Spinning Jenny Debut Music Video “Outside The Lines”

After many exciting and fun-filled months of filming, my band’s debut music video for our original song, “Outside The Lines” is live!!!!! Thanks so much to Shooters Productions, who filmed, edited and directed the entire thing, on top of being awesome people.  ENJOY!

 

An Accurate Depiction Of My Life In A Band In GIFs

If you haven’t read some of my previous posts (shame on you), then you might not know that I am in a band called Spinning Jenny.  If you’re a Paramore fan, then you may know us as the winners of their “Still Into You” cover contest!  Regardless if you’re familiar with my band or not, I hope that you enjoy this post that answers a question I am frequently asked: “so, what’s it like being in a band?”

Lucky for you, I brought GIFs! *squee*

The process basically starts like this…

You want to learn a new song, so you listen to one and you’re either like

Or like

So then you have to learn it, and sometimes it’s easy and you’re like

But sometimes it’s really hard and you’re like

So you finally learn it and you play it all together for the first time and it sounds terrible like

But after you practice it a couple times you’re like

So finally it’s the day of the show and you wake up like

But as the day goes on the anxiety builds and you’re like

So you get to wherever you’re playing and sometimes there’s only one person there like

But sometimes there’s that glorious moment when a lot of people are there and on stage it looks like

So you gulp down your nervousness like

And you start to rock it out like

Then you notice people are getting into it like

So you start going nuts like

But SOMETIMES you get too into it and mess up a little and mentally you’re like

But when you look out at the crowd they’re still like

So you just move on like

You finish up your last song all confident like

And people are clapping like

And you think you look cool but really you’re just grinning like

So you take down all of your equipment and by now you look like

Reaction GIF: sweating, Robert Hays, Airplane!

But somehow people still want to talk to you afterwards and you feel like

And there’s always that one drunk guy who’s like

So you just take it all in like

And once you finally get home you’re just like

So when you wake up the next day somebody calls and books you for another show and you’re like

And so the process starts all over again!

– Julia

The Songs I Listened To While Studying Today

The Daily Suck

When you’re bored, you have no new music to listen to & are stuck with all of your old songs that you’re sick and tired of hearing.  But when you have to study — now that’s a different story.  There’s a whole world of undiscovered music out there that’s just waiting to be heard! I tend to get extremely creative with my song choices when I have to study, so here’s a crazy, random list of the music I distracted myself with instead of focusing on SAT prep. 

“Looking Through Your Eyes” from Quest For Camelot

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Yeah, yeah, sue me.  I LOVED this movie when I was little and it has a great soundtrack, which includes this gem right here.  I’m not a touchy-feely-mushy-teary person in the least, but this one is just so darn romantic that it never fails to bring on the feels.  Plus it’s got the nostalgia thing going.  *Sigh* I loved the 90s.  The YouTube video suggestions column leads me to my next song…

“I See The Light” from Tangled

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Oh, Tangled.  You’re just too amazing to handle.  Besides being my favorite Disney movie ever (50% due to Flynn Rider *swoon*), Tangled has one of the most romantic Disney songs ever.  “I See The Light” gets me every time, and I only pull it out when I need a good cry or am feeling particularly masochistic that day.  The singing, the lantern, the romance — I couldn’t stop myself from clicking play.  Now I can only deal with so many feels per day, so I went in a different direction with my next song…

“Heart of The Matter” by Don Henley

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I recently discovered this song after hearing a local band play it.  They did it so well and I liked it so much that I looked it up the next day and fell in love with it.  It’s just a really beautiful song with great words and music.  The weird thing about this one is that after listening to it a couple times and obsessing about it, I asked my mom if she had ever heard it.  Turns out that this is one of my late grandfather’s favorite songs ever.  I couldn’t believe it when she told me, and now this song has a special meaning to it besides just being awesome.  Thinking of you always, and now especially when I hear this song, Pop.  In short: one of my new favorites.  Onward to our next tune!

“New York State Of Mind” by BIlly Joel

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I’m quite ashamed of myself for not knowing this one before, but now I can’t stop listening to it.  Also, I want to fly to New York.  Billy Joel obviously loved New York and he successfully makes me want to experience it and love it just as much when I hear this song.  Props, Billy.  This is such an amazing song.  Now finally onto the last song I put on before I quit studying so my brain wouldn’t short-circuit…

“Clarity” by Zedd/Foxes

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I know, let’s get random again! I can’t help it: I love this song.  It pulls off using the same chord progression over and over throughout the whole song by layering an incredible melody line on top and also just having a really great chord progression.  There are certain songs that put me in a creative mood; I even created a writing playlist on Spotify to help me get inspired.  This one is the first song I added to the list.  There’s just something about it that inspires me, and the emotion is conveyed so beautifully.  All in all, a great song that I’m still listening to months after it came out.

So yeah, my train of thought with music choices is a bit crazy, but like I said, I get creative when I have to study and need just a precious few more seconds of procrastination before I get back to algebra II.  Ugh.  I’m going to have a brand new music library by the time I’m done studying for the SAT.  See you tomorrow!

– Julia

Spinning Jenny Songs: Suddenly

ImageToday I wanted to share with you one of my band, Spinning Jenny’s songs, “Suddenly”!

Check it out here: http://www.reverbnation.com/spinningjenny19/song/18152254-suddenly
Now that you’ve heard it (and hopefully liked it), I thought I’d give you a little insight on how it came together. 

I had never written a song before and I was fed up.  After several failed attempts, I was convinced that I couldn’t do it.  I didn’t have it in me, and I could never be as good as the songwriters I looked up to.  It started out as that annoying, hit-a-brick-wall, frustrated anger.  And then I was just sitting on the couch venting about it to my family when it was  like a switch turned on.  There’s just no way. I thought.  There’s no way that I can’t put at least one song together.  I gotta go do it.  So I grabbed my guitar and headed down to the basement.  Somehow my frustration came out on paper and around 45 minutes later, “Suddenly” was born.  But that wasn’t the end of it. 

It was the first song I ever wrote and I was happy about it for that reason, but I wasn’t 100% on it.  In fact, I woke up one day with it stuck in my head and declared that I hated that song.  I hated it and I never wanted to hear it again! That’s around when our other original, “Outside The Lines” was written (which I’ll talk about in a future post) and I was definitely not thinking about “Suddenly”.  But one day when I was trying to write a new song, I heard my dad playing guitar.  At first I didn’t really pay attention to what he was doing, but then he started playing a riff that I liked.  So I listened, and realized that it was “Suddenly”.  And it didn’t sound too shabby.  Eventually, after working on it and tweaking it until it was ready, we went to the studio and got it recorded.  The song that I hated became something that I’m now really proud of and excited to share with others and I hope you like it too!

The song, as you can probably guess, is all about that burst of joy and understanding when, after being empty and lost for so long, you find what you’ve been looking for in someone that’s been there the whole time.  It’s a powerful thing, and hopefully I’ve been able to capture it in the song with the help of my sister, Angelina’s, powerful singing.  Big shout-out to Dan and everyone at Aardvark Studios also for helping us make the song the best it could be! I really hope the song speaks to you and I’d love to hear your thoughts about it!

– Julia

I Hate Feelings, But It’s Ok To Feel

The Daily Suck

*Note: if you are a robot, android, Vulcan, or similarly emotionless being, please ignore this post.  Thank you.*

*Other note: I am only a little bit crazy, I promise*

This probably happened to me earlier in life than most people, but at one point when I was younger I realized that I had *dun dun dun* FEELINGS about things.  Stuff like the books I read (shout-out to my always and forever first book love, the Deltora Quest series by Emily Rodda), the games I played (although Kingdom Hearts is known to have said effect on people), the music I listened to, and the movies I watched.  I had no idea what was wrong with me, only that certain things would set off a bunch of confusing emotions inside that only made me more sad and frustrated the more I tried to figure them out.  Like the chick from Mean Girls, I had a lot of feelings.  And I was really freaking confused up until the past few years.

Part of my understanding (or close enough) came from realizing that I was not like the other girls I knew.  I do indeed suck at being a teenage girl, but in deeper ways than my stances on selfies and general interests.  The other part came from realizing that I was a creative person.  I thought too deeply, cared too much, felt too strongly to be anything else.  When I was exposed to great (or what I thought was great) works of art and writing, something inside of me – the artistic side – reacted more strongly than the internet’s reaction to Ben Affleck’s casting as Batman.  I couldn’t understand how my friends could just see a great movie and move on with their lives, when my mind was working on overdrive thinking about and feeling about it.  I think you can understand how this puzzled me for a long time and separated me even more from my peers.  I was too young to know myself entirely and I didn’t know what to do.

I struggled with this for a while until one day I clumsily tried to explain something that I didn’t understand to my parents.  They are amazing people and after listening to me, told me that, yes, I had strong feelings towards certain things, but what was wrong with that? They told me that’s what great books, and movies, and music do.  They make you feel.  Then, last year during my studies in poetry class, my teacher told the class a quote that I’ll always remember by someone I can’t remember.  “Great art is supposed to break your heart.”  I sat there in class mulling over what he just told us as he moved on with the lesson.

And I knew that my heart had been broken many times and I knew that I loved that feeling, and I knew that it was ok.  

Most importantly, I guess, I knew that I wanted to break other people’s hearts as well.

These realizations changed a lot of things for me. Now I accept who I am and why I feel the way that I do about certain things, whatever they are.  Looking at the ocean and John Williams music and endings will always make me sad but the starry sky makes me hopeful, people’s old trinkets make me smile, and there’s almost nothing better than an empty notebook waiting to be filled.  I know this all sounds strange but maybe people like me are supposed to find the hidden layers behind every-day things, discovering their beauty in sadness or joy, and let them leave their mark on us.  We can never leave our marks on the world if we have none on ourselves.  So let yourself feel, really and truly, deeply and powerfully.  Look for the beauty in your life and absorb it.  It’s ok to cry: let yourself be moved.  Transform all that you feel and think and do into wings and fly.  And lastly, let your heart be broken.  To me, the ones with cracks look the most beautiful anyway.

– Julia

The Spinning Jenny Story

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.

Okay?

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!

https://twitter.com/Spinning_Jenny4

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spinning-Jenny/259461950745351

http://www.youtube.com/user/SpinningJenny4

http://www.reverbnation.com/spinningjenny19?profile_view_source=header_icon_nav

Here we are now!