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 

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That Post About Drugs and Music

Morning, everyone

I woke up to the news of Scott Weiland’s passing. As a kid that grew up heavily influenced by grunge, it truly feels like the end of an era now. Most of them are dead. From drugs.

I can’t really say I’m surprised that he’s dead early, but it doesn’t make it any less sad. It’s hard to see someone struggle and lose to their demons, whether it’s a substance, mental illness, or something else. Facing reality is hard for some people. 

Drugs and music have been connected for centuries. It’s really only been in the last 10-15 years that there’s been an increased awareness among musicians that it’s really not a good idea to do them, nor do you need them to produce your best work. 

I’ve had friends overdose and nearly die, and acquaintances actually die. I have many friends that feel they can’t really be in a public setting without having a few drinks in them. I have too many friends that simply don’t know when to stop. 

In some ways, I feel like I’m not qualified to talk about something like this, because I’ve never personally been through it, and there’s not really a family history of it. Very little, at least. However, I’ve been the bystander to enough of it, that I guess I can. 

Anyway, here’s a very abridged list of why, if you’re a working musician, it’s a bad idea to do drugs.

1. They’re expensive. Musicians tend to start out very poor. We have to watch every dollar. Why be poorer?

2. They don’t fix your problems. Sure, they’re really great for masking reality and making you feel really great for a short period of time, but your problems will always be there until you solve them.

3. Your music suffers. Contrary to what your drug-addled brain might think, you actually suck when you’re high, and it’s obvious to EVERYONE. It’s disrespectful to your craft, to your audience, and to the entire industry, but mostly to yourself.

4. (Career) size matters. I know. Most people that adore Jimi, Jim, Janis, John, Kurt, Keith, Billie, Layne, Amy, et al. know them for their wonderful work but careers cut short due to drugs. Half the reason they are as famous as they are posthumously is because they died early. Wouldn’t you want to be know for a long and fruitful career of brilliance, instead of one where you were shitwrecked for most of it? Imagine how much more brilliant Jimi could’ve become if he cleaned up, or Kurt if he took the courageous step of facing his demons. We would all be better off.

5. Health. I mean…

Conclusion: while I admire the straight-edge lifestyle, I’m not advocating it. I’m advocating a conscious decision to think before you consume. Understanding the implications of your decisions goes far beyond drugs. It’s just a good skill to have for navigating life’s perilous twists and turns.

RIP Scott. Damn shame.

❤️

Lindsay

Our last show of the year is a special holiday unplugged show at the Lovecraft Bar In the East Village on Saturday, December 19 at 6pm. I’ll be doing a solo set as well, and we will have our friends Don Paris Schlotman and Wanderer’s Soul join us. It’s $5 to get in and 21+. 

Thankful! :)

Hey guys, 

Just a quick post today. With Thanksgiving a mere few days away, we’re reflecting on what we are thankful for as a band. 

Honestly, with all of the stuff that’s been happening worldwide as of late, we’re just happy to be safe and surrounded by people we love. We’re grateful to anyone who has come out to see a show, bought some merch, promoted us, taken photos in the audience, and worked with us, both in the studio and during a show. 

We’re still a young band, and we all come from humble beginnings, and very little startup capital. We’ve made some amazing friends and some real enemies, hit the road a couple times for some wonderful out of town shows, changed practice spaces no less than four times since my joining in October of 2013, and weathered a whole lot of changed plans, but we’re still here. For me at least, I’m thankful for our resilience and our stubbornness. We have a quitting problem, as in, we just can’t quit! 

So, thanks for everything you have given us, and giving us the encouragement to keep making kick-ass music for you.

If you’re on Long Island, please join us at O’Briens in Coram TONIGHT for a great bill. We’ll be joined by Life After TV, Freya Wilcox and the Howl, Before the Origin, and Wanderer’s Soul. We headline at 11, but come early, because every band on here is awesome. It’s $5 to get in and all ages, and the music starts at 7:30.

For our final NYC show of the year, join us for a special unplugged set at the Lovecraft Bar in the East Village on Saturday, December 19. More details to follow in the coming post.

Lastly, there will be no blog post next week, as I will be in Pittsburgh spending time with my family for the holiday.

See you in two weeks!

❤️

Lindsay  

 

Stage Banter – The Glue of the Set

Hey guys!

Man, the sun sets so early now. It’s still an adjustment, after returning to the East Coast five years ago (I moved from AZ, where they don’t observe daylight savings time). Either way, it’s a beautiful sunset, down here in South Brooklyn.

As I was staring at the blank screen for a few minutes, figuring out what to write about this week, it hit me: I haven’t discussed stage banter, of all things!

So, you’re in a band, and a good one at that. You have a full set of kickass songs. What more could you want? Well, there are other things you should be thinking about – like what happens in between the songs. Because body language says a lot, the appearance of looking not confident or maybe disorganized can really wreck a stage show, no matter how strong the songs are. Below are just a few of my ideas on what constitutes good, productive stage banter and etiquette:

*Good rapport between band members. This one should be obvious! Audiences really enjoy when they see bands having fun on-stage. It keeps the mood light, and moves the show along.

*But not too much talking. Audiences have the attention span of a two-year-old. I suggest timing yourself with what you want to say (for parts what you want rehearsed), and figure out how you can get your point across in 30 seconds or less. Losing the audience sucks, and it makes you look amateur if you ramble.

*Promoting your merch is good. But don’t appear desperate! No begging, no pleading. If the audience digs what you’re doing, trust me, you’ll make the sales. And don’t worry if you don’t sell anything – just do what you can.

*Joking! Joking is a double-edge sword, especially these days. Getting your bandmates and the audience to laugh together is great fun, but try not to be too edgy with your humor. Concerts are about bringing people together and finding common ground, and forgetting about the harsh reality of the world for a minute. Don’t bring potentially very offensive material onto the stage. Alienating audience members can backfire quickly and ferociously. Edgy humor is great, but I encourage you to steer clear of obviously polarizing content.

*The less you talk, the more powerful your set is. Some of the most powerful shows I’ve ever seen have had little to no stage banter at all. The first shows I’ve seen the come to mind are when I saw PJ Harvey a few years ago, or when we opened for Michale Graves in September 2014. Both acts barely said anything at all, and it was all balls-to-the-wall rock n roll. Music should be front and center, always. Save the extended pieces for comedians!

*Spontaneity is good, too. As much as you rehearse what you need to say, being able to roll with the punches is equally paramount. When amps break, cables short out, there are problems with the PA, whatever – being able to not choke is crucial to your show. Relax, and know that everything is going to work out just fine!

Unfortunately, this kind of thing can only really be learned through experience, like so many things in music. But just keep at it, and you will do fine!

Till next week,

Lindsay

November Gig Preview

Hey guys!

It’s gonna be a quick post today. The car is getting inspected, and I am writing this from my phone as Gus fixes a couple things on my car. 

Thought we’d let you know that we have two great gigs coming up this month, and they’re both special! 

Our first one is THIS COMING MONDAY at the famous Arlene’s Grocery in the Lower East Side. We were asked to hop on and headline a bill with Richmond-area indie act, Those Manic Seas. Big thanks to these guys for asking us! Music starts at 7, and we go on at 9. What also makes this special is that it’s FREE ADMISSION. We never do these kinds of shows anymore, so if you wanna capitalize on a cheap night, this is it!

Our other gig signifies our return to Long Island. This time, we will be at O’Brien’s in Coram on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21. Music starts at 7, and we’ll be sharing the bill with some rad acts like Wanderer’s Soul, Before the Origin, and Freya Wilcox and The Howl. It’s $10 to get in, and come party with us, because it’s 3 days after my birthday and the day before Christina’s!

Lastly, we’re working on planning something awesome for the holidays. More on that in a future post. 

Have a great weekend, all, and we hope to see everyone on Monday!
❤️

Lindsay

Rehearsal Spaces: Monthlies vs. Hourlies

Morning, all!

This week’s blog is a day early, due to schedule commitments that are happening tomorrow – mainly, that CTA is moving to a new rehearsal space! We’re excited to return to the outer boroughs for practice, even though our time in Manhattan has been wonderful. It was time.

Anyway, I thought this was a good opportunity to explore the pros and cons of the two main kinds of rehearsal spaces in New York City: hourlies and monthlies. In a city where barely anyone has a garage and the population density is too high anymore, people take their practices outside of the house. We just finished a ten-month run using an hourly, and we are switching back to a monthly (we stayed for nearly a year in a monthly in downtown Brooklyn, so we have a lot of experience with both). So:

Hourlies

Hourlies are the bulk of rehearsal spaces in Manhattan, specifically, but there are plenty of hourly options in the outer boroughs, too. They’re just what they say they are: you pay an hourly rate to use the space.

PROS: Much of the time, you can reserve a space on short notice, so they’re perfect for those last-minute emergency rehearsals, or if you have to quickly lay down a track. They are furnished with a backline, so the equipment you lug is usually minimal (now, whether the equipment actually works, well…that’s another story). A reputable space will also have emergency strings, sticks, and picks on-hand, and usually bottles of water, and sometimes even juice and coffee. They tend to be comfortable, too, usually with a piece of furniture.

CONS: They can get expensive pretty quickly. You also have to know your schedule ahead of time, because any good space is going to be in high enough demand that if you want to save money and use the cheap space, it’s best to reserve it about a week ahead of time. They’re usually sticklers about overage and won’t hesitate to charge you if you go more than, say, five minutes overtime – because of the demand. And, I think the worst con is their cancellation policies. While I can certainly understand it because of the nature of the business, they usually require several days’ notice to avoid a fee. This doesn’t bode well if people get too sick to practice.

BUT, THERE IS ANOTHER WAY!

….

Monthlies

If you can afford it, this is the better way to go, in New York at least.

PROS: It provides a home-base for the band – so, the feeling of having an HQ feels good on the mind. A good monthly will be a lockout space, where you can keep as much or as little of your equipment as your want, and things will be there to set up and tear down. They’re almost always flat-rate, so you can rest assured that if you need to have a particularly long practice, no one is looking over your shoulder. As long as you maintain good communication with the other bands using the space, scheduling is rarely an issue. It’s homey, you know? Plus, using my own equipment, at least for me, brings a level of comfort and familiarity that I enjoy.

CONS: Basically the mirror image of the pros! If you want your own space, expect to take out another lease that is just as expensive, if not more so, than your apartment. Otherwise, you’re sharing the space with at least three other projects. There are simply too many bands in New York, and lockouts are always in high demand. They’re never furnished, so you have to bring your own equipment, and you are responsible if anything breaks down. Depending on where you are and the super of the building is, they can be very uncomfortable, so make sure to find a space where the temperature and climate is at least a little controlled. This should go without saying, but…SECURITY! At least two locks on the door, and one should be a deadbolt. Lastly, lock up or lug your equipment if you don’t trust the other tenants!

There’s definitely a time and place for both kinds of spaces, and I am no stranger to either. Honestly, I miss practicing in my parents’ garage, like I did as a teenager, but this isn’t Pittsburgh, so I deal with it. But even when my bands practiced in there, and I didn’t know this until years later – my dad made agreements with all of our surrounding neighbors that we would stop by 8! Even then we turned it up 11. 🙂

LASTLY: We want to thank the folks at Smash Studios in Midtown Manhattan for their wonderful service and hospitality over the last ten months. They’re the best hourly in town, and I recommend them! And, we want to thank our friends in Bikini Carwash for getting us on-board with their lockout space in Greenpoint. We’ve got rad, talented friends!

Till next week,

Linds

Don’t forget! our next show is MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9 AT ARLENE’S GROCERY AT 9PM! 21+, $10 to get in!

Afterthoughts on CMJ: You Can’t Handle The Truth!

Happy Friday, everyone!

I’m doing the laundry, as usual, and in my fleece pants, because it’s fall and that’s how you Friday when you don’t work on Fridays. Ha!

Anyway, I want to just start with some remarks about our show at CMJ last week. It was a TON of fun, and we had a blast with old and new friends. Shoutouts to Bikini Carwash, Pussywolf, Plastiq Passion, Samantha, and Bedpan Fight for being some of the best/most fun bill mates we’ve had, and to Nick Jenkins and New Island Entertainment for taking care of us, and the staff at Bushwick Public House for guarding my jean jacket I’ve had since middle school while I discovered I misplaced it three days later. THANK YOU! 😀

So, now that I’ve had about a week to think about some of the panels I attended at CMJ, and the plethora of conversations I had with old and new friends I ran into at the conference, here’s where I’m at: there seem to be a couple different schools of thought when it comes to trying to break into the more exclusive circles of the industry, whether it’s college radio, putting together a tour on your own (or even with an agent or whatever), getting signed, licensing, etc. And while I learned plenty of perfectly applicable, practical information and tips, it was, as conferences are, a mindfuck.

One school echoes sentiments that the industry has held for decades: the artist’s job is to be an artist, nothing more, nothing less. They should focus exclusively on producing amazing music, and hire people/outsource the clerical and promo work to other people to handle. I said in a previous entry awhile back that when Elton John released his debut album, there were no less than FIFTY PEOPLE staffed exclusively to getting his album off the ground, start to finish, and properly promoting him across all outlets and income streams. Talk about it taking a village! The pro: just being an artist. Sounds dreamy. The con: this basically doesn’t happen anymore, and you usually accrue tons of debt (I’m talking between five and seven figures), because what the music industry IS now is WAY ahead of the model that labels and such are still operating on, so it’s nearly impossible to recoup the money that a label has fronted for your magnum opus.

The other school has been around for a long time, too. I’m talking about, obviously, the DIY school. The DIY school promotes the idea of self-sufficiency, and wearing all the administrative hats, in addition to writing kickass songs that will stand the test of time and be the best stuff ever. DIY bands are truly self-made. They fund themselves, promote themselves, design themselves, etc. The pro of this approach? Absolute creative freedom and the ability to work on your own terms. You can do what you want, when you want, how you want. The con: THIS IS REALLY HARD TO DO AND LIKE 95% OF MUSICIANS DON’T HAVE THEIR SHIT TOGETHER ENOUGH TO HANDLE IT.

The thing that bothered me a little about some of the panelists at CMJ were they couldn’t seem to understand that many musicians that are starting out are pretty broke, and as practical as outsourcing clerical work can be, most young musicians are shackled with student debt, and can’t just take out a $25,000 loan to start up a band. Some friends of ours spent $1700/month for 3 months on a PR campaign to promote their most recent release, and they said it was both good and bad. That’s more than what my husband and I pay for rent! Did anyone else notice that many of the “indie darlings” of the last few years have friends/family in high places, thus perpetuating “it’s who you know?!” Few people come out of nowhere anymore…although, was it ever really that many people “coming out of nowhere” in the first place? Or that people that make six figures talk to younger musicians like they do too? This stuff makes you fall into your head real fast. Anyway.

So where do you go? What do you do? I’ve been a proponent of trying to handle everything/most things in-house as long as you possibly can. Not only does it cost money to outsource work, but the industry is full of sharks that want to profit off of your desperation to get noticed. Not to sound paranoid, but I trust VERY FEW people with handling music I make. I can count them on one hand.

I strongly suggest doing the following things before entertaining the possibility of outsourcing your workload:

  1. Being a musician for a living is 90% MENTAL, and 10% ACTUAL TALENT. Read that again. Resilience, persistence, and the ability to observe closely and quietly are everything, especially when you don’t have a bottomless budget. Accept this, young Padawan. You should also accept that you’re in one of the hardest sectors of the economy in which one can achieve stability and sustainability. It’s fickle always.
  2. TIME MANAGEMENT AND BALANCE OF YOUR WORK AND PERSONAL LIFE. Time management makes or breaks a band. That time you spent fucking off on Facebook and biting all the clickbait your friends post, or feeling sorry for yourself, could’ve been spent following up to venues, emailing blogs, or doing what you were meant to do: WRITING MUSIC! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend time with your loved ones, sleeping in, even taking a day off from time to time. You just have to push the workload you would’ve done that day to a different day, ideally over the course of a few days before or after. But unchecked free time not only wastes your time, but your bandmates’ time. For me, I use the to-do list app on my phone. Heather and Christina use planners. Both are of equal value! I remember in undergrad, my band once did an insane amount of gigs in a semester. Something like around a dozen. I took 18 credits that semester, our drummer was a pre-med student, the other guitarist was a pharmacy student, and the bassist failed out of engineering (as most many people do). Of course I was pretty dead by the end of it, and my GPA went down to like a 3.1, but I pulled it off. It gave me confidence.
  3. BREAKS ARE GOOD! For all I yammer on about productivity, breaks are essential. They allow the brain and body to recharge. Timers: those are great for breaks. Example: setting a timer so you can go fuck off on Facebook. But, when that thing goes off, you go back to work.
  4. KEEP GOOD RECORDS, BOTH SPREADSHEET AND MUSICAL. Put a good record on, and keep your books. Document everything, save your receipts, all that. We document everything from details about our song catalogue (like key, bpm, etc), to set lists, to crowd attendance, to band finances, to contacts…it goes on.
  5. EMAIL AND FOLLOW-UP! This goes for booking shows, sending out radio press kits, blogs, all that. UNLESS THEY OTHERWISE STATE ON THEIR CONTACT INFO, you can follow up. It’s completely normal to follow up a dozen times, sometimes, or, if they don’t want you to follow up, to wait a few months to get a reply. Because of the now-extensive DIY culture in North America, these places are swamped 24/7 with emails and requests. When you’re self-managed, expect wait times.
  6. CONSIDER THE UNLIKELY. Anything is truly possible. Sometimes, a band will get signed out of nowhere. That rarely happens, but it does. For the rest of us, make sure everything around you and your brand is consistent, and stands out. As mentioned in the previous point, these people that run radio stations and stuff are swamped, constantly. What can you do to your image and brand that’ll make them give a fuck about you? Christina has done wonders for our image, and Heather handles almost all of our social media stuff in her unique voice. And she crowned the term for our fans: Airwavians (holy shit I hate that word, haha). But it stuck, and I’ll go with it. The takeaway of this point is to just bring your a-game always. You might end up needing outside help, but there are other people (like one of my favorite bands, Beach Fossils, who are way bigger than us) that have toured the world and are still self-managed. They do have a little outside help, but they have a close and trusted circle that helps one another out, which brings me to my next point.
  7. FORM CLOSE BONDS WITH OTHER BANDS THAT SHARE YOUR VISION. As much as I talk about not trusting people, there are people that you should trust: the ones that share your vision. You really only find those people by chance and by putting yourself out there. I don’t really believe in the idea of “a rising tide raises all ships,” but I do believe in sharing knowledge with people you know that will handle it and put it to good use. We have a few bands we truly love in our scene and we try to support them in any we can, whether it’s going to the shows, buying the merch, sharing their link on social media, going out for drinks and exchanging ideas, whatever. As much as conferences like CMJ can help, these inter-band bonds help so much more.
  8. PRUDENT SPENDING. Do your research before you part with a dollar from your band fund. Keep your overhead low when possible. Common sense.

Under normal circumstances, these things should keep you afloat for a few years. If you start working with large sums of money, or your band inbox is swarmed with more than 100 emails a day for show, radio, interview, blog, whatever, then you can think about hiring outside help.

CMJ put some things in perspective for me: the industry is always changing; there are millions of people trying to do the exact same thing I’m trying to do; there’s a disconnect between the powers that be and the people on the ground; the best thing we can do for one another is to take care of one another, form our own network of good, genuine, reliable people, so when the wolves come calling, we’ll be ready.

We have another show coming up! We’ll be playing at the famous Arlene’s Grocery on MONDAY, 11/9 at 9pm. 21+, sugg. donation $5. Show starts at 7pm with our friends Plastiq Passion. COME ON OUT!

CMJ WEEK! Or, Big Music Conference Etiquette

Heyo! Happy CMJ Music Marathon Week, everyone!

We’re very stoked about it, as this is our first CMJ we’re playing. I had the privilege of playing CMJ two years ago, both as a solo artist and as part of the spacebilly outfit, The Sky Captains of Industry. I didn’t play it last year because I got married, so I was…preoccupied in the best of ways. ANYWAY, this week’s blog is about basic music conference etiquette and tips for navigating the mindfuck.

  1. BRING PROMOTIONAL MEDIA, BUT REMEMBER THAT EVERYONE ELSE IS GOING TO BRING PROMOTIONAL MEDIA TOO. You’re going to have a mountain of business cards and dropcards by the end of it. Accept it. When I went to ASCAP in LA five years ago, I collected around 300 cards. No joke.
  2. HAND A LOT OF IT OUT, BUT TRY TO BE STRATEGIC. Everyone is there to kiss everyone else’s asses. Conferences are ass-kissing at its…pinnacle, shall we say. If you can make a connection with a fellow artist or producer or talent buyer, hand them a card, but try to judge their body language on whether you think you’re actually getting through or not. I had a great conversation with the impeccable Linda Perry at ASCAP, and made the novice mistake of handing her a business card. She took it, but her demeanor changed, likely thinking “why is this little blond homeslice handing me her card, just like everyone else? I was starting to think she was cool!” That last part is wishful thinking. Her masterclass was awesome.
  3. IF YOU GO UP TO THE MICROPHONE TO ASK A QUESTION, DO NOT BE A FUCKBOY AND USE THE TIME TO PROMOTE YOURSELF. Even though it’s never gonna happen, try to maintain the space as a fuckboy-free zone. Ask your question, get your answer, sit the fuck down. Seriously. It’s annoying, it’s rude, and no one will take you seriously as a person musician.
  4. YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO EVERY PANEL. Try to pick the panels that you think you’ll draw the most knowledge and know-how from. Don’t get starry-eyed, and don’t get ahead of yourself. For example: There’s a panel at this year’s CMJ about touring abroad. We’re not gonna go to that one, because it simply isn’t relevant right now. Instead, we’re going to stuff that’s catered towards bands and musicians that are still fairly early in their careers. We’ve gigged a lot, but we’re still babies at a lot of this, and that’s totally fine.
  5. NOTEBOOK AND PEN. Or tablet. But actually physically taking notes helps a lot. Think of it as the college lecture series of your dreams.
  6. COMMON SENSE. Firm handshake. Look people in the eye when you introduce yourself and talk to them. Dress cleanly. Talk confidently. Stand behind your brand and band. These things make an impression on people almost more than what comes out of your mouth.
  7. HAVE FUN. Music is a job, but it’s also a fun job. For all the moving and shaking going on at these things, there’s always room for laughter.
  8. COME TO OUR AWESOME SHOWCASE ON THURSDAY AT BUSHWICK PUBLIC HOUSE. Info on the poster up top!

See ya next week! ❤

Linds

CTA PLAYS CMJ!

Hey guys!

Short blog post this week, but it’s happy news. We’ve been wanting to announce this for a couple weeks now, but just got confirmation: Crowd the Airwaves will be playing CMJ this year! And we’ll be with several of our favorite bands from our scene!

Check it:

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15

BUSHWICK PUBLIC HOUSE

1288 Myrtle Ave!

$8 to general public (and it’s all ages!!!); FREE if you have a CMJ badge

Here’s the stacked lineup:

7pm Pussywolf

8pm Plastiq Passion

9pm CTA

10pm Samantha

11pm Bedpan Fight

AKA this is gonna be rad! And sit tight for awesome flier artwork by Christina, as per the usual. That should be going up very soon.

STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS AS THEY ROLL IN!

Till next week,

Linds ❤

On Leisure Time: The Doing of the Thing

Hey guys!

Been a couple weeks, and been a long time since I’ve written on a Sunday afternoon. My husband is taking his usual nap before he heads up to band practice with Dalton Deschain and the Traveling Show, so I’m relegated to keeping quiet and putting my own practice for tomorrow’s session to a little later. Thankfully, our landlords are traveling, so drumming in a private apartment should be less of an issue. Here’s hoping.

Crowd the Airwaves has two more weeks of hiatus before we plunge headlong into practice for our fall shows, but we’ve already started to shake the dust off, between catching up with our talent buyer friends around the region, making our birthday and holiday lists of gifts we want to get each other, trying to get out to a few shows and support our amazing scene, and of course, plotting world domination. I’ll admit, though, that having actual down time cause me to, well, think about existence, what it means to be, and what it means to be content with one’s place in the universe. So I guess today’s post is going to be philosophical…er, more philosophical than I usually get.

Anyone that knows me knows I’m a BIG fan of Amy Poehler and all of her work. Leslie Knope is my patronus. Seriously! Parks and Recreation and my wedding were the highlights of 2014 for me. Okay, unbridled fangirldom aside, I went to the library a couple weeks ago before Mike and I headed up to Montreal for a few days, just to pick up a couple books to satisfy my brain and maybe also my heart. I devoured Yes Please in about three days and loved pretty much every word.

Besides being hilarious and delightfully irreverent, Poehler has the gift of also kicking you right in the heart. Sometimes you see it coming, sometimes you don’t. As she gushed about her life and times criss-crossing the country as a young, starving comedian in several cities, she had this…tendency to sow a bunch of wisdom into that colorful and comedic garden. You could perhaps say the thesis of her book, and maybe the thesis of any artist that truly takes their art and their work seriously, is this:

The doing of the thing is the thing.

Yeah. Important enough for me to make it look really pretentiously dramatic on your screen. 🙂

Like most young musicians with ambitions of rock stardom on par with Led Zeppelin’s (or in my case, Fleetwood Mac’s) quality and excess, I thought that the record deal was the end-all, be-all. Once you signed that goddamn dotted line, everything would fall into place for you. The album, the tours, the hit-singles, the awards, the clothes, the cover of the Rolling Stooooooone…you know. But it’s all a dream in the sense that 1. the music business is unrecognizable to the one forty years ago and 2. success isn’t measured by the commas in your bank account balance.

Amy discusses, in her book, about how she became successful, basically, by slugging along and relentlessly developing her art. For years. She notes that most people that we see nowadays are successful mainly because they’ve had the tenacity to hang on, learn form their mistakes, sharpen their wit, and refused to give up when a stumbling block fell into their path. I leaned that she’s 44, and that she’s been at showbiz for more than two decades. She started doing all these little bit parts and doing a lot of free shit, and worked her way up. I see some of myself in her. We artists all should. Every little session I have is a step closer, and a journey is made of many steps. Reading her book was a tonic, compared to many of the other artists I enjoy, like Nirvana or The Runaways or whoever else. The meteoric rise is dangerous, it seems, and we can become our best when we have time to adapt. Real change is slow.

All that said, though, it’s great when you can actually perceive the change over time. I look at where I was when I moved to New York (permanently) five years ago, shit broke, with what I could fit in my car. I’m here now, happily married, I don’t need to go to open mics to kiss any asses for work or attention anymore, and I’m not starving. There is no end-all, be-all. Perhaps the definition of success, REAL success, is knowing you are exactly where you need to be, in the present moment. I know I am.

Stay tuned for gig announcements next week!

Linds