t get washed away in the storm yesterday. I was so excited about everyone’s response to the seedling adoption party that we had at our Warehouse show last weekend! Yay, you! Don’t forget that it’s been scientifically proven by thousands of third grade science fair projects that talking to your plants makes them grow better.
In other news, I’ve been getting lots of questions about the next single in A Single Revolution lately…

1.What’s the next song?

2.When will it be released?

3.What does it feel like to wake up every morning and know that you guys are the most prolific and influential songwriters of this era?

Here are the answers:

1. The next song to be released is “Something Beautiful.” It’s an oldie, but a goodie. We wrote it several years ago, but never felt like we quite had it where we wanted it. Then, when we started working with Dave at Winterstone Productions, we finally felt like we got the song to a place that really fit us. Or as Charlie likes to say, “we found the song.” So, thanks to Dave, the next song to be released in our little musical revolution will be “Something Beautiful.”

2. As we said before, we’re releasing the second single in the revolution once we’ve sold out of the first one. I don’t know how soon that will be… honestly, I don’t even know the exact numbers right now. But over the weekend, I checked the box, and I think that there were about 15 of the limited edition “Burden Beast” singles remaining. And I delivered another one to a proud new owner this morning. My advice would be to go ahead and order it if you’re still considering it. Otherwise, you might lose your opportunity in the next few days. And obviously, given the fact that “Burden Beasts” are disappearing at a pretty good clip, I would expect “Something Beautiful” to hit the market sometime in the next few weeks (however, that’s more of a Sarah Mac Band business team question… and by business team, I mean Claire and Charlie).

3. I made that question up… people don’t really ask us that. Although if they sincerely did ask that, I’d probably be so shocked that I wouldn’t be able to formulate an answer.

What I can answer is the next question that you didn’t ask: “How do you feel about the new single, Sarah?”
I’m really excited about bringing “Something Beautiful” out to meet everyone. For one thing, it’s both my sister’s and my dad’s favorite Sarah Mac Band song. That immediately gives it some special significance. But on top of that, it’s been giving me lots to think about lately.

Outside of gardens, Ed Harris, and Jeannie, from Sleepin’ Dogz (all universally considered beautiful by those who encounter them), I don’t know what else might qualify as “something beautiful” to others. I talked to Claire about it and then we decided that we would open it up to you, our fans, family and friends, to see what you think. Part of it is just out of curiosity and another chance to foster togetherness with you guys. The other part of it is to gauge your taste. I mean, you like us, or you wouldn’t be following our blog– so we want to see if your ideas of beautiful, pleasant looking/feeling/sounding/tasting (and I guess) smelling things match our ideas. Isn’t that an interesting experiment?

I don’t really know how we’ll do this. Originally, I thought that you could email us a photo (please make sure that it’s not a dirty photo, I might get a little creeped out by that) at info [at] sarahmacband [dot] com and we would start a “Something Beautiful” photo album section on our website (yeah, I haven’t told our webmaster about this yet). But, maybe it could be more than photos, maybe poetry and little thoughts, I don’t know. Be creative and we’ll find a way to accomodate that.

Okay, well.. who’s excited? Me. And hopefully you. I’m leaving you with some of my personal beautiful somethings. Although, honestly, I don’t actually own a camera, so these beautiful somethings are photos that I ripped off of my friends’ facebook pages…

 

family dinners

family dinners

 

puppies (when they're not pooping on the floor)

puppies (when they're not pooping on the floor)

flowers on your back porch

flowers on your back porch

cannonballs

cannonballs

And now for your submissions…..keep them coming!

 

something_beautiful1

sb2

A Single Revolution…Coming March 14th!

MORE big news from SMB land!  By now, you’ve probably heard rumors about “A Single Revolution.”  Well…. here’s what all the talk has been about.

 

Let’s hearken back to the days of old, and by that we mean the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Some of you may not remember this time. It was definitely a different musical landscape from today, an era characterized by the ‘old 45’ record.  The release of a single 45 by a band was always the coolest, biggest news and source of excitement.

Over the next few months, the Sarah Mac Band will borrow from said past era and release a series of singles. We have been feverishly working on new material and have several songs that we’re recording to share with our fans. We call it “ A Single Revolution,”  a series of singles that will ultimately take you on a magical, musical Macband journey.

One of the big challenges we faced with project is the expense. It is very costly to release a series of singles. Since we’re all ‘indie’ and ‘do it yourself,’ we don’t have a big record label to underwrite our costs. We do, however, have loyal fans… Fans who have been there since the beginning, spreading the word, telling their friends, hanging out after shows, sending us encouraging emails, and always showing up, rain or shine (seriously… who remembers last summer?). Since we like you best, we thought that it would be fun if you, our fans, became our record label. Together, we’re going to pull this one off.

On March 14th at Potbelly’s in Tallahassee, we will release the first single of the Revolution, our new song ‘Burden Beast.’ You may recall it from recent shows. With the recording, we have created a new and exciting interpretation of this song.

You may wonder how you could help finance this recording. We have already paid for ‘Burden Beast’ and will offer it as a free download on our website for 2 weeks after the release date.  This is our gift to the fans that follow us, stick with us, and get our e-newsletter. Let’s face it; you guys are the reason we still exist.  After 2 weeks it will be available for purchase on iTunes,  but the email list fans will already have it for free. (See… there ARE advantages to being on the email list!)

There will also be a select few who will also have the opportunity to help finance the next single. We will press a limited run of 100 CDs of ‘Burden Beast.’  Each CD will be numbered for authenticity, signed by the band and sold for $10.

$10 may seem like a lot for just one song, but ultimately you are getting much more than a CD with one song on it. First, it is one of only 100 limited edition singles that will be sold. We will never press any more of this CD no matter what we are offered. With the purchase of a CD, you also receive a password that will give you access to a special place on our website containing videos and extras about ‘Burden Beast’ and ‘A Single Revolution.’

More importantly, your $10 will be used to finance thenext single. When we sell the 100 ‘Burden Beast” recordings, we will put out the next single… Thanks in large part to our financial backers (that would be you). The new CD will list the people who made it possible, our record label, namely, the ones who bought the first CD.

We are NOW taking pre-orders for the first limited edition CD ‘Burden Beast’ of the Revolution.  If you order first, you get CD #1 and so on.  Once they are gone, there will be no more. Delaying could cause you to miss out until the next single.

And… now you know… Let’s work together and start A Single Revolution sponsored by the fans instead of the record labels. Get moving now and be a part of the Revolution!

To PRE-ORDER your copy of BURDEN BEAST, visit the SMB Online Store!  FREE SHIPPING! 

Thanks for your encouragement and support!

Peace Out,
SMB