Too much time dreaming…

Too much time dreaming…

I spend too much time dreaming and thinking up new ideas than I do actually making those ideas a reality. It’s so much easier to have all of these wonderful ideas that you don’t have to implement, because if you … Continue reading

A lovely Valentine~

A lovely Valentine~

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ve been sending valentines to my friends and family and I was looking for a good valentine featuring Jack Bauer from 24. Well, I couldn’t find a good one. So I made one myself 🙂 Obviously it’s … Continue reading

The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge

Lately, I’ve been working on going through some of my photographs from last year and editing them in the digital darkroom – which means Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, in my case. There’s sometimes a disconnect between the picture I … Continue reading

Free Poison

Here is a link to download my song “Poisonous” for free.

It’s kind of a singer-songwriter alt-rock tinged with electronica type of thing.

If you know someone… let’s say a friend… who is dating someone who happens to be a terrible excuse for a human being… please play your friend this song.  Or just play this video.

The lyrics are rather blunt and leave little to the imagination.  But there are still people who just won’t get it, so you may need to help them out.

I’m not saying it will work.  Sometimes the friend will never learn, other times they will only discover the true nature of their significant other under the worst possible circumstances.  And unfortunately, sometimes there won’t be anything you can do.

I think it’s important to be able to recognize emotionally shallow/unempathetic people and to stay far away from them.  Sure, they’ll probably keep on destroying everything and everyone in their path.  But don’t say I never warned ya.

But life got in the way…

Autumn has left the trees bare… here’s a picture I took earlier, when the leaves had just started to change.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty far behind on everything, including posting pictures.  I have a bunch of beautiful photographs that I took this year that are still hidden on my computer…

It’s hard to escape the crushing obligation of working for someone else, or the dreariness of mundane tasks that need to be done, instead of doing what you want to do with your life.
But I hope someday I can spend my life documenting these little moments in time.  It’s what I love to do.

Photography in the Arb

Samantha by nancynishihira
Samantha, a photo by nancynishihira on Flickr.

One of my favorite places to take photos is at the Arb in Ann Arbor.

Lately, I’ve been going through some pictures and touching them up, which seems a little bit easier sometimes when time has elapsed.

I’m really looking forward to taking more photos this year, starting in the spring.

I have a lot of goals this year which involve photography, music and art, the problem is finding the time…

The model in this picture is my sister Samantha.

The Internet: City of Light, City of Magic

Yes, I stole that quote from Morrowind.

Anyway, there are a few helpful things I had read on the internet that I wanted to pass along.

1. Reviving a waterlogged cell phone

My cell phone fell out of my pocket on a rainy day and sat in a parking lot for at least 8 hours.  It was sitting in a pool of water.  The inside of the phone was wet and all seemed lost.

I took the battery out right away and started drying the phone out.  I used a blow dryer, which is NOT recommended since it can melt delicate parts inside the phone.  Eventually I decided to look on the internet for a solution.

A few websites said to place your phone into a bowl of uncooked rice for a few days (battery out).  So I tried that.  And I even waited an extra day just to make sure; 3 days total.  However, I should have waited longer.  Turning my phone on after 3 days fried the outer display (I have a flip phone) and the internal speaker is too quiet.  Everything seemed to look perfect at first, it was only after the phone was on awhile that the outer display stopped working.  I recommend that you learn from my mistake and wait at least a week to ensure it is completely dry.

I would also like to note that it was necessary to charge the battery; the phone didn’t wake up until I had it plugged into the wall.

2: How to make a scratched DVD play

I got a scratched DVD from Netflix and it had a few badly scratched areas that refused to play.  I looked to my friend, the Internet, for a solution.

The solution is: furniture/wood polish.  It doesn’t have to be a name brand.  Just spray that stuff on there, use a microfiber (or soft cotton, do not user paper based cloths or your DVD will get more scratched!) cloth, and make sure you get most of the polish off.  The surface of the DVD may look slightly greasy.  I would like to note that I didn’t insert this DVD into my laptop because it doesn’t have a DVD tray and I didn’t want polish to mess up the insides.  I put this into my notoriously fickle, old DVD player (literally from the year 1999).  And the disc played perfectly. I was shocked, but it worked.

Internet Contests – Does anyone ever win?

http://www.myspace.com/seedpage?sproutId=nAAFqU_KMSs5RAeX <—clicky here for demo content

I’ve entered a few contests in the last few months.

The most notable so far was the contest to play a set at a local Lilith Fair, which I didn’t win, but it was definitely fun to play and hear other female musicians from Metro D.  Very cool.  It was all set up via the site Ourstage, which bills themselves as the Indie Rocker’s version of Pandora.  Sounds good to me.

So, the latest one I’ve entered is via Myspace.

I don’t remember what the prize is, but it was fun to custom design a litle mini faux mix tape.

On a side note, I was recently honored to see the great band Visqueen live at the Majestic.
It left me feeling very inspired. A little sad that such a radio friendly awesome band isn’t getting the attention deserved, but for me, it put into perspective the fact that it doesn’t really matter if you play in front of 20 people or 20000 people. It’s not a reflection on the quality of the music. More of a reflection that people want what is safe and mediocre, like eating at a chain restaurant over an independent.

So much of what consists of popular music in the US now is manufactured one hit wonder garbage that plays it safe and is below average in quality, yet it gets listened to by millions of people. Music isn’t meant to be a popularity contest. People who try on bands and songs like they try on shoes don’t interest me./end rant

Online Promotion for Indie Musicians

I have been recently engaging on a campaign of “relentless” self-promotion.

I don’t believe that it is something that comes naturally to most musicians (most of us are not business people or business majors obviously) and this is likely why a lot of us fail.

Who hasn’t cringed when they have opened an unsolicited email from some random musician on myspace who says something like, “if you like The Killers, you will looooooove my music!”

Yuck!

There’s gotta be a better way to do it.  I’m not sure how, but I have started (quietly) promoting my music mostly online.

Here are some sites that you can use for music promotion:

1. Last.fm

This site has a lot of features so you are able to control the music and artist information, even able to link your twitter feed to your page.  Also, it is pretty fun to use.  I haven’t yet interacted much with the “groups” or community features.

http://www.last.fm/music/Nancy+Nishihira

2. CDBaby

Although CDBaby hasn’t been running as smoothly as when Derek Sivers ran the place, it is still a great way to have low cost digital distribution ($35 to sign up).  My name and CD is all over the internet now, which is pretty impressive.  Even if no one sees it!  However, their customer service has been terrible lately.

http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/NancyNishihira

3. Twitter

Twitter is a great way to tell everyone anything instantaneously (as long as you can fit it within the character limit).  Also, you can link your twitter feed to many different sites, so it is very convenient.  Some people sound really crazy when you read their twitter feed though.  I may be one of them.

http://twitter.com/nancynishihira

4. Myspace

Myspace is not the social networking hub it once was.  The trashy in-your-face ads took away any desire I’ve had to visit the site, so I visit infrequently.  It is still a good place to list your other links in case someone happens to stumble on your page.  However, it seems some musicians have had success on myspace.

http://www.myspace.com/nancynishihira

5. Facebook

Facebook is a cleaner, less glitchy, more private website to use.  It is now more popular than myspace.  I have recently created my Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Nishihira/235144706238?v=info

I am not sure what the success rate is for fan pages via Facebook, as many less tech savvy people can get confused by all the tabs and boxes.

6. YouTube

I haven’t tried any sort of promoting on youtube yet, mostly because of the lengthy amount of time that it would take for me to make music videos and upload them to the site.  For anyone with the time and ambition, it would be a great place to promote your music.  I intend to do so in the future.

7. Amazon.com

Amazon has a new feature called “artist central” where you can create a page and upload mp3s and they will link it to your album (my album was already linked as CDbaby had distributed it to Amazon already).  It doesn’t seem to give you the kind of control that other sites like last.fm provide, but this service is still in the beta stage.

http://www.amazon.com/Single-Breath-Nancy-Nishihira/dp/B000OYCAY6/ref=ntt_mus_ep_wlb_dpt

8. iLike

I am not sure how well music is promoted via iLike, as it has not really done much for me.  They did have this thing where they would make your music into an iPhone app, which sounded cool, but I don’t have an iPhone.

http://www.ilike.com/artist/Nancy+Nishihira

If anyone has any other suggestions of good promotional sites, please let me know!

life and how to live it

So… I have been busy.

First, (or: most recently) I’ve updated my twitter page with a customized background: http://twitter.com/nancynishihira

It’s not perfect, but it is something fun until I feel like modifying it to fit different size monitors!

Also, I’ve been working on the idea of an EPK, or Electronic Press Kit… and I don’t really know exactly where to start.

I’ve got the picture (also see the top left hand corner of my newly designed twitter page)…

And I’ve tried to update my many web pages… finally got the cover to my CD up on last.fm…

Which can be viewed here: http://www.last.fm/music/Nancy+Nishihira

Also, I think I’ve finally (?) been able to get control of the account.

However, I still have to design an album cover for a tiny 3 song EP I’m going to stream on last.fm. (Perhaps I will sell it on CDBaby once the site is situated).

The album is called “Long Lost” and so far, I have the first track, “Infatuation, My Obsession” up to stream.  I converted it from tape (cassette tape!) to mp3.

There are two other tracks, which I still need to convert and add…  These are very old tracks, professionally recorded, which I just “rediscovered”.  I haven’t heard them for quite sometime.  I eventually hope to convert my entire tape collection to mp3.

Still seems like it will be awhile before I can get music onto Pandora; it seems that something on Amazon has to do something and for that to work CDBaby has to have stuff and a barcode and whatever else.

I am actually very excited about making music and art right now.

I have a really cool art idea but I am keeping it quiet now because I don’t want anyone to take my idea until I am done with it!

Listening to so much music has been very inspiring.  Right now, I love Vienna Teng (Hope on Fire is my current favorite).  She has an amazing voice.   I also love the song Grow Grow Grow by PJ Harvey.  AMAZING.

I’d love to get on youtube and record some songs too… I don’t think it’s time yet though.  I’m a little rusty and don’t really have the time to sit down and record stuff, although I also have some fun video ideas.

And as for Tanaka Style…

I am compiling a list of songs to record.  It is likely that the Tanaka Style (or 「田中スタイル」) stuff will be recorded before my solo stuff will.  There is a lot less pressure and more fun!

My next step, after I lay the groundwork… is to play some open mic.

The Long Distance Commute

When I became aware that I might be accepting a job that was over sixty miles away from my house, I tried to research the ways of the road warrior on the internet.  I didn’t really find too much.  There were some stories of people who would commute an hour and a half each way to work (usually by train in a large city like New York), but not too many stories of people who drove an hour (or more) to work each way.  I wanted to know if there were any tips or tricks of handling the traffic and what to expect.

I’ve only been commuting to my new job for two weeks and I am sooooooo done with this drive.  I want to move to a place that is between five or ten minutes from my new job and I wanted that done yesterday.

The drive itself doesn’t bother me too much; although the drive back home seems infinitely longer than the drive to work.  (Honestly, us Metro Detroiters are used to driving anyway).  What bothers me is the two hours that is missing from my day, every day.  The ten hours that is missing from my week, every week.  How do long distance commuters deal with that?!  I want the scoop.

I’ve tried less sleep, going down to about seven hours a night.  The next place I could cut back, I suppose, would be on grooming – wear no make-up?  My hair doesn’t look too bad if I let it air dry instead of blow drying it and it saves me about five to ten minutes.  I started doing that when I was running late one day.

The real solution, is moving…

I’m still curious about what people do when they love their jobs but love where they live and have a long, horrible commute.

Steven Page left BNL

“afraid of change… afraid of staying the same

when temptation calls, we just look away.”


This rather shocked me today.

I was kind of a late BNL fan – I didn’t start really getting into their music until 1995 or 1996.  (If you consider that they have been a band since the late 1980’s then this is kind of late.)

Anyway, some people may think of their music as the kitschy “If I had $1,000,000” or “Another Postcard” or “One Week”, but true fans likely think of the band through songs that carry more depth and darkness like “What a Good Boy” or “When I Fall” or “I’ll Be That Girl”.

I went to their NYE show in 1997, I met them on the day Stunt came out by standing in a very long line in Farmington Hills for the whole day, I got tickets when they were headliners at the HORDE festival and saw them two days in a row (sneaking down to better seats the second day by “recycling” my ticket from the first day).

But eventually they got to a height of popularity where it was difficult to acquire even decent seats to their shows so I gave up on going to their concerts. The last one I went to was after “Everything to Everyone” came out, when Shelly got tickets for us.  It was at the State Theater in Detroit.

The new stuff Steven Page is working on sounds great, and I do have his solo album, “The Vanity Project”, which I also love.  But thinking of BNL without him is scary.  Ed is a great singer and songwriter, but a large part of the charm of BNL was due to the live interaction between Ed and Steve onstage.  There is also the fact that as vocalists they sounded amazing together.


“we got these chains… hanging ’round our necks

people wanna strangle us with them before we take our first breath.”

田中スタイルの「猫ちゃんの歌」

「ホンマに」

こんにちは皆さん!

Hello!

If you check out Tanaka Style’s myspace page, you will see that a new demo track, entitled “Nekochan no Uta” has been added to their playlist.  We are hoping to release Tanaka Style’s debut album sometime later this year.  The tentative title so far is “The Return of Tanaka”.

As you may (or may not) know, Tanaka Style is comprised of the following members:

Nancy Tanaka

Alex Tanaka

Ken Tanaka

Aaron Tanaka

and many other Tanakas.  We are also happy to give a shout out to our friend Naomi Tanaka.

New Beginnings

Ahh.  My first blog post.

Eventually I’ll have everything all set up but for now I’ve updated the banner photo on my iLike page!   The original photograph is courtesy of my good friend Matt @ CiboMahto.com.

I’m working on several projects now, including setting up space to record some new (and old) songs, moving things around, and tuning a very old piano that I just purchased on Craigslist.

I’m also still working on getting any music/art related links out here on the web connected to this blog.  So I don’t have a lot to say right now, but I have a ton of stuff to do.  I’ll try to update at least once a week.

~Nancy