Archive for 2004-06

Question

02004-06-30 @ 15:06

What were your impressions of the Tempe/Phoenix show? How did the venue treat you?

The audience was great, but I can’t believe how much the venue has changed in the last 3 or 4 years. It’s pretty much a dump now and the backstage area is pretty bad. In 2000 it was still a nice theater…

Key Club

02004-06-28 @ 12:06

The surprise of the tour. The Key Club on Sunset Blvd was fun last night. The place was clean and the staff very friendly. The audience was great and we played our best L.A. show since 1996.

Motorhome Envy

02004-06-28 @ 11:06

We are in a small town half way between Los Angeles and our first Oregon destination. As our bus driver parks the bus we receive envious glances from the folk who travel in smaller campers. Yes, ours is bigger…..

10 in a row…

02004-06-26 @ 20:06

Tonight is the 9th show in 9 days.

New Album Campaign

02004-06-24 @ 10:06

I like our new distributor, 33rd Street Records. Yesterday I met some of the guys in Sacramento before our soundcheck. All of them have many years of music biz experience. 33rd Street appear to work very transparently and nothing is done without my approval.

The other day I authorized renting listening booths. Hey, you didn’t think that listening booths are there to introduce you to music the record store thinks is cool, did you? No, they cost a lot of money. A record store is a highly evolved place. Every inch of a record store makes money: placement of the album, “end-capping”, posters, listening booths – everything has a price that is paid by the record label and the artist.

I am working on the La Semana campaign with 33rd Street: the advertising, the PR etc…and today I rejected an internet marketing campaign, because it is simply not me. It is standard practice in the industry to hire guys to enter chat-rooms of a number of similar artists to chat up people there and specifically to mention that a new album by this or that band has just come out and is great. First of all – what similar artists would we pick? Second of all – I think this has happened several times on my own web site and since I think it is wrong, and therefore I can’t possibly turn around and do it to other artists. I think it is great when fans do that sort of thing, but to pay somebody go to a web site and pose as a fan just feels wrong to me…….that’s why I will never hit the big time, eh?

Advertising:Music

02004-06-24 @ 08:06

Here is my feeling about licensing one’s music to TV commercials:

Some people refuse to do let their music be used for commercials. Maybe they are environmentally aware and don’t want to support a car company. Maybe they don’t want to support a fast-food chain. Maybe they feel TV debases their art…

I find that such a stance against a car company means nothing if nobody finds out about your brave stance. In other words, it is fairly meaningless, except for stroking your own pride and ego. Would not more positive change be created by accepting the money, which can be in the 8 figures, and then giving 50% to a good cause? Hell, licence your music to GM for the hated Hummer H2 and give 10 million dollars to the Integral Institute and you will create a lot more change than by telling your agent “over my dead body!”

We are all cynical enough to know that somebody licensing music to a car company or fast-food chain is not necessarily a devil, yes? No, I have no offer on the table, but I was discussing other people’s stances with a friend in the biz a week ago….
Blogged from my cell phone….

Sacramento

02004-06-23 @ 14:06

Our show at the Mountain Winery last night was a blast! The weather was great – last year it was very cold here, everyone played really well and the audience was very supportive. This new quartet plays more with our eyes closed than any band I have ever had.

Tonight we are playing in Sacramento, but first I have to give a TV personality a guitar lesson on-camera this afternoon. That should be interesting.

Starbux:Democracy=Cafe:Monarchy

02004-06-23 @ 11:06

Starbucks is to Democracy what an independent Café is to Monarchy…..

Last year I discussed Starbucks with a Barista (operator of an espresso machine) in an independent cafe in Oregon. He told me Starbucks tries very hard to give people the exact same quality in every outlet anywhere. You can always count on Starbucks to give you a B or B- coffee. You will never get a grade A coffee, but you also never have to put up with a D or F coffee. An independent cafe might give you an A grade coffee, if the barrista knows what they are doing, or you might have to put up with a C or D, or even worse.

How does that relate to Democracy or Monarchy, you ask? Well, a King or Queen can get stuff done. They say do this and the people do it. That means an enlightened Monarch can really make a huge difference within one lifetime. The obvious drawback is that you only get an enlightened ruler once in a while and in between you have duds and despots. (Duds and Despots: good name for a pop band?) – That’s just like the little independent cafe: you might find a barrista who knows what they are doing and get a great coffee, or you might have to add a bunch of milk and down it just to get the caffein…..I figure your chances of getting a great coffee are about the same as getting a great monarch, maybe 30/70 or 20/80?

A democracy on the other hand evens out your highs and lows. You won’t get the brilliant ruler who gets shit done, but you are also less likely to get the dud…

San Diego

02004-06-20 @ 19:06

In about 40 minutes we will start our show at Humphrey’s. A cold wind is coming from the see and I have dug up a sweat shirt to wear. It feels terrible to play in the cold. Really, you are forcing your hands to do something they do not want to do. On the other hand it is a good opportunity to destill your melody into something simpler, something that suits the temperatur a little more…

San Diego on Sunday

02004-06-20 @ 15:06

I believe this is our 14th year of playing at Humphrey’s in San Diego. Tonight we’ll have plenty of time to play…

Vegas Baby!

02004-06-20 @ 15:06

There must be something in the water in Vegas that makes guys point at you with their right hand in pistol shape while winking…
We had to stop after 75 minutes because this is one casino that wants short shows, so people can get back to the serious business of gambling. So far we played a different set every night as we are trying to dial in the right order. New is a medley that starts with “Spring Rain” from “La Semana”, and ends with “New Horizon” from Jon’s “Transit”. Nice!

Santa Fe show added

02004-06-17 @ 19:06

Today we were able to add one more show to our current tour. On July 10th we will perform at the lovely Paolo Soleri Amphitheater in Santa Fe. While we enjoyed our concert in Albuquerque last year very much, we think we should play in Santa Fe this year.

La Semana in stores soon…

02004-06-17 @ 19:06

A new jewel-box edition of “La Semana” will be manufactured by our new distributor 33rd Street and should be in stores in mid to late August – in time for the second half of the tour. Of course the Limited Edition box is only available from us, but we will also sell our remaining stock of the DigiPak edition from our web site and at our concerts. This now means that the DigiPak has become a very inexpensive limited edition of 4,000 CDs as we will not be priniting more of these.

GAMH in San Francisco

02004-06-17 @ 18:06

Once we rolled into the neighborhood with our two busses all nostalgia faded at the sight of the place. Jon Gagan confirmed that we had not played at this venue since 1994.
We usually don’t play in San Francisco as the promoter of the Mountain Winery in Saratoga and several others outside San Fran have the right to refuse a rival show in the area. In this case the Mountain Winery promoter said yes to an additional show at the GAMH about two weeks ago. The GAMH booking person was very enthusiastic and swore they would do very well, even though my agent had some doubts given the short two week period before the show. The customary deposit of 50% was paid. When we arrived at the GAMH a couple of days ago, the promoter wanted to cancel the show due to less than enthusiastic ticket sales.
50% ain’t bad, but we prefer to play….

 


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