Week One in Nashville

July 20, 2014

So it's been two weeks instead of one, no biggie, right?  The past two weeks have been absolutely insane, which is why no blog happened last week, but this week's blog is going to be action-packed!

 

My move date was July 9.  After my day gig on the 8th, I went home, packed my car except my sleeping bag, a pillow, and a change of clothes, went to dinner with my roommate and some friends for one last hoorah/his birthday, went home to take a nap, woke up just past midnight and hit the road.  The goal was to meet the leasing agent at the office when they opened so I would have time to go furniture shopping that day (ya know, because I didn't take ANY furniture with me).  Things went pretty much as planned, but moving is always more expensive than you budget for.  Everything seems to cost one million dollars when you're moving.  Long story short, I have an apartment.  Woo Hoo!

 

The next day was SUPER ACTION PACKED, and by that I mean it consisted of sitting in the DMV for SIX HOURS.  It was awesome.  I suggest anyone who moves here to just get it done as soon as possible so you don't have to deal with it later.  The tag agency was a breeze.  If you are planning for this process, make sure you have like twelve forms of ID and a blood sample.  Just kidding about the blood sample, but seriously, check out the DMV web page regarding new residents and I suggest using the Hart Lane location, as the Centennial Boulevard had a line literally wrapped around the building fifteen minutes before they opened.  Second long story short, I have a TN driver license and license plate!  Woo Hoo Two!

 

The next few days were a little more relaxed and consisted of mostly cleaning and organizing my apartment, shopping for things I couldn't fit in my car or didn't have (remember, these things cost one million dollars each), crying myself to sleep while watching my bank account dwindle (okay, I'm being dramatic, but seriously, budget high), and digging into the scene.  I had dinner with a dear friend on Friday night and we talked about both our plans for the future and critiqued  each other over alcohol and mexican food (critiquing over mexican food is the ONLY way to do it).  Saturday night was spent on Broadway networking and listening for songs to learn, while catching up with another good friend and Guitar Center Rep (let me know if you need gear!), which was a success in my opinion because it led to meeting Cort Carpenter.  Cort is a great guy and definitely someone that I feel anyone who is trying to break into Lower Broad should meet.  He's got a great band with a tight sound, is a rivoting entertainer, and generally a good dude.  He agreed to let me sit in with his band at The Second Fiddle on Wednesday night (we'll get to that shortly), AND sent me a set list of his with almost 80 songs that guys on Broadway are playing for me to learn.  This guy!

 

Saturday I went to the optomotrist and they said my vision has gotten worse and I definitely need to be wearing glasses or contacts, but they couldn't train me for contacts until the next Saturday (you need training?) so I bought a pair of glasses, thinking my insurance would cover it and it wouldn't cost me much.  Think again.  $250 later, I now have glasses. 

 

On Sunday, I decided to go to church and thought I found a place that worked for me, called Oasis Church.  The music was great, the atmosphere was good, the sermon was pretty solid, but there was just something that didn't quite click for me.  

 

Monday was the start of the day gig work week at the new office.  Things are going good there.  It's pretty much the same thing I was doing in Tallahassee with just some different rules.  The people are cool for the most part, and come to find out, the husband of one of my co-workers is a singer-songwriter!  Then again, who isn't, right?  

 

On Wednesday after work, I got to go pick up my new glasses (see photo - what do y'all think?), and I was super selfconcious about them.  I was thinking about taking them back but I'm giving it some time for me to adjust to them.  I also figure once I do get my contacts, I don't really have to wear them that much, right?  Cort sent me five songs he wanted me to sit in on so I could be prepared: Something Like That by Tim McGraw, Good Directions by Billy Currington, Dirt Road Anthem by Jason Aldean, Gimme That Girl by Joe Nichols, and Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash.  I had played three of the five and figured I'd have no problems learning Something Like That and Gimme That Girl, and I didn't.  For some reason, I psyched myself out and got really nervous as I was driving to the venue.  One of the things I love about performing is that it is usually when I feel MOST comfortable.  The nervousness got worse as time got closer and by the time I got on stage, I was literally shaking.  It was such a strange experience to feel uncomfortable on a stage.  Unfortunately, this uncomfortability led to me missing a few notes, mostly on runs that weren't THAT noticeable, but I know the guys in the band and Cort noticed.  The drummer, Adrian Flores, still gave me his card after the first song, so I guess it was good enough.  

 

Thursday I literally went to work, went home, and slept- a result of the disappointment of not performing as well as I'd liked the night before, and being out past midnight on a work night.

 

Friday I went to Broadway again and met another old friend.  We had a great time catching up and talking about life over a couple beers and music.  Of course I used this as a networking opportunity and handed our five or so cards.

 

Saturday, I was supposed to go to the optomotrist again, but they called to say they'd have to reschedule, as they didn't have my lenses in.  Maybe I will be rocking the glasses longer than expected after all.  Since I didn't have to be at the optomotrist at 10:45am, I decided to go to Summer NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) instead!  This convention was held at the Music City Center, and I was able to walk around and browse the newest equipment coming out in 2014-2015 (NERD!), speak with company reps (Can you say ENDORSEMENT?!), attend workshops on How to Market Yourself as a Musican and How to Get Endorsements, and network with other musicians for EIGHT HOURS.  It was really a fantastic experience and I'm really happy I went.  I didn't want to eat while I was there because food was one million dollars, so I waited it out and went to Robert's on Broadway after the convention for linner (yeah, lunch and dinner, get it?).  They have some of the best food in Nashville, and great music to boot.  After I ate, I was walking around and remembered meeting a guy, who I unfortunately can't remember his name, inviting me to an open mic at Tootsie's at 2pm.  Well, I was at NAMM at 2pm so I figured that was a bust, but Robert's is pretty much right next to Tootsie's and I figured, what the hell.  I went in and listened to the band on the third floor for  a while.  They were pretty good, but I decided to work my way down to the second floor.  Wouldn't you know it, the guy from the night before was playing bass and had me sit in for Sweet Home Alabama.  We all 'learned' that song early in our performance careers, but I never actually took the time to go back and learn the intricate parts, which showed.  Again, I was pretty disappointed in my playing.  I did the only logical thing after that, went home and went to sleep.

 

Now it's 1:33am and that's my life for the past two weeks.  Much love.

 

JJM

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