As you drive back towards Sydney, the kerbs return. The streetlights return.
Looking at the bay at Eden, I was struck by the thought that Sydney Harbour would have once looked the same way. Green fingers gripping the water.
You can feel the future as it moves in waves of generations, like ripples in a pond, radiating inland and up and down the coasts from the main centres.
The Australia of Banjo Patterson still exists on the fringes. Vast silences and open spaces, tinder yellow hills.
We triangulated between the edges of the frontier, from the hills to the coast. It made me wonder about the last frontiers, before my mobile phone coverage becomes excellent everywhere.
Strange in the nature of man is to be at odds in such beauty. Living in a smaller town is not some blissful paradise. Perhaps to be a traveller is to skip along the pretty surface. Even as I write that I dismiss it.
In some ways we all live in the country of our mind.
I look at the window and I am awestruck. Amazed by the stars. Fascinated by the edge of the dark I can see in the sliver of a moon. Is this the world I live in, only brighter, more real?
I missed a few days of world connectedness, reading the bad news. I spent some time blogging the scenery for FB. It's a bright feed into the world.
In the browser window in the screen to my right, the world is flashing at me. I'm resisting its pull and staying a moment more in the spaces between the waves.
We had a grand weekend of playing music. Friday we were fumbly, Saturday we got it right and we ended Sunday strong. Jo sang one of the new songs so well I was almost giggling with glee.
I got to hear Dinesh do 'Manifesto' three times. We worked on 'Brave With Your Heart' and got it right. Our logistics were rational and smooth. Getting the simple little things right makes a difference.
We may be visiting the last vestiges of the frontiers, soon you'll need to travel farther to travel back in time.
Thank you to everyone who joined us this weekend and made it possible for us to do it.
So I decided to do a little Internet Marketing. Why not huh?
We have a new album, more stuff on the way, plenty of shows to promote, promotion is a job that is part of the job, right?
Who's your publicist?
We don't do reviews any more.
Your album has been 'out' for 2 months, we don't do back catalog reviews.
Internet: COME TO MY ARMS DARLINK!!! VE VILL MAKE ZER BEYOOTIFUL MUSIC PROMOTIING!!!
Ok, sure. I'm reasonably credulous, I'm sure these offers for MILIONS OD VIUEWS FUR URE WIDEO!!! are totally believable.
I got promo bucks! Let's hit it!
I ran 5 different promos with 5 different online promoters for the first time.
The Video View numbers go up. The Video View numbers go down. The numbers go up. Guess the next part. Yes they go down. Then back up. It's a Robot VS Robot battle.
Now I went to a LEGIT online marketplace, not El Deep Web.
Some of the stuff I did looks like Real Humans were reached. We had 'likes', comments etc.
On Youtube however, the numbers of views fluctuated daily, leading me to surmise that one robot was adding 'views' and Youtube's Robot was removing them.
I classify that as 'ineffective marketing' as Robots don't yet come to our shows... Yet.
It's hard to sort the real from the bots in the online world. Creating false impressions of Cultural Relevance may be an effective strategy; fake it til you make it.
By being perceived as popular, you are in effect popular. Or maybe the Robots really do dig your stuff.
These are questions to ponder. Fascinating.
What I can do, that is useful, is to make another video.
The first three attempts at a video for heavy weather went nowehere. I found a new approach, which has proven to be amusing and time consuming.
As you can see from the density of edits in the first 30 seconds or so, this one is taking a bit of time. To carry it out, I have needed a database, word analysis, transcripts and multiple breaks from it. When you see it youll understand why.
Right now I am in 'promo the recent album' phase so this stuff is on my mind.
Firstly, 'album?'. Yeah I know. Don't get me started. I even made 'CD's'. I'm one meteor away from Dinosaur in my thinking.
I am talking to lots of music people, lots of other artists and bands, I hear the things like:
'FB/Twitter works if you're already/legacy famous'
'Social media makes you think you're doing things in the real world'
'being famous on Instagram is like being rich in monopoly' (ouch).
As a band, we chart our course between the lapsing terrestrial radio/hydraulic empire of the 20th century and the emerging on demand world. Suits me plenty fine.
Whilst the system changes state, it is hard to see which of the available promo options are rational.
Many of the online ones', FB included and notably so according to recent articles, may not be what they claim, in user numbers, locations and behaviours.
I've made a study of this stuff as best I can. I occasionally rant on marketing. This is one of those times.
Mr Wizard spent yesterday doing things that were common Back In the Day. To quote a response from a magazine 'we stopped doing album reviews in 2012'.
Uh oh. That made Mr Wizard feel like he was doing the wrong thing or had some how failed. I don't see it that way.
Things are in major flux for Music and Media generally.
Radio? Nope. '91% of people listen to..' No they don't. They listen to talk shows, morning shows in their car and when tech makes it easy for everyone to constantly stream, buh-bye that too.
Newspapers? My local Papers of Record have shrunk to Newsletter dimensions, half of the content of which is property ads. One of them is basically just running Cleavage as a headline. The long standing SMH reviewer BZ went Byes Byes. He'll have a blog by now. Ye gods.
TV? Who's watching it? Folks are on Youtube, or taking selfies, hunting pokemon. Maybe news and weather.
It's not like Humanity got Raptured Up. If everyone had been taken up, I'd be getting better parking spots at the Supermarket.
So where are the people?
I have this unusual hypothesis, and bear with me, it may sound just a little crazy:
They're busy living their lives.
They don't spend every waking moment hanging on a tweet, or a picture of a Taco that I found at a wonderful little place, so HIP!!
They're picking up the kids. Studying. Working. Looking for their phone. Got the flu. Choosing paint colours. building a bicycle. Asleep on the couch. Walking their pet ferret.
10 years of social media demanding your attention. 'Like' me, validate me, reward me, give me your attention.
And yep, I'm conditioned to seek those little red stickers on a social media page saying 'OMG!'.
This too shall pass.
Our best efforts are in making stuff, and we stick to our knitting.
As for letting people now about it...I am running a series of experiments right now, without any set expectations.
A few best guesses. Another cup of tea.
5D video iterations
I've synched/(sunk? sunched?) the studio footage with the live footage for the central take..oh hang on I'd better explain.
For the 5D project, each track features the Guitar recorded 'on location' and incorporates the background sound as part of the piece.
For Pirouette it was on a wharf with the sound of water and traffic; for Shoshona it was Coogee Beach and the waves. For Sail Away it was the sounds of Sydney streets at 2am.
The idea was to have the 'actual' take filmed and recorded.
To then add instruments, without adding background noise, we opted to record the additions in the studio. I filmed them.
It was boring. I couldn't move the cam or be in the room for the double bass recording because that would add background noise, as Double Bass is generally recorded with a big, sensitive, room Mic.
I set the shot and left the room and didn't like what I got. Bill's hand is half out of frame, the light changed and the windows got oversaturated and I just don't like the look.
It's Ok to try it and then say 'nope'. Of course I'd be a little happier if I failed when using my Phone Cam, rather than the Pro Hire Gear. Ouch.
I've been learning colour grading in order to make use of the FREE and pretty powerful Davinci software and the Pro Camera shoots very clear low light footage.
I am going to try another location shoot for the 5D stuff as soon as I can organise it. If you missed the test sample I posted, here's 3 raw takes from 'Hidden Hand'. This one won't have additional instruments so It's only a matter of picking the take, grading it and adjusting the audio mix for mastering purposes.