Travel

This is amazing! It’s your first summer in New York City. You’re here for pre­-college classes, checking out universities, taking summer courses, interning, working, or simply shopping, eating, and being a tourist. It’s the city that never sleeps, a place romanticized by movies and glorified by those who live here.

Well. Sort of. If you know anything about NYC, you know it has its rough patches. New Yorkers are known for their direct and fast paced attitudes, always rushing around stylishly but quickly. In the summer, the tempo of the city changes. Tourists flood in and some New Yorkers leave. But those who stay, like yours truly, are forced to weather through some of the not­-so-­pleasant things about being in NYC in the summer. These are a few things you should know before coming to New York City.

1. It is hot.

That explains everything. The grouchy taxi drivers. The simmering concrete. The wet sensation under your arms and the uncomfortable chill of the train if you’ve been sitting too long. NYC summers are hot. Commuting feels nasty. This year has been pretty tame, but usually the temperature hits triple digits. NYC summers are hit­-the­beach, break-­the-­fire­-hydrant, egg­-on-­the-­sidewalk hot. Advice: drink water, stay indoors or have indoor trips until 3pm­ish, and pack lightly. Mornings around 7-­9am and evenings around 6-­8pm are commuter hours and you don’t want to be stuck next to the sweaty businessman and a woman with her crying baby. I recommend that you do your summer intensives or other courses during a more relaxed time in case you have to lug supplies or textbooks around. If you insist on going outside, keep the heat in mind.

2. Watch out for mosquitoes.

Yes. Mosquitoes. Did you think that being in a city full of skyscrapers and asphalt would save you from those little monsters? You’re sadly mistaken. I sit here telling you to beware of the mosquitoes, but I have five bites on my legs just from walking to the grocery store. What’s so unique about NYC mosquitoes? They’re intense. My friend from the West coast says that they are nastier biters here than where she’s from, so be warned!

Even as a seasoned New Yorker, I haven’t overcome this itchy nightmare. It does not matter who you are or where you’re going. If you breathe and if you have blood, you’re going to be mosquito food. You can either simply accept that you’ll get bitten (as I have) or you can avoid going outside, especially at night. The crazy thing is they seem to be everywhere, even indoors and in the middle of the day. They cling to people’s clothing, and with all the moving around, it’s no wonder they are everywhere. There are bug sprays and lotions you can use to keep mosquitoes away, but there really isn’t an escape. Best of luck.

3. Avoid moving­-in nightmares.

If you’re a college student looking to live outside the dorms for the semester, you better find an apartment, and fast! Students who are coming back for fall are going to start moving, or moving back, and you want to make sure you find somewhere to stay during this rush. Start looking for places now and if you’re lucky, you’ll find something you like within your budget.

New York is a great place to spend the summer if you know your way around. Even if you don’t, you’ll get the hang of where you are and what trains to take quickly. There are a lot of things to do and see, and as long as you’re aware of how to take care of yourself, you will be just fine. Remember to stay hydrated and to take it easy. Enjoy the city, and make it a summer to remember!

Image: Unsplash

EducationSkillsTravel

Friends, I’ll start out by saying that this tour, my fifth trip in two years, was no doubt the best and most rewarding.  The hard work that we’ve put in over the last thirty six months is truly starting to pay off, and it’s all very exciting.  I feel very proud and fortunate to be a part of this project.

3/12-3/15:  LA
The purpose of this LA trip was two-fold:  to play a show and shoot a music video.  The latter was a total blast and was the first time I personally have had a hand in the production process of a video.  We shot at various locations in Manhattan Beach and Santa Monica, and was culminated by the “Santa Monica Pier Police” shutting us down. Rock.

 tour post 1
3/16-3/18:  Bay Area
The show at Hotel Utah in SF was no doubt one of the most incredible performance experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of, as friends, family, and fans all came out to support.  It was such a special night.  Shout out to local artist Matt Jaffe and his band, Matt Jaffe and the Distractions, for headlining and being great dudes.  The days were spent in my buddy’s backyard lounging and writing music.  Two-thirds of an EP written.

 

tour post 2
3/19-3/22:  Pacific Northwest
The show in Portland, OR at Shaker and Vine was a very weird but cool bill.  Local act, Rainstick Cowbell, who has toured the world extensively, headlined the night and could not have been more generous and welcoming.  Our show in Salem, OR was filled with people who were legitimately happy to have us, and their kindness, while refreshing, also freaked me out a bit.  I spent the day food truck-hopping in Portland. Washington is a beautiful state.  I spent some time in Seattle eating amazing Chinese food and strangely getting into Gonzaga basketball.  Our show at Cafe Racer w/ Jacob Cummings and The Experience was a perfect way to end this trip.
tour post 3
Huge thank yous all around to those who fed me, clothed me, and provided me with a towel.  I am so lucky. Thanks again.

-Connor

SkillsSpotlightTravel

Welcome to the second installment of Dizzy Bats: Road to LP. By now, you all know Connor Frost, manager and lead singer and guitarist of Dizzy Bats. Dizzy Bats plays their first show tonight in Los Angeles to kick off their West Coast tour! In honor of their West Coast tour, Connor gives an in-depth look at what it takes to put a tour together, how to book venues, and shares photos from their Fall 2013 tour. 

tour poster

 

What goes into planning a tour?

There is a ton of planning and coordinating that goes into booking a tour. When booking the first couple of tours, you email a ton of venues in hopes that just a few get back to you. Depending on the venue you may have to get in touch with local artists in that particular town to fill out a night of music, or if you’re lucky, the venue/talent buyer will be able to fit you in on an appropriate night. Once you have a couple of shows locked in, then you can start to work from those dates and route your tour. You obviously want to limit the amount of miles you put on your vehicle, so you do your best to come up with a route that makes sense. Promotion is also crucial, namely getting on local radio to promote your music and show. Finally, lodging is the last piece. Most of the time you try to pick cities that have a friend or two, and thus, you have a place to crash.  That said, couch surfing and sleeping in the car are always options.

How do you determine where to tour?

It depends on what you are looking to do. If you’re a band starting out like we are, generally it makes the most sense to stay as close to home as possible and expand out your fan base in a concentric circular fashion. However, I myself have used touring as an excuse to travel to cities that I simply want to see, or to places that have warmer climates. It’s easier to do that when it’s just a solo tour because expenses are not as high. We also tend to pick cities where we know people so that we can A) have friends come out to a show and B) have a place to stay afterwards.

How do you book venues for each city?

I almost exclusively use this one website, indieonthemove.org, which is an absolute savior. They have a large and detailed database filtered by cities, ratings, etc. Once you’ve been on the road a few times, you start to make connections with venues you’ve played at and bands that you’ve billed with, so you can start booking shows through those contacts. It becomes much easier to book tours after you’ve been on three or four of them.

How much do you practice before touring?

It’s hard to quantify. It’s become a part of my everyday life, something I’m constantly doing and am completely immersed in, so I don’t think about it all that much. Before I hit the road I might run my set a few times I guess. For full band tours, we stick to practice once or twice a week which has seemed to work.

When on tour, do you still practice?

I consider writing to be practice, so yes!  I also see each show as an opportunity to better myself as a player and performer, so I also see that as a very important form of practice. If you’re talking about a set routine where I run my set, then no. I like to keep it fresh for the performance.  I do warm up vocally, however. For full band tours, we will literally sing our parts on our way to the show; usually not the whole set, but songs that we think need more attention. We’ll also go over game tape and talk specifics.

Why is touring important?

It’s not necessarily important for everyone, it really depends on what your goals are musically. For us, I believe touring is crucial for the expansion and growth of our fan base.  The internet is a wonderful tool for band development, but there is something magical about the live experience and personal connection that it provides for performer and listener that can’t be replicated on a computer. It’s the one true way to connect to a potential fan, and I don’t think that’ll ever change, which is a beautiful thing. Additionally, crafting and developing your skills as a performer is extremely important and can only be improved through playing and touring. I used to get really nervous before shows, but now that we’ve played almost one hundred shows in our tenure, it’s become second nature.

What is your favorite part about touring?

Meeting new people. When a stranger comes up to you after you’ve played to introduce themselves and compliment you on your set—there’s nothing more amazing that. That, for me, is why I do this.

How do you determine your set list?

It depends on whether or not it’s a full band or solo tour. For a full band tour, we like to mix it up with a different order for each show, and for solo gigs, I generally just play our newest songs. It keeps it fresh for me and I can see how the audience responds to these young tunes.

How do you budget for a tour?

Eat cheap, come up with a feasible route, and crash with friends.

 

Spotlight

When Carpe Juvenis turned a snow-covered corner of Brooklyn, New York, this past week, we had no idea what kind of surprise we were in for. We had been invited to a Dizzy Bats studio session for a special inside look at how their music is made. We entered Cowboy Technical Services Recording Studio and rode up to the sixth floor to see the space where songs are tracked and produced.

Lead singer and guitarist Connor Frost walked us through the events of the day – he and Kyle Joseph, guitarist, engineer, and producer – were finalizing one of the songs on their upcoming second full-length album (LP). Connor describes their newest music as an inclusive “cohesive unit” of sound that binds together many of his own personal narratives.

The studio itself felt cozy and intimate, exuding excited anticipation and bubbling with high expectations for the experience that their newest LP will take its audience on. In conjunction with ongoing 7” digital releases, Connor will be embarking on an upcoming West Coast tour that will provide audiences with a way to experience the music up-close and first-hand.

Carpe is thrilled to announce that we will be providing you with the exclusive scoop into the process, build-up, and release of the next Dizzy Bats record. Stay tuned for regular posts documenting Dizzy Bats’ road to LP!

The first stop is New York City, where Dizzy Bats will be hosting their 7”release party show at Trash Bar on March 28th w/ whysowhite, Fin-Folsom, and MORI.

For upcoming tour dates, check out the Dizzy Bats Facebook page.

Band photo by Michael Aquino