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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



Tweet-Rant #2 : 23 Tweets About Bandcamp

August 1st, 2011 · 4 Comments

I had another tweet rant the other night, this time about Bandcamp, and some of the issues surrounding it. Here it is again, annotated with additional info about each tweet:

A couple of @bandcamp stats for you. The average price of a paid download of mine on bandcamp is £6.49 – for something available ‘free’.
10:02pm Jul 28th 2011

[that one’s self-explanatory – a quick conversion online shows me that £6.49 is currently $10.63] [Read more →]

Tags: Musing on Music · New Music Strategies

Teaching Bass Via Skype

July 24th, 2011 · 4 Comments

This week, I’m starting to offer lessons via Skype (or iChat or Google+ Hangout… whichever private video channel works for you). I’ve done a little of this in the past, and had a lot of people asking for it, so am getting round to sorting it out.

Here’s how it works:

  • you’ll need a computer with a fairly fast internet connection, your bass and some way of amplifying it so I can hear it – either via the mic on your computer, or by plugging it into a sound-card so it plays straight to me (I’ll see if I can write a tutorial on this after I’ve had some more experience with it and seen what the problems can be).
  • If you do go the soundcard route, you’ll probably also need a mic. Headphones will make it easier for you to avoid weird echoing problems.
  • You then book a lesson the same way anyone does (email me and sort out a time), pay me upfront via paypal (or in the UK, by bank-transfer, which must’ve cleared before the lesson), and we do the lesson.
  • The cost will be the same as for a face-to-face lesson: £30 for one hour, £50 for two. (Paypal will do the currency conversion for you).

Simple-as.

If you have some way of recording Skype, you’re welcome to do that for your own use/reference (not for distribution – I’ll be doing more video lesson stuff on youtube soon, but one on one lessons are for you).

And that’s it. You in your house, me in mine. Hurrah!

Interested? Email me now.

Tags: teaching news

Buying My Music In Bulk (USB Stick And Bandcamp)

July 19th, 2011 · 4 Comments

Two bits of news relating to being about to buy my (and in the case of Bandcamp other people’s) music in bulk.

You may know that we started selling our entire back catalogue on a single 4Gb USB stick, just prior to the US tour. We continued to sell them on the tour, and they proved very popular with the iPod-wielding members of the audience. So we’re still selling them. Here’s a list of what’s on it:

My Solo Albums:

  • And Nothing But The Bass: Live At The Troubadour (2000)
  • Not Dancing For Chicken (2002)
  • Lessons Learned From An Aged Feline Pt 1 (2002)
  • Grace And Gratitude (2004)
  • Lessons Learned From An Aged Feline Pt 2 (2004)
  • Behind Every Word (2006)
  • Ten Years On: Live In London (2010)
  • 11 Reasons Why 3 Is Greater Than Everything (2011)
  • Believe In Peace (2012)

Steve and Lobelia Albums:

  • Live In Nebraska (2008)
  • Live So Far (2010)

Lobelia Albums:

  • 040515 (2004)
  • Beautifully Undone (Songs I Wish I’d Written)

Other Collaborations:

  • Conversations (Steve Lawson and Jez Carr) 2002
  • For The Love Of Open Spaces (Steve Lawson and Theo Travis) 2003
  • Live in Cambridge (Steve & Theo, previously unreleased, double length official bootleg) 2005
  • Numbers (Lawson/Dodds/Wood) 2008
  • Slow Food (Steve Lawson and Trip Wamsley) 2010
  • Infrablab (Trip Wamsley and Steve Lawson) 2010
  • As Yet Untitled Album (Steve Lawson and Mike Outram, Preview of forthcoming album) 2011

Video:

  • Steve Live in Belgium (45 minutes)

All of the albums are in MP3 format, with all the official ones being 320K files. Both mine and Lo’s latest albums are also on there as 24bit FLAC files.

You can read a sort-of review of the USB Stick here.

All of that is just £25. Which, obviously includes a rather nice 4GB USB Stick as well. Insane value. Click the Paypal button below to buy it. (there’s an option on there to pay an extra £5 or £10 if you a) want to pay more or b) want to contribute something to the international postage, but it’s not compulsory…)


Price (with optional international pricing)




IF you don’t want the stick, or want to pay more (or less) for all the non exclusive stuff on there,  you can now get multiple albums on Bandcamp, across different artist sites, with a single transaction, via their new shopping cart.

So you can go to my site, Trip Wamsley‘s site, Lobelia’s site, Mike Outram‘s Site, Lawson/Dodds/Wood‘s site, and another other bandcamp sites, collect them all together, distribute the cash across the albums however you wish (for those that are Pay What You Think It’s Worth), and pay once. Awesome, eh? Try It!

Tags: Music News

24 Tweets About Digital Music.

July 16th, 2011 · 6 Comments

Over the last few days, a lot of people have been talking about the arrival of Spotify in the US. I blogged a LOT about Spotify when it first arrived – and many of the same “it’s the future of music!/it’s the end of civilization as we know it!” conversations are happening now. So I posted a handful of tweets about it, which people liked, so I gathered them together into a single page with ExquisiteTweets.com.

Now I’m tidying them up here (fixing the wayward numbering in the process), and will maybe expand on them a little as time goes on. I’ve left the original links in place in case you want to retweet any of the tweets on Twitter… [Read more →]

Tags: Musing on Music · New Music Strategies

French Review Of 11 Reasons… (with Translation)

July 14th, 2011 · Comments Off on French Review Of 11 Reasons… (with Translation)

A couple of weeks ago, this review showed up on a French Website called indierockmag.com – with my paltry French skillz, I could tell it was nice, but it wasn’t til I asked on Twitter and Facebook the other night for a translation that I got what it really said… I got 5 translations sent to me, by 5 very lovely people. I’ve only included one here, for obvious reasons, but am v. grateful to Guylaine, Dave (who posted a translation on Facebook), Lorna, Michael and Wayne. Here’s Wayne’s translation – the link to the original review is http://www.indierockmag.com/article14847.html

“Since Steve Lawson became a father, the Londoner appreciates the weight of the years, philosophy, and still more the number three. And that’s good, because we are just as into the poetic meditations that the musician draws from the single six-string bass which, in his hands, becomes a tool of dreams.

“The first electric bassist to have performed solo at the Royal Albert Hall, he is a protege of Michael Manring, who said of Lawson’s 2004 album Grace and Gratitude that it was a real step forward in the art of the bass solo, doubtless referring to a world closer to the ambient music of Brian Eno or the subdued post-rock of Come On Die Young era Mogwai rather than the technical wizardry of Jaco Pastorius. Lawson continues in the same soft lyrical vein with his first album in five years, possessing the good taste to allow it to be downloaded for free. Knowing that the collection in question is even more gargantuan than its predecessors – easily passing 80 minutes – should especially not stop you pulling out your bank card should you turn out to fall in love with it.”

And, of course, you can listen to it here:

Tags: Music News · music reviews

Tour blog Pt 2 – This is The End (or ‘how we lost money on a successful tour’)

July 8th, 2011 · 7 Comments

So we’re back in England, tired, jetlagged, weirded out by being away for 2 months. It’s the longest I’ve ever been out of the UK in one stretch, for sure.

So let’s look at some tour facts ‘n’ stats: [Read more →]

Tags: Gig stuff · Music News · travel

Brand New Lobelia Solo Album, Featuring Me :)

June 2nd, 2011 · 1 Comment

You may have seen via Twitter or FB already that Lobelia’s new solo album, “Beautifully Undone (Songs I Wish I’d Written)” is out now, via Bandcamp. Here it is:

I mixed and mastered it, and play bass on a bass and voice version of Sting’s ‘Consider Me Gone’. It’s a remarkable record. I’m really proud of my part in it, but her singing and arrangements are outstanding, and her choice of songs (many of which you’re unlikely to recognise) is inspired. [Read more →]

Tags: Music News

Tour Update

May 29th, 2011 · 6 Comments

So, we’re 7 gigs into our tour – Green Brook, Toledo, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Wisner, Boonville – We’re having all kinds of fun, meeting up with so many wonderful friends, and making new acquaintances all over the place.

Bizarrely, 3 of the gigs so far have been in art galleries. That wasn’t planned, it just happened, and for that we’re happy and grateful. Playing music surrounded by great art is a real honour, and a deep inspiration. [Read more →]

Tags: Gig stuff · Music News

Video of Last Night’s House Concert

May 21st, 2011 · 1 Comment

As usual, our show at lovely @tapps‘ house was streamed, and is now archived on UStream – it’s embedded below, but if you click here, it should be iPad/iPhone/Flash-free viewable too…

There’s a lot of very silly stuff between the songs, and Tapps sits in with us on Djembe on four songs, which is fabulous. The chat does offer a bit more insight into where some of the songs come from too… If you’ve got the album, you’ll be able to hear the process of me learning the songs – I’m getting there with a few of them. The first three tunes on 11 Reasons… work really well as the beginning of my set (though at this show I switched the first and second ones round, just so I could start with something a little more ‘up’.)

Anyway, enjoy:

Tags: Music News

Interview with FretlessBassGuitarSite.Com

May 20th, 2011 · Comments Off on Interview with FretlessBassGuitarSite.Com

A quick update to let you know about an interview I just did with FretlessBassGuitarSite.Com – click here to read it.

It’s the first interview I’ve done since the release of the album, so that’s rather fun. Drop me a line if you want to interview me for your site/magazine/radio show/TV empire…

Tags: Music News