David Allen gave me a pretty big break back in the day, linking to music blog in my early days. I think he said it was cool, or something – hah! That was like… 20 or so years ago, so I don’t remember all the details. I just know we got a few more readers after that.
I met David years later in NYC, and I don’t even remember how that even happened, either. I do remember him making the comment that I didn’t have any tattoos, and that we needed to change that! It was a fun moment, I remember it vividly.
And then here we are, all these years later, and now I get to see what David has been doing this whole time. This video brought up plenty of feelings, that’s for sure. Not just because of the discussions I’ve been having about mental health, or money, or art, but… the process of life. Continuing to learn, and find out new things about ourselves. Things we didn’t think possible.
When your band or your art gets that TV mini series like The Beatles: Get Back, will you have any archival video footage from the studio? From writing your songs? Talking about the inspiration of your lyrics, of the pedals you use, of the shows you’ve played?
Or will all that footage and text and audio be lost to a social media platform that you don’t own?
I’ve covered and worked a handful of albums over the years, from my music blog days in 2001 to now working with indie music publicists and labels, and I’m still blown away at how little reverence there is for the archival process for so many acts.
Sure, there’s concert photos on Twitter, and maybe some 200 word captions on an Instagram post, but there was a lot we uploaded to MySpace, too.
What about all the features you gave to media outlets that don’t even exist anymore?
Just a decade later a handful of outlets don’t exist anymore, and no one really remembers the video interview you did (maybe it’s on YouTube), or the print review in a magazine, or all the photos from your tour in 2003.
They’re… pretty much gone.
And even if they’re out there in Google images or YouTube, they ain’t on your site.
Looking for a sign to document more of your work, your magic, your art? This is it.
I see this so often – a podcast shares an interview they did on socials, maybe with an audio clip. Once, maybe twice. Then a week later, its as if it never happened.
Same with bands posting songs and videos, or artists sharing a new work.
A week later, it all falls off the face of the earth. “Old news,” more or less.
And it hurts my weary soul.
Transcribe some bits of that podcast episode, and post that on your website (it’s 2021, and not everyone listens to podcasts).
There are people on YouTube “reacting” to music videos and wracking up 10s of thousands of views – YOU CAN FUCKING DO THAT.
You’re the band. You’re the artist, or the director, or the sound person – it’s not “reacting,” it’s “this is the work I did, and I’m going to talk about it a little bit.”
Sure, we’d all love our magical art to just “stand on its own,” but you’re competing with a tidal wave of magical art every HOUR.
The answer isn’t post more, but post interesting things around your art.
Star Wars ain’t just movies. They have TV shows now. Comics. Books. Toys. If they just stopped with movies, they’d miss out.
Your podcast can be a quote image (which you can make using Canva). It can be a blog post (transcriptions are cheap, and you just need a few key parts). Your music video can have a behind the scenes breakdown. A commentary video. Its own podcast episode!
The magic doesn’t stop when you hit post. Keep it moving.
Woke up to an email about a case being opened on ETSY for not shipping a product. Except I don’t have a store on ETSY. Well, in like 2012 I did, when I was selling robot drawings for a bit, but this was new.
Seems someone hacked into my account, set up all these products, made a bunch of sales, and routed it to their bank account… all in my account.
It took me a minute to find a way to actually reach a human at ETSY (everything in their help docs was for fraudulent charges, not ummm… people setting up shop in someones account), but a few hours later it was fixed.
It’s almost 2022 and bands are still loading their Tweets with hashtags, and posting URLs in their Instagram posts, and the whole time crying about how unfair everything is.
I have seen this for 20+ years now.
The world has changed, and there’s no going back.
The days of just having riffs? Man, I got 40+ years of riffs. What else you got?
If Coke commercials were just images of 2 liter bottles and the price for the past 20 years, they wouldn’t even be in business today.
Creepiness aside, this 2001 commercial is selling fucking sugar water.
And yet countless music acts treat their art like a commodity, with “free” downloads, limited time discounts, “merch bundles.”
Add in the fact that 90% of the time artists can’t be bother to actually link to the very things they’re trying to sell, because that would be “spammy” or gross. The art should “stand on its own.”
People will just know how to find it.
Coke gets away without dropping “find it at your nearby grocery store,” because they’re already in every fucking nearby grocery store.
Radiohead can just drop an album because they’re Radiohead. But your band, label, art, photography – you’re not Radiohead.
You’re spending hours every day on algorithm-throttled sites that limit your reach, your website (if you have one) hasn’t been updated in three years, you haven’t been collecting email addresses because “social media,” and you don’t have a prominent link to your Bandcamp page anywhere (if your music is even on Bandcamp).
You want fans? It’s never been easier to make fans, but even that’s taken too literally. Simply LIKING or RT’ing a Tweet is garbage in 2021, so simple an unpaid intern could do it for you.
Send a video, make a quick clip, record a message, get people on your email list.
You hire a producer. Why? Because you don’t know how all the knobs work, and you don’t own any $1000 microphones.
Talk to people who know about this stuff. Get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Check out what Brianna is doing with Taste Creators. Follow @BigSto on Twitter. Sign up for my HEAVY METAL EMAIL list.
So this is very different than my previous beeps and boops. All those bouncy loops are still a part of my life, of course, but hey, humans are complex creatures, and over the past year and a half I’ve grown to love the utility of dark ambient and drone.
Oddly enough the search for this type of music spawned from the Headspace app. The sleep music is great, particularly “Warm Engines.” But I just wanted something a little “darker,” but not too scary. So I started putting together my own mixes under the name ‘Goodnight, Metal Friend.’
Now I’m starting to make my own under the name HUNTERTHEN, a vague reference to The Mandalorian TV series. If you know, you know.
This first release is meant for sleeping, or staring at the computer screen while you work, or maybe for walking through graveyards early in the morning. Please enjoy.
A Percival Pembroke is a “British high-wing twin-engined light transport aircraft,” according to Wikipedia. Also the engine behind ‘Paravian Sequences,’ a whimsical electronic album I found on Bandcamp, meant as “movement and patterns for mesozoic bird species.”