It’s Friday and that feels good, right?
Since I have not actively promoted a record in over ten years, it feels kind of nostalgic to be ambitious in this way.
I used to camp outside of booking agents’ offices so I could hand them a cassette as they walked out, in hopes of getting a gig. (It was a little embarassing but it ended up working a lot of times!2)
For a new release in the olden3 days, the Faux Jean band used to stuff and mail 400+ envelopes to radio and press, replete with CDs and press kits and one sheets and little buttons and then the label would pay a company to keep calling the radio station music directors to ask if they’d heard the song and “added” it to their lists. The idea then would be that your song would be on the radio in that town and you could go there, sell tickets to your show, and make money as a touring musician. At least I think that was the idea. (It didn’t end up working, and I’m fine with that, I’m okay with that, it’s totally fine, really…)
On the bright side, I do believe we have reached a point where a schmuck like me can release an album as a digital-only release and get the word out fairly effectively, and not have to throw 400 cds into the void and cross your fingers and all that jazz. Don’t get me wrong— my fingers are still crossed, but I am not going to the post office and that feels so so very nice! (Now if we could just make Facebook go away.)
Seriously though, all of that administrative promotional stuff gets in the way of having fun, man, or creating new things. So thankfully, I have managed to keep creating new song ideas through this cycle of ramping up awareness for the new record, which comes out on four twenty. (I’m relelentless, I know.)
My new method of creating songs is generally to improvise an idea into my phone, which I record using the built-in mic & voice memo software. I just checked and I have over one-hundred song ideas sketched out in this way.
My old method of creating songs was to record a new idea on cassette using a Tascam four-track, and then start building and layering around that. I have over one-hundred song idea sketches on cassette tape in a cardboard box in my garage as well.
One of the main reasons I write songs, I think, is sort of as a form of therapy for myself. It feels good to do it. Sort of like it feels good to walk in the woods. So I do both of these things. Are they therapy proper? Close enough in my book.
Another reason to write songs is to share ideas with people, make people dance, and leave something behind. And so I want to share with you all, nice people who have not yet unsubscribed (tee hee), two song ideas from each of these creation formats.
The first is called “Garden Variety Sconnie Skanks.” It’s a recent phone-memo sketch based on, well, you know, what it says in the title. I like this one. I think it’s got potential. And I don’t want to wait 3 years until I perfect it before sharing it with you.
The other song is a 4-track cassette demo called “We Used to Kill the Communists.” This song comes in the form of a video game. I made this video game for a class some time ago; the game is called “It’s Raining Marx and Engels in Moscow." If you download this file (75 MB), you can actually play the game and listen to the song as you shoot at Marx and Engels heads falling from the blue Moscow sky. I think it only works on a Mac. Looks like this.
Both of these files I have shared with you using WeTransfer, a free file-sharing service with creative leanings that is safe to download from. However, since it is free, they only host it for a limited time. As if to say, this link to download these files turns into a pumpkin on April 16, 2021.
At which point, the release of “My First Foray Into Fireworks (and how I failed)” will only be four days away, and by that time, I’ll be out of this huckster mode and moving forward with the rest of humanity. I hope.
I remain your humble servant, OX&C,
I was not familiar with this origin story, kinda silly.
Thank you Maggie Macpherson!