Monday, January 10, 2011

Strum Diesel gets Covered... or... Whoops I did it again

Today Strum Diesel, one of Second Life's premier songwriters was honored with a covered event. I didn't get to see much of this event, because it started a bit late after 11 am slt, and Lexie had a show starting at 12 PM SLT. Lexie's computer is currently a smoldering pile of “Not Working”, so we are sharing a computer. When I say sharing, I mean running two Second life Clients on the same computer and a stream. Who would have thought that would work? Well.. it kind of works. There are serious restrictions... but that is not what I'm here to talk about.

Lexie and I opened the show with Strum's song “Gay”. We both commented before the song and as often is the case... I managed to offend some people.

Now I feel I should say right up front, I'm not trying to be a lightening rod for controversy. I really just say what I mean, and I never sit and ponder how people might take it. I'm not a politician and I don't have a handler. I'm just a guy with thoughts in my head, and some times those thoughts dribble out of my mouth as words. Now I have no problem understanding my own words, so I have to wonder why other people seem to miss the point. Perhaps their understanding of words are different from my own.

The comment made... and keep in mind I am paraphrasing myself here, was when the concept of the Covered event was presented to me, there were five songwriters that came to mind instantly as worth the bother of having such an event.

It was brought to my attention that some people thought I was being elitist and saying there were no other songwriters worth the bother. I didn't say that because I didn't think that. I don't even think that is true... but it might be. I don't know... I'm not sure.... You people..... CAN'T YOU SEE YOUR TEARING ME APART!!!!!!

Now I've been involved with every covered event so far and if you think it's not hard work you are quite wrong. Musicians in Second Life are some very busy people. It's a lot simpler to book them for an hour or half hour show then get them to line up to play two of somebody else songs. The reason they do it is because of respect for the songwriter, and it's probably one of the most community based musical events I can think of. The reason I say that, is because it's so much for the benefit of the artist honored. I've been Covered, and it's an amazing experience.

But it is hard work. It's cat juggling. Elura deserves mad props. I'm amazed she hasn't driven the bus into the lake, set it on fire and flown off with her personal jet pack cackling, “They said I was mad, I'LL SHOW THEM”!!!

My comment was intended to demonstrate the regard I hold Strum in, as both a songwriter and a performer. He is one of the guys at the top of my list, that is all I was saying.

As to other people and their suitability as honoree of a Covered Event, that isn't my call to make at all. I'm really not in anyway qualified to comment of the talent or lack of talent in the Second Life Songwriters pool. I play a lot of shows and really only catch people that play before me in most cases. I do have a select few performers I will go to see when I have time, but I'm basically out of the loop as to who does what.

One of the people I offended... I saw his act twice and was unaware he had original songs.

Summing things up. Strum = Good, Elura= thanks for the hard work, Covered = great community support, and as to those offended... in the playground vernacular, “Get up, your not hurt”.

It really is a pity what passes for controversy these days.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Life outside the box... the details

Things change, things that don't change are dead and even dead things decompose. Decomposition is a kind of change.

I say this because... well you have to start somewhere, and I'm here to talk about change. Massive, paradigm altering, social re-ordering change.

When we first imagined the “2 Big 4 The Internet tour”, while different, it did ride on a very conventional chassis. It was a very traditional city by city, traditional venue type event that just about everybody with dreams of glory undertakes. We were prepared to fail, go down in a blaze of defiant indifference to our fate.

Speaking candidly, almost all tours are failures. Even big huge tours with major Rock icon often cost more then they generate. Of course this is supposedly made up with massive record sales. It hardly ever works out that way.

Tours on a smaller scale almost always end in tears. We were prepared to play 15 cities to crowds of... we'll perhaps ten, then hobble on home with the knowledge we had accomplished something. This would be kind of a moral victory rather then a success.

Of course success would come later as the concept caught on with more mainstream thinking.

But then something amazing happened.

We found ourselves, in spite of our best efforts... locked out. Simply stated, every venue we contacted didn't respond in any way. I don't think they were blowing us off. But our plan did predisposition us to fall though the cracks.

We were not major rock stars, so the big venues were not interested. And we were local so we could not afford to play for half of the 2$ door charge. Live music in general is kind of in dire straights.

Some might see this as a game breaker or the end of the road. However such is not the case. This might be the most significant factor in really changing things. Adversity drives change and change is what is needed. Live music is far from dead, it just needs a bit of restructuring to make it vital again.

So here are the details.

We are independent musicians. We have seceded by our wits and didn't require the participation of “The gate keepers” to make a few bucks with our talents. We've performed on the Internet, created our own recordings and marketed them with a good deal of success. We've managed to build a loyal following all over the world, and all without the blessings of “The Music Biz”.

When it comes to playing live, it's not realistic to assume conventional music venues are going to be leaping to jump on our bandwagon. No matter how good the music, they have to worry, “Will this fill my venue”?

Once the traditional music venue proved to be not an option, we started thinking. And the idea we came up with is not really all that new. Cue Andy Rooney, “Let's put a show on in the barn”.

What do we have?

Well we have a bit of a buzz going on, and some major press interest in what we are doing. Good deal of the interest in this venture comes from those involved with Second Life music and I'm not shocked at that. So here is what we plan to do.

The tour is now going to be planned and executed one concert at a time.

Our first Concert will be in Atlanta, it will feature Noma Falta, Strum Diesel, Lexie Luan and Zorch Boomhauer.

The show will be preformed at a hotel convention center/Meeting room, and we'll be creating a listening room environment at each show.

The show is tentatively scheduled for a Saturday in March. The thinking behind this is, it gives us sufficient time to promote the event, and since the concert will be at a hotel on a weekend, this give people the opportunity to travel and have a place to stay.

In theory, the money to finance the event will come from sales of “2 Big 4 The Internet: The band camp sessions”, Pre- ordered ticket, and if necessary actual underwriters.

I understand that Noma is going to bring her band, so expect some “Full tilt boogie” from Noma.

In effect, we are providing an event of possible historic importance. As far as I know this is the first event of it's type. It's not a meet up, or a jam. It's a real live concert with some of the most Iconic performers on the grid.

We do in fact have plans for further events, but talking about them at this point is premature. Suffice it to say, we are no longer bound by the geographical locations of cities. The major factor in future events would be the relative success of the first event, and the talent available in other locations.

Our goals are twofold. To make money, and to make history.

The more money we make, the more we can do in the future. Nothing success like success, and it's been said history is written by winners, so lets make some history.

Be excited, and start saving up. This is an event you won't want to miss.

Expect great things in 2011.