Silber August Charts

For the curious, here’s the Silber August charts.  I haven’t been making charts for months because I feared things being a little too dark, but right now I’m in a pretty positive mood.  I guess it’s good to see all the new stuff at the top as it means the work to put out new material does get people more excited than old material.  Though I almost feel like I should retire the Erin O’Brien interview from the charts as it has been in the top 5 QRD articles since I started making the charts & that’s all traffic from the Wikipedia article about John O’Brien.  Anyway, if you haven’t checked out the new releases yet; I put the Thorn1, QRD – The Guitarists, & Across the Mountains all up on Bandcamp or of course you can download them from Silber or listen to them on Spotify.  I went ahead & made the links to the top comics as free to read.

Most Downloaded Albums
Thorn1 – The Light of Random Star
Various Artists: Across the Mountains – Macedonian ambient music compilation
Various Artists: QRD – The Guitarists
Origami Arktika – Absolut Gehor
Feel No Other – Feel No Other

Most Read About Albums
Various Artists: QRD – The Guitarists
Various Artists: Across the Mountains – Macedonian ambient music compilation
Chvad SB – Crickets Were the Compass
Thorn1 – The Light of Random Star
Electric Bird Noise – Kind of Black

Most Downloaded Comics
Star #4
Marked #4
Seabase 17 #1
REH #6
Cyberpunk Apocalypse Artistic Evidence

Most Read QRD Articles
Author interview with Erin O’Brien
Guitarist interview with Bonnie Mercer
Guitarist interview with Raine Liimakka
Guitarist interview with Aaron Snow
Alien Sex Fiend Interview

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Scheduling & Working

So last month I started my experiment of asking folks to stream Silber stuff on Spotify & see if it caused a boost.  Well, it ends up it takes three months before I get numbers back to see if anything happened (current report is for June earnings).  So we’ll see if I still remember in a few months time.  Meanwhile I am finally really making the effort to get some of the Silber past releases that have never been put up for digital distribution up.  That includes all of the 5 in 5 series (some of the tracks of which can’t go up, they don’t want to accept songs under 30 seconds) & about ten others.  I’m hoping to get that finished this week on all the ones that I can.

I’m also working on getting ready to release some digital re-issues from Silber artists.  So some out of print stuff coming back from If Thousands, Rllrbll, & Electric Bird Noise.  In addition I’ve decided to nix doing the Kickstarter to help out the 5in5 series & just start putting the things out to keep from getting my heart broken.

The other day I wrote scripts for four comics in a single day.  Which maybe doubles the number of comic scripts I’ve written in 2014.  It’s nice to be back to being able to write some stuff.  I’ve had some writer’s block for the past year or so & hopefully I’m done with it.

I’m also getting ready to start sending out the interviews for massive series of stuff for QRD.  The Patreon on the one hand seems to have been a complete bust (zero backers), but I still want to do the interviews & maybe doing them will help generate some more interest in QRD that does eventually lead to some backers.

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Thorn1, Macedonia, QRD, etc.

I knew I wasn’t updating the blog as much as I used to, but I hadn’t realized I had skipped a couple weeks while busily working on Silber things.

First off is some QRD news.  There’s a new issue of guitarist interviews.  I also launched a thing to make QRD come out more regularly via this Kickstarter like site called Patreon.  The way Patreon works is you basically pledge a dollar per release (instead of $20 for the next twenty releases as a big ask) & how often I put out QRD depends on how many backers I get.  Anywhere from every three months to every two weeks.  I really don’t know if all this fan funding stuff is the future or just a last ditch effort before fundamental changes in how art works, but I kinda feel like I need to make the attempt just so I can stop hearing people tell me to try it.

The new Thorn1 record is out.  You can read about it or buy it over here.  As an experiment I have been asking people to listen to it &share it on Spotify to see if I can actually get any significant earnings for the band going this route.  Like everyone else I’ve read the stories about bands getting some money from getting fans to play their albums on loop & I’m hopeful if doubtful about the possibility.

The compilation we put out in conjunction with Post Global Recordings of ambient music from Macedonia is also available.  It’s called Across the Mountains.  I’m really happy to get this music out to people that never would here it otherwise, which I suppose is why Silber releases anything at all.

So I ran through the promo machine with the new releases & posted about them on Facebook & all that.  I’m torn about thinking whether anything I’m doing works for getting the word out any more.  Trying to keep some records to spend my time more appropriatelyon upcoming releases.  I gotta go ahead & start getting some of the next set of releases ready to go to keep from being backed up.

On the comic front, I think I might have finally cracked through the writer’s block I’ve been having for over a year now.  I’m pretty happy about that.  More news as comics actually come out.

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drone shirt, noise shirt, upcoming stuff

So I designed this “keep calm and drone on” shirt for over on Society6.  I posted about it a few places to see if I could generate a couple sales.  It’s interesting how forums work sometimes with people ganging up taking sides on a thing saying it sucks or is cool.  I also made this “noisy not nerdy” one.  I guess I just have to wait & see if these can beat the five or six sales I’ve had of my Yoko Ono shirt on there.

After much back & forth, the Macedonian compilation is complete.  I still need to make the webpage for it & all that, but I’m pretty happy with it being done & seeing what happens with it.  I’m going to tie its release in with the new Thorn1 (press release to write & layout) & the new QRD (one interview to proof, plus layout to do).

Things are looking & feeling positive today.

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I was talking to a friend of mine that also runs the label about how when I quit my job to take care of my grandmother/focus on Silber I thought being able to go from 30 hours to 70 hours of work would double the income to really be able to sustain things.  He said over the years he’s fallen into that trap, but now come to believe that in general nothing over 30 hours of work a week actually leads to more revenue & that I should make sure to spend time enjoying life.  Great advice….

I just switched the big free streaming playlist on the Silber page to have Spotify as an option to at least theoretically make the artists a few extra pennies. I’m thinking about doing the same thing for all the free streaming releases that have come out that are available on Spotify as well. In part also because I was never satisfied with the current embedded player I have (I miss that Yahoo one). I’m also thinking about doing something where in the future the press release stream pages will be Spotify run too. (So a release wouldn’t run through the Silber promo machine until after it is up on Spotify). Any thoughts on this? I know that Spotify kinda sucks for the musicians, but I also know their popularity is responsible for the loss in sales throughout the industry & if slight re-tooling of the Silber site can mean getting artists a royalty check I’m kinda obligated to do it….

Been working a bunch towards the new Thorn1 album & the Macedonian ambient compilation.  I’m also going to be adding a section on the sales page trying to get people to subscribe to future releases.  I feel like having the money in advance would really help out as far as giving the artists on the label knowledge of whether they should go to a studio for something like the 5 in 5 EPs or if they should just record at home.  Not knowing what your choice should be until two years later is kinda lame.

Some of you know I work helping run painting parties.  I did this at work:Silberspy with a candle

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Spotify, Bandcamp, Electric Bird Noise, Rllrbll, Small Life Form

Been doing some work towards getting new releases ready & working on a plan to move into requesting people listen to the Silber back catalog on Spotify when the next newsletter is ready to go out.  Which means making massive playlists.  Not sure that the embracing of Spotify really is a good idea, but those of you following Silber for any time know that I keep trying to do whatever I can to get Silber to make money for artists on the label & stories about the guy who got twenty thousand dollars to finance a tour by getting fans to loop his tracks on Spotify.  If I can get each person on the Silber mailing list to listen to one album on Spotify per month, it would be a couple hundred bucks a month & that would really make a difference around here.

I also was super happy that one of the places I work with for getting my music distributed gave me the ability to whitelist artist’s YouTube pages so their own videos won’t get taken down for copyright violation.  About time!

The guitarist comp is doing interesting.  Getting some buzz on Twitter & Facebook, but so far it’s still sitting nearly still as far as listens on Bandcamp & Bandcamp hasn’t generated any sales.  So I’m glad I tried out Bandcamp, but I really am a little disappointed that the discovery engine aspect of the site really just doesn’t seem to be working for me so far.  Maybe Bandcamp would’ve been helpful to me five years ago, but I think I kinda waited to long to jump on board with it.

There’ve been a bunch of videos I’ve been meaning to post up here for a while, so here you go.

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Dreams of May

So as you may remember a couple months ago now I slowed down on the blog & my dreams stopped appearing in it.  I’ve still been writing them down on my memo pad & I finally just typed some of them up.

May 1, 2014
Scattered throughout the yard are small pieces of meteorite.  The bits are easy to find because they are all magnetic.  I wonder if they’ll fit together to form something if I collect them all.

My high school has asked me to do an alumni speech at graduation.  I give them the advice that if they don’t know what they should want to do, they should travel instead of going to college.

I’ve taken all of my guitar pedals out of their housings so they are just circuit boards & knobs & wires.  They are much lighter to carry, but I’m pretty sure I’ll end up breaking them.

I’m watching a documentary on the careers of the actors from Growing Pains.  It’s kind of disconcerting to see them as other characters & as actual people who have less depth than their rolls on the show.

I finally finish writing the new Remora song “I’ll Bring You In.”  It feels like the first time I’ve completed something new in a decade.

I find a stash of a dozen knives under a pile of leaves at the base of a tree in the backyard.  I’m going to need them.

May 2, 2014
The Hague.  I don’t even know where it is, but it’s a clue to my past & the key to my future.

May 5, 2014
I’m at a used bookstore in a flea market & they have a ton of mini-comics & zines from the 1980s, but they all look kind of shitty

May 6, 2014
I’m playing a church show in Portland & music has to end by 2am so everything can be struck down & the altar put back up in time for a service the next morning.  I’m running early, so when I go in for sound check I’m ushered in to sit in a pew for a vigil service.

I’m visiting the town where I went to college & on of the streets that was formerly abandoned offices is a strip of tourist trinket shops with a hippie edge that reminds me of small towns in Colorado.  Working in one of them is a guy who used to work in the record shop I went to & he still knows my name even though I have no clue of his.  He pulls a jar from behind the counter & gets out a spoon of what looks like black licorice sprinkles & tells me to try it.  It tastes like dirt, literally like the soil of the earth.

May 9, 2014
I’m in a trench & I’m not sure what war this is.  There’s a string coming out of my trigger finger that looks like a stitch coming loose so I pull on it.  Instead of just pulling loose, it struggles to stay inside the skin.  I pull harder & it is the antenna of a bug that looks like a cross between a slug & a silverfish & pulling it out destroys my finger.  I can feel more of them under my skin, hundreds more.  I’m an infestation.  I’m the enemy.

May 12, 2014
I’m on tour & when I go out to my car, someone has taken the plates off of it; which is fucking great, but there’s nothing to be done.  I start driving & it’s snowing with only one lane plowed.  I’m going as fast as I safely can so I can get off the roads before it gets worse.  All of a sudden I come up on a guy wearing winter gear walking a black lab in the cleared part of the street.  I hit the brakes, but the road is iced over & I don’t slow down at all.  I guide my car slightly to the right & manage to take out the dog & not the man, but then I see the man get hit by the car behind me in my rearview mirror.  I’m not sure what to do, because nothing can be fixed or undone & without the plates on my car it would be a big hassle to deal with the cops & there’s no way anyone could ever identify me if I just keep driving.

Me & my girlfriend are on tour with a band that has two tour buses.  Because the drummer is bringing with him some girl from the show last night, the head count is off  & me & my girlfriend end up on separate buses.  By the time I figure it out I’m in Philadelphia & she’s in Ottawa.  This fucking sucks.

Me & Chelsea go back to our old apartment & the key still works.  We go in & there’s a ton of furniture.  I don’t remember leaving this much stuff here.  I start packing it up & taking it to the car before realizing it belongs to the new tenant.

May 19, 2014
I’m working as a cameraman at a local news station & I notice one of the anchors getting really nervous as he reads his teleprompter & I turn to my right & see a tiger loose on set.  After a minute or two of prowling around he lies down for a nap.

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Rdio, Spotify, Bandcamp, QRD, Upcoming Releases, Etc.

So as a lot of you know I have super mixed feelings about free streaming of music.  I totally understand it is awesome for the consumer.  It’s convenient & easy.  But of course it also means not a lot of income for artists.  So it’s with somewhat mixed feelings that I have been trying to push Silber a bit on Spotify & Rdio.  We’ll see what happens.  Will me mentioning it get people to play the catalog while they are falling asleep or all day at work or whatever & help to reclaim the sales numbers from five years ago before the streaming craze started?  I really don’t have a clue.  But like a lot of other things, it’s probably easier to tell people in conversation, “I tried it & it didn’t work,” than to try to explain why I think it won’t.  So we’ll see on that, for now both Spotify & Rdio have Silber playlists on our drop down link menus throughout the main site.  If someone is on the iTunes equivalent of Spotify & wants to make a Silber playlist for me to link to, let me know.

Also in my recent, “I’ll try it even though I don’t think it will work,” I put the QRD – The Guitarists comp up on Bandcamp.  I’ve avoided Bandcamp for a few reasons over the years, mainly because I had a bad experience downloading from them around the time of their original launch & I already have the Silber download shop set up & don’t see a huge benefit of directing people off site & giving someone else an extra portion of my income.  But a few people have told me they actually do use it as a discovery engine & I do know that bloggers love to embed stuff from it, so I figured I’d give it a shot.  So far it’s been a week & it’s received a hundred listens.  Which I guess is impressive?  But it hasn’t received any purchases of any of the tracks much less the whole thing.  So I’m not really convinced I should dedicate a couple of weeks to uploading the entire Silber catalog.  I feel I would be better served just waiting until the comp was up on Spotify & at least getting those tenths of a penny for play rather than the unpaid streams on Bandcamp.  Sigh.  I’m not abandoning it after a week, but I’m waiting for something good to happen.

The other big thing this year in my trying it out thing of course was the ebook stuff that is the whole reason there is the guitarist comp.  So I put up a few of my comics & I made the guitarist & bass player interview ebooks & put them up on Amazon with the hope of the ease of discovery there.  Well, they made $16.  Which I guess is great, because I really didn’t drive any traffic in that direction as I really only pushed the Kickstarter stuff for those projects anyway.  But I had hoped a few more sales would happen.  I know a few people who have had luck with ebooks & others who have had numbers even worse than mine.  So I’m not sure I should make the other ebooks from the QRD content.  It doesn’t really seem too worth it with those numbers.  But I am hopeful a bit with things on Patreon for QRD slowly turning things around there.

Speaking of QRD, I have a new issue that I finished the initial proofs of the interviews for.  So about four or five hours of work to finish it up, but I’m going to wait until I have some other things ready to go so that when I send the Silber newsletter out it’s fairly impressive.

So here’s my question to you folks that are still reading this entry.  The next release we have coming is the Macedonian drone music compilation, but I’m looking for input on ranking of the importance/order I should do the following, below is the proposal given that nothing goes wrong & a bunch of you aren’t telling me to speed up one thing or another:various artists – across the mountains Macedonian ambient music compilation
Thorn1 – The Light of Random Star
If Thousands re-issues Candace Recorder & IO
Rllrbll re-issues Bathing Music & Long Walk for Ice Cream
Electric Bird Noise re-issue Unleashing the Inner Robot & Soundtrack for the Motion Picture The Pace
Halcyon Chamber – Halcyon Chamber EP
5 in 5 series relaunch (Goddakk, Parties, Lost Trail, Black Wedding, PD Wilder, Matteo Preabianca, Remora, Small Life Form)
Andrew Weathers – What Does the Scanner See?
Space Sweeper – “title to be determined”
Remora – “title to be determined” (live full band recording)
various artists – Cheerleading/Noise compilation
Yellow6 – “title to be determined”
Chvad SB – Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt, & Bomb #20

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One Response to Rdio, Spotify, Bandcamp, QRD, Upcoming Releases, Etc.

  1. So I’m thinking about launching a digital subscription series, here are a couple proposals I’ve come up with:
    5 in 5 – get the next 15 EPs for just $10
    Albums – get the next ten albums & receive all EPs released in interim free for $50.


Small Life Form – A Hero Reborn

So it’s been a long time since I did any Small Life Form stuff.  In fact I think it was last year in December the last time I did any recordings.  & I’m not sure when my last live show as SLF was either, but I think it might have back as well.  Which seems slightly crazy.  Anyhow here’s a piece I did last night.

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Things Are Happening

Hope you are all doing well.  Been working on stuff lately & man is it crazy how behind I’m getting.  About 20 releases now that I need to get ready to go.  I don’t even know how this happens.  Folks like Yellow6 & Thorn1 & Goddakk all say, “I have an album ready if you want to put it out.” & I say, “Of course I do,” always forgetting my time restraints.  Then there’s a couple comps & the five in five series.  So anyway, a bunch of things going on soonish.

So I put up a new issue of QRD the other day & I made a Patreon page for QRD (basically a Kickstarter) because while I want to make QRD be going strong again, I feel I can judge by the interest of others if I actually should do that or not.  Been having to do a lot of number crunching lately to see what is & is not sustainable lately as far as what is actually work & what is just a hobby.  What is to be done just when I have spare time & what needs to be done as a priority.  We’ll see how it goes.  It’s been the debate I’m in for 20 years now I guess.

The other day I went ahead & spent $5 on promoting a post about the guitarist comp on Facebook.  According to facebook it gained me 20,000 views & 30 photo likes or whatever.  But to me the whole thing is, “Does it generate income or at least traffic to the website?”  I took the trouble to write down the date when I had the ad & the date when I posted to fifty groups on Facebook about the thing & looking at my stats, the answer is neither thing made days with significantly more traffic.  What did make a day with significantly more traffic was sending out the Silber newsletter.  So now I know that spending 8 hours posting on Facebook groups is a waste of time & spending $5 on an ad is a waste of money.  Which I’m not too surprised by, but I was hopeful would not be true.

So anyway, that’s where I’m at today.  A little low on ideas, but still trying to push through with the hope that “content is king” & just continuing to release good stuff & pay artists what I can.

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