Quiet, not sleeping

A lot going on here at Silber.

On the comic front I’ve got two new comics finished (Lost Kisses #26 & Come Home Safe #2) & shipped out to subscribers. I wrote scripts for Walrus #2 & Built #3. I got word from Jeremy Johnson that Marked #4 is imminent on the drawing being done. Ed Delaney says Pow Wow #3 should be done shortly as well. At least four other scripts out with artists that should be done sooner than later.

Been working on the press releases for If Thousands, Electric Bird Noise, Feel No Other, & Slicnaton which is basically the only thing holding these releases back for so long. Hoping to have them up in the next week or two available for purchase.

This weekend there’s a full band Remora show & allegedly a full band studio recording session. We’ll see how it all goes.

I launched the Kickstarter campaign for the QRD Guitarist eBook & Compilation. I am fairly hopeful for it. We’ll just have to wait & see what happens with it.

There’s some behind the scenes stuff going on here at Silber that I think is going to result in us putting out more content on a regular basis.  We’ll see how it goes.  Basically I’m trying to bring Silber back around to being the community I once envisioned it to be rather than exclusively my show as far as doing all the labor & feeling over pressured about everything.  We’ll see if I really can get myself to let go enough to make that happen.

Here’s a recent super minimalist recording/video from Plumerai:

Recent Dreams:
January 25, 2014
My parents are cleaning their house & they are throwing out a bunch of half completed &/or broken craft projects of my grandmother’s. I gather them all out of the trash. I know they are useless, but I’m not ready for them to be thrown away yet.

I’m in high school with Michael Wood & we’re gambling, playing dice with two ten-sided-dies (one blue & one red).

There’s a worldwide totalitarian regime that is ignorant of the impending destruction of the world. But there is a way to survive, hopping through a gateway to another dimension. The gate was built by bees & is in a dug out crawlspace under a typical suburban house. Under the house there are maybe 20 of us waiting for the bees to open the portal including a pregnant woman on a gurney (I have no idea how she managed to get down here). The bees open the portal & flood through & everyone goes in behind them. I’m trying to push the gurney through the portal & it’s caught in the dirt & too heavy for me to move. A woman comes in with a five-year-old child & I get them each to grab hold of the gurney & they take it with them as they are pulled through & I fall on the ground from pushing it. When I stand up the portal has shrunk down to the size of my hand & I watch it fade to be too small for even a bee to make it through.

January 27, 2014
My cat is moving into an apartment with me. I feel really bad about throwing all his stuff away when he died ten years ago, but I didn’t think I’d see him again.

January 28, 2014
I go to see Irata play a live show as the soundtrack to a demolition derby. I’m kinda shocked by how slow & boring the car crashes are.

I’m outside in my yard & a cop walks down my driveway carrying a sawed-off shotgun covered in mud & he asks if it’s mine. I tell him it’s probably my nephew’s. He asks if I’d mind if he checked my car & I watch as he plants & then pulls out a revolver from my backseat. When he starts to arrest me & goes into who he thinks I am, it’s clear he thinks I’m my neighbor across the street; but I don’t think there’s even a reason to bother to try to explain that to him.

January 29, 2014
I show up at a comic convention & check in at the table. When I go to get my stuff out of my car I realize I forgot to pack any merchandise. I’ve been way too busy lately….

February 2, 2014
I’m with Nic Slaton on tour & we’re listening to a staticy fading out jazz station. I say, “It sucks that I’m not a jazz player because when jazz players get old they become gristled & cool, but white people like me just get old & crotchety.”

February 4, 2014
I’m looking for some place for me & my grandmother to live. I find a furnished home where the master bedroom has a double bed in it as well as a twin bed so I’ll finally be able to sleep in my own bed without worrying if she’s fallen out of hr bed in the middle of the night.

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Comics, Triangle Rhysing, Chvad SB, Dreams

Been getting some work done lately behind the scenes. Finished drawing Come Home Safe #2 (still need to scan it in), halfway finished drawing the next Lost Kisses, got a script written & sent out to the artist for Seabase 17 (new series), & I put a few more comics up on Amazon (not a lot of sales luck there yet, but I am hopeful).

Here’s a video from the Triangle Rhysing massed guitar thing I took part in last year:

& here’s a video from Chvad SB who will be having a release on Silber shortly. It’s a long drone.

Recent Dreams:
January 18, 2014
After years of living in squalor & depravity I finally meet Jesus face to face. He’s much shorter than I anticipated (maybe 5’2”) & looks like his body’s been broken down from a life of hard labor. I tell him I thought he’d be taller & he just shrugs his shoulders.

We’re having Eggo waffles for breakfast, but we’re out of butter. My girlfriend is about to smother them in suntan lotion & I tell her to wait & try one first before putting it on all of them.

At a Remora show I’m playing the song “More than the Sky.” I don’t know the words or the notes, but the music is just falling out of me more beautifully than any song ever has.

I’m going on tour with a band called Regulaters & I’m trying to convince them we need to buy a sack of fruit for in the van, but they don’t think it’s very rock & roll.

January 19, 2014
I’m staying at PD Wilder’s house on tour & the bathroom is lit from the floor rather than the ceiling. The lights are under huge glass tiles & I’m trying to pry one up, but they seem sealed. I’m on the floor trying to figure them out & PD opens the door & laughingly says, “What the hell are you doing?”

I wake up & see my girlfriend in the bedroom doorway, but turning to my left she’s still lying next to me on the bed. It must be her twin sister. I start to get out of bed & the twin comes over & pulls the blankets off of us & plunges a pair of scissors into my girlfriend’s chest. I manage to push her away before she can pull the scissors out to let my girlfriend’s blood spew out of her. My girlfriend starts to wake up & I’m trying to figure out how to break the news to her while keeping her sister at bay.

January 20, 2014
I’m lost driving on the outskirts of a small town. I’m past its second (& final) stoplight, curving around the two-lane road to what I assume is a baseball field on the left. The edges of the field furthest from me have a series of castle facades & in the field are people in costumes that make them look like twelve-foot puppets. The monster costumes look more tragic than frightening & I kind of wish I was one of them.

I’m checking out a local comic shop on the way to a convention. It is converted from a house & has separate rooms, but no organization as far as what is in one room to the next. They have a special sale where coupons for various percentages off single comics are randomly hidden amongst back issues, which is kind of a cool idea.

I’m getting sick & when I blow my nose the snot is such a fluorescent green that I think it might actually glow.

January 21, 2014
I’m hanging out with my friends Ben & Arabella & they’re telling me that they’re going to be sent back in time as part of a witness relocation program & I realize that they are actually going to become my parents.

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Music, Comics, Facebook, Cats, & Muscle Mass

Today was a super productive day.  I got the last of the royalty checks out to the bands on the label, which is one of my favorite parts of running the label.  I always wish I could get out more money to the bands, maybe one day.

So I came up with this idea of putting my comics in vinyl bowls to sell at an event I did about a month ago.  Then a couple days ago I asked a couple people if I sent them 40 comics in a bowl would they sell them & give me $20 & I got a few folks wanting them.  So I assembled the comics & got those ready to ship.  I’m pretty excited that I may have finally figured something out for that & I’m hoping to get the comics available a few more places.  We’ll see how it goes.

I went ahead & invested potentially as much as $10 on Facebook trying to promote the Silber $13 download sale.  So far I’ve spent $2.96 for 12,067 views & a few clicks, but so far no extra sales.  But I do think it has the potential to pay for itself & that I may have finally figured out how to use Facebook in a way as useful as MySpace was 7 years ago.

There’s a cat I sometimes hang out with called Tobin.  Here he is playing my keyboard:

Tobin on the keyboard

Tobin on the keyboard

So as you know I did a lot of traveling last fall.  I shot some video out the van window.  Here’s some footage & a new song from Muscle Mass:

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Working not twerking

I spent most of yesterday trying to help my nephew on a school project so he won’t fail English this year.  It seems to be something that happens every few months though it varies which class he’s failing instead of getting D’s in.  Last year when he said, “It’s no big deal if I fail the seventh grade, I’ll just be in it again next year,” I kinda knew there would be an ongoing problem.  I guess it’s a good thing that I think the main purpose of school is babysitting until someone is old enough to work, but I kinda hoped he’d get some work ethic skills to help him in life.  When I was his age all I cared about (in order) was music, comics, drugs, & girls so who am I to really judge?

On the Silber front I started trying to do some stuff to increase the effectiveness of the Silber Facebook page.  After five hours I realized I was falling into the same traps I have in the past as far as doing work that is pointless & ultimately depressing.  I should have spent those same five hours working up a press release for one of the upcoming releases or working up a cover song.  I mean, I know things I could do to get Silber more popular on Facebook, but I should be spending time trying to get Silber more popular in real life.  Which means not letting myself slip into certain traps with social media marketing & promotional stuff & sticking to creating content.  We’ll see if I can get myself on task. I think it’s clear it’s more effective for me to pay Facebook $5 for an ad to spread the word about an album & maybe generate back those $5 than for me to spend five hours trying to get the word out by hand. I noticed today that if I put a post with a link it gets significantly less transmission on Facebook than if I just put something as text. I’m not sure what to do with that information, but I thought some of you might find it interesting.

I came up with the idea of sending my comics in vinyl record bowls to some friends to sell at conventions & stores with us splitting the profit 50-50. We’ll see how it works out. In the mean time I suppose I need to assemble a ton of comics.

Stumbled on this video.  Can’t decide if it’s depressing or uplifting, so you decide for me.

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Most Read Silber Comics of 2013

Top 10 Most Read Silber Comics of 2013:
Lost Kisses #24
So this was a new issue of Lost Kisses that came out this year, so to me it’s no huge surprise it was the most read book of 2013.  I guess it’s still the most popular series no matter how uncomfortable people get reading it.

Cyberpunk Apocalypse Artistic Evidence
While I got back from my Cyberpunk Apocalypse Residency on November 29, it took me a little while to get the book about it done & so it wasn’t delivered to the Kickstarter backers until January.  At several hundred pages, this is our biggest endeavor so far, but a hint at the future of us doing ebooks in 2014.

Ultimate Lost Kisses #11
No surprise that this collaboration with Dave Sim remains near the top of our list.  I got an award plaque for this for a reason, I like to think it’s the quality because who would want to read such a depressing story if it was shitty?

Just A Man #1
My cowboy comic.  I love this book.  I actually got an award for the animated version of this comic (just a slideshow of it basically).  Anyway, the skull cover Andrew White drew is pretty iconic & it was part of the first issues bundle that people got.

Built #1
My robot story drawn by Joe Badon, after however long I think some new stories are about to fall out of my brain.  Part of the first issues bundle.

REH #1
I love Robert E Howard & I write these odd autobio style speculative biography pieces.  I think they are pretty good.  Drawn by Andrew White.  Part of the first issues bundle.

XO #1
I love XO.  I can’t remember if it was my first comic with a collaborator or if Worms was.  I could write XO comics for days on end, but unfortunately that doesn’t make them easier for Melissa to draw them.  Sigh….  Part of the first issues bundle.

Worms #1
This series works really well for me.  Probably the best thing I’ve done as far as writing a story & really getting the perfect artist to tell it.  Without Kimberlee Traub I think this story would be boring & with her I feel like it’s a claustrophobic creepy dream journey that works well.  Part of the first issues bundle.

XLK #1
This isn’t part of the first issues bundle, so I’m not sure what got it to boost up to this download position.  It’s drawn by Nick Marino, so maybe he was driving some traffic to it or something?  Supposedly this series will one day continue.  It’s kind of a Rambo parody in this issue, but in the future it’s more of a Nick Fury & Deadpool parody.

Walrus #1
I’m really glad this made the list.  Drawn by Jared Catherine, Walrus is unquestionably the most fun comic I’ve ever written.  I want to do a follow-up, but I also kinda think I can’t top it.  A walrus playing saxophone after the apocalypse… there’s a reason I picked this as the first Silber comic to go up on Amazon.

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Top Silber Referrers of 2013

Top Sites People Discovered Silber Through in 2013:

1             http://www.silbermedia.com
I don’t think it’s any real surprise that most of our traffic comes from people already on our website.  Seems like it should be a no brainer that hopefully people go from one page to another.

2             http://www.google.com
I’m actually kind of surprised that Google is our second biggest referrer.  I guess that means we do okay with our search engine optimization.  But the number one phrase to get to the site was “zombie love” so I’m not sure how much quality traffic I’m getting anyway.  I do think that most of the blog traffic is generated from Google as it’s no secret that Google loves blogs.

3             http://www.stereomood.com
I’ve never used this site, but every month it drives a lot of traffic as far as people listening to the sample MP3s on our site.  Which I am going to assume eventually might create a fan or two.

4             http://www.facebook.com
So you mean the countless hours I spend on Facebook actually do drive some traffic to the website?  Awesome.

5             http://www.vebidoo.de
This is some German site; I have no idea what it is.

6             http://en.wikipedia.org
So I know that Wikipedia drives a lot of traffic to some of the QRD interviews, but them being a top referrer to our website might mean I need to make Silber & QRD Wikipedia pages.

7             http://www.downloads.nl
This download site from The Netherlands links up to us because of all our free download releases.  Hopefully it helps us develop fans.

8             http://www.dilandau.eu
This is a European site for finding free MP3s of which we offer hundreds.  Once again hopefully it helps future fans find out about us.

9             http://www.vivaelbirdos.com
Okay, I am totally confused on this.  I think it’s a website for a Spanish baseball team or something.  I have no idea how or why it’s driving traffic to Silber.  I would guess maybe something about hot linking Silberspy photos on their site.

10             http://finallychecking.blogspot.com
So for a while I tried to do a blog with a bunch of friends.  It kinda failed in the end I suppose & I decided to fold it into the Silber blog, but somehow it still drives traffic to the site.

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Silber Most Downloaded Releases of 2013

Top 10 Most Downloaded Silber Releases in 2013:
Yellow6: 5
I was kinda surprised to see this on the top of the charts.  I mean, I know Yellow6 has a good name & all that, but I thought this whole list would be absolutely dominated by the free releases.  I guess part of it is maybe that this came out as the announcement of the end of our hiatus.

Plumerai: Marco Polo EP
A free download from Plumerai.  To be honest I was a little surprised to see this up this high in the charts.  I guess Martin & company might still be pushing it a bit more all these years later than I am!

Electric Bird Noise: Desert Jelly

This was the only CD we put out in 2013.  It’s really good.  I know that most of the downloads came from press people rather than sales & I wish that somehow had translated into a lot of reviews & radio play that led to sales, but I guess I just don’t know what I’m doing as much as I did ten years ago.

Firetail: Learning to Cheat
Our only free release of the year.  To be honest I thought this was going to end up number one on the chart after it got mentioned by Warren Ellis, but no luck on that front.  It’s still a really good release of shoegazery drone.  I’m still trying to figure out if there’s any benefit to doing a free release at this point or if I should always charge a dollar.

Various Artists: 30 Seconds of Time
I’m kinda surprised that this is the only one of our free compilations that made it onto this list.  I mean, this is kind of one of the weirdest comps we’ve done, but I guess maybe that’s a plus?  I don’t remember how many songs this is, but I do know that they’re each only 30 seconds long.

Clang Quartet: Ava
No surprise to see this in the charts.  I love Clang Quartet.  This is a really good capturing of Clang Quartet.  I’m glad it exists & that people are checking it out.

mwvm: Had Yr Pash
This is a great record.  I probably should have put it out on manufactured CD & pushed it harder, but things are so weird to predict & it came along when I had just gone through a slew of economically suspect releases.  At least people are listening to it, which I guess is the most important thing.

Panthan: Five Pointed Swords
Me & Nic Slaton originally recorded these to try to sell to people for film & television placements five years ago.  Then a few years later when we’d given up on that I listened back & things seemed like people might dig them.  I guess they do or it wouldn’t be in the charts.

Brian John Mitchell & Andrew Weathers: Drone is in the Blood
Me & my son’s record about our relationship.  I’m not sure the record is as great as our story, but maybe one day we will record something a little less rushed & better.

Unspeakable Forces: Butterfly Corpse
Oh fuck yeah!  I am so happy to have this on the charts.  Now me & Darin have no excuse not to get the follow up of our weird doomgaze going.

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Most Popular Silber Blog Entries of 2013

So since you are on our blog, you probably already read these entries, but here are the ten most popular blog entries of 2013:

1. FCIO – What if Conan Were Stranded in the 20th Century? (December 19, 2013)
Wow.  I didn’t think this would get the most reads.  It’s a brand new entry!  I guess I should write about Conan more often.

2. Remora & Christmas (December 24, 2013)
Another one from the end of the year.  I guess people did want to hear a Remora Christmas EP.  I’ll try to make sure it’s ready for next year.

3. Spotify & Music Money Today (September 23, 2011)
From 2011 & people are still looking at this discussion about Spotify earnings from Facebook?  That’s weird.  I wonder if I should look back into the numbers on Spotify….

4. Internet Promotion from Zero in 2011 (October 30, 2011)
Another actual article from 2011.  It’s pretty decent & stands the test of time.  I’d forgotten that a couple years ago I started doing a thing where I was writing blog posts that were getting re-posted in bigger music blogs in order to try to generate traffic.  I guess maybe that works?

5. Remora – Remoricana (April 5, 2013)
I had forgotten about this.  I saw an episode of The Fugitive late at night that had a guy singing a song & I wanted to cover it.  Evidently some other people wanted to hear it too.

6. Prometheus (June 21, 2012)
Personally, I really liked this movie.  People are still reading my review of it a year & a half later though?  Internet, I really don’t understand you.

7. Ten or so days… (September 9, 2013)
This is the first entry on this list that is what I would call “a typical Silber Blog post”.  Basically me giving an account of what I’ve done in the past three days & what I plan to do for the next ten.  I suppose the mention of Low & Megadeth in the same post is kinda interesting.

8. Me & Breaking Bad (August 12, 2013)
My essay on how Breaking Bad relates to me personally.  Pete liked it.

9. Good Hours (Featuring Peter Aldrich, Small Life Form, & More) (October 18, 2012)
Another typical Silber Blog entry.  Not sure why this old entry is popular.  Maybe because it has a video & an image in it?  I don’t know how things work.

10. Brian Eno Documentary, Remora, SAVAS, Thorn1, XO (December 30, 2010)
There’s no need to talk about anything else, the embedded Brian Eno Documentary is why people care about this entry.

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Most Popular Silber Releases of 2013

So I spent some time making a special sale here at Silber celebrating last year’s victories.  You can get downloads of the ten most popular releases of 2013 or all the new releases of 2013 for just $13.  Spread the word if you can.

Top 10 Most Popular Silber Releases in 2013:

Electric Bird Noise: Desert Jelly
Our biggest release of 2013 including a couple mini-tours to support it.  I should hope it was the most read about!

Goddakk: III
I think this was the first entry in the 5 in 5 series for 2013.  The 5 in 5 series pretty much dominates the charts here, I guess people like the idea of a 5 minute EP?

Northern Valentine: Juno
This came out in 2012 instead of 2013, so I’m a bit surprised that this got this high in the charts.  Maybe the reviews of it came out this year or maybe Bob & company did some pushing for it.  Part of the 5 in 5 series.

Wades: Skyline
I was really excited to get this to come out because it had been several years since Wades had a release, so it did create some buzz even if it was just a five minute EP.

Rllrbll: The White Biscuit
People love Rllrbll, I should know as I’m a person.  While we did put out the digital version of 4 Corners at the end of the year, this five minute EP that led up to the the vinyl release of it did get quite a bit of buzz & sits as the second best seller in the series.

Electric Bird Noise: Icarus City
Electric Bird Noise’s installment of the 5 in 5 series was from 2012, but I imagine that the release of Desert Jelly & the string of shows associated with it boosted some interest in the catalog.

Irata: Vultures
This fine piece of hard rocking sludge is from 2012, but with a bunch of shows over 2013 promoting it there continued to be interest in this EP.

Jamie Barnes: The Fallen Acrobat
Okay, I have no real idea why this is in the charts.  I don’t even really have theories about it.  I mean, I know Jamie’s music is good, but I think Honey from the Ribcage is a stronger record & he hasn’t had a new record in a while.  It’s a mystery.

From Oceans To Autumn: Pareto Analysis Vol. I
This came out at the end of 2012, but it might not have been run through the promotions grinder until January 2013.  It’s pretty epic to take post rock into the 5 songs in 5 minutes realm & it works really well.  The thematic sequel to this (not a five minute EP) should be coming out fairly soon.

Shaun & Zlata Sandor: Band on the Moon
I’m kinda surprised this wasn’t higher up on our list.  This was the best seller in the 5 in 5 series & the story of Shaun & his pre-school daughter doing an album together seems pretty compelling to me.  Hell, not only would I buy it, I’d release it on my label!

 

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Getting the grind on

So I officially sent out the solicitations for the “Make Some Noise” cheering compilation.  Planning for it to come out in March.  We’ll see what happens on it.  Trying to get stuff in all sorts of different styles for it & keep it fun.

The other day I hung out with a friend of mine who is a bit of an “energy swapper” where at times she zaps energy out of you & at other times she zaps energy into you & it put me in a space I haven’t been in for a while where I’m pretty excited about Silber possibilities.  It’s interesting how that can happen sometimes.

I went through some open tabs I had on my browser & I found this short from YouTube that some of you might get a kick out of:

If you are like me, as a kid you grew up watching Robotech.  Here’s a pretty cool Robotech fan film from South America:

Last Night’s Dream:
I’m leaving a friend’s apartment with my son Andrew & a couple other kids. It’s only on the second floor, but I choose to take the elevator because I have a certain fondness for elevators. Andrew ops for the stairs. I’m the last to get on the elevator & when I step on it drops six inches. I say, “Stupid breaking down piece of shit,” & jump up in the air. When I land the whole elevator goes crashing down the twenty feet to the bottom of the shaft.

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