Archive for July, 2012

Late post! That might be happening a lot in the next two weeks…Speaking of which, I only have two weeks left! Excuse me while I wipe the tears from my keyboard.
But really, I’m fine, I swear. This week I was due for my bi-annual two day knockout sickness. It happens a couple times a year without fail, I’ll wake up one day with just a hell of a cold (or so it seems) and two days of sleep later it will be gone. It’s one of the mysteries of my life.

Besides being sick for two days, I had some pretty awesome adventures this week…

Received a rose from an overly enthusiastic Russian at a sketchy bar deep in Brooklyn (I was flattered)

Hunter became my best friend at work this week after I gave him treats that are apparently his crack

Went to a market in Williamsburg and ran across this. I don’t even know what it is, but I like it.

Also got this sweet iPhone case at that market (reclaimed vinyl ! )

And finally, The Oats had an awesome gig at Trash Bar in Williamsburg

All in all, this week made me realize I was born to live in Williamsburg. Time to start apartment hunting…

BAND OF THE WEEK:

Brick + Mortar – Move To The Ocean

Genre: Rock, Blues Rock, Distortion

Listen if you like: The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Queens of The Stone Age

 

 

 

 

Having been here almost two months, I’ve learned a couple things I was woefully ignorant of before. I’m not even close to being a “real New Yorker” (I haven’t even cried on the subway guys), but I can definitely share some knowledge that’s helpful to people visiting or moving to the city.

Getting Around

#1 – Look up (and figure out) subway directions BEFORE you leave

#2 – Know the difference between going downtown and uptown

#3 – Local trains stop at every station; express trains DO NOT

#4 – The traffic on even numbered one-way streets go East; odd traffic goes West

#5 – The city is a grid, avenues go North-South; streets go East-West

#6 – 30-day passes can only be swiped once every 18 minutes

#7 – It takes longer to get there than you think

 

Food Stuffs

 

#8 – There will ALWAYS be a $1 pizza place. And yes, it will be delicious

#9 – The food trucks are better than you think; and cleaner.

#10 – There are restaurants for every culture…don’t be afraid to try something new

#11 – Look at the ratings that are posted on every restaurant; A and B are good, “grade pending” means a failing grade…

#12 – If you’re on a budget, stick to bagels and small falafel places, or cook at home

#13 – Mid-town is full of tourists and the prices rise accordingly

Staying Safe

 

#13 – Don’t walk alone

#14 – If you must walk alone, stick to popular streets (a good bet is 2-way streets)

#15 – The Lower East Side is actually pretty safe

#16 – When dealing with catcalls, pretend like you didn’t hear them, don’t look at them, and keep walking

#17 – When in Brooklyn ghettos, put your iPhone AWAY

#18 – Make a wide berth around the more insane-looking homeless, they can be grabby

 

The Music Scene

#19 – Open mics happen in various cafes and bars every night of the week, and they’re a great way to get gigs

#20 – The East Village has the best venues, all within walking distance of each other, a lot them free

#21 – “Free” means there’s a drink minimum

#22 – Just like any other big city, busk whenever you can (even on the subways)

#23 – Play as much as possible, form a relationship with other musicians, and make sure the audience knows where to find your music when you leave the stage

I’m gonna be honest, it’s been kind of a rough week, but there were some awesome parts!

For instance:

The Oats played at Don Pedro’s Friday night and rocked the place (naturally). I had to scrape together a mailing list signup due to shitty circumstances, but we made it work, and got 7 new fans!

Smiley faces are infinitely better than giant Xs

Checked out the Highline for the first time! Why haven’t I been there before?? It’s beautiful. And has delicious gelato (pistachio fucking ROCKS)

Beautiful

Went to a show at Bowery Ballroom (by myself, because I’m cool like that – also I’m writing a review for it) and discovered this AWESOME rhythm-based, bass heavy band, Brick + Mortar.

And of course saw River City Extension, who were fantastic, unsurprisingly. There were, however, several drunk uber fans that made the experience significantly more sweaty and mosh pit-y (at a folk show? Really??)

I really should be writing that review, but the events of this week have left me emotionally drained, so I think I’ll devote today to listening to Muse, Mumford & Sons, and just not a giving a damn.

Who’s with me?

BAND OF THE WEEK:

Muse – Plug In Baby

Genre: Rock, Alternative, Symphonic Rock

Listen if you like: Radiohead, Queen, Epic Music

 
 
 
 
 

The majority of the posts on this blog are dedicated to sharing my advice from experience and from research, and to expose people to bands that I believe in that deserve to be acknowledged for their music. Today, however, I’m going to talk about my life the past couple weeks in a more personal way.

Although I love what I do, I’ve been struggling a little bit lately to keep my head above the stress of the industry, the difficulty in finding people that I can feel close to, and balancing the two without going crazy.

 

I’ve always been of the belief that I can do more, that I shouldn’t be satisfied with merely “good enough” – which is motivating, but it’s also disheartening and overwhelming sometimes.  The past two weeks have been non-stop for me, with managing a band for the first time, working 4 days a week, and writing for this blog as well as The Berklee Groove. I love everything that I do, but there have been times when I’ve thought to myself “What have I gotten into? What if it’s too much?” all while planning the next step.

 

It was especially difficult because, for nearly a year, whenever I was a little too stressed for my own good, I could turn to my significant other for support and perspective. However, things ended badly just before I came to New York and we’re no longer on speaking terms. I lost a best friend and that’s not an easy thing, especially living in a new city.

 

It’s not just affecting me, either. I haven’t been going out with friends nearly as much – and not at all during the week. It’s really been isolating and, without some serious support, makes the stress even worse. I can tell my friends are getting tired of inviting me out and always getting declined. I know it’s a learning process, but fuck if I know what I’m doing.

 

So what am I going to do about it?

 

Well, this past weekend I basically took a complete break – I didn’t work, or stress about something that needed to get done; I went out both nights and helped my friend shop for a birthday gift on Sunday. I danced and flirted and met some amazing people. It was a godsend really.

 

I’ve decided not to commit as many articles to The Berklee Groove, and luckily, because I’ve been working with the band for a couple weeks, the most time-consuming work for them is finished. Now it’s a matter of maintaining and keeping up with their current activities. I’m taking my own advice and learning to take time for myself and to have the ability to say no.

 

There’s no other industry I’d rather be in. I’m constantly amazed with where my life is headed – sometimes I just need a little perspective.

I’m halfway done already? What?? I’m already thinking about my plans for the end of the summer…and it’s kind of depressing. I wish I could just stay here, but I suppose I should probably get a degree. Being so close to graduation and all.

The good news is I got a new phone this week! Pictures are back (although I’ll definitely miss the puppies). Here are a few things I did this week:

 

Went to Googie’s Lounge to see my friend Jordan play, although I couldn’t stay the whole because of how insane my life has become…I swear I didn’t have a social life this week.

Decided to attempt to get back into running, especially because it’s such a nice area, but alas my knee started hurting almost immediately so that’s probably not going to be happening any time soon.

My awesome boss with her cat Hunter! She’s leaving for a week and he was being mopey the WHOLE day. He totally knew.

Last night I went to this awesommme rooftop party in Chelsea, with free food and drinks. I felt a wee bit under dressed…it was fancy as shit.

Went to an awesome bar called Home Sweet Home this weekend. They played music that was exclusively from the 50s and 60s, I want to go there always.

Tomorrow’s going to be a little bit of a different post. I’m going to talk about life and emotions and all the fun stuff that comes with taking on too much. Plus some single lady talk. It’s gonna be a good time.

Show Count: 1 (see? no life)

BAND OF THE WEEK:

Mumford & Sons – White Blank Page

Genre: Folk, Indie

Listen if you like: Bright Eyes, River City Extension, The Head and The Heart
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

There’s no way around it – if you want to be in the music industry, you’re going to face a lot of stress. You’ll be challenged, questioned, and criticized, and unlike high school, no one’s going to be there to hold your hand along the way. This is, after all, a business, no matter how passionate we are about the art. No matter how much you think you can handle, it’s best to be prepared with some tools to release or reduce some pressure, because that pressure can and will break you if you aren’t careful.

In recent years, I’ve certainly seen my fair share of breakdowns, and been through a few myself. Sometimes, we just have to remind ourselves of a few things…

Learn When To Say No…and Yes

Sometimes shit just builds up, and we’ve been trained from a young age to take advantage of opportunities and do as much as possible ALL THE TIME. Busy means important, busy means dedication. But one person can only take on so much, and you need to learn to distinguish between what will be beneficial to your goals, and what will hold you back and take up time that could be spent more productively. It’s a difficult task, but if you have a clear outline of where you’re going, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to make an informed decision. Anything that isn’t on your path, eradicate from your life as painlessly as possible.

http://www.to-done.com/2005/06/how-to-say-no/
http://lifehacker.com/034642/stop-being-a-yes-man

Time Is On Your Side

With the clock always ticking towards deadlines, it’s easy to think that there isn’t enough of it in a day, a month, a year. However, with some good time management, there’s really a lot more of it than we’ve come to believe. How often are you on Facebook? Checking your email? Texting even? Most of these things can wait, and there have been studies that show that checking Facebook even once* can decrease productivity significantly. Get a journal (or use excel) and write down everything you do in a day – it’s amazing how much the little things add up.

http://shiftingcareers.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/12/5-time-management-tricks/
* http://lifehacker.com/5900796/visiting-facebook-just-once-can-derail-your-productivity

The Mind Is A Muscle

Like a muscle, it needs to take breaks. Constantly flexing your intelligence, concentration, and will power won’t increase their strength, it will deplete it. Of course, it’s imperative that they are used to their full potential, but there should be time every day for a period of rest. Save decisions that require willpower for the decisions that can’t be automatic. Anything that can be automatic – what to eat, when to exercise, any routines – make it that way.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2012/06/18/eight-ways-goofing-off-can-make-you-more-productive/

Keep The Spark Alive

Never forget that you work in an industry of passion. You’re living your dream (hopefully) – not many people are so lucky. It’s an all-consuming industry, sure, but it’s a liberating consumption, one that we choose and embrace whole-heartedly. If ever you feel overwhelmed, pull out the reason you’re here (song, album, band, instrument) and remind yourself how lucky you are.

I had a week that was so full of the most jolting ups and downs, I had to resist the urge to look for Ashton Kutcher (Punk’d anyone?).

In order:

1. Started managing The Oats (awesome)
2. Confronted my venue internship supervisor (not awesome)
3. Got my purse from the MTA lost and found!! (awesome)
4. Was mugged by a ballsy 16-year-old in Brooklyn (not awesome…don’t worry, I’m fine)
5. Now work 4 days at Ariel and have a 3 day weekend (awesome)
6. Can only sleep on the weekends (not awesome)

I think my body decided to shut itself down yesterday due to some kind of PTSD. I slept 10 hours, then took a 3 hour nap

Because I now have no phone, there is a lack of pictures to document the past week…Also, I’ve been living off of bagels and peanut butter and jelly because he got my debit card. Welcome to Brooklyn.

To fill in for the lack of pictures, I was going to post a visual representation of why Pinterest is pushing women’s rights back few generations, but I decided I needed something soothing in my life instead.

Therefore, I bring you puppies:

 

 

Source: google.ca via Marla on Pinterest

Source: petapixel.com via Sara on Pinterest

Source: via Ashton on Pinterest

 
 

Source: lnkgt.com via Smile on Pinterest

You’re welcome.