Before I start the blog today, the cover photo is the fruit of googling “Dads at One Direction Concerts”…after you read this, go do that. You will laugh. I did. So much. Thanks for going to Nsync concerts with me, Dad. You’re the real MVP.
I write about music more often than I don’t anymore. Every word I put to paper or computer screen drips with melody and lyrical influence. They sound like souls I know, and feel like hugs of long lost homes in cities I’ve never been too. Music permeates my being. Tonight, I have bare feet, tea and Paul Otten in my headphones. It’s the best rest ever.
Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I get paid to go to a show and ask the smiling face that will later stand behind a microphone, or sit behind a drum kit how they do life. I buy coffees and dinner and call it socializing. I leave parts of myself in guitar cases and worn trailers and go home to write about it.
It all seems very glamourous to those on the outside. It’s free tickets to shows, it’s friends all over the world, it’s Instagram snaps, bruised Palsy’d feet, blissful exhaustion, long drives and espresso shots. I make less than thirteen hours of minimum wage work doing this a month. Really. And you want to know something crazy? I wouldn’t change it for the entire universe. Not ever. It’s the most beautiful way I can think to spend my life and I don’t even care that it’s a side job. It’s my full time passion. It’s what fuels me.
There are assumptions made about creatures like me. The bloggers. The photographers. The PR lovers. The merch table mavens. The professional Fangirls. So, I thought I’d answer some of the questions that people ask me about what it is I do, so, here it goes!
A few weeks ago, I was at a show watching a friend’s band play. I wasn’t even there working, I was there as a friend and fan of their music. Because of the paper bracelet on my wrist, my placement on the guest list was evident. However, I had put up a fuss about paying for my own ticket, and my friends are ridiculous, kind people. So, I lost.
As a friend and I were dancing to music, singing along and acting afool, a stranger came up, wrapped one arm around each of us, smiled and said “So, are you friends with the band or are you f*ing the band?” I couldn’t help but want get a little sassy, (and I may have…kinda? Whoops.) but, I gave him a moment to explain his crassness. The reality is, I never date my work. Let alone kiss it.
This is a question I get a lot more often than I should ever have to. It is a strange fact of my life that every single man I’ve ever dated is a musician, but I don’t set out looking for them. In fact, some day, I hope the Fergus (that’s my future husband’s name, of course!) is a teacher. Or a poet. Or an astronomer, or literally anything else, just so long as he loves music enough to tag along with me! But, if he’s a boy in a band, I’m totally okay with that, too. It’s just not a requirement.
The more I travel for things, the less people think it’s expensive. “Oh you’re a music writer! How exciting! It’s all free! Right?” No. As a matter of fact, being that I choose to write about indie bands and bands with smaller followings that need and deserve to be heard, this is less and less the case. Sometimes, they pay me in coffee. It’s the luckiest day of my life, they pay me in hugs and life chats for traveling to them. That’s my favourite part anyway so, I’ll take it. It’s better this way. I donate to their Kickstarter campaigns, I buy my tickets, I pay for my gas, I write things about their music in a blog that doesn’t matter, and they promote me like crazy. It’s a fair trade. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not ever.
There is a moment in every blogger’s life that we must talk about social media, yeah? For me, this is it. As of last night, in fact, I had a really humorous conversation with a sweet musician friend about meeting on Twitter and why he thought that was so cool! That’s how it happens, I happen upon bands on Twitter, on YouTube, on Facebook, Instagram, all of it. Or they find me. It always amazes me when bands follow me on Twitter, especially. Because, I’m not very funny, I’m not very risqué, I’m not much of anything but a girl with some words. Sometimes, it works out beautifully, sometimes, it blows up and gets ugly. The internet is a crazy place.
There are no limits to where this thing will take me, but, I don’t do it for any of the perks. I want to make sure I’m as transparent about that here as I am anywhere. Sometimes, the perks are a ticket to a show to be a part of a crowd that loves and finds community in that evening, finds those words life giving enough to tattoo on themselves. It’s beautiful. Sometimes, it’s coffee, and we all know how much Laura needs coffee, don’t we? It’s right up there with oxygen, I think. Most of the time it is the best hugs I would be able to find in the world and conversations that have created friendships that have forever changed my soul. This life is the best thing to ever happen to me.