Throwback Thursday & A Brand New Song!

irene-and-hilbur

In December, 2012, Hillary Burton (of the band honeychain), and I came together via the interwebs to bring you this cover tune (Madonna’s “True Blue”), recorded in our respective bathrooms. (Hillary in L.A., and I in Seattle.)

 


Also, this was a special occasion highlighting a rare acoustic siting of Hillary, and my more-than-rare (and less-than-average) bass playing.

 

Now, (a mere 4 years later), I’m finally able to release a brand new ORIGINAL song that we collaborated on together called “Pieces of You”, that becomes available for download NEXT WEEK for New Music Friday!

To get your FREE DOWNLOAD of the song (and more goodies), become a patron at https://www.patreon.com/irenepena . (This is my music campaign page where I will share every new and/or older music project that I get my hands in to.)

And now, a little something from Hillary and I for your throwback Thursday.  Enjoy!

 

Head Over Heels (to be returning to the blog)

So, I’ve been somewhat “out of commission”, I suppose.

I have SO MUCH to share yet, but I leave you with a recent acoustic performance with my friends at ‘they go pop!’ at the Hard Rock Cafe – Seattle.

Stand by — more words to come. 🙂

Then & Now Thursday : I Wear Many Hats

tbt

Then and now. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I don’t own a ton of “throwback” photos of myself. So, for a change, my Thursday segment (for now) will be called “Then & Now Thursday”.

Shown here, recently sporting a new cap I got for Christmas, and a “Tierra Vista Tigers” trucker hat. This already raises so many questions, doesn’t it?

Tierra Vista was my elementary school. Why branded trucker hats? I would love for someone to chime in on this for me, so by all means – anyone in Oxnard who was part of the marketing team for this item, please leave a comment!

Why am I wearing it? Well, my sense of style came from somewhere, now didn’t it? Clearly, my blue floral print blouse with red ribbing accents called for a blue and white team logo’d, ill-fitting hat. Also, I want to say that I was attempting to do homework out on the patio this particular day in sunny southern California, so perhaps that bill…fit the bill. (I just giggled on the inside.)

I don’t own too many hats. This black cap is new to me as of Christmas 2013, and I adore it. I don’t wear it too often, but when I have, I’ve been called two things (to my face): “very Asian” and “chic”. I’ll call those both compliments.

I do, however, wear many “hats”. I spend the majority of my time as an “Assistant” (by title.) As Merriam-Webster would define it, I spend most of my time as an Enabler. Thusly:

“…one that enables another to achieve an end; especially: one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior”

Hmm. I like the trucker hat better.

Anyway, like most I know, I’m an avid multi-tasker, and there are are many “hats” in my wardrobe.

The Wife Hat – this one would be pretty, and youthful, and no – you can never borrow it.

The Musician/Artist Hat – this one would be sparkly (but not studded), and well-fitting. Mostly stylish. Mostly.

The Family-Gal Hat – this one would be sturdy, industrial, and would match everything.

The Geek/Nerd Hat – this would likely have a million tarnished logos and a collection of attached tchotchkes.

The Outdoorsy Hat – barely worn. Sorry.

Oh, so many. I’m not very fashionable, but as seen in this photo – I am very happy sporting very different looks (and assisting you along the way.)

Throwback Thursday : Best Friends Forever

Then and now.

Me and Sonny Bear. Not much has changed, really. These are photos of us together with me at about age 4 and a photo from today.

We are both showing our age, and the “pressures” of being over-loved, which, if proven by wear-and-tear, is a great thing! (Sonny now sports a fantastic scarf to hide what must have been strangle-style hugging throughout the early years with me. I, however, wear scarves when I’m cold and feel fashionably coordinated…mostly just cold.)

As you can see, I choose to photograph behind a cuddly guy like this. Then and now. Much cuter than I am and awkward-absorbent.

A tag-line of Sonny’s (yes, of course he can speak!) is “Hello. It hurts.” There is a bruise-like mark on the left side of his face that is not well-shown here. (I have no idea where it came from.) But, I often think Sonny is just talking about life, in general. As wonderful as our lives are, yes, Sonny – it in fact, does sometimes hurt.

I was born in Port Hueneme, California. Sonny came to me, one day, from my mom’s visit to the bank. He was “the free toaster” for opening an account of some kind. (If you don’t understand the toaster reference, please ask your folks, immediately!) This was one of the most delightful gifts I can recall.

Today, he sits quietly, with some other pals he’s gained over the years. Meanwhile, believe-it-or-not, I tend to sit quietly when left to my own devices.

We are still the best-of-friends. This shall not change. We know everything there is to know about one-another.

Throwback Thursday: Anything But A Selfie

We take them – and then we view them….slowly. TOGETHER.

This is my family. Our first viewing of a massive undertaking by my sister (far left) as a 25th Anniversary present to our parents. Chronological photo evidence of the last 25 years, including newly-taken, posed (Sears) photos of all five siblings. (Yes, I’m the youngest of five. It explains a lot.)

Again, I love what “old” pictures give away. There’s a certain something that selfies and photo-bombs just don’t have. In 1985, if you turn a camera on yourself, you just wasted a valuable negative frame, and likely lost a flash cube that you’d need to replace.

My eldest brother kindly stepped away to take this group shot. We’re sitting in the living room of our townhouse in “the valley” (Southern California), and enjoying the comforts of air conditioning by the looks of our less-glistening faces.

Mom is scouring each carefully placed photo and gives us a brief story behind it. Dad is in silence, and likely disagrees with the re-cap, but is enjoying this flashback of years past.

My sisters and I are closely huddled (which is quite normal), also with a pile of stuffed animals (which is also quite normal TO THIS DAY). In my hand is “Pinky Spaniel”. I’m making sure she has prime viewing of the photo albums, too. After all, she will want to make sure that her brother (“Junior Spaniel”) and her dad (“Crocker Spaniel”) also have a general re-cap of what is transpiring.

No – I’m not kidding.

My older brother is looking on from the opposite corner, and in moments, he’ll be practicing a piano piece for his next live performance.

At least, this is what I remember. Do you remember it differently?

Throwback Thursday : Spelling Bee “Winner”

I don’t hold fondly, so much, the third place in the spelling bee, but there are some really wonderful nostalgic memories buried in this photo.

I’m standing on the fireplace where I would hold my musicals and plays starting at about age 7. Many Archies’ harmonies were belted, singing along with the record player on as loud a setting that my parents would allow. (Also, of course, shaking the “tambourine” which was a kitchen utencil – a steamer divider, I believe.)

My sister made the dress I’m wearing.

We lived in Southern California, so found no need to use the fireplace – as a fireplace. You can barely see some plants and other “decorative” filler placed inside.

Behind me, are the most recent school photos of me and my siblings in the cardboard frames that came in the pack from the photographer. Next to those are other trophies (mine and my siblings).

Today, those trophies (even third place ones), sit on my mom’s current mantle. That’s really nice.

Wikipedia says that “In music, a canon is a contrapuntal compositional technique that employs a melody with one or more imitations of the melody played after a given duration (e.g., quarter rest, one measure, etc.). ”

Ok, Simple Wiki says that “A canon is a piece of music in which two or more voices (or instrumental parts) sing or play the same music starting at different times. A round is a type of canon, but in a round each voice, when it finishes, can start at the beginning again so that the piece can go ’round and round’.”

I would rather come across a canon than a cannon, any day of the week.

Once Upon A PinkSlip

Once Upon A PinkSlip

Once upon a time, I had the pleasure of drenching myself in the power-pop world via a group of amazing kindreds (somehow separated at birth, I’m sure).

Around 2002-ish (when you’re having that much fun, it’s really all a blur) – I auditioned to be the rhythm guitarist and back-up singer for PinkSlip. A stroke of luck (and possibly by my self-appointed nickname of “Sunni Gonzales”), I made the grade, and in to the coolest line-up an up-and-comer could have dreamed up.

Nearly two years of crazy-hot music, late nights, fab-outfits, studio-time, and musicians-turned-friends — I was blessed with joining this group being included as part of the compilation of the 6th volume of the International Pop Overthrow CD (as well as doing a portion of that year’s tour in the PinkSlip Party Bus, which really – the details should only be kept to those who had access to it.)

Heatherton, Brian, Brenden, and Eddie Random – a group-force none-to-be reckoned with. This line-up was, in short – GROOVY. And you can hear one of my favoritest of our tracks here:
https://myspace.com/pinkslip/music/song/suck-it-up-27086669-26887854

As the music-world tells me, there’s more PinkSlip to come – and my ears are clamoring for it! I am so proud to have had even the teeniest part of this ongoing adventure, and I will sing back-up vocals in to my hairbrush, staring in to the mirror, just picturing myself live, on-stage, with folks that sing my language (and allowed me to sing theirs…”Amnesian”?.) Thank you for bringing me to the world of Power-Pop. I choose to live in this world, in my go-go boots, and mostly vintage stage-wear and guitar gear.