ENJOYING THIS LIVE STREAMING THING

Unfortunately the only way to put a video of mine on this site is to upload it to YouTube, which seems silly, since this audio file actually expires in less than 24 hours, but just posting about it on social media ain’t the answer!

So if you read this blog – I make up these tones and sounds in real time, and stream them on Blast Radio, live to the world. To listen to you need to download the Blast Radio app, but I promise it’s pretty nice. Get it here.

On tonight’s broadcast I had four listeners, which is more than I had a week ago when I started doing this. So I’m just putting this here as a small piece of history. Not really aiming for the stars with this, after all, but I enjoy making these, so if you like them, tune in. Listen here while it’s still live.

Yes, I have downloaded archived copies of each stream, and will be putting them on Bandcamp in a bit. Stay tuned.

I’m going to do a live stream this Friday, January 14th at 9pm ET on both Blast Radio (audio only) and Mix Cloud which will have a video element – bookmark this page here.

My latest mix (#20) was live streamed last Friday. Click below to listen..

I’ve watched a lot of people get into the live streaming thing, mostly on Twitch, or Instagram Live, neither of which I enjoy. Right now Blast Radio and Mixcloud do the job, but my ultimate set up would be something I control, on my own domain name, on my own website.

But that’s a project for another evening.

CREATED FOR MYSELF

Found this quote from an artist today while sourcing tracks for an upcoming Goodnight, Metal Friend mix:

“These tracks were originally created as a source of inspiration for both myself and meditative purposes.”

Ran Kirlian

For myself. And meditative purposes.

As I recklessly pay for hosting and domain names and set up a newsletter for Goodnight, Metal Friend, I think that’s the biggest part.

I love my new site (see it here). It makes my eyes light up, seeing all the mixes I’ve produced over nearly two years.

The newsletter on Substack will be partly meditative, too. A log of the journey, seeing where all this goes.

Putting this out into the world doesn’t feel like obligation, like a regimented “content creation” schedule that I must adhere to. The easiest “posting schedule” or whatever is simply sharing what you make every now and again.

A lot of people won’t get it. Some people might. In the end, it’s for me.

LET PEOPLE DO TIKTOK

This year TikTok got more traffic than all of Google, which includes Gmail, Maps, search, and about a million other things.

It’s a trap. Just like every social media platform that came before.

It’s a new gold rush, right? You have to get a TikTok account, they say.

But what about writers? Or poets? Teachers?

There was a time when TV production involved dozens of people, a studio space, and tens of thousands of dollars of equipment.

Now we have 4K cameras in our pockets and we’re expected to shovel video content into a new social media platform everyday.

When, in fact, I’d say 99% of of still haven’t managed to optimize our websites or social channels to sell something, get hired, or build trust.

But yeah, let’s all sign up for TikTok.

Just because your audience heads to TikTok doesn’t mean you need to meet them there! People are allowed to leave your shop, set down your book, listen to other bands.

Focus on who is in front of you. And get their damn email addresses, while you’re at it.

GOING LIVE WITH HUNTERTHEN

Sunday evening HUNTERTHEN live mixing. Listen live on Blast then it’ll be available for 24 hours. After that it’s gone.

On Blast Radio, artists get their own radio station to broadcast what they want, when they want. From talking to tracking, album debuts to venue performances, daily request radio to live production sessions, rehearsals to reviews. Listen to the artists you love share what they love.

Blast

I started making these as mixes, and called them Goodnight, Metal Friend.

I would search for hours on Bandcamp, sourcing the sound and vibe I wanted. Now I’m finally figuring out how to make my own as HUNTERTHEN.

Dark ambient? Drone? Atmospheric gloom? I don’t know.

Something mechanical. Robotic.

It’s like you’re in sleeping bunk on a futuristic space train. I dig it. And been nerding out to it since the pandemic started. Weird hobby, I know.

Going to try to stream live to Blast in the evenings, when the days are winding down. Install the app, maybe, and find me on there as hunterthen. The app will notify you when I’m live.

I tried doing the same on Twitch, but holy shit, Twitch is a beast. So much going on, especially for something as low key and chill as this.

TOO MUCH FOR TOO LITTLE

“You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me.”

Scarcity makes things valuable. It’s why people flip records, and re-sell concert tickets. Big money, finite options.

There are people who don’t give a shit about a rare 7″ from 1987, just as there are people who don’t give a shit about a $500 NFT.

Something is valuable to someone, until it’s not.

Growing up I couldn’t listen to music while I was out riding my bike, at least not until I got a walkman. You listened to music in the music room, where the stereo was, and where all your records were.

You worked on the computer in the computer room, or at the computer desk, or the computer lab.

Now we all carry computers that fit in our shit pocket, and we can stream every album ever made.

That’s without mentioning streaming TV services, where there’s seemingly 35 new TV shows announced every season, sports, and movies.

There’s no shortage of entertainment. No scarcity.

So somehow a months worth of Netflix, which could means hundreds of hours of viewing, is also the price of a CD, which could be 45 minutes of songs.

The scale of everything is skewed, but just as someone could really not give a shit about a rate first pressing vinyl, you don’t need to care about people who ain’t buying music anyways.

Some people buy music, some people just stream it. I don’t know, that’s it. That’s life. That’s the challenge. Some records sell, some don’t, and no one really knows until we’ve got boxes of CDs or pallets of vinyl in the garage.

DOCUMENT AND ARCHIVE YOUR WORK ON YOUR WEBSITE

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?

Spinner.com, 2010
Spinner.com, 2021

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.

GIVE YOUR ART SOME LEGS

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.

ETSY WEIRDNESS

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.

Don’t reuse passwords, friends!

NICHE AT SCALE

This from of the best newsletters out there, Atomic Habits:

If you go to Tokyo, you’ll see there are all sorts of really, really strange shops. There’ll be a shop that’s only 1970’s vinyl and like, 1980’s whisky or something. And that doesn’t make any sense if it’s a shop in a Des Moines suburb, right? In a Des Moines suburb, to exist, you have to be Subway. You have to hit the mass-market immediately.

But in Tokyo, where there’s 30-40 million people within a train ride of a city, then your market is 40 million. And within that 40 million, sure, there’s a couple thousand people who love 1970’s music and 1980’s whisky. The Internet is Tokyo. The Internet allows you to be niche at scale.

Niche at scale is something that I think young people should aspire to.

This comes from a Bloomburg Podcast, which I still need to listen to, but yeah, this is amazing.

It’s easy to look at the giant podcasts, the cool websites, the people living in vans and some wild, joyful dream life, doing yoga while the sun comes up.

But there’s so much space between doing nothing and being at that level, whatever level that is. And there are so many layers. So much opportunity.

I NEED MORE REYNLORD IN MY LIFE

I say I’m not big into the “streaming” thing, but I live Craig Reynolds from The Downbeat podcast and clothing brand and drummer for Stray From The Path.

He’s big into the Twitch thing (here), and I love his podcast. This one he did with Mike Johnston is JAMMED with useful information.

The thing for me is this: he’s not this super high energy, “WHAT’S UP GUYS?!?” sort of character that we see so much of on the internet. I so very much love and appreciate the chill tone, and I think there are so many people out there that are on the same wave-length, and I just want to see more of that in the world.