Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vlogger or Blogger...both?

I've been thinking a lot lately about using my YouTube channel to post vlogs of show recaps, instead of just posting recaps on this blog.  I think it would better, especially when I have a lot of shows to go to within a short period of time.  Seems like it would be faster to talk about them in a video and upload a video to my channel and this blog, than to find time to write a blog post about each show.

I think it would be fun to do videos as well as blog post.  Also it would be a good way to attract more traffic to both my blog and YouTube channel.

 The show reviews would probably be a lot more interesting, if  they were in video form, it would be more personal, sort of like you and I were having a conversation about the show (or whatever else I'm telling you about) instead of you just reading about what happened

I've been an avid watcher of beauty and style videos on YouTube since the end of 2011.  Everyone I watch makes it look like a lot of fun to be a vlogger and I want to try it out and see how it goes.  Although, I am a little nervous about what people might say about me after they view a video...I've seen a lot of people be mean on there in the comments section, I don't know if I have tough enough skin to not let something get to me if someone were to say something mean, but I guess you don't know until you try.

What do you think, would you be interested in video vlogs from me?

-laurenmikael

Monday, May 28, 2012

"More Than a Feeling..."


On May 11th I saw The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus at a venue in Little Rock that I had never been to before; Downtown Music.

As soon as I got there I saw a friend that I haven't seen since we graduated high school (in 2008.) He is a security guard there. I'm glad I got to see him.  I hardly ever get the chance to see people I went to school with anymore.

My friends belair. opened the show. I was excited to see them...it had been a while (October.)  They had also opened for RJA last year when I saw them on May 2nd.  They did awesome.  The crowd loved them.

After belair. was Se7en Sharp, a local band that I saw for the first time in March when they opened for Aranda.    Granted I don't remember that show (that can be blamed on all of the 'special' cranberry juice that I had that night...haha oops!) So I was happy to really get the chance to see them this time.

Before they started their set, Phil (the lead singer) said he recognized me from the show with Aranda and gave me a Se7en Sharp shirt.

 They were awesome.  I know you're probably like: Yeah, yeah...she says that about every band she sees. I do say that about most of the bands I see, but it's not because I want to be nice and make sure I don't hurt anyone's feelings in case a member of the band sees the post I made about them.  Some bands do read my blog, they've told me.  Anyway...it's because they really are awesome, if they are not I will tell you.   Believe me I've seen my fair share of bands that suck; I just haven't gotten around to writing those post yet.

Back to Se7en Sharp...

Something about their music/the way Phil moves around on stage reminds me of Phillip Phillips from the current season 11 winner of American Idol.  All that and the fact that his name is Phil.  Which is cool, cause I love   Phillip Phillips.  Definitely going to see them as often as I can.

After Se7en Sharp it was time for Red Jumpsuit. RJA was the first band I ever liked (well, if you don't count all those childhood bands like *Nsync, Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys.) I love Ronnie's voice, it's so unlike anyone else's. It's always really exciting to see them, because they don't seem to come to Little Rock very often.

I took video of "Your Guardian Angel" and it actually turned out really well.  That's one of my favorite songs by them.


This was my 3rd time seeing them.  They always put on a great show and I really hope they come again soon.

After the show was over I went to the merch tables and talked to Wesley (singer of Belair) for a while and bought an RJA shirt.  Their merch girl is Ronnie's wife, she's really awesome, and so nice.  After getting merch I went outside to wait for my ride home.  That's when I got introduced to RJA's new drummer Timothy Ross.

Phil was outside too...talked to him for quite a while, he's pretty awesome.  Then a lady asked me if I had met RJA yet.  (you had to have V.I.P passes to meet this time.)  I told her that I didn't have a pass and she told me to follow her.  I don't know who she was, but I was very happy that she let me meet them.  It wasn't my first time though, I met them when I saw them last year..

Staci (Ronnie's wife) gave me The Hell or High Water EP when I was at the merch table, so I had them sign it.

Kat (photographer for 100.3 The Edge) took a photo of Ronnie and I.  I also asked her to take a photo with my camera, because it takes a few days before photos are uploaded to The Edge's website.

Kat's camera:




My camera:



The tattoo on his arm is Mark 8:36:

For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?

Mark 8:36 inspired The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' song "Reap" off of their latest album Am I The Enemy



Ronnie asked if I went to a lot of shows and of course as you all know the answer was: Yes, all the time.

He said he likes going to shows too and asked what my favorite bands were: Crossfade, Pop Evil and, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (and no, I wasn't just saying that because that's his band...it's true they are one of my favorites)

Then he asked my which RJA songs are my favorite: I said I couldn't really pick cause I love them all (he said that was a good answer...haha) but then I started naming off a few: "Your Guardian Angel", "Cat and Mouse", "Damn Regret", "False Pretense" and "Face Down" which he said were all good ones.

I'm always curious to see who my favorite artist like to listen to so I asked him who his favorite bands/artist were: Pink Floyd, Boston, Peter Gabriel

I said I had heard of all of those, but I couldn't tell you what any of their songs were.  He was shocked at this and asked how old I was: 22.

Then he sang a line from "More Than Feeling" by Boston.  After that I immediately knew who he was talking about. 

He also sang a line from a song by one of the other artist that he had mentioned, but I don't know who/what it was...because at the same time someone else beside us started talking pretty loud and I couldn't hear Ronnie.

So I guess you could say I got sang to by Ronnie Winter, which I thought was awesome.  He's a really nice guy...


Ronnie Winter:












Josh Burke





Josh joined RJA last year.  He is 18 years old.  It's a pretty cool story how he became the lead guitarist for The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus:

He was/still is a big RJA fan. He went to a show, arrived during sound check. Ronnie needed to get new strings before the show and asked Josh where the nearest guitar shop was.  Josh and his family gave Ronnie a ride to Guitar Center.  While they were there Josh picked up a guitar and started playing.  Ronnie liked what he heard and now Josh is RJA's lead guitarist.

Believe me Josh is a great guitarist, probably one of the best I've heard.  I think it is awesome how his life was changed just by showing up early to a show...


I always arrive early to shows, mostly because if I get there early I'm the first person there so the staff at Juanita's/or whatever venue the show is at let me in and  I don't have to wait outside for the doors to open, which means I can secure my spot in front row, but also because the bands are setting up the stage at this time and you never know what could happen.

I mean I doubt Josh woke up on that September 19th morning saying to himself "Hey I'm gonna go see RJA tonight and I'm going to become their lead guitarist"

 ...but that's what happened and that's all because he got to a show early (well that and the fact that he is a kick ass guitarist.)

belair. photos:

Wesley:









Se7en Sharp photos:

Phil Houston:






You can buy belair. music on iTunes and check them out on Facebook here

Visit Se7en Sharp on Facebook here



-laurenmikael

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thank You Camellia



So It's been a little while since I published a post.  I have been working on a few post though.  I'm almost done with my latest The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus show recap.  Just gotta add in a few more photos and it will be finished.  I just wanted to pop in here and publish a little something since I haven''t since the 9th...ugh it's the 22nd.  I need to get better at posting more frequently.

It's not that I don't want to post, I would love to, if you update often you will gain more readers, which is what I want.  It's just that I get easily side tracked and I have all these plans for how I want my day to go, which lately have been to post on here more often as well as on Flickr and my Facebook Photography fan page but they never happen the way I plan.  Other people always interfere with their own lives; wanting me to go somewhere with them or do something with/for them and by the time all that is done I'm not in the mood or am too tired to deal with writing and/or uploading and editing photos.

I always come up with ideas for blog post but hardly get the chance to post any of them before the topic is basically irrelevant.

I'm hoping to have the RJA post up within the next few days (possibly tomorrow) after that one is posted I'll start working on Hinder.

In other news:

I'm addicted to Spotify...if you're not already using it you need to check it out, it's amazing.  it's a program on your computer that is like a music database.  Basically any album/song you want to listen to they have and it's free to listen to in it's entirety. They do have a premium version (that is ad free) but it is $9.99 a month so in my opinion I think it's best to stay with the free version, because the ads don't happen that often and when they do they only last a few seconds...so it not that big of a deal and I would rather listen to a short ad every once and a while then spend basically $10 just to save myself a few seconds.

I have known about Spotify for a few months, because of Twitter and Facebook but I never knew what it really was so I didn't pay much attention when people would mention it.  I just started using it 3 days ago.  I like it because it allows me to listen to an album before I buy it.  I mean iTunes gives you a little preview, which is good; but sometimes I buy songs/albums on there and they turn out being a waste of money because the only good part of the songs were in the short preview.

Which brings me to my next point:

Kris Allen released his a new album today Thank You Camellia you should definitely go check that out.  I listened to it on Spotify today.  It's really good.  I'm going to buy it soon. I knew it would be good. I love him and every album he has ever done...the self titled one and his Pre-Idol album Brand New Shoes. 


I have found that if you use Spotify and search an artist who just had a new album released the newest one doesn't show up among their other releases yet, so you have to type the name of the album instead of the artist.


-laurenmikael







Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"Now It's Time, Let's Start the Show"

I saw James Durbin on April 26th, he was my favorite contestant on season 10 of American Idol; so I was really excited about getting the chance to see him live.

I got to Juanita's an hour before doors opened.  I like the fact they let me in before doors open, but this time I got pretty bored and it was really cold in there.  I realized then that it's pretty much only fun to get there really early if Boom The Wheel is playing the show  (they weren't)  so I got kind of lonely.  I got my good spot though, that's really all that matters. 

I thought that since it was James Durbin there would be a ton of people there, given his success on American Idol, but to my suprise there weren't near as many people as I was expecting.  A lot of people stayed sitted at the tables during the show.  I remember him even saying something like: this was a rock show so they shouldn't even have tables. 

Two bands opened for him, but to be honest I thought they both sucked, plus I forgot both of their names, the first was a hardcore death metal screamo band...the lead singer reminded me a lot of Phil Evans from School Boy Humor.  The second was a band that played a lot of covers, BB King, even Tenacious D. I have only looked at my shots of James so far, I don't think I got any of the first two bands, but if I did I'll show them to you later.

Moving back to James....

He was awesome.  I gotta say though I'm not diggin' the bleached hair, I liked it better the way it was before.  It's his hair though so he can do whatever he wants with it.

I was really hoping he would sing "May" the song on his album written by SafetySuit's Doug Brown...but he didn't.  I was sad; it's one of my favorites, but I totally understand, that song is pretty much a downer and songs like that don't go over well during rock shows.  I wasn't the only one who wanted to hear it though...I remember hearing someone in the crowd screaming that he should play it.

"May" by James Durbin:



I took a lot of video:


"Stand Up"


"Right Behind You"

I don't know why this one is sideways, my phone does that to videos sometimes


"Outcast"


"Love Me Bad"


"Love in Ruins"


"Higher Than Heaven"



I took video of one of my favorites, "Screaming" (Found out the other day that Ryan Star helped write it...no wonder I love it so much...)but my phone has a mind of it's own and deleted it a few minutes after I recorded it.  A few more months and I'll be able to get rid of my crazy iPhone 4 and trade it in for a 4s, I can't wait. I'm going to have to go up to a 32GB, 16 GB is just not big enough...I am always running out of space.

"Screaming"

Photos:















Standing in a chair


Taking a break leaning up against the wall on stage











After the show I went to  meet James...I asked the lady that was working the merch table to take a picture of James and I.  I handed her my camera and like most people I hand my camera to, she didn't know how to work it.  After 3 tries the photo was taken.  I'm just going hand people my phone from now on and let them take the pictures with Instagram. 

Even though I always put my camera on automatic (settings and focus) everyone freaks out when they see my camera...it's a dSLR (Canon Rebel T1i) the size of it scares people, but the truth is it is exactly like a regular camera, it has all the standard buttons. No need to be scared or confused.  Drake Bell,(yes, from Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh), Natalia (of Boom The Wheel), my sister Heather and my cousin Brook are the only people so far who can flawlessly take a picture with my camera without having any guidance from me.



During the show I had set the camera to focus on a certain focal point and I had forgotten to change it back before giving it to the merch lady, so sadly I am the only one in focus.

Can't wait to go to another one of his shows, hopefully he'll come back pretty soon. 

Title of this post comes from "Stand Up" by James Durbin:

Official Music Video




-laurenmikael

PS: During the show James said he thought Skylar was gonna win, well apparently not cause she got voted off last week (not that I'm still watching...my favorite of the season is gone (Colton) Therefore I quit watching.   I do that every year, my favorite leaves and I'm done.

Hello My Name is laurenmikael and I am an Instagram Addict

Ok so I still haven't gotten the chance to publish my post about James Durbin, it'll happen. I was going to finish it today but my sister and I went grocery shopping/picked Doodlebug up from her Nana today and I didn't have time.

 Technically I guess I could do it now...but I'm lazy so I'm not going to.  Ha!  Be on the lookout for it tomorrow though.

Remember the Twitter addiction? Yeah this is sorta like that only this time it's with Instagram.  You probably already know what it is, but I'm going to explain it anyway.  It is a free photo app.  I don't know if it is on Android. Probably.  Anyway, you can take a photo with your phone and then change it to look, brighter, lighter, black and white and a lot of other cool settings.

I have only taken three photos so far, but I'm addicted.  It's not so much that I'm addicted to it in the "I'm gonna take a million pictures a day and annoy the hell out of my followers" way...it's more of an "I wanna look at everyone else's photos/see if I got any likes or comments on my photos/did I get any new followers?" way.

Instagram is kind of Twitter and Facebook combined in my opinion:


  • You can like and/or comment on a photo as you would on Facebook
  • You can follow people and have followers like you would on Twitter
  • It's kinda like Twitter in the fact that you constantly feel that you need to tell/show people useless stuff that is going on in your day (and you do that by) snapping a quick creative photo
  • It's also like Twitter because you can choose to leave a small description under the picture (which kinda somehow reminds me of tweets because of the Twitter 140 character limit)
I changed my Blogger profile picture today...It's a photo I took on Instagram.  Which brings me to a new point: 

  • My School Boy Humor shirt is apparently my photogenic shirt; every picture taken of me wearing that shirt turns out well and gets a lot of likes/comments on Facebook.  Maybe I just need to wear it all the time. 
You can follow me on Istagram if you want my user name is laurenmikael 

Cause like I said earlier in this post I love new followers, also while we're at it if you not following this blog you totally should cause I love any kind of new follower; whether it be on my blog, Twitter, or Instagam.  

My Twitter is @laurenmikael

Wow bet you couldn't have guessed that huh? Haha!

Feel free to "like" my photography page since we're talking about all of this following stuff and what not click here

-laurenmikael



Sunday, May 6, 2012

I'm Not Sure What To Title This

So, I saw James Durbin on April 26th. (You know, that amazing rocker guy from season 10 of American Idol)  It was really awesome.  I'm almost done writing the post about it...just got to add in photos and videos.  I started uploading the videos to YouTube today. It's taking forever.  There are only 6 videos but it has taken 5 hours to upload them, now I remember why I don't add videos to YouTube very often.

I haven't written in a few days so I figured I'd give you guys a little update.  I don't really have much to say, I just felt like blogging.

I ended up not going to see Cavo on May 3rd.  It was by choice though.


  1. I don't have their newest album "Thick As Thieves" yet, which would be the album that most of the songs on the setlist for that show would be from, so basically I would have paid to see them play a bunch of songs I didn't know.
  2. I'm not their biggest fan, so I wasn't going to be heartbroken if I missed the show.
  3. My family is probably getting tired of taking me to shows and I have a lot of good ones coming up in the next couple of weeks that I refuse to miss so I thought I should at least let them have a break from taking me for a little while
  4. I saved money by not going


I don't know what else to talk about, so here are some random pictures that I have taken lately:

Scratch that, my computer is being really slow and the picture uploader won't load. (I blame YouTube)  Sorry.

I guess this is where it ends then, I'm going to try my hardest to get the James Durbin post up tomorrow, but don't count on it cause I never seem to do what I say...I have good intentions though.

-laurenmikael