Julie Meyers
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Julie Meyers

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"Review of Good Girl Blues"

Julie Meyers
Good Girl Blues
Self-released

By Matthew Craggs
more stories by this author

Friday, March 30, 9 p.m., Luna's café, 1414 16th Street. $6.

With a mash-up of rock, pop, blues and folk, the Sammie-nominated songstress Julie Meyers brings another welcome female voice to a still predominantly male local-music scene. And what a voice. Meyers’ girl-next-door appeal may not prepare you for her quick flips from soft and lovely to raw and forceful, but what’s most impressive is that she’s always in control. In “Sunday,” for example, with a simple drum-and-guitar rhythm for support, Meyers sings her way up to what the listener fears might be a breaking point--only then to pull back at the last second. Hearing her dodge a musical implosion is like watching a high diver pull off a skilled maneuver that might just as easily have been a belly flop. You root for her, and it’s all the more satisfying when she succeeds so beautifully.

- Sacramento News and Review


"Excerpt from Interview with Davis Enterprise"

-You started out playing in bands. Was it difficult going solo? Not really. It's something I've been toying with for awhile. I played solo for a while in my late teens, so you could say I actually started out playing solo before I played in bands.

-How long have you been writing songs? I wrote my first song at 12, about 2 months after I got my guitar. I'm 27 now, so, 15 years...a long time.

-You play a lot of the instruments on the album. How does the recording process work? For this record we snuck into Fantasy Studios in Oakland on the off hours and recorded all the basic rhythm tracks - bass and drums - in 2 days. We recorded the rhythm guitar at Fantasy too, but overdubbed most of the guitar tracks at home. The idea was for me to play all the guitar on this record, since a lot of the songs are riff-based and were born out of jamming with drums. So I played all the guitar, except for the E-Bow guitar on track 6 (Point of View). All keyboards were done back at Fantasy, since they have the real stuff - B3, Wurlitzer, Moog, but Dave Middleton, James Willetts and I shared keyboard duties. All of it was recorded digitally, but dumped to 1/4 inch tape after the initial mix for mastering purposes. So it has a warmer feeling then if it were mastered on digital.

-I really like the guitar tone throughout the album; it has a post-punk/indie feel to it- especially on songs “My Love is True” and “Inside a House.” What influenced this?
I was listening to a lot of Modest Mouse and Sleater-Kinney before I made this record, which might explain the riffage on "My Love is True"...but "Inside a House is actually an old song I wrote for a band I was in briefly in Sacramento called The Splints. It never saw the light of day there, but I liked it enough to keep it around. I'd say that song was directly influenced by Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream record - that bigger-than-life guitar sound, but not the wanky hair-metal bigger-than-life power ballad.

-What are your influences outside of music? Anything can be an influence. For example, the song "Sunday" was written one day after I was waiting in line at Target and I was watching this lady in front of me. She probably was my age or maybe even younger and she had 3 little kids with her, all under the age of 5, I'd say. And she looked so lost and unhappy. That's what that verse is about - that lady. So anything that affects you on some level in life - you have to keep looking for it, but its there.

-What are you using on #7 interlude? It sounds like a toy I remember but I can’t put my finger on it.
I'm using this little kids' toy keyboard I picked up for 50 cents at some thrift store in San Diego. The actual official title of that piece is called "Doggie Techno" :)

-Are your lyrics mainly autobiographical? I would say yes, though as I writer, I'm always trying to stretch myself away from that...but Woody Guthrie said to write about what you know, and I think I know myself the best - most of the time

-You teach guitar lessons as a day job correct? How difficult is it to juggle work and your music?
I teach voice and guitar lessons, and the job is really ideal. When a student cancels, I can take that time to practice, write, whatever, since I'm already in a music frame of mind. I chose to pursue music because I thought I could make an impact on this world, and teaching has turned out to be a very practical arm I can extend in that pursuit. When a student finally gets something and is really excited about the discovery, or has found what I've taught to be helpful, then I feel just as great as if I played an awesome show or wrote a brand new song I was happy about.

-Who plays with you at your live show? I've had a faithful bassist, Brian Grupe, play with me for nearly two years now. He's been pretty key in the arrangements both instrumentally and vocally - he's doing backup vocals on nearly every song! He's an extremely accomplished pro musician which can be hard to find in this town. As for drummers, right now I'm playing with Nate Beier and Teresa Esguerra, both from the Champagne/Local Honey camp. Those two are a lot of fun to work with, and they're so positive, too.

-Have you gotten attention from labels? What’s your dream record label?
I haven't gotten attention, nor have I really sought attention from any record labels. I guess I'm a little shy of them, knowing so many personal stories of songwriters/bands being on labels and being screwed. I don't really have a "dream" label. I don't think I'm cool enough for Sub Pop or Kill Rock Stars, but something on that level would be ideal.

-Do you have new material in the works?
Yes, I am in the process of writing a six-song EP called "Fears", which consists of songs about all the things I'm afraid of. I'm hoping to record it some time next year at Wavelab Studios in Tucson, AZ which is where Calexico records....and then, we'll see.

- Davis Enterprise/Landon Christianson


"Live interview at Capital Public Radio"

Go to www.capradio.org/insight to download full archives. - NPR


Discography

Good Girl Blues - released February 2007

GOOD GIRL BLUES is....

.... an honest rock n' roll record, full of unabashed guitars and unrestrained vocals. From the dissonant, gnarly art-rock bounce of "My Love is True", the 7/8 math-y gospel of "Sunday", to the quiet anxiety beneath the soft and pretty "Cut", Good Girl Blues strives for a sound that is as uninhibited as it is vulnerable. There is a sense of what the late Janis Joplin once put as "getting underneath" the music - a bare-bones feeling of intensity that lays the foundation for tangled, often messy chord progressions and darkly pristine melodies. Casting irony aside, Good Girl Blues is a rock record truly unconcerned with appearances.

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Bio

I am a songwriting, guitar/piano/bass-playing, imaginary-drummer-playing, music-teaching, sings-all-the-time-to-perhaps-the-point-of-annoyance musical goofball. I have two album-childen. My latest creation, "The Best Days" will be released for electronic download everywhere it can be (iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, etc.) in late July/early August. My 3 year old album "Good Girl Blues" can be accessed via iTunes and CDBaby already, or through me personally. I've been pursuing music for 2/3rds of my life (the first 1/3rd of my life was spent reading Dr. Seuss; I consider him my earliest writing influence), and I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing, except maybe writing this bio.

Here are some nice things people have said to me that describe my music:

"Catchy"
"Distinct"
"Strong"
"Poetic"
"Insightful"
"Competent"

Before I moved to Los Angeles I lived in Sacramento for a time, and boy, was I ever active in the local music scene up there. I've played all over Northern California as a solo act and/or a sidewoman in a band, including (but probably not limited to:)

Squish the Bad Man (guitar and vocals)
The Famous Celebrities (keyboard and vocals)
Ahoy! (bass and vocals)
Ditching Mindy (bass and vocals)
The Foreign Cinema (bass and vocals)
Anton Barbeau (keyboards)
David Houston (backing vocals)
Hear Kitty Kitty (bass and vocals)

I've also recorded with all of these very fine people at one point or another. I've also recorded stuff for:

Mike Rofé
Dustin Aaron
All on Seven
Deluxe
Local Honey
Adam Varona
Keith Lamar
Hear Kitty Kitty

I relocated to Los Angeles in November 2009 to push the musical envelope a little further. You can catch me playing solo acoustic shows in and around town, but you can also catch me filling in bass duties for Mike Rofé (www.myspace.com/mikerofe) and Hear Kitty Kitty (www.hearkittykitty.com)

As for the outlook on 2010 - New Year, New Location, New Record!!