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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

'Best Local Musician'

Sooo....this is pretty awesome? =)

THANK YOU to every single person that voted for me AND to Cityview Magazine. You can READ ARTICLE HERE. I'm very grateful that my work is/was recognized and that my fans are thinking of me, even while I hide out in the studio =)

It makes me even more anxious and excited to release this new's very nice to feel like my work has the support of my city =)

Much love and music,

p.s. You can download the first single 'Step Back Baby' PLEASE CLICK HERE TO BUY ON ITUNES for just 99¢ Any & all honest ratings/reviews of the song are sincerely appreciated, too. Annnnd to directly counter-act that - you can hear the song for free by checking out the MUSIC VIDEO HERE =) #notasaleswoman

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Send 'Step Back Baby' to SXSW


This post is asking for something I actually hate asking for....I'm asking for some votes. I want to send my baby, 'Step Back Baby' (see video/hear song below) to the South By Southwest music festival in March..

South by Southwest is an annual film and music festival/conference held in Austin, Texas.

I actually performed at this festival in 2009 - when my very first album was released.
(see me below at the SXSW festival - I didn't have an iPhone back then, my apologies for the quality of photo)

I didn't quite understand WHAT the festival was at that point - that's how new to the entire music-everything I was.

Now I's for networking - and hopefully: getting your music heard by as many people as possible.

So I'm excited to say my song 'Step Back Baby' has a shot at making it to Austin, TX this year.

The Greater Des Moines Music Coalition is putting together a compilation of Iowa musicians - and have it narrowed down to the top 20 songs. It's called The CarpeDM Music Compilation CD. This will be distributed at the Iowa Reception (presented by the Partnership, in collaboration with the State of Iowa) at SXSW on March 9. They now need help whittling it down to 12 songs. Cue: voting by the public =)

Please CLICK HERE to vote for 'Step Back Baby' - if you think it's good enough to be represent Iowa =)

I appreciate it - thanks to everyone for their continued support & reading =)

Much love & music,

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Necessary Post

Hello! It's snowing outside and I just had my 3pm appointment unexpectedly need to reschedule - so I find myself with an afternoon: off.

Whenever I find myself with unscheduled free time on my hands I feel like I'm doing something wrong. These are the problems of a workaholic, I believe.

My son is now old enough he's off with friends. My boyfriend is comfortably watching the Iowa game. And normally I always can work on new songs or the album recordings when I have a few spare hours, but right now: I won't let myself write. I'll instantly think anything fresh/new is better - just out of over-brain-saturation of the album songs at this point. And I won't let myself do anymore work on the album songs until they're mixed - or else: it. will. never. end.

So as random of a post as this it a blog for the sake of saving the album a very roundabout way.

So, I've had these reading glasses for around a decade.

I don't need to wear them outside the house - - or even anywhere else other than while working on the computer. I have trouble seeing text on computer screen sometimes....but have had to just deal with it for the past 5-7 years or so, because I lost the glasses.

I actually thought they were gone, like, destroyed...not lost. I've moved around 740 times since the last I remember seeing them - and thought they were a casualty of my once nomad life.

But I'm proud to say I've been living in the same place for a close to four years now - - and out of seriously nowhere - there they lay one day on one of our chairs, still in their case, ready for me to wear now.

It did make me think of a higher power (even if that higher power worked thru my boyfriend as he cleaned out boxes from storage).

As insignificant of a thing glasses truly are in the big picture - it feels like around five years ago the universe said 'Weeee'll just hang onto those until you're ready to have them' *invisible pat on my head by the universe*.

I'm happy to say I do believe the universe must agree that I am (now) able to handle treating Gucci reading glasses like they're more valuable than a pack of mechanical pencils. Which, I believe, is a good thing.....

...? =) I am grateful they made it through the past seven years somehow. I can stop using my E.T. neck to write blogs now.

I think I'm going to having a bowl of strawberry ice cream.


An Adult

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bringing a song to life...

"Wishing we could put up fights like books away"

This is my favorite lyric of one of my new songs, My Heart.

Vocalist, Sarah Draffen & Drumer, Jason Handy are my favorite parts of the song.

I wrote this song about two years ago.

I always heard it as a dramatic piece with strings and non-traditional drums....and unfortunately to my non-NYC-living-self, I also heard an opera singer.

I mentioned this off-hand when I demo'd this song over a year ago, but the idea & song were pushed into a pile of around 30 songs - - with a group "we'll cross the opera-bridge if & when we ever need to" mentality.

There were a lot of other songs that DIDN'T require an opera singer. We started with those. =)

Fast Forward to Six Month Ago: Well four producers & a year of work later...the song has made it through the gauntlet of cuts and is now very much being considered as one of the fourteen album songs.

As I was seeing that it was making it past the cuts, I knew it needed the non-traditional drums added quickly to keep it from sounding 'Ballad Rock Song 101-esque' and ultimately: cut.

So, I reached out to someone I've never recorded talented friend Jason Handy - drummer for a pretty kickass band, Dead Horse Trauma.

I sent him the demo and asked him to listen first, explained it would be a cross of Evanescence & Lana Del Ray, and see if it was something up his alley.

As I hoped - - Jason sent me TWO different versions of the drums/percussion back to choose from. Both COMPLETELY creative. One version being awesome. One version being even more awesome.

The even more awesome one will be on the album. =)

The song was somehow really starting to come to life....but again - got pushed to the back burner, as we kept working on songs that did NOT have the high opera hurdle to clear.....

Fast Forward to One Month Ago - Christmas Time 2013:
I get a text from Jon Locker (co-producer) that during the holidays he had discovered HIS COUSIN.....sings opera. And is very very very good.

Holy Mother of Everything Music - I believe this song is meant to be.

One Week Ago: Sarah Draffen comes in around 3pm on a Saturday afternoon. I sing her the parts....she sings them back to me perfectly, with that wonderful strong operatic vibrato. My boyfriend was taking photos from in front of her and said he could feel actual wind coming from her mouth... =)

3:45PM.....Sarah is hugging us goodbye & is on her way. Officially THE fastest learner and she seriously nailed it. After she leaves, Mr. Locker says "I don't get, ya know, like, emotional but...that was beautiful".

Sometimes, as an independent artist, I get very frustrated that I don't just have anything I want within reach - since I'm limited by budget & access...and budget. But then again, in times like this, I'm very proud to be independent. Whatever it is in my brain, as long as I find a way to make it happen, I get to do.

I'm very proud of this song. And I feel very lucky that I got to make it my way. It's mine & it's real. And I get to share it with you very soon.

Much love & music,

Friday, January 17, 2014

My interview with Pop Vulture Magazine

Happy Friday =) I thought I'd share the interview I did with PopVulture Magazine, who are very awesomely sharing my video for 'Step Back Baby' out on the west coast, which I appreciate.

The link to the article is HERE or the interview is below =)

reminder: you can buy 'Step Back Baby' now for just 99¢ by heading over to iTunes

popVLTR: You've been making moves in Des Moines, how'd you get into music?

Bonne Finken: My love for music started with a love for poetry. I've written poems all my life. My love for music also started when I was very young when my father, who played guitar, would teach me songs by Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen and I'd sing along with him at home at night. The culmination for the two together began when I was 16 and started hanging out with members of the hip-hop scene. I was hanging out while they created beats and would hear melodies to their songs. I sang an idea to them one time and it became the main hook on the song and they asked that I keep writing to more songs. It wasn't until much later in life, after a scare with cancer, that I decided to put all my chips in and make my first solo album. That was in 2008. I'm lucky enough now to be close to finishing my 4th album (2nd studio LP) and have been working with some majorly talented musicians & producers. I'm very excited for the upcoming release.

popVLTR: Congrats on 'Live From the Loft', who are some of your influences?

BF: 'Live From The Loft' was a form of interim album for my fans. I knew the next studio album would be a major project, and wanted to put out something so there wasn't a three year gap between releases. Being independent means I'm not able to move as fast as I'd like all the time. The songs I'm working on now are influenced by a pretty broad spectrum. Each track is probably a little different - depending on which emotion I'm writing from. Michael Jackson is my #1 influence, not because my music sounds like his, but because he did not allow himself to do one style - musically. Even though he could have done any one style well. He let the songs become what they were - even if that meant they sounded nothing like the track before it. He is my main influence. With artists ranging from Alanis Morrisette, Pink Floyd, Lana Del Ray, and Led Zeppelin all creeping in, whether that be in the form of attitude, writing or cool drums. So many artists have helped form the way I hear my music...too many to list really.

popVLTR: What are some of your proudest moments in music?

BF: I should probably say getting to perform at the 2009 SXSW Music Festival - although I performed immediately following the release of my first album and at the time, I honestly didn't quite understand what the opportunity had meant, so I don't feel I fully took advantage of it like I should have. So my honest top two proudest moments: 1) When I opened for Lisa Marie Presley last summer. Her being such an icon, and once married to an artist I admire so much, made it an honor for me to just share the show with her. After her show she had her hair dresser track me down and bring me to her - she wanted copies of my albums and to meet me in person. She also had a few specific words of encouragement for me that meant the world to me. Considering her world of music involves the great Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson - it feels like she would be a hard person to make an impression on. So it felt very real to me. 2) I performed with an acoustic trio on a freezing cold night in NYC at The Bitter End last year. It was my first trip to New York City and we had to leave around 8am the next morning. I was really just excited knowing I'd be on a stage that is famous for being stomping grounds for Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Lady Gaga. We weren't well known and didn't expect to draw a lot of people - and we were treated as such at the start. We were just happy to land a slot opening for a band that did have a great draw. As we loaded our gear onto the dark stage for a soundcheck, we were reminded to keep our set to 30 minutes and the owner waved goodbye to the waitstaff as he planned to leave for the night. We began sound checking just as the owner was leaving, and not only did he decide to stay after hearing us, he changed our set to a 70 minute slot and helped the soundman get our stage sound perfect, and we then ended up getting to jam on stage with the main act, who was Richie Cannata (sax player for Billy Joel) and stayed until 4am or so. It was such a memorable night to me, and will always be one of my favorite moments in music.

popVLTR: What cool stuff is on the horizon for you?

BF: I'm preparing to release my 2nd full length LP, 'Fairytales/Love Affairs' next spring. I've been working on it for a year, as it's the first time I've traveled away from Iowa to record. I write with a blend of styles, and so it led me to working with Michael Krompass (Nelly Furtado, Natasha Bedingfield), Brandon Darner (Imagine Dragons, The Envy Corps), Matt Sepanic (Slipknot, The Envy Corp) and Jon Locker (producer of my first release, 'Soul on Display'). I feel lucky to be working with them all - Sepanic was initially involved from the mixing stand point - then ended up co-producing some tracks with Locker and I as well and it feels meant to be. I feel like this album is my best work to date - so I'm very excited for it's release.

Friday, January 10, 2014

"Step Back Baby"

If you have 99¢ and a free minute or so, I really hope you CLICK HERE and BUY MY NEW SONG =)

I then I hope you play it very very loudly =)

It's now on iTunes & is the first sneak peek of my upcoming album, Fairytales/LoveAffairs.

"Step Back Baby" was written with two very specific women in mind. The two woman have nothing in common except they both have questionable men-partners who I know they shouldn't be with. One woman I know very well & one woman I have only ever met twice and for a total of about 4 minutes. But I didn't need to know the woman well to write this song...because I know the guys.

Ultimately, though, this song is dedicated to just about every person I know. Including myself. ;-)
Love you all ~ Bon


Man, he sure looks good
You always knew he would
But now they flock around him
Talk about him
Stalk him like forever young school girls

You know he was wrong
To tell you 'You were right'
But now you fight about it
Lie about it
Start to wonder if he even tries

So step back, baby, and just take a minute
It's okay if you take all day
I know you call it just like you thought you saw it
It's never too late to walk away

Blame it on his need
The need you love to be
But now his fear of flying
Fear of trying
And his lying to himself is not what you need

So, step back, baby...

We all wanna be loved
But what you're doing is just covering up
We all wanna find someone
Not someone who's just alive

So, step back, baby...

© 2014 Bonne Finken
All Rights Reserved

Thank you to Brad & Andy of Oceanwide Studios for their BEAUTIFUL camera work. Thank you to my favorite person in the world, Mike Ray, for the storyboard & direction. Thank you to Lindsay Donald and Jill Witte for making me look pretty. Thank you to Cari Jones for making me able to fit into the dress. Thank you to The Sonic Factory Studios and Jon Locker for all the work you've done with me over these years, including but not limited to your work on this album & this video. Thank you to Michael Krompass for kicking serious ass on this song - both in your playing & production. Thank you to the actors in the video: Andy Ray, Stan Finken, Kristin Rousselow, Ellyn Ray, James Biehn, my Isaiah, Katie Lundstrom, Tasha Duree & Mischa Moyers-Anderson for trusting us being in the video without knowing the big picture of what we were shooting (some hadn't even heard the song yet...).

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Movies =)

Happy New Year annnnd Happy Award Season =)))

I spent New Years Eve the way I would have been scared to spend it, as a musician, a few years back. I spent it NOT PERFORMING =) Instead? I spent a lot of hours in a movie theatre with my boyfriend and a box of Junior Mints and I feel unusually refreshed to start the new year...which I hope to be a benchmark year, musically.

In addition to feeling refreshed, I like that I have a great start to seeing the movies I had on my list this year. I am already making predictions....I'll keep this short and save my long, nit-picky version for closer to The Academy Awards.

12 Years A Slave
According to all movie magazines and blogs I read, this is the most likely to win movie of the year during awards season....and it deserves it. It's the only movie I've even been in where after the movie, nobody spoke or left until allllll of the credits had rolled. I think Lupita Nyong'o should get best supporting actress - no question. I think Michael Fassbender is my runner up favorite for supporting actor. And I think all racists left in the world should get together, dig a deep, deep hole and take turns pushing each other down it. That movie made me angry....but it was such a wonderful film and the acting was so great I'd probably still watch it again.

American Hustle
I love Jennifer Lawrence in everything she does. I first saw her in Winter's Bone, and she was SO GOOD (!!) - it's probably one of my favorite movies now, and at the time I had no idea who she was before I knew she was the up & coming Hunger Games girl, etc. and has maintained that level of good in any/all material she touches. So I, of course, loved her in American Hustle. I also loved the entire rest of the cast and the movie as a whole - so - yeah....that was two hours not wasted =) And I am sure we will own that DVD.

Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks was great & believable of course - and so was the man who played his main captor. But I didn't love the movie enough to ever need to see it again (all due respect to the story of it - since it's a true story) and while the acting was great...there were better performances from a lead actor this year so hopefully Tom doesn't win. *although he was robbed the year of Cast Away....who else could have pulled that movie off?!*

Dallas Buyers Club
This movie has the best supporting actor role....Jared Leto was INCREDIBLE. I forgot I was watching Jared Leto and felt like I was watching a warm, quiet-spoken woman. Matthew was great too, BUT, I can't root for anyone that is running against Leonardo. It's a rule until he wins. A rule that's been in place for 20 years now. Not even kidding. I was a nerd about movies even when I was very (very) young.

This was probably my favorite movie this year, as far as what I enjoyed watching for the sake of watching. I'll want to own this, and watch it with my mother, father, friends, etc. It's a true story too, so crazy that most of these movies are from true stories...? The world is crazier than fiction. This movie was funny but sad & beautiful & touching and Judi Dench should win best actress this year, in my opinion. At least so far. But I haven't seen Osage County and have a feeling I'm gonna love Meryl Streep.....again.

Wolf of Wallstreet
Leonardo, of course, was perfect. But the movie isn't something I'd ever need to own, and I'm not sure why Jonah Hill's character needed to have caricature-sized front teeth. I will spare you the long version of why I think Leonardo should win best actor. The short version is because he incredible. And because was robbed early on in his career (What's Eating Gilbert Grape) and they owe him, like, 4 by now so for the love of everything holy give the guy an Oscar?!

I hope everyone had a fun, safe start to 2014. Looking at the year ahead, I am beyond grateful for my family (especially the men in my boyfriend, my son(s) and my father!) and for my never-taken-for-granted life in music. I am preparing to release the first single from Fairytales/LoveAffairs, 'Step Back Baby', along with a music video for it this please stay tuned. It's a good one =)

Much Love,