Tag Archives: music

August 2019 Funky Time Jams

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August 2019 Funky Time Jams

Hellooo! We are already halfway through August and that means I have to take advantage of being able to blast my music with the windows down before the cold weather strikes. And, all things Jack White have been a must because I had the pleasure of seeing The Raconteurs at Stage AE in Pittsburgh, which you will read about at some point soon! Seeing my main man twice in two years has been a #blessed moment and I love him so much that I have a tattoo of his face on my leg so obvi I’m his number one fan! Lol, and I’m sure all of you will be too after listening to him lay it down:

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

I have been a huge all Jack White everything fan since I was young and I can remember being in fifth grade and buying all of The White Stripe’s CDs to listen to on the way to a family vacation. I have always been enthralled with Mr. White from his talent, voice, minimalist style, and staggering good looks. Being able to see him in concert twice is something that I feel so lucky for and there’s really nothing better than being able to see your favorite musicians live and in the flesh.

Sadly, I will never have the opportunity to see the White Stripes in concert as they are broken up. But, seeing two out of the four of Jack’s musical endeavors live is good enough for me. Now, if only I could cross seeing the Dead Weather off my list!

Have you been able to see your favorite musician live? Who would you love to be able to see perform (living, dead, or the band has broken up)? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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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

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

July 2019 Funky Time Jams

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July 2019 Funky Time Jams

Helloooo everyone and welcome to a fabulous new month here on lifewithlilred! Besides from my birthday, June was a real pisser of a month thanks to cutting ties with my boyfriend. So, all girl power anthems and songs that are just pure fun to get myself back to singing in the car was the name of the game. And, here we are in July feeling oh so much better! Take a listen:

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

Whenever I’m feeling sad, it’s so important for me to not wallow in it because then all I want to do is get back into bad habits. And, that’s the last thing I want to do. So, if that means singing at the top of my lungs to Barbie Girl in my car needs to happen, then so be it. I drive so much for my job, which either gives myself time to think and be sad or have a singalong and start smiling again.

I’m proud of myself, because I chose the latter, and the songs above helped me to perk up big time. Truth Hurts by Lizzo has been my go to feel good song as of late. It just makes me feel happy – I love her confidence and her voice and as soon as it comes on the radio I can feel my mood improving. Definitely a song I can play on repeat and not grow tired of – which makes it a winner!

What are your go to songs to play when you’re feeling sad? How do you improve your mood during a rough day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Vicious Vengeance: Examining Vindictive Exes In Pop Culture

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Vicious Vengeance: Examining Vindictive Exes In Pop Culture

The narrative of the crazy ex-girlfriend is so prevalent that the CW actually made a TV show about it. Other portrayals aren’t as nuanced as Rachel Bloom’s sitcom, which actually attempts to bring a feminist twist to a mostly misogynistic plot device. But a good “crazy ex” narrative can almost be as entertaining as romantic buzz kill movies. So let’s examine examples of crazy ex-girlfriends in popular culture and find what makes them tick. Be careful, hell’s got nothing on these women!

The Woman in “Bust Your Windows”

Jazmine Sullivan released a hit song “Bust Your Windows” in 2008; a cover by Glee a few years later increased its popularity. In the song, an unnamed woman dishes out vengeance when she sees her lover in bed with another woman. But she doesn’t punish him directly. As the title says, she busts the windows of his car. Oof, better find a shop that fixes car windows. As an added bonus, she carves her initials on it with a crowbar. Double oof. Maybe it’s time for an upgrade, unnamed philanderer?

But as lyrics and Sullivan’s crooning voice reveal, she knows that doing so is futile. She’s only committing vandalism to make the man suffer, and that his pain will only be a small echo of the pain he caused her. The lyrics go on to explain that the woman wants this to be a lesson to the man that he can’t treat women that way. As far as “crazy ex” activities go, not unreasonable but also inadvisable to do in the real world, only, whoops, Jazmine admitted in 2016 that she did bust an ex’s windows. *Happens to the best of us!*

Alex Forrest from “Fatal Attraction”

Glenn Close’s performance as Alex was nominated by the Academy Awards. Glenn Close deserves praise for the amount of research and preparation she did to perform that well, but the actress disagrees how the writers treated Alex. Close explains she portrayed Alex as clearly mentally disturbed, a woman who needed help to break free from her obsessive devotion to her married lover. She wanted to play a tragic character whose dark past is the cause of her disturbance.

But the studio and the test audiences both wanted Alex to meet a grisly end and to ensure it, they turned her into THE crazy ex, attacking her lover’s family with a knife and boiling their pet rabbit. Instead of the cheating man getting punished, the mentally ill woman he took advantage of bites it, instead. Before you ask, yes, “Fatal Attraction” was written by a man.

gf1

Amy Elliot Dunne from “Gone Girl”

Gillian Flynn’s thriller novel “Gone Girl” and the film adaptation that stars Rosamund Pike in the titular role caused a lot of debate as to whether or not it’s a feminist narrative. In the story, Amy Dunne is a brilliant woman who is scorned by her underachieving but charming husband. To exact her revenge, Amy frames her husband for her murder. She also expounds on what she calls “Cool Girls.” According to Amy, and by extension Flynn, women change themselves to be the “cool girl” that pleases their man in every way.

Amy changed a lot about her and maintained her body to keep her husband interested. But he doesn’t live up to his end, neglecting her needs and cheating on her. But the way she enacts her vengeance is way too brutal. Not only does she lie about assault and fake a pregnancy, she also murders someone to further her plans.

What makes Amy a feminist character is that she is absolutely right about the “Cool Girl” dynamic. She’s also a strong, intellectual woman who knows her worth and fights for what she believes is hers. But she is a terrible, manipulative, murderous person. You can’t get a more complex portrayal of female vengeance than Amy Elliot Dunne.

Inspiring or a warning? The only person who can decide whether these women should be looked up to or locked up is yourself, but before you make your judgment, remember that there is a story behind everything. And hopefully, you’ll speak up the next time you hear someone use the phrase “crazy ex.” Who knows, you might be saving the windows of their car!

June 2019 Funky Time Jams

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June 2019 Funky Time Jams

Hellooo everyone and welcome to a new month here on lifewithlilred. Summer weather is officially here in Ohio and it has been hot as hell. Now, I don’t know if this is just a Midwestern thing, but we are all about driving with our air conditioning on and the windows down. Which means that you obvi have to be bumping the best tunes for everyone else to hear! Like some of the following:

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

I have a very short drive to get to one of my clients three times a week, so I play the radio on the way there because there’s no point in plugging in my iPod for a five minute excursion. Normally, I never have anything nice to say about whatever is on the radio but the stations in my neck of the woods, specifically Akron U’s Z88 is playing the JAMS. They always have Throwback Thursday which is a lot of fun and 98.1 WKDD has 90’s weekends which is the best.

There is nothing better than having the oldies but goodies that we all know the words to even if you don’t particularly like the song playing. And, I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t get down with some of the newer stuff, too. Don’t hate, but I’m obsessed with “Old Town Road”, “Sweet But Psycho”, and “Hey Julie”. So much so, that every time I get in my car with the intention of playing the radio I am always saying a silent prayer to hear one of those three songs. It’s whatever! 😀

What are your summer time jams? What is your favorite radio station? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Chardon Polka Band

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Chardon Polka Band

Hiii everyone! This past Thursday, my client and I were truly living our best lives because we got to see the Chardon Polka Band perform at one of our local libraries. I try to take this client out to concerts and anything music related whenever I can because that’s his favorite and he plays the piano so beautifully. We have seen the CPB play twice before and they are so much fun that we had to see them again.

Now, I know what you’re thinking “a polka concert sounds like a nightmare”. And, initially, I thought so too. But, they are the most endearing, talented group of people that I’ve ever met and it’s impossible to not love them. They are so kind to everyone in their audience from little kids, the elderly, and people with special needs and that type of selfless attitude makes me a fan of them no matter what style of music they play.

I had no idea that the Chardon Polka Band was kind of a big deal in Ohio until now, but these guys go around all over the country playing polka everywhere from funerals, and christenings, to elementary schools, and senior centers. And, of course, any beer related festival that you can think of! I never thought I’d find myself as a polka fan until seeing these whacky guys perform and it’s so nice to consider them as my friends now, too!

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

Both my client and myself purchased a CPB T-shirt that we wear with pride and we are so excited to see our friends with an unexpected cult following perform again soon!

Who are the local celebrities in your neck of the woods? What are your thoughts on polka music? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Docplayer