Eric Baines

Flying Pet Peeves

by eric on Jun.09, 2010, under News, Rants

As a working musician I fly extremely often and it’s not one of my favorite activities. There are certain things that people do that really hinder the process of flying and drive me crazy!! I will grant you that much of the time I’m flying red-eye flights, early morning flights or international 9+ hour flights so I’m usually already exhausted and irritable but even on the most happy day I usually end up annoyed. I think many of these things are done out of inexperience but some people are just plain inconsiderate and it makes me a grumpy flyer. Here are some of my flying pet peeves.

 

1. People taking forever in the security line. One of my biggest frustrations is going through security. I already hate the feeling of being in a communist country (which is a topic for another blog) but it makes it worse when people aren’t prepared. What they expect from you at airport security is not a secret. You can look it up online before you go to the airport or as you’re standing in line for what is sometimes hours there are signs telling you exactly what to do when you get to the conveyor belt. Have a plan! It will save you and me a lot of time.

 

2. Lining up before your time. Most airlines board by zone numbers anymore but some still use row numbers. (Don’t get me started on Southwest. Their system is way to complicated for most of the general public.) LOOK at your boarding pass and know what your zone number is before you even get to the gate then don’t get in line until your number is called! It’s impossible to board when there are 200 people standing around in front of the gate.

 

3. Know your seat number. I’m still amazed at this day in age at the amount of people that can’t find their seat on the airplane. EVERYTHING IS MARKED! There are even pictures on most flights anymore. There is a number and a letter that matches the numbers and letters right above the seats. It’s not rocket science!

 

4. Using the back of the seat in front of you to sit down. I usually use my time in the air to sleep because a lot of times when you’re touring that is the only time to sleep. There’s nothing worse than getting to your seat, cozying up to the window, dozing off when the guy behind you violently shakes your seat. Don’t use the seat in front of you to support yourself. That’s what the arm rests are for!

 

5. Stand up and let people pass. If you’re in the aisle seat and someone else needs to get to their window seat get up, step out of the aisle and let them through. I love it when someone looks at me as if they want me to climb over them. I’m an adult. I’m not going to be doing any acrobatics to get to my seat. I’ll stand up for you if you stand up for me. Deal?

 

I know I’ve left out some obvious ones here like crying babies, Fighting over the armrest and leaving the window shades open during the movie so I’ll probably be updating this blog in the future but these are the ones that really kill me. Please feel free to add your peeves to the list. I do think that if we all try a little harder, prepare better and think ahead we can make the flying experience better for everyone. Let me know what you think. See you in the air.

 

Oh and buy my record, “Dive Bar Rock Star!” on Itunes. Thanks.

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Screw you, Spammers!!!

by eric on Apr.10, 2010, under News, Rants

I really don’t understand people who spam blogs. I spend way too much time everyday cleaning out my comment box of spam comments. I don’t need Cialis or Viagra. I’m good, thanks. I think people who spam are scum. There’s got to be a better way to make a living. How effective can it be anyway? You’re a nuisence! Why would I want to do business with you even if I wanted what you were selling?

 

I know I need to get my spam filter together and I will but it’s been interesting watching how persistant these losers are. I know within a few hours someone is going to leave a spam comment on this very blog. So here’s my message to you incase you actually read this one: SCREW YOU SPAMMER!!!

 

All non-spammers please disregard this message and thank you for reading my blog. Oh, and buy my record, “Dive Bar Rock Star!” on Itunes.com.

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“Do I Have To Read Music?”

by eric on Feb.06, 2010, under Music

I thought I’d blog about something a little nerdier than I usually do. I’m often asked by aspiring musicians as I’m traveling around playing music, ” Do I have to know how to read?” You would think that there would be an easy answer to that question but to me it’s a little more complicated. 

I’ve lived a double life over the 18 years of my music career. On the one hand I’m an aspiring artist, songwriter, producer and entertainer. On the other hand, I’m also a professional working musician who makes his living playing music. These are very different things and each has it’s own approach. 

Let’s start with the easier answer. As a professional musician who relies on music to make my living, I can’t afford to turn gigs down. I always go by the rule that the best players get the best gigs. That means if I can’t read then there are a huge chunk of gigs that I can’t play. That’s not good for business. Making your living at music relies more on your skills than on your musicality sometimes. I’ve known plenty of mediocre players that make a good living just because they can read. I’ve also known really super great players and 99.9 percent of them can read. 

Having said all of that, not everyone has to be the perfect site reader. There are different levels of reading and each one gets you more gigs. If you can read a chord chart or a lead sheet, that is a few more gigs that you can do and it’s better than nothing. Sometimes artists will give you their charts ahead of time so if you can read slowly then that’s a gig you can do. There are also the gigs where you are given the book when you get there and they call out numbers of chats all night long and you read eerything…and those gigs usually pay really well. I’ve also had artists give me their charts before the gig but once I get there they’ve decided to do a couple of other tunes that they brought the chart for. At that point you have a short sound check to learn the tunes before 5,ooo people show up to watch you fall on your ass.

The last thing I’ll say about this is what’s the big deal about reading? Why is everybody so afraid of it. Just learn how to read. At least learn what you can. It will only help you play more gigs. Buy a book, take a private lesson, go to college whatever it takes. Learn what you can and work on your craft. The best players get the best gigs.

 I remember the first time someone, other than my parents, asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was seventh grade in the computer lab in middle school and a very hot girl (who will remain nameless to protect the innocent) asked me the question. Without even thinking I said “I want to be a rock star”. It was like the words just jumped out of my mouth. I wasn’t even in control. At the time I didn’t even know what that meant but that’s what my gut knew. To me this is a whole different approach to the music business and the other life I live as an artist. When you get into writing your own music and putting a band together to make it as a star, that is more about entertainment and creativity then skills. If you are interest in being in a band and making it big as an artist I would recommend you spend more time working on your songwriting skills and your stage presence. You still need to be able to play but you’ll probably never read or need that skill. To be an artist you need to figure out who you are and what you have to say. You need to search yourself to find out what it is that people like about you and how to bring it to the masses in a presentable package. Reading is not going to hurt you but it’s not a necessity. I would suggest you write, write, write. 

I hope this answer this question and helps somebody somewhere. Let me know what you think. Now go make some music. Oh…and buy my record!

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2009: Schoo…I’m glad that’s over!

by eric on Dec.22, 2009, under Music, News, Uncategorized

What a year! I started off with some TV shows playing with Corbin Bleu (the NBA Allstar Game and Regis and Kelly). That is always a fun gig to be on. The band is great and Corbin is awesome. We also like to party a bit. Ouch! The fans are also pretty crazy. I was standing behind Corbin at the NBA show waiting to go on when what seemed like a huge tree branch came out the sky behind me. I looked up and it was Shaquille O’Neal reaching out to shake his hand. He’s Huge!! It was quite a moment.

 

Then it was off to Ukraine with Keiko Matsui. I’m not a big fan of Eastern Europe and Russia. I’ve been there 8 or 9 times and it’s always a dangerous and interesting experience. This year we were actually deported from Moscow because we didn’t have visa’s to get into Belaruse which is where we trying to go. After spending 8 hour in the airport the Russians sent us back to Ukraine where we had to try and explain what happened so that the Ukrainians would let us back in. The show promoter had bought the visa’s but couldn’t get through security to give them to us and we couldn’t get out to get to him. That was a long day and we missed the gig. It’s always something. I’m alway surprised when we make it back to the states alive…but once again, we did.

 

Somewhere in the midst of all this touring and craziness I decided that I wanted to start a record label and release my own record. It seemed so cool at the time. haha. it’s actually been really fun but a TON of work. Luckily, I had many of the songs written but I definitely needed more to finish a complete album. There were many hours in the studio. Then the artwork and the photo shoot. Then hours on the website and I went to Utah and made a video but then…it was done. I went on a short summer tour with Corbin and I came home to a bunch of boxes on my porch full of the CD. Pretty cool.

 

Then the work really starts. Band practice, promotion, mailing lists, publicists, gigs, tours, car problems, twitter, facebook, sell, sell, sell, spend, spend, spend. I know let’s do a live web show from my house. I’m exhausted! It’s hard work doing what you want to do and the work continues. I’m taking a break for the holiday but after the new year begins it’s back to the grind. Gotta write new songs, sell more records, make more videos, drink more Jager (mmmmm) but it’s so great to be working hard on my own music. It makes it all worth it. Follow your dreams! What else are you gonna do with your life?

 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I’ll see you in 2010!!

Eric Baines

 

Buy “Dive Bar Rock Star!” on Itunes (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dive-bar-rock-star/id326441952) or at www.cdbaby.com/ericbaines1. Thanks for your support!

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Interview Part 3

by eric on Oct.14, 2009, under Music, News, Stuff You Didn't Know About Me

3. How did you get into music? What does music mean to you and why did you choose to express yourself through music as a career? What’s your motivation? 

 I’ve always been into music since the beginning of time. I didn’t pick music, it’s always been a part of me. My Grandma tells a funny story of when I was really young she took me to the mall and there was a singing Christmas tree. Apparently, it wasn’t a very good singing Christmas tree because I was correcting his wrong words and bad singing.

I’ve had a love hate relationship with music over the years. In the beginning, I loved music and relied on it for survival. I wasn’t a popular kid in school and having spent all of my years in one small town, there was no escaping my status. To add to the pressure, my parents were divorced when I was 9. This gave me plenty of things to sing about and I spent many hours sitting at the piano writing and singing. Music was therapy at that point. It was also a hope for a brighter future. I remember my Dad got up at 5 in the morning and stayed up into the wee hours to record all of ‘Live-Aid’ on VHS when I was a kid. I watched those tapes over and over again everyday after school dreaming of being a rock star some day. I wanted to write songs that a stadium of people could sing along to.

After my first semester of Berklee I ran out of money so I went home to teach the drumline and earn some cash to go back. After the summer I still hadn’t earned enough (Berklee is seriously expensive) so I answered an ad in the local music paper for a bass player in a cover band. I needed money and they paid better than any job I’d ever had. That’s where my experiences in dive bars began. The band was called Chucky and the Cyclones. They played bars, weddings and corporate parties. In some ways I think it was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made and the beginning of a rough patch in my relationship with music. Once you make music your living and start relying on it to pay your rent playing music you love and are passionate about becomes a rarity. You no longer have the luxury of playing the music you love, you have to play whatever it takes to get paid and those gigs are usually the least artistic. I turned into a music machine. I had forgot what it was to play from the heart and enjoy music. It became a job. Eventually, I made enough money to eturn to Berklee and it led to a great and exciting career. On a higher level it can be great. I’ve been all over the world. I finally played that stadium that I dreamed of playing and heard 70,000 people singing the words to the song I was playing but it wasn’t one that I wrote and it wasn’t even one that I particularly liked. It did however provide me enough money to build a studio in my house, take the time to do this record and to start my record label. This record has been such a fun situation because it’s my chance to live the dream again. It’s a chance to really love what I’m doing and be proud. I can’t really complain because everyone has to pay their dues and I’ve had a good life. Music overall has been really good to me. I now look forward to almost every gig I play and I have a lot of fun!

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Interview Part 2

by eric on Sep.30, 2009, under Music, News, Stuff You Didn't Know About Me

2. What instruments do you play? Are you professionally trained, both vocally and instrumentally? Please explain.  I started playing guitar when I was 7 years old. My Dad bought me a guitar for xmas and started teaching me chords. He was in a band when he was in high school. My mom also sang and played guitar so I had musical genes. Around that age we also got a piano in the house so I started teaching myself to play. My mom could also play piano so I picked up what I could from her and the rest came from learning song from records. The eighties was a great time to play piano with all of the ballads on the radio. In 4th grade I started playing the trumpet in band and excelled at that. When I got to middle school I wanted to play guitar in the jazz band but the chords looked like algebra problems so I thought “how about bass? It’s only one note at a time” and that was the beginning of my career as a bass player. They also had a drum set in middle school and I really wanted to play drums. We had more percussion players than trumpet players and I was first chair so the band director wouldn’t let me change but I eventually bought a drum set and figured that one out too. So much so that my junior year in high school I joined the marching band as a percussion player and won the top award that year. I went on to teach the drumline for 9 years after I graduated. I’ve been to 11 band camps. I know it’s nerdy. I studied music in high school and took it very seriously. I could always count on three A’s every semester to keep my grade point average up: Band, Jazz Band, and Choir. Without them I would’ve never graduated. When I went to Berklee College of Music I was a bass player and then I switched to voice. I was not happy at all in the voice department so I switched back to bass. Vocal majors are crazy ;-) . I play a lot of different instruments but I had to pick one when it came time for college. I had learned to read well on the bass because I hated to practice so I figured I would succeed the most at a college on bass. That’s how I decided on that for my career. I’ve never really been that passionate about the bass and I’ve regretted that decision from time to time. That’s why I love this new record which allows me to play guitar and keyboards and focus more on the singing. I relate to the bass more as my day job.

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Interview Part 1

by eric on Sep.24, 2009, under Music, News, Stuff You Didn't Know About Me

1. Tell me about yourself. Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Poughkeepsie, NY but I moved to Colorado when I was 3 years old. I grew up in Broomfield, CO and went to elementary, middle and high school there. I then went to Boston where I attended Berklee College of Music for a bit. After a few semesters of that I moved back to Denver and started my own band. I worked in Denver for a while with many different bands and local artists before moving to L.A.. I’ve been to many places but once I arrived in Los Angeles, I knew I was home. I think starting in a small town was challenging for me because I’ve always been a big city person. I need stimulus or over stimulus. I need the energy, lights and noise of a big city. It helps me create.

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New Tour Dates Added!

by admin on Sep.03, 2009, under News, Tour Dates

Hey guys,

Check out some of the new tour dates added here: http://ericbaines.com/ebtour.html

But if you’re too lazy to click on the link, here’s the dates!

Sept. 16th – Springfield, MO – Mud Lounge, featuring Lucas Grabeel

October 22nd - Provo, UT – Velour

October 24th - Salt Lake City, UT – Club Edge
And of course, don’t forget about the CD Release party at the Viper Room in Los Angeles on September 14th!
See you guys soon!

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Lyrics

by eric on Aug.22, 2009, under Music

These are some of my favorite lyrics. I’ve worked really hard to be a better a lyricist because it’s not something that I was born with. If you asked me about any song I like I could sing you every instrumental part but probably couldn’t tell you a single line besides the title. I had to learn to listen to the lyrics…and when I did, a whole new world opened up. I enjoy the story tellers like Fountains of Wayne, The Beatles and Jellyfish but I also like the more abstract guys like Coldplay and Duran Duran. Sometimes you don’t know what the hell they’re talking about but it sounds cool. I really like the quirky, straight forward writers, too, like Ben Kweller, Johnny Cash and Ben Folds who seem to turn normal, everyday language into poetry. I think I mostly like writers who can take an everyday experince and express it in a way that’s interesting and entertaining and original like Sheryl Crowe or John Mayer. I think there’s a real art to making something mundane and usual sound like the coolest thing ever. There are a ton of great lyricists that I haven’t mentioned here and maybe we’ll talk about them all eventually but here’s a good start on what I’m loving right now. Let me know what you think.

I used to know you when we were young

You were in all my dreams

We sat together in period one

Fridays at 8:15

Now I see your face in the strangest places

Movies and magazines

I saw you talking to Christopher Walken

On my TV screen

But I will wait for you

As long as I need to

And if you ever get back to hackensack

I’ll be here for you

—Fountains of Wayne

 

Out on the tar plains, the glides are moving

All looking for a new place to drive

You sit beside me, so newly charming

Sweating teardrops glisten freshing your side

And the sun drips down bedding heavy behind

The front of your dress all shadowy lined

And the droning engine throbs in time

With your beating heart

—Duran Duran

 

My stupid mouth has got me in trouble

I said too much again

To a date over dinner yesterday

And I could see she was offended

She said “well anyway…”

Just dying for a subject change

Oh, Another social casualty score one more for me

How could I forget?  Mama said, “think before speaking”

No filter in my head Oh, what’s a boy to do ?

I guess he better find one soon

—John Mayer

Mmmm…good stuff!

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Whassup!?!?!?!?

by eric on Aug.17, 2009, under News

Welcome to my blog. I’ll be posting pics, videos, news, thoughts and whatever ever else I feel like and I hope you do to. Feel free to ad whatever comes to mind. I would love to hear feedback about the album, video and live perfomances. I hope everybody enjoys themselves.

Do you like my music?? My first order of business is to get out on the road. If you like my music and would like to see me and my band play live let me know where you like to see bands play in your area and I will try to get there.

As always, I really appreciate your support. I hope you buy the record and dig it. To stay up to date on tour dates, news and events, sign up for the mailing list. If you’d like to be more involved, join my Street Team and compete for prizes. I’m trying to figure out how we can have a cyber shot of Jager at this web site. I’ll keep you posted.

EB



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