I’m the best? & the Silber Newsletter

So as most of you know, I have pretty much always run promotion for Silber releases in house.  On occasion a friend hires a promotions house & they’ll get a copy of their promo list & send it to me to help expand the Silber list, which is really kind of them (usually in exchange I mention their release in the newsletter I send out to press).  Anyway, so this happened a few weeks ago & I’m just doing my new promo blast.  A third of the email addresses I was given are bouncing.  I totally understand that reviewers & bloggers get burned out quick & it’s a constant battle to keep things up to date, but if you are charging people between a couple hundred & a couple thousand dollars that shit is really unacceptable.  I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I feel like I’m getting to be higher & higher in the ranks of competent people in the music industry as others get less professional.

Curious what I was promoting?  Here’s the newsletter:

Hey Kidz,
A lot going on here in Silberia this December.  Next week I’ll be emailing you about our Christmas EPs. It looks like there are going to be seven of them.  But here’s what’s up for now….
The 5 songs in 5 minutes series is back & going strong.  Last time I told you about the new one from Lost Trail.  This time out we have ones from Can Can Heads (Finnish no wave post jazz), Goddakk (guitar mutilations), Matteo Preabianca (sonic collages), & Frank Alexander (industrial noise to ultra smooth).  All free to stream on the site & show your support for your favorite by downloading it for a buck.  More coming soon.
http://www.silbermedia.com/5in5/
Plumerai has recently reformed as DRLNG & we have their post-pop shoegazery debut EP available for download (& the band has limited quantities of it on vinyl if you need them).  If you loved Siouxsie & The Banshees or The Cure growing up, definitely check them out.
http://www.silbermedia.com/DRLNG/icarus.shtml
I know some people love Bandcamp.  I’ve been putting the new releases up there recently.  So if you want to follow us on that site, we’re at https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com
I got a few comic scripts done recently that I need to get out to the artists to draw (Seabase 17, REH, & a new series called Ship).  Trying to get caught up from the aftermath of the successful Kickstarter (we got five times the requested funding – if you missed the backing window, you go here – http://silbermedia.com/comics/kickstart.shtml ).
I guest starred on the Canned Air Podcast last week where I out-nerded some comic book nerds.  We talked about Star Wars, Howard the Duck, Doom Patrol, Steve Ditko, & of course my mini-comics.
http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/3206025
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

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Life is Worth Living

I used to make a point to post on here more or less every day, now it’s one or two times a month & I wonder if that matters to anyone?  If it matters to you then maybe follow on Twitter or Facebook as I’m somewhat active on both of those lately.

Anyway, a lot going on & a lot of work here at Silber HQ & I’m being slowed down by my concerted effort to have a decent quality of life instead of dedicating every possible moment to Silber.  That said, we’re about to launch a bunch of music releases – new 5 in 5 EPs, the debut EP from DRLNG, & a bunch of Christmas EPs from Electric Bird Noise, Yellow6, Remora, Small Life Form, Firetail, Baptizer, & a Drekka side project.  If you live in the triangle area, Small Life Form & Clang Quarter will both be participating in Experimental Xmas at the Nightlight on December 12.

On the comic front I have five comics waiting for me to have time to draw & four comics waiting for me to have time to do second drafts of that are near ready to send to artists.

QRD of course will go on forever, but it is very much on the back burner at the moment until I get a bunch of other things out of the way.  Might get a new issue out this year or it may be early next year.  I tend to think next year as interviews can be hard to come by when everyone is running around with Christmas obligations.

I don’t think I mentioned it on here, but November 2014 was one of Silber’s best financial months in the past 5 years.  A perfect storm with decent unanticipated checks coming in from three different distibutors, some large personal orders, a bunch of button orders, & of course the comic Kickstarter.  I’m pretty stoked about it.  I can’t wait to get the paperwork done so I can get the checks out to the bands.

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Somewhat Relevant – Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For

I consider myself a Frank Miller fan.  I really loved his 1980s comics growing up & re-reading some of them, they are still pretty awesome (especially Dark Night Returns & Daredevil Born Again).  When the Sin City comics came out they were incredible too & the first Sin City movie was absolutely shocking in it’s ability to recreate the books.  So I had high hopes for Sin City 2.  But to be honest the A Dame to Kill For story is not my favorite because as much as I like Marv, it was great for The Hard Goodbye to essentially be his only story & the whole prequel thing just feels like fan service to me.  So yeah, the source material for me is a little weak, but the film suffers from a case of “the sequels” even more than the comic did.  Somehow the CGI has gotten worse over the past ten years (maybe due to 3D stuff?), but it just felt like everything was rushed as far as the actors bothering to nail their roles down.  Everything felt phoned in.  Which I guess would have been expected if it was made immediately after the first one, but waiting nine years kinda made things seem hopeful for me.  I think what makes Sin City work (both the first movie & the books) is that you somehow care for the characters despite the sex, violence, & general depravity; but this seems to assume what people want is more sex & violence with less character development.  Maybe they are right for teenage boys, but I’m an old man now.  Where the first film felt like an homage to the noir films I love, this felt like a pastiche of them.  Knowing what Rodriguez & Miller are capable of makes things even more frustrating.  How bad is it?  I’d rather watch The Spirit any day than see this one again & unfortunately I bought the DVD.
For a better experience, try the Mickey Rooney noir Quicksand or just try anything on the Roku channel Café Noir.

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Things Are Happening & I’m Happy About It

Okay, so the new QRD is out.  I’m pretty happy about that, but what I am more excited about is that I seem to have gotten myself back on a regiment of getting work done & focusing instead of just freaking out at all times.

I’ve spent the past couple of days doing a bit of work on Facebook in the groups/forums trying to spread the word about the new releases, kickstarter, & QRD.  But as I’m doing it I’m also making ticks of which groups seem most effective as well as figuring out ways to move quicker through the posting process.  So I’m hoping to switch things up on future releases where I go from eight hours of this tediousness to widdling it down to two hours.

The comics Kickstarter this time isn’t going as well as last year (meaning it’s making half as much money).  It’s essentially an identical campaign & people already know what I’m doing & I’m not getting a ton of orders on the big ticket items because presumably everyone who wants that stuff already has it, which is fine because that stuff is a lot of work to get ready anyhow.  I also didn’t make it as a staff pick this time out despite getting a fan letter from someone who works at Kickstarter.  I really have nothing to complain about as I’m somehow not losing money on something I like doing & that is a pretty awesome way to live.

I got in what I thought was going to be a big check from a distributor that only gets a check out to me every couple of years (the last one was $2500), but instead it was only sizable ($800).  Still, between that & the comic Kickstarter & the slight increased revenue from asking people to listen to Silber stuff on Spotify, I think I’ve got enough in to put Silber back in the black for the year.  What more can I really hope for than to run a music/comic company that doesn’t have a negative income in 2014?  So thank you all for your help.

Working up some 5in5 releases at the moment.  Hope to have them ready to go in a day or two.

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Yellow6, Lost Trail, & a few other things

As always, a lot going on here at Silber.

First off in music news is that we have a new album from Yellow6.  Yellow6 has been a pretty steady force in guitar experiments & shoegazery drone for almost 20 years & we’re super pleased to have him officially on the Silber team.  The new album, Closer To The Sea Without Moving is about a lighthouse being claimed by the sea.
http://www.silbermedia.com/yellow6/closertothesea.shtml

Second off in music, we’ve relaunched the 5in5 series!  First off is a nice little cinematic drone set from Lost Trail.  We’ve got about ten more that should be coming out soon.  If I can get myself on a regimen, maybe one or two a week until we’re all out.
http://www.silbermedia.com/5in5/lost-trail-rural-entropy.shtml

Third off in music, we’ve got a bunch more coming before the end of the year including at the very least a trio of Christmas EPs from Drekka, Remora, & Electric Bird Noise.

Our experiment with pushing people to listen to music on Spotify a bit seems to have worked out a bit in that we got six times as much money through Spotify in August as July.  So I’m hoping that encouraging you folks to listen to the Silber catalog in that way while continuing to purchase music from any artists you particularly want to support can encourage to help the label continue to exist in the currently tumultuous music industry.
http://tinyurl.com/silber-spotify

In comic news, we’ve got three new things coming out this week.  Barbarian in Vegas #0 about a barbarian trapped in Las Vegas drawn by Nate McDonough.  The re-issue of Zombie Kisses #1 from 1998 about life after a zombie apocalypse.  Walrus #3 about working as a musician in an elevator drawn by Jared Catherine.  Going out to subscribers over the weekend.  If you’re not a subscriber already, we’ve got a Kickstarter going to get new subscribers.  Spread the word about it if you can.
http://tinyurl.com/tiny-comics

In QRD news.  The new issue is about to happen.  We have about a dozen interviews in, just have to get them all laid out.

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.

 Hrt
Brian John Mitchell
Silber Records
www.silbermedia.com

OCTOBER RELEASES ON SILBER
Yellow6: Closer to the Sea
Yellow6: Closer To The Sea Without Moving
RIYL: Aarktica, Labradford, Pan American, Twin Peaks, thisquietarmy
File Under: Ambient, Space Rock, Post Rock, Shoegaze
Info:
Yellow6 comes to Silber with an ambient tale of life & decay.
More Info – http://www.silbermedia.com/yellow6/closertothesea.shtml
Sample track “Looking Back Towards The Sea” –

 

Listen on Spotify – https://play.spotify.com/album/0cGCc44AA5aeUApr9q3Smd
Listen on Bandcamp – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/closer-to-the-sea-without-moving

Lost Trail: Rural Entropy EP
Lost Trail: Rural Entropy EP
RIYL: Electric Bird Noise, Godspeed You Black Emperor, John Carpenter
File Under: Ambient, Drone, Cinematic Soundscapes
Info:
Lost Trail creates 5 cinematic soundscapes in 5 minutes.
More Info – http://www.silbermedia.com/5in5/lost-trail-rural-entropy.shtml
Sample track “Blood Forcefield” –

 

Listen on Spotify – https://play.spotify.com/album/4BL1VLPYokYvEjr8ayBEAI
Listen on Bandcamp – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/rural-entropy-ep

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One Response to Yellow6, Lost Trail, & a few other things

  1. Lullabier says:

    A little bird told me that there will be also a Christmas EP by Firetail…

Moving Forward

Days seem to pass super quickly lately.  It’s been a month since I posted on the blog & I still don’t have any concrete new things to present?  What’s wrong with me these days.  So I do have a bunch of stuff & I’m just slow.  As some of you may know what I thought was a part time gig helping my lady doing social painting parties has ended up a 40+ hour a week thing that makes me way more exhausted than my glory days of physical labor.  So while I am trying to get press releases done to have some new music on Silber ready to go & to get some comics finished & to get the new issue of QRD together, it just all takes longer than I envision because by the time I get my head in the space to do something for Silber, it seems like it’s time to go back to work.  Usually doing a public admission of things like this helps me to go ahead & knock some things out.  So hopefully that will be the case again this time.

Also just as an FYI/heads up kind of thing, the money situation here at Silber HQ has been a little dismal lately (I take full credit for lack of innovation causing that) & so I’m not sure what the exact future will be after I get all the promised releases out over the next few months.  Might need to do another hiatus & regrouping after Christmas.

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Things are going on.

I did a little playlist of songs influential to me for 7TRAX.  7TRAX is run by Andre of Lullabier & Firetail fame.  It seems like a fun idea for a site.  Maybe I should steal the idea?

I just got finished with three re-issues here on Silber.  We have If Thousands debut Candice Recorder from 2001, Electric Bird Noise’s debut Unleashing the Inner Robot from 1999, & Rllrbll’s Bathing Music from 2000.  I kinda wish I’d put all three of those records out all those years ago, but better late than never!  Glad to get these long out of print releases back available to the people.  You can stream them or download them on the Silber site or get them at Bandcamp or listen on Spotify or wherever you prefer.

There’s a podcast coming out of Myrtle Beach called The Gribcast & the current episode talks a bit about some Silber bands like Electric Bird Noise, Feel No Other, & Small Life Form.

I got the scripts sent out for the new issues of Walrus & REH & the artists are both digging the scripts.  So I’m pretty stoked about that.

Here’s a video of a recent live performance by Chvad SB.

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Silber August Charts

For the curious, here’s the Silber August charts.  I haven’t been making charts for months because I feared things being a little too dark, but right now I’m in a pretty positive mood.  I guess it’s good to see all the new stuff at the top as it means the work to put out new material does get people more excited than old material.  Though I almost feel like I should retire the Erin O’Brien interview from the charts as it has been in the top 5 QRD articles since I started making the charts & that’s all traffic from the Wikipedia article about John O’Brien.  Anyway, if you haven’t checked out the new releases yet; I put the Thorn1, QRD – The Guitarists, & Across the Mountains all up on Bandcamp or of course you can download them from Silber or listen to them on Spotify.  I went ahead & made the links to the top comics as free to read.

Most Downloaded Albums
Thorn1 – The Light of Random Star
Various Artists: Across the Mountains – Macedonian ambient music compilation
Various Artists: QRD – The Guitarists
Origami Arktika – Absolut Gehor
Feel No Other – Feel No Other

Most Read About Albums
Various Artists: QRD – The Guitarists
Various Artists: Across the Mountains – Macedonian ambient music compilation
Chvad SB – Crickets Were the Compass
Thorn1 – The Light of Random Star
Electric Bird Noise – Kind of Black

Most Downloaded Comics
Star #4
Marked #4
Seabase 17 #1
REH #6
Cyberpunk Apocalypse Artistic Evidence

Most Read QRD Articles
Author interview with Erin O’Brien
Guitarist interview with Bonnie Mercer
Guitarist interview with Raine Liimakka
Guitarist interview with Aaron Snow
Alien Sex Fiend Interview

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Scheduling & Working

So last month I started my experiment of asking folks to stream Silber stuff on Spotify & see if it caused a boost.  Well, it ends up it takes three months before I get numbers back to see if anything happened (current report is for June earnings).  So we’ll see if I still remember in a few months time.  Meanwhile I am finally really making the effort to get some of the Silber past releases that have never been put up for digital distribution up.  That includes all of the 5 in 5 series (some of the tracks of which can’t go up, they don’t want to accept songs under 30 seconds) & about ten others.  I’m hoping to get that finished this week on all the ones that I can.

I’m also working on getting ready to release some digital re-issues from Silber artists.  So some out of print stuff coming back from If Thousands, Rllrbll, & Electric Bird Noise.  In addition I’ve decided to nix doing the Kickstarter to help out the 5in5 series & just start putting the things out to keep from getting my heart broken.

The other day I wrote scripts for four comics in a single day.  Which maybe doubles the number of comic scripts I’ve written in 2014.  It’s nice to be back to being able to write some stuff.  I’ve had some writer’s block for the past year or so & hopefully I’m done with it.

I’m also getting ready to start sending out the interviews for massive series of stuff for QRD.  The Patreon on the one hand seems to have been a complete bust (zero backers), but I still want to do the interviews & maybe doing them will help generate some more interest in QRD that does eventually lead to some backers.

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Thorn1, Macedonia, QRD, etc.

I knew I wasn’t updating the blog as much as I used to, but I hadn’t realized I had skipped a couple weeks while busily working on Silber things.

First off is some QRD news.  There’s a new issue of guitarist interviews.  I also launched a thing to make QRD come out more regularly via this Kickstarter like site called Patreon.  The way Patreon works is you basically pledge a dollar per release (instead of $20 for the next twenty releases as a big ask) & how often I put out QRD depends on how many backers I get.  Anywhere from every three months to every two weeks.  I really don’t know if all this fan funding stuff is the future or just a last ditch effort before fundamental changes in how art works, but I kinda feel like I need to make the attempt just so I can stop hearing people tell me to try it.

The new Thorn1 record is out.  You can read about it or buy it over here.  As an experiment I have been asking people to listen to it &share it on Spotify to see if I can actually get any significant earnings for the band going this route.  Like everyone else I’ve read the stories about bands getting some money from getting fans to play their albums on loop & I’m hopeful if doubtful about the possibility.

The compilation we put out in conjunction with Post Global Recordings of ambient music from Macedonia is also available.  It’s called Across the Mountains.  I’m really happy to get this music out to people that never would here it otherwise, which I suppose is why Silber releases anything at all.

So I ran through the promo machine with the new releases & posted about them on Facebook & all that.  I’m torn about thinking whether anything I’m doing works for getting the word out any more.  Trying to keep some records to spend my time more appropriatelyon upcoming releases.  I gotta go ahead & start getting some of the next set of releases ready to go to keep from being backed up.

On the comic front, I think I might have finally cracked through the writer’s block I’ve been having for over a year now.  I’m pretty happy about that.  More news as comics actually come out.

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