Happy New Year & welcome to 2022!
Today we begin bridging the gaps between our 3 projects and we’ve opted to do so by unveiling some eye-catching new graphics across our instagram channels.
Over on the Jaimee Eat World instagram page, you’ll find:
Over on the Crooked Forest band instagram page, you’ll find:
And last but certainly not least, over on the Jaimee Jakobczak instagram page, you’ll find:
As you may have noticed if you’ve been over on the Mission page, I sometimes have trouble succinctly expressing the ideas I try to bring forward to you, the what’s and why we’re here. Between these 3 graphics I think I was able to narrow them down a bit further for you by project style.
If you recognize those phrases above and notice they’re all inter-related, you’re probably a Jimmy Eat World fan. And if it’s your first time here – Hi, nice to meet ya! I’m a fan, too.
I’d say it took a long time for me to narrow it down to the 3-key phrases but the truth is they all came to mind quite quickly, and that’s because they’re often the words I repeat to myself when I’m having trouble maintaining a positive outlook or frame of mind.
Which is also why they make perfect sense to head into a fresh new year with and they also make up the what’s and why we’re here.
Believe In What You Want
I sometimes have trouble pinpointing the moment or the record that solidified myself as a fan of Jimmy Eat World but the “Believe In What You Want” DVD was definitely a critical part of that. When I started my first band I distinctly remember having all the guys watch it one day after practice as I laid out my careful and specific game plan for us as musicians going forward which was, “we’re basically gonna do what they talk about in this DVD here”.
But the phrase itself is what holds the most meaning here and is what I want any and everyone reading this blog today to take with them into 2022 and beyond that.
When I was really young I found I was passionate about a lot of different things and sometimes those would change quite drastically, almost on a whim. I’d jump from writing short stories to learning to draw cartoons, to poems, to sports and building things, to acting and comedy, and then finally onto music, and even then I’d drift back and fourth between them all as I felt I liked to. While I seemed to instinctively know I wanted to create and be artistic, where that would ultimately fell wavered as regularly as my moods.
When I really took to music around 12/13 or so, I was just as drawn to stage performing as I was to learning how to make great records, but I seemed to have in my mind at the time that I could only choose one of those path ways wholly, and ultimately I settled into music production for many years and put my own music on the back-burner during those years, taking a strange all-or-nothing approach to the way I viewed careers then.
In retrospect that really makes no sense given how well the two work together but it’s taken me many years to get to this point of realizing and remembering that I should absolutely believe in what I want, even if the odds of success in either seem low at the outset as they often do in this industry.
As we enter 2022, I do both, and I hold on to the part of me that believes what I want is still attainable, even if it looks a little different than I first imagined it.
Believe Your Voice Can Mean Something
Over the past year I had a number of conversations with people where at some point in the conversation they’d ask me something like, “what’s one phrase or saying that you say to yourself or one that you’d like to share with others by ways of advice” and just about every time this is the one I settled on, because it’s one I’ve held onto since I first heard it when I was younger and it’s one that I think bares repeating daily if not weekly, even now.
It’s also the mantra of everything Crooked Forest brings to the table. I don’t always phrase things the “right” way or with the cleanest vocabulary, but I do very much believe that what I say and do matters and it’s the entire basis for why I began releasing anything under this moniker at all. While I will continue to work on phrasing things in a way that I know I can ultimately sit back and be proud of at the end of the day, I’ll never apologize for expressing my thoughts and opinions. I know I won’t always see eye-to-eye with everyone that comes across them and I’m certain I’ll receive more backlash as the years taper on but I’m really over people telling me (And other women for that matter) that we’re being too emotional or too bossy or too (whatever negative descriptor you can think of here) and that we should just keep our thoughts to ourselves. That’s never made sense to me and if you find yourself on the side of the fence telling someone to do so, as far as I’m concerned you’ve already lost the argument.
If for any reason at all you’ve ever felt like you should sit back and stay quiet, let me take this moment to remind you that you, your voice, your experiences all matter, and you have every right to sit at every table and express yourself however you see fit.
You Are Free
When I was just working towards getting comfortable with singing and playing guitar again in 2020 when I began these projects, I spent a lot of time humming over this song in particular (and the record it sits on, but largely this song).
Through late 2019 and early 2020 before I really got underway with anything, what I realized when I sat picking over the lyrics of this one was that… I had really no idea what it meant. What does it actually mean to be free and how can I get there?
And the truth is that I am largely still not there, where “there” is just wherever I feel I’ll be when I reach a point of some contentment (we stopped shooting for straight-up happiness years ago) but I do know, believe and hold close the fact that I am, on some level, free, and perhaps I always have been but was too afraid, ashamed, scared or unsure to really believe it.
And while I still believe I am sitting firmly in the “paying the costs attached” end of it all in this moment, at some point this road can only lead out to where I want to be, I just don’t know how long it is or how many days, months or years it’ll take to get there.
But the message here that I want you to take into 2022, is that you too, are free. You can go after whatever it is that pulls you forward, whoever you want to be with, however you want to act, behave, dress, teach, learn. We all face different barriers and obstacles but we can all make choices to get ourselves to where we want to be and become the people we’ve always known ourselves to be.
Being free comes from believing in your choices, words and actions, as far as I can tell anyway, and only you can commit to them and propel yourself forward. Don’t hold back.
As I’ve mentioned before (if you’ve been here a while) while I hate to feel like I’m using another band as some sort of crutch to propel my own thoughts and ideas forward, it’s really one of the only things I feel like I truly do well, and as I’be mentioned before, the 3 projects which are all just different branches of the same tree that is me, they just don’t exist without each other and I’m not about to fabricate a whole nonsensical story in place of it all.
If you read my year end review you know that I don’t actually make New Years Resolutions, just fine-tune goals through each day as I feel it necessary to.
These are my stories, thoughts and experiences and I’d like to start the year by saying thanks for listening to them and allowing me the space to share them with you in this way.
There’s a lot more to come in the new year including new music, new videos, and all sorts of other weird content I’m sure that I’ll develop on the fly when some sort of quirky inspiration strikes, so make sure you follow all the different channels or subscribe to my blog here so that you don’t miss out.
Now, we’ve got work to do.
Just some quick updates to bring you up to speed on some minor changes here on crookedforest.ca.
Jaimee Eat World Discography Page
Coming soon you’ll be able to navigate over to a separate page where you can listen through the audio files only for the Jaimee Eat World cover songs. These releases will only be available on YouTube, Instagram and here on crookedforest.ca until we’ve completed a full album, and then we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Crooked Forest & Jaimee Jakobczak Music Releases
On that same token, soon some of the previously pulled-tracks part of the Crooked Forest collection will also be able to be streamed here on crookedforest.ca at your leisure. I’ll be continuing this going forward and most if not all of the new music releases will hit this page and blog first. You can already get a sense of what this looks like by checking out Jestem Krzywym Lasem here.
I’ll also be putting together blogs of each album and track and lyric breakdowns of each going forward. If you ever have questions about anything, I’m open to answering them (and this will help me determine what kind of content is of interest to you all going forward so please, ask!)
New Livestream Shows
Livestream acoustic shows on Twitch will return soon so keep an eye on the Tour page, including a new monthly-iteration of Jimmy Eat World covers exclusively.
Virtual Tip Jar
I recently opened up a paypal account to have the option of sending along any tips/donations. This website and all the music is put together by me and any little bit will help keep the projects going and I appreciate any help you might be able to offer. I intend on keeping this an ad-free and subscription-free space.
You can donate here:
Treehouse & Side Barre
These are newer platforms I’m working on building up and if you want to be involved, featured or want to hear about something specific, feel free to reach out anytime. Check out the submission requirements if you’re an artist looking to promote your next/current release, and by ways of quick reminder, all submissions are free.
How to Reach Me
While you can definitely try me on any of my social media channels, the best way is to e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Would love to hear from ya, just give me a few days to get back to you. Thanks!