Readers Deliver In Comments Section, Learn By Example, The Summer Plan

plannersHello, good morning, and welcome to the Saturday Morning News Post!

First of all, let me thank everyone who contributed comments and ideas to last weeks SMNP. Much appreciated, and keep’em coming!

No one offered a definitive answer on how best to release a new recording (so that it might at least break even), and I came to the conclusion that this was because there is no definitive answer. I’m slowly coming around to the fact that recording is just a small part of a larger picture which I think focuses mainly on live performances, aka touring.

A musician friend of mine once told me “If you’re willing to lose 10 grand on a recording then you should be willing to lose 10 grand on touring it,” which in hindsight,…um… still doesn’t make much sense. But what I think he meant was that recordings don’t do much unless they coincide with a tour because that’s where people are more likely to buy a CD.

Now, I may not be the brightest candle in the basket but I was never under the illusion that either of my CDs would make me a rich man. Instead, I viewed recording dates as goals to work towards, projects which would push me to write more music, then practice the hell out of that music and ideally, become a better musician for it. And in both cases it worked, but my game plan ended there, quietly hoping that good music + internet = success, and that the recording would somehow “take off” as though releasing a beautiful young dove into flight.

Only this dove does not burst forth into the blue skies as the musician (myself) hopes. This dove just fucking sits there in open palms, pretty, yes indeed, but confused and blinking annoyingly, head twitching from side to side as it looks around until, finally, it is placed into the closet along with 700 other stupid, blinking doves.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating. Both recording projects were absolutely worthwhile for me. But it’s time to think about aligning artistic goals with career goals.

Back to the touring thing. In the past, looking at the numbers, I couldn’t quite figure out how to take a jazz band on the road given the cost of the band (always getting the best players I can) versus the income of playing your standard small jazz club. One commenter last week (John) suggested looking at examples of musicians who are “doing it” ie. recording, touring, making a living, etc. Good advice; advice which I’ve heard many times before but which is always a good reminder: Yes, it can be done. People are achieving this. Maybe not exactly what you envision, but along the same lines. It’s not fictional, so open your eyes and look at what they’re doing!

So today I’m compiling a list of those people who are in some way doing what I want to be doing. Then I’m going to write out what specifically it is about their artistic/career direction I’d like to emulate. Oh Yeeaahh! We’re looking at a fun Saturday night in Danderland!

Meanwhile, I’m looking at this Summer, that’s right, I’ve got my eyes on it,…staring it down. Like Wile E. Coyote, Danderfer is never without a plan.

So. Should you be in Vancouver this Summer you will have a chance to witness the birth of my new electroacoustic band. Work on the studio recording of this music continues. Yes, I know, I thought it would be ready for release by now too but this is uncharted territory people! Another month or so and it should be ready for release, like a lamb to the slaughter an angry bull into the, em… matadors arena. …?

Performing this music live is going to be a huge challenge, but through a series of shows this Summer (I’ll give you the dates soon) I’m hoping to test-crash test-run the live show with a trio or quartet (the smaller the band, the easier to tour with). If it works out like I hope it’s going to, well… I don’t want to raise expectations too high,… so let’s just say it’ll likely be the event that “Vancouver 2010” is remembered for!

Thanks for reading and enjoy the upcoming Winter Paralympic Games! Have a great week everyone! jd1