Stupid Cancer!

 
Many of you who’ve followed my career and self-indulgent posts about my life know that cancer has been a big player in transforming my life and those around me. I lost my grandmother, my one true inspiration to be a performer to breast cancer when I was 8. When Scott and I were finishing “Chained by Dreams” he was diagnosed with cancer and has been in remission for nearly three years. He’s been an active member of “I’m Too Young For This” (I2Y.com), an organization dedicated to those under 40 and dealing with cancer. A few weeks ago we were asked to perform for “Cancer Survivor Day” at Columbia Pres. Hospital. It was an eye-opening experience to be a part of this crowd, as I sang with a St. Bernard on stage and an overly enthusiastic ten-year-old boy, looking out into an audience of survivors and children and adults who are still battling this lame disease. The experience really put into perspective how incredibly blessed I am.

Our song, “Defy” has been included on “I’m Too Young for This!, Vol. 2,” (http://cdbaby.com/cd/stepsforliving3) a compilation cd of artists who have survived cancer. Tonight Scott and I were also in the studio for the “Stupid Cancer Show” (www.stupidcancershow.com). If you or someone you know has dealt with cancer, this is a great organization of people with many resources and encouragement. I’m really happy to be a part of their cause.

Exciting News!

Happy Summer!

The sun has returned, the rain has disappeared and I could not be happier to see it go. This is what I get for writing a song that is dedicated to begging for rain. I guess we always get what we ask for, just not always when.  However, on this day, great weather has coincided with some exciting news!

I’ve signed with a publisher- yes, “Chained by Dreams” is now with Lovecat Music! This means you can expect to hear your favourite songs from your favourite album (no, I’m not putting words in your mouth, didn’t you tell me “Chained by Dreams” is your favourite?) in TV and Film.

I am also in the studio, finishing up a five-song EP that has documented my adventures in the past year. It’s called “Sweet Clarity” and Scott and I have worked really hard on this new endeavour. It’s coming out in August and we’ll be hitting the road on an east coast tour. Details to come!

Much Love,

Michelle Hotaling

Can I Masturbate?

There’s nothing like a scintillating title to lure in a reader and then deliver below his or her high expectations. Actually, I’d imagine my male audience would be more riled by this masturbatory title. Particularly those who may have literally asked this question in years past. Last night I went on a first date with a seemingly interesting prospect arranged by a matchmaker. Yes, in spite of being hit on along the streets of Manhattan, after performing in venues, online, and among friends, I decided that I should add yet another outlet to provide me with dysfunctional dates. With this process, which was a tad unclear from the start, men hire this matchmaker to find their ideal match and the women are simply added to the matchmaker’s files as “great catches.” Women pay nothing. Well, monetarily speaking… we still may be susceptible to paying the high cost of time poorly spent.

Prior to meeting my first (and probably last) encounter through this nifty (read: sarcasm) service, I felt mildly optimistic that my “match’s” and my similar cynicism and sense of humour would spark something in the flesh. We arranged to me at the Ritz (a possible error of judgment as it was the first date meeting locale for the last person I loved dearly) and I hoped to have a fresh new memory; a new coat of paint on an old mural. The potential “match” called and upon learning about my darling cat, encouraged me to euthanize her should we get involved. His nickname henceforth became “The Pussy Killer.” In lieu of euthanization he urged me to ship her ass to a shelter or give her to my parents. Yes, the warning signs were there. Yes, I run towards red flags like a stubborn bull.

So I met him at the bar of the Ritz and I realized the attraction was not immediately present. But attraction can grow. Well, attraction can grow when people behave in an attractive way. Fast forward to the middle of the date when I declare to the Pussy Killer we are not a match because he wants a wife directly sent from the casting department of “Mad Men” and I want to (in his words), “Play around with [my] banjo until [I’m] old and panic as [my] beauty disappears and [I] realize [I] don’t have a chance of being the next Britney Spears.” Such a realization would be heart-breaking, indeed, as I’ve always been envious of public nervous breakdowns, electronic vocal effects, and having a team of people control my life. This conversation led to his argument that creation is “masturbation” and if I were to someday want to work on an indie film for some lame $60k (which we all know would be a considerably high contract for a low-budget flick) all for the need to express myself then I would be nothing but a selfish, ego-driven woman. I would be a crappy girlfriend and even crappier wife.

End date. Or scene. The beauty in fine dining establishments as the Ritz is that the waitstaff is acutely aware of conversations at each table and as our voices elevated, the waiter would appear and offer more booze or food options. I was turned off by my date’s defenses of being “very supportive” once involved with someone and his notion that creation is masturbation and egoic. I argued that creation for me is a calling, this inevitable moment of self-expression. Songwriting isn’t some laboured process to me that I pray will glorify my ingenious revelations to an otherwise dark world (though, sure, fame rocks when you can play venues like Jones Beach). Creation is a compulsive, impromptu happening that releases some emotions and makes for some fun jamming on the Casio. And if creation is just egoic mastubation- well, since when did masturbation get such a bad wrap? Particularly coming from the Pussy Killer.

The Pussy Killer would consider this blog to be pure, unfiltered cerebral masturbation. Probably unnecessary- but here’s my segue. I’m in the studio working my EP, which will be done next month (woohoo). The next song that will be a virile, shared masturbation (transcending to a musical orgy) to one and all is my song, “Future Former.” The Pussy Killer didn’t make it to my list of “Future Formers” because there was little chance for a future. But with a nickname like that, he may make it into some live performances. And that’s what life for me is all about. Live musical masturbation over a great sound system or blasting from your speakers at home when you purchase this awesome new song and wonder where I get all this incredible inspiration. Now you know.