Marine Layer

So I’m entering month 12 in mostly sunny Los Angeles and lo and behold June is cloudy and foggy…especially in the morning. They call it June Gloom here but it’s really an extended marine layer. Kind of a nice break from the constant brights and it’s good to know the weather actually changes out west. I’ve come to realize people in LA talk about traffic the same way Midwesterners talk about weather. It’s a common dance in the car and everyone has to deal with it…I’m getting used to my daily I-5 commute to Burbank. It’s kind of like coffee….or crack depending on the day.

Musically, it’s been a good 12 months. A new direction for my song/sounds I think. I’ve turned over most of my song catalog to LA based music publisher Black Toast Music and they have been very good at educating and guiding me through the song placement world. I should have more soon on new TV/Film projects that have licensed my songs for the fall. I’ve been reading this book called Outliers and it talks about all the variables that contribute to success…even relative success. Genes, luck, parenting, class, ethnicity, work ethic etc. And one of the main points was being ready for success when an opportunity presented itself. The 10,000 hours of practice concept (I’m not even close). It has taken about fifteen years of grinding away at songwriting to have a 50 song catalog ready for Black Toast. And I’ve been really lucky too. My wife just took a job in LA this year, getting me out of the cornfields and closer to new music opportunities. And I’ve worked and recorded with unbelievably talented musicians/producers I’ve met through my small hometown Iowa City network. I can’t tell you how freeing it has been to turn my back catalog of songs over to someone else. No more promo thoughts. No more booking. No more hustle. It’s really all gravy once you let someone else have skin in the game. Takes a load off…

Ahh but the new songs I’m writing. What to do in digital 2009 with new songs? I’m pretty sure I’m done with the old indie model of recording, set up distro, release CD, tour/promote, chase down royalties, rinse and repeat. I’ve enjoyed recording my last 4 albums with analog tape…but it seems the iTunes mp3 world doesn’t really call for that level of high fidelity….hmm I’m open to suggestions on this one. Maybe a digital only release….that would be very Green?

6/4 - Wow..ask for input and you shall receive. An instant email from Jeff in Australia below:

Mate I am 54 years old. so I bought vinyl back in the day (and still do.) there is nothing like walking down the road with a 12’’ under your arm… when CD’s came I could take the album in my car on the way to work… no more cassettes. and now it is download…..
as a collector of music for many many years now… thoughts are this. I am now downloading albums. but when it comes to someone I really like I still want the hard copy cover and booklet so I can read who’s playing etc. when I download I find I don’t look after a burnt cd as I would the I am finding lately still searching for original albums…..where the downloaded version is TODAY I don’t know…..... I have bought 4 albums this week and could have downloaded them all but I want that real cd in my hands…....I have all your albums and the next one i will buy download or what ever but I hope you release hard copy. just my thoughts.
Jeff in Sydney

6/11 - I did a quick poll on my e-list this week and folks seem to be split about 50/50 on buying CD’s versus Digital Downloads. Hmmm…

Speaking of iTunes…I have a request for you mp3 lovers. Please download from the original 20 track U.S. version of Haymaker Heart on iTunes. I actually get paid for that version thanks to the nice folks at Redeye Distribution. All my other albums/songs are available as well and would look very nice in your iPhone, iPod or whatever twittering texting device you prefer these days.

That’s all I got…be good.

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