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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Movies, M-Shop...and more movies....


I almost forgot my blog password. That's how long it's been.... I took a month "off" for the holidays. Of course I'm never fully off...but I did let myself eat sugar cookies and eggnog so that helped put me in the non-work-mode frame of mind, even if for just a little while =)

In that time - I was pleased to know some seeds planted earlier in the year helped bridge the public gap - my song 'Let's Play' was in the premier episode of MTV's new season of THE REAL WORLD and LOCUSIC released the commercial we shot this past summer.

We also got our official invite to head down to South by Southwest Music Festival this March so I can finally truly plan and talk about it =) We are on the rooftop stage of The Handlebar on Wed, March 18th at 9PM and I'm trying to write a song that rhymes "Hey Jimmy Iovine" and "check out" together so I can, literally, sing it loud from the rooftop.

January has already flown by, as it's been filled with a lot of writing, planning and rehearsing for our first performance at the beautiful venue THE MAINTENANCE SHOP in Ames, Iowa.

That show is on Friday, February 13TH in Ames, Iowa and you can purchase tickets HERE. I've also begun work with some amazing girls at Walnut Hills in Waukee. I plan to write a song or two with them - and have a feeling they'll be better than most of the songs you hear on mainstream radio right now - these girls have bright and curious minds and they are ready to write some music =)

These are a few letters from the girls, where one wrote informing me she checked out my website and had "come to the conclusion I'm a very skilled and talented singer". These are 3rd, 4th & 5th graders. I'm pretty sure they're going to be mentoring me rather than vice versa ;-)

I also have seen around, oh, 10 movies in the past month as well. I am gearing up for the Oscars, we take them fairly seriously around my household, and there were so many great movies/performances that it made it too hard to choose what to see. Soooo we're trying to see them all. We've made quite a dent so far - it's just a shame we don't get more of the documentary/foreign films closer to home. Here is a list with my QUICK notes on what I've seen so far =) "Quick" as in I won't write an entire book on each movie, like I feel I could haha....I'm sure Movie Critic was on my 'When I Grow Up' list - just under singer...

1) The Theory of Everything - Beautiful movie, amazing story with even more amazing acting by both lead actors. Felicity Jones would be my choice for Best Actress, but I honestly loved Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl and haven't seen Julianne Moore in Still Alice - so I can't firmly say yet. It should be too obvious to state that Eddie Redmayne has this year's Best Actor Oscar locked - playing PERFECTLY the role of Stephen Hawking. *However*, I've thought that in years past *cough Tommy Lee won for The Fugitive (?!?!) over Leonardo in What's Eating Gilbert Grape cough* and underestimated the power of an aging actor in a slightly better than average role - - so I'm already gearing up to have to boycott Michael Keaton movies if he wins the sentimental vote - very similar to how I boycotted Tommy Lee Jones films after he didn't refuse his Oscar. Which would be disappointing since I was, honestly, really looking forward to Beetlejuice 2.

2) Interstellar - my favorite movie, overall, this year. It wasn't nominated for anything other than visual & sound awards...but it was incredible on every level and it is the movie I am still recommending to everyone I see. I believe Christopher Nolan must have pissed someone very high up off at some point because how he hasn't won for his amazing work time & time again can only be the result of a blacklist or something...whiiiich makes me like him even more. He's so obviously operating on a different level than most - but I think being that obviously better than others can be more intimating than anyone really ever likes to admit. So they simply: won't.

3) American Sniper - completely uplifting but sad story, great movie overall, and Bradley Cooper would be my choice for Best Actor if it wasn't for Eddie Redmayne. In my top 5 for movies this year, though, overall.

4) Boyhood - good movie, cool project but I'm a little perplexed on why Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are getting all the recognition and even Oscar nominations now. Other than they took a few weeks a year to go back to this movie, which is cool and they're both very good in the movie - no doubt, I don't see anyone worthy of Oscar nominations except, ummm, THE BOY?! Haha. Good Lord. Ethan and Patricia were already movie stars when they began this project - oh - and adults. The main character was a little boy who grew up on film and had to lead a movie the same as lead actors do and he was even more great?? I don't understand why he's barely mentioned or made any appearances. And, of course, the director deserves his nomination for the vision and planning and puzzle-working he no doubt had to do for this film to work. Plus he's an innovator - so very cool. Still not worth a win, sad to say, in my opinion. But the nomination alone will give him more access and clout and he'll probably return someday.

5) Wild - loved this movie. Reece was best I've seen her and there wasn't a boring second in a movie about a woman walking alone on the Pacific Crest Trail. I don't think she or the movie will win the main Oscars but I wouldn't be mad if either did. Laura Dern was fresh & awesome as her mother - and deserves her nomination as well. In my opinion, lol. Of course.

6) Whiplash - J.K. Simmons will win Best Supporting Actor for sure - and the movie was soooo soooo good. I will be buying this for sure. Especially considering I know and work with musicians that went through what these students went through, it really helped me see why some musicians work or operate the way they do.

7) Foxcatcher - Mark Ruffalo was my favorite actor in the movie. Steve Carrel's Oscar Nomination seems *slightly* miscalculated - although 'I get it' since it's such a turn for him. He was good. But I still felt hints of my favorite TV character, Michael Scott. So for me - he wasn't completely immersed. He did great, and the nose/make up probably helped the illusion some, and I think it's great he's getting taken seriously, but....I think it's a little premature to call him Oscar Worthy. But - what do I know. Channing Tatum was better than I've ever seen him - and he was committed as he could be. But Mark Ruffalo deserves his supporting actor notation and would be who I'd root for, if it wasn't for J.K. Simmons having this one soooo deservedly locked. Creepy story - horrible ending of course - but good movie.

8) Into The Woods - yuck. I didn't like this at all. Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt were the best parts of it....but not Oscar Worthy best parts of it?? They just saved it from being laughably horrible. .... Well. Maybe that IS Oscar worthy, I guess, when I type it out loud. I know it's made from a musical. Totally mis-marketed - so kids had to suffer vs only adults - but a bad movie no matter which way you dice the marketing.

9) Top Five - really like this movie. Best I've seen Chris Rock and really smart writing and good acting and just a fun few hours. We'll probably buy this one, even.

10) The Grand Budapest Hotel - we saw this earlier this year and really enjoyed it. Even my 15 yr old son, who rarely sits through anything that doesn't have either Kevin Hart or Will Ferrell in it, wanted to watch it again. Maybe I should off that up to their Oscar campaign as a tagline.

WHEW! I have lots more to say on screenplays, etc. but I'll spare you haha. Last note: Lorde not getting a nomination for 'Yellow Flicker Beat' from the Hunger Games seems silly. That song is incredible on it's own. And it's PERFECT for that movie. So that was disappointing. =(

And I also gave my Grammy predictions (not predictions haha. Very different thing. 'All About That Bass' even being in an article that mentions 'The Grammy's' makes me sad for the state of music BUT...I put aside my opinions and predicted the winners best I could based on what I think I know about how they give the awards...and gave my selections to STAR 102.5 and they'll be sprinkling them in over the next few weeks - so be sure and tune in =)

And maybe request 'Step Back Baby' while you're on the dial!!



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Covers by Bonne

WHEW! *stretching arms, rolling head around, doing a few jumping jacks*

I'm taking a BREAK from mixing my first batch of these babies.

To anyone new that is thinking of ordering a song as a gift, I think I'd suggest the song be ordered by FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12TH in order to ensure you get it with plenty of time to wrap for Christmas!! You can ORDER HERE

So, now, back to my stretching....and mini-celebration as this is the first time I've ever mixed songs before.

My neck *does* hurt just a little.

Annnd I'm kinda sick of my own voice?

Other than that, though, things are going well and songs are bouncing away!! =) #techtalk

To those who have so very graciously ordered cover songs - they'll be to you soon but one small disclaimer: Mixing Engineer...I - am - not. =) Haha, but luckily I did get a few tips from the owner of Sonic Factory Studio and I feel confident the songs going out are worth the tag price.

This has been SUCH fun and an unexpected source of learning for me - far more than I realized when I had the idea last month to take any song (that's been previously recorded by another artist and available for reference on iTunes) and cover it for $100. Remake it, probably, honestly. get the drift =)

I kept the fee down on purpose - so I wouldn't be tempted (able) to hire other players or the studio to help me. These songs are covered 100% by yours truly - and all done right here in my home.

I don't want to risk giving away any of the songs that are meant for gifts, but here are a few artists I've remade...

Joni Mitchell, Imagine Dragons, Mariah Carey, P!nk, The Beatles, and, even, myself =)

There's still plenty of time to order a song - if you know someone who is a Bonne fan for life....buuuuut also an X artist fan for life...this could be the perfect marriage? It's a unique way to mix things up gift-wise (although a copy of 'Fairytales/LoveAffairs' is also strongly suggested) and I'm very happy to add little dedications on the front of songs saying (within reason) anything you'd like me to say =)

After Christmas I'll post a little demo reel - but again - trying not to give anything away and I don't know what songs mean what to who haha back to my "studio".

I'm very tempted to change my Facebook career status to "Engineer or Producer" for the day jusssst as an inside joke with aforementioned Sonic Factory Studio if I read it here first....I'm kidding =) I'm most definitely staying with my singing/writing/creating side of things. But I think we all know if you dabble in something on the side - whether you're good at it or not - means it qualifies as something you can list as your full-time job on Facebook? AmIright? *wink*

Love and Christmas Cookies,

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black Friday

Get up to 60% OFF at the BONNE FINKEN STORE starting NOW thru this Friday at 11:59pm

$20 Signed 'Fairytales/LoveAffairs' Album (by the whole live band)

$20 Bonne Finken Digital Catalog (Soul on Display, Expectation Fall and Fairytales/LoveAffairs)

$20 Handwritten Lyrics

plus the newly added Personally Dedicated & Remade Cover Songs for just $100

Please you remember you can also pickup a regular copy of 'Fairytales/LoveAffairs' at your local Kum and Go starting this Friday and while supplies last.

Warmest Holiday Wishes,

Bonne Finken and the Collective

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November News

Hello & Happy November! It definitely feels like fall now.

In case my lyrics/music didn't already give it away (#scorpiotothebone) my birthday was this month - fall clue #1.

#2 & #3 comes in the form of fully regretting my 'I'll throw all these tights out since it's hot out now & just buy all new when it's cold again' thought process last spring and in my endless dance to keep a two-ft-minimum-distance from anyone showing signs of a cold.

Despite my numerous...numerous...past attempts to prove otherwise - air/breathing is a key element to singing and so a stuffy nose is something I try and avoid at all costs during days leading up to a performance.

So, family/friends, I love you - but - I will hug you...AFTER this Thursday.

Fun Announcement #1
Ok, this isn't a new announcement, but...we have a show this Thursday
Doors open at 6:30pm
Show at 7:30pm
$10 adv. tickets HERE

Fun Announcement #2
If you have not yet purchased a copy of 'Fairytales/LoveAffairs' - and if you live in Iowa - I believe it will become almost annoying at how many opportunities you'll now have to nab one for you or a loved one for the holidays. Thanks to Kum & Go =)
I'm going to go out on a limb, built from the talented people that helped me create this album, and say it truly could be the perfect stocking stuffer for any (non-die-hard-country) music lover. Day 1 on counters is very conveniently: Black Friday.

Fun Announcement #3
You can now order a 'Cover by Bonne' - just in time for Christmas!
I will sing/record an acoustic cover of any song you request (whether that be one of my own, a Christmas song, that Patsy Cline song you always wanted to hear me cover, etc.) for a flat fee of $100.

The 'Covers by Bonne' option will be added to my website effective Wednesday, November 19th - but please feel free and shoot me an email HERE if you'd like to go ahead and get your requests in! I'm happy to add a special dedication on the front/back end of the song.

I'm doing this because really want to take my band on a west coast tour (both 'Please' and 'Fall' went to #1 on AAA radio in Oregon, Washington & California) but to go out for just six weeks would take an average american's annual salary. So....I'm gonna try and sing our way there =)

*and if anyone is looking to sponsor or make donations towards a pretty kicka** band please feel free and contact me*

Thanks so much, as always, for taking an interest in my music - your support truly is what keeps independent artists able to do what we do!!

Much love & music,

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Catching My Breath

I'm already beginning to write my December '2014 Wrap Up' blog/newsletter - because it's been a doozy. IN a good way - but also in a 'I'm crying uncle' for a bit - way. Good timing - cuz Christine (band DJ) is tying the knot and is now in full bride-to-be mode followed by her wedding in two weeks, then a seriously amazing-sounding extended honeymoon.

So we're are on a two-month performance hiatus and I'm really having a good time catching up at home, and with family/friends, and having fun with non-performance-based music stuff that alllllways goes to the back burner during performance seasons. I'm two weeks in and want to share a little of what I've been up to.

Before I begin my Sunday Night I-Got-The-Time-Now Blog - that could go on & on - I'll be sure and mention TICKETS ARE ON SALE for our LAST public performance of 2014 - November 13th at Wooly's in Des Moines we'll be performing our first ALL AGES show at 7:30pm (doors 7pm).

Now on to all things non-musical...kinda...

I took my son - and while I am a semi-movie snob - loving all things Indie, Oscar or Tarantino - I did love Iron Man - annnd I did love this, too. I think this is now my favorite Marvel Comic movie.

One of the best cooks I know taught me how to make one of the best meals I know. Chicken & Noodles - from scratch. It kinda felt like my birthday.

Ok, so this is semi-music related only because music is why anyone thought to ask me to join in on this... I got to go give whatever input I could to the wonderful educators, principles and staff of Waukee's school district as they try and fuse the importance of creativity into their normal curriculum. Loved being around such open and forward thinkers - hope to get a chance to help more/again/more/again =)

Trip to the wonderful Sahar's Salon & Day Spa - - everything from haircuts, colors, pedicures, make-up, massages, facials, you name it...along with a fashion gallery that has the brand FCUK - which I'm mentioning because it is fun to type. #frenchconnectionunitedkingdom

For anyone reading who has short hair and/or likes my short hair - TIFFANY MALLY is my hair stylist =)

Got a free pass to check out Trampled by Turtles at the last Nitefall on the River and it was the PERFECT night for live music. Here's me and my good & beautiful friend Jen who might not love I put this photo on my blog =)

Bachelorette party for Christine! I'm now allll caught up on lemon drop shots & trying to avoid drunk people on a dance floor =)

I also made it to the World Food Festival and branched out eating Cheese Pizza, a Lemon Cupcake, a Meatball, Cheese Pizza, a Meatball, a red velvet Cupcake, Cheese Pizza, and the biggest leap of the night: a Puppy Chow Cupcake. *I recited this to my son just now and reminded me he tried some Hawaiian chicken as well. He did. I did not. To anyone that knows me who was maybe wondering 'Does Bonne still eat like an 8 yr old?'. Yes. Yes I do.

I know I always say this during downtime (that never seems to stay downtime) but I will try and blog much more regularly. I'm only two weeks into a six week hiatus and already have written two new songs and began reworking the ones that didn't make it onto 'Fairytales'. So the writing bug got enough rest this summer and is waking back up. This past two years as been one for the books. Just need a quick recharge...and then it's off to the races again. Can't wait =) Thanks so much for taking the time to read my thoughts...hope to see you soon!

Much love & music,

Monday, August 4, 2014

Bugs & A Baby

The last few weeks have literally been a blur. I just got back into the 'eat a cooked meal' saddle two days ago and am starting to feel like I'm ready to be seen in public again. The highlights and lowlights were probably all from the same five days.
I went from Iowa, to Nebraska, to Colorado, to Nebraska, to Iowa, to Nebraska, back to Iowa...within that five days.

1) First 'Take The Show On The Road' performance ended up fun & successful

2) Getting a VIP trip to meet organizers of The Underground Music Festival in Denver - where we are slated to perform in 2015

3) Head sound man, Josh, celebrated a new baby boy

photo courtesy of

4) Performing at Simon Estes Amphitheater for Nitefall on the River

5) Having James Biehn as a guest guitarist for a night (I hate using the word 'epic' unless describing traveling around the world in a hot air balloon...but his guitar solo on 'Hang On' was as close to musically epic as you can get....without including a full orchestra & Robert Plant on stage....

photo courtesy of

1) Eating five whole bugs. While singing. Wings & all
2) Thirteen hours of sleep in five days
3) Drinking approximately 386 Smart Waters due to the excessively heated performances *thought of looking at a smart water = shudder*

But, of I am preparing to do it again.


SAT, AUG 23rd: Ingersoll LIVE
(Des Moines, IA)

For anyone thinking 'I'll catch them the next time' just a heads up: this will be our last Des Moines area show for a few months. It is free & kid friendly....although the time may not be.
We close out the event, performing 9-11PM on the main stage

FRI, SEPT 5th: Blue Moose
(Iowa City, IA)

Show is 19+
Doors at 8PM/Show at 9PM
Opener is TBA
Tickets are on sale now for $10 HERE
There will be a special acoustic performance via Iowa Public Radio's JAVA BLEND program with Ben Keifer at 2PM at The Java House in the pedmall while the rest of the band goes and set up. The show at Blue Moose is full band.

SAT, SEPT 6th: St Louis Arts Festival
(St Louis, MO)

I'm very excited for this show. I'm honored to have been chosen as their headliner and the band can't wait to go & perform for everyone. It is a small celebration, also, in that it will officially my largest show to date, with over 130,000 people in planned attendance.
We perform 8:30-10pm on the main stage. We will then be drinking *coughbrutcough* champagne while playing paper/rocks/scissors to determine who is driving home on Sept 7th.

Thanks so much for reading. As always, you can help support an independent artist by ordering your copy of 'Fairytales/LoveAffairs' via my WEBSITE or by downloading a copy for just $9.99 on ITUNES.

Love and Music,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Led Zeppelinnnnnnn

Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin
(Bonne Finken live at The Temple Theater in Des Moines, IA)

Huge shout out to OCEANWIDE STUDIOS for the video capture during a tricky show to capture. More video to come...

It's been a crazy busy past three weeks.