Monday, 16 February 2015

Putting A Record Out, Is Hard! (AKA: The Indie Chick Challenge)

Ah yes, "sometimes it's hard to be a woman, giving all your love to just one man..." 

...but you know what's even harder than that?  Putting out a record as an indie-pop chick!

If you've never done it, it might look like fun.  And of course there are bits of it that are frekkin' fun, like getting to play Glastonbury, having a song you wrote in a feature film, or hearing your music on the radio!  But the behind-the-scenes work can be pretty all-consuming & in this day and age, most indie musos have day jobs (I do).  And therefore, the thing that makes you tick is delegated to the evenings and weekends.  That's not defeatist, it's realistic, London rent is steeeeeeeep!

So, sorry friends if I haven't been able to hang out with you for a while.  I've been gathering my PR assets & those assets are about to be unleashed on the world & then we tour.  Get ready for it people!

Meanwhile, there's album artwork, video shoots, press release, EPK & web site, photo shoots, remixes, b-sides, Itunes bonus book, merch, chasing, rehearsing, researching and lots and lots of e-mailing.  It's essentially like having a 2nd job as a project coordinator.  Does that sound glamorous to you?  I have spreadsheets, multiple spreadsheets & that doesn't feel too rock 'n' roll!  Did I start a band to make spreadsheets?  Hello no!  But do I want to do a proper job of this to enable my album to connect in the biggest way possible.  Well, yes of course!

And therein lies the rub.  If I'm going to do this, I want to do it correctly & well & make the most of my opportunities.

I don't think Janice Joplin would have been too dutiful with metadata, I'm not sure if Jimi Hendrix could have been trusted to organise a video shoot, do you think Led Zeppelin set up their own PRS registrations?  Nope.  But "times they are a'changing" and I don't curse that really because it simply is what it is.  Music bizz has always changed, it started out as sheet music ya know?  So we've come a long way from there.

The Indie Chick Challenge is compounded by not having any money for anything.  So everything is "on a favour" and "could you help me?" and "mate's rates" and as an artist I know that people's skills and talents are worth something.  I would LOVE to pay everyone who helps me, lots of money.  One day, maybe I can/will!  But it's nice that nobody seems to worry about it too much in the meantime.

I think that the people who help me know I appreciate them.  Sometimes we do things on a trade, like The Real Tuesday Weld has kindly done a remix for me, in exchange for some singing, see?

Or once Carim from Psapp mastered an album for me at a heavily discounted rate and I baked him 4 cakes to supplement the fee.  (Carim loves cake!)

And for every Piney video you see, you can know that it has been created thanks to kindness & willingness to participate.  See?

Here I am just before a photo shoot I did last week.
Katrin was rushing over after work to take the pics.
Thanks Katrin!
I guess we just have to get creative with our approach, because let's face it, unless you're Katy Perry, Mumford and Sons, or Florence and the Machine, it's not likely you are surviving on your creative output/income alone, or if you are, then you definitely don't live in London (or you might have help from Mom and Dad, but that's a whole other kind of blog - there are quite a few trust fund musicians out there).

And so the creative family helps one another out, artistically.  Actually, that's a beautiful thing & enables a sense of community.  In that sense I'm lucky, really really lucky to be surrounded by the people that I know.

Okay, so maybe it's not SO bad,
but it's still hard to do loads of spreadsheets!

Wish me luck,


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

New Year's Resolutions

So what are your New Year's resolutions?

They say if you tell people what your resolutions are you're more likely to stick to them... here are mine!

1. Ebay all those old dresses I no longer wear - I know, a girl can never have too many clothes right?  Well, I can't fit the clothes into my closet & this has been a case for some time now!  Ever since I moved out of the Listria Park (if you ever saw my room there it was likened to a vintage clothes boutique: with walls of dresses and wracks of shoes) I haven't had sufficient space for my dresses.  I currently have over a dozen boxes of dresses that I need to auction off.  Beautiful, one-of-a-kind, vintage frocks, that for whatever reason I don't wear.  I guess my stage look has evolved a bit, it's less Sandra Dee than it used to be, thus the surplus of dresses...  This is a serious task, but will feel good to get it done and free up that space!

2. Figure out what the heck a 'cloud' is and back up all my techie stuff.  At the moment I am so NOT techie that if my computer failed tomorrow, that'd just be it, everything would be gone... so yes, I need to figure this shizz out.  Any tech tutors out there?  I can pay you in enchiladas, or bake you a cake. 

3. Get all that Piney Merch photographed and over to Greedbag.  I have a Piney Gir shop, see? the thing is, I have all this cute jewellery and other lovely handmade things at home, cluttering up my hallway when these things could be out there making people happy. Then I'd have more space for shoe storage.  Win/Win!

4. Figure out the shoe storage issue.  I'll spare you the details but believe me it's an issue! 

I just proofread this blog and I sound a bit vacuous running around town moaning about shoe storage.  I am blessed to have the problems that I have!  But what I can take away from this blog is this... I need to create more space and more order so perhaps that is the umbrella for these resolutions, the general 'to do' as it were.  When my physical space is calm, my inner space will also be calm (that's the idea anyway)... 

So 2015 will be about creating space and achieving a sense of order both outwardly and inwardly.

Wish me luck!