Tag Archives: bands

The Raconteurs Concert

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The Raconteurs Concert

Hello hello my darlings! On Tuesday, I was lucky enough to be able to see my beloved Jack White for my second birthday concert in a row with The Raconteurs at Stage AE in Pittsburgh. As we all know, I love Jack White more than I love myself most days so when The Raconteurs came out with their first album in eleven years, Help Us Stranger, going to see them was an absolute necessity when they announced their tour.

As luck would have it, they ended up playing in one of my favorite cities (Pittsburgh), at one of my favorite venues (Stage AE) so my parents treated me to two tickets for my 25th birthday. For the past several years in a row, I have attended a concert with my sister for my birthday outing with her and it always ends up being one of the best nights of my life. I am so thankful to Kristen because even if she doesn’t like the band or is unfamiliar with them, she will go with me and words can’t describe how appreciative I am for that.

So, off to Pittsburgh we went to get re-antiquated with Stage AE, where we went to see Marilyn Manson two years ago and Jack White who we saw last year. Stage AE is such a fantastic venue because you can get so close to the stage, and we ended up being in the front row like how we were for Marilyn Manson. And, being that close to some of your favorite musicians is an experience that everyone should have.

Now, you’re probably wondering “where are the pictures?”. And, unfortunately, I have none. Jack White is quite strict about his “no phone” policy at concerts so Kristen and I just left ours in our car. However, the people who did bring theirs with them had to put them in a bag that was sealed with a security tag like they use at clothing stores and could only be removed by security after the show.

I understand this rule and I don’t. It is definitely nice to fully experience a concert without your phone in hand. However, not being able to snap a few pics or take a video is disappointing – especially since we were so close to the stage. I just feel lucky that when I saw Jack White at X-Fest last year, he was performing with other bands so the no phone rule didn’t apply and I was able to take pictures and videos to my heart’s content.

Speaking of other bands, Ex Hex opened for The Raconteurs and they were very good! The all female alt band really held their own nicely on stage and performed songs from their new album It’s Real. Ex Hex hasn’t been on my radar since my PacSun days so it was nice to see them evolve musically and I enjoyed their performance. They wouldn’t necessarily be who I would pick to open for The Raconteurs but it set a good vibe for the amazingness that was to come.

The Raconteurs came out swinging, opening with Bored and Razed and following up with a much loved favorite off of Broken Boy Soldiers, Level. They played a solid mix of nine songs off of Help Us Stranger with nine other tracks from Broken Boy Soldiers and Consolers Of The Lonely peppered in for good measure.

I would have loved for them to throw in more of their heavy hitters from the albums, because a few of their choices were a bit too slow paced for my liking. This is especially due to the fact that a lot of their more mellow songs are sung by Brendan Benson with Jack White only accompanying on vocals. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the songs. But, Jack White has an undeniable presence and Benson just didn’t have that. It was also difficult to hear him throughout the concert.

It was awesome hearing a majority of the album Help Us Stranger, though, and their strong points were definitely with Don’t Bother Me and Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying). Shine The Light On Me was another especially powerful one off of their new album. The lighting was also very cool throughout the concert, going between green, red, and a lovely pale yellow which looked awesome on stage.

The highlights for me during the concert were when they brought back songs off of their first album, Broken Boy Soldiers. Their performance was really strong during these songs and it was amazing to hear them close with Broken Boy Soldier, because that’s my absolute favorite song by them. The instrumentals paired with the shocking green light made for an unforgettable version of it and that is what I immediately think of when replaying the night in my head.

Thankfully, they encored with SEVEN MORE SONGS because the first half of the show just wasn’t enough. And, it was a spectacular ending when they concluded with a long version of Blue Veins set to moody midnight lighting and, of course, ultimately bidding their farewells with Steady, As She Goes – as to be expected.

Despite some qualms with not having my phone and a few song choices I could have done without, it was an overall fantastic concert. The gentlemen in The Raconteurs play off of each other so well and are such a cohesive group that watching them put it all together was nothing short of mesmerizing. Although they sounded great, Jack White definitely carried the weight of the show on his shoulders. And, believe me, I am so okay with this. But, it would have been nice to have seen the other guys step up a little more because they are all extremely talented, in their own right.

My fourth concert experience in Pittsburgh was an absolute success and I am looking forward to attending more shows with the best sister a gal could ask for. Sadly, Jack White didn’t notice me pounding White Claws in the audience, but there’s always next time, right?

What concerts have you been to this year? Who else is a fan of The Raconteurs? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: NPR

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Three Ways For New Musicians To Get More Exposure

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Three Ways For New Musicians To Get More Exposure

When you tell people that you want to be a professional musician, a lot of them will probably say that it’s never going to happen. The music industry is so competitive and only a tiny fraction of people that dream of being musicians actually make it, but why shouldn’t you be one of them? You could be, as long as you’re willing to put the work in.

There are a lot of different things that you need to do if you want to break into the music industry but one of the first, and most important steps, is exposure. If you’re going to make it, you need people to hear your music (and love it) so you can start building a bit of a following, that’s how you’re going to get yourself noticed by a record label. Getting that exposure is tough, especially when you’re up against a lot of competition, but there are ways to do it. These are the best ways for new musicians to get exposure for their music:

Focus On Gigging:

There are now more ways than ever to get your music out there and we’ll come onto those later, but for now, you need to focus on the old fashioned way; get out there and play for people. When you’re first starting out and you’ve got a few songs, you need to start playing as many gigs as possible. You’ll get people to hear your music and hopefully, start to build a bit of a fan base in the local area. You’re not likely to get booked for gigs if nobody has heard of you so open mic nights are the best place to start. They’re always running so do a quick search for open mic near me and start playing. You’ll get to play one or two songs and hopefully, if people like you, then you might be able to start booking more regular gigs.

The next step, is to get some support slots playing with more popular local bands. This is a great way to get your music heard by fans of your genre and if you play well, they’ll become fans of yours too.

Soundcloud:

Soundcloud is one of the best places to put your recordings so people can discover them. It’s also important that you have music online so if people come to your gigs and like you, they can download some of your songs to listen to and share with their friends. There’s a lot of stuff on Soundcloud so you need to do things to make yourself stand out. Obviously writing good songs is the most important thing but you should also ensure that you have good production values, as well.

Social Media:

Social media is the best way to promote pretty much anything these days and music is no exception. Start a dedicated musician page where you can post links to all of your new tracks when they go up on Soundcloud. You can also promote any gigs that you’re doing so you can get a bigger crowd to the venue.

These are the three best ways to promote your music when you’re first starting out and they should help you to build a following in your local area!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

May 2019 Funky Time Jams

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May 2019 Funky Time Jams

Greetings and welcome to another fabulous month here on lifewithlilred! During the past few weeks of working with my newest client, I have been introduced to a ton of new music because he is all about the oldies but goodies. So, we have been listening to a lot of good stuff ranging from the 40’s to the 70’s. All of this music is just pure fun and I can’t get enough of it. Here are a few of my favorites:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!

In this day and age where most songs on the radio are about sex, drugs, violence, or a combination of the three, it’s nice to listen to something more innocent. All of the songs above are such feel good anthems and I get genuinely happy when I listen to them. Singing along to the tunes with my darling client certainly helps the happiness cause, too! I find myself playing the songs above constantly throughout the day now and, no matter how stressed or busy I am, it manages to lift my mood and put a smile on my face. I feel like that’s what these songs are all about!

What are some of your feel good anthems? What is your favorite era of music? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Must Read Tips For Musicians In 2019

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Must Read Tips For Musicians In 2019

For every musician, a main goal at the beginning of every year is to get better at your music and make a greater impression in the industry. No matter what level you’re at, we hope these tips will help you:

Online mastering:

To ignore the process of audio mastering is to make a massive mistake. A lot of people confuse mixing and mastering with one another. However, they are two completely different processes. Mastering is the final stage in the music production process. It tightens, defines, and polishes the piece of music without altering the sound excessively. It can bring a clarity and a punch which no amount of mixing can achieve. To release a piece of music without it would essentially mean you were bringing out an incomplete track.

Nonetheless, the reason why people still overlook mastering is because they see it as a hassle and an expense. Not everybody has the capability of getting down to the studio in question nor do they have the money available to pay the extortionate hourly rates charged by many mastering professionals today. However, you need not worry about any of this anymore. There are online mastering services available, which are cheaper and much easier too.

SEO:

Both SEO and website design affect the success of any musician today. Since your campaigns will be tailored to bringing more people to your website and converting them from visitors into actual fans, you need to pay great attention to the overall feel and look of your site. Similarly, you must work to ensure your website is visible, hence the need for professional SEO.

For online marketing success, you need professional SEO services. The service should provide you with quality content to post on your website, for example, information about you, your gigs, and so on. Ensure that you also add videos and images (where required) on top of your text. After that, you can focus on marketing your website to the target market. Search engine optimization is important to your overall online marketing plan. Stay away from easy options and ‘quick tricks’. Search engines are smarter than ever before. They know all the tricks you will try to pull, including poor quality content that is stuffed with keywords. So, focus on quality content using tested SEO strategies.

It is also worth looking for marketing packages that have been specifically tailored to the music industry. Targeting potential fans and record companies is a lot different than trying to drum up customers for a retail business, for example. You can find Soundcloud promotion packages, which are great for any musician. These packages are designed to ensure your music gets heard by the right people. While packages differ from supplier to supplier, you will generally find that these companies will post your music across different platforms, from blogs to social media pages.

Alexander Technique:

Another tip for musicians in 2019 is to try the Alexander Technique. You may have heard about this before. It is a method that was developed in the 1980s by Matthias Alexander. It is designed to promote overall well-being through increasing your awareness of posture so that your body experiences minimal effort and strain.

Instead of maintaining ease and using the fluid techniques required, musicians restrain themselves with muscular tension during a soft passage, for instance. This is just one example of a common overreaction. Over time, such action can result into regular misuse, which can cause injuries. This is where the Alexander Technique comes in. It will help you to find the right balance so that you can play an instrument with greater ease, while protecting your body and improving your music in the process.

There are lots of different ways that you can improve your efforts in 2019. If you are a musician, whether you have much experience or not, use the tips that have been provided in this guide so that you can achieve more throughout the year!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

February 2019 Funky Time Jams

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February 2019 Funky Time Jams

Howdy! After the month of January dragging ass like it does every year, we are finally into February, which is sure to fly by. And, I’m glad for it, because it was starting to feel like January 47th! Now that the pace has been picked up with our short little month of love among us, some hard hitting jams are definitely called for. Take a listen:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to these songs or videos.

As some of you know, I enjoy going to a vinyl record club at one of the local libraries in my area. At one of our last meetings, the album Let It Be by The Replacements was brought in and I was a huge fan. There is nothing better than gathering with your friends to play some early punk rock, and it’s always a hoot to pick out the bands that you can tell drew inspiration from The Replacements. For example, did anyone notice that Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day sounds exactly like the lead singer?!

I have also been hooked on Marilyn Manson’s Golden Age Of Grotesque, which features many of his more popular crowd pleasers, which I like playing to get me hyped on my way to work. And, finally, you may have noticed that a little rap was thrown into the mix, as well. But, I just couldn’t help myself. My sister was playing Nicki Minaj’s new album, Queen, while we ran errands and anyone who says that Majesty isn’t a banger is a liar. That song gets stuck in my head so badly and the only cure is playing it on repeat, of course!

Which album would you bring into a record club? Which album do you think that I should bring in on my next turn? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

January 2019 Funky Time Jams

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January 2019 Funky Time Jams

Hello everyone and welcome to the first Funky Time Jams post of 2019. One of the music related things that I’ve enjoyed the most for the past year is going to a vinyl record club at one of my local libraries. We play a record chosen by one of our members each meeting, talk music, and soak up each other’s company. Then, we often hit up a nearby bar after for the festivities to continue. It’s so much fun and I adore all of the new friends that I’ve made through the program. Seen below are some of the bands that I’ve had on repeat for the month and, who knows, maybe one of their albums will be featured at an upcoming record club!

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!

This past month at record club, we had two very opposite artists featured during our biweekly meetings. I brought in AFI’s decemberunderground, as it was the band’s most commercially popular album and another member brought in a best of compilation of Aretha Franklin. And, that is the beauty of our little merry band of wanderers, because we get to hear such vastly different talent every time we have a get together. It’s fun to bring in an album that you enjoy so much and want to share with everyone and I was happy that decemberunderground was well received by my friends. I can’t wait to figure out an album for my next turn providing the entertainment for the evening!

What album would you bring in to a vinyl record club? Which songs have you had on repeat this month? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

December 2018 Funky Time Jams

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December 2018 Funky Time Jams

Hello! We are already a week into December and Christmas is literally right around the corner. So crazy! We’re blazing through this month, so it’s time to discuss some fiery jams to match. I participate in a vinyl record club at one of my local libraries and it is my turn to pick the album come January. I had great success with The Pale Emperor by Marilyn Manson so it is important to me to keep the streak going. So, this month has been about listening through some of my favorite albums on my iPod to make sure that I make the best decision. So far, I’ve been selecting through albums with some of the following songs:

(And, as always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!)

So many choices!! At first, I was really leaning towards Arcade Fire’s Funeral or Apologies To The Queen Mary by Wolf Parade. But, then I began playing around with other options and got distracted from my original choices. As of now, I am probably going to go with Decemberunderground by AFI. That album features songs that had radio success for them like Miss Murder and Love Like Winter, so some if it might be familiar to my record club friends, which is always a good thing. Plus, I had the pleasure of seeing AFI in concert for my birthday last year, which will make for good conversation. I think that I have my mind made up, but we all know that that’s subject to change within an hour!

Which album would you play for a vinyl record club? What are some of your absolute favorite albums? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah