Thursday, December 13, 2012

Check out how awesome this idea is...

I am so pleased to team up with WeedsToWishes.com and HowDoesShe.com for this digital download of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!" We have had so much fun brainstorming creative ideas as to how we can raise funds to help families in need this Christmas.


At first we thought..."Oh, what a great idea to give a Hot Cocoa gift away to loved ones and include the download code." (like you see in the photo above) But then, we thought to take it even one step further...


..."How about we make a Hot Cocoa Stand (kind of like a lemonade stand) and get the whole fam involved! And that's just what we did! Only, there are free printables on both WeedsToWishes.com and HowDoesShe.com that will allow you to download the cute banner and labels so that you can make your very own Hot Cocoa Stand!

Isn't that amazing?! Seriously...it's like a dream come true. Please let me know if you try it and how it goes for you! I'd love to see and hear how it turned out.

And as a last reminder- if you'd still like to download the song or get download codes from me, you can download the song here or email me with questions at biancamerkleymusic@gmail.com-



Thank you again to those of you who have already downloaded it...and to all of you who have shared it, reposed it, and tweeted about it...thank you so much! It will mean so much to those we help this Christmas. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Xo,

Bianca

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Here's how to get your download codes...

Free Printable!



Download PDF here
Download jpg here



Ok, first of all...I've just got to say THANK YOU so much for downloading this song, sharing it with others, and for the kind comments and emails! My heart is so full. Thank you so much. 

As for the download codes...here's how you can get them.

  1. Download and print this printable tag.
  2. Then be sure to download the song here. When you do so, there will be a section where you can send me a comment. If you want download codes (perhaps to give away as gifts), just send me a comment in this message telling me how many codes you would like. This will then give me your email address which will allow me to respond to you with the download codes.
  3. Or, you may also email me at biancamerkleymusic@gmail.com and I will reply to your email with download codes.
  4. If you would like multiple download codes (perhaps to give away to your neighbors with some hot coco), then I would suggest (although you don't have to) that you put an extra dollar or more in the "Name Your Price" box (for example, if you want 10 download codes, then $10 would be appreciated). 
  5. Lastly, once you receive your codes and have printed out your printable, then you may write the download codes in the blank on the bottom of the cards where it says, "Download Code."
  6. If you'd like some super cute ideas as to how this download card thing can work as a gift, then go check it out on these blogs, "Weeds to Wishes", or "How Does She." Adorbs.
Let me know if you have questions. Thanks again for being a part of this! ...And may your days be jolly and bright. 

Xo,

Bianca

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Christmas song and fundraiser...yipee!!


Exciting news here today, and for a few reasons!



What We're Doing: 
  • I've just recordered "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas!"  This has been one of my favorite Holiday songs ever since I was little. It's been covered by some of the finest musicians of all time and done in a wide variety of styles and genres. I tried to make this version my own.  I hope you enjoy! 
  • All the proceeds to this song are going to families affected by hurricane Sandy in need of "Sub-for-Santa" help this Holiday season. I am in touch with the community liaison in Staten Island who has a list of families for me. The more money we raise, the more families we can help! I'll be posting pleanty of photos and follow up stories on this blog so, so be sure to follow (here)!



 Why We're Doing It: 
  • We're raising funds to help families who lost nearly everything during and shortly after hurricane Sandy. When my husband and I first drove into these devastated neighborhoods and communities with the humanitarian group, "Mormon Helping Hands," I was so moved, I felt I could almost cry. While the storm happened weeks ago and hardly affected me personally at all, it was hard to believe that not too far distant there were people who had lost nearly everything and who were still struggling to get their lives back together. The scenery felt so unfamiliar, almost as though we were in another country entirely. I had the opportunity to go back on Friday (just a few days ago) with the same humanitarian group, and I was honestly surprised to find that the roads were still covered in dirt and filled with piles of garbage, thrown out sofas, broken up dry wall, etc. The stench inside the home we went into was almost more than I could bare. Most of the homes were flooded with several feet of water, and as a result, there was now mold growing everywhere, nestled into every nook and cranny. The woman we helped on Friday said that she was sleeping temporarily on a plastic garbage bag on top of her soaking wet sofa. Not only does this sound miserable to sleep on a wet sofa, but her power didn't get turned back on until just a few days ago. Many still don't have hot water either! The thought of taking a cold shower in the winter is chilling. Although I was able to return home to my warm and well lit apartment, the images of these homes were haunting, and I decided I wanted to try to do something more to help. This is where you come in...


 How You Can Help:
  • It's pretty simple. Just download "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" by going here:
  • Once you're on the bandcamp webpage, click on "Buy Now"
  • Follow the steps from there to purchase the song for $1 or make a donation and...there you have it!
 Also...
  • For the first 200 people who purchase the song you can get a FREE download code to give to someone else as a gift!! Once you have purchased the song-  either leave a comment with your email address or email me directly at biancamerkleymusic@gmail.com and I personally will email you a free download code that you can then give someone as a gift! SO HURRY! You don't want to miss that! (By the way, I'll write another post with greater detail on how to do this by Wednesday)
Print a Download card!
We also also have come up with an amazing idea you can give to your neighbor or someone in need of warming up this holiday season with hot chocolate. You can see the tutorial on howdoesshe.com (here) And get this...we're giving away a free printable (go here to download)
 




A Special Thank You:

I owe a huge THANK YOU to Randy Bergida for arranging, producing and engineering this project! He donated his time so that all the proceeds of this fundraiser could go toward the "Sub-for-Santa" fund.
Also, thank you to Jamie Bendell and Amy Vachal for singing back up vocals with me- you all are amazing! I'm so grateful to know and work with such talented people.
Thank you to How Does She and Weeds to Wishes for their support and sharing this on their sites.
Please spread the word- tweet, facebook, email, pin it- do all you can to help raise the funds for families in need this Holiday Season!
Let's see how many families we can touch!

 May your hearts be light
Xo,
 Bianca

Monday, November 12, 2012

One year ago...can you believe it?!

I can hardly believe that one year ago, I released "A Part of Me." I feel like that was so long ago, and yet like it just happened. What a thrill it has been to put out that album and to have had the opportunity to play those songs to people all over the country this past year.

In memory of that monumental time for me- I'm going to repost a few videos on here because I must. First one is of when Holly Hackett, a best friend of mine from forever ago, came to surprise me the morning before my show. I seriously had no idea she was coming...it was such an awesome surprise.  


Then of course on November 11th, the show for me was magical. It was such a joy to play with such talented singers and musicians (Mindy Gledhill, Jamie Bendell, Naomi Steckman and Mike Theis...). I loved it. Not only that, to all who came that night...if you are reading this post, and you were there that night- THANK YOU also for coming and supporting. For those who supported through the Kickstarter Campaign...again, THANK YOU for making the album possible. And to those who bought or listened to the album after it was released...thank you, thank you, thank you. Truly.


And to finish off the anniversary post, I leave you with this..."A Part of Me" recorded as a series of songwriters that is called the NYC Music Collective. I hope you enjoy. Thank you again for watching, reading, listening and following. It means a great deal. 



Much love,

Bianca

P.S. Aaaaand there may be a Christmas song coming your way soon too. More to come on that in the near future.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Singer-Songwriter Confessions...

Dear reader,

I have been sorting a lot out in my mind these past few months. Singer-songwriters tend to do that. Maybe we think too much. Actually...we do think too much. Lately I've been thinking about how to adjust to the changing priorities that continue to shift in my life. I toyed with the idea of taking a complete "break" from music. But that didn't really feel right either. Although, I realized that music for me is going to have to be  3rd or maybe even 4th on my list of "to do's" for at least a few months.

I may be able to explain in more detail in the coming months, but for now...I am content with just making it known that I am still here. I am still creating, singing, playing, writing, and enjoying it...just with a little less intensity for a short while until I get a few things sorted out.

And with that in mind...I must admit, posting a video weekly just isn't realistic for me. I had to come to terms with that. I am sorry to let anyone down with my lack of video posts. I decided that once a month is really more like it. Meanwhile, I'll continue to play a few shows, and finish writing some new songs I have in the works, post a new video occasionally, and record these new songs (which I can't wait to share with you!).

Also, since I've been seriously slacking in my video posts, I will share one with you today. It's from my favorite singer-songwriter of all time, Patty Griffin. And this song felt appropriate to me as it is the first song I ever heard of Patty's, and it's also perfect for this rainy Fall weather. I LOVE this song. I hope you enjoy it too.

Xo,

Bianca

Monday, September 24, 2012

Opening for New York Dolls singer, David Johansen, this Saturday!


I'm looking forward to this weekend for a few reasons.

  1. I love Fall weather and I love weekends during these months.
  2. I am excited to play at The Falcon in Upstate New York!
  3. I am looking forward to playing/singing with the talented Matt Sucich along with trio, Jeff Haynes on percussion, and bass player Doug Weiss. 
We'll be opening for David Johansen (who happens to be the singer of the New York Dolls! How crazy is that?!) and we go on at 7pm.

If you are interested in coming, you can check out http://www.liveatthefalcon.com/ for ticket sales and more information. I'd love to see ya there!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Opps...you get two in one this week!

I also forgot to put last weeks video on my blog...I thought I did, but I guess I only put in on Facebook- and forgot to actually put in on my blog. Sorry!

This is from my most recent show at Rockwood Music Hall with two ladies that I love dearly not only because they are amazing singer-songwriters, but also just because I genuinely think they are great people. It is so much fun to sing with them. Their names, just in case you were wondering, are Jamie Bendell and Amy Vachal. Check them out- seriously, you'll be glad you did.

This is us singing a song by The Civil Wars, and it's called "Poison and Wine."

It's official...the Summer has ended.


Do you ever get end of Summer blues? I usually get a little hint of that, and especially now that I work at a school, I can really feel it when the Summer is over because it means you have the entire school year ahead of you. I might even venture to say that the Summer makes the entire rest of the year worth living. (Fresh tomatoes off the vine, delicious berries and fresh peaches, flip flops, sunglasses, the smell of freshly cut grass, popsicles, playing in the sprinklers, long sunny days, riding bikes, and obviously this list could go on...but I'll spare you.) There is one thing I do love about the end of Summer, and that is that it starts to cool down a bit where I live. And lets be honest, there is no better time than the Fall when you live in New York City.

So this Summer I had the privilege of traveling a little bit (as well as enjoy a lot of those things I listed above), and as far as music goes, I was fortunate to play a few shows out in the western part of the United States as you may have read in previous posts. Well, while I was in Utah, I had Independent Music Studios in Salt Lake City, Utah record a promotional video for me with some live footage from the shows. If you 'd like to see the video, go ahead and check it out by clicking on the image below. Also, feel free to comment on it if you have any thoughts- I'd love to hear them!


Thanks again for reading, listening and watching. More music is coming your way shortly.

Xo,

Bianca


Monday, August 27, 2012

A Little Moonlight: Key to Good Health and Happy Relationships?

I used to go to an acupuncturist in Richmond, Virginia who told me as part of my "prescribed medications" that I needed to take a few herbs, get good rest, and...go on walks with my husband at night to look at the moon. I'm not kidding you. That was what he prescribed. I loved it. Taking walks at night with my hubby is one of my favorite things to do. "Oh, what a little moonlight can do!"

Last Friday, Randy Bergida and I played this little number together that I wanted to share with you. It's a jazz tune that has been one of my favorites for years. I don't know what it is about this song- but I just love it. The wonderful Billie Holiday is known for singing it...maybe that is partially why I love it so much. So here you have it, our version of "What a Little Moonlight Can Do." I hope you enjoy!

And here's kind of a funny thought...do you think that a little more moonlight in your life could actually be a secret ingredient to greater health and happy relationships? Just a thought. What do you think?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dear earth, I am coming back to you now...

So I fell off the face of the earth (according to a dear friend of mine here in NYC)...and I can't deny it, it's true.

I have had the opportunity to first go camping and sing silly camp songs... 


go to my best friends wedding...

play pretend with my nephew...

laugh with my mom and sisters...

play a house concert with an amazing band called Lady and Gent...

Eat my grandmas AMAZING peach pie (it's seriously to die for)
and go jogging in the morning with my dad (he works me into shape everytime)

take a road trip with my hubby...

drive the Las Vegas strip and ride splash mountain...

pick organic strawberries at some random farm in California...

get a sun burn at the beach and ride bikes around San Diego with friends...

all in the last 3 weeks. It's been AMAZING! 

I don't get to see my family who live out west very often, and so this time, I decided I was going to set other things aside while I was there, and I was just going to enjoy every moment of it. I hardly sent any emails, I hardly even played the guitar actually (so bad, I know!) but it was so necessary. I've decided that time just moves too quickly. It's so rare that I get to spend time with these people that I love so dearly, so I tried my best to be present. I think the realization that my niece who was 6 years old at my wedding is now 12 (going on 18) has really been a wake up call for me! I'm missing out on some of the lives of people that I love! 

So I know I said I was going to post a video a week...but I failed miserably at that this month. BUT, don't worry, I'm back now. I've come back to earth. I actually got back this morning...and I'm slowly transitioning to reality. I'll be posting a video this week and have some new songs in the works as well.

...in the meantime, I just wanted you to know that I'm alive and well...very well.

Although there are still some areas in my life that I long for to be different, I cannot deny that I am so blessed. It's almost more than I can handle. Do I even deserve all of this? I don't feel like it sometimes. But I'm grateful for it, and grateful to my Father in Heaven for being so generous and patient with me. Really though. How grateful I am to have had these last three weeks to spend with people that I love. 

Thanks for letting me fall off the face of the earth for a little bit. I'm back now (I think).

Xo,

Bianca





P.S. Today is my anniversary (7 years!!), and tomorrow is my birthday (don't worry about it!), and on Wednesday of this week, I am playing a show at Rockwood Music Hall at 9pm with two other gals that I am so fond of. You can hear them here and here. It's going to be great. You should come.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My first video post of the week: I heart Bobby Marley

A few years ago, I had a friend ask me a great question that got me thinking. He said, "If you could go back in time and see any musician play live, who would you want to go see?" I was a little surprised by my automatic response because the first person who came out of my mouth was "Bob Marley." I don't personally play and sing reggae very often...but I love me some Bob Marley. I love the upbeat vibe, and just how it makes me feel. Maybe it's partially because I remember listening to Bob Marley on our family vacations to the beach. But for whatever reason, out of all the great musicians that I would love to hear play, what sounded the most appealing to me was to hear Bob Marley in Jamaica in a small venue (I envisioned a little palm tree hut or something) listening to him play his songs on his acoustic guitar. I still kind of dream about what that would be like.

So I decided for one of my first "cover" posts, I was going to start with one of my favs, Bob Marley. It seems fitting for this Summer weather I guess.

What about you? If you could go back in time and see any musician play live, who would you want to see and hear?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Things for me are shifting...


Happy Summer Everyone!

These last few days have been so beautiful here in New York City. In fact, yesterday evening I took a jog around my neighborhood and soaked up every minute of it. I saw American flags waving in people's front yards, kids playing games in the street, old couples enjoying the night on their front porch, and the golden hue that covers everything for a brief moment while the sun sets. It only lasts for a short while, but it is arguably one of my favorite times of the day. What an amazing time of year this is...so worth the wait in my opinion.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. I decided that during the month of July, I was going to gather myself together, reflect on what it was exactly that I was doing, and I was going to get clearer on my vision for my future. For a while, I've been feeling like I've been living in "default mode," which to me means, "coasting." I wasn't very clear on why I was doing what I was doing, and it started to get fuzzy...my purpose that is.

So here we are now already approaching mid July somehow, and I've actually discovered a lot in this short time of reflection. As far as my music is concerned...I decided that I am going to guard my time a little more carefully. This to me means that I am shifting things around a little...my priorities I guess, and the way I choose to spend my time is going to be more carefully assessed. Time is so valuable. So I decided that with regards to my music, I am going to be focusing less on playing live shows all the time, and more time on writing, and sharing my music online. I will play shows still, of course! But I may only do one or two shows in New York City every season, and then I'll continue to do little tours here and there, and on top of that...I'll continue writing, and posting video's and free downloads, and all that great stuff. I want to reach more people, but if I play a ton of shows in New York City, and if that takes up most of my time, funds and energy, then I won't have as much time and energy to write and share my music with all of you that don't live here in New York! And since I currently can't go visit all of you at the moment, then I will just visit some of you, and then will share music online with the rest. So there you have it, that's my new plan.




Other areas of my life are shifting as well, and it's so refreshing. It feels a little empty because I'm getting rid of the overload, but I know that in time it is going to feel so good, almost like the way you feel after cleaning out your closet. I actually started writing a song about this whole process this week, and hopefully I'll post a video to share it with you in the next few weeks once it's finished. My goal is to post one video a week. Today I'm going to start with a video that I am so excited to share because I got to be a part of this amazing group of other singer-songwriters that are based out of New York City, and it has all been compiled here on the NYC Music Collective page. If you want to hear some great artists and singer-songwriters...seriously, go check it out. You'll be pleased you did, I guarantee it. I'll post my clip from the NYC Music Collective here for you to also see and hear. Feel free to share it, and be ready for more to come soon!


ARTIST 05 - Bianca Merkley from ROCK*iT FiLMS on Vimeo.



With love always,

Bianca

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

NYC to SLC to NYC

Dear readers,

I went to my acupuncturist today who told me right away when she saw me that I looked "EXHAUSTED!" I guess I am not hiding it well. Since I had the wonderful privilege of having my sisters and my mom in town for a few days, and then I went to Salt Lake City, Utah for a few days...I have been playing catch up since I got back, and it is showing apparently.

Why do I tell you this you ask? I tell you this mostly because it is approaching midnight, and I know I need to take my acupuncturist's advice and get some sleep- so I will be brief in this post (at least I'll try).

Last weekend, I got to go to the beautiful Western part of the United States. If you haven't been, trust me when I say that it's beauty is one that will take your breath away. Really, I mean that. You need to go.

I got to go out that way because I was asked to headline at the Venture Outdoors Festival in Canyon Rim Park which is located in Salt Lake City, Utah right by where I grew up. Libbie Linton and Spencer Harrison (dear friends of mine and also ridiculously talented) played right before me at 7pm. They are recording an album right now that will be amazing, I can't wait to hear it when it comes out in the Fall. I'd definitely suggest you check them out.

Then my band and I played at 8pm following Libbie. I loved getting to see family and friends that came that night, some of which I hadn't seen in years. I also loved meeting new people, and was so happy to share my music with new faces. The night was so much fun. I can't really find words to describe how much I enjoyed it other than to say that it was amazing. The vibe and energy to the night was perfect. I felt grateful to be surrounded by talented musicians, loved ones, and people that I connected with. It was was really the perfect combination. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it out.

Here are some photos of the night that taken by Cristi Dame.







If you didn't get a chance to make it out to this SLC show, I will be coming back out in August for a few other shows, so keep posted! I hope to see you then.

Xoxo,

Bianca

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm a Mormon, Married, Musician...Mother?

Laying on the grass with Joseph on Mother's Day, 2012

Ok, before you make any assumptions...I'm not a mother (yet), and am not expecting. I just thought since yesterday was Mother's Day that I would write about these things that have been on my mind as of late related to Motherhood and other "M" words. I'll be the first to admit that these "M" words seem a bit odd to some. And actually I am a little bit odd to be completely honest. I've learned to embrace that. I am a Mormon. I do deeply believe in the doctrinal beliefs of Mormons. I believe I have a Heavenly Father who loves me (and everyone else for that matter) infinitely, and I have developed a personal relationship with Him as well as with my Savior, Jesus Christ. I came to this understanding through my own discoveries and experiences. I've actually never seen God with my own physical eyes, but I've felt Him in ways that are equally as powerful, and have seen His hand in my life on countless occasions. I just can't deny it. How grateful I am for the experiences that have helped me develop this believe, faith and relationship with God. It has become such a foundational part of me.

Here's the second truth- as most of you probably know...I am married. And to one of the greatest men on earth actually. I got married young, it's true. And I married young because it really felt right for me. There wasn't anyone else in the world I wanted to be with, ever! So we got married, and he and I are so much better together because of it. We'll have been married for 7 years this August (I can't believe it's been that long!!). I'm so grateful to have him in my life. I really am so blessed to be his wife. Really.

Thirdly, I am a musician (duh, this is my music blog after all). Not only do I practice music therapy during the day, but my life as a singer-songwriter is so much a part of me! I love it so much. I've recently learned that I have to start owning that a little more. I usually don't even mention that I am a singer-songwriter when people ask the predictable question of "What do you do?" I actually cringe when I hear that question because I automatically feel like whatever comes out of my mouth will ultimately determine what my worth and value to that person. "I'm a singer-songwriter and I perform around the city and tour a little around the country." To me there's something about that that doesn't sound very credible I guess. I don't know, or maybe I fear sounding narcissistic or something. But really, one of my greatest joys is creating music and sharing it with people. It tugs at my heart so much. Especially after a magical show where connections are made with the audience, or after writing a new song, or playing music with and collaborating among friends and other musicians. It brings me so much happiness. I honestly feel as though it is part of my purpose and/or calling in my life. I love it.

As for this last "M" word...being a mother. I am not a mother yet, no. However, the truth is...I want to be. I want to be so much so that it's a little painful even sometimes. I've wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember, but most especially in recent years. I have just had some infertility issues that have made it challenging. I usually don't talk about this too openly, mostly because I don't want people to feel awkward, and also because I fear the comments that often come after, "But you're so young! You've got plenty of time," "Wait, you want to have 4 kids! Why?!" "Maybe it's for the best, maybe you're not ready yet," or "Trust me, it's not that great anyway." I know no one means any harm in any comments they may make in our discussions about motherhood and wanting to be a mother, in fact usually people that I talk to about this are beyond compassionate and sensitive, and I really enjoy discussing my thoughts and feelings with them about it.

Sometimes though, people have asked me why I want to have children. From the outside perspective, if you look at my life, it is already so comfortable and may seem complete. Joseph and I have jobs we enjoy. We have a great marriage and we love each other a lot. We get to enjoy New York City, and I'm able to play music all around the city and even tour parts of the country. Why would we want anything to disrupt what we've already got going? That is a great question.

I want to be a mother because I feel it in my heart. It's almost as though my heart is going to burst with this love I feel for them, and I don't even know them yet. This innate desire continues to grow greater and greater as time goes by. There have been discouraging moments, and even a few tears shed because of it, but I have learned a lot through the process. I've learned that it's important to be happy, now. I can't wait for this future event to bring me happiness, it has to come from within me independent of my circumstances. I've learned that I need to strive everyday to be the best mother I can be for my future children. On the door of our apartment we have a sign that says, "Live in a way that your children would be proud." And that's what I try to do.

Meet Uncle Joe

I also want to be a mother because I can't wait to have babies with the man of my dreams. (Ha! That sounds a bit weird, but it's totally the truth). My husband is so good with kids, it's ridiculous. To see him with other people's children makes my heart melt...I can't even imagine how it will feel to see him play with our own. I can't wait to have a baby fall asleep on my shoulder. I can't wait to have them wrap their little fingers around mine. I can't wait to sing them to sleep and to kiss their cute chubby little face. I don't know exactly what it's like to be a mom, but I can only imagine that it's not going to be easy, and certainly won't be all fun and games. but I yearn for it in the deepest part of myself.

In fact, my song, "A Part of Me" was very much inspired by all of this. This song is basically the prayer I have in my heart. It's short and simple, but it is honest and genuine. Here's some footage of me recording it, I hope you enjoy. I also hope everyone had a very happy Mother's day. Mother's amaze me. Really really amaze me. I am grateful for their examples. I can't wait to be a mother someday too. In the meantime, I will try my best to live in a way that my children would be proud. In the meantime, I will strive to continue growing, sharing and learning so that I can be the best mother possible for my children when the time comes.

Thank you for reading and letting me share a part of myself with you.



Love,
Bianca

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wanna hear A NEW SONG?!

So I'm behind on all sorts of stuff as of late. Sorry about that. I have been dying to write about my Utah tour experiences, and still have planned to do that actually- but in the last two weeks, something else has always come up! Needless to say, I just wanted to share this first because I can't help myself. (I will post about Utah next, I promise).

 I always get excited to share new material, and this hear song is one I am particularly excited about. When writing it, I felt like it ought to be a duet, and it made it's debut last Saturday at Rockwood Music Hall with Matt Sucich singing and playing along with me. (By the way, if you haven't heard his music yet...you need to get on that. Go check him out- he'll be releasing some new material soon that is AMAZING.)

Speaking of amazing, last Saturday night at Rockwood was a lot of fun thanks to the fabulous musicians that played with me (namely Naomi Steckman on cello, Jason Bertone on Bass and Yaeir Heber on washboard) and especially to those who came out to listen! Thank you for being so attentive and wonderful during my show last week- it was a lovely evening and I enjoyed so much to share it with you.

More to come soon...but in the meantime, enjoy this new song, "Wishing Well."


P.S. As for background on this song...I wrote if from a place of deep desire. Have you ever wanted something so bad it hurt? Not like a cheesburger, I mean something that speaks to your heart and the deepest parts of yourself. Maybe you yearn for a spouse, a baby to hold in your arms, or a dear friend/companion...you may yearn for a job you love, or your career to take off, or something that is of great worth to you...whatever it might be, you feel such a strong desire for it that you wonder how long it will take, or if it's even possible! I have been yearning for a few specific things in my life in the last 2 years or so, and this is where this song came from. 

Xoxo,

Bianca

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Guess where I'm going tomorrow??


Yip...that's right. The Beehive State.

And guess where I'll be on Saturday?


Yip. You guessed it...Velour in Provo, Utah!!

And guess what I'll have for you if you come to one of my shows??





Umm, one of these sweet kite buttons, as well as my new album.


So pretty much all I can say is that I am excited. I'm excited to play music in Utah especially! I feel like it's been so long. I'm excited to share my new album with those of you in Utah. I'm excited to see family and dear friends in Utah. And when it comes down to it, the mixture of those two combined couldn't be any better! It's going to be a great week.


See you soon dearest Beehive State!!

Xo,

Bianca


P.S. You can also see where else I'll be playing in Utah/Idaho if you check my website as well as Facebook and Twitter for updates (www.biancamerkley.com)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Virginia is for (music) lovers

So I'm a little behind in updating my blog...it's true. Sorry for that. I've been busy with all good things though, it hasn't been out of laziness. In fact, I'm working a little too much most of the time, but I'm loving everything I'm doing.

I've been getting out of New York City a little bit lately which has been wonderful. I was able to play in Philly for the first time (loved it), and also went down to Virginia once again with dear singer-songwriter friends of mine. There is something about road tripping with friends that is so enjoyable. Especially when on tour. And you certainly get to know one another well when you have over 12 hours in a car together. I learned that Todd Kramer and Matt Sucich have the best New York City accents of all time (which I fail miserably at mimicking). I learned that Rachel Epp is a Celine Dion fan to the core and knows every song of hers on pretty much any album. I learned that Matt will sleep on the floor so you can have the couch and will buy you your favorite watermelon sour patch kid snacks because he knows you like them. I learned that Todd is kind enough to drive to each borough in the city to pick you up and and will drive through the night so you can make it to work on time the next morning.


Pretty much I was lucky enough to tour to VA with an amazing bunch of people. Not only that, but the hosts of the house parties were also gracious and so kind. We played at The Camel on Tuesday night (see photo below), a house concert on Friday night in Charlottesville, at Para Coffee and on UVA campus during the day on Saturday, and at two different house concerts on Saturday night in Richmond. It was an amazing couple of days of music.

Here we are on UVA campus in this little YouTube clip. The weather couldn't have been more beautiful, and after long winter months in New York City, we couldn't help ourselves but to play music outside.



I feel I also need to give a special thanks to Naomi Steckman for playing cello with us and letting us crash at her apartment, and also to Rachel's sister for letting us sleep in her living room and making us homemade granola bars! Thank you for all for being so kind.


The trip back to New York from Virginia was hilarious. I decided to post this video for you to experience a little of it. Aside from the killer music, I love watching Todd and Matt's hand motions, and how the scenery changes as the time goes on in the video. I will warn you before watching it that it may have you craving more 90's music in your life once you see it. (Just sayin'...don't say I didn't warn you).



Welp, thanks for reading. I'll be sure to post soon about future shows I have coming up that I'm REALLY excited about. So keep posted. Lastly, happy Spring everyone.

Xo,

Bianca

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Birds fly over the rainbow, then why can't I?

The Valentine's Day show was a week ago today exactly. It was such a whirlwind of a day, I can't even begin to tell you. Ok, that's a lie...I'll certainly try to tell you. For some moments of the day, it seemed as if nothing more could go wrong! Yes, go wrong. I felt my faith challenged to the core. "Everything is working together for our good," I would tell Naomi as we'd laugh (to keep from crying) about the silly things that seemed to be getting in the way of having a successful night. Here's a quick timeline of the 24 hour craziness.

  • Monday, 8pm: Naomi is supposed to be arriving to my house at this time but instead calls me to tell me her car has broken down, she's in Maryland, and took the car to the dealer who just informed her it'll be $2000 to fix. (So Naomi ends up trading in her car that night, and gets a great deal on a newer car, and makes it to NYC at 3am)
  • Tuesday, 10am: Because we got a late start, we ended up not getting as much rehearsal time, but Tuesday morning (with groggy eyes and all) we get up, get ready, and rehearse. Meanwhile, some people who we were relying on to help us out with merch items, and so forth...end up bailing last minute, so the merch items were still to be finished, but we HAD to rehearse first and foremost, so that's what we did.
  • Tuesday, 2:30pm: Then before we left, I attempted to print some things out before the show, but of course I ran out of printing paper so had to scramble to find scraps...and it was a disaster in my apartment all the while, and we were now running late...
  • Tuesday, 3:00pm: We get everything ready and head in to the City to meet up with the band to do one last rehearsal. I get a text message from our drummer, "I'm not going to make the rehearsal and probably not making the show, in the ER, I'll explain later." What? First of all, are you safe, and second of all, I have no drummer. (Side note: medical emergency he and his wife had to attend to was a totally legit excuse though...for real, so no hard feelings). My stomach felt like I had a pit in it...but I continued to tell myself..."Everything is going to work out fabulously..."
  • Tuesday 5:26pm: During rehearsal, I got a parking ticket (Gotta love NYC parking police)
  • Tuesday 6:45pm: Then Naomi and I get stuck in Valentine's Day traffic (Yes, stuck. Meaning, the light would go from green to yellow to red and you haven't moved more than 5 feet)
  • Tuesday, 7:25pm: We decide we're better off just parking and walking the half a mile to the venue because traffic was so bad. So we carry all our crap while walking as fast as possible, and my arms feel like they're going to fall off.
  • Tuesday, 7:45pm: We get to the venue and head back stage. Guess who I meet there?? I meet Tony Lucca and Sarah Bareilles before my show back stage (Yes, that's right, I met them and had a quick chat before I went on stage...this is no lie. Tony had a show before and after our Valentine's Day show...I was amazed and frankly a little intimidated.)
  • Tuesday 8:05pm: Then while on stage, my acoustic guitar chord wasn't plugged in all the way, so it cuts out during my first song. (But we fixed it...don't worry) Still sucked though.
  • ...And then I played my set. I was really trying hard to shake off all the anxiety that had built up from the past 24 hours, and I was trying hard to stay present and really enjoy the moment of the songs. (Sounds kind of cliche, but I really feel that that is when I perform best...when I'm totally present.) So as the show progressed, I felt myself slipping back into that ease and into what I like to call, the "sweet spot" of the performance. Actually, the rest of the night was pretty great. Great music, great friends, and delicious cookies and treats. After all, what more could go wrong at this point, right?

Whenever I experience stress like that, I often find myself asking "Self: why do you do all this again? What's the purpose behind it all?" ...And I find that it's a really good thing for me to ask myself, so that I can focus and get even more clear on what it is I am doing and going after. I have to go back to the source, for me...that means going back to God...and asking Him, "What exactly is it that you want me to do, and why and how?" I don't always get an answer to the "How" question, because for me...that's where faith comes into play...but I do get an answer that comes in various ways as to the "What and Why" questions. Why do I do this?? Because it's in my heart, to share music with the world, to use it as a way to move, inspire and uplift. I can't let fear get in the way of that.

Today, I wrote in my journal about all of this (because I get the day off from work, and am sick at home with strep throat), and I realized that the urge to quit playing, writing and performing can at times be very tempting. Even still...I learn from the set backs, I continue moving forward in directions that pull at me so hard sometimes, in ways I can't deny. The thought of giving up, it's even worse that the thought of failing. And the things I learn from the supposed "failures" are priceless. 

So I get back up, and try to fly over the rainbow, because why not? If birds can do it, then why can't I? Somewhere over the rainbow, there's a land where the dreams that we dare to dream really do come true. 




Here's a clip from the night..."Somewhere Over the Rainbow," one of my favs...hope you enjoy!


Xo,


Bianca

Monday, February 13, 2012

Finally...day 11 of the 12 days of Valentine's Day!!


This is it...the show is tomorrow. After this, I promise to go back to talking about normal things, and not so much about heart candy and love songs. For the time being though, it was fun. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow night. I can't wait to either see you there or tell you all about it!

Here's our last reminder video about the show...just in case you forgot.

Much love- Xoxo,

Bianca

90's love songs...why do we not listen to them more often? (Day 10 of the 12 Days of Valentine's Day)

video

This was supposed to be posted last night, but seeing as to how we finished these cookies at 2 in the morning, it was too late by then, and I decided to post them Monday morning instead.

These cookies happen to be my specialty...and we made a double batch for tomorrow's V-day show. You'll have to come to try them I'm afraid. Also, we were considering singing this song for our show, but unfortunately it's too late to throw it together with the band, so maybe another time...maybe.

Xoxo,

Bianca

Merch item making (Day 9 of the 12 days of Valentine's Day)


This post was supposed to go up on Saturday night, because this is what Amy and I made on Friday night...made cute little buttons, heart candy bags, and little download cards in heart shapes. (Awww) It was a fun time, although a we got a little too happy on the sugar treats. Here's a little sneak peek of our merch items for our Valentine's Day show in this photo. We're putting a lot of love into this show. Seriously, it's true...each bag of goodies was made with love. It's going to be such a great night, and these little babies are just the cherry on top. Only a few days away!

Xoxo,

Bianca


Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm addicted...(Day 8 of the 12 days of Valentine's)


(My nephew...cutest kid ever.)

So I've fallen in love with a few blogs as of late. And since I've been posting every day about things that I love before Valentine's Day, I figured I'd go ahead and post about these blogs that I'm loving so much.

First one you must check out is Weeds to Wishes.

This blog is actually my lovely sister's blog. But I'm not kidding you, her blog is amazing, and especially if your a mommy a kiddies. This blog has amazing photos, amazing insights and, my sister is a counselor as well so she gives great giveaways and tips for parenting, etc. Check it out.

Second blog I love is appropriately titled Love and Photographs. This blogger is so real to me, I feel like we're friends even though I've never actually met her in person. We're both 26. We both have cute husbands. We both live in cool cities. We both are members of the same church. And, we are into creative things. I love catching up on her vintage clothing line, and her adorable life. She also has been kind enough to share my music on her blog which is so awesome! I love her blog- you must read it.

Lastly, a blog I LOVE! Is also appropriately called, A Blog About Love.  This blog has been so fascinating to read because not only do I know the couple personally (we lived in Mara's rental apartment when we lived in Brooklyn), but I relate so much to her posts, it's amazing! I feel like her life discoveries are things I'm just discovering now as well! I love this blog. Seriously, if you've ever been through something hard (who hasn't?) then read it.

And that's all I have for you tonight folks. Happy Friday! See you in a few days at the V-day show. Xoxo!

B

Thursday, February 9, 2012

This is what helps my ADD brain function (Day 7 of the 12 days of Valentine's)


"To Do" lists. This is what my "To Do" lists have looked like as of late.

(Side Note: Just a few more days before the big show on Valentine's Day at Rockwood Music Hall! How exciting.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I heart the husband (Day 6 of the 12 days of Valentine's)


This month is already flying by, and it feels like a whirlwind because both my cute husband and I have been crazy busy. (And it wont be slowing down anytime soon yet- the rest of the month feels pretty swamped as well) In fact our weekends that used to be full of watching movies and snuggling together (ok, they're rarely full of watching movies together, I exaggerated...but we've usually been able to squeeze in a show or a movie here and there)...are now full of sitting in front of the lap top with 20 different windows open on the screen, while eating dinner at the same time, and trying to talk about how the day/week has been. All right, it's not that way every night...but even still...It's pathetic really. My hope is that March will be much more relaxed.

Well tonight I feel exhausted and have vowed to get to bed right after I finish this post. Joseph is currently still at work (he's been really swamped!) so I decided to buy him his favorite snack and leave him a message to get when he gets home. We used to write each other notes a lot...that's one of the things I loved about him when we were dating was how considerate he was with always writing me notes and thinking of me. Unfortunately, since things have been so busy, we've really been slacking on the note writing traditions, so tonight I decided to get back into it. And it feels good.

 Any other note lovers out there? I'm a total sucker for them. I am making a promise to myself to write them more often from here on out.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I heart this new recording... (Day 5 of the 12 days of Valentine's)

We're just a week away from Valentine's Day, and here you have it...the track Amy Vachal and I wrote and recorded together, "I Couldn't Lose You."Available on Bandcamp in a few short moments. Enjoy and see you next week!




 This song was produced and mixed by Jeff Haynes, and mastered by Devon Johnson.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I heart kiddies (Day 4 of the 12 days of Valentine's)

During the day, I am blessed enough to have an opportunity to work with children with developmental disabilities at a preschool here in the Bronx. I really do love my job although it can be quite exhausting at times.

Today I found myself tired (Monday mornings tend to be that way), and as a result, I went to my music therapy sessions with an attitude of "Ok, just 10/20/30 more minutes until the session is over," and I was basically just enduring the half hour. I went to write down some notes on the sessions shortly after I had finished the first three, and I wrote a note to myself...I decided I was going to change my attitude from "Ok, just 20 more minutes, I can endure this!" To..."Ok, only 20 more minutes, I better make this 20 minutes count because that is all they're going to get of me today..." And it was amazing how that small shift in my perception, and the way I decided I was going to look at the day changed how the sessions went, drastically! This is my goal for tomorrow as well...be present and purposeful in all you do- enjoy each moment.

(This photo is of one of my music therapy sessions- 
although I blurred out the children's faces for confidentiality reasons.)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I heart NYC (Day 3 of the 12 Days of Valentine's)

I'm getting this in right before mid night because I want to stick to my goal of a post per day.

It's been such a busy weekend, I hardly know where they go. Although, I must say I'm grateful to be busy with such great things.

Last night I had a show in the city at one of my favorite spots, Cafe Vivaldi. It's a small little restaurant that is a primarily a music venue. They have music every night, and every Monday night there is an open mic that is always (usually) packed to the max! That's where I met most of my dear singer-songwriter friends, and it's become a place that I will forever remember and love. I have a special place in my heart for Cafe Vivaldi as do many others.


I am grateful to all who came out last night, and most especially because I had expected on a Saturday night at 10pm, people would be a bit chatty (which would be expected...no big deal) and I was surprised to find that I had a full room of eyes and ears attentively listening to us. And yes...I say "us" because Naomi Steckman was playing with me on cello, and Johnny Finn joined with us on drums. It was a magical night, and the best part about it was that toward the end of the night we hit that "sweet spot." I don't know how else to call it, so lately I've been defining it as a "sweet spot" that you hit as a singer-songwriter and performer where you are just totally in the moment, and your audience is right there with you. It's a little hard to explain, but I'm beginning to find that that is when a night feels "magical," it's when you reach that "sweet spot," which is just being totally present and engulfed in the music. Look, I know that sounds a funny, but trust me, if you've felt it, you know what I'm talking about. So, it was a really great night and reminded me that I do heart New York (even on a cold February night).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Love Languages. (Day 2 of the 12 Days of Valentine's)

("Quality time" = chillin on the beaches of El Salvador)

This has been on my mind lately. I was just reading my sisters blog post on her Weeds to Wishes blog about Love Languages and then had a conversation with a good friend about them today when she was telling me about her relationship with her boy friend, and how she's discovered what their love languages are and how they differ. Discovering this difference has really helped them understand how to show love to each other. Joseph and I have taken the Love Language quiz before, but it was years ago. I kind of knew what my love language was, but I decided I'd head on over to this site to find out what my love language is now just in case it's changed over the years. Some of the results I had expected, but some were a bit of a surprise to me. I didn't realize how much I appreciate words of affirmations. Hmm...so interesting. Now I just need to get Joseph to take the quiz to find out if I'm showing him love in ways he understands. Have you taken this quiz before? I'd recommend it for anyone because it really does apply to all relationships (whether it be a romantic relationship or not) and the quiz only takes 2 minutes online.

My Scores:

7 Words of Affirmation
10 Quality Time
2 Receiving Gifts
7 Acts of Service
4 Physical Touch

What's your highest love language preference?


Bianca

Friday, February 3, 2012

The 12 Days of Valentine's

Big news...in 12 days from now, it will be Valentine's Day. Why does this matter? Because. In honor of this, I will be posting each day for 12 days on this here blog (maybe about love, about relationships, about chocolate, about love songs...who knows?)

I know some people love Valentine's day, some people dread it like no other, and I frankly have felt both ways about it in my lifetime. But this year is different for me...and that is because I will be playing a show that night that may be the biggest show I've had up to this point in my career as a singer-songwriter. Since the first week I moved to New York, I've had a dream of playing at this little place in New York called Rockwood Music Hall. I went to see and hear people play there right after Joseph and I moved here, and fell in love with the space. People sat/ stood, ordered a drink of sorts and...listened. That is something that I've found to be quite rare at most venues. As a singer-songwriter, there is nothing else quite as exquisite as having a show where you and your audience connect. So when people sit to listen to your songs, and get lost in that moment with you, it's one of the best feelings ever. It makes all the time promoting, emailing, rehearsing, and writing seem worth it! 

Well I've had the privilege of playing at Rockwood Music Hall now a few times, and I love it. This show, however, will be slightly different because I'll be playing STAGE 2 for my first time ever, which means that there will be triple the space! And I couldn't think of a more exciting way to play my debut show on stage 2 than to do it on Valentine's day. To add to that excitement, a dear friend of mine, Amy Vachal who is a ridiculously talented singer-songwriter is going to do a set right after me. We decided to do a show where we could play our own sets, but also play a few songs together, including a love song we co-wrote called, "I Couldn't Lose You." 

Amy and I recently recorded this love song we wrote, and will be posting it in the next few days for your listening pleasure. I know I mentioned it in a blog post earlier, but seriously...it is sounding so awesome, and especially thanks to Jeff Haynes who produced it. I can not wait to share it with you.

So as a recap...the show on 2/14 is at 8pm and it's FREE (21 and over though). What a fun and cheap date night?! Seriously. The song Amy and I wrote and recorded will be released shortly, so keep posted. And if you come to the show, Amy and I have some limited time only merch items that will be for sale that I think you'll enjoy as well.

So here goes day 1 of the 12 Days of Valentine's. Be back tomorrow...


Bianca

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Some people have asked..."Where shall I find it?"

Recently, a good friend of mine came up to me and brought it to my attention that my new album was difficult to find online. I was so glad he told me this!! I then took some time to figure out what else I could do to show people where it is and how they can get it.  So this post is for those of you who want to listen to and/or buy my new album but don't know where to get it...or maybe you haven't heard it yet, or maybe you'd like to buy some as gifts for your friends...whatever the case...here it is- my instructions.


1.) First of all, I'd suggest buying it directly from my website if you're debating between my website and iTunes. However, iTunes is great as well! So feel free to do as you please. On my website http://www.biancamerkley.com you will find this page you see above here. Feel free to hang out, browse around the pages, or click on the links that are listed at the bottom of the web page.



2.) Next, click on the "MUSIC" tab at the top of the site where you will be directed to the page you use to help purchase music.


3.) Then it'll take you to a page that looks like this where you can then choose if you want to buy a physical copy of the CD or if you'd rather buy a digital download. And that's it!!


Now as for iTunes...


1.) Search my name in the upper right part of the screen.


2.) Then it brings you to this page where you can choose if you'd like to purchase my newest album or my older one.


3. And after you click on the album you'd like to hear and/or buy, then it will take you through the purchasing process which is pretty self explanatory so I won't go into details on that (but feel free to comment with any questions if you have any.)

Anyhoo, I hope this information was helpful. And most of all, I hope you know that the songs were written and recorded with LOVE.

So enjoy!!

Bianca