Four Down and…hey, where’s my money?

July 22nd, 2005

I have finished song #4 (well almost – what rhymes with “Optimus Prime?”), which turns out to be a classic body augmentation breakup song. Better than I thought it was going to be when I had no ideas but stupid ones. Perhaps some recording this weekend, and then I will turn my attention to the fifth and final song about artificial wombs. I may actually finish everything on time, and it might actually be good.

Speaking of my goodness, hey all you freakin downloaders, how about a buck for your old pal Coulton? I’m starting to get depressed about the number of people who download music and don’t buy or donate anything. Don’t get me wrong, I like being heard and it’s important for me to get my stuff out there. And I’m honored and thankful to everyone who likes the music enough to forward someone a link, or post on their blog, or whatever. But honestly, I’m giving up about a gig per day in downloads, First of May alone has gotten 900 hits so far this month and still no love.

I know, I know. I’m giving it away, so what do I expect? And I’m probably guilty myself of failing to donate to sites that I like. And I certainly sell more CDs than I would if I didn’t give anything away. I could start selling some of this stuff through Bitpass or something similar, but I hate all the friction that causes. Who’s going to take the time to follow a link and fill out a bunch of financial information when they just want to listen to a song? Do I have too many freebies? Am I not clear enough about appreciating compensation? Do I need to put more links to the iTunes store? A big dumb jpg of a smiling tip jar?

Anyway, I’m ready to sell out. Just tell me where to sign.

Popular Science Soundtrack Thingie

July 15th, 2005

So I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working on a rather interesting project. As you may or may not know, I am listed on the masthead of Popular Science magazine as “Contributing Troubadour.” This is of course a highly coveted position at any magazine, but one of special importance at a joint like PopSci, where they take their geek music straight up without chasers of any kind. They have asked me to write a five-song soundtrack to complement their September issue on The Future of the Body. This is an unusual request, since magazines are not traditionally something that you LISTEN TO so much as READ QUIETLY TO YOURSELF.

I don’t want to spoil too much of the surprise, but I will say that the songs are about: a muscle-bound robot butler, DNA, mind-enhancing drugs, body augmentation and of course, artificial wombs. Each one is meant to correspond to an article in the mag and while there will not be an actual CD (this time anyway), the songs will be available for free download from their website. That DNA one is going to be a real toe tapper, I can tell.

It’s an aggressive schedule, basically five songs in as many weeks, so this is really an experiment in high-speed (for me at least) songwriting. But so far it’s been really fun, and I’m pretty happy with what I’ve written. I spent all day yesterday finishing up songs two and three, and now I am forced to turn my attention to songs four and five, which are still just rough ideas floating around in my brain and thus my least favorite. I am in constant fear of that awful moment of complete creative blockage.

So watch for the issue – I’ll post progress reports here if I ever make any more progress ever again.

More Radio, Ikea Podcast

July 8th, 2005

As mentioned in my last post, Ikea will be the Net Unknown song on this week’s Net Music Countdown show, which as near as I can figure airs tonight sometime on some radio stations. I can’t for the life of me figure out where or when, so I don’t even know what the point of this post is. The only people who will be able to listen are the people who know when and where to tune in because they already listen anyway. I do know that it’s somewhere on both Sirius and XM. If anyone finds it, let me know.

In podcasting news, John of the Ongline Podcast recently contacted me asking for permission to use the Ikea song in a soundseeing podcast of a visit to an actual Ikea store. The audio sounds great. I honestly found it a little stressful to listen to – I think it was the general shopping noise, plus that I’m-having-fun-but-just-barely-holding-it-together conversational tone you only get when people are picking out furniture together. Or maybe I’m projecting. Anyway, it’s a good example of this new Enhanced Podcast that you can do with an AAC file and iTunes 4.9 – you can create bookmarks and embed images and links along with the audio, which is pretty interesting. It must be nice to have your own proprietary format.

Coulton on Radio, World Ends in Fiery Apocalypse

July 5th, 2005

On Friday afternoon as I was leaving for the train station (headed down to DC to visit with some old a cappella singing friends, ahem, more on that later), I got a call from a guy named David Lawrence. He does a syndicated radio show called the Net Music Countdown, which is a countdown show based on charts of online airplay and downloads. David’s chosen Ikea as the Net Unknown track for the next show, which is very exciting – no idea what stations you can get it on, but there is a podcast, so check it out. He also asked me to join him for some interview time on The David Lawrence Show last Friday night (7/1). We chatted about many things and he was kind enough to play a couple of my songs. He also did a lovely dramatic reading of the Ikea lyrics. I didn’t get a chance to post about it ahead of time, but you can listen to the mp3 online. Thanks David!