Thursday, November 10, 2011

What I Wore - Bar East show, 11/9/2011

It so could've been such an awful night, but it was awesome.

Oscar, who had done such a fantastic job on lead guitar for my CMJ gig at R Bar, was all amped to back me up along with Curt and Luis. We were adding Jeff on pedal steel for the first time, and it promised to be a rockin' show.

But then Oscar had a kitchen accident and injured a fret finger. He was out. No one was available to step in. So it was just going to be Jeff on steel, Curt on bass/occasional electric, Luis on drums. And me. In a bar I'd never played at before. In a neighborhood I wasn't familiar with. No one was responding to the Facebook invite. People who had told me they were coming suddenly couldn't. I had promised the venue that I'd bring in at least 10 people, and it was looking more like 2 or less. I was panicking.

I thought, "This whole night may go down in flames, but if so, I'm going down lookin' FIERCE. Why not pull a Gaga and perform in my underwear?"

Angie Atkinson Bar East

I call it Urban Prairie Chic.

In keeping with the Old West Victorian Meets New Lower East Side theme, I started with this sheer black dress (Ralph Lauren sample sale, $20). It's actually huge on me, but I nipped the waist with a belt (also Ralph Lauren sample sale, $10) and shortened the skirt by several inches just by tucking the excess fabric under the belt and gathering the excess volume in the back to create a mini-train/bustle. I wore my favorite/trademark pearl studs with one dangling silver feather earring (Charlotte Russe, $8/pair), 'cause it fit. The onyx pendant necklace was a gift from a stranger on the street, my favorite kind of accessory. I loved the way it complimented the neckline of the dress and the whole buttoned-down look of the top. The wide silver band ring is from a Christofle sample sale, and the other ring belonged to my late grandmother. I generally don't leave home without one or both of them on.

I thought it looked pretty bangin', and I guess the crowd did, too, 'cause even people who had come to see previous bands stuck around to listen to what turned out to be one of the best sets I've had, even in the absence of dear Oscar! AND, I exceeded my promised number of attendees! It was such a special night, and I'm so grateful to everyone who made it possible.

Can't let doubt get you down. Gotta keep the faith.
And if you do start to doubt, just sing in your panties.
It really helps.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How to Win an Angie in Just 15 Songs

I'm always interested in the music that musicians listen to when they're not creating or performing their own. I'm a huge fan of the mixtape...this one's digital so it's easy to share with you guys, but I do so long for the days of the double cassette player creations of my youth.

I was trying to think of a theme, since my personal mixes tend to revolve around themes, and I was listening to one of the songs on this mix and thought, "You know, I would totally date a guy forever for singing this song to me." Inspiration. And here you have it:


Cosmo Jarvis - She Doesn't Mind
I was introduced to Cosmo by April; well, actually, by Maya, April's awesome daughter. April and I were able to catch Cosmo play as part of CMJ Music Marathon 2011, which I also participated in, and his live show was as astounding as his breathtakingly intricate, gorgeously executed self-produced albums and videos. This guy is going to be a star. I'm glad I got to see him before he blew up. Oh, and this song is dead sexy.

Ben Lee - Ache For You
Ben Lee is the king of almost embarrassingly real lyrics layered honestly and perfectly over delicious pop hooks. Hey, Ben...duet sometime?

Train - Hey, Soul Sister
Chin scars and ukuleles for the win. I love a good song about weird dudes being in love with their weird chicks. Also, gotta love anything or anybody that references Mister Mister. And how can you not sing along with that hey hey chorus?

Exile - I Wanna Kiss You All Over
A cheesy dip into tasty 70's pop that totally gets my fondue pot simmering.

The Rolling Stones - Angie
If I had a dime for every time a guy has sung this to me over the years...well, I might not be rich, but I could probably buy a really nice bathtub. But for God's sake, don't let that stop you from singing it to me. It never gets old. Still waiting for a guy who can sing it better than Jagger, but...I don't mind hearing anyone try.

Try A Little Tenderness - Otis Redding
I need someone to lip synch/sing this to me very publicly a la Duckie in Pretty In Pink. Like, yesterday.

Bruce Springstreen - I'm On Fire
This is a song about how Bruce Springsteen can't sleep from wanting this woman so bad. I mean. Come on. I'm not made of stone. Also, something about that driving rhythm makes me want to make out in the back of pickup truck that's speeding down a country highway on a starry night. Mmmm.

Backstreet Boys - This Is Us
The BSB have a happy talent for love songs about reassurance, reminding me with their frothy lyrics and electrifying blend of five very different voices into one unique sound that they will, in fact, not hurt me but beg me to let them support and care and be there for me. This song is one of their crowning achievements in seduction by being the nice guy. I hear it; I melt.

Kid Rock - Feel Like Makin' Love
Kid Rock's hip-hop/country/rock take on the Bad Company classic. I love dirty tattooed boys singin' classic rock songs about gettin' it on. Reminds me of Mississippi.

Carbon Leaf - Lake Of Silver Bells
Appealing to the intellectual/romantic side of my persona. This song sounds like a man longing for an Edwardian fairy tale romance, which is so endearing and heartbreaking that I can't even take it. These guys are actually friends of mine from Richmond, VA. Love them!

INXS - Never Tear Us Apart
That incredible kick drum/guitar lick lead-in, Michael Hutchence's creamy-sexy vocals, and that brilliantly 80's style sax solo...this is one of those songs that I often hear in public, like, while I'm out shopping. And when I do hear it, I stop everything and sing along, gawking on-lookers be damned. It's irresistible. Like you could be, if you sing it me. ;)

Chris Isaak - Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing
I love the soulful longing of "Wicked Game," but I prefer this dirty guitar riff jam. A bad bad thing indeed.

The Outfield - Your Love
I don't condone cheating, but I totally support this amazingly sexy song about it. Josie's on a vacation far away...come around and talk it over.

Sam Thacker - No One Needs To Know
I discovered this guy on The Rock Boat IX. Hearing a Georgia boy sing about forbidden's almost too much. Yes, please.

Prince - Gett Off
I really could've put any Prince song on here, 'cause the man rocks my world with his genius. I think I chose this one 'cause it's just NASTY. Mmm.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Right Into You" Official Music Video!!

So October has been a CRAZY busy month. I've been a horrible blogger, but I need to get on it...I have so many stories to tell you guys. Can't wait to share videos and photos from and of course, the premiere party for my music video. Speaking of which, have you seen it yet?

More to come...stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Angie Atkinson CMJ 2011
Recently I've had to compose a lot of "elevator speeches," or little blurbs to describe my music in a short amount of time.

The other day I described it as "music for the woman in the cotton dress, watching the sunset while she folds the laundry on her front porch in Wyoming."

On Sonicbids, I put it this way: "I'm a Mississippi girl living in Harlem. I love boys, and I (apparently) love getting my heart broken, and I love writing songs about it. Sound-wise, I like landing somewhere between Pump-era Aerosmith and The Dixie Chicks. In short, I'm a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. But nothing like the Osmonds, unless you count the dimples."

CMJ 2011 Music Marathon summed me up for their line-up page thusly: "Country girl in the big city marries her two worlds."

How would YOU describe it?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cessation Sensations

So I've been a little loathe to discuss this, 'cause some things I just don't like posting in public places...particularly things that bring me shame. But it's something that support will help me get through, so perhaps opening up about it here will be a good thing.

I have been a cigarette smoker since 1999. After several half-hearted attempts at quitting, I managed to stop for two years, from 2007-2009. But then elements of my personal life started to collapse, and my resolve to stay cigarette-free collapsed with them. I started up again and have been happily puffing my health and youth and life away ever since.

cigarette warning
I found this on the ground about three months ago and took a pic...took me this long to actually listen to what it said.

Until Sunday. At 5:40 a.m. on September 25th, 2011, I smoked what has so far (one day at a time) been my last cigarette.

I've found that quitting this time has been surprisingly easier than it was the last time, though that's not to say that it's been EASY. Withdrawal from any addictive substance is never a party, and it's been interesting cataloging the ways in which I've been affected. The first three days were all about the physical symptoms: my heart was beating harder, my whole body was tense, I felt like the veins in my neck were going to bulge and pop out, and I was itchy and twitchy to the point that I just wanted to tear my skin off.

Tasty, right? And this is something I LOVED doing...sheesh. And while the physical symptoms have subsided some in the past 24 hours, the emotional symptoms are just beginning. It's going to be a lot of hard work, but I'm determined. And here's why.

Nicotine is as addictive as heroin. Nicotine will get you to spend $12 on a pack (thanks, NYC) and justify it in your mind when you chose that pack over a couple of days worth of meals. Nicotine will tell you that it's OK to run late for work so you can stop and buy a pack. Nicotine will tell you that feeling good for the five minutes you're smoking is worth the smell, the cost, the social rejection (strangely smokers aren't as cool as we used to be), the risks of heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, emphysema, wrinkles/premature aging, and all the other horrors brought on by those little white toxin-filled sticks. Nicotine will convince a singer that she's not hurting her voice by smoking.

Nicotine is that little brat who said he was your friend in high school but was actually talkin' smack about you behind your back the whole time. No more, dang it!

I've had a couple of band rehearsals since I quit, and I gotta say, even just in this first week, there is a MARKED improvement in my voice. Subway stairs are not as daunting. My skin looks and feels better. And I just feel better about myself, knowing I'm finally taking control over something that has controlled me for 12 years.

So yeah...if you run into me and I'm a little edgy, please don't take it personally. I'll level off and be back to normal soon enough. :) 'Til then, thanks for supporting me and my music and giving me yet another reason to leave my bad habits behind!

All my love,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Angie Interview at Easily Dunn

Angie Atkinson
Photo by Jeff Clark

Hey folks! I dipped into the world of sponsoring other blogs this month. One of them is Easily Dunn, a lifestyle blog by the ultra cool Jamie. She devotes space to interviewing each sponsor each month, so they're more than just a sidebar ad. Check it out!

Friday, September 9, 2011


Hello, awesome people, and welcome to the Angie Atkinson Music blog!

I'm still buzzing from my latest gig at my favorite spot here in the city, Gizzi's Cafein the heart of The Village. I have the day off, which is a rare treat. I'm watching Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns on NetFlix while anxiously awaiting the even rarer treat of lunch via delivery (a greasy cheeseburger and fries…I can't wait). And I am filled with gratitude.

Angie Atkinson Gizzi's
Outside Gizzi's. Photo by Mark D. Whyte

Just last August, after an epiphanic summer stint at Texas Shakespeare Festival, I returned to New York City with a few songs and a brand new dream. Well, sort of an old one, really. I've always wanted to be a singer, but I sort of fell into acting because I enjoyed the safety barrier of playing a different character. As an actor, you're truthful and honest on stage, but truthful and honest inside someone else's skin. As a singer, it's just you up there. Just you and your feelings, and that's a scary proposition.

But I bit the bullet and dove in head first. And in the space of a year, I wrote and made demo recordings of an entire album's worth of material, released a single, shot a music video, put together an amazing group of musicians to play gigs with, played a whole bunch of gigs with said musicians, and started the ball rolling on what has become one of the most fantastic rides of my life, which is sharing my music with all of you.

Right now I'm amping up for a busy fall. I'm getting ready to launch an IndieGoGo project to raise money for studio time, so I can finally record and produce the album I've been working on this year. I've got a lot of shows coming up this month and next, including the premiere of my music video for my single, "Right Into You," at Gizzi's at 7pm on October 21st! I'm also going to be a part of CMJ's music festival this year with a 7pm set at R-Bar. I can't wait! I hope to see all of your beautiful faces at these and all my other upcoming shows.

Which reminds me...

I overcame a lot of obstacles and fears to get here. It feels amazing to be in this place of exciting new beginnings, and I couldn't have done it without all the love and support of my amazing fans, friends and family. You guys have absolutely blown my mind and made my heart explode by encouraging me and believing in my dream. I'm so grateful to have such an awesome support system, which is why I started this blog. Since you guys have made this journey possible, I want you to go on it with me. And I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I do!

Now, if you'll excuse me, that greasy cheeseburger is here. And Jean Luc looks like he's about to say something important.

While I enjoy my burger, here's a video of my cover of Lady Gaga's "You and I."