One of the things I told a friend was that I knew Taylor Hawkins more for his smile than his drumming. Now, of course, he was a fantastic drummer. But I ever video I saw of him, or photo, he was beaming. That smile was always there. It looks so whole and pure, grateful and affirming.
God dammit, it’s horrible to see him gone from this earth so soon. Just 50 years old.
If I know anything, it’s the intro to ‘Outshined’ by Soundgarden.
I was out running errands recently, and was in the mood for some 90s grunge, and of course went back to ‘Badmotorfinger.’ I asked Siri to play ‘Outshined’ via my Apple Music subscription, and for some reason it played the studio outtake version from the Super Deluxe Edition that came out whenever.
That got me to dig into an external hard drive and look up the album of my ripped music, and there it was – an MP3 rip of the album I owned in the 90s, and that was the version I needed to hear.
That got me thinking – maybe I should get back to getting my old, ripped MP3s out and listening to music that way. I downloaded Swinsian and kicked the tires a bit.
That was fun for about 20 minutes, but then tracks were missing. Albums were split up because of different words being capitalized. Art work was gone.
Then I remembered what I love doing around 4 or 5pm – not being on my computer.
I’m on my computer most of the day everyday for work, and I don’t want to spend more time in the evening fixing fucking album spellings or artwork mismatches.
That got me looking at CD players again, and I found this amazing beauty; the Yamaha MCR-040, though I’ve seen it named the CRX-040, too.
It’s from 2010 or so, and I love it, and I need to get one, I think.
I’ve been feeling like I need to own more physical media, and I don’t really want to do vinyl, so I think re-building my CD collection is what I need to do.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (email@example.com). Check out what Brianna is doing with Taste Creators. Follow @BigSto on Twitter. Sign up for my HEAVY METAL EMAIL list.