Well, remixes are just too much fun and I found myself doing a little something to Elvis’ “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
Today is finally the end of Blogmas (for those of us who kept blogging past Christmas), and the last day of 2019. It’s been a lot of fun discovering new bloggers who are also doing Blogmas. Which brings me to today’s post and unplugging and cutting the cord.
We already cut the cord when we dumped our cable TV for streaming services. First we tried HuluTV, which really sucked. We also tried DisneyPlus, which was fun for a few weeks until we caught up with all the new shows. And then we switched HuluTV to YouTubeTV, which is really cool, which is so funny, because as a content provider, I so dislike how YouTube works. But as a TV and music consumer, I’m really loving it.
I already unplugged from most social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc) but was still pretty active on Twitter. But it’s becoming so dissatisfying. So I’ve decided for my 2020 resolution to unplug from Twitter – at least take a break. I’ll keep the account (many of my Reverb contacts are on Twitter), but maybe not post or hang out there much. I prefer hanging out with other bloggers or even vloggers, for that matter, for those moments when, as an artist, you feel the need to connect with the world in an interesting but introverted way.
For example, while I’m writing this, I’m watching the latest vid from Best Life and Beyond on YouTube, giving me a peek into Disneyland, the next best thing to actually being there, while working on a song and some writing. Social media is mostly a time waster.
Many of you blogging this blogmas have mentioned the books you’ve enjoyed reading over the holidays. And in the past, that might have been me, too, especially if you mean fiction. But this year I’ve been cramming learning Ableton Live, taking tutorials and reading non fiction books. Gearing up for FAWM (“February Album Writing Month”), I guess
Logic Pro X is my DAW of choice but as an EDM producer, I wanted to learn Ableton Live. It seems so suited to the music genre. But it’s been quite a struggle in some ways, in others it’s been a breeze. I think that’s because each DAW specializes in different areas. I can sit down and start creating a song right away in Logic Pro, in Ableton, it seems the simplest things are the most difficult. But when it comes to mastering more of the advanced features in music production, Ableton seems to do it much more easily.
And while I’ve been madly applying myself to music tutorials for Ableton, I stumbled upon some really cool ones for Logic Pro, too, and have learned some interesting things I’m quite excited about. What to do, what to do? Ableton Live or Logic Pro? Well, I suppose I really don’t have to choose because I imagine it’s good for a producer to know more than one DAW. The real choice is which one do I use in the moment? lol!
There are a lot of tutorials out there, but it can be challenging following along. Sometimes they use third party plug-ins that you don’t have or their techniques zip past you so fast, you can’t possibly keep up. I’ve probably tried dozens just on one site. Anyway, here’s a sample song I managed to figure out in Ableton Live (via Groove3) from programming drums and synths to mixing and adding special effects such as EQ, reverb, and automation.
So I guess I’m going to do this thing until the end of the year – lol!
Today’s Review Journal was a reminder of those we’ve lost this year and the photo of Trent Carlini, my favorite Elvis Tribute Artist, caught my attention. I saw him years ago in the “Legends in Concert” show. Afterward, he hung out with everybody, and I thought that was pretty cool.
When it snows in the surrounding mountains, the Las Vegas Valley takes on a beautiful hue. The only downside is that it can make travel to/from Vegas a a bit of a challenge, often resulting in being stuck due to road closures. We usually don’t make travel plans this time of year or book a flight if need be.
From today’s Las Vegas Review Journal:
I’m a bit late with today’s blogmas post, but we were having such fun out, I just now got around to posting.
I think this is one of the best parts about the Holidays – that time after Christmas before New Year’s when we often take a day off and hang out at a favorite restaurant.
Today’s choice was Tommy Bahama’s Cafe in Las Vegas Town Square, one of our favorite hangouts where tourists meet locals. It’s extra fun at Christmas with the decorations and holiday events. Happy Hour is daily and the bar lounge is cozy and offers live entertainment.
But we were there for lunch. And what a lunch it was! Delicious, amazing food, great service, the kind of tropical atmosphere where you think you’re on a Caribbean cruise (or back living in Florida).
I’d totally planned on having a glass of wine with lunch but when I saw the Hemingway (rum martini), I had to have it. Scallops and shrimp with lemongrass and curry sauce over almond rice – divine! Rich had the classic Mai Tai with ribs, mashes potatoes with cauliflower mix, and a slaw with cilantro!
The shops are always fun, and we picked up a couple of trinkets before discovering there’s an Ethel M’s outpost right next door! So we had to purchase a box made up the latest favorite booze candy flavor – the dark chocolate with tequila – and the dark chocolate salted caramel – making friends after spreading the word.
Blogmas was so much fun, I, like many of you, have decided to extend it for a little bit longer. And as I grapple with plans for 2020 (as many of you), I’ve been doing a lot of mad reading.
My current read is Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins, and I’ve made some interesting discoveries as he makes many points about the “starving artist” vs the “thriving artist.”
Like maybe I don’t have to choose and shouldn’t choose between going all in with music or writing. I should be pursuing both. I can’t seem to help myself anyway, so I may as well give myself permission. The real challenge, I think, is getting up-to-speed on the music so that I can juggle both.
Here are a couple of insightful quotes I found:
Your art is never beholden to a single form. You can always change and evolve, and the best artists do this regularly. They understand that in order to thrive, you have to master more than one skill.
Starving Artists believe that to make a living you must make money off your art. But Thriving Artists don’t just live off their art. Like good investors, they keep diverse portfolios, relying on multiple income streams to make a living. Rarely do they go all in on any single area of work. The challenge, then, is knowing what investments to make and when.
Good advice, I think. The thing is, I can’t really stand over either one and demand it pay off. I do the work, put it out there, and then the return on my investment comes as a surprise when I least expect it. My job as an artist is to suit up and show up.