Tag Archives: concerts

Valentine’s Day Gifts For Her

Valentine’s Day Gifts For Her

Bonjour! Valentine’s Day is slowly creeping up and just thinking about all of the people that are shopping for their significant other the day before the holiday is enough to give me anxiety. So, I decided to start the V-Day festivities early on lifewithlilred by doing a gift guide for her today and for him tomorrow.

Of course, flowers and chocolates are a great way to go and I would love to get that. But, if you’re on the hunt for something a bit more unique, try some of these ideas:

First Of All:

Okay guys and gals, a cute card is so necessary for your V-Day haul for your S/O. You may find it cheesy, but 99% of the population will find it sweet as can be. Write a heartfelt letter to your partner and don’t skimp on the romance. We’re talking the moment you knew you were in love, your first date memories, or a list of reasons why you love and admire your special someone. This is a great thing to do any time, but definitely pull out all of the stops this Valentine’s Day, which can be done with something as simple as writing a letter.


Maybe not that one. ^^^

Gift An Experience:

The weather in February can still be pretty sketchy depending on where you live. But, the great thing about concerts is that, for the most part, they are usually indoors! Who is your honey’s favorite band or singer? AKA who do they constantly annoy you with by playing in the car?! A concert is a great date and you can even make a day of it by exploring the area where the venue is and don’t forget the pre-show dinner or drinks!

Pampering Party:

Everyone loves to pamper themselves in some way shape or form and a sultry V-Day surprise could involve an evening of luxury for your S/O. You can never go wrong with gifting bath and body care products and do be sure to throw in a few candles to light for good measure, as most specialty bath and body stores carry them. And guess what else they typically carry? MASSAGE OIL! Quick… Cue the slow jams:

(As always, I have no rights to this video!)

Ahhhh…. That’s the stuff. So, as I was saying:

Run some bath water and let your BOO (Because I don’t say bae!) pick from an assortment of bath bombs to use. Rose petals and bath oil is just as good, too! Have an array of lotions set out for afterwards and the massage oil handy to give a nice………..


Wine And Paint Night:

Many local establishments and bars host wine and paint nights and they are an absolute ball. Most places will even offer a special picture to paint for Valentine’s Day. This is a fresh and fun take on just going out to dinner and it offers a chance for both of you to show off your creative sides or unlock a talent that you didn’t even know was there.

Still Need Some More Options?

  • Mani/Pedis always go down well
  • A shopping trip to their most loved store
  • Cooking dinner (Don’t forget the wine or champagne!)
  • Taking a ballroom dance class
  • Paint your own pottery places are fun
  • Going to a museum (Art or history buffs will love that!)

And Remember…

The most important thing is doing something thoughtful for your loved one. Being showered with presents is nice, and anyone will agree to that. But, creating a happy and special memory is even better. And, keep in mind, that it is NEVER about how much money you spend, either! Ball on a budget or blow it out of the water, but at the end of the day spending a small fortune doesn’t guarantee a wonderful time.

What are some of your Valentine’s Day date ideas? What is one of your happiest V-Day memories? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah


In A Band? Here’s How To Get Some Attention

In A Band? Here’s How To Get Some Attention

So, you’ve started a band, wrote what you think are some pretty good songs, and practiced until you’re all really tight. You’ve been playing lots of local venues, and it’s gone down well, but you want more; you want a real music career. The first thing you’re going to have to do is get more attention for yourselves. Here are a few sensible steps you should take if you want to propel your band into the spotlight:

Create Your Own Website:

If you have a band, then you should have your own standalone website and you should absolutely take the time to update its content regularly. If you don’t do this, not only will new people not find you, but anyone who has been following you will probably start to lose interest. Your website really does need to stay fresh if you’re to attract as big an audience as possible.

Upload Your Music in New Places:

Chances are, you’ve already uploaded your band’s music somewhere, but if you really want to get more attention, you’re going to have to keep uploading it to as many new platforms as you can, so that it can reach as many people as possible. For example, you could upload indie music on indiesound.com or feature your band on Dozmia.com. You should also be trying to get your music onto more popular platforms such as iTunes so that you can piggyback off recommendations and perhaps pick up more listeners.

Give Radio Stations a Go:

If you’ve recorded your music to a high standard (A professionally recorded promo CD rather than a raw demo, ideally.), then sending it out to various radio stations, both local and national is a good way of potentially getting more exposure. Obviously, just sending your music is no guarantee that your band will be featured, but if it is, you could see more opportunities to play in more places open up for you and that can only be a good thing, so give it a try.

Create a YouTube Channel:

It should go without saying that if you’re looking to promote your band in 2018, you need to have your own YouTube channel because so many now famous musicians have been discovered there. While we’re on the subject of YouTube, you might also want to take the time to comment on other people’s music videos, whether they’re indie like you or major names. Don’t be spammy, but where appropriate mention your own band (perhaps on the videos of bands you sound like), and you will probably get a lot more hits.

Network with Event Organizers:

A good way to get more attention is by playing more high profile gigs, rather than just playing in local clubs and bars where everyone probably knows you already. So, take the time to reach out to event organizers and let them know you’re available. If you stay in touch and build a strong relationship with them, it could pay off big time.




Talk to Playlist Curators:

Playlist curators on platforms like Youtube can get millions of views, so if you come across one who you think might dig your band’s style, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask them if they would like to include one of your songs. You lose absolutely nothing by asking, and you could gain a lot of attention if they agree.

Start Your Own Podcast/YouTube Channel Review Site:

A strategy that can really pay off if you’re dedicated to it is to move away from relentlessly promoting your band using the hard sell and, instead, set up another platform, whether that be a podcast, YouTube channel, review blog, or anything else, where you talk about music in general. By doing this, you can make a name for yourself as someone who’s passionate/knowledgeable about music and people will start to naturally look to your band. Of course, you’ll be able to slip in the occasional plug, too!


Flickr Image


Send Your CD Somewhere Unexpected:

Although you should send your CD out to various music blogs, magazines, and reviewers, you should also consider sending your disc out to more unexpected places, which are somehow related. For example, if you’ve written your album on the theme of Paris, then sending it out to someone who blogs about the city might get you more exposure than you expected. Or sending a CD on the theme of Buddhism to a publication like Tricycle could prove fruitful. Whatever it is you can think of that will give you an extra and unexpected opportunity to sell your music, do it and you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Spend Some Money:

If you’re a bunch of struggling musicians, it’s understandable that you might not want to spend any money on advertising, but considering the fact that you can advertise on platforms like Facebook and Dozmia for as little as ten dollars, it makes sense to give it a go. The increased exposure you’ll get from it might actually make you some money in the long-term.

Take Promo Photos:

Another area where you might want to spend a bit more money is in the promo photo department. A few great shots of your band in various poses can make all of the difference between someone giving you a chance and listening to your music, and them ignoring you completely. Now, which is your best side?

Whether you’re looking to boost your fan base by enough that you can make a little money doing what you love or you want to make it big, doing any and all of the above is a great place to start. At the very least, you will gain more attention, which is what you will need to do if you want to convince more people to give you a shot. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Why It’s Never Too Late To Learn How To Play An Instrument

Why It’s Never Too Late To Learn How To Play An Instrument

“I should have learned to play the guitar, should’ve learned to play them drums”, so sang Dire Straits in 1985. While a total lack of musical knowledge or awareness hasn’t been an impediment to many people working in the music industry today, many of us regret either not having learned or abandoning the learning of a musical instrument. Today, we’ll look at why it’s never too late to pick up an instrument, the pedagogic and psychological benefits, as well as looking over some great instruments for neophyte musicians. Learning a musical instrument is more than just a fun hobby, it’s a valuable skill that has numerous cerebral benefits as well as being a cool trick to bust out a parties!

It’s literally never too late:

Virtually everyone benefits from some sort of creative outlet and while we’re all just sort of expected to find the right one in our teens or early twenties, many of us don’t find the right mode of self-expression until they get into middle or even old age. There are few subsets of people for whom the dexterity and mental faculties to play an instrument are prohibitive. If, for example, your arthritic hands make playing the guitar or piano problematic you may benefit just as much from learning the harmonica or the panpipes.

Getting over the learning curve:

The landfills are littered with guitars that were discarded because their owners deemed it “too hard”. Most of them were impatient children or teenagers (We all knew someone at school who quit their guitar lessons because they didn’t become a virtuoso within a month.). As an adult, you may surprise yourself with how well you navigate the learning curve. While your older mind may be set in its ways, you will have learned the value in persistence elsewhere in life.

For most instruments, unlocking the fundamentals is a huge step in smoothing out the steep learning curve. In guitar playing, for example, much of your musical vocabulary is formed by mastering the ‘barre chords’ – moveable chords. When one has the measure of these, they can play any minor or major chord from a good root position. It takes time to master, but it unlocks so much of the instrument’s potential when you do. When this obstacle is hurdled, a player has the inside scoop in learning to cover their favorite music and even learning to write their own.

Cerebral and psychological benefits:

When playing (or even listening) to music, multiple areas of the brain become active. Musicians may look calm and composed but there are firework displays in their neurons. Processing music is actually an incredibly complex mental process, giving our brains a great workout that most of the time we’re not even aware of. It keeps our brains young and aids cognitive dexterity.

Finding the right instrument:

Hopefully, you’ve been moved to consider taking up a musical instrument, but you may wonder which are the best or most accessible ‘starter instruments’. String instruments such as guitar, violin, piano, cello, and bass are fairly accessible for new learners, as are the flute and clarinet. The saxophone presents a slightly steeper learning curve but it’s so ubiquitous in so many forms of music, that learning to master it opens up a lot of doors.

There’s no such thing as the wrong instrument. Even learning an instrument that you don’t stick with tends to be a gateway to learning more. And isn’t it always fun to try new things?!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Hot Jams For A Cold Day

Hot Jams For A Cold Day

Hi everyone and happy Tuesday! As all of you know, I have a deep love for my iPod and my beloved music collection. Recently, I solidified this passion by purchasing a hot pink 128 gig iPod so that I never have to worry about running out of memory space ever again. I’ve been so happy to add new music onto my iPod after a long hiatus of not doing so because of the memory issue. I even treated my mom to my old iPod so that she can rock out to all of her funky time favorites. And, best believe that I’m rocking out to all of my funky time favorites, too! Check it out:

As you can see, I’ve been really feeling Marilyn Manson lately, but then again – when am I not? His two most recent albums, The Pale Emperor and Heaven Upside Down, are so fantastic to me and although I do love old school Manson, his new music has me swooning. And, I know I’m a little late to the party, but I am so enjoying Glass Animal’s most recent album, How To Be A Human Being. We’ll blame that on not having enough memory on my iPod.

I have had the pleasure of seeing both Marilyn Manson and Glass Animals in concert, so any chance that I get to binge listen to either or is one that I take gladly. It’s nice to listen to a band that you have seen live before, because you get to relive the concert in your head every time you hear them in your car or while you’re getting ready for the day. So, if you happen to be around me and are sick of hearing my main man Marilyn Manson or one of my fave bands, Glass Animals, THEN SORRY NOT SORRY, because I don’t think that my binge listening fix will be ending any time soon!!

So there you have it, some Hot Jams For A Cold Day! Which artists are you loving right now? Who should I add to my must listen list? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: As always, I have no rights to any of the songs or videos seen above.

Maintaining Good Auditory Health? Sounds Good To Us!

Maintaining Good Auditory Health? Sounds Good To Us!

There are certain things in life that we can easily begin to take for granted. Our auditory health can be one of them. Think about how much you actually use your sense of sound on a day to day basis. It’s in action 24/7. From the moment you wake up, it’s present, alerting you to your morning alarm, helping you to do simple tasks like crossing the street, and helping to warn you of approaching danger.

We use it to converse, listen to our favorite songs, and even bask in tranquility when we get a break from the clatters and bangs of all sorts of happenings. Your hearing is even in action while you sleep, picking up on the most minute, unexpected noises and helping your body to jump back into action if need be. So, it’s important to take care of your hearing at all costs. Here are a few ways to help maintain the best levels of auditory health possible throughout your lifetime:

Ear Checks:

We are all used to going for regular eye checks. But when’s the last time that you went for a hearing check? Most people neglect these kinds of appointments. It’s recommended that as soon as you experience any change in your hearing capabilities, you find an audiologist. These professionals will be able to conduct tests and exams to identify the source of any problems that you are experiencing. Having diagnosed the cause of changes in hearing ability, they will then be able to recommend the best course of treatment. This may include fitting a hearing aid, if necessary.

Eating Well:

It may sound odd to say that your diet can affect your hearing. But what makes your ears different than any other part of our body? We know the food groups that are good for maintaining strong bones, a healthy heart, and good eyesight. So we should be equally familiar with the proper diet for good auditory health. The first thing that you should aim to incorporate into your diet is magnesium. This can help to protect you if you are exposed to high levels of noise by acting as a protective barrier to the hair cells in your ears. Second on the list: potassium. Potassium serves to regulate the fluid that naturally resides in your inner ear. If these levels drop, you can experience hearing loss. So keep potassium levels sufficient. A third thing to incorporate into your diet should be folic acid. This helps to generate new cell growth throughout your body in general, which further serves to help with the renewal of cells in your inner ear. Crazy, right?!

Say Goodbye To Q-Tips:

We know how tempting it can be to use Q-Tips for the purpose of cleaning your ears. But the warnings on the box have good reason. You should never insert a Q-tip into your ear, as you may press too far and damage your eardrum. A certain amount of earwax is healthy, anyways. A normal amount of earwax helps to keep bacteria and small bugs out of the ear canal. Excess amounts should generally dispose of itself, naturally leaving your ear canal, spurred on by the chewing motion of your jaw as you consume food. If you find that you do have excess wax, visit your doctor, who will be able to syringe the excess out professionally.


Bye bye!

Avoid Excessively Loud Noise:

Nowadays, we are exposed to louder noises than ever before on a regular basis. Earphones mean that we can listen to music on the go. However, many of us turn up the volume so high that it can have permanent effects on our listening capabilities. We attend concerts, shows, and festivals, where volumes may be louder than recommended. Then there are things like trains passing us by as we stand on platforms, sound systems in clubs and bars, and chanting in crowds at sports games.

When possible, avoid excessively loud noise. However, if you know that you are going to find yourself in a situation where your hearing could be damaged, take a pair of noise-canceling headphones or earplugs. These will help to minimize the detrimental effects of all of the noise that surrounds you. This is especially important if you work in an industry or environment where you are exposed to large decibels on a regular basis.

By following these simple steps, you will ensure that you have the best auditory health possible. They are simple to stick to, so there’s no excuse not to!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Monday Update: Marilyn Manson Concert Edition

Monday Update: Marilyn Manson Concert Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! This past Friday my sister, Kristen, and I trekked to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (About a two hour drive.) to see Marilyn Manson in concert for his Heaven Upside Down tour at Stage AE. After literal months of anticipation for this show, it was finally the night and the performance definitely didn’t disappoint. ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT WE WERE RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE STAGE!! Take a look at some low quality iPod pictures and let’s discuss:


^^^ Lol, I love that last picture. “Ayyy”.

First of all, Stage AE was an absolutely excellent venue. It seemed like no matter where you stood in the crowd, your visibility of the stage was average at a minimum and amazing at the max. Kristen and I began our concert experience with an okay viewing for the opener (Alice Glass, who I’m not even going to talk about because she sucked.), and ended our night in front of the stage.

How, you might ask?

Well, it’s not like the crowd was intensely rowdy throughout the show. Some fights definitely did break out but nothing “major”, and some people just weren’t comfortable with it (understandably) and opted to get away from the vicinity of the mosh pit. So as soon as people left the area for safety purposes, drinks, or what have you, Kristen and I would make our way forward until we had a view of Marilyn Manson at all times during the concert.

And speaking of the concert…

It. was. AMAZING. Manson is nearing fifty years of age, and I told Kristen on our way home that this is probably the best we’re going to see of him since he isn’t getting any younger. There was no on stage self harm, no crazy gimmicks with girls, minimal audience banter, and not even an inkling of violence. This show was everything that his performances weren’t when the band was just starting out, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a lot of fun.

The Heaven Upside Down tour didn’t seem so much of a celebration of his new album of the same name, rather, an ode to some old school Marilyn Manson hits that even people who don’t even like Manson love. We’re talking The Dope Show, Lunchbox, mOBSCENE, This Is The New Shit, No Reflection, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), and The Beautiful People.

Marilyn Manson played four songs off of Heaven Upside Down and opened the show with the album opener of Revelation #12. He then peppered KILL4ME, WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE, and SAY10 into the set list. The rest of the show was filled with Deep Six (I’m disappointed that more songs from The Pale Emperor weren’t played.) and Tourniquet, which is another old love. (Manson then encored with Coma White but, alas, Kristen and I had to make the two hour drive home so that she could work early in the morning.)

^^^ Obviously the set list rocked…

And the performance that came along with it was just as good. The lighting, the different costumes Manson donned, his gorgeous speaking/singing/screaming voice – it all worked so well. I mean, a front row view doesn’t hurt, but it was a damn good show. Fans that were able to see Marilyn Manson in the beginning might think that he is slowing down (Unfortunately, I was a toddler so until time travel is invented, I will never know what his early shows were like first hand.), but, to me, he is just getting started.

Marilyn Manson dragged his last album, The Pale Emperor, through some gritty, rough blues influence and it came as a triumphant, different comeback. Yes, some tracks off of Heaven Upside Down does sound like classic Manson (KILL4ME and WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE, anyone?) but that doesn’t mean that the whole album will, and I’m looking forward to exploring it in its entirety when it comes out on October 6th.

Marilyn Manson is at a stage of experimentation that is working in his favor – from his art, acting, and playing with new and unique sounds – everything seems to be a success. I expect Heaven Upside Down to reflect these gutsy changes and the fact that he is soon going to be a half a century in age. Friday’s concert brought us some old school fun mixed with new favorites, but it seems like the party is raging on just fine for Manson in a way that’s not only, dare I say, age appropriate, but totally fucking cool.

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Marilyn Manson Concert Edition! What was the last concert that you attended? How do you feel about Marilyn Manson? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Moving Past Open Mics With Your Indie Band

Moving Past Open Mics With Your Indie Band

Sure, there are people out there who are going to tell you that now is the time to be a musician for the simple fact that there are more avenues than ever to explore. But just because there are a lot more ways to get heard does not mean that it is easier. In fact, being an indie band now is probably harder than ever before for the simple fact that there are so many options. Playing yet another gig at yet another tavern hidden way off the beaten track, the kind of place that makes you pay for your own water is not exactly a great way of making it. Don’t believe us, just look at your band’s communal wallet.

However, just because you’re broke and living at your bass player’s mom’s house does not mean that you should give up the dream. That is because you can still make it and live out your dream of touring some far-off country where fans chant your name in their adorable local accents. It is just about following the rules and knowing how to maximize your chances.

Of course, telling you that and then skipping town would hardly be rock n’ roll of us. So, to help you start living the dream and escape your bass player’s mom’s house (No offense, Barbara.), we have pulled together a list of insider tips and tricks. Check it out:

  1. Get To Know Your Fans Like The Back of Your Hand:

Pennies are short and, for some reason, no record labels seem to hang around open mic night’s held in Big Dave’s Garage (lol.). Basically, there is no sign of an advance floating your way just yet, which means your fans are your biggest financial life jacket. That is why you need to make sure that you are giving your fans something for their loyalty and love. Get to know the names of those guys and girls that are always in the front row. Give your fans a way of listening to exclusive music or interviews by creating a band website and then sharing this sort of content there. Share video recordings of acoustic sessions and behind the scenes banter on your social media pages and make sure that you are replying to any comments or messages that float your way. We used the life jacket analogy for a reason because, in the same way, you need to inflate your life jacket by blowing air into it, you need to give your fans something in return for being so awesome.


 Party over hereeee!

  1. Play Your Strengths As Well As Your Guitar:

Every band has their own strengths, so make sure that you are aware of what yours are and then play to them in every way possible. Just being great songwriters with above average talent and the technical know-how when it comes to uploading your music onto Soundcloud, Youtube, Spotify or whatever else isn’t enough. You need to find other ways to shove your musical abilities into the realms of greatness, and that requires a little bit of magic (aka creativity). If you’re a band that offers more stage presence than the lovechild of Katy Perry and Bruno Mars, then try and play as many live gigs as possible, and maybe even consider getting a residency somewhere. Not only will you get paid, but you will see your star start to rise as more and more people see you. It could be that your sense of humor is your secret weapon, in which case document this and share it, get interviews with niche magazines and little radio stations, and then let this personality of yours show in your music videos. OK Go became famous for their viral worthy music videos, which means that it is totally possible to emulate this approach to success.


 A cool band name is a must!

  1. Grab People By The Eyes And Ears:

Having a sound that people recognize is one of the most important factors when it comes to carving out some Top Of The Pops like success. But so is having the right visual branding, too. That is why it is worth spending a little bit of time and money (Presumably borrowed from your parents. Barbara, we’re looking at you.) on a graphic designer. This branding of yours is going to be stamped across all of your promotional material – Facebook page profile pictures, website homepage, Instagram, flyers, album covers, t-shirts, USB drives, and pub mic-night posters – and will help establish your place in the industry. Think about some of the greatest and most famous bands to ever walk the boards of the biggest venues. The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, Run DMC, Daft Punk. All of these legends created a visual identity so powerful that just their shadows would halt you in your tracks. Basically, get your branding right and you’ll have people want to sport your promotional products, whether t-shirts or posters, and that will spread the good word faster than the flu.

  1. Forget All About A Record Deal. Period.

No one from a record deal is going to turn up at one of your small gigs – or your bass player’s mom’s house (No offense, Barbara.) and hand you the golden ticket that is a record deal. That just isn’t going to happen, nor should you want that to happen. The hard work is there to be enjoyed, used in your music, and make you successful. Most importantly, though, you need to understand that no record label has a secret recipe that guarantees success. They just don’t. Instead, they pick up talent based on their independent success; so they will pick you up based on your independent success. That is what you want. You want to use this as a bargaining chip should the day ever come where labels start to notice you instead of getting snapped up early and dropped or, worse, hung out to dry. Concentrate on what you are doing, focus on your trade and doing your own thing; that is what will lead to success – not trying to chase the money and the labels.

Being in a band is cool. Finding success in something you love is cooler. Prepare for a lot of hard work and with just a little bit of luck, you won’t be crashing on Barbara’s couch for much longer.

Featured Image By: Pexels