The Creative Process, Part I: T-Shirts!

Hey, Airwavians! Christina, here.

On the previous post, we mentioned that we have a new line of merchandise currently out. This includes a brand new T-shirt design, 1″ buttons (to match our existing patch design), and album art with a corresponding poster design. All can be purchased at each of our shows!

To sum things up: I am a visual artist by trade, and I serve as the in-house designer and art director for the band. Our merchandise, gig posters, logo, and various other collateral are all designed by myself. It’s been an awesome opportunity to put all of my best skills to work with Crowd the Airwaves since its conception!

Occasionally, I get questions on how my design process actually works. I love learning about the production process of other artists, because everyone has their own way of doing things. I would like to start a series of posts to show you my workflow.

This time around, we’re going to take a look at the new t-shirt design. The shirts were printed by Bands on a Budget. I highly recommend them; they are friendly, communicative, and are very helpful during the proofing process.

CTA-t-shirt-composite

More under the jump. Read More

THE HESS TRUCK’S BACK, AND IT’S BETTER THAN EVER…. Naw, it’s just CTA

Hey, everyone!

So it has been awhile since we last posted here, and I’m sure you’ve been wondering what we have been up to! There is so much to catch up all you beautiful Airwavians on, and only so much space in this blog post, so I’ll try to make this as cohesive as possible.

So to start, as many of you DO know, we had a line-up change that went into full effect as of April. Lindsay has moved on from Crowd the Airwaves to focus on motherhood, and taking her time to navigate her new life as a working poet and musician. Naturally, we wish her all the best in every endeavor, and will actually be celebrating with her for her daughter’s first birthday soon! That being said, Christina, Lizz, and I will be updating the blog, and rotating every 2 weeks with our post, so stay tuned!

We’ve also been writing a bunch of new songs! I’m super stoked about that, personally. I managed to pump out two more songs in addition to “Roots”, and Christina currently has a song or two brewing. If you follow our various media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), you’ll actually be able to tune in to our rehearsals; we’ve been making live videos normally starting half way through practice.

We purchased a drum kit for touring purposes, which means, as you can gather, that we plan on hitting the road soon! CTA is ready to see some new venues, and continue our quest to take over the world. I’ve been super busy researching venues, and working out logistics for our next few shows, so keep your eyes open for any new upcoming dates in your area!

Oh, and before I forget….WE FINALLY RELEASED OUR NEW EP! That’s right, folks, the new music we have been promising you fans for awhile is finally available in CD form, AND online for listening purposes! We had our release party in April at The Bowery Electric, and got to play alongside some of our favorite local bands; Freya Wilcox & the Howl, Nihiloceros, and Pussywolf are simply some of the best bands on the scene, period. You can find our album, All the Things We Don’t Say, on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, CD Baby, and various other media outlets. It’s been a long time coming, and we are super proud of what we put out, so we hope you all are digging the new music as well! We recently got quite the awesome review from Divide and Conquer, which you can check out here. Be sure to check out the rest of their website; they’ve got some really excellent recommendations for new artists.

On top of that, we have brand new merch to sell you at shows now! Our ever-talented guitarist and in-house artist, Christina, designed a whole fresh line of posters, t-shirts, button pins, and CDs to accompany our new EP, All the Things We Don’t Say. We are working on a way to have it all available online for purchase, but for now your best bet is to get yourself to a show, and pick it all up in-person!

And the final cherry on top of this musical sundae? Well…we recently released our new music video for our song, “The Truth”! Once again, we worked with Stephanie Gaweda; our trusted cinematographer who also directed our video for our song, “Blood”. We absolutely adore working with her, and implicitly trust her artistic vision. We had a lot of fun shooting (although this new video is considerably darker than the last), and managed to make a music video that has already garnered over 4,000 views on Facebook! We were absolutely blown away by the support we have received since releasing this album, and are eternally grateful to everyone who has helped us get to this point. “The Truth” music video is also posted on YouTube, which you can watch here.

I guess that sums up just about everything! Below I have listed all our upcoming shows that are currently scheduled, so mark them in your calendar, lovelies! Thanks for reading, and stay tuned! We got more coming for ya!

All the best,

Heather

Our upcoming scheduled shows are as follows:

Friday, August 25th @ The Well, 9 pm
Sunday, September 10th @ The Bowery Electric, 7 pm
Saturday, October 28th @ The Bitter End, 9 pm

All the Way to the Bitter End

 

bitterendbanner

*yawn* Good morn- er, afternoon everybody

Hell of a week, huh? I just got back from the baby singalong group that my local library hosts. My daughter loves being there, and it helps socialize her. It finally got her calm after a frantic first couple hours of chugging milk, spitting up, me cleaning everything with baking soda, baby girl screaming, repeat. Let alone all of the other stuff happening in the news. It’s hard to keep up sometimes.

We, as a band, got some respite from that last week in the form of a fun, chill, podcast and livestream. The folks at Pancake Studios in the South Slope invited us over for an interview and a few acoustic songs. We got to perform “Roots,” “Unknowable,” and “Lay Down Stay Down” in a cozy live room while drinking some really strong beer. Shoutout to Tamara and the gang for being such kind hosts, and for everybody who tuned in, especially since it was pretty last minute!

So, after a week of my daughter vehemently fighting naps and me feeling like I’m drowning in political articles and opinions, one has to ask: how does one keep on keepin’ on in times like this? I’m not even really talking about politically, as, like the rest of us, I’m fucking sick of talking about it. Like, we declared an indefinite moritorium re: politics in our band. That’s how sick! But what I mean is this: there just seems like a lot uncertainty about the future.

We have friends struggling with putting food on the table and paying rent. The venue scene in New York is constantly changing due to rent going up and up and up. Student debt. Social media fatigue. BLAH! What does one do?

Honestly, what you do is the most stereotypical “American” thing one can do: you keep going. You just keep going. And you hope.

Last year, when I discovered I was pregnant, our band and one of our favorite bands, Natural Stranger, shared a bill together. I felt like the cost of prenatal care, delivery, and raising of a child in New York City was an insurmountable mountain, or like looking a pet a rock face where you really need a harness and a rope…and you have sandals. Jino, the bassist and my band’s producer, and I, were complaining about the cost of living here. And while I didn’t feel particularly reassured immediately after our conversation, something he said has stuck with me: “You’ll do the only thing you must. You’ll keep going, and you’ll solve the problem.” That simple fact became a source of comfort to me, and over time, the mountain started to become more and more scalable. As my daughter approaches six months of age, I think I’m starting to get it now!

There’s plenty of things we can’t control in our lives and in the world, but we can control how we approach problems. Because of dealing with so, so many weird, on-the-fly problems over the last three and a half years, we’ve finally landed our first gig at the legendary, world-famous Bitter End in the Village. This gig, and our EP that we will FINALLY be releasing in April, are the culmination of solving problems, and keeping going.

Don’t lose hope! As long as there is music, there is hope.

Our next gig, as mentioned, is at the Bitter End in the Village on Saturday, February 25 at 11:30pm. It’s 18+ and $10 to get in. Come round out your Saturday night with us!

Special thanks to Jino Arielly for that conversation last year

It’s Always Something!

Hell of a year, huh? 2016 has been a doozy on most of us, but that’s the way of things. While 2016 was certainly difficult for me, I also welcomed unprecedented change: I successfully carried and delivered my daughter, Ayla. I rejoined Crowd the Airwaves in early November and have since played two shows. I’m passionately enjoying being a mother, and also being a musician. Even with all of the bullshit, I count my blessings this year.

Bullshit is what we are discussing today, and why not? I think 2016 has taught me that there is ALWAYS something happening to or around you. But what 2016 has also taught me is, even though there’s always something going on, it’s how you respond to it that makes all the difference. 

Being in a working band means having to wear a lot of hats, especially in the DIY scene. You are the artist, manager, agent, image designer, director…the list goes on. It’s easy when you live in a vacuum, but since no one does, life is always throwing a curveball, trying to knock you off your game. We only had two full band practices this month due to band members being sick, for example. Two weeks ago, Christina was being treated for a bad throat infection; this week, Heather has what sounds like an upper respiratory infection. My car almost broke down on the way home from our annual holiday gig. I have to take Ayla for regular doctor’s appointments, especially now since this is prime time for those routine, necessary vaccinations – and sometimes she gets a fever after the shots, so that necessitates lots of snuggles and baby Tylenol. But I digress.

 The point is, when you’re in a working band with people that need to keep themselves afloat with day jobs/or have other huge priorities, accommodation and understanding are absolutely paramount. Heather decided it was best to bow out of yesterday’s practice; it was the right decision, as she could’ve risked vocal damage. When you’re not healthy, you’re not very useful to your band and your job and your aspirations. 

I used to be someone that operated in absolutes, meaning, if you weren’t utterly live-breathe-die something, you weren’t serious enough. Life experience has changed that opinion. There is certainly a time and place for that mentality, but once other commitments, like ekeing out an existence, managing a relationship, paying down a debt, etc. come into play, it’s a recipe for disaster. It’s a matter of time before you mentally burn out, and sometimes physically too. Add the fact we all live in New York City, and the necessity for balance compounds! 

I guess this blog post is just a long-form meditation on work-life balance and being kind to yourself. The world isn’t out to get you, but expecting perfect conditions to exist for long periods of time simply isn’t realistic, meaning, there is ALWAYS going to be something you or a bandmate has to deal with: bullshit at work, a sick child, low funds, you name it. But music is eternal, and is a space that should never be affected, regardless of what is going on.

So, as we turn over a much-needed new leaf in 2017, try to respond, not react, to the bullshit happening in the world and in your band or project. Respond kindly and proactively, and give space for the other aspects of their lives, whereby embracing them wholly.

Happy New Year, all.

Our first gig of the New Year is on Thursday, January 19th at 9pm at a sweet new lounge in Park Slope called Salzy. We hit at 9pm. We’d love to see you there! 

Below: One of us broke Heather! Send halp! :p



Expanding your fan base beyond “your crew”

Ah, yes. The ever-elusive expansion of the fanbase beyond your friends, family, and fellow musicians. Most bands never figure this out. All bands struggle to figure this out. We certainly do.

It’s not even remotely a bad thing to have your crew of friends and family at those formative gigs. Actually, it’s really important: it gives you a sense of welcome on the stage and a sense of confidence. I really enjoy that we know people that will consciously take time out of their schedules, and even sometimes spend a little money, to go see us play a few songs. I try to remind myself of that so I never take those people for granted. When it comes to fellow musicians, I try my best to get to their shows when I can (I have to admit, though, it’s been rough the last few months while I deal with the all-encompassing fatigue that expectant mothers experience…but I still try!). 

That said, there comes a point when playing for your friends and family gets old, and not just for the band. Playing to new people and discovering new bands is part of why we do it. So, here’s a few ways you can expand your fanbase beyond your dear, crazed friends:

1. Play new venues. Especially in markets that are experiencing urban renewal, there’s always new venues opening. Get on a bill there, check it out, establish a rapport. It almost always leads to good talk around town from the promoters.

2. Gig swap. This is especially useful for bands on tour, and when you’re on tour. You play a gig in their market, they play a gig in yours. Simple. And it’s a great way of building a national, and eventually international, network.

3. Go beyond your scene. Of course, we all have our favorite bands in the scene that we love to share bills with. I think it’s important to reach out of your comfort zone, and often. Scenes are just another way of saying cliques, and I hated cliques, even in high school. You never know. Your band’s future biggest fan might be some dude who works on Wall Street by day, and not the guy who hangs out at your favorite bar and sees the same four bands over and over. So, when a band you’ve never heard of asks you to share a bill, at least entertain the thought!

4. Pay attention to what other bands are doing. Follow their social media. Where are they hanging out? What shows are they stoked about? Be an occasional bandwagoner, and at the right time, deploy the press kit!

5. Hit the road. Well, this is the old-fashioned way to do it. Book shows, pile in the van, and go. And you don’t have to go for weeks on end or anything; a long weekend is the ideal first road trip. 

6. Consistently post on social media. People love to peruse social media for making friends nowadays (I still don’t get it, but…). Post stuff that may be shared or retweeted. Keep it fresh and interesting.

Anyway, these are just a few ideas. Feel free to think outside the box and pave your own way.

Till next time,

Lindsay

Our next show is a benefit show at Queens College, and it’s THIS THURSDAY (Feb 25), benefitting the Environmental Club. Come support a good cause! We go on at 8:30pm.

Overview of the Next Three Months

Hey guys! Happy February. It’s a beautiful, crisp, sunny day here in Brooklyn, and with it comes some big news….

For those of you who didn’t see the announcement on our Facebook page last week, I announced that my husband and I are expecting our first child! YAY! It’s quite a busy and exciting time for us, and I’d like to extend my thank-yous to all of the well-wishers. 

So, with that, CTA is in the midst of some big changes ourselves. As a result of my pregnancy, I will not be able to join Heather and Christina at the kit past April, and will need to take a minimum of six months off. They will keep gigging with a stand-in drummer (we will announce who it is in a future blog post!), and I have every intention of being back behind the drums before the end of the year, if everything goes to plan. 

What does all of this mean? Well, it means that there are only a handul of shows until further notice where you can see the whole lineup, and that’s we’re covering today. Details are still rolling in on a couple of shows, but the dates are pretty much locked in. Check it:

Saturday, February 6 (THIS SATURDAY!!!): The Grand Victory, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. With Juliannarchist, The Dandy Lions, and Dalton Deschain and the Traveling Show. All ages matinee show, $10 to get in. Doors 3pm.

Thursday, February 25: Queens College environmental benefit show.  Free admission and all ages. We go on at 8:30pm. Exact location TBA.

Friday, March 11: Manhattan or Brooklyn, details TBA

Saturday, March 26: Staten Island, details TBA

Sunday, April 17: Black Bear Bar, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. With Samantha, other acts TBA. 21+, $8 in adv/$10 at the door. Doors at 6pm

For me, this is the first time un my entire career I am taking an involuntary leave. It’s exciting and scary. If you have been looking to catch a show for awhile, these are the shows, and now is the time.

Lastly, blog posts are going to be a little more intermittent throughout the next year or so, due to schedule and life changes. But don’t fret – they’re not going away! 

Till next week (probably, haha),
Lindsay 

Squeezing “Blood” From A Stone

Hey guys! Everyone excited for the blizzard?! I am. I’ve wanted snow since October, and now I am finally going to get some snow. YAY! Seriously though, stay safe, stock up, don’t be lame, etc.

So, as many of you know, we recently dropped our debut video for “Blood.” Overall, the reviews have been great, and if you took the time out to watch it, share it, comment on it, THANK YOU! 

Introductions aside, it’s time to get cerebral on your asses…

Now, some people may be wondering, “why this theme?” And the answer is simple: we live in a world where absolutist polemic is ruining, well, everything, and that’s what the song is about. It’s about the culture of shouting others down, and not listening and talking through it, and how, while it’s existed forever, it’s been laid bare in a whole different way by social media. There’s a grand hypocrisy happening: despite all of the calls to “hold space” for the downtrodden, as soon as a guard is let down, it seems, the tar and feathering starts. It’s strikingly one-sided, and once again, hypocritical, which makes me question the motive of “holding space” in the first place. What, exactly, do these people want? Space held for them, or to hold others down? Heavy is the head, you know.

I’m not trying to be political, and honestly, I don’t consider this a political statement at all. It’s more a genuine concern for an alarmingly large (or maybe just loud) portion of the population, questioning their resilience, their stubbornness, their mental hardiness, their capacity to use logical reasoning and put emotions aside, the list goes on. Simultaneously, songwriting, for me (I was the lead writer on “Blood”), is also an internal inquiry into my own habits, my own strengths and shortcomings, and ultimately about accepting that which one cannot change by themselves. Thus, the chorus has a tone of apathy and dark humor, via the old adage: “it’s just like squeezing blood from a stone.”

The video, overall, was supposed to be a funny take on the burden of having a more visible public profile in an increasingly more volatile scene, and a personification of a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “Do what is right, for you will be criticized.” So, we had some friends dress up as a few familiar detractors you’d see around Brooklyn: the curmudgeony old conservative white man; the uber-judgmental hipster; the creepy young man burning with unrequited love. We had them follow us around as we were minding our own business, trying to mess with us, and holding up signs that had various logical fallacies written on them, like “strawman” and “gaslighting.” I think the most vitriolic (if you’re spineless) one just had “FEELINGS! WAAAAAAAHHHHH!” Written on it. 

  

But, you know, I don’t want to give away the whole video. You should watch it if you haven’t 🙂 so, hop on over to YouTube and check out “Blood” by Crowd the Airwaves. And if you take away anything from the video, the lesson is easy: be kind to one another, for fuck’s sake!

Special thanks to Steph for all of her hard work and artistic direction, and to Jubilee, Jeffrey, and Walter for their amazing and hilarious acting in the video. Somehow, we all survived that hellishly hot day on the beach!

Till next time,
Linds

Our next show is an all-ages matinee show, presented by Candy Apple Red. It’s on Saturday, February 6 at the Grand Victory in Williamsburg at 3pm. $10 to get in and see four bands including us! All ages shows are pretty rare for us, so if you’re on the young side of 21, this is the show to go to!

We’re Back!

Good morning, guys! 

First off, Happy New Year! That was a solid holiday season, but I have to admit, I’m glad we’re back to normalcy for now. To those who came to Lovecraft and the Knitting Factory, thank you for swinging by! Those were both great shows, and we love every single band that was on both bills. 

Next, we hope you’re enjoying the video! It seems like you guys are – we got to 500 views really quickly, which we are thankful and excited about. Head over to social media now and check it out!

So, our plans for this year are far and wide, but they include some pretty cool stuff. For now, we’ll be staying regional with shows, so you can expect plenty of opportunities to see us in the boroughs and on Long Island. We’ve decided we won’t travel that much this year, because…we’re beginning the recording process to our new EP very soon! We couldn’t be more excited about getting new music to you guys! We feel that we’ve grown a lot as a band since the release of “Devil May Care,” and we want to document that. So, with that, we want to stay close to home to give this record our undivided attention, in order to make it the best possible record it can be. These days, too many records are rush-recorded, and quality, as you would think, suffers. We’re not one of those bands. In summation, scratch tracking should begin by the end of this month or very early next month. So, now you’re in on what we’ve been up to! 

Lastly, be sure to catch us at Black Bear Bar TOMORROW (January 9), supporting our friends Before the Origin for their record release of their debut album, Who We Are. Doors open at 6, and its $12 at the door.

❤️
Lindsay

  

Happy Holidaze from Crowd the Airwaves!

Hey guys!

Quick post this week. Please have a safe and happy holiday season, whatever you celebrate or don’t celebrate. Just enjoy yourself!

2015 has been a roller coaster year, with a lot of tough personal things that we converted into good music. We’re still standing, and we’re better than ever. 2016 already promises to be quite an interesting year, and we’re excited to keep doing good shows, creating good music, and getting it to as many people as possible. 

Speaking of good gigs, our first gig of the new year is going to be AWESOME! On Monday, January 4, we’re joining Dalton Deschain and the Traveling Show, On the Sun, and Craig Kierce for what’s going to be a raucous rock show at the Knitting Factory. Craig will be releasing an album, and we’re stoked to be a part of the release show. It’s $10 to get in, and  it all starts at 7pm SHARP!

A mere five days later, we will be joining our good friends Before the Origin when they release their debut, Who We Are, at Black Bear Bar on January 9. 

And lastly, we will be returning to Long Island to play Mr. Beery’s, on Friday, January 15. Pussywolf and Natural Stranger are schlepping out from the city to join us for that one. 

YEAH! Good gigs coming up, and as always, we hope to see you. Thanks for helping us pull through 2015, and we’ll see you in 2016!!!!

Oh, and below is a picture of my parents’ dog, Cody, dressed as Santa, because pets dressed up are awesome.
Much love,

Lindsay

  

Reimagining Songs 

 
Hey guys! 

I’m writing by light of the Christmas tree while my husband is in Astoria at band practice. A lot of good things have happened this week, but like any good busy week, it’s left me exhausted…hence why I am happily snuggled under the afghan my mom made us. 

Anyway, since our final gig of the year is coming up next weekend, I thought I’d discuss what makes this gig a little different from our previous shows. Instead of our usual loud and boisterous antics, we’re doing an all-acoustic set. We retooled a bunch of old CTA favorites, along with some newer stuff, for this. Sometimes, it’s proven really easy and been a fairly seamless transition. I’ll be honest, though: most of it has been quite the opposite! Most of our stuff sounds wildly different without amps and effects, and so we have had to accommodate accordingly. As much of a pain it has been at times, it has made us a better band and helped reinforce the idea that we should be thinking critically about how we play, how we interpret the work, and the content itself. 

Here are some reasons why I think it’s a good idea to do something like this if you’re a musician:

1. You can’t hide. …behind effects and stuff, that is! You might have some light reverb or delay glossing your sound a little, but that’s it! It’s a great opportunity to brush those chops up and work on your precision as a player. 

2.  Dynamics. An acoustic set requires different dynamics than a plugged-in set, just as dynamic requirements vary from genre to genre and venue to venue. If you’re not good with volume control, now is the time to get good.

3. Percussion. As the drummer of the band, I had to condense drum parts that usually use 8 pieces all the way down onto the goatskin of my djembe. Again – an opportunity to serve the music better was made, and I was remind of just how many sounds you can make with only your hands and the skin of a single drum.

4. Beginnings and endings. For those of you planning to attend, you’ll see that some of the songs will begin or end a little differently than we normally do them. Sometimes, screaming opening arpeggios don’t translate well to a mellow acoustic guitar!

5. General Critical Thinking. Retooling and reimagining a song will force you to be honest with yourself on what works and what simply does not. Simple.

All of these things, overall, make someone a better musician. A few projects ago, we used to play several different versions of songs, just to see what version would really bring out the best in the song. It was one of the most important things I learned from that project, and it makes me happy that we decided to implement it in this project. 

Lastly, all of the information is on the flier up top, and it was designed, as usual, by Christina! We hope to see you there, one last time, before what promises to be a crazy 2016!

SOON

Lindsay