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Posts Tagged ‘seamus anthony’

October is Gigalicious

This post is ostensibly to let you know about the gigs I have coming up. However, those in far flung places, see below for a smattering of news & content to entertain you right now in your comfy socks.

  • SYDNEY – This Thursday 4th October in Newtown, Sydney at the Union Hotel with Andrew P Street – see Facebook event page
  • ADELAIDE – Sunday October 14th me and Andrew P Street (formerly Undecided, Career Girls for those with long memories) return to Adelaide to show the kids how it’s done. Grace Emily, 5pm – see the Facebook event page
  • BELGRAVE – in the Dandenong Ranges, outside of Melbourne. Rumour has it I live there. I also rock the joint from time to time. Including an EPIC 15 minute slot at the Reverberation Festival, Sat October 20th 4pm. See the website.
  • MELBOURNE – Finally Sunday November 18th at the Wesley Anne, Northcote as part of the legendary Melting Pot Songwriter’s In The Round, 2pm. Bring it on.

Andrew P Street Seamus Anthony

Other News

No new recordings just now but the debut album by Zuiiza, featuring me, Peter Owen (me old bandmate from Reckoning) & Tony “E-bow” Ennis is about 70% cooked.

It’s been 2 years in the making and is truly EPIC, WEIRD & DAMN CATCHY TO BOOT.

It’s space rock, more like Reckoning than my solo stuff, of which there are also recordings afoot .. stay tuned, the good times are just getting started…

Pictured – Andrew P Street and me singing Reckoning’s “I Am Stone” like it was 1995 all over again at the Wesley Anne, Northcote, Melbourne, July 2012

Seamus Anthony live at Songwriters in the Round, Melbourne

I have now played maybe as many as ten Songwriters in the Round gigs thanks to Liam and all the gang at Melting Pot who are really blossoming into a music promoter force to be reckoned with. I have been blessed by their ongoing support over the last three years and it seems to be a beautiful friendship that looks set to continue as SITR moves on to a different venue.

I am also writing a regular blog for them over at their shiny new music blog.

The above gig took place last September 2011 – there’s been a couple more since then and I am looking forward to the footage from those also as they were pretty special.

Flood Victim

“Flood Victim” – by Seamus Anthony. Click image for larger version

This bridge near our home in the Dandenong Ranges got partially destroyed by the floods of 2011. It has come completely away from its foundations on the near side of the creek. It was quickly “closed” by the council but is still used. Guess the locals grew tired of waiting for it to be fixed. Not surprising given that working around it adds another 20 minutes to the walk up to town.

Nothing Happens Until Something Moves

You’ve made the plan. You know what you want and have a good idea of how you might go about starting to get it. It’s all there – all you’ve got to do is make the call, spend the money, have the difficult conversation.

Often this is the point where the detailed plan gets put aside for a little bit, maybe for too long. If you leave it long enough then the plan becomes redundant. A part of you, the part that likes the safety of dreaming and planning, likes that tactic, because it just gets to enjoy creating a vision all over again without having to do the difficult work. That’s why “vision quest” type books and workshops sell so well, because they allow us to justify procrastinating indefinitely.

I remember once asking someone how they went at a motivational seminar they had just attended. “Awesome!” came the reply, “I felt a real shift!”

“Shifts” are nice – and important (I enjoy a good shift as much as the next guy) but Einstein was right – nothing happens until something moves.

Next Gig: Feb 17th – Melting Pot CD Launch (I am featured on their 1st compilation CD), 7pm, Seraphim (formerly Vibe On Smith), 123 Smith St Fitzroy, Melbourne

So, About Those Voices In Your Head…

The Wrong Voice tells you to do things to make money. It says “Make money first, then you will be free to pursue your dreams”. But the Wrong Voice is full of crap.

The Wrong Voice comes from your Lizard Brain, the amygdale. It’s the reptilian part of your brain that is not very intelligent and is only concerned, in a kind of scared little animal way, with surviving in a harsh world.

In order to be butt-kicking superheroes, we need to identify this voice (which Steven Pressfield calls the Resistance) and laugh in his face. We need to learn and understand the power of the following simple quote by Steve Jobs:

“There is no reason not to follow our heart.”

At first glance this may seem like a clichéd line, and indeed “follow your heart” kind of is. But to me the real power that drives this statement is “there is no reason not to…”.

He was being literal – there truly is no actual reason not to follow your heart. There literally is no reason not to sing, write, paint, start your dream business, have a child, restore that old car or whatever.

It can be hard to hear your Right Voice, but it’s always there, patiently urging you to kick massive butt…

How to Clean the Fluff Off Your Brain in 7 Easy Steps

Brains are sticky, and unfortunately this means that as you suffer the inevitable rolls in the dust piles of life, fluff sticks to your brain and starts to build up. This is especially true for creative types. I think that this is because the ideas in our brains are inherently stickier, thus attracting more fluff.

Here’s how to clean that up in 7 easy steps…

…actually, I lied.

I don’t have any easy steps – can’t find them for all the fluff – but here’s a bunch of psychobabble that may or may not relate to the title of this blog post.

Last week, I left off with a discussion I was having with my two business mentors. They had dragged my struggling brain kicking and fighting into reality to have a look at what it was I was actually aiming for, what the nature of the success I craved was. Unfortunately (and predictably) we realised there were some flaws in my thinking, namely domestic paradise lost. Obviously this is only a problem if you have domestic paradise in the first place and wish to keep it. This I do – so how to work around it?

The Problem

My goal was simple: “become a successful musician and tour the world playing awesome gigs”.

All very well, but as my mentors rightly pointed out, unless I was prepared to sacrifice my relationship with my significant other and my children, being on the road for 11 months of the year could present logistical problems.

The Solution

Rely less on the gigs as the main avenue of promotion and income. Build an audience and sell them music recordings and other stuff using new technologies. After all, technology now provides these shiny benefits:

  • low overheads
  • don’t need a record company
  • no distribution problem (only a marketing problem … we’ll get back to that)

Then yes, still do gigs (playing live is my favourite part of being a musician, so not going to give that up ever) but do it in a civilised manner, so that I can still know my children and not have to pay alimony.

Pirates Are Only a Problem on the Actual Ocean

All very well, I hear you say, but isn’t the idea of living off selling recordings now an anachronism in the face of rampant piracy?

I feared the same, so I did some research. Turns out the answer is “No, actually”.

It seems the people being “hurt” (and I use the word loosely) by piracy are the record companies and the major players in show biz – the U2s of this world. They all used to clean up majorly from selling the album format in CD but now, while actual transactions are up, most people buy singles now and this means reduced revenue. And of course, people pirate a lot of copies of the Joshua Tree or whatever now. I don’t really approve, but it isn’t going to last long I don’t think. The establishment is marshalling its forces and will increasingly regulate copyright law with an iron fist, mark my words (unless future history proves me wrong, in which case feel free to gleefully unmark them).

Also media consumption has fragmented, we are no longer tuned into the same few radio stations and TV stations that sell us all the same shit. Instead we pick what we like from a much greater pool of choice and we block out the rest. Big Music hates this because they consequently sell less, but they are all still friggin’ rich so, besides them, who cares?

For the rest of us, New Media is mostly upside. Yes, I think there is a down side – a lack of mass shared pop-cultural experience – but essentially, it’s all good.

What this means for Small Music – i.e. independent musicians – is that there is a much greater chance of earning a decent living selling music recordings. OK so most still won’t, but that’s because most are either crap or lazy or both, but more musicians than ever now make money selling music recordings. You haven’t read this in the mainstream media reports because it doesn’t make as cool a headline as…

“Sir Elton-John Forced to Rent Out Rooms to Cover Flower Costs – Blames Pirates”.

… nevertheless it is apparently true (it must be; the Internet said so).

But What About All This Fluff?

OK so the opportunity is there to sell music recordings. Gatekeepers and distribution are now no excuse, but as I hinted earlier, hopeful musicians now have another problem – ok two problems if you are still concerned about the fluff on your brain – the other being The Marketing Problem. How do you get people to give a toss about your music?

I cannot claim to have the answer to this. Regardless, I will prattle on about it in an authoritative tone in the next post, because the Internet says I can.

 Next Gig: Market Noise! Acoustic Music & Arts Festival – Sunday Dec 11th Brunswick (click link for details) I am on at 3pm-ish

Bringing It All Together

Sometime ago now, I posted a free e-book to the web called Curly’s Law. Thousands of people have downloaded it, and still do, but I haven’t read it for a while.

I probably should; I suspect it’s pretty crap. I was on a bit of an “online marketing” trip in a style that I’ve since moved well away from, but that’s not the point. The point is the idea in the book, which is simply:

Do One Thing.

This is something I believe in. It’s been my mission for some time to discover exactly what that one thing is (career-wise).

I actually discovered it ages ago, but I confused myself by thinking about it too much. However, I eventually worked through it and some time ago came around to being cool with my decision. Yet I’ve never really told anyone … so here it is…

It’s not JUST music.

It’s not JUST writing.

It’s not JUST my freelance business.

It’s not just any one thing that I do.

My one thing is my personal brand: Seamus Anthony.

My mission is to build brand awareness and momentum and in the process make a sweet living doing stuff I love.

And, although there’s a LOT of work to do yet,  I’m well on the way. I don’t have a job, I am making OK money just being me doing things I like and am good at. But there’s one thing I have been trying to do which is pretty hard in a connected, Googlified world: I have been trying to keep the brand “Seamus Anthony” separate from the freelance business, mainly because to start with I just didn’t actually appreciate how cool the business is, and that I keep getting to do it instead of having to schlep off to a job I hate.

The business itself is becoming increasingly sophisticated in scope and much more in line with my actual talents, which just makes the whole idea of trying to keep the two identities separate even sillier.

So I am 99.99% certain that I am going to file the freelance business as a sub-brand under the mother-brand and bring it all together. I feel confident it’s going to work. It’s really going to add cohesion to the Story – and that’s what it’s all about in the end, Story.

Do What Scares You

Actually for some reason doing this, bringing it all under the one brand umbrella, scares me silly.

I’m going to do it anyway because, I’ve often found that if I feel frightened about an idea before starting, it ends up being a most exciting and dynamic thing to do.

P.S. that’s why I have started blogging here again too. Not the fear thing, the branding thing.

Be Demanding

It was a lovely, noisy dinner party we had last night, and then after our guests had gone I went out to the office and wrote songs until about midnight.

So unsurprisingly, it was bloody hard to get out of bed this morning.

But that was ok because I am my own boss!

So I eventually rolled out of bed at about 8:45am and then took my own sweet time getting ready because I didn’t have to pretend that I was at my best. It wouldn’t work if I did this every day, my business would soon fail, but today it was so damn nice to be able to just sit at the table, glowering at my coffee and groaning until I was able to get out to office and get on with work, without worrying that “the boss” was going to give me a hard time.

It wasn’t easy to work at first either; I was too tired to be highly creative or effective. So I did some admin type stuff that you can do when your brain doesn’t work. This was actually a good thing because usually I avoid this stuff because I would rather do something inspired and creative. But, hey, I was being inspired and creative at 11pm last night writing songs and I can’t be “on” all the time.

So I got some administrative chores done, and did some work for some clients, stuff a robot monkey could have done, and then as the day wore on I felt better and things started to tick along nicely.

The other really good thing about being my own boss is that when I feel all antsy and need to go for a jog, I can do so at the drop of a hat, like I did today. There’s no bloody boss to beg permission to go do that or to drop the kid off at kindergarten or whatever.

The Trade Off

I’ve worked long and hard to get to a point where I do not have a boss and I’m sure as hell am not going back now. So this means that tonight after dinner and after the kid is in bed, I will be firing up the computer again and working on and into the night. That’s the trade off, you have to work hard but if you don’t manage it at 9am, well it doesn’t matter – just as long as the work gets done in the end.

Working from home as a marketing consultant is not my dream, by the way, but it’s a pretty comfortable way-station.

It allows me to plant seeds and nurture the real career – which is of course writing and music and cool stuff like that.

To make this happen, to get paid full time to make music and to write and generally do and make cool stuff, may take some luck, but I believe you make your own luck by rocking up to do the work and also by being demanding. By “being demanding” I mean just saying “I am going to do this. I am going to make that movie. I am going to work from home for myself.” Or whatever it is you want.

You demand it upfront. Surprisingly the universe is very responsive to demanding. If you think about it, the people who really get what they want in this world are actually very demanding. They say I am going to do this – so move, mountain, move!

That was what I did with working from home. I demanded of my old boss that she let me work from home and she just rolled over and said yes.

Then I wanted to work for myself instead of a boss, so I got on the phone and did cold-call after cold-call, for months, until I had clients.

I demanded clients and then I did the work.

That’s the trade off, it’s all very well demanding things of the universe, but you need to realise that in return the universe demands that you work your butt off.

If you don’t ask you don’t get.

But if you don’t work hard, you don’t get, even though you asked.