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.
I decided to get a ride into the Townie show, the chap who took me was very kind, I thought I'd reciprocate with a CD.
No CD Player.
At the studio the other day, I gave Ben a copy of Defiance.
'Is it on streaming?' he asked (yes, spotify etc).
No CD Player.
Yep. As I thought. RIP CD's.
Which means, just like Vinyl, we can expect an imminent CD revival (OH WOW CD's! How retro!!! The quality of the sound is AMAZEBALLS!).
I have said before that we have pressed our last CD's. Bluetooth and the mobile phone. Digital. Streaming. Youtube. Get used to it. The future is with us.
I am so totally going to wind up pressing more CD's aren't I? Yeah the universe has a sense of humour.
Last night at the Townie was an unexpected pleasure. Jo was with us and we road tested material we've been working on in the studio. I got most of the words right.
Full props to Rosie, who was beset by guitar gremlins. You name it, it went wrong. String breaks.
Other Guitar Things That I Don't Quite Grasp.
He was in the eerie calm of someone Taking Care Of Business whilst interacting with sTRONG eNTROPIC fORCES.
The Townie now has Nice Carpet. Maybe it was static?
The respect of Phone Face
3 songs after arrival, bending to your phone to Facebook it, blog it, tweet it and/or filming us for your mates who are not there is terrific advertising. thank you.
At one point I actually picked up my phone too, as I was starting to feel left out.
Sooner or later we'll work out that documenting every event will require more data storage than the sum of an infinite universe, thereby proving that we do not in fact exist but are merely part of the Social Media of a hyper advanced species in an alternate dimension.
Yep, you are the Sims.
The phone has become such an important item, it reminds me of the 'joybuzzer' from a Norman Spinrad sci fi book.
Looks like I have enough to start editing 5D. I'd like to add a few more visual elements as well.
With the additional synch issue (see previous post) I'll be at this for a little extra time.
Let's record some more
This weeks recording session was surprising. I didn't realise how ready they were to do something. I thought we'd finish the overdubs for 5D and maybe do the electric version of Pirouette, which seemed to be pointing the way towards some new fun sounds.
It appears I havent learned as much from the chaotic forces as I thought I had. They don't just disrupt, they also create.
The practicalities of last weeks recording were the overdubs plus 3 new songs that need a mix and another bunch in the queue for recording.
Focusing on practical, doable things, is a great way of getting things done.
Thanks to everyone who came out last night and to all our Cellar Dwellers, and a special shout out to our mates in Fishers, we miss you too.