Dreams of May

So as you may remember a couple months ago now I slowed down on the blog & my dreams stopped appearing in it.  I’ve still been writing them down on my memo pad & I finally just typed some of them up.

May 1, 2014
Scattered throughout the yard are small pieces of meteorite.  The bits are easy to find because they are all magnetic.  I wonder if they’ll fit together to form something if I collect them all.

My high school has asked me to do an alumni speech at graduation.  I give them the advice that if they don’t know what they should want to do, they should travel instead of going to college.

I’ve taken all of my guitar pedals out of their housings so they are just circuit boards & knobs & wires.  They are much lighter to carry, but I’m pretty sure I’ll end up breaking them.

I’m watching a documentary on the careers of the actors from Growing Pains.  It’s kind of disconcerting to see them as other characters & as actual people who have less depth than their rolls on the show.

I finally finish writing the new Remora song “I’ll Bring You In.”  It feels like the first time I’ve completed something new in a decade.

I find a stash of a dozen knives under a pile of leaves at the base of a tree in the backyard.  I’m going to need them.

May 2, 2014
The Hague.  I don’t even know where it is, but it’s a clue to my past & the key to my future.

May 5, 2014
I’m at a used bookstore in a flea market & they have a ton of mini-comics & zines from the 1980s, but they all look kind of shitty

May 6, 2014
I’m playing a church show in Portland & music has to end by 2am so everything can be struck down & the altar put back up in time for a service the next morning.  I’m running early, so when I go in for sound check I’m ushered in to sit in a pew for a vigil service.

I’m visiting the town where I went to college & on of the streets that was formerly abandoned offices is a strip of tourist trinket shops with a hippie edge that reminds me of small towns in Colorado.  Working in one of them is a guy who used to work in the record shop I went to & he still knows my name even though I have no clue of his.  He pulls a jar from behind the counter & gets out a spoon of what looks like black licorice sprinkles & tells me to try it.  It tastes like dirt, literally like the soil of the earth.

May 9, 2014
I’m in a trench & I’m not sure what war this is.  There’s a string coming out of my trigger finger that looks like a stitch coming loose so I pull on it.  Instead of just pulling loose, it struggles to stay inside the skin.  I pull harder & it is the antenna of a bug that looks like a cross between a slug & a silverfish & pulling it out destroys my finger.  I can feel more of them under my skin, hundreds more.  I’m an infestation.  I’m the enemy.

May 12, 2014
I’m on tour & when I go out to my car, someone has taken the plates off of it; which is fucking great, but there’s nothing to be done.  I start driving & it’s snowing with only one lane plowed.  I’m going as fast as I safely can so I can get off the roads before it gets worse.  All of a sudden I come up on a guy wearing winter gear walking a black lab in the cleared part of the street.  I hit the brakes, but the road is iced over & I don’t slow down at all.  I guide my car slightly to the right & manage to take out the dog & not the man, but then I see the man get hit by the car behind me in my rearview mirror.  I’m not sure what to do, because nothing can be fixed or undone & without the plates on my car it would be a big hassle to deal with the cops & there’s no way anyone could ever identify me if I just keep driving.

Me & my girlfriend are on tour with a band that has two tour buses.  Because the drummer is bringing with him some girl from the show last night, the head count is off  & me & my girlfriend end up on separate buses.  By the time I figure it out I’m in Philadelphia & she’s in Ottawa.  This fucking sucks.

Me & Chelsea go back to our old apartment & the key still works.  We go in & there’s a ton of furniture.  I don’t remember leaving this much stuff here.  I start packing it up & taking it to the car before realizing it belongs to the new tenant.

May 19, 2014
I’m working as a cameraman at a local news station & I notice one of the anchors getting really nervous as he reads his teleprompter & I turn to my right & see a tiger loose on set.  After a minute or two of prowling around he lies down for a nap.

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Rdio, Spotify, Bandcamp, QRD, Upcoming Releases, Etc.

So as a lot of you know I have super mixed feelings about free streaming of music.  I totally understand it is awesome for the consumer.  It’s convenient & easy.  But of course it also means not a lot of income for artists.  So it’s with somewhat mixed feelings that I have been trying to push Silber a bit on Spotify & Rdio.  We’ll see what happens.  Will me mentioning it get people to play the catalog while they are falling asleep or all day at work or whatever & help to reclaim the sales numbers from five years ago before the streaming craze started?  I really don’t have a clue.  But like a lot of other things, it’s probably easier to tell people in conversation, “I tried it & it didn’t work,” than to try to explain why I think it won’t.  So we’ll see on that, for now both Spotify & Rdio have Silber playlists on our drop down link menus throughout the main site.  If someone is on the iTunes equivalent of Spotify & wants to make a Silber playlist for me to link to, let me know.

Also in my recent, “I’ll try it even though I don’t think it will work,” I put the QRD – The Guitarists comp up on Bandcamp.  I’ve avoided Bandcamp for a few reasons over the years, mainly because I had a bad experience downloading from them around the time of their original launch & I already have the Silber download shop set up & don’t see a huge benefit of directing people off site & giving someone else an extra portion of my income.  But a few people have told me they actually do use it as a discovery engine & I do know that bloggers love to embed stuff from it, so I figured I’d give it a shot.  So far it’s been a week & it’s received a hundred listens.  Which I guess is impressive?  But it hasn’t received any purchases of any of the tracks much less the whole thing.  So I’m not really convinced I should dedicate a couple of weeks to uploading the entire Silber catalog.  I feel I would be better served just waiting until the comp was up on Spotify & at least getting those tenths of a penny for play rather than the unpaid streams on Bandcamp.  Sigh.  I’m not abandoning it after a week, but I’m waiting for something good to happen.

The other big thing this year in my trying it out thing of course was the ebook stuff that is the whole reason there is the guitarist comp.  So I put up a few of my comics & I made the guitarist & bass player interview ebooks & put them up on Amazon with the hope of the ease of discovery there.  Well, they made $16.  Which I guess is great, because I really didn’t drive any traffic in that direction as I really only pushed the Kickstarter stuff for those projects anyway.  But I had hoped a few more sales would happen.  I know a few people who have had luck with ebooks & others who have had numbers even worse than mine.  So I’m not sure I should make the other ebooks from the QRD content.  It doesn’t really seem too worth it with those numbers.  But I am hopeful a bit with things on Patreon for QRD slowly turning things around there.

Speaking of QRD, I have a new issue that I finished the initial proofs of the interviews for.  So about four or five hours of work to finish it up, but I’m going to wait until I have some other things ready to go so that when I send the Silber newsletter out it’s fairly impressive.

So here’s my question to you folks that are still reading this entry.  The next release we have coming is the Macedonian drone music compilation, but I’m looking for input on ranking of the importance/order I should do the following, below is the proposal given that nothing goes wrong & a bunch of you aren’t telling me to speed up one thing or another:various artists – across the mountains Macedonian ambient music compilation
Thorn1 – The Light of Random Star
If Thousands re-issues Candace Recorder & IO
Rllrbll re-issues Bathing Music & Long Walk for Ice Cream
Electric Bird Noise re-issue Unleashing the Inner Robot & Soundtrack for the Motion Picture The Pace
Halcyon Chamber – Halcyon Chamber EP
5 in 5 series relaunch (Goddakk, Parties, Lost Trail, Black Wedding, PD Wilder, Matteo Preabianca, Remora, Small Life Form)
Andrew Weathers – What Does the Scanner See?
Space Sweeper – “title to be determined”
Remora – “title to be determined” (live full band recording)
various artists – Cheerleading/Noise compilation
Yellow6 – “title to be determined”
Chvad SB – Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt, & Bomb #20

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One Response to Rdio, Spotify, Bandcamp, QRD, Upcoming Releases, Etc.

  1. So I’m thinking about launching a digital subscription series, here are a couple proposals I’ve come up with:
    5 in 5 – get the next 15 EPs for just $10
    Albums – get the next ten albums & receive all EPs released in interim free for $50.

    Comments?

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Small Life Form – A Hero Reborn

So it’s been a long time since I did any Small Life Form stuff.  In fact I think it was last year in December the last time I did any recordings.  & I’m not sure when my last live show as SLF was either, but I think it might have back as well.  Which seems slightly crazy.  Anyhow here’s a piece I did last night.

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Things Are Happening

Hope you are all doing well.  Been working on stuff lately & man is it crazy how behind I’m getting.  About 20 releases now that I need to get ready to go.  I don’t even know how this happens.  Folks like Yellow6 & Thorn1 & Goddakk all say, “I have an album ready if you want to put it out.” & I say, “Of course I do,” always forgetting my time restraints.  Then there’s a couple comps & the five in five series.  So anyway, a bunch of things going on soonish.

So I put up a new issue of QRD the other day & I made a Patreon page for QRD (basically a Kickstarter) because while I want to make QRD be going strong again, I feel I can judge by the interest of others if I actually should do that or not.  Been having to do a lot of number crunching lately to see what is & is not sustainable lately as far as what is actually work & what is just a hobby.  What is to be done just when I have spare time & what needs to be done as a priority.  We’ll see how it goes.  It’s been the debate I’m in for 20 years now I guess.

The other day I went ahead & spent $5 on promoting a post about the guitarist comp on Facebook.  According to facebook it gained me 20,000 views & 30 photo likes or whatever.  But to me the whole thing is, “Does it generate income or at least traffic to the website?”  I took the trouble to write down the date when I had the ad & the date when I posted to fifty groups on Facebook about the thing & looking at my stats, the answer is neither thing made days with significantly more traffic.  What did make a day with significantly more traffic was sending out the Silber newsletter.  So now I know that spending 8 hours posting on Facebook groups is a waste of time & spending $5 on an ad is a waste of money.  Which I’m not too surprised by, but I was hopeful would not be true.

So anyway, that’s where I’m at today.  A little low on ideas, but still trying to push through with the hope that “content is king” & just continuing to release good stuff & pay artists what I can.

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QRD – The Guitarists Compilation is finally out!

QRD - The Guitarists Various ArtistsQRD – The Guitarists
MP3 compilation 2014 | Silber 154
55 tracks, 231 minutes
$20
(320 kbps, ~500 megs (includes 58 page digital booklet & 2388 page ebook))

In 2010 QRD started a series of interviews with guitar players after spending two years coming up with 58 questions about approaches & techniques of playing, & since it’s QRD all the guitarists were a bit out of the mainstream.
After ten sets of interviews it was time to bundle everything together & ask the guitarists if they had some sound to contribute.
So we ended up with something pretty massive.  55 tracks of guitarists pushing their instruments & rigs.  A 50+ page digital booklet.  A 2388 page ebook of interviews with guitarists.  I like to think I went all out on this.
The pieces flow from ambient to folk to drone to jazz to metal to noise & back around several times in its nearly 4 hour run time.  So sit back & relax & drone out &
bliss out & freak out a good chunk of your day away.

Guitarists appearing on the compilation:
Ian McPhedran of Ostrich Tuning, Jun Minowa of Gargle & Yawning, Alan Sparhaw of Low, Aidan Baker of Nadja, Michael Walton of mwvm, Mason Jones of Numinous Eye, Gavin MacArthur of Schlong, Andrew Weathers, Brandon W Pittman of when the word was (((sound))), Evgeny Zheyda of Thorn1, Robert Brown of Northern Valentine, PD Wilder of Hotel Hotel, Ashkelon Sain of Trance to the Sun, Invisible Elephant, Andras Fekete of Boat Burning, David M Birchall of Kalbakken, Brian Elyo of mobdividual, Francesco Brasini, Jason LaFarge of Pants Exploder, Brian Lea McKenzie of Electric Bird Noise, Azalia Snail, Andrea Vascellari of Lullabier & Firetail, Eric Quach of thisquietarmy, Kyle Arthur Miller of Haunter, Martin Newman of Plumerai & Goddakk, Joshua Heinrich of fornever, Charles Rice Goff III, Bret Harold Hart, Dave Halverson of Trance Lucid, Evan Peta, Jim Walker of Tim and Jim & JVA, John Trubee, Jon Attwood of Yellow6, Brian John Mitchell of Remora, Nathan Amundson of Rivulets, Gary Murray, Bill Horist of Master Musicians of Bukkake, TAM, Julien Ottavi, Tony Sagger of DrugsDragons, Jean D.L., Robert Poss of Band of Susans, Russ Stedman, Stef Ketteringham of Shield Your Eyes, Eric Hausmann, Zachary Corsa & Denny Corsa of Lost Trail, Michael A. Cosma of Anixas, Rachel Goldstar of Experimental Aircraft, Cheryl Hall of Irata, Michael Seman of Shiny Around The Edges, Don Campau, Matt Stevens of Fierce and the Dead, Dan West of Sidewalk Society & LoveyDove, Jason Williams of Animal Holograms, & Peter Bingham of Sendelica.

: Press Release

Just want the ebook? Follow this link.

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Silber Newsletter for June

I know I have been absent from blogging lately, but here’s our newsletter.  One day I will catch up & start posting again.

Hello,

I hope all is well.  As you may have noticed already 2014 is turning into a juggernaut year for us in Silberia.  I finally goat all the promo copies for Chvad SB & Electric Bird Noise & Feel No Other out & am happy to be seeing some positive reviews come in that are helping to make me feel the most upbeat about Silber I have in a while.  It’s really nice & I want to thank you all for continuing to support Silber through the rollercoaster ride we’ve been on for nearly 20 years.

We’ve got a new release from out beloved Origami Arktika called Absolut Gehor.  Those of you who remember their past releases know what to expect – norwegian experimental drone folk.  For those of you not as familiar, think of a cross between Einstürzende Neubauten, Sigur Ros, Jandek, & Death in June & you are on the right track.  No reviews of it yet as we haven’t gotten the promos out, but you can read up a little here – http://www.silbermedia.com/origamiarktika/absolutgehor.shtml

In the comic front, we’ve been doing our best to get on a schedule of three every month.  This months issues aren’t out yet but they are Marked #4, Star #4, & Seabase 17 #1.  You can order a subscription (digital or physical) at www.silbermedia.com/comics/subscribe.shtml  Also at the end of June I’ll be in Louisville for the Derby City Con if you want to swing on by.

As far as what’s coming up, the guitarist comp is sequence & dangerously close to finished.  A little further down the line are the debut from Space Sweeper, a live EP from Remora, a collection from The Infant Cycle, a new album from Thorn1, two new issues of QRD (guitarist & comics specials), re-releases of out of print material from Rllrbll & If Thousands, the relaunch of our 5 in 5 EP series, & who knows what else.  Thanks for all your interest & support, it really means a lot to me & if you can let a couple people know about us it really helps out.  If you want to be taken off our mailing list, just let me know.

 Hrt
Brian John Mitchell
Silber Records
www.silbermedia.com

JUNE RELEASE ON SILBER
Origami Arktika
Origami Arktika: Absolut Gehor
RIYL: Small Life Form, Einstürzende Neubauten, Sigur Ros, Jandek, Pelt, Can, Current 93, Death in June
File Under: Experimental, Folk, Drone
Info:
Origami Arktika returns with their experimental drone take on traditional Norwegian folk music.
More Info – www.silbermedia.com/origamiarktika/absolutgehor.shtml
Sample track “Det Syng for Storegut” –

 

Press Release – www.silbermedia.com/presstools/silber156.pdf

MAY RELEASE ON SILBER
Chvad SB - Crickets Were The Compass
CHVAD SB: Crickets Were The Compass
RIYL: Controlled Bleeding, Lustmord, Coil, Things Outside the Skin, Nurse With Wound, Roll the Dice
File Under: Experimental, Dark Ambient, Drone, Noise
Info:
Chvad SB of Things Outside the Skin & Controlled Bleeding comes to Silber for an ambient drone lament on love & loss.
More Info – www.silbermedia.com/chvad-sb/crickets.shtml
Sample track “It Haunts Her” –

 

Video for “It Haunts Her” – http://youtu.be/arH0_txSZls
Press Release – www.silbermedia.com/presstools/silber153.pdf

MARCH RELEASES ON SILBER
Feel No Other
FEEL NO OTHER: Feel No Other
RIYL: Electric Bird Noise, Hitoki Inui, Beirut, Florence and the Machine, Bright Eyes
File Under: Cinematic anime ballads
Info:
Feel No Other returns with their full length debut of cinematic americana storytelling.
More Info & Stream – www.silbermedia.com/feelnoother/feel-no-other-lp.shtml
Sample track “winter is all over you” –

 

Press Release – www.silbermedia.com/presstools/silber152.pdf

Slicnaton - Autoscopy
SLICNATON: Autoscopy
RIYL: Super Silent, Gyorgy Ligeti, Small Life Form, Silber Records
File Under: AggressiveAmbient, Drone, Noise, Post Jazz, Out Music
Info:
Slicnaton comes to Silber with meditative experimental drone influenced by classical & jazz composition backgrounds.  A fine example of the sound most associated with Silber.
More Info & Stream or Download – www.silbermedia.com/slicnaton/autoscopy.shtml
Sample track “Maartechen” –

 

Press Release – www.silbermedia.com/presstools/silber150.pdf

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Excusing Excuses

So I know I haven’t been updating the blog the way I used to.  I actually have a ton of stuff going on & I should be mentioning it here, but it sometimes feels like it’s tedious & no one is reading it anyway.

I have a notebook with a couple dozen dreams to add to the dream diary that I will type in one day.  I have some reviews for N=D & FCIO in that same notebook that I need to type up as well.

I’m also still trying to get things done on the QRD Guitarist Compilation & the new Origami Arktika album.  The main hold up on the OA record has been me trying to get other things done first, but realizing I can get that knocked out in a day or two has gotten me to go ahead & give it priority over some other stuff.  The guitarist comp has been a bit crazy trying to get the liner notes & such to be as I would like them.  Decided to give each artist their own page for the liner notes & that has been not working out as well as I expected.  I also need the publishing info from artists to register songs for digital distro & that’s been a headache to get the info.  After this one is ready I have two other comps mostly ready to come out that I suppose I will face similar headaches on.

I have been getting some comic stuff done.  Three new ones that I mailed out to subscribers yesterday & the digital ones are up, but I like to wait to email those out so people get to look at the physical ones first.  I need to get myself on track with writing some more comics as I think I’m at a point where I have more people waiting for me to write stories than I have people I’m waiting to get in artwork from.

One of the things that has honestly been slowing me down is things haven’t been going as financially well for Silber this year as I’d hoped nor have I been able to garner the general attention I’d hoped for.  Right now Silber is down a few hundred bucks for 2014 (I know a big part of that is my choice to do some comic conventions & out of town shows that never pay for themselves), which is fine I guess.  But the disconcerting thing is the lack of response from my distros about the new releases.  I know they are having the same money problems as me (even when they don’t admit it) & I don’t really mind knowing a lot of the ones that owe me a couple hundred bucks might never pay me, but one with $3000 worth of stock not responding to my emails is a little disconcerting.  I remember that shit happening in the 1990s & it breaking a ton of good labels (& in trickle down economics, a ton of good bands).  When people ask why I am not putting out as many physical units as I used to or why I don’t put out vinyl, this is exactly why.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so open about things like this in the blog.  I do have a few more schemes to try to make things break even before the end of the year & to keep things out of the hole next year.  We’ll see how it all goes.  I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again, the real disconcerting thing isn’t the money thing, it’s the seeming lack of interest it feels like goes hand in hand with it.  It’s two in the morning.  It’s been a long day.  I just need to count my blessings that I’m able to work on things I care about & that I’ve been lucky enough to be doing just that for about 20 years now.

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Chvad SB, Dreams, & a million other things

The big Silber news is we have a new release about to come out (we are currently taking pre-orders) from new signee Chvad SB of Things Outside the Skin & Controlled Bleeding.  Spread the word about it if you can.

I know I haven’t been blogging much lately.  A lot has been going on, some new potential comic collaborations coming together.  Working on the QRD guitarists compilation.  Playing a few shows.  Trying to get some videos made.  Working on a few records (Remora’s live record, the Space Sweeper debut, the new Unspeakable Forces EP, a noise cheer compilation).  Getting all the paperwork done for taxes for both 2013 annual taxes & first quarter 2014.  Working on the next few issues of QRD.

Last week I got a thing from Ebay that I could list 100 items with no insertion fees.  I haven’t really used Ebay to try to sell anything much, but I went ahead & put a ton of things up to see what will happen.  I sold $50 in buttons so far, so there’s promise on that front, but no music or comics yet.  So it seems a much better match for me than Etsy was on the button front.  In other button news I got orders for 800 buttons in two weeks thanks to Record Store Day & comic convention season starting.  We’ll see if buttons really can be the thing that save the day for Silber.

Any of you interested, I have three public appearances coming up on the comic front:
Appleseed – May 17-18 – Fort Wayne, IN
Maker Faire NC – June 7 – Raleigh, NC
Derby City – June 28-29 – Louisville, KY

Recent dreams
March 25, 2014
I’m bin diving at a comic convention & I find all seven issues of DC’s failed equivalent to Marvel’s failed Questprobe computer game comic of the 1980s.  It feels like a super sweet score, but there’s no one to explain it to.

March 26, 2014
I’m on tour with Slicnaton & our Wilmington gig is with Irata as our tours cross each other.  It’s going to be a good fucking show; I hope some people are there to see it.

March 27, 2014
I’m on tour & we’re at one of those gas stations that’s also an old time country store & a semi-formal restaurant.  Trying to find the bathroom I end up in the kitchen.  I ask where the bathroom is & one of the wait staff leads me down into the basement.  We’re walking down a narrow stone hallway that has water dripping from the ceiling.  He shows me a bathroom & the toilet is sitting in six inches of water.  I end up just peeing in the water just like I’m sure everyone else does.

March 28, 2014
For some reason I make a video of me burying my dead cat & post it on YouTube.  Someone rips the video & slows it down & puts their schlocky music on it as a music video.  What fucking dicks.

March 30, 2014
I’m at the beach after the end of the world.  Someone has brought with them a dozen cows all so thin & sickly that you can see their ribs.

March 31, 2014
It’s 5:45 am & I’m at the old folks’ home to visit my grandmother.  She’s not in her room for some reason & I go down to the office.  She’s their being bandaged because she’s hurt.  I know they’re going to tell me she just fell, but I also know that’s not true because they would’ve called me if it was.  I say to my grandmother, “Just tell me who did this to you & I’ll shove a knife in them so many times that they’ll never be able to do anything ever again.”

April 2, 2014
The granddaughter of one of the toy designers for GI Joe in the 1980s is a fashion designer making a series of hats inspired by her grandfather’s designs.

April 7, 2014
I’m in Miami & my friend Katy has moved down there from Philadelphia.  I’m supposed to meet her at some record shop called Nano Music, but I can’t find the place & end up on the interstate headed who knows where.

April 11, 2014
Chelsea & her college roommate are visiting & I’m taking her back to the airport.  She has a 3”x2”x1” box filled with shoes with another dozen pairs sitting on top of it.  She asks me if I think the airport will just take it as is or if she needs to repack it.

It’s after the apocalypse & we live underground in a world of caverns lit by torches.  I’m part of a think tank to try to get mankind back on top of the world.  I don’t wear clothes because I think they’ll inhibit my thinking speed, which seems like some flawed logic

April 12, 2014
I’m staying at a hotel & I wake up in the middle of the night realizing I left my grandmother in my car.  I go out to the parking lot & it’s cold, probably 42 degrees.  I hope she didn’t freeze to death already.  I can’t find my car anywhere in the lot.  Maybe someone took the car & saved my grandmother’s life.

April 15, 2014
I inherit my parents’ house, but no one wants to live in it with me.  Everyone says I should just sell it.

I’m shaving & I keep cutting myself with my razor.  Two of the four blades on the head are missing & one of the remaining blades is half broken off & I need to pull it out so it stops nicking me.  I don’t feel like I’m poor enough or cheap enough to be using a razor in this condition, so it must be after the apocalypse.

April 17, 2014
I’m asked to take part in on a performance of a piece inspired by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  When I show up they want me to play violin & expect me to be able to site read.  I don’t know the finger positions & barely know how to bow & can’t read music in real time at all.  I’m hoping the piece sticks to one key & it matches an open string so I can drone my way through it.

April 18, 2014
I’m riding in the backseat of a convertible & my dad’s driving.  He turns into the city’s park greenway system to take a shortcut through the woods on a road a foot wider than the car designed only for pedestrians & bicyclists.  It twists & turns & I’m just waiting to fly out of the car & slam into a tree & die like in a cartoon.

Walking on the carpet is a bug that looks like two moths surgically connected together.  I can’t tell if it’s a mutation or just something common that I’ve never noticed before.

April 23, 2014
I’m at the bar I normally play at talking to friends about how dismal attendance & the scene in general have become & how things were better when there were ten shows a month instead of thirty.

I’m giving my girlfriend a bath.  I hope it’s for some kind of misguided romantic reason instead of because of deteriorating health.

April 24, 2014
I’m at an outdoor park with a bunch of reconstructed dinosaur skeletons towering over it instead of trees or statues.  I’d guess by the look of the buildings that it’s in Baltimore or Philadelphia, but it could just as easily be Toronto.  Melissa Spence Gardner is with me & she’s looking down at the ground kicking the dirt as we walk & talk.

April 27, 2014
I’m watching a science program about how when bees swarm they absorb solar energy.  In the process of digesting & absorbing the energy micro-black holes are actually formed in the centers of the swarms.

I’m on tour & a truck stop in the middle of nowhere is hiring clerks at $18 an hour.  I decide to quit the tour & take the job.

April 29, 2014
I’m in Savannah acting as producer & engineer for an old jazz singer woman who has never recorded before.  The record is essentially just vocals & metronome.  I’m trying to figure out if there’s anything in the Remora catalog that would translate well for her to cover, but I can’t think of anything.

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Ebooks & Comics & Plumerai

So I guess you all probably already know that the majority of my past few weeks have been working on the QRD ebook.  I ran into tons of problems getting the epub format to work in the way I wanted & I even tried to hire someone to get it to work as I wanted.  But in the end I had to admit some defeat in that department & say, “This is what I can do for now.”  So the PDF is great, but the epub doesn’t have a table of contents.  Whatever.  I did my best for the moment.  Hopefully in the future I’ll figure out how to work an epub to do what I want, but I feel I have a valiant near first attempt.

In other news I’m getting some new comics laid out & ready to go.  In a good news/bad news scenario this marks the fulfillment of a fourth of the comic subscriptions I got last fall through Kickstarter.  Which means I need to decide if I want to do another Kickstarter to keep doing the comics with the current payrate I have for artists or cut the payment.  I’m getting pretty worn out on the idea of going back to the Kickstarter well for a comic project every three months & I’m not sure at all what my idea would even be for a next Kickstarter project.  Just more subscriptions?  Ugg.  That doesn’t seem exciting in any way.

Here’s a new video from Plumerai:

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Dreams, Comics, & Compilations

It’s been a long time since I posted a blog, so I guess I have a lot of things that have been going on & to talk about.  First off is some stuff from some conversations I had with other creators at the SMUDGE comic convention up in DC.

So on my merch table I always have stuff available for a dollar.  I always want people to not have an excuse to not buy anything.  I do this with bands & comics.  All the people I’m friends with seem to generally have the same philosophy.  But I was talking to this guy at the convention who I respect as both a creator & businessman & he intentionally puts nothing on his table priced under $10.  He said that by having nothing under $10 he can have a decent day without many sales & that people that think his stuff is cool & just want to show a token of support are still in for the $10 price point.  It makes a lot of sense & I know I am undervaluing my work & effort with $1 items.  I mean, making $100 on $1 items can happen, but it’s hard to do & the reality is I really need to sell $300 a day to actually cover all of my expenses to actually make an event worth doing.  So I should probably move my one dollar items to being a fourth of my table instead of 90% of my table.  Something to think about for my upcoming events for sure.

Andrew White (Just A Man & REH) was at SMUDGE & I got to meet him in person for the first time after probably five years of collaboration.  He was talking about a new book he’s working on & I told him he should put it on Kickstarter because I’ve had a lot of luck with comics on Kickstarter.  He said the reason he didn’t want to do a Kickstarter was he felt like there was a limited amount of money available to people from Kickstarter & he didn’t want to take it from people like me who are really trying to make things work when he knows for him it is essentially a hobby.  I get where he’s coming from & it’s noble or whatever, but I don’t think he understands that a lot of the Kickstarter money people are spending is money they want to go to support the best things that they care about & so you should offer good projects up.  It is worth noting that I still think Kickstarter is a fad in general, but for comics it is the thing that is getting people honestly excited about independent comics for the first time in almost 20 years.

As a lot of you know I’ve been working on the SPACE Anthology for the past few years.  I talked to a guy at SMUDGE about how hard it is to get people to do stuff for anthologies & he told me that he looked at anthology appearances as five pages of his own work he wouldn’t be able to get done.  Then I’ve been having some problems with a couple of musical compilations I’ve been working on in a similar way, with people saying they can’t do something for a compilation because anything good enough to release they want to save for their album.  I get it.  Compilations/Anthologies don’t pay & the idea that they give real exposure is kinda of bogus as I know that I often don’t even listen to all the other tracks/read all the other stories on thing I appear on/in.  So I know that I really need to do more with when I do something, it needs to be something people can get excited about.  But I do feel like if people want to be part of a community, that anthologies/compilations are kind of an important aspect.  I also personally feel like anthologies/compilations give an opportunity to experiment & reach outside of your comfort zone & an excuse to get content out.  Now I feel kinda crappy for so rarely appearing in comps/anths that I’m not putting together myself.

Recent Dreams:
February 24, 2014
I’m at a Low concert in a high school gym.  In addition to Alan, Mimi, & Steve there are three women singing harmony with one of them on banjo & another with an upright bass & then a choir that looks like it was formed from the residents of a local retirement home.

I’m hiking on a gravel trail.  The trail gets so steep that I have to crawl to go up & it gets even steeper so that I’m essentially on my belly swimming through the gravel & my arms are getting sore & tired.  A woman walking down the slope drops a bolt snap with a key on it & I grab it & reach up & offer it to her.

February 26, 2014
I’m in the eighth grade in Sunday school.  My friend Chris walks into the classroom with a woman walking behind him that I assume is his mother.  As he walks by me, I see the woman is actually my grandmother.  I say to her, “Ethel, it’s me, Brian.”  She reaches out & puts her hands around my throat & starts to choke me.

March 6, 2014
I’m at a thrift store near closing time & I have a lavender tuxedo shirt that’s way too big for me & a shirt pattern in my hand.  I guess I’m planning on modifying it.  I decide it’s too much work & something I’d never actually do, so I just set them down & leave the store.

March 9, 2014
I’m a ghost in the studio where Guns N Roses are recording Appetite for Destruction.  They do an incredible live take of a song as a scratch track & everyone high fives & then leaves for smokes except Slash who changes his high E string.  He waits for five minutes & then leaves to look for the rest of the band.  They aren’t on the studio steps smoking, so he walks down the street to a bar in line of site & they’re all in it already on the way to getting wasted.  He says to them, “Come on guys, we’re paying for studio time right now.”

I’m working on a piece of art that is essentially varnishing a piece of wood after I’ve put in some mild accents to compliment the natural grain, like replacing knots with watch gears & integrated circuits.

March 11, 2014
I’m at a Three Brained Robot show, but instead of being dance music it’s fairly caustic noise.  Sam is still using the same dance moves.

I’m in an old house for a weekend party with ten other young people.  I wouldn’t call these people my friends, but I would call them my peers.  I eat some pizza & I can feel it’s laced with something before I finish a slice.  I’d guess psilocybin & hydrocodone & who knows what else.  It makes me paranoid & on edge.  It also makes me realize I’m in a horror movie.  I grab a pair of scissors out of a drawer in the kitchen & go to my room.  On the way to my room I pass another bedroom where two girls with their shirts off are making out.  I guess at least they’ll die before I do.  I lie down on my bed which is just a mattress on the floor.  I have the scissors clenched to my chest as I fall asleep.  I wake up to a silhouette of a man with a machete in my doorway, but the drugs have made it impossible to move & I can’t even let out a proper scream.

March 12, 2014
I’m at a Kraftwerk concert in a large theater.  The stage is way too large for their setup & they’re taking up just a small bit of it at stage right making them difficult to see from my center position.  In addition to that they just really aren’t very good.  I wish I’d never seen them at all over catching this show.

I’m walking down a flight of stairs at a mall & as I get to the bottom floor I notice I can’t feel my own weight on my feet & that I’m starting to levitate.  I’m trying to will myself back down before I’ve lost control & draw attention to myself or maybe just find something to hold on to.

March 16, 2014
I’m at a live art event & the woman painting isn’t using paints, but fabric dye.  Chelsea says, it may look fine tonight, but it’ll look like shit tomorrow.

My grandfather died & my grandmother gave me his car since she never learned to drive.  It’s a 1960s faded lime green Cadillac.  I’m driving it the 500 miles home & a car in the right lane starts shooting out huge plumes of smoke & the car behind him slams on his breaks & cuts into my lane & I rear end him.  The dude in front of me’s car is clearly totaled, but it looks like all the Cadillac will need is a new grill & headlight.

I’m packing my equipment for a show & when I grab my pedal board I notice the bottom is bulging out.  I guess I put too many pedals in it.  I touch it where the bulge is & it gives a little & then something inside pushes back & I realize the thing is pregnant.

March 18, 2014
I’m staying with a friend at some kind of artist residency thing.  He’s telling me a story about when his last relationship ended.  They were splitting up the dishes & he had all of his sitting on the counter & knocked them off smashing them on the kitchen floor.  I’m not sure if the story is about controlled anger & violence or just an anecdote about life.

March 15, 2014
It’s after the apocalypse & I’m living in an old high school with a couple hundred other survivors.  I’m walking in the hallway & I see my grandmother with her walker & the ill-fitting baseball hat she’d wear when we sat outside in the summer.  I run up to her & I pick her up, but I’ve gotten so weak over the years that I have trouble keeping my balance holding her & I spin & crash against a wall careful to only hurt myself in the process & then we both slide to the floor as one lump.

It’s 4am & it’s dark & snowing & I’m at work at the airport in my four layers of clothing.  I have to use the bathroom & I hate the idea of how long it takes to get dressed & undressed to do it.

March 19, 2014
I’m using a Hot Wheels racing set that I had as a kid.  When I was a child I thought the secret to a winning car was having a boxy back that fit well into the spring loader, but now I think the secret is just having a newish car with straight wheels & axles.

I’m walking & staring at the ground because there’s a nearly blinding light permeating the entire sky starting just a few inches above my head.  I know exactly what the light is, but I fear it & hope by just ignoring it that I can somehow avoid it until it goes away.

March 21, 2014
I’m watching an old movie on this machine that has fist sized potentiometer dials on it to let you alter the appearance of the lead actors.  I think the intention of it is to be able to make actors look more like yourself, but instead I use it to make the main actor of a noir film have huge ears & no nose & it seems off that people still treat him as a leading man.

March 23, 2014
I’m taking my grandmother on some sort of outing to a factory & when I manhandle her a little to get her to sit in her chair properly in the car, she tells me to stop being so fresh.  When we get there they need to call on the radio to see if we’re allowed in because we have a mink on a leash that my grandmother has as a companion animal to keep her calm.  I take the mink to walk on the lawn & it moves so fast that it’s pulling me behind it leaned back like I’m water-skiing on the grass.  It comes to a sudden stop & I go tumbling over the little guy & I’m scared I’ve hurt him, but when I pick him up he kinda smiles & makes a little clicky noise.  I go back into the lobby & the guy with the radio says all tours have been cancelled because of an upcoming snowstorm.

March 24, 2014
I’m in middle school & my dad is supposed to drop me off at school for 7:30am & he’s bitching at me that there’s 5 minutes to go & I should be doing yardwork in the meantime.

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