So I’ve been struggling for the last while with the concept of marketing via social media. Although many people claim to have the secret, that secret generally seems to involve carpet bombing everyone you have any contact with via whatever means with constant reminders about what you’re doing, how your contact can buy more stuff/get free stuff/watch a video of you/buy more stuff/become a special, valued member of an exclusive inner circle of your fan club yada yada. Frankly, it all seems a bit … exhausting.
I’ve been on the receiving end of this and, trust me, it leaves me cold. Maybe it works more with our Stateside cousins who are more, how to put this, generally positive about the world in general than dour, Presbyterian (in a strictly non-denominational sense) Scots like me. It’s just that the digital equivalent of shouting look at me! Look at Me! LOOK AT ME!!! doesn’t feel like the way to go.
On the other hand, in this frantically overcrowded world of self-publicists when any idiot (even this blog) can master the basic tenets of recording and publishing material on the Internet, simply putting something up there and waiting for the world to beat a path to your door doesn’t seem quite energetic enough. And I am, of course, like any creative type, irredeemably convinced of my own genius – or at least that a few more folk than at present would enjoy, for example, Kelly’s brilliant renditions of the latest Venus Carmichael material to, ahem, arrive mysteriously through the post.
I’ve also noted that the giving out of free stuff seems to be the accepted wisdom of how to go about it.
So here’s what I’m going to do. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been steadily working away on some of my own solo tracks, and I’m now going to give you them for free. The only thing I ask for in return is your email address, something which, according to that same accepted wisdom, is the best way of reaching an interested audience. Having said that, I appreciate how annoying it is to get unwanted emails, so I hereby undertake (I was going to use the word ‘vow,’ but that seems a rather over-used term these days):
- I will not spam you. Firstly, as I say, I know how annoying it is. Secondly, I’m just not that organised. Seriously. If you get more than one email a month from me, I’ll be more surprised than you are.
- I will only use the email group if I have something to announce – a new publication, launch of a new Venus Carmichael/Isaac Brutal CD, or, of course, a show.
- I won’t send you repeat emails about the same thing. That gets old really quickly.
- If you get fed up of hearing from me, just email me with ‘unsubscribe’ and I’ll do it.
So, with all of that out of the way, here’s what you get in return for messaging me with your email address by means of Facebook, Twitter (@venuscarmichael) or venus [dot] carmichael [at] gmail [dot] com:
FREE – An actual physical CD of all the tracks below, as my EP taster for a much bigger solo project, ‘Songs in a Scottish Accent;’ or,
FREE – Download codes to all of the above in mp3 format (the CD files are audio CD format); or, if you prefer,
Tribute to Venus Carmichael’s debut EP, ‘Taking Names,’ in either physical CD or download format, for the special price of £2.50!
Here are some details of the solo tracks:
Scotland as an XBox Game – one of the older tracks, featuring the wonderful Halsted M Bernard in a cameo role. When I listened back to it, I reckoned I couldn’t improve on it, so it’s as published some time ago.
Cavalcade – again, one that’s been on Soundcloud for a bit, and has been described as Nick Cave-esque, by at least two people, one of whom isn’t even related to me!
Ambulance – more recent, a poem set to music: I’ve added in a bit of cello to the original version.
Somewhere You’re Out There – redone vocals for this, although Norman Lamont’s superb version is also worth checking out:
Right Here With Me – this has been a work in progress for a while. This final version still has the kantele in, but also your man actually singing.
Hyde’s Last Words (Live at the White Horse) – the original version is still up there on Soundcloud for download as well, but in many ways I prefer this one with Kenny Mackay’s blistering guitar at the end. I intend to work on a new recorded version with bass and guitar in the coming months.
I hope to hear from you!
Although this post is all about marketing, any marketing under here isn’t my marketing, it’s someone else’s. So there.