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    • A warning on the future of music
      Hey
       
      As ever, an interesting interview by Rick Beato with American music critic and historian Ted Gioia.
       
       
      Interesting. Any thoughts?
       
      cheers
       
      John
       
        • Thanks
      • 25 replies
    • Hey gang
       
      I thought it would be a bit of fun to post up old pics… namely, photos of you, aged 20! Are you game?
       
      So here I am in 1987, rehearsing with my band, The Outside Edge…
       

       
      That’s me on the guitar.
       
      Cheers
       
      John
        • Like
      • 23 replies
    • Hey gang
       
       I know a lot of people have had a lot of extra time on their hands. At the same time I am aware of a lot who sit in perpetual boredom, who have largely wasted their time.
       
      What about you? Did you add to your skills? Add to your song or composition collection? Did lockdown light a fuse under your ass?
       
      Cheers
       
      John
        • Like
      • 7 replies
    • Lemme start with a few that I use
       
       
      CAKEWALK BY BANDLAB : https://www.bandlab.com/products/cakewalk
       
      I've alread created a topic on this on this very board. I've used many DAWs before Cakewalk but after switching to Windows, this has been my constant and only choice. Not that there aren't great alternatives, but for a free software - it's the most robust, full fledged DAW you can get! I was particularly impressed by how good the virtual instruments are on this. If you haven't tried Cakewalk yet, you totally should. And if you're an old SONAR user who wants to share some thoughts, feel free to do so here : https://forums.songstuff.com/topic/55230-any-cakewalk-users-here-i-just-started-using-it/
       
       
      Spitfire LABS : https://labs.spitfireaudio.com
       
      Spitfire Audio has been a godsend for virtual instruments and sample libraries for many years now. So when LABS was first announced as an unending FREE series of instruments and sounds, I was very quick to latch on. I've used it for a couple years now including on my previous single "Fading Colours". I recorded this in my old room last year during lockdown. The piano and strings used for final part of the song was from LABS. Fading Colours :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDGy3X4tT-0
       
       
       
      Wider : https://polyversemusic.com/products/wider/
       
      I used to do all kinds of things to work with the spatial width on my tracks. Some worked well, some would bring about phase issues on which I'd spend a lot of time investigating. Sometimes I'd end up rolling things back to the way I started. That is until recently when I discovered Wider and it's such a hassle free, straight up piece of software. It handles phase really well unless you crank things up too much but more than anything, it's quick to turn on or off while I'm trying to bring some life into my sounds when needed. You should totally have it handy.
       

       
       

       
        • Like
      • 14 replies
    • Hi Gang
       
      Thought I would ask a few basic questions about how you feel about indie music.
       
      Please take part!
       
      As well as voting, please feel free to add comments.
       
      Cheers
       
      John
        • Like
      • 27 replies
  • Blogs

    1. Yay! I'd love for you to listen in. This is one of my most favorite songs to perform and it was the very first and only solo performance of the night. This whole gig which was the launch gig of my last EP "Accept" was recorded and shot as a concert movie. The music video for this song will go live this Friday! 

       

       

      You can listen to the song on these various places below. If you do, I'd love to hear your thoughts! :)

       

      Bandcamp: https://maheshmusic.bandcamp.com

       

      Spotify 

       

       

       

       

       

      Apple Music 

       

       

    2. Building a deeper connection with your audience is essential for long-term success in the music industry. It’s not just about being seen but also about forming and building a relationship with your listeners that goes beyond the music itself. It’s a connection whose importance can’t be overstated. Investing time in building your connection is time well spent.

       

      To help you with your efforts in building a connection with your fans, here are some strategic and tactical ways to enhance engagement and connection:

       

      1. Interactive Social Media Use
         - Live Sessions: Host regular live streams on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitch where you interact directly with fans, play music, or discuss your creative process.
         - Q&A Sessions: Encourage fans to ask questions about your music, life, or interests, which you can answer in live sessions or through posts.
         - Fan Polls and Surveys: Use polls and surveys to let fans vote on things like your next single, merchandise designs, or concert locations.

      2. Storytelling Through Content
         - Behind-the-Scenes Content: Share videos or photos from your recording sessions, songwriting processes, or tour life. This gives fans a glimpse into your world and the work that goes into making music.
         - Personal Stories: Share personal anecdotes or stories related to your songs. This can deepen listeners' connections to your music by making it more relatable.
         - Documentaries or Mini-Series: Consider producing a short documentary or a mini-series about a significant project or tour. This longer form content can engage audiences at a deeper level.

      3. Fan-Centric Events
         - Meet and Greets: Organize meet and greet events as part of your concerts or independently. These can be in-person or virtual, giving fans a chance to interact with you directly.
         - Exclusive Listening Parties: Host listening parties for new releases, either in person or online. You can make these events exclusive to your newsletter subscribers or social media followers.

      4. Utilizing Fan-Generated Content
         - Cover Contests: Encourage fans to submit their covers of your songs and feature them on your social media channels. This not only engages fans but also spreads your music organically.
         - Fan Art Features: Show appreciation for fan art by sharing it on your platforms and possibly even offering prizes or recognition for exceptional work.

      5. Regular Communication
         - Newsletters: Keep your fans updated with a regular newsletter that includes updates, exclusive content, and personal notes.
         - Personalized Messages: Use tools like Cameo or directly on social media to send personalized shout-outs or messages to fans during special occasions (like birthdays).

      6. Exclusive Merchandise and Offers
         - Limited Edition Releases: Offer limited edition merchandise that can be connected to specific albums, singles, or events. Fans love exclusive or collectible items.
         - Fan Membership Clubs: Create a membership club offering exclusive content, discounts on merchandise, early ticket access, and more.

      7. Engaging Through Multimedia
         - Podcasts: Start a podcast where you discuss topics related to your music, industry insights, or other interests. This can also be a platform to feature other artists and collaborators.
         - Music Videos with Fan Participation: Invite fans to participate in your music videos, either through dance submissions, storytelling, or as extras on set.

       

      These strategies and tactics will not only help you to keep your existing audience engaged but they will also help to attract new listeners by showcasing your commitment to your fan community. Engaging with your audience in these meaningful ways can turn casual listeners into loyal fans.

       

      Good luck with growing engagement and connection with your fanbase and remember to enjoy the process. That genuine enjoyment will come through in your activity.

    3. I had a great meeting with my A&R dude from Red Circle 7 (thanks @Mahesh! Lol) to discuss a release plan for my music for the rest of 2024. It’s nice to finally have my own music back on the agenda for release!

       

      I currently have around 34 songs written, ready to be recorded. These will go out as 2 stand alone singles, a 5 song EP with 1-2 singles, then an album with 10-12 songs with 3-4 singles. As we roll forward I’ll work out if I want to change that and also revisit scheduling the rest. That will see me doing 5 - 7 single releases an EP release and an album release. At this stage I am hoping to have a video for each single, though at least half will be lyric videos. That’s over something like a 20 - 42 week period I’ve a lot of hard work before then.

       

      So I am actively looking for any animators interested in collaborating on some not-run-of-the-mill lyric videos and possibly someone interested in working on editing an production for live action videos.

       

      Other people I am looking to work with would be:

       

      A graphic artist

       

      Musically, I am also looking to work with singers, primarily as backing vocalists.

       

      Apart from that, I want to put together an online street team. I will happily provide training and will be looking to build a solid team that I can work with going forwards. Anyone involved will get a lot of experience working as a part of a street team and implementing a number of tactics, ranging from fairly standard to uniquely my own, to help me market and promote my music.

       

      If you would be interested in helping, please drop me a message (either a reply to this post, or as a PM) so we can discuss it further.

       

      Lastly, if anyone would like to keep up to date with my music and would like access to exclusive special offers, sneak peeks and mailing list only content, drop by my site and sign up for my mailing list:

       

      johnmoxey.com

    4. As the second release from Brody Brown's debut album, "The Kick Back," "Eyes On Me" is a melodic uptempo track that is guaranteed to ignite the club scene. This captivating song has been making waves on DJs' playlists nationwide, leaving listeners enchanted by Brody's unique lyrical approach. Its infectious appeal makes it a favorite that keeps finding its way back onto repeat.

      Produced by the talented trio of Brody Brown, Point Guard, and M-Millz, "Eyes On Me" showcases their collaborative expertise in crafting mesmerizing beats and captivating melodies.

       

      This exceptional release comes under the esteemed labels of 80's Baby Ent. and Def Jam, solidifying Brody B's presence in the music industry.

       

      Get ready to have your eyes and ears fixated on "Eyes On Me" as it captivates audiences with its undeniable charm and irresistible energy.

       


      https://youtu.be/S2zeTVZ2m9s

  • Blog Entries

         2 comments
      Yay! I'd love for you to listen in. This is one of my most favorite songs to perform and it was the very first and only solo performance of the night. This whole gig which was the launch gig of my last EP "Accept" was recorded and shot as a concert movie. The music video for this song will go live this Friday! 
       
       
      You can listen to the song on these various places below. If you do, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
       
      Bandcamp: https://maheshmusic.bandcamp.com
       
      Spotify 
       

       
       
       
       
      Apple Music 
       
       

         1 comment
      Another week, I think, in which to assemble and organize the Wedding Setlist. After that, we’ll need to concentrate on practicing. We’ll have a fair amount of new material to get familiar with. 10 of 18 songs, I think.

      I found in my “I been to Phoenix” stuff a CD of Screamin’ Gulch songs, recorded by Wayne, our slide/steel guitarist (his guitar was literally made out of steel) live when he was testing out his recording equipment. And yes, “Lilly’s Song,” written by the drummer’s 7-year-old daughter, is on it. Very professional recording—you don’t realize it was live until you hear people applauding at the end. The 4-part harmonies really “make” the song—hard to believe it’s a punk-rock band doing it. I wonder if Deathgrass could do the harmonies? I’ll have to ask.

      Wayne had recorded eight (I think) of my songs before I left, and I never have heard the recordings. I wonder if he still has them? I didn’t think to ask when I played at our impromptu Screamin’ Gulch “reunion” in August. It is probably time to do another visit—after the wedding, I expect, but if I get called for an interview for that assistant city administrator job in southern Oregon, I’ll go whenever they tell me to.

      The Garibaldi Museum will be shutting down operations for the winter October 31 without a Deathgrass concert on the agenda, and I’m not going to try to change that. Yes, it’d be fun, but I have do triage on my time—there is simply not enough to do everything I’d like to do. I hit up the Museum’s manager—who is putting together their schedule for next year—to have us be one of the musical groups they schedule (and promote) next summer. August (when families are still on vacation) or September (when the retirees travel because it’s safe now that kids are back in school) would be ideal. There’s usually good weather on the Coast both months.

      The open mike at the Bay City Arts Center Saturday night got “Doing Battle with the Lawn,” “Twenty-Four Seven,” “Vampire Roumanian Babies” and “In the Shadows, I’ll Be Watching You.” The audience—a good three times bigger than came to the Sept. 25 concert—wanted to be entertained, so I gave them stuff to laugh at. Based on their reaction, I’m not sure “Twenty-Four Seven” is a good inclusion in the Wedding Setlist. It may be too funny. We do need a waltz: there has to be at least the Waltz of the Happy Couple (a traditional feature of wedding receptions), and I haven’t found anything really suitable.

      I did finally find listen-to-for-free cuts of both John Fahey’s “We Were Waltzing the Night Away and Then a Mosquito Ate Up My Sweetheart” and the much older Segura Brothers’ “A Mosquito Ate My Sweetheart Up.” Fahey’s is a fairly simple instrumental, but finger-picked with very strange guitar tunings; I’m not sure we want to chance it. The Segura Brothers song is a Cajun waltz, not a polka, and is so simple it might be boring, but it does have very strange lyrics that would be fun to learn. Just one verse, repeated, with an instrumental in between (that was the style back in the 1920s). I would want to do it in the original French, which might be a little hard to master—but lines like “Your brother looks like a frog and your niece looks like the corner of a sidewalk” sound a whole lot classier in French.

      Maybe for the Dance of the Happy Couple, we should just default to the “Saturday Night Waltz”; it’s a fairly simple instrumental—what one might call a “deliberate waltz”—and is quite danceable, is so old it’s public domain, and has an interesting background we can talk about in the Rap. And it’s German (though I learned it from a Danish accordion player in Nehalem, here on the Coast), and both bride and groom have spent some time in Germany.

      Music only Wednesday this week—the open mike in McMinnville (and I can probably give them the same songs I did in Bay City). Nothing Friday or Saturday this time around.

      Joe
         2 comments
      The gig was fun. Audience of 9, in a little group home up north. I was told they wanted to hear Cole Porter songs (they’re from that era), but I didn’t know any and didn’t have time to learn any; I told them instead, “But I know some Skip Johnson tunes” (not mentioning that Skip is still alive)—and gave ‘em “Next Time, I’m Gonna Get a Goldfish,” which really would be Dixieland jazz if someone other than me was playing it, and “Donohue,” which is straight old-time bluegrass.

      Most everything else was original: “The Frog Next Door,” “Dead Things in the Shower,” “Bluebird on My Windshield,” “Hey, Little Chicken,” and “Armadillo on the Interstate.” Closed with Woody Guthrie’s “Ain’t Got No Home in This World Any More”—and “Happy Birthday,” because this whole gig was a birthday party for one of the residents. And I did get, from the Birthday Girl, what may be the nicest compliment yet: “This was worth getting to 98 years old for.” Left ‘em a CD. Hope this happens again.

      Recalls what a couple of professional (i.e., actually doing this full-time for money) musicians told me: “Taverns are fun, but the real money is in private parties.” True, I think, but I don’t have any influence at all in the private-parties network (if there is one). I got this gig because a friend told someone he knew that I did this, and they asked. With luck, it was as much fun for them as it was for me, and they’ll tell other people. I think that’s how it has to work.

      Music at the library was good, too; nice crew of musicians, not all of whom show up regularly. Got to hear “The Dead Sweethearts Polka” perfomred probably the best it’s ever been done—but we did have a professional accordion player with us who can and does do polkas. It’s a good polka. You can dance to it… And it was fun seeing the audience all tapping their feet and feeling guilty about it. Interesting that this group of musicians does “Tillamook Railroad Blues” the same way Deathgrass does it, automatically, with the stops in the right places, and the harmonies, and the bass run… Maybe the song just defaults to that arrangement.

      Sore fingers, though, after playing less than three hours of music in one day… I need to play more before our concert Feb. 5, to strengthen up my fingers. I don’t know if there’ll be the acoustic jam Wednesday afternoon this week at the Garibaldi Pub, but there’s supposedly a country jam (electric) in Wheeler Thursday night, and I know a couple of the musicians (that’s important), and I’d like to go. Band practice Friday night—just one week until the concert—and music at the library again on Saturday. Is that enough?

      I am slowly but surely collecting the photos for the video of “50 Ways to Cure the Depression.” Took one more on Gig Day, plus I found one in the archives that’ll work; two the day before, plus I got two e-mailed to me from Colorado. I still need the photos of the bank (or piggy bank), the semi, and someone paying (or collecting) a bill. I’ve tapped “Chippewa Bob” to be the “whiny lead” on the recording, playing the saw. Five parts (or six—I might add me on the Electric Banjo to make the sound a little fuller) means I have to mix the thing on the computer. I guess I’m ready.

      Joe
         2 comments
      .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }  
       
      Though this was recorded back in 2018 as part of the Accept EP launch gig, I only got to work on remastering the audio recently. This will be the first of many releases leading up to the release of what is now an album titled "Change".
       
      It's been a very useful exercise to set up this release and set up the many things I still hadn't fully figured out 
       
      - Branding - my wife who is also a graphic designer and artist helped me SO very much in the process of setting up a visual aesthetic.

       
      - Mailing list - I started The Front Row that could be signed up on my website mahesh-music.com as a way to connect with my fans in a more personal way. 
       
      - A social media engagement schedule to warm up my audiences with repromotion of other music, teasers about the upcoming release and some exclusive stories and content for those who choose to sign up for the mailing list.
       
      - Setting up stuff on SoundExchange and The MLC (work in progress thanks to Peggy!)
       
      I like the pace but I fear of burning out trying to handle so many things. John gave me a few pointers in regards to that - the essence of which was to not be a perfectionist with everything and to commit a certain amount of time to the tasks and simply reach the target by the end in the best way you currently can by the end of that time limit. 
       
       
         1 comment
      When I played “The Strange Saga of Quoth, the Parrot” at the Rapture Room Sunday night (I’d been asked if I knew any political songs), it was remarked that this would make a good music video. Yes, it would. It is one of the easiest of my songs to convert to video, I think. Most, if not all, of it could be shot on a beach (got several of those nearby), with driftwood, maybe (got some of that, too). Very minimalist—recalling Porter Wagoner’s “Committed to Parkview,” which is about an asylum but was simply shot in and around an abandoned institutional-type building that might have once been an asylum. (It was even done in black and white.) That minimalism leaves nearly everything up to the listener’s imagination—which, in my opinion, is as it should be.

      It would be nice to have a professionally-done recording of the “Quoth” song to work with; the recording I have is only a draft, done on the Tascam (and not one of my best products, either). Since “Quoth” is one of the Southern Pigfish songs, it’d also be nice to film it without me in it—with someone else lip-synching the lyrics (or for fun, with several different people, maybe some of them girls, lip-synching the lyrics).

      Equally minimalist—and equally easy to film—is “The Dead Sweethearts Polka.” That one simply needs to be footage of a river. I had considered the Yamhill River just outside Lafayette my ideal river, because it’s wide, fast and spooky (lots of shade), but the Nehalem River at Mohler has similar character and would work just as well (and is much closer to home). Again, there is not a professional recording of the audio, and I could use one if I’m going to do a good job with this. (And since it is a polka, it’d be nice to have an accordion player on the recording. I do know a few of those.)

      One video I could do right now with the tools I’ve got is “The Dog’s Song.” I have sound for that one; it’s on the Deathgrass album. Though the song is from the point of view of the dog, the star is really the kitten—all I need is about five minutes of footage of a hyperactive kitten doing hyperactive kitten things. I can’t use our kittens, Aslan and Hansolo, because they have gotten too large; they don’t look like kittens any more. (They are now larger than the miniature poodle—and the poodle is concerned.) I need either somebody with a hyperactive kitten to send me some footage, or live close enough so I can come over and film said kitten. (I believe I know a dog or two that would be willing to play the part of the dog—which consists mostly of laying around and looking disgusted.)

      Others? Ideally, everything should be video-enabled; like DJ Len Amsterdam said, “Video is the new audio.” More and more music—classic and modern—is showing up on YouTube and its clones, with “listener-generated” video if nothing else. This may be the new way people share music. They watch it. And they’ll expropriate stuff they like and post it again under their own names. You can’t download most of this stuff, so I guess people consider it okay to do that. When daughter wanted the band to play some specific cover songs at her wedding (we ended up only playing one of them), she sent me YouTube links—but to actually download the music, so I could make setlist CDs for the band, I had to go to Rhapsody or iTunes and buy it.

      Slow week ahead, and I suppose I should be grateful. 45 Degrees North has indeed broken up, and that’s sad; I hope everybody continues to play and perform—and I’ll have some work for the individuals down the road, I think. The Friday Night Group has started playing again in Garibaldi, and I’ll sit in with them, and see if anything’s improved; music Saturday at the Tillamook Library, too, for the first time in a long time. Writers’ Guild Thursday night. I’ve got Ahna Ortiz’ “airship mechanic” song to musicate, too, and setlists to organize (and record) for the Rocktoberfest and railroad centennial. Maybe it’s not that slow.

      Joe
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