Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Month of Parties

...seriously. First we have a show on Saturday. Then we have 4th of July. Then Brian's birthday on the 7th. Even though he's going to be celebrating his birthday ALL MONTH. Then Hayden's birthday on the 21st even though he'll be celebrating his birthday all month as well!
So yeah, I'm a party planning monster right now.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

School of Hard Rocks: Lesson 4 : There is a such thing as Too many shows

There was this band in Sacramento who booked my first band Shovelfist on a show and told me not to book anything else within two weeks of that show. I informed them we already had a show booked within two weeks of that show so they dropped us off the bill. At first I was pissed, that show was gonna be sick and then had an AHA! moment.
We were having trouble getting people out to all our shows because we were playing too many shows.
When a band is first starting out with shows, you just want to play every night of the week. You want everyone in your scene to hear your shit so you can start to gain a crowd.
That's fine when you're starting out, but when you've been playing out for like 7 months or so you need to back off.
Once you have a following, once your fans have heard your set twenty times, its time to book shows less often.
At that point you want to offer your fans quality shows maybe once a month, instead of the same kind of shows every weekend. If you play every weekend why should they come out THIS weekend?
Work on new songs, think up unique marketing ideas to draw more people out to your fewer amount of shows.
This is also the time to head out to other cities or towns nearby to expand your fan-base. Make sure you network or trade with good bands in those areas that will help you find good clubs to play. Nobody likes paying $200 in gas, $150 for a hotel to play for the eight people in the other bands on that show at some shit bar in BFE.
So yeah, play less shows in your hometown and more people will come out, unless your band sucks and then I really can't help you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sappy=My top Guilty Pleasure Movies

When my hormones screw with my emotions and I'm a puddle on the couch I pour myself an adult beverage and click on the Netflix instant. Horror, action, and comedy's are my favorite but every girl (no matter how metal, punk, or anti-pink you are) has movies they'd only watch alone.

These are my top ten Guilty Pleasure Movies.

Practical Magic
This is a sweet story of sisters, love, and passion mixed up with some magic. I love the house they live in. It's a beautiful Victorian on an island. A kind of dream home for me since I was a kid. I can put this movie on anytime and be into it like I was watching it for the first time.

Chasing Amy
I love the dynamic in Holden & Alyssa's relationship mentally and physically. It's complicated and real. It isn't a happy ending romance but one we can all learn from. Friendships, past mistakes and sexual identity all make it complex and unique.

Johnny Depp is exceptionally hot and romantic in this movie, but it also displays an independent woman changing lives around her for the better and overcoming obstacles in a great way.

The Time Traveler's Wife

I love the dynamic in Clare and Henry's relationship in this film as well. They have to overcome a unique obstacle that hinders them every step of the way, yet they love each other so much it's all worth it. The cinematography and the acting are both beautiful.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Another film that has amazing cinematography and acting. The story is so quirky and unique. One of Jim Carrey's best roles ever.

High Fidelity
All time top five movie fave. Unfortunately one of my least fave actresses (Catherine Zeta Jones) plays Charlie (the ultimately unattainable perfect girl). This isn't the typical directed-for-estrogen-consumption romantic comedy and caters to both the male ego and the female emotion. It deals with fear of commitment, love for music and maintaining a contemporary relationship.

He's Just Not That IntoYou
This is the movie that made every woman that watched it say DUH! Well at least it should have. It made me re-evaluate what I thought I deserved from of my relationship.  Luckily I wasn't in the dating world long enough to be tortured by most of the dating cliche's this movie touches on. I think it's sweet and of course has the full circle of relationship evaluations but most of all it makes women see how crazy it is to obsess over a guy who isn't working hard enough to woo them.

Can't Hardly Wait
This movie came out the year I graduated high school. While in the midst of saying farewell to the life I had loved so much I connected with Preston's anxiety and feeling of regret at not attempting to reach for his goals sooner. It's still one of the funniest movies about high school that came out in the late 90's

I love everything about this movie. I believe it totally started a revolution of awkward comedies from Apatow, but also touch all us late twenty-somethings who dealt with similar situations in high school. It's typically a dude flick, but I can watch this over and over again.

Love, magic, witches, etc. A fantasy film for sure, but a beautifully  put together whimsical fairy tale.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jaymay - You Are The Only One I Love

Blah Day

I wrote three different posts today. Then deleted each one. I really didn't think it would be a good idea to post them after I read them.
I just feel really blah. Unmotivated and a little down I guess.
It's not that I had a bad day or anything, just feeling pretty melancholy this last week.
I'll just leave you with this quote from Swami Sivananda
“Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.”

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Things I loved this last week:

♥ All our friends for coming out to Diablos last Thursday and supporting us as we rocked the roof!
♥ My awesome striped tights I wore for that show!! (HotTopic $8)
Being a part of my friend Juliannes' big day!
♥ The weather being hot enough for me to enjoy pool time!
♥ Hayden hugs me and tells me I'm the best!
♥ This sweet ass nail file I got!
♥A beautiful bouquet of Stargazer Lillies, making my house smell awesome!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

School of Hard Rocks: Lesson 3 : The Value of Merch

So once you've made your fliers and promoted your show you should have more than your good looks and music to sell to your fans, friends, strangers.
All bands struggle with cash at the beginning (or for years). We play some shows for free, we pay some shows were we have to sell forty $12 tickets to our friends to then hand over that $480 to a promoter who doesn't even give us a drink tab (we'll visit that robbery in a future post), and without something to sell we won't make any money at all to at least cover our gas.
All ages shows are always the best shows to sell merch. We played a couple all ages venues in Northern California where we would sell out of merch almost every show. One time we sold over $280 worth of merch that we paid $70 for.
We were the only band who had merch at that show and watched the other bands kick themselves in the ass for not being better prepared.

We play with so many bands who don't even have stickers to give out.
Without these marketing tools how to you expect to be remembered?
Sure your music should be good enough people will like it but if you're playing a show with 5 other bands who are all good, you should have stickers, t-shirts, and any other type of merch with your name on it for people to take home.
Tshirts are an investment. You usually pay about $75 for 12 shirts and can turn around and sell them for $10 each, making $120. With that you can buy MORE shirts or put that into recording costs.
Stickers are an expense. You can buy stickers for about $30 for 250. You shouldn't sell stickers. They should be handed out for free.
Unique Merch like thong underwear, lighters, patches, hoodies, tanktops are what make your band stand out. Giving people options is always a better way to make more money.
I know a lot of bands who just don't want to spend the money on getting merch, but these bands are also complaining when they walk away from a show with no money. You gotta spend money to make money!
And just like fliers merch should be looked at as art. You're selling your fans a piece of art representing your band that will hopefully make people say" Wow, thats a sick ass shirt! Where did you get that?"
Utilize your or your friends' creativity.

Resources: Most places have screen printing shops that offer packages for bands or small businesses. Google that shit.
There are also A LOT of online print shops that cater to bands.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer!

This is Hayden's Summer before Kindergarten and I'd like to make it as awesome as possible for him, and the whole family.

10 things I want to do this Summer:

1. Go Camping- Hayden has been talking about camping for over a month now. I promised him we would go so of course I will have to deliver in the next few weeks or he'll go ballastic.

2. Go to the Beach- I really want to spend a day on the beach in California. I miss our Summer days at the American River, Muir Woods and Stinson Beach. We don't live far from (4 hours) from Los Angeles and really have no excuse (other than money) for not going.

3. More Swimming-Hayden has recently started to LOVE swimming. We plan on going to the pool often and now he's old enough to not let us slack on it.

4. Picnic- I long to have a sweet family picnic.

5. Scrapbooks- With changes happening in my band, I need to get caught up on the band scrapbook and I need to get caught up on Hayden's book. This really can be done anytime of year but is something I need to nail down soon.

6. More plants-Our house in Sacramento had a beautiful garden full of plants we both loved. Our current house doesn't have a yard but I have been trying to find potted plants that can withstand the Vegas heat. Hayden needs to learn about plants and their awesomeness at the same time.

7. Craft- Along with the band scrapbook, I need to get caught up on my crafts. I have projects half started and an office that desperately needs organizing.

8. Bike- I have a bike stashed at my dad's house collecting dust. I really need to get off my butt and either get a bike I will ride or skateboard. I miss the days when I was a kid spending all hours on my bike or skateboard. Hayden doesn't ride yet. He doesn't really have a rideable bike but we're hoping to remedy that this month.

9. Drive In- We still haven't been to the Drive Ins and our lack of motivation is starting to get annoying.

10. Popsicles- When I was a kid my mom made these awesome Kool-Aid pops in the freezer! I need to do this for Hayden. No summer is complete without home-made pops.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Redux: Rocking, Wedding, Papa's Day

Thursday night we played a Band Battle at Diablo's Cantina on the Strip. We won, and had a blast with our friends who came out to support.

Friday I relaxed with my boy and chatted, drank wine with my friend Brandy.

Saturday we attended the beautiful wedding of my beautiful friend of 15 years Julianne.

Sunday we barbequed with my dad and helped him set up a big above ground pool.

This photo by Roger Ho

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

School of Hard Rocks: Lesson 2: The Valuable Art of Fliers

Last Week's Lesson discussed the fact that Not everyone will like your band and you can't make them. This week's lesson touches on the importance of promoting your band with fliers in a world where internet promotion is king.

In the state of today's music world the biggest place to promote is online of course. Facebook is the hottest thing, second is Twitter, third is your own website, fourth is, and fifth is a free Craigslist music listing.
There are seriously dozens of resources for every local band that don't always get utilized.
With everything being so digital most bands have lost the love for fliers or gig posters. Each show should have a flier, if you're disregarding this as old school you're losing out on a powerful way to gain fans.
Don't you (directed towards everyone over 21) remember the first time you saw a flier in a music shop, coffee shop, or tattoo parlor with your favorite band on it and thinking "WOW, I'm gonna snag this and keep it forever!"
Most of us have a stash of those type of fliers along with ticket stubs.

How the hell do you gain fans with fliers??
Each flier needs to be looked at as a piece of art. A PIECE OF F-ING ART!
Not a piece of paper with band names listed in different fonts but an awesome, eye catching art piece that someone will hold on to for months after the show or some new music fan will look at and think "WOW, this is sweet! I wanna go check these bands out!"

Example of a BAD flier that won't get anyone's attention:

An Example of a KICK ass piece of art that will make people want to come check out your band:
If you doubt the value of gig poster art check out this amazing site I've been a member of for years.
You can always find artists, graphic artists (like myself)or friends who are just handy at cutting and pasting stuff together to make amazing  fliers within your music scene. Most musicians are artistic in other ways beyond instruments. Utilize these resources.  
Once you have a kick-ass flier print out enough to spread all over your town, hand out at other shows, and keep on hand at your show for people to grab as a keepsake or something.  If you're not willing to do more than send out a facebook invite you're shooting yourself in the foot.
As seen on even HUGE bands who have sold out crowds have artists create gig posters for their shows. 
So GET ON IT! Make fliers, hand them out and post them up!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Coffee Talk: Feminism, Immaturity Trending, and A Bad Woman Rapper

I dove head first into some blogs today that discussed a few different topics I felt the need to share here:

+ I believe that everyone has the right to wear their personality proud and we all have certain bits of our childhood we've held on to as adults. For instance, I love me some video games. But this article from Julie Klausner discusses the latest trend of immaturity amongst women. I feel that it's a study in bashing women for being themselves instead of an educated rant about the trend. I mean really we all know these types of women, and we all know MOST of them are 100% into kittens, cherry chapstick, and bright pink tutus. Some of them ARE this trend and some of them are just trying to be trendy. More educated is this rant on The Daily Beast by Tricia Romano which addresses the new websites aimed at women being more girly than womanly. I'm not a fluffy kitty, Mickey Mouse ears, pink loving kind of chick, but the sites I read and the magazines I see are all full of that trend.

When I started my blog I was looking for sites that discussed women with bands and kids and didn't find one. NOT ONE. Where's a blog that I can RELATE with? I read blogs of all topics, right now I'm drowning in pregnancies (or new babies), weddings, and fashion in the circle of blogs I read, but there isn't one I can find that covers juggling motherhood, marriage and being a musician. If you know of any send them my way!

+ This article from The Crunk Feminist Collective discusses this artist (who before this article I hadn't heard of) Kreayshawn who is apparently blowing up all over. Not only is she NOT rapping she's NOT talented and looks like a production some wanna-be hip hop producer threw together to attract the hipster/dupstep kids. Not only is she demeaning and objectifying black women she's a poor example of a white woman rapper as seen in this video.

And as I said in the above paragraph "I believe that everyone has the right to wear their personality proud" but is this really her personality or is this a gimmick to make dough?

Little rocker


Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend Redux

Friday evening our friend Jimmy came in with his son Blue to spend the weekend. 

Saturday night I got to see my two favorite bands at the Joint in the Hard Rock.
The Deftones & Dillinger Escape plan.

Our Sunday was spent playing pinball at the Pinball Hall Of Fame, relaxing at the Pool, and then barbecuing and drinking strawberry daiquiri's 
This was an AMAZING weekend.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

School of Hard Rocks: Lesson 1.

I didn't go to college. My "college" was singing for a band at 20. I'd like to call it the School of Hard Rocks.
I've learned a lot in my eleven years in this school. Sure I haven't quite graduated to actually getting paid to play music, but I'm a pro at being in an unsigned band.
I started writing about these lessons in 2007 when I had my magazine Fringe. I figured since I have a decent amount of readers who are musicians here I could revisit these valuable insights. And I was told I need to write about band stuff more.

So the first lesson about being in a band that comes to mind is
Not Everyone is Going to Like you, and You Can't Make Them!

Metal is not for everyone. Most of my friends don't like metal at all. None of my family likes metal.
Even people who like metal may not like us because of the type of "metal" we are.
When .bipolar. had been together for only a year, we won a Sammie award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Band.
Before we won and the nominations were announced a barrage of negativity was posted on a metal news website forum that I frequented. I got bashed big time. I had never been bashed, criticized and made fun of like that before. It was public for friends, fans, and fellow musicians to read. I took it very personal. It caused me a lot of stress and made me re-evaluate standing on stage pouring my heart out.

I dealt with this for a couple years. I lost friends due to the things said on the site and lies were spread on why our guitar and bass players quit shortly before we won and about me as a person.  I had a hard time not taking these kind of things personally.
Brian had experience in this stuff and tried to convince me that bad press was better than no press. It took me a while to realize this.
I've since learned to let bad reviews, negative comments, or jealous assholes not stop me from doing what I love because there's always people who WILL like us.
We've played a lot of shows and after eleven years of shows I know we're not everyone's cup of tea. For every guy with crossed arms and rolling eyes in the back of the bar there's a headbanging guy with horns in the air in the front of the stage.
There are a lot of bands who get offended when they get bad reviews or when people say they don't like their band and retaliate or start fights over it. Being criticized is the risk you take when you get on stage. We've ALL seen bands we don't care for and we've all seen bands we absolutely LOVE. We've all made negative comments about bands and we've all heard negative comments about our own band. Retaliating and fighting over that just makes you an asshole. It's another risk of the game. We all just need to remember,
Not Everyone is Going to Like you and You Can't Make Them!

Monday, June 6, 2011


On Friday when Hayden and I had our "date" we discovered this amazing park a few blocks from our house. I had driven by it numerous times but never knew it's awesomeness until we stepped foot on the beautifully lush grass, barefoot. We played at the park three days in a row. The whole family, yes even Barley who ran a million laps around the field.
Hayden loves it so much he even wants to have his birthday party there instead of at the Chuck E Cheese, thank goodness!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Play date night

We played at the park, sight saw on the strip and played pinball at the pinball hall of fame. He asked me, "Mom, are we on a date?" and I answered "Sure!"
"I love dates with you!" he said.