Music Exposure: H2

Back in the day, when we all weren’t driftwood in the flood. When technology and internet basically shut the door of opportunity and exposure on so many. Times were good.

Now exists a polluted cyberspace of ego, greed and self opinion. This little piece is a ‘no shit Sherlock!’ Record of what you and I are up against. Embrace, indulge, be pretty, be ugly, be yourself, be someone else, be cool, be different. As the clones get forgotten. Be talented, don’t produce drivel that even the pissed up old bloke and his dog down the pub would write a ‘this is magnolia’ critique to. If that sound you produce, stimulates your very soul. Vibrates your vertebrae & Vag. Tantalises your tail. Then for God’s sake. Fight like Rocky to share it with the world. This will involve ‘talking to people.’ ‘Being interested in them.’ Not crossing the stalker line… Build relationships x 1000. Nurture.

Get your music on as many good platforms such as SoundCloud and Bandcamp as you can. SoundCloud is a popular one that promoters and industry professionals look at. Make videos. Even in 2017. The amount of tech and apps at your disposal is phenomenal. It just takes some imagination and commitment. You can also throw money at everything. It’s doesn’t necessarily mean success though. Being poncy… how far does that take you?????

The trick? There is no trick. Your challenge is to capture potential fans attention. God’s speed. Break a leg and all of that.  You need to find innovative ways to gain people’s attention. Here comes that word… NETWORK like your future depended upon it. Gig! GIG, GIIIIIIG. I love watching the other bands we share the bill with. Bar having another gig to rush off to. Etiquette states ‘you don’t just rudely fcuk off after your set!’ Become a mystery. Tragedy sells apparently . With a society that is fascinated by scandals, drama and the morbid. Maybe become the positive role model you always knew you could be.  There is nothing worse for a super-fan meeting you any you are rude and a dick.

Many years ago. Our Manager Ange (Ange my wifey…Nepotism at its best…) did security for concerts. A very lovely David Bowie. Asked if she was hungry. He then proceeded to go get her a plate of food from the artist buffet. Manners my readers. Cost nothing! Never mind how unknow or how big you are. Always remember that. It will serve your obituary well.

What floats people’s boats? Everyone has their own opinion. One influence is established or mass hysteria generated. Or marketing. The little lambs will follow. Then you may stumble upon the real music fans. That if you interact, engage and commit to them. They will return with dedication. We all like to think our music is amazing. Your music is amazing. You made it. When you get the knock backs, ignored, criticism, patronized. Take that pinch of salt . (Unlike me that has diva fits, followed by a really bad mood 😉

Once you pick your ego out of the gutter. Get a good bollocking from said ‘wifey’ and Manager. You learn to channel, move on. Concentrate on what is important. The older you get and if you don’t allow them. The tossers are irrelevant. The good people who genuinely see your talent will either find you or by networking, you will find them and make a positive impact.
Go watch who inspires you if you can live. If they are dead or split up of course. That’s unfortunate tough titty. Just listen to their records and dream. What makes them tick? What make you tock. What sets of your tummy and you then need to drop your kids of at the whirlpool?

I’m pretty easy to engage. Only the other day the Lady Gaga story about her seeing Prince Charles shape shift in front of her.  Reptilians are so intriguing! This lead on to a ‘before bedtime’ sidetrack to a Justin Bieber exposure to his fans. This shit sells! Except seriously Justin, you ain’t on my playlists.

I can sit there and search for a particular playlist, genre, new music. Make my own mind up. Enjoy it. I don’t need to buy it as can stream it? Then Vinyl and its nostalgia came back for the connoisseurs. Then I joined PRS & Tune-core. The End…well the beginning….

I could have also spent the best part of the last 20 years. Creating it too.

After I crawled out of my cave, having experienced musical bliss, creative satisfaction. In order for my music to be in with any chance. As a musician. I now need to get my 5 meditation albums. Heard and ‘out there.’

Having conducted research. Found the prescribed ‘rule book.’

I conducted some experiments these last couple of weeks, to test the water… These are just a few recent examples. Of this shit sandwich. There is some sweet ‘Nutella’ disguised as plopsy here I promise..

By no means am I unaware of the rules, the scams, the self opinionated ego manic ‘Keyboard Warriors’ / promoters who ‘appear’ to tick all boxes and are ‘on your side baby!’ ..that is until you do a gig with one of the we encounter recently. ;-0 When uttering a hello and basic manners are beyond their capability once their Facebook account off and the ‘I’m only human after all’ comes out after dark. Disappointed is a word. Such a shame.

Such a shame that they had their back to us throughout our performance.. engrossed being a keyboard warrior. So dedicated to ‘helping musicians’ for a fee for radio plugging of course. That not even a ‘thanks for performing for free’ having failed to attract an audience to ‘said venue.’ That will teach me for forming a lovely opinion of someone that so clearly isn’t. Encouraged but not defeated….

So through that bullshit. The offered promises for £££. I think we will pass. Got to meet a load of lovely other bands, while playing to each other 😉

Then we get the websites that you submit your music to. Bloggers… stations, publications, YouTube channels. The works. Oh and you can pay for the privilege. To get


Thanks for telling us that you can’t actually pigeon hole us. You will basically blow a fuse if you had to process this ‘Jason’
Jason.. what do you do. What qualifies you with authority?

Get on Reddit they said! Expose your music!
So enthusiastic I failed to ‘read the rule’

Oops!

Then after a wonderful Loreena McKennitt concert in Gateshead, at The Sage. I return to the hotel to check some bits. Then a bitch slap. After the high comes the low. Thinking ooh my 2 busy weeks. Sharing my stuff on difference platforms… then …… In all of my enthusiasm and excitement… I failed to read the instructions..  Jesus Wept! Measure twice, cut once. Always encouraging to get blocked by a ‘moderator’ on #Reddit for sharing the #meditation and connection that lead to me to creating & sharing music for others. Why thank you #theturbolemming #perseverance #sharethelove #Reddit #ego #slappedwrist #dulynoted  oh and Turbo Lemming person. Please don’t be a future fan, I’m asking you. Not instantly blocking you 😉  I’m only human after all. Don’t put the blame on me… I am unable to contribute to meditation discussion now! But thanks. You inspired me further.. and we’re the inspiration for this blog. Blessings…. oh and Turbo Lemming my little sausage… seeing as you will not promote me. I had to do it myself darling. I’ve sent the link to this blog to you in Reddit. 😉 xxx is this you by the way? https://youtu.be/8xCwNWTVBLM

But out of this. As musicians find out they now need to become promoters, networkers, radio pluggers. All of the advice. Be human. Be the best you can and persevere. Whether you be young, older, ancient. It’s it’s truly good stuff. They will find you.

Tips: Hunt out the good bloggers. Engage. Seek the good music supervisors and build a relationship with them without ramming the typical ‘listen to my tunes’ instant email.

Sometimes it’s not how talented you are. It’s about who you did the ‘favor’ for them to gain exposure.

  • Create desire
  • Create interest
  • Create curiosity.

I’m an advocate of hard work, perseverance, self belief. Talent and good songwriting.

Someone once said….

‘We are termites’ trying to climb to the top of the mud. Some will get crushed. Some tread on others. Some don’t deserve a slice of mud pie as ride on the talent and foundation others created first.’

There is that image stuff as well…. oh my oh my!  When people put their 🎧 on. What do they see????? 🖖

I’m lucky. We have and are gaining a great network of really cool folk that are helping get the music heard.

Do your research. Speak to people.

Create something eye catching with your media. ( no photos in front of walls or forests- sound advice from an industry professional 😉

Make it personal, but positive. I’ve not met many of the ‘genuine s’ in this business that don’t rejoice in their passion.

Fit your bullshit detector with brand new batteries. In fact plug it into the mains.

Fill your rejection and perseverance shield with reserve, extra padding and hot, home made chicken soup for the soul. You will need it. Don’t ever, ever, give up if its your passion and true calling. If its a just a hobby to you. Enjoy.

If you tickle ’em with a feather. They will eventually giggle. Hit ’em with Thor’s Hammer. They might just block you instantly.

Set up and email list for email subscribers. Mail Chimp is good. 1000 likes on Facebook is nothing, if no one is listening, or your mates have liked out of sympathy.. Or ex band mates secretly stalk.

Find the super fans. Not the ‘like’ clickers and ‘follow me back’ button sleepwalkers. Engage. You are never too important to send a personal mail.

I’ve found some really handy music advice podcasts. Great to listen to on your travels. So please seek out and do research. Then just do…. define what you are. Define who you are and then tell the world. Define roles in your band. Its about working the people who are good for you. Not the ones that will simply rip you off for no real return of investment. Find out their success stories. Anyone not will into to divulge=Alarm bells!

Once you build a solid foundation. Of genuine ear heaven. Something great follows. It might not be a hit single next week.. but over time…with a positive mindset… the rumble will build into a roar.

Or just maybe, perfect timing gets you to the Zenith…,

Big thanks to the lovely folk we are working with that are helping. You know who you are.

Re write the rule book. Things are a changing. Self belief empowerment and the law of attraction will create untold wonders. On that note. Go plough… Good luck. Be brave. I hope this finds you. Wherever you are

~ Claudine

Songwriting 

Composition
/kɒmpəˈzɪʃ(ə)n/
Bear with….To construct and deconstruct an idea is one of the most rewarding things a songwriter and musician does. The aftermath is a performance of said idea. The recording and capture.
There are many ‘jukebox’ bands and artists that simply cover others good work, some do it well. Some are cringeworthy.  I’m sure there are lots of talented musicians that are visual iTunes mini players.  Its super duper some make a fair living off performing week in week out. Nice! Hobbies are fun aren’t they? Familiarity favours applause. When attending a recent event. Comments were made that did not favour original bands. A moan at the lack of ‘covers.’ (3 words for you Sunshine. 1. Hung 2. Drawn. 3. Quartered)  I love watching bands. Being in this one (Subway Circus) we do a reworked version of Mad World. We have our guilty indulgences too.
 Subway Circus YouTube maybe a rocked up ‘Jolene’ will emerge one day.  We did tinker with ‘Rain.’
Having seen The Cult live recently (29th March, Rock City, Nottingham). I think I’ll leave it at that.
Copying is flattery.
They were supported by the band Broken Hands. Lovely bunch of lads. We purchased their new album ‘Turbulance.’ Its on rotation in the car.
broken hands
Playing to an empty room with disinterested folk is job satisfaction in a basket ;-0 Seen as a rehearsal performance out of the rehearsal room- Minus the vulgarity, Rainbow Bungle, George and Zippy impressions (making me cough up my ovaries) banter and frolics. Have you seen Bungles Twanger?
So what is the secret of writing songs?  Meeting your maker, inspiration, booze,drugs, booze, meditation, luck, structure, key changes, talent, creativity, satanic rituals, sacrifice, alien autopsies, tips from higher powers?
What make a hit? Catchiness, riffs, hooks, hocus pocus,  promotion, investment, formula, attractiveness, image.
 Sometimes the least favourite song one makes becomes the most popular. They you are stuck with performing it forever more. When even the thought of ever listening to it again in this lifetime makes the black plague seem an easy way out.
Of course you can also get signed (apparently is possible if you tick the criteria they desire yes!) Or use puppets! Sell out, change your sounds, get writers in, sing out of key, try to act hard, hang out with the big bad boys and be opinionated, get moulded, produced, marketed then probably dropped. Never play in your hometown where you were once humble and playing to nobody. But you know what? Puppets have good times!
You can sit or stand there with a guitar, a piano, a thought, a lyric, a loop, a rhythm. As a band we jam. It begins with simply that. Paul on guitar will introduce a riff, or ‘Speed’ our Bassist with come up with a bassline. Drums follow by myself, or begin. PP sings ideas. We have written a song from a vocal.  I like to document the process. I’ll be able to take a wonderful trip down memory lane after. I’m unable to show the jam of ‘Razorface’ we made last night..Sorry. We will of course showcase when done.
Songs are sounds, notes, chords, tones, melodies, rhythms. Songs are beauty. Songs are orgasm, Zen, Eden, The Celestine Prophecy, exorcism. They birth Demons. This is how they roll.
How do we do it? We have begun writing our 2nd album…It may be Unusual..It may be Haunting… We are soon to be going into studio for the 2nd session to finish our debut album.  Yes 2 sessions  = album.  Later in 2016 we will record our 2nd EP. ‘The Law.’
We have been playing our instruments for a number of years and practice weekly. Invested. If you invest time and effort you tend to get competent. If you are lucky enough to be gifted. There is your Brucie Bonus! We record live with guide vocal. With some vocal overdubs. Its in the bag. quick, raw easy. Indulgence in lots of instruments is kept for the home studio and solo work. That solo work births songs and ideas. Watch this very space.
From live recordings
To home studio
Go with your flow… be free, in order to do that. Relax and open yourself. Channel the vibes. Like meditation set your intent.  Pressure and writer’s block are a curse of the creative. Be inspired by the good and the bad, be inspired by boredom, politics, the news.  Pick a chord, hum a melody write a thought, a poem, improvise begin the begin. Make something beautiful for you. Record your favourite song, turn yourself on. Intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus-chorus-end. Go crazy change the time signature and key half way through. I found sitting on the toilet scribbling lyrics on bog roll useful. Nowadays the advancement in technology means I can type it or dictate to my phone.
I’m a big improviser. I really do just go with the flow. I experiment with looping a rhythm, playing my acoustic until I like a chord structure. Vocals. I’ve been free flow lyric writing lately. (Writing as a go to listening the track) Whereas years ago I used to mainly write the lyrics first. Write stories, be the protagonist, write the things you can’t speak. Everyone has heard 1000 songs about love lost. Add a twist. Give it a serial killer, write about your crazy surreal dreams. Write about the bitter snooker hall bulldog chewing a wasp, who has caused parking inconvenience. Let the ghost in the machine take hold of your soul and spout out words that pop into your head and come from your hands. Even if they are not in the dictionary! Read stuff, get inspired. Learn a few words. Use the rhyming dictionary.

I scribble A-Z and rhyme to each letter. Even if it makes me dribble. Let it out. Do you think I know what this is about?  and I wrote it….;-0

‘Tokyo at Mohive, Chrono las over
Highway a night drive
Imploding supernova

Molasses in the spring with Olaf
Birds of paradise in the garden

Nephilim in darkness
Corroded movers
They shake new world orders
Roll it under, Make it thunder
Break the man in two

Machina took it out on toucan
The words and menopause
The losers in the blue room
Empty wards have active soul wanderers’

Piano, keyboards, synth strings, bass, banjo, mandolin.  Hooks, meat grinders, grate a courgette add …Sitar….. http://www.claudinewestmusic.com

In a Band? Just jam ideas, work on them. Play nicely, communicate, compromise. From a seed spawns a song. Dictatorships make for unhappy puppies. If your dictator is a genius? make your choice: Stick with, earn big then have an almighty fall out and make a solo record. Or leave on principle, struggle but be creatively happy. Or just look for the right people. That may mean lots of fails and a few winners. Fate deals its hand too incase you didn’t mind.
~ Claudine