All posts in January 2014

Calamity Jane is Back for Season 4! Episode 1: Withdrawal

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Calamity Jane Season 4. Episode 1: Withdrawal by Calamity Jane on Mixcloud

I’m new here

Hey guys, my name’s Gavin and I guess I’m going to be blogging here sometimes. So I’m going to tell you some stuff about myself to get started, and so you can understand where I’m coming from a little bit. I’m 20 years old, and I live in San Diego. I play bass and sing a tiny bit in a sort of (not really) well known pop punk band called Scarlett Avenue (scarlettavenueca.bandcamp.com). I still live with my parents and I have two brothers (18 and 12) and a sister (14). I’m very involved in the local pop punk scene and have made many friends through it.

Now to the good stuff (probably). I’m mostly going to be blogging about my experiences in the San Diego scene and touring and what I’ve learned from it. Punk music has been a huge influence in my life and I think it’s made me a better person and improved my life. I’m also going to be talking about what I’ve been listening to and bands I think more people should know about, and basically writing about things in my life that involve music.

Thanks for checking out the blog, and I’ll have my first official post up soon!

How Local Concerts Have Changed My Life

Growing up, my parents would take me to local shows all around the bay area. Sometimes it’d be a Friday night at the infamous 924 Gilman Street to see an Irish punk band. Other times it’d be to Sacramento to see a 90’s ska band’s first reunion show in ten years. I thought it was normal (and totally awesome) for parents to take their kids to shows to support the local scene regardless of age. But I was too caught up in the music to notice that I was always the youngest person there by about 12 years…

As my teenage years rolled around, I never stopped going to shows. I always encouraged my friends to come with me even if they had never heard any of the bands. I’d make them mix tapes of songs I thought they’d like. I’d try as hard as I could to open the door for them to all kinds of music as my parents had for me. I wanted to show the world, what I see. What may look like heartless punks to you are actually some of the most intelligent and kind people you may ever meet. Don’t let looks deceive you.

As many of you know, my supporting of local music hasn’t changed. It’s gotten stronger. If I hadn’t gone to some of these shows, I would not be the person I am today. Here is some of my favorite things about local shows and how they have changed my life.

1) MUSICIANS

I don’t even know how to begin explaining why meeting people is one of my favorite parts of going to shows.  These people are passionate, ambitious, inspiring and often really chill. Shows are a great place to meet people. I can’t tell you how many times through a show or music I’ve made a friend just by talking about music and the bands playing that night. It’s that simple and if you take the time to get to know the bands and their friends it makes the night so much memorable.  Musicians and fans who attend shows a lot understand what I mean; it’s almost as if there is an instant stronger connection between us just because of music. Music closes that awkward gap and makes it easy to make friends.

2) ENVIRONMENT

There are two main environments that I think are the best ways to see shows. House shows and shows at local venues. Why?

These environments are more intimate than let’s say a show at the Oracle Arena where you are lucky if you even get to see the band on stage over the swarm of people. Sure there are usually less people at these local shows but I feel it’s for the better. House shows and shows at local venues (such as Gilman or Red House) allow for a closer interaction between bands and fans. There’s less pressure for everyone and the vibes are often chill. At large concerts like shows at the Fox Theater in Oakland, there is what I call the “Invisible Barrier” between you and the artist. You can see them, but they can’t see you. You can call out to them but they won’t respond. You’re there to just listen to what they have to say. What kind of interaction is that?

At local shows, you have opportunities to talk to other people and have them see and hear you. So get to know the bands; the members in them are often the coolest people who you have a lot more in common with than you think.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS:

-Good Vibes

Shows almost always have good vibes about them. By good vibes, I mean a supportive, positive and comfortable environment. The venue could be the shittiest looking venue you’ve ever seen but if the right crowd and bands fill the space, that part doesn’t even matter once the music starts.

 

-Connection

My absolute favorite part about music is the way it brings people together. No matter your struggles, life experiences, your gender, race etc. music hits you the same way. It’s one of the few things in this world that has the power to bring together total strangers. For a couple songs we all sing and move together as one. Music is our emotion, lyrics are our thoughts. Songs allow us to make others feel our thoughts and for us to feel their pain, happiness, sorrow or anxiety. It still amazes me to this day, to see people come to a show as strangers and leave as friends.

 

-Passion & Ambition

Nearly every show I go to, I have a mini epiphany. I call it the “musician’s spell”. When a band starts to play, the crowd is moving just look around on stage at the band. I love it because you can always see that spark and fire in their eyes, the passion in their voice telling you ultimately that this is what they love. I see this the most when I go to local band shows and you know what? It’s fucking inspiring. It’s inspiring to see someone follow their dreams, giving it all they have because this is their life. This is what they do no matter the obstacles. They know that struggling and working hard is part of the path to achieving anything great. And some of these musicians are the happiest people I have ever met because they live their lives being who they are and doing what they want. Not being who others want them to be.

3) THE MUSIC

Over the years I’ve discovered some amazing local bands whose music motivates and inspires me to keep moving forward with my life through good times and bad times.  These songs are often catchy as hell with lyrics that either give me feels or are so damn well written I wish I thought of it myself. But for real if you’re in a local band and I’m aware of your music… It’s probably on my IPod and I DO listen to it.

IF I HADN’T GONE TO LOCAL SHOWS:

-I wouldn’t have found what I’m passionate about even though it was always right in front of me the whole time.

– The Calamity Jane Radio Show wouldn’t have started

-I wouldn’t have seen some great things

(falling into Corey Duffel’s lap, Poking Billie Joe Armstrong at Gilman, laughing so hard I’m pretty sure my ribs cracked,  Seeing a mariachi band playing in full outfit in a bouncy house, seeing a guy’s head shaved into a Mohawk on stage during a song… the list is endless really)

…I wouldn’t have seen some traumatizing things too.

A.k.a. the snickers incident… I don’t want to talk about it.

 

-I wouldn’t have the majority of friends I do now.

Without these friends, I don’t know who I would be and it scares me to think about it. I would probably still be stuck in some self destructive teenage girl high school phase which would suck haha. But seriously, the friends I have made doing my radio show are great.  They remind me that going to these local shows make all of the hard work for my show worth it without a doubt. You guys inspire me. I love hanging out with you, listening to your sets and getting to know you. It makes me feel like I’m a part of something bigger. A part of a music community that is positive and friendly and that means the world to me. Without the continuing support of you guys and my family I doubt that I would have challenged myself to keep pursuing my dreams. Over the past year I finally feel like I’m on the right track to happiness and success.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MUSIC SCENE:

-Go To Shows

Nothing in the world means more to a band than having people come to their shows. Buy Presale tickets to their shows from the bands so the money made goes to the bands rather the venues! Trust me just by buying presale and showing up, you made their day. If you know their songs and are singing along during their set it’s even better!!

 

-Buy  Music/Merch

Transportation to shows, equipment and recording music costs a lot of money especially when a fair amount of the time bands play for next to nothing. If you really want to help, buy a shirt or a cd. Help them fund their next tour or have gas money to get home. Being a musician is no walk in the park. It costs time and money. Give something back.

 

-Follow them on Social Media

This means Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Etc.

If you like a band it’s important to know what they’re up to and where they are playing. It only takes a few seconds to follow them so why not?

 

-Listen To Calamity Jane Radio Show To Discover New Local Music

Shameless self promotion, I know.  But seriously, I take a lot of time to research local bands and play them on the radio waves. If you want to support local music but don’t have time to go to shows, Tune in Wednesday nights at 7PM and discover some rad local bands or check out my past shows on www.mixcloud.com/CalamityJane

You never know, you may find your next favorite band yo! So get out there and support your local music scene! It could just change your life.

 

~Calamity Jane

End of a great year

Hello everyone its been a while since I wrote anything here for you guys so I thought that you all could enjoy some holiday bass cheer…….That doesn’t really  make any sense but, anyway I am here to basically sum up this whole year for me as a musician but more specifically as a bass player. Now let me start by adding that 2012 was horseradish compared to 2013. Yes it did have some good things about it but 2013 is where I really became educated as a musician. I learned a lot from playing shows all over the bay area but the biggest change for me was when I went on tour.

Now you probably read my post about “The Touring Bassist” but for those of you who didn’t you should check it out. Anyway, going on that tour was one of the most mind opening experiences of my life. I met some great people, played at some amazing places, and overall grew as a musician. 2013 was also a great year because it gave me a lot of time to become closer with the people in the bay area scene. For me personally, the first few years of being apart of the scene were hard. It was very difficult to get to know other bands as you pretty much only saw them at shows but, in 2013 I changed that and I can say that the bay area has some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of talking to.

I was also able to witness different genres of music within the bay area. I saw bands that ranged from anything from punk to death metal from folk to metalcore and I enjoyed every moment watching these bands and meeting the members assosciated with them. 2013 left a great mark on me so much has changed but I believe for the best and hopefully 2014 can bring it because 2013 set a very high standard.

I hope you all enjoyed this I will post some more informative bass information next week see you all later and have a wonderful holiday.

2014 is here!!

It’s going to be our year 2014! I’m determined to make the most out of this year and keep pursuing my dream. I can’t wait for all the future shows, interviews and concerts!! ♥

~Calamity Jane
I can’t thank you all enough for supporting me. It means the world.