Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Behold! Live Possessions footage from our July '09 cd release party for Ocean Blue
Pianos, NYC

There are a bunch more I'll post -- for now, enjoy our cover of Marshall Tucker Band's "I Should Have Never Started Loving You"

(...killer guitar solo by Frank Schiazza 'round the 3 minute mark.)







Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays! Toddler Style!

I stood proud witness to Maddie's first live Harp experience.  (Maddie is my friend Sarah's 2 year-old daughter - I'm here too -  the giggly camera lady)

video

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My brother Jeremy sent this to me ---

It's a beautiful animation piece by Ryan Woodward --

From a dancer's perspective, I am blown away by the authenticity - especially the moments where he hinges backward and falls. The woman's movements are decidedly more jewelry box-ballerina, but, it works within the context of the relationship.
The theme song is fitting and very pretty --  but not necessary - I was more moved watching it in silence.





Looking forward to a great holiday -- the whole family will be gathering in Florida. This will be the first time all of the Eisenbergs and extended Eisenbergs will be united in I don't know how long. Cousins Maggie, Henry and Lily will finally all get to play together! A momentous occasion indeed!

I added some pics from the residency, but, just wanted to mention what an eye-opening week it was. I loved working with the students at SUNY Potsdam. It felt fantastic to be in front of a class so eager to learn. They were gracious, talented, attentive and curious -- and the faculty was just as warm and inspired as I remembered them. I can't tell you how nourishing an experience I've had.

Most importantly, it made me realize how much I get out of teaching - it's given me a new, fresh energy I want to keep with me.

As expected, Lori astounded the town with her performance as Isadora Duncan. Many stayed for the post-performance discussion -- we could have talked all night! Listening to feedback and how the work was interpreted by audience members was fascinating. Between the character, performance and dramatic (true) historical setting of the piece ..  there was so much to unravel and discover.
We've received an RFP from Lori Belilove, to (potentially) perform in an Isadora celebration next Spring -- will keep you posted on performances here in NY and beyond.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

... back by about 7 people's demand

I'm going to be teaching Intermediate Modern dance classes on Monday nights -

This is a fun class! We do a breath-focused warm-up that slowly stretches, lengthens and aligns your whole body.

...and then we take off! Original, contemporary choreography that is a thrilling ride throughout the space.
You don't need a lot of dance training background, but some technique class experience (even if a bit distant) is best.

Mondays (beginning November 22nd)

Gus Solomons Studios
889 Broadway (@ 19th St)
NYC
7:30 - 9 (ish)
$12


Spread the word!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

last night's gig (...and lots of hyperlinks!)

Had a great time singing with The Benjamin Cartel last night --- we did a li'l Teenage Fan Club and a li'l Cartel of the Benjamin and Kaiser variety. KC only makes those harmonies sound easy!

Banjo Jim's is a fun, inclusive, good-vibes kinda venue. Highly recommend a booking or a visit!

Here are a few pics I took, along with shots taken by my friend Matt Garrison; musician and apparent budding impressionist.






Monday, October 25, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

If I may be so indulgent ... my Queen of Click, Kristina Fetkovich swooped in to the rescue when I needed immediate promotional shots. I am a stage hog, but this has never translated into a love for facing a lense. I prefer (by far) to be behind it -  but this was a lot of fun.

In roughly 40 minutes, we found some great moments. Here are a few that I like in particular .... the rest I'll be including on my website, which I plan to have up and running by the end of the year.

While we're on the dance tip ... I am feverishly prepping for the Potsdam residency next month - so soon!  Part of the prep is conducting Monday night modern dance classes - free to anyone who has a bit of technique background. The first one was last night and I felt fantastic about it. Overall a smooth class, but received some helpful feedback on how I can improve. Teaching a proper technique class is a far cry from running a rehearsal - but I'm confident I'll get back into that flow in time.

If you know anyone who may be interested. . . classes are Mondays, 7:30 - 9 at Gus Solomons Studios, 19th and Broadway NYC. There will be one on September 27th and Oct. 4th for certain -- Thereafter I will decide if and when I'll have a few more --


 

 
 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'm long overdue for an update, but to tide you over ..  here's some sexy hold music from my current obsession --


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

southern family fun. (and somehow, i've returned without burn)

Had a fantastic visit last weekend down in Nashville. Spent time with family, including our new addition, Henry. He is, as expected, extremely adorable -- I think we got along just swimmingly.

Also got to see fellow NY'er / recent Nashville transplant / longtime friend Reno Bo take the DJ reigns at Foobar, on the East side of town. He kept me dancin' up a storm! If you're in the area, be sure to check out what he's getting into.

It was a brief visit, so I didn't get to explore as much as I would have on a longer trip, but my interest is definitely piqued. Friendly, arty and fun. Will soon return for more. 

Here are a few fave pics. (speaking of, I've decided to actually use my dusty ol' flickr account, you can see more there at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tracymichelleny)

Up next: Portland, Oregon!
















Thursday, May 13, 2010

Professor Eisenberg (Oh word?)

Ok, so I'm not actually a professor...(yet). But for one whole week this Fall, I will be a resident guest teaching artist at SUNY Potsdam!

Lori Russo, the actress I've long been working with on the one woman play I choreographed, Love, Isadora will be performing this work and leading courses in the drama department.

Me, I'll be with the dance students, given free reign to teach original choreography while taking over their technique classes. Oh, how I will run them ragged. Oh, the floorwork I have planned .. those kids won't know what hit 'em!

I will also (as I'd mentioned previously) have to lead a lecture / Q&A session. It's difficult to narrow down which aspects of my life are "lecture-worthy" - the first things that keep coming to mind are "save money. no, i mean seriously. save money now." and "go to your performance and production courses! you do need to know about dimmer packs and light focusing!" -- (to name a few)
I can only hope they understand that all journeys are unique. I'm no fortune teller.

This is a project we've been discussing on and off for a few years - I'm so happy to have it finally be a reality. I adore the department, the town, the breathtaking surroundings. It's been far too long since I've seen the Adirondacks in all their October glory. I hold the time I studied there very close to my heart... and what better reason could there be to return! For the dance!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

... and in obnoxiously proud aunt news ...

 Henry
                                        ...and Henry's beautiful cousin, Maggie Sophia

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

me (center, elevated) and some of my favorite people on my birthday...

Friday, April 30, 2010

fare thee well, bay ridge

Well. I did it. I cut the chord.

I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet, leaving home. That’s what it feels like when you’ve lived in the same place you did as a kid, a mere 23 years old. It seemed like such an adult step back then - moving to the city, finding roommates, getting a job, paying an electric bill for the first time…

I’d found my way to Bay Ridge when I was suddenly ousted from my apartment in Washington Heights (long story for another time). So that I wouldn’t have to commute to my li’l desk job from Poughkeepsie, my good friends Mary and Mark benevolently let me crash on their living room futon here in the neighborhood. In that month’s time or so, I fell in love with the neighborhood. It had the perfect blend of suburbia and accessibility; deep roots, multi-generational households, family owned businesses … great food. There is an utter lack of pretension or longing to be current with urban trends - I was/am often the hippest gal on the block - (no. really.)

Like most, I found my apartment by way of Craigslist - suspiciously cheap for being in the center of all the 86th St. action, I had my doubts. Turns out, it truly was a lucky find. 3 ladies of about the same age were here to greet me. I remember feeling so instantly cozy with my initial family of girls. Parties, drama, laughter, tension, friendship … this was 516.

As roommates and sleeping quarters rotated over time, the dynamics shifted further from what had made my life here a comfort --- drifting more toward a place where I simply hung my hat maybe a little too far from the city. Having been financially dependent on the relatively low rent, I stuck around until I had more means and stability to make a real move. I'd also been attached to the convenience of Frank living nearby, so late-night recording sessions weren't an issue ... and then he abandoned ship for Staten Island.

And so, with all signs pointed toward "it's time", the day has come and off I go.

I found an adorable (albeit much smaller:) apartment in one of my favorite neighborhoods in New York - Park Slope, Brooklyn. Not exactly an enormous leap (an 81 block leap north, to be precise), but certain to be an adjustment -- one that I’m equally apprehensive and thrilled about. The swift commute alone just may send me into shock (related, I anticipate more frequent, less travel-weary visitors)

I have a month to make the transition - and I don’t know where to begin on the accumulation of 7 years here in this once home. I suppose I’ll begin with boxes and bags and lots of them ... doing my best to bat away the range of emotional triggers from the past.

I’ll soon no longer be the coolest kid on the block (that title belongs to Maggie Gyllenhaal) but I trust I’ll find a little pocket to squirm and settle into - calling this apartment and neighborhood a place I belong before long.

And I can’t WAIT to be all up in that park.

All in all, a positive change … I look forward to the fresh view.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Helpless? We hope!

While Ben selfishly ditches our lesson schedule to tour and make a living, my homework is to both sing and play Helpless by Neil Young, start to finish. Complete with less-than clunky strumming.
In a few weeks, I may even post a little recording for your ears to feast upon. Don't worry, I'll post discriminately. Applause-worthy milestones only.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

but if you D sometimes ...

When it comes to music lessons, I’ve been known to be an impatient brat when not instantly Monk or Stevie Ray Vaughn. At the risk of sounding a bit arrogant, I have a life history of being a natural - dancing, singing, writing ... all skills I proved to possess innately at a young age - skipping the beginner phase before I’d even begun. I’ve still done the work and continue to educate myself - but it’s long been from a more advanced place I’ve sought progression.

To put it more simply … when I suck at something, I don’t like to do it. I own this flaw entirely. But in recent months, I decided enough was e-f’ing-nough.

So I’ve begun guitar lessons. Recruitment began a few weeks ago for a brave soul to tackle the monster alongside me. The search ended at the doorstep of my very good friend, Ben “Cartel” Rosenthal (of The Benjamin Cartel and indy duo KaiserCartel) With great enthusiasm, he took me under his (talented, funny, positive) wing.

And, well … I suck. The “songs” I play are virtually unrecognizable. My fingers hurt. There are so many dissonant vibrations, it sounds like I’ve taken up the Sitar. I have to climb itsy-bitsy-spider style to each chord. I have almost zero natural talent for this fickle beast of an instrument. But I’ve managed to unearth a surge of motivation to get better and remain disciplined - and it’s really exciting. I’m (finally) very much okay with having to really work and be patient with the journey being a slow one.

Ben is an excellent teacher. I should plug him here, in case any of my 5 readers are considering private lessons. He has the patience of a saint, he’s your biggest fan, and the “pick an easy song and we’ll learn it” approach works much better for me than getting bombarded with scale after chord after scale. It’s important to have context you can connect to. The repertoire will come over time, there’s no plan to become a master of music theory inside of a month or two.

Our song of choice to kick things off was “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” a.k.a. C--F--C--F--D--F--C! My favorite is D, in case you were wondering. (I haven’t exactly put Mr. Richards to shame, but we’re gettin' there …)

The next step was to get my clunky, long unloved Cort guitar in more playable condition. I was a little apprehensive of getting up-sold with repairs I didn’t really need, but an additional plug goes out to the fellas at Street Sounds in Bay Ridge for only doing what was necessary for my level of playing.
They did a beautiful job adjusting the action, re-stringing with lighter, more finger-friendly strings and making it all shiny and pretty. Thanks Rocky!

My goals here are to a) become a better student ;) and b) build a stronger foundation for my relatively new place in music; this goes for writing and especially for singing. It feels increasingly ridiculous not to know what notes are coming out of my mouth, or how to find harmonies other than by ear-guessing.

So there’s no plan to take over for Frank on lead … but I can’t say it’s not a fun rock n’ roll fantasy. :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

News (and more news)

hi friends -- and happy SPRING!

Lots and lots to tell -- here goes ...


New … career direction

First news to share is that I'm resigning my post at the real estate agency, having been offered a full time position as a marketing assistant. I’ll be working closely with a few different departments of an investment company - assisting with the content/distribution of various marketing efforts - (so if anyone knows how to use InDesign .. :) it’s going to be a challenging and I no doubt rewarding position - wish me luck!


In the end, I made some deals (thank you, thank you) and took my pound of flesh from the mania that is NYC real estate. Finally able now to start a Tracy Goes Back to School fund, which I plan to invest as soon as I've narrowed down to a program I can both finance and feel fits the bill for making more possible a backstage career in the arts. (Will also of course have to fit in with a full time job.)If you have recommendations or know people who have gone through a non-profit and/or arts administration program they felt was successful and worthwhile, I'd love some advice on making this choice.


Though I'm moving on, I have to say that the past year has been the crash course in initiative I probably needed. Outside of the work, I regularly find myself being more clear and direct about the things I need and want; from finally getting my landlord to fix up the apartment (my new windows are beautiful!), to day-to-day little snags I would have more typically let slide, this sink or swim nature of a living served me well to this end - a quality I don't doubt made me a more competitive candidate for the position I‘m about to begin. I’m going to keep my license active and stay informed of the market - it’s a fascinating world I remain intrigued by.

(Learning to Fly blares from the Ipod shuffle - both apropos and awesome godilovethissong)


New … apartment.


And speaking of the market, I’m seeking a long overdue change of address - will do so by the summer. I'm aiming to remain in my beloved Brooklyn, but keeping an open mind. Stay tuned.


New … teaching opportunities.


Put said initiative to work and submitted a proposal to be a guest teaching artist at SUNY Potsdam -- it’s looking good for me to bring Lori Russo and our project Love, Isadora to the college stage in the Fall. We would combine the performance with taking over the dance and drama courses for the week. The idea of seeing my work on 30 or so students at once is very exciting.
I’d also be speaking to the department about my artistic endeavors here in New York since graduation. If you can tell me where, by the grace of God, to even begin on that lecture -- I’m all ears.

Haven’t gotten official word of our acceptance, but I’m feeling confident we will make this happen. I know, I shouldn’t jinx it!


All levels welcome -- come dance!


I’m launching a weekly beginner modern dance class, beginning in April, latest May --adult beginner is my favorite level to teach and I’m working on a curriculum that I hope to be inspirational.
Still need a few more students to commit so I can go ahead and secure the time and place -- so far, it’s down to Wednesday or Thursday evenings at Mary Seidman Studios(again, stay tuned.)


New … Old.

The new(ish)bassist of The Possessions (Rob Carpenter) is also a stellar sound technician, working diligently on re-mixing old tracks from previous albums of ours. So far, the improvements are just astounding. Frank and I are re-recording a bunch of tracks, both vocals and other elements of the arrangements -- giving the songs a chance to shine in the ways they are meant to.
Selfishly, I’m most excited to redeem some less-than-pro vocal performances. I’m stronger and more comfortable with the recording process now - nice to get another go at it ;)



There is much more I'm tempted to get into, but I'm going to pause the newsfeed for now ...

On a side note, I want to mention a fun experience I had last night -
Went to see drummer Dave's friends perform a rootsy acoustic set at The Loving Cup in W'burg- I regret I don't know his last name, but Dave's friend Chris (drummer for The London Souls) is a truly gifted musician who makes "guy with a guitar" a listening experience during which you're not tempted to groove your head a bit and then return to your book. The range in genre, vocals and guitar chops keeps you in there. No small feat.

Dave wound up taking over on drums throughout the sets, which seemed to open the floodgates for willing musicians to jump on tamb, cowbell, sit in on piano or even sing harmonies, which I did myself to Poor Elijah -- one of my favorite songs, one that I've been wanting to cover.
It was an unexpected, purely fun and very warm musical experience - the way it oughta be.

Thanks for reading. More to come very soon - promise!