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27 posts categorized "Travel"



The City can't decide whether it wants it to rain or not. After the deluge of yesterday, it is still pondering, so I did get rained on a couple of times throughout the day, but it was very minor. All in all, I do prefer this weather to the stifling heat of yesterday.

Obviously it's all about me, so theretofore I brought the rain to NYC, didn't I? Anecdotal evidence: when I was in Austin, performing, we arrived to heat and three-month draught. Within 12 hours of my arrival, a thunderstorm came to pass (short, but effective), and the day was saved. 

Maybe not all my doing, but a girl can feel important: why not?

After getting rained on and finding refuge in a French bar:


I found shoes! Fortunately for me, it's sales season. Gloves, shoes, flower dress and NYC is my oyster...err... apple. Right??

Screen shot 2012-07-19 at 5.30.38 PM

Tomorrow is my performance and I am in the mood. Let's do this. Tonight I'll read some poetry and try to imagine what it is going to be like when I come and stay in NYC for a whole month, doing a residency - it's in the plans - being here certainly makes me want to dress up and strut a lot more than Los Angeles ever has. It could be dangerous! But life is short. Why not?


The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.


in bed

...and so just before the tour was over - and I had two shows left - my body said "STOP. NO FURTHER. OR ELSE".


I started running a high fever, my throat was in agony, and standing up for long periods of time was a luxury I was no longer able to afford. I went to a doctor in Tucson, who examined me, prescribed me antibiotics and kindly informed me that I should consider NOT singing in the coming two days, if I wanted to get away with my vocal cords intact, and especially if I had more concerts scheduled in the upcoming weeks (which I do).

And so after a minor emotional breakdown (I HATE canceling things, I dislike being weak, and I detest giving in to circumstances), I had to not-so-graciously concede.

Body always wins.

I am home, in bed, catching up on emails, sleep, movies and mediocre BBC crime series, which are curiously satisfying. Guitar practice awaits, as do all the important chores.... but....but....not quite yet.

Lots of exciting things in the works. Stay tuned.

In bed


back again... for a minute

I am back and spending some time with my guitar.. as it is raining outside. Southern California really needed rain, apparently. I am not at all sorry it came back with me from Northern California. We drove across the state together, seemingly.

The video for Meant is almost finished, another tour has been scheduled for May, and the iTunes acoustic session release is coming up soon. 

A brand new website is in the works - and we will soon start unveiling the story of Beatrix: which is the story behind the record. It will be premiered online in different formats throughout the rest of this year.

I performed at the El Rey theater last night, together with Michael Valerio on acoustic bass, who is my occasional MD and one of my favorite people and musicians all in one. I had not played at the El Rey Theater for almost a year, so it was a welcome return to home turf, so to speak, and an opportunity to observe my own progress. Yes, there has definitely been progress.

It was also very rewarding to see some of the new fans. There was one boy who was 14. There was a mother with her daughter who was 10. There were some older people, and a whole group of feisty and lovely women in their late 30's.

We drove all day from San Francisco. This tour has been all about driving around in a van - not the most comfortable or luxurious endeavor you can imagine, but strangely satisfying, as well - I get to catch up on all my reading, some language stuff (Chinese, hello??!!) and also meditation.

Furthermore, I think there is something in the movement that appeals to my restless nature and keeps the inner critic calm. After all, we are going somewhere, therefore we are not idle; therefore there is hope for a new development, other routes, something exciting around the corner.

Perhaps that is that, then. I would make a lousy housewife or librarian, most likely, because when I am still in one place for too long, I get anxious. When I get anxious, I am starting to inhabit my own head a bit too much, and that, in turn, makes me more anxious. Maybe I was a sailor in a past life. Or a mercenary. Or maybe a traveling potion maker or juggler, who sang.

Or maybe I am just young:)

However, it is not a coincidence that the story of Beatrix Runs - the story of time-traveling adventure behind the album - is very much a mirror of my own story up until now.

It is a story of struggle, searching for one's identity, adventure and, above all, coming to realize that life is an alchemical process.



We are in Vancouver and it's beautiful. The last time I was here was a few years ago, and it was with a boyfriend (who is no longer my boyfriend).

There is a strange thing about going places with someone you are truly in love with vs. someone who are 'kind of' into. It's really very different. I don't even remember much of Vancouver back then.

I don't think I was in love with him.

And then, there is this third way - going somewhere on your own or with a great friend, like I am doing on these tour stints. Missy's enthusiasm for life, people and all things never stops to astonish me and warm my heart. She helps me get past the moments when my Russian cynicism or melancholy kick in. And more than anything, exploring these new cities makes me feel like I am 12 all over again - in a good way.

I think I must be on the right track recently, because more and more things that happen in my life feel like they were meant to be - or have already happened. I also often find myself thinking or talking of something, only to look up and see the words printed on someone's T-shirt - or hear the words of a song that match the mood of the conversation - things like that. Synchronicity.

Tonight I perform in Canada for the first time. Another first.  There are a lot of those for me these days.

Vancouver is full of cherry blossom trees in flower. They are like white pieces of heaven throughout the city. They make me want to go to Japan soon.

Cherry blossoms


on the road again

I am incredibly tired, and yet buoyant. 

Yes, buoyant - I love this word - it is one of my favorites in English - and I have been waiting to use it in the recent days, so here is my opportunity.

In case you are wondering: buoyancy is a good thing.

The video shoot went so well. We had such a difficult time making everything come together in a very short time - but come together it did. Last night, as we opened some champagne, the feeling was of that best (in my opinion) variety of satisfaction when, against all odds and through ups and downs, the pieces of the puzzle fit in a beautiful pattern and the final result is almost more than what you expected of the best possible outcome.

I learned that I can act - and now I actually want to take some acting lessons because I found myself enjoying it, quite unexpectedly. Who knew!

I have so much to look forward to - and for once - I am not afraid. I have no idea what the future will bring- but I have done so much already. I have given 2012 my full and undivided attention. The music is out there. The story of Beatrix will grow and spread far and wide. And a vital emotional piece of it - Meant - and the video, which we shot as part of the larger story - will be out there soon, as well.


Tomorrow we are flying to Seattle and driving to Vancouver to perform. I am opening for an amazing group - James - and it's a string of 10 dates this time, terminating in San Diego on April 19th.

Onwards. With or without a map.

But definitely with a compass:)





mirror mirror

I recently did a photo shoot with MilkMade Studios in NYC, and it was a really great experience. Most of the time I don't like being photographed, and I don't particularly enjoy photo shoots. But this one was remarkably easy and fun.

There is also a MIX TAPE  Missy and I did for them, which can be found HERE, along with a few other photos.






Morning Face



Royal Tourist



Missy Excels at Stunt Photography



London Town


Missy and tony s

Missy Washington & Tony Selinger (Tour Manager and Tour Guide Extraordinaire)








very tired, but

The four shows I played on the East Coast sold out. It was my first time in three of the four cities, and so it was a fantastic surprise. 

I didn't get to see much of Boston - or Philadelphia - or VA, for that matter, because we were on a tight schedule. I was also sick when we left - and singing every night or so made it much worse.

Fortunately I only have another appearance tonight. I have to admit I am a bit exhausted right now.

Tomorrow we return to Los Angeles, and Monday I fly to Moscow, Russia, to perform at a private event. I get to spend one day with my mom after that, and return back to Los Angeles right away.

And then February 14th - session at Capitol Studios with string quintet! More about that later...

It appears that it's -20 celsius (which equals -4 Farenheit) in Moscow right now. I am trying not to think about that. 

I am trying not to think about many things, actually. There is so much hanging in balance right now - my record's viability - my voice (yes my throat is not feeling great) - my ability to juggle everything, persevere and remain the calm and balanced captain of the ship... It is a little daunting.

But I tell you what: I have been receiving incredible messages and emails for the past week and going. It is really apparent that the record is connecting with people out there. And not only connecting, but inspiring them to speak of it to others. It is out in the world now, and it feels like it is now almost independent of me. It is almost as if Beatrix (the main character of the record's story) were coming more alive every day.

I have received an email from someone at the hospital, who was getting through a major injury and he wrote to tell me that my record was helping him through it. From someone else, whose elderly dad was going in for surgery. And many, many more.

And I received a fan email from China, written in strange but endearing English of someone who must have learned it through Western ads and commercial films, asking me for an autograph. The address was different, too - it actually included the room #, and the gate # - I couldn't help but flash back to the recent report on some electronics factories in China, where people live six to a room... But I hope not.

I will send that autograph when I return home.

All I can say to myself, I guess, is that when you are in the midst of an adventure, it never is a safe and cozy place. You can observe an adventure from afar, or read about it in a book - or watch it on-screen - but then you are not actively in it. The adventure of this year is only beginning for me, and if the rest of 2012 lives up to the past week, I will have to be on my toes and muster up all my strength, patience, endurance and imagination.

But - of course - the sense of wonder, as well: can't forget that.

It feels to me right now as if everyone is a bit more tense than usual. People are more easily offended, discouraged, angered and generally unbalanced. Is it just me? Or is the Year of the Water Dragon kicking in?

Happy New Year, everyone! I love dragons and I love water, so even if it might be sink or swim, I will keep singing, playing, writing, persevering - and steer my ship to the best of my ability.




So it has been a whirlwind kind of time since June, really.

We are in the process of posting the issues of Chronicles for September and October. So bear with us!

But here is the Very First One, from our trip to Chicago and Lollapalooza - Chronicles Issue #1.

You can click on it and expand it, by the way.

Designed by the inimitable Missy of i1o2fly, of course:)



back in LaLa

So in the past month... I wrote two songs, got on a plane, flew to London, played two shows, flew to Madrid, saw my mother, walked up and down cobbled streets until I was utterly exhausted, flew back to London and then flew back to Los Angeles to play another show and then wrote another two songs. And followed up by producing & recording two covers, which we will post very soon.

 Insert random naps and needless stressing out in between all of the above.

And now we are preparing for the release of the record. January 24th. 2012.

Photos, packaging, ideas, more songs.

And shows.

Click HERE for info on Hotel Cafe December 1st and Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco for December 5th.

Oh - and Capitol Studios session with string quintet next month. It's for an exclusive iTunes release. To be filmed, as well. It is all acoustic, just me+piano+strings. What a treat. The footage and recordings will premiere around the same time as the record itself.

Here are some photos in no particular order - all taken by Missy of i102fly (except maybe the one of the croissant, but I could be mistaken):


before the showcase at East Village in London. It is chilly! I am wearing a jacket.


IMG_0085 desat
Missy designed and made this headpiece, and styled me for the performance.


She also designed and put together these beautiful shoes for me. I don't know about you, but when I perform, shoes have to match the mood. Well, ideally.




we were walking around Camden Lock, walked into a piano shop and there it was. A SIGN, a SIGN I am telling you!!


  London koko2


Talented Allie Friend accompanied me on acoustic bass and he had great style, as well as a ferociously focused look on his face, while performing. We made a lovely pair, all in all. 

London koko3

Koko crowd
The crowd at Koko was amazing. I felt like I had come home after a long absence.


Missy and I decided that we found our new motto for the Year 2012.



The beautiful Grande Dame of Morcheeba, who I opened for at Koko.



Our hotel was right in front of the Camden Lock. The only downside was that people kept partying until 530AM right underneath our windows. And singing. And drinking. And doing some more singing. And then crying and hugging each other, saying: 'it's ok, I am here for you, baby'...anyway, you get the picture.


And the most perfect thing in the world according to Missy and Myself. Every morning, in the local Italian cafe.


My Photo
NYC-born, raised in Russia, spent some time in an Italian monastery, arrived in the U.S. & studied opera. The rest is history.

Album 'Beatrix Runs' out now on iTunes worldwide.

New EP 'Hero' out in the spring 2014.


November 2014

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