Today the Venice Paparazzi spotlight shines on local musician Cristina Vane.
Tell us about your music/band.
I am a singer and guitarist and I write delta blues inspired folk and rock music. I have a trio (bass and drums) that I sometimes play out with. My project is mostly my original music, which blends my love for old time music with somewhat contemporary undercurrents. I play electric guitar with the band as well, and play banjo solo occasionally.
I love old time American folk music like ragtime, delta and country blues, banjo and fiddle tunes, etc., but grew up with more modern classic rock and 90’s influences. My music could be called blues rock, alt blues, alt folk or just plain blues/old time.
Your job in the band
My job is to write good music and sing and play it!! When I am in my trio, I also handle everything non-musical about the band as it’s my own project. Likewise with my solo performing (booking, promotion, rehearsal).
What projects are your currently working on?
So I have just returned to Venice after 5 months of the Show Me Your Hometown tour, an amazing journey that took me through 26 states. I am back and set my sights on Nashville. I’ll be moving thereto record my first full length album and get a band together for the next tour.
Past bands/ Albums recorded:
Cristina Vane Shades EP (available) Troubled Sleep (EP)
My recent heroes include Skip James, Blind Willie Johnson, Charley Patton, Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Doc Watson, Lightning Hopkins, The Carter Family, R.L Burnside and Howlin’ Wolf. I grew up listening to a range of things from my parents- The Smiths, The Rolling Stones, INXS, Depeche Mode, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty, The Cranberries, Alanis Morrissette- as well as current music from the British indie scene (I grew up in Europe) like Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines, etc.
How did you get into it?
I got into music by demonic possession, apparently, or something, because I was singing since I was in the crib and before I could really speak so I guess I just always loved music! I played different instruments and sang in choirs basically most of my life growing up. I got into slide because I saw a great lap player in London one summer while gigging, and loved the slide. As a consequence, oddly, not a result of this, I fell in love with the blues!
My best memory is playing with some blues guys I respected at a jam once, and most recently best show I saw was the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
What advice would you give someone starting out in your field?
Being a creator and a performer can overlap, but can also be two drastically different things. Decide which (or both) you want be and train that craft. The rest will come if it’s meant to.
Favorite book, band or movie?
Favorite book is the Picture of Dorian Gray, hard to say what band is my favorite, and movie- Into The Wild
What causes do you support?
Trying to ban disposable plastics, gun safety measures, women’s rights, minority struggles with racism, etc.
Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote
All is as it should be.
What’s one thing we can do to make the world a better place?
Pass a smile on. Cheesy but true (and punny).
List 1-2 things on your bucket list, and 1-2 on your VENICE bucket list
Bucket list: 1. See Yellowstone 2. Gig in Europe for real Venice List: 1. Surf (I know!!!) 2. See Matt Devlin’s comedy show (I KNOW!!)
Anything else you want to share about yourself to the world? Fun facts.
I don’t know if these are fun, but here are some facts: I hate chocolate and coffee, but I love white chocolate and have an awful sweet tooth, also butter on EVERYTHING please I speak four languages , was born in Italy, grew up mostly in Paris, and went to college in New Jersey My favorite instrument to play growing up was the flute I’m not so into dogs, more of a cat fan, both can be cute and also both can be annoying
Venice is a cartoon that somehow became reality- in watercolor. It’s just bursting with characters, quips, colors, panoramas, and life. It can be a confusing place, with so much darkness and chaos, but that’s just part of it all. It’s a place where people really do seem to have a sense of community, and its small enough that you can feel that whenever you run in to a friend! You get out what you put in to Venice. Plus, my god- between the beach and the Canals? We’ve got it made.
Describe your perfect day in Venice:
I’d wake up around 6:30 and walk down the boardwalk as the sun is coming up and head to the gym- then I’d come back down the Boardwalk and sit and chat with my friends Vinny/Lee/Crockett, all artists on the boardwalk. After that I’d grab a coconut from a stand, head home, shower, skate down the canals to Washington and then probably end up at Tocaya somehow, as always. Sit on the grass and look out on the ocean as I eat. The afternoon would be a sweet hang and busking session on Westminster/the boardwalk, seeing all the regulars – Stanley Behrens, Vinnie Caggiano, Brian Mylius all chatting. And in a perfect world, the day would end with an open mic night hosted by Isaac Irvin at Surfside.
List any of your favorite Venice businesses, event(s) or activities?
I love the Venice light parade, it makes my soul happy! As does the Hare Krishna festival. I randomly also love Lincoln Hardware, Zinque, Surfside, Gotta Have It…etc..
Who has the best Venice nightlife? Favorite places to watch live music?
In Venice, some of the best nightlife I’ve seen is at semi-private shows at peoples houses, like the awesome Venice Gatherings at Perry’s or Radio Venice streams from Michael Jost’s boardwalk studio.
Your favorite Venice bands?
- Ginger Merkin
- Vinnie Caggiano & The Elegant Strangers
- Suzy Williams
- Los Pochos (and it’s members 😉
- David Sparrow,
- Lacey Cowden
- Feisty Heart, and many more.
What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?
Probably going swimming near the Venice Pier as the sun came up, after a long night out and an iHop breakfast, and then seeing dolphins playing in the waves with my friend the very same afternoon.
Any shoutouts or thank you’s?
Shoutout to Isaac Irvin for forging a musical community, along with Michael Jost, Rae and Tonan of Radio Venice. Thanks to Ronnie for always having my back too, Petey Pete for always being the go to sound guy, Brenden for believing in me, Matt Devlin for being the best, Jenny for being an angel with good taste in music, and Makayla for being so rad.
Anything else about Venice that you would like to say?
Venice is such an intense place, and that’s what attracts me to it. It’s got energy, vibe, character, and amazing beauty; but like any other place it has problems. Learning how to navigate this little vortex has been a great learning experience, and if you choose to engage with ALL of Venice, it’s a humbling one. We are all here to get a little piece of paradise (but you mostly end up taking Speedway, cause of the crowds. HA!)
Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?