Creating But Not Showing

Still plugging away at these, going down wherever roads the sounds take me.

Feeling creatively spent, at least in any sense of trying to do something daily at this point. I learned a lot over 70+ days of making and posting them, so that’s enough for me. I’m still making, still writing, just not on any sort of schedule. During these times of COVID (god dammit, over a year of this shit), I don’t need anything more in life to bring on more guilt.

If anything, the daily posting felt like “the hustle.” If you post consistent, the social media gods will shine on thee. If you post everyday, more people will see it. More people will know what you do. More people, more eyes, more, more, more.

Yeah, fuck all that.

If anything I’m finding more solace in not sharing everyday and working behind the scenes on shit that may (or may not) be released someday. Whatever.

Yeah, I’m tired.

Video by Alan Quirván from Pexels

Live Stream Thoughts

Working in music it’s hard to ignore the whole live streaming thing that a lot of bands are doing (and a lot of bands aren’t doing).

I’m thinking a lot about the smaller acts, the solo performers, the bedroom music makers, and how a lot of times it’s okay to not do a live stream performance. Like, there’s a lot that goes into live streams – the technology, audio issues, video quality, promotion – it’s a lot!

Remember – music videos are still awesome. You can take your time, plan your shots, get better audio / video, and then you have this music video you made, which can sit on Vimeo / YouTube / etc. for years to come.

And you don’t even need to make it about your music. I know, I know, but hear me out: you know all the cool video press you hope to get one day? On big name media outlets? Do that!

Is there a big holiday coming up? Take Halloween, for example. You could record a few clips of you talking about your favorite spooky movies, and release them every Friday in the month of October.

Those “gear talk” videos? Make your own! And make them your own! Drench them with your own style and wit and humor.

Make a video or two, or four, or 12. Get good at making them – nail the audio, the video, the aesthetic…. all that stuff you learn is a foundation, so when someday you really want to plan a live stream you’ll have the tech know-how and skills to make it great!

Random Bandcamp Roulette

Check one, check two. Made this with Loom, which I’ve used a bit for work, and started to wonder if it would work for Bandcamp Roulette (see below) – and it sorta does! This was just a quick test – obviously some audio things to work on, but I like this. Made this within minutes, without having to mess with multiple video and audio files. There’s some limitation, sure (no ducking, but that’s okay), but I really like this. Considering how fast I can make these? AND not be tied to YouTube? Definitely going to upgrade my Loom account this weekend.

Sure, that looks and sounds really good, but those episodes are a beast to make. And, again, I like the idea of not spending more time on YouTube.

Make Mistakes When No One is Looking

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.

‘Outlier’ by Sectioned Turning Eight Years Old

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.

Most People Haven’t Heard Your Album

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.

Also…

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.

Daily Loop #38

“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.

LIKES

“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

Adam Firman on Twitter
Conor Anderson on Instagram

Daily Loop #36

Got stuck in the snow close to my house. Had to shovel out my car, with no gloves. At one point I was laying flat on my back, staring up at the stars, and realizing the absurdity of everything.

I ate some cookies and shook my fist at the universe, but life is short, so I got working on this loop.

For this one I stacked three audio clips from my Instagram feed, and then sampled it. Enjoy.

LIKES

“I just don’t understand how kindness and gratitude is such a big ask of managers,” @brianne2k

Marie Enger via @so_engery

target from Norah Lorway on Vimeo.

Video above by Alex Green from Pexels