Alki-raised singer/songwriter Allecia Clemons has written hard-hitting social commentary but is currently working on a comedy album, and is fundraising for its production on KICKSTARTER.
Alki-raised singer/songwriter Allecia Clemons gets serious about kickstarting her new comedy CD
With her sturdy, yet angelic voice, evocative of Joan Baez, combined with her many no holds barred lyrics, Alki-raised singer/songwriter, Allecia Clemons presents an intriguing dichotomy.
For example, in her 2007 release, "My F@?#ING THUNDER" (Not our edit. That is how she spells it) she forcefully, but pleasantly croons the track called "Hitler", an anti-war song, a response to Pres. George W. Bush stealing the 2000 election away from Sen. Gore, as she sees it, and the worry and grief mothers of soldiers experience. She said the song is also a response to the wrath the Dixie Chicks suffered in 2003 when their music was pulled from numerous country stations following reports that lead singer Natalie Maines said in a concert in London she was "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas" as a criticism of the war in Iraq.
Clemons' CD was played on over 500 college radio stations in America.
Her most recent CD, "working shift joan" is about our struggling economy and working for low wages. The CD reads, "...All songs were done with just one take. It's raw, uncut, and wonderful. There are mistakes. There is also magic."
Clemons, a youthful 43, and a graduate of West Seattle High School and Evergreen State College, now lives in Burien. She has begun a fundraising campaign on KICKSTARTER for the cost of producing her comedy CD. It's title, "what's for lunch", is a whimsical song she sang about food items with residents at the now-closed Life Care Center of West Seattle where she was activities director in 2011 & '12.
While she said she loves the comedy of Mel Brooks, and is also a seasoned jokester, she will sing her lyrics as opposed to telling jokes. Her website, www.alleciaclemons.com, was visited by over 40,000 viewers in 2012 she said.
Clemons' songs are autobiographical, and some comic relief could prove cathartic, both for her and the listener. She has experienced hard times like many in this tough economy in recent years.
She explained, " We're taught prejudice through our family, friends, school, and there is prejudice against people who are poor. I found myself in a situation where I was injured on the job. I then had no job, was out on the streets looking for work, in an awful situation. I sold my engagement and wedding ring from my (then) recent divorce. It can happen to anybody."
Prior to her Life Care Center job she did a stint working for a temp company folding papers to be mailed to folks facing foreclosure, which she described as "eight hours a day folding paper to thousands and thousands of people losing their homes."
Clemons acknowledges the "starving artist" meme sometimes accurately describes those pursing such financially iffy creative careers as acting, painting, and theater. However, she said those pursing music have an even tougher challenge, and need to overcome an industry-wide injustice.
"Being a musician and supporting yourself these days is not working," she said. "You can get free music off of (Internet music provider) Pandora. I get a one-penny royalty from each song listened to through Spotify."
As low as that sounds, her estimate might be optimistic. According to Wikipedia, London-based author, data-journalist and information designer David McCandless claims an artist on Spotify would need over four million streams per month to earn the minimum wage. Spotify's catalog provides access to approximately 20 million songs. You pay a service to listen to them, generally on your computer.
"If you want to see a dancer, you must buy a ticket first," she pointed out. "If you want to see a painting, you can't go into an art gallery and just steal a painting off the wall and say it's yours. That is what's happening in the music industry.
A lot of musicians are very bitter in the Seattle area, really struggling, asking, 'Why should I create when I don't get anything back,'" she said. "Most musicians I know work eight hours, then spend time practicing, booking, marketing their music. Then they do a gig. A lot of people don't realize that when you see a musician on stage, they may have already worked eight hours, and now they're playing another three. I think it's time to change how musicians are viewed so they don't have to go to the food bank to eat."
To donate to her comedy CD, CLICK HERE.
See her perform live Tuesday, June 4th:
Slims Last Chance in Georgetown
"TROUBADOUR TUESDAY WITH...Allecia Clemons"