Shop Local

The many benefits of supporting local music.

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Back when I was in high school, many, many years ago before Wi-Fi and my beloved Netflix, I watched regular television. With, like, commercials and stuff. I had to wait a whole week to see what happened on the cliff hanger of Dark Angel (yes, this was my most favorite show, Jessica Alba kicked ass and Y2K was a legitimate fear, I don’t care who you were).

I also tuned in for every award show. I remember, specifically, one certain Latin award show they aired for the first time. I waited weeks to watch it, made sure my homework was all done (yeah, right, like I did my homework), and turned on my tiny little box television/VCR combo I got for my sixteenth birthday along with a stack of VHS’s.

A Latin performer I had not heard of came on stage in her pleather pants, ripped up t shirt, and bare feet. She had a chime-y little gypsy belt tied around her hips that didn’t lie, her belly dancing mesmerized me, and the song was even cooler. That was the day I fell in love with Shakira.

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Sadly, Shakira and I are not on a BFF basis yet, so I do not have her permission to use her photos. Here is a generic picture I found online of belly dancing. 

 

That’s right, Shakira. I love her, don’t judge. After that I had to have all her CDs, even the ones before her American break through. I watched her Tour of the Mongoose video repeatedly until I knew her every move and I even had her Barbie doll (a glorious gift). She somehow “lerolelelole’d” her way right into the music strings of my heart and to this day I am her loyal fan.

Needless to say, I was a bit excited when my husband mentioned she was coming to The Detroit.

Unfortunately, I was a bit reluctant. Why would I be hesitant to get tickets to go see my great white buffalo? This is my bucket list, like, the whole thing. Why would I not want to go? because, I have been spoiled.

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Unless you plan on missing a house payment to see your favorite big name artist, its not worth the trip to the arena these days. 

First off, I saw the prices: over a hundred dollars apiece for nose bleeds, are you kidding me, Shak? I love you and all, but do we need to spend two hundred-plus dollars to watch a big screen of you and maybe get a glimpse of your tiny ant body from the balcony seats? I can do that for free at home. I can watch at least five awesome bands in one-night front and center, actually get to see them, meet them, interact with them, for maybe ten bucks.

Also, let’s talk about beer prices. The Husband has played at some bigger venues and when I walk up to the bar and ask for their cheapest beer and get a Dixie cup of warm, light, beer for eight dollars, I am less than impressed. To be honest, I am aghast. Don’t do me like that! When I usually go to the tiny, dirty dive bars and ask, I at the least get a large solo cup, filled to the brim of room temp Pabst for a buck or two.

Then there is the merch. Granted, a local rock show won’t give a big variety, but I like the selection of black band tees for ten buck a pop and CD’s for the same or less. I like knowing that these guys have worked their tails off, around the clock. They bleed this music, so every time you walk up to their merch table you are supporting so much more. That money is going right back into their fund. Not a big production company’s pockets.

The crowds are the biggest turn off for me, hordes of people set my anxiety through the roof. I am usually always a pleasant and chill person, but if you want to see me cranky, irritable, and all around at my worst, put me in a building with thousands of people and tell me I have to find my seat. I am going to panic and start fights faster than you have time to point me in the right direction.

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Oh, hell no! 

I may be biased but I prefer local shows, they are so much more personable and intimate. I am constantly discovering new and impressive, respectable talent. I know first hand how hard they all work and appreciate every person who walks through the door and up to their merch booth, stands in the front row to listen, and stays all night to get to know the people behind the magic.

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Keep it local, unless you like enclosed spaces and body odor.

I understand that the prices are not always the artists fault, and I am sure Shakie wouldn’t do me like this intentionally, I will always stay loyal to her. I am cheap, though, and if free tickets were to magically fall into my lap I would probably suck it up and go, but until that day I will give her all the moral support, skip the big crowds and prices, and get my live music fix right here in my own back yard. Always support local music!

Why We Resolute

New Year, New(ish) Band Wife

Happy New Year! Ok, its not the new year yet, but at the pace I go it might be well surpassed twenty eighteen by the time I get another blog out.

I am going over all my accomplishments through this year, as always it was a kick ass year. For me, my family, my job, and this little blog I have started.

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Seriously, an amazing year!

 

This blog is the main thing I have achieved this year, surprisingly, it was not on my list going into the year but just a couple of weeks into seventeen and a spontaneous idea one morning turned into a physical entity by that evening. Jump in, two feet, somethings in life are just better done that way.

I know I have talked before about throwing out those old, stagnant resolutions, and how we are all enough. As a band wife, though, your physical and mental health are very important. It is with everyone, of course, but I was thinking about how those same, old, tired resolutions differ in meaning when it comes to keeping up with the busy life of our musicians.

I thought I would break it down. Especially after the busy holidays, its nice to settle down, get back into the groove and gain a little control and perspective over our chaotic lives.

Losing weight is the most popular and timeless resolution. I hate focusing on the weight part of this, being always aware of body positivity, I always focus on being healthy instead. If you are with a musician you may run into some long days and nights. A lot of running around, hot days at summer festivals, and cold wintery walks to bars far down the street. I learned the hard way to keep hydrated, get lots of sleep, and for the love: wear extra deodorant! A little extra green leafies and cardio will go a long way (but I may be writing this while eating a brick of fudge).

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This was such a hot day, I really could have done with out a few pounds and sodium to help. There was more sweat dripping than I’d like to admit.

Finances. Oh man, if you are a band wife it is a true test of your bank account. I mean, you have to go out to eat before the show, surely you won’t have time to eat at home getting the kids, yourself, and everything else in order. Then you have to buy your ticket, band wives don’t get a free ride. Then drinks, and when you get done, The Husband is starving, so you need to go out for your second dinner at two in the morning. Let’s not forget how expensive music equipment and upkeep is. Budget, budget, budget. And sometimes you might just have to say no to a show, just because its not in the budget.

Quit drinking: This is my struggle bus, right here. Momma love her some cocktails, but after thirty, they aren’t loving her back so much. You are at a bar, and drinks are always flowing. I am not going to quit for good, but I have come up with a system. One drink per set, keeps a good cap on the morning after and the finances.

Then there is the ever elusive “me time”. Girls: this is so important yet the hardest. Last week I was laughing at the thought of getting some time to unwind by myself. I understand when you’re with someone where their hobby/profession takes over, along with your kids, jobs… you get lost. Squeeze it in, even if it’s a couple more minutes in the shower, binging on the ‘Flix until you have no thoughts at all, or having a good cry in the car. Take that time. You need it!

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My “Me time” and hobby are one in the same, coffee and blog Fridays! I look forward to the quiet morning alone. 

Hobbies, all the hobbies! This goal is so hard to achieve, like the me time, when you feel buried under your family’s stuff. When you are the oil that keeps your family running smoothly, you tend to run dry before you get to yourself. Find something you love to do, and be proud of it!

Getting organized is a freaking nightmare in my house. I don’t know about you but following a band around, keeping your kids school and extracurricular activities a float, along with your nine to five, is a daunting task. Get a calendar, ask for help, and try your hardest to stay on top. It makes life so much easier when your ahead of the game. which, in reality, will never happen, so just except your perpetual confusion as your new state of mind.

If you haven’t noticed I have a hard time saying no to a good time, and though it is fun it can all leave me feeling a bit worn out by Sunday morning, add the saturation of my own dose of the good old Irish catholic guilt and you have one tapped out Momma.

Even though I cringe at them, resolutions aren’t a terrible concept. They are meant to help improve our lives, give us goals, and keep striving for our best. But also keep in mind, we are all enough and if we don’t have the give to give that day, let it be.

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So, here’s to another year, crashing in, cocktail in hand, a few more wrinkles, and a few less mistakes. Sit back, enjoy the ride, and as always: Balls to the wall, Baby!

 

Dress Code

Wearing Your Band Shirt

If anyone sees me in the same t-shirt every time they run into me, you know, the one with the band logo on the front, don’t be concerned, I do keep up on the laundry and I can afford clothing. I promise you, it at least smells fresh every time I put it on. In all honesty, even though it looks like I am wearing the same damn shirt all the time, it’s just that I have an unlimited supply, I do have more than one of the same shirt. They just happen to be all from the same band. Conveniently, the band I am married to.

My last count was five: pink, white, and three blacks. I am literally a walking billboard. In my defense, they are so comfy, and I can get as many as I like (not really, like I said before, band wives still pay) but they are there, so I buy them, and wear them, everywhere.  As do the kids, and the husband. We might as well get our family pictures in them. Sometimes we will all walk out of our bedrooms and it’s a new episode of bitch stole my look.

The son and I matched at his junior high orientation. He loved that! He is always ready to support the band, not so much with matching his Mamma. I told him I wasn’t changing, though, I was too comfortable at that point and that would have taken too much energy. He wasn’t changing, either, because he wanted to wear it for his school picture, starting his junior high years off on the right foot. We walked into that high school slow-mo style, made sure we were known. Flying our colors high.

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The kid found his locker, I think surviving the high school will be a breeze for this little bad ass.

I was probably feeling a little cooler than he was, or cooler than he thought I was.

Sometimes I plan this look, if we are going somewhere new where I can spread the word, I don’t ever mind a shameless plug. Vacations are a great time to plan some band t-shirt wear, not only for the husband’s band but other locals I love. You’d be surprised at how many people have stopped me (or another fan) to comment on a band shirt. Then, once a person sees something they like, they usually will Google it. Spread their names far and wide, I say.

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Onward, children, we have a band to promote and mountains to do so!

Sometimes the band t shirt is because I am too lazy to put on anything nice, and like I said, these shirts are so comfy and I really like the fit. I make anything look good, so I can get away with wearing band shirts every day.

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They are great for just cleaning the house, having mental break downs, and self medicated-ice cream-life breaks.

I do have a rule to wearing my shirts to shows, though. I don’t wear the band shirt to local shows, unless it’s a competition type show. You see, a show is a night out for this girl, and this girl likes to look good occasionally. Cute top, cute jeans, cute boots. If the show is local enough where everyone already knows their name I don’t need to go full support. They got that covered.

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There is enough merch to promote themselves, they don’t need me to sport a shirt all the time, and seriously, a girl needs variety!

I will, however, wear the band shirt if the show is farther down the road. They are a little unheard of, or a competition type of show where your support is vital, where their name and logo are a force that needs to be reckoned with. That is when the shirt, the wrist bands, the whole uniform comes out. Because, we gotta represent.

Band shirts are not just a way to express yourself with the music you love, but also a way to support your favorites. Purchasing one also is helpful to the bands account (trust me, merch can be a bands life line sometimes). General rules of band shirts are: buy it because you love the band, wear it because you look good in it, and always express yourself with the music you love.

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It was a hot day on the deck with the fam (isn’t she a doll?), always express yourself, and keep cool!

 

And maybe pack a few the next time you go on a trip.

Pubs, Taverns, and Dives

My most memorable bar stories.

It’s no secret I am a dive connoisseur. I have been to many, many, many bars, venues, art studios, restaurants, pubs, taverns, and many, many, many others by other names but they all remain the same: dives. Though I may mock them often, I love them very much, they are my home away from home, my stomping grounds, where my heart and soul will always preside. I am always willing to sacrifice a clean bathroom to get my rock on (seriously, you should see some of these toilets they expect you to pee in). I have decided to make a compilation of the most interesting experiences I have had as a band wife, because it is always at the very least an interesting time.

 

  • The Frozen Pizza Pub: That one time when I went to order a beer at the bar and I saw the bartender pull out a frozen pizza out of the freezer and hand over to the waitress. Not even the good stuff, but the real cheap brand, they could have done better with Aldi brand (jokes aside, I love me some Aldi anything, that place is my jam). They even served it on the card board it came with, geniuses! The kicker: They were selling them for seven bucks a pop! Now you and I both know they went to Kroger and stocked up on a ten for ten deal!
  • The Hipster Paradise: There is really nothing I enjoy loathing more than a damn hipster, so when we walked into a venue that had an all vegan menu, smelled of essential oils, and served their beer in mason jars I was in gripe heaven! Seriously, mason jars are so hard to manage, they are too big to hold while you are rocking, unless you got some big old meat mitts, and then as you hit your third, fourth, or fifth it gets real tricky. They are just not practical for beers.
  • The coffee Shop Amateurs: Once The Husband played at an acoustic night at an art studio that supposedly seconded as a coffee shop, they had some very interesting art but their coffee was more interesting, a small, un-busy night I asked ordered a coffee which the guy behind the makeshift counter used the Sunbeam twelve cup coffee pot that was teetering on the side of the counter to brew a pot of the most generic cuppa I have ever tasted. This did not bother me that much because I am not a coffee snob, give me whatever you got, as long as it’s dark and strong. I take it like a pill, its only purpose is to give me life, I am not concerned with the quality. What bothered me was that it took him forty-five minutes to brew a pot of coffee, in a coffee shop…. Dude, you have one job.
  • The Anti-Social Bar: The Husband was playing at a venue that did not have food, and we were starving, so he sent me to the next-door hole in the wall to get some food. This was possibly the smallest, darkest hole in the wall I’ve been to. The door was an actual hole in the wall, I felt like I stepped back into 1978 and there were only three lonely old men sitting on either corner of the bar, and two old ladies running the joint that were not too pleased to see they had customers. Their menu consisted of hot dogs and your basic fried bar foods. A few of their unusual items were cheese and crackers or sardines and crackers, which I know for a fact The Husband loves sardines so I was planning on getting him a side of that but when we got up to order the little ol’ bitty bypassed me. Once I piped up, after she fried up the others’ orders, I ordered a pizza, she huffed loudly and said in a tone only an eighty-year-old woman who’s worked behind a bar for way too long could get away with using, said, “You know that is going to take me twenty minutes?” at that point I knew I pissed her off and was scarred, so I nervously mumbled something like: “Uh… I guess I can get a basket of chicken strips” Then she hobbled over to the fryer whilst lecturing me on how she could have made the strips with everyone else’s. I was so afraid of the lady that I bypassed the canned fish all together, grabbed my food, and booked it outta there. Nothing is scarier than an eighty-year-old bar tender. You know that woman has seen some shit
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None of these pictures are of bars I have been to. I would never disclose the names and locations of these stories because I love my bars. 
  • Ok, so maybe I only have a top four memorable bar moments. I had more but they were all slightly too offensive, even for this blog. So enjoy my stories and maybe if I can think of more I will post a second half to this, or maybe I will forget again, because I am pretty sure most of my brain is made up of mashed potatoes (mmm.. potatoes) at this point in the game.

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