Thursday, December 24, 2009
I've been suffering from a wicked case of writers block ever since the JPF awards process and our subsequent UK/Ireland tour ended in October. I usually try to use this space to say something upbeat or at least motivational in the context of our music community and the music industry which surrounds it. I've gone around and around trying to do what I think I am supposed to do and it finally hit me. I needed to stop trying to compete with all my previously successful "My Takes" and just write about something real. When I thought about it, I knew exactly what to write about today.
The world is full of people who are happy to teach you how the music business works (or at least used to work). They lay out their theories and give you roadmaps that they claim will lead you to success. Then there are others who will show you how to make better recordings so you sound as good as what is on the radio. Still more folks will examine the craft of songwriting in great detail and teach you to write in a format and style and how to use techniques that are proven to work for hit writers which we'd all love to surpass. And while all these things can be 100% correct in context, they are missing the single most important factor that all artists of all types must face and successfully overcome.
Stop asking yourself if you can do something better than those who are successful. Instead ask yourself if you really have something to say. That's the thing that very few people ever coach you on. Sure, you may be able to write the heck out of a story, but do you have a story worth telling? You may be able to sing in perfect pitch but are you getting across an emotion that is real and meaningful? You may be able to record an album that equals the best engineering feats in the world, but is there something underneath that beautiful wrapping paper that actually says something worth hearing?
I realized I was so worried about writing something that would 'succeed' in terms of this column and which would stand up to all my previous quotes and quips, that I had forgotten to ask myself if I was saying something of value in the first place. So my sage advice for today is to stop and ask yourself if you really have something to say that is honest and meaningful and which will connect to some of us out here who will recognize those little truths that make up our own lives. Tell a story, big or small, that helps the listener realize that they aren't alone in this big old world and that when they listen to your music, they really feel like we're all in this together. Accomplish that and you're a success as an "artist" no matter how the rest of it works out.
Learn, Succeed and Thrive, We're All In This Together! Just Plain Folks.
Written by Brian Austin Whitney
Visit the Website: www.jpfolks.com
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
That is what Len said when he sent this - it is perfect, I wish our SPCA had done it, the message is the same though folks!
I have a good video of the home made sort for you for Christmas as well, and if anyone would like a copy of the Rave On Recipe folder this year, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
One of the Very Vancouver Christmas artists made this wicked little video to go with her song this year - check it out, Hilary Grist is SO talented!
She'll be playing at the REALLY Big Christmas Show this Sunday - see her live!
www.myspace.com/veryvancouverchristmas for more info ~
Thursday, December 10, 2009
A while ago I found these guys on Twitter called @buyacredit (http://www.buyacredit.com/) aka Adrian Bliss and friends. Brilliant idea, people can buy a producer credit on the film they will make with the money. (Having Stephen Fry behind you won't hurt either). Check it out - very cool, and very clever.
This is quite like 'Sellaband' (http://www.sellaband.com), you set up an account and people can pay to help you make your record.
You can be in charge of your career and become your own marketing genius. We LOVE it.
And of course, we LOVE Alex Highton , who has just set up his page. Please go listen and help fund his amazing work, and be a apart of the art! http://www.sellaband.com/projects/alhighton (Having Ashton Kutcher and Bert Jansch behind you won't hurt either!).
What a great gift for everyone involved!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Funny enough, I work on the Christmas album year round, what with marketing and promo etc. and for the last 3 years, after Christmas comes and goes, I wake up one January day and think, bugger, I've missed it again!
This year I didn't want that to happen, so I have started watching Christmas movies on CBC, sending real, handwritten Christmas cards, gifts to kids overseas and putting up more Christmas lights than we usually have on - but, nothing...I'm still too busy to enjoy it.
This video however, got me in the spirit in exactly 2 minutes and 57 seconds.
Well done you!