Friday, April 26, 2013

Feature Friday - Moulton Falls Winery

Many people say that Northern California is wine country, but those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest know the truth. We live in the real wine country! :)

This week’s feature goes to one on my favorite local wineries - Moulton Falls Winery

MFW is set back in the hills of southwest Washington in a small town called Yacolt. It is surrounded by a never ending rolling landscape of trees, rivers, and wetlands. It’s simply gorgeous. The owners, Joe & Susan, have built a beautiful winery out of a barn on a piece of land close to one of the areas oldest train tracks. This is truly a beautiful building, with a pleasant blend of oak wood and warm tones throughout the facility. The main feature being a handcrafted bar that Joe and his brothers built.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tip-Off Thursday - The Perfect Brew

That’s right. A whole new category to compete for the Thursday topic spot! Sometimes, you need a little competition to inspire growth... ha!

This Thursday’s special tip is dedicated to: Coffee - of course!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Topic Tuesday - Boston Strong

How can I not write about this? As I look over my schedule of blogs, I can’t help but immediately bump out one of the Topic Tuesday’s in order to talk about what we all went through last week as a nation -- but what more can really be said?

I had friends who were running last Monday. One had been across the finish line for nearly 5 minutes before the explosions took place. Her friends were a few miles behind her. Thankfully, none of them were near the bomb site. It took them nearly 24 hours to be re-united. I can only imagine the joy and relief they felt to hold each other, knowing they were okay. Yet, my heart breaks for everyone who knew each of the victims, including the officers who sacrificed their safety in the days following the attack. Their lives will never be the same.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Music Monday - Microphones

A microphone can make a huge difference when it comes to making your voice or instrument amplify the tone and resonance that makes us all go “ahhhhhh.” Engineers and professionals known this well. They become obsessive about it. Not just the kind of microphone they’re using, but the placement of the microphone. There may even be tape measurers involved. While the topic is a bit over my head in its detail, I can tell you, I know the difference between a quality mic and one that should be used with at home karaoke machines.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Topic Tuesday - End Slavery Now

In 2005, I walked into the conference room that my fellow coworkers would often use as a quiet place to eat lunch when it was not being used. As I was enjoying my packed lunch, my eye caught an article that was in a newspaper laying on the table. There was an 11 year old boy taking up nearly the entire top half of the page with big bold letters stating “Slavery Still Exists.” This was the first time I had heard about the multi-billion dollar industry in today’s world known as the human trafficking trade.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Music Monday

Today’s Music Monday is dedicated to being super-incredibly-nearly-uncontrollably-excited that TOMORROW The Starting Line will be available for you all to buy!

It has been a long wait for us all, but FINALLY, finally you’ll be able to hold in your hands, load onto your MP3 players, and share with your friends NEW MUSIC!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Feature Friday - CD Baby

No one has ever been kinder to the independent artist than CD Baby. These guys work hard to give musicians the resources they need to be successful doing what they love. It is no wonder why they are the best in the business.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Today Or Yesterday

The first time I released an independent album as a solo artist was in 2000. I was 18. I am one of those people who finds themselves identifying with the meme “Every time someone says 10 years ago, I still think of 90s.” It’s surreal...nevertheless. Since my latest EP is being released in FIVE days, I thought it would be fun to dedicate today’s Throwback Thursday to my first album Today Or Yesterday.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Topic Tuesday - We All Hate Cancer

I hate death in general. We all have to face it at some point, true, but it doesn’t mean we have to love it and embrace it like it’s a cuddly puppy. It’s not. It’s horrible. Even Jesus called death His enemy. Of course, He kicked its ass, but in a realm that destroys its finality...we still have to contend with it until we see the other side of eternity.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Music Monday - A Silly Ode To Guitar Picks

I can never seem to find you, yet you’re everywhere

Hide and seek is fun to play, except you vanish into the air

The dryer seems to love you, you must like being clean

And when I’ve purchased more, I find you in my jeans

You are so very helpful with making lovely sounds

I always give a happy shout to see you all around

One day Mr. Dunlop just might help this poor girl out

But for now my dollars go to Music World in Battle Ground!

                                        I love you, my Dunlop Nylon Picks. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Feature Friday - One From Many

Feature Friday - One From Many

I posted/tweeted/annoyed-the-crap-out-of-everyone about a song I got to sing backup on for my friends One From Many. It got picked up to be played in an independent film called Lies That I Told My Little Sister.

Today’s feature Friday is dedicated to OFM.

I have known lead singer, Drew, for a few years now. I met him through some mutual friends and being that we are both passionate about music and making it, we had a good base to build a friendship. When I met him, he was about a year into the process of recording an album after taking a bit of a break from music. What I appreciate most about Drew is that he sees this as a business as much as he does a way to share art and life through this creative medium. He’s meticulous in his craft, which is something I have great respect for.

Drew asked if I’d be interested in singing back-up on a couple of songs, which seemed like a fun idea, so I said heck yes. We set up the time for me to join him and his producer Rob Daiker in the studio and lay down the background vocals to add those special texture pieces to a couple of songs. I brought my bff and manager, Jessicca Garcia, to the session to make it that much more fun.

The first song we worked on was called Shape of Your Heart. It sounded pretty amazing already and it wasn’t completely finished or mixed yet. Rob played a scratch of what he wanted me to track and we did a couple of takes and quickly moved onto the next song, which was Tears We All Cry Alone.

Drew told me how special this song was to him and they talked through what they wanted me to add. It’s not often that you get to walk into a studio and they tell you to go nuts. We did a few takes very straight and uniform so that they could make it sound “choir like,” and then they instructed me to let loose and make it sound like I was late to choir practice and perhaps a little tipsy. I love living in a creative world. That was probably the best direction I’ve ever received working on a project. And it worked. I was given a fun little nickname after that take. It may not have stuck, but it was pretty funny nonetheless.

Just a few days ago, I was given the final product of OFM’s album which features both of those songs. It sounds amazing. I am so proud of these guys for their hard work and the effort, patience, and dedication they’ve put into making it as great as it is. I cannot wait for you all to hear it! And keep an eye out for a Music Monday Album Review.

OFM is going to do some cool things, I believe, and these guys are working their little tooshies off to make good on all they’ve been diligently working on to share with all of you. Their live shows will be right in line with this characteristic. You’ll hear and see the quality, and be amazed by the genuineness of these guys.

Do check them out for yourselves. You’ll be glad you did! Plus, we may do some shows together in the future...then you’ll know the music so you can sing along! That’s always fun!

Until next time,

Take care of your hearts and ears!

~Amber
www.theambersweeney.com
Listen With Your Heart

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Roller blades

Every now and then I think “whatever happened to roller blades?” Sure there are some underground extreme sports dudes who still “blade” all over the skate parks and whatnot, and of course, there’s the come back of roller skates via roller derby and the like...but does anyone remember how freakin’ cool roller blades were when they came out? Oh yes. I do! As you can see in the picture below, I was kinda little and my mom was super cool (I eventually inherited those sweet blades you see there), but man were they rad-i-cal!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Topic Tuesday - Living Within Your Means

Sooooo many books have been written on this subject. There are millions of writings, blogs, and more that are available to peruse through and glean valuable information on. So why am I writing about it? Because as a business owner I wanted to share my thoughts on the balance between being overly generous and being smart with what you have.

I love to give. I really do. If I had the billions that Bill Gates does, I would be doing what he does and more. It is a beautiful thing. At the start of a business, however, it could be your ruin. So how do you live within your means and grow your business or organization?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Music Monday - Gabe Harvison

Producing is no easy feat to accomplish. Not only do you have to be skilled in music, but you also have to be skilled in recording. It requires having both a technical and creative mind. This makes for a unique breed of people I’ve found. They make me laugh  as much as they push me to be the artist they know I can be.

Gabe Harvison fits this bill well! He is an incredible an engineer, and has been fun to work with as a producer. I wonder if I push him as much as he pushes me to think outside our norms and reach for something new and refreshing...it is possible I think.