Keep Movin’ On

It’s a shame that I haven’t updated my blog for the past 8 months, as I’ve done some really great things in that time. I’ve been a part of several BandPage feature launches, gone to SXSW 2012 and helped run and promote a 9 day music festival (that we ran ourselves and had 200+ bands…), I’ve met some amazing people along the way, and been more than fortunate to work with many of them every day. BandPage has become like a family to me, and showed me that you can build a company full of amazing people that are real, genuine, inspiring, honest, and caring.

But unfortunately, my time at BandPage is coming to an end soon. We recently decided that my needs and the company’s needs are not quite working out, and that I should try to find something that is a right fit for me. I still really like everyone at BandPage, and I’m leaving on good terms, but it just came down to the fact that the roles available at the company just aren’t the right match for me.

After SXSW, I started to transition into more of a Customer Support role. At first I thought I could do this, and do it well, and hopefully enjoy it. What I found is that I am good at helping people and making them happy, but I just don’t enjoy the challenges of customer support. It’s not creative enough for me, and I wasn’t inspired by customer support. It left me fairly upset and frustrated with my role, and ultimately lead to the decision that I should find something outside of BandPage.

I’ll still be at BandPage for a little while, to help make this transition a smooth one. I’m still on good terms with everyone, including the CEO (and friend) J Sider. I want to thank him and the rest of the BandPage crew for helping make my experience an awesome one, and ultimately being supportive to me when they learned I wasn’t happy any more.

So what’s next? I’m not sure.

What ultimately lead me to leave Playfish for BandPage was an opportunity in the music industry that I see, and I believe is still available today. In my opinion, the relationship that artists/bands have with their fans is sorely lacking, and could be improved upon greatly by using social media in smart ways. I think someone like me, a Community Manager, could be used to interact with fans, create and share content regularly, and make a stronger connection between the artist with the fanbase. And through this connection, there will even be ways to monetize the fans (in a fair way), because you’re creating great content and great experiences for fans.

BandPage is an extension of that. New companies like Shaker and Instagram are definitely a part of that, as are “old” companies like Twitter and Facebook. And media like Blogs, YouTube, and Photos will be key. But they need to be done all in concert with one another, with a strategy, and not left to the guitar techs or the band members (who often just do it when they have time).

My hope is that I can find a way to channel this passion and vision that I have for the future of the music industry into a new role. I’m going to need your help though, since this is something new for me. You can find me on Linkedin Here, and if you know of anything that you think would be interesting to me, please contact me on Linkedin (or Twitter or Facebook).

I want to change the music industry and give fans and bands the experience that they deserve. Hopefully I can find the opportunity to do that :)

 

A new, Musical Chapter in Life

My life over the past few years has been quite the journey. Four years ago I was a 19 (almost 20) year old who was just about to start working at Best Buy for the Christmas season, and a few months later I moved to Boston to start at a tiny startup called gamerDNA. At gamerDNA I was the 8th employee and we worked from the CEO's kitchen table, grew to 20+, went through layoffs and lots of late nights, but created many great memories. Then for the past two years I've been living in San Francisco, working at various game companies, including Playfish for the past year, where I've been working with Facebook Game communities for The Sims and MONOPOLY. Life's been a fucking ride, man.
 

On Monday I announced that I was leaving Playfish and that I had accepted a Community Manager job at a small SF startup called RootMusic. This was the result of some soul searching, lots of hardwork, and it was a decision that frankly scared the shit out of me. At this point I'm pretty well connected in the video game industry, I've had the pleasure of working for some great companies with amazing people, and now I'm turning my back on all of that and starting fresh. Not only did I announce that I was leaving on Monday, but Tuesday was my last day at Playfish, and today was my first day at RootMusic. Intense, to say the least.

I'm extremely excited right now. It's currently 11pm, I got home just recently from my first day at work, and I'm honestly at a loss for words. I've got a huge amount of responsibility and a lot of people are looking to me to make some big decisions and be involved in many different projects. But this is what I've been looking for, I'll get to work at a music company that works with virtually every top Band/Musician in the industry, but also makes a product that a tiny high school garage band could use to great effect. The music industry is changing rapidly, and RootMusic will be there to lead the charge. To think that I've been fortunate enough to land a role at such a company just blows my mind, and I can't wait to spend many years with these great people and go onto this next chapter in my life journey.

This new job is going to be stressful, it's going to be really hard, and it's definitely going to be intense. But I'm really looking forward to a very rewarding experience, and I can't wait to make an impact on how Community Management is done in the music industry. This is very much like a dream job, a dream that I started to formulate recently as I prepared to meet Tom Delonge from Blink-182 and came up with a pitch to him/his manager for reasons they should hire me as their Social Media Manager. They didn't end up calling me back, but the important part was that it got my wheels turning in my head, and it got me to where I am today.

Today is a great day. I can't wait for tomorrow.

2011 – The year of Music

In January I made a post about new New Year's Resolutions, and while I haven't done some of them, I can actually cross most of the resolutions of my list. The one resolution that I'm most excited about and feel like I've successfully kicked the shit out of is "Go to More Concerts".  This year I've gone to Coachella, Outside Lands, seen Best Coast/Wavves, went to a small Alkaline Trio show, and tomorrow I'll be seeing Blink-182 (from the pit!). Next week I'm going to another Blink-182 show down in Mountain View, and I'm even going to meet Tom Delonge, the guitarist for Blink-182. It's super surreal that I'll get to meet Tom, since he's some what of a hero of mine, so I'm very excited to finally meet him and hopefully tell him how much his bands mean to me. Later this month I'll be going to Treasure Island, a relatively large music festival in San Francisco.

Not to mention a new Blink-182 album came out this week, "Neighborhoods", which is their first album in eight years. I also got my first tattoo, which is a huge guitar that's the length of my left forearm.  2011 has been an amazing year for music and I'm super happy about that.

Coachella

Coachella was an amazing experience. Over three days, I saw some of my  favorite bands: The Strokes, Cut Copy, Arcade Fire, Best Coast, Jimmy Eat World, Kings of Leon, Mumford & Sons, and many more.  While having a great music experience, I also had an amazing human experience with some of the best people I know. I drove down to Coachella with a couple friends from San Francisco, and we stayed in a house together with two of our other friends from SF/Boston. The house had a pool and hot tub, grill, and a really nice kitchen & livingroom. Essentially we would go to awesome concerts all day, come back to a vacation home and hangout in the pool and chill out. It was such an awesome experience and I can't wait to do it again next year with the same group of people.

 

My Tattoo

On July 2nd I got my first tattoo: My dad's electric guitar that he named "Old Glory". Old Glory is the only guitar that I own that was my dad's, so it has a lot of sentimental value to me and it's something that I hope to keep a hold of forever. I decided to get the tattoo because I felt like this was one of the best ways to pay tribute to my dad, remember his talents and gift as an amazing musician, and symbolize my love for music and love for my dad – all at the same time. I'm very happy with and proud of my tattoo, and I know my dad would be too.

 

Outside Lands

In August I went to San Francisco's Outside Lands, a three day festival in Golden Gate Park. Not only is the music lineup stellar, but the park is a beautiful setting for a three day outdoor music fest. Joy Formidable (pictured) blew me away with their fantastic sound and fun stage presence, and Muse once against melted my face with one of the best performances I've ever seen. Arcade Fire, Phantogram, The Black Keys, Best Coast, and John Fogerty all put on great shows too.

Next Up?

Tomorrow I drive all the way up past Sacramento to see Blink-182 from the pit. I'm excited to see these guys live for the seventh time, and the first time in over two years. Then on Wednesday next week I'll see Blink in Mountain View, and meet Tom Delonge as a part of his 'Keep a Breast' fundraiser. I'm excited to get the chance to meet the guitarist/vocalist for my all-time favorite band, and I hope to get a minute to tell him how much his band means to me and how much they've changed/shaped my life.

I've got a couple more shows coming up…I'm seeing the Crocodiles and Dum Dum Girls in a few days, going to Treasure Island Music Festival in a couple weeks to see Death from Above 1979 and Cut Copy, and in November I'm going to see New Found Glory.  Tons of concerts!

All in all, I think I've spent at least a couple grand on music this year…but it has been money well spent. Music has transformed my life and has been a central pillar of my life since birth. I've started to think a lot more about music, the music industry, and I hope to work in the music industry some day. I think there is a huge opportunity to take what I do for game companies and bring that to a music company or band…and that has me very excited for the future of social media, community management, and above all else, music.

Blink 182 is back together!

Last Sunday the Grammy’s were on and I imagined to catch them..pretty much by accident.  About a half hour before the Grammy’s started I was checking out Twitter Search to see what people were talking about for the hashtag #Grammys. Luck would have it that I saw someone mention something about how Blink 182 was presenting an award…their first time together publically as a group in almost 5 years.  I had to watch.

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