I used to think that no one was listening. I used to think this was all pointless. I used to think I'd be done by now.
I was wrong.
The closer we get to 2013 the more I reflect on what I've accomplished this year. It's something I need to remind myself of, because sometimes, even now, I get nervous. I worry my ideas are bad and that I'll end up failing. I worry I'm going to let everyone down.
But then I look back on this year and I see how far I've come and how much I've grown. And I'm not the only one. Since I started this band and this project, I've met so many like-minded people out there. We've shared thoughts and fears. Musical creations and ideas we were too afraid to share with anyone else. We've shared dancefloors and stages, and coffeeshop tables and we've grown. We're still kids, but only on the inside, where we let our imaginations grow. I've seen how scared you were to perform in front of a crowd that first time, and now I see how confident you are when you're standing up to that microphone. Some of you were scared to dance, and maybe you still are, but I know that when I'm out there you'll have the guts to join me. And you've seen me too. With my ridiculous hair, my spidey suit, sweat pouring down my face, and my glasses slipping down my nose while I croon for whoever will listen.
And yes, we've still got plenty of room to grow, but we've taken our baby steps and that's a beautiful thing. Whether you're making music, writing, or working on your skills as an artist, you've improved. Even if you don't notice it yet. You have. And you'll continue to improve, same as me. Sure, you'll still have your moments of doubt. You'll still get nervous, but let's take the time to pat ourselves on the back. Because even if the world (or Colorado Springs) isn't aware of everything you've accomplished, you can at least take pride in yourself. I know personally, I'm proud of all of you for making it this far and doing what you do, and every once and awhile I can admit I'm proud of myself too.
So you may have heard that The RedHeaded Show is going on a short hiatus. A lot of people have been wondering why, especially after a near perfect streak going for more than half a year. The reason for this is because the RHZ gang and I are working on a project that will expand upon the show and hopefully change things up in the Springs at the same time. We're calling it The RedHeaded Zombie Showcase for the time being, but essentially it's our attempt at shining the spotlight on local talent, and when I say talent, I mean more than just musicians. We're looking for authors, poets, artists, photographers, filmmakers, and actors, or anyone with a creative spark. We think the Springs has a lot of talent that goes unnoticed and its our mission to change that, while bringing like-minded people together at the same time.
To do this we're designing a website exclusively for Springs talent, featuring music, art, and other media. We'll have featured artists and interviews as well so you can get to know them on a more personal level, and we'll keep you up to date on where you can catch them around town and on the net. Far from being a popularity contest, we're keeping our doors open for anyone who wants to get involved, from people just starting out, to people who have been performing in the Springs community for years.
On a tangible level, we'll be focusing primarily on music (since it is what got us started in the first place) with a collab cd, collecting music from artists all over the Springs and bordering towns, and we'll be giving it away for free. We'll be hosting bigger events, but still continuing the monthly zombie shows at The Coffee Exchange. We're even getting the ball rolling on a fundraising event with the MS Alliance group sometime this summer.
So with all of this going on, now is the perfect time to get on board. We're creating a street team called The Brainless Horde and we'll have more info as the project progresses, and of course we're always looking for new talent. So if you or someone you know is interested, let me know, or hit up The Brainless Horde on Facebook.
So I've got this list of local venues up on my wall now, I'm not sure which ones I'll actually play but it gives me something to shoot for. I've been playing regular shows, but if I don't keep moving I feel I'll end up trapped in a "Groundhog Day" scenario where I relive the same show over and over. So the plan is to gain a little more ground in the Springs, meet new people, and get a few more notches in my belt of musicalness. But never fear, the RedHeaded Zombie Show will continue at The Coffee Exchange as always. It's become sort of a safe haven for me. A place to experiment with musical ideas in front of a welcoming audience, and there's always new faces there. So yes, the shows will continue there, but that being said, they will improve. This year I'll be a little more selective in the music I bring to the show, but your old favorites will remain and new artists will emerge, all very different, but talented in their own right. As always though, none of it makes a difference without support from all of you listeners out there. You guys have helped me get this far, and I think together, we could accomplish something amazing. I'm not quite sure what it is yet, but the thought lurks in my head, just below the brainwaves... So keep your eyes and ears ready for more ABNFAH and The RedHeaded Zombie. We're always right around the corner.
So this week is a great week for music if you've got ten bucks and decent transportation. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, I'll give you a brief itinerary. It goes a little something like this:
Friday-8:00: You make your way to The Underscore, house venue located in the Stetson Hills area. 6883 Summer Grace St. if you're into details. There you can pay $5, to hear some refreshing acoustic music from myself, and Dustin Edge! Beautiful guitar noise and catchy lyrics for the body and soul in other words.
Obviously, you want to be there right? Right!
So then Saturday-8:00: You put on your dancing shoes for a show at Sunshine Studios (3970 Clearview Frontage Road, for detail lovers). Now this show is meant to get hearts beating all over the dance floor, featuring such artists as the energetic Epic Weatherman, and headliner, Maddix Jay! His awesomeness is beyond words. I'll also be opening for this show as well. So if you're looking for tickets you can hit me up in advance for just $5!
Really folks, there's no reason why your ears should be deprived of delicious music. You'll have a good time, no matter which show you go to, but not showing up could leave a hole in your soul that no amount of pop/techno/acoustic music could ever hope to fill.
Yes, we are that good.
I hope to see you there honestly. I mean what's a show without you guys?
So here I am, attempting to write a blog again. I figure my best approach should be a simple one so that's how I'll do it this time. I've got a show tomorrow night at Sunshine Studios, with a badass lineup of musicians. You don't want to miss this one. I'm looking at more diverse venues, specifically in the downtown/old colorado area, but after this Friday I'll be slowing down on booking shows and going out for more open mic nights and open venues. Instead of constantly asking the crowd to come to me, I will come to you!
In not so fantastic news, my laptop is out of commision, so recording won't be as convenient as it was for me, I'm working on it though. I've got a lot of new songs to share with you guys, and I'm excited to get them out of my head.
I'm still a solo act, but I'm always open to the idea of new members or just working with others in general, so hit me up if you ever want to collaborate or toss some ideas around.
Well as the year comes to an end, I find myself anticipating the future more and more. I'm ready to start over. A lot of things happened this year, and I'm glad that so many of you guys have stuck with me. There's been a lot of mistakes, and a lot of wasted time, but best of all, a lot of music! This year I wanted to focus on getting the band together and getting the music out there and for the most part I believe I succeeded even if the "band" is no more. More people than ever are listening to the tunes, but I know there could be so much more, and that's why next year I'm going to push it forward. Already it seems I'm off to a good start... "Reasons" is just about ready for public ears and is being released on the 5th of January, and a week after that I'll be playing a set at Sunshine Studios as the opening act for my good friends Heroine and the Heroes along with LoCust and Anywhere But Up!
I honestly haven't decided for sure if I'm going to try recruiting new members or remain solo, but I intend to spend a lot more time writing quality music instead of cranking songs out like I have been. This means I'll be trying new things, but also going back to my roots a little bit and spending more time developing my songs.
Hopefully you guys will stick around for another awesome year. -CJ
So...there's a lot to tell like usual, but my mind is backed up like a fat man who gorges on mexican food every day. Ew, I know. Anyways, the most important bit of news is that ABNFAH is once again a solo project. Some folks may be sad to hear it, other people will be completely unaffected by it...so yeah. If you're curious, you're free to ask and I know some of you will. ABNFAH is still heading in the same direction though. Reasons is coming along as planned and the art is coming along nicely as well. You can check out the first cover, on the band page if you feel inclined. I'm also working on a demo/setlist thing for a friend. What that means is hopefully I'll be ready to start playing shows in February. I unfortunately had to turn down an offer to play with The Sellouts (sorry guys) next January, due to my lack of members, but anything could happen...
Yours truly until I wake up from the Matrix, CJ
So for a week, I've stalled on writing a blog, which is a huge no-no, but hey, it's not like I haven't been busy. Thanksgiving week (killer) gravity was reversed and I got stuck on my bedroom ceiling. This week was rough too, someone flipped their car and hit a powerline very close to my house and took out power for the whole block. Needless to say, I've been feeling that whole "You only live once, don't waste your time hitting poles with cars" thing. Life is short which is why I'm here to tell you that before you die, you should definitely check the latest musical dohickey of ours: Reasons.
Right now you might be saying "What the f*ck, CJ, you sexy beast, you? Didn't you guys put out an "ep" a few months ago?" Well, the answer is yes, but despite my sexy beastness, that project just wasn't too great. It was a bit uncoordinated and maybe the tracklisting could've been better.
I'll be honest with you guys. The band has been in flux lately, so I was inspired to start a new project to reflect that. For those of you who have been fans of "ABNFAH" from the beginning, you know just how far it's come. It's not going to end anytime soon, but it's only begun to bloom and it's a difficult process for our little indie baby. These new tracks are a much better effort and once it's said and done, I hope you'll find yourself listening to it more than once or when you want to make someone really depressed.
But I couldn't stop with just making music that you liked, I had to find a way to give you amazing eye candy even if I couldn't afford a bunch of jewel cases. I wanted to get a bunch of monkeys to draw some cover art, but obviously if I can't afford cases, I can't afford the bananas that monkeys so frequently demand. Instead I asked my very generous and gifted artiste friends to draw their own unique covers instead. So by the time the project is finished we're going to have some very cool art for you to hold in your grubby hands.
I can't thank them enough, and I appreciate the fact that my paycheck will go towards my family's living situation and not a crate full of bananas. For those of you non-artists who feel the need to pitch in, you can help by getting everyone and their mum to add us on facebook,myspace,twitter, and youtube. Everything you guys do, no matter how big or small, matters to me
I would take care of myself, and that includes my band. Things have been slow but I'm going to work through the slump. Being 21 lets you do all kinds of neat things and I'm going to use that to my advantage. Today marks a change in me that isn't just another ring on the tree. I cast something aside recently. I'm not sure what it was, but maybe you will notice.
Anyways, we've got new tunes on the way, while we work on a setlist, playing as a band, and getting actual gigs. I'm thinking we should do covers for youtube to garner some attention, but in this business nothing is guaranteed. Sometimes, though, I like to believe I'm destined for greater things, and sometimes I believe I'm sabotaging myself, and sometimes I believe I'm unconsciously sabotaging myself into greater things. If that's the case, I've got nothing to worry about 8^P
-CJ Hackett, 21 by lunch
It's here, Ladies and Gents. Our new ep, "A Cool Breeze, A Rough Draft", is available to buy now! You know what that means. Beg your parents for their credit card, blackmail your brother with embarrassing photos, dig through your neighbor's couch for money, whatever you have to do to buy this album! When you purchase it, you'll receive five lightly sweetened tracks to pour upon your ears and after the initial...earsplosion, you'll be highly satisfied with yourself for buying it. Even the world will think you're cool for supporting indie music!
For only 5 George Washingtons, you can buy the ep on our myspace page, or follow the link below to a far prettier page: http://www.reverbnation.com/store/artist_720782
We hope you guys enjoy our first foray into indie band greatness. 8^)