Tag Archives: musicians

At Home Concerts Pt. 2

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At Home Concerts Pt. 2

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, my “big girl” job is as an independent provider for adults with special needs. Pre-COVID, community integration was my specialty and I was always finding exciting activities and events for my clients to participate in that they might not have had access to before.

One of my favorite haunts “back in the day” with a client who is a music lover was a vinyl record club at the library where a group of our now good friends would sit around, eat pizza, listen to music, and talk about anything and everything. It was such fun and we both miss it a lot so, naturally, at home concerts had to happen when record club was no longer an option.

At home concerts are one of my favorite activities to do with clients now because it’s fun, safe, and I love singing and dancing with my pals! If you remember my original At Home Concerts post, you will know I taught one of my friends how to use YouTube and we are still going strong on watching his favorite golden oldies artists perform.

My other client has a much different taste in music, though. He loves rap! And so do I so at home concerts with him are an absolute trip. In fact, he was the one who introduced me to Cardi B and she’s one of my faves now! Every week we alternate who is going to pick the album and we spend the entire time dancing on opposite ends of the room, laughing, and talking about everything from the important to the downright silly.

Pre-COVID, at home concerts were the last thing on my mind when I could take my clients to all kinds of wonderful events where live music was played. Post-COVID, I find at home concerts to be an inspired idea and it has become my new favorite part about my job.

Exploring different genres of music, hearing songs I’ve never listened to before, and seeing my clients have fun is a high point of my day when we feel like listening to some tunes. We all consider our at home concerts to be an exciting event and it could be for you and your friends/family too!

Dress as your favorite artists, celebrate a different theme or genre, or even learn the different dances of the times so you can better groove to the music. An at home concert can turn a blah day into something really awesome – all it takes is a little creativity. 🙂

What are some of your favorite at home activities? Do you have any suggestions for what my clients and I should listen to next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

May 2020 Funky Time Jams

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May 2020 Funky Time Jams

Hi! We’re just truckin’ along through May and, I’ve gotta tell you, I’m so not feeling it. Lol, I am so physically and mentally exhausted and I could definitely use a day off. But, alas, here I am writing extra early before work so I still get there on time! I guess it’s okay, though. So much of my day is spent being unproductive that sometimes (But not all the times!) it feels good to immerse myself in a day’s work.

An early morning, followed by a long day of work, followed by a long day of quarantine certainly requires the perfect soundtrack and this is what I have been bumping:

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

Nine times out of ten, I leave the house for work feeling blah so I depend on my car ride jams to give me the pick me up I need to be at one hundred percent by the time I get to my client’s front door. Sometimes this will be me playing my favorites on my iPod or I’ll scroll through the radio until I land on something good.

My most recent fave, though? Probably The Weeknd! My boyfriend and I just recently watched the Saturday Night Live that he performed on and I had no idea “Blinding Lights” was one of his songs until he played it. That has been my friggen JAM on the radio and it put me down a Weeknd worm hole that I am so okay with.

Somewhat random, but I have also been playing “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison constantly. My client and I heard it when we were listening to the radio and I totally forgot how much I love that song until I heard it again. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with The Rolling Stones so if you haven’t checked out their latest “Living In A Ghost Town”, do be sure to check it out!

What are some of your quarantine jams? What do you like to listen to to hype you up for work? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

April 2020 Funky Time Jams

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April 2020 Funky Time Jams

Hello! We are officially one week through April and what feels like one thousand years in self-isolation. So, music has definitely been a big part of helping to make the time go faster. There’s something about playing a familiar song while tucking into a good book that is so comforting – especially when it’s so easy to feel unnerved even in your own home. This is the music that has been keeping me company as yet another day in quarantine passes by:

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

A random compilation, I know – but this has been such a random feeling time. Everything just seems so up in the air and I never know what mood I’m in. Sometimes all I want to hear is top forty hits all day. Other times, I want nothing more than to time travel back to the 50s and 60s as I eagerly await for the completion of another day.

While Ohio is under a stay at home order, I have been clinging to a schedule and normalcy. This means following along with my music listening times daily like when I’m in the shower or writing in the morning. It’s nice to hear something that puts me more at ease when I’m trying to relax or upbeat tracks when I need to get ready for work.

Familiar things are my friends right now and the songs above have all been there at some point during this whole ordeal. Whether that be to save me from boredom or to hype me up, there’s nothing better than some Old Faithfuls!

What have been your favorite songs lately? What do you play to fight the lock down blues? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

March 2020 Funky Time Jams

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March 2020 Funky Time Jams

Howdy! One of my clients at work absolutely loves oldies style music. This has definitely opened a whole new genre to me and I am actually pretty obsessed. I find myself humming the catchy, poppy tunes constantly and feel like I always have an earworm in my head of songs from the 1950s. Before, I was a-okay with just hearing this music for fifteen hours of my work week but I’ll be goddamned if I say that I’m not listening to it all the time now! Especially some of the following:

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

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love music of all kinds. I dabble in all genres and I always enjoy hearing things that I haven’t heard before. But, after being exposed to this golden era of music, I can honestly understand why people say “they don’t make music like this anymore” because it’s one hundred and fifty percent true.

I just love the talent behind all of these short and sweet songs. The big band instrumentals, the amazing vocals, and the way I want to get up and dance to each song is something that I don’t hear or feel on the radio today. Hearing modern remakes of all of these classics would be cool but nothing will ever beat the real thing.

I feel like I’m traveling back in time when I listen to the oldies and from now on you can find me posted up at The Hop! 😀

What are some of your favorite oldies? What genres of music have you been exploring? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Essentials For Your Home Recording Studio

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Essentials For Your Home Recording Studio

Music has been a big part of cultures around the world for centuries, but it seems like independent and aspiring music producers have become more prevalent in recent decades. Thanks to innovations in technology and music-making equipment, at-home production is more accessible than ever before.

Even if you don’t have room for a full studio in your home, there are some fantastic instruments and music-making tools out there that don’t take up a lot of space. One of these is the Alesis v25, which is a 25-key MIDI keyboard with drum pads. Despite not being as popular as other 25-key MIDI keyboards out there, Alesis v25 reviews make it sound like an excellent choice for producing music and beats at home. It’s also one of the most affordable at $179 retail.

Top Keyboard for Recording Music at Home:

The Alesis V25 is a very intuitive and powerful MIDI keyboard for at-home music production. It has 25 keys, eight drum pads, and four rotary knobs to expand the melodic range and chords you can produce with the keyboard. You can even play bass lines.

  • Full-sized, semi-weighted keys prevent cramping in hands and fingers
  • Velocity-sensitive drum pads for adding beat patterns
  • Responsive rotary knobs to fine tune effects
  • Plug-and-play technology for a simple USB connection and digital audio workstation (DAW) detection
  • Compact, portable, and lightweight (5.4 pounds)

Once you have the ideal keyboard for making music, it’s time to stock up on some other home recording equipment to mix, edit, and refine your work.

Essential Audio Recording Equipment:

Your home recording studio or station should include some critical pieces of equipment, but you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for it. The list of essentials is quite short and you can find proper quality equipment for affordable prices both online and in stores like Best Buy and even Walmart. The leading necessary audio recording equipment you should have includes:

Microphone:

Home music production cannot be achieved successfully without a microphone and long-lasting mic cables. For home recording, cardioid microphones are best because they help reject any sound coming from behind you. While you can easily spend over $1,000 on a quality condenser microphone and stand, there are several excellent options for $300 or less.

Mic Stand:

Be sure to get a quality mic stand as well! You don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a high-quality microphone, only to knock it over and ruin it. There are excellent mic stand options for any budget, and you can probably spend less than $50.

Headphones:

Your smartphone earbuds won’t do for home recording, so be sure to invest in a good pair of over-the-ear headphones for mixing and monitoring when you’re recording. Before you buy, compare the specs based on your needs. Look into the headphones’ drivers, impedance, and sensitivity.

Audio Interface:

A USB audio interface is necessary to connect your headphones, microphone, and speakers to your computer for editing and mixing sounds. You can probably find what you need for less than $200, depending on the kind of system and types of features you require.

Pop Filter or Shield:

An inexpensive and essential piece of equipment for any home recording studio is a pop filter or pop shield, especially if you’re recording vocals. Pop filters not only protect your mic from vocalists’ spit, but they also block “plosives” and maintain the quality of your vocals. You can probably find a quality pop shield on Amazon for less than $30.

Speakers:

Decent studio speakers or monitors are a must for any home recording studio. Without them, you may find that your work sounds very different (and less-than-desired) when played outside of your studio headphones. There are countless different speakers to choose from, but a few things to consider are amplification, placement in your studio, size, listening distance, and connection to your audio editing equipment. For a direct link to your computer or audio interface, a USB connection will do, but for interfaces with balanced outputs, you’ll want a balanced XLR or jack input.

Acoustic Room Treatments:

When recording from a room or space in your home, you’ll need to think about more than just any sounds from the outside. The reverb of sounds within the recording area can affect the audio as well, so you will need to install acoustic panels and diffusers on the walls to create an accurate acoustic environment and make your sound better. You can make your own panels for a fraction of the cost of acoustic treatments, which can get pretty pricey.

Use the tips above, start recording your tunes, and maybe you’ll catch your big break!

Featured Image By: Reinhold Schlager from Pixabay.

February 2020 Funky Time Jams

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February 2020 Funky Time Jams

Howdy! We are flying through February and are already onto our second Funky Time Jams post of 2020. Crazy! January lasted forever and February has felt like a whirlwind of work, appointments, and all Super Bowl everything. I, myself, was a huge fan of the half time show and have been on a bigger Shakira kick than usual and have found myself revisiting all of JLo’s classics, too. Let’s get to it:

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

This month, blackbear’s “Hot Girl Bummer” has been my absolute number one Funky Time Jam. I heard it a few weeks ago on my way to work and it was stuck in my head all day but then I forgot about it. Then, as luck would have it, it showed up on my YouTube playlist and I must have listened to it at least one hundred times by now. It’s so different than the normal pop or rap hits that I’ve heard because of its electronic beat and I am one hundred and fifty percent there for it.

Now, as I mentioned before, I thought the Super Bowl half time show was an amazing success. Normally, not a day goes by where I don’t think about Shakira at least once (lol), so imagine that constant loop going on in my head all day every day post Super Bowl!

Of course, I was thrilled when she began performing Hips Don’t Lie because I’ve always loved that song. And it makes it even more fun to hear it now because when I’m ice dancing the Cha Cha I always skate to it. Hips Don’t Lie and the Cha Cha ice dance music happen to have the same beats per minute and nothing makes me feel more saucy than skating to Shakira. Everyone should try it some time. 😀

What did you think about the Super Bowl half time show? Which song have you been playing on repeat? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

January 2020 Funky Time Jams

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January 2020 Funky Time Jams

Howdy! The Roaring 20s are officially among us and, despite a little flu bug I caught, the new year has started out strong. New tattoos, a raise at work, and some exciting happenings coming up on lifewithlilred have me excited to see what 2020 holds for me next. If you’re anything like me, though, you need a soundtrack depending on your mood and January has been full of happy, poppy tunes for me to play as I go about my day. Take a listen:

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

At the end of 2019, I couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing “Roxanne” by Arizona Zervas and I am still not over it, obviously! I listen to it at least once a day because it is so damn catchy and it’s the perfect song to sing along to because of the repetitive lyrics. I drive a lot for my job and nothing breaks up the monotony of being stuck in traffic or driving the same route than a good old fashioned session of karaoke in the Little Red Love Machine!

Roxanne has been my go to to bump in the car or in my apartment but I have also been on the biggest Cobra Starship kick that I’ve had since high school. Don’t ask me why, but for some unknown reason I had the urge to listen to them while I was getting ready for work and that desire has yet to go away. Am I mad about it? Slightly, lol. But, there’s no denying that they had some definite bangers during their run as the scene kid heroes. 😀

What are your favorite songs to play when you’re in a good mood? What is your favorite song to sing along to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

December 2019 Funky Time Jams

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December 2019 Funky Time Jams

Hello everyone! We are in the final stretch of 2019, which is so crazy to me! It seems like just yesterday that we were ringing in the new year. Now is the time to make your final holiday preparations, decide on your new year’s resolutions, and do what you can to finish up 2019 strongly. So, allow me to suggest some tunes as you work on wrapping up the month and year:

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

This past month, my boyfriend and I watched the Motley Crue movie called The Dirt. Now, mind you, I have never listened to them before in my life but my man is a fan so I decided to give them a go. And, despite all of them being batshit crazy, their music sure is catchy! They actually just announced that they’re going to start touring again so if they come anywhere close to my neck of the woods, I think that Johnny and I are going to go!

And, speaking of concerts, we will be attending the Marilyn Manson and Ozzy Osbourne show in Pittsburgh this coming year, compliments of Johnny’s Christmas gift to me! I am so freaking excited because this will make it the third time I’ve seen Marilyn Manson perform and it never gets old.

Finally, I just had to pepper in some new years themed songs amidst all of the crazies listed above for your enjoyment. Happy last month of the year!

Are you attending any concerts soon? What is your favorite music based movie? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

November 2019 Funky Time Jams

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November 2019 Funky Time Jams

Howdy! We are moving right along in November and the holiday season will be officially upon us in the blink of an eye! The weather is cooling down, the Christmas shopping has begun, and some of you might already be thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions. November is undoubtedly a busy month full of the hustle and bustle of family gatherings and plenty of cooking. It can also be a bit of a stressful time if that really isn’t your thing, so allow these fiery, fiery jams to keep you sane in the midst of it all!

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

So, I don’t know if any of you have seen this hilarious video of Bill Hader dancing but it has become quite the thing on social media and people have began playing a wide variety of music over the video. From Smash Mouth and Michael Jackson to Lil Nas X and Britney Spears, the joy of the video is that his dancing literally goes with any song. This includes “Don’t Trust Me” by 3OH!3 and ever since bearing witness to it, I have been on the biggest kick of their music a la freshman year of high school 2008. It amazes me that I still know all of the lyrics to their songs and it definitely makes my crazy amount of driving for work much more tolerable!

Also, do be sure to check out the video at the top for “Stoned & Lonely” by my boyfriend’s band The Outside Voices. Shooting this music video was an absolute HOOT so see if you can spot your favorite Lil Red hanging out and give their page some love. ❤

What is your favorite viral video? Are you looking forward to the upcoming holiday season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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