Foreign Futures

I just sent out 90 solicits for interviews for the next issue of QRD.  Even though both the Fathers & Guitarists ebooks have so far been financial failures in the time to money ratio, both have seemed to have some positive personal impacts on individuals & sometimes I forget that is what everything I do is about.  Positive impacts & making people feel less uniquely alone.

Finished posting stuff on Facebook groups about the new releases & about to finish contacting the press folks I only have web contacts for.  So that means it’s time to do some new releases & start all over again.  Lately it seems like I’m getting more reviews of year old releases than the new ones, but I’m pretending it’s because Silber is so cutting edge the world won’t be ready for us for another year.

Also worth noting I have the finished a big project blues & I’m trying to push on & get work done instead of wallowing in depression for a month.  We’ll see who wins.

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Stuff is Happening

I don’t update the blog like I used to.  Maybe one day I’ll get back to it, but I just realized I hadn’t really talked about the Kickstarter I have running that ends in a couple days.  It was kind of a last minute thing, to do a Kickstarter for an ebook collecting the 100 interviews I’ve done with musician/cartoonist/artistic dads in time for Father’s Day.  It did meet my ultra low funding goal where I make around $3 an hour for the time it takes me to make it, but way under my personal goal of 100 backers.  That 100 number is what I set for myself as the point where I’d look into making a physical edition.  At this point I’d say it seems pretty unlikely to hit that, but maybe there will be a long tail & it will make sense down the line.  My hope is that after I get it up on Amazon & such it will be something to generate $10 a month for the next ten years & if I just right 99 other books with that degree of success I’ll be doing okay.

I made a Spotify playlist that is always going to feature the ten newest Silber releases.  Listen to it at work & earn the artists a few pennies.

Anyway, a lot of other stuff going on.  New releases are out & getting a little attention from M is We, The Infant Cycle, & What Does The Scanner See.  Remix EPs coming from M is We & Philip Polk Palmer.  New releases coming soon from Philip Polk Palmer, Chvad SB, Kirchenkampf, Remora, Space Sweeper, & more.  Two new experimental comps we’re putting together for this fall.  A bunch of comics out with artists.  Everything looks like it’s going well except the finances!

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New Music & New Interviews

So I have been working on a bunch of Silber stuff non-stop for several days.  I stopped when the power went out & to take my wife to the doctor, but pretty much if I’ve been awake I’ve been grinding.  So anyway… three new releases (by The Infant Cycle, M is We, & What Does The Scanner See) & a new QRD with 40 interviews.  You can get to them all from the Silber front page.

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A Dash of Southern Pride

Getting some things going here in Silberia today.

Comics – first drafts of REH #10, REH – Another Life #1, & a random future issue of XO.

Music – Finished mastering the M is We record & sent to Michael for approval, got approval from Michael for an M is We remix kit (awaiting tracks), finished artwork for Philip Polk Palmer disc & delivered to Philip, got in raw tracks for Palmer remix kit (need to assemble), still running into some minor snafus with The Infant Cycle release (but it may be finished soon), shipped 50 Remora CDs as a giveaway for a friend’s movie night.

QRD – emailed the 60 previous contributors to the Father’s Day interview series about the ebook & kickstarter asking for one paragraph updates (received maybe 10 responses so far), received another interview in for the upcoming issue & proofed it, arranged an interview about the ebook on a podcast for Friday, did an email interview about the ebook that went up an hour later.

Wrote three dreams down in my dream diary.

This is how much work I should be doing every single day.  What is wrong with me?

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Lots is up

So I know I haven’t been doing blog entries lately.  I’m not really sure why.  There’s been a lot going on.

First off a couple weeks ago the Kaiju Temple comp came out.  Its a soundtrack to Joe Badon’s Terra Kaiju comic which is included with the download.

Been doing a lot of work towards the upcoming QRD which is going to be over 20 interviews with cartoonists & musicians about balance art & fatherhood.  In related news I’m running a Kickstarter to collect all the Father’s Day interviews as an ebook.  Spread the word about it if you can.  I guess I’ll need to start spreading the word about it sometime in the next few weeks.

Working on booklets & press releases for some of the upcoming releases including What Does the Scanner See, Philip Polk Palmer, The Infant Cycle, & M is We.  Getting teady to send out stuff to the usual Silber suspects about some compilations coming out in September.  It’s busy.  But it’s good.

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Signal, Noise, & Newsgroups

Over the past couple of years Facebook Groups have really risen to prominence as a way to get the word out about creative work.  Unfortunately they have also proliferated to the point they are hard to keep track of & many have been so inundated by promotional posts that they are no longer useful.  So I made this spreadsheet to help sort through things.
group-promotion-signal-noiseColumn A is the name of the group, Column B is the URL, Column C is the number of members of the group, Column D is the activity level, Column E tells you the type of group it is & I think that is probably where most people stop with their spreadsheet, but I wanted to take things a bit further.  Just to get the easy stuff out of the way, anything after Column I just shows the actual posts put in a group.

I’ll go from the obvious things to the least obvious things in Columns F-I.
Column I just has the number of posts I’ve made in a group.
Column H has the amount of interaction I’ve had within the group, so I add 1 for every like or comment a post gets.  For mathematical reasons, I always start a groups interaction level at 0.1 until there is actual interaction on the group.
Column G has the amount of trackable action from a post.  What does this mean?  It means the amount of people who actually do the thing you are asking them to do.  If you post that you are doing a Kickstarter & that post gets a lot of likes, that’s not really that important to you, because what you want is backers.  So the only trackable actions would be those times a post generates a sale or a video view or a Kickstarter backer or whatever it is you are pushing.  If you really want to get into it you can make individual links for a group, or you can just use a “best guess” scenario (what I do) where you can assume someone came frame a post earlier in the day rather than a post to a different group a few days earlier. For mathematical reasons I always start trackable at 0.1 until something makes me believe it should be higher.
Column F is where all the math really happens & I call the answer “amplification”.  The formula is # of members x # of interactions x # of trackable actions divided by # of posts.  This measures to me the importance of posting in an individual group.  A group with 1000 members would start with an amplification value of 10 on your first post, if that post generates 2 likes the value goes up to 200 & if it generates 2 likes & 1 trackable action its value shoots up to 2000.  The more posts you do, the more you will realize the true value of a group.  You’ll notice most of the groups that have a trackable action have a higher amplification number than there are group members.  These will be the most relevant groups for you.  As time goes on & you do more posts in a group you will start to see which groups are irrelevant for you to do promotion on, which is something that can change if you make a concerted effort to be active in a group before making a post.

In general I’d give any group at least 5 promotional posts before leaving it & I wouldn’t join any group for promotional use that has less than 1000 members.  If you’ve made 5 posts & your amplification number is now under 100, there’s a good chance that your post is just noise & wasting both your time & that of all the members of the group.

Anyway, download the spreadsheet to use yourself & I hope you find it useful.  If you do find it useful, just buy something from Silber to show your support.

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One Response to Signal, Noise, & Newsgroups

  1. lullabier says:

    This will be definitely useful for my new VeniVersus label-adventure. Brian thanks for everything you do!

Somewhat Relevant – Babadook

For the last few years it seems like horror movies are really focused toward gore & torture porn & sexy teenagers.  Maybe that’s always been true & it’s just gotten less appealing to me as I’ve gotten older & the guidelines for what can be put on screen have gotten more relaxed.  At any rate Babadook sounded interesting as the creepy kid genre tends to at least not be oversexualized.  But wow.  The guy who directed The Exorcist said something to the effect of this being the creepiest movie he’d ever seen & I totally get that.  If you like movies like Ringu (The Ring) or Absentia where they know the scariest parts should be left to your imagination, this film is for you.  Also worth noting is that the child actor is decent in that it doesn’t feel like he’s acting & is just a kid with moodswings.  Oh, I suppose it’s worth mentioning it is a boogieman story.  Really, if you like creepy movies you should watch this.

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Somewhat Relevant – Whiplash

So the main reason I wanted to see this movie was it got some praise from Scotty Irving (Clang Quartet) & it’s rare for him to bother to talk about films that aren’t about super heroes or giant monsters.  It’s good.  You should see it.  My review might spoil some things about it, but my personal view is a good movie can’t really be spoiled because you can see it multiple times.

So the basic plot is a kid goes to a decent music school where a professor tries to make students crack under pressure in order to make good students shine like diamonds.  I think normal people think the professor pushes the line too far in trying to break the kids, even admitting he never actually made a diamond.  But I think that this professor is in the right.  I know a ton of people that have gotten their performance degrees while being nowhere near ready to make it as a professional musician.  It’s a dis-service to tell a person “good job” or “good enough” when they don’t have what it takes.  At that point a person is being robbed of both their time & money as well as wasting the hopeful expertise of the instructor.  Young people especially think they are hot shit & really need to be broken into realizing their passion (whatever it may be – music, art, film, journalism, writing, psychology, video games, religion, anything really) is just a hobby or pushed to the point that they are undeniably good.  Even the people I’m friends with that are good at what they do, I feel aren’t undeniably good & it’s not because they are lazy as much as no one ever really pushed them hard enough.  As someone who is only mediocre at any of the artistic things he works on, I really wish that I had had what it takes to face someone that had pushed me or broken me well enough that I had a comfortable relationship with art either as a professional or a hobbyist instead of this weird space I am in of not knowing how to have my art as either a true career or enjoyable hobby.  But I was too scared of being broken to even let someone show me how to be better.

This movie also addresses the idea that if you want to be truly great that you have to throw everything else away for it.  That the price of even a shot at greatness is your own happiness.  The classic suffering artist.  It’s romantic & at times I’ve thought it might be true & maybe it even is true.  But I’ve personally come to a place where I’d rather be happy than be great & it’s the best place I’ve been in a long time.

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2 Responses to Somewhat Relevant – Whiplash

  1. I watch all kinds of movies, but seldom feel compelled to say anything, as you have said. This movie disturbed me on many levels, which is why I felt the need to comment. J K Simmons is a great actor. He played this character a little TOO well for me, at times. This movie reminded me of many aspects of life that I have dealt with far too often, such as: abusive fellow bandmates, family indifference, and even an abusive Boy Scout leader. Am I saying I am a wuss and can’t take it? Maybe. Watching something on screen that reminds me of aspects of my real life is not easy for me. Yes, I do think it is a great movie, but I will probably never watch it again.

    • I hear you Scotty. It can be too close to home, but I imagine some of those bandmates are who pushed you to be the incredible drummer you are. I always just quit bands when things got hard….

Silber Top of the Pops

I thought some of you might be interested in what’s been popular on the Silber website so far in 2015.  I’m kinda surprised that the newest 5in5 aren’t dominating things, but that may be in part because we’ve been pushing them on Bandcamp & Spotify just as much as the Silber site.  Thanks for your interest in our work, it really means a lot to us.

Most Downloaded Albums
Various Artists – Broken Hearts Broken Sounds
Various Artists – Thirty Seconds of Time
Firetail – Little Droner Boy
Electric Bird Noise – Birth
MWVM – Had Yr Pash

Most Read About Albums
Various Artists – Broken Hearts Broken Sounds
Rllrbll – Bathing Music
Can Can Heads – King Dong Kong
Electric Bird Noise – Unleashing the Inner Robot
Chvad SB – Outside the Shadow of an Aliquot Tree

Most Downloaded Comics
Built #1
Lost Kisses #4
Ultimate Lost Kisses #11
Lost Kisses #5

Most Read QRD Articles
Author interview with Erin O’Brien
Label owner interview with David Mench of Waggletone
Guitarist interview with Alan Sparhawk of Low
Gifts for the Touring Musicians
Guitarist interview with Jesse Gray of The Pointless Forest

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So I had three new comics I thought would be assembled & shipped out last week, but they weren’t.  But I have a good excuse this time!  I was in the hospital with my wife.  I’ve been slow to announce it, but we’re having a baby.  Anyway, there’ve been a few rough spots with the pregnancy & the last set sent us to the hospital for several days & we’re back out trying to re-structure life a bit to face our current set of challenges.  You might think this might put Silber in danger, but to be honest I think Silber is in the least tumultuous place it has been in years.  I’m pretty comfortable with things right now.  I feel appropriately appreciated.  I have some people who like what I do & I have lost the delusion of my own greatness.  Life is good & my art is good & I always thought those two couldn’t be true at the same time.  This really is the best time of my life.  Thank you for being part of it.

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