Made in Bristol – watch me on TV!

On the 11th of July I was a guest of Made in Bristol TV. I was invited to be on the Crunch show so as to promote my next day’s gig¬†at No. 1 Harbourside.

If you missed it, not to worry, you can watch it here:

NINA ANN on TV

Sorry for my French accent ūüėÄ Hope you enjoy ‘the Montpellier Song’ in live version (at the end of the episode).

Besos x

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Made in Bristol – watch me on TV!

What’s going on in my music department

Hey hey, good news, I’m being super musically active recently!

As¬†my last post mentions, I’ve been busking since I got fired and you know what? It feels amazing! The sun, the smiles, people dancing to my music, saying it’s different from anything else, thanking me for changing their days… Yesterday a family came up to me and the mom said on behalf of her son that he loved me.¬†As much I don’t like kids I had to give him a hug!

Last Wednesday I also recorded one of my last year’s tunes; I called it the Montpellier Song¬†because that’s where I finished its composition. Have a listen!

the Montpellier Song

The song was recorded by Olga Czerkwiani and Ben Harvey at DBS studios for Olga’s movie, hence the ending.

I will be talking about the recordings on the Bradley Stoke Radio¬†on Monday 12th of June, at 8:20 pm. The Jelli Records Music Show hosted by Steve Parkhouse will let me play a few songs live, we’ll also have a chat about what’s going on in my music department.¬†You can listen to us online here:¬†BSR FM

On the 1st of July I’ll be playing a set at the Mount Fest. Check out the details here: Mount Fest 2017

Zdjńôcie uŇľytkownika Stitched Boards.

And finally an ad/a chance for you, if you’ve got a bit of spare time.
If you’d be interested in getting me some gigs around your area of England, I’d be very happy to come, play and share some $ with you. For details (or with details) please contact me at nina.saw9 [at] gmail.com

 

My gigs:

1/07 – Mount Fest, Gloucester

12/07 – No. 1 Harbourside, Bristol

15/07 – Bristol Independent Fair, Memorial Stadium, BS

27/07 – co-hosting open mic at the Rope Walk, BS

2/08 – The Greenhouse, BS

8/08 – The Canteen, BS

11/08 – Baloon Fiesta, BS

19/08 – Cider Festival, the Crossed Arms, BS

30/09 – TBA

for more details go to my website: NINA ANN

 

 

 

 

What’s going on in my music department

Quick update from Bristol

Hey all,

it’s nice to be back. Let’s get straight to the point.

I moved to Bristol in October… well, really in December, as before I stayed in Hanham at Mark’s place and haven’t actually worked in Bristol until the last week of November.

That is when I got a job at this super hipster bakery that tries to be a restaurant as well called Pinkmans. It seemed like a place that’d be very on time with what’s going on in the world of coffee so although I’ve got a better position offered somewhere else, I decided to take on Pinkmans – as I really loved my coffee stuff.

I became a regular visitor of a few open mics in town, trying to find musicians interested in forming a band.

Then it turned out that Pinkies¬†don’t actually care about the quality of their coffee and serve their beverages in cups smelling like a dirty dishwasher so I figured out I need to save money asap to get a battery-powered amplifier and get far away from there.

That’s when trouble at my flat begun but there’ll be a separate post for it cause it’s a long and interesting story, beautiful and disgusting depending on its moments. Anyway, I won, as always, and moved on. I still hang out at the flat all the time.

And then, after I bought my amp and asked Steven, the owner of Pinkmans to go part-time, I’ve got fired through an email, while on my holidays, with not a day notice for¬†some bullshit about being sick/willing to go home early after I asked them for one day sick (first since three months) after working the whole day in fever and not being able to talk.

So if you’re planning on getting your chai latte from Pinkmans (note it’s not actually real chai tea latte, it’s¬†just milk with spices), be aware that your money goes to such person. And that the stuff gets paid minimum for working 10 hours with 20 minutes break. In athmosphere in which general manager doesn’t speak to one of the employees (not even hi) for almost two months long. Where KP with a degree got fired for ‘lack of interest’ and where multiple people are getting fired through an email without earlier notice about the reasons. You’d support the place that exploits amazing amazing people – because the team that I had chance to work with was absolutely amazing. The girls on the counter, my colleagues on the bar and the beautiful bakers and kitchen staff…

If you’re vegan, don’t buy H&M, hate Nestle or work for Amnesty International or just care about hungry children in Africa – don’t be selective about changing the reality¬†that surrounds you. Don’t support Pinkmans.

*****

Getting fired was the best thing that happened to me – ever since I’ve been busking/getting gigs for the summertime. Earning way more money, wasting no time and not having to eat/drink from smelly dishes.

I’ve been meeting so many people and my perspective has changed a lot.

Not being opressed on every day and put in a situation where someone judges all of my actions while not having any competitions in the field (coffee) and burning their milk every time, I’ve relaxed my muscles, my throat, my soul. New songs are being composed, new opportunities are coming my way, I get a lot of sunshine, have time for vocal practice and finally get to see my friends. I’m also playing my first-ever-in-the-UK festival! … but that’s material for another post, a pure musical update with no bullshit low-class evil in it ūüėČ

Here’s me (and my third eye, hence the enlightment!)¬†with a friend that I made while busking:

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Quick update from Bristol

Austin-Lubbock pt 2 – The most American night of all

Where were we? Ah, I arrived to Lubbock, the city of Buddy Holly.

 

I was staying with Tyler’s friend, Schmoo; and Ben, and Socorro and… guys, I think there was somebody else in the house, or am I making that up?

There they were: Socorro, the king of the comedy; Ben, an expressive Texan millenial in the heart of gay community of Lubbock; Schmoo, a gentleman hard rocker dressed in red, white and blue jeans.

We went out with a few guys to this pub, I’ve got a free diet coke.
One of our companions was Josh, a very handsome cowboy with an absolute gay appearance. His perfect blond ponytail under a cowboy hat, his elegant vest and very shiny -clean boots; he used to say all those words, like ‘howdy’, ‘y’all’, ‘ain’t’ or ‘ma’am’, with his smooth voice. And he played the banjo. He was delicate and dramatic. Very¬†Southern and very gay. Beautiful connection that I adored.
Me and Schmoo went out on a bicycle ride.

At some point I lost Schmoo and had my not best moment of feeling dizzy in the street, so I sat down on the kerb and rested. A homeless guy came up to me:

‘Y’all feelin’ alright?’

‘Yeah, I’m just dizzy’ I said, ‘I’ll be OK in a second.’

‘Do you want some food? I can bring you food. Maybe you’ll feel better when ya eat somethin’.’

He offered me a blanket (dude, we’re in Lubbock in August, it’s rather hot!), something to drink (that’s when I realized that I’ve taken out the glass of diet coke; I’ve got a beverage for free and then I stole the glass… ehh, not proud of that one)… He really wanted to take care of me. But as my head settled down and Schmoo appeared, we continued the ride.

We stopped at a 7 eleven, had a great laugh, did shopping and … there is was, a magazine with a fat letters printed on its cover shouting¬†something about Elvis not being dead.

‘Do you see it too?’ I asked, ‘Isn’t it 2014?’

We laughed like crazy.

Schmoo had a dog named Alpheba. I noticed how amazing vowels and their pronaunciation were. He explained a bit to me;

‘If an “E” is followed by a consonant that is followed by a vowel, then you pronaunce it “e” as in “Egypt”. If an “E” is followed by a consonant that is followed by a consonant, then you pronaunce is “eh”, as in “Elvis”; if it wasn’t like that you’d say “Eelvise”‘

We could see all the stars that night, even though the lights were strong, we were in the city. At some point of the evening, Ben said ‘I really think that there is more sky in Texas than anywhere else in America’.

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There was a reason for me to take the above picture, yet I want you to figure it out yourself.
I know you can’t see too much but that is why I chose this copy!

Early in the morning we went to eat breakfast burritos – that amazing amazing Texan thing that pretends to be inspired with Mexican cuisine, but really is stuffed tortilla flats with whatever the fuck you can think of when you think ‘breakfast’ + hot sauce.

The boy serving us had fake eyelashes and lipstick. He was so pretty, I think Ben had a crash on him or maybe the other way round? It doesn’t matter now, the thing I was trying to say is: he was a sweetheart.

There was some story to the place, something about activity of the owner and the people they hire… But I’m not gonna lie, I don’t really remember. I should have written down more things.

That is also why I’m going to stop my story right here. I do not remember the next part. Something about taking pictures of houses, tricycling, Schmoo’s band’s rehearsal, banjo playing, more of that Texas, I’ve never gone to Buddy Holly’s museum in the end. It didn’t matter, I had my ‘most American’ night.

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Ben and Schmoo leaving me on a gas station on a road to New Mexico.

Austin-Lubbock pt 2 – The most American night of all

Laws on hitch hiking in the USA

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the legality of hitch hiking around the USA and decided to answer them as much as I can.

I have not been to all the states.

I do not know all the laws by my heart.

But I have my sources ūüėČ


 

First of all Рin most states pedestrians are not allowed on INTERSTATES, therefore you cannot hitch there.

It makes sense. You don’t want to be there.

And it works just the same in Europe – you’re not allowed to walk on a highway, are you?

That doesn’t mean you can’t take interstates at all.¬†Most of the time they were my first choice, as:

  • it is¬†the fastest way by car,
  • you get a lot of people traveling long-distance so your chance of catching a direct lift is increased,
  • nobody takes routes

My tactics would be to stand on the shoulder of the on-ramp (highway’s entrance). Hitch wiki says:

“(…)¬†understand that the ramps are still technically considered interstate property and are illegal for pedestrians to be on, although it is almost without exception permitted if you stand in front of the “no pedestrians” sign.”

Doing so I’ve never had any trouble. The police just passed me smiling.

*****

Hitch wiki on National Parks:

‘The only nationwide law (Code of Federal Regulations) that prohibits hitchhiking is 36 CFR 4.31 which states that hitchhiking is illegal on any property under jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior: National Park Service. This includes but is not limited to National Parks, National Scenic Byways, and National Recreation Areas.’

*****

In a lot of states it is illegal to hitch on Turnpikes. That is not the case in all the places, so please, check the Road Code of the state. I know that is the case in Maine and Oklahoma.

Again, that one makes a lot of sense – these are the roads where you’re supposed to pay for the ride.

*****

USA numbered highways and state routes are differently regulated depending on where you go.

Regarding the places of the codes where soliciting rides is mentioned – for the right interpretation of road codes you need to make sure that you adjust your definitions of terms to what the code proposes.

For example:

Louisiana, Mississippi and Nevada all agree that it is illegal to solicit rides on a highway – actually… Louisiana and Mississippi say it is illegal on a roadway.

Now.

As much as in Nevada it is legal to walk on a highway, it is only legal if you do it facing the traffic on your side, so walking to the opposite direction than the cars on your side.

Also the way it defines highway is

(NRS 484.065) ‘Highway means the entire weidth between the boundary lines of every way dedicated to a public authority when any part of the way is open to the use of the public for purpose of vehicular traffic, whether or not the public authority is maintaining the way’ [ugh]

…and you can do nothing about it. You just cannot solicit rides on the highway.

Let’s go to Louisiana now.

They may say it is illegal to solicit rides on a roadway, yet they define roadway as ‘that portion of a highway designed or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic, exclusive of the berm or shoulder’

which pretty much means you should be all fine as long as you’re on the shoulder.

And Mississippi?

Mississippi road code says that a roadway means all surface portions of the roadway between shoulder lines.

I’d say – don’t stand on the shoulder, as that may be misinterpreted by cops, yet as long as you’re on the grass, you should be fine.

*****

Some of the states that I’ve visited…

Pennsylvania Рit is prohibited to hitch on Turnpikes, you can hitch from the shoulder (berm), also on-ramps.

Maryland – you can hitch from the shoulder of a highway, on-ramps. Parking lanes of highways are included in a roadway though and it is prohibited to solicit rides there.

Virginia – you can hitch from the shoulder of a highway, on-ramps too; interestingly, it is permitted to hitch on Shanendoah National Park’s theritory.

Tennessee is a star. ‘Begging is prohibited, hitch hiking or soliciting of transportation is illegal’… But then I’ve done it, a cop passed me by, slowed down, smiled, waved friendly and continued on his way. Remember, they’re conservative, don’t like hobos, so look like a human being if you want to hitch without drama there. If you have a guitar that’ll make it even easier, trust me. I don’t like generalizing but seriously, it works.

Mississippi – as above, you can hitch from the¬†berm, grass (also at on-ramps)… whatever comes after the shoulder; I’ve actually hitched from the shoulder and had no trouble but these were periods of 5-10 minutes of wait, not too much opportunity for the police to bother me. Also no police around – rather dodgy spots in most cases…

Louisiana – hitch from the shoulder, also on-ramps.

Arkansas does not clarify whether ‘roadway’ includes the shoulder or not and they do say that soliciting rides on the roadway is illegal. Is it OK to hitch¬†at all? God knows, it’s Arkansas…

Texas – you can hitch from the shoulder, also on-ramps. I believe it is also legal to walk on an Interstate in Texas, I can’t find proves online, yet I was told that by a cop. A cop who saved me, then gave me a lift and then organized the following lifts.

New Mexico – it’s OK to hitch from the shoulder or on-ramp. Baudelier National Monument has got it’s own laws about where you can and cannot hitch on its theritory.

Arizona – they’re my favorite;

(code 28-796)¬†‘Pedestrian on roadways

A. If sidewalks are provided, a pedestrian shall not walk along and on an adjacent roadway.

B. If sidewalks are not provided, a pedestrian walking along and on a highway shall walk when practicable only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic that may approach from the opposite direction.

C. A person shall not stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride from the driver of a vehicle. ‘

Arizona is quite relaxed though.

Its code says that roadway does not include the shoulder; and although you can’t walk on the shoulder in the same direction as the cars,¬†I would say you should be alright if we agree that you were not walking, just standing. It includes on-ramps.

Nevada – don’t hitch there.

New Jersey – don’t hitch there. Don’t even go there ūüėČ

California – it’s OK to hitch from a shoulder or on-ramps.

Colorado –¬†it’s OK to hitch from a shoulder or on-ramps although their law is very weird.

If you’re planning on going to any other state than the above, please, get to know the state’s road code. You can take a look at this great website which gathers so much information on the topic:

HITCHER

And make sure you don’t scare the Americans off. Look like somebody whom they need to save from the evil evil world of hitch hiking ūüėČ

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Laws on hitch hiking in the USA

Just a small self-advertisement

Hey everybody,

today’s post a little bit different. I know I’ve got a story to finish but recently I’ve been putting all my creativity into music and may need another moment before I sit down to write.

For today – back to the music. I’m just starting and therefore need to promote it anywhere I can.

I am now offering to compose music for you.*

Have you got a poem that you’d like to sing out to people? Do you want to tell something the person you love? Have you got a musician friend who’s better with the lyrics than the music? Or maybe it’s just an artist’s block and you just need a little kick?

Please, send it to your friends and family, post on your Facebook, twitter or blog… I would really love it, if you helped me make it roll.

You can find the offer here:

https://www.fiverr.com/ninasaw/compose-music-to-your-lyrics?funnel=89766dce-aa78-4547-871f-7e4f424017ab

 

*Commercial use costs extra but then you never know if it doesn’t make a #1 ūüėČ

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Just a small self-advertisement

Austin – Lubbock pt.1 – How the Universe saved me

As a break from my 2016 hitch stories, I’ll tell you about the most cliche-American thing that has ever happened to me (and about the Universe taking care of me everywhere I go).

Before that though, I’d like to mention something¬†that probably a lot of bloggers struggle with – the fact that a blog is very very very public (unless you want to secure it with a password, but then it all depends on your target for readers, I want a wide range of strangers to read my¬†crazy amazing stories and therefore can not block them with a secret code). Fact: people I do and don’t know can read this. Fact: there’s my mom and potential employers among them; ergo = some stories will never be published.

Like this one. I was very close to deciding not to share it. I just thought that’s such a shame, I love this story, I love it so much – I’ll just skip parts. Oh, also I think these two stories are really one – it’s quite a long one though, so I’ll just cut it into pieces: How the Universe saved me and The most American nigh of all.

I was hitching from Austin to Lubbock. Tyler gave me a ride to Lampasas, dropped me there on a gas station and left me feeling happy about not committing to others and free flowing.Seriously, I was celebrating having these feelings and I guess that is why I was enjoying myself so much on that tour.

Here’s Tyler feeling zajebiscie:

The first car that stopped for me offered me sex for money. I said thank you and they went away. Same happened with the second car. The third one wasn’t even a car, just some cowboy coming out of the bushes and trying to convince me to just give him a blowjob, really nothing else. Oh great, that sounds so much better than the other two offers! [joke; really: joke.]

I looked at the road, said to myself:¬†if I don’t stop anybody during that wave of cars, I’ll go to the toilet and right after¬†a pickup truck stopped by¬†me. The guy inside seemed weird, not scary though; as in: he was a little bit off, yet I did not feel the threat of him hurting me in any way. We chatted for two minutes and I asked if I could send his place to my mom [to Josh], as I still got a weird vibe from him. He wasn’t too happy, he agreed though. I took my time, waiting for him to react, making sure I press ‘send’ before I get into the car. I was hesitating for a little bit too long, so I decided to just shut the phone and step into¬†the vehicle¬†quickly.

‘Wait’ he says, ‘there’s a police car behind us’.

And indeed there was.

The cop came to us, and started asking questions about the situation. He was very obviously checking, if I wasn’t a prostitute and I didn’t take that as an insult, more as him knowing his area (‘mind you the three cowboys). In the end he asked us to present our documents, he took them away and wasn’t coming for a while.

Me and the weird guy in a cowboy hut (somebody told me in Mississippi: never trust a guy in a hut and yet I ignored – not forgot – it, as it was damn hot and I wanted to get to Lubbock sooner than later) started chatting, my feeling about him was not changing and really, just for a moment, I didn’t even care about it. I started panicking about my passport, my visa, something was taking that cop a long time, something wasn’t right.

Finally the policeman comes back, gives the guy his driver’s license back and when I want to reach for my papers, he asks me to step out of the vehicle. My heart’s beating even faster.¬†I follow the cop¬†to his car, he’s in front of me, very serious and silent. For a few seconds there I am¬†panicking about getting deported.¬†Once we’re by the car, he turns around, looks at me and asks:

‘What makes you trust that man?’

‘I don’t trust him’ I answer straight away, ‘I can’t trust him, I have just met him. And he’s weird but I don’t think he would hurt me’.

The policemen looks at me (now I see: his face says WORRIED),¬†‘I don’t want to tell you to do or not to do anything, but I have a piece of information I have to share with you and you will decide whether you want to go with that men or not’.

I agree, relieved it’s not about my documents.

‘That guy has spent 5 years in jail’ starts the cop and my mouth opens immediately, ‘for sexual harassment’ he continues, my jaw goes lower, ‘on a 6 years old boy’ he finishes – my chin goes even lower.

‘Fuck! I knew he was weird!’ I say in theatrical yelling sort of whisper, ‘but it’s very hot, I’m very late and I need to keep on going…’ I see in the guy’s eyes he won’t just leave me there, so I play it cool, ‘I guess I’m outside of his age or gender preference’ I joke. The cop doesn’t smile. ‘…I guess I will not go with him though, I’m a chick, I need to play it safe’.

The policemen offers to get my things, tell the guy off and then help me with my travel.¬†After he brings my backpack and the guitar, we hit the road. He calls somebody and tells them I’m with him, going to Lubbock. He can only take me to the end of the county, as he’s on shift here, so he needs somebody else to take me further away. We talk a bit, he turns out to be actually a laid back dude.

He brought me to another policeman, who turned out to be his dad. Another great ride, he was so sweet. Then he got me another police car for another county. The last cop dropped me off on a gas station, insisted on me accepting some lunch money and gave me a Lampasas police pen which disappeared very soon. Aaargh, that would be such a cool souvenir!

That day the universe fell on my head to save me.
I was so close to making my first mistake about whom to get into a car with.
You may say  I have made that mistake, I was already in the vehicle. Yes, and no. I took his plates, I was watching his every move, I knew he had an off vibe and I had my hand on the knife for all the time that I was in his car.
Also maybe I wasn’t wrong – maybe he would not hurt me. He didn’t seem as if he’d wanted to. Again: I might have just not be in his type – a girl, and such an old one… Come on, it is a little bit funny!

Anyway. Thank you, Universe.

From there I’ve got a direct ride to Lubbock, where I was staying with Tyler’s friend Schmoo). My last lift was a guy whose name I’ve already forgotten (it’s not my most popular story), he was going to visit his son in College in Colorado. He told me about a 19 years old boy called¬†Jacob Lavaro, a friend of his son’s. Lavaro¬†used to bake hash brownies for him and his friends until one April day that the cops got him and now they’re pressing charges against him for the entire weight of brownies (400 instead of just weed’s worth. He was facing 10 years to lifetime in jail. Apparently a nice guy, good student, polite kid with a lot of friends. Not a dealer, just a user; facing mandatory minimum of 10 years for really just getting stoned with buddies; by eating cake. That’s the least gangsta use of drugs¬†anybody has ever heard of and yet they were treating him like a criminal.

I followed the story. Attorney Mark Brunner said ‘As prosecutors¬†we are bound by what the law is, not what the law should be or could be.’ and the law says that adulterants and diluents count as the drug mixture; luckily Brunner changed his mind about that later on¬†and dropped the charges for a first-degree felony; Lavaro was being¬†charged with two lesser felonies: marijuana buds + hash oil (the latest much more serious in Texas).

In the end it wasn’t that bad. In October Jacob¬†pleaded guilty to second-degree felony in exchange for 7 years of probation.

How can one get into so much trouble for something which is a fully legal business in other parts of the same country? Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, D.C. Look at Texas! Houston and Dallas decriminalized possession of weed.

Oh, have I just fit in a third story here? Yes, I have. If you’ve made it that far, you deserve a prize. Even if you just scrolled it and read these words here – the prize’s yours.¬†Watch this:

 

 

Austin – Lubbock pt.1 – How the Universe saved me