FIND THE GOOD STUFF

I removed Twitter and Instagram from my phone, as both were sucking up way too much time. Way too easy to just lose 10 or 20 minutes at a time and come away with nothing of any value.

Of course my brain somehow found Google News, or Apple News, which is just throwing more blunt force trauma into my eyeballs on the regular. No thanks.

Then I remembered, wow, there were design sites I used to frequent which always linked to the coolest stuff.

So in hit up Swiss Miss and found earth.fm, which is amazing nature sounds from all over the world.

Then I found this amazing video, too. A soothing, gorgeous video. Absolultey inspring.

So scrolling through Swiss Miss didn’t flood me with all these things. They were spaced out over several days, not just video after video, pummeling my senses and stealing my attention.

Worth checking out: https://www.swiss-miss.com/

STOPPED SHOUTING

One of the two “blogs” I regulary check out has gone on hiatus, or sabbatical as Jason Kottke puts it (the other is Daring Fireball, but he’s still going).

It’s weird – I had been writing online since 2001 with a music blog, and responsible for running a music site up until 2011. Then I did daily metal trivia on social media from 2011 through 2018, with nightly fucking email newsletters with the answers.

Not to mention regular Tweeting since 2006, with the occasional podcast (Workbench, Metal Minute, On The Rag Again, Later, etc.), and newsletter (The Soft Run, etc.). A Daily Loop. Just always doing… something.

I’ll tell you what gets me going, though: talking to other people about putting stuff out there. Making their websites go, or their newsletters, or starting a podcast. Not like I’m the guy to talk to about how to make it “go viral,” but I’ve done enough of this stuff to know how to build a foundation, and build from there.

That’s such a different medium, though, for me. For years I’ve followed the wisdom that I need to always talk about it, put it out there, share my knowledge with everyone. And weirdly enough once I stopped shouting about it from the roof tops (I’ve slowed down Twittering, stopped sending out my HEAVY METAL EMAIL newsletter), that’s when a few calls have been set up to actually talk about the stuff I do.

LOVING THE OLD MAN AND THE THREE

I’ve been watching NBA basketball since the early 90s, during prime Knicks, Bulls, Pacers. Jordan, Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing, Bird, fuck…. and through all the years, like, damn, I still watching the game.

During most work days I have ESPN going in the back ground. Just background noise, but it’s a nice way to put in the work hours and hear some good stories.

Gotta say, thouhg – the Old Man and the Three podcast by JJ Redick is so good. The latest with Willie Green is great – the story about how he got into coaching.

Some of my other faves:

Seriously – like stories of eating shit, doing the worst gigs, playing overseas, bus rides… not that allll hard work leads to riches, but man, if you don’t put in the work, that’s usually a good indicator that you ain’t gotta win it all, too.

Love these.

QUIT YOUR JOB SOMEDAY

In the past few months I’ve started following some “career development” accounts on Twitter, and signing up for some emails. Then immediately regretted my choices in life.

Everyone loves a success story, but dear lord, must everything be “how I quit my job at NASA and earned $500,000 a month selling e-Books?”

Like, not everyone is destined for e-book writing.
Or starting an online course.

“Get on Twitter, be helpful, then you can write an ebook and teach a class, and earn six figures in a month.”

Like, what?

I can’t find the “how to pay your cell phone bill with a helpful skill” sort of articles or videos, because all the algorithms are tilted towards the six figure hustle porn.


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.