Wednesday, December 5, 2012

People like this make me ashamed to be a blogger

I'm in no way a "professional journalist" (and defining who is is the basis of my thesis, so trust me, I'm quite familiar with the term) but I get so aggravated when people get all pissy with journalists when they publish stories that "make artists look bad." Usually, my initial reaction is that it is not the journalist who interviewed the artist that made them look bad, it's the artists themselves who say the stuff in an interview with someone who's job is to WRITE THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT THE PERSON THEY ARE INTERVIEWING SAYS. One example: Eric Church's rant in Rolling Stone calling out other artists who do tv shows and other ventures outside of making music. I heard so many people say that that's why they hate journalists, because they just want to make people look bad and to get more attention for themselves. Do you remember the writers name? I subscribe to Rolling Stone, I read the article, I couldn't tell you who wrote it. I can tell you that if I was assigned to interview Eric Church, and I asked him a question, and he gave me an answer, and I wrote that answer in a story, it is not me who is making anyone look bad. If he didn't want that published, he shouldn't have said it. He did. He know what he was doing. He knew who he was talking to. He probably was well aware of the attention it would get him. (And I mean, come on, have you seen Almost Famous? Music journalists are "the enemy," "the one guy you don't tell secrets to." Duh.)  The writer did his job. That is all. There is no shame in that. 

But then, there are some people who bring complete disgrace and shame to the title of journalist (or blogger, because, in my opinion, a blogger doing interviews with artists and getting paid to write about them is a journalist).  I hopped up on my soapbox and started writing this after seeing a tweet from Aaron Lewis, calling attention to a woman who had taken it upon herself to accost Lewis after reading what a blogger said pertaining to comments he had made about Carrie Underwood at a concert. 

Here are the comments that Lewis made: 

Then, from those comments, a post was written with this title:

Um, excuse me. Tell me, please, where in that clip did he say that he hated Carrie Underwood? What one single statement did Lewis make that is against Underwood herself?  Because I can't find it. He says nothing about her personally. He clearly says "depicts herself as." Which is completely true! I'd love for anyone to explain it to me any differently.

I'm not familiar with the website where this was published. I'm not even going to write the name of it in this post because I don't want to give it anymore attention. I don't know the work of the man who wrote it. I do know that he makes me ashamed to call myself a blogger and a writer. You use headlines that are sensationalized to get people to read your gossip. I understand, your goal was to get readers. That's the purpose for any blog post. And I'll admit freely that this baby blog pales in comparison to what you're doing. But I can honestly say that I'd rather keep doing what I'm doing --without blatantly lying about the artists I write about-- than ever grow to your level as a blogger and fall to your level as a human.   

You just keep trying to be the country Perez Hilton, buddy. Sleep well knowing that you bring shame to others who write to share music and real information and not half-truths and falsities. You're disgusting. Thanks for reminding me of everything I never want to be and what a complete lack of integrity looks like.    


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Florida Georgia Line- Here's to the Good Times

Here we go again with another review that makes it terribly obvious that I have no right reviewing music. I apologize in advance.

Florida Georgia Line's new album, Here's to the Good Times dropped today. I wasn't initially going to even listen to it, and sure as hell had no plans to review it. 

I'll admit, I kinda went all fangirl for Tyler and BK after the first time I saw them as openers for Randy Rogers at Buster's in Lexington and after that, I bought their first single "Cruise." (Proof that being nice and flirting with me, I say with only a little shame, can lead to me buying your music and basically giving up every bit of my musical and personal integrity. Things are usually headed straight downhill when I meet a band after their show and bust out my standard, "Y'all were so good!" Throw in some giggles, a couple 'girls are so stupid and guys aren't much better' smiles, a comment on how cute my accent is, and boom. You might as well open up iTunes yourself and charge the album to my card. You win, I'm a lost cause. My love for long haired and tattooed boys in bands betrays my common sense every time.) 

My first FGL experience
I really liked them that night.
 A decision clearly influenced by no outside factors. 

With as much hype as the new album is getting already, I figured it would be played to death on the radio soon enough, so there was no need to rush and listen to the new stuff today. But then one of my favorite little country music fans tweeted me (from the FGL album release party, cause she's that cool!) that "Here's to the Good Times" was really good, so I decided to give it a chance.  (Ok, first she sent me a picture of Tyler, who we both are more than a little in love with. But then she told me the album was good.) While I was listening, I decided I might as well write about it. Not like I was really gonna do anything worthwhile today anyway.

So I started listening.  And things went from good to ok to "I have made a huge mistake" in a very sudden, very unexpected chain of events.

Let me just take a moment to step back and explain the situation. Before I buy any album, I stream it in Spotify. Here I am, sitting at the kitchen table, already a little irritated with myself because I'd decided to write a post about FGL instead of finishing the post about Mona, a band that I have no shame in admitting I love, that I started yesterday. 

So, I started listening to the album and writing this post, marking the songs I liked and wanted to mention as I wrote the intro to the review. I was mostly enjoying what I heard. The album started out with the first single "Cruise," a song I already liked. I hadn't heard "Round Here" but enjoyed it after my first listen, same way with  "Get Your Shine On" and "Here's to the Good Times." 

A bit of graphic assistance to help you follow this story.

But then, everything changed. "It'z Just What We Do" ended and I was in the middle of typing a rant about how adults purposely spelling words the wrong way isn't cute. Ever. And FGL do it twice on this album. I was ready for that to be my biggest complaint about the whole damn thing. But then I noticed I was singing along to the song that came on next. And I knew it wasn't a FGL song, because I'd only really heard "Cruise" enough to know all the words. It was a cover song, but who were they covering? I couldn't think of the original song. So, I did what I always do in a moment of confusion, and turned to Google and typed in the first words of the song.


Hold on.

Time out.

What. The. Hell.

That's a mother f'ing Black Stone Cherry song.

 It would have been much easier to convey my reaction to what the Google showed me if there had been some sort of hidden camera filming me. Maybe you're lucky you didn't have to see it. There was yelling. There was anger. There was disgust. There was a maelstrom of emotions. Mostly, there was shame. I did know that song. That was a Black Stone Cherry song. And I knew every damn word and was home alone and loudly busting it out like I loved it.

If you know me at all, you know I have completely senseless issues with BSC. Issues that boil down to one thing: I'm a jealous little biatch. Usually, I can avoid dealing with these feelings for the most part by just ignoring that they exist. Imagine my surprise when I was just going about my business (listening to a country album for f's sake!) and boom. There they are, tricking me into liking their music AGAIN.

Black Stone Cherry-- Stay

    Florida Georgia Line-- Stay

FGL changes it up a little. And it's good. And that's all I can make myself say about that. 

Overall, Here's to the Good Times is a pretty solid album. If you like modern country, you probably won't be able to find too much wrong with it. It's full of that typical "we love drinking and being country" songs that go over so well these days. It's just like the way I felt about the Dustin Lynch album: Is it the kind of music that I love? No, not really. Is is life changing, earth shaking, big as the Beatles kinda stuff? No. But it's pretty good. Worth buying if you need some fun new music. 

(Also, Tyler, if you read this, I'm still more than a little in love with you. I can overlook the BSC stuff if you just wanna run off and get married or whatever. Bethany, I'll consider sharing!)  

My top picks from Here's to the Good Times :

Florida Georgia Line-- Get Your Shine On 

Florida Georgia Line-- Round Here

(terrible quality video, but the best I could find)

Florida Georgia Line-- Tell Me How You Like It

I'm going to go now and listen to only Metallica and Alice in Chains for the rest of the night so I can feel better about myself.....

Monday, December 3, 2012

tour blog 3

November 30
V Club
Huntington, West Virginia
Awesome and huge poster on the side of the venue.

Smaller version that you can actually read.

Merch, merch, merch

Old man boyfriend on the hook. He brought me pumpkin donuts. All the way from Ohio. #bestjobever 

Pumpkin donuts from Circleville, Ohio. O. M. F'n G. These are going to make me morbidly obese. Happy, but morbidly obese.

Van Lear Black

Seriously, I get paid to do this?!

Matt Woods-- Loved him!

New selling tactic: Leave the jeans and boots at home, try heels and leather leggings instead. Tactic didn't really work, but I do love my hooker shoes and I have missed them oh-so-much.

Fifth on the Floor

It's hard to read, but this was painted on the wall outside the bar. It's the Hunter S. Thompson quote "Buy the ticket, take the ride"

December 1
Louisville, Kentucky

TODAY!!! The 1st Annual: OWL-HOOT SCOOT
Owl-Hoot Scoot, y'all. Love the name.

Tequila shots. At 330. Wearing a dress. This night is headed in a glorious direction. Come see for yourself at Zazoos in Louisville! 3:23 PM - 1 Dec 12

Kyle James Hauser. His songs put me to sleep. But in a good way.

Those Crosstown Rivals

Slithering Beast

 If you're a guy and you drink your drinks from the bar through a straw, i judge you and assume you are a weak girly man. -

Fifth on the Floor

500 Miles to Memphis

One of the most frequent questions people ask me now (replacing the ever popular "How's your thesis coming along?")  is "Are you still liking working with the band?" Maybe this alludes to my tendency to get bored with things quickly. Maybe people just think that this is something that should only be temporarily fun, therefore I should be tired of it. But I'm not. Not at all. I will admit, I had doubts about it for the first time on Saturday night. People weren't buying anything. I was ridiculously sleepy. Even more than I was sleepy, I was bored. It was a festival-style show, which meant it was a long night. We got to the bar six whole hours before FOTF played, and all that downtime really wore on me. Plus, it can get really lonely sitting at a merch table all by yourself. It's one of those "alone in a room full of people" kinda things. There were tons of people around, but I knew none of them and they had no interest in what I was selling. I didn't even have room to have a chair to sit in at my table, so I had to rotate out sitting on the edge of the table and sitting on my merch totes. (Ever sat on a tote while wearing an entirely too short dress? Not comfy. Nor attractive, btw.) 

After about two hours of this, I had banned myself from twitter after over-tweeted like a mother, then subsequently banned myself from texting because everyone was irritating me by either their over-eagerness to suddenly chat or complete lack thereof, and finally banned myself from fb after doing my best at trying to creep on new boys that seemed incredibly interesting and I decided I wanted to soon as I was able to leave the three-foot radius of merch table. I was bored. I was TERRIBLE at my job. And I was super lonely in every sense of the word. I convinced myself that I needed to quit this silliness, for the sake of the band, because I sucked big time. 

But, FOTF's turn finally came for them to take the stage, a friend who lives in Louisville came to see me and kept me company for a while, and then the final band played and people were actually buying things from me. Not a lot of things, but still, some money was made. I met fun new people I wanted to meet and a really big dog with an awesome name, and had a great time.

So, going back to where I started with this- Am I still enjoying it? Hell yeah I am. This is what I have wanted for so long. It's not without some issues, but what job is?  I'm still getting to travel and see live music in venues I've never been to and probably never would have otherwise. And I get to do all this with a pretty cool group of guys who don't openly hate me, despite my lack of selling abilities. 

I jokingly told someone last night that I was the coolest girl they knew. He surprisingly told me in response that that was probably true. That made step back and think, and take it all in. I don't know how "cool" I really am, but I do know that I'm really happy with whatever level it is. I like good music. I read good books. I dyed part of my hair pink, quit my real job, and ran off with a band as a merch girl. I mean, really. I NEVER thought I'd actually be at this point. And don't get me wrong, I'm still incredibly insecure and unsure of everything . But overall, cool or not, I actually like me and the decisions I have made, at least for the moment.  

Friday, November 30, 2012

Girls, Girls, Girls. The show. Not the song. Well, maybe the song too.

If you are a 20-something girl and your life is in a complete and total state of disarray, you must watch Girls.  Don't question me. Get HBO. Or, get a friend with HBO Go who is nice enough to share his account (thanks again, yo).

Seriously, almost every line of this is me. Almost. Every. Line. I was going to write all them, but then I realized I was just going to transcribe the entire trailer and ain't nobody got time for that. So I just watched it ten more times instead. 

I don't know that I can wait until January 13. 

I had to. The power of Motley was just too much to resist.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

There is nothing stronger two people can share than music.

In my opinion, at least. But in my experiences, it has proven true that there is not one single thing that can more quickly bring two people together and form a more powerful bond than a deep discussion about songs that mean something to you

 It doesn't matter where the conversation happens-- It can be in a truck, driving down a country back road at midnight, radio turned up, windows rolled down just enough to let the cigarette smoke sneak out and night air stream in. It can be sitting around a wooden kitchen table at six in the morning, iPod plugged in and speakers cranked up loud enough to fight off a sleepless delirium, mason jars drained of their offering of the opposite of your morning coffee. The location is secondary; what matters is the dialogue and the music fueling it.   

 Sister Hazel- This Kind of Love


Your company matters, too. A certain amount of trust must exist for the exchange to work. It is a vulnerable position to put yourself in- to share a song that you really care about, that means so much to you, one that you have enjoyed and want someone else to enjoy as well. There is an inner chatter that you have as the song is playing - What if they don't feel the same way about the song as you do? What if they don't like it? Or, maybe even worse, they just like it and don't have the same strong, deep, visceral reaction to it that you do. Did your good taste in music fail you? Or, does your taste just suck? Maybe it's the other person. Maybe their taste is terrible. If that's the case, then it's the end of the line for me. Unplug my iPhone or take out the cd and head back to the house. It's done with. If we can't share good music, we ain't sharing anything. Sorry yo. It's just the way it has to be.
Ryan Bingham-- The Weary Kind 

But sometimes, everything aligns. The right people, place and song all come together at the perfect moment. Something magical happens. Your mind awakens; you come alive in the deepest parts of your soul. As the music plays in the background, either you or your companion share your story of the song- Of the background behind it and how you came to love it. And even if it's not the typical kind of music you listen to, or anything you had ever even imagined that you could enjoy, you like it. More than that, you feel it. In your head, your heart, your soul- You really, truly feel it. For those few, brief moments nothing else exists in the world aside from the two of you and the music...And you are truly alive.       

Shooter Jennings-- Belle of the Ball
I cherish every time I am lucky enough to have one of these conversations, usually with one of my musician friends-who-are-boys (see how careful I am not to use the words "boy" and "friend" in any close proximity to each other? That is my life. Team Forever Alone- I'm making shirts, message me if you want to join the club. We have weekly meetings at the apartment watching Hallmark Christmas movies and crying into bowls of ice cream. Just kidding. Kinda).

Waylon Jennings-- Outlaw Shit 

But seriously, sharing music with others is one of the most important things in my life. I know it is so silly, but I feel I have more purpose and my existence has more meaning when people tell me they hear a song for the first time on one of my posts and it means something to them. It takes me back to the quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower that I wrote about a while back. A song is an immensely powerful thing. Finding someone you can share something so powerful with is such a big deal. These people you can feel songs with, who you can listen and share and talk and grow with, these are the people in my life that have really changed me, that I have grown the most from knowing. If you've been one of those people in my life, I thank you. I hope, in some small way, that I can be that person for you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

tour blog, round 2

I went out again with Fifth on the Floor for a short little run last weekend and had an awesome time even though I was fairly certain that I was going to die from a terrible cold that just won't go away. Basically the entire band was sick, too, so we had a cacophony of nose blowing, sneezing and coughing as the soundtrack to our longggg van rides across Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

November 15
Roanoke, Virginia
Martin's Downtown
Literally the best tour bag ever. So many pockets! Thank you, Lisa!
"Virginia bound, if the plague doesn't kill me first "
I have become a professional at putting on my hoface in the back of the van. It's a talent, really.

Pretty mountains in West Virginia

Very large fake bear, right after we saw a real live bear crossing the interstate.
Just saw a sign that said "Speed limit enforced by aircraft" Virginia ain't messing around.

I'm back! And I even had a table cloth. Fancy y'all.

"It's hard to feel attractive with a Kleenex attached to your nose. Please buy shirts from me still. They're germ free."

"Snowboarders from Virginia. I like that shit. Tell me your job is better than mine. Just try."

"Sharing drugs with the band. And by drugs I mean mucinex. Rock n' roll y'all."

Only the fanciest hotels will do for me, please.

November 16
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Black Cat Lounge

"If I make it through this tour without this cold killing me it'll be a miracle. I can only hear when I tilt my head to the right. Awesome."

Turns out I have a fear of free range pigs. I am a fan of having my own room on the road though, so it (known as Harley) was overlooked.

November 17 

Charlotte,  North Carolina
The Thirsty Beaver

I was super skeptical about this place. I looked at the Facebook page when I first learned we were going there, and my expectations were low. It looked like a tiny, sketchy hole in the wall. And when we got there, my predictions were correct. But even though it was tiny and sketchy it was AMAZING. It seems that these smaller venues are always the best- the people that go there are like a big family, and they are always so kind and willing to accept us as part of that family. 

Any establishment ballsy enough to paint a large beaver on the side gets a thumbs up from me.

Charlotte. Such a pretty city.

 "Highlight of every show night: when the band introduces me to the crowd.
So many people!

Drunk boys. They're fun times for sure. 

Sometimes I sell from a chair. Sometimes I sell on a pool table, chatting with amazingly interesting old men, trying to decide if it's worth pursuing the position of 4th wife.

"I will marry an old man and be at least a second wife


Church ladies are judging me at the Bojangles as I eat fries with my biscuits and gravy. It's ok. I'm judging myself.

Healthy, balanced brunch.

A demon dog ate my contacts. Awesome.

Cotton fields

Backseat. Windows up. That's the way...wait, no- wrong genre of music.

Mountains and  leaves everywhere


My view from the back
I am one lucky girl to have the chance to travel around with a great band that is gaining such a following. Hearing live music every night at cool venues in different cities across the country is the best description of living the dream I could ever imagine. It's pretty timely that I say I've very thankful for this crazy life I'm living right now. If I live through this plague I can't wait to go out with the guys again.