Photo Credit: Information Space.
This semester in FDOM I blogged for the very first time in my life. Blogging is very interesting and useful in the world we live in today. To be able to freely communicate one’s thoughts is an unalienable right and part of our American constitution, so exercising this right over a communication medium that anyone could possibly have access to is an honor and a pleasure. I do believe that blogging is not for everyone, maybe myself included. Yes, blogging is part of my class assignment and am required to do so but I’m not entirely sure if I will continue to blog after the class is over. I would like to think I will continue to blog or manage a website of some sort after this semester but I’m not entirely certain.
I learned a lot through blogging, especially knowing that it’s completely possible for anyone to be able to brand themselves by using this medium. I learned that the world we live in today is becoming extremely connected and social, and as Bob Dylan would say “times they are a changing”. There are many successful tools on WordPress that make it fairly simple to promote oneself. However I feel like I am limited to only create a website based on someone else’s template ideas. It’s great because it is easy to create and navigate, but I would like to acquire the knowledge to make my website more specific to a brand that I would like to start.
I feel that learning how to blog and use WordPress will be very beneficial in my future endeavors as long as I have a great idea to back it up. I really enjoyed the topic I chose because any band or owner of a venue was extremely happy to communicate with me about their thoughts and feelings concerning the music and the music venue. I had the opportunity to speak with people that are following their hobbies and dreams, and they were excited to know that I was writing a story including them. I plan on implementing these tools in the future by continuing to write stories and communicate with people more. It was great being able to leave my comfort zone and speak with people that were excited about a similar topic, and I wouldn’t have changed my direct experience for anything.
Check out this article by Scientific American that emphasizes why blogging is good for you.
Photo Credit: Bgdn_Adrian
If your looking for a new hobby, learning how to play a musical instrument can be a great start. There are so many different variations of instruments that can be learned: Brass, wood, percussion, piano, stringed and these are just to name a few. Learning how to play an instrument is extremely beneficial in multiple categories. Learning how to play an instrument will teach you patience. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, learning how to play an instrument is the exact same concept. It takes repetition, time and a whole lot of patience to be able to learn, but it’s my personal opinion that anyone can learn how to play as long as they put their mind to it.
So where to start? Think about the types of music that you enjoy most. Rock and roll, swing, hip hop, rap, blues, country or soul. These are just a few genres that feature the presence of multiple musical instruments. figure out which style is best for you and research what kinds of instruments are featured in your favorite genre of music. Pick your favorite one. Be aware that with certain instruments you may have a larger difficulty in learning than others, for example, you could learn how to play the kazoo, or the didgeridoo. One instrument may be more difficult to learn how to play than another, but just remember to practice patience and diligence.
There are all kinds of ways to learn how to play the instrument of your choice. Private lessons from an experienced professional are, in my opinion, the best way to go. Professionals that teach are obviously skilled in the musical realm and special in certain instruments. It may cost you a pretty penny, or maybe they might be feeling generous, either way private professional lessons are always a possible option. Personally, I play a few instruments but my favorite is the acoustic guitar. Overall, I taught my self how to play. I had a few friends show me one or two things in the beginning but the majority of my learned experience came from looking up methods via the Word Wide Web. We live in a world of technology and it can even teach us things that we relied on trained professionals for in the past. I once heard a teenager taught himself how to fly a plane using simulators on YouTube, so you never know. The sky is literally the limit.
If you choose to learn how to play acoustic guitar, I recommend using my favorite tablature website to get started. Ultimate-guitar is a great place to learn tablature, which is a form of reading music specific to the stringed instrument community. Also, chord charts are a great way to learn chords.
Photo Credit: DC Music Donload
Open mic nights are a very prevalent concept in San Marcos and its surrounding areas. Open mic nights are a way for the musical community to get on stage, without being booked for a show, and play a few songs of their choice in front of an audience. Open mic nights are a great concept for any developing or experienced musicians. For instance, if your nervous about playing in front of a crowd, one of the best ways to get rid of the nervous feeling is to play in front of a small crowd of friends, and continue to do so until you are comfortable enough to play in front of anyone at any time.
Open mic nights give the musician an opportunity to play the music that they have written, and play renditions of songs that they choose to cover. In my experience, I like to hear people play covers that have the musicians own mojo with it. Covering a song and playing it exactly as the original artists plays it is fine and some even prefer to hear covers in that form only, but I truly enjoy hearing musicians play cover songs that you have to really listen to in order to figure out who the original artist is.
There are so many venues in San Marcos that feature open mic nights! Treff’s Tavern, Tantra Coffee house, Triple Crown and Taxi’s piano bar are just to name a few venues that host open mic nights in San Marcos. Open mic nights are not only a great chance for a musician to exploit their talent, it’s also a great chance for the listener to gain some insight on the music that the performer is portraying. One of my favorite parts of open mic night is that you never know what to expect. The people that I have seen perform range from goof performers that aim to acquire a comical rise out of the crowd, to serious performers thriving to get that one big break to stardom. You never know who might be playing in your local live open mic scene, so go to a venue and check it out!
Check out a little history on open mic nights! History of Open Mic
I had the pleasure to watch Pardo and Reed perform at Cheatham Street Warehouse and captured this video of an original song.
Music Line Up
Open Mic Night
From the side
Tuesday afternoon, after i passed Cheatham Street Warehouse, i stumbled upon Triple Crown. I immediately noticed the sign in the front window displaying the weekly music line-up. There was a name for every slot for the week. I walked in, passed the pool tables and noticed that they were setting up the stage for a performer. Triple crown features a live performer throughout their happy hour period every week. “We have live music 365 days out of the year.”
The Gentleman that was playing during Triple Crown’s happy hour period played country music and he played alone. It really does take a lot of guts from anyone to be able to get on stage and play by yourself in front of a crowd of people. He played original songs as well as country covers that created a relaxed atmosphere in the venue. I noticed that the gentleman sitting in front of me at the table came alone but was enjoying the soft country vibe that the performer was playing while he sat and had a drink.
I’ve noticed that every different venue that i visit offers a different style for their guests. For instance, Taxi’s Piano Bar offers a back area for karaoke and comedy nights, triple crown encourages patrons to come enjoy a smooth happy hour, Cheatham Street Warehouse encourages original artists to come show them what their made and that is just to name a few. I’m very excited to see what other venues have to offer and i encourage everyone to seek them out as well. You never know what your going to find and experience in the great city of San Marcos.
Check out Triple Crowns website: http://www.triplecrownlive.com/
Cheatham St. Warehouse is a great music venue in San Marcos, TX. My favorite part about checking out new music venues in this town is that i never know what to expect. At first i didn’t think much of the visual perspective from the outside of Cheatham St. Warehouse. It is literally a warehouse. But as i followed the road to the entrance and walked inside, my perspective of the venue completely changed. Yes it’s quite literally a warehouse, but once i walked inside i became overwhelmed with a hometown country hall. It’s a large venue that features a full bar with great drink specials, pool tables, a patio filled with picnic tables, a dance floor and a comfortable stage.
I walked in at eleven o’clock on a Tuesday night and there was a band playing! My favorite part about the live music scene in this town is that one may not have to wait for the weekend to be able to see great live music. The band that was playing is called Pardo and Reed and they were extraordinary.
Pardo and Reed!
Pardo and Reed is a five-piece band. They harmonized various times throughout their set and it’s very evident that they practice vigorously because their performance was spot-on. It was a spectacular performance that caught the attention of the entire crowd. They played a set that featured covers, originals and even some requests that influenced the crowd to dance and ultimately enjoy the night filled with music. Pardo and Reed are from San Antonio, they play all around the Austin-San Antonio area and are even scheduled to go on tour in Japan. Check them out on Facebook! www.facebook.com/pardoandreed or book them through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
He Started at Cheatham
George Straight got started at Cheatham St.Warehouse. The venue is full of George Straight memorabilia from when he used to perform at the warehouse with his old band. The owner of Cheatham even hosts nights that encourage songwriters to come in for an open-mic night to play their original songs. It is completely possible to get discovered in this town for those who write and perform their own music. It happened to George Straight didn’t it?
Check out Cheatham Street Warehouse’s website to learn more! http://www.cheathamstreet.com/
There’s not an app out there that tells you exactly what’s going on in your home town? Now there is! San Mo Stuff is an application that can be downloaded to your smartphone that tells you which venues to hit that characterize what your looking for.
Suppose you decide to have a night on the town: catch a live show, take a date out or just decide to have a few drinks/food. San Mo Stuff is the app that will give you an incredible amount of options to light up your night. There are a variety of different venues in San Marcos that offer a ton of fun activities, drink and food specials and so much more. Get in on the action!
The app is easy to navigate and updated frequently. So whenever you decide to venture into the San Marcos area, consult San Mo Stuff so you know what is happening around town!
For more info, check out http://www.dumbapps4smartphones.com/million-dollar-app-idea/
So far, I’ve decided to post about the venues that I’ve visited in chronological order. I have yet to be disappointed. The next place I’ve visited is Treff’s Tavern. I went to Treff’s tavern on a Thursday night because I learned that they were hosting an “open mic” night. And it was an incredible experience.
Open mic night at Treff’s Tavern reminds me of listening to friends play Music by a campfire on a weekend night out of town. The vibe is very relaxing and the crowd is appreciative. It’s not very easy, for most folks anyway, to be able to get up in front of people and play music that they’re used to playing just themselves. but at Treff’s tavern, anyone is welcome to get up to the stage and show what they have to offer.
Treff’s Tavern features three levels to the venue. The first floor offers the guests a bar top, seats and tables, a patio and multiple high-def T.V’s in various spots. The second floor features dartboards, a cornucopia of tables, games in the back, high-def T.V’s and more friendly bartenders. The third floor is my favorite because it’s like hanging out in your own personal nook; if you want be social then the bottom two floors offer a variety of guests that are ready to converse, however, if you just feel like having one-on-one time with a friend, or reading a book while you have a drink, the third floor is perfect. Either way, you have three floors to choose from at Treff’s Tavern and each floor offers a great experience.
For more info, check out https://www.facebook.com/treffstavern
Photo Credit: Treff’s Tavern
Taxi’s piano bar is a great place to come to, located on the square. the drink prices match any other competitive bars in the area, the atmosphere is to die for and the folks that run the join are more than friendly. Taxi’s Piano Bar was the first bar I visited when I moved here, and I’ve been a regular ever since. There’s plenty of things to do!: ski ball is located at the left, there’s plenty of pool tables, a back room that features karaoke/comedy night and much more!
Taxi’s Piano Bar features a variety of musical guests as well. my favorite, so far, is a band called Henry and the Invisibles. Here’s the catch, Henry is the only person in the band. He plays every instrument and loops it all together while he Is playing, it’s amazing! I’ve never witnessed anyone that could, not only play a variety of instruments but, play a variety of instruments so well that it captures a crowd on an inspirational level.
The atmosphere at Taxis is absolutely amazing.The bar staff, owner, and friendly regulars will welcome you with open arms. so if you feel like having a few drinks, listen to live music, sing karaoke or anything in between, head to taxis for a great time! For more info check out https://www.facebook.com/TaxisPianobar
I grew up strictly listening to rock n’ roll and it will always be my roots for my love for music; however, i decided to make it a point to diversify my style when i moved to San Marcos by giving different styles of music i had never dreamed i would listen to a part of my new challenge. I decided to give Texas country a chance and i’m excited to see what the local scene has to offer.
There are all kinds of different styles that apply to all different kinds of people. It doesn’t matter what kind of music your into, or haven’t explored enough to know exactly hat it is that you may be into, there is a venue that is out there that will catch your attention if you give it a chance!
Don’t be afraid to get out and about town to figure check out the shows. In my opinion, the coolest part about catching a random live show is that you may find out that you like a different style of music that you didn’t think was even possible. Get adventurous!
Check out this link: http://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=musicvenues&find_loc=San+Marcos%2C+TX