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

Making Monsters

Oh yes we made it! The mid-season break for us is the opposite of a writers strike. With a 2 week break over the holidays and New Year. 2016 had killed my Banjo. (A new Hercules triple whammy guitar stand purchased for out of its case protection) catching up with sleep, countless games of drunken ‘New market’ and ‘Cards Against Humanity’ and indulging the sick horror of human nature when prompted.  Arse sitting whisky a go go was a luxury. When the over indulgence ended and the toilet rolls depleted, the detoxes began. Armed with a Garnet stone for creativity. 2 New Age albums ready to go in 2017. I began more work on the backing tracks for the new album. Plans as of this blog are: Making Monsters by Strange Currencies. It’s useful to lock ‘oneself’ away during the darkened months. I don’t get ‘SAD’ I get ‘Gutted’ =’ Godforsaken Unadulterated Traumatic Tedious Exhausting Darkness’

Pumped up with extra vitamin D complexities. Strange algae and red berry concoctions downed inspired by some doctor on my face book feed turned. Ones PP into rainbow bright droplets of strange waz. After a fleeting though of knowing now what I didn’t then ‘should I have not done ‘normal’ day jobs and dedicated myself to music full time when younger with gigging. Not drank, smoked, got stoned and let my shyness and rage rule too much.’ But then again I wrote and recorded loads. https://bogwoppit.bandcamp.com/   So not time wasted. But you see now. As my only left addictions to crisps and chocolate fade after getting some dietitian help. I looked at my  video reflection on facetime last night and thought no no NO!

I’d hoped for a quiet return to the day job into 2017. https://strangecu.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/into-2017-strange-currencies/ This was marred by it not being quiet. Organised chaos where everybody pulls out the stops to help out. I like my NHS job. It is rewarding when you can help make a difference….. and never boring. I might ache from running about miles of corridors after ‘slothing’ on my hols. Regret purchasing the ‘on sale’  £21 walking shoes that basically shit. I’ll stick to my Nikes and shoes for office/ meeting days. Luckily my trouser still button up and I can bend over without splitting my britches!

I regress… So plans in motion for a video for American Saviour. Really.. Really soon. The album is taking shape over evenings and weekends. Got some late January gigs with Strange Currencies. The 30 min set has been chopped and honed. Last year we tested various songs; have buried the ones that got less reaction from the people ignoring us on stage.  We’ve got a set that we like playing more now.

Big thank you to Andrew Neil for some inspiring advice and opportunities via his Facebook feeds.

22nd-jan-2017-gig-poster-the-maze

We’ve had a lot of fun on Acacia Radio http://acaciaradioaw.weebly.com/ Big thanks to Ian Hales, Shaun and Lucas Jackson. Interviews and live songs without swearing of to many FCUK ups. I even shocked myself doing Xmas songs with enthusiasm.  I was even in a good mood and excited! Little Donkey and Jingle Bells all the way baby!  https://www.facebook.com/strangecu/videos/1136161273172057/

The last time I dressed as Santa ended up being my last gig. I quit the band  that I’d  cofounded and put so much creative effort into a decade earlier. So the curse of Xmas jumpers… Only time will tell 😉 Jesus seriously doesn’t want me for a sunbeam.

Doing the amount of gigs we did from July 2016 https://strangecu.wordpress.com/gigs/  (as well as a full time day job and recording an EP.) At times the enthusiasm to play live after a long day was hard, tempers were tested, moods low. Well there were times when I just wanted to walk away and quit. As did PP Johnson. But. Then we’d have a good gig. The bad gigs when we played to the bar staff or crowds with their back to us were atypical of the growing expectation for musicians in the wrong venues to be background noise or karaoke with a guitar. There were nights after a long day I was tired and questioning, full of PMT and just want to cozy up with the Walking Dead. Resilience gets one through. The drive to achieve and surprise myself is strong like the force. My strumming fingernail has still not recovered and I’ve had to resort to more plectrum usage when used to my usual finger picking style.  Evolving….

I love technology. Xmas also produced make over  app fun! (My zombify pictures of Ange over xmas didn’t go down too well!)  But putting her Dad who had fallen asleep and provided an opportunity… Alan in make up and wigs did!

alan-1

Then I went blond

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Then we went to Harry Potter World

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The end…..of 2016

Into 2017…

Onto the album Making Monsters

I’ve just bought a £23 self-assembly blues cigar guitar. I’ll be indulging along with the sitar to use on recordings this year. It’s very easy to get caught up with loops when in studio. American Saviour began as a mess about around the punch line. ‘Ride The Pony’ That Ange (My Wifey) and I were going to do for a piss take. We have some tracks nearly ready such as ‘Stay Down Kid.’ Originally a riff from one of my own ‘Sonic World’ reworked. I’m quite excited about Gypsy Disco. In Your World is a loopy starter for ten. The first batch is nearly there for final vocal takes. ‘This Girl’ is a haunting piano ballad. ‘Automatic’ is currently a bone of contention. The song ‘Making Monsters’ is near.    There is a new song ‘Mantaray’ that I’ve done some vocals on. This may end up on my next solo ‘Claudine West’ album though. There is a duet under the working title ‘Twosome’ about to be written. I’ve initially recorded a backing track and submitted some lyrics and concept ideas that may well be scrapped. I imagined a dark ‘Islands in the Stream’ around obsession and blame, about a lover and bit of a motherFCUKer that loses the plot and murders the man she is having an affair with. We will see what the next few months produce. PP Johnson has been producing lyrics and ideas.  I do love the writing and recording process. Big Thanks again to Angela Barker. Who organises, manages, drives, rodies, networks, gets the sh1t, gets the drinks at the bar and much more.  We are not easy Divas 😉

We spend the end of 2016 watching the winter sun setting in Portsmouth. Its rather lovely sat on a beach with a cup of tea readying for new musical adventures…

  • Claudine