I haven’t stood next to an ocean in awhile. The last time was in NYC, with some booze, and dancing to ‘Party Hard’ on my phone.
Just recently got to see CHON and LITE (from Japan) as Asbury Lanes in NJ. Great area. Good food, coffee, record shop. The venue had its own diner, with $4 tots and plenty of good adult beverages. It was just a two band bill (the best), an entirely instrumental affair, and it was (I think) sold out. I really liked the energy from LITE, and the crowd overall was fantastic. Rock ain’t dead.
Not metal, but totally metal. Dark, moody, and ‘Under the World’ absolutely infected my brain for this entire year. You don’t need 500 words from me to tell you about it. Click play for yourself.
My friend Jaci made a sweet playlist over on Spotify: HOUSE PARTY JAMS, THE PLAYLIST. It’d be a shame if such sweetness like this was lost to the never-ending stream of Twitter, never to be discovered again.
I was on Xanga in the late 90s. Then started a music blog in 2001. In recent years most writing I’ve done has been in the orbit of online marketing, social media, and such.
There was a time before all that when making music was most important. Playing the bass, dabbling with creating more music on the computer, I even put some music on Bandcamp at one point.
Where did I lose that? It’s not just that I know how the sausage is made, both from the editorial side of things, and also the label and publicist angle. For whatever reason, I see the doom and gloom of it. My naive zest from the 90s gone. Not in the sense that I thought I was going to “make it,” but just that child-like joy in “just” making something to make it.
Creating for the sake of creating, and not for some external validation, press, or east coast tour. My mind keeps taking me there, as if without those goals what’s the point. I don’t know how to pluck that from my thoughts.
Lately I’ve been forcing myself to open up Abelton Live and create something each day. Not to write full songs, and think of an album, or plan who will produce my EP – very far from it. I just want to rediscover that creative habit again, and honor the muse again.
Change the world a day at a time. Buy an album or tshirt from a band. Text someone a song you like. Don’t let social media get you down, because it’s designed that way to keep you clicking and commenting. They make $$$ from misery because “misery loves company” is fucking true.
I say “text” someone deliberately. Social media companies aren’t in the biz of sending you clicks. They wanna charge bands, labels, and small biz (big biz, too) lots of money to reach their own audience.
So while you CAN tweet about a band you like, chances are it’s only being seeing by 10% of your followers anyways. Better to start an email list (which usually have 20%+ open rates). Or text a few pals. Make a zine or a podcast and send it around.
Your world was changed years ago before the internet, right? Well, we can still do that.
I was tagged for this on Facebook, but rather than give my work to a 3rd party who will sell ads against while I get nothing in return, I am putting my list here where it shall remain so long as I pay my hosting bill. Facebook, on the other hand, well…
Helmet, Meantime – sharp and tight, started my love affair with John Stanier
Primus, Pork Soda – started playing bass in high school, so of course loved this dark album
Soundgarden, ‘Badmotorfinger’ – singing along to this in the car since the 90s. RIP Chris Cornell
White Zombie, ‘La Sexorcisto – Devil Music Vol. 1’ – so groovy and dark and spooky
Metallica, And Justice For All – my first real introduction to METAL
Zao, ‘Where Blood and Fire Give Rest’ – first “underground” release that rattled my world
Jimmy Eat World, Clarity – so tender and sweet, I will always love this album
Mastodon, ‘Once More ‘Round the Sun’ – a recent pick, but hit at an important time in my life
Alice in Chains, ‘Dirt’ – Another mid-90s grunge pick, but I absolutely loved this. RIP Layne Staley.
Nirvana, ‘Nevermind’ – Changed music forever for me. Taught me that you don’t have to be slick and flashy to have an impact. RIP Kurt Cobain.
EDIT April 11th, 2018 – HOW did I forget Guns N Roses’ ‘Appetite for Destruction?’ It’s the album that got me to pick up the guitar, THEN the bass (because I stunk on guitar). It’s the album I listened to over and over again, to this DAY.
As I’ve been thinking about leaving Patreon, an email from Derek Sivers popped into my inbox and alleviated all doubts if I was doing the right thing (emphasis below is mine):
“Don’t be dependent on any company. They come and go.
Think long-term. You’re going to be creating stuff, making fans, and building relationships for the rest of your life — much longer than these companies will last.
It’s so important and easy to have your own website. Instead of sending your fans to some company’s site, send them to yours. Get everyone’s direct contact information, so you don’t have to go through any one company to reach them.”
Sure, have your music on a few sites, but don’t let that be the ONLY place where people can find you. Have a home base.
Cut the shit that “no one visits websites anymore.” That’s because you all stopped updating your sites in 2004 and told everyone “check us out on Facebook,” which means now you can only reach 12.6% of your audience unless you enter your credit card information. How’s that working out?