In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here’s a list of 10 things that have made my musical life a little better this year.
1. Bandsintown. If you like going to shows and don’t use this app, then there is something seriously wrong with you. Bandsintown allows me to always know what concerts are going on, and when. I have a lot of issues with the app and some of the features it offers, but the basic functionality of having my phone tell me when an artist I like schedules a show near me is a huge boost to my concert-going life.
2. Venue box offices that are staffed by a person. People often ask me how I have time to go to all the shows that I do. The answer is that by calling a venue to find out set times in advance, I’m able to know exactly when to arrive in order to see who I want to see and nothing more. This turns what could have been a 4 hour endeavor into a 90 minute one, freeing up the earlier part of my evening. Box office staff people are my friends.
3. StubHub. I know this site is used by scalpers, and while we can all agree that scalpers are the worst, StubHub has also allowed me to buy a lot of concert tickets at well below face value. I’ve spent enough time stalking concerts on this site that I have a pretty good sense of StubHub ticket price patterns, which is a skill that saves me money but will otherwise get me nowhere in life.
4. Sneakers. Whenever I see women wearing heels at shows I just want to give them a stern talking to about the fallacy of “fashion before function.” Concerts involve a lot of a) dancing and b) standing and neither of those things are fun to do after 30 minutes in unsupportive shoes. While I might wear some cute (but comfortable) flat boots for a night-time show, you will never catch me at an all-day festival in anything other than my knockoff Converse from Target or my Pumas. Which leads me to…
5. Festivals. I love music festivals and I’m sad I discovered them relatively late in life. Festivals are amazing because you get to see artists you love and discover new ones, wear ridiculous outfits, drink beers in the sunshine, and hang out with friends old and new. The perfect summertime activity.
6. SoundCloud. I’m a relatively new user of SoundCloud, which is sort of tragic. But I’ve grown to love checking in to see my favorite artists’ new songs and remixes, and also seeing what music those artists repost.
7. My concert spreadsheet. I love data, so of course I keep a spreadsheet listing information about all the concerts I go to, as well as the concerts I’m tracking but haven’t bought tickets to yet. I wouldn’t be able to keep up with everything without it and I’ve been excited for the end of the year – when I get to run some stats – since long before I started this blog. And now I have a place to publish said stats! Get excited, everyone.
8. New York City. Yep. I’m thankful for this entire crazy city and the plentiful opportunities it offers to experience and discover music. The notes app on my phone is filled with blog post ideas and I don’t know if I could find so much inspiration living anywhere else.
9. Meetup. Around a year ago, I was on one of those streaks where you read something online and click a link and click another link and another link and off you go, down the internet rabbit hole. I ended up on a meetup.com group for people who love EDM and want to make new friends to see shows with. It took some time before I actually went to a meetup, but I’ve made so many awesome friends this year who love the same music as I do and my life is seriously so much better for knowing these people.
10. This blog – it’s a little weird to be thankful for this blog because I’m the one who brought it to fruition, so really I’m just thanking myself. But I’m glad I started it and since it combines my loves of music and writing, it makes me really happy. Good job, self.