Welcome to 50, huh? That’s fifty mornings since January 1st, 2021 that I’ve been posting something like this here on this site. We’re 50 days into 2021. Wild.
Music loop just came about from layering some ideas on top of other ideas. Didn’t spend much time on drums or any lead part. I think this loop could really use some vocals, but that’s for another day.
Video-wise, yeah. That came together at the last minute, with sort of “why not” attitude. Now I feel like I need to incorporate video loops along with this whole thing. Again, why not?
“I love to be at the grocery store with a dude behind me at the checkout who is very proudly not wearing a mask and say “why are you trying to kill us” over and over until he’s literally backed up 12 feet from my cart and won’t make eye contact with me anymore it’s very chill,” @CosmicChambo
“me, looking up from my screen after 11.5 months straight: why do my eyes hurt,” @mollyshirreen
Mornings are for coffee, staring out the window, and understanding that this music doesn’t need to go viral in a Tic Tok video. The internet isn’t just for fully finished, agency-approved deliverables. The internet doesn’t have to be completely filled with polished, HD videos and studio produced hits.
There was still room for small bands to sell CDs in music stores back in the day, alongside the big hits and holiday albums.
“I’m tired of badly edited images of black and brown people. Poorly exposed frames with recycled presets slapped on has got to stop. It doesn’t help tell the stories of black and brown folks,” @aundrelarrow
“I would not recommend friends work at Mailchimp, especially women,” @justkelly_ok
“My line is “a single newsletter email sign-up is worth 10 Instagram followers,” @Katieiscrafty
Someday you’re going to log into Facebook for the last time.
Same with Twitter.
Someday you’ll uninstall Instagram.
And so will your fans.
What’s your social media exit plan?
People don’t dump their email. And email will outlast whatever zany social media platform comes along in the next four minutes.
Look, you’re a songwriter, not a social media manager. You’re a photographer, not a marketing guru. You’re an artist, not a content creator.
You should be spending your time working on your magic, not increasing shareholder value for mega-corps. Every time you post on social media, you build value for that company. That’s why writers get paid to write for website – their articles and interviews get posted, which brings people to the website.
Hey! You should be getting paid!
So slow down on posting everything to social media, and save it for your email list.
The magic is this: send out an email, and it goes to all your fans. All of them. You can’t do that with social media unless you pay money.
Then, every two weeks or so, send out an email to your fans. Yes, you’ll have enough material to send every two weeks.
Include some of the photos you posted to socials (chances are 80% of your followers didn’t see ’em), write a few words about them. Talk about your new work, your new project. The things you’re passionate about.
Tell people you’ll be sharing your recording process. Your behind the scenes work. Your unpublished work. Lyric ideas. Maybe share some tips on how you create some of your magic.
“I want to share my magic with you; sign up here.”
“I’ll teach you something that I learned the hard way in each email.”
“I love horror movies, and each week I break down my three favorite scenes from the best (worst) horror flicks.”
It’s time to think about social media exit plan.
One on one coaching / teaching about email marketing / social media / website / strategy for creative types who don’t want to think all the time about all this stuff. One hour session, $100. Shoot me an email and let’s get started: email@example.com
It’s okay for things to feel heavy, and miserable. We suffering a collective loss, a mass grieving. Being creative requires energy, going for a run requires energy, doing the things you love require energy, and these days a lot of energy is spent on the sole task of surviving. Getting through the day.
Today’s loop is just that. No fancy arrangement. No vocal parts. It gets by on the loop, even if it’s simple in measure, much like all of us these days. Just surviving.
This was a great talk with singer-songwriter Luke Sital-Singh. I love the point that Cath of Direct Input makes (among several points, really), of how there’s “not just one route through the music industry.”
She talks about bands getting signed from blog posts back in the day – oh, the glorious music blog days!
There was a time when bands got signed off the buzz created from a few bits of coverage on a few websites. Hell, there was a time when Pitchfork review helped you sell thousands of albums in a week.
So bands would get signed, and they wouldn’t have played more than a handful of shows. Or toured!
Meanwhile, bands that band played hundreds of shows a year, toured thousands of miles, all around the world – those were the acts without the buzz, but they were putting in the work regardless.
All that said – don’t be so in a rush to get noticed that you forget to handle the basics.
Know how to play to an empty room. Know how to mess up the release of an EP. Book time at a studio and have a miserable experience. Spell things wrong on your new merch line.
Make all the mistakes now, when no one is looking.
Somehow that droning, menacing intro popped into my head. I was listening to something else, actually, but this particular intro came to the forefront. The bass tone, the looping noise, then the drums and vocals come in… gee, why would something so dark and terrifying come to mind during these unprecedented times?
This album came out February 28, 2013, and it feels like a a lifetime ago.
Lovedrug’s ‘Down Towards the Healing’ came on tonight, at just the right time. That slow, quiet build-up at the 3:00 mark came on and crushed me. The perfect storm, the stress, the anxiety, the doubt, the chaos, the fear – it all came out. This 17 year old song opened me up.
Seeing more and more how this nearly year-long isolation is hitting me, and those around me. People I talk with, work with, keep in touch with via email and DMs.
Hang on, friends.
“Web 4.0 will be everyone discovering that actually Web 1.0 was amazing and bringing the bulk of it back. Less surveillance, less centralization, less complexity,” @dhh
It’s Monday, a holiday, another loop. Still leaning heavy on the Novation Bass Station II, all without really knowing what I’m doing, and hell, I don’t know much what I’m doing with Abelton Live, but I’m doing my best, making things that make me feel good, so that’s all that counts.
Set up a “homepage” for SETH ATOM, which is the moniker I’ll be using for my music going forward. Seth W. started in 1998, 23 years ago. I’m obviously not the same person today, and my middle name is Adam, so it works. Whatever.
“I need to get into the habit of turning my phone off for a good portion of the day, disconnecting from the internet and just spending my days focusing on art. Create an environment where I’m drawing instead of anxiously checking notifications. Social media is hell,” unknownrelic
“Reminder: The tension means you are growing,” @gumroad
Today I walked downstairs to make coffee and realized I have a full morning to myself to make music. Not that it was just an option, but it popped in there, on its own, which is new. Maybe doing these 45 days in a row has knocked something loose, in a good way.
“I love spending hours itemizing expenses and depreciating assets for self-employment taxes, only to find that it adds up to literally 6 dollars under the standard deduction,” @mollyfmielke (one of the many reasons I just bit the bullet and signed up for Bench [referral link])
“The most American thing I can think of is that 57 people voted to convict and 43 voted to acquit, and the 43 people won,” @what_eats_owls (in response to the acquittal of former President Donald Trump)
It’s okay to not want to get signed to a label. Or be a famous photographer. A big time public speaker.
The big brands, the follower counts, the clout, the hype – it’s not either / or. If you’re not the next big thing, on the cover of magazines and on billboards, you don’t have to fighting to be next.
It’s okay to be where you’re at. It’s okay to have 100 followers. Or 1000.
Hell, you don’t even have to be on social media.
We figured out how to sell a shit ton of CDs and sell out shows before social media came along. We’ll continue doing it long after they’re gone.
People can discover you on Bandcamp or Spotify by chance. You can post a gorgeous photo on your website and someone could post it on social media. A video you helped with on Vimeo can resonate with the world.
So much is right place, right time. Who you know. And if there were a map, everyone would have followed it and become a star.
There’s room for magic, chance, luck. And there’s room for not being a world-wide super star. There’s room for not being the current hyped thing, or buzzing stardom.