What’s on my mind? Well, as you know, we’ve just finished a new Smart Barker album. It’s completely done. It’s not released yet because I wanted to spend some time trying to understand the music business today. We haven’t released an album of new songs since 2013, so I figured things were going to be different. Nope. It’s still pay to play. In order to receive any attention in the music business, you have to be contributing to the music-business economy. It’s just like having to sell tickets before you can even get the gig. It is difficult, for example, to get the attention of a certain local, independent radio station that regularly features local Philly musicians without hiring a record promoter (ahem) to get the music to them. I reached out to a few companies to help promote the record and the best one for us wanted $7000 to do the job—just for “press.” It would be $2500 a month for them to do radio. Like those things even really exist anymore. This is very stressful for me because music is my main focus these days—and I don’t have that kind of money to spend on it. Especially after the cost of obtaining and maintaining the equipment to make the records, as well as the cost of tuition to learn how to make them better. And now I should pay to press CDs? Who wants a CD? Maybe we could do a small run of them, but I doubt we’d sell more than five.
We are very proud of this new album. I know Mark is especially so. I’m thinking we should just release it to the streamers. No press, no airplay, no release party, no CDs, no shows, no promotion other than this kind of useless communique that few of my friends will even see. This is the part of it that is really demoralizing. Crushing, even. So, we’re going to focus on the part that is fun and rewarding—making the music. That means get this one out there and just go ahead and make another one, and another after that. Hopefully we’ll find some listeners. Again, we’re not trying to SELL you anything. But I guess we’re asking for your time and attention—and I will be grateful for any amount of that you can give. Watch this space for more about the new album. Thank you!