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New single due August 2013

The entire world will stop and unite in a joyous outpouring of excitement and love when I release my first tune for the year this august. The song in question is called “Monkey Mind” and it is a full production number with drums n opera singers n shit AND an actual video. I will be packaging it up with an album that is effectively the best of the last 5 years worth of music. FUCKING GOOD music too I might add.

Going forward from there: this spring sees the release of the Zuiiza album, of which I am but one third, but thankfully for my fragile ego, the “lead singer” third. Videos will abound for this also. Then in 2014 I am to record a new solo album proper. By the time this comes out I will be massively famous around the world and probably won’t speak to little people like you any more. So call me now and buy me drinks, or forever hold your piss.

Finding My Audience

Played a gig last night, a “Songwriters in the Round” gig as put on the by legends who are Melting Pot.

It was a lovely evening, although as usual I only managed to bring all of three people to come see me. Bit depressing really, especially after all the buzz during the week in print and (more so) online, but the wicked thing about the gig is that I get to perform (seal that I am) to the other performer’s audience. That’s why I love the SITR gigs so much. I get to borrow other people’s audiences.

I was thinking last night as I made the long, thirsty drive back home at about 1am, that what I am doing is searching for my audience. They are out there, and eventually I am again going to see some kind of tipping point, like I did years and years ago in my old band reckoning.

Back then, in the early 90s, we worked hard for 2 years to find our audience, and eventually we found them. Turns out they were schoolkids and uni students mainly. So once a few key Influencers decided to start coming to our gigs, things started snowballing. These key Influencers (or Sneezers as Seth Godin calls them) started to tell all their mates about us. They were social leaders, so their mates, and their younger siblings and their mates, started coming to see us too. Then they got us a gig at their school, then that got us a gig at another school. And suddenly, whammo! We had found our audience, and they started to rock up to our gigs in droves.

Of course many, many things have changed now. For starters I am not expecting high school kids to get into my work necessarily. Well, you know, it’s cool if they do, but I doubt I’ll be lining up any lunchtime gigs at the local High! That would be a bit creepy!

But somewhere out there are some key Sneezers, and when they get into my stuff, they are going to influence other people to get into it, and then all my hard work will start to pay off again.

That’s the plan anyway!

I also have a theory that over the years a heck of a lot of people have seen me play and apparently really appreciated it. So if I can get myself in the right places, get my ugly mug on Spicks n Specks or whatever, then a lot of these people will go – “oh yeah – that guy – I saw him play once. Y’know,  he was alright!”

Not that fame is the thing I want. Not really, just success, and they are not necessarily the same thing. If I ask myself the following question:

“If just 10 patrons offered to pay me enough money to prosper making music, would I accept that and be stoked with that?”

Answer: yep.

One Billion Gigs Later…

WHOOPS! There goes another busy month!

Just got back from an ace gig and not at all sleepy, so – please – allow me to ramble on….

Saturday April 4th 4 – 6pm – Empress – with Dirtbird

I originally intended to make this gig a multi-act line up. More specifically I wanted it to be a half-half music and comedy gig. I was going to call it “Laughing Vs. Singing” with 5 minute comedy spots between 15 minute singer/songwriter spots.

Unfortunately this idea fell flat (mainly due to my failings) and I really had to confront myself and face the fact that it is in my best interests NOT to add the hat of “promoter” to my fashion range but just to focus on being a “performer” – which is all I truly care about anyway.

Turned out just fine. My mate T K Bollinger (who is one of the finest, most original – and challenging – acts I have witnessed of late) recommended his mates “Dirtbird” to me. Or vice versa – Dave from Dirtbird got in touch with me and asked about doing a gig with me in Melbourne.

Turns out Mr Dave lives in Castlemaine which is a goldfields town in rural Victoria. I said sure but I want to swap for a gig in Castlemaine. OK said Dave.

I wanted this odd time-slot (4 – 6pm) because, frankly, since I started gigging in earnest again I have become painfully aware that my mates have all gone soft (due to children in some cases but NO excuses afforded to the childless). Basically bugger all of them had been rocking up to support me so I figured that a nice easy Sunday arvo gig would entice them out (turns out I was only partially right).

OK, look – long story short – it was an ok gig, not a bad turn out – lots of children. Bit of a crèche really. And let me tell you nothing weirder ever than opening your mouth to deliver the next barrage of four letter words into the mic only to look down and see one’s 18 month old daughter staring up at one from the edge of the stage!

Turns out Dave, who I picked from the get-go as having been around the block once or twice, was in a band who were pretty darn popular (especially in Adelaide from whence one hails) once upon a time, called the Bedridden. I kinda missed them (too busy being lame out in the suburbs) but later ended up being pretty good mates with the late-Baterz who was also in the Bedridden. (We used to do gigs together at the Crown and Anchor Hotel in Adelaide back in the late ’90s.)

Dave, you still owe me a goldfields gig. (I resemble an elephant in more ways than just girth!)

Tuesday, April 14, Ruby’s Lounge

I live in Belgrave and I am really fucking grateful that, hick town that it proudly is (why I moved there), it actually has a music scene – and of course Ruby’s is pretty much the apex of said scene.

Whenever I do gigs in the city I always mention Ruby’s and it never fails to get a cheer, such is the fame and popularity of the joint as pretty much the only out of town joint (That I, in my ignorance, know of) that gets decent touring acts and also has some style.

Anyway, I am by no means (yet) a star of the Ruby’s thang but this year I have managed to get myself a regular gig there (ok, not actually that hard).

This night wasn’t my finest. At least not for the first set. BUT it was important for me because I was really learning some tough lessons about the idiosyncratic nature of my “comedy meets edgy-folk-poet” act.

Herein lies the lesson: If you have a nice fat crowd to perform too, and they are listening, you can ramble on and crack jokes and (if you have any talent) they will dig it

BUT

If you are just some schmo in the corner of a cavernous pub and there aren’t many people there and those that are in the venue fucking are NOT there to see you, better just sing your songs and leave it at that. Music seems to cut through and win people over (or at least *cough* mine) but comedy on the other hand needs an attentive audience. It is a very, very different dynamic.

Thank fuck I have the music is all I can say.

Three more points worth mentioning about this gig:

1. First is that I road tested my new song (mentioned in my last post) about The Scarab Bar (which is across the road from Ruby’s Bar in Belgrave). Not surprisingly this seemed to go across a treat with those blessed yokals who were paying attention. The song itself is called “An Interesting Life”.
2. A certain Mr Jeff Springfield, Belgrave’s music scene Godfather, the very man who produced my CD and is also the sound guy at Ruby’s of an evening, was in attendance which is in itself not unusual but the lovely thing is that he was just so totally positive about my music and attendant ambitions that it made my pathetic narcissistic heart truly sing. Look forward to catching up with you next time bro, upon which occasion I will be sure to pucker up and kiss thine holy and no doubt fragrant arse.
3. I did a terrible set to start with, and it was meant to be my only set so I was massively depressed that it just sucked so fiercely. But then while I was sitting with a dreadlocked guy who made guitars, watching his mate (extremely talented guy  – I think he had dreadlocks – whose name MIGHT have been shane or shaun  – oops!)- I found out that the band had failed to show so I got up and did a 2nd set. Ok no big deal BUT in the meantime I had eaten some humble pie and realised that you can’t force a scripted show on a pub crowd and the 2nd set went much better and since then I have truly embraced a loosely scripted framework (of between song banter) let go wild with improvisation and it is surely the way.

(Note to self: Round gigs up one by one … this is FAR TOO EPIC!)

Friday 24th April, Vibe On Smith, Songwriters in the Round 8pm with Shane Walters and Kerrin and the Nips

OK for the record SITR are fantastic wonderful beautiful gigs. I LOVE these gigs. They make me cum. It had nothing to do with Kerryn’s lesbo jokes or Shane’s crackling lead, although these were extra highlights for sure. I could go into massive detail but A) who’s going to read it all and B) I am fucked – it’s 2am! Suffice to say: wet dream of a gig.

Oh yeah – and “The Nips” are actually Kerryn’s tits, as it happens…

Saturday 25th April, 5:30 at the Brunswick Hotel

Meh. Frankly this is a great venue that needs a crowd (and I wasn’t the guy to attract one). Lovely sound though.

Sun 25th April, 4 – 6pm at the Empress with Brooke

Brooke (whose surname I am completely ignorant of) turned out to be a talented and sassy young thang fresh back from the ubiquitous European sojourn and thank God she brought her friends and I really loved the gig, although again having my little girl hanging her cute 18 month arse off the front of the stage frankly put me off my hard core shit. Great gig though, loved it. Nice crowd too.

(Just like to point out that I can barely type anymore … this is simply too much … )

Friday 5th May “Songwriters in the Round” with the insanely beautiful and talented Siobhan and Brad who is both talented and beautiful as well (to be fair).

Full house.

I repeat:

F.U.L.L.  H.O.U.S.E.

I got called in last minute. Everyone there bar two were there to see the other two performers.

Lucky me 🙂

Personally, after 15 years gigging, I feel confident in saying that I was in top form. Truly you do all the shit or half-good gigs to prepare you for the night that the room is full.

I can’t write anymore tonight but I would like to close by thanking God and you, should you be weird enough to have read this far. (My advice to you now, faced with the vortex that the cessation of my dribble will surely leave is:

* Male?

Are you kidding? Beer. Porn. Weed. Sport. The choices aren’t exactly endless but they’re pretty fucking good.

* Female?

Sorry … no fucking idea…

P.S. Tonight I debuted “Gimmee A Frontal Lobotomy (and a Glass of Wine). It went ok but had trouble with subtley and the microphone tonight, just couldn’t get good responsiveness from the microphone, but I knowthe song is a winner…. and may I say, kudos to Aaron the sound guy cos this is the first time I have had any complaints at this gig and the room was chokkas which changes the acoustics and I am talking a pro level subtlety – and also there are actually no foldback monitors at this gig due to the “in round” format… … … Goodnight.

Moo Mini Cards

When I meet up with people out and about and they express interest in my music, I always wish I could just give them a CD – and sometimes I do – but it gets a bit expensive so I have just ordered a batch of Moo Mini Cards, with the pic below on them and my contact details, including a space for my next gig and a weblink to hear my free tunes online on it.

seamusscratch.jpg

I got a bunch of these a while back and they get a great response. Most people haven’t seen them before and so they work a treat as they are pretty cute. You can even put a different pic on each card in your batch, but I just went for the one picture for strength of branding.

This way, when some new acquaintance in a bar or whatever says “Oh I’d love to hear your tunes”, I can give them a sweet little branded reminder of my next gig or where to go listen to my tunes online for free (or to buy mp3s or CDs).

You Have to Be A Stubborn Little Shit

Yesterday I was mooching around in the garden, organising the firewood when I found one big lump of gum that was too big to fit into the wood heater (we live in the hills so all this kind of thing is par for the course).

I grabbed my trusty axe and started chopping to split the big lump in two.

Two hours later, and after much grunting, groaning, swearing and a zillion axe blows I was still going – sweat flying everywhere, alcohol being skulled back to kill the pain, a mad glint in my eye – and my girl was starting to get a bit worried.

I knew it wasn’t the most useful usuage of my time but I didn’t care. Why? because I am a stubborn little shit and I don’t like to quit until something is bloody well done already. So I kept at that lump of concrete masquerading as wood until finally after 2 and a half hours it eventually split.

I then held the pieces of defeated wood aloft, standing admist the splintery carnage of the battle and let out a macho roar (and my girl called me a tosser – but that’s beside the point).

The point IS that I am a stubborn little shit and I don’t like to quit until something is done properly. And frankly, when I was younger I started something – becoming a professional muscian – and I didn’t finish it (for various reasons, none of them good enough) and I just can’t live with that. Call it pride. Call it stupidity. Call it what you will.

I don’t care what you call it.

You see, last November, when my baby girl was a newborn, I was staring at her sleeping in my arms and I thought to myself “What am I going to tell her? That I just gave up?”

Fuck no. I want her to learn that the persistent win, not just the talented, or the lucky, but the PERSISTENT.

So here’s the deal. Stupid and pigheaded and unrealistic as it may seem, I resolve to do at least one thing everyday to move me towards my goal of becoming a professional musician until such point as it becomes reality.

This is a big call. But I don’t need to be Bono or Mick Jagger or anything, just earn a modest living playing music. Of course if I earn zillions, then fine, that’s cool, I can roll with that…

So what did I do today? Well the single most important thing (the Biggest Rock – Google it) I did today to sit down with Steve, my partner over at Rebel Zen and start learning how to run an effective social media marketing campaign. This means I will begin to build traffic to this site. I did other things too, like buy seamusmusic.com for my “static” music site, join Twitter (despite my reservations) and cancel the hosting I have here so that I save myself $150/year (all adds up), but the “biggest rock award” for today goes to the social media marketing lesson. very powerful Over at RebelZen.com, for example, Steve rustled us up 177 unique visitors in one day in our first week of the site being “live”. As for this here blog, well I think it’s pretty much just a few everyday, but soon … things will be different (cue evil laugh) Moo-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!

Stupid Marketing

Here’s an example of ill-thought out software marketing from Mac. It was on the flyer in an official Mac store in Melbourne:

1) “Logic Express 8 delivers everything a musician needs to write, record, edit, mix with unmatched quality, speed and ease: $249″

2) “Logic Studio delivers everything a musician needs to write, record, edit, mix, and perform in the studio and on the stage. $598”

Given that most of us dear sweet musicians are usually broke, you think they would try a little harder to explain why I would spend over twice as much for Logic Studio. I mean why the hell would I take my software package to a gig? And how?

And anyway, if Express 8 delivers “everything a musician needs” why would I spend more? On “wants”? Which ones?

News Flash! People Actually Buy Stuff From Dodgy-Looking Long Sales Copy Sites

You know the websites I mean; those with the endless sales copy that goes on and on down the page. The websites that look horrible and tacky and cheap.

People actually do buy stuff from these websites. That’s why people bother to put them up in the first place. That’s why they are still there when you check back years later.

This is something that I have learned over the last year.

Prior to that – because I never bought stuff from these websites, I assumed that nobody would be stupid enough to buy stuff from those websites.

But then one day I was looking for specific information and whoa! I found (the promise of) it at one of these websites. And the offer seemed pretty sound when I considered all they had to say.

So I bought it.

Amazed at myself, I started doing some research and found out there is a whole subculture around these long-copy direct sales websites.

Why?

Because…

Words. Are. Very. Powerful.