Sunday 10 September 2017

BED & Breakfast places aren’t always very ‘musician-friendly’ when it comes to breakfast times and checkout…the place we’re in – Abermar Guest House – is pretty good tho’, allowing us to have breakfast up until 9am.

And the breakfast’s good. Checkout is just after 10am, but we’re ready to go before then and hit the road. For once, I feel we’ve stayed in a place we can recommend 🙂

Margaret drives the first half hour or so then I take over ’til we get to Perth and pick up some shopping and grab a burger.

Just as we arrive home the heavens open and it starts bucketing rain. We unpack some of the stuff, but leave all the gear in the car until the rain’s off.

I have a load of online stuff to do. We didn’t take a laptop, so I’ve still to do my blog…I can do it form my phone, but the pictures I want to sue are on the camera rather than already on the phone so it’d have been a bit of a fanny dance.

Also, an email from Google this morning alerted me to some hacker activity on my website. I’m pretty sure the integrity of my website is OK as I have industrial-strength security, but I’m concerned the server it lives on has been the target of a malicious attack. I’m right…my site is OK, but there’s five or six folders of malicious files in the public html folder on my server.

I clear ’em all out, scan for any remaining offending files then change the login etc details before resubmitting to Google for the ‘all-clear’. If Google suspects a site has been hacked it’ll quickly go down in the search engine rankings. Jeez, glad I can deal with this myself!

I take some pix of the specially produced ‘Dave Arcari’ single malt produced by Glengoyne to mark the launch of my new album

Then new Facebook banners for my page and profile with the next show info. Same for YouTube. Then a video to be edited up to promote Friday’s (15 Sept) show at the Blue Lamp, Aberdeen.

Now the rain’s off I unpack the gear at the studio then I take some photos of the special ‘Dave Arcari’ 10-year-old single malt Glengoyne produced to mark the launch of the new live album.

it;s after 9pm when we have dinner, then I make up a special rub for the beef short ribs and other beef I plan to put in the smoker tomorrow. Duly rubbed and wrapped in cling film, the meat is in the fridge ’til tomorrow morning…

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Friday 15 April 2016

'Pho making...charred ginger and onion, boiled bones, spice packet and other ingredients and three hours simmering....

‘Pho making…charred ginger and onion, boiled bones, spice packet and other ingredients and three hours simmering….

FIRST thing after breakfast I get busy spreading the word about Tuesday’s upcoming Facebook Live stream…I’m wondering if a bit of pre-event buzz will help or hinder it’s reach.

I set up a Facebook event, invite a bunch of folks, post on Facebook and Twitter and encourage folks to spread the word.

I probably spend a disproportionate amount of time on it – especially given my accounts are still waiting to be done. Screw the accounts, though, next on the priority list is writing a news release for the Hellbound Train EP release and sorting out a zipped download folder with audio, CD booklet and other info for the promo/review download.

The beef knuckle and shin bones I got from the butcher yesterday are still in the fridge…best if I get the ‘pho soup broth made today then it can be frozen in portions. The bones get an initial boil for ten minutes while I char the onion and ginger under the grill. After ten minutes fast boil the bones come out and get rinsed then, once the pot’s washed, put back in with the required amount of water and brought back to the boil.

Meantime, I make up the spice bag (cinnamon stick, star anise, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cloves), reduce the bones to a simmer, skim the top. In goes the spice bag, some yellow rock sugar, salt and fish sauce and the shebang’s left to simmer for the next three hours.

Back to the computer and I start building the back end for the promo downloads. In the past I used to use Bandcamp and promo codes to deliver review copies of music to radio, press and other media but with my last release I kept it all within my own website. An unlisted ‘secret’ page with info and with delivery of the audio tracks and related info automatically fulfilled on completion of a request form. Worked well last time and the general consensus from media folks was that it was a straightforward and effective way to do things.

We haven’t sent out physical promos of new music for four or five years now, even so we still get folks requesting physical product. I’m reluctant to send physical product because (a) of the cost of postage, especially overseas and (b) it’s the music that matters not an ‘item’….I can’t see why they would need or want physical product unless they’re a collector or want to put it on eBay (usually via a third party retailer).  Mmmm….

It’s a lovely evening and we take a walk along the lochside to Betty and Joe’s for an aperitif (or two…maybe three) then head home and Margaret knocks up some pinchitos. We eat and then chill for the rest of the night.

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