A Desk, a Beer, and the Non-Popularity Contest

Video

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.

Help Take Me to France!

A well-known performer in France by the name Téte has given me the opportunity to open for him when he tours the release of his new recording in the fall of 2015. The relationship and exposure with Tété would be a great boost in my career.  My band and I are ready to get out and start performing for a bigger audience. Growing a fan base, however, has a lot of catch-22’s and quite frankly what it comes down to succeed is money, awareness, determination and perseverance.

If this tour comes together as planned there is still travel, food and accommodations to cover. Like any business, investment dollars are an important part of getting off the ground and banks don’t loan money to artists that are not established. The estimated cost will come just under $10,000. This is just for a seven-day tour in France.

My husband Jonathan (who is also my manager, bass player, photographer, co-writer, you name it!) and I are not used to asking for support…but here we are!

So what am I asking?

SPREAD THE WORD
With just a few words, you and anyone you tell about my story can boost the awareness of my music. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Here are some links to share:

Website: raehering.com/music
iTunes: ow.ly/FvhqE
Spotify: ow.ly/Fvicr
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/raehering/sets

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CD SALES

As some of you are aware, I have two CD’s: “Reality Over My Head” and my latest release, “The Shy Gemini Sessions.” Both may be purchased from my website for $5 each in digital and physical forms. My music is also available on iTunes, though because iTunes controls the pricing, the album is $9.99.

LIVE PERFORMANCE

This is what I LOVE to do. And I especially LOVE doing House Concerts!  If you would like to know more about how to host one of these fun, intimate gatherings (which can be totally free for hosts) EMAIL ME and we’ll talk about it.  Also, if there is a venue in your town you would like to see me play, I’d love to know more about that venue so we can play where you are!

And thank you for your participation in the campaign to share my music!

Smiling “Watercolour” from the UK

Wow, am so thankful to be surrounded by such a creative community!  Check this painting out by Peter Williams, a fantastically talented artist who lives in Leiston, England.

Rae Hering Watercolour

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I’ve been in hiding…but not anymore!

Guys, it’s been awhile.  It’s been a lonnnnnnnnnng while.  Here’s the nutshell since June:

I got married!

Married

I got a band!

Band 3

I was a Newsie for Halloween! (not exactly a life-changing event but a fun fact nonetheless)

Newsie

Newsie 2

And…drum roll please…

I released my brand new album, “The Shy Gemini Sessions!”

Castor-iTunes

I hope you’ll consider giving it a listen, purchasing, or sharing it with your friends:

Album Artwork Unveiling!

Soooo excited to present to you all the new album artwork for “The Shy Gemini Sessions!”

Castor-iTunes

Rae-Final 12.56.15 AM

Thanks to my friend and very talented artist Chris Longs“The Shy Gemini Sessions” now has a visual story to go with the music.  What’s extra super duper cool is that everything on the artwork has significance relating to the music.

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Engagement – Isn’t That a Warfare Term?

A year ago, I got engaged to my fiancé, Jonathan.  We were uncharacteristically sitting at a hooka bar when he told me that when I was ready, he would marry me, “no matter if it’s one year from now, five years, ten years, or even twenty.”  (Insert SWOON!)

I couldn’t believe what had just happened.  For a few days I existed inside a surreal bubble filled with love, rainbows, lemonade and big red balloons (Jonathan was like, “does this imaginary happy place really have to be a little kid carnival?  This is kind of creepy.” And I was like, “YEP.  Live with it, sucker!  You’re mine now!”)  I have never been more elated in my life.

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Our wedding rings!!

And then the buzz kill came when I told my parents.

I imagine a day many years from now when I’ll be able to fully appreciate the parallel between my life and the countless comedy films with “wedding” and “parents” in the storyline.  But right now, things are still a little raw.  Basically, my huge Life Step marched right onto a land mine.  My engagement triggered all the hidden issues my family and I had been ignoring.

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The Art of Resting in Motion (When There’s Just Too Much To Do!)

Photo from Wikipedia.

Photo credit: Wikipedia.

The process of recording an album is different for everyone.  Some musicians complete their album in a week’s time, maybe it takes a couple of months, or if you’re Miles Davis, you can knock out an album in just two days – worked out beautifully for his 1959 album Kind of Blue. I’m not that kind of musician – at least not yet.  Teaching lessons during the week pushes recording time to the weekends.  And the fact that I don’t tour consistently means it takes longer to figure out how the song should sound on the recording. Nonetheless, I’m happy to report that the tracking for “The Shy Gemini Sessions” is now complete!  This marks the end of a six-month period where Jonathan, Bobby Holland (my

Here's Bobby and I working out some parts. Photo credit: Jonathan Morse.

Here’s Bobby and I working out some parts. Photo credit: Jonathan Morse.

producer and engineer) and I have spent almost every Saturday and Sunday exploring parts, experimenting with instruments and hammering out details.  We sure have had a lot of fun working our butts off!  Time for a break, right? Silly Rae, recess is for kids!  The moment I start thinking that I have my weekends back for a little R&R, I remind myself that when it comes to being an independent music artist, weekends simply aren’t for relaxing – there’s a LOT more to do.  In fact, I’m frequently saying to myself there’s too much to do.  For those of us that are moving towards bigger visions for our lives, there’s always going to be too much to do. Continue reading