emchy: (Default)


The Cost of Being Gay

A look at the financial realities of same-sex partnerships.

With open enrollment season in full swing, several big companies have said that they would begin to reimburse gay employees for the extra taxes they pay on health insurance for their significant others. Now, two more technology giants, Microsoft and Yahoo, have decided to join in, starting Jan. 1.

Married heterosexual couples don’t have to pay the taxes because their unions are recognized by the federal government.

While Yahoo’s new policy will apply only to same-sex partners and their dependents, Microsoft said it would also begin to offer domestic partner insurance to workers with opposite-sex partners. And they will get the extra reimbursement, too.

The movement to equalize benefits has picked up speed in recent weeks, as companies revisit their employee benefit policies for the coming year. Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and American Express have also announced similar changes. There’s still a long way to go — most companies don’t “gross up,” as the reimbursements are known. But we’ve been closely tracking corporate America’s progress in this chart.

Under federal law, employer-provided health benefits for domestic partners are counted as taxable income if the partner is not considered a dependent. On top of that, the employees cannot use pretax dollars to pay for their premiums — unlike their opposite-sex married counterparts.

So while many big companies offer health insurance coverage for domestic partners, it costs employees more money to use it. To level the playing field between gay and heterosexual employees, more companies are digging into their own pockets to cover the extra expense.

Many of them choose only to cover same-sex couples since heterosexual domestic partners have the option to marry and avoid the extra taxes. That makes Microsoft’s new policy stand out as being particularly generous.

Is your company on our chart? If not, mention the name in the comment section below and we’ll ask the company if it has any plans to change its policy. We’re also curious to learn about any big companies that do not offer domestic partner health insurance.

emchy: (Default)
To mark the 82nd anniversary of the stock market crash on Wall Street, and to honor the brave protesters occupying cities around this country and beyond, we're proud to release this free download:


emchy: (vb_micstand)

Just announced: new Vagabondage Album!

OMG folks - I'm so excited to tell you about the new live Vagabondage record. Sure we're just about done with the epic studio album Whiskey & Starlight, but first we made and released this super charming snapshot of a live show. Six songs long, full of excited audience and us really being in the moment - it's a document of a great show at a tiny local theater in San Francisco called the Boxcar. Hence 'Live at the Boxcar.' The album cover photo was taken by SF photographer Carrina Maree at this years Junkstock and, well, I'm just kind of in love with all of it.

The final mixing was done at Saturn Studios / Ransom Note Records in SF - who are the same folks we are doing the studio album with and man I just couldn't be happier. They're located in Upper Castro in SF, queer owned and operated and so I like to think there is a healthy dose of magic SF fog and homo dust glittering up the album.

We are pricing this one pretty low at $3, mainly because it's such a labor of love and the folks who helped us make it gave us a huge break money wise, doing work for us either sliding scale or free. So we wanted to pass some of that on. A lot of our fans have asked us to release something live and so this is really a little love letter to those folks who come out and throw the goat with us, dance along to songs and just make us know why we do the art that we do.

Now we're just working to get the word out about the EP and hoping that you all like it as much as we do. If you like it, please tell your friends :) and heck, please tell us!

Right now it's mainly being sold on bandcamp (click the album cover above for the link) since they have the most artist friendly policies. It will be released on itunes and those places soon but we're having some tech issues with our normal distribution service.

emchy: (Default)

"...utter heartbreak and beauty all at once... excellent strings on this project include a fiddle that will make you weep into your glass of hooch, the tender mandolin and more..." - Tony Dushane, SFGate

"...a blend of vaudeville, gypsy jazz and Southern-Gothic" - TwangNation.com

"...the excellent alcohol soaked, murder ballad, steam punk band." - Tony Dushane, SFGate

"Atmospheric, literate, romantic drinking songs.  What more do you want out of life?" - Geoff Berner


Here's a link to the brand spanking new album from the Oakland based Rhubarb Whiskey. We wrote and recorded the whole album at a home studio near Lake Merritt on a steady diet of wine, whiskey and cajun food. Full of drinkin songs and murder ballads it has been described by everyone that's heard it as completely addictive.

The link on the photo takes you to the bandcamp page where you can download it sliding scale so that if you're broke like us you can still afford it.

Also - my music lovin friends - please help us spread the word. We threw so much love and grit into these songs, we just gotta try and get em out into the world. So help. Please Please help. If you like the songs, please share it on your facebook, mention it in your blog, throw a link somewhere sometime. Every little bit helps.Big love to you all and let's keep building this awesome musical community of awesome. xoxoxo

emchy: (Default)

at Hotel Utah in San Francisco

Seriously it's going to be a great show plus you can help some starving musicians make rent. If you can please come on out - we have a set locked and loaded that is going to blow the roof off the joint and the Utah is a fun fun venue. Also - if you can please help spread the word about the show. This is one of those that could help us as a band get more paying gigs (and touring gigs) if it goes well so I would consider it a huge personal favor if you helped us get the word out.  Here's the blurb. xo emchy.

Come see my band Rhubarb Whiskey along with awesome touring awesome Mr. Crosby Taylor and local vixen Gayle Lynn and the Hired Hands - show starts @ 8pm and costs $8. 21+ (since it’s a bar and all)

A night of bar stool spirituals, foot stompin alt country and kickin americana music all at the Hotel Utah. Come on out and support local music AND touring rock star Crosby Taylor.

Crosby Taylor is armed with a guitar, amp, drum, and harmonica, conjuring the spirit of the delta by way of the streets of LA.

Rhubarb Whiskey is digging up murder ballads new and old to romance you with the swampy beauty of straight up old school country.

Gayle Lynn and the Hired Hands play bourbon soaked originals to feed your soul.
emchy: (Default)

Roots of the Rising Sun: An all-star benefit for working jugband, folk, early jazz, blues, and country musicians in Japan.

Sunday, May 1st, All-Ages 2-6pm Matinee Benefit

Starry Plough
3101 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705

$10-20 Sliding Scale (ALL PROCEEDS GO TO THE CAUSE!)


This special event will feature short sets by some of the premier roots and Americana groups in the Bay Area to raise money for the Yanoo! Records Fund. The proceeds will be distributed among Japanese musicians who play jugband, string band, folk, early jazz, blues, and country music professionally and are facing their own unique set of challenges brought on my the earthquake and tsunami.

Performers include:
5 Cent Coffee - fivecentcoffee.com
Mikie Lee Prasad - mikieleeprasad.com
Brass Farthing - brass-farthing.com
Liquor Cake - liquorcakemusic.com
Kelly McCubbin - myspace.com/ukeapocalypse
Just Henry - justhenry.net
Uni & her Ukelele - unimusic.us
Vagabondage - vagabondageband.com
and many more!

We will be adding a headliner and more acts to the event as it approaches, stay tuned!!

There will be giveaways, CD specials and more with all proceeds going to help working musicians in Japan survive and help their families in this time of need.

Yano Tadasee is the founder of Yanoo! Records and has ties with many Bay Area musicians who were on his Shout Baby Shout compilation CD's. These were four discs released to showcase artists from the United States and Japan who share a love of American Roots Music and are united in sound even though divided by an ocean.

You can donate money to this cause ahead of time through this link:

emchy: (accordionbot)
 last night i played accordion for a room full of superheroes while one of my favorite musicians bought me rye whiskey all night. today i had acupuncture, played with chickens and toddlers, drank tamarind soda and drove over bridges in twilight to eat organic bbq’d burgers and drink champagne. then i got fancy Legal Documents in my email which could mean some really good things. then i unexpectedly got paid for some web work that i thought i was doing for free.

tomorrow i finish up a writing gig, go learn how to clean / repair accordion reeds and then head into San Francisco to see some of my friends headline a show.

this week my life just feels crazy.

on friday i think i’m going to make my next batch of pickles with the intention of actually selling some of them. it’s wild stuff in these parts.
emchy: (emchy antlers)
 i’m picking up a second hand super cheap outdoor table THEN i’m going to get some outdoor lanterns THEN i’m cleaning all of the kid crap and garbage from my messy neighbors (who are moving out) from the yard THEN i’m turning on the grill and BBQing some tasty damn chicken.

this is operation retake the yard. it’s been kid trainwreck land for too long.

also in the works - building planter boxes to grow cucumbers/dill/fennel for my homemade pickles. borrowing a weed whacker to make the back wild part of the yard accessible again. redigging out the firepit and putting wood chairs back there to enjoy. some craigslist finds for portable firepits to put in the brick one already out there show me that i can find something pretty safe for ~$20 and hope hope that if I keep an eye out some nice chairs and/or planter boxes will also be found for ~$20 or less.

next stop - buying jasmine for the backyard to make it the awesome kind of stinky.
emchy: (Default)
So I got a text a few days ago about an upcoming show, checked with the guys and was all - sure! And then last night I get an email with the show lineup. HOLY CRAP. Folks this is going to be one helluvan epic show. If you’re in the Bay Area - you don’t wanna miss it.

Thursday April 21st @ Blue Macaw in SF


* Victoria and the Vaudvillains (http://www.facebook.com/vi ctoriaandthevaudevillains)
* Thee Hobo Gobbelins
(http://www.facebook.com/ho bogobbelins)
* Vagabondage
(http://www.facebook.com/pa ges/Vagabondage/16527199821?sk=info)
* Room for Cream
* Puppet of Shadow Circus (MC)
* For Fear the Hearts of Men are Failing (http://www.facebook.com/forfeartheheartsofmen?v=box_3)
* The Adversary (NY) (http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Adversary/107385662627097?sk=wall)

emchy: (Default)
woke up to a foggy overcast day at the casa in Oakland. maybe last night was so fun we stole all of the sunshine? the show at Smythe’s Accordion Shop was amazing. It was also Oakland’s big Art Murmur night so parking was totally problematic and panic inducing. I’m a get there early kinda gal and when it’s 5 minutes to when we’re supposed to be onstage and I’m still hunting for parking (and have been for 40 mintues) it gets to me. a lot. but the whole band arrived in time for our set and then our set got moved back - like these things do - but it meant that I got to be gotten in the performing mood (and out of the panic mood) by seeing one of the Zydepunks, and a wild Afro Brazilian Cuban Fusion three piece band, and this great guy Dorian from LA who felt like musical theater and folk punk came together in one loud musical mosh pit of passion. People were dancing, the room smelled like sweat and joy, there were children, brownies and free beer. My bandmate got shown an actual homemade steam engine in the back and I laughed harder than in a long time. Our set was maybe the best we’ve ever had. Mostly acoustic with one mic we just laid it all out there. I had sweat dripping off of my nose while we banged out solos and jams and murder ballads and it just felt GOOD.

Post show we lost a couple of folks to the hunger demons and so I threw the accordion onto my back and me and my lady and Sizzle the fiddle player decided to walk around and see if anything was still going on. We listened to the jazz band outside of the Ethiopian place, we walked by sidewalks thick with tattoos and smiles and watched folks dance in springtime rituals around a tuba band. Every corner we turned had more music. More people. Most of the galleries had closed up so after about 30 minutes and realizing that any bar in the neighborhood would be packed with seekers like us we got to the car and drove over to Jack London Square. Our destination was Merchants but it was decided that since neither Sizzle nor Rooster had been to Heinolds First and Last Chance Saloon - the ~130 year old bar that Jack London used to frequent - we went there first. I love that place. We put our quarters in the old hand crank movie machine (also ~130 years old), we drank our whiskey, we giggled at all of the A’s fans hanging out post game and soaked up the feeling of a perfect night. Our last drink though had to be at Merchants - a tradition for Sizzle and I. We got there and they’ve started a remodel so much of the charm is lost and the wonderful custom classes were replaced with plastic cups. We still got room in one of the booths and talked film, art, bands, friendships, dynamics, life and everything in between.

When the clock tolled we made sure to get our Cinderfella to BART so he could return to his Castro sanctuary and then made our own way home. Even now - after a nights sleep and waking up to the cold fog - I’m high on last night. Epicly memorable.

And this doesn't even get to yesterday day time - where I got to have Bourbon/Cornflake Ice Cream with a scoop of Iced Coffee ice cream, walk around the mission a little bit, get some cute buttons from Needles & Pens and then try (in vain) to put my feet in the water at Jack London Square - all with [livejournal.com profile] onefastmove . 

Or Thursday nights goodbye dinner at Ti Couz with [livejournal.com profile] fightingwords  and [livejournal.com profile] muy_macha  and the ridiculous of the peach compote & white chocolate crepe. 

Or the Wednesday night dinner at [livejournal.com profile] muy_macha 's brothers with the bbq'd salmon and so many stars and jasmine smells and friendly squirrels.

Or the Tuesday coffee and park and sunshine and smiling and life talk with [livejournal.com profile] postmaudlin .

people. it's been a good damn week.

today is brunch and hopefully band practice. i like this trend.
emchy: (Default)
So I have a show tonight woohoo! Rhubarb Whiskey is bringing murder ballads and accordion craziness to the grand reopening gala for Smythe's Accordion Shop. This also coincides nicely with amazing weather and Oakland's Art Murmur tonight. Plus the show is packed from Noon - 10 with fancy accordion calendar babes playing music. You know you wanna. Performers will include: Dorian Wood, Christian Kuffner, Big Lou the Accordion Princess, Luz Gaxiola, Nada Lewis, Amber Lee Baker, Renee de la Prade, Tara Linda, Mad Maggie, Salane C. Schultz, Rhubarb Whiskey & more

But so in looking up tonights show and updating the band calendars I realized that there are a tons of things coming up. So I thought I would share. xo

April 1, 2011
with Rhubarb Whiskey
Smythe's Accordion Shop Gala
2155 Broadway, Oakland

April 21, 2011
with Vagabondage
Blue Macaw, San Francisco

April 22. 2011
with Vagabondage
featuring Lulu McCubbins Ragtime Cabaret
Bazaar Cafe
San Francisco. CA

May 4, 2011
with Rhubarb Whiskey
featuring Crosby Tyler
Hotel Utah Saloon, SF

May 9, 2011
with Vagabondage
Hubba Hubba Revue
The Uptown, Oakland

May 21 & 22. 2011
with Vagabondage
Maker Faire
San Mateo County Event Center

June 15, 2011
with Vagabondage
Red Hots Burlesque
El Rio, San Francisco
emchy: (Default)
 To Japan with Love - TONIGHT IN SF
Awesome show this Monday with Sex Industry, Vagabondage, & The Honeybirds at To Japan with Love: A Fundraiser for Tsunami Relief, featuring Dottie Lux, Alotta Boutté, Leigh Crow, and many more!! Burlesque & Bands - all at the El Rio in SF - TONIGHT!

After watching hours of terrifying footage from the recent Tsunami and it’s effects on Japan, some of us felt small and helpless. What can *I* do?! I’m just one person. One person determined to throw one hell of a party to raise money for relief from this catastrophic surge of oceanic rage.

You’re just one person. One person who can donate their hard earned money to a good cause and have a great time while doing it.

Come for the performances, stay for the raffles, give-a-ways, dancing and drinks.

Red Hots Burlesque presents
To Japan with Love: A Fundraiser for Tsunami Relief
March 21st 8pm-midnight
El Rio:3158 Mission St
$5-500 sliding scale
ALL PROCEEDS GO TO Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund &http://www.jcccnc.org/

Performances by:
Alotta Boutte
Babraham Lincoln
Leigh Crow
AJ Molecular
Scotty The Blue Bunny
Dottie Lux
Sheba Queen of the Night
Kitty Von Quimm
Virginia Suicide and Sex Industry
The Honeybirds
Simone Campell
Star 69
The Stripping Granny
Ruby Vixen
and many more!

DJ: Ginger Murray from The Cat’s Pajamas

Raffles: Over $1200 in prizes!

Free hair cut! Accessories! Event tickets! Merchandise, Series of 8 Guitar Lessons! Sex Toys from: Vixen Creations and Babeland.com
And So much more!

a new poem

Mar. 20th, 2011 03:07 pm
emchy: (Default)
all the rumors are true

we talk about you when you’re not there

huddled in the corner whispering

mouths wide with smiles and words

about how you cut a path through the room

about how bold and lovely your laugh is

about how you inspire us

about how loud you live

about how you would love this band

about the magic your mouth and words make

about how we both wish so hard that you were here

so when you ask me

words thick with worry and fear behind your eyes

not sure where to lie down the heavy burden of distrust anymore

yes we do talk about you when you’re not there

we do it all the time.

-Cindy M. Emch
emchy: (hipster)
playing songs of the old west at the edge of the world - that’s the only way to describe my heart right now. the day lies open in front of me and i see the winding road it’s taking to bring me to my dreams. the accordion balances me solid while the cliff edge crumbled red clay mud under my feet. the rocks roll down past the california pines and get lost in the crashing of waves. the crashing to pull me in or to play percussion with me. i’ll never know. the sun shines a warm basking spotlight on my shoulders while the wind lifts my hair and keeps the stage cool. goosebumps on my arms give a standing ovation and small bouquets of dandelion fluff land at my feet. what can i do but start another song.
emchy: (Default)

a little while back Vagabondage started this collaboration with Mixman Shawn. The result - well we're pretty happy with it. And it's already been a bit of a hit on BBC Asia radio. I'm beyond excited about it. Please give it a listen and if you like it - share it around. It's even for sale on itunes and stuff. xo

hot damn

Jan. 31st, 2011 02:49 pm
emchy: (Default)
So this has been in progress for a while. Vagabondage is doing this collaboration with this crazy good musician - Mixman Shawn. Well he just emailed and

The new single Can’t Stay Good feat Vagabondage & Mixman Shawn will be aired on BBC ASIAN NETWORK on Bobby Friction Show starting today!!! we will be releasing the song/video on the day of Valentines [feb14] REAL MUSIC FOR REAL PEOPLE!!! <>


emchy: (Default)

Thursday - Raise Your Glass to Rhubarb Whiskey

Drinkers, heart-breakers, the heartbroken, rowdy types, fans of the every growing San Francisco roots/Americana scene, do not miss an amazing East Bay showcase featuring Rhubarb Whiskey.

Rhubarb Whiskey

If you've been playing along at home, you know that I'm a giddy fan boy of Vagabondage, and Rhubarb features Emchy of Vagabondage, playing her squeeze box and singing her guts out with fellow hooligans Boylamayka and Sizzle La Fey. Excellent strings on this project include a fiddle that will make you weep into your glass of hooch, the tender mandolin and more.

I'm listening to Delia right now, a song where Emchy takes center stage and her voice is utter heartbreak and beauty all at once.

From their own words:

"Straight from the stage of a dusty old saloon - the beautiful, sorrowful, American Gothic music of Rhubarb Whiskey is just as much at home in 1890 as they are in 2010."

Also performing are Oakland Wine Drinkers Union, Liquor Cake and 5 Cent Coffee.

Rhubarb Whiskey, Thursday at Starry Plough, Berkeley. 9:30 p.m. $8.

emchy: (Default)

Rob Reich (from Gaucho) is playing an instrumental of See You in My Dreams. The words rise like a rumble from the crowd behind me. A mumble of memories whispered by the 100+ people sitting quietly, low as breath but rising together, finding strength and volume as they hear each other and recognize the smoke and scotch in the air, the perfumed powder and nights of dancing on the ocean under the stars here in this ancient room on the edge of the world. their voices, the lyrics, an under rumbled secret on the choruses, just loud enough to let you youngsters know the time you missed.

October 2011

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