I played 100 shows last year, and I’m on track to play at least that many again this year. These aren’t back-to-back touring shows with the same band every night. There is no tour manager, itinerary, or even a single set list to memorize. This is by far the busiest I have ever been, and it’s really quite challenging to manage a schedule like this. I get asked quite frequently how I do it. This is the answer.
I don’t really get asked this too often, likely because the genres of music I specialize in aren’t necessarily known for great bass players—in the sense of flashy playing. On the contrary, flashy playing is what usually makes a poor bass player. Here are players that inspire me.
I lost and old friend this week. We hadn’t been very close for quite a while—the last time I even spoke to him was a few years ago now. He was a pretty important person in my life for a good decade or so, though. Since funerals and celebrations of life aren’t really an option during a pandemic, I sort of feel the need to say a few nice things about a guy who frustrated, hurt, and offended, but also loved a lot of people. And a lot of people loved him back. To me, he was a compassionate and genuine friend.
I’ve been watching (and tipping!) a bunch of my favorite artists live stream on Instagram over the past few weeks. Some are better at it than others. Here are some tips to make the experience more pleasant for your viewers, and make it easier for them to tip you.
I’ve seen a lot of live music this year, and I have had the chance to check out a lot of different venues in a lot of different towns. Some do it quite a bit better than others. Here are some easy ways music promoters can provide a much better experience for their patrons.
The Sacramento Valley is going through a bit of a live music boom as of late. This is a good thing. A healthy music scene has a lot of diversity and a lot of live music to choose from. The downside is that many venues are booked through the end of the year, and many of the gigs that do come up don’t pay very well. What is a fair price to pay for live music, anyway? Allow me to offer a musician’s perspective.
A forthcoming feature will allow Spotify users to block certain artists from playing in their libraries. This is a great solution for empowering subscribers to limit who monitizes from the music they stream, but what are the broader implications to others who benifit from the royalties of abusive artists?
I know I’m a little late to the game with my album picks this year, but 2018 was just so rich with amazing new music that I couldn’t just poop this out all willy nilly. Unlike other folks with their best album lists, I believe in waiting a few weeks after the new year to let all the late releases settle in with me. And it’s a good thing I did, as a few late December releases made my list!
The trend in new releases is to trickle out a song each week or so leading up to the release date of your new album. As an artist, I understand this. As a music fan, it can be mildly annoying. As a heavy Apple Music user, it’s usually a pain in the ass. Not all pre-releases are created equal, or so it seems.
I just received an email from Record Bird, a new release tracking app, announcing that they are shutting down due to financial difficulties.
Over time, we witnessed that it became more and more expensive for us, but also for artists to get fans to download an app. Yet scale was the only way to create a sustainable and economically profitable model.
Source: email newsletter from Record Bird not published online
After 25 years of playing live music, I have a stockpile of horror stories of gigs gone wrong, but I think I can count the number of cancellations I’ve had to deal with on two hands. Most had to do with weather, but not all of them.
In episode 7 of The Menu Bar podcast, Zac Cichy and Federico Viticci go deep on streaming music services. They talk specifically about how streaming services have not only changed the way we listen to music, but the music itself that artists create. It was an inspired and extremely enlightening discussion—as is par for the course on The Menu Bar (consider supporting their Patreon). I have a counterpoint, though.
As has been my tradition for the past few years, I’ve shared with you my most listened-to music. This year, however; I also wanted to share the music I was most excited about—the music that gets lost in the data when you don’t adjust for Misophonia, or listening to music with friends, or just life and music happening around you in general.
I joined Facebook back in 2006 when it first opened to the general public. I did this mostly because I was involved in building a social network platform to help artists, record labels, and management companies take their web presence back from MySpace. Fast-forward 11 years: I’m focusing more on my own music, Facebook is the new MySpace, and here I am trying to take back ownership of my web presence from them.
Dick Curless, the “Baron of Country Music,” is a newly-discovered favorite singer of mine. I think he would be bummed that the track names on his release Welcome to My World are mixed up on all the digital music services.
Prompted by yet another Reddit hole of favorite album threads, I realized I need to catalog the albums that mean the most to me, or were a huge influence on me at some point in my life. Here they are in no particular order (with affiliate Apple Music/iTunes or Bandcamp links when possible).
As you may already know, I have been scrobbling all of my music plays to Last.fm for the past 10 years. This year, Last.fm has a new report called Last.year that does all my homework for me! I have still recorded the usual stats below for future proofing.
Released October 2, 2015, Psychic Warfare was available in iTunes, Amazon and other digital music stores, but conspicuously absent from the streaming music channels like Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora. Streamers, your wait is now over.
A few years ago, I was inspired to publish some of my older music on the newer music channels. First I rereleased Moving, a 7 song EP I wrote, recorded, and released one day in May, 2000. Today my EP Stupid World is available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and wherever fine digital music is sold.
From the early 1990s through the turn of the millennium, I worked for a music distributor. During this time, Tuesdays were the day all of the new releases came out, and the Fridays prior were when we received our shipments of these new albums. Because most music is sold digitally now (and likely to help curb file sharing), the industry recently changed Street Date to Fridays.
The consensus is that the Apple Music unveiling bombed yesterday, and so will the service itself. The incoherence of it all was disappointing coming from Apple, but is pretty on par for the recorded music industry.