Tag Archives: guest post

Guest Post- Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine

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Today I’m doing a blog swap with the lovely Jessica! You can check out my post on her blog today as well. We both wrote about our adventures sharing music together via Dropbox these last couple weeks which has been SO much fun! 

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Hello Press Play readers!  If we haven’t “met” yet, I am Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine.  I blog mainly about books and music, but you can sometimes catch a glimpse of my two small boys and one big one…who are all pretty cute if you ask me.  I also host the Book Chat every Thursday, which I’m sure you’ve seen Melissa’s posts before.  We would love more people to join in, so jump in anytime!

My absolute favorite part about blogging is the amazing people I meet.  Melissa and I have been blog friends for a while now, and I honestly don’t know if there is another person alive with more similar interests as mine.  When you get to connect to people based on like interests and similar tastes, it results in the most rewarding friendships.

Recently, Melissa invited me to share music with her using a program called Dropbox.  It’s basically like a virtual mailbox that lives somewhere in space.  I put music into it, and she can download it.  Then, she puts music in it that I can download.  It’s completely safe and legal (I think).  It’s great because we’re not just doing it to “steal” music, but to expose each other to new sounds and artists.  Rather than burn a CD and send it out to her via snail mail, I can just shoot her a tweet and say “Hey Mel, check out this band!” and BAM she has the album to listen to instantly.  Then, we can promote those bands here on our blogs and everybody wins.

Today, I want to share my favorites that Melissa has sent me.  Here is a short list of some of the stuff I received…

Anthony Green – Beautiful Things

Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise

Ed Sheeran – +

But there are two specifically that I want to talk about…

1. Young the Giant – Young the Giant.

I had heard YtG on the radio a bit and I knew they were a band to listen for. Songs such as “Cough Syrup” and “Apartment” are easily marketable songs that we will be hearing much more of in the future.  However, they don’t quite showcase the singers voice like I wish they would.  He is so unique.  He’s totally a crooner in a rock band!  Don’t believe me? Listen to “I Got”.  He’s like the Michael Buble of indie Rock.  Such an incredibly fresh sound that never gets old.  I like their popular songs, but I LOVE the rest of this album.  And let me tell you, I was stoked when I found out they would be at Bonnaroo this year! (as will I)

Young the Giant may sound like just another mainstream rock band by their singles, but I promise this band has something special in their lead singer.  Do give them a listen.

2. Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal

Oh man, oh man, oh man.  This is easily one of my new favorite bands.  I cannot say enough about how much I love this album, but I’ll give it a shot.  I heard their single “Little Talks” a lot on XMU and Alt Nation back in November.  I was immediately obsessed with that song.  However, I never gave the rest of the album a chance.  I have a fear sometimes when I fall in love with one song, that the rest of the album won’t live up to it.  That is NOT the case here.  “Little Talks” isn’t even the best song on the album.  Let’s talk about their sound.  The two lead singers, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson (they’re from Iceland), have these voices that blend so well.  Raggi has a sweet, husky voice that sends me away with “Sloom” every time.  And Nanna’s voice, while not overbearing, is so gentle and almost timid.  There’s a moment in the first song, “Dirty Paws”, where they crescendo into the emotional, yelling line and every time, I get chills.  This band owes a lot to their percussionist too, I believe.  Every song has a powerful tempo that supports the soft voices and sinewy instruments.

Let’s talk about the song “Lakehouse” for a moment.  What is it about this song?!  When Melissa told me she listened to them sound-check with this song, I was drooling with jealousy.  Best song on the album I tell you.  They invite you in with this sweet guitar melody and simple harmony…pause in the music…then BAM, the band joins in and I’m swept away.  This song soars.  Once again, the percussionist owns it.  Then Nanna joins in with the line “Can you chase the fire away” and it slays me.  Her voice.  Okay, stop reading this, and just go listen to it and I promise you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Basically, their sound is humble and honest.  They are a stellar team and they work together seamlessly.  There are so many moments in this album when I literally hush everyone in the room with me, and we just listen.  Particularly to the instrumental refrain in “Yellow Light”.  So beautiful.

Thank you Melissa!  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have a whole new list of albums that Melissa has sent me that I cannot wait to really explore.  I’m so glad she introduced me to Dropbox.  It really gives us the opportunity to find & share new music while also becoming even closer friends.  If you haven’t used it yet, I recommend you try it.

Thanks to Melissa for having me on the blog today…hope we can do it again soon!

Guest Post: Kanriah from One Red Wall

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I was lucky enough to meet Kanriah through Twitter (oh, the magic of Twitter- really!) because of Twookclub, and I’m very happy I did! She is an awesome lady & we’ve had some great internet talks over the last few months that we’ve known each other. I love that she wrote her post about one of my (many) goals, personal stories are always lots of fun to read! Don’t forget to go see what she’s up to on her blog and leave her some love in the comments 🙂

Blog/Twitter

When I looked at Melissa’s 23 before 23 list I had to smile at number 9. It made me remember when I learned to drive a standard. Coincidently I was 22 when I learned too.

After moving with the military to Germany at 16, I wasn’t in a situation where I needed a license until I was 21. Since my first vehicle was an automatic there was no rush to learn how to drive a standard, and I was okay with this. Until Hubs (though we weren’t married then) went and screwed it all up by getting a truck with a standard transmission.

I did pretty well for a while letting him drive the truck while I drove the van, but it was clear that I’d need to learn at some point. Since he was my only option, Hubs set about teaching me. He’s not known the kind of person you want teaching you anything you won’t pick up on the first try, so this was going to be fun.

The town we lived in at the time was very hilly, so I’d often find myself getting off to a good or bad start depending on whether I was facing uphill or downhill. On one memorable occasion I bounced a full truckload of drywall out of the back of the truck. I’m talking Full Load, not just a few pieces. That stuff is heavy. Luckily it landed flat and it didn’t all break. Another favorite was the time I got stuck at a light going uphill. The traffic behind me stretched the length of the block and around into the heavy 3 lane road at the next intersection. A police officer had to come and stop the traffic at the light so I could get through before the light changed.

I was winning the driver of the year contest. For Reals, yo.
So we took a break from the teaching of the standard for a while.

Then the best thing happened.
Hubs had to go work on Long Island. I wanted to get out of our little town and Hubs was allowed to take me, so off we went. On the way there he had me drive, but on the interstate there isn’t much shifting needed. Then we made it to NYC. He wasn’t able to drive, so I had to.

Imagine with me:
I’m 8 months pregnant and my stomach is Huge. I’m driving a full sized chevy loaded with tools. It’s the middle of the day with traffic everywhere. We had made a wrong turn and were going through Manhattan and trying to find our way. And here I am, making the truck shake and usually die at Every Single Light.

Some people laughed at me, others probably had less kind things to say.

But we made it. All the way to the hotel we’d be staying at. My sister had been following us in my van since she worked with Hubs, so I was able to use my nice, safe, easy automatic minivan while they were at work. But I knew I’d be stuck driving back home.

Luckily it was easier to follow the signs on the way home and I didn’t have to make the detour with all of the lights and traffic. The rest of the way home was more of the same shuddering engine and trying not to kill the truck.

I was at the last toll booth a couple hours from home when Hubs made a comment that made me want to shoot him.

He told me I could hold the clutch down in stop and go traffic, that I didn’t have to let it go completely every time.

……

Really now. The whole time he had been teaching me he was telling me I had to let it go. He never once thought to mention that I could let up and not Release the damn thing. I had driven from West Virginia to Long Island and back. I was almost home, and he finally shared that information with me.

That was the missing piece of information for me. As soon as he said it I no longer had a problem driving a standard. Even up a hill.

Hopefully Melissa has a better teacher and an easier time learning to drive a standard this year.

Just remember: you can ease up on the clutch without letting go if you’re not going very fast. If your teacher doesn’t tell you that it’ll make for a very shaken up Melissa. Good luck!

Guest Post: Sophie Ferrandino

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 I’m really happy to introduce you all to Sophie, a good friend of mine that I met because of our mutual love for live music. We also work together at CONFRONT magazine and I know she’s a fabulous writer- she may  not have her own personal blog, but I was still so excited when she asked to write a little something for me. Check out her post, and then go tell her how much you love it on Twitter!

Twitter

Reflections of the Young…

As I was watching Cameron Crowe’s documentary “Pearl Jam Twenty” for the 15th time probably by now, thinking of what I could possibly write about for this blog; this video excerpt Crowe inserted of Andy Rooney’s “60 minutes” on April 17th, 1994, just after Kurt Cobain had died, just attacked my brain.  With great sarcasm in his voice and eyes, Rooney had said:

 “What’s all this non-sense about how terrible life is?  A young girl who stood outside his home in Seattle with tears streaming down her face said: “It’s hard to be a young person nowadays, he helped open people’s eyes to our struggles.” Please, wipe the tears from your eyes dear, you’re breaking my heart.  I’d love to relieve the pain you’re going through by switching my age for yours.”

What this old man didn’t seem to realize is he really wouldn’t want to trade places with a teenager or young adult going through life these days.  I would never imply that anyone’s teen years were anything easier before the Nirvana and grunge era; I’m just saying that the nineties “young people” and music collided with the world in a much broader perspective than in any previous time this earth has seen.

What happened?  The internet hit us.  The world surely is a small place, but the World Wide Web made it that much smaller and accessible.  And as it grew bigger, the world grew weirder.  And by weird I mean:  *insert many beeps here*.  Information became a hundred times more available, easy to obtain and free.  The world is a beautiful place, there’s no denying that, but the window the internet opened on our world didn’t filter any of the bad either.

What Cobain and many of us started seeing is how messed up this planet is and what people like Mr. Rooney had left us to deal with, but mostly SAVE.  For many like Nirvana’s lead singer, unfortunately, it was too much to handle and death became the only solution.  The expectations, the judgments, the pressure, the injustice, the environment, the poverty, the “way of life” we were being told was “right” and everything else we were being shown was going on all over the world and we somehow are powerless to stop becomes unbearable.  And when your emotions are so strong and screaming inside you and you wish you could do something that could just change the way things are, the way things are going towards, in a downward spiral…  Yes, Mr. Rooney, being young isn’t the same as the years go by!

And later on there’s another snippet where he adds: “What would all these young people be doing if they had real problems like a depression or Vietnam.  Do they work at all? Are they contributing anything to the world they’re taking so much from?”

What he also didn’t really grasp are the consequences of the events he used as examples.  We are still paying for the great depressions of the past and the wars that have been fought, caused by HIS generation.  Depressions are still happening and children are paying the price of war in too many countries today as well.  With music, art and through any other channel the next generations can think of, yes Mr. Rooney, they are contributing!  Spreading the word, the news, the opinions, the petitions, the rebellions, the inspirations…  Teaching others how to dream, how to think for themselves, how to fight those like you Mr. Rooney, who have led us in the wrong path, thinking life is just about work, work, work and money!

We DO have real problems Mr. Rooney: all over the world, almost 20 years after you’ve made these statements, the problems grow even bigger!  And please, don’t tell me WE started it, you’re breaking my heart!

Never stop thinking for yourselves. Never stop living your dream. And like Marley said: “Get up stand up, don’t give up the fight!”

(Mr. Rooney passed away recently in November of 2011, he was a well known writer and television personality and this was never to insult his memory.  I just think “old people” tend to judge “young people” too easily, given the growing hard circumstances of this world we live in)

By Sophie Ferrandino (@noandroid)

Guest Blog: Liz from Dance to the Radio

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I think today’s guest blogger is the only lady that I personally asked to write something for me because I think she’s THAT awesome (and I really wanted her to share her musical tastes with you all). Liz not only has one of my current favorite Etsy shops, but we have very similar taste in music, which is always a sealed deal of approval in the blogger world for me! It’s no surprise that I love what she wrote & shared for my blog today, happy reading- and listening!

Blog/Twitter

Hello to all of Melissa’s followers! I’m Liz and I blog over at Dance
to the Radio
. One of the reasons I love reading Melissa’s blog so much
is because of our very similar taste in music. So I thought that while
Melissa is off enjoying some sunshine, I would post a spring time mix
to go with some spring fashion inspiration.  Although spring is still
a few weeks away, I am already counting down the days until I can move
my sundresses to the front of my closet.

 {via}

Bright colors and pattern mixing are perfect for the upcoming season.
This color combination is perfection!

And now for a mix…

01. Coney Island – Good Old War
02. Emmylou – First Aid Kit
03. Mean to Me – Ben Kweller
04. Slight Figure of Speech – The Avett Brothers
05. Sandra Partial – Anthony Raneri
06. Generator (Second Floor) – Freelance Whales
07. Vegetable Car – Joshua Radin
08. Blue Skies Again – Jessica Lea Mayfield
09. Don’t Say Oh Well – Grouplove
10. We Don’t Need Our Heads – A Great Big Pile of Leaves

{Listen on Spotify:
http://open.spotify.com/user/liz_kantner/playlist/0LIMFzQooccvJSUfc79sVX}

Guest Post: Isabelle

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Today’s post comes from a girl I met in real life because of music. We started going to all the same shows, so it was basically meant to happen that all of our friends would become friends. In the last two years we’ve gone to A TON of concerts together and had some amazing times.

She now works in the music industry and has some really great insight on how it works behind the scenes. I was super happy to have her write me a little blog post about the Montreal music scene and the effect we can have on the industry itself. We could all learn a little something from this- happy reading!

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When you are 14 years old, your idea of the music industry is that it is unreachable. It is that faraway world where only destined people are admitted into. I attended my first real concert when I was 14. I was counting down the days because I would finally see the band I’ve been listening to for so long. I was confident that I would see them from far, really far, but that I would never get to meet them. I am now 21 years old and I’m still unrealistically in love with that same band. But life changed a lot since that show during the summer of ’05. I learned a couple of things along the way.

Me VS the Music Industry

There is no textbook about the industry. You have to follow your instinct. The first few years, my friends and I only attended shows and then we were going home. Until one day, we made friends and our lives changed pretty quickly. I got to meet that person who would change everything and give me my first chance at being one day an important piece in the game. You need to have contacts. This is really the way it works and you need to work hard. If you want to be a journalist, write anywhere you can. If you want to be a singer, find any opportunity to sing.  Also, if you are like me and you are expecting to have a career in the industry, you seriously have to behave wherever you go as soon as you are surrounded by people working in the business. Especially if you are a woman. When we are standing by a stage, people assume that we are not hanging around for the right reasons. Once you set one foot backstage or in a setting that is anywhere but in the crowd, anything you do is being scrutinized. It doesn’t matter if it is an 8 million records selling band. They will find that blog entry with a huge picture of the guitarist and you posting that you will marry him one day…

Gaga VS The New Cities

I’m worried about the future of the music industry. I always tell my friends that we are 10 years too late. Back then, it was the last years where labels/artists still had money. The illegal downloading wasn’t so bad yet. Every day at work I receive updates. It is not getting better. Sometimes it’s what artists say. Why would you stand on a stage and tell your fans to get your record illegally? You are going to be the one not able to afford food next week. I understand the integrity that you want to show, but it’s not really the way to go. You have to understand that once an artist is signed under a label, the money that they make doesn’t only serve them. People seem to think that it doesn’t matter if you don’t pay for Britney’s or Gaga’s latest releases. You have to understand that Gaga and Brit are signed under a huge label, yes, but that huge label needs money to push smaller artists. For instance, Brit is signed under the same label as The New Cities. Katy Perry under the same as Take the Night. These 2 Montreal bands need the money. It is wrong to think that you are not going to pay for Pitbull latest CD but that you will pay for Marie-Mai. In the end…it’s the same same game.

But I’m hopeful. I know that we can’t live without music. Something will happen. Someone will have the miraculous solution that will save us all. I have no clue yet. But it can’t be just this. It is not true that all of those artists’ hard work  throughout the last 60 years will be lost just like that.

Time flies

I’ve been in the industry officially since June 2010 ( I was a witness since long before that though) and it keeps surprising me. I’m surrounded by people who know so much and who’ve been around since so long. Everybody has a story. Sometimes it’s a party with P!nk, getting to work with the Backstreet Boys or even being in charge of Freddie Mercury. My personal favorite; to bring to John Lennon the tape that would become Give Peace a Chance. There is NOTHING like this. and yay me, proud of a couple of beers with Simple Plan. Time flies.

Trust your instinct. I will never say it enough. I’m talking about music, but it is the same way in any business. If you want something, just go and get it! Work hard for it and make sure you deserve it. If there is one thing I learned, it’s that there’s no such thing as luck. You MAKE your own luck. People tend to be judgmental towards me because I’m extreme and when I love something, I am completely involved in it. But it pays! In the end, I am the one with the job in my field of choice on my way to my dream-job and nothing else. Indeed, all I had to go through wasn’t always glamorous; sleeping on the sidewalk, waiting outside during the first snowstorm of the year, torrential rain TWICE and not mention glorious fall in the sand on the Plains of Abrahams. You never know where you end up. If you would’ve told me when I was 14 years old that the band I was going to see would be first and foremost, really accessible and second some of the first few people to believe in me for real, I would have NEVER believed you. And yet here I am.

Guest Post: Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine

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Today, I’m swapping blogs with the Jessica, you can catch me over at HER BLOG today writing about the top 5 albums that influenced me the most growing up (no, not Backstreet Boys, but I was tempted!)
Jessica and I quickly realized that we have about a million things in common after she came across my blog (I think it was a Mumford & Sons post that brought her over, how fitting!) and since then I keep finding new hobbies that we share.
I love her post today- it mixed in two of my favorite things: books and music. Not to mention she’s got wicked taste in both so you’re all in for a treat! Don’t forget to check out her blog once you’ve read her post over here, and go check mine out too and let me know what you think! 🙂
Hello Press Play readers!  I am Jessica and I blog at Sweet Green Tangerine.  I’m so excited to be writing on Melissa’s blog today.  Melissa is one of my best blog friends and favorite blog reads.  Our instant connection was over music, and then recently we realized we shared the same love for books.  So for my guest post today, I thought it only appropriate that I combine the two.
You see, I do this really nerdy thing.  I create music playlists specific for the book that I’m reading.  It’s a list of songs that I feel really capture the novel’s mood.  It creates this well-rounded listening and reading experience.  To this day I can’t hear Florence without picturing Katniss running through the woods.  I love that connection.
So I decided to share a few of these lists with you guys today.  I chose a couple books that Melissa and I both loved and then the one I’m currently reading.  They created a nice variety of different sounds.
First up.
This is one of my favorite playlists (as well as one of my favorite books).  I created it a couple years ago when I first read the books.  I listen to it still today. Gearing up for the movie (eek!)  It is a mix of powerful drum-heavy jams and tender acoustic ballads.  Here are some of my favorites (with a few new ones added).
Delirium is another one of those popular dystopian teen novels.  It wasn’t quite as dark as The Hunger Games but I still enjoyed it a lot.  I thought I would share this one because the 2nd book of the trilogy, Pandemonium, is being released very soon (Feb 28) Eeek!  This playlist is moody yet motivating.  Think young love and rebellion.
This is the novel I’m reading right now, so I felt like I had to share it.  It’s a pretty slow paced book so the songs are all very laid back, melancholy and reminiscent, with the exception of the punk/rock songs which I felt were appropriate for the main characters boyfriend.  Read it and you’ll know what I mean.
Well I hope you all enjoyed my playlists.  I’m sorry if the musicians were specific only to my taste.  I really tried to branch out a bit.  And I hope you consider creating your own playlists for whatever it is you’re reading.
Thanks for reading & thanks to Melissa for having me!
To read more about me, my favorite music and reads, click over to Sweet Green Tangerine.
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Have a fantastic week.

Guest Post: Michelle from Michelle Koechle Photography

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I’m so excited to introduce you all to the lovely and incredibly talented Michelle Koechle! She is not only an awesome photographer, but an avid reader like I am (that’s how we met! Well that, and the magic of Twitter.) Her guest post rings close to my heart, and you’ll see why below. Enjoy!

Website/Blog/Twitter

I am so excited to be guest posting on Melisa’s blog today! Melissa is a new addition to the people I follow on Twitter thanks to the magical connections of the Twookclub. Even though I haven’t been able to participate much in the club, I am still so grateful for joining it because of all the new, amazing people I’ve “met.” When I was contemplating what I should write about for the guest post, I decided to peruse Melissa’s blog more thoroughly to make sure I had an idea of her blogging style. I came across a page titled “Start With These Posts” (link) which I had honestly never checked out before. Curiosity got the best of me, and I ended up reading through each of Melissa’s recommended posts when I came across one in particular that inspired me. The inspiration isn’t derived from anything in particular except for that it relates to some things I’ve been thinking in my own life. That’s the beauty of the blogging community. It allows you to feel connected to people you’ve never met through their experiences and the experiences you share.

The post I’m speaking of is called, A Little More Honesty, Please. Melissa describes feeling stuck between wanting to be fully uncensored on her blog but still holding back due to the possible repercussions that can come when blogging boundaries aren’t set. I, too, have struggled in this area particularly after I decided to move my old blog to my now business blog. My blog now represents my photography business and in all honestly, that sometimes scares me. I’ve always been a blogger, and I love trying to be as open as possible. I’ve never had many qualms with sharing. However, now that my blog has taken on a more professional role, I find myself missing just letting it all out. Now, more than ever, I long for that kind of release because owning a business is hard and so often, I am faced with many challenges I feel I am unable to mention on my blog. I give myself a fix here and there with hints and hidden snarky comments on my blog that no one would really understand except for perhaps the person involved. While this is slightly satisfying, I miss being able to write what-would-you-do posts when I am faced with certain situations. I know that, even if I wrote such a post with a calm and logical tone, I would be deemed as unprofessional and “hotheaded.”

The question I often end up asking myself is when is honesty really the best policy on my business blog? With my business matters and personal life being merged into one blog, it can be tough to decide. Do any of you deal with a similar blogging challenge? And I have to wonder how Melissa is doing on being more honest too. 🙂