Tuesday 13 June 2017

All About the Song panel – Dan Moore (BASCA), songwriter Mike Macdermid, Derick Mackinnon and Keren McKean – with Louise Stanners Pow (MU).

FIRST trip into Glasgow of the week. 

Margaret drops me in Milngavie and I get the train into town where I hole myself up in McDonalds with a coffee and use the wifi for a few hours.

When I’ve got most of the day’s work done – or at least under control – I go in search of shampoo. But neither the Boots in Buchanan Galleries nor the St Enoch Centre have it….so I pick up a sandwich, plonk myself down in the St Enoch Centre atrium and order the shampoo on Amazon.

I deal with another few online bits and bobs while  eat my sandwich then make my way to the Scottish Music Centre for a Musicians’ Union (MU) event.

All About the Song – co-hosted by BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors) – features an interview with songwriter Mike Macdermid followed by a listening session giving feedback to songs submitted in advance by attendees.

There’s a good turnout including a few folks I know from previous MU events. BASCA’s Dan Moore pulls lots of good info, tips and insights from the interview with Mike and the following listening session is constructive and useful for everyone, not just those getting feedback on their own songs (including myself…they were very kind!).

The event is followed by networking/drinks and, having been for all the shopping, Margaret comes to pick me up and hangs out for a while.

When we roll up home I realise I left my bag – laptop and load of other stuff – at the Scottish Music Centre. Doh!

A few phone calls and I think it’s been retrieved and safely locked away. Margaret will pick it up tomorrow.

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Thursday 23 February 2017

At Perth College – pic: Paul Oliver (via Instagram)

THERE’S a fair bit of snow when we leave the house at 7.30am and when we reach Croftamie, there’s a big tailback of cars. Not moving.

Normally the road’s almost deserted, so this ain’t good as I need to get to Milngavie to catch a train into Glasgow, then another to Perth where I’m speaking at an educational music networking event at Perth College at 1pm.

We turn round and head in the opposite direction along the A811, thinking we can join the A81 at Ballat…but a mile or so we get there, there’s another tailback. Everything’s at a standstill. Someone who must’ve turned round near the blockage tells us two lorries have got stuck in the snow, so we turn round and take a wee ungritted road toward Balfron where we manage to get onto the A81 and make some prgress. Margaret drops me at Milngavie station at 9am  and I;m in Glasgow by 9.30am, bumping into a pal – Allan Nimmo – on the way.

At Queen Street Station I buy my return ticket to Perth then nip out to a nearby Greggs for a roll and sausage and a coffee. I’m meet up with fellow panelists Richy Muirhead (Scottish Alternative Music Awards/BBC Social) and singer/songwriter Finn LeMarinel and we travel together, getting to Perth College in plenty of time for the 1pm event.

Organiser Laima meets us in the coffee bar and takes us to the lecture theatre where we’re speaking. Laima and her fellow students Kaia and Janina were at the Scottish Music Industry Association’s (SMIA)  ‘creative conversation’ event I was speaking at a month or two ago – nice to see them and catch up.

There’s a good audience in when we kick things off and the panel moderator does a great job in directing questions and getting us to talk about the kind of stuff the folks want to hear about.

We’re done soon after 3pm and head to the students’ union to hear some live music. Finn’s had to head back – Richy and I have time to hang out for a while before we have to make our way to the station for the train back to Glasgow.

Margaret picks me up at the station and we make it home in time for a Skype guitar masterclass I’m teaching at 8pm.

After dinner I do a wee bit extra promo on next Saturday’s (4 March) special live recording show at the Memorial Hall, Milton of Buchanan. Tickets are going well and there’s a fine balance between having good crowd in and not having the place too packed out.

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Tuesday 10 January 2017

I have a productive one-to-one meeting at Google’s Digital Garage event in Glasgow…

WE HEAD into Glasgow early. Margaret’s got stuff all day…and I have a mentor meeting with Google.

I drop Margaret off then stop in McDonald’s for a coffee. Nothing to eat ‘cos I’m skint!

My Google meeting is part of Google’s Digital Garage event….a one-to-one mentor meeting about reaching a niche audience online.

My idea was to park a few miles away and walk to the Mitchell Library, but I’m running late and there’s no ‘free’ parking with a few miles…so I park up in Berkeley Street and use the Ringo app on my phone to pay for my parking.

I get into the library and find registration where I run into my pal music journo John Dingwall. He;s here for a seminar, so we chat until he;s called in…and I wait patiently for my one-to-one. For nearly half an hour. No matter, tho’ – the receptionist realises and apologies profusely for having me wait then introduces me to an extremely helpful and knowledgeable lady called Ekaterina who runs though my website and comes up with a bunch of things I can do to boost my search engine rankings. We have a good, interesting chat..and it’s important to point out that she isn’t a Google employee, she’s a freelancer and, as such, giving impartial, good advice 🙂

One of the things I should be doing more is using my name – Dave Arcari, I guess! – and my music style – alternative blues or alt.blues – in more blog posts and throughout my website. I’ve a busy few days ahead, but will get her ideas put into action over the next week or so.

There’s probably still time to get some great tips from these folks – check Google’s Digital Garage out here.

I’m pretty happy until I go outside and find a parking ticket. On investigation, I must’ve put the car’s reg wrongly into the app and got a digit wrong. FFS. Hopefully I can appeal.

Next stop is the Scottish Music Centre where I drop off some posters for my upcoming Glasgow show at the Hug & Pint on Saturday 10 February…I say hello to everyone, have a quick chat with Sace, then go on my way.

At Love Music I drop off some posters and check CD/vinyl stock –some sales cash comes my way too, which is more than likely to save my ass!

The shopping – Costco, Tesco – before picking up Margaret and heading home.

We unpack the shopping then I wander along to Betty and Joe’s who have asked me to do a wee job for them… a glass or two of wine later and I walk home.

Dinner. Parking ticket appeal. Whisky. Email. Early night….I have a 7am call for filming in Glasgow tomorrow…

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Wednesday 24 August 2016

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USA tour on Facebook – as well as individual ‘events’ I set up a tour event…click above for info!

THE hot water runs out while Margaret’s in the shower. On investigating, we find a box has been pushed up against the controller in the cupboard and knocked the power off!

It’s gonna take a good hour or so before the water’s hot enough for me to shower, so I prepare breakfast, deal with emails and other stuff. My OCD won’t let me have breakfast before my shower.

Shower, breakfast then on with number one task for the day…creating Facebook events for all the USA dates.

I stop for lunch and a quick meeting with a pal whose website I’m gonna put together then get back to the Facebook events – and also collating poster art along with a quantity/distribution list to send to my cousin in Traverse City. She’ll get the printing done there and get them all sent out. Did a fine job for me last year 🙂

By about 4pm I’m goggle-eyed so head for a walk. Six/seven miles and two fairly uninformative podcasts later I’m back home to find Margaret’s rinsed out and sorted all the bottles and cans from Saturday’s shindig. We get ’em in tubs and bags and head to the recycling bins nearby.

Duncan and Irene stop by to pick the camper van that they very kindly left here for the party to provide some extra accommodation space. Just a flying visit and quick catch up then I’m back into the office to finish the USA Facebook events while Margaret gets dinner ready.

After eating I go back to the office to create and overall ‘tour event’, but Facebook no longer allows events lasting more than two weeks. Jeez. I work around it by making the event for the last day of the tour – if I make it for the start, it’ll disappear after day one. To offset that, I make sure the title and the event banner both state the tour runs form 6 October top 6 November. Not ideal but there you go.

I’ll look at it tomorrow and see if it’s practical to split the tour over two events…

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