November 18, 2011

A New Promo Video For My Trio!

Recently, I invited around twenty friends of my band to come to Quad Studios in NYC for a live three-camera video shoot of my trio. I have lots and lots footage of my full band, but after playing shows last summer as an almost-acoustic trio, we decided it would be fun to capture the three of us doing what we do! On keyboards, accordion and vocals, we have the lovely and talented JODELLE. And on guitar, uke and vocals, Austin Donohue is showing us what he can do! Oh, and there’s me, too, on everything else! Hope you enjoy this little bit of fun.

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Posted by Last Girl on Earth @ 11:18 pm | Leave a Comment

September 11, 2011

9-11 Ten Years After

Performing the National Anthem at the
2001 New York City MS Walkathon at the World Trade Center.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani and TV’s Dr. Max Gomez in the background
The following is a reprint of the post I wrote five years ago…

Today is the 5th anniversary of 9-11. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 5 years since that awful day. I was here in New York City, and I believe it was a day that changed my life. I had always felt close to the Twin Towers as I had played many concerts there, and had even done a professional photo shoot at the foot of the towers for my last CD just weeks before the attacks.

Back then, I was sharing an apartment in Midtown. That morning I was still asleep when my roommate knocked on my door and woke me up by telling me that something terrible had just happened. A plane had flown into the World Trade Center. I immediately woke up, climbed down the steps of my loft bed, and went into the living room to join my roommate in front of the TV where we would spend the next few days.

I immediately tried to call Last Guy. He worked in the Wall Street area, and his office had a magnificent view of the Twin Towers. Almost every day, he would have been in those buildings to run errands in the shops under the towers. I can’t tell you how scary it was to NOT be able to get through to him at work or on his cell phone.

Meanwhile, we watched the second plane hit on TV. It was at about this point that my phone rang. It was LG and he had finally got through to me. He had heard the first plane hit, and was actually looking out his window and saw the second plane go into the second tower. He told me he was getting the hell out and was heading uptown to see me.

It took him a while to make it to Midtown. He was very lucky that day as he was able to catch a bus that took him part ways uptown. At some point, everyone had to get off and walk. I’ll never forget standing on 3rd Ave, looking downtown and seeing what looked like an atomic cloud at the end of the island. And the ashen covered people who had walked miles and miles…

I was fortunate enough to be able to actually DO something. One of my ex-violin students worked for the Red Cross. She was able to get me on a crew at Ground Zero on the days immediately following the attacks, serving food to the firemen and rescue workers. I was as close to the wreckage as one could get without being in the pit. I spent another day cutting up veggies in the kitchen of a famous restaurant for the dishes their gourmet chefs were preparing, to take to the site for the workers.

The kitchen and serving volunteers those days consisted mostly of actors and artists. The feeling among us was that we were there to try to take people’s minds OFF of what was going on just a few feet away from us. Mind you, we didn’t make light of the situation. How could you? It was right there. The smoke and the smell… But while serving up plates of well deserved food, we would offer up a smile and maybe even a harmless joke to try to break the mood for a couple of seconds. The firemen thanked us over and over for that.

I also played MANY benefits. As a matter of fact, ALL of my gigs for a couple of months turned into benefits. I noticed that many performers would play songs that were slow, depressing ballads. Maybe they thought that these songs were relevant under the circumstances. I am proud to say that I played the most UP-TEMPO, FUN songs I knew at the time. I felt that most people NEEDED to relax for a minute after the horror of the attacks. The best compliment I EVER got was from someone who was in the audience of one of these benefits who thanked me because hearing my songs were the first time she had smiled in a week!


So in honor of the victims of 9-11, I would like to suggest that you turn off your TV. Find some time to be grateful for what you have. LAUGH & ENJOY YOUR DAY! Celebrate life! Do this in their honor.

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Posted by Last Girl on Earth @ 12:07 pm | Leave a Comment

August 12, 2011

Shopping Wars

Yesterday was a mighty big day for many NYC fashionistas. It was the day my girlfriends and I have been waiting for. Yes, that’s right. The big LF STORE 60% off sale! OK, I assume most of you haven’t heard of LF, but those of us who’ve shopped there will tell you that they’ve got some pretty incredibly fabulous clothes there. Unfortunately, it’s WAY too expensive for my pocketbook to shop there normally. But twice a year, they sell EVERYTHING in the store for 60% off.

 And to make it even more enticing, if you’re a regular customer, they send out a “preferred email invite” so that you get an additional 10% off the day before the sale officially starts for the general public.

For those of you who don’t know LF, let me describe this store. It’s very small and very narrow, with TONS of very trendy, overpriced clothes that are geared to, shall we say, a youthful market. (Can you say teenagers and twenty-somethings with their parents’ credit cards?)

But I love this store, nonetheless. I’ve gotten some of my favorite performing duds there. But ONLY during their twice a year sale. Me and around 100 other girls! The place was a fucking zoo! Seriously! It was like being in a TV sitcom where people were grabbing clothes off of the mannequins and reaching for any article of clothing that could be held in your hands so that you could find a spot to try it on. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that you had to get your name on a list JUST to try on clothes in the fitting room! NO SHIT! There was a ONE HOUR WAIT to try on!

So my girlfriend and I took our little mountain of shirts and dresses and shoes and pants, and fought our way over to one of the only full-length mirrors in the store. There were at least six or seven girls trying on clothes and fighting for a glance of themselves in the mirror. We cleared a little spot and started trying on. I should also mention that I had intentionally worn a little black camisole with a pair of khaki shorts. I’ve been to this sale before and, being a veteran of this shopping war, I knew that I would’t have the patience to sign up for a dressing room so I wore clothes that would work under other clothes.

I had found a great pair of black skinny jeans in my size. Since there was no way to try these on over my shorts, and faced with a sudden case of modesty since we were out in the crowded public area and not in a dressing room, I found an oversized blouse, put it on and slipped off my shorts. I put the shorts in a pile at my feet along with my black flip-flops and the other clothes that I was going to try on. Well, the jeans fit great. My girlfriend gave them the thumbs up. So I took them off, and reached down for my shorts and THEY WERE GONE!!! I couldn’t believe it. Had someone picked up my shorts to buy them in the sale? They’re very nice shorts, but THEY WERE MINE! And then I realized that MY SHOES WERE GONE TOO! I bent over and looked through the huge pile of clothes all around me and on the table that was behind me. I looked under the table. NO GO! I couldn’t find my shorts. Eventually I found one shoe. And so there I was, in an oversized blouse that I couldn’t take off, my underwear, and one black flip-flop. The music on the stereo was blasting. The people working there were overwhelmed. The shoppers were shopping and nobody really gave a shit about my missing shorts.

This went on for around 10 minutes. My girlfriend eventually found my other shoe somewhere else on the floor. And I finally found the shorts on a shelf quite a ways from where we were trying on clothes.

THEN we had to get in line to buy our clothes. We waited around 45 minutes to check out. You might ask me , “Deni, was this really worth it?” I’d have to say to you, HELL YES! I’ll be back there again when LF has their winter sale. Sometimes a girl has to suffer for fashion.

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Posted by Last Girl on Earth @ 10:53 am | Leave a Comment

August 3, 2011

BluePrintCleanse Day 3

My juicing experiment is almost over. YEAH! One more juice to go. Actually, it’s my favorite  one. Number 6 is called Cashew Milk and contains cashews, agave nectar, vanilla bean and cinnamon. Must be pretty hard to squash a cashew nut! It’s the only juice on this cleanse that is thick – almost like a shake. I really like it, but my girlfriend who is doing this at the same time can’t stand it! To each her own. For that matter, I’ve read online a lot of reports from people on this cleanse that they have to force themselves to drink the green juice. I personally don’t mind it. Not my favorite thing in the world but not the worst either. It’s actually quite refreshing!

This morning I met my cleansing girlfriends at 9-ish and we went to Strala Yoga for Tara Stiles Wednesday morning class. I was feeling pretty much out of sorts. Like I was out of my body or something. My friends were TOTALLY opposite from me! They said that they felt like they had just drunk 5 cups of coffee. I was sluggish and wanted to go back to bed! Errrr! I really didn’t feel like myself. But I felt like I was steady enough to take a yoga class. At one point in the class I felt like I might pass out, so I went into Child’s Pose. I’m glad I went, but it was pretty tough.

So the gist of my story is, I don’t know how I feel! I never felt the wonderful “euphoria” of the third day that lots of people experience. My belly DOES feel flat and I’m not hungry. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t LOVE a little piece of chocolate, but I can live without it for a few more days. The cashew milk is pretty sweet and a nice treat. Would I do this again? Maybe. It makes me happy to know that my body has had a break from all the processed food and alcohol that finds its way into my diet. This hasn’t hurt me, for sure. And I’ve learned that I actually LIKE drinking fresh, organic juice. Good thing there are oodles of juice bars near my apartment! And the BluePrintCleanse was super-easy to do. I would recommend it to anyone who has never done this before. It’s truly a no-brainer. And I actually don’t mind drinking 17 gallons of water a day as long as I can find a restroom!

But as always, I’m looking forward to the weekend. Looking forward to chewing on some real food again and having a lovely little glass of chardonnay to celebrate Last Guy’s birthday on Saturday night. It would be rude to make him celebrate alone!

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Posted by Last Girl on Earth @ 9:09 pm | Leave a Comment

August 2, 2011

BluePrintCleanse Day Two

I’ve got to be totally honest here. For most of today I’ve been asking myself, “I’m doing this to myself WHY? Actually, the first half of the day wasn’t bad as I was in the recording studio working on the master of my new CD. (It’s ALMOST done!) I’m so excited about wrapping up the album, but after we left the studio, instead of going out to celebrate my progress, I got to suck down juice number 3! Not as satisfying, say, as a little glass of celebratory wine! But I digress…

I had a hell of a time waking up this morning. I kept hitting the alarm clock. And I didn’t even go to bed late. I think my body was telling me that I’d be better off sleeping then getting up and putting myself through another day of juice!

I got to the studio at 10:30 this morning. Since we were listening to track after track and not moving around much, I found myself sitting on the couch drinking juice, water, and green tea non-stop. As you can imagine, I needed to use the restroom over and over. If I had a nickel for every time I needed to pee so far today, I’d be rich right now!

Since I got back home, all I can think about is CHEWING SOMETHING! I hear tell that day 3 is easier. I damn well hope so! Meanwhile, I’m about to crack open juice number 5. Another green one. Another liquid salad. Oy! Actually, these juices would be quite nice with a little vodka and seltzer. (Don’t tell anyone!) But I WON’T give up! Just one more day to go!

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Posted by Last Girl on Earth @ 6:09 pm | Leave a Comment