Money earned this week: $529, but I also have $384 in client income due that I totally want, please pay up.
Shows played this week: None
Next show: Tomorrow (Friday) in Phoenix! I will barely be in Phoenix for 24 hours, but I will be playing the Phoenix Comicon Captain’s Cantina at 9 p.m.
Next show after that: Wednesday May 29 in Portland at Shaker and Vine. 8 p.m.
Next show after that: None for two whole weeks (not until Victory Tour), and I am kind of glad of it.
What else am I doing? Copywriting, copyediting, trying to put together a talk that I’m giving on Sunday, and figuring out how to get Giant Robot Album into your arms.
What’s the talk? Can I go? Wish you could, but it’s invite-only. I’ll probably put my notes online.
Okay, where is Giant Robot Album? Giant Robot Album is continuing to slip behind schedule in a way that makes my project management heart gently weep. I am at the “no seriously these are the LAST EDITS we can make” stage. It doesn’t help that I am traveling way too much; often, I am the literal roadblock in the project timeline.
But doesn’t The Internet mean you can just make the album online or something? With… like… version control? Not exactly. It helps if people are in the same room.
So how much are you traveling? More than I would like, right now. I wrote a song two years ago about how I wanted to go on tour every other month, and I have somehow made that dream come true.
But isn’t that the goal of independent musicianry? I think it is one of the goals. Traveling and musicianry go hand-in-hand. But I am starting to get that Bilbo-stretched feeling. I am also beginning to wonder if perpetual travel perhaps shouldn’t be the goal of my independent musicianry.
Okay, so if travel isn’t the goal, what is? Well, “travel” was never the goal. “Connecting with music” is the goal, but since it happens on a one-to-one, human-to-human basis, travel is inevitable.
What about a residency in a city, so you didn’t have to travel so much? Been there, did that for a year. The first month I had a full house. The last month I had zero people. Turns out when you play the same city every month, it gets dull.
What about making good music and selling it online? Wait, people pay for music online???? Because I am a storyteller and a comedian, I always sell more in person than I do online. (Also because people don’t like to pay for music online but they do like to buy CDs if they enjoyed your show. Usually they’re not actually doing it for the CDs; it’s more like a way to thank you for your work.)
So is there a way to be an indie musician without continuous travel? This seems to be one of the larger questions in my brain right now.
Does that mean that when you travel to see us, you’re all secretly resentful and everything? Nope. When the show starts, all that’s there is me and you. And I love that part; the music, you singing along, and the thing that we create together. And then afterwards I go to the airport and THEN I’m secretly resentful. But it’s not of you. It’s of the airport.
What else are you thinking about? I think I have three major questions right now:
1. How to tell bigger stories
2. How to perform without constant travel
3. How to write and perform music and be something else
Wait, you mean something else like a day job? Um… I’ve had a freelance day job since last November. What I mean is I thought I wanted to hang my entire identity on being the voice of Hello, The Future!
And that’s kind of hollow, in the end.
But the catch, at least in my brain, is that if I start rounding out the other parts of my life I’ll have less time to spend traveling the country and sharing music with you.
It sounds like you want to quit. Are you going to quit? Because I already invested in your Kickstarter and you promised me a Firefly EP this fall. I don’t want to quit. (And you’re going to get your Firefly EP.) But I do want to step away from the travel cycle for a minute, to gain a freshness in the same way that you suddenly understand a problem when you take five minutes to go outside and get some fresh air.
Anything else? Only that it’s late and I have to be on a plane early tomorrow morning. How about I say goodnight now and write more next week.