Last Day of the Month (Where's Summer?), June 30, 2010
Went to Nat Jay's birthday party last night. Met a lot of late 20s, early 30s people with plans and dreams and passions. A real privilege to get to know people like this. Adrian Glynn was there and we were talking about hooking up in Winnipeg, maybe doing some tunes together on the music stage. His band, The Fugitives, will also be performing during the Fringe. Can't wait to do the play (and my songs) there.
The twelve tracks for the album are now being mastered. That's the somewhat mysterious process where you take the finished, mixed tracks that sound awesome and give them to the mastering guy who somehow makes them sound even more awesome. And speaking of the album's progress, I just hit "send" on the email that flew my liner notes to the place where the album covers are getting made.
And I was just thinking...On the marketing front, would people be more inclined to buy a hard copy CD if they knew only a limited number were being made? Say, after X number are made, there would be no more hard copies. Or would that be shooting yourself in the foot?
That's a picture of me and Ivan Boudreau taken by Glenn Bowie during our showcase set at the Vancouver Island Music Business Conference on the weekend. Good times! Like the NSAI slogan goes: It all begins with a song.
A Favorite Day, June 1, 2010
One of my favorite things is working collaboratively on creative projects. So today was an embarassment of riches. At noon I met up with Nadia Von Hahn and Russell Stephens at the Rio Theatre to shoot the remaining scenes for my first music video from the new album. We had a blast shooting in this 1938-built movie theatre.
And then the rest of the afternoon was spent at Graham Vicker's apt/studio in Gastown shooting the album cover for "Born A Genius". Great fun. Fueled by a six pack of high test beer. The cover is going to be me, a 'genius', who has just painted (literally) himself into a corner. No more serious, sensitive singer/songwriter. Hello wild and crazy guy on a mission.
It's Monday morning..., May 31, 2010
... and I've got 6 days to go on my campaign to raise $3,000 at KICKSTARTER . As of this moment, 48 backers have pledged $2,029. That puts me at 68% towards my goal.
Thing is, if I don't hit my target I don't get any of the pledges. I wonder what it would feel like to walk away from $2K? Sure, if it gets close to the goal, I can find someone at arm's length to top it up. (Kickstarter doesn't let you donate to your own campaign). But if it doesn't get close, that's not going to happen. So we'll see who comes around in the last few days.
A couple of other things I'm thinking about. First, 10% of all money raised goes to Kickstarter and Amazon (that's who handles the $$$ end of things). And secondly, I've made the pledge level for getting a T-shirt at only $25. By the time I print and ship, there ain't going to be much left for album costs. Oh well, live and learn. Overall, in spite of the spamming I've had to resort to, this campaign has been a positive experience. I mean 48 people - some of whom I have no clue who they are - are willing to support me in a very tangible way.
Pledge by Wednesday midnight (June 2nd) and you are entered to win the guitar I used in my play "Oh Winnipeg!". Retail value about 100 bucks. Delivery is up to you.
I asked the support guys at Kickstarter how to hit my target, after being pretty much stalled for the last few days, and here's what they said:
"Congrats on making it this far. I'm not sure what to tell you as far as hard advice is concerned. In our experience projects that do well are ones that are aggressive in spreading the word (which it sounds like you're doing) while also being able to humanize the process. It's not so much the record that people are ultimately interested in -- it's the story of the project and the person behind it."
Good advice I figure. BTW,Profits from the sale of the album go to KIVA.org. This is a group that facilitates start up loans to small businesses in developing countries.
Wednesday Evening, May 26, 2010
Spent the afternoon working on a Marketing Plan, complete with colour photos. It's looking pretty darn professional. Lots of white space and bullet points. Kickstarter campaign is showing positive signs of life. I'm at the 60% mark with 11 days left to raise the remainder ($1,800). I'm loving the fact there are 44 backers who are showing their support for this labour of love. And isn't that what ALL album projects are about?
Got a couple of new songs in the half written stage. Good to operate on a few different levels. Keeps the brain churning over, finding new synapses to wiggle. Watching the Aquabus make sharp turns in False Creek. Makes me want to be an Aquabus captain on my days off.
Monday Went Like This, May 10, 2010
I stayed off the computer all weekend. Took a break. Which meant a ton of emails to get through on Monday morning. First up was Ivan Boudreau telling me he was going to write a short profile about me for the Songwriters' Association of Canada (SAC) magazine. And I got official word I'll be showcasing at theVancouver Island Music Conference in late June. I'll be mixing it up with lots of music industry types, and well known performers. Three days of workshops, performances, and the showcase events. I'll be doing a 25-minute set. Backed up by Neal Ryan on vocals and guitar.
I also checked out the number of pledges I've got so far at my Kickstarter page. It's kind of stalled around the $500 mark, and I need to raise $3,000 by June 6th (my birthday!) or I don't get any of it. Come on folks. I'd love to see you rally 'round the cause here and with a community effort get this new album of mine financed. You can get a "Born A Genius" T-shirt by pledging a measly 25 bucks. So let's go!
In the afternoon I went over to Adam Bailie's place, along with Neal Ryan, to work on this new song called "Shopping Cart Joe". I think I'm going to make it the 11th track on the album, it's sounding so good. I'll tell ya, the three of us singing harmonies on the chorus just made my day. This evening I played the song at the Raw Canvas open mic. First time I've played that one for an audience, and it went over well.
Yesterday My Dad Would Have Turned 86, May 7, 2010
My Dad and I were both caught up in the turmoil and emotions of the 1960s Generation Gap. He represented, to me, materialism and the old way of doing things. To him, I must have been a worry (more than the threat I imagined I was) with my unorthodox ways and long hair.
Anyway, in late 70s I had a breakthrough and realized we were both just human, muddling along the best we could. Each with our own strengths and weaknesses. Later, in the 80s, when we were both dads, working steady jobs, and getting mellower just by attrition, we reconnected. I was sorry to see him die from cancer when he was only 66. I still miss him.