Guest Post: Kanriah from One Red Wall

I was lucky enough to meet Kanriah through Twitter (oh, the magic of Twitter- really!) because of Twookclub, and I’m very happy I did! She is an awesome lady & we’ve had some great internet talks over the last few months that we’ve known each other. I love that she wrote her post about one of my (many) goals, personal stories are always lots of fun to read! Don’t forget to go see what she’s up to on her blog and leave her some love in the comments :)

Blog/Twitter

When I looked at Melissa’s 23 before 23 list I had to smile at number 9. It made me remember when I learned to drive a standard. Coincidently I was 22 when I learned too.

After moving with the military to Germany at 16, I wasn’t in a situation where I needed a license until I was 21. Since my first vehicle was an automatic there was no rush to learn how to drive a standard, and I was okay with this. Until Hubs (though we weren’t married then) went and screwed it all up by getting a truck with a standard transmission.

I did pretty well for a while letting him drive the truck while I drove the van, but it was clear that I’d need to learn at some point. Since he was my only option, Hubs set about teaching me. He’s not known the kind of person you want teaching you anything you won’t pick up on the first try, so this was going to be fun.

The town we lived in at the time was very hilly, so I’d often find myself getting off to a good or bad start depending on whether I was facing uphill or downhill. On one memorable occasion I bounced a full truckload of drywall out of the back of the truck. I’m talking Full Load, not just a few pieces. That stuff is heavy. Luckily it landed flat and it didn’t all break. Another favorite was the time I got stuck at a light going uphill. The traffic behind me stretched the length of the block and around into the heavy 3 lane road at the next intersection. A police officer had to come and stop the traffic at the light so I could get through before the light changed.

I was winning the driver of the year contest. For Reals, yo.
So we took a break from the teaching of the standard for a while.

Then the best thing happened.
Hubs had to go work on Long Island. I wanted to get out of our little town and Hubs was allowed to take me, so off we went. On the way there he had me drive, but on the interstate there isn’t much shifting needed. Then we made it to NYC. He wasn’t able to drive, so I had to.

Imagine with me:
I’m 8 months pregnant and my stomach is Huge. I’m driving a full sized chevy loaded with tools. It’s the middle of the day with traffic everywhere. We had made a wrong turn and were going through Manhattan and trying to find our way. And here I am, making the truck shake and usually die at Every Single Light.

Some people laughed at me, others probably had less kind things to say.

But we made it. All the way to the hotel we’d be staying at. My sister had been following us in my van since she worked with Hubs, so I was able to use my nice, safe, easy automatic minivan while they were at work. But I knew I’d be stuck driving back home.

Luckily it was easier to follow the signs on the way home and I didn’t have to make the detour with all of the lights and traffic. The rest of the way home was more of the same shuddering engine and trying not to kill the truck.

I was at the last toll booth a couple hours from home when Hubs made a comment that made me want to shoot him.

He told me I could hold the clutch down in stop and go traffic, that I didn’t have to let it go completely every time.

……

Really now. The whole time he had been teaching me he was telling me I had to let it go. He never once thought to mention that I could let up and not Release the damn thing. I had driven from West Virginia to Long Island and back. I was almost home, and he finally shared that information with me.

That was the missing piece of information for me. As soon as he said it I no longer had a problem driving a standard. Even up a hill.

Hopefully Melissa has a better teacher and an easier time learning to drive a standard this year.

Just remember: you can ease up on the clutch without letting go if you’re not going very fast. If your teacher doesn’t tell you that it’ll make for a very shaken up Melissa. Good luck!

Guest Blog: Liz from Dance to the Radio

I think today’s guest blogger is the only lady that I personally asked to write something for me because I think she’s THAT awesome (and I really wanted her to share her musical tastes with you all). Liz not only has one of my current favorite Etsy shops, but we have very similar taste in music, which is always a sealed deal of approval in the blogger world for me! It’s no surprise that I love what she wrote & shared for my blog today, happy reading- and listening!

Blog/Twitter

Hello to all of Melissa’s followers! I’m Liz and I blog over at Dance
to the Radio
. One of the reasons I love reading Melissa’s blog so much
is because of our very similar taste in music. So I thought that while
Melissa is off enjoying some sunshine, I would post a spring time mix
to go with some spring fashion inspiration.  Although spring is still
a few weeks away, I am already counting down the days until I can move
my sundresses to the front of my closet.

 {via}

Bright colors and pattern mixing are perfect for the upcoming season.
This color combination is perfection!

And now for a mix…

01. Coney Island – Good Old War
02. Emmylou – First Aid Kit
03. Mean to Me – Ben Kweller
04. Slight Figure of Speech – The Avett Brothers
05. Sandra Partial – Anthony Raneri
06. Generator (Second Floor) – Freelance Whales
07. Vegetable Car – Joshua Radin
08. Blue Skies Again – Jessica Lea Mayfield
09. Don’t Say Oh Well – Grouplove
10. We Don’t Need Our Heads – A Great Big Pile of Leaves

{Listen on Spotify:
http://open.spotify.com/user/liz_kantner/playlist/0LIMFzQooccvJSUfc79sVX}

Guest Post: Isabelle

Today’s post comes from a girl I met in real life because of music. We started going to all the same shows, so it was basically meant to happen that all of our friends would become friends. In the last two years we’ve gone to A TON of concerts together and had some amazing times.

She now works in the music industry and has some really great insight on how it works behind the scenes. I was super happy to have her write me a little blog post about the Montreal music scene and the effect we can have on the industry itself. We could all learn a little something from this- happy reading!

Twitter

When you are 14 years old, your idea of the music industry is that it is unreachable. It is that faraway world where only destined people are admitted into. I attended my first real concert when I was 14. I was counting down the days because I would finally see the band I’ve been listening to for so long. I was confident that I would see them from far, really far, but that I would never get to meet them. I am now 21 years old and I’m still unrealistically in love with that same band. But life changed a lot since that show during the summer of ’05. I learned a couple of things along the way.

Me VS the Music Industry

There is no textbook about the industry. You have to follow your instinct. The first few years, my friends and I only attended shows and then we were going home. Until one day, we made friends and our lives changed pretty quickly. I got to meet that person who would change everything and give me my first chance at being one day an important piece in the game. You need to have contacts. This is really the way it works and you need to work hard. If you want to be a journalist, write anywhere you can. If you want to be a singer, find any opportunity to sing.  Also, if you are like me and you are expecting to have a career in the industry, you seriously have to behave wherever you go as soon as you are surrounded by people working in the business. Especially if you are a woman. When we are standing by a stage, people assume that we are not hanging around for the right reasons. Once you set one foot backstage or in a setting that is anywhere but in the crowd, anything you do is being scrutinized. It doesn’t matter if it is an 8 million records selling band. They will find that blog entry with a huge picture of the guitarist and you posting that you will marry him one day…

Gaga VS The New Cities

I’m worried about the future of the music industry. I always tell my friends that we are 10 years too late. Back then, it was the last years where labels/artists still had money. The illegal downloading wasn’t so bad yet. Every day at work I receive updates. It is not getting better. Sometimes it’s what artists say. Why would you stand on a stage and tell your fans to get your record illegally? You are going to be the one not able to afford food next week. I understand the integrity that you want to show, but it’s not really the way to go. You have to understand that once an artist is signed under a label, the money that they make doesn’t only serve them. People seem to think that it doesn’t matter if you don’t pay for Britney’s or Gaga’s latest releases. You have to understand that Gaga and Brit are signed under a huge label, yes, but that huge label needs money to push smaller artists. For instance, Brit is signed under the same label as The New Cities. Katy Perry under the same as Take the Night. These 2 Montreal bands need the money. It is wrong to think that you are not going to pay for Pitbull latest CD but that you will pay for Marie-Mai. In the end…it’s the same same game.

But I’m hopeful. I know that we can’t live without music. Something will happen. Someone will have the miraculous solution that will save us all. I have no clue yet. But it can’t be just this. It is not true that all of those artists’ hard work  throughout the last 60 years will be lost just like that.

Time flies

I’ve been in the industry officially since June 2010 ( I was a witness since long before that though) and it keeps surprising me. I’m surrounded by people who know so much and who’ve been around since so long. Everybody has a story. Sometimes it’s a party with P!nk, getting to work with the Backstreet Boys or even being in charge of Freddie Mercury. My personal favorite; to bring to John Lennon the tape that would become Give Peace a Chance. There is NOTHING like this. and yay me, proud of a couple of beers with Simple Plan. Time flies.

Trust your instinct. I will never say it enough. I’m talking about music, but it is the same way in any business. If you want something, just go and get it! Work hard for it and make sure you deserve it. If there is one thing I learned, it’s that there’s no such thing as luck. You MAKE your own luck. People tend to be judgmental towards me because I’m extreme and when I love something, I am completely involved in it. But it pays! In the end, I am the one with the job in my field of choice on my way to my dream-job and nothing else. Indeed, all I had to go through wasn’t always glamorous; sleeping on the sidewalk, waiting outside during the first snowstorm of the year, torrential rain TWICE and not mention glorious fall in the sand on the Plains of Abrahams. You never know where you end up. If you would’ve told me when I was 14 years old that the band I was going to see would be first and foremost, really accessible and second some of the first few people to believe in me for real, I would have NEVER believed you. And yet here I am.

Guest Post: Miranda from 101 Things Before You Die

Today’s post is from Miranda who’s blog I love because she’s not only incredibly goal oriented, but we’ve got a lot of the same hobbies! She loves photography, Glee, and trying new things. I love reading her posts about the goals she’s accomplishing, and seeing what kind of fun pictures she has to share every Wednesday.

Looking out on the Grand Canyon. Jealous of her adventures yet?!

I think above everything else, Miranda and I share an incredible passion for music. I can always count on her to check out the bands I talk about and to suggest good stuff for me to listen to. Like me, Miranda has that ONE band that stands out above every other one out there, so it was only natural that this would be her guest post topic of choice. Enjoy!

When Melissa mentioned she was looking for guest posters I was excited not only because I’m a big fan of her blog, but because I’d be able to write a post about one of our shared obsessions: music.

There was a time in my life where I was ignorant of most things music related. While my peers were fully embracing the alternative music scene, I listened instead to Monster Ballads and Madonna (there was also a dark period in my youth that I don’t like to talk about where I listened to the entire Ace of Base album on a loop). That all changed during my senior year of high school when one of my best friends made me promise to listen to his favorite band, Pearl Jam. At this point in time, ‘grunge’ had started to leave the public consciousness and I had remained up until now unaffected except for a couple of flannel shirts in the back of my closet.

So I picked up a copy of ‘Ten’ and listened from beginning to end. When it was done, I started it over and then over again, until I knew every word by heart. I had heard several of the songs on the radio (even my Top 40 ways could not escape ‘Alive’), but hearing it in the context of the album changed my perception. I deconstructed the lyrics trying to understand the opaque references and to try to translate some of Eddie Vedder’s very distinct pronunciation (some might call it mumbling). I started buying the rest of their CDs. I joined the fan club. I read old issues of Rolling Stone and Spin to find out more. In a word, I was obsessed.

But soon I found, that wasn’t enough. Pearl Jam became my gateway drug to a world that I had been ignorant of my entire life.  I started listened to the radio station in my town most likely to play PJ songs. I subscribed to Rolling Stone and Spin magazines. And after a while it was not enough to just listen to Pearl Jam, I had to absorb their references as well. They covered songs by Neil Young, The Ramones, and The Who. I started listening to Neil Young, The Ramones, and The Who. PJ was featured in the Cameron Crowe film, Singles. I became obsessed with everything Crowe did. I started listening to other Seattle based bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Screaming Trees. I bought early releases and bands that members of Pearl Jam were in before (Green River, Mother Love Bone, Temple of a Dog).

There’s a quote in Almost Famous where Anita tells William to ‘Look under your bed. It’ll set you free’. She had placed her favorite albums under the bed for him and that was his introduction to great, life-changing, music. That is what Pearl Jam was for me. I wonder where I would be without Pearl Jam. Would I still love Say Anything if I hadn’t been introduced to Cameron Crowe’s films through Singles? Would I still go to the Bridge School Benefit concert every year if I hadn’t acquired bootleg copies of early performances Pearl Jam did at the Neil Young event? Would I have continued flirting with the boy after he admitted that he loved Creed? I can say that honestly my life would not be the same had it not been for Pearl Jam. And for that I am utterly grateful.

Thanks again Melissa for letting me share the story of how Pearl Jam changed my life. What music, books, movies, or television shows have changed you? And are there any other Pearl Jam fans out there?