Everyone has a favorite artist, but what makes that artist a favorite? Bands have their music, their personality, the way they treat fans, how they handle interviews, if they use twitter/update their blogs ETC. There are many reasons to love a band, or to even become an obsessive fan (like myself), but let’s break down the basics.
A band has a responsibility to its fans: to keep them updated on their progress, keep churning out music that makes themselves happy and their fans, and to look good or be silly. If a band creates awesome music, that’s fantastic…but if they create awesome music AND treat the fans well/have alluring personalities they’ll attract more fans. Take for example Darren Hayes, formerly of Savage Garden, now solo artist talks to his fanclub members via chat every sunday night; Fueled By Ramen artists have twitters to keep the fans updated. It’s great when a band can keep in close contacts with the fans, makes them seem grateful to know that their fans are so supportive of their music.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had obsessions with artists or bands because of their music AND their personalities. Like meeting a your favorite band member of your favorite band at a show, you already know so much about them that your meeting is like the greatest gift you can receive. If your life revolves around your love for The Beatles meeting Paul McCartney would be one of the highlights of your very existence!
Music not only offers support for times in need, it also gives you a completely different world to distract yourself with – to get away. It’s also a gateway for meeting new people – say I like the Jonas Brothers…well over a million screaming girls can relate to me, I could meet new people through their music. If music didn’t exist, would civilization be as successful, as modern? Music will always serve as a haven for everyone and that’s why it’s important for bands to realize that their fans are their safety net and by reaching out for them they’re furthering the human to human interaction, enhancing today’s culture!
A favorite band is a Favorite because of the attachment you get to them, because even though you may not know them personally they give you an emotionally security blanket to help you get through most or any situation. And everyone knows there’s nothing better than listening to your favorite band!
The economy has taken a rough turn in the past few years, most notably this year and music magazines are starting to feel the heat. Is it because the internet makes it so much easier to read music news or because having a physical magazine is a hassle? I personally love getting a magazine, especially if my favorite band is on the front cover (or in it at all). In my experience as a bandom fangirl, I’d like to recommend a few magazines that really hit you with the latest music.
- The best magazine I’ve ever read
- Covers music, fashion, video games, anime, movies, anything band related, gadgets etc
- Album reviewers are (in my opinion) spot on, Scott Heisel is my favorite
- the clothes they advertise are awesome
- The hometown heroes section allows up and coming bands to get recognition
- The photography is amazing, each shot of the band is unique and modern
- It’s a true fan experience, reading about your favorite bands and other readers’ opinions too
- Even if you’re not a music buff, it offers plenty of opportunities to teach you about the music and the scene, about the fashion and instruments.
- Really a great buy!
- The more ‘sophisticated’ of the two, while AP covers the rock/alternative scene, Spin covers all ranges of music from indie to rock, to jazz to soul
- Gives in depth descriptions of current and up and coming bands
- has funny quotes on each page from celebrities
- Allots huge photo spreads of shows from that month
- The Spin 20, the top music downloads of the week, songs you need etc.
- A look into a certain artist’s home
- Also has gadgets and music accessories
- Last but not least, you can read entire issues online!
While AP tends to mostly cover rock and alternative bands, I find it to be a more fun and engaging magazine because it’s brightly designed and more oriented to people that enjoy that genre. Spin on the other hand is reader friendly for all music lovers. It’d be safe to say that since most of my favorite bands make it into AP, I read that more.
Two other magazines I enjoy/enjoyed (sadly without the bullet points).
I loved Blender, but sadly this year, around April it went out of print. Blender covered a wide range of music from rock to pop and I felt like it was a real gem in the magazine publishing business – however, the economy wasn’t helping them much.
I do Love Rock Sound, a british magazine that I can only get when I’m lucky. You can buy them in book stores (not too sure if you can get them at convenience stores) and not only do you get a taste of England, they cover American bands too. Part of the charm of Rock Sound is that for Americans like myself, we’re treated to a whole different sub culture of music, slang and gizmos and gadgets the US simply doesn’t have! Talk about culture shock (in a good way though)!
Everyone has been to a concert once in their lives, some more than others – it doesn’t even matter what band you go see, there might be a chance to meet the band. Meeting bands these days can be easy depending on which band it is and how crafty you can get. Usual spots to find them after a show are near the back entrance of the venue or near their busses. An easy way (not fool proof though) to meet them would be to join their fan club, most fees are about $30 but meeting the band is priceless. A fan club offers the chance of meeting the band, but if you’re not willing to shill out the silver then there are other ways. From past experiences I can tell you what you shouldn’t do.
What you shouldn’t do:
- Wear that band’s shirt to their show (that’s just lame)
- scream their names as they walk by
- try to lunge at them
- Don’t follow their bus home
- If they’re not in the mood to meet fans, don’t hassle them!
Now when you Do meet them, Do:
- Calmly ask for an autograph, (if it’s at a signing all bets are off and you CAN freak out, they’re used to it)
- Ask for a hug (doing it without asking can weird them out)
- Give a gift if you have one
- Attempt to start a conversation, they’re people just like us.
The internet is also a great aid to concert goers, because twitter, friendsorenemies, facebook and myspace can give you updates with meet and greets or if the band will be out after a show. For direct gratification, follow the band on twitter (granted they have one) or their street team etc. and you can get updates on their whereabouts.
Today several things have come out, 30 Seconds To Mars released their newest album ‘This Is War’ and We The Kings came out with Smile Kid. Quite personally I think 30STM will outsell WTK but that’s just me.
I can’t say I have time to properly review both albums, but I did get a good listen of Smile Kid and I was a bit disappointed.
I’ve been a big fan of WTK since their self titled and first album came out partially because they’re from my home town, and even though their second album has a song called Ana Maria…I can’t say I’m all that charmed. I feel like their first album was more honest, had a more rock sound to it, Smile Kid is clearly pop, especially with a Demi Lovato cameo (don’t get me wrong, chick can sing but…) I feel like they lost their way, Travis Clark’s vocals were a bit too much for me. Maybe the album will grow on me, maybe not. Tonight I’m going to give This Is War a listen, I have high hopes.
Can we also talk about the Monstrosity that is the AP 2010 tour? Already, their Fall Ball wasn’t all that amazing, I went solely to see The Academy Is… and Mayday Parade was good but tell me how this new tour is shaping up. So we have Every Avenue, The Summer Set and The Cab. Two more bands will be revealed before the end of the month but really, if The Cab is a headliner, I will not have high hopes for the tour at all, I do like The Cab though, even if Alexander deLeon is the most obnoxious person on twitter Ever. Do you think the new tour will be as disastrous as I think it will be or am I overreacting? Sadly enough even though I’m not a fan of We The King’s new album, I do want to go see the tour they’ll be on this coming spring if they roll into Sayreville.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST. The bus accidents. OKAY, is anyone else seeing a trend here? First Miley Cyrus, one guy died, then Weezer, Rivers Cuomo broke three ribs, Underoath just got into an accident today, in the past TAI has gotten into a bus accident…does anyone else see how NUTS this is?
BRB buying a bus and crashing it.
Now, as you may recall, should you have read my blog eons ago, I wrote about my two beta fish William and Sisky. The boys are fine, no worries, but I thought I’d just give an update about their wellbeing.
As usual, they are very different in personality and appearance – William Kingston McCoy, blue and feisty, always up against the walls of his tank when Renee and I do our makeup at the mirror (their tank is situated on an end table below it), he swims around quite a bit and literally jumps out of the water and snaps to get his food. Sure he’s not…the most calm of fish, but he’s a keeper! What makes him fun is that he’ll always try and get Sisky’s food, even though there’s a blatant plastic divider separating their sides of the tank – still doesn’t stop him from running into the plastic to eat his fishy friend’s food!
Sisky Vaughn Blackinton is pretty calm, lethargic even – sometimes I think he’s dead, but he’s just relaxing…or in a coma, who knows. He doesn’t cause any trouble actual and I worry about him sometimes – he eats on a whim, hardly touches the food I give him. Sometimes I’ll give him blood worms if he’s not eating anything…recently he won’t even touch that – I figure in time, maybe tonight or tomorrow he’ll be hungry enough to eat a few food pellets – or they’ll just float around and his scaly sidekick William will just longingly look at them.
I suggest to anyone interested in getting a fish that a beta is the way to go. They’re So easy to take care of; clean their tank once a month or so, feed them once or every few days. They’re low maintenance and are beautiful to look at. In my opinion Crowntail Betas are the best simply because their tails have better plumage and they’re prettier – King Betas are ugly, but it’s all up to the fish owner! If you do get one, I hope you enjoy!
Have a happy rest of your week!
so busy that I just didn’t have the time to post about my experience at the Cobra Starship show. Which is a shame because the OP Tour was…eh it was okay. Meeting Cobra was awesome and seeing them perform was even better but the other bands weren’t my type. Cobra is embarking on a new tour today to do a short leg around the country ranging from New York to Florida, California in between. Should be awesome, thennn next year they’re off to Europe. I’d really go more in depth but I feel so guilty about not updating that I just want to get this out of the way.
Saw my family last week for thanksgiving that was great, it was a little weird coming home to my FL home without Chloe, but…you know – that’s that.
I feel like I’m gipping my readers (should I have any at this point seeing that I was absent for like…uh two weeks. HOW DISGRACEFUL) with this post but I really don’t have much to report on! Hm.
I’ll distract you with a picture of me and Cobra Starship: Fun right? Tomorrow actually I’m posting about the wellbeing of my fish because I haven’t posted about them in months! I might actually write about ’20th Century Ghosts’ too by Joe Hill. Hmm the possibilities.
Let’s just say Miss Harley has been a busyyy busyyyyy girl.
More music to report on!
Last night 11/7/09, I went to my first AP Fall Ball concert! I saw the bands at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. Before I divulge exactly what happened, I’ll give you the list of bands that played. YouMeAtSix, The Secret Handshake, Set Your Goals, THE ACADEMY IS, and Mayday Parade.
First YouMeAtSix from the UK went on, they were so-so, kind of cute but didn’t really stand out to me as a band – they did do a good cover of ‘Pokerface’ by Lady Gaga – I bet if I listened to them more, they’d make a better impression.
Next was The Secret Handshake – Luis Dubuc, he was ADORABLE. Oh, this guy really has a lot of talent he’s a one man electronic pop band, and on stage he had a real presence. He encouraged the crowd to dance and of course we all did, he played his most popular songs from all three albums, some songs were inspired by unrequited crushes, Full House and dance parties – he even covered Miley Cyrus’ Party In The USA and he made it fun and bearable to listen to. I’ll definitely check out more of his music when I can!
Set Your Goals was the third band to play, to be perfectly honest I wasn’t that interested and didn’t bother to stand up and watch them (my friends and I only went into the pit when The Academy Is went on). I’m sure they’re talented guys, but they’re not my cup of tea!
The Academy Is… was basically out of this world amazing. They closed the show the night before so they were fourth on the bill that night. I can’t even BEGIN to explain how fantastic they were! I’ll just post their setlist below I go into specifics (these aren’t in exact order)
- Almost Here
- The Phrase That Pays
- About a Girl
- Summer Hair = Forever Young
- We’ve Got a Big Mess on Our Hands
- 40 Steps (Voted on by Santi’s Little Helpers (I voted for Seed))
- I’m Yours Tonight
- Slow Down
Now, the set was perfect, the band was in full swing and there wasn’t a single thing I would change – I just wish they would have played Seed or Rumored Nights. William was quite animated, throwing the mic stand up and catching it, then slamming it on the ground when their drummer The Butcher would end the song, William also enjoyed jumping off of The Butcher’s drum riser. Basically, I’m ready to see them again, the next time would mark my fifth time seeing them and I’m a huge fan girl. They had the crowd going crazy and William was really nice to the fans during the set too, having a sense of humor as he addressed us. The songs were spot on too, sounding just like the album versions – I really hope The Academy Is… go on tour again!!
Finally to end the Fall Ball, Mayday Parade took the stage. They put on a great set playing a few of my favorite songs by them including Black Cat, When I Get Home You’re So Dead, Jamie All Over…and another song that I actually liked but have no idea what it was called. I’d like to listen to more of them! I know they just had an album come out and this tour was to promote it. I’m kind of brief on this because I’m wicked excited to talk about the best part of the Fall Ball.
I GOT TO FORMALLY MEET WILLIAM BECKETT (frontman of The Academy Is…). See, this is a huge deal for me, seeing as I am a PROUD, second year member, Santi’s Little Helper (the TAI fanclub). Last year’s meet & greet was a table signing (BOOOO) and I only got to briefly talk to the guys, but they realized that the NJ Santi’s were clearly stiffed last year so they organized two sets of us to go meet the band. Oh my god. See I made William a journal and he really loved it! We spoke for a bit about writing and that I thought his guest column for Matt Devine’s advise column was so honest and I admired him. He was so nice and he hugged me, of course I got a picture with him because besides Ryland Blackinton he’s my most IMPORTANT band husband!!! You guys have NO idea how excited I was to meet William, I thought I was going to pass out – plus he said he’d use the journal – I left it blank so he could actually, oh you know, write in it and put a personal note on a sticky note so he could take it out and use the journal! :D Regardless the rest of the band, Mike, Sisky (Adam Siska), The Butcher (Andy Mrotek) and MGC (Michael Guy Chislet, see also Chizzy), were super nice! MGC remembered me from last year :D yay! But really, meeting William was one of the highlights of my YEAR (I know it’s sad, no comments from the peanut gallery on this one ;) ). NOW here’s the picture of me and William Eugene Beckett Jr.Happiest day EVER. Oh my god William Beckett.
Basically, there are a few tour dates left, and I think…they may be sold out. But in essence, if you haven’t seen The Academy Is… you should really check them out next time they’re on tour (it might be awhile cause they’re taking a break afterwards).
So to give the Fall Ball ’09 a star rating? 4.5/5 (simply because the opening bands weren’t all that fantastic!) TAI = <3
Happy Monday tomorrow!
Not much has happened actually!
I’ve been checking twitter (religiously) and the FBR Street Team is really starting to come together, I of course cannot be a part of this because my email accounts will not accept the account verification email. siiigh.
But this is what I know! Cobra Starship’s song ‘Hot Mess’ will be featured as the theme song for the premier of the show Styl’d on MTV. Which is awesome for them because they’re trying to promote that song as their new single! They are currently on the OP tour with Boys Like Girls, The Maine, A Rocket To The Moon, and Versaemerge. You can find out more info about the tour at www.OP.com . I can’t wait to see them on November 20th, but I’m really only going for Cobra because I’m not a fan of the other bands. I do, however, have meet and greet passes and will be able to talk to Ryland and Gabe! I’m SO excited. see also www.Cobrastarship.com for more details. If you’re a real fan like me and have bought the Hot Mess album make sure you join their fan club Cobra Crew, it’s free (granted you bought the CD) www.cobras4life.com
Ah, now we move onto The Academy Is… Oh boy. I have mixed feelings for them now, regardless of what music they make I will ALWAYS love them…but I’m not 100% digging their new sound right now. Maybe it has to do with the fact that they’re co-writing songs now with professional writers. I’m not sure :/ however, you can pick up their 5-song EP ‘I’m Yours Tonight’, released last month. The boys are on the Fall Ball tour co-headlining with Mayday Parade (who I really like and have not seen yet), Set Your Goals, You Me At Six, and The Secret Handshake. See more about this tour at http://www.altpress.com/specials/theaptour/ . I see TAI next week actually on November 7th!
And finally NEW MUSIC. Fall Out Boy released a new…yet old song this week titled ‘Alpha Dog’ for loyal fans of the band you have seen this released on the CFOB Mixtape (CFOB: Citizens For Our Betterment, a downloadable mixtape by Fueled By Ramen and Decaydance bands to get teens excited about the 2008 presidential election). The song on the mixtape was about a two minute teaser – however, the song has been rewritten in parts and definitely has a bigger presence. ‘Alpha Dog’ really shows Patrick Stump’s exquisite vocal range as well as the band’s progress together. It’s really an amazing track and is now available on iTunes! Sadly enough the band is taking a hiatus, the duration I believe is of a year or more. You can snag the Believers Never Die Greatest Hits collection from Fall Out Boy on November 16th & 17th. They range from regular to deluxe bundles and offer a plethora of treasures for true FOB fans (should you choose the Infinity bundle). http://www.falloutboyrock.com/oldskool/
Hope this was helpful to any lovers of the FBR or Decaydance labels!
I’ve been trying to read more lately, I figure every author should be reading others’ work and it’d be nonsense for me to deny myself that knowledge.
I just finished Tucker Max’s book ‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell’, funny story behind that actually. I bought the book last year because I love that kind of humor but I never read it – instead, I passed it around to my roommate last year and one of my best friends. See, they loved it. So I read it this past weekend and I was just killing myself laughing. Tucker Max, although he’s an asshole, he’s also a genius and his sense of humor is outrageous!
But now I’m starting another Jodi Picoult novel ‘Salem Falls’, I’m only on like page 11, but I have high hopes seeing as I’ve read ‘Nineteen Minutes’ ‘The Tenth Circle’ ‘Perfect Match’ and my favorite I think ‘Second Glance’. I guess you could say I’m a big fan!
I would like to read, however, Joe Hill’s ’20th Century Ghosts’ because I loved Heart-Shaped Box and the latest installment of Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter series, ‘Dexter by Design’. Funny, I started reading the Dexter series before I got into the television show.
Also, this semester I’d LOVE to finish Aravind Adiga’s ‘The White Tiger’ I just couldn’t finish it but they want to turn it into a movie so it must be worth it! I’d like to read David Benioff’s ‘City of Thieves’ too.
But for those who know me, my favorite author is CLEARLY Chuck Palahniuk. I went to a book reading of his for ‘Pygmy’ in the city this spring and it blew my mind. I was sitting so close to the stage and he was hilarious! I can’t wait for his next book, and my favorite was ‘Invisible Monsters’.
So I guess I’ve got a lot of reading ahead of me – see, I’m trying to cut down my online time because the internet is fantastic yes, but I need to get my Lit on too!
More later <3
I promised I’d write this and believe me there is a lot to know about the my obsession with bandom.
In late 2006 the internet became more available to me – I stumbled upon a community in livejournal that was focused on bands under the Fueled By Ramen record label. Maybe it only took me a few weeks or so, but by the end of the year – I was fully obsessed with alternative music.
Because I was a sixteen year old, only child, my parents were overprotective and wouldn’t allow me to go to any shows. Upon turning seventeen, I went to my first concert – seeing AFI at Jannus Landing in ST. Pete, FL. Now at this point in my young life, I could tell you everything about the bandmembers, that Davey was straightedge and vegan, Jade was also vegan, Hunter and Adam were vegetarian, etc. I became straightedge because of Davey Havok actually and have been for over two years now.
But I digress (considering AFI is not under Fueled By Ramen). FBR has a different genre of music, more of a alternative rock/pop rock sound. With bands like Cobra Starship and The Academy Is…, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco, it was easy for me to become obsessed. Basically their music became the soundtrack of my life, it was nonstop, their posters littered my room, I begged to go to shows (In my high school career, I made it to Four or Five (sadly enough)), I drew X’s on my hands with sharpies, the band names’ on my wrists.
But now, I’ve become a more cultured fan, left the childish aspect of my obsession behind. No more sharpies…but, I can now offer you a plethora of facts. I can tell you that Gabe Saporta (cobra starship) is 6’3”, that Ryland Blackinton (cobra) is 6’6”, a half and inch taller than Travis McCoy (gym class heroes), who’s about four inches taller than William Beckett (the academy is). I can tell you where they were born and how many places they’ve lived in and where they are now, I can tell you where Gerard Way (my chemical romance) met his wife Lyn-Z (mindless self indulgence) or about that time that Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz (of Fall Out Boy) almost ended the band last year because Pete was stressing Patrick out too much.
I’d like to call myself a refined fangirl, yes, I am one of those that attend shows, meet band members and freak out. I made Ryland Blackinton (cobra starship) a shirt and he gave me a bear hug (best moment of my life), sometimes though, I’m not so suave. Upon meeting William Beckett last year, I promptly forgot my own name and told him that ‘his music was fun to listen to in the car’. He gave me a confused look and signed my magazine, smiling albeit. I realized that my band husbands must have quite a tolerance for fans like myself.
As for band husbands? I have over thirty, the number may have increased or decreased over the years, but my favorites are Ryland Blackinton, William Beckett, Gabe Saporta, Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Brendon Urie – the list goes on.
As a fangirl, I sympathize with their plights. The tragic breakup of Panic! At The Disco, was a sad day for me – I moped around (found out at work). But, oddly enough, both new bands P!ATD and The Young Veins seem to be doing pretty great! I’m lucky enough I got to see them last fall as the original band, otherwise I would have been crushed. I read the interview in which Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) almost left the band because of the stress (I’m guessing Pete Wentz related) – OR that time he got arrested this summer. While I panicked over his arrest, I also considered him to be a certified badass and that he was undoubtedly my favorite band husband (currently: he’s lost a lot of weight and is more gorgeous). Sadly though, Fall Out Boy, after the release of their Greatest Hits cd is going on hiatus :’(, I’m actually really sad about that. But I’ll just patiently wait!
But my favorite bands give their fans treats too, The Academy Is… has a serial video podcast that they post each week while on tour called TAI TV. Each mini episode ranges from 2-7 minutes long and usually has a funny plot or just tour updates. Cobra Starship has something similar with their CobraCam.TV, just when I thought I was spoiled enough with TAI TV, CobraCam (featuring the love of my life Ryland Blackinton) is hilarious. Fall Out Boy posted tour updates too, with funny parts throughout their touring.
Ohhh and the fanclubs. In my lifetime, I have been in four band fanclubs. The Academy Is…’ Santi’s Little Helpers, Fall Out Boy’s Overcast Kids (which I found out expired this march :( ), Cobra Starship’s CobraCrew, and AFI’s The Despair Faction. Fan clubs offer fans the opportunities to meet the band, get presale tickets, see exclusive videos and photos, and participate in contests. Rest Assured, I will rejoin the Overcast Kids when Fall Out Boy regroups after their hiatus!
Last but not least twitter. My band husbands love twitter, therefore, I love it too. Surprisingly enough, they update pretty regularly, several times a day or more! It’s always a treat to see pictures and 140 character posts about their days. I follow over 107 people on Twitter, I bet you anything that 90% of those people are in my favorite bands. There’s always so much to read about, plus, fan clubs and band related things become more accessible, like where to meet the band, when the presales start, etc.. Let’s just say I pay special attention to @BillBeckett, @InfinityOnRy, @GabrielSaporta & @PeteWentz.
After having been to 20+ shows in my lifetime, mostly seeing my favorite bands over and over again – I can proudly call myself a fangirl. Sure, the term can have negative connotations but I take it into stride! Bands should be lucky to have fans like me who love them so much!