Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rock 'N' Roll Updates

Being an unknown rock star in the twenty-first century is a very complicated business. 

On one hand, it's very exciting.  I feel like I'm finally beginning to get my act together a little bit. 

I'm trying to overcome my fear of performing alone.

This picture is blurry, but my name IS on that sign
In the past month or so, I've done three shows by myself. 

1.  I played a 20 minute set as part of a singer-songwriter showcase at a local pub.  It was a competition and the audience could vote for their favorite act every time they bought a drink.  A bunch of my friends from ye olde artist's community showed up and put their alcoholism to good use.  I had a blast playing my set and ended up getting second place in the competition.  Also, some random blonde chick that I didn't know yelled "LAUREN, YOU'RE HOT!!!" when my set was over.  I don't swing that way, but it was still flattering and made me feel very rock 'n' roll. 

2.  I don't know if this counts as a show, but a couple of friends set me up with a local bike shop that needed music to promote First Friday happenings.  I set my keyboard up under a little tent outside the shop and sang into a microphone that was clamped onto a large bike rack (I really need to invest in a real microphone stand).  The owner of the bike shop was hilarious and kept drunkenly requesting random cover songs that I didn't know how to play (really, who goes up to a keyboard player and requests "Whip It" by Devo???).  I finally busted out a rough cover of "Blitzkrieg Bop" by The Ramones, just to shut him up.  When I was finished, the entire population of the tattoo parlor next door cheered and some people came outside to put money in my tip jar.  I butchered a few more punk rock songs and then went back to playing originals (contrary to popular belief that night, those originals were not just souped-up Journey songs).  It was funner than I expected it to be and there was free beer.  I made enough money in tips to buy some French fries afterwards.  Rock 'n' roll.

3.  The prize for winning the songwriter show was a paid show at the same venue.  I was really excited about this and had high expectations.  So I was a nervous wreck when it came time to actually perform.  I had told so many people about the show and thought I would see a lot of my friends there.  Naturally, I was disappointed when only four people came to see me.  The bar was full of people who were there to see the girl I was opening for and everyone talked through my whole set.  I felt like the awkward background music no one was really paying attention to.  I played a song called "Deja Vu" twice as an inside joke with myself.  No one noticed.  I couldn't wait for my set to be over and ended it a little early, handing the stage over to a fake redhead with non-prescription glasses (so lame). 

After the third show, I remembered how depressing playing shows alone can be.  I've had terrible luck trying to find musicians to be in my back-up band, but decided to try yet again.  I really wish I could just clone myself and form a band with all the clones, but I don't have access to that sort of technology.  If anyone knows how to do that, let me know. 

Maybe I'm narcissistic, but I really wish this scenario could actually exist.
As it stands right now, I have a guy who's hypothetically going to play drums for me.  He's the guy I knew in high school who I recently reconnected with on Craigslist because he writes rock operas (life is so weird).  I also had a some cute kid with a Flock Of Seagulls haircut who was very excited about playing guitar for me, but he's been really bad with communication.  I finally heard from him yesterday when he informed me over text messaging that he had a new band. 

His new band is with Tweaked Out Elvis Costello, of all people.  I am so confused as to why he thinks this is a good idea.  Also, I try not to take things like this personally, but I don't really enjoy being ditched for that twerp who can't stay sober long enough to even know what notes he's playing.

Ah well.  I hope they have fun getting high and throwing cake at radiators together.  I am now accepting applications for new guitar players.

The search for a band is so frustrating.

In the meantime, I finally got some CDs printed! 

Yay!
I am so excited about how they came out.  I've currently got some for sale up on Bandcamp.  If any of you are interested, they're only $6 (yes, that includes shipping!).  I don't mean to turn this into a commercial, but I should mention that each album comes with a handwritten thank-you note from the band (a.k.a: me).  You know you want one.  :)

thewantads.bandcamp.com
It's also up for name-your-price/free download still if you don't want to pay $6.  Honestly, I just want people to hear this music and enjoy it.  I would love to be able to live off of this music thing because I hate having normal jobs, but it's not really about the money.  It makes my day every time someone tells me they're listening to my songs.  I write songs and record them because I love doing it, but I also want people to enjoy them. 

Anyway, blah blah blah.  Hi, I'm Lauren and I'm going to go on a rant about my philosophy on music.  I'm going to stop and wrap this up before it becomes something really long that no one will want to read. 

Peace and love, amigos.  More updates to come.  

10 comments:

  1. If I ever end up getting good enough at playing the guitar and move to Portland, I will totally be in your band. Although Lauren and the Laurens would be like the coolest band ever. I'm loving your new CD every single day. Best of luck. Craigslist people can be flaky with a capital F.

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    1. :) I'm so glad you like my CD, girl!
      And Craigslist people are the worst. Though the guy with Flock of Seagulls hair wasn't even from Craigslist - I met him through some friends. I think Flakiness is just something that's very common in the music world.
      Also, if you ever figure out an easy way to clone people, let me know. Lauren and the Laurens should be a reality! Haha. :P
      But if you're ever in Portland with your guitar, call me and we'll jam.

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  2. Replies
    1. Yes! I will check shipping rates on Monday but I think it's do-able. :D

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  3. Even if getting a band together doesn't work out, you can still write a song about it!

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    1. Hehe. Good idea. It can be called "I'm The Only One Who's Really In The Band" and it can list all of the people who have almost been in the band. I smell a hit song!

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  4. How are you so cool?

    I'd wet my pants if I had to perform in front of people.

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    1. Haha... One of my secret fears is that I will pee my pants while onstage. I always neurotically go to the bathroom about four times before I start a show. :P

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  5. Congratulations on your gigs! Singing on stage is my secret fantasy :P
    If I sing in front of people and nobody's listening to me, I'd be thankful. I don't care, they're not paying me. And I get to sing! Yeaah :D
    You're so cool :)

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