An Update on What I’ve Been Up To

It has been a long time since I’ve updated my site, but that’s a good thing! It means that I’ve been very busy in my role at JamBase.com as Production Manager, and hitting LOTS of shows. Here is an update on some of thing things I’ve been up to since the last update:

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Production Manager at JamBase.com I am currently the Production Manager at JamBase.com, the premier concert database and jam bands editorial site, celebrating its 15th year. As Production Manager, I use graphic and web design to build all of our outgoing marketing emails, as well as some features on the site such as ads, contests, graphics, and helping to ensure that our database of artists and shows is top-notch. I also work with the business development team to strategize and execute events and partnerships.

Review

buku1

BUKU Music Festival 2013

Interviews on JamBase.com

gnarnia5

Papadosio

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Marco Benevento

woodbros1

The Wood Brothers

Infographics

Holiday E-commerce Infographic

Holiday E-commerce Infographic

Guide To Monetizing your Website

Guide To Monetizing your Website

HTML Emails & Graphic Design

JamBase National Newsletter October

JamBase National Newsletter October

Rombello Festival Cruise Promotional Email

Rombello Festival Cruise Promotional Email

 

This only skims the surface of what I’ve worked on and learned since my last post. The best way to keep up with me these days is on my Twitter, @meghanbender, where I link to my latest happenings. And be sure to join me on JamBase.com, where you can see my show calendar, track artists, and create your own.

See you at the show!

A Quick Review of Gotye

Gotye took a break between Coachella weekends to make his way to San Francisco for a Wednesday night show at Bill Graham Civic Center. The show was originally booked for the respectably-sized Independent, but the response was overwhelming and tickets quickly sold out. The show was moved to the 7,000-person Civic Center and it was apparent that even Gotye was surprised at the size of the venue.

Fellow Australian singer/songwriter Missy Higgins opened the night early, kicking things off around 8. Gotye took the stage by 9:30. The show kicked off with one of his more rockin’ songs “Easy Way Out,” which was accompanied by a japanese-styled Gorillaz-esque animated video projected on a screen behind the stage. Gotye debuted a brand never-before-seen video to complement “Eyes Wide Open”, as well as included his awesome animated take on “State of the Art”.

Wally performed center stage amongst a rig of drums and auxillary percussion. His musical career began as a drummer and it was great to see him incorporating that into the show. His rhythm and dramatized drumming was fantastic and added another element to the surprisingly visual (for a pop show) performance.

The effects on his vocals in “State of the Art” were seemingly live, through some of his vocal harmonies in other songs couldn’t be replicated in person without a backing track. Wally and his band brought a great energy to the stage, and he was good at engaging the crowd between songs. Getting the crowd to react during his songs was another story though. There was absolutely no one dancing, and when he asked for people to sing, he was met with a half-hearted response. It was the toughest crowd this writer has ever seen, and it was even more disappointing to see the rush of people leaving shortly after he played “Somebody That I Used To Know”. At fifty dollars a ticket, that’s a steep price to see one song, but coinciding with similar reviews from his Coachella performance, it seems that many Gotye show-goers are unaware that Wally’s musical work started long before his collaboration with Kimbra. While this author may have been the only one dancing, it was not due to any lack in talent on the stage. San Franciscans, however- step it up!

Portfolio of Work for LaunchSquad

In January of 2012, I began working at LaunchSquad PR (a boutique PR firm specializing in launches) as a content intern. I write for multiple client blogs and some outside news outlets. This is some of the work that I do there.

DailyCapital:
The Financial Index:
A daily recap of the top financial news for Daily Capital.

Mindflash:
Drowning In E-mail? A Few Tips for Staying Afloat
Links RoundUp: Tech Takes Center Stage
Apple’s Taking Over Textbooks- Are Training Manuals Next? (Contributor)
Verizon Snafu Underscores Importance of Security in Training

MindFlash Q&As:
Cathy Moore
Julie Dirksen 

SmartVan:
The Real Value of a Good Yelp Review (Contributor)
Get Paid To Work on Nintendos: SmartVan’s Job of the Week
“Enjoy!” Your Job: SmartVan’s Job of the Week
Service Deep Sea Robots: SmartVan’s Job of the Week

The “New Employed”

          Since I graduated from college, I have yet to find that coveted 9-5, salaried job. The longer it takes to find it, the more I have gotten to explore other opportunities. For the past year, I have worn a variety of hats part-time and have found that the state of the economy is forcing many (including myself) to re-define employment.

The first “gig” that I got out of college was writing for OurVinyl.com. This has been unpaid, but a great portfolio builder and a great experience. These types of positions, while not very financially rewarding, are still a great use of your unemployed time (particularly when you are fresh out of school and looking for experience).

OurVinyl.com

Volunteering at a music festival landed me my next position as an intern at a small publicity and marketing agency, Musical Earth. When I moved to Columbus, I contacted the publicist of the festival and told him I was interested in interning for him. He brought me on as an unpaid intern, and that position evolved into a part-time paid position. The value of networking is just as great, if not greater, in “new employment” as traditional employment.

In order to pay my rent I did wind up taking a part time serving position. Although I had to work multiple jobs at that time, I was grateful that I could still be actively working in my field while slaving away waiting tables.  I eventually took a few months off to travel, but am now back in the “new employment” game in California.

One of the great things about freelance and contractor gigs is that you can be very mobile. At Musical Earth, one of my co-workers lived 2 hours away and hardly came into the office. Writers for OurVinyl.com contribute from all over the world.

My boss Dave & I at All Good Music Festival

Right now I am starting a paid part-time internship at a PR firm in San Francisco. Paid internships are a great way to make money and gain experience, without committing to a career you may be unsure of. I also do publicity for a band, much like my position at Musical Earth, but now as an independent contractor. I also still contribute to OurVinyl, now as a senior writer, and am pursuing other freelance and paid internship opportunities until I find a career and a job that are perfect for me.

My new place of "new employment"

“New employment” is a great option for many different circumstances.  Post college grads who can’t find a career because of the economy, lack of experience, or their own uncertainty, for example. Freelancing is always a great way to make extra money on the side, even for the employed. And anything that gives you experience towards your long term goals is progress.

There are, however, many who are not recognizing this new form of employment. I have gotten more than one strange look in a job interview when I explain that none of my recent positions have been full time. I had to do a lot of coaxing with my landlord to assure her that while I am not full-time employed, I am working full time. Applying for a loan? Good luck explaining your income.

While this new form of employment is catching on much slower with many traditional companies and their full-time employed people, there are ways to avoid being judged and in some cases, discriminated. If you are working as a freelancer or contractor, I recommend branding yourself. Create a title, like an umbrella under which you can include your many gigs when talking to landlords or creditors. On resumes, group your gigs together by similarities to prevent having an unending list of odd-jobs that you have to explain to prospective employers. For example,

Freelance Writer (Full Time)

-Senior Writer for OurVinyl.com

-Creator and Author of MeghanBender.Wordpress.com

-______ at ____

Aside from networking, I use the internet to find many gigs. Check out these sites and start making money!

-Idealist.org

-LinkedIn.com

-ELance.com

Ringing in 2012 in the Bay

Between not having the internet and being new to the Bay it’s been hard to find time to post! Not a bad thing I suppose, perhaps my resolution should be to spend less time on the internet and more time exploring my new home! If that were the case, I’d say I’m doing pretty well!

New Years weekend was surely one for the books. While I would have absolutely LOVED to join my close friends in Columbus for 2 nights of Papadosio (sold out the LC Indoors, hot damn!) I was fortunate to have a couple of visitors from home as well as some good friends here in SF to share it with.

Justin, a friend from work, and his friend Max flew in on Thursday for the Furthur NYE show at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. That night we ventured into the city to meet up with my couch-surf-host-turned-good-friend Jess, and went out to Temple for dubstep night. It was a great time and an awesome start to one hell of a weekend.

To ring in the New Year I got all glittered up with Jess & Co. and went to Sea of Dreams. Beats Antique kicked off the festivities and played until midnight when they brought lots of green men to the stage to dance in the new year. Zoe and her dancers were on point, as always, keeping the audience in an visual trance as David Satori and Sidecar Tommy rocked out hard. The live set was really engaging and refreshing, since I’m used to seeing their DJ set.

Santigold took the stage after that, singing and rapping to lots of hard hitting beats. She was also accompanied by two dancers, who nearly stole the show. Amon Tobin’s ISAM was next, tying together the visual theme of the evening. Amon Tobin’s music seemed to catch a lot of the audience by surprise. Tobin has been playing his non-patterned digital experiments in the electronic scene for nearly 15 years, but never before has he had such an entrancing visual aspect to compliment his work. While the music wasn’t very danceable at times, it was nice to sit back and soak in the complexity of the projections and music.

After he wrapped up Jess and I followed the bass to a stage upstairs that we didn’t even know about. The room was humid with sweat and condensation dripped from the ceiling with the bass, creating a misty shower of…ugh… sweat? Dozens of glassy-eyed costumed-out people pulsed to the beat of some DJ I couldn’t identify. Jess and I posted up in front of the speakers and got lost in the music for the final hour of the event.

I reconvened with Justin and Max, who had been at Furthur, and we caught the bus back to Oakland. The next day we rang in the New Year with good friends at Lizie’s, where we drank mimosas, ate good food, and sat around a fire.

Also over the weekend I got the keys to our new home! I was all moved in by Monday and have taken on a mission of furnishing the place as cheap as possible. I scored a coffee table and a futon mattress for free from CraigsList, as well as a pair of speakers for $7 from Community Thrift and 2 rugs for $18 at Goodwill.

My friends have flown home but Ray and Emily will be here in just 5 short days! I start working next week, too, so that’s exciting! It only took a few weeks, but things are really starting to shape up out here. More updates to come when my internet gets turned on January 10th!

The Unemployed: Inventors of “Breakfast for Dinner”

I’m about one and a half weeks into my new home in Oakland and doing a lot of interviews. Since I’ve gotten to Oakland  I’ve been unemployed. which is pretty weird for me, since (aside from the last 3 months when I was traveling) I’ve had a job since I was 15.  Things are finally looking promising, but I’ve been interviewing on and off since early October, so it’s been no easy task.

What I've Been Doing the Past 3 Months

Over the last few years I had gotten in the habit of waking up early for work or school and got into a routine. I would always up between 8:30-9:30, no matter how late we were out the night before. When I was on my road trip with Ray (NOT a morning person), I discovered that it was nearly impossible for me to sleep in.

So here I am, a week and a half into stagnation, and would you believe it- I’m sleeping in. Hell yes, I thought I had lost it! Today I woke up at around 1:30 and didn’t actually start doing anything until about 4:30. I went back and forth all afternoon, between checking my Skype and drifting in and out of sleep.

Well, I’m finally up and… it feels like breakfast time. Ah ha! Breakfast for dinner, clearly a creation of the unemployed! A real 99%-er kind of meal. Tonight I went for some fancy french toast and pseudo-hash browns. Ballin on a budget, I pulled off this tasty dish for pretty cheap and it’s super easy.

Panettone Bread French Toast with Squash Hash Browns

For the french toast, I had a loaf of sliced Panettone bread (italian sweetbread with candied fruits) that I snagged for about $2 at Trader Joe’s. I cracked two eggs into a deep place and tossed in some vanilla extract and nutmeg from the cabinet. Usually I would use cinnamon and a splash of milk too, but I didn’t have them on hand.

Soak your bread (I used 2 slices but you could probably do 3-4 with 2 large eggs) on each side and then lay in a skillet over med/high heat. Cook on both sides until brown.

For the topping, I just threw  a banana and some maple syrup (real) in a skillet and tossed it around over medium heat for a few minutes.

The butternut squash hash browns have been a recurring snack this week. I got a bag of diced butternut squash for under $2 at Trader Joe’s (about 4-6 servings) and have been dicing them up into smaller cubes and roasting them on the stove.

I usually use a little bit of oil (coconut, this time) and so I guess you could say “sauteing” but you just need a table spoon or two (remember, I’m cookin’ for one). Today I threw in a little salt and took a vegetable peeler to some baby carrots over the pan.

Nothing too fancy, and the instructions are easy. Most of the food I cook these days is a mish-mash of whatever I have handy, but some of it turns out pretty good. Enjoy!

My Resume