Showing posts with label SoundClick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SoundClick. Show all posts

Monday, October 17, 2022

The Creepy People You Meet


There was a time, when our band was deep in the throes of creativity, that I joined a couple of artist forums. (Are there any left? Not sure.) Artist forums used to be fun. Songwriters would post their latest recordings, whether polished or bare-bones, and online friends would comment, usually enthusiastically (because being an artist is hard and we all need encouragement). I had three forums I browsed regularly. One was cornily named Just Plain Folks, and it hummed along merrily for years. There weren't many accomplished songwriters participating, but it was a comfortable joint, undemanding. "Folksy", if you will. A month or so ago, I tried to access the site and it was deathly silent, But checking again as I write this, it appears to be back. I'm sure the old codgers, if they're still alive, will be thrilled.

The second site I browsed was called Tunesmith. I swear it had about nine regular posters, one of whom had actually written a number one country song, and thus it was an old boys' club, with one or two female posters diluting the testosterone. I only posted a couple of times, at the behest of one of those ladies, but I was met with such scorn that I consigned myself to reading only, and eventually drifted away. That site, too, is long gone.

By far the most welcoming forum was SoundClick's (ooh, our band's still here!) In fact, we still have four songs on the charts (sad). Years ago, however, SoundClick deleted its forum, and now it's essentially a site for "beats", whatever the hell that means. 

Even Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan (remember them?) posted their songs on SoundClick. In my naivete I thought this little place was our ticket to a career in music.

I met some online friends there ~ Cliff, Rick, and one weird guy who called himself Len. At first I wasn't sure what his role was. He didn't make music, but he seemed to promote it. He never failed to offer gushing comments on new song posts, and like that hanger-on who you don't realize is a hanger-on, his feedback puffed us up. He intimated that he could advance one's career, so we all abided him and laughed at his weird jokes. 

The place was like a little club, though anyone was welcome. There weren't many of us on the site doing decent country, and looking back, we were really the only ones boosting each others' careers. There were little skirmishes here and there; some wannabe record producer who tore down minor elements of a recording, artist jealousies, chart manipulation. Len was always there, egging on the dissonance; forming alliances.

At one point, he asked me to record promos for his "radio show", and I was too trusting to even ask for a web link. He later sent me a psychedelic instrumental track and wanted me to improvise a vocal to top it off. And I did. He suggested on the forum that I create an alter ego named Patsy and record another radio promo in a southern drawl. Yep, I did that, too. I have no excuse, other than that I just "knew" that all of it would get our band noticed at last. He was a radio DJ, after all, right? 

I don't know when it finally hit me. Maybe it was the constant barrage of emails. Maybe it was the increasingly bitter tone of his posts. At last I Googled his name and found myriad sites full of weird amateur videos ~ tons and tons of amateur cell phone videos. It seemed he had created a page on every two-bit hosting site, and every one of his creations was nothing but spam. When I originally joined Facebook, he sent me a friend request, which I accepted, I guess for old time's sake, but I soon had to block him. His comments were inappropriate and embarrassing. It wasn't that I considered him a stalker ~ he no doubt did the same to every artist he knew ~ but I have no room in my psyche for Crazy Town. 

I hadn't thought about him in years, but I was editing some of our band's YouTube videos today and found a comment he'd left on a fairly recent one. I deleted it. 

I'm currently watching Friend Of The Family on Peacock and marveling at the utter naivete of the family the villain terrorized. How could anyone be so gullible? Even I, who lived a relatively sheltered life, would have raised my antennae at this guy's manipulations. But would I? It's scarily easy to get roped in. If someone is offering something you truly want, how much are you willing to compromise yourself?

Today I don't interact with people online, unless that person is a relative or a real-life friend, I ignore DM's on Twitter. If I leave a comment on a Twitter post or on a news site, I never, ever go back to view the responses. 

Crazy people exist. They may be harmless trolls. But they may be obsessives.  

Keep away.

Friday, March 25, 2011


I've been thinking a bit about promotion (or "marketing", as the snake oil salesmen prefer to call it).

As musicians and/or songwriters, everyone tells us that promotion is key. In fact, there are a WHOLE BUNCH of sites out there just begging us to believe that.

But do we ever stop to think about who we're marketing to, and why?

Here's the thing; I just like making music. In fact, I find that I like the process more than I like the finished product.

Thus, even though I created my own ReverbNation site for my acoustic songs, by no means does that mean that I'm looking to grab the brass ring, or any other cliche you can recite. I just wanted a place to keep all my songs in one handy spot. Not everyone with a music page is trying to promote themselves (but I guess most probably are).

The fact about ReverbNation, Soundclick (that old chestnut),, (okay, I made up those last two), etc., that none of those sites want you to figure out is, the only other people there are other artists.

Yet, all these sites are more than happy to try to get you to buy the "pro" package, or "pro" widget; pretty much the "pro" anything. Can't they make enough money from ads? And why in the world would I need a pro package? Will that get me discovered? ha ha

I've ranted about "fanning" before, but humor me: I keep getting all these stupid emails clogging up my in box, telling me that John or Estelle just became my fan. Yet, when I checked my stats on ReverbNation today, I've had only 26 song plays. Twenty-six song plays and 58 fans. It's amazing!

So, this morning, I posted this in my bio:


I haven't gotten an email since! Wow ~ I don't get it! ha ha

I consider it a rookie mistake to post one's music everywhere on the web, and to take seriously someone deciding to become your "fan". I'm not saying there aren't any true fans out there, but believe me, they're few and far between. As I said before, 99.99% of the people on these sites are other musicians, and they just want you to listen to their music.

If I could remember every place I've uploaded our music, I would go to those sites and cancel our membership, although I've noticed that some sites don't even give you that option.

Choose one or two sites to host your music, at the most. Then you'll still have a place to direct your friends to, if you want to share your music with them. Cuz honestly, it's only your friends that will listen, and even they might not really want to.

As the manager of our band, I've decided that I'm only going to promote something I really like. Face it, every artist does a lot of songs; not all of them are gems (just ask me!) I'm focusing on promoting the best of the best.

And by promoting, I mean, trying to get the best of the best to someone who might actually do something for us. (Never fear, since this is my personal blog, I'm going to continue to promote all our stuff here; that's what blogs are for!)

In a future post, I'll talk a bit about "opportunities"; the good, the bad, and the ripoffs.

And yes, I love fans ~ real ones!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

*My* Songs

I've got a bunch of songs in the pipeline.

By "pipeline", I mean, they may or may not get recorded. But you never know!

The problem I was having was that I kept re-recording guitar/vocal versions of the songs, until I was at least semi-happy with them as demos. But when I went back to listen to them, I had too many versions of the same song, and I didn't know which was the "good"version, and which was a prior attempt.

So, I thought, hey! SoundClick! SoundClick isn't much good for anything other than storing songs for future reference.

So, since it's FREE, I thought, why not set up a page to store all my "best" versions of my demos?

One tiny problem with that is, everybody can listen to them. But that's a small price to pay, really. I mean, what's the worst that can happen? Somebody will listen to a song and think it's horrible? Well, who are these people anyway? And don't they have anything better to do than to troll for new songs on SoundClick?

Face it, if SoundClick thinks all those hip-hop "artists" they keep pushing are so great, how bad could my stuff sound?

So, my initial idea was actually a good one.

I set up a page: Michelle's Work Tapes

And I WARNED people in my "interview" what the page was all about. I asked people to PLEASE not add any of these songs to their stations (people can set up personal stations there). I told everyone in no uncertain terms that these were WORK TAPES.

Did that stop people? No. Of course not.

Somebody added one of my "songs" to their station.

While it's flattering to find that out, it's also really embarrassing. But what the heck?

I guess I choose to look at it this way: At least it tells me which songs people actually like, and therefore, which songs might be candidates for full-blown recordings.

The one song that people seem to like is actually a throw-away. And I knew that, for whatever reason, that would be a song that would get picked up for recording. My producer feels the same way. That song is, "Hello Dear Heartache".

It sometimes makes me wonder why I put so much work into some of my songs, when the quick and easy ones seem to capture people's attention.

What really struck me as funny was that a song that I wrote a long time ago, "Kathryn's Place", actually hit #20 in Cajun/Zydeoco! Ha! It must have been the bad accordion playing that roped people in. Either that, or, there just aren't a lot of songs in that particular category.

Also, surprisingly, a song called, "The Game", that I wrote a LONG time ago, hit #23 in Honky Tonk. Again, not a real popular category, I'm thinking.

So, all in all, this turned out to be an enlightening experiment. The songs I consider to be my "best" didn't chart at all, while the throw-away songs garnered some attention.

Regardless, the next Red River song to be recorded will be, "The High Cost Of Living".

After that, it will be, "Heartview".

Neither of these songs even hit the charts on SoundClick.

I have to go with my intuition, and that of my producer.

Trust me. These songs will sound good. Way better than the demos.

And I hate to break it to the "fans", but "Kathryn's Place" will never see the light of day.

But "Hello Dear Heartache" will no doubt be recorded.

So, that's some consolation.