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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



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2012: A Musical retrospective

December 31st, 2012 · Comments Off on 2012: A Musical retrospective

Before I started the list of things I’d done in 2012, it felt like a year of not much happening… I mean, I’d put out three new albums, but all three of them were actually recorded in 2010 and 2011, so only the mixing and mastering took place this year (actually, given that Believe In Peace was released on January 1st 2012, all the work on that, even uploading it to Bandcamp, happened in 2011!)

But the list looked a little more impressive. So here it is, by month: [Read more →]

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Steve Lawson and Lobelia in Birmingham on 25/11/12 (finally!)

October 7th, 2012 · Comments Off on Steve Lawson and Lobelia in Birmingham on 25/11/12 (finally!)

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Steve Lawson in Sheffield on 11/09/12

August 30th, 2012 · Comments Off on Steve Lawson in Sheffield on 11/09/12

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Steve Lawson in Leicester on 09/12/12

August 29th, 2012 · 2 Comments

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A Little “Buy Music With Bandcamp” Primer…

January 3rd, 2012 · 4 Comments

As you know, all of my albums come out first on Bandcamp (as of writing, I’m in their top 5 ‘current best-sellers’ thanks to you – I won’t bother linking to it (though I did get a screengrab).

I may or may not put this on iTunes/Amazon/eMusic etc. I haven’t decided yet. I’d MUCH rather you got it from Bandcamp, for all our sakes. Here’s why:

  • You get to choose your file type. With Bandcamp I can release 24bit audiophile FLAC versions and the highest possible quality MP3 versions (we well as AAC/ALAC and OGG) all in the same place. No faffing about for you searching out the best format, just choose the one you want.
  • Sleevenotes, artwork, extras. I can add PDFs of sleevenotes, photos, lyrics, individual art for each track. and I can change it. As often as I want. Freedom 🙂
  • The ‘Pay What You Want’ thing. It just makes sense – not only does it let you put in the price that represents both what you can afford, and what you think it’s worth, but it means that people who are in parts of the world where they otherwise can’t get ‘legal’ digital music can download it without paying, and if you ever lose your copy in a harddrive crash, you can just come and download it again for free. Or if you decide you want to give FLAC a go and see what all the hi-res fuss is about – again, you can replace it for free.
  • Payment is easy. OK, so not quite as easy as buying on iTunes if you’ve got an iTunes account, but its’ way more friendly. If you’ve got a PayPal account, it’s 3 clicks and a password confirmation. If you haven’t, you can pay with a credit/debit card.
  • Full previews. Let’s be honest, in the grand scheme of things HARDLY ANYONE HAS HEARD OF ME. Even fewer have heard my music. Hiding it away behind 30 second previews on iTunes/Amazon is utterly insane. As would be hosting it all on a listening service that’s separate from the buying/download bit. It’s utterly vital for indie musicians to remember, you don’t get an audience by selling music, you have the chance to sell music ONCE YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCE. The unlimited listening makes people hearing what I do as easy as possible. You can listen on the site, on Facebook, other people can blog it. It’s just great! A lot of the people who may hear my stuff are likely to need quite a while to decide they want it enough to buy it. It may take years. I don’t want to stop them listening in those intervening years. I’m in this for the long game, not some get rich quick plan. You can listen on the site as much as you want. That’s great. …it’s also worth noting that the pages will also play on an iPhone/iPad, thanks to them being HTML5, not Flash-driven – you can’t download from Bandcamp to either of those, but that’s because Apple are idiots, nothing Bandcamp can do about that.
  • Sharing via social media. Bandcamp is SO friendly. the URL turns into an embedded player on Facebook, anyone can blog it and have it playable to their friends, every page (album or track) has facebook and twitter share buttons, when you’ve bought it and it’s downloading, there are sharing buttons there too. It’s made for sharing.
  • Sharing the love via Creative Commons. iTunes and Amazon don’t give me the option to change the license terms on my music. It’s All Rights Reserved or nothing. But I don’t want to make it illegal for you to share the music with your friends. I don’t want to make it illegal for you to add the music to your videos, to remix it, to sample it… If you’re not making money from it, you can do what you want with it. If you want to make money off it, we negotiate the terms as normal. That’s friendly, right?

Convinced? Here you go:

Tags: Music News · New Music Strategies · Uncategorized

New Album Out Next Week!

December 30th, 2011 · Comments Off on New Album Out Next Week!

If we’re friends on Facebook or Twitter, you may already know that I have a new album coming out next week.

It was recorded live in Minneapolis, after a fortuitous sequence of events (outlined in the sleeve notes) lead us to play in an art exhibition by a fabulous artist called Geoff Bush.

The music was all improvised in response to Geoff’s beautiful art. His theme for his work is ‘Believe In Peace’ – which is also the title of the album, and his work is based on the I Ching from which the four track titles come.

So we have four tracks, all played on my fretless 6 string bass (I only take one bass with me on tour in the US), and there’s some clever weirdness going on from my Kaoss Pad.

Here’s the opening track from it. Like all my recent stuff, it’s mixed and mastered for good speakers/headphones, so if you’re listening to this on a laptop, you’re going to miss a lot…

Enjoy, please tell your friends, and look out for the finished thing on the 1st or 2nd of January! 🙂

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Two New Recordings On Soundcloud

December 2nd, 2011 · 4 Comments

I’ve got loads I need to blog about, sorry for the silence here. First up, here are two new recordings.

Firstly, here’s a rough mix of one of the pieces from my improv gig with Corey Mwamba last week in Derby. Corey’s a remarkable musician, and we had a wonderful gig. The whole show should be up on Bandcamp at some point (projects are backing up and I need to start releasing some of them!)

This is the 2nd thing we played on the night – I missed all but the last 15 seconds of the first thing with the recording. Corey starts out on recorder, then switches to vibes. His restraint through the first half is a great lesson in the parameters of improv. Too often, improvisors play all over everything, particularly melody players, rather than ‘arranging on the fly’ and creating space, colour and texture. Throughout the gig, Corey’s choice of when to play and when not to, as well as what to play when he did, was brilliant. A truly remarkable musician.

Please check out the other gigs Corey’s putting on at Deda in Derby. It’s a lovely place to play, and he’s doing good things there. Here’s the tune:

Also recently added to Soundcloud, this is a thing I was playing around with a couple of weeks ago, that I LOVE the feel of. Sadly, I don’t have the recording of how I came up with it, just these two loops that were there at the end. It’s going to be really tough to match the gentle flow of this, and it may be that I end up leaving this as is for the next record. we’ll see…

Please feel free to share both of those with your friends, to click the ‘like’ button, tweet the link to it… all that kind of help sharing the recordings around is SO important to us as musicians who can’t afford promo budgets and magazine adverts to let people know what we’re up to!

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Thoughts On Creative Commons Licensing

August 2nd, 2010 · 7 Comments

You may or may not have noticed that at the bottom of the Bandcamp page for each of my albums and tracks, instead of the little copyright symbol, there’s a ‘Creative Commons’ license note, with a symbol and the phrase ‘some rights reserved’.

Creative Commons licensing is a way of putting a legal framework around allowing people the share/remix/reuse your work for non-profit/non-commercial purposes while maintaining your right to license for-profit usage as you always have done. So if you want to give a copy of one of my albums you downloaded to a friend, it’s perfectly legal to do so. [Read more →]

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“Happy” – Our New Single!

July 5th, 2010 · Comments Off on “Happy” – Our New Single!

I’ve just added a new track to the ‘Live So Far’ album (because, in the future, you can do things like that) – It’s a version of Happy, recorded at our house concert in Plano, TX.

Here it is: [Read more →]

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House Consulting – Like A House Concert, But With Less Tunes And More Talking

June 8th, 2009 · Comments Off on House Consulting – Like A House Concert, But With Less Tunes And More Talking

If you think back to the US tour that Lobelia and I did in Dec/January, you’ll remember that as well as gigs, we also did some masterclasses, teaching and consulting as we went round.

It was a whole lot of fun, and a great way to share some of what we’ve learned about social media for musicians and new ways of exploring artist-to-audience communication, without restricting it to people who were rich enough to hire us for a one-on-one session for a day. Here’s what we did: [Read more →]

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