Discovery

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a double wide trailer in Louisiana, I began cultivating my love of music and expanding my music library. I started out on MySpace (But God, didn’t we all?). Of course we’re all exposed to the bands that shape us by word of mouth from friends. And for a minute there was Vampire Freaks delivering new music to me (here’s looking at you, Emilie Autumn).

But now, there’s Facebook and YouTube and Pandora and Soundcloud and so many places you can get your music from and find new artists to play patron to. And one of these places is Twitter.

Yes, with the creation of this blog came a Facebook page, an email, an Instagram (which is mostly blank right now. It’s a dead season for me with shows), and a Twitter account. And if you make it, they will come. So I have seen a nice influx of bands following me on Twitter, most of which I’ve never heard of before.

Of my short time in this little online musical adventure, I have come up with two very important suggestions for anyone who takes their music very seriously:
1.) Make an email specifically for signing up for band newsletters. And check it at least once a week. That’s where the special pre-sale tickets go for some bands (Like the Rob Zombie tickets I scored).
2.) Make a Twitter specifically for following bands. New bands you’ve never heard of will follow you, and when you go listen to them on SoundCloud or YouTube, a lot of the time you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.

To the bands that are following me on Twitter, I HEAR YOU! I SEE YOU! I am taking time to listen to at least 1 song from every one of you. Now, some of you aren’t my cup of tea, which is okay because you’re gonna go follow people who listen and DO like you. But if I’m not digging it, I’m not gonna follow you back. If I DO like you, I’m probably gonna give you a shout out and a compliment and you know you’re gonna love that ego stroke.

So go follow me on Twitter, @ConcertRaven, right now, so you can also be exposed to the rockin’ badass bands that follow me and that I have followed back.

Music on Paper: How To Build A Girl

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Okay, so I want to take a second today to talk to you about our lord and savior, Cthulu a book that I am going to consider required reading material for most females of the human species. It’s by a woman named Caitlin Moran, and it’s called How to Build a Girl: A Novel. It’s this witty, rock and roll, coming of age story set in England. Part of the description on Amazon reads “Imagine The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease. How to Build a Girl is a funny, poignant, and heartbreakingly evocative story of self-discovery and invention, as only Caitlin Moran could tell it.”

A lot of the Brit slang goes over my head, simply because I’m a dirty fuckin’ American, whether I want to be or not. But the rest of the writing is this amazing raw verbiage that just about any girl can relate to. I’ve read too many young adult novels that make me roll my eyes and seriously consider putting the book down because the way the teenage characters think just doesn’t feel genuine. Johanna, the girl being built as referenced by the title, is any girl who comes from a dysfunctional family living the hard knock life. Music is her escape, her one true love. She’s trying to grow up too fast and is fueling it all with records borrowed from the library.

Sometimes the humor in this book is so dry and dead pan, it can’t help but to make you laugh out loud while you try to read quietly at your desk at work. Johanna is 100% authentic, and you can’t help but to love her for all her quirks and enthusiasm.

I don’t want to give any spoilers, so you’re going to have to read this book yourself and fall for it the way I did. This book is for everyone who has had big dreams, for everyone who music plays a big part in their lives.

Let’s Talk SycAmour

Some of you have never heard of the band from Detroit, MI. And all I can say is that I am so sorry it’s taken this long. Pretty soon I’ll have most of you constantly humming Renaissance at work.

My first time seeing SycAmour was in 2013, before they got signed. They were playing with a couple other bands at a small venue in Fort Wayne, IN, that was called Broadripple. I couldn’t tell you who the other bands were that night, because SycAmour made the biggest impact on me. Their stage presence was phenomenal, and after the show Jeremy ran around getting the other guys to sign the poster I bought for me. The guys are so sweet and down to earth, and I personally have a lot of respect and love for a musician who doesn’t let their musical talent go to their head.

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I’ve edited out my ex for privacy reasons.

So, I bought their Obscure EP and a t-shirt and a poster and followed them on Facebook. When suddenly, the call for help went out early 2014. The guys were looking for friends and fans to come help them shoot a music video. So I grabbed a friend and drove from Southern Ohio to Detroit on almost no sleep to help them with their video for Renaissance. That’s right, I am in a music video. Very briefly, and none of my friends even saw me until I pointed myself out (I’m in the black dress with the white polka dots), but I’m still in it, damn it!

Not long after that, we found out the big news… that the boys had gotten signed to Hopeless Records! In a small venue in the basement of someone’s house in Detroit the band threw a signing party, with local Detroit bands playing before they finally did a set for us. Spirits were high, everyone was proud of the guys, and it was just overall a good night.

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That’s Tony up on my friend’s shoulders at the signing party. I’m in the Tripp pants.

Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten the chance to see the guys since. But I’m crossing my fingers hoping they get a tour date near me soon. Because seriously, these guys are amazing. I’m super picky about screaming vocals, and I could listen to SycAmour all day. I use their newest album, Indulgence: A Saga of Lights, to get people hooked. Even my boyfriend, who doesn’t normally like my kind of music, enjoys listening to them. His favorite song from that album is Downpour. I have trouble choosing a favorite, but I’m definitely pretty partial to The Measure.

 

Have you ever heard of SycAmour before? After listening to their music, what songs are your favorites?

In The Beginning…

My first concert was when I was 15. My mom bought tickets for me and her to go see Hurt, Breaking Benjamin, Seether, and Three Days Grace in Shreveport, Louisiana. This kinda sounds like it would have potential, right? Unless you have nose bleed seats at the opposite end of the arena from where the stage is. I completely missed Seether because my mom made me go outside with her while she took a smoke break, and I ended up finding a mutual friend who also had nosebleed seats but much closer to the stage. Mom gave me permission to sit with my friend, who had empty seats next to her, and I watched Three Days Grace with her. All in all, not a terribly first concert, but definitely not what I had expected or wanted. I also have no clue what happened to the Three Days Grace shirt my mother bought me.

My next concert would have been a small one at a local venue in Shreveport, Louisiana that was called Soundstage. All the goth/punk/rock kids that remember that venue are now having serious feels on memory lane right now, I guarantee it. I only got to go once, and the only band I watched was a local one called Built For Speed. The family of the friend who took me was friends with the lead singer. We got the whole band to sign drum heads we’d picked up before the show. I still have mine, actually, hanging in my hallway. I was also told that night that “green eyed girls are the devil”. Thank you for noticing, kind sir with the velvet jacket.

After this we hit a dead spot. My concert going is over for quite awhile, unless you count the high school orchestra concerts I played, which you shouldn’t. I’m doing my best to recall right now, since there’s very little documentation of my first concert experiences. The next ones may be out of order, but that doesn’t really matter too much, to be quite honest.

I had moved from Louisiana to Indiana, but ended up moving back down to the south for an old flame. This is when I saw Mindless Self Indulgence in Dallas, Texas. Their openers were Hyro Da Hero and Ventana. Hyro sounded a bit like Rage Against The Machine, but was still pretty good. He was also one of the sweetest, most humble guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Ventana was actually quite brutal and I was pretty impressed. They were also fairly cool to talk to. But the stage show MSI put on was incredible. I’m a sucker for a good stage presence or an artist who is still humble and good to their fans. And if you have both of those qualities? I’m gonna tell EVERYONE to buy your music, because not many artists can be down to earth like that AND put on a great show. We didn’t really get to meet MSI, but Jimmy Urine signed my ticket. I lost the Ventana shirt I had bought.

Next show is back in Shreveport, at the same place where I saw my first concert. The lineup was Art of Dying, Shinedown, and Evanescence. Now, I had liked Evanescence back in the Fallen album era. But the new shit I’d heard just wasn’t doing it for me. Art of Dying did very well, and I even bought one of their shirts. But Shinedown stole the show. Brent Smith was god damn perfect. But when Evanescence took the stage… she opened with one of her new songs, and immediately I was put off. But I was ready to give her a chance…. until she opened her mouth, and a Valley Girl came out. I was done. We left after the third song.

The next concerts I went to were at a small local venue in Fort Wayne, IN that was called Broadripple. I have no clue if that place is even still open, and it wasn’t all that long ago that we went. This is where we saw The Color Morale, SycAmour (before they got signed), and The Faceless, as well as a slew of other local bands. Pretty sure that’s where I first saw The Astria Porta, who I saw one more time at a local bar before they disbanded (but not before I bought a t-shirt, because SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MUSIC SCENE, KIDS). BUT, the good news is that The Astria Porta has decided to get back together, and we should be seeing some awesome new stuff soon. All in all they were pretty good shows, even if the turn out wasn’t high. But that’s where my love of SycAmour started, and those guys are so freakin’ sweet and talented.

After this, I went to Vans Warped Tour 2013. I took my younger brother and sister, and one of my sister’s friends. This was my first Warped Tour (and only one, so far), but it was their first concert experience ever. I pulled my brother into his first mosh pit during Upon A Burning Body‘s set. I met Jeffree Star, that fucking beautiful work of art who was much sweeter than I had expected him to be, if I’m being completely honest. I heard New Years Day and 3OH!3 and Motion City Soundtrack and The Black Dahlia Murder and Chiodos and a bunch of other bands I can’t even recall anymore. All in all, it was a great experience.

And this is where we’re gonna leave it off for now, because after that I’ve got a whole post about one band coming up. Because when you have limited moneys and you find a band that you KNOW is going to have tickets you can afford and you don’t mind seeing again and again, you fucking go. Every time.

 

So tell me, guys. What was your first concert? What would be your ideal concert lineup? And what artist are you DYING to see live?

Introductions

For all intents and purposes, you can call me Raven.

I’m a mother to a beautiful little girl who I hope will inherit my love of music. Her first concert was when I was 7 months pregnant with her.

 

Life has never allowed me to possess much money. I have had little access to concerts for most of my life. My financial situation, desk job, and parental status make it even harder for me to indulge.

 

In general I prefer small venues to large stadiums, rock music in various genres to most anything else, and I have had more fun going to concerts by myself than when I’ve gone with other people. I have made more friends at concerts that way, and just in general had a better experience when I wasn’t trying to keep track of someone else. But that’s just me.

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