Behind the Song: Tidal Wave

When it comes to songwriting it’s pretty common for me to write a song and not really know what it’s about for a while.  Sometimes years.  Recently I  found myself humming a melody over and over.  It took me a few days to realize that it was actually an old one of MY songs – Tidal Wave.  When I realized it – I had kind of an “ah-ha” moment.

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Day One

what would happen
if I let go
of “woman”
of breasts and fear and rings and bills

what if I let go

of love and hope and future and vows
what if I let go
of degrees and dances and late nights and exams

what if I
let go

of skinned knees and snowflakes and picnics and broken hearts

and the place with the trees and the lake
and the haunting cry of the loon

what if I let go

of pajamas with feet, my beakie
and the smell of me and my brother
snuggled in a nest
the creak of my crib mattress
and the rocking of the chair
that lulled me to sleep

what if I let go of “what if”

if I erased

classrooms, lovers, hardwood floors, Advent services
piano lessons
overhead projectors
chastity, virginity, and the holy ghost
yarn
purple carpet
seashells
white drapes
pentagrams
lilac bushes
acolyte robes
fresh cut grass

If “I” disappeared

and started over. again.

again.

again.
          and
               again.

on day one

who would I chose to be

over who I was made to be

–Kat;Downs

Notre Dame Et Moi

Mike texted me this morning and told me that Notre Dame was on fire.

I’ve been working the last week on a hard deadline (you’ll see the big announcement on Wednesday) so I took one moment from what I was doing to pull up a fresh browser window.

I don’t know what I expected.  But not that.

My throat did that thing when I’m going to cry.  I instantly shut it down.

“No time to feel this”, I said to myself.  “Have to finish work.  Have to teach.  We will feel this tonight.”

 

Now it’s tonight.  I’m safely home. All duties completed.  I can sit here with a dark glass of red wine and feel every last bit of this.

Here is my story about Notre Dame.

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Sparrows Point

The second band I was ever in was a Theatrical Heavy Metal band.

You heard me.

I was still totally new to playing rock.  To gain experience I had decided to just say yes to everything that came my way and try out as many things as I could until my calendar just wouldn’t allow room.  Thusly, when I got the phone call from Margrit saying this band needed a sub for an important show down in L.A. I said “sure, why not?”

Enter Sparrows Point.

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Kat Downs

Answer the Damn Call

A common question I get asked in interviews is “What made you choose to be a musician?”

I almost always start laughing.  CHOOSE to be a musician? I didn’t CHOOSE to be a musician.  Who would ever do this to themselves?  In fact, I’ve quit being a musician five times I can think of and I’m sure there were more than that.  I consider quitting at least once every couple of weeks to this day.

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What Is Brave?

I was never taught to be brave.  To my recollection.

It was more the opposite.  Not cowardly, but timid.  Don’t raise your voice, don’t handle things yourself.  Always ask for help.  Defer to men.  Defer to adults.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  Be a polite quiet lady.  Demure.  Graceful.  I was taught to stand up straight, how to choose the correct china patterns, correctly set the table.  How to correctly clean the house, and fold laundry.  I was taught how to dress appropriately for specific occasions.  How to place my hands and feet just so when having my portrait taken.

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