The Daily Suck
Out of many contributing factors, there’s one thing in my life that’s an important part of making me unusual. I do not play sports. I do not cheer, and I do not work at the nearest fast-food restaurant.
No, I don’t see dead people. I’m in a rock band called Spinning Jenny and this is our story.
Two years ago this month, my younger sisters and I were OBSESSED with the video game, Rock Band. I always took the guitar, Talia played the drums, and Angelina played the bass and sang. Our summer had been spent becoming rock legends in front of our tv, playing everything from Weezer to The Rolling Stones to Metallica, and our dad (who is a huge rock n roll fan) was thrilled as our musical tastes expanded. Dad had already taught me how to play guitar and once he bought Talia a real drum kit, she picked up how to play very well within like a week and the same with Angelina and the bass. So we started learning songs together for fun, playing them for family and friends at parties. We never had any intention of becoming a serious band. But then one day we got a phone call that set in motion a chain of dominoes that haven’t stopped falling since.
The previous sentence is going to sound awfully dramatic when I tell you that the phone call was from our grandmother but bear with me here.
She told us that we were going to have a family reunion in a month. Turns out my uncle’s band, who’s been playing around the area for over 30 years, and my cousin were going to play a few songs there. “The girls know how to play instruments,” she said. “You should play at the reunion too!” Now initially, Dad said no. Like, no, no way. But defying the will of my Meemaw is something that no human being has yet, or likely ever will accomplish, and soon enough my Dad was conceding defeat and we got practicing for the reunion.
Us when we first started out!
That day was sort of a blur. We have a large family, and everyone was there, even my Aunt and Uncle who lived in California. I remember being really nervous. Really nervous and really sweaty (it was an incredibly hot day that only gave me normal sweat on top of nervous sweat) and — well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty). But when it was finally time to start, I just…did it. It was really, really fun and for three young girls who had pretty much just started playing music (I was 14 at the time, Talia was 11, and Angelina was 9) we sounded good. Good enough, apparently, for my uncle to ask us to open up for him the next weekend. What? He couldn’t be serious. But he was. So we learned some new songs, played the show, and booked another gig. They haven’t stopped coming yet!
We officially christened the band Spinning Jenny, taken from the Industrial Revolution-era invention of the same name. We had learned about it in school a long time ago when our mom mentioned it would be a good name for a band and I guess we never forgot. But let’s jump ahead a little bit: we steadily played shows, got a lot better, and were doing pretty well in our local area. Then we got a huge show in May of this year.
Casey James, the third runner-up of American Idol season 9 was coming to OUR area and, incredibly, we were asked to open up for him! It was an amazing experience and, besides being an incredible musician, he was super nice!
Here we are with Casey! His hair is fab, btw.
But things were still going up from there.
For a long time now, Paramore has been one of my favorite bands ever. I know every single song and I’d been listening to their brand new cd on repeat. One day, they announced that they were have a cover contest for their brand-new hit, “Still Into You”. I was like, “awesome, we should totally do enter this” but then life punched me in the face AND I FORGOT ABOUT IT UNTIL THE DAY BEFORE THE ENTRY PERIOD WAS UP. Oh yeah. Thankfully, we had learned the song recently so we scrambled upstairs to our practice room, hastily recorded a video, and sent it in. Then for nearly two months; nothing.
None of us were really thinking about it anymore. Well, not until I jumped up from the dinner table, shrieking at my phone. Why? WE MADE IT INTO THE TOP SIX. And then, a week later we were all screaming, jumping, laughing, crying because Paramore had just announced the winner: Spinning Jenny. *DEAD*
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjT0JfXQkp0 <– here’s the link to our winning video!
The recognition and exposure for the band had been phenomenal for us. Our facebook likes, twitter followers, and YouTube subscribers were exploding and my favorite band knew who we were! We just received one of our prizes, lead singer Hayley Williams’ bike from the “Still Into You” music video, yesterday!
It’s even more glorious in person.
I didn’t think anything could top winning this contest. But there’s still one more thing!
It’s a pretty safe bet to say that everyone knows the hit song “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry. If you don’t, go listen to it right now. I’ll wait.
So the singer of Wild Cherry and writer of “Play That Funky Music,” Rob Parissi, comes from the very small town of Mingo Junction, Ohio: the same place that I call home. This July, for our Community Days, Mr. Parissi was coming back home for a special show, and my uncle’s band was going to play with him. Guess who got asked to sing back-up? I didn’t really believe that we were going to sing with the man who wrote Rolling Stone’s #73 greatest song of all time until he walked into my uncle’s garage for our first rehearsal.
There we are! He’s incredibly nice and down to earth for someone who’s performed at the Grammy’s, had his song inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, and met the likes of George Harrison.
The day we performed with him was the experience of a lifetime. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVOgcavLiuY <– Check it out right there! It was a truly amazing day for us and for our hometown of Mingo and I don’t think the adrenaline rush from that show could ever be matched.
So that’s our story so far! Being in this band has taught me so much and added to my life immeasurably. We’ve recorded two original songs and are planning to go into the studio and finish an entire album in the near future. We’re even planning to make a music video! This band, to me, is so much more than a band, or even an extracurricular activity. This is something that I do with my family and it’s brought us closer than ever before. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Spinning Jenny and I hope you join me. You can check out all the Spinning Jenny social media links below and thanks for reading!
Here we are now!