How is it already the end of November?
That means 2022 is almost over. That means the holiday season is officially in full swing. That also means that it’s time for another monthly UMC20 Best Of compilation.
Lots of tough choices were made, but overall, we think we’ve put together a nice representation of how stellar November 2022 has been. You be the judge!
Hear the Best of November
Every guitarist wants to be able to nail impressive, well-crafted solos. With that ability comes an understanding of pentatonic scales.
Music on the Move Studios’ Caitie Thompson took to the MOTM blog for this week’s edition of Music Minute Monday, where she provides a brief, yet thorough explanation of how to master pentatonic scales — both major and minor — and learn how to develop solos to serve any song.
There’s even a helpful video demonstration at the end… but you’ll have to click over there to check it out!
DREAMERS have been in my orbit for quite some time. I remember back in the early days of this platform — before we moved to Nashville, and before we were even known as Underground Music Collective — when I would drive through the streets of Bethlehem, PA bumping tunes like “Sweet Disaster” and “Wolves (You Got Me),” traveling from gig to gig, and from meeting to meeting.
So, when we had an opportunity to catch them at The Basement East alongside Smallpools (and with the support of New Jersey natives, Young Rising Sons), we had to jump on it!
See the Photos
We’re getting ready to kick our Underground Rising initiative into full swing this Giving Tuesday, November 29 and lasting through the end of the year. Our initiative is geared toward making our platform stronger, to ensure that the songs and stories from within our community have a greater opportunity to impact the masses.
Because it’s Small Business Saturday, we thought now would be the perfect time to offer a few ways that you, People of the Underground, can help us on our noble mission.
Rome & Duddy — the eponymous duo project of Sublime with Rome’s Rome Ramirez and Dirty Heads’ Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell — are coming to Nashville’s Skydeck on Broadway this Friday, November 25.
While you wait for their arrival to Nashville (or wherever you reside), they want you to know that they’re here for you.
Hear ‘I’ll Be Right Here’
Over the past several weeks, we’ve generously acknowledged the up and down nature of the creative journey. There will be triumphant highs alongside disheartening lows and, as we well know, the key to enduring is to ride the waves, stay level-headed and focused, and keep pushing forward with patience and persistence.
Today, I’m here to throw another variable into the equation: the notion of control.
Along your journey, you are virtually guaranteed to encounter circumstances beyond your control, and they just might throw a wrench into your plan.
- Playing an outdoor gig? That gig – and many times, the number of people in attendance – is at the mercy of the weather.
- Have a co-write scheduled? Sometimes, life happens, and people need to reschedule. You might even run into an unavoidable conflict once in a while.
- Did you put your best foot forward when submitting to an opportunity? Well… it’s still up to somebody else to decide if you will receive that opportunity, and the music industry — much like life itself — offers us no guarantees.
- Even if you’re the kindest person on Earth, you will encounter people who are not kind in return. You will have conflicts, and you will run into criticism from time to time.
- Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the early 2020s have presented industry-wide challenges that were, in many ways, completely out of our hands. (Lookin’ at you, ‘rona…)
Even despite our best efforts and wishes, the fact is that countless factors exist outside of our own influence, and some of them can lead to disappointment. However, the more we focus on that disappointment, the more powerful it becomes.
What’s an emerging musician to do, then? Simple.
Control your controllables.
No matter what the world throws your way, you still have an opportunity every day to re-center and focus on what is within your own individual sphere of influence. As you’ll see in this article, the list of your controllables is not especially long. Nonetheless, it’s important to know where to direct your attention when everything around you seems to be going haywire.
What are these “controllables,” you ask?
Let us tell you about an artist bursting onto the scene with a loud, emotionally cathartic debut single.
Watch the video
Love and loss are addressed in this week’s edition of Songs You Should Hear.
We begin with a tender, beautiful reminder of the legacies we carry with us as we pursue our passions. Then, things take a hard left turn into the land of toxic relationship dynamics, addressed expertly by a couple of Nashville’s emerging pop artists.
Hear What You Should
When Stephen Babcock comes to Nashville’s famous Bluebird Cafe this Friday, he will do so in celebration of his new album, When We Were Kids Ourselves. The 10-track offering is a nod to the ways we grow, as we encounter life changes and challenges in our relationships — with others, as well as ourselves.
“This album is about the journey and growth experiences post ‘growing up,'” Babcock states. “It’s so easy to feel isolated when you’re taking on something challenging in life, and we tend to normalize the idea that in adult life, we’re supposed to have it all figured out by now. I hope my music serves as a bastion for people experiencing challenging emotions, and I hope my voice can help those struggling to find the words they’re looking for in their own life.”
Check out the album!
If you’ve been reading along at the Muze blog over the past several weeks, you may be noticing a pattern: we’ve been talking a lot about the creative process, and how success in the music industry is not a destination, but a journey.
We’ve covered ways to find joy in the process itself, and we’ve shared tips on how to keep yourself functioning at an optimal level as you move, step by step, toward greater artistic fulfillment. These ideas are great to keep in mind, no matter where you are on your road to success.
For many of us – especially those starting out – continuing down that road and keeping all aspects of our lives in balance can feel easier said than done. This is compounded by the fact that the vast majority of us who embark on a creative path do so without industry connections, and with finite resources (i.e. the cash necessary to feed the beast) to help us along the way. At one point or another, most of us will be employed outside of our passions in order to keep them going.
Although it can feel daunting to get up and go to a job – especially one you don’t like – when you’d rather be working on your vision, the good news is that there are still many positives to take forward from this leg of the journey. In fact, your seemingly unrelated “day job” might hold the keys to your success down the road.