People frequently tell me that I am so lucky to be playing in a band and not working. While I agree I am blessed to be in Kittenhead and my bandmates are the very best there is a misconception that all we do is make music and that making music is easy.
1st the boring part – Kittenhead all have day jobs that dictate our schedule to a certain extent. Yes we travel as much as we can but those pesky day jobs get in the way of shows in say Japan or the UK – for now. Hopefully that will be different soon, but for now we have to seriously plan all trips out of California.
2nd the misconception that making music is easy – it is sometimes true in that riffs and collaboration can seem to come out of thin air to non-musicians, bits of lyric and a lick can come out of the recesses of a brain or seem to have dropped from the sky, but it is what you do with that bit that makes a song.
The key is not so glamorous. It is called work. Playing a riff over and over and building other parts. Wordsmithing a lyric and running it over, singing it and writing, crossing out and rewriting, counting syllables modifying it to fit a phrasing. It can take weeks even months to build a song out of a riff.
Many successful artists schedule time to be creative and I have adopted this practice. It may seem counter intuitive to “creativity” but actually creativity is the expansion of a theme or glimpsed idea and it requires development to reach its full potential. Besides in todays world with some many things pulling at our attention it is imperative to give ourselves space for our own thoughts.
I encourage everyone to take sometime to be creative. You don’t have to be Rembrandt to benefit – it will feed your soul.
So go out and create Kittenheads!
One thing to keep in mind is there are now over Six Oakland venues all presenting live music late week & weekends, all within 6-8 blocks of each other, which is having the effect of reducing attendance due to competition. we have had some early week shows ( Tues &Weds) that did better than our weekend shows.
Weekends or not, the public is still loathe to spend anything at the door in the way of admission/cover charge. ( they're used to getting all their music for free off the internet...why should they pay to see a band when the club next door has a DJ for free?) – post from a live venue on Facebook
So why aren’t people going to music shows these days?
Partially I think it is that the economy sucks. Partially I think it is that this generation of young people was taken to big concerts by their parents, everything from Madonna, Usher to U2 depending upon their parents tastes and they expect a HUGE show. I doubt many of them have enjoyed the intimacy of a small venue with a great band, that actually puts on a show.
Maybe there is a way to use social media and word of text to spread the "old" news to the new generation. Bill Graham had free shows with fruit and tea to jump start the 60s concerts in SF maybe it is time to go back to some tried and true methods of crowd growth and marketing --- all ages shows would be 1st on the list -- get em young and build the future.
But there is an expectation of perfection from this generation. They haven’t grown up on live music and they don’t know how to react to music that doesn’t sound exactly like the track they downloaded. We are raising a generation of sheep and it shows in their musical taste which leans toward the electronic void of soul genre. Really the only way to solve it is to expose them to real rock n roll.
Send us your suggestions! KH
PS DJ’s for the most part are NOT Live music – period.
I am a bit of a geek when I comes to music. I recognize stuff most people wouldn't from my favorite bands and get excited and yes cheer when I hear it placed in a TV show or even a commercial because I know they are actually getting paid for their work.
Yes decidedly un-punk rock of me.
But guess what? Musicians have bills too. In fact, many of us have a larger overhead than other people because we travel and have to buy and maintain gear to play that wonderful music for you. Yes, it is sort of a choice, if musicians weren't all addicted to music and the rush of playing together, live....
I am declaring it OK to have a song on a TV show or even the DREADED commercial - you know why? Cuz people aren't buying music and they certainly aren't going out to shows in droves. So, really the only way for that musician to eat is to sell their music to apple or gossip girls. If you hate that and want it to change --- support your local musician.
love you all
You know people, back in the olden days, say the 1980s and 1990s, we had these people called Disc jockeys or DJs and no they didn't mix dance music, they played music on the radio.
Well, even more crazy is, that they DECIDED what they wanted to play on the radio! Yeah -- really -- people decided what to play on the radio, not a corporation.
The change began with the strangled hold the record labels held over music production and then a little thing called payola was uncovered (fancy word for paying to play a single). This prompted the bosses of the radio stations to step in - supposedly to eliminate payola, but really just to eliminate the the middle man and have the record company executives pay the radio company executives directly....
This my friends is a big reason why most radio station play the same 5 songs all the time and generally suck. It is also why it is REALLY hard for an independent musician to get played on mainstream radio - no matter how good their song or music is....
I listen to the radio in my car as research to hear what is being pushed by the music industry this month (if you want to know it is something called "americana" which is like a rocky version of folk)
Yes, part of why I am telling you this is that I would love to hear Kittenhead on the radio regularly because it is 100% better than what is being played and that isn't just because I am in the band.... we play real music that isn't overproduced or cobbled out of the ashes of a syth-loop or an 80's sample.
Yes Kittenhead has been blessed to be played on many stations and we thank the DJs who have played us and you our fans for requesting us! Keep picking up those phones people and asking to hear Kittenhead on your local radio, internet, college and mainstream station!
thank you and have a great week
Not to be too big of a Pain ---- but I have never really thought much of award shows -- especially since art isn't like sport ---- there really are no true measures for a "winner" These "shows" are an excuse for a big party --- which wouldn't be bad if we weren't trying to force this competition on art....
Yes, I know some of you are saying pop music isn't art but it takes all kinds and while I never "got" those German figurines or some of Pollock's work -- I try not to judge what others find appealing because aren't we all just trying to find some beauty in the world?
and as another aside -- cuz my brain really doesn't do linear -- what is with the categories at the Grammys.... as a rock musician we always get the most random people tossed into our group...sorry now we are alternative (to what?) Remember when the flute beat metalica in heavy metal.... yeah me either
I don't particularly like pop music but I understand that it is easy to listen to and therefore popular for people to have on in the background while working or driving. I dissect music. Examine it, turn it over and let its complexity roll around in my mind. I love a clever turn of phrase or an unusual word, intentional rhyming, a fabulous transition, an unexpected bridge. tonal changes and morphing choruses. I like complexity and challenge but then I am an exception not the rule of most musical consumers.
In my opinion, which is just that, mine, electronica is making many musicians lazy, shows like American Idol promote too much individuality over the actual collaborative essences of composition needed to create true music. Guess what kids, music is actually work, it takes practice, time and commitment.
This isn't to say that I won't watch the Grammys. I do so for the performances, the pageantry and the spectacle of it all. But please remember Music isn't a competition.
Music brings us together and, just like the Olympics, it really isn't about winning, it is about participating.
SO participate with your music everyday. Listen to it, dance around the house to it and go see it live!
Hopefully all KITTENHEADS have heard
THE WORLD FAMOUS DOLL HUT HAS RE-OPENED!!!
To celebrate KITTENHEAD is playing there this Saturday night with the fabu YEASTIE BOYS and JURASIC PUNX!!
Come late and stay later!!
like they say you can take the band out of the hole in the wall punk club but you can't take the hole in the wall punk club out of the band --- no really they say it....somewhere
Welcome to 2014! I know someof you are wonding why your head hurts so bad...... Well that is a combination of the large quantity of drink last night and your liver's abject surrender to its inability to keep up.
However, kittenhead has a solution:
Drink water, eat some hashbrowns, take some asprin and get to a KITTENHEAD show in 2014!
We have new music coming at you, a high energy show and soon a new recording to share!
2014 is going to be fabulous right after the hangover subsides!
Yes, a lovely 80 degrees in mid december so how do we get that xmas feeling --- well by a tried and true tradition of swearing at other drivers and hitting the shopping areas with gusto
actually KITTENHEAD is working on new music and prepping for a show on the 27th
our last of the year at LOADED in Hollywood
We want to wish you and your's the best this holiday season! What ever day(s) you celebrate may you be with loved ones and safe in your travels!
Don't worry KITTENHEADS we are hard at work to bring you more ear candy! We are currently working on 5 new songs including a tribute song and a (shhh don't tell DD) a ballad!
The new year is fast approaching and KITTENHEAD will be going into the studio to record all these new gems, but we might be revealing them at shows coming up so don't miss anything! Come on out and say HI!
This coming friday we will be back in San Jose! Then RENO on Saturday!!
see you soon KITTENHEADS!!!
VIVA ROLLER DERBY ROCKS!!
Kittenhead had the HONOR of helping to pop the Roller Derby Cherry of VIVA ROLLER DERBY in CHICO -- YES their 1st derby bouts!!
IT WAS AWESOME SAUCE!! There were over 600 people there! And the AFTER PARTY ROCKED as well!
So the behind the scenes notes from the weekend ---
O-face has the distinction of being able to say he slept with three women in a hotel room....
DD sets her alarm and then puts in ear plugs....
VJJ hears the music so well in her head she doesn't always know when she has unplugged herself.....
Kivi can fall on her ass and make everyone think she did a backflip intentionally.....
YES IT WAS A FABULOUS WEEKEND
MORE TO COME CALI!!