Happy New Year from Silber

Hello,

Welcome to 2015.  2014 was a pretty ambitious year for us at Silber.  25 releases, which I think is the most we’ve ever done in a year.  So what’s the plan for 2015?  Beat it.  If I can get my act together there will be around 16 releases in the first 4 months of 2015.  Digital re-issues of out of print releases from If Thousands, Rllrbll, & Electric Bird Noise.  Over a half dozen EPs in the 5in5 series.  Three compilations.  The Infant Cycle retrospective.  New releases from Chvad SB, Remora, Andrew Weathers, & Space Sweeper.  Probably more ready before all of that comes out.

20 years ago this month I was typing up & cutting & pasting together the first issue of QRD.  I probably only made 30 of them.  At the peak of popularity I think I printed up 700 copies, but a few years later the internet started to kill off zines & eventually I succumbed to being a webzine.  Anyway, I have about half of issue 70 done (so far mainly cartoonists), so hopefully that will come out next month.

I’ve gotten a few comic scripts out to artists to draw in the past week.  New issues of REH, Seabase17, Lost Kisses, & a new series called Ship should be out in the next couple of months & hopefully I’ll get the script for Walrus #4 finished as well as a script for another new series called Faun.

I started pushing people towards Spotify a few months ago to see if I could get streaming revenue to work for Silber.  Well, I got the answer.  I went from getting $3-$4 from Spotify a month to $20-$40 a month.  So I started making ten times as much, which is awesome, but it’s still not making up for the reduction of sales from just a few years ago.  Though I must say that I personally have had a lot of good feelings listening to the Silber catalog on random play.  There really has been a lot of good stuff we’ve put out over the years.  It only takes 90 hours to listen to the stuff we have on Spotify so far.
https://play.spotify.com/user/silberspy/playlist/27NjmkRh1NqqDYIf64Fmp1

Last year I did a digital download bundle of all the releases of the previous year at a discount & it was a pretty big hit.  So I’m offering that again along with a special on our ten most popular albums of 2014.  The special will expire the end of January.
http://www.silbermedia.com/sale/

Just a reminder for those of you in need.  I do custom one-inch buttons & magnets.  Trying to get a few orders flowing to start 2015 in the black if you or any one you know needs some.
http://www.silbermedia.com/buttons/custom.shtml

Thanks for your continued interest & support.

Hrt
Brian John Mitchell

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Silber’s Most Popular Releases of 2014

What were the ten most popular releases on Silber in 2014?  It might surprise you as some of them suprised us.  You get all ten of them for just $20!  Here’s what you get:
Chvad SB: Crickets Were the Compass
Our biggest release of 2014 was pur first time working with Chvad.  Dark ambient & how did he come to work with us?  Through a suggestion from Clang Quartet!

Origami Arktika: Absolut Gehor
I love Origami Arktika & I guess other people do too.  That Einstürzende Neubauten had links to this album probably didn’t hurt the interest in this one.

Various Artist: QRD – The Guitarists
This massive beast took me hundreds of hours to work on (mainly because of the several thousand page associated interview book).  I really thought it was going to be a release that got people re-excited about Silber & would make all the people who thought we had gone out of business know who we are again.  While it didn’t work out quite like that, it is an awesome & massive thing.

Feel No Other: Feel No Other
I was surprised this ended up this high on the list.  The full length debut of this cinematic darkwave side project of Electric Bird Noise.

If Thousands: For
I’m so glad this made the chart.  A few months before we put this out with Silber, If Thousands put it out themselves on Bandcamp to limited notice & we were really glad to be able to help people hear the relaunch of this great band.

Thorn1: The Light of Random Star
This is my personal favorite album of 2014.  Another one I thought would get Silber a lot of attention, but I’m happy with the ability to get great records heard at all.

Electric Bird Noise: Kind of Black
Electric Bird Noise is becoming the flagship of Silber lately.  The title Kind of Black is a refernce to Miles Davis’s Kind Of Blue & this album is some kind of post jazz ambient guitar mash-up.

Various Artists: Across the Mountains
This compilation really follows one of my main goals with Silber, getting music from one corner of the globe to another.  A lot of people don’t even know Macedonia is a country, let alone are they aware of a healthy experimental music scene being there.  So I’m pretty stoked that this came together & that people care.

Yellow6: Closer To The Sea Without Moving
In 2013 we got to start working with Yellow6 because of the 5in5 series.  I never thought Jon would ask us to help him put out an album.  Pretty happy to work with a lifelong pier this far into both his & our legacies.

Slicnaton: Autoscopy
I’m really glad to have this in the chart as it was at least four years in the making & while it seemed to get some attention from Silber piers (notably Brian Bird Noise, Chvad SB, & Brian Remora), it didn’t seem to get the critical attention it deserved, but at least people are listening to it!

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& Now It’s 2015

Looking back, 2014 was a pretty ambitious year for Silber.  25 musical releases including the massive QRD compilation & ebook.  4 issues of QRD. 14 mini-comics.  2 Kickstarters.  5 comic conventions. About 10 live shows from Remora/Small Life Form.  It was hard to accomplish & I couldn’t have done it without your financial & emotional support.  Thanks for your interest & support & I look forward to getting you all more good music, comics, & interviews in 2015.

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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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