Category Archives: Music

AFI Concert!!

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AFI Concert!!

Hiii everyone and happy Thursday!! So Tuesday night was my 23rd birthday outing with my sister and it was a blast. Kristen treated me to tickets to see my favorite band, AFI, in concert at my favorite venue, the House Of Blues, in Cleveland. For the past three months since I knew that AFI was coming to my neck of the woods, I have had many an emo girl fantasy about this concert. Seriously – you guys have no idea how much I love them, so Kristen hit the nail on the head with this birthday gift!

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Sissy! ❤

Despite a horrific drive to Cleveland, the night was a great big blasty blast. And by horrific drive I mean that literally every single traffic light in downtown Cleveland wasn’t working so it was an all out free for all on the road. It was straight up anarchy and it was absolutely terrifying. SO after locating a parking garage, a lot of deep breathing, and not thinking about the movie montage of your life that flashes before your eyes when you’re scared, we made our way to some actual fun.

The most wonderful thing about the House Of Blues is the opportunity that comes with seeing shows there. The venue is so open (yet intimate), that it’s really easy to plant yourself in prime position right in front of the stage. Kristen and I found ourselves with the best view at the end of the front row and it was magical, to say the least. Every show that I’ve been to at the HOB has provided me with a spectacular view of the stage and Tuesday night was no exception (Thank gawd!).

Now, I’m going to keep it real with you guys: I genuinely have no clue who opened the show. Lol, I was having myself a drink and a really good time so I wasn’t even paying attention. For once, the people standing by us were insanely cool so Kristen and I were chatting it up with them and it was so unexpectedly fun. Do I regret not listening to or even noticing the opening bands? Not really, lol. And from what I did hear I wasn’t impressed anyways so I can’t say that I was missing out on too much! 😉

Fast forward to when AFI came on stage and I got to see the man that I’ve been crushing on since I was nine years old in the flesh right in front of me. Guys. When I laid eyes on Davey Havok, I lost my shit – to put it mildly. 1) He’s drop dead gorgeous. 2) He’s drop dead talented. What a voice. What a performer. WHAT A MAN.

^^^ Unfortunately, the pics that I managed to snap aren’t the best and I can’t upload videos on to my posts so you’ll just have to take my word for how amazing AFI is live.

So there was a positive and negative to seeing my favorite band perform. The positive? AFI put on a hell of a show. They performed with so much energy that you could literally feel it radiating off of them and they sounded sublime. They sounded like angels that were singing sweet nothings into my ear and, in this instance, that was an actual thing. I got to hear Davey Havok sing, scream, and belt it out in that fluctuating low to high voice that is so uniquely his own. Talk about dying and going to heaven.

The show was fast paced, super emo, and so incredibly cool. So the negative? Idk, it felt a bit impersonal? Like, the songs kept coming one after the other and as much as I love me some Davey, I feel like he didn’t really care to build a rapport with the crowd. We were all showing the band the love and the whole show just seemed rushed. Not only that, but it felt like they weren’t on stage for all that long. Granted, this might just be me being greedy and wanting them to play all night, BUT STILL. I hate to say this, but after the encore was over and the show was officially done, the first words that Kristen and I shared with each other was “is that it?”. Whomp whomp.

BUT THE POSITIVE, THOUGH?! I got to hear my favorite band perform my favorite song at my favorite venue with my favorite person. I got to hear AFI play Silver And Cold. I got to hear the song that my nine year old self specifically bought the album Sing The Sorrow for. The first album I ever bought with my own money, as a matter of fact. That song has always been one of my all time favorites, not just by AFI, but in general. And I got to hear it live. What even. (Insert the part where I talk about how my inner emo kid felt an abundance of pure and complete joy. That happened.)

Forget about any negativity in this post because even with all things considered, Tuesday June 20th was one of the best nights of my life. There’s something so special about being able to see your favorite band perform right in front of your eyes and I got to experience that. Thank you so much to my amazing big sister for making that possible. I LOVE YOU, KRISTEN!! ❤

So there you have it, the AFI Concert! What shows are you going to this summer? What is your favorite concert that you’ve been to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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New Music, Anyone?

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New Music, Anyone?

Heyyy everyone and happy Hump Day! My taste in music is something that I take great pride in because, I hate to brag, but it’s the best. From alt to rap, girly power pop, and everything in between – my iPod has a little bit of everything. But, I do remain a pretty indie gal at heart with a love for all things emo, of course.

Despite a deep love for music, I will admit that I have been slacking in my new music game as of late. My 64 gig iPod is just about filled to the brim and I don’t have the heart to go through and start deleting beloved songs and pictures. Yet I have an app for the stock market and news that I can’t get rid of? It’s cruel and unusual, to say the least!

Although my iPod is getting the job done, it is getting old, so I have been toying with the idea of upgrading to a new toy with more memory. With that in mind, I have began to commit myself to updating my music library, one album at a time. At one point, my family had a free trial of Serius radio and they had the most amazing indie station on there. Whenever I heard a song that I liked, I would simply write the band name down as a draft text on my phone. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted that text so I’m basically starting from scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m down to update the bands that I already have on my iTunes but I would love to get some new ones on there, too!

I am open to any and all suggestions, as long as they fall under this category: ANYTHING BUT COUNTRY MUSIC!!!

Who is your favorite band at the moment? What is your summer anthem? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Work Out Jams

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Work Out Jams

Hellooo everyone! So as you guys know, I’m making an attempt to get my walk/run/rawk on throughout the week and it’s going pretty good so far. If you’ve read my recent Monday Update, then you will have seen that I’ve recently started to bring my iPod with me during my excursions even though I have to carry it because no arm band. I’ve been getting my emo on more often than I care to admit during these jaunts but I feel like I enjoy myself so much more with my music playing. For that reason, I compiled some of my favorite tunes together for your listening pleasure the next time that you get your work out on. Take a looksee (and, as always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!):

Lol, so as you guys can see, I definitely go for either old school emo or fairly recent rap when I’m running and I think that this list is the most funny, random compilation ever. But hey, it really does get the job done when I’m hitting the pavement because the emo-ness gets me angsty and the rap gets me hyped and the result is a much needed extra energy boost!

Normally when I’m working out, I will just have one album playing the whole way through. For example, last night I was listening to Yelawolf’s “Trunk Muzik 0-60”. But, when I’m feeling saucy or bored as I’m running, I’ll switch up my music every so often to my inner emo kid jams or anything Kendrick Lamar because he’s my best friend in my head.

Despite my sweaty palms from having to hold my iPod while I run, it’s so worth it because my Work Out Jams definitely make for a much more enjoyable experience! What music do you listen to when you work out? What is a song that you play to get you hyped? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making It In Music: From Covering Songs To Writing Them

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Making It In Music: From Covering Songs To Writing Them

If you love to play music, you probably started out playing covers of songs, whether you took part in lessons or got into the world of musicianship on a self-taught basis. Of course, if you find yourself wanting something more and you’re ready to start creating original tracks, then it can be hard to take the plunge in terms of putting pen to paper. While there are no ‘rules’ in terms of writing music, as creativity can’t be forced, there are ways in which you can hone in on your talents and start to create something original. Here are some pieces of advice to help you make a mark in the music world as a songwriter rather than a cover artist:

Understand the recording and production process:

When it comes to creating your own songs, writing something with a catchy melody and meaningful lyrics is only one part of the equation. In fact, being a musician with a beautiful singing voice and instrumental talent who performs well is also only a small part of the equation. You need to understand the recording and production process involved with creating music if you want your original tracks to really make their mark on listeners, and this involves more than simply turning on a mic and pressing ‘record’.

You need to ensure that the quality of the instruments being used and everything involved with the song has been honed to perfection, as it’s easy to capture every sound in a live environment, but not quite so much in a recorded environment. You might want to look into sites such as Box Tiger Music for help with choosing guitars or pianos based on reviews. It’s important that you strive to sound as good, if not better, than the top musicians in the industry before you’re anywhere near that status. That’s how you make it.

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He’s a babe! Shwing!

Jam:

Perhaps you understand the technicalities of music, but you just don’t feel creative or professional. While many big labels in the industry are full of songwriters and producers who have spent years learning how to create hit songs through observing what works, many musicians with a deep passion for the art of creating music want to ‘make it’ in a more organic way. If you’re much the same, then writing a catchy song which starts to turn heads and brings you attention in the music industry shouldn’t ever become a mechanical process. Instead of thinking about the simplistic chord progressions behind the biggest hits in history, you should just start jamming and see what happens.

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We all have the power to be creative. Whether you’re in a band or operating on a solo basis, just hit ‘record’, start messing around with your guitar, piano, voice, or whichever instrument you play, and see what happens. When you listen back to your five or ten minute jamming session later, you’ll likely hate a lot of it. However, there’s every chance that you’ll hear a gem in the form of a musical nugget which will really inspire you to form a fully-fledged song out of what was originally nothing more than a small riff or chord progression. Play around and see what happens, super star!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Red Carpet Ready

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Hello everyone and happy Sunday! Tonight is the Grammy’s and you know what that means: a gathering of beautiful celebrities to celebrate sub par music! If you guys keep up to date on my Facebook page, you will know that I think the Grammy’s are kind of a joke. They didn’t always used to be that way to me, but over the years it just seems to have evolved into an award show for Top 40 hits that does little to celebrate the artists that are out there making music constantly without radio recognition. But, that’s just me. And despite not being the Grammy’s number one fan, I LOVE me a red carpet event because fashion.

Ahh, the red carpet. The glitz, the glamour, the style. I love it all. From ball gowns to barely there dresses, menswear and did he/she really just wear that? It all speaks to me. I have always been inspired by the fashion sense of some of my favorite celebrities so when I get to see them parade around on the red carpet right before my very eyes…AKA on the TV screen…it is such fun for me. Red carpet events give me a televised look book into what is hot this year and what is…ehhh – not so much.

The Grammy’s are an especially fun night in fashion because it is more down to earth than, say, the Oscars. Female celebrities will be seen breaking out the mini dresses and bright colors while the men can sport a more casual look and get away with it. In all honesty? After the red carpet, I usually turn the Grammy’s off. I know – shame on me. It’s just not my thing. However, you can catch me going gaga over the Oscars and Golden Globes anytime!

Anyways, after seeing all of the different clothes, styles, and choices that the red carpet brings, I am always left wondering how I would dress if I was given the opportunity to strut my stuff for the paparazzi. Well…for starters, I would need a gorgeous guy with his arm around my waist. Cue Jack White, please.

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(Image 1 from Mind Equals Blown. Image 2 from Music Of Business.)

Everyone who knows me knows that Jack White is my absolute dream man. I have his lyrics tattooed on my back, I have all of his albums from all of his bands and solo work, and I have loved him since childhood. Everything about him from his talent to staggering good looks is just perfect to me and it only makes sense to have a Grammy winner accompany me to the show!

A few things that I love about Mr. White are his strong opinions on everything from politics to The Black Keys. He knows himself well enough to be vocal about his likes and dislikes and, to me, that is so sexy. I have also really enjoyed watching his style develop over the years into what is now a very sharp and tailored red carpet persona. After the release of his 2014 album, Lazaretto (which also happens to be the song that I have lyrics tattooed from), you can see White venture away from his normal all black ensemble by incorporating patterned blazers into his look. One of which made its debut in the music video for Lazaretto.

So, how would I style my dream man, Jack White, for a night on the red carpet? It would look a little something like this:

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(Image 1 from Third Man Records. Image 2 from Most Stylish. Both blazers from Ali Express.)

When styling Jack White’s look, I was really inspired by both his album cover for Lazaretto as well as the music video for the song. I loved the deep teal suit that he sports on the album and thought that the Dolce & Gabbana suit seen above was a perfect match. However, I would have him ditch the top half of the suit for a black button down and one of the blazers (preferably the black and white one) in the pictures. This look would blend the worlds of the Lazaretto album cover and music video to a cool and cohesive red carpet look and I think that he would look just divine. All he needs to do is throw on one of his signature hats and he’s good to go!

It’s not like I picture Jack White in his underthings frequently (yeah right)…but what about his underthings? I would make sure that Mr. White is wearing the right undershirt as well as tightie whities (I had to) to prevent any red carpet mishaps. The last thing I want is my date picking at uncomfortable underoos all night! #embarassing So I would put my man in only the finest from Tommy John. Jack (since we’re on a first name basis) would be kept cool and comfortable in the Cool Cotton High V-Neck as well as the Second Skin Titanium Trunk seen below:

Now that I don’t have to worry about my date’s shirt untucking on the red carpet, what should I wear? Well, I’ve never been a glitzy, gown, glitter, and shimmer girl so you would be seeing me strutting down the runway in something menswear inspired. One of my all time favorite red carpet looks is from the 2015 Screen Actor’s Guild Awards a la Emma Stone. And I also love another Emma, as in Watson’s, take on menswear style so I would hope that I could find a happy marriage between the following looks:

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(Image 1 from US Magazine. Image 2 from Celebitchy)

Alright, you know what? I lied. Just give me Emma Stone’s outfit, please. It’s perfection. Just red carpet perfection that would be perfect for Lil Red. It is SO elegant, chic, sexy, and menswear and I really just can’t even. But…It’s missing something. A wacky pair of heels, methinks. So you would be seeing me on the runway in something like these blade runner babies because Lil Red doesn’t play it safe:

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(Shoes designed by Peter Popps.)

Now that Jack White and I are happily styled, happily dating and soon to be married, and very happily making out during the Grammy’s, all I have left for this post is a promo code for you lovelies! Ladies if you’re looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day prezzie for your man. And gentlemen, if you’re looking for the perfect look to don on Valentine’s Day for your special someone, look no further than Tommy John. All of your underthings necessities are covered with this 20% off your order promo code seen below. Now get to shopping!

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So there you have it, my Red Carpet Ready styling tips for when I have some daydreaming to do! Who do you think is going to win big at the Grammy’s tonight? Who is your red carpet dream date? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Becoming An Audiophile Without Breaking The Bank

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Becoming An Audiophile Without Breaking The Bank

If you’re a music lover, then a pair of headphones and a cheap mini speaker in the corner of the room isn’t enough for you. An audiophile wants real quality. In the past, that might have been super expensive, between all of the hardware and the music collection your heart desires. Nowadays, however, it doesn’t have to have anywhere near that kind of impact on your wallet. Here, we’ll look at how you can tune into your inner music lover for a lot less.

Go Digital: You no longer have to fuss about setting up a huge system including a CD player, all of the connectors, and loads of speakers. Nowadays, you only need the power of your digital devices like your laptop, smartphone, tablet, and the right musical devices to connect to it. To that end, you want to look at high-quality Bluetooth speakers from places like Speaker Digital. Not only are Bluetooth speakers easily connected to all of those digital devices, but they require minimal wiring so you can transport that music setup of yours around the home for when you want to jam to your favorite tunes in a different setting. Some of the best Bluetooth speakers are backward compatible, too. So if you do have a vinyl player or CD system you want to hook up, you’re perfectly welcome to.

Get Smart With Your Placement: You don’t have to go buy hundreds of speakers to get the best room-filling sound, either. One can be enough. It’s all about where you place it and how you equalize it. This might require a bit of testing, but if you’re diligent, you can find the right setting. Just make sure that your speaker is placed in the best position in the room, where it’s not being cut off by corners of bookshelves or furniture. You want the sound to have as clear of a path of travel as possible. To make sure you’re calibrated to all of the highs and lows of the music so that nothing overlaps or drowns out the other parts of your music, it’s a good idea to use a bit of classical music as you equalize. Most famous pieces are diverse enough to give you an idea of how clear you can hear the individual parts of the music.

Stream, Don’t Buy: If you haven’t started using digital streaming methods of listening to music now, then you truly are missing out. Services like Spotify can offer you a library of thousands of your favorite songs. Nowadays, there’s a diverse market of different streaming services, so it’s true that you might not find some of your favorites all together on any one service. But if you don’t mind mixing and matching, it’s way cheaper than collecting CDs and even digital albums. You might want to spend a bit to get the ads out of the way, but that’s a small price to pay in comparison to purchasing every CD that you want to own.

Between cutting down on those once monumental hardware costs to getting all of your favorite tracks for less, it’s significantly easier to get your perfect audio setup. Just keep in mind the rules of speaker placement for the best possible quality with no distortion or blockages.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Got The X Factor? Tips On How To Break Into The Music Industry

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Got The X Factor? Tips On How To Break Into The Music Industry

Got The X Factor? Tips On How To Break Into The Music Industry:

Love it or loathe it, The X Factor is back on our TV screens, which means just one thing; it’s the first signs of winter! Well, actually it means a few other things too. Namely, some great talent mixed with some dodgy talent. And the raging debate of whether The X Factor is a credible show to be on if you’re serious about singing. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, if you read entertainment news, it’s going to be hard to escape The X Factor for the next couple of months. So, if you are interested in a professional music career, I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you on your way to getting a break. And better still, none of them include having to sing in front of Simon Cowell.

Know The Business: In the old days, you could just be a talented singer or musician and if you got on a record label, the company would do the rest for you. Since LP’s went out the window and new technology took over, this just isn’t the case anymore. These days you have to prove yourself as an artist before a record label will consider signing you. This means getting to know the business inside and out. Set up your own gigs at local venues, write your own songs, promote yourself, and prove that you can produce an income from your music.

Create An Online Presence: One affordable way of marketing yourself and your music is to create an online presence. You can do this through YouTube or by setting up your own website. It is a crowded market, so you’ll also have to use social media, paid advertising, and SEO to make an impact. The best way to do this is to set up a professional website. There are many software packages out there that will enable you to do this in a relatively cheap way that still maintains a sleek and skilled look. 

Record and Create Your Own CD’s: If you’re performing in local pubs and venues, you will want to sell some of your merch. This is a great marketing opportunity. Invest in some time in a recording studio and you’re already setting yourself apart from the competition. Companies such as Nationwide Disc allow you to create stylish sleeves, wallets, and digipacks which will give you the competitive edge. These are ideal for handing out as promotions and selling at gigs. Investing in a professional photographer for a couple of hours will guarantee you get some stylish shots that you can use as artwork for your covers.

Get Your Music On Spotify: You don’t have to be a signed musician to get your music on Spotify. In fact, they really like independent artists. Spotify has over 60 million active monthly users so it’s one of the best marketing tools that you can implement. You can employ the services of a music distribution company to help get your music on Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes. If you are serious about becoming an artist, you’ll need to put in a lot of hard work. You’ll also need to be motivated and dedicated, not just to your talent but to the extra promotions that goes into making your music heard across the globe.

Where are all of my songbirds at? Feel free to provide the links to your work and Youtube channels in the comment section below! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image Provided By: Unsplash.com