Tuesday 2 October 2018

Jesse Malin at Coney Island Baby, NYC

GOOD morning New York!

The guitars have arrived and the concierge guys have ’em downstairs. I go and pick them up and all’s well so we celebrate by going for breakfast at the Silver Dollar diner a couple of blocks away on 2nd.

Back ay Ginny’s we go down to the storage area in the basement and pickup all our USA tour stuff as well as my National ResoTone and the banjo.

I tune up the instruments and we do a quick livestream then Margaret gets busy folding and rolling t-shirts. We decide the best way to pack ’em is rolling thump with some masking tape round them marked with the size. We don’t have any masking tape tho’, so I go out an find an art supplier shop inside the interior design school then stop off at Morton Williams…a cool grocery store we like…and pick up some sushi and a couple of treats for lunch.

We eat then tape up and mark the shirts, do a little more work then make our way downtown to find something to eat before we go to Coney Island Baby to see Jesse Malin. The noodle place Margaret checked out inline is mobbed and there’s no chance of a table. After  wee bit of wandering about we find a poke bowl place which is pretty good then carry in to the bar/venue.

The support bands are good and the place fills up. I’m amazed there’s only one toilet cubicle for the entire place…mind you, at ten bucks a drink people probably don’t pish much here!

Jesse and his band – including hr guitar player I saw him with in Glasgow a couple weeks ago. – hit the stage soon after 10pm and play a storming 90-minute set.

When we get outside after the show there’ major rainstorm going on. After a couple of false starts we manage to get an Uber which drops us off back on the upper east side and we fall into bed at Ginny’s…

Thursday 14 June 2018

I manage to set up a Spotify pre-save – click the image above to check it out…

THE BOIL that appeared on the inside of my leg seems to have calmed down a bit…the hot compresses have helped, I think.

I have a landing page to sort out for my pal Rab’s website. It’s not due to go live yet, but it can be a technically challenging thing to set up, so I want to be prepared and also send him some ideas of how it could look. 

It takes me all morning to come up with a technical solution.

The high winds have wreaked havoc in the garden so we try and tidy up some of the mess and hope things’ll calm down over the afternoon.

I’ve been stuck between a rock and a hard place about the promo for next week’s release of Whisky Trail. With no iTunes/Apple Music pre-order, I’ve been holding back any promo until the track is actually available to download/stream…but thinking again, that’ll likely all hit too late. I decide to get some promo out immediately.

I get a news release written up and put out to press, radio, web and other media along with a private listen/download link then go out for a walk.

By co-incidence the podcast I listen too is about new music promotion and the benefits of setting up a pre-save on Spotify. A pre-save is kinda like a pre-order but works for streaming. If someone pre-saves, the track is delivered to their playlist immediately it becomes available (ie: on release day).

I’d looked into this, but discounted it as none of the ‘free’ solutions offering to set it up worked. Now, I’m thinking again and that it might be worth paying the small fee to set it up..even if it only gives us an idea of whether to pursue it in future.

When I get home I set it all up, create a landing page for my own website and cross my fingers its worth the (albeit small) cost and work. Check it out here.

It’s after 8pm when I light the charcoal and cook the Vietnamese beef…fast becoming one of our favourites!

Friday 14 July 2017

Givers & Takers hits the iTunes blues chart at number six. Click the image to check it out 🙂

SINGLE release day! Givers & Takers is now available. Get it here.

I’m up at a decent time to add a landing page to the website, post Facebook profile and page banners and a bunch of other social media stuff to spread the word…and, of course, an iTunes link.

Once that’s all done I set up for a Facebook livestrream and although the broadband connection is slow, at least it doesn’t completely drop off meaning the livestream goes relatively smoothly..although as you’ll see from the ‘play again’ video below, there’s still a few glitches…

There’s poster art and tickets to be sorted for a newly booked Aberdeen show at the Blue Lamp on Friday 15 September – tickets available here.

A big box of old photos I pulled down from the loft has been hanging about the office for a while and for some reason I decide to tackle the job of scanning them….a few hours later…

A quick look at Apple Music shows that Givers & Takers has gone into the Apple Music/iTunes blues charts at number six! This morning’s work has paid off 🙂

That’s one position higher than last year’s Hellbound Train EP which debuted at number seven and had the benefit of a load of PR, promo and a month’s worth of pre-orders…


Sunday 6 November 2016

Great time playing the final show of the tour at Rockwood Music Hall, New York

Great time playing the final show of the tour at Rockwood Music Hall, New York

WE wake up in the van in McDonalds’ car park around 6.45am. Feeling a bit rough…and drive the couple of blocks to Enterprise to hand the rental back.

Looks like it doesn’t open ’til 9am tho’, so we walk back to McDonalds and have some breakfast and the place is open by the time we wander back.

Then New York Marathon is playing havoc with the roads in Manhattan, but a bus and a subway ride get us to Lexington then a short walk to my cousin Ginny’s place where we’re staying. She’s already been downstairs and brought up all the gear we dropped off at 3am…we have a chat then grab a couple of hours sleep.

An Uber ride gets us and my gear downtown to Rockwood Music Hall in good time for my 5pm show…we load in and then nip across the road to Arlene’s Grocery for a quick drink where our pal Siouxie joins us…then back to Rockwood for a quick set up and…showtime!

Ginny, John and bunch of cousins and friends are in for the show and I have a great time playing…cool to see everyone 🙂

We hang out for a drink afterwards and watch a set from San Diego artist Hilary Lankford…then join everyone for a bite to eat in a nearby Greek restaurant. 

There’s time for another drink and we hang out for a wee while downtown then head back to Ginny and John’s….been a great tour and whirlwind five weeks, but we’re knackered and need some sleep 🙂

We're lucky to catch some great music from Hilary Lankford....

We’re lucky to catch some great music from Hilary Lankford….

...then dinner with family and friends...so cool to see everyone :-)

…then dinner with family and friends…so cool to see everyone 🙂




Thursday 24 March 2016

The spinach pasta turns out good...pretty green!

The spinach pasta turns out good…pretty green!

NEED to bite the bullet today and get everything prepared for the Hellbound Train EP release (10 June).

First job is to get everything registered with PRS/MCPS and PPL. I already registered Good Moonshine (aka I Went to America) and Travellin’ Man as these have been part of my live show recently.

Checking them out before I add Hellbound Train and Pearline, though, I see that I Went to America – the ‘otherwise known as’/other title – has a publisher’s name beside it. I assigned a bunch of instrumentals and a few songs to them, but this ain’t one of them! I call my pal Duncan at MCPS for advice and he recommends I amend the share splits and it should sort itself out.

Once done with the PRS/MCPS registrations I move onto PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) which collects and distributes the record company/recording owner’s royalties as well as the performers’ royalties. All yours truly in this case as I am the label,publisher, writer and performer of all parts…other than drums on Hellbound Train which come courtesy of Paul Savage (Delgados).

Once all that’s done I upload the master audio files to my aggregator (the modern equivalent of a distributor) along with all the metadata – basically info on the song, writer, IRSC (International Standard Recording Code) codes and other stuff to make sure the tracks are identifiable in the wider world and royalties etc (hopefully) all go in the right direction.

Time for a break, so I make some pork gyoza for lunch and put together some spinach pasta dough for tonight’s dinner.

While cover art was finished yesterday, I need to pull together a digital booklet to include with iTunes downloads…adds a little value and is an incentive for folks to download the full EP rather than just a few tracks. iTunes has very strict guidelines/criteria for digital booklets.

Sometime after 8pm I’m ready for a beer and finish up for the day. Almost there with the EP prep – just a coupe of pages to finalise in the iTunes booklet which I’ll upload tomorrow. That’ll give me 11 weeks to get a good lead in to iTunes and the other download/streaming services and the PR can start next week. Still need to decide if any physical promo is needed or we can do it all online…

I rustle up a tomato sugo with chicken and the spinach pasta turns out good….

Wednesday 23 March 2016

The Hellbound Train EP artwork is done!

The Hellbound Train EP artwork is done!

SEEMS to be a busy week with the G63.scot webzine…feast or famine when it comes to stories!!

Once I’m up to date with all that I start roughing out some artwork ideas for the forthcoming Hellbound Train EP (Friday 10 June). I’d hoped to hire someone to do the cover art but still waiting for them to get back to me and now pretty much out of time. To be honest we’re a bit skint anyway, so maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. I get busy.

After a bowl of beef pho’ I carry on with the graphics. Once I feel I’ve got a rough that’s a go-er I head out for a wee walk and spend the next hour or so wandering along the lochside in the drizzle listening to social media marketing podcasts.

Back on the artwork and it’s 9pm before I start making our ‘fast day’ dinner of terriyaki chicken and steamed pak choi. Actually the last few weeks we’ve only been doing ‘semi-fast days’ and not sticking to the 500/600 calorie limit…instead being careful what we eat and avoiding alcohol for two days a week.