Talk With rae

 

 

 

...or, for booking and house concert inquiries please contact Jonathan Morse at:

info@naturaldisastermusic.com   615-478-0263

 

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Rae's Latest

Filtering by Tag: indie

Why I color INSIDE the lines

Rae Hering

First thing’s first: I LOVE to color.  And yes, I mean that I color in a children’s coloring book; me and the Sesame Street gang have spent A LOT of time together and no, I’m not 8 (at least not on the outside…) 

Somewhere in my early twenties I got the notion to return to this childhood mainstay and quickly got obsessed.  I love picking out a page that reminds me of someone I know and coloring it for them; I even colored a page for a man I met on an airplane once.  People will see me coloring and break out in a smile or a light-hearted chuckle.  I get the feeling it brings them back to simpler times when coloring felt as necessary as washing the dishes.  Well for me, it still is that way…or at least, I’ve prioritized it to be that way. 

You see, I’ve come to see coloring as a form of moving meditation: as I focus on this one simple task my mind clears and relaxes.  I’m not worrying about my to-do list or my personal anxieties and I am completely at ease with life.

But in order for this to happen, I need to color INSIDE the lines.

It hit me one day that the reason I’m addicted to coloring is because it’s one of the only times where I allow myself to take a break from attempting to be original and adventurous. 

Society is constantly telling us to color outside the lines, think beyond the box and forge our own path.  We’ve learned to praise innovation as the greatest good and to see following the pack as something for the dull-witted masses.  While being different or innovative is not bad in of itself, I think there's value in trotting the beaten path as well. (Mind you, this is coming from someone who's life's ambition has been to buck the system!) 

When I color, I follow the lines in front of me and use a limited set of pre-existing colors.  Consequently, my expectations of making “great art” are lowered and the burden of “being genius” is lifted (as though that were a real issue, ha!)  The paradox is that when I put down my coloring book, I am able to better create and innovate in other areas in my life, like songwriting.

The pressure to be different in our world gets compounded with the multitude of choices we have in front of us on a daily basis.  In this great NY Times article about the dilemma of having too many choices, the author says that according to research “an excess of choices leads to us being less, not more, satisfied once we actually decide.  There’s often that nagging feeling that we could have done better.”  What if we all took a little time to give ourselves limited options?  To be satisfied flowing with the river beneath us?  To color inside the lines?   

Only in this past year did I realize there’s a growing community of adults that are discovering the benefits of coloring and can’t get enough.  There are now even coloring books for adults!  My favorites are by Johanna Basford - I have her magically intricate “Enchanted Forest” book (thanks for the Christmas present, Mom and Dad.)  Here’s what I have so far: 

 
 

So how 'bout it?  Color INSIDE the lines!

Live Performance Montage VIDEO

Rae Hering

Quick 'lil post...just want to put out this montage video that Jonathan made recently.  We're hoping it will help us book regional house concerts and gigs, but really it's just some fun footage that I think you all will enjoy!

Happy WEEKEND! :)

A Desk, a Beer and the Non-Popularity Contest

Rae Hering

When Jonathan found out that NPR's tiny desk concerts and Lagunitas Brewing Company were holding their first annual contest for indie artists I was soooooo excited. 

I know that what I'm about to say will sound like a complete fabrication in order to be all teacher's pet-y, but I LOVE both NPR and Lagunitas. Little secret, my bucket list includes the entry "be interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air." And if the bar serves Lagunitas IPA, that's what I'm ordering every time - no joke.

While I pinky swear that my professed love is tried and true, I'm also pretty sure that the amount I enjoy informative radio and delicious alcoholic beverages has no bearing on the contest results. It does, however, have a complete effect on how much I enjoyed this project!

Enter Chad McClarnon. Chad is very tall, has a dapper mustache, and possesses the uncanny ability to make a kickin' professional video in a matter of hours. The rules of the video were to play live music - behind a desk. With Jonathan playing bass and Duane on drums, we came up with something pretty cool and had fun doing it, too!

 
Shenanigans behind a desk!

Shenanigans behind a desk!

 

But now let me express the REAL reason why I think this contest was worth the effort - because it was not based on how many VOTES or VIEWS or LIKES I corral from my friends or other poor souls that gets accosted by my persistent yet overly cheerful requests to "check out my page!!!"

Most contests that musicians enter nowadays make me feel like I'm in high school again - right back to the old popularity game. But has anyone ever noticed that the harder you try to get people to like you, the more they seem to not care?? 

Running after votes, views and likes, especially from my personal friends, is like whitening my teeth. Sure, a Crest-white smile looks nice, but does it really mean my teeth are healthier for it? In other words, if all my friends vote for my contest entry, am I really any closer to where I want to be in my music career?

I don't think any musician should have to beg or nag people to publicly vouch from them. I think if our art is effective and accessible, people who feel moved to follow our careers will emerge. They will watch our videos, leave their comments and like our pages. This will grow into a happy byproduct called popularity.

Unlike the high school prom queen's 15min of fame, however, this kind of popularity is the kind that sticks. It will stick if we respect our audience enough to let them decide when they want their voices heard and how they want to be fans.

So thank you, tiny desk concert contest, for giving us the space to following our Creative Light instead of a popularity gimmick. Hope you find an artist that shines like a torch in the night.