Monday, March 24, 2014

The Decline of Western Civilization: My Turning Point

I just saw a post about and upcoming screening of The Decline of Western Civilization being presented at LACMA. This triggered a flood of memories.

The first Decline of Western Civilization had a huge impact on my evolution in this world. 

About five years ago, I was your typical soft spoken, shy, somewhat naive Asian girl with a lot of anger burning within. I was just starting out with the whole band thing and my guitar player at the time showed me this film.

Upon watching it, I was instantly captivated. There was this overwhelming feeling in the pit of my stomach that I can only describe as the antithesis of alienation.

My whole life I never felt as if I really fit in anywhere, here was a place all along that felt so right to me. A place I felt I could finally belong and just be me.

Basically, my thought process at the time was something like...
"...my whole life I've felt like a freak. And here's a place where even BIGGER freaks congregate. Freaks that say and do freakish things that piss off the majority, while being applauded by their peers! Hell, I might even be a LESSER freak in this kind of environment!"
A comforting thought.

I felt I had found a place where I could flourish in life. Within it's realm a stage and an outlet to voice all the anger and frustration I had never been able to purge from my body. 

My only form of self expression before singing had been the fine arts. Specifically painting, which quite frankly, really didn't do it for me in the wake of all the anger and frustration within.

On the screen, a crowd thrashed around in black and white. Riots were breaking out. A swirling mass of energy triggered by words. Words that came from a place deep within the pit of this person's being, forced out through uninhibited screams that looked like bliss.

I recognized that place the words were coming from. Different circumstances, yet the same emotional turmoil, anger, frustration. I knew those feelings intimately. Most of my life I longed to be rid of them. 

I thought to myself;
"I'm angry! I have shit to yell about! I want my words to invoke such passion in people! I want to play a show and trigger something of a mass hysteria! I want riots to break out and things to be on fire! I WANT THAT. ALL OF THAT."
So I yelled.
I was angry.

In an unrelated, (or maybe it was completely related) event, I got fired from the soul sucking job that for years had treated me like a piece of shit no matter how hard I worked or how innovative I was.*

At that job, I was a woman in a boys club, therefore, I was a piece of shit. My boss liked to make sure the women in the organization knew their place. Especially me, for reasons I will never know. Being treated like shit daily, while being made to jump through impossible hoops, with a proverbial carrot dangled just out of reach, can really piss a person off after a while.

When they finally fired me for reasons bordering on "just because," I felt incredibly cheated and used by that company. It felt very much like being cheated and used by someone you thought you were mutually in love with.

After that, I felt like there was something wrong with me. If i could work so hard, be such a good employee and still get fired, I was probably doomed at any job. I decided I was flawed and possibly just was not cut out to be a normal human being. I decided to devote all my newfound freedom to advancing my music career and see how far it could take me.

And you know what? Three years later I am not so angry anymore.

I watch old videos of myself right as I had embarked on my journey and come into my own in my singing and performance. I was SO ANGRY. It is startling to me now. 

It's quite a contrast to my current style, which is almost a satire of my former self. I don't feel this pervasive sense of anger when I sing like I used to. Sometimes, I even feel silly trying to replicate being as angry as I was before. Because i am not. 

So now, I embrace the silliness of trying to tap into that anger when I am no longer angry. The anger is gone, I am now having fun.

Many of my songs come from a place of bitter hurt and anger. The song itself is the antidote. Over time it washes the anger away, becoming pure fun. It is a wonderful thing. 

My life has been enriched by my accomplishments ever since I decided to devote my life to music full force. One of the reasons I've made such strides in a short amount of time is because I have taken great care in cultivating good relationships with people. If you genuinely give a shit about other people, they are more likely to give a shit about you. If you really jive with those people, amazing shit is bound to happen. It's a simple formula that many people seem to neglect.

Try it.
Try taking an interest in someone else without your own agenda lingering in the background. You'll be surprised. 

I work with such good hearted, hard working and talented people. Not Dead Yet Records and The Theadora Kelly Project work together in tandem, constantly reevaluating our goals with one another to make sure our big pictures are in alignment. That we are all working for the same big picture is paramount. 

We have cultivated working partnerships with others, which creates an even bigger force. This allows us to be able create with resources that would not be accessible without these mutually beneficial working relationships. We are able to do a lot with a little, resulting in work we are proud of.

I will one day look back on this time in my life with no regrets. I face hardships that are greater than I've ever faced before. But somehow the struggle is less when you do what you love.

I may not always know where my next meal is coming from, but I do know I am making important sacrifices now, to achieve great success and satisfaction in life. I know I have people that believe in me and what we are doing. We know our work is important. It keeps us pushing forward towards a bright future. 

###


*Upon a well meaning recommendation, I started following Suzy Orman who is the supposed guru of getting ahead in corporate america. Her techniques aim to move you up the ladder while positioning yourself as an irreplaceable asset in the eyes of the company from the ground up.

I followed her tips and techniques religiously. Her tips got me fired. Evidently, being too innovative and implementing cost-saving strategies that are brilliant enough to get you noticed, can make your boss feel that an underling is a potential threat to their position. 

At that point, the boss will spend a considerable amount time devoted to undermining all projects and bullying said threat and anyone trying to stand up for them. Be warned. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

My Point Is...

You have to work hard for a long time.
You can't make excuses for things you can control.
No one else is able to do it for you.
More than likely, no one wants to do it for you.

If you want to succeed, make it happen...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Theadora Kelly Project Formula For Success:

1. Write good songs.
2. Cultivate our craft.
3. Read a lot of books.
4. Always learn something new.
5. Push limits beyond our comfort zone.
6. Promote effectively.
7. Write Good Songs.
8. The computer is an amazing tool when used effectively.
9. Get off the computer and go to as many shows as possible.
10. Never apologize for our beliefs.
11. I am the Captain. Drive the ship.
12. Reciprocate good deeds.
13. It's a business first, be good at it. If not, learn how.
14. Write good songs.
15. Practice regularly.
16. Have a plan, but more importantly, execute it well.
17. Facebooking and socializing IRL are completely different things.
18. Meet a lot of people, shake a lot of hands. Remember names.
19. Have fun.
20. Identify self as a human first, a musician second.
21. There's more, but I'm over writing this list...

ABOVE ALL ELSE: Cultivate good relationships

Theadora's Magical Success Powers...


You want to succeed?
You want my magic success powers? 
You want me to grant you with my magical success powers so that your band can get ahead too?

Sure, it's all right here...

I want to attempt to address this notion some misguided folks have about me. Whether it sinks in or not, well... I'll be optimistic. 

So there are a few of you out there who seem to think I possess the ability to somehow grant them and their band instant success. When I politely try to explain that I do not have such powers, It is not well received. 

These people seem to assume I am being a greedy bitch and holding out on them by not bestowing my Magical Success Powers upon them as soon as I get an unsolicited request.

Today, I realized that I DO HAVE MAGIC SUCCESS POWERS and I actually AM being a greedy bitch by not sharing them with anyone and everyone all the time.

So, I've decided to grant everyone and their bands my Magical Success Powers in one fell swoop. I'm going to give these powers to you straight, uncut, super-concentrated and pure, i'll just put it on your tab. You will owe me 80% of your earnings one day. It's a hefty price I know. Magic Success Powers are expensive.


So, I will just get out my fairy dust here, and you go ahead and snort that shit up. That fairy dust will really make the powers sink in.

Okay, ready? Let's go. 

Oh one more thing. Magic Success Powers may not agree with your constitution. You may not like what you see and hear below. Fair warning. 

DISCLAIMER: THEADORA'S MAGICAL SUCCESS POWERS are to be used at your own risk. By choosing to use them, you automatically grant Magic Success Powers, Inc., indemnity from everything bad. Magical Success Powers, Inc., is not liable for injuries, dismemberment or death that may result from these powers. Every outcome is different and magic powers do not automatically work out fine in the end. By proceeding you agree to these usage rights. 

 *****************************************************************************************

THEADORA'S MAGICAL SUCCESS POWERS:

Follow these steps, repeat when needed:


STEP 1:  Research "THE MUSIC INDUSTRY" read everything there is to know about it. 

Here's a recomendation to start with: "All You Need to Know About the Music Business." By Donald Passman. Start there, read it cover to cover, then read it again. Read about fifty more books like this.

Awww...
Does your brain hurt?
Is it too much?
Too overwhelming for you to comprehend all of that?
Don't know how you are going to make all those things happen because; you're broke, on the brink of hitting bottom or nearly homeless, or don't have any resources like other people seem to? 

Well you better just SUCK IT UP.

I had to. I was probably much worse off than you are when I was at this point. If I can do it, so can you.

Right now, your brain probably hurts and you wanna cry from all the things you have no idea what the fuck they are even talking about.

Well pal, you better get over that shit right away. You better fucking go back to whatever book (yes BOOK) hurt your poor little head and comprehend that shit and make a plan to do the things that book says you should do.

STEP 2:  If you think it's too hard and wanna cry about it...

...well then do us all a favor and just quit. Just fucking quit and do something else for the rest of your life. You can always have music as a hobby.


STEP 3: If you actually want to succeed and get people to shows...

...and stuff then stop being a whiny little bitch and start formulating a plan for you to start running your band as a business. A successful band is a business. An unsuccessful band is an excuse to act like whatever idea of a rock star the media likes to portray. 


STEP 4: If that is too much for you to think about...

...then I would suggest going with Plan B.


PLAN B: Just pretend you are a rock star. 

Use it as an excuse to party and get wasted and have girls think you're cool. It works, go do it.
If that is ultimately what you are looking for in this, it would be wise to go that route if you are not willing to work hard with zero reward and people telling you your music is shit in about 5 billion different ways for a few years, maybe five or ten years, especially if you really do suck. 


CONCLUSION: That should keep you busy for the next year or two.

Get back to me after completing all those steps and we will move on to phase 2.
To Be Continued...

###

Monday, April 1, 2013

Hugh Asnen Talks Hi-Z's and Music Industry Gender Biases 04/05 by The Anti Socialite | Blog Talk Radio


Hugh Asnen Talks Hi-Z's and Music Industry Gender Biases 04/05 by The Anti Socialite | Blog Talk Radio
 
In Episode # 2 I interview Hugh Brian Asnen of The Hi-Z's. You might recognize Hugh from the LA music scene as the guy who looks like; Hyde from "That 70's Show," Disco Stu, Wolverine, or my personal moniker for him, Kramer...
 
We will discuss what's new with his band The Hi-Z's, his personal disdain for the term "Punk Rock" and the genre in its entirety, and his groundbreaking documentary about gender biases in the music industry.
 

Download The Hi-Z's Music Here:
http://thehi-zs.bandcamp.com/album/rock-n-rollgasm
  
 
Weekly Features:
  • Shows to see this week
  • Theadora's Rant : The social pitfalls of being a female musician
  • Awesome Movies I've Seen This Week: Excision (2012) Directed by Richard Bates Jr.
  • This Weeks Birthdays
  • Music News and Shout Outs

This week's episode will include music from the following local artists:
  • The Meeting Song (Intro) - The Theadora Kelly Project
  • Drawing On Everything - The Rejects
  • That Dude's Haircut: The Hi-Z's
  • Hit The Wall -  The Hi-Z's
  • The Birthday Song - NOFX
  • and more TBD

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Good, The Bad and some podcasts...

So this week The Theadora Kelly Project has received three reviews appeared on a podcast and started a podcast debut.

Two out of three reviews pretty much said I sucked, but my guitarist is the most eloquently skilled musician on planet earth. Reading way too much into things is second nature. I read it, but keep stopping myself from trying to read between the lines.

Victor, my drummer pointed out that these reviewers are not necessarily knowledgeable about music, nor are they journalists. They just have a blog and write about their friends bands and don't understand what an unbiased opinion means in journalism and writing.

I suppose blogs aren't journalism. That is the beauty of it I suppose. Its like monkeys typing on a typewriter, except we hold this monkey-muck as gospel and forget that bloggers are just lame people with nothing better to do during their evening but write about shit. 

That's exactly what I am doing now. In lieu of a hot date, I decided to review my reviews. Well, that's for another blog, in which I WILL indeed review my reviewers reviews, that should be fun.'

For now, I wanted to pat myself on the back and direct your attention to the first review The Theadora Kelly Project has ever received by someone who GETS it. Someone who KNOWS MUSIC and has journalistic integrity (for a blogger) but I may be biased and just assume anyone who likes the band has journalistic integrity.'

So please direct your attention to Altered Frequencies a blog by Rick Ecker who is is indeed the real deal music reviewer. Man, I went back to find this article. Less that 24 hours since it was posted and had to go back through older posts to find my review. Rick is busy. Writing reviews. He is the real deal. There are probably ten more reviews he's written since yesterday each accompanied by the album cover and a full page worth of text in a format consistent throughout the blog. It is a simple wordpress blog, however it is very concise and clear and CONSISTENT throughout. When it comes to blogs, simple and consistent is a joy. I think I should follow my own advice and take a more minimalistic approach to my blog. I don't know why it defaults as the dreaded "Comic Sans" before it refreshes and changes to the funky non-soccor mom's newsletter looking texts that I so carefully spent three hours choosing one night. 

Arial is my friend. This blog could use consistency and simplistic formatting.

Go check out Altered Frequencies for music reviews of punk and other cool shit by an actual music reviewer Click here:.Altered Frequencies Blog By Rick Ecker

And here is our amazing review tby Rick that really just made my whole week. I want to tear the screen off my laptop and tack this on my wall. But that would be stupid: http://alteredfrequencies.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/the-theadora-kelly-project-indie-hipster-kid-cd/