Caring is definitely sharing if you’re an independent musician.
Since my upcoming post for one of the other sites I write for is about being a good local music citizen, I thought it time to touch on this topic.
Sharing your friend’s and peer’s music gets them exposure, ‘likes’, stats, the whole shebang. Of course.
And sometimes I feel like I am so into promoting other people, I don’t give enough of a hoot for the art I put so much effort into myself.
Part of being a good local music citizen is being giving to the various artists around you, whether it is donations, sharing equipment, or just clicking that darn ‘like’ or ‘follow’ online to give the person better stats.
Some people do just have that certain je ne sais quoi. You know. There’s always that person who may or may not be off-the-charts talented, but has that “I’m awesome!” attitude, and everyone follows suit.
Unless you’re rude, but that goes back to this.
Let’s not forget resources and opportunity. I always felt so frustrated in high school, when some peers who came from wealthier families had expensive gear or instruments, and no curfew for gigs. To me, one of the brightest moments of my teenage years was walking down the stairs and seeing a drum set in my living room (thanks, mom). I could have hugged the darn thing (because I did). I had a slight resentment to some of these other kids, and always hoped they knew how much they may have taken for granted.
This was not made better by the time the girlfriend of one of these popular high school band’s guitarists told me that his mom hit the refresh button on their PureVolume and Myspace pages all day, in order to push their rankings up. They eventually made it as a featured band on the PureVolume homepage. Let us hope it was not simply due to stay at home moms.
Moments like this, or performing at a school event and having a boy stand at the stage the whole time, mocking us as we played, or having a self proclaimed groupie girl shout out “I hate girls in bands” to my chem class…it didn’t make me feel good. If I were already self conscious about learning to play so late in the game (15), playing my first show after only six months, not being able to read music well, and just an overwhelming fear of sucking as much as I thought everyone thought I did (whew)…it stuck with me. Or, it has stuck with me.
I can be the first person to high five you, give you pointers, promote your art, introduce you to someone for a job, etc, but I’m still getting over the hurdle of being able to think I’m not terrible at the creative side projects I have. It even took me forever to put my blog on my resume! But when I did, my interviews increased.
So, fellow musicians. I’ll ‘like’ your page, I’ll RT your music video, I’ll share your song, I’ll promote your show. But I’m going to take a little aside downstage and say, hey, I’m in a band.
My sister, our singer and guitarist, just finished her master’s degree in Music Education, so our schedule has been nutty. Not to mention our bassist is in graduate school, our keyboardist is in a boatload of musicals and plays in another band (such smarty pants and so much triple threat, yowza), and we all work full time in various music and media jobs. Cue Rushs’s “Working Man”.
I’d say shameless plug, but why am I ashamed? I’m terrible at tooting my own horn. Toot, toot.
Finishing our album has been a hurdle. We’re having some mixing woes and scheduling issues, but everyone involved is super dedicated and I have faith in them. (Band link? OK.)
And you all know how tough it is to get a gig without a proper representation of your sound, right?
I’ve posted ‘Always Sometimes’ earlier in the post, which seems to be one of the crowd favorites, perhaps due to the solo. Above is ‘Memento’, our newest song. I can’t stand listening to myself, and I know the balance is terribly off (and eek let us not forget compression), but I will try not to be too hard on myself, since we have probably practiced the song together twice, once as a performance at an earlier show.
So, indie musicians, have you had trouble getting yourself out there? Being proud of your work, and getting other people to care? What do you do if you don’t have recordings yet? I have plenty of ideas and industry input, but the local and indie music community is a great forum. How are you doing?