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The EvO:R Street Journal
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Say it ain't so!
The Story behind the original closing of the E.S.J.
By Charlie Harrelson
The other day Frank Cotolo sent me a nice long email about the state
of the state of Independent music and the supporters of this format.
I read it a couple times because I always look at Frank to see the
darker side of everything and I have a totally different view but
this email has really held in my mind and I wanted to run a few
points past the group.
New participation would be great!
Frank Said: The information this is dried up, man. All the
scammers have been run outta town, for the most part. And no one left
knows how to write, no less write about useful-to-artist things.
Charlie Asked:Do you think this is true? Are all the good
writers all gone? Has the Internet dried up as a real promotional
Frank Said:Next, the problem with readers -- they don't want the
controversy and attitude we originally presented and want as
our "theme." Everyone wants sunshine blown up their ass. This is the
same problem I have with my radio show, Chas. The few people who keep
coming are not near the norm and don't make up any great numbers.
Charlie Asked: Is the Indie community changing? Is it a wonderful
world out there after all? Are all indie artists playing so many gigs
that they can't write about what pisses them off?
Are all Indie artists having to spend all their free time sending out
CD's to distributors because they are selling so many?
Is it really so good that nobody cares any more?
Frank Said:I know I sound defeatest, but you ask yourself if even
the EvO:R people want to read the answers to these questions --
State of indie community -- bad Stuggle of the little guy -- won't
take chances so won't get nowhere Internet scams -- not enough any
more related to the artistic community Major acts turning to indie --
too few. I would wager that if you posted this -- The EvOR St. Journal is
dead -- that our own members would say, boo hoo, too bad, and never
come up with any solution to keep it alive.
Charlie Said:Does this really represent the Indie community, or
worse, the EvO:R Community?
I really would like to hear from many of you as possible, not just
the regulars, I would like to know what all of you think about this..
Could Frank be right?
Tough questions, but real questions, and a understandable attitude.
Disclaimer: Take Nothing Out of Context :-)
I think it goes beyond simply our musical aspects to life. Not many of
us make a living making music. That's a fact and we hate to admit it. I
can't STAND it! But, on the flip side of the coin, I have NOT to this
point completely committed to "doing whatever it takes". I believe that
quality is rare. For me, I'm learning, but there's a AWFUL lot of bad
programming from the years gone by, parental lackings, etc., that still
need filtering and formatting.
The ESJ, like any resource just has to evolve, change, and challenge.
Q&A are always cool with experienced people in the business, IF they are
TRULY in the business, and not just a commentator from the sidelines
that thinks they know what they're talking about, by proxy. Evorites are
a mixed bunch, from what I've seen. There may be 6 or 7 that post on a
fairly regular basis, even in this group. But, we all have lives away
from the computer too, worrying about paying the bills, getting
promoted, finding new jobs, or quitting old jobs.
I think it's important to remain open to new ideas, as ever. Nowadays,
the internet is an incredibly vast resource that anyone can use Google
to find what they need. If the intention is to grow the Evor community
and the demand for the ESJ and related services, it has to been looked
at as objectively as possible. There simply are not enough of us in here
at the moment to really make it a heavy demand. Just look at the last
200 posts or so and you'll see the facts.
Saying that, however, doesn't mean it's a bad thing and we should give
up. You just don't know when a simple posting or article is going to hit
somebody where it hurts, or rub their shoulders when their tense, or
tease and pull at the strings of the heart. It's the SAME with the music
we make. You just don't know where it'll go and who it might affect, so
you just gotta keep making it and getting it out there! Period! You
can't be selfish with your gifts, ideas or inspirations. It comes to and
through you for a reason. ESJ articles and discussions are important,
even if nobody is paying attention at the moment. Expanding the
community is important, even if nobody is interested at the moment.
The honest, and defeatist mentality is GOOD to have, so people are
CHALLENGED. Just like the inspiring, positive commentary is important
and serves its purpose. In the middle is where most of us spend our
time. You won't get a bystander to even look over unless you do
something to shake things up once in a while. Ya know?
... love your life ...
He's right as far as the majority goes, I think. It seems that laziness and
apathy are rampant among not just the indie community, but humanity in
But, I take personal offense at "no one left knows how to write" *g*
It's not that no one knows how to, it's that very few know how to and those
of us who do either don't have the time or don't have the incentive. In my
case, it's a little of both. I'm a bit discouraged at the present because
of the lackluster response to the last two projects I worked on for EvO:R .
. . the calendar and the compilation disk. Five responses to the calendar
project and four responses to the comp. I'm not giving up on anything, it's
just hard to write articles for folks who won't even take the time to send
me a couple pictures and a list of factoids to help themselves with some
promotion . . . ya' know?
I'll keep plugging and have no intentions of cutting EvO:R loose . . . it's
just that I can't seem to get in a good mood when I sit down to write for
indie's these days . . .
Charlie and whoever else is out there
It's tough - that's for sure. I know I whine now and again and I
definitely complain about how things are, but I just remind myself
that there are winners and there are quitters. The Summer months
were just aweful for me and it seemed that way for quite a few
people, but recently things have picked up a bit for me. I've
actually had a few weeks of great sales -like I had at the beginning
of this venture and I've been selling Sacred Rite CD's like crazy.
Keep in mind I play instrumental guitar - which is a hard sell, The
average guitarist is broke- usually spending his cash on gear. I
have been gaining some new fans for Sacred Rite and CATERINE.
The age demographic is very interesting, though. Two very specific
between 35-45 which are my peers and recently quite a few between 14-
20. My main thought on this younger age group is that metal is on
the rise and a lot of kids are checking out underground metal. The
problem is most of these kids have to get permission from their
parents to use a credit card. If I wasn't so busy -I'd be trying to
remedy that situation as I have been getting emails specifically
pertaining to the lack of credit and how they can't find the CD's
readily available at the local music shop where they can spend cash
or use their debit card.
In the 80's this wasn't a dilema for me, as there were plenty of
indie distributors searching for product to distribute and a lot of
ma and pa stores selling the stuff like crazy. So much so that I
managed to get the SR CD's into some chains. I've been thinking on
this a lot lately and I don't have a solution - just like I can't
figure out why my CD does so poorly on CD Baby and nothing at EvO:R
or PeaceWork. I've been doing ok at Amazon -now that I've finally
placed it and the SR stuff there. It baffles me though as to the
fact that people would rather pay $15-$20 rather then get it for $10
or $11. It irritates me too, because I make less money on the $15-$20
I think it comes down to -Grass Roots is great but it takes a lot of
work, time and people who are willing to work with eachother. I've
mentioned more than once here that I would put comments and
weblinks, etc. on my website. If you go to my website, you will see
everyone who has said something to me about it from EvO:R. To save
anyone the trouble. They are Charlie, Jef Peace, Frank Cotolo, Louis
Lamp, KUBC, and soon I will have links and comments about Alicia and
Keith (Nightweed). Who BTW, pulled me out of a pinch where cover art
is concerned. Keith did an excellent job on my cover and pumped it
out so quick that I wasn't prepared for it and now will be a few
days before I need it.
At any rate, I have been real busy and don't have time to comment
much more. I've been so busy that I had to use my Ampcast time to
sleep this week. Sorry Frank, but I'll be back next week unless I
have to jump over more alligators.
A quick rundown on what I've been doing - Sonar 4 has some new
features that make editing much cleaner so I spent most of the week
re doing what I already did on my CD. If everything goes right, I
will have my new CD in hand before Jan 1. I'm only 5 weeks behind my
original plan which is actually pretty good, considering a few
hurdles I had to make but after all the crap I went through last
time - this was cake.
And I just can't hold it in any longer - the songs are written and
drum tracks are laid I'll be laying guitar tracks on and off for the
next several months. Timing is good, so Sacred Rite decided to
record an epic metal CD. Everything has already been planned except
for the decision of who will release it. I won't sign any major
deals but I'm sure I will have a number of underground indie labels
with distribution jumping at it. I'll have to weigh the numbers when
the time comes. I'm sure when all is said and done it will be a 2006
I'm hoping to roll a collaborative project that Mr. Lamp and I are
gathering off the back of that. It will also likely be a long
project due to the fact that Louis is in the Army for one. And two
the group members live anywhere from 300- 4000 miles apart. Yes,
that is 4000. I'm not ready to disclose names right now as I want to
get the first couple of compositions scratched out on tape or disc
rather. I'm hoping I won't have to change any personel. I don't
think I will. Louis and I are probably the weakest links and we can
hold our own quite well. It should be interesting.
My main point in this post is to point out that if everyone got
busy. It will pay off for some. Now - if we all took time to mention
eachother on our sites as Charlie does - as I do - Jef and a hand
full of others it would be easier in the long run for everyone
individually. I thought that's what this group was about in the
Hey- we gotta live this life - we might as well do what makes us
happy and try to help others do what makes them happy. I agree that
things aren't working at this very moment for some but this is life.
Ups and downs right! Things don't just happen (except for natural
disasters)-people make things happen. I'm back on my feet and I'm
feeling pretty good. My chemical imballances still get in the way
but I'm learning how to deal with them.
Of coarse, I'm not as old as Frank and probably never will be
because I have a severe case of Peter Pan Syndrome but I like me so
I don't think anyone will ever be able to change that. When I was a
kid I used to think being rich, happy and secure was where I needed
to get to.
Over the last 20 years I have learned that being rich rarely makes
people happy if they weren't happy to begin with. Being happy has
made people rich, although if you are truly happy you don't need
money to be rich. If security is what a person needs in order to be
happy - chances are they will never be happy cause security is the
equivalent of Santa Claus. It's a beautiful thought and we can
believe in the spirit of security by giving all our money to
insurance companies, doctors and lawyers, etc. so that we feel
secure. In reality you are just giving money to entities that
say 'it's so your taken care of in case of this or that.' You can
buy a house and home insurance but I've seen time and time again -
people lose their home to the type of disaster that is not covered
on their insurance. No such thing as security.
I know only one person who followed the ol' security plan to a tee,
my father-in-law. This of coarse was so that he would be happy in
knowing he was secure in his old age. He had a military career -
bought a house, raised a family and was to reture from the military
and not have to do much but work part time from 45-60. Well-their
house burned down and due to circumstances wasn't covered on the
insurance. He never worked part time and was very unhappy. When he
retired he said -he was finally going to do what he wanted and be
happy. Since then my mother-in-law has had health problems, his son
died, his brother died, he's been in for prostate surgery. And this
is the happiest time of his life? Yep - you could give up happiness
chasing security which doesn't exist.
I've spent too long on this but maybe there's something in here you
can use. Those that are good at wading through the stories will find
that I am making several points. If there are any questions as to
what my points are. Ask - I'll explain when I have more time.
Back to work....
First of all, I want everyone to remember that the US just went through
the most divisive period that it has ever had since the civil war...
People have their brains smeared all over the place, and, until the
election was over, a lot of peoples brains were on hold. The Evor
community basically dried up a bunch because our "family" forgot about
what unites us (music) and (like everyone else) got caught up in the
great show. I, for one , learned something I already knew.... don't pay
attention to politicians. So... are we are back on track?...
As far as Rock and Roll writing: I always believed that most musicians
would be curious about their counterparts out there, and that, with
evor, we would have a bunch of articles about what the individual
members of the group were up to. Not written for muisic fans, written
for musicians. Last year I wrote a series of articles about different
music scenes here in the third world, expecting that more of the
evorites would share their musical world with the rest of us too. First
of all, there was not even a comment about any of the articles from
anyone..... kinda made me wonder if people really want to read about
these kinds of things. The same with my "third world festival series".
After writing a bunch, I kinda got the feeling that people were more
interested in discussing Janet Jackson than beginning any forums about
the things that really matter to us as musicians.
Since I've been around a while, I know that most musicians have a
stretchy ego, and talking about or listening to other musicians music
doesn't really fit in with their purpose. We all want attention.
I have realized as well that, living where I do, and playing the music I
play, I will always struggle on the internet, as (as someone pointed
out) internet mostly=heavy metal. Jungle bop is not understood. Since
my fan base here (for the most part) doesn't do internet, the two worlds
are separated for me, and I find I can sell a whole lot more music
during my live performances than I ever will on line. I even just got
cancelled by CDstreet since they don't feel that they sell enough.
for me, the musical net has turned more into an opportunity to get
together with other musicians and exchange tracks and ideas. As far as
any link exchanges: I have maintained a page with musician links
highlighting the evor folks for years. If you want on, just let me know,
and, if you know the secret to great internet sales, let me know that
too. If you need any flute tracks on your music (even heavy metal ) I am
at your service. Saludos, Roberto
Jeff I hope there is change soon. We could write, but really, who wants to
read about our nursing/retirement home tour. Though it was productive and
there is work out there, it has it's moments and they do listen. It's just
what we are doing now. We do have an exceptionally good singer, that is drop
dead gorgeous and wants to go out play with us. We may do something with
her, she sang in a Floyd tribute band then she met us. But I'm tired of the
bars and the scars, where else do we go?
I want to wish you and your family the Best this holiday season and always.
Thank you for being there.
Love Paul And Ellen Dube
is looking for writers/poets for our next issues.
All work is appreciated and will be published (with the exception
of articles containing racism, bigotry or other demeaning topics)
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