sailing on right by

July 2, 2007 7:16 PM

a soulful meditation on a future where both water and human kindness are in scant supply.

posted by kimyo (22 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

Dreamy, so very dreamy...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:24 AM on July 3, 2007

Faboo. Dreamy is right on.

Welcome to Metafilter, kimyo and hba. How'd you end up on this particular bandwagon?
posted by cortex at 7:56 AM on July 3, 2007

this song is really nice and it's great that you joined Metafilter Music. I second cortex, welcome here.
posted by micayetoca at 1:19 PM on July 3, 2007

These guys are just kissing your ass because your voice sounds "hot". So...what's your number?

Seriously now. This is sweet and a great submission for the challenge. Welcome from me too!
posted by snsranch at 1:45 PM on July 3, 2007

wow, what a kind welcome. thanks!

i'm kim, the guy who stays up all night folding christina's luscious vocals and my various guitar/keyboard ramblings into ear-shaped bits for your perusal.

my comrade at arms, victor sparrow, turned me onto metafilter music. i'm not sure what his moniker is around these parts.

snsranch: i'll do my best to get you stina's #, but i must warn you that she is happily married to a sculptor named tim, and he's fairly deadly with an acetylene torch. ;-)
posted by kimyo at 2:36 PM on July 3, 2007

Well, love-triangle torch wounds could make for good song material.

And vhsiv, I'm guessing. If he's a comrade in musical arms, you should kick his ass until he posts something. :)
posted by cortex at 2:51 PM on July 3, 2007

You are a dude? damn. Well. Welcome anyway.

Just kidding. It's a great song. Great work. And that Victor Sparrow... any chance he is related to the Mighty Sparrow?
posted by micayetoca at 3:07 PM on July 3, 2007

sorry about my dudeness. however, while we're on the subject of the mighty sparrow i might point you to a video of me having my way with a set of alto steel drums:

not exactly the mighty sparrow, and quite out of season, but maybe just right for a summer evening.

i'll get on the other sparrow to find if he is related, and to get him posting.
posted by kimyo at 6:09 PM on July 3, 2007

vhsiv here and – doh! – I guess my un-secret identity has been revealed!

I suppose it was just a matter of time before the MefiNSA caught up with me...

I am not a musician and have no relation to The Mighty Sparrow, though Thomas Jefferson is a distinct possibility.

But enough about me. There's plenty more about Kim, Christina (some of it written by me) and HBA ...over here.
posted by vhsiv at 6:39 PM on July 3, 2007

This is lovely. I also really enjoyed the footage of you playing the steel drums. I also followed the new links and am really liking "Failure". I'm impressed by how layered and rich your sound is.

I don't generally compare musicians to each other because it's lazy, but I'm very sharply struck at how much Christina reminds me of Lauren Hoffman and I mean that as a very high compliment.

Thanks for posting.
posted by melissa may at 7:02 PM on July 3, 2007

Not bad at all. Even with the ambiguous name and female vocalist, I figured you might be a guy, since it seems to be a law of physics that trip-hop groups consist of a female vocalist and a male music maestro (at their core, anyway, since they're also often blurry-edged).

Good work, keep it up.
posted by abcde at 8:41 PM on July 3, 2007

hey melissa - i like the h-girls take on 'white wedding', and also i really dig the approach you're taking with the website (paypal, guilt but funny, logic, persuasion, etc.)

i'll pass this conversation onto christina, the lauren hoffman comparison is apt, and very kind.

ms. hoffman sounds great, she's had some good press exposure, but it seems as if she's more popular in europe than here. (i'm basing this all on a cursory skim of her site). how can an artist 'break' anymore? there's really no radio (aside from satellite), there aren't any more record stores. and there's way too many bands here.

[/bitch mode off]

obviously, we've adapted, we're here on metafilter, we're on amie street, that's where it is all going, the record companies are (most deservedly) dead.

but - melissa, if i may ask, what is the proportion of visitors/contributors at your site? ours is woefully low, we see 50+ unique visits a day, maybe get 2 contributions a month.

i've started including public-radio style nags at the end of new tracks available for free download.

abcde: that law of physics does appear to be immutable.
we'll know the true meaning of 'hot bitch arsenal' when we add the next member. if it is a girl, think 'charlie's angels', with me as bosley (bosworth?). if it is a boy, then christina will be more like 'trinity' in 'the matrix', surrounded by doofy wooden assclowns.

any severus fans out there?
we need some tips on how to best promote this bit of business:
sippin on some severus
posted by kimyo at 2:21 AM on July 4, 2007

Oh kimyo, Truman Capote had a wonderful line for situations like this: Honey, don't let me commence.

Our contribution rate is much like yours. We know from our logs that people frequently download records -- sometimes, all of the free content on our site -- without paying. If we get a positive mention in a highly trafficked blog, the ratios improve a bit, but it doesn't last. Other musicians with similar systems that we've talked to about this have similar experiences. The online record label we've worked also has come to believe that many people just don't think of downloads as an object of purchase. Not that traditional independent labels are doing much better; my husband's previous band was on one that that like so many had to fold because so few people are willing to buy records.

I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said before, but: a lot of people who say that they'll buy music directly from muscians if given the opportunity just don't. There's a strong sentiment out there that asking for payment is mercenary and careerist. We haven't the slightest interest in getting rich from what we do and don't know a lot of other working bands with that ambition. We would just be happy to be making enough to buy the equipment that would enable us to make better records and why that would be considered grasping is beyond us.

I'm on a bit of a rant, but I'm honestly mystified where people think the music they love will keep coming from if no one is going to pay for it anymore. We'll always make music because we love it, and we'll keep doing our low-fi make-do thing, but its limitations really chafe. I highly doubt we'll ever be able to afford the instruments and equipment that would enable us to make the records we really want to make. I don't have an answer because honestly, I don't think there is one. The music market is so saturated that we just don't know anyone who isn't on a label with very, very good support who can make money on either records or playing out. This is especially true of people doing experimental music, or highly sophisticated or jazz-based pop -- hell, any niche music that by its nature will only appeal to a small group of listeners, and only, of course, if they can actually hear it. Which, since independent radio's mostly dead, they generally won't.

We do know people who've done well playing in European (and Asian) markets. You're right, Lauren Hoffman has been one of them. By all rights, her first record, Megiddo, should have created a huge following for her here (all her records are so very good). Ultimately, success is all about distribution, and it's just hard to get label support for the kind of subtle, sophisticated music she does. She certainly has never had it in the US despite most certainly deserving it.

Well, did I write enough here for you? We've been thinking about this stuff for fricking ever, and the whole situation confounds us, both as musicians and listeners craving novel, original music. So we do the only thing we know how to do, and that is buy the music of those people we think are doing fresh, exciting things. If we ever come up with a better plan, I swear we'll tell you and everyone else who'll listen about it.
posted by melissa may at 3:42 AM on July 4, 2007 [3 favorites]

this is a great track. nice trip-hop vibe. vocals are lovely. thanks!
posted by saulgoodman at 10:17 AM on July 4, 2007

melissa - excellent diatribe, and surprisingly succinct given the breadth of the topic.

i do disagree with this:
>>I'm honestly mystified where people think the music
>>they love will keep coming from if no one is going to
>>pay for it anymore.

i think they know that we're going to be making the music anyway, and that, like pete townshend nicking a guitar off the shelf and saying 'i'll pay you tuesday', we'll find a way to support our habit.

maybe the answer is something like amie street, i haven't thought about it this way before, but, in addition to their listener-recommendation model, perhaps bands have an obligation to actively drive listeners to the site.

i abhor the 'bitter end' (local club) model (4 bands a night, each responsible for bringing 50 heads, supposed 'cross-pollination' occurs). i never see that working, you can play in front of 50 of your friends anytime you want, they don't need to drop $10 for the privilege.

but with amie street, if we get each of our 50 friends to drop $10, we get a slice, as do 10 or 20 other deserving bands.

we're also considering what live performance might become in an energy constricted world. we're planning to try a 'pay-per-view' live streaming event, where listeners scattered across the globe im/phone/email in words, images, sound and video which become part of the outgoing stream, backed by our live-looped improvisation.

since there are already mechanisms for subscription to video streams, we don't have to build anything. my approach is going to be to get individuals on the 'street team' (this is a very loose term) to host an hba party on the 'night' of the streaming event, we'll fix them up with hba gear, have a worldwide party that will hopefully pay for itself, and then maybe be able to reap some profit by selling audio/video from the event.
posted by kimyo at 2:38 PM on July 4, 2007

maybe the answer is something like amie street...

I haven't checked out amie street, but I will. I've got a bit too cynical and downhearted about this stuff in general, I think. We've tried quite a few other collective site models before and it hasn't really done much for us, but hearing someone else's optimism about a new altenative helps.

I abhor the 'bitter end' (local club) model...

Absolutely. We thankfully haven't had to do the pay for play thing but even a three-band bill is a drag to me -- I don't like attending such shows, much less playing them. I don't buy the cross-pollination argument of cattle call type bills either but I certainly understand it from the venue point of view. Everyone's struggling.

we're also considering what live performance might become in an energy constricted world...

If you have a list, feel free to add my email to it because I'd love to see what you do with this. I love the intimacy of live performance but the phrase "energy constricted world" really sums up my feelings about touring.

Finally, you're right: if you've got the passion you'll always find a way to make a record. It's more that I adore great studio records and what a producer and engineer with talent and taste and access to really great tools can do. It's an art, one that I truly respect, and that I want to see more generally supported and valued.

I've really enjoyed this back and forth and am glad you've joined here and that I've had a chance to hear your music. Thanks very much.
posted by melissa may at 10:38 PM on July 4, 2007

You had me from the first bar.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:58 AM on July 5, 2007

I think one of the main problems with paying for music is that there's no easy way to do it. Either you use paypal, which sucks ass, or you trust some random site with your credit card details. If a site like facebook or amazon that already had my details had music I wanted I would be much more likely to pay for it.
posted by delmoi at 5:50 PM on July 6, 2007

I just bought your album on Itunes. Great stuff! Thanks!
posted by vacapinta at 6:26 PM on July 8, 2007

Kimyo used to be my landlord. I'm not joking.
posted by chillmost at 7:21 PM on July 13, 2007

Hm. I think it's probably easier to sell independent recorded music than it ever was. All those people who aren't paying still wouldn't be paying you anything if the internet didn't exist -- but the people who are paying wouldn't be either.

FWIW, after listening to this song I registered on Amie Street and bought every song you have there.
posted by winston at 10:07 PM on July 14, 2007

(clarification: "easier" is not meant to imply "easy")
posted by winston at 10:09 PM on July 14, 2007

« Older Blanket   |   calico zoo - vampire deer Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments