So you wanna be a Rock Philosopher?
- First get a name card that says ROCK PHILOSOPHER! Even if you never write a damn thing, this will get a lot of laughs at parties (you do go to parties right?) It's unlikely this will impress any women, but you knew that already.
- You need something to write on. We mostly use computers these days but with Facebook and Youtube it can be distracting. Go for a good old fashion pen and paper if you are brave. I also like sketch books and black fountain pens. The words should flow from you like street food in a third world developing country currently on the CIA watch list..
- Get a camera – of course you can use your smartphone camera but a rock philosopher needs some power – no one mistakes anyone with a fucking iPhone as a photographer – get a real camera even if it's a point and shoot. I could spend all day writing about cameras; but you want something with a great lens and an added bonus- impact resistance - for those insane mosh pits you occasionally stray too close to at TSOS and Lowfat shows. I'm a fan of Panasonic Lumix POS. If you have bucks and know what you are doing get a DSLR – 7D seems to be a standard. I use a Nikon Coolpix P510 – it's a POS that looks like a mini DSLR. Get the biggest series 10 SD card you can afford.
- You know that tablet you have? The iPad or Galaxy? Listen closely: this will really help productivity. Smash it! Toss it out the window. Give it to your little nephew... whatever. Get it out of your sight. I have never done one productive thing on a tablet other than become seriously addicted to DeadTrigger2. I didn't smash my Nexus 7 – it fell on the pavement outside 7/11 but all the productivity I gained really made it crucial. Go ahead, smash it. Plato didn't need an iPad and neither do you.
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Wordpress, Tumblr, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Blogger, Blogspot, Pinterest! There are simply too goddamn many social media platforms these days. Obviously, Facebook or Wankbook, as it's also known is crucial for branding and engagement with your many fans. But what about the others? While millions of people use Twitter, I only use it to monitor a crisis in Bangkok- floods, military coups (we're having one now), Beer Lao shortages- but other than that it's lame. Instagram was fun when I installed it while vacationing in Koh Chang – nice filters and everyone becomes an artist, but this does not make a Rock Philosopher. If you are going to do podcasts, getting a Soundcloud premium account could be the way to go as it's user friendly – the distant second option is Mixcloud. If you are also doing video, you can get a Youtube account but you already know this. Finally, you need to choose a blogging platform – I have tried everything: Wordpress, Wix, Tumblr, Blogger, and somehow settled on Weebly. Weebly has by far the worst name imaginable but it was the ease of use for the mildly retarded that I ended up sticking with it – it's quite easy for me to add multimedia elements to it.
- Get a Zoom recorder - it's a little field recorder with a lot of power. You can record gigs and interviews in .wav and mp3 format. As well you can use it to record great sound when using a DSLR to shoot live video at gigs and interviews.
- This is the controversial part right here. Assume an alter ego - in order to truly jump into the fucking fire of rock n' roll, it's important to assume a new identity unless you are so damn awesome at rocking in your personal life you don't need it. In my case, for many years, I had a hand puppet named Bobby McCracken, a punk rocker from either New York or Glasgow, Scotland depending on my mood. Bobby was a standup comic, a life coach, a relationship therapist, a bartender and married at least 3 times with 6 kids. He was also a compulsive liar. For 10 bucks a day, plus food and beer, he'd live with you and dish out life's wisdom. Generally, the puppet was therapeutic for me and he did help get me my last miserable job at a government high school – last I saw him he was wrapped in a plastic bag in the school resource room. I left him behind but he was a stepping stone. He was kind of an asshole too, but it made all the difference.
There's a coup d'etat but you already knew that - this means I have to use Twitter to make sure the Beer Lao hasn't run out in my favorite pub. Stay safe. ;)