Music Videos & Musings on Indie Arts & Businesses

It’s cooooold here in Iowa. I’ve been spending lots of time snuggled under my down comforters (yes, two at a time, I told you it was cold!) watching music videos. So if you’ve got a snow day, I encourage you to make some hot coco and snuggle down under your own blankets for a nice little music break, because I found a few really great clips from some live shows at a cafe in Massachusetts called Mocha Mayas.

The artists that caught my eye were ones I’d actually seen at house concerts on my street! I hosted Brooke Brown Saracino at my place, and Truckstop Souvenir hosted The Starlings at their place across the street. These videos are such good quality, it’s almost like being back in the living room with the musicians singing a few feet in front of me!

Feed and email readers may need to come to the blog to see all the videos

Here’s Brooke Brown Saracino singing Half a Buck, Left to the Birds and Lonely Song.

Here she is again, singing a cover of Anais Mitchell’s Namesake and her songs Falling, and Boat.

Next up are The Starlings singing Rosie, Hand to Mouth and Acorn.

Three more by The Starlings: Wild Child, Bluebird and Bone to Ashes.

Looks like Mocha Mayas is a pretty cool place to hear good music, eh? They have a bunch more videos! Here’s the description of the cafe from their YouTube channel:

Mocha Mayas is a small cafe situated in the hills of western Massachusetts. A small town on the banks of a lazy river rolling over an expanse of glacial potholes provides the scene for what is known as Shelburne Falls. A small town where artisan shops and excellent restaurants provide the atmosphere for intelligent discourse and clear headed thoughts. Intimacy and community is what we are about. Mocha Mayas provides musical interludes on most friday and saturday nights – for those in our general area who might be interested in attending a live show please check out our Myspace for information on upcoming shows and events.

Unless otherwise labeled all video and sound by Elijah Rottenberg.

I’m always singing the praises of my local coffee shop/acoustic listening room Cafe Paradiso and all the great acts they bring through. It’s really nice to discover there are other great places out there with the same type of commitment to quality in everything they do – from their coffee to the entertainment they host on their stages.

Mocha Mayas also has a website and a MySpace page:

While we’re on the subject of awesome listening rooms, I’d like to take a moment to encourage you that wherever you live, be sure to go out and support your local small businesses like this! While watching clips online can certainly be a good reminder of the magic that happens in those concerts, nothing can replace the electric connection that happens when you’re actually in a room full of people sharing the experience.

Plus, if you don’t go to shows and such, they’ll stop having them. No joke. I heard about a restaurant near Cedar Rapids, IA called Cibo Fusion that used to have live music every weekend, but stopped having musicians play because they had to cut back. That was a regular gig for some of my friends. I just came across a restaurant called Calavino’s in Decatur, Georgia that is in danger of closing altogether, that has also been a regular gig for a great musician down there, Doria Roberts.

It’s a crazy time for our country, where it’s easy to feel a pinch between the desire to give during the holidays and a need to save money to help ward off uncertainties in the months ahead. I’d like to humbly suggest that if you give gifts this year that they be from local businesses and independent artists – musical and otherwise. For an independent artist, every dollar really does count, and when you buy locally, your dollar circulates through the community 3 to 15 times before leaving!! That’s what I call strengthening the economy!

As a citizen of the web, I also would say there are plenty of really cool “neighbors” selling stuff on their own sites and others like Etsy and eBay. And if you do end up with a few special requests that need to be purchased from big companies online, consider clicking through to those shopping sites from your friend’s blogs and websites to kick back a commission to them.

Finally, as an artist myself, and supporter of artists and indie business owners everywhere, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for every time you have gone to a live show, bought a CD or handmade gift, shopped at your local Farmer’s Market or got your latte at a local coffee shop! Really! You’re supporting the kind of world I want to live in!

Alrighty, I think you get the idea! I’ll get off my soapbox and leave you with a completely fun promo for a completely non-local event, though it IS connected to Indie artists. :-)

Gives Advice on Packing for the 2009 Cayamo Music cruise:

OK, one last question! What are your favorite listening rooms and local businesses?

2 Responses to “Music Videos & Musings on Indie Arts & Businesses”

  1. Dave Zeman says:

    You do such a good job on you blog. You must be a site, wrap in two down comforters and you little arms reaching out the the lap top… 😉

    I’ve got to run, I’ll try to come back and watch the vid’s

    Hey I just bought something on Etsy today for my wife’s Christmas present.

    Homemade CD’s yep that’s me… Dave Zeman Gypsy Soul is finally set… and I used to send it to iTunes… all for $43 … bargain, eh?

  2. Heather says:

    Thank you Dave!! Yes, I bet I do look pretty silly in all my blankets!

    I hope you get a chance to come back and watch a few, the are top notch.

    Yay for Etsy, and congrats on your new CD! Tunecore seems like a super awesome company, really looking out for artists. They have a great blog too, with lots of great biz tips!

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