Kings of the World
By Adaora Otiji
Summer is all about concerts, fun and freedom. The season wouldn’t be complete without the sweat that comes from moving, intoxicated, to your favorite band as they own the stage and make every cent you paid for your ticket worthwhile.
In the past few months many bands have graced stages across the U.S., but the one that captivates SPIN has fast become Nashville’s Kings of Leon. It seems almost impossible to escape the repetitive croon of “Use Somebody,” as the Kings command radio airwaves and sell out amphitheatres around the world. The band’s unavoidable and unforgettable electric indie sound has helped them to gain a fervent and ever growing concert fan base.
Until their 2008 album, Only by the Night, Kings of Leon received praise in Europe, but failed to reach the same success in the U.S. The album catapulted the quartet to stardom, winning their first Grammy for the single “Sex On Fire,” two BRIT Awards for “Best International Group” and “Best International Album,” and an NME award for “Album of the Year,” all in 2009 alone.
Kings of Leon haven’t slowed since their 2003 debut album, Youth and Young Manhood, and the summer has brought a plethora of possibilities for the band. The fuel of “Sex On Fire’s” static guitar rhythm and raspy vocals has landed them sold out headlining tours, a spot on Saturday Night Live and, most recently, a stop on their North American tour at Chicago’s Lollapalooza alongside music legends Jane’s Addiction and Depeche Mode.
After years of working to be noticed, accepted and respected in the U.S., the Kings of Leon finally have it all, for now, while the world waits with bated breath for another amazing album.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I haven't written lately because for some reason my musings have been mainly about life, not employment, per se. It's all just setting in. The fact that I'm actually moving is progressively hitting me harder everyday. Especially when I look at my closet...and my dresser...and my shoes... If anyone ever asked me if I am a materialistic person I would say no, but if you walked into my room someone might suggest driving me to a shopaholics anonymous meeting.
Anyway, finally, really leaving the nest has caused me to spend a lot of time thinking about my childhood and my friends and always ends with "Oh God! I am so old." It feels like the end of an era and how fitting that today is my last day with Esme, my car. She's so much more than that though. My car represents my first real step into adulthood. My little Mazda was my first car and I paid for it on my own, so seeing it go is painful, but necessary to move onto the next phase of my life. Like cutting the umbilical cord, as graphic an image as that is.
The only recent development I can share with you about my job hunt is that I am continuously applying for jobs and I recently had an interview at SPIN magazine. I really liked the office. It was right in the middle of Canal Street in New York. I have no news to report on that except that I realized after the interview I am not an articulate person by any stretch of the imagination and I subsequently realized that this is why I write. I can't edit myself when I'm rambling verbally instead of on paper.
One last thing, In an effort to turn you on to the woes of others besides myself I've added an application to the blog. It's a newsreel on the lower right hand side of the page listing current articles related to unemployed college grads. Enjoy!
Friday, August 7, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
*I wrote this post a few days ago, but I've waited to publish it because I hadn't given my notice at my steady, financially secure job, which I'm quitting to pursue life in the big city. Moving without a job may be stupid, but it would be even worse to blab before actually resigning and lose said steady job. So this was all in the interest of covering my ass.*
My life has been a series of interviews for the past few weeks. Whether it’s a job, an apartment or the third degree on what I want on my hot dog. I’m constantly talking about my likes and dislikes, selling myself to get what I want. I have to admit, I’m getting good too, but I’ll be glad when the press is over and I can once again be the one asking the questions.
I’m on the verge of being employed (though don’t tell the people whose apartments I’m looking at). I’ve spent the better part of this week in my future home,
Constantly being on display the way I have been takes a lot out of you and as I scribble this on my little notepad to post later, I’m sitting on the C train to
Friday, July 17, 2009
I’m not going to waste the time of the four (or gasp—maybe even five—people who read my blog) with apologies for not writing. I’ve been avoiding it, just like I’ve been avoiding everything for fear of failure up until about a week or two ago. I was skimping on my writing and becoming really good friends with my comfortable bedding and Abby on NCIS, but no more! (Well, maybe less.)
I had what I’m sure most recent grads looking for a job in this market have had or will have at some point, an existential crisis. I doubted my abilities as a writer and a journalist for about two weeks and I completely fell off the map. I stopped writing. I checked my e-mails, but didn’t respond to them and basically kept to myself about any aspiration I may have had in the past or currently had for the future. As I’m sure most will tell you from experience, you have to keep on chugging, and I did. And now I’m fine. I’m so fine in fact, that I have had a shit-eating grin on my face almost regularly for the last few days.
In a rare punishment and pleasure I spent the last nine days traveling with my family, four of those were spent in New York City. When I arrived I felt uncertain, but sure about the good things that would happen to me in this city, but I never imagined I’d leave with such confidence in my ability to grow up and make a career and a living for myself. Ultimately, New York gave me the hope that it would all work out. Something countless people have said to me in the last few months, but meant nothing until a few days ago.
I happened to be in the city on a day when Mediabistro was hosting a seminar on “Landing your first job in media.” So, I come bearing gifts for all those questions you never quite knew the answers to.
- Sadly, the most important thing when you’re trying to get a job is who you know. Therefore, Networking is the most important thing you can do for your career.
- “Put yourself before your resume.” That’s what panelist and Men’s Health Associate Editor Jason Feifer said is the most important aspect of this delicate dance you have to do to make your way. “Don’t just shove your business card at someone and say ‘call me if you’ve got something.’ You have to invest time in getting to know the person.”
- Utilize sites like LinkedIn. They make it easy for you to network and the site will even set up the introduction for you.
- So when you actually get around to applying for a position that person who you might just know through someone else you met over a cocktail will be able to put a face to your name or you’ll at least have a personal reference so you “float to the top,” as was continuously repeated throughout the two hour panel.
- Always PDF. Some people may not be able to open word docs and the formatting won’t get screwed up either.
- To Whom It May Concern should never grace your cover letter. Find out who you’re writing to, even if it’s the hiring supervisor.
- Follow directions when you send in your resume. If the advertisement asks you to write “InStyle EA” in the subject- Do it!
- Follow up. When all is said and done, you can get lost in the shuffle. Sending an e-mail a few days later to make sure your application was received can really help your chances and help you “float to the top.”
- When you get the interview (positive thinking here) sending a Thank You Note can make or break your chances.
- Create a personal connection with your interviewer. Don’t just send a bland “thanks for your time” waste of inbox space. If you want to make it count recall something unique about your interview—something that makes you stand out. According to the panel sending this life changing letter is best within 48 hours.
My vigorous note taking aside, the one thing all of these panelists seemed to have in common regardless of their medium is that they all said they entered the market during a recession. Whether it was after 9/11 or a few years before, for all of them circumstances were never easy. I personally don’t think they ever will be, but the important thing is that it’s doable. This, ladies and gents, is the source of my calm heartbeat and shit-eating grin. :D