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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drone shirt, noise shirt, upcoming stuff

So I designed this “keep calm and drone on” shirt for over on Society6.  I posted about it a few places to see if I could generate a couple sales.  It’s interesting how forums work sometimes with people ganging up taking sides on a thing saying it sucks or is cool.  I also made this “noisy not nerdy” one.  I guess I just have to wait & see if these can beat the five or six sales I’ve had of my Yoko Ono shirt on there.

After much back & forth, the Macedonian compilation is complete.  I still need to make the webpage for it & all that, but I’m pretty happy with it being done & seeing what happens with it.  I’m going to tie its release in with the new Thorn1 (press release to write & layout) & the new QRD (one interview to proof, plus layout to do).

Things are looking & feeling positive today.

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stuff

I was talking to a friend of mine that also runs the label about how when I quit my job to take care of my grandmother/focus on Silber I thought being able to go from 30 hours to 70 hours of work would double the income to really be able to sustain things.  He said over the years he’s fallen into that trap, but now come to believe that in general nothing over 30 hours of work a week actually leads to more revenue & that I should make sure to spend time enjoying life.  Great advice….

I just switched the big free streaming playlist on the Silber page to have Spotify as an option to at least theoretically make the artists a few extra pennies. I’m thinking about doing the same thing for all the free streaming releases that have come out that are available on Spotify as well. In part also because I was never satisfied with the current embedded player I have (I miss that Yahoo one). I’m also thinking about doing something where in the future the press release stream pages will be Spotify run too. (So a release wouldn’t run through the Silber promo machine until after it is up on Spotify). Any thoughts on this? I know that Spotify kinda sucks for the musicians, but I also know their popularity is responsible for the loss in sales throughout the industry & if slight re-tooling of the Silber site can mean getting artists a royalty check I’m kinda obligated to do it….

Been working a bunch towards the new Thorn1 album & the Macedonian ambient compilation.  I’m also going to be adding a section on the sales page trying to get people to subscribe to future releases.  I feel like having the money in advance would really help out as far as giving the artists on the label knowledge of whether they should go to a studio for something like the 5 in 5 EPs or if they should just record at home.  Not knowing what your choice should be until two years later is kinda lame.

Some of you know I work helping run painting parties.  I did this at work:Silberspy with a candle

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