I figured I would stop regurgitating exactly what was on HI54LOFI.COM and start using this tumblr as a mostly wordless representation of the things I've been listening to, watching, reading and any other verb that keeps me from doing the things I should be doing.

For a songwriter, you don’t really go to songwriting school; you learn by listening to tunes. And you try to understand them and take them apart and see what they’re made of, and wonder if you can make one, too. And you just do it by picking up the needle and putting it back down and figuring it how these people did this magical thing. It’s rather mystifying when you think about songs — where they come from and how they’re born. Many times, it’s very humble and very mundane, the origin of these songs.
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Tom Waits

Tom Waits on the craft of songwriting.

Tumblr + SoundCloud = ♥

More reasons why Tumblr and Soundcloud are two sites you should be using

soundcloud:

Tumblr and SoundCloud both are fantastic communities of people expressing themselves through the things they create; we think bringing them together is like a match made in heaven. So from today, we are thrilled to announce along with the fine folks from Tumblr that you can now easily share the sounds you create to Tumblr!

Here’s what we’ve made possible:

Record and share to Tumblr:

Capture any audio on-the-fly with our iPhone and Android apps and share your recordings directly to your Tumblr blog. This is super neat for impromptu interviews, commentary, breaking news, comedy or poetry - heck, pretty much anything you hear around you.

Meet Tumblr’s David at a spontaneous Tumblr meetup in Berlin? Hit the record button:

Here are some other nice recordings from Maura, Bijan, Caroline, David & Alex.

Auto-publish your new sounds and favorites:

In your advanced SoundCloud settings, you can now choose to automatically push favorites and new sounds you created to your Tumblr blog. Save time when sharing the sounds you create!

Super-easy sharing:

Found something on SoundCloud you like? Easily post to Tumblr by pushing the Share button on SoundCloud or grab the url and post it as an external source on Tumblr Audio posts.


Search SoundCloud on Tumblr:

When creating an audio post, you can now search, preview and post audio from SoundCloud to Tumblr.

Oh and in case you hadn’t noticed, we’re all big fans of Tumblr and a number of staffers use it every day for their personal blogs. Find out who does and follow at will!

Thank you team Tumblr for your hard work on getting this out in the wild. We can’t wait to see what happens when people capture and use sound in their everyday lives, ultimately making the web less silent.

A Must Read Article from ‘The Quietus’

Do you make music? Or are you involved in the making of music at all? Heck, even if you are just a fan of music, you really should read this article over on The Quietus right now. Or if not right now, then maybe save it for later. But do read it.

It is hands down the best piece of writing on the state of the music industry I’ve ever come across. It is as well written as it is long, so you’ll probably want to grab a cup of coffee first. Don’t expect any solutions being offered up, just expect the perfect sum up of what things are like now. There is a wealth of chatter going on in the comments as well.

the quietus

If you are like me, then this article might also be your introduction to The Quietus. I ended up spending quite a bit of time on it last night and it might be the crown jewel of music writing on the web. I think I got more inspiration and knowledge from one night on The Quietus than a whole year of Music Think Tank and Bob Lefsetz combined. Those two are still good sources and I would recommend subscribing to both of their newsletters if you are interested in ‘music industry stuff’, it’s just that The Quietus writes with such eloquence and grace that I sort of got a bit of a boner for them last night. And it’s still here in the morning.

That link again (to that article you need to read): How The Music Industry Is Killing Music And Blaming The Fans

And remember, it is a long read, but it is worth it if you care even just a little bit about the making of music in whatever century it is that we are in. A hat tip to Sargent House for pointing out the article.

The Next Myspace…

picture found at: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1085/1094861650_1ee9391150_z.jpg?zz=1

I think we all can agree that Myspace is totally done. It really was quite astonishing to see them blow the opportunity of having every band that exists using their site, but blow it they did. For the dragged out length of Myspace’s demise, people have always been talking about ‘the next Myspace’. Is it Facebook? Is it Soundcloud? Is it Reverbnation? Bandcamp? (etc. & etc.)

The truth is, there (probably) isn’t going to be a ‘the next Myspace’. There isn’t going to be one because anybody who attempts to be everything at once is going to lose. Nowadays, sites have decided to specialize on one or two things and make sure that they do those better than anybody else. Which means ‘the next Myspace’ is going to be using a combination of different sites, apps and services (in a somewhat connected way).

As someone who has done my fair share of playing around with sites, I thought I would share some of my opinions on these sites. My reasoning for this is twofold. First of all, I know what it is like when you first start out in the internet world and how hard it is to find the right footing. Secondly, I don’t even know if I have the right footing, so hopefully this will start a few conversations about the topic (hopefully you’ll add your two cents or carry on this conversation elsewhere). Sometimes it feels like we all hold our cards too close to our chests, thinking that if we don’t share how we figured out something we’ll have a leg up on everybody else. But that’s bullshit. I think the faster we weed out the shit services and shine a light on the good ones, the better the experience for us all.

If you make music, these are things you should do…

1. Start a Facebook page - the main reason you should do this is strictly a numbers thing. Everybody has a Facebook account, it would be stupid to not have your music on there. That being said, I do believe there is a reason as to why Facebook has not become such an obvious place for your music. That reason is the same reason you should be on Facebook: Everybody has a Facebook account. When your boss and mom can see what you are up to, people tend to not get up to as much. This doesn’t just mean bands are a bit more secretive, but so are fans. Maybe that is something that will slowly change the more we all get used to living in the public eye.
2. Get on Soundcloud - Soundcloud is becoming the go to site for sharing your music. They have free and paid accounts, but you should be able to get by on the free account until you figure out how extensively you want to use it. I still haven’t gotten totally into exploring on Soundcloud like I used to on Myspace, but I’m sure that day is fast approaching. Another key reason to get a Soundcloud page is to get a BandPage tab for your Facebook page (Facebook can kind of suck for bands, but BandPage fixes that).
3. Get on Bandcamp - Even though Bandcamp now keeps 10% of your sales, they are still the hands down best place to have your music. You can sell physical merchandise, give away music, set up ‘pay what you want’, include PDF liner notes and lots and lots more. And to top it all off, you also get nice embeddable music players that people can use on their blogs or that you can use on your own website (or Tumblr, Facebook, etc.).
4. Get on Twitter - I know that if you are not on Twitter, it is probably because you think it is stupid. Or maybe you think that you don’t have time for it. I will admit to thinking that way in the past. But I promise, besides being a great way for you to share what’s happening with your own stuff, having a Twitter account will make you smrter. If you follow people that are interested in the things you are interested in, you will find out about things sooner and you’ll even find out about things you probably never would have found out about.
5. Get on Tumblr - despite the recent increase in down times, I still think this is a good place to be. Especially if you have a few things to say and share, I think it can be a pretty powerful community to be a part of.

If you make music, these are things you can avoid…

1. Myspace - I honestly think it is safe to throw in the towel on this one. It was only a little while ago where I still would have thought that you should probably have a presence there, just in case. But now, it really is a toxic wasteland.
2. Reverbnation - Maybe I’m wrong on this one, but I’ve always been unimpressed with Reverbnation. There was always something gimmicky about it. The layout felt like early Internet era stuff and there were just way too many bells and whistles. I think the thing that really cements my opinion on them is the stuff I see through not using them. My myspace account is continually raped by emails coming from someone’s Reverbnation account (plus, joining forces with Myspace seems like either a dumb move or a cash move - although it probably is both). And since I still technically have an artist account with Reverbnation, every week I get emails from them asking me to pay money for a chance to be considered to play a festival / have a song win a contest / or other bull shit things. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never trusted companies that try to take advantage of a musicians desire to have their music heard.

I think that this is a good starting point, or, if you have started already and are not using these (or even worse, are using the “don’ts”) perhaps now is a good time to make the switch. There are, of course, plenty of other sites and things that are worth talking about; even some of the above sites are worth talking about in more detail. But I’ll leave it at that for now.

Did I miss any sites that you think bands should or shouldn’t use?

This post was originally written for and appears on the HI54LOFI RECORDS blog.

This is not just good advice for touring, but for travel / life in general (just substitute the ‘band specific’ items with something more ‘regular life specific’).
beenlookingforthemagic:

How to Tour in a Band or Whateverby Thor Harris
1-Don’t Complain. Bitching, moaning, whining is tour cancer. If something is wrong fix it or shut the fuck up you fucking dick. goddamn.
2-If you fart, claim it.
3-Don’t Lose shit. Everybody loses shit. Don’t fucking do it. Asshole.
4-Don’t fuck anyone in the band. There are tons of people to fuck who are not in this band. Dumbass.
5-If you feel like shit all the time, drink less beer at the gig. You will play better & feel better. What are you… a child? Some have the endurance for self abuse. Most don’t.
6-Remember the soundman’s name. He will do a better job.
7- Eat oranges. Cures constipation & prevents colds.
8-Masturbate. Duh… Where & when? Be creative. You’re an artist right?
9-If YOU can’t carry your suitcase 3 blocks, it’s too goddamn big.
10-Respect public space in the van. Don’t clutter, you Fuck.
11-If you borrow something, return it. Not Fucked Up.
12-Do not let the promoter dick you or talk you out of the guarantee. If there were not enuf people there, it’s their fault.
13- Driver picks the music.
14-One navigator only (usually sitting shotgun). Everyone else shut the fuck up.
15-Soundcheck is for checking sounds. Shut the fuck up while everyone else is checking.
16-Don’t wander off. Let someone know where you are.
17-Clean up after yourself. What are you… a goddamn toddler?
18-Touring makes everyone bi-polar. Ride the waves as best you can and remember, moods pass. So don’t make any snap decisions or declarations when you are drunk or insane.
19-Fast food is Poison.
20-The guestlist is for friends, family & people you might want to fuck. Everyone else can pay. They have day jobs.
21- Don’t evaluate your whole life while you’re sitting in a janitor closet waiting to go on. You think you’re above having shitty days at work? Shut up & do your goddamn job.
This list was written under the influence of lots of esspresso & anti-depressants while on tour w/ such greats as Shearwater, Swans, Smog, Lisa Germano, Angels of Light, Bill Callahan & many more. I hope this list will help you get along w/ your co-workers whatever your job is. Contributions to the list by Jordan Geiger, Kimberly Burke, Brian Orloff, Brian Phillips Celebrity Gang Bang, Kevin Schneider, Jonathan Meiburg, Michael Gira and some other folks.
Thanks for not being an asshole, Thor Harris

This is not just good advice for touring, but for travel / life in general (just substitute the ‘band specific’ items with something more ‘regular life specific’).

beenlookingforthemagic:

How to Tour in a Band or Whatever
by Thor Harris

1-Don’t Complain. Bitching, moaning, whining is tour cancer. If something is wrong fix it or shut the fuck up you fucking dick. goddamn.

2-If you fart, claim it.

3-Don’t Lose shit. Everybody loses shit. Don’t fucking do it. Asshole.

4-Don’t fuck anyone in the band. There are tons of people to fuck who are not in this band. Dumbass.

5-If you feel like shit all the time, drink less beer at the gig. You will play better & feel better. What are you… a child? Some have the endurance for self abuse. Most don’t.

6-Remember the soundman’s name. He will do a better job.

7- Eat oranges. Cures constipation & prevents colds.

8-Masturbate. Duh… Where & when? Be creative. You’re an artist right?

9-If YOU can’t carry your suitcase 3 blocks, it’s too goddamn big.

10-Respect public space in the van. Don’t clutter, you Fuck.

11-If you borrow something, return it. Not Fucked Up.

12-Do not let the promoter dick you or talk you out of the guarantee. If there were not enuf people there, it’s their fault.

13- Driver picks the music.

14-One navigator only (usually sitting shotgun). Everyone else shut the fuck up.

15-Soundcheck is for checking sounds. Shut the fuck up while everyone else is checking.

16-Don’t wander off. Let someone know where you are.

17-Clean up after yourself. What are you… a goddamn toddler?

18-Touring makes everyone bi-polar. Ride the waves as best you can and remember, moods pass. So don’t make any snap decisions or declarations when you are drunk or insane.

19-Fast food is Poison.

20-The guestlist is for friends, family & people you might want to fuck. Everyone else can pay. They have day jobs.

21- Don’t evaluate your whole life while you’re sitting in a janitor closet waiting to go on. You think you’re above having shitty days at work? Shut up & do your goddamn job.

This list was written under the influence of lots of esspresso & anti-depressants while on tour w/ such greats as Shearwater, Swans, Smog, Lisa Germano, Angels of Light, Bill Callahan & many more. I hope this list will help you get along w/ your co-workers whatever your job is. Contributions to the list by Jordan Geiger, Kimberly Burke, Brian Orloff, Brian Phillips Celebrity Gang Bang, Kevin Schneider, Jonathan Meiburg, Michael Gira and some other folks.

Thanks for not being an asshole, Thor Harris

This time there was no EMI, and no one to decide anything but ourselves. We owned it outright, and could do whatever we wanted with it. Why go exclusively through such straitened formats when you could broadcast directly to people who are interested in you, in that moment?
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Colin Greenwood talks about the groundbreaking ‘pay what you think its worth’ release of In Rainbows. It’s a really interesting read over on Index on Censorship and well worth the click.

(via citizen insane)