Viewing entries tagged


Week 52 - All You Need is Love (The Beatles, 1967)

Week 52 - the Beatles

We made it! For our last song, well…the song says it all. Thank you for all your support - every comment, every “like” inspired us to keep going. We couldn’t have done this without all your support. Thank you. 

I’d especially like thank James for his loving and patient support, I know it was a lot to take on! The same goes for Evan - thank you! And most of all, Rebekah. You constantly challenge and inspire me to do better. Thank you lady, I love you so much!

As for the future, I don’t know…but I’m going to do my best to cover all the songs that all of you have suggested. Eventually ;)

And please come see us celebrate at Rockwood Music Hall stage 3 on Thursday, April 27th!

Yay! We. Did. It.



Week 43 - Bacherolette (Bjork, 1997)

Week 43 - Bjork

I still remember very vividly the first time I saw Bjork.  There was this very short lived music program on NHK (PBS of Japan) that I loved and they used to play lots of music that were relatively unknown in Japan.  One night they talked about this Icelandic band called “Sugarcubes” and showed their video.  The song was called “Birthday” and a girl in a red dress was singing.  Her voice was nothing like I’d ever heard, it blew my mind.  I went and bought their album the very next day.  Ever since then, Bjork’s music has become part of my life.  I love that her music (and herself) is always unique, strange and beautiful.  And I love her visual and conceptual approach to her music.  She’s a very visual musician and that’s what I wanted to bring to the filming of this song.  Rebekah and I had a great time painting flowers, ha!  

Also I’d like to thank Marianne from MSO for planting this seed in my head, what seems like such a long time ago now.  When Main Squeeze Orchestra was discussing new additions to their repertoire, Marianne suggested this song and that I should sing it.  That never happened but we incorporated accordion for you Marianne.  

Hope everyone enjoys it!



Week 37 - Tango Till They're Sore (Tom Waits, 1985)

Week 37 - Tom Waits

It was a very difficult task to pick songs from Tom Waits’s vast collection of songs.  And it was wonderful to see that so many people have such an affection for him and his songs.  In the end I decided to cover one of my all time favorite songs.  This was the song that made me fall in love with Tom Waits and I’ve tried to sing in the past but coudn’t quite get it.  So it was time to try again!  It’s the intro of the song that gets me every time so we had to work on that - it’s just so perfect in a drinking whiskey in the afternoon kind of way.  It also has the line “just get me to New Orleans” which is pretty much how I feel every time I think about that beautiful city.  As I was recording the song I realized that this song is probably about Mardi Gras, which meant we sang about entirely wrong holiday but that’s how we roll over here in Miwa Gemini land.  Enjoy.

Happy Holidays!



Week 35 - Cemetery Polka (Tom Waits, 1985)

Week 35 - Tom Waits (1985)

One of the many things I love about Tom Waits is his ability to make music with just about anything.  Unusual instruments, unusual subject matters, unusual ideas, unusual situations - all of these things makes his world so exciting and interesting.  Like this week’s song, Cemetery Polka from the album Rain Dog. It's a song about aging relatives who are mostly insane, dying or both. Absurdity with a twisted sense of humor ran through this song and it includes some of my favorite rhymes like “egg” and “wooden leg” and “hotel” and “hell.”  

I read that Tom Waits walked around NYC recording street sounds and other ambient noises on a cassette recorder in order to catch the sound of the city for recording Rain Dog.  Rain Dog is one of my favorite albums and it makes me happy that it was written in my old neighborhood West Village, though I’m sure it was quite a different neighborhood back then.  

I’ve been wanting to to do all toy instrumentation and this seemed like a perfect opportunity.  We had a great time working on this song.  I hope you enjoy!

“If I want a sound, I usually feel better if I've chased it and killed it, skinned it and cooked it.”  - Tom Waits

And a happy belated birthday, Mr. Waits!



Week 32 of 52 Weeks - Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen, 1984)

Week 32 - Leonard Cohen

When I heard Leonard Cohen passed away, I cried.  Not only he’s one of the artists that I hold dear to my heart but his passing seems to make things look even more desperate than it is, just when we need his music more than ever.  I argued with myself back and forth as to which songs I was going to sing for a long long time, but in the end I decided with Hallelujah, simply because I wanted and needed to sing it right now.   

Thank you, Leonard Cohen, for your clear and honest words and for your beautiful melodies.



Week 25 of 52 Weeks - Ruby Tuesday (The Rolling Stones, 1967)

Week 25 - The Rolling Stones (1967). 

Growing up I was more of a Beatles fan than the Rolling Stones.  Not that you have to pick one of them…  It wasn’t till we began collecting vinyl that I really fell in love with the Rolling Stones.  Especially with their early recordings.  This song although credited to Jagger/Richards, both Bill Wyman and Marianne Faithful mention Brian Jones’s contribution. 

I love it because it reminds me of so many of my friends.  I’ve been extremely lucky to have many many colorful ladies in my life. Although I don’t get to see them that often, even the ones that live close by, but I’m always grateful for their inspirational existence and I know I can call any one of them if I need a pick me up or a good laugh.  Thank you!  You know who you are.  I love and miss you!



Week 23 of 52 Weeks - Love Me Tender (Elvis Presley, 1956)

Week 23 - Elvis Presley.  Last week we covered The King of Pop, and this week we are paying tribute to the King himself.  But my inspiration came from the time I saw a singer in Japan singing this song to a music box.  I was little then but I remember it sounded beautiful.  I made our version with a toy piano and Bekah added some lovely trumpet.  Hope you enjoy!



Week 22 of 52 Weeks - Billie Jean (Michael Jackson, 1982)

Week 22 - Michael Jackson. 

I was thinking that doing this project might be similar to speed dating.  You have to assess the personality of each song and try to figure out how you can relate to it, and the end result is somehow always surprising.  I had a vague idea that we might want to do Michael Jackson but picking this one was a surprise and an even bigger surprise was that how much we enjoyed it!  It’s such a well written song, during the rehearsal Bekah and I kept on saying “one more time!” because we couldn’t stop.  Michael himself said that he knew it was going to be a success - "A musician knows hit material. Everything has to feel in place. It fulfills you and it makes you feel good. That's how I felt about 'Billie Jean'. I knew it was going to be big when I was writing it."  Quincy Jones wanted to cut the long intro (29 seconds!) but Michael told him that that’s what makes him want to dance!  Later Jones said “and when Michael Jackson tells you, 'That's what makes me want to dance', well, the rest of us just have to shut up."  

Hats off to you Michael.  You were a true genius.



Week 18 of 52 Weeks - Sunnyroad (Emilíana Torrini, 2005)

Week 18 - Emilíana Torrini.

I love good story telling and many of the musicians and songs I love usually spins a good yarn. This song by the Icelandic singer Emilíana Torrini tells a beautiful one and when I first heard it, I wished that I had written it!  The challenge of covering this particular song was how to make it our own.  Luckily Rebekah had a brilliant idea of bringing in a trumpet.  I really love how it came out. 

Emilíana Torrini has released many albums and has done some interested collaborations with the likes of Thievery Corporation and Kylie Minogue.  If you are Lord of the Ring’s fan, she’s the singer that sang “Gollum’s Song.”


Week 14 of 52 Weeks - Blowin' in the Wind (Bob Dylan, 1962)

Week 14 - I know we covered Bob Dylan only two weeks ago.  But I had to cover this song and this is why.  As a mother, I hope to raise a child who sees beauty in our differences.  A child who won’t turn away from injustice and will be compassionate to those who are in need.  A child who will listen to others yet always looks for his own truth.  I hope to be a good role model for my son and as I get to know him and his little friends, I wish more and more to make this world a better place for them.  But times like these, I’m feeling small and lost.  So instead of giving into despair, I’m going to do one thing I know how to do. 

“Too many of these hip people are telling me where the answer is but oh I won’t believe that. I still say it’s in the wind and just like a restless piece of paper it’s got to come down some  ...But the only trouble is that no one picks up the answer when it comes down so not too many people get to see and know . . . and then it flies away. I still say that some of the biggest criminals are those that turn their heads away when they see wrong and know it’s wrong. I’m only 21 years old and I know that there’s been too many” - Bob Dylan, June 1962