Tuesday 12 June 2018


I make a promo/teaser video for social media…

OFF into Glasgow again…I have some videos to upload and am meeting a pal later.

After dropping Margaret off I stop at McDonalds for coffee and wifi. I manage to get the new Whisky Trail video uploaded to YouTube and Facebook ready for ‘go live’ on release day next Thursday (21 June).

The 350 meg files upload in less than five minutes. That’d have been a 24-hour job from our connection at home.

I decide to make a ‘square format’ teaser video to post round social media and try and build a wee buzz about next week’s release. The square format is preferred for Facebook and Instagram, but making it isn;t so straighforward.

You can’t change the format of a video in iMovie and although it;s posible in Final Cut, it’s a bit of a pain.

Much simpler – and faster – is to create a square ‘slide’ in Keynote or Powerpoint and drag the video clip straight onto it. Then you can crop, size, add graphics or whatever you want then export it as a movie file. Done!

I had a bit of a problem getting InstaGram and Twitter to accept or play the video file, but after simply changing the filename extension from .m4v to .mp4 it all worked a treat.

Once done I park up at Glasgow Green and wander into town to meet my pal JJ from Wisconsin. We have a coffee then hit Non Viet for some lunch before walking through town.

I pick up some stuff form the mailbox and we carry on to the car an JJ comes with me to pick up Margaret and say hello.

We drop JJ off back in the city centre, get our shopping and make for home.

The wee teaser video’s been getting good traction – lots of comments and shares. Once I get some Spotifty pre-save links to create a tangible call to action I’ll likely turn it into a Facebook and Instagram ad.

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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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