The year is 2023. The future is here. Have yet to witness any literal flying cars yet but must say down South at least this can only be a good thing. These folks are definitely not ready for that particular wrinkle on the Z axis. In other news we’ve probably got some explaining to do as there hasn’t been much in the way of news and updates of late…
Here’s the deal: Late 2022 We did the math (and then re-did it multiple times) for music release timing and found the situation wanting. A big part of that is the way platforms like Spotify and YouTube try to maximize their advertising revenue really isn’t very compatible with new artists attempting to maximize revenue from a new release. You’d think it would be thrilling to put the thing out there and hit 50,000 to 100,000 streams in several months but the truth is that particular result won’t pay any bills much less cover your overhead.
We need a more comprehensive approach approximating what major labels used to do for major artists- but only completely in the absence of what those labels would do when signing artists that A&R folks judged to be up and coming because hello, that doesn’t even exist anymore ! Is there some optimal approach out there in light of the current situation ?
Maybe , But whatever that may turn out to be it’s going to be entirely up to you (the artist) to foot those costs going forward. If your timing goes south and a COVID surge or some other catastrophe knocks out your support dates (or a band member that can’t be replaced) that’s just tough luck. The only insurance policy you have is whatever else you have going on to pay the bills. Still, in spite of those challenges there are always reasons for hope.First of all, we as musicians are all propelled by love of music and performance – a thing by itself mostly petulent and unreasonable but stubborn in persistence. Secondly , there are signs that some kind of rebalance is going on down there beneath the surface. The music industry , after all and as a whole must want to survive at least as much as everyone else. If sustainability doesn’t include artists then what survives…isn’t music. If your ready to imagine a world without live music your obviously not a working musician.
It’s a safe bet that most folks that enjoy live music are not professional musicians. The underlying statistics for a robust music industry that includes thriving new artists, in spite of all the recent disasters, have not changed because we as humans love hitting the high notes.
In that regard music isn’t any more on the ropes than our major sports are – that passion is immutable. So what do we do ? It’s about getting better at noticing where the opportunities are and at understanding what the hell is going on out there. Sometimes it’s about working on the next big thing while waiting for yet another storm to pass.
Updated 11/8/2022 9:38 PM
Re Mastodon (2):
So now 48 hours and things are mostly sorted and working. Not bad at all. Based on who I’m finding right off the bat I’d say yes – exodus is a word of sorts. In any case we’ll be banging around under the hood for awhile learning how things work. Following , posting and all that are very twitter like with minor differences. Maybe enough to drive the maximally retentive insane but nothing the rest of us can’t handle. And speaking of handle we are @KilleansRow@mastodon.online . Easy
These folks (Mastodon) were clearly not looking to quickly scale a federated network of independent servers in order to accommodate an exodus from a primary network like Twitter due to fascist incursion and hostile takeover. It’s also unlikely that EU and US governance understand this as an event requiring monetary and technical intervention to assist networks like Mastodon struggling to accommodate the influx. For some of us the commitment to democracy runs deeper than a temporarily unresponsive alternative social network but many will rebound back to residency in one of those larger but now demonstrably evil places for convenience or out of bewilderment. The fascists are counting on that. Be aware. Also we are banging around now @KilleansRow@mastodon.online . Just need to get the water and lights turned on…
So Ughh , the Person-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named bought Twitter and the thing is currently playing out pretty much as the train wreck most of us expected. Before our (probably inevitable) Twexit I tried (no-really !) to ascertain what a few of the big fish were planning. @SaraBarielles https://www.sarabmusic.com/main/ and a few others had made intentions clear enough but no one group seems to have the same convictions with regards to a post exit plan. I have not heard back from her agent.
Here all of this comes amidst a concerted personal effort at disentanglement from doing business with entities funding Election Deniers , Insurrectionists, Domestic Terrorists and other collective fascist interests now collectively represented by the GOP. It’s time consuming and requires patience but is ultimately easier than it sounds. What I suggest is you reference first the Popular Information Accountability Index over at @JuddLegums newsletter site. Having a plan involves knowing who’s feeding the Orcs – then finding alternatives. If you love democracy you’ll start to enjoy the process. As always patience is a virtue. The fact that we’re referencing twitter handles in this post outlines a particularly pressing facet of the current situation – far too much dependence on any one social platform as a reference point and we tend towards laziness. Quite a ways back now Paul Krugman had a post that basically outlined how Twitter has made all of us lazy with regard to writing and conversely having gone TLDR on reading and writing real journalism. Of course since then the NYT has acquired it’s own cadre of fascist influencers on board – just in case. Give folks enough latitude to both sides democracy vs fascism and they will find a way , particularly if it pays well.
Music means that I’m having a good time in spite of all this. There will be more time for writing and outreach now. We have to flesh out a new social and distribution side of things and I have to get better at filing copyrights and licensing but the pace is picking up and there will be lots of music to follow. Also more specifics on who got ditched for funding the destruction of our democracy. Best and regards to all of you…
Update 11/06/22 6:00 PM ET
Yeah about that. As per that last post Twitter is out. We’ll be updating some new status shortly. In the mean time a few bits as we take up some slack. Line 6 just released the 3.5 update for Helix and it is a total destroyer. Literally a brand new day. I’ve also just barely scratched the surface of Omnisphere 2.8 which I can fairly say is a long distance from Omnisphere 1 , which was already incredible. Sound designers have created patch libraries for all of the synth hardware profiles. These are native Omnisphere patches you get to use and build on whether you have the hardware or not. Proggers and experimental musos of all types should immediately check those out. I found up front in one hardware profile alone enough sitting there to save weeks of programming time. It was jaw dropping because there were a couple of things I was literally programming right then that needed another week of work. So the update paid for itself almost instantly.
08/31/22 11:20 ET
Most visitors not following @KilleansRow on twitter have no reason to know that this is primarily the site meant to replace and succeed the former band and solo music blog that started on Myspace. We grew to include science & tech news , sports, research and anything else going on that might turn out to be interesting. Fast forward to now and it looks like things are finally starting to get real. While apologies have been offered for these first few steps taking so long the truth is it’s a big job when the round trip work involved typically used to comprise a team of five or six people specializing in just one part of the journey each. On the other hand it’s outrageously funny just how many fellow musos have jumped into doing exactly the same thing and are recounting pretty much the same experiences along the way. We are mostly an old school bunch and it shows. Ideally you record a full band playing live. Writing and composing reflect a desire for a live performance feel because in the end you want to get out there and play.
Probably the biggest change that technology has wrought for composer/performers is that the two environments that we used to do all these things in were typically well separated in time and space. If you stated a desire to take the recording studio on tour with you folks knew you were joking. Now the idea of a studio rig and a touring rig being literally the same rig isn’t that farfetched. The problem with making that real is the skill sets required to do all these things well still span a much larger space than most solo musicians can handle even with a surplus of 24 hour days available. Yes, technology is making our lives easier , but the level of complexity for knowing and using that technology with skill and efficiency , in spite of all the features meant to make things like mixing and recording easier, are still a big mountain to climb. Particularly when your the composer , performer, recording engineer, producer, mastering engineer, camera and director of photography , lighting, video editing, colorist and possibly now CGI person. And until it all gets off the ground none of it will buy you a cuppa joe. You’ll have to make that too. Cheers !
For those of you considering going down this path (or those forced to by a music industry that has been turned inside out) there are a lot of DIY resources out there but there are also still a lot of obvious things that escape developer attention that will drive you mad. Software installers still pretty much spew the documentation you need…somewhere out there on the drive. Or not. Features may be well documented…or not. Device drivers may continue to work after that latest Windows update or well…how about another cup of coffee? One useful lesson from about five minutes ago is that whenever you think an update or new piece of gear is going to solve a problem check the online documentation first. Is the manufacturer documentation for those features up to snuff or is it nebulous ? Never assume a feature mentioned in a review- regardless of reputations , is actually going to be there. Also when integrating new gear into a rig make sure everything is working -knobs, faders everything.. You don’t want to go four months and then find out only 3 of 4 mic preamps are lit. Shake it out.
Blood Moon Eclipse from Florida on 5/16/22 with Sony a5100 3.5-5.6/16-50
06/05/22 9:00 PM ET
The advantage of learning , knowing and applying various analytical methods across the sciences partly lies in getting a leg up on how close (or how far) we generally land from the truth regarding problem solutions in the absence of such methods. Intuition becomes a much more valuable tool once we learn when it is likely to be wrong ( and you’d better not be using intuition to do that ! ). If your experience in life includes events that exceed the normal bounds of cognition (traumas of war and violence at one end of the spectrum and their noetic counterparts at the other- OBE’s, NDE’s, time anomalies , macro psi) then it’s likely your sense of self , emotions and intellect are already finding limits with respect to making sense of the world at large. Derivation and integration are found everywhere in physics and mathematics because nature built them in and the least of us perform these functions at higher level than machines will ever likely achieve (AI arguments notwithstanding). But our cognitive machinery often fails to *consciously* integrate these extremal kinds of experiences in useful ways and we wind up burying them or are even broken by them. Popular press tends more to triumphant storytelling but returning to a war torn world and a body that won’t do what you tell it to is as jarring as birth itself…
Since that last post the war in Ukraine has widened and we’ve had a violent litany of mass murder and mayhem here at home – including the meta atrocity of Uvalde , Texas. These are not random events. The general public doesn’t have the horsepower to integrate any of this at high level. The result is further destabilization. If you’ve found your way here and any of the above makes sense then very likely you’ve not lost touch with the bits of you that know over the long haul everything will be okay. It’s the short haul that’s vexing now.
03/21/22 8:02 PM ET
There are no words – but of course there are words. The unspeakable invasion of Ukraine at the behest of an unfettered lunatic have set our world sailing once again into uncharted territory. The rather flagrant truths of corruption and greed have an unfortunately visible outcome in the continuing and accelerated targeting of civilians – their homes , cities , villages , transport and all things essential for survival and on the impulses of one utterly depraved reptile fool. I cannot tell you what to think because as part of a larger campaign against democracy everywhere these events unfolding since #Election2016 and the January 6th Insurrection have unfortunately revealed average Americans are utterly dumb-as-rocks. These are the trucker convoys of masses easily tooled and willingly fooled by big money , mega corps and wannabe dictators for the price of a few chicken nuggets, some risibly desiring to lick dictator boots in exchange for rewards they themselves can’t even coherently identify
02/13/22 1:39 AM ET
The short update again as projects continue to move forward. Gonna have to let go of a fairly large number of old school approaches to doing things as there simply is no way to span the kind of ground envisioned for this site utilizing ways of doing that date all the way back to…2015 ! The multitasking that was comfortable then -including things you might decide you could ignore when it comes to managing the web pretty much out you as a technosaurus now. Things are moving faster all the time
01/25/21 2:41 PM ET
Happy New Year ! That last month of 2021 we had a couple of positive things just blow the doors off as far as what would be possible for research and music this year. It’s both exhilarating and intimidating when your forced to confront making changes that would have been a major stretch just a short while ago. One slightly painful thing is that after using social media like a sock drawer for years refocusing to garner tangible benefits of being on there highlights the time and distance between goofing off on social and leveraging it as a tool for doing real work. Time for just a bit more precision
11/29/21 4:12 PM ET
Lots going on. Return to daily blogging and some journo things. Daily updates and (finally) some workflow for #DailyTracks music and video. There are some pandemic related bits and a few computational challenges with the emergence of B1.1.529 Omicron now garnering more resource attention. Will likely be at least two weeks of noise before a rising edge against Delta becomes discernable (if there is to be one). Response times are decreasing and most major players on the vaccine front are acquiring and processing data. Overall massive improvement in global posture. Still room for much more. Stay tuned…
11/30/21 3:15 PM EST
Tightening up site appearance a bit to resolve differences across browsers and viewports. Down the rabbit hole last night on the banner for a more seasonal look also. Dangerous if you actually enjoy graphic design as hours slip by while you nudge color indices this way and that. Those curve and color scopes come in handy. Individually there are a lot of detail things barely noticeable that build up to a far better look. It’s a lot like mixing tracks…which is probably what should actually be happening about now. Cheers