Career Day: Musician

May 21, 2009

5/20/09

In the words of Doug H. being a musician takes three things, hard work, hard work, and more hard work. “Does anyone here love music?” Doug asked. Most of the audience replied yes, then Doug asked again, “Do you really love music? And I mean love. Not just, Oh yeah, I ‘love’ music.”

That glamorous life you have all heard about, it isn’t real. “About one in a million bands get the limousines, concerts, and money,” Doug said. If you truly enjoy making reckless, yet joyful noise on your instrument of choice then go for it. But if you really love it then you won’t just practice oh say, thirty minutes a day. Doug continued, “We’re talkin’ three to five hours a day and you practice that long because you feel like you need to.”

According to Doug H. as a musician you are never simply finished. There is always something to work on, something to improve. There are many reasons why you shouldn’t become a musician. It’s hard to pay rent et cetera. And it is extremely hard to “make it” as a fellow musician. If you are passionate about making and listening to music then all the fame, glory, and money shouldn’t matter. Some people may ask why you would “throw away” so much to be a musician, but it’s what you want and you do it because you love it.

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You’re Gonna Go Far Kid

February 16, 2009

I was thinking. If I was offered the opportunity to be a journalist for a music magazine (possibly Alternative Press or Rolling Stone) or to be a guitarist in an amazing band. Which would I choose? I had wanted to play guitar since I was nine years old. Practicing my air guitar in the privacy of my own room, completely spazing. Or pouring my guts out with ink and paper in hopes of becoming an utterly brilliant writer.

Being in a band would be quite interesting. I’d enjoy the fun questionnaires you get in interviews and your “humble” opinion on things. Looking super fierce in when you play live so you can intimidate people. Or to be some coffee drinking freak, blinded from the sun, glued to your computer, writing obsesser. Wearing T-shirts and tight jeans, strutting around like you know what you’re doing. Reader, does that thought ever cross your mind? I wonder where life will take me quite often. Who will I end up being in the next couple of years (I’m hoping I’ll stay true to who I am now.)?

Reader, let’s be honest. Would either of those jobs fully satisfy me? I seem to be quite an undecided person. I purchase an item at a store. “I love it! I’m so happy I bought it!” The next twenty minutes. “What the heck did I just waste my money on?! I could have bought ‘such and such’.” Yep, that is me. Being on the road with a band would be fun for a while. Awake at all hours, doing what you love, traveling, and playing shows. My only problem? I get motion sickness. I’d practically be bulimic. Then the shows would get tiring, performing the same songs until you write a new one. I suppose I shouldn’t think so negatively, maybe I’d be able to make a big impact on a lot of kids. Then there is writing. After a while, what is there to talk about? You are usually seen with a pen in your hand or your eyes are burning from staring at a computer screen for so many hours.

I guess I can be quite the “party pooper”, but that’s just me my friend. You either do or don’t like me, I don’t care too much. Either one I’d love. Writing would be easier to handle, though I’d miss the comfort of my guitar, Bella, too much. The excitement of playing a gig and going crazy on stage sounds and looks intruiging. Who knows where the world might take me….


Looking Back…

January 25, 2009

I was thinking back to my first Vans Warped Tour experience last year, and how I was so unprepared! Get this, I saw Travis Clark and the rest of the guys from We The Kings at a signing, yet I was to much of a pansy to take a picture with Travis. Even after my mother nearly pushed my into him I backed right up blushing bright red in the stifling heat. I feel so much regret right now, I cannot even stand it. I’m angry with myself. I mean, it’s cool I got a picture with Maika from There For Tomorrow, but it is TRAVIS CLARK we are talking about here!!!!! And I missed Paramores’ performance, I should be ashamed. Cross that, I am ashamed! ARRGGG, this year I’ll come early, prepared with a digital camera, bottled water, a stashof money, and a sharpie for “just-in-case” signings. Let me go back to that experience…

It is about 4:00 pm and the air is so stiflingly hot. Jitters reach my body as I walk to the gate to get my ticket scanned in. I have to pitch my sunscreen, but what the hell. I came here to see Paramore. Paramore were only on seven of the dates and lucky me, I was included in one of them. I have to see Paramore, I need to! I walk in and there are merch tables just about everywhere. My jaw drops just looking at all the awesome T-shirts. -Just thinking about it sends thrills into my brain, like I could leap around the room.- (One of my first stops was to Paramore’s merchandise table. )We find the schedule and I grab one of the scattered pieces of paper just staring at the times. Paramore played at 3:00, I am sad, pissed, though I feel the need to move on at the moment. (This is what I missed ) I mark down Cobra Starship, Katy Perry, and a few other which I cannot remember.

As I walk past boat loads of sweaty teenagers, viewing make-outs, skating ramps, more merchandise tables, and then… a We The Kings signing. I wait patiently in line like all the other girls only a bit quieter. Oh my god. It’s Travis freaking Clark. He stands tall with his big, brilliant, red orange, hair and that lip ring of his I adore so much. He is definitely cuter in person. Travis is wearing a royal blue shirt that reads “Save a Boob” I smile at it and listen to him talk to the other girls in line and with Danny, Hunter, and Drew. I can’t wait to reach the front of the line. Wait a second, there are two dudes in front of me who won’t move. What are they doing?? Then a guy comes out and says, “Sorry but we gotta wrap it up.” The guys walk over for pictures and I need one with my favorite red head!! Travis stands in front of me, does he even notice me?? I just look up at him with glazed eyes, blushing red, and to timid to even ask for a picture. My mother shoves me forward almost knocking me into him. I scoot right back as if he’ll hurt me. -I was so pathetic!! Why was a such an idiot?!?!?!- My mom whispers to me, “Go ask for a picture.” Just as I’m about to ask the guy comes out again and says, “Sorry, but I’ll have to take him from ya.” I am sooo bummed. I feel like a loser, a wuss. I missed Paramore and a chance to get a friggin’ picture with Travis Clark, how could I screw this up?!?!?!? I sigh and move on.

Finally we find our friend Elizabeth. We met her during the Horrorpops performance which was really great. The lead singer was awesome, she seemed really down to earth with her big ol’ base, which she kept plucking at. Of course I didn’t know who they were at the time, but I knew I liked ’em. With that we talked, walked, bought some merch, walked past sets with screaming lead singers. (We actually came across a booth for The Greely Estates, the merchandise guy had a little cardboard box that read, “Five dollars if you can fit it.” Elizabeth picked through the box and held out a tiny shirt meant to fit a child. Elizabeth said, “Oh this will be for Mae-Mae.” I giggled. The shirt was rather scary for a little girl if you ask me, but anywhoo….)

It was about six when Cobra Straship’s set started. Elizabeth helped me get closer “seats” as kids would sing along to lyrics I didn’t quite know. I enjoyed myself for the first time instead of being so stiff. I went along with what Gabe Saporta was saying, putting my hands up even if I did look like a fool doing so. During one of their songs I heard Mayday Parade. Their set was right next to Cobra Starship’s. I would walk back and fourth until they both ended and I settled with Cobra Starship in the end. After their show I was off to their merchandise table. I bought a purple T-shirt with the hand sign for a cobra, on the back it says “Fangs Up!” and “Cobra Starship”. -Jeez how many times can I say Cobra Starship in a paragraph?!- 

Just to kill time I thought I’d go see Angles and Airwaves. I don’t know them well enough, but they are alright. I was waiting for the Gym Class Heroes set to end (which I secretly enjoyed). I guy bumped my shoulder, I turned and looked at him as he quickly spoke the word, “Sorry,” he didn’t look very old, maybe 14. He looked at me, he was kind of cute, though I’ve definitely seen cuter. 

A heavy rain storm comes in. I wanted to stay, but my mother said she saw lightening a couple times so we were off. Like most other kids I we were running back to our car in the big dirt lot, rain hitting me smack in the face, and it actually hurt too! Kids were cursing “Aw, f***” or “S***” whatever, I was cursing on the inside. When we were about to exit through the little tent, all of the sudden it went flying up in the air. A few guys struggled to hold it down as my mother and I ran, soaked in my “Gerard shoes” to our car. By the time my mother and I plopped into our little black car we were soaking wet. It was uncomfortable. I pulled my shoes off and pulled on one of my new clean shirts. My mom asked for one to wear so I handed her my Japanese Vans tee. There was a bit of a traffic jam unfortunately, but we made it through. I walked into my house with wet, untied shoes. The first thing I did was set all my merch on the table having all of my siblings ogling it.

I guess I had I pretty great time. If I’m lucky Paramore will come back to ____ this year, but I do feel bad that I went through the whole Warped Tour experience without their performance. And maybe Travis Clark will come to my house and give me a hug, then pigs will fly. Definitely.


REVIEW: The Killers – Day & Age

January 2, 2009

01/02/09

 

200px-killers_day_age3As the instrumentals begin the sound remind me of a cowboy tune, not country but cowboy.  Like Muse’s “Knights Of Cydonia”. Brandon Flower’s flawless vocals that I’ve loved since second grade started singing, ” Console me in my darkest hour, could this be that the truth is always grey. Caress me in your velvet chair, conceal me from the ghost you cast away. I’m in no hurry, you go run and tell your friends I’m losing touch.” The first track is already brilliant with its unique sound and beautiful lyrics. The next song is one of the first I heard off of this record, I believe it’s called “Human”?  The Killers played “Human and “Spaceman” on Saturday Night Live and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, now that is big. Rolling Stone magazine has already given the album, song, and new music video for “Human” five stars and I must agree with this choice. “And I’m on my knees looking for the answer… you gotta let me know.” Two singles in a row?? Yes, “Spaceman” happens to be the next track. Again Flowers leads the way with his vocals, “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ooooh-oh.”

The Killers have always striked me as a band who seemed to have been a classic forever, like The Beatles. I adore the creative lyrics from “Spaceman” and “A Dustland Fairytale”. I am happy when I listen to music and if so I sing. I was singing to “Spaceman”  even if my voice is terrible I enjoy singing to my favorite songs.

Here comes that cowboy sound again with “Joy Ride”. I flip through the cover art. (Did I ever tell you cover art is one of my favorite things in purchasing a CD?) A picture of each of the band members created with speckled dots to match their skin tone, hair, and shirt. It seems odd, but truly creative. “A Dustland Fairytale” was one of my favorites on this album. Flowers sang of a kiss, Cinderella in a party dress looking for a gown, her price looks as she has always wanted him too, yet something is not right. Decoding lyrics is one of my specialties, I wonder what was going through their head at the time to create something so brutal or astonishingly beautiful.

As the track listing goes on I listen to, “This Is Your Life” and “I Can’t Stay”. “I Can’t Stay” is one of my favorites, the simple lyrics make me want to dance and sing along. It has a similar sounding intrumentals, but only in certain parts like Fall Out Boy’s “w.a.m.s”. I don’t know what it sounded similar too though. “In the dark for a while now, I can’t stay… much longer.”

I promise you, if I were ever graced with the chance to see The Killers, I wouldn’t care if I only went to at least two shows that year. All I would ask for is a phenomenal performance, great sound, and of course pictures taken with my digital camera. The song, “Neon Tiger” is interesting because from what I got out of it, Flowers was singing of being free. “Run neon tiger, you’ve got a lot on your mind.” The last track on the album was finally here, “Goodnight, Travel Well”. As soon as I heard  the guitar, bass, and drums Flowers vocals matched the tune along with the lyrics. The Killers know how to end it good. This was definitely a five star album if you are a fan of The Killers you should go grab a copy at Target for only $9.99. Even if you are new to The Killers you should try it out by listening to the tracks on YouTube or iTunes. And with that, I shall conclude my review.

Losing Touch 4 stars

Human 4 stars

Spaceman 5 stars

Joy Ride 4 stars

A Dustland Fairytale 5 stars

This Is Your Life 4.5 stars

I Can’t Stay 4.5 stars

Neon Tiger 4 stars

The World We Live In 4.5 stars

Goodnight, Travel Well 5 stars