Hucketerism at an all time HIGH

I jumped into a thread on a forum via an internet search I was doing on a booking agent that contacted me.
Long story short, from the report of the members of that forum, the agent was a huckster and their agency was a front
for a bunch of hucksters.
*** For those of you who are not familiar with the term “huckster” see anything related to Harold Camping
who predicted the earth was going to end or some other nonsense and, this part has been highly under reported, also took in over
70 million dollars in donations to the coffers of his religious organization. Basically any scam artist could also be called a huckster.

But what also jumped out at me was the determination, in these poster’s words and tone, that things were terrible in the industry and things
basically were not the same.
Caveat to all people who want or think they are in the industry: Things have changed and they are not coming back. Those who wish for the times of old, however good or bad they may have been, might as well do other things which waste their time. Why not start mass producing old school Ataris and try to compete with X-Box or Playstation. (actually that would kind of be cool.) But a similar analogy would be re-tooling a factory to produce stage coaches. Things have moved on and all the bitching in the world “ain’t” gonna bring the old world back. So what to do?
When in the history of being a music maker have you ever had the chance to reach the number of people you could reach without a record label, insert huckster here, raking in the money and doling out a small, if any, amount to you? Never is the answer.
Sure things are disjointed and more surely there are no leaders, or at least clear ones, at this point, but know this: there will always be music as long as there are humans. Though things might seem bleak to some think about it and frame it in some other perspectives.
Think of any recent movie that was not scored or included music. Count the number of minutes commercial TV goes without any form of music playing. People want and will always want music. You just got to figure out the way to get it to them. Get out there and be a leader, if not for yourself, for the rest of us. But by all means do not waste your time whining and bitching. It gets old really fast and accomplishes very little.


Be Promiscuous with Your Art

Interesting point in the Seth Godin book Poking the Box, several interesting points actually, but he points out an analogy someone used for creating something. He likened the shipping of something, and when I say shipping this can be anything that starts with the genesis of an idea and is followed through with until it is put out there, anything, to a dandelion. Think of a dandelion and all those seed pods spewing from it. You remember blowing them as a kid and all of them going everywhere. Well most, if not 99%, never make it past some crevice and then lie there dormant and never produce another dandelion. But every year dandelions are everywhere.
He uses this term “be promiscuous in your failures.” That is the best part. Put whatever it is out there and keep doing so! Sure you are going to fail. Learn from the failure, study it, don’t dwell on it, and get back at it. Best thing I read all day.

Ruptured by the Rapture

Those left over or behind from the rapture need to look at what that fiasco did. I first will stay away from ethical or moral comment,only to say “good one you got us or them.”
But there is definitely something worth looking at. Harold Camping, the originator of the hoax, received, reportedly 70 million in donations, a large cache of money, though possibly with questionable scrupulosity if not down right hucksterism. But when someone says “stick out” or “make a scene” by all means this man was not scared to do just that. I am not saying to create outright lies but look at what a fervor it created.
I say take the energy of this event, hone it down with a good dose of honesty and passion, and throw it out there in some kind of way.
It won’t hurt and you are not going to do it any younger.

Move forward

In the spirit of Seth Godin it is all about doing something. Many of us get lost in planning and never reach beyond that. We plan to do this or plan to get this done if these certain parameters are met and the stars align in this manner. Inner statements like “if I just had more of this” or “if I could have this much money, talent, etc” I would accomplish (insert your dreams here). One thing about life is to ask yourself this one question: when was the last time the earth stopped moving on its axis? Of course never.
Waiting until everything is just so will only accomplish one thing: you will most likely never get around to doing what you really want to.
You are going to bang things up, make mistakes, and leave marks but these are merely character builders for the ultimate spectaculars you are going to create and/or achieve.
Another thing to consider is that if you are spending all your time “planning” and not doing you might want to stop calling it “planning” and start simply say you are day dreaming. It saves time and worry.

“I wish I had a record player” YES!

I talk a great deal about music, think about music, and most of all love listening to real music. It is becoming surprising to me when I get involved in talking about music with kids I always learn so much. I am blessed to have an opportunity to experience music, that is in fact what we do when we listen to music: experience it, with kids. I am simply blown away by the taste of young folks. For example, a great deal of music calling itself rock music set beside, now classic things HAH, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam seems really staid and small, most of it and by golly they notice.
And then this explodes into discussions about who influenced these folks and those that influenced those folks, the six degrees of Muddy Waters, etc., etc. And then in the middle of all this a young man, no more than 13 said out of the blue, in the middle of one of these discussions, “I wish I had a record player.”
there is hope!

Back and forth, is it celebratory or just making note of the event?: The Death of OBL

Ok. Since the events of Sunday, the mission which resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden, have passed I have noticed some interesting things expressed by folks about the death of OBL. I am not one to revel in violence but I am also not disappointed that there was some retribution for all the bad energy the man put out there in the world. Chickens do come home to roost.

“I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction”–Clarence Darrow

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it”–Mark Twain

Everything I learned I learned from releasing an album

I am a snarky at times, well, a lot of times so the title of this blog is me slipping into snarkiness. I learn many things from many people and experiences but one such experience is the release of an album and doing some of the promotion yourself. This is geared towards anyone who has this ambition.
Mailing out CD’s. Oh joy oh joy. First I like people to hear my music. I love making it and I want people to listen, I am also blessed because there are a decent amount of folks out there who have dug and dig,now with Bob Bogdal, what I do. So I have a large amount of parcels to Ship and Handle. (I totally understand the term and its meaning now.)
I have a pretty decent system which has worked since my first album. But it still involves a great deal of folding, stuffing, adhering, and taping. But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. At least I know it is being done with care and by someone who gives a rat’s $$$ because I am the one who has taken the time to release the work.
I am looking forward to the next release because I am going to focus more on strictly doing it electronically and paperless as possible. That release might be a tester, almost like a first album all over again, but you have to look at it like that.
**Note to anyone who is thinking of releasing a CD.
My creative writing teachers and the visiting writers in residence used to tell us “write your first novel and get it out of your way.” I did not understand it then but the same applies to releasing anything art wise and I am sure pretty much anything else you can think of which requires your focus and attention in order to accomplish. Get it out-of-the-way, the first one. You learn so much from the doing. I think that is why Seth Godin is so successful and dead on correct many times when he just tells people to “do things” instead of planning them. You do indeed learn from your mistakes.
**Note about mistakes
Depending on your financial lay out I would encourage everyone to make your mistakes calculated, in other words ones you can afford to make. Many of the things you can experiment and try are free anyway but if your experiment is to by a big chunk of print media advertising then you might want to crunch your numbers. Just a thought

I have been a busy boy over the last 2 weeks but I am back to where I can breathe so I will be carrying you along with me on my journey through the release of an album. Lucky you! See there I go being snarky again.