Reigning Janes

July 28, 2013

Songwriting is about risk-taking. One simply needs a safe, open space to say or do anything in order to see/hear what wants to stick to the page. In a collaborative effort, all must be open to trial and experimentation. Without complete freedom of expression, a song will lack the necessary truth required to give it life. Without truth, a song is just a song. It may be clever, or sound pretty, but it may not fly as high. In order to create a great song, one must be willing to trade in clever for truth, especially when the truth doesn’t feel safe to share. It’s playing by these standards that songwriting becomes an adventure for the courageous.

 

 

Meet Raining Jane: a female-foursome of risk-taking road veterans who have toured extensively on their original music for more than a decade. They are also the co-founders of The Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls, Los Angeles, an intensive program that empowers young women to rock in all aspects of their lives.

 

I first met Raining Jane, in September of 2006 at the University of Redlands. We were on the same schoolyard festival bill. With thoughtful lyrics, brilliant harmonies, diverse instrumentation, a high energy percussionista, and good looks, they were a tough act to follow. I played alone, nervously hammering through my set while begging forgiveness. After the gig I bowed to them, suggesting we collaborate. A few months later, we gathered at my home studio for the first of what has now become a long tradition of annual writing retreats known as ladies’ weekend.

 

Within the first few writing sessions, Raining Jane and I unearthed a few songs that would transform all of our lives. Songs like Silent Love Song, which we donated to San Diego’s Fire Relief Project in 2007; Collapsible Plans which won best original song in the Hollywood Film Festival for the amazing documentary The Big Fix; And Beautiful Mess, which has gone on to become a concert classic.

 

It didn’t take long for The Janes and I to realize we shared the same core values and shared a passion for truthful, healing songwriting. Our shared vision is to use our creative gifts to improve the world, not belittle it. Whenever we make time to write together, it’s always magical, and as you can imagine, the songs have started piling up.

 

For the next two weeks, The Janes and I are exploring what it would sound like if we were to record an album together. Stay tuned for updates, leaks and previews as this surprising new story unfolds. In the meantime, enjoy this clip of The Janes and I performing together for Feeding The Soul back in 2010.

 

 

 

COMMENTS (37)
  • Avatar of K.T.
    K.T. said ...

    Me: do you think we can request a song?
    Anonymous: you can try.
    Me: I would love to hear the Sunshine with piano and Bella Luna.
    A: okay.
    Me: do you think we can request other singer’s song?
    A: I don’t know. You can try.
    Me: I would love to hear “Crazy in Love” Do you think I can ask one more? (Eyes round open and two hands hold like a prayer)
    A: what’s that?
    Me: dance like Beyoncé when singing this song?
    A: ….
    Me: or wear like Beyoncé when singing this song?
    A: you b*t*Ch.
    Me: thank you.

    “Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises, sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.“– The Tempest, Shakespeare. This line opens and established the main theme of Olympic Games in London 2012. I am not sure if there will be an intro melody to the new album. An into to a book or to an album or to a graphics or a film or to any forms of art is like the audiences can hold their breath at this moment and be excited about what will be coming out the next. For example, I love the intro- Lokah-Samastah-Sukhino-Bhav-Antu in the beginning of a concert.

    I love Chaska’s voice, rarely does a singer come along in whom virtuosity meets sensibility. I have imagined Chaska’ talent skills and explores the furthest reaches of musical expression. Her voice and music, steeped in without being forced by its traditional forms and functions, manifests a unique combination of maturity and creativity, and so it is as well as Mona’s percussion, Mai’s cello, Becky’s instrument Sitar, subtle and sophisticated describe the galaxy. I love the imagination of the picture created in my mind which I can see these fabulous foursome ladies draw a beautiful landscape in harmony and in joy.

    And for Mr. Champion, I don’t think you need my word to prove your talent; however, pass through the walks we have taken; it began to dawn on me saying this beautiful moment remained in my mind the longest which being true to present the inner divine cause of you, communicate an emotion and sing true harmony with the environment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpHtwnyvIvw

    Personal opinion, as a listener for the differences between the stadium gig and theatre show, in the stadium, it’s kind of inevitable then; I’d sit up at the back and reflect on how every moment go on and how the years has adjusted things. Thousands of the moments come and retreat in a steady rhythm, stand still, and listen all kinds of sounds not only from the stage but also from the audiences; the sounds are like the waves from the ocean. I thought if the performers can’t really see the true measure of the audiences; a shared multiple-scattered photo might help. I remembered standing on the edge of furthest in the stadium, looking out those touring gears and wondering what they will go on few minutes later; the performers may clinch their teeth (and other parts) for the show. It could be in addition to very own pressure for them that if someone you are thinking about, such as your mum appeared but they don’t know how to contact each other, and it could bugger things up, and thus turned it being quiet appreciation. As the panoramas view will show and that at the end of the day, the kind of noise that you just can’t help but be affected by the intense sense, the strongest moments are the ones where the performer could turn every one of the gears off and just let the crowd sing/do what comes naturally.

    As for the theatre show, the moves would be like the river, it’s more intimacy and gentle like welcome everyone to my little living room, sometimes it’s as if my grandnanny telling her stories distantly and yet closely to the ears. Personally I love more of theatre one, I always would love to sit on the first row for it, prayed to God for the good luck of Willy Wondka’s golden ticket, and the worship is like “Ladies and gents, stay calm, please leave one seat for me!” I guess once a crowd gets past a certain size, it doesn’t really look that much different.” made my imagination a pointless exercise. But how good a show is, is generally depends on how good the audiences are. It may be the fuels to the whole thing.

    I think to enhance this impact is by using every tools; stage design, lighting and the sound; if they are done in the right way, the emotions are highlighted and the breathtaking made deep and the memories taken stronger; and possibly one of the wonders, a 15-year-old boy maybe, thinking that’s cool excitingly, I shall learn an instrument and surely he had forgotten the bully or any other distasteful experiences.

    From the documentary clips (Thanks Jeff, Discovery channel is always my favorite), I imagine it’s almost a sport, especially the team gathering hands in hands before the show. Not sure if there is any slogan at the moment, but my previous experience playing basketball, our coach always said, “Play Hard. Have Fun!” Once there’s a problem though, everyone groups around to stitch in and get things sorted without a missed beat. Thank you, all performers and the team who strived hard a long way and made it groundbreaking at that. I am glad we are here with the things are encircling and evolving constantly.

  • ammiro il tuo lavoro nel mondo .

  • Avatar of ingrid.stevens3

    Thanks for introducing me Raining Jane. I’ve listened to their albums on Spotify, love their music!
    I will buy their albums soon.
    Looking forward to you new album.

    Have a nice day!

    Ingrid.

  • Avatar of jarudet
    jarudet said ...

    I can’t wait for this new song!! Different vibe but I think it’ll be a fave of mine

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW3nlgntF9A

    I shouldn’t have seen and known about this new album…. The wait killsss

  • Avatar of CarmenS
    CarmenS said ...

    Who sounds so good?!
    You’re wished a smooth ride.

    Much love,
    Carmen

  • Avatar of CourtneyNicole

    I’m super excited for this!!!

  • Avatar of isbessa
    isbessa said ...

    CAN’T WAIT TO SEE :)

  • Avatar of GloriousMe
    GloriousMe said ...

    My gateway to appreciation of the truth, both exhilarating and painful, is usually through great songs and music. Thanks to you guys for being my fireworks sometimes and Prozac others. Keep up the amazing work. Can’t wait to hear more. Many smiles.

  • Avatar of dalia
    dalia said ...

    Cannot wait to hear and see you all! Jane’s Jason or Jason”s Jane is going to be volcano of excitement, i say!

  • Yee ha! Cannot wait. Great collaborative idea. Great ladies. Great courage, Mr. Mraz. Fantastic news. Great music will be the result.

  • Avatar of crystale80
    crystale80 said ...

    RJ and you will certainly a beautifull collaboration.You are expected with impatience.

  • Avatar of EvaHassine
    EvaHassine said ...

    Awesome!!!

    You guys are shining so beautiful!! Wish the best outcome of what is! Wonderful channeling this creation. Bless you so much and forever, yeahhh!

    Thank you for this amazing beautiful energy, love peace and trust, Eva

  • Avatar of ashley
    ashley said ...

    Also, I just think you should always be surrounded by women. It seems right.

  • Avatar of ashley
    ashley said ...

    YESYESYES!!!
    This is FANTASTIC news! I’m so pumped!

  • Avatar of 1sky
    1sky said ...

    * #blessings

  • Avatar of 1sky
    1sky said ...

    Awesome beautiful talent and babes! They are like Jasons babies ;) much Inspiration … Have fun #Loves

  • Avatar of MaggieMay13
    MaggieMay13 said ...

    Hidden Track: All Dialed In

    Thank You,
    :)

  • Avatar of ar4h
    ar4h said ...

    Creating from the heart, and then being courageous enough to share it with the world is a beautiful thing. The epitome of vulnerability and being connected with your authentic self. Thank you Jason and the RJ’s for continuing to share your selves with the world.

  • Avatar of sailucie
    sailucie said ...

    Wow you could feel the harmony and the synchronicity lovely. Yes don’t we need music with healing vibrating tone, no doubt the result will be amazing. You have a wonderful time creating this 5th album no pressure just plain fun my heart is with you all. Love Lucie

  • Avatar of kidest
    kidest said ...

    Also – this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen/heard: http://youtu.be/LJxu0isbvPk

  • Avatar of kidest
    kidest said ...

    so happy about this! Can’t wait to hear the combined lovely genius of all of you <3

    love love love

  • Avatar of pamela.grieco
    pamela.grieco said ...

    Excellent!!! I saw and was utterly captivated by the Raining Janes in Boston a few years ago — I think they opened for Sara B. (?)…… then was thrilled when we saw Mona with Jason at the Comcast last year for the LOVE tour….. Anything that comes out of THIS collaboration is going to be fantastic! Cannot wait to see…

  • Avatar of mrazfan1031
    mrazfan1031 said ...

    Hi! I am so excited about album#5! I can not wait to hear all of the beautiful music that you all are making right now. I am so excited. Thank you for all that you do. I love you all!

    xoxox,
    Linda

  • Avatar of christy.rollyson

    Wow! Given the planetary alignment today this is very powerful!

  • Avatar of MarLuna
    MarLuna said ...

    It’s becoming clear that #5 is going to vibrate and shine like a star just like how you are seated in the photo above, it represent so many things (I don’t need to get into symbolism)your combined talents don’t need it to succeed but it will enhance – I have no doubt.

    I find it interesting that only today I viewed the rise of the feminine on Chopra Well and found it reflecting around me and apparently it’s in motion here, that makes me ecstatic. I will sleep soundly knowing a birth of creation (from women who rule here) will combine with a farmer who knows how to cultivate and culminate beauty beyond. xoxo on Lock down -we won’t bother you, but we’ll wonder about you!

  • Avatar of seth.emmert
    seth.emmert said ...

    posting again cause I seen I’ve got back up. we all want you and Conor to collaborate, buddy

  • Beautiful girl with a big heart and a beautiful soul as you keep you on the right path ….. Namaste

  • You are working Mike Mogis!? YES. YES. YES! That makes me so happy!

    Please consider giving Conor Oberst a call, It would be a BIG dream come true for me if you guys would collaborate on a song.

    Wooh! Anyways, I wish all of you peace/love/gratitude & much fun on the studio! :)

  • Avatar of ponytail23
    ponytail23 said ...

    Forever thankful. Beautiful Mess is my favorite song.

  • Avatar of Peaceout
    Peaceout said ...

    Bravo to that recording! I am very excited to hear what you create!

    I want to share a poem by David Whyte…

    The Lightest Touch

    Good poetry begins with
    the lightest touch,
    a breeze arriving from nowhere,
    a whispered healing arrival,
    a word in your ear,
    a settling into things,
    then like a hand in the dark
    it arrests the whole body,
    steeling you for revelation.

    In the silence that follows
    a great line
    you can feel Lazarus
    deep inside
    even the laziest, most deathly afraid
    part of you,
    lift up his hands and walk toward the light.

    — David Whyte
    from Everything is Waiting for You
    ©2003 Many Rivers Press

    Be as courageous as you ever hoped to dare. <3

    - LJ

  • Avatar of @KatKarizma
    @KatKarizma said ...

    what cloud eleven said!

  • Please come to Kansas City soon. :)

  • Avatar of seth.emmert
    seth.emmert said ...

    outta high school now btw, to keep the eighth grade reference in perspective aha

  • Avatar of seth.emmert
    seth.emmert said ...

    Mr. Mraz, SO COOL that you are working with Mike Mogis. You, Jason, truly paved my way in finding genuine music in like eighth grade. I eventually have settled in with Bright Eyes as my favorite band, but you are always there as the leader of my expedition. I remember I heard your cover of Kathy with a K’s song and was like, “Mraz and Oberst, man”……any way, good to see the paths crossing. Mike’s surely an excellent guy

  • Avatar of Spiritbead
    Spiritbead said ...

    Northernights Light and Love from Alaska

  • Avatar of budditha
    budditha said ...

    I sure we’ll be able see the best JM album soon! #album5 #LovefrmSriLanka

  • Avatar of crescendohyun
    crescendohyun said ...

    I love them! and of course my favorite song of all time, A Beautiful Mess! :)

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