Winning at life in fluffy clothes (a guide for freelance musicians)

by Lewis Garland, loose-fitting-outer-garment-for-freelance-musicians expert

As a self-employed musician, you probably work from home a lot. Be honest, do you often stay in your pyjamas the entire day? How is that working for your motivation level? Feeling flabby in your nightie?

Studies have shown that wearing a robe past 10 AM every day for an extended period of time can lead to depression.

You’ve probably seen those blog posts that tell you to get dressed and wear high heels and makeup to give you confidence and then boom, you’re a boss and next thing you know, you write an article titled “How I made my first 10k blogging from home”.

But other studies have also determined that 98% of clothes are ridiculously uncomfortable. That’s why you need to develop a strategy to be able to wear what experts call “soft clothing”, and still win at life.

Winning at life in fluffy clothes, a guide for freelance musicians. Photo of a man on a sofa with laptop by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Say no to PJs

All freelance musicians who consulted me for garment issues came to two contradictory conclusions. Firstly, there’s no need to get dressed, and secondly, you can’t stay in your sleepwear all day. Indeed, the long-term effects on your self-esteem could be catastrophic. You might as well wear purple cotton leggings with crocs and a Mickey Mouse t-shirt to the grocery store while you’re at it.

What if I told you that you can trick your mind into thinking you’re getting ready for the day? I’m suggesting that you get out of your pyjamas and go straight into another set of pyjamas. But a fresh pair.

Go big and stay home

As a loose-fitting-outer-garment-for-freelance-musicians expert, I’d say oversized clothes are the number one alternative to pyjamas. The thing is, they make you look like a hobo. To avoid that, one might be tempted to go for fancy fabric such as silk, but then we’re back to that pyjamas look. The easy solution really, is to become a rapper. Let oversized clothing become your uniform.

If you’re not into hip hop, you can reach for fashionable, oversized designer clothes, but make sure you can count that in your business expenses. And be aware that there’s a 87% chance you will still look silly.

Overcompensate

The idea here is to use a device to distract the eye from your bad outfit. Nothing screams “boss” like the combination of an old, faded onesie and a full-face glittery makeup.

You know how, for some reason, some people have this permanent out-of-bed look? And not in the cool way. I’m talking about how certain people, no matter how hard they try to dress like functioning adults, always seem to display unkempt hair, wrinkled shirts and mismatched socks. I, for one, have this I-just-quit-smoking-crack look to my face. Nothing I can do about it, it’s just how god made me. So whenever I dress a bit too casual, I automatically look like I woke up from a coma two seconds ago. Therefore, I have to overcompensate with something that says “don’t let my outfit fool you, I’m playing an active role in society”.

So, if like me, you’re not one of those lucky folks that look slick even in track pants and a mustard-stained wife-beater, you need to start wearing a watch or a fedora (don’t actually) or something. Accessories, jewelry, makeup, hairdo, perfume, anything that you wouldn’t wear to bed. I personally prefer jewelry, as it requires the least amount of effort. Hell, I’m not even willing to flat iron my hair for a wedding, let alone to practice some pentatonic scales at home.

Finally, if you wear glasses, lucky you. At least your face is dressed for success.

Remember: the goal is to fool yourself (and your pets) into thinking you’ve got your shit together.

Half-ass it

If you’re gonna sit all day in your home studio, the bottom half of your outfit is the most problematic for comfort, so lose it. Dress half-nice, half-sweatpants. That way if you have to answer the door, you just look like you have extra swag today.

Expert tip: when you hear the doorbell, grab a smoothie and pretend you have yoga class.

Or, you could save all the comfort for the top half and try to pull off the “sexy pants with a loose t-shirt” look. But the problem is, non-skinny jeans don’t exist in stores anymore. And, well I’ll just say it: fuck skinny jeans, they’re too tight, even if you’re actually skinny. It’s impossible to enjoy life in a pair of skinny jeans.

Expert tip: replace skinny jeans with sporty-colored leggings. Activewear is comfortable and makes you think you’re not a slacker.

The brassière issue

Free the nipples? Get a hold of yourself, lady, this isn’t spring break, you’re at work.

Just kidding, but, an unreliable source once told me that boobs will stretch down to sea level much quicker if you don’t offer them daily support. Thank god for bralettes and sport tops is all I have to say.

Expert tip: if you feel like the day hasn’t started until you put on a bra, but still don’t want to wear one, replace the physical support with mental support: drink more coffee.

Footwear

Let’s see. Slippers make you walk like you’re 15 years old and don’t want to do homework. Obviously crocs are a big no-no, you’re not a gardener for Christ’s sake. So that leaves us with zero comfy footwear options. Just stay barefoot or wear socks.

But no thin brown socks, have some self-respect.  


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Musician’s Horoscope: March

Your monthly horoscope by Jason Lowbatt

Aries (March 21-April 19)
Mars enters Capricorn so you can expect an unusual amount of assholes messing with the settings of your amp while you’re playing.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) 
This month, you might have to use public transportation at rush hour whilst carrying your guitar, amp and pedals.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) 
With a solar eclipse in Saturn on the 14th, you might finally get your first gig of 2019. In June.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This month, you might find yourself dealing with an awful sound tech: remain calm and pretend you believe them when they say that Of course you’re pre-fader.

Leo (July 23-August 22) 
Saturn moves into your sign in March: reconsider your project of going to New York to « make it ».

Virgo (August 23-September 22) 
You could experience difficulties scheduling a practice with your band, due to the sun that merges with Venus, and the fact that all members have four other bands and a day job.

Libra (September 23-October 22) 
If you’re playing live in bars or cafés, some of your gigs might start 45 minutes late. So if you’re in Montreal, expect a delay of an hour and a half.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) 
This month, it will be hard to find balance between wanting to advertise your freelance music teaching business and the fear of letting creeps in your home.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) 
A Libra full moon indicates that you might think about quitting music altogether at least 5 times this month.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) 
Operating equipment you don’t know the first thing about, while the success of the gig depends on it, might be challenging this month, Capricorn.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18) 
Venus moves into Sagittarius on the 1st, signaling that most people coming to audition for your band will barely know how to play their instrument.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) 
As the Aquarius new moon and eclipse align on March 7, you might get a free pack of strings if you put this link on your website: www.stringsandbeyond.com.


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Drummer Ruins Gig by Not Putting Wallet on Snare

By Dominic Ireland | February 9, 2019

Norwegian Trance Metal band “Cold Time Worship” drummer Nicole Speck has been credited with ruining her bands entire gig Monday night after not muting her snare by placing her wallet on it. In what many consider a “you had one job” scenario, her bandmates are re-negotiating her contract.

“This fiasco has lost us any further exposure at this venue, and that’s all we had going for us at this point. The wallet trick is the oldest in the book and she could have pulled it out and put it down on her kit at any point in the set. What did she do? She continued to play that snare at full blast the entire show. So unprofessional. What are we supposed to do now, buy a professional snare mute? As if! I’ve been eating ramen for three months since my welfare ran out.” Says lead singer Bryan “Dongle” Brickerson.

While Nicole’s error was major, there is the significant reassurance of job security as she is a drummer. This will give her quite a playing card in negotiations moving forward. Drummers are few and far between, especially in the metal world.

“Nicole’s a bit of a noob sometimes, but there’s no way we’re going to let her go. Do you know how hard it is to find a drummer? It took us four years to finally convince her to join our band. Before her we just used an old drum machine from the 1980’s we found when Dongle moved into his Dad’s garage and when that didn’t work we had to use recordings from Pantera, I repeat, Pantera.” Says Bassist Rick Stringfield.

“Yeah. Nicole’s good…” is all guitarist for CTW had to say (seriously, wouldn’t even give us his name).

The only other concern raised about last night’s gig is by the owner of the dive where CTW was playing. He had a passing concern about the quality of his acoustics now that CTW has been banned from his location.

“Of course I had to ban them.” Says local dive owner, Tammy “The Hammer” Tammer “I have a reputation to uphold as the crappiest venue in Denver, Lugbit’s Bar and Grill rides on three things: We have no actual bar, no grill, and our sound system has been blown out since 1973. Nicole fixed it by playing her snare at full volume last night. Seriously, the tone and quality has never been better, how are we supposed to function as a dive if our speakers actually work how they’re supposed to? She’s ruined us! RUINED US, I SAY!!! I’m riding on my savings from my career in pro wrestling. My degree from Julliard failed to land me any roles in the local theater companies and all I have now is this dumb bar. Sure I might be half blind from manufacturing my own liquor, but this is the life, and Nicole might very well have ruined that.”

Tammy was able to mess up her speakers again after a few rounds of using them as the back room dart board and we are happy to report Ligbit’s is still as crappy a road-house as ever.

“I still think we can do better than Nicole,” Dongle insisted after negotiations were concluded. “We didn’t change anything in the agreement, but as soon as we can find another drummer with a truck that’s big enough to cart all our gear to the gig, she is out… so, um what kind of car do you happen to drive?”

All’s well that ends well for Cold Time Worship. Or is it? Nicole’s role in the music scene appears to be secure for the foreseeable future. Ligbit’s sound system is still messed up, as it should be, but the desperation of Dongle doesn’t bode well for his role in the up-and-coming Trance Metal Band.

“We’re kinda starting to think of him as dead weight anyway” Says Stringfield. “Seriously, if he didn’t let us practice in his garage-bedroom, we would probably cut him loose.”

“Yeah. Dongle’s annoying…” Is all the guitarist would say (Seriously why am I still trying?)

Dongle is treading water. It seems next negotiation may very well have him removed from the band, rather than Nicole.

Nicole has declined comment on the situation in an attempt to remain neutral.

Stay tuned for upcoming developments!


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Musician’s Horoscope – February

Your monthly horoscope by Jason Lowbatt

Aries (March 21-April 19)
This month, you might have to plan finances and declare self-employed business whilst not knowing the first thing about accounting.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
With a solar eclipse in Saturn on the 14th, you will be very broke.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
This month, you might find yourself dealing with a shit sound guy: remain calm and pretend you didn’t know he just had to turn on phantom power this whole time.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Saturn moves into your sign in February: debt awaits.

Leo (July 23-August 22)
You could experience difficulties socializing, due to the sun that merges with Mars, and the fact that you work different hours than the rest of society.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)
If you’re playing on a double bill, the guitar player from the following band might ask to borrow your amp. Kindly tell them to fuck off.

Libra (September 23-October 22)
This month, especially at night, it will be hard find to balance between using a fan to cover the sound of your tinnitus and being unable to sleep due to the noise of a fan.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
A Leo full moon indicates that using a computer to run a blog about music puts you more at risk of repetitive strain injury than practicing your instrument every day.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Making ends meet might be challenging this month, Sagittarius.

…every month. This might be challenging every month.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Mercury moves into Capricorn on the 19th, signaling venue promoters might not treat musicians fairly.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
Mars enters Libra so you can expect an unusual amount of feedback in your monitor.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)
As the Capricorn new moon and eclipse align on February 7, there is zero chance of your equipment messing up right before you go on stage.


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Singer Not Catching Cold for Four Consecutive Weeks to Be Studied by Experts

By Dominic Ireland | February 2, 2019

Scientists are baffled as Patrice Bardwell, lead singer for The Skins has been on tour for four consecutive weeks and has yet to develop a cold. Nobody is quite sure what to make of the fact that 90% of touring bands lose at least one gig worth of performance due to some sort of common ailment. Despite bundling up against cold weather, drinking massive amounts of tea, and refusing to use public bathrooms often at the cost of being late for a show, singers always seem to be the band member that most often gets sick.

“Patrice faces all of the problems of the modern-day singer, but has yet to even develop a slight tickle in her throat. It’s unprecedented! Not once have I heard of even a moderately healthy singer that’s toured for more than one week, much less one with a clean bill of health after four complete weeks. If we could bottle whatever it is that keeps her so healthy, we could finally lift whatever curse singers seem to face.” Says Thomas E. Knocker head of the Human Biology department at UC Berkley.

“Yeah, man, usually most singers are all ‘Oh, I’m so sick’ or ‘that coffee at the roadhouse gave me food poisoning.’ But not Trish, man. It’s freaking mind-blowing you know what I mean?” Reports lead guitarist Ricky Dennis “The Menace” Alvarez.

Much to the disappointment of California’s best and brightest at UC Berkley, there will be no sequestering of their star subject until her tour is over, after-which point they are certain her immune system will have been compromised.

“There’s no way we’re going to be able to pull her out of that van until her tour is over in two months, but once she’s done, we’ve gotten the thumbs up from her and our colleagues at the college to run the full battery of tests, T-Cell count, Nutritional studies, Lymphatic prognostics, the whole spiel.” Says Dr. Knocker. “The problem we’ll be running into at that point is that she is almost guaranteed to have contracted some sort of virus or bacteria despite the fact that she’s doing literally everything humanly possible short of putting herself in a sterile bubble to prevent it. If she hasn’t gotten sick by the end of February, she’ll be widely considered one of the miracles of modern science.”

Local fan Geneva Kahn Ven-Chen reports: “Yeah. I guess it’s impressive? I mean, I’m just a groupie, if me exposing myself to, you know, the actual crowds doesn’t make me sick, I don’t understand how Patrice is gonna get a virus all the way up on stage… Whatever! What matters is that Patrice is taking care of herself and, thus far, hasn’t cancelled a gig. Good for her. Everyone is working really hard and they don’t deserve the standard ‘I’m too sick to perform’ when she’s fine, you know?”

Locals across the states as well as people who have followed the band for a long time are astounded to hear that Patrice hasn’t cancelled a single show due to illness. Patrice credits her incredible health to, well, herself.

“I honestly don’t know what the big deal is,” Says Patrice “I don’t get sick very often. The last time I was taken out of action on tour was last year when I was forced by my bandmates to use a gas-station bathroom. I take excellent care of myself. I have a special immune-boosting oolong tea that my mom imported from Tibet, I always stay bundled up and keep my scarf around my mouth when I’m not singing. I eat only the freshest fruits and veggies and only ever drink my own mountain spring water when I go to bars with the guys after shows. After last year, the rest of the band goes out of their way to make sure I’m only using private bathrooms in the hotels we stay at, and I always have my clutch full of sanitary wipes with me when I travel. ”

It’s a wonder that such a consistent sample of people in such a normal situation can get sick as often as singers do. It’s also, apparently a wonder that Patrice Bardwell has not. This insight has lead researchers to scour other samples of American cesspools for additional cases like Patrice’s. Some samples being considered are Elementary school kids on the attendance report, High School marching band members who can’t learn their parts or steps, and gas station attendants.

“If we can just narrow down the outliers in these areas where people are constantly calling in sick, we might be able to isolate the genetic, environmental, and nutritional variables that are effecting our society as a whole. There’s so much we can learn from outliers in situations where they shouldn’t be getting sick, but are calling out on, at least, a bi-weekly basis.” Inquires Dr. Knocker

Regardless of what the results yield, Patrice has definitely made her mark and has surely set some kind of record, right?


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