Monday, May 2, 2011

Release, No uncles but lots of ants, and slumber. Reflections on a CD release

Okay, after several weeks of CRAZYNESS, we've finally got our Debut recording placed on the historical time line. If this was if first time out doing this, both Lexie and I would be mistakenly thinking the hard part is behind us. The fact is, the hard part is in front of us, it's just the crazy part that is behind us. If I ever set another release date, it will be far more reasonable.

The Release party

Lexie and I have had our share of release parties, but this was our first together as Kinagree-Smith. In the past we held our release events at Pixel Hill and each one was more spectacular then the last, but we really wanted to push this event to get a bigger audience and Pixel Hill can only hold 40 people max.

Moving from our traditional venue was kind of scary. Lexie and I both seem a little superstitious and we were wondering if the change would spell disaster for us. Harrie's parties have always been top drawer and she's supported each event with hours of hard work, but her reputation was a big part of the draw. Harrie only deals with what she likes, and having her involved with release events always gave them the patina of authentication.

After a long talk with our Team and Harrie, we decided to try to draw a mad big crowd for this event, and move from the “safe as a babe in it's mother's arms” Pixel Hill, to more risky venture at some other venue.

We asked Gwampa if we could use his “Dance Kamp” Sim as it's at the confluence of two sims and able to host a ton of listeners. Gwampa said yes, but he would not be there, so we were on our own.

The night before the big show, Lexie, Desi and Sally were up all night decorating the Sim with Frogs and Lilly Pads, the obvious theme for a release called “Wartzinall”. I on the other hand was up all night preparing the release for distribution, and creating the actual CD for sale at Reverb Nation. I got to bed around 4:30 am and didn't get a wink of sleep.

I had been elbow deep in this project for the last two weeks. I've heard it at least a few hundred times and I realized how very different it sounded. Before I went to bed, I felt that was it's most wonderful aspect. In a world where everything sounds the same, this was different. But in the wee gray hours of the morning, I was wondering, do people even want different? And will they be able to wrap their minds around what we are doing? Did we labor so hard, in vain, crating something nobody would be interested in?

I'm sure some would be surprised I have moments of doubt. I do have them, about at around four AM the morning before a release event. I really didn't get a wink of sleep, and logged online ready for anything. I got everything set up to play and wondered over to the venue. I looked at the map before I went to the venue and only saw a few people there, it didn't look good. But when I got there, I had forgotten something about Gwampa's Dance Kamp, it's two Sims pushed together. The small crowd on the map didn't show those standing on the other side of the line. We had a crowd, and 15 minutes before show time. This is not at all normal for online shows. Most of the crowd shows up a few moments into the first song. To have them lining up in such a significant number was a very good omen indeed.

In the past our release events were all “In world”. But this time we sent the stream to our web site so people not involved with Second Life could join in the fun. Lexie posted the event to her FaceBook page and had several people indicate they were going to log in and listen. This would give us a chance to play for people that might actually be able to make it to one of our live shows locally and that is an opportunity not to be wasted. Lexie insisted I get some sleep... well that didn't work.

The show started, we played quite well, and everything was going great until just about the end of the show, then things got very weird.

I was starting to sweat and I could hardly see so I grabbed my sweat towel and wiped my face, only to find there were ants all over it. Had I noticed before hand it would have just been “Icky”, but after wiping my face with a towel full of ants I had a real problem. Ants don't bite, but man they are distracting. I jumped up, pulled off my shirt and grabbed my ant free bath towel and got most of the ants off as quickly as possible. But a few stragglers manage to survive the big wipe off.

The end of the show was a little... jerky. I would play a bit then stop and flick an ant off my arm or reach up and brush a real, or imagined ant off my neck. People didn't seem to notice. I never stopped signing, with Lexie playing it's possible nobody noticed the little gaps in my playing.

The show was well received and we sold a good number of copies of “Wartzinall”. We had a good crowd online at the event, a few people listening via the web site, so all and all a win for the good guys.

Something odd happened after the show. I put “Wartzinall” on the stream while people were saying their goodbyes and... well people stuck around to hear it. The party lasted with the performance and the hanging out about two hours and 47 minuets. I know this because that is how long the stream was up, and we had a pretty good crowd for the after show. People even showed up and bought a few more copies of Wartzinall.

Playing the songs from the recording at the venue gave us some very valuable feed back. People seem to like it a lot. While them saying so is very nice, the fact they stuck around and listened to it says a lot more. After three plays though the full CD, I was ready for some much need sleep.

Things worked out nicely. A good show, good crowd, good sales, and even a few offers along the way. It was time for some sleep, we earned and fully enjoyed.

Now starts the hard part, promoting the CD.

I would like to thank all the people that worked so hard with us to make this happen. Big thanks to team Kinagree-Smith (Desi and Sally) for the outstanding work and support. Thank to those that attended the show, and thanks to those that hung out with us after the show.

So now the adventure begins, thanks to all you good readers and as always, expect great things.

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