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.
It’s okay to not have a brand new album on Bandcamp Friday, or ANY FRIDAY. There’s a lot of people in this world who’ve still never heard your album. There’s people that still haven’t heard Metallica’s “black album!”
So talk about the thing you do on social media. Don’t hide it. It’s not “gross” promoting your work. You don’t roll your eyes when you’re painting, doing another vocal take in the studio, or delivering your final design concept to a client, so don’t you roll your eyes when 99.9% of the world doesn’t even know it exists.
You are the caretaker of this art, and it’s not going to market itself. Be proud, include a link, send it to some friends. Don’t hide the potential joy of someones life for another minute.
I posted this video on Twitter, which has a shelf life of about 10 minutes. Blink and you’ll miss it. And without paying up, most of my followers won’t see it anyways.
But the video lives here, on my own site. We’re all renting on social media, but our websites are our homes. Two months from now it’ll be near impossible to find the original Tweet I made. It’ll be a lot easier for someone to find this video via a link, on the open web, and via search engines.
“No one has talkers block,” says Seth Godin (in 2011). I’ve been on a tear lately with writing, producing, making. Objects in motion, really.
When I think of putting more of me on Twitter, my social network of choice, I just think of all the people not there. And the wide open web, accessible by the other 99% of the world with a smart device connected to the internet.
Lots of thoughts. Lots of ideas.
“There’s no reason for an artist to feel like they can’t share “old” work for all of time, while we sit here and actively let art from the dead be our teachers. art is timeless, including yours,” @afroxvx
“Anyone else feel like they’re spending more time on twitter to just banter and have rando conversations like we used to in the before times when you’d run into folks at Phoenix and Pour?” @danmoulthrop
Ever have one of those nights where you’re just like, shit, there is so much music I haven’t listened to yet?
So how’d I get to watching an interview with DJ Muggs? Well, as I’ve been getting back into actually making some music again, I’ve been going back to some of the music in the mid 90s that formed my musical taste today. That includes Cypress Hill’s ‘Black Sunday,’ of course, so I had to dig a bit!
And if you watch the video above, he talks about Led Zeppelin, and Kraftwerk, like… fuck, I’m a “rock guy” and I still haven’t submersed myself into any of their records. Which is why I stay up too late on Monday nights, wondering if I could just make a pot of coffee and listen to music until the sun comes up. I mean, I won’t, but at least my frenzied brain will take 45 minutes to slow the fuck down to fall asleep.
“Strictly only ever want to be having a good time from here on out,” and “don’t be in a toxic relationship with urself,” @chipzel
“I don’t want a future where only people good at the internet get to make music,” @kazzmlaidlaw
It starts with a sample, really. Oh, I’ll just make a drum beat. Then before you know I pull out the microphone and weirdness just happens.
“You are the center piece, you are the way to go!”
Between full-time professional musicians who are in real studios recording albums, and the whole “I just don’t want to make music” (which is where I was a few months ago), there is a wide ranges of places to be. I see these people everyday on social media, playing guitar and singing in front of a propped up smart phone. Finger drums on some cool piece of gear. Ambient live streams with enough equipment to launch rockets.
I discovered the idea of “picking yourself” from Seth Godin, who wrote about it back in 2011 and 2015 (and other times, too, probably).
Once you understand that there are problems just waiting to be solved, once you realize that you have all the tools and all the permission you need, then opportunities to contribute abound. No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.
There is room for all of our music, our art, our photography. But we can’t hoard it. We can’t wait until it’s perfect, for someday, because someday we might not be here. The world needs softness, and weird music, and quirky art.
Pick something you made and put it out there. And do it again. Pick yourself, we need you.
Feeling absolutely zero inspiration at the start of this one today, and ran into some software issues, but it got done.
The links below… just, damn. I spend far less on social media than I used to, and these sorts of gems belong somewhere, you know? Like, that artwork is from Ms Wearer. There are so many people who aren’t on Instagram, or the various other channels they’re on. I don’t know. I just want people to see all this wonderful art, and photographs, and solid quotes, but I also want it to be somewhere, too, and not locked away in random silos.
Okay, I need some coffee. Have a good day, friends.
“I refuse to create for engagement. I don’t care if my art flops, I’m here to share ME & if someone follows me, I wish it to be from a genuine connection made. I wish for the meaningful to succeed over the consumable,” @Vlizzyjpeg
There was supposed to be snow outside when I woke up, but there’s nothing by grayness. Up early, crack open the laptop; gotta get some joy and smiles in front of all the oncoming dread of the day (this took from about 7:05am to 8:02am to make, completely from scratch).
Sampled bit came from this 1993 Barbie commercial:
“Since I’m thinking about weird social media things, I’d LOVE to end the era of superfluous posting. Somehow ppl have been convinced that having a regular posting schedule is more important than having worthwhile content and it shooooows,” @lilbadsnacks
“PA’s vote by mail law got more R votes than D votes. It has been upheld in court. Now the most extreme Republicans in Harrisburg want to repeal the law (that they voted for) because they didn’t get the election results they wanted? Come on,” @JoshShapiroPA
A Daily Loop and a Goodnight Metal Friend mix, on a Monday? Well, been doing my best to stay off social media, and it’s amazing how the time adds up. From sourcing music instead of doom scrolling, to getting in front of the computer after waking up instead of checking Twitter… it’s not much, but it really is. It adds up.