20 Feet From Stardom is a current documentary about backup singers. I found this film moving, inspiring and insightful, both for the music story, and as a metaphor for many life aspirations. (Goosebumps, teary eyes, don’t-I-know-it laughter.) I’ve seen it twice and would see it again. I urge you with enthusiasm – if it comes to your area, go! Here’s a list of cities where it’s playing.
What matters to me, as a musician, is a tangible connection with you, people who like the music I create.
I want to play for you and have a face-to-face conversation after the concert. I want to record music that brings you everyday pleasure. I want to speak directly to you via my online-writings and e-newsletters, and hear your thoughts one-on-one via email.
This kind of connection matters both for my spirit and for making a viable business from my musical passion.
I am in the process of intentionally reducing the number of places I exist on the web.
Google my name. Results include Myspace, Reverbnation, Sonicbids, Lala, Spotify, Last Fm, Emusic, Yahoo, Mog (what the heck is that?), Billboard, PayplayFM. Etc etc etc…
I call it internet sprawl.
Some pages I created. Some pages are content-sucking “paraSites”. Most music people consider web omnipresence a good thing, incorrigibly spurred on by everything music-business in the age of the internet. It’s considered a vital part of how to get your music out there.
Sure, that’s one answer.
But it’s not mine.
For me, being on multitudes of music and social-networking sites detracts from the connectedness I want to cultivate with you.
Yes, I might lose some random new fans. Maybe a few CD sales, or (gasp!) an opportunity.
But it’s worth it. You and I have a stronger bond. You make your way to my concerts and website. You tell your friends about my music. You sign up for my mailing list because you care about future concerts and creations.
I really appreciate you! You’re my peeps!
It’s scary to fly in the face of the articles about “success” for independent musicians. But this is a path, a brave experiment, that feels good inside my bones.
Here’s where I’ll be on the internet:
My own website/blog. My home, my living room. I intend to furnish this place (rather than a confusing bunch of other places) with real content: Writings, tour dates, photos, videos, direct-from-me CD sales.
CDBaby. My MP3 download store of choice. Simple, easy, trustworthy. They pay a reasonable 90% of download income directly to me.
Bandcamp. Also for digital downloads. I receive only 75-79% of the download income which is less than CDBaby’s 90%. I’m using Bandcamp for the additional formats they provide, perfect for audiophiles who want the sound quality of a physical CD but prefer downloading just the music rather than ordering the physical thing.
Facebook & Twitter. I’m using Facebook and Twitter to notify people who rely on those social networks when I update my website. I won’t often reply to comments there. Instead, I welcome personal emails because of the private connection they allow you and I to make. I’ll do my very best to write back when time allows!