My Bloody Valentine

  Valentine’s day is about love, this is true. However, it is not about the kind where a last minute box of crappy chocolate lets whomever know that they are special to you. It isn’t about flowers or dinners or underpants, either. The real story of Valentine’s day and its significance, is way bloodier and much more serious than anything Hallmark would ever print in its pink and loopy cursive.

  According to legend, Valentine was a priest under Claudius II. Like most Roman emperors, this Claudius was a huge dick and loved killing people. Somewhere around 250-ish AD in Roman history, war was raging and there was loads of fighting, killing, and raping going on, thus making the emperor happy. At some point, Claudius realized, men who were married weren’t so keen on leaving their nice, soft ladies to go to war. As opposed to the horny bachelors, who tended to want to fight, kill and rape a whole bunch, for any reason, whatsoever. This conclusion led to a no-brainer decree. Marriage became illegal, punishable by death.

  Enter our doomed hero, Valentine. He was a Christian priest, already a double negative in those days, and was infuriated by the law. There was no way to change the situation, so he quietly rebelled and continued to marry people anyway.

  The services were held at night, in secret locations. The vows and blessings had to be whispered so as not to attract any attention. Young couples, taking their lives into their own hands, only to declare their love for one another. Now THAT is fucking romantic, and it was still, like eighteen thousand years before Victoria’s Secret was invented.

  We all know what’s coming… you can’t be a saint without something heinous happening to you, it’s just part of the deal.

  Of course Valentine was caught, jailed and his execution was scheduled for February 14th. The significance of the date was a nice big fuck you from Claudius. Feb 14 was the very non-Christian-y feast of Lupercalia, a blood soaked Bacchanal that comes at the end of the “Month Of Marriage”. During Lupercalia, people sacrificed animals and burnt offerings to the God formerly known as Lupercus( later to be known as Pan, pending release from his record contract) Everyone would feast on sacrificed goat meat, then eligible virgins would smear the blood all over their hot, naked bodies then run screaming through the streets. Kind of like Burning Man, but with more rape…and no furry bicycles.

  Good thing Valentine was going to be clubbed to a pulp then beheaded, so as not to see too much of that silliness.

  As the legend goes, in the months leading up to his death, Valentine fell in love with the jailers son, who would bring food and water to the prisoners. Some say it was a young girl, because, well, we can’t have the patron saint of Hallmark and red G-string underpants be a big homo, now can we? Let’s be real for a moment, though, we’re talking about ancient Rome…. AND a priest … so …. plus, if you think about it, even in such a primitive age, what jailer would send his baby girl out to bring water and gruel to a bunch of war torn, rape-y convicts? Back then girls got sold to people. And who’s to say that it wasn’t just love between the boy and priest, adoring, pure sweet love, without sex? That is also a possibility. So don’t get all pissy about me suggesting Valentine might’ve been gay. Even though he might have been gay.

  Anyway , when the day arrived and he was led out to be executed , he left a note for the boy expressing his affection and he signed it: “Love, your Valentine.” Ta-daa.

  He was beheaded and his body was burned. Claudius did not fuck around with any niceties. He made damn sure that Valentine suffered mightily in public to send a strong message to any fool who may have a Valentinian thought of matrimonial rebellion .

  Whew, THANK GOD we are, finally, an advanced society. One that finds it ignorant, nay, primitive, to stand in loves way. Which is why we no longer make laws to keep loving adults from joining in the bonds of marriage, right?

Umm …anyway .

  Valentine’s Day, like many other holidays, has become an advertising orgy, geared to sell heaps of useless crap to us all. Now, after reading about the man for whom this day is named, don’t you feel like a dick for guilting your loved one into buying you a Pajamagram? I think it’s far more appropriate, in honor of St. Valentine, to make a brave stand. Stand up to what you think is wrong, love boldly and do your best to right wrongs and rally against social injustice. Egypt is a beautiful, modern metaphor for Valentine’s day. AND a bunch of the protesters returned to the scene to clean up after themselves. THAT’S love. I know dudes who have howled to the rafters that they love me, only to leave all kinds of mess for me to deal with, and not just the kind that wipes up with a tee shirt.

  The people in your life whom you love the most, they ought to know it by now. If not, don’t wait for a day on the calendar to tell you it’s time to do so. The heart can’t read a calendar. It can’t read, period. The heart is like a dumb little kid, jumping up and down in your chest when you love somebody. If you’re lucky, it’s always jumping, for your friends, your family, your lovers, past, present and future, your pets, your God, life and yourself. And, despite some lingering ignorance on the topic, you can, for the most part, love your little heart out without having to fear for your life. May it always be that way.

Love!

A depiction…

A depiction of the non stop hard core action in the middle of a ten-hour tech rehearsal:

Randy Newman’s Harps and Angels

Randy Newman’s Harps and Angels | Nov 10 – Dec 22, 2010

Four-time Tony winner Jerry Zaks is  coming to Los Angeles where he will collaborate with Oscar-winning composer  Randy Newman on a new musical production.  More at LATimes.com

The music and lyrics of one of America’s most beloved songwriters, will be featured in the world premiere of Randy Newman’s Harps and Angels, which has music and lyrics by Randy Newman, and is conceived by Jack Viertel.  Randy Newman’s witty, complex, bittersweet and often satirical songbook is at the heart of this new work, in which the personal and the socio-political entwine creating a compelling, honest and humorous commentary on what it is like to be born, grow up, fall in love, and live and die in America.

Katey Sagal,  Michael McKean and Storm Large are members of an outstanding cast.

The cast of Randy Newman’s “Harps and Angels” features (in  alphabetical order) Ryder Bach, Storm Large, Adriane Lenox, Michael McKean,  Katey Sagal and Matthew Saldivar.

More Details: CenterTheatreGroup.org/Harps

Center Theater Group on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CTGLA

Cooking Up a Storm

Storm Large improvises in the kitchen

The sexy singer who belted out rock anthems on the reality TV show “Rock Star: Supernova,” and wrote and starred in her autobiographical one-woman show, cannot color inside the lines.

“I’m kind of a dork — I don’t really measure anything,” says Storm Large, pouring water from a teakettle into a pan of crackling-hot quinoa grains. “I probably should.”

Instead, she riffs. Yams — one of her favorite vegetables — are simmered with shallots until soft, then puréed with blood orange juice. “God was drunk when he made blood oranges. And Megan Fox,” she says appreciatively, squeezing the fruit and watching its vermilion-colored juice drip into a bowl.

Minutes later she opens the blender jar, bends to smell the deep auburn soup, spoons out a taste and pauses to consider her creation. “It’s gonna be weird. It’s gonna be awesome. No — you’re gonna thank me.”

She moves to the stove to tend to Part II of the midday meal, a pan of simmering quinoa, cooked grains she will toss with roasted brussels sprouts and carrots, turkey bacon and mushrooms, and a garlicky vinaigrette. As Edith Piaf’s voice soars through the kitchen speakers, Large grabs a bottle of Bragg Liquid Aminos and pours a glug into the vinegar-oil mixture. The flavor booster, popular with vegetarians, adds a nice, fat mouth feel, she says, “like soy sauce but better for you.”

The 6-foot singer, barefoot and in yoga pants and a T-shirt, says she’s addicted to organic vegetables, loves salads and currently has a thing for Green & Black’s bittersweet chocolate. She started cooking school in Portland before being pulled away by a regular gig at Dante’s nightclub. So it makes sense that in her bungalow kitchen, shallots — not onions — sit on her cutting board, real (organic) butter is in the refrigerator, and black lava sea salt and reduced balsamic vinegar sit on the shelf. “I always add vinegar (to roasted vegetables) because it totally brings out the bright.”

There’s not a recipe in sight — just a few nice knives, some heavy-bottomed saucepans, lots of fresh vegetables.

That’s really all she needs.

Good ingredients. An appetite. And her imagination.

Read more at OregonLive.com

The Nervous Breakdown

Great interview on The Nervous Breakdown. My friend Q designs all my CD Covers and is a phenomenal writer (she’s a regular contributor to TNB) and set me up with the lovely Gloria Harrison. It was a great day with some weapons grade female brains…and tacos.

PART I

http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/

PART II

http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/

xoStorm

Edinburgh Festival

“Storm Large is one of the finest performers I have seen in Edinburgh.” source

“Had my mind blown by Storm Large tonight. She sang, made me laugh, then cry.” source

“Storm Large at The Underbelly is phenomenal – like watching a live concept album and she’s the concept” source

“My fav Edinburgh show: Storm Large at the Underbelly. Deranged and glorious and moving US singer.” source

That’s just a sample of some of the reviews coming in. Check out the links below for more reviews and interviews from Storm’s trip to Edinburgh Festival, and click here for event times and tickets.

5 Star Review From The Scotsman

5 Star Review From Chortle

4 Star Review From The Skinny

5 Star Review From EdinburghGuide.com

News of the World: Storm Large reigns at the Fringe

A musical memoir with bawdy tales

Interview: Storm Large

Skip This Post If You’re Easily Offended

10 Questions: An Interview with Storm Large

Underbelly launch

Are you Crazy Enough for Storm Large?

Edinburgh Fringe: Storm Large

Edinburgh Tonight Interview
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzkGII5EY5s#t=11m35s

The Edinburgh Fringe Show 2010 #7 – Is It Better To Have Loved and Lost?
(audio interview starts at 33:01)

Storm Large is Crazy Enough to wow the Fringe and everything else

Video Interview With Neal B.

Neal B. of NealB.tv sits with Storm to discuss the first song she wrote, her influences, her parents reaction to pursuing a musical career and more in this two part interview exclusively from WTBL TV (Willing To Be Lucky TV)

Portland Sings For Haiti

James, Scotty Weddle and I performed a couple of songs in support of the CD “Portland Sings For Haiti” (all proceeds going to Mercy Corps). The show is called “Keep It Local” (videos below).

Besides my terribly huge sweater that makes me look like my water’s about to break… it sounds pretty good. xoStorm

Why Marriage Matters

“Marriage Matters To Me is a grassroots campaign to get Oregonians talking to each other about marriage equality. The most important and influential conversations we have are with the people we know and care about. For the many Oregonians who believe that extending civil marriage to same sex couples is a matter of basic fairness and respect, Marriage Matters To Me is an easy and powerful way to start that conversation.” Learn more at the websites below-
http://marriagemattersoregon.org/takeaction.html
http://www.basicrights.org/

Haitian Relief

Two Haitian relief efforts happening this week in Portland: Big Ass Sandwiches is donating 100% of their profits to Mercy Corps on Wed. 1/20, and I will be singing at the Aladdin Theater with Thomas Lauderdale, Holcombe Waller and Portland Cello Project (to name a few) on Thursday 1/21, also for Mercy Corps.

xoStorm