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Saying Goodbye to Girlyman

For those of you who are not Facebook users, this is a post I made on my CaringBridge blog yesterday, on September 11th. It concludes my involvement with Girlyman, and explains our need to close that chapter of our lives officially. (For those of you who are on FB, sorry for the double post.)

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/dorismuramatsu/journal

I/we would also like to acknowledge and thank all of you in the UK and the Netherlands who responded to our call for financial help last year after we returned to the States. We did not give you the proper thanks you deserved! Your generous contributions helped us tremendously. Sorry it took this long.

Thanks again for reading and for being a part of one of the most incredible journeys I’ve had on this earth. There will always be more creativity and music and love, but there’s only one Girlyman.

Love,

Doris (Nate, Ty, and JJ)

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Pre-order D IS FOR DJANGO!

Calling all kids, parents, and Girlyman fans: Doris, Nate, and JJ have formed a new kids’ music band and it’s called Django Jones! And, for a limited time, we will be taking PRE-ORDERS for our debut album, D is for Django.

Pre-ordering D is for Django means that you’ll receive your copies in May before the official release date. And, we will sign each copy with loving care and mail them to you asap.

The cost of $25 per CD includes domestic shipping and handling and helps us to recover some of the costs of recording and manufacturing.

Psst … but here’s something even better:

Pre-order two or more CDs, and give the extra copies of D is for Django to kids and families whom you know would love Django Jones! As our thanks for spreading the Djangoword and maximizing your support, we’ll send you a download of a BONUS TRACK that will not be on the album. AND, we’ll also include a one-of-a-kind, miniature kid’s book, illustrated by Doris.

There are many costs involved in making a CD, from recording, mastering, and artwork/layout, to replication and packaging. Your pre-order assists in covering these costs, and directly helps us to keep making music. Django Jones (JJ, Doris, and Nate) thank you for your support!!

CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER!

ABOUT THE CD:

What have Doris Muramatsu, Nate Borofsky, and JJ Jones been up to these past few months in Atlanta? Well, due to the fact that practically everyone they know has a bouncing baby on their laps (or on the way) they started making up some children’s tunes for fun. It has evolved into their latest project, a kids’ band called Django Jones. Their debut album, D is for Django, will be replete with songs about germs, the 206 bones in our bodies, and Bigfoot, as well as several lullabies – songs that even adults can relate to and love.

You may recognize these three musicians as members of the sweetly harmonizing folk-pop band, Girlyman, which along with Tylan Greenstein, has traversed the US and Europe since 2001, wowing audiences with their tight three-part harmonies, heartfelt songwriting, improvisational “tuning songs,” and unpredictable stage patter. In the fall of 2012, the band decided to go on hiatus to refresh, rethink, and rejuvenate and to see what new seeds they could sow as individuals or in various other combinations.

Django Jones, named after Doris’s charismatic chihuahua mix, was spurred on in part by the growing number of kids who were fans of Girlyman. Parents would remark that their children were drawn in by the harmonies, the humor, and particularly the silliness of the made-up tuning songs, the topics ranging from chopped liver to cannons to tambourine-eating sharks. Not having any kids of their own, the three started pretending they were kids again, (not very difficult) and imagining what they would have liked to hear. “If the song cracked us up, gave us goofy smiles, or made us tear up,” says Nate, “then we knew we were on the right track.”

The recording process has been experimental and playful. Doris and Nate bought pans of Jiffy Pop to record the kernels popping on the stove for a song about…you guessed it – popcorn, and JJ assembled practically every percussive instrument she has ever collected to produce the background “bones” for the Bones Song. “In a way, making this record might even be more therapeutic for us,” she laughed, as she danced around hitting things.

The album will be arranged so that the energetic songs comprise the first half and the softer songs and lullabies make up the second. “We wanted parents to be able to pop in the cd and use the second half as a way to calm their kids down and get them ready for bed,” explains Doris. While all songs are kid-friendly, a good number of them will speak to the adults in the familiar vein of Girlyman. “I’ve cried while singing these songs,” admits Doris. “Who doesn’t want to be told that everything’s going to be okay?”

Watch our video here.

Thanks again, and don’t forget to PRE-ORDER!

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April Show Cancelled

We are sincerely sorry to announce that April’s show at the Silver Center in Plymouth, NH, has been canceled. We had hoped that we’d be ready to be back on the road after taking a short hiatus, but life is hard to predict. We know that many of you already bought tickets and were perhaps traveling great distances to see us.

Please contact the venue for information about refunds (Customer Service at The Silver Center: (603) 535-ARTS (2787) or 1-800-779-3869).

Again, we thank you for your support and are very sorry for any inconvenience. We hope you understand.

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Help Nate Make a Solo CD

Hi everyone –

Nate here. During this time of Girlyman-hiatus, I’ve embarked on the exciting (and scary) project of a solo CD.

In the past year, I’ve written about a hundred songs. In going through these, I decided that I really want to share some of this music. Because Girlyman is taking a break, I think now is the right time to do this. I’ve started culling them down to my favorite 14 or so, and have already recorded some of them. But in order to make this into an actual CD, I’ll require some outside help.

To that end I’ve started a Kickstarter campaign.

I thought this might be more fun than simply running a pre-order campaign, as Girlyman has done in the past. My hope is that it will give you a greater opportunity to feel involved in the process of making this CD. Additionally, there are some fun “rewards” for pledging to support me on Kickstarter – early digital downloads of the album, a custom-written song, and even a skype date with me.

Of course, if I don’t raise the money in the next 27 days, everything people contribute gets returned, and I embark on a career of panhandling by making up tuning songs on the streets of Atlanta. While this could be amusing at first, I’d prefer not to let it come to that.

So please check out my Kickstarter video and page:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1381829906/every-wish-solo-cd

much love,
Nate

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Girlyman Subscriptions Canceled

Hello, dear friends! Some of you may have seen our announcement before the holidays about the Girlyman Subscription program that we had scheduled to go from January through the end of 2013. Our intention in launching the program was to maintain a connection with our fans during our time off the road and to share some of what we’re creating while there’s no other way to access our music. We had hoped that it would be exciting for those of you who have followed us for years to have a front row seat, perhaps for the first time, to our creative process, and to that end we planned to share demos, instructional videos, etc. We had also hoped that the program would help us get through what is sure to be a lean time financially – that it would be, like all our creative endeavors as Girlyman, a win-win situation for us and our fans.

However, immediately following our announcement we were disheartened by a stream of negative feedback the likes of which we’ve never experienced from our fans in our 11 years as Girlyman. Some were upset by the price of the program – while our intention was to make it affordable for as many people as possible, we also needed it to be worth the time and effort of creating the content. Others were put off by the idea of us “taking time off” and getting paid for it. Still others felt uncomfortable supporting what they perceive as a band breakup. The overall sense we got was one of eroding our longstanding good faith with our fans, and to us that’s too high a price.

Therefore, after much reflection, we’ve decided to cancel the Subscription Program. Those of you who have already signed up will not be charged any further. You’ll be able to log in until Jan 31, so enjoy the downloads until then.

We love our fans very much, and we treasure the relationship we’ve built over these years, which has always been characterized, we hope, by transparency and respect. In that spirit, we offer the following Q&A to address some of the questions you’ve been sending our way.

We hope you all are having a wonderful new year, and we’ll keep you posted on any Girlynews on our Facebook page and via occasional emails. Thanks again for all your support through the years!

Q: Why are you taking time off the road?
A: The short answer is that our touring model has become unsustainable – financially, emotionally, and health-wise – in different ways for each of us. For a longer explanation, see – http://girlyman.com/2012/09/16/taking-a-deep-breath/

Q: Is Girlyman breaking up?
A: The most honest answer is we really don’t know. Perhaps the best way to say it is that the Girlyman we were before is over, and we don’t yet know if there will be another incarnation. In order to know what comes next, we need to take some time to work on other projects and to get some much-needed rest.

Q: Is this because Ty wanted to make a solo album?
A: Absolutely not. Ty had been planning to make a solo album for years, and her work on it in 2012 was unrelated to the band’s unanimous decision to take time off of Girlyman later in the year. As tempting as it can be to want to blame one person or one factor, this really was a group decision, and there were many factors.

Q: Will the other members be releasing solo albums?
A: It’s quite likely. Like we said in our announcement, everyone is still writing and staying creative. We’re not done yet, by any means!

Q: What about the Girlyman kid’s album we heard rumors of?
A: It’s in the works and some of the basic tracks have already been recorded. We don’t have a specific timeline for completion yet, but when we do, we will let you know.

Q: But what if I already subscribed to the program? I really wanted to help out and be tuned in to what Girlyman is up to creatively, and it seems unfair that the negative feedback won out.
A: Instead of running a subscription program, we’ll be offering some free content on our Facebook page and website, and will keep you updated with any news that seems fun and/or relevant via our email list and social media. You can keep up with various band members’ projects via the same channels.

Q: How can I best support and be involved with Girlyman now?
A: We would absolutely love to have you be involved with our new projects! All of us have musical projects in the works, and we’re SO excited to share them with you. The absolute best way to help Girlyman during this time is to channel your Girlyfan-dom into these new endeavors: pre-order a CD, come to a show! For more detailed information on Ty’s solo project, you can visit her website at www.tylanmusic.com and/or her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tylanmusic. We will definitely let you know when new projects emerge from the other Girlymen!

Q: Doesn’t Girlyman have a show in New Hampshire in April?
A: We sure do. It’s our last show for a long while, and we’re still planning on playing it. Come and celebrate a last hurrah with us! http://girlyman.com/tour/1021/

Thanks again for all your support.
We love you very much!

With gratitude,
xo Ty, Nate, Doris, and JJ
Girlyman

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Become a Girlyman Subscriber

Hello from Atlanta! I’m about to say something you’ve never heard us say before: We’ve just spent almost three months at home. Yes, that’s right – for the first time in many years, Girlyman has been off the road long enough to eat, sleep, and exercise on a regular basis. We’ve also been able to devote a lot more time to writing, recording, and practicing.

Nate’s been recording songs from his vast archive, enjoying being back in the studio. Ty has finished tracking her solo album, created a website, and did a short, fun tour with our favorite trio, Coyote Grace. JJ has been taking online drum lessons and studying rudiments, and setting up a stained glass studio in her house. And Doris has been writing almost a song a day, and is teaching herself the beautiful art of paper cutting.

Why are we telling you all this?

Many of you have asked if there’s some way you can continue to have access to the band while we’re on hiatus. We’ve even dropped hints about how you can have a front row seat to our music during this time. Some of you have also asked how you can “give back” for some of the joy that Girlyman has brought you over the years. Well, we’ve created a way that you can do both!

Become a Girlyman Subscriber!

As a Girlyman Subscriber, you will be given access to a members-only page on our website containing content that will be updated every month through the end of 2013. Along with a summary about what each band member is up to, content will include things like mp3s of brand new songs, song and lyric sketches, demo-style recordings of songs in progress, fun Q & A style interviews interspersed with song requests (either performed live on Stagit.com, or as pre-recorded videos), instructional videos about how to play Girlyman songs, and free downloads of some of our favorite live shows from the archives! We’ll be adding content throughout the month, so you can get your Girlyfix on drip.

How does it work?

You designate your subscription level (as little as $10, or as much as $500 per month) and authorize us via your PayPal account (which accepts payments from Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card, or your checking or savings account). No matter what level you subscribe at, you will have access to the same content! Your monthly subscription will remain in effect from January through December 2013, unless you notify us that you’d like to change your subscription level or cancel altogether. It’s that simple!

How long will the Girlyman Subscription program last?

Right now, Girlyman Subscription is slated to run through 2013, as a way for us to share our projects with you during our touring hiatus. In 2014, depending on the popularity of the program, we may decide to continue for another year, regardless of whether we resume touring. But for now, as a subscriber, you can look forward to 12 months of Girlyman!

Hey! It’s holiday season. Can I give a subscription as a gift?

Sure!  Simply create an account for the gift recipient on the sign up page. Use their email address to sign up for the account (not yours.) They’ll get a notice as soon as you sign them up, letting them know they are now a Girlyman Subscriber!  (If you’d like it to be a surprise, you might want to send an e-card or an email in advance, letting them know a very special gift is on its way).

How does this help Girlyman?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a patron as “a person chosen, named, or honored as a special guardian, protector, or supporter,” and NPR describes sponsorship as a way to “fuel the future” of the arts. Perhaps some of you already give to NPR or public television. In a similar way, becoming a Girlyman Subscriber makes you part of a very special group of people willing to put both belief and resources behind Girlyman’s music. In an economy devoid of arts funding, we’ve found ourselves forced to tour relentlessly simply in order to pay our bills. While we want to keep making music and writing songs, that will become harder and harder to sustain off the road. We think it’s a true win-win: You get access to what we make, and we are able to afford to keep making it.

What about live shows in the future? 

While none of us knows what the future holds, we do know that we are each dedicated to making lots more music. When we decided to take time off, we knew that the experience would take us where we need to go. Right now, in order to take care of our health and our lives, we’ve committed to taking 2013 off the road (with the exception of a show in Plymouth, NH in April), and then re-evaluating. Whether or not we tour as a band in the future, Girlyman is already different from what it was, because we’re all changing. And we already have lots of new music to show for it. We’re excited to share what we’ve been up to!

Click here to become a member.

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Time Off So Far

Greetings! This fall has been the longest that I (Nate) have spent in one place that I can remember. I haven’t left the Atlanta metro area for almost 3 months. It’s been a wonderful (albeit new) experience. I’ve been writing some new songs, recording some others, and doing the New York Times crossword every day. It feels disturbingly like a routine.

We’re excited about our new Subscriber system.  To start off with for members-only downloads, we have a live show: The Barns at Wolftrap (Vienna, VA) from Apr 4, 2009. We also have a demo recording I did this fall (“Figure Out Why”). And rounding it out, there’s an instructional video from Ty, teaching you how to play “Empire of Our State” on Guitar.

In the next few weeks, we’ll have more live shows and perhaps an 80’s style dance song that Doris and I recorded together!

Thanks for helping support us during this down time. We hope you enjoy, and thanks for supporting Girlyman!”

love,
Nate (and JJ, Ty, & Doris)

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Taking a deep breath.

Dearest Girlyfans,

We are both sad and excited to announce that this upcoming tour in the midwest will be our last for a while. After 11 years of touring almost non-stop, it’s almost inevitable that we would run out of steam and need some time to catch our breath. For a long time we’ve been denying it – after all, performing is our livelihood and our passion. We love our fans and we’ve been very proud of Girlyman’s heroic touring schedule. We weren’t about to let exhaustion, cancer, or anything else stop us!

But the universe is a stubbornly accurate gauge. In the past 3 months alone we’ve encountered myriad financial roadblocks, emotional obstacles, and the slow demise of our van, Sprinty (in fact, we just found out today that she needs a new transmission!). We barely stopped for breath when Doris was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago, and to some extent we’ve paid the price for that choice. Although we immensely enjoyed making Supernova and touring it, the signs continued. As much as we love and adore each other, we have had to band-aid our friendships and resuscitate our morale through the difficulty of the past couple years.

When we finally just took a breath and stopped to listen, we found that other options could be available to us if we were just willing to see them. We all experienced an incredible amount of relief when we admitted that the way we were endlessly touring – in a vehicle with 300,000 miles on the odometer, without management or sufficient support staff – was no longer viable. So the bad news is – you won’t be able to see us live for a while. We’ve committed to taking at least 6 months off from touring to re-imagine, nourish, and heal ourselves. The good news is – none of us sees this as The End, and we’re all excited to keep making music. We fully intend to keep creating during this time off – separately and together. And we believe that having the time for reflection and new experiences can only serve to deepen the art we make.

In fact, we have some pretty exciting ideas about how to continue to be Girlyman while off the road. And we’re excited to tell you how you can still have a front row seat to our music during this time. But we’ll go into that in detail when we get back from the midwest in a couple weeks. Consider yourself teased. ;)

In the meantime, we would love to see your beautiful, smiling faces as we play our hearts out for the next couple weeks!

Love,
Doris, Nate, Ty, and JJ
Girlyman

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“Empire of Our State” is the mp3 of the day on mp3.com!

The first single off of the new Girlyman CD SUPERNOVA, “Empire of Our State” (feat. Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls) is the free mp3 of the day on mp3.com! Get it here!

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Music Video for “Nothing Left”

Check out our new video for “Nothing Left” off the new CD Supernova.

Special thanks to Ary Smith, Amy Foster, and Kim Zahller for their help with making this.

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