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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



A Decade In Music: The Internet And Me

December 24th, 2009 · 3 Comments

I was on the internet before my first album came out (this is what it looked like back then). In fact, much of the momentum that my first album had was to do with my good standing in the various bass-related web communities that I was a part of. As a player, teacher and journalist, I had a bit of a profile, and the web was a MUCH smaller place in the late 90s.

And that all made it so much easier to decide to do my album completely on my own. I never even entertained the idea of trying to get a ‘deal’. The economics didn’t make sense even then, and I had a hunch that the future was indie… [Read more →]

Tags: Gig stuff · Music News · Musing on Music · New Music Strategies

Sustainable Touring Pt 1 – planning a house-concert tour.

September 25th, 2008 · Comments Off on Sustainable Touring Pt 1 – planning a house-concert tour.

I’ve just written a piece for MusicThinkTank.com about Sustainable touring, inspired by an interview on BBC 5Live with Geoff Hickman, the manager of Paris-based band, Televox – here’s the interview, and the video discussion that’s happening off the back of it on Phreadz…

The Music Think Tank post will go live in a few days (they have a new queuing system for new posts, where things get posted at more regular intervals – good idea, perhaps I should learn from that. 🙂 )

I don’t want to pre-empt what I wrote there, but one of the things that I do want to highlight at this point is that Lobelia and I are planning a house concert tour for early December – if you’re interested in hosting one, and are somewhere in or near the Southeast of England, please drop me a line. They are easy to organise, the logistics just being

  • travel,
  • an audience (can be any size),
  • some way of us getting paid (either ticket/donation, guarantee or a sponsor – we can sort that out by email)
  • a date!

For now, if you have any thoughts on the idea of sustainable/eco-touring, please throw them into the comments – would be nice to get your thoughts before mine go live on the MusicThinkTank blog for a change…

Tags: Music News · Musing on Music · New Music Strategies · tips for musicians · travel

Video, Greenbelt, blogging and being yourself

September 2nd, 2008 · Comments Off on Video, Greenbelt, blogging and being yourself

OK, I promised a greenbelt round-up, and that’s still on the way, but first (this is backwards, I know) some thoughts on how video worked for us at Greenbelt. By ‘us’, I mean the social media monkeys that were trying to get Greenbelt’s web-presence away from just being a static website into something a little more granular, diffuse, community based and embeddable as conversation-starters…

Greenbelters have been using Flickr in a co-ordinated way for years – there are over 15,000 photos tagged at Greenbelt2006, Greenbelt2007 or Greenbelt2008! But the festival presence hadn’t really gone beyond that. So I, along with JennyBee, James Stewart, Lobelia and Mike Radcliffe set about building a video presence for the festival.

Jenny was already involved in a more structured, formal process of collecting video interviews and whatnot for promotional usage, but we were all looking for a much more guerilla feel to our social media footage: lots of chatting to camera, unedited interviews, fun stuff from around the site. And, crucially, we wanted a fair bit of it to be watchable live.

After about a month of trying, we finally found a contact at WomWorld – a Nokia promo blog, who would lend us the hardware we needed to do the project – namely, 4 Nokia N82s and one Nokia N95. Yay for Nokia and their lovely bloggers! It all happened so late in the day that the phones were sent direct to the festival site, and we had very little time to trail what we were doing, or to get conversant with everything that the phones could do. Still, we’ve managed, so far, to rack up well over 8000 views on the Greenbelt Group at Qik.com and Mike opted to record video at higher quality and post it to his YouTube Channel – he produced some great video.

Here’s my Qik Channel – the first 50 vids on here are from the festival:

So I did all the interviews you’ve seen embedded here over the last 10 days, and a whole load more footage, had some great feedback to it all, and it’s already cropped up being embedded and linked to on a range of sites, providing a talking point for those who were and those who weren’t at the festival.

It was a fantastic validation of two things – firstly, the importance of embeddable, linkable social media for starting conversations about any event. And secondly, the importance of video in getting the ‘feel‘ of any event across. blogging, texting, tweeting, even audio recordings go some way to creating a ‘buzz’, but nothing has the impact that video has… if Greenbelt are bright, they’ll get behind this nexy year, resource it, promote it, and they could have a virtual attendance bigger than that actual attendance…

I’ve just written a post about the honesty of video for Creative-Choices.co.uk, and started a discussion about it at Phreadz. Sadly you can’t embed video on the Creative Choices blog, but here’s the Phreadz conversation about it –

The question at the end of the Creative Choices blog is ‘how is video working for you?’ – feel free to drop by over there and answer it

Tags: Geek · Managing Information Streams · Random Catchup

A virtual gig – Geeknbury in your living room!

July 28th, 2008 · Comments Off on A virtual gig – Geeknbury in your living room!

This weekend, the social media marvel that is Christian Payne hosted a lil’ festival out in wilds of Surrey called Geeknbury – I REALLY wanted to go, but it was just dreadful timing for me, work-wise, so I had to make do with checking out the happenings from the fest via the festival channel on Phreadz, at geeknbury.phreadz.com

Phreadz is a multi-media threaded conversational platform, so you can have chats like on twitter or a message board, but videos can be replied to with MP3s or pictures, and text can be added to anything posted. The threading works like a ‘family tree’, with all the sub-conversations viewable, and everything can be tagged and searched, as well as viewed within topical channels.

It’s still in ‘closed-beetroot’ mode at the moment, while all the coding is done by the mastermind behind it, Kosso, but a load of us are on there as beta-testers, and I love it.

Fortunately, the Geeknbury channel is open to the public, and as Lobelia and I couldn’t get to the fest, we decided to extend the festival via Phreadz, posting a load of songs as posts in the geeknbury channel, so people anywhere in the world could tune in and watch.

We had LOADS of fun doing it, and the embedded widgets below have each track, plus the conversation that happened embedded in them, so you can enjoy it too!

This was just a test, a trial run, for something much slicker, with proper streaming as well as the archived tracks, and a chatroom etc. We need to talk to Kosso about what’s possible, but we’ll let you know what happens next… Til then, enjoy, and don’t forget that you can see us ‘really live’ at Darbucka on Tuesday night (that’s probably today for most of you reading this!!)

Track 1 – I’m Lost

Track 2 – Happy

Track 3 – Grace And Gratitude

Track 4 – I’m In

Track 5 – Tea In The Sahara

Track 6 – Love Is A Battlefield

Tags: Geek · gig dates · Gig stuff · Music News

New glasses! (trivial nonsense alert…)

July 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off on New glasses! (trivial nonsense alert…)

Here’s a video I just posted over on Phreadz, showing off my new spex 🙂

Tags: Random Catchup