December 29, 2008

the hard truth

sometimes i wonder if music is the right path for me. reasons why i think this:

* i have a super thin skin
* i suck at networking
* i hate to practice guitar
* i am too easily distracted by other things/ interests

reasons why i think music IS the path for me:

* i have a good voice
* i write solid songs
* i'm totally cute
* i don't quit easily
* when you hit the sweet spot - write something awesome, have a great performance, etc. - it is good. really, really good. you feel accomplished. you feel you've done something worthwhile, and all is right with the world. that in the deepest fibers of your being, you were meant for this and it was meant for you.


but with the failing economy, , the fact that not a whole lot of people pay for music anymore, and the reality of the long tail, it scares me to to place all my fragile hopes and dreams into a realm so volatile. i want to be successful but NOBODY knows where the future of this business is going, no matter how much they try to predict. not major or indie labels, not the riaa, not marketing gurus, not music bloggers, and certainly not independent musicians. certainly not me.

bleh. i hate all this doomsday stuff. but sadly, it's been getting under my skin. so lately i've been contemplating other dream jobs tailored to my interests. could i be:

coffee shop owner?


zoologist?


crazy cat lady? or, i already am that. no-kill animal shelter owner?


vintage clothing reseller?


professional crafter?



i kinda feel like i'm five again, trying to decide "what do YOU want to be when you grow up." i guess whatever you want to be, it always takes more work than you thought. and there are never any guarantees. i hate that, but it's the reality of the game. no risk, no reward. i must memorize this as my mantra, lest i be stuck behind a desk the rest of my life.
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December 20, 2008

travel pictures: austin

this post will have a lot more chit-chat than the last one, since it's closest to my memory.

first day, went to halcyon. why oh WHY can't new york have a coffee place like this??? plenty of room. comfy couches. interesting decor. non-douchey people. a nice place to RELAX. and to boot, a full bar and coffee-themed alcoholic drinks. is it too much to ask, brooklyn? i swear, if i had good credit and wasnt' sinking myself into this music project, i'd put together something JUST like this.

me @ halcyon

coffee cup on table

matt got sick one day, so i took the opportunity to drive around and visit a vintage store i'd been wanting to look at. along the way, i discovered some of the most glorious houses! all in little neighborhoods in central austin. all tiny. all painted in wondrous colors. i'll just show you a couple of the cutest pictures... i took a lot.

cute house:  purple w/ orange trim

cute house:  lime

then i actually GOT to the vintage store, and it was like a treasure trove. i wish i lived in this place. i ended up getting a really cute vintage hat and an enamel flower brooch.

treasures
beautiful toys at room service

toys
treasures at room service

me @ room service

then one day we stumbled upon an amaaaazing hole-in-the-wall tex-mex place called el caribe. i've always been scared of mexican food. i hate onions, and i also hate tomatoes - staples of what i know as mexican food. but THIS. el caribe made me a believer. we ate there two days in a row.

what you see: chicken enchiladas with green sauce, cilantro rice, and black beans.
wooowwww :salivate:

best margaritas i ever had. i'm craving this entire meal again now.
best margarita i ever had

random seedy hotel room pic.
seedy hotel room pic

we took off for san antonio for the weekend. i'll spare you those pics, because there are just way too many. okayy, maybe a scenery pic...

texas glory.
texas scenery (favorite)

and this. i make no bones about the fact that we drank almost this entire trip, all day and night long. but this was something else. these margaritas came from some restaurant along the riverwalk. they were MASSIVE. and they were SO full of sugar, and just so huge i could barely choke mine down at the end. nothing at all like the beloved el caribe margaritas.

these margaritas were MASSIVE

that said, riverwalk was very beautiful - in a disney world sort of way - and very expensive. the alamo was nice, but not what i expected. i thought there would be much more to it. by watching pee-wee's big adventure, i thought there was a big tour and many rooms with staged mannequins making tortillas, but nope. it's just a gift shop.

the alamo!

more margaritas and fajitas at santa rita's. i found us a nice deal on dinner for our last night.

santa rita's

saying goodbye to a pretty city. bye, austin!

downtown austin


sorry that this post had nothing whatsoever to do with music. i did actually play a gig down there that was kinda disappointing. wanna hear about it? of course you do! well basically i showed up and told them i was there to play. and they showed me to a broom closet with speakers, microphones, stands, cables, and a mixing board. i was to run my own sound and also set everything up by myself. 'nuff said. and oops, no pictures of that performance, either. oh boo.
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December 04, 2008

greetings from maine

i sort of got sucked away this past holiday in maine. unfortunately, i didn't have a gig up there this time, but i've discovered that i'm a whore for beautiful scenery. so here are a few pictures.

pretty stuff

sunlight/ scenery

woodchuck chuck

<3

ha!


happy holidays, if i don't see you till then.
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November 20, 2008

new york.

incredibly hard place to live. incredibly hard place to be noticed. people are jaded. they've seen it all. as a musician, you take a lot of knocks. and get ignored far more often than paid any mind to.

i'm a person who always feels that they barely have their shit together. so here is an environment where even at just a tuesday night open mic, people are professional as hell. although they're there to sit all night and play one or two songs, they've got their fliers, business cards, and cd's ready for distribution. they can work a room. they always have a knack for befriending the "right" people, or the person who can get them the gig. and even if not, it doesn't phase them. nothing fucking phases them, they're fucking new yorkers.

even at open mics, they have a tendency to attract more good performers than sucky ones. you could throw a rock in my neighborhood and hit one talented musician after another. and not just any old talented musician, but ones with the package - the right image, sound, writing abilities, and performance skills. they flock here. and every time you stand up to play, that is what you're compared to and that is what you must measure up to. sometimes you DON'T measure up. and it is fucking intimidating.

being held to such a high standard is very stressful.

BUT

i find that as time goes on, it gets less so. as i travel around to different places, i'm finding it easier than ever before to attract people's attention and give a good performance. i've gained an invaluable thing by putting myself in such an uncomfortable position. simply because being here has taught me a level of professionalism like i probably never would've learned living in another area where competition wasn't so tight. all from years of just sitting around and observing these fucking people. watching how they do it, and trying to be just as good.

the moral of the story is - if you have the chance to be in a situation that brings you out of your comfort zone as an artist, or to be around a person or a scene different or perhaps more skilled than yourself - take it. expose yourself to as much as you can. you don't have to live in new york to do this. depending on who you are, it could be painful. if you're like me, your ego might take a beating. but it will always make you better at what you do, and your chances of success will increase.
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November 06, 2008

dc and virginia, 10/24-10/25

so i haven't written here in awhile. i meant to update sooner, but i've been busy with album stuff, projects, and traveling. over a couple installments, i want to post some pictures of my adventures. here are some snaps i took from the shows i played in washington dc and manassas a few weeks ago.



since the bus i took to dc dropped me off a few blocks away from the white house, and i had some time to kill before the show, i decided to mosey on over and be a tourist. it's just too bad obama wasn't inaugurated yet so i could actually be excited about seeing it.
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this amazing guy was dressed up head to toe like uncle sam.
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treeface.
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cute birdies in lafayette park.
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some flowers, lafayette park.
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we couldn't get many good shots inside the venue. i've been trying to learn how decrease blur when i take pictures in certain lights (i hate using the flash.) but i'm still a n00b.
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crowd.
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manassas: this night was so much fun! here is my friend jessica and our new friend rick.
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there was this pottery store attached to the cafe with a little room painted with scenery.
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feet. my leg.
IMG_0921


kids.
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okay so the kid that played before me, ricky, had his mics set up near the floor like that for his set. i figured "why not? i'll just perform like that too since it's already there." i could not even move my legs afterward. they were asleep for a good five to ten minutes after my set! people kept coming up to me and giving me money for my cd, all while i was awkwardly sprawled on the floor.
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i tried to sit like this too, but couldn't sing in that position due to breathing constrictions.
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afterparty!
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this photo is epic. we kept passing this headband around to see who could look the most ridiculous in it. not that it's the most ridic, but it's just the best 90's-era stoner picture. looks like a screenshot from the movie pcu. (this is ricky, and i have no clue if he's actually a stoner or not. certainly none of us were smoking that night.)
IMG_0942


me & chris
IMG_0940


steve
IMG_0939


IMG_0931
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October 17, 2008

doin' the best i can

part 1:
i just want to comment about all the ep's i've been sending - i hope they're getting out to everyone safely. i'm so happy there was such a good response, and i hope you all are enjoying them. tell your friends, and i will send them one too ...although they are running low so hurry! once they are gone, i won't be making/ giving out any more.


part 2:
i'd like to tell you all about a little trip i'll be taking next weekend. i know most of you probably don't reside in the dc/ virginia areas, but i'd just like to put it out there that i'm still alive and performing. and it would be great if people came out to support me:

washington dc
friday, october 24
sounds of hope at the potter's house
1658 columbia rds NW
**this is a benefit for columbia road health services, and i open the show right@ 6, and robert orwin will be on @ 7. there MIGHT be a cover. i know there is for the main show, but i'm not sure it applies to my set as well.

manassas, va
saturday, oct. 25th / 8pm / 4 bux
jesspresso
9882 liberia ave.
chantilly
ricky (solo musician)
brent (One Scene Production)
one more TBA



epilogue:
i've been in a cave creatively lately. i was doing a lot of little side projects, plus the album, plus trying to play shows, plus thinking about all this abstract marketing theory in the web 2.0 world, and it just wasn't working. i've now decided that i can't do it all. even though all these music business blogs i've been reading have been telling me i must - MUST to survive in the music world. but i drive myself crazy with it. so that's it - i'm focusing on the album right now, and only the album. it needs to get finished before i can practically throw myself off a cliff trying to think of ways to get it noticed. i'll play some gigs. i'll enlist some friends to help out with publicity. and that will be that.


so that the post doesn't end on such a serious note, here is a macro for your enjoyment (i believe even mccain supporters could have a chuckle a this):

Photobucket


*c
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September 23, 2008

update

been swamped with work lately. and album stuff. and just anxiety in general. so now it's just me and carlo rossi, sitting being bored together, waiting for a 6am wakeup call.

what do you folks do for anxiety? sometimes i meditate. sometimes i drink red wine. sometimes i let it build up inside until i get a panic attack. it all depends on my mood. i also find there are times when it's easier to keep a positive outlook than others.

here are some pictures i took:

me & kira



matt & scenery
scenery


bubble tea in chinatown
bubble tea in chinatown


vanity photo sesh





music i'm into right now: tegan and sara. wilco. spoon. even though these selections are so last year. whatever. next year i'll be all about the cool kids, the cold war kids, the black kids, and all those other bands with "kids" in the name that seem to be hip right now.

websites: failblog.org.

okay, slighty tipsy and with melodies flowing through my head, i'm off to bed. or to watch my slingbox. whatever comes first.
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September 16, 2008

cd design meeting

this was awhile ago... a few weeks, maybe. but here's some pictures of a meeting with graphic designer and friend, coley graf. we went up to her new house in cold spring and hung out/ talked design stuff for the album.
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she's showing me an example of the kind of packaging i want, and how the content is all put together. (that is jenn friedman's album, by the way, which coley also did the design for.)



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we drank absinthe.

absinthe, for the first time

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and relaxed.

mr. matt

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and read books.

IMG_0253

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and uh... yeah. this is a real human skeleton. coley and her fiance, john, have stuff like this all over their house.

skeletons in the... corner

~

and at the end she read my tarot! each card represents a month. for the most part, it will be an inspiring and creative year for me. yay!
tarot!

~


coley

~

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