Touring with St. Terrible

The basement of the Matador in Vancouver, BC. Also, the last night of tour.

What I learned while touring with St. Terrible:

1.       Junior mints left in a hot car become one inedible block of junior mint.
2.       The tin foil and wrapping paper of Reeses peanut butter cups are nearly impossible to remove once said Reeses are melted in said hot car.

Besides the inedible candy, I couldn’t have asked for a better first tour. Here are some tour moments and highlights:

On Thursday night after our show at the Olympic, a guy pointed to our group while walking down main street and said, 'hey you! Singer! Come here!' So I went up to him and he said, 'I don't even have words. Every song of yours has a story and has all of you in it. Beautiful.' Then he kissed my hand and wished me good luck in Portland.

In Portland, we played at Heretic House. It was the first house show I had played since May and it felt good to be in a house show environment again. The people who were there were receptive and made my night. While performing, I felt truly connected to the entire room in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time.

When not performing in Portland, I got to go to Doug Fir Lounge for $5 burger week, drink locally roasted coffee in a Portland coffee house, and go shopping for vinyl. And for the first time in my vinyl-collecting life, I finally walked away from a record store with a Billie Holiday record and a $2 vibraphone album in the jazz bargain section.

Seattle was a mixed bag of emotions for me. On one hand, the drive to Seattle was filled with traffic and by the time I got to Substation, I was pretty out of it. The venue seemed to be in a residential/industrial part of town and the people who were working that night were the majority of the audience. However, on the plus side, Andrew, a security guy who was working Substation that night, was so enthusiastic about my set and gave me the nicest compliments. Between his kind words and the super nice guys in Barring the Weather, my day was turned around and I left Substation feeling way more energized and validated as an artist than when I walked in.

3.       It’s hard to find cheap food in Seattle late at night.

After Substation, we drove around looking for food. After an hour of hungrily driving and walking the streets of Seattle, we found a $6 pepperoni pizza and Rainier deal and ended up watching the Olympics and listening to Mac Demarco in the pizza place.

4.       Humans are incredibly nice.

On this tour, I was blown away by how nice people are. From those who offered us shelter when we had nowhere else to stay in Portland and Seattle, to a professor named Rosanna who let us stay with her in Port Townsend for a few days in between our tour dates, I was blown away and so grateful for how kind and giving people are. While staying with Rosanna, I woke up to strong coffee and even found a coffee cup at her house with Basque symbols on it and felt like I was at home again.

5.       Sometimes, a gig isn’t about your own performance. Sometimes, it’s about the other performers who inspire and move you at that gig.

Before my set at the Matador, I had never played to so many people at once. On top of that, I had never felt an audience so receptive and attentive in my life. During my set, I had this weird out-of-body experience where I felt the complete opposite of present with my songs. Everyone clapped and cheered so loudly after every song. I couldn’t believe that this was my real life and that I was really there.

After performing, I came back to earth and got to really be present with all of the brand new people I was meeting. I had another moment where I thought, “I wish I could live in Vancouver because these people are so cool and I want to hang out with them more than just one evening!”

But honestly, it was watching Wallgrin’s, Sky Brown’s, and St. Terrible’s performances that night that made me feel the most inspired. Wallgrin’s reminded me so much of Chairlift and inspired me to go home and finally learn how to use my damn looping pedal that I’ve had for months but haven’t used yet.

And Sky Brown’s cover of Father John Misty’s, “I went to the Store One Day” moved me way more than Father John Misty singing it himself. Even though I had heard the song before, I had a moment during his cover of the song where the meaning of the lyrics truly hit me and tears came to my eyes. It was one of the most emotionally-present experiences I’ve had at a live show.

6.       St. Terrible is a bad-ass

Not only does he have a very entertaining song called Pussy and Crack that gets stuck in my head while I’m working as a Barista now, but by the end of his emotional outpouring of improvised-and-off-the-cuff songs at the Matador, he was laying on the ground.

I’ve never seen a person so energetically-and-emotionally invested during a set. Everyone in the room was moved. Afterwards, I gave him a hug, and more people came and gave him more hugs! After a set like that, no one was more deserving of all of that post-performance-love than St. Terrible.

I couldn’t have asked for a better person to tour with.

Or a better first tour.

Thanks Zach!

 

Watch St. Terrible's full performance of Pussy and Crack at the Matador:

The Future of What

About a month ago, as I was typing up a final paper during my last week of college, my computer of four years died mid-sentence. I know. Hang in there. This isn't some sad sob story about a soon-to-be graduate's technology woes. Read on.

From being computer-less and therefore, Netflix-and-internet-less, I wondered, "What do I do now?" It was in this moment that my then-roommate, Ashton, who has a logical answer for everything and who I turn to when I need such answers, said something to the effect of, "listen to podcasts. There's an app called Stitcher where you can save all of your favorite podcasts." 

Where I once would binge Friends and Supernatural, I now binged CD Baby's DIY Musician Podcast, Music Marketing Manifesto, and many other podcasts directed to musicians. While yes, that seems nerdy, I assure you, I reveled in that music-business nerdiness. I am that person who checked out the College's whole music business section (which included 6 or 7 books total) and kept them all year and read bits and pieces of them in my off time as a busy college senior/guitar instructor/indie-musician-recording-an-EP/performing musician. At Treefort, I went to every music industry panel that was offered. And now, I listen to podcasts about the music industry. While most would say that the words business and artist are oil and water, I love soaking up the advice given in these podcasts and ponder the current challenges of the music industry in hopes to better understand the challenges I might face. I'd rather do it myself and know-how to do it before handing over the reigns. This is music I spend hours and countless tears (literally) creating, why wouldn't I want to manage it from the business side as well? When I ran out of music podcasts to listen to, a friend from Portland recommended a show called the Future of What. The Future of What is hosted by Kill Rock Stars' Portia Sabin, and if there is an ultimate podcasts in music-industry podcasts, I'd say this is it. 

Portia seems to ask all the right questions and bring in the right mix of people to talk about the topic at hand during the show. During an episode, she might have an A&R rep from an independent label, a radio DJ, and an independent musician come in to discuss the same topic so as to get at the topic from multiple angles and provide different insights. The questions and discussions are meaningful and thought-provoking. You leave each episode feeling like you have left with a better understanding of the music industry's many quirks. And to top it all off, the interviews/discussions are broken up into segments by music that is spot on. What more could a musician stranded without a laptop want?

Check out the Future of What (do yourself a favor and subscribe to it!)

In addition, here's CD Baby's DIY Musician Podcast hosted by Kevin Breunder, which is also excellent.

The State of the Record, my plans for summer, and touring

I thought it would be fitting to give an update on what is happening with my Psychic Translation record that I’ve been working on this year and give you my plans for summer.

I am still in the process of recording the record. It’s been a slow process as most of us are graduating seniors this year and in the final stretches of our undergraduate degrees in Music Composition, but it’s getting closer! I have high hopes that the recording will be finished before my recording engineer, Rodrigo Coronel, leaves for his home country of Ecuador. 

The cover art is being completed by the wonderful Kelsey Meeker, and I hope to reveal that within the next month or two. It is looking so great though! Kelsey is one of the most talented graphic designers I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and I cannot wait to reveal her work to you all. She will also be designing the CD/vinyl cases so that those will be ready to go when I earn enough money through working this summer to put the record out on CD and Vinyl. If anyone would like to support that endeavor, please come see me live and throw however many dollars you want into that tip jar. Anything helps, but in all reality, I just love seeing people at shows! Your attendance and kind words mean more to me than any dollar amount you could throw my way.

If all goes as planned, my debut record will be available in August or September of 2016.

This summer, I plan to move to Boise so that I can be more involved in the local music scene, not only through gigging, but also through going to other local and touring shows in Boise as well! While most of you have seen me play with the current trio that is myself, Ashton Jenicek on Bass and Gavin Peterson on drums, please do not become alarmed! This summer, I will be playing more solo and duo shows, or shows with other instrumentation, but fear not, the trio will resume in the fall when Ashton returns from the very cool fire-fighting job he accepted!

 

In related news, I have started booking a Northwest Tour for August that will include Boise, Portland, Bremerton, Seattle, Bellingham and Vancouver, BC as well! I will be touring with St. Terrible. Check out his music here: https://stterrible.bandcamp.com/

As always, thank you so much for supporting the musical journey I am on. I cannot thank you all enough for your support!

 

-Ana

 

Treefort 2016: A reflection

By Ana Lete

Published in The Coyote at The College of Idaho

Ahhh Treefort. In years prior, I never attended Treefort because of the cost of the 5 day wristband and my broke college student status. It was nothing more than a festival that made a parking spot hard to find in downtown Boise. However, in late February/early March, I received an email saying that I and my band had been given a spot to play at Treefort. And after attending Treefort this year, and getting so much out of the experience, I plan on attending the music festival annually. Here’s why:

For a musician, there is nothing more inspiring than being surrounded by live music. You leave not only wanting to go home and write more songs, but you get to learn from people who are doing exactly what you want to be doing and who have more experience than you. Over the course of the festival, I not only got to be inspired by bands like Mimicking Birds, Eleanor Murray, Mothers, Your Friend, and Charles Bradley, but I got to see how they sound checked, how they moved on stage, what they said in between songs, and how often they talked on stage. I got to see musicians/bands bring out a certain emotion in me as a Treefort festival-goer and think, “Ok. What did they do to make me feel that way? How did they get the crowd to respond that way?”

On Friday, March 25th, my three piece band, Ana Lete (I know, it’s weird to refer to yourself in the third person. It’s me, but I have a band that includes two other phenomenal musicians. Just go with it.), performed at the Linen Building at 5pm. That day, we got to Boise and checked out the Artist lounge on the top floor of the Owyhee building where Treefort volunteers and staff supplied us with a constant supply of coffee, tea, food, and a full bar. It was so great to not have to worry about finding food on the day that we played, and towards the end of the festival, when I was exhausted and worn out, having a place to sit down and zone out while drinking coffee was greatly appreciated. Honestly, for me, actually playing our set went by very quickly and the whole experience of playing for that 40 minutes was a blur. It was afterwards, when a girl named Lee stopped to talk to me, that I remembered why I love performing live so much. She stopped to say how much she loved our set and wanted us to come to Portland. She even went so far as to email a booker in Portland to try and get us a show there for late April, and while that fell through, I was so moved that she would try that hard to get us a gig in her home town after hearing us play.

What I’m about to say is going to sound super nerdy. Yes, I loved being able to listen to music constantly for 5 days wherever I went in downtown Boise. Yes, I loved playing in Treefort. Yes, I loved hanging out with my band-members/friends, Ashton and Gavin, during the whole festival. But the part of the festival that made me the most excited was sitting in on artist panels titled, “What tastemakers are looking for in 2016” and “Grow Your Audience”. Not only were these panels extremely informative, but I got to talk with each of the panelists and give them a download card and a business card.

I met Zeke Howard (Mimicking Birds Management), Chris Robbins (Post-Hoc Management in NYC, the guys who manage Youth Lagoon), Philip Cosores (Editor for Consequence of Sound), Jared Mees (Tender Loving Empire label in Portland), and Matt Jones (Publicist for Terrorbird Media). While at first it was scary for my introverted-self to go up and introduce myself to them, I was so happy that I did. I went up to each of them and said “I wanted to say thank you for doing these panel discussions. Here’s a download card of my single and a business card.” And that opened up the conversation and allowed me to get to talk about music with them. For instance, Kyle Bylin researches how people consume new music and the latest trends in the music technology. I know. I was fascinated too. When I talked to him, he gave me a list of books I should read about the music business and told me about a book he wrote as well (this one: http://www.amazon.com/Promised-Land-Disruptive-Startups-Revolution-ebook/dp/B00MOZDNMQ/ref=la_B00O5GKQD6_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459778374&sr=1-1. When I talked to Jared Wees, I asked if I could invite him out to a live show in Portland sometime when I play there, and he gave me his business card and we talked about Typhoon, an artist that used to be on Tender Loving Empire. And lastly, talking with Matt Jones, a publicist from Boise who worked with Terrorbird Media, was so incredible. I mentioned how I had actually emailed his company the week before, and he said that the rest of his team mentioned me and said that I was playing at Treefort. I told him about my dreams of going on tour and making music my career, he said that he would look over my music with his team Monday morning. It’s such a great feeling when you meet someone who is as passionate about what you do as you are. Needless to say, I was blown away by how genuinely nice he was.

After leaving the panel discussion room on the second floor of the Owyhee building, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment for reaching out to all of the panelists and felt excited about the opportunities that might come from the knowledge I gained in that room. In that moment, I was closer to realizing and living the dream than I was a few hours before.

 

Side note: check out http://analete.com for live videos, photos, a music blog, to join my email list if you want, and to follow me on all facets of social media (Bandsintown (a great app for knowing about live shows in the area), Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Instagram, etc.)

And just a heads up: I will be be performing at a benefit concert with Marshall Poole and others on Saturday, April 23rd on behalf of Mitch Kelley of the Birdstop. On May 7th, I will be performing 2-3 original songs and briefly discussing my songwriting process/influences for the student research conference.

Sign up for a week-long summer songwriting course with Ana Lete!

This summer, I will be teaching a week-long introduction to songwriting course from July 18th to July 21st for ages 12-18. 

I will cover the basics of lyric writing, popular song form, and various songwriting methods. During the class, we will also look at popular songs and identify what makes them good or bad songs and why.

Here is a link to the class description and the place where you can reserve a spot in the class:

https://secure.touchnet.net/C22513_ustores/web/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=614&SINGLESTORE=true

Stay Release Date + Cover Art

Hello all!

I have an exciting update!

My second single, Stay, will go on sale through Bandcamp the day of the Neurolux release show on Tuesday, March 8th. You can check out my bandcamp page here: http://analete.bandcamp.com

My single will become available on Itunes, Amazon, Spotify, and the other usual places on Tuesday, March 15th.

Here is the cover art created by my high school friend, Bryan Weatherston.


Ana Lete @ Treefort Music Festival 2016

I am excited to announce that I will be playing at Treefort Music Festival in Boise this year! Ashton, Gavin, and I are beyond excited and hope to see everyone we know there and also to meet new people at the festival as well. 

Ana Lete (& the Well Milked Oranges) will be playing a 40 minute set on Friday, March 25th at 5PM. Stay tuned for an official schedule for treefort artist locations by checking back in at

Just a few FYIs, the Treefort Music Festival App is super cool because you can listen to all the artists and get updates on the festival. 

For more information on Treefort tickets, follow this link:http://treefortmusicfest.com/tickets

For official Treefort tickets, follow this link: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/treefort-music-fest-2016-tickets-18491236787?aff=artist

Watch this official Treefort Music Festival video:

The Art of House Shows

By Ana Lete, originally published in the Coyote.

                During the 16th century, musicians would often perform secular music in the chambers of noblemens’ homes. And in the 17th century, non-secular music was performed in the home as well. While concert halls weren’t built until Beethoven’s time, the art of playing music in another’s home in front of guests still persisted into the 20th century. And guess what? Although you aren’t likely to see a built in organ in someone’s basement, or have someone singing lieders while playing piano late into the evening, the act of playing music in homes for guests has not gone away.

                Modern day house shows are not only a great way to perform music in front of others, but they also provide additional benefits to both modern day musicians and those who enjoy listening to music. From a musician or band perspective, playing in a house’s basement or living room has many added perks for the performers—even if pay isn’t one of them. While some house shows in Portland and Seattle charge admittance to house-show goers in order to pay bands and solo acts, many house shows in smaller areas (like Boise) do not generally charge admission to guests until they achieve a regularly high attendance to shows and build enough of a following. But even if those booking shows for their homes can’t afford to pay, it is not uncommon to see hosts pass around a tip jar for the out of town musicians to help subsidize their gas costs or to see the musicians themselves set up a merchandise table with their CDs, vinyl records, t-shirts, and cassette tapes for sale.

                For touring musicians, house shows can be a great addition to their tour schedule even if they are not paid for a few reasons. For one, house shows often come with hosts who allow musicians to crash on their couches or roll out their sleeping bags, which is much preferable to sleeping in the van and allows the performers to save on touring costs. And if musicians plan their tour just right, sometimes it is possible to play a house show (which sometimes comes with added benefits like the host showing you around town and providing a place to stay) and then play a paid gig the next day, while still staying at the house that the musicians played at the night before. While this might not always be possible, being grateful and showing thanks in little ways can go a long way in a house show host’s willingness to let you either stay a night longer, provide a meal, or even let you play there again on the next tour. Some musicians show their thanks by making their hosts breakfast in the morning, buying toilet paper for the house, giving the host a copy of their album, or by buying a case of beer. But at the end of the day, not being a diva or a pretentious asshole and showing your gratitude in any way possible goes a long way in how far a house is willing to accommodate you.

                But for both musicians and music listeners, the beauty of house shows comes from their intimate nature. Very rarely can a music fan interact with a musician afterwards at a big venue. But at house shows, it is not uncommon for fans to strike up a conversation with band members after they play or even in between songs. And because house shows are so small and intimate, it is not uncommon for singer-songwriters or bands to divulge information about the songs that they might not share at a bigger venue. Things like the stories behind the songs, the inspiration for a song’s lyrics, and how the band came to form are all more likely to be shared at a house show than at a bigger venue. And at some house shows, concert-goers will even ask questions or give the band feedback on the songs just played, which is a useful tool for performing musicians. Overall, it is the small and intimate nature of house shows that make them the special music listening environment that they are.

                And closer to home, house shows provide a way for the under 21 crowd to be able to listen to both local and new out of town bands when they don’t have access to 21 + venues like the Neurolux, Pengilly’s, Knitting Factory, etc. And with all age venues in Boise and Caldwell such as the Crux and the Venue closing their doors, having houses in this area like the Android house in Caldwell and the Music Major House on Dearborn St. (also in Caldwell) that are willing to host local and touring bands become increasingly important for keeping the Boise area music scene alive and vibrant both in the present and in the future.

Thank you to Christi Green, the person who inspired me to write songs again

Exactly a year ago today, my guitar instructor and mentor, Christi Green, passed away. I know that without her teaching...

Posted by Ana Lete on Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Two Treefort Acts I'm Most Excited About

Treefort season is among us. With the second wave of acts being released on January 14th, 2015, I thought it appropriate to discuss a few acts that are coming to Treefort this year in detail. Disclaimer: I have not listened to all of the bands released so far, although I wish I had time to scour YouTube and the Internet and listen to each and every one. For this article, I will focus on two incoming acts that I am most excited about. As in, I heard their music, I cried literal tears, and then when they released a pre-order for their album on vinyl, I instantly went to their bandcamp page and pre-ordered it.

Taryn Miller of the act, Your Friend, began writing songs for her up-coming album, Gumption, in her studio apartment in Lawrence, Kansas after touring in 2014 for her debut EP, Jekyll/Hyde. In case any of you are interested, Gumption was produced by the same producer responsible for The War on Drugs and Deerhunter, Nicolas Vernhes. After listening to her EP, Jekyll/Hyde, which is highly introspective, it seems that her upcoming album will be much the same. According to Miller, “I was sitting with myself so much, I got to know myself in ways I liked and ways I didn’t like.” When recording Gumption, she wanted to get out of her music-creating routine. “I was trying to remove myself from an approach I had followed before, but to be able to bring in that melodic element that is most inherent to me, and marry it with a more sonically meditative landscape,” she stated. Listening to Miller of Your Friend is a thoughtful experience. Not to sound cheesy, but her music really is like a good friend when you need it most in that it can be there to relax you and ease your worries after a long day, or it can allow you to reach that sad melancholy state you are in and cry it out simply because of how beautiful the sounds that are hitting your eardrums are. Taryn Miller will be at Treefort in Boise March 23rd- March 27th, and Gumption comes out January 29th, 2016.

Listen to "Come Back From It" by Your Friend:

When listening to, “It Hurts Until it Doesn’t,” by Mothers for the first time, I cried and listened to it 27 more times. Being moved to tears by music is a rare experience for me. Maybe I listen to so much music all the time that I am desensitized to it, but nonetheless, the raw and emotive crooning of Kristine Leschper of Mothers made tears fall and honestly, I’d have it no other way. Her music is nothing but beautiful. It’s aweing. It’s raw. It’s everything that you need in music and feel inside, but don’t feel comfortable saying and expressing yourself. And I’m not exaggerating. Go listen for yourself. Mothers has also recently released a single, “Copper Mines,” for their upcoming album, When You Walk a Long Distance You are Tired, which comes out on vinyl in two varieties on February 26th, 2016—limited edition coke clear vinyl (pre-orders only) and clear green vinyl in-stores. Kristine will be at Treefort March 23rd-March 27th in Boise, so be sure to go check out her set!

Listen to Mothers' latest single, "Copper Mines" in this live video:



Aspens Featured on Amazing Radio based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England

On Wednesday morning, I woke up and checked Spotify to see that someone based in the UK had been listening to Aspens. Due to my curiosity, I googled, "Ana Lete/UK/Aspens" and a gem of a radio show that I forgot that I had submitted Aspens to a few months prior popped up.

Amazing Radio is a radio show based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. It's founder, Paul Campbell, is a media entrepreneur who used to make Radio & TV shows for BBC and also is a musician. Amazing Radio is build on a small group of people who are passionate about finding quality acts and the next best artists. 

Since being featured on Amazing Radio by DJ's Dani Charlton (http://amazingradio.com/shows/danicharlton) and Shell Zenner (http://amazingradio.com/shows/shellzenner), I've noticed that Amazing Radio offers quality music that I wouldn't have discovered otherwise and the radio show hosts offer quality commentary on all the songs before they are played. It really is a genuine radio experience. 

Another cool thing about Amazing Radio though, is that artists get 100% of the digital sales in addition to paying artist royalties. Yeah. Unlike Itunes, that takes a piece of your sales before passing it along to CD Baby or another publisher who also takes a cut, Amazing Radio, and it's sister site, Amazing Tunes, gives artists 100% of the profit in addition to paying artist royalties for radio spins. Amazing Radio believes that artists should ethically earn  100% of each sale, and they can do this because they are backed by a group of high net worth investors based in Northern England.

And with Amazing Radio's sister site, Amazing Tunes, you can favorite your favorite tracks that you hear on the radio shows, create playlists, stream and download songs you like, and leave comments for the artists. Overall, Amazing Radio and Amazing Tunes are super cool and I would highly recommend checking them out:

Here are the links:

http://amazingradio.com/

http://amazingtunes.com/

Favorite tracks in 2015: Female artists who changed my life in 2015

I made a playlist of all the female artists who have changed my life in 2015. Most of these songs aren't from 2015, but I listened to them a lot in 2015 and they were very influential. Artists include tune-yardsWye Oak,Angel OlsenSylvan EssoFirst Aid Kit (SE) OFFICIALJohanna Warren,Eleanor MurrayAlyeskaFeist and of course, Billie Holiday

 

Here's the link: https://open.spotify.com/user/1230450681/playlist/5vbTfDN3ECaHB9fPOcUdkT

Does anyone have photos or videos from our live shows?

Hey everyone! 

If anyone has any live photos or live videos taken on your smart phones, or inspirational drawings that you've taken of Ashton, Gavin, and I at our live shows, we'd really like to see them! That way we can post them on Facebook and create a special page on analete.com that's just for all of your photos/videos/drawings!

Feel free to post them in the comments section here, or find us on facebook (http://facebook.com/analetemusic) and message me the photos or videos or super cool drawings if you'd like!

Thank you so much!

-Ana

 

I'm on Instagram Now!

I'm on instagram bandwagon now and can't believe I waited so long to get an account! Feel free to follow me if you want! My username is @analetemusic or you can click the button below.

Instagram


Aspens is going to be featured on Breakthru Radio based in NYC!

I have big and exciting news! Aspens is going to be played on a radio station called Breakthru Radio (www.breakthruradio.com) that is based in New York City.

According to their about page:

BreakThru Radio (BTR) is devoted to giving a voice to talented, upcoming artists and empowering DJs to pick and play their own music.
We sift through hundreds of unsigned and indie artists each week to bring you the cream of the crop.
Unlike traditional radio, we have no restrictions on style - we're happy to play rock, punk, hip hop, electronica, alt-country, reggae, metal, soul, et al.
Our only requirement is quality.
At BreakThru Radio our motto is "Radio rediscovered."

So feel free to check it out!

Aspens will air on Thursday December 17th.