Kelly, Astra: Timebomb

Kelly, Astra SKU: 25146837
Astra Kelly: Timebomb

Kelly, Astra: Timebomb

Kelly, Astra SKU: 25146837

Format: CD

Regular price $10.98

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Title: Timebomb
Artist: Kelly, Astra
Label: CD Baby
UPC: 885767797284
Genre: Rock

Interview with 'San Diego Acoustic's Ken Lehnig, juts before the Timebomb' release. To say that Astra Kelly is a musical force in San Diego would be an understatement. Since moving to San Diego and making it her home, Astra has been nominated five times for a San Diego Music Award. She's appeared in the pages of City Beat, The San Diego Reader, The NC times, and The SD Troubadour. She's been heard on Java Jams (CTN/Channel 4), FOX ROX (Fox Channel 6), KUSI Good Morning San Diego CW6 San Diego Living, on the air at 94/9 with Tim Pyles, on 91X with Rowley and on 102.1 KPRI where she DJ'd their Saturday night local music show, The KPRI Homegrown Hour from Jan. 2007 to May 2009. In the summer of 2008, she made her television debut as guest host for KNSD TV/NBC 7/39 and KPRI's "Concerts on the Square. Also, her music video for "All I Got" was showcased in the 2009 San Diego Film Festival. Ken: It's wonderful to be able to chat with you. I'm fairly convinced there is not a musician in San Diego that does not know your name, or your music, given your commitment to local music and your own amazing performances. You came from Chicago via almost everywhere, why did you settle in San Diego? Astra: When I left Chicago unsure of where my next home would be, I settled in Santa Fe, NM. after my two-year, 85,000 mile tour ended in a mishap with some black ice...rolled my tour van, landed on train tracks, and a train came along and hit the van. My folks owned a place there they were renting out and I found a studio to manage (Stepbridge Studios). I stayed for just over three years. I'd met Cathryn Beeks playing on the street in Boulder and she invited me out here. Loved it, was tired of living in the desert with no water and moved here a year later. Ken: I was impressed with you bio that you had been a street musician in Chicago, busking for tips at the train station. I did that back in the 60's and it created pretty thick skin and the ability to reach people. How was that experience for you? Astra: I learned to play the guitar in the subway really. I'd always sung, but really needed to hone my guitar chops and learn how to sing and play at the same time. I played about 20-30 hrs a week for the first year, working through bloody fingers, a hoarse voice, the underground subculture (yes, thick skin indeed)....but had it down after that. At first, I couldn't hold onto my pick, so I taped it to my hand for a couple of months...when I took off the tape I'd figured it out. It also taught me how to connect with people. I read body language to see who was responding to a song, and I'd try to make eye contact if I saw someone connecting. Seemed they were more apt to give me money that way. It was also really interesting to have a new audience every few minutes. During rush hour, I'd play songs I knew people would dig. Bobby McGhee always took in a big haul. Christmas time was the most definitely made sympathy cash for enduring frozen fingers and the bitter Chicago cold. Ken: When and what had you become a singer/songwriter? Astra: Well, my first performance was in kindergarten as the little Billy goat in the "Three Billy Goat's Gruff." They let me sing my lines. I guess it all just really built from there. ;) I started writing really sappy, lovesick, teen angst filled tunes, on the piano, at about thirteen. "Lost love in the darkness, where did it go? It's running too fast now, and I'm chasing too slow." Oh! It was ridiculous. I used to record demos of my songs using my dual cassette player. If you put in a blank cassette and hit record, you could grab everything playing and everything a mic plugged into it will pick up, so I'd just go over and over laying down keyboard parts and backing vocals....a drum beat from my casio. It was rad. Once my Dad gave me a guitar and I started writing on that, it really dialed it in for me. Ken: You are a music person who does it all, you write, perform, record, produce CDs, promote yourself, and book your own shows. I see more and more of this, is that the way any artist must do it these days? Astra: Yeah. I've just always done it. As an independent artist, you can't afford to hire someone and a lot of folks can't do a better job than you can do yourself, since you are the most passionate, and knowledgeable, about what you do. Ken: It shows in your work. You spent a lot of time and energy learning the music business, where do you think the business aspect of music is heading? Astra: I spent a lot of time learning how the music business works, because I was managing my own career. At least now I can share some of that experience with other people and it has value enough to generate income to help pay the bills. I really don't know where the industry is heading. It's been baffling me for years. Ken: You hosted San Diego's KPRI Homegrown Hour for almost three years, and hosted shows for singer/songwriters and local acts. You work with local talent, with your own company, and still write, record, and perform. How does that affect your music and your view the local music scene? How do you find the time? Astra: As with many, I'm sure, I have to wear a lot of hats to make my living in the music industry. Currently, I don't have to have a gig outside of the industry, so I feel fortunate. I find the time, because I have to, and I'm passionate about what I do. Ken: You were aggressive in getting you and your music out there before 2006 -then you had that terrible accident, a crash. You were quoted as saying it was a life-changing event. Would you tell us about it? How is Astra Kelly pre-2006 different from Astra Kelly now? Astra: I realized as the van was rolling that if I'd wanted to die, I could have. I didn't. I wanted to live, and thrive, and become the person that I was supposed to become. It erased my fear of death and thus gave me a freedom beyond words. Ken: I was engrossed in your music when I was researching for the interview, and looking for that 'thing' that makes for a good sound. Your band numbers are skillfully arranged, the genre mix is eclectic - jazzy, rock, funk and blues and powerfully performed. There is a no nonsense feel to music. How about introducing the band on your posted music? Astra: Thank you! Mike Monsivaiz - Drums (he's currently in Afghanistan as a hired gun for the military) we miss him. Tony Swanson - is my current bass player: (He does sound all around town, but regularly for Anthology and Fluxx, and fronts another band called 'Medicine for Madison'). Sam Johnson - (jazz extraordinaire) played bass for last year's Battling the Sun EP release. Chris Wilson - (Endoxi) played guitar for last year's release. Mike Chartrand - plays everything on the new record. Marta Zaludova - (Transfer, Republic of Letters) sits in on strings and backing vocals for this CD's version of Battling the Sun. Ken: Who arranges your music? Astra: I do. Ken: I love that you play rock with the band, but also play solo - both incredibly well. There are two distinct voices in the two. Your rock 'voice 'is strong and intense, while your 'voice' in your solo performance is gentle and accessible. Are there two performers in Astra Kelly? Astra: Absolutely. I've always tried to deliver an equal balance of both. Ken: You do it well. Your songs are delightful; there is an accessible vulnerability, but a clear confident defiance in the lyrics. What inspires you to write? Astra: It usually starts with a thought, emotion, or experience that becomes larger and relate-able as the songs are written. Ken: As a songwriter do you write from personal experience, or do you take an idea worth exploring and tell a story? Astra: Yes, but I've recently been writing songs for a new project called "Harlequin" in which each of the songs are stories about a fictitious character. Because I do usually write from an experience based place, it has been a wonderful experiment to write story tunes. Ken: There is a difference between the way you write the ha

1.1 These Days
1.2 Timebomb
1.3 Like Never Before
1.4 Music
1.5 Battling the Sun
1.6 These Days (Coda Collins Remix)
1.7 Timebomb (Goodwin Remix)
1.8 Battling the Sun (Blood Orange Remix)

Audio Sample:
All soundclips are provided by Tidal and are for illustrative purposes only. For some releases, the tracks listed may not accurately represent the tracks on the physical release.
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