blue-balloon-imageHello There!

I hope you’re enjoying the election season. It’s quite something.

I have a show coming up at the Bazaar Café in San Francisco on Sunday October 30, from 6-8pm.

I’ll be sharing the night with singer/songwriter Bill Leigh. I’ve known Bill for a few years now but he is still kind of an enigma to me. When I google his name I get Editor of Bass Player Magazine, which I know is true, and a few listings for his recent singer/songwriter shows. I know he writes good songs because I have heard him play them. But this is where my knowledge ends and the mystery of Bill Leigh begins.

For myself, like many people I have gone through the fire and I continue to go through it. These are hard times that we live in and I have found that music and live performance are one of the few things that make me feel rejuvenated. Yes, performing myself but also seeing other people perform. There’s nothing like being in an audience and going on a journey with an audience, no matter how big or small. And as a performer when it works it’s magic. My last gig was one for the books and I was ecstatic after words. I’m hoping for more and more of that feeling!

Please come out to the Bazaar Café. Come alone, bring friends, just show up.
If you have any requests let me know beforehand so maybe I can practice them. You can hear all my albums at: www.alexwalsh.com
And I’ll be playing some new songs too. I have one called The Lady With The Blue Balloons that will be making it’s world premiere.

Have a great week and a half!
Alex

Alex Walsh & Bill Leigh
Sunday, October 30, 2016
6 – 8pm
Bazaar Café
5927 California Street, between 21st & 22nd Avenues
San Francisco, CA
(415) 831-5620
www.bazaarcafe.com

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift decided to not put her music on Spotify last week and the music world is all a-buzz. The issue of content creators (that warm and fuzzy catch phrase for artists of all stripes) not getting paid for their work is a very hot topic right now, at least among artists. I hope somebody’s getting some money out of it!

It seems I get reminded of this topic every few months: A little while ago there was an interview with David Byrne on the subject which caused quite a stir. Last week, because of Taylor Swift, I read about the subject in the New York Times. Over the weekend I’ve seen extended conversations on the West Coast Songwriters Facebook page. Everyone makes compelling arguments:

  • Music Streaming is here to stay
  • Spotify cheats it’s artists
  • The market is saturated
  • Artists are greedy
  • People expect music to be free
  • It is only $10 for a subscription
  • No good music will be made if people can’t make a living
  • Spotify is only one company, Taylor Swift has her stuff everywhere so it’s no big deal
  • Follow the money – Spotify is about to go public so the music industry wants it that way (or something like that)

And then my head hurts. Selfishly, as a content creator, I think I should be paid for writing about this, but, I’m also all for finding a good bargain. So, you reading this for free is okay with me. But if this blog post turned into a series and then a novel, I would want to sell it because I put so much time into it. And then I’d quit my day job, you see, because novelists…

But I digress.

The 90s in San Francisco was a great time for collecting records on the street. I’d be walking along and suddenly there would be a box full of old records on the sidewalk. “Awesome!” And some of them were even good. But then I got rid of my turntable and records because I was sick of hauling them around when I moved. CDs were smaller. I wasn’t an audiophile so it wasn’t a big deal to me.

So…how do I feel about this streaming issue? Besides the fact that there is no access to the information you’d find on the CD jacket — like who wrote it, recorded it, played on it — if all I’m going to lose is the ability to stream Taylor Swift on Spotify, it’s not a big deal to me. But if you’re going to take away my dream that one day I can quit my day job, well then…

EVERYONE SHOULD DIE.

 

 

In the mid-nineties I went to a career counselor. I had graduated from college and was at a real loss as to what to do next. She gave me a few personality tests including the Meyers Briggs.  I was an INFP. A few weeks ago I retook the test online and was an INFJ.  I thought that was pretty cool. “Wow, almost nobody is an INFJ, that’s amazing! That’s why nobody understands me!” What a relief.

I say all this to tell you about the Far-West Conference I went to this weekend and my experience of it. I did a count and over the years have only gone to about 8 conferences. I’ve always come away exhausted. I used to think there was something wrong with me but now I know that I’m really just an introverted person. Lately I’ve seen things about Introverts everywhere. I read a lot of books about it from the library. There’s a good Ted Talk about it. Anyway, so introversion is a hot topic now. I guess that makes me hot.

Introverts need a lot of alone time, and I know I do. Spending time talking to people and networking takes away energy from introverts. So I went to the conference the first night and it was fine. Then the next day the conference started at 9am. Waaaayyy too early for anyone I think, especially musicians. But I was determined to make it happen. Okay, then it got to dinner time and I was exhausted so I went home. Then I came back that night to check out the guerrilla showcases. Lots of musicians singing in hotel rooms. I’d been told over the years that I really should go to this conference, and that the best part is the guerrilla showcases. Okay, I did it!

I got home about 3 in the morning. I figured I’d go later in the day on Saturday but I never made it. I was beat. I decided to stay home. I felt kind of guilty but I chanted about it (because I’m an SGI Buddhist, and chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo brings out your buddha nature, and that’s what I do…) and felt better.

When I started thinking about it and writing stuff down I realized I’d covered a lot in the one day and two nights I was there. Here are a few notes:

Video: I need some live action video on my website and youtube channel.

Radio: Nothing’s changed. Community radio is not the place to sell CD’s. Use it to promote shows. Can use an old release. Does not have to be latest and greatest like on commercial radio on which a new CD has only a 12 week cycle.

I was reminded about the Bottom Line. The Bottom Line is: How many people can you bring?

I’ll say it again: How many people can you bring?

That’s the Bottom Line. Also the Top Line. That’s the whole point. I mean it is show business after all.

So I survived!

And today I found out I won third place in a drawing. My prize is a free creative clarity consultation from Patricia Morrison, one of the people at the conference. It feels good to win!

In the future I’ll try to follow my instinct more because it worked out pretty good this time.

I just ordered some new business cards because I’m going to a music conference. I made my last batch a few years ago and over that time I grew to hate them and felt embarrassed handing them out. It didn’t help that I ordered 500, which represents a ton of networking.

I continued to give them out because I didn’t want to waste money (the guilt of wasting them was stronger than the hate of using them). I recently did a purge of my desk and decide it was time to finally get new cards (I kept about 50 after the purge). Hopefully they’ll arrive in time for the conference. I ordered 250. If they don’t show up I’ll pass out my 50 less than perfect cards, and if all else fails, I’ll just give them a CD (thankfully the contact info is the same).

So the lesson learned here is don’t order too many business cards because I might need to change them, or end up hating them so much I don’t want to hand them out. Maybe it’s best to adopt a pay as I go mentality? I know I have perfectionist tendencies. In this case maybe good enough really is good enough.

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My New Business Card!!!
My New Business Card!!! (Please excuse the funky scan…)

Oh wait—my new business cards came today, and I like them! (Ask me how I feel in a few months…)