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Posts made in: 'South Sound Sidekick' (27) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 27

July 27, 2013 at 10:21am

South Sound Sidekick: How to tell a good story

Elizabeth Lord

South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, South Sound. Today, Elizabeth Lord - a teacher of theater arts and storytelling who lives in Olympia - has advice on how to tell a story.

Elizabeth Lord writes,

Storytelling is something we all do.  It is how we communicate information to those around us.  As a professional storyteller, a professional talker if you will, I tell stories in front of large groups of people all the time and am paid to do so. But most storytelling is not a formal performance affair. It is something that happens at work, at dinner, at a party or any social occasion.  Here are some tips for good storytelling in any situation.

Good storytellers are first and foremost good listeners. They listen to their listeners. They have mastered the art of the "one-way dialogue." It is this skill that leaves audiences not only satisfied but also wanting one more tale.  Pay attention while you tell - are the listeners with you?

No one likes a person afflicted with diarrhea of the mouth:  a person who talks and talks without care or concern for the engagement and interest of those listening.  This is easily avoided.

Tips for good storytelling at any occasion:

Read more...

April 19, 2013 at 11:35am

South Sound Sidekick: Ctrl. Z and how I learned to love reading wave forms

CHRISTOPHER GRAY: When he's not editing audio he's playing some on KAOS FM.

South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, South Sound. It posts every Friday. Today, Christopher Gray, graduate of the The Evergreen State College Audio in Media program and Tom Foote's Literary Journalism Program - and a current DJ at KAOS FM - has advice for finding your way around the audio editing program Audacity.

Christopher Gray writes,

First of all ... relax.  You're probably in a semi-dark room all ready, so you're off to a good start. You're probably working on less than the recommended dose of sleep for an average four-day period, have horrific soda breath and have the outward appearance of and the same methodical obsessive ennui as Ted Kaczynski. While this particular article is intended for the audio DIY'er using open-source Audacity, it really applies to anyone editing anything.  While some editing software can set you back upward of $800 and come with built-in locks that enable it pointless to try and use with other software platforms - I'm looking at you, M-Audio - they all share one attribute, the lovely "non-destructive" status.  What this means is that while you're into your 79th hour of editing the tastiest mix of that one golden, delicious track and you accidentally have hovered and highlighted the most blistering drum section and then, while moving to brush a harmless mosquito off the keyboard, you hit DELETE. Do not panic.  Resist the urge to scream and pull out fistfuls of hair ... simply click command z, and take one step back in the chain of actions you thought you just destroyed. 

Read more...

April 13, 2013 at 8:40am

South Sound Sidekick: How to take care of your skin

STACEY GAVATT: You can seek out her skills at Spa Aneity in downtown Olympia.

South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, South Sound. It posts every Friday - sometimes on Saturday. Today, esthetician and spa owner  Stacey Gravatt has some advice on skin acre for Spring 2013.

Stacey Gravatt writes,

Is your skin feeling dry and dull? Does it have a case of the winter blues? Believe me you are not alone. Winter in the Pacific Northwest definitely takes its toll on us. Chances are this blustery season may have left your skin feeling like a reptile and screaming for attention. Good news is it's nothing that a good Spring Tune up won't take care of.

Skincare 101: Facials are amazing. Fact is, there is nothing like seeking a professional to help you balance your skin and get your glow back on. Most estheticians will offer several customized options to meet your needs without busting your budget. Remember this is the only skin that you have, and it's worth spending a few bucks on.

Read more...

April 5, 2013 at 3:25pm

South Side Sidekick: Spring is hair!

ALLISON STEWART: She will make your dreams come true … as long as your dreams are about having better hair.

South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, South Sound. It posts every Friday. Today, hair stylist and blogger Allison Stewart has some advice on hair styles for Spring 2013.

Allison Stewart writes,

With the onset of spring and summer, you may be looking in the mirror right about now wondering how you ended up with dreadlocks over this past winter, and more importantly, how you're going to transform them into something fresh and inspiring. 

As a hairstylist (in training) and hair blogger, "fresh and inspiring" are two words that are continually circulating in my head. What do those words mean to you? Something new? Something that feels good in your hands; that puts a little extra pep in your step? However those words ring, it's an ideal time to manifest them into something you can wear atop your precious mug. There are so many awesome ways to play with your hair this summer.

It's important to consider your lifestyle during the hot months. If you're like most, you're probably more inclined to go for something low maintenance and easily attainable, yet offers style and charm. And of course, easy at-home-care is essential.

Maybe it's the whole Mad Men thing that's still hanging on, but classical and timeless cuts on men are back. You don't have to wear a suit to pull it off either. Go clean around the ears, starting with a 2-inch guard on bottom and a 3-inch around the ears, blending it with more length on top to slick over or wear a little messy. This style, whether it be with straight or curly hair is a versatile and handsome-as-all-hell cut on men and most importantly, it's really easy to achieve, maintain and style at home. Just get comfortable using clippers and guards.

If you're not comfortable using scissors on top, just stick with a much larger guard to keep that length. You can play around with different guard sizes to find a more suitable length all around if super short isn't your thing. Here's a trick for blending: flip your guard up a half inch (you should have a lever) between the sizes. Blending the length on top with the back and sides may take a little more practice. But hey, the difference between a good haircut and bad haircut (for men) is two weeks. Be brave!  

Ladies, I dare you crawl out of your shell this this summer with some sun kissed highlights. If you're already a blond shade, get some extra light baby blond balayage in that sexy mess. If you're a brunette, try some light caramel-colored highlights. You'll be shocked and pleasantly surprised how much highlighting your hair can offer you an almost complete style all it's own.

When wearing your hair down, highlights give the appearance of thicker texture and more body. If you like to throw it up, it adds a multitude of dimension, making your otherwise messy bun look more intentional. This isn't something I suggest you do at home. But the nice thing about getting highlights in summer, is they will last ALL summer without much need for a retouch. I also encourage some layering, which in summer heat and humidity will give you great body and movement. Also, are you familiar with braids? If not, get familiar. They're summery, feminine, beautiful and easy. 

Going to a high-end salon isn't always necessary to try simple, non-complicated ideas. Beauty schools are a fantastic and inexpensive place to test out simple color and easy cuts, as well as for getting "how-tos" on styles . Just make sure to ask for a senior stylist. For awesome pictures, tutorials and inspiration, visit my blog at bergamotandshears.blogspot.com 

LINK: Parent's guide to raising rock stars

LINK: How to be a scenester

LINK: How to be a bartender

LINK: How to manage a band from your office cubicle without getting fired

LINK: How to tell if you're clown material

LINK: Make film gore with household items

LINK: Parenting advice for punk rockers

LINK: How to improve your photography skills

LINK: Get fit the Dungeons and Dragons way

LINK: More South Sound Sidekick advice

Filed under: Fashion, South Sound Sidekick,

March 29, 2013 at 4:11pm

South Sound Sidekick: Hanging art for Noobs

CHRIS ROSS: The Olympia artist meditates in front of one of his murals.

South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, South Sound. It posts every Friday. Today, Olympia artist Chris Ross has advice on how to hang art in your house

Chris Ross writes,

With Olympia Arts Walk just around the corner, and with the future purchases of Art looming, I thought it would be a good idea to share easy steps to hang art in your home. As a former curator for the Olympia Film Society with years of experience hanging art professionally, and a former gallery owner in Portland, Ore., I'm frequently asked, "How do you hang art work?"

Galleries and museums have a standard height for hanging art in a space for patrons to see. This standard applies well to the home. The average height of all people was determined to be 58-62 inches for eye level. Most institutions use this average because when a viewer of the work walks into a room and sees the piece of art, they don't have to strain up or down to get a good view of it.

Below are steps you can use in your home to hang your new pieces, or to adjust current ones to give balance to all your art work, or even family photos, etc.

1. Determine what wall you want to hang the piece of art.

2. Using a tape measure and a pencil, find the middle of the wall, or the middle of the area you want the piece to hang from. The procedure is done by measuring the distance, dividing by two.

3. Measure out the found distance and mark the wall with a pencil. I use pencils because you can erase the mark.

4. Take your piece of art and turn it over. Measure the height of the piece and dived by two again to find the middle of the piece. Mark the back.

5. Trickiest part, measure the distance from the center of your Art piece to the bottom of the hardware used to hang the work. Typically this is a picture wire.

6. Take this new measurement and add it to 58 inches. So, for instance, if you found the distance from center to the picture wire was 10 inches, your new number would be 68 inches.

7. Back to the wall ... measure from the floor, the total of the two numbers (in our example it's 68 inches) and mark the wall at that height. Where the two marks intersect on the wall is where you will hammer your picture hook. This will guarantee that the center of your artwork is hanging at 58 inches.

Christopher Ross is a working artist in Olympia, Wash. His work can be seen at www.Christophrossart.com

LINK: Parent's guide to raising rock stars

LINK: How to be a scenester

LINK: How to be a bartender

LINK: How to manage a band from your office cubicle without getting fired

LINK: How to tell if you're clown material

LINK: Make film gore with household items

LINK: Parenting advice for punk rockers

LINK: How to improve your photography skills

LINK: Get fit the Dungeons and Dragons way

LINK: More South Sound Sidekick advice

March 22, 2013 at 3:16pm

South Sound Sidekick: Parent's Guide to Raising Rock Stars

KEVIN SMYTH: Hew has advice on how to raise a rock star - tips that may keep you from losing all your hair.

South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, South Sound. It posts every Friday. Today, Kevin Smyth has advice on how to raise a rock star. Smyth teaches history and English at Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup. He knows a thing or two about teenagers - especially ones that want to be rock stars. He's the father of two sons, including Patrick Galactic of the Tacoma band Death By Stars.

Kevin Smyth writes,

When my son was 3 he was already an entertainer singing and dancing on coffee tables to whatever was on MTV or the radio.  It should have been clear to me - even then - that my dream he'd earn his PhD in French medieval history from Stanford was probably illusory. Today he's 33 and playing in a local band poised for commercial success. It's been a long road pitted with potholes for him and me.  I have a few tips that might get you through those early awful years when you're ready to kill them and they're ready to kill you.

1. It's gonna be loud

If your kid's serious they'll want to practice. No, I don't just mean the crap they'll do if they take lessons; they'll want to play all the time. You'll buy 'em a quiet little practice amp, but it won't be enough. They'll rock their siblings' world when you're away. They'll literally drive the pets up the wall. The neighbors will complain. They'll want to practice with their band mates in your garage. My advice: don't surrender, negotiate. Establish some times when it's OK to practice. Have a realistic conversation about noise levels. Determine whether it's even possible for his band to practice in your neighborhood without triggering some horrible homeowner's association sanction. If it is, be sure to take a half rack of really good beer over to your neighbors and be prepared to apologize regularly for the noise. Don't make the mistake of making it so hard your rock and roller feels they can only play at somebody else's house. Keeping your options open means you can keep an eye on your future star. And get earplugs, really good earplugs.

DEATH BY STARS: Patrick galactice on the left. Photo courtesy of Facebook

2. You gotta believe

Becoming a rock star is really hard. There are a whole lotta people saying "No!" You're not good enough! You're not old enough! You don't fit in with our target audience! Your band is full of high school seniors and everyone is going off to college but you. If this is the life they've chosen, it's really tough. So when those moments happen when your kid and his buddies get those gigs, you gotta be there. Even if it's a roach-infested, smoke-impregnated dive, you have to go and show your support. Look, you went to those horrible orchestra concerts in fifth-grade didn't you? All those Saturday morning soccer games standing in the November rain, remember when you were there? These are at least as important, not only to offer confidence, but for head count. Bands only get gigs if they can bring in their peeps. You have to buy their CDs, and you persuade family members and friends to go to shows and buy CDs. But in the end it's worth it to see your kid perform, to see him adored, even if the crowds are small and it isn't Madison Square Garden. 

3. It's not your dream

This was the hardest lesson for me to learn. I teach high school history and English. My son is every bit as smart and a better writer than me. I dreamed of him getting into a great school and using his amazing mind to be, well, amazing with his first rate education. His dream was to be Thom Yorke or Gene Simmons or Kurt Cobain. We had heated arguments about all the important questions - why, when, how, you name it and the answers were never satisfactory. The more we pressed, the more strident the rebellion became. "What if you don't make it, what if you can't be a rock star, what's your back up plan?" That was my favorite question. Every time I asked it was like lighting a match near a leaking gas main. I still have scars. But the bottom line is my son has given himself a solid education about the profession of being a musician. He's taught himself to play multiple instruments; he's learned the business of band management and understands the marketplace of live music in the Puget Sound region. He's developed an outstanding work ethic. It's important to have dreams, and I'm proud that he stuck to his.

4. Be the parent, but be patient

I know what you're thinking. How could you let your kid bulldoze you? I'd never let mine get away with this. That's a fair criticism. It's critical that you act like a parent to set effective limits. Drug and alcohol use are not OK. You have to finish school. You want a new guitar, a new amp - that swell new effects box? How are you going to pay for it? Bring your budding superstar into the conversation, set some guidelines and limits you both can agree to and enforce them, with logical consequences when they cross the line. But let go of the silly things. Hair length and hair color? That's big, really? Clothing? Do you want people telling you what to wear on your own time? Offer your help to transport your rocker and his equipment. Your support will buy lots of good will. If he was playing in the Northwest Sinfonietta, or playing for a U-17 select soccer team would you say no? Expect there will be bumps along the way. Kids are kids. They make mistakes including poor choices. Hold him accountable, but don't give a death sentence. Your patience will pay dividends down the road.

Though my plan for my son was to get a really good education, my dream was always that he would have choices to do whatever he wanted to do in his life. Education can help you do that. Talent and determination can do that for you too. I always planned to attend his Stanford commencement, watch him walk up and take his diploma and scream in delight with the whole family. Last week I sat in my empty classroom and listened to the radio as his band played live on the Bob Rivers show in front a hundred thousand listeners. They never sounded better; he was living his dream and I couldn't have been more proud.

LINK: How to be a scenester

LINK: How to be a bartender

LINK: How to manage a band from your office cubicle without getting fired

LINK: How to tell if you're clown material

LINK: Make film gore with household items

LINK: Parenting advice for punk rockers

LINK: How to improve your photography skills

LINK: Get fit the Dungeons and Dragons way

LINK: More South Sound Sidekick advice

March 15, 2013 at 11:27pm

South Sound Sidekick: How to take care of your back and rectum

DR. SOREM: He practices the plank position whenever he can.

South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, South Sound. It posts every Friday. Today, Chiropractic physician Monti Sorem, DC, CSCS, EMT-IV, NSCA - who works at Elite Sports and Spine in Bellevue - has back care advice.

Monti Sorem writes,

Whether you are an office worker for the state, the local bartender at your favorite downtown watering hole, a weekend warrior, or over-the-hill class champion, you will experience back pain at some time. 

Depending on activities of daily living, fitness levels and anatomical structure put more at risk than others. Having back pain occasionally is normal, but when it becomes chronic and affects your everyday life, work or sport, than it is an issue. When there is transient pain after activity, it is a signal that your muscles and joints are giving in. If you are in pain, stop doing what you did or train your body to handle what you put it through. 

What you DO NOT want to do is try to cover up chronic pain, ignoring it, then go to lift the case of beer that just got delivered to the back door and prolapsing your rectum. OK, so that is an extreme case but it could happen. Some more common injuries are to the ligaments to the spine, muscles of the spine and the intervertebral discs - the cushion between the spine bones.  Believe you me; you don't want a disc injury. In my professional life these are difficult cases and everyone has a very individual experience with pain and disability. Once that disc is injured, you will have continued problems in the future and realistically your spine is a ticking bomb. 

So here it my short version of advice to take care of your back and rectum for that matter:

  • First thing upon waking, before getting up to relieve yourself, do the cat camel exercise shown in the video below.
  • Think about your movements. That is, be deliberate with them as opposed to mindless movement, especially with moving objects such as picking up the garbage bag or picking up kids.
  • Yes, the old saying "bend with your knees" is still kind of relevant, but really keep your back straight and hinge at the hips (helps to stick your butt backward).  I call this giving yourself a J-Lo booty.
  • Do a few movements to work on core strength when the commercials come on of your favorite TV show.
  • Watch my favorite low back expert Dr. Stuart McGill and this web video.  Yes he does have a mustache that reminds you of a 70s adult film star, but info is great.

LINK: How to be a scenester

LINK: How to be a bartender

LINK: How to manage a band from your office cubicle without getting fired

LINK: How to tell if you're clown material

LINK: Make film gore with household items

LINK: Parenting advice for punk rockers

LINK: How to improve your photography skills

LINK: Get fit the Dungeons and Dragons way

LINK: More South Sound Sidekick advice

March 8, 2013 at 2:52pm

South Sound Sidekick: How to become more scenesterish

JABI SKRIKI: He's an Olympia scenester. Press photo

South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, South Sound. It posts every Friday. Today, Olympia musician and "scenester" Jabi Shriki asks the Olympia community to support local music.

Jabi Shriki writes,

There was tough competition this year in the category of "Best Scenester" in the Weekly Volcano's 2013 Best of Olympia issue. I can't tell you how much pride I feel in knowing that I'm scenesterer (more scenestery (?)) than any other scenesters out there.

To be honest, I'm still not sure what a "scenester" is. When I got the award of "Best Scenester," I wasn't even sure that it wasn't a pejorative term. But for some reason, after winning this award for two years in a row, I've come to embrace this recognition, despite my lack of certainty as to what the term "scenester" means. Maybe I'm embracing it because of the irony that it entails in the context of my life. To me, a "scenester" is someone who fits or at least tries to fit into a certain scene. For at least one, brief phase of my life (from the age of 0 to the foreseeable future), I've had the experience of being too socially awkward to even try to make any scene.

When I was a high school kid, I once made a graph of how likely other kids were to have their lunch money stolen, based on their proximity to me in the cafeteria. I was at the peak of the graph.

I didn't realize until later that the construction of graphical representations of my predicament were probably only exacerbating said predicament. I would think that this kind of biographical experience would disqualify me from being a scenester in any setting.

But my goal isn't to explain why I've embraced my scenesterosity. Instead my goal for this article is to aspire others around me to become more scenesterish. I'm a musician too, and I'm very proud of my music, but Olympia doesn't just need musicians, it also needs scenesters.

Since my move to Olympia, I've heard countless, original songs by my fellow, local musicians that I can only call manifestations of musical genius. I've had songs from my fellow Olympians stuck in my head for weeks on end. I've been consoled by the music on homemade tapes and CDs that folks have handed to me at their shows.

But as often as I've been impressed by the musicians I've met, I've just as often been shocked to be among audiences of only a couple of other fans. I've watched many passionate, moving performances, from nearly empty rooms. This leads me to a conclusion that makes me a little sad: the Olympia music scene is languishing.

Music is important in any community, but in Olympia in particular, the pride that local folks feel is deeply rooted in the music that gets created here. Even people who have no involvement in the Olympia music scene boast about how wonderful it is, although many of them haven't been to a show in years.

As a result of this passive form of pride, the music scene is growing increasingly asthenic from under-nourishment. Some of the best venues are closing, and other venues are becoming more interested in selling cheap beer than supporting great music.

Last year, I met Jeff Campbell, a gifted singer-songwriter from Northern California. He's toured the Pacific Northwest dozens of times to play shows in Portland and Seattle. When I met Jeff, he told me how he had driven through Olympia dozens of times without ever doing a show here. A few months ago, I booked Jeff at his first Olympia show, with Elbow Coulee and AKA and the Heart Hurt Goods. Last week, Jeff won the national Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter competition, out of thousands of musicians who submitted their music.

This Friday, March 8, the Family Crest, from San Francisco, will be playing their first show in Olympia at the Metcalf Manor. They're one of the best, live, acoustic bands that I've ever seen anywhere, ever. But they've also driven through Olympia dozens of times without ever booking a show here. The fact that other, regionally well-known musicians are increasingly skipping over Olympia to do shows in Portland and Seattle is further evidence of the growing anemia of our music scene.

And what is the cure for this anemia? The cure is scenesters.

The musicians in Olympia need folks at shows. Instead of posting on Facebook that there's no good music being made anymore, take a few hours out of every couple of weeks and take in a show. Pick up a CD. I promise, there's enough good music in Olympia that your investment of time and a few bucks will be repaid with music that will become a part of your heart and soul.

So shake off your passive pride. And stop complaining about the sterile pop churned out by the corporatized national music industry. Most of the bands on the radio couldn't find Olympia on a map. But Olympia is your town. It's where you live, and your emotions are echoed in the music that's being created all around you by your neighbors and friends. Go see a show. There's plenty of room for more scenesters in Olympia.

As much as I would love to three-peat winning the prestigious Best Scenester title, I would be more than willing to cede my title to the legion of would-be scenesters that could pump new blood into the heart of the Oly music scene. Thanks to the Weekly Volcano for this recognition, and for asking me to write this article!

LINK: How to be a bartender

LINK: How to manage a band from your office cubicle without getting fired

LINK: How to tell if you're clown material

LINK: Make film gore with household items

LINK: Parenting advice for punk rockers

LINK: How to improve your photography skills

LINK: Get fit the Dungeons and Dragons way

LINK: More South Sound Sidekick advice

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GET THE AFTERNOON DELIGHT NEWSLETTER

The Weekly Volcano’s Afternoon Delight newsletter features breaking news, stories, calendar picks and more sent directly to your inbox Monday-Friday. It’s completely free to subscribers, but costs $10,000 if you don't like it. You will like it. It's sweet and sour and makes you pucker and swoon. Sign up here:

March 2, 2013 at 8:32am

South Sound Sidekick: How to be a bartender

NIKKI MCCOY

South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, South Sound. It posts every Friday (sometimes Saturday!). Today, we turn to the Weekly Volcano's own. Nikki McCoy has tended bar for more than a decade. She's seen it all. If you're thinking about becoming a bartender, you better read this column.

Nikki McCoy writes,

I've been tending bar for more than 10 years. I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. I will probably serve your kids their first drink. I promise I will be easy on them.

If you want to know how to bartend, don't go to some academy - go to the bar.

You must know how to drink in order to make drinks for others. It's called quality control, and if a customer wants to know what a drink tastes like, you have to be able to tell them. Try it all, from Scooby Snacks (coconut rum, melon liqueur, cream and pineapple juice, shaken and strained) to straight shots of fine, aged scotch. Based on these criteria, and his recent column, "Dear Drink," Pappi Swarner would make a fine bartender.

You must also be able to be quick on your feet, sharp with your tongue and know the phone numbers of at least three different cab companies.

Also, try and be nice. I know there are a lot of a-holes out there, but just keep calm and carry on. We actually have a fortune cookie fortune taped to the bar's cash register that says, "Keep smiling. See how far it takes you."

Please don't do drugs. Sometimes there can be a plethora of drugs available at a bar. That doesn't mean you have to do them. You have enough to keep up with trying all those drinks, plus your day-to-day life. So, if someone offers, do yourself a favor and pass. Again, it helps to remember to keep calm and carry on.

Do dance behind the bar. Flirt with your co-worker, tell jokes, and dance when your favorite song comes on the jukebox, it helps lighten the load and often, your mood helps dictate the mood of the bar.

Speaking of co-workers, cover for them. While I mean that in all senses of the word, I'm specifically referring to their shifts. You never know when you'll have an emergency hangover day or wedding to attend that you'll want to cash in on, plus it shows the boss you care about business.

Don't ask people out when on shift. I know a bartender who rules his life by this motto. If they stay until your shift ends, then you have the green light.

Keep up to date on your licenses: liquor, food-handler's and driver's. You could be asked for any one of these by a person of authority at any time.

Finally, learn how to make a decent handcrafted cocktail. Any Joe can pour rum and coke in a glass. Do you and your customers a favor (remember, they pay the bills) by having a specialty drink on hand that involves, muddling, layering, building and/or chilling a glass.

Cheers!

LINK: How to manage a band from your office cubicle without getting fired

LINK: How to tell if you're clown material

LINK: Make film gore with household items

LINK: Parenting advice for punk rockers

LINK: How to improve your photography skills

LINK: Get fit the Dungeons and Dragons way

LINK: Roommate advice

LINK: Marijuana smoking advice

LINK: How to harvest geoducks

LINK: Music business advice

LINK: First tattoo advice

GET THE AFTERNOON DELIGHT NEWSLETTER

The Weekly Volcano’s Afternoon Delight newsletter features breaking news, stories, calendar picks and more sent directly to your inbox Monday-Friday. It’s completely free to subscribers, but costs $10,000 if you don't like it. You will like it. It's sweet and sour and makes you pucker and swoon. Sign up here:

February 22, 2013 at 8:09pm

South Sound Sidekick: How to run your band at the office without getting fired

THE OFFICE: Should you check your reverbnation.com page at work?

South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, South Sound. It posts every Friday. Today, BandBoi87 has advice on how to manage your band from your office cubicle and not get caught.

BandBoi87 writes,

Disclaimer: The methods described in this column are based on the personal experience of BandBoi87.  All information contained herein is not guaranteed to work for anyone else.  If you don't have access to a computer or smartphone at work you are fucked.  If you don't have autonomy at your job you are fucked. But if you are smart and don't act like a greedy pig ... it just might work.

I work a stupid job because my awesome band makes shitty money. I want the band to succeed but I also want to pay my bills and eat food regularly. This is some advice for how to run your band out of your 9-5 job without getting fired.  I'll be spewing more of this on Twitter @bandboi87 so go there.  More important than any one of these tips ... USE COMMON SENSE.  If it feels like a bad idea to work on your band's bio when you're racing to meet a deadline at work ... it probably is.

1. Use timed posting devices on social media sites.

Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress and many other social networking sites allow you to time the release of your posts.  So instead of waiting until the coast is clear at your job then Net-bombing the entire planet, you can plan your posts the day before or even weeks beforehand.  This is especially helpful for Twitter, where you can post all day long, say nothing, and yet feel as though something was accomplished.

2. Use your phone as much as possible.

If you have a smartphone, use it.  If you don't, get one.  If you need to send an email to a booker or check in on the status of your press kit, DO NOT send it through your work email.  There are so many reasons why this should be obvious but I'll explain.  Your band looks stupid if you're sending emails from your work email. Period. Nothing says "clueless weekend warrior" faster than this.  Unfortunately I've seen it happen! Your company can monitor your Internet and email usage any time.  Don't log in to company Wi-Fi with your phone or laptop either. Use your data plan and stay discreet.

3. Be nice at work.

This should be obvious. When you are operating like this, you can't be a prick. I mean, you CAN be a prick but you will be weeded out quickly. Treat your colleagues like gold, make them laugh, bring in food and make them truly like you. People who like you will cover your ass, overlook your wandering focus and possibly love your band if you treat them right.

4. Don't be a greedy pig.

Yes, your job sucks. Yes, they put a lot of pressure on you and it takes up a lot of the time you could be creative. But they are paying you to be there. Presumably, they'd like you to give a shit. Don't spend all your work time doing stuff for your band. Your colleagues, even the ones who support you, will lose patience when you make them wait to complete a task or don't follow through. Make sure you cover your bare minimums at all times. You want to be invisible. The fewer questions asked the better!!!

5.  Don't EVER call in sick after a gig.

So your band played a great set, sold a bunch of T-shirts and stayed till the end of the show, getting home at 3 a.m. ... and you have to get up at 6 a.m. for work! Do it. Nothing will ostracize you from your job quicker than unplanned absences that are clearly related to your band. With Facebook, Twitter, and so many other ways for people to check on you, make sure you're not giving them a reason to doubt you. 

Managing a band is a lot of work.  It can be done effectively at your 9-5 job but it's important to respect the people you work for. It's also important to realize that this is just the beginning.  If you achieve one-tenth of the success you're expecting, you will end up working much harder along the way! Treat people right, don't slack and it may just work out.       

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