Tag Archives: Gigs

Kicked In The Pants

I feel like I was kicked in the pants yesterday– in a good way. I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately, and I don’t really know why. I just haven’t been performing or writing much, partly because of school, and partly because I’m lazy. Yesterday, though, a realization came over me. I’m not going to get anywhere if I don’t do anything. It seems obvious, but sometimes I start to fall asleep in the co pilot seat, and I just wait for good things to happen instead of making them happen.

Yesterday, though, I decided I was going to change. I’m going to more actively seek out gigs and opportunities to play music, and I’m going to make sure I have my cards with me so I can promote myself wherever I go, and I’m going to try and put myself out there one the internet more; i.e. set up a Twitter account (even though Twitter is stupid).

I also decided to dedicate a portion of every day to music; whether it’s practicing, or writing, or networking, or what have you. I contacted a few venues yesterday, and practiced my songs for a while, and today I sent out a craigslist add for band members. I’ve done that once before, and I didn’t get much of a response, but this time I was much more specific about what I was looking for, so I’m hoping I’ll get some takers. I’m also going to make sure I pray about it too.

I’ve also written a to-do list for myself with what I need to do once my album gets really close to being finished. My thinking is that in this order I need to: Form a band, find a venue for the album release party, get my album copyrighted, and get it on iTunes. Those seem to be the most important things to get done in the near future.

I’m really hoping this random kicked-in-the-pants feeling doesn’t wear off, because I’ve been awfully productive in the past two days.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

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Email Miracle

Just because I’m in school again does not mean that music is getting left in the dust. Something amazing happened 3 days ago. I had sent an email blast towards the end of my vacation to all the places that would potentially let me make noise in their venue for a night. On August 30th, I heard back from my favorite; the Gulu Gulu Cafe in Salem Massachusetts. I was told that I had 4 hours to work with from 8:00 to midnight and that if I didn’t want to play that long I needed to find openers. Just a few minutes ago I heard back from my friend Nate. He and a girl I met at an open mic named Amanda have both agreed to open for me.

We’ll each get to play for about an hour and 20 minutes, which is super cool. Now all I need to do is come up with a set list that’s long enough and awesome enough to get the audience to like me for that long. I’ll be playing most of my originals, including the ones that won’t be going on my first album and a few covers including some from my friend Ken’s old band since he’ll be accompanying me on lead guitar. You can check them out on iTunes; just look up Meet The Day.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to get this gig. I’ve been either rejected or ignored so many times that I was just scratching my head and wondering what to do next or instead. Getting this gig and getting opening acts was so easy that I really do think this some kind of gift or push in the right direction; maybe even just assurance that this is what I should be doing. Sometimes I come across opportunities like this seemingly by accident, and I’m sure that the Lord has something to do with it. It doesn’t always have to do with music either; I think he probably had something to do with finding the right school or getting runner up in a state wide poetry contest that I submitted song lyrics to.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Dreaming In Sound

I played an open mic on Monday in the tiniest bar ever! In fact, the room seemed to be full of musicians and their friends/family and no other patrons. No one else would have fit. It was a really fantastic atmosphere and everyone there seemed awfully nice. I met a band that consisted of two brothers and their dad (who had an awesome beard btw) who were visiting from Florida. There was also a tiny middle aged woman (probably in her 50’s) who played some really strange original songs. She had a good voice and an adorable hat.

Everyone only got to play 2 songs, so I played “One” and “Passenger.” The whole room freaked out. I actually remembered to promote myself this time, so I even got a few Facebook “likes” out of it.

Last night I heard back from someone at Jade Tree. They’re Jets To Brazil’s record label. I had emailed them a while ago because I was wondering what I would have to do/what it would cost to record and sell my own version of one of their songs. Apparently it’s pretty cheap and simple, so I think I’ll put it on an EP or something at some point. Once “Replace My Empty Spaces” is done I’m going to hold off on recording for a while and write some new songs and perform as much as possible.

I met a lady the other night who came up to me after my set and said she wanted to feature me at her open mic in Beverley. I’m going to give her a call today. I’m hoping to play there on July 2nd. Sometimes coordinating this stuff is difficult because I don’t drive so I usually get a ride from my dad and he’s been traveling for work.

The album is 70% finished. I have 3 songs to record and then it’s gloriously done! As much as I love working on it, I’m so ready for it to be finished. We’ve had a lot of delays because Ken is doing some upgrades at the studio. I’m really hoping to finish it before I go back to school, but we’ll see.

I’m also not sure what to do about a release party because Ken’s friend sort of dropped off the face of the earth. There are a few places that I could probably set it up at. It just won’t be as big and grande and epic as I was hoping.

Well I ought to get to work. Thanks for reading!

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

I Will Play

Well, there was some interest in my last post, so I thought I’d give y’all an update. Today I spammed emails out to a few venues. I’m going to try and get the “feature” at a couple open mics. If that works out I’ll try and get my own gigs there. I know I will be playing at The Sad Cafe in Plaistow NH, but I’m waiting to hear back from them with the exact date. I also sent an email out to Cafe 939 in Boston. I’d say it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll get in there since I’ve never played a paying gig before, but I think I might have just enough experience for them to at least consider me. I’m shooting for Saturday June 8th. I also may or may not send something out to The Middle East in Cambridge. my Friend played there and I don’t recall if there was a feasible way to get a wheelchair on stage (that little detail should make gigging super fun). I’ll probably send something anyway. Life is an adventure!

I also had another excellent idea today. Once the CD is out I’m going to give 50% of sales to a charity (I have some ideas, I just haven’t picked one yet). I’m going to wait until I make my first hundred and start there. I seriously think this could go places. Prayers are appreciated. Wish me luck everybody!

The Big One

Yesterday I went to the studio and worked on my song “Nostalgia.” I talked with Ken and I told him that I’ve been thinking about having a release party at the Gulu Gulu cafe, which is a small venue in Salem that does open mics on Wednesdays.

Well, Ken told me that he knows a guy who books people in venues throughout the Boston area and said if I could promise a big enough crowd that he could get me a much bigger gig. If I get enough people I might be able to go second or third in a line up.

Within my family I could easily bring in 60 people. I could bring in a few neighbors and of course there are my friends. Before the big event I’ll probably go to a bunch of open mics and let everyone know what’s up. That might at least bring a few people. If any of you guys who read this blog are in the area I would love to have you.

I normally play solo at smaller gigs since I don’t have a ton of time to play live because of school, but for this event I’m going to try and get a band together. It will probably consist of myself on rhythm guitar and vocals, Ken on drums and my buddy Nate on either bass or lead guitar and possibly vocals. It’s looking like we’re probably going to need to find a bass player. Also, you can check out some of Nate’s originals here https://soundcloud.com/search?q=nate%20shaffer.

Unfortunately the album is only halfway done,  and I don’t really know when it will be finished, but I’m hoping to kick this thing into high gear and get it done ASAP. Yesterday we got a lot of work done on “Nostalgia.” Once that’s done I’ll have four songs to go, at least one of which should be a quick finish. Just thinking about this is exciting! If you guys are super interested I’ll  update more on the music side of life, but if not I’ll just keep writing about random shenanigans.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!