5 Ways To Pass The Days Until Touring Shows Come Back

Cooler weather is great for a lot of things -- not having to worry about dying every time you're outside for more than ten minutes, getting your yearly dosage of all things pumpkin-flavored, finally getting to wear those nifty hoodies you bought on clearance months ago- but for music lovers it comes with a bit of sadness.

After feasting at the metaphorical buffet of touring shows that come through over the course of the summer, we are now heading in to the lean days where shows are fewer and far between. As the heat goes so do the shows.

Fear not friends. Yes, the winter will be cold -- kinda, we're still in Texas after all -- but before long the heat and bands will return, at which point we'll return to complaining about sweating and not having enough time.

Until then, there's no reason you can't make the best of the extra time you have in your schedule. These five activities might not have the visceral excitement of a big time touring production but they'll help pass the time until the touring shows come back full force.

5. Catch Up On All the Music You've Missed

Don't be confused- no one is knocking your ability to be stay current with the latest and greatest in the world of music. That said, even seasoned pros have a tough time keeping track of every single release that hits store shelves.

You might have checked out all the albums by bands that you were going to see, but there's probably a ton of other new releases you missed. Get online and see what people are talking about, find some new release listings, and see what bands you should be looking for tour announcements from.

4. Knock Out Your "End of the Year" Lists

An entry on lists in a list is fairly meta (although not as meta as a list of lists) but there's a reason so many of these things get pumped out around this time: with no shows to preview/write up we need something to talk about. Fortunately, cold weather coincides with the end of the year, which makes for a great time to talk about all the things you loved over the last 12 months. As an added bonus, you then get to spend time defending that list against the trolls of the Internet if you're willing to post it online.

3. Turn Your Friends Onto New Things

A lot of people out there don't like to go to things by themselves. As social creatures, this makes sense. Help protect yourself from having no one to talk to while waiting for the bands to take the stage by introducing your friends to new music. We're not just talking about mixtapes/CDs here either; share stuff on their Facebook, tweet them links to videos, make playlists on Spotify/Rdio. Soon they too will learn to hate the winter.

2. Make Your Own Music

A great song can move you in a way that few things in this world can. Making your own music can result in similar, yet different feelings. Imagine taking the joy of finishing a difficult task and combining it with your passion for music and you might start to get an idea of why people play music for a living. You don't even have to learn an instrument; there are plenty of ways to produce music digitally on your computer, tablet, or phone. Want the visceral thrill of performing but you're convinced writing your own songs is too scary? You could always become a DJ.

1. Support Your Local Bands

So maybe the suggestions listed above are a poor substitute for the joy that comes with hearing great music live and loud. Well there's good news: While the tours may have dried up there's a world of great local talent rocking out here at home. Your new favorite band could be playing shows on the regular right now -- you just have to go out there and find them.

Check out the local concert calendars, look for flyers when you're out record shopping, and don't be afraid to ask around: The scene is good and has something for everyone.

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