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.

Over-Happiness Heart/Explosion Phenomenon!

Nashville-Fringe-Festival-Logo

I’m sitting here on my couch eating steamed cabbage (because isn’t that everyone’s go-to midnight snack?) thinking about how freaking wonderful life is. I am so grateful for the people in my life that make my heart feel like it’s going to explode from over-happiness but then my heart doesn’t explode from over-happiness because it knows I would no longer be happy if it did indeed explode.

Jan Bossing is the type of lady that can make the heart/explosion phenomenon happen. I first met Jan through our mutual friend (and 18-string bass player) Scott Fernandez before we played a show at Drifters in East Nashville. Ever since then, Jan has consistently promoted my music on social media and always (I mean always) has encouraging words for me.

Later I learned Jan runs the non-profit organization Nashville Fringe Festival (NFF). I can tell Jan lives out her organization’s mission statement every day:

“The Nashville Fringe Festival exists to celebrate the diversity of Nashville artists, and to honor the legends among us who enrich our city and inspire our lives.”

This woman is the type of mover-shaker-gogetter-cheerleader-Facebook SuperWoman you want representing your town – so Nashville should be honored to have her as a staple force around here.

So then, Jan really started laying the kindness on thick. She invited Jonathan and me to be featured guests on the NFF’s radio show with Radio Free Nashville. After that, she included my song “Infinity” on the NFF Winter 2015 Sampler (it’s free folks). But if that wasn’t enough, Jan and the NFF just offered to sponsor a Rae Hering show!

ET-Rae-Hering-Fringe-Radio-Show

I’m so thrilled. I mean, I was not expecting this. How often does someone come into your life and say, “hey, you look like you could use a little boost to send your heartfelt art out into the world therefore making it a more beautiful place” ???

Thank you Jan, for giving back so much to Nashville Creative Community.

Details to come about the show specifics. All I can say right now is…be prepared to be extremely entertained.

P.s. – click below to check out the FREE NFF Winter 2015 Sampler!

original-winter_2015_sampler

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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All I Got for Christmas…

All I got for Christmas was this holiday album called…

Just kidding.
A couple of months ago my friend Ford Heacock with Firebreath Media asked me to be a part of this fun ‘lil holiday project he was putting together. The result is 10 eclectic and colorful Christmas songs by many talented artists (read more about them here!) – all yours for FREE!! But if you would like to give, all the proceeds will be donated to the Nashville Rescue Mission.

Hope you’ll check out my track, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” fea. Duane Borba on percussion and Laura Vance on background vocals. Thanks for sharing it with anyone you think would enjoy it!

Here I am with Duane Borba recording at Firebreath Records

Here I am with Duane Borba recording at Firebreath Records

FIREBREATHRECORDS HOUSE SHOW #3 – RAE HERING /MAY 22, 2014

Reblogged from FirebreathRecords:

Hey everyone!  Ford here.  Our next house show has been announced for Friday, May 30th.  It is $5 at the door and completely FREE online!  If you are outside of Nashville you can watch the show here.

To help you get to know the performing artists before the show, we are asking them 4 simple questions.  First up is Rae Hering!

 

FBR:  Have you ever played a house show before?

Rae: Yep, a few. I love them. It’s such an up-close, intimate experience for the performers and the audience members alike. They’re a great way to support independent artists and have a really unique encounter with the arts at the same time.

FBR:  What makes you most excited about the show on the 30th?

Rae:  I’m excited to be playing with some really talented, inclusive, creative, pro-active and community-oriented musicians and friends of mine!

FBR:  What do you think of live streaming as a way to watch concerts and interact with fans?

Rae:  As recorded music is becoming de-valued (down to 99 cents that is!), live music performance is becoming a valuable commodity. People are craving interactive, one-of-a-kind experiences more and more. Live streaming is an excellent way to make these one-of-a-kind performances accessible to many.

FBR:  Tell us your deepest, darkest secret….or a fun fact!

Rae:  Fun fact: I can touch my tongue to my nose…just sayin’

Don’t forget to FOLLOW us on twitter at @FRBRTHrecords and LIKE us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firebreathrecords

 

Habitual Inhibition

Has anyone ever told you to let go of your inhibitions?  When are you actually able to do this?  Or are you?  It’s a nice thing to say or think about doing – but can we every fully let go?

These are the thoughts running through my mind after my co-write this weekend with my friend Robert LaSalle.  We finished a song about a wealthy man whose spirit is getting crushed by his lifestyle.  He drives a long distance to the ocean and leaves everything behind as he transforms into a Beach Bum (ever wonder where beach bums come from? well, now you know.)

Admittedly, it’s an extreme example of letting go of inhibition, so much so that this character gives up possessions, social norms and loved ones.  But I think the idea is something we can all relate to.

“Beach Bum”

Chorus:
Falling from grace
Falling out from the Great Unknown
(The Great Unknown is calling me.)

After writing this song, the presence of my own inhibition is clearer than ever.  I feel it in my own songwriting.  You see, I love collaborating, but it’s as if I mentally block myself from the flow of inspiration when I’m sitting next to a co-writer.  I feel the most comfortable coming up with lyrics curled up by my lonesome where I can crawl into the caverns of my mind.  

But I long to be open with others with my thoughts and creativity – I just don’t know how to get there yet.  How do we work ourselves out of these unconscious patterns?  Robert says drink more alcohol – ha, I’m not buying into that solution yet.  For now, my uninhibitor is a strong cocktail of therapy and acupuncture with one of those umbrella thingys for good measure.

I’ll be posting the finished song soon!

 

Showcase at The Hight Watt was the Jam!

 

Just had a killer Monday night playing at The High Watt for their weekly “8 off 8th” event (interpretation: the venue is off 8th Ave. and 8 bands play 3 songs each – it’s a marathon night, but a lot of fun, too.)  And WOW! I’m so blown away by the talent in Nashville!  The bands playing represented a very diverse picture of Nashville, from a progressive rock/metal/jazz group to a catchy southern pop act to an energetic
bluegrass/folk ensemble
to a steel drum-fronted funk/fusion band.

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