stevelawson.net

Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



More (long) thoughts on subscription services.

October 28th, 2014 | No Comments | Categories: New Music Strategies

Right, now the subscription is up there, we can have a chat about what it might mean, right?

After all, the word “subscription” has become somewhat tainted amongst musicians by the conversation around Spotify’s pricing model. Little work seems to have been done to look at what in particular people are listening to on Spotify and the degree to which its impact on sales is asymmetric (sales lost and streams gained not being to the same people) not to mention the whole ‘correlation or causation’ conundrum. But generally, lots of musicians are now thinking subscribing to ‘everything’ = booo!! hissss!!

So what does it mean to subscribe to just one artist rather than ‘nearly all music’, and what kind of artists and their listeners are going to benefit from this?

First up, it’s important to acknowledge that this isn’t new. It’s new to Bandcamp, and as a service integrated with the Bandcamp platform, it may well end up being revolutionary, but the idea has evolved from the pioneering work of quite a few people, not least of all (as is so often the case) Kristin Hersh, whose Strange Angels supporters club is exactly this – an annual subscription members club that gives those subscribers access to all kinds of things. Her pricing is tiered, so you can get all kinds of awesome exec perks if you pay a tonne of cash, but for not very much you can get a whole load of music and sometimes cheaper tickets at gigs, things like that. For someone as prolific as Kristin (she has three main projects on the go – her solo work, Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave) it’s the ideal way to not be reliant on the vagaries and speculation of the standard model of

  • borrow money,
  • make a record,
  • hope it sells,
  • wait to recoup before doing the next one,
  • or just pile up the debt in the hope you get a track on a film soundtrack and clear the decks at some point’ deal…

[Read more →]

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The Future Is Here: Bandcamp Steve Lawson Subscription Launched!

October 23rd, 2014 | 2 Comments | Categories: Music News · New Music Strategies

This is some SERIOUSLY exciting news. Partly because it’s just an amazing bit of news, but also because of the half a million or so artists on Bandcamp, I’m one of the first 2 or 3 to get to try this out.

Which means that YOU get to be part of this experiment in the future of music. In keeping music alive, in turning back the (quite possibly non-existent and hugely missplaced) tide of despair about ‘the way things are going’.

Here it is – £20 a year, and you get my 10 solo albums for free when you sign up!

 

This model works SO perfectly for me – since I started releasing almost everything as ‘digital only’ the ‘per album’ model was a compromise at best. It didn’t make sense for things to have a ‘unit value’ like that.

What this allows me to do if focus on making as many varied and wonderful musical projects as I can. You get more music, don’t have to worry about having ‘already spent enough’… you pay for it all in one lot, ahead of time, and get as much as I can make.

Subscribing becomes a club of sorts:

  • there’ll be access to cheaper gig tickets wherever possible
  • other subscriber only releases
  • merch
  • snacks*

(*probably not snacks)

At the moment I’m putting together a subscriber only album of things that are currently only streamable on Soundcloud or Youtube. I get asked ALL the time about releasing them, and this is where they’ll go. If you want them, subscribe.

This Is The Future

This Is Sustainability

This Is Exciting

You Get To Partner With Me

More Music Will Happen.

Sign up here: http://stevelawson.bandcamp.com/subscribe

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Why the ‘no platinum albums’ story in the US probably doesn’t mean the sky is falling.

October 21st, 2014 | 1 Comment | Categories: New Music Strategies

There’s one story that’s been circulating a lot over the last few days amongst musicians on social media“2014 is first year ever with ZERO platinum-certified records” – it tells us that 2014 is (barring some kind of unforseen massive sales surge) the first year ever (ever??? no.) when no single band has had a platinum selling record. In the US. Even though the Frozen soundtrack has sold 3 Million copies.

Meanwhile, 60 songs HAVE sold a million copies in the US.

So what does this tell us? Without some much deeper analysis, not much. [Read more →]

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Birmingham solo gig, with Vicki Genfan, Sept 28th!

August 30th, 2014 | No Comments | Categories: Uncategorized

Right, after months of awesome collaborative playing, with Andy Edwards, Julie Slick, Briana Corrigan, Jem Godfrey et al, I’ve finally got another solo gig in Birmingham, on a double bill with one of my favourite guitarists in the world, Vicki Genfan:

You’re familiar with Vicki, right? Wait, what? Some of you aren’t?? Wow, OK. Try this:

Yeah, she’s amazing. Oh, and she sings:

Vicki and I have played on the same bill a few times over the last decade, and hung out whenever we can. She’s a great friend, musical inspiration, and YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS. Trust me.

Click here to buy tickets from Bandcamp.

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First recording by me, Jem Godfrey, Andy Edwards…

August 14th, 2014 | 3 Comments | Categories: Music News

So, our new as-yet-unnamed trio had its debut gig last Sunday, as you know. And it went very well. Here’s the proof – this is the entire first set, starting out with me solo, joined by Jem then Andy. This is mixed and mastered but wholly unedited:

More soon!

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Photos from Last Night’s Gig with Jem Godfrey and Andy Edwards

August 11th, 2014 | No Comments | Categories: Music News

Thanks SO much to everyone who came out to the show at Tower Of Song with Jem Godfrey and Andy Edwards. We had a great time, and were delighted with the audience reaction.

Recordings will be available soon in some form or other, but for now, here are some gorgeous photos, taken by Rob Groucutt, to give you a flavour of what it was like :)

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A Month of Sundays (3 Gigs in Birmingham)

August 3rd, 2014 | No Comments | Categories: gig dates · Music News

Following on from last week’s lovely gig with Julie Slick and Andy Edwards, I’ve got TWO more Sunday night gigs at Tower Of Song in Birmingham coming up:

August 10th : Jem Godfrey, Steve Lawson, Andy Edwards – Jem’s band is Frost* (which Andy used to be in), he’s also played keyboards with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. If that wasn’t enough, he’s an Ivor Novello award winning songwriter, writing massive hits for Shane Ward, Atomic Kitten, Holly Vallance… He’s very, very good at whatever area of music he turns his hand to, so expect amazingness. [Ticket Link] -0- [Facebook link]

August 17th : Lobelia’s Lazy Sundays presents Briana Corrigan + Steve Lawson – Briana was the original vocalist in the Beautiful South, sang on all the early hits. Since then, she’s released two wonderful solo albums, written and performed in plays and a one woman show called ‘Mum’s The Word’. She’s properly brilliant, and I’m VERY excited to see what we come up with together… the plan is to write/arrange/rehearse/plan a show in 3 days. There’ll definitely be songs, music, maybe some spoken word stuff, story-telling, poetry… who knows. It’s going to be lovely, and you need to be there. [Ticket Link] -0- [Facebook Link]

So, two in a row. Very different, but equally magical, I promise.

And if you’re wondering what you missed last Sunday, here’s some lovely video of the opening 12 minutes of the show (it’s shot in HD so choose the 1080p option and watch it full-screen!) :

See? Loveliness. :)

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More. New. Music. (new album With Julie Slick)

July 29th, 2014 | 10 Comments | Categories: Music News

This is getting silly, right? It’s the summer of new albums for me, that’s for sure.

First Diversion, then Tangents with Murphy and Andy, now this…

What’s this? Well, it’s an album called Marinate by me and Julie Slick. It’s 35 minutes of bass duets, all improvised. A little bit mellow, a little bit odd, generous helpings of melody and niceness…

One track was recorded back in April, and the rest were recorded last Saturday. We’ve been playing together now for about 4 years – it’s taken time for us to find the right place where our sounds meld in the right way, hence Marinate. :)

A couple of the tracks are on Soundcloud.

Here’s one:

So how does one get this album? That’s the fun bit. You can’t just buy it. Nope…

It’s only available for free to anyone who has bought my latest album, Diversion, and Julie’s latest album Fourth Dementia.

If you send me a link to your Bandcamp Fan Account with both albums listed, I’ll send you the download code. You can post the link in the comments here, Tweet it to me, stick it on Facebook… Just let me see it, and I’ll send you the code for free.

Sounds good, eh? Go get ‘em.

 

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Tangents by Murphy McCaleb, Steve Lawson and Andy Edwards out Today.

July 14th, 2014 | No Comments | Categories: Music News

Yup, just as you were thinking “it’s been DAYS since an album came out with Steve on!” the latest one appears…

Those of you who are semi-regular readers here will know that Andy Edwards and I have been playing together a lot over the last year – Andy’s a highly respected prog/rock drummer with a jazzer’s heart – so we’ve set about putting ourselves in numerous improv situations, from just us as a duo, to the upcoming shows with Julie Slick and Jem Godfrey.

One of those improv situations that arose was with Murphy McCaleb.
Or Dr Murphy McCaleb, to afford him the title his PhD in Performance Studies from the Birmingham Conservatoire gives him (“ooh la la!” says Moss…) – Murphy plays bass trombone. Very well, as it happens, and has developed an increasing interest in improvised music and processing the sound of his trombone over the last year.

So we went into the studio at college and recorded a load of music – two trio pieces, one bass/trombone duo and one drums/trombone duo. It’s pretty adventurous stuff, at times achingly beautiful, at others gnarly and scary. Definitely worth putting on decent headphones/speakers.

Of note is that I also mastered it. So it naturally sounds very lush indeed :)

Have a listen, and if you like it, you can buy it and tell your friends about. That’s how it works, right?

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Three Unmissable Gigs (Julie Slick, Jem Godfrey, Briana Corrigan)

July 7th, 2014 | No Comments | Categories: Uncategorized

Right, gig news! Some REALLY exciting collaborations coming up – here are the three I can tell you about now. All of them are at Tower Of Song, in Birmingham, UK, and all will, of course, be recorded:

  • July 27th – with Julie Slick and Andy Edwards :: [tickets] after the fun we had with our last gigs together in April, Julie ‘s back for another show, between legs of the Crimson ProjeKct world tour, with Andy and I. Here’s some of the last session on Soundcloud. We’re REALLY looking forward to playing together as a trio again!
  • August 10th – with Jem Godfrey and Andy Edwards :: [tickets] Jem is a true musical genius and original. There’s pretty much no-one else who fronts a massive and widely respected prog band AND writes world-traversing ginormous pop hits for the likes of Atomic Kitten and Holly Valance! Jem’s band is Frost*, who Andy used to drum for, and we’re SO excited to be playing an evening of improvised music with him. Don’t miss this!

Special Offer:

Tickets for the Julie AND Jem gigs for just £14 (£3 off)

[Click Here To Buy Tickets]

 

Then, the week after the gig with Jem, something else VERY special:

  • August 17th – with Briana Corrigan :: Briana is probably best known for her time as vocalist with The Beautiful South – she sang their only UK no. 1, A Little Time. But she’s an exceptional songwriter in her own right, and after a couple of years of talking about it, we’re finally getting our duo project happening. This will be an evening of my music, her music and some really special never-before-heard collaborations that will be the beginnings of something wonderful. Go buy her solo albums on Bandcamp.

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