Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crazy people have bad ideas

Okay, I've said I might be crazy. But technically, I don't think I am. I'm pretty sure that my thoughts and actions conform to something that might just work in reality. Yes I'll admit, I see things as they might be and say “Why not”. But that makes me a visionary.

Today I want to share something with you that actually left me dumbfounded. It was so steeped in CRAZY, that my sane mind could hardly grasp how demented you would have to be to think this is a good idea.

I've in the past suggested that “Music Not Politics” (the ironic joke name), AKA MNP (more appropriate, what do you think those letters stand for), or more to the point MNP's founder and Leader (That is Moody for all you playing at home) are CRAZY.

I've also suggested that Moody is dangerous, because she sells her demented concepts to people whom embrace “Magical thinking”. When a suggestion fits your desired world view, you accept it no matter how unreasonable it might be, you are a magical thinker.

Today somebody directed me to the Music Not Politics marketing page. It is probably the most demented thing I've ever seen posted on the internet.

Let me share a bit of the insanity that passes for business plan with MNP (Mostly Nutty People).

Incredibly expensive banner ads.

* The following is copied and pasted from the MNP Marketing web site, in other words I'm not making this up *

Offer 7 WEBSITE BANNER - this your company logo banner posted on the website with a link to your site and a brief description of your company, product or service
(All fees are monthly)
MUSIC NOT POLITICS Website (up to 1,000 views daily) $100.00
MUSIC NOT POLITICS Records Website (up to 500 views daily) $25.00
Artist Website (up to 150 views daily) $15.00

*End Copy and paste *

Now I don't know if you have every shopped for online advertizing. But the business model is you are charged for each impression and more for each click through. So you pay for what you get. Most the time the fee is something along the line of 00.001 (one tenth of a penny) for an Impression (your ad was displayed on the web page when somebody visited it, they may have noticed it or not). You get charged more when people click though. This means somebody saw your ad, and clicked on it. Even that is less then a penny. Most ad revenue is driven by the fact the web site gets significant traffic. MNP does not have significant traffic.
You might be impressed by the 1,000 views a day... but it doesn't say that. It says “UP TO” 1,000 views. It also does not differentiate between views and unique views. In other words, sit at your computer, load your web site up and hit refresh 1.000 times you have 1,000 views.

Okay time for math. If the MNP web site got 1.000 unique views every day for a 30 day month, at the standard fee of 00.001 per impression it would cost you 30.00$ a month. The flat fee for hosting your ad for a month is 100.00 $ and that makes it more then three times more expensive then the standard model rate.

I feel I should mention it's very unlikely that The MNP web site gets 1,000 views every day.

You'll notice it's cheaper to host an ad at the MNP Records web site and according to the MPN price sheet it gets “UP TO” 500 views per day. However... if you look up MNP Records on Google, there isn't any web site listed for Music Not Politics records. I'm not saying the web site doesn't exist, I'm just saying it's flying way under Goggles radar.

I did find a Reverb Nation page for Music Not Politics Records, and frankly I'm surprised to see they actually have a recording available. Just one mind you, and it's by Mike Majesty featuring Kevin M Thomas. For those of you not aware of the fantasy history of MNP records, There debut release was suppose to be a Kevin M Thomas project. I guess this is it.

Probably not what people were expecting, but I am frankly surprised to see anything at all.

Mike's Reverb Nation page (Not the MNP Reverb Nation page) shows he has 402 fans (Way to go Mike) and 18 plays. Wait a minute.... that doesn't sound right... but numbers don't lie. Seems Mike gains 22.33333 fans for each play of a song. Man... he must be A-FREAKING-MAZING.

You could write all this off as Moody's lack of experience in real world advertizing. If you don't know what other people charge how do you know if your prices are a tad high? That would make her incompetent, and naive, but not CRAZY.

So how about this?

* The following is copied and pasted from the MNP Marketing web site, in other words I'm not making this up *

Offer 1 ON MIC PLUG - Our artist will plug your company, service, product during his live performance(s) based on the level you choose
(All fees are monthly)
1 Time a month $50.00
7 Times a month $300.00
14 Times a month $550.00
21 Times a month $800.00
28 Times a month $1,000.00

*End Copy and paste *

This is a shout out that cost 50$ if you do it once. The average fee most musicians charge is around 20$ for an hour. This makes it more profitable to just sit behind a mic and give shout outs. Should a musician turn themselves into a pitch man to make MNP rich? Should MPN make more money per-show then the artist?

I'm sure Moody thinks so. But I'm inclined to believe if MNP makes any money at all, it all gets spent on gummy bears and Cheer-wine.

But it does get even more CRAZY. Check this out.

* The following is copied and pasted from the MNP Marketing web site, in other words I'm not making this up *

Offer 4 SPECIAL ATTIRE - performer will wear specially designed outfits including your company logo and website or telephone number at his live shows
One Time Set Up Fee $300.00
(All fees are monthly)
1 Time a month $55.00
7 Times a month $310.00
14 Times a month $560.00
21 Times a month $820.00
28 Times a month $1,000.00

*End Copy and paste *

Wow, the set up fee is 300$. when was the last time you spent 90,000 L$ on an outfit? I could say more, but do I have to? These people are out of touch. These people are CRAZY.

If you need to check it out (there is more) head over to http://musicnotpoliticsmarketing.com/The_Right_Plan_For_You.html

Monday, October 18, 2010

A strange tale

I've been relatively well behaved lately. I've managed to keep my mouth shut about all kinds of bullshit and I fully intend to maintain my “No comment” demeanor about a variety of subjects transpiring in Second Life. However, I do love spinning a good yarn and one happened the other night. I'll give you the story without involving the names of the Villains or victims. On the other hand Heroes get full credit.

It's Saturday night, I've got two shows to play and I log in. shortly after my arrival I get an IM from someone we'll call “Hostess girl” asking me if I can help her out. It seems she has a cancellation and she is wondering if I can cover for that show. I tell her I would be free to cover the show, but wasn't sure I would be allowed to do so, because I had a bit of history with the Sim owner and a while back he had kicked me off the Sim.

Now I feel I should point out in my defence, when I was kicked off the Sim, I was totally minding my own business, just listening to music and IM-ing a friend. I was kick simply because of something I did a long, long, long time ago...... I get a wistful far away look, the blog page starts to wobble and we fade into a scene pre-historic. Cue the pterodactyl “SCREEEEEEEEEEEE”.

I'm a younger, more optimistic Zorch, playing a show at Guthrie's. I still believe mankind is fundamentally good, and not all hot women are crazy. In step Splat Wonderoos, no that isn't his real fake name because I never use people's real fake names. The primary reason being nobody knows who these people are anyway, so why start the clock on their 15 second of fame?

Anyway... Splat starts shouting in the room, “I'm going to have a music award thingy and everybody can join my web page... for free... and I'm going to save the music scene in Second Life”. Had he done this once, it would have been awkward, but he just kept pimping his lame ass award thingy... that was going to save the music scene in second life, and asking people to join his web site for free. I received several messages suggesting I tell him to shut the fuck up over the stream. So I did that. Splat didn't even blink, he just kept spamming the room. He kept droning on “I'm going to save music in second life and my penis isn't really small it's just very cold in here”.

Judging by the number of messages I received, he was annoying people, and disrupting my show. I did the responsible thing and had him booted from the venue. Nothing personal Splat, but don't pimp your lame ass shit at my show. The people attending the show did so to hear the rock star, not the latest in a series of self appointed music scene saviors.

Simply stated, when people are disruptive and do not stop after warned to do so, they should be forcibly ejected from the venue.

The blog page starts to wobble again, we fast forward to last Saturday night, the pterodactyl morphs into a Jet plane with red, white and blue streamers behind it... “USA,USA,USA”!!!!

I'm a more mature, still sexy, more cynical Zorch, and after the better part of two hours, hostess girl has finally talked to the venue owner and it seems I have the green light to play the show that will help hostess girl fill the gap in her schedule. Yeah... the good guys win... or do they.

It's 10;30 PM and the show is suppose to start at 11 PM SLT. I make a point to be on site a half an hour before the show, but as I attempt to get to hostess girls event, it seems I can't. I get a message that I'm banned from the Sim.

It seems the Venue owner and the Sim owner are not on the same page, and the Sim owner is (cue ominous pipe organ chord) Splat Wonderoos.

Oh bother.

I'm sure any other musician would have just left hostess girl to her own devices and mumbled something about it not being his or her problem. But I'm NOT any other musician, I'm one particular musician. I AM ZORK.... fuck.... I mean I AM ZORCH. Fuck with me at your own peril.

I told hostess girl not to worry I would talk to Splat and sort this all out. I figured since I've grow more mature and sexy during the intervening years, I was sure Splat had done so as well.

Well... not the sexy part, just the more mature part. But I was wrong.

I told Splat, “you really aren't screwing me over on this, Joy hasn't shown you any disrespect, so why don't you let me on the Sim tonight, and we'll all know better in the future, She's having a rough time with cancellations. Let's not give her another one”

Splat just insisted I apologize.

I told him I couldn't give him a sincere apology, would an insincere one suffice?

Okay, being reasonable wasn't working. Does being reasonable ever work? But if we have learned anything from “The Village People” and Olympian “Bruce Jenner”, it's “YOU CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC”.

I tell hostess girl I'll play the show remotely. She could just put my stream in the the parcel media, and I would play the show from a Sim I could get on. I would be playing for her venue, but from another location.

Lexie went over to the Sim to be my eyes on the grown, and the Proxy Zorch standing on stage playing guitar. She put on a tag that said “I am Zorch Boomhauer”. Noma Falta did the same. I told you I would mention the heroes.

The show went on for 30 minute before Splat figured out what was going on. People were flocking the venue to see this curious Lexie/Noma/Zorch hybrid. I'm sure that is what peeked Splat's interest, it's safe to say the self appointed savior of the music scene doesn't even listen to the stream at the venue that happens to be on his Sim.

Splat pulled the stream, and banned hostess girl. But before he could pull the plug, we did get the SLURL for the actual location I was playing at up in public chat. People just poofed to the new location.

Since I could not be on the Sim, I could not rez my tip jar. But I did suggest people attending the concert while it was at the remote location tip the venue. It's not the venue owners fault I can't be there.
I provided a good show in spite of the petty mandates of Splat Wonderoos. I did my job. I played the show as best I could and when Splat tried to stop it, we just moved to another location.

So I ask you this. Who was disruptive? Who was petty? Who really deserves to be banned?

Now when I write a blog like this, people assume I do so in order to address or change something. That isn't the case at all. This is just a grand tale of intrigue and and futile gestures. Bad men doing nasty things and the good people rising up to moon him and run away giggling madly.

And in the end, the hero attends his blog and has a tale to tell.

And moderator powers over the comments section.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

And then I woke up

I feel I've just woken up from a zombie like existence, and while it's been a “Long strange trip”, it's been quite educational.

Lesson one learned is Friends are where you find them.

There is a very popular myth that “Internet friends” are patently fake, and the people you can count on you meet in “Real Life ™ ”. Currently, my “Chips” are down, and the people coming to my aid are both friends I've met online, and a dear long standing friend I've met in real life. Conversely, one of my most damaging relationships I've ever experienced was started in real life.

Lesson two learned is when idiots agree with you it's time to re-evaluate your position.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but in case you didn't know the comments posted on this page are moderated. That means before it goes public, I get to read it and make sure I want it posted on my Blog. Some seem to think this is an unfair policy but I don't really care what they think. I don't delete comments because people disagree, but I do pull the ones posted by retards.

Recently a retard submitted a post saying I was right, Second Life is a waste of time, and that he wished me luck in my real life adventures. He also mentioned how shocked he was none of my fans had posted a comment. Hey, I don't need to approve comments when I'm not updating the blog.

Now since a retard agreed with my former conclusion I've revised my opinion about Second Life music.

Second Life music scene overview revised.

People listen to music for any number of reasons. This is true both online and offline. People attach value to music for a variety of reasons as well. While it's true that the more socially adept people seem to do better in Second Life, In Camden SC, “The Pound” plays shows at the Arts Center, not because they are good (or anything even remotely artistic) , but because they are locally popular.

Harrie once told me, “Popular people are popular for a reason”. She is absolutely right. However that reason is hardly ever musical superiority... or even competency. Life isn't fair no matter how much you bitch about it.

However, what I do musically does have some worth even if it's not a popular commodity. And while I'm not a Sim crasher, nor likely to become one, that does not mean Second Life is a waste of time for me. If I play a fist full of shows per-week, and pick up 3 fans a week, at the end of the year I have 156 new fans. While that would not make me mainstream in any way, for me as an truly independent artist, it's a significant boon. I basically work up 156 at a time until I have over 1,000. My best tact is maintaining and servicing the fan base I build.

Recently there has been a fellow on Second Life who jumped up into “The Biggest Thing On Second Life”. He was solid draw, pulled in lots of people, made a lot of noise. Good on him, however, his momentum is already showing signs of diminishing. His number while still vastly superior to mine are starting to sag. Now I'm not picking on this guy, or naming names, pointing fingers or any other appendages, but to quote Gary Numan, “It's a lot easier to become famous then to stay famous”.

I'm not famous, I'm not popular, but I have supporters that have been with me for well over two years. Looking back, had I promoted myself with a bit more ambition I could have had more supporters.

I'm on a new path, got a new attitude and most importantly, the Mojo is back. I'm into the Second Life Music Scene because there are people in it that enjoy music. I'm going to find those people. I'm also endeavoring to find more Offline musical bookings because there are people there that are interested in music as well.

End of Revised overview

I did mention my chips are down, but when you hit at least somewhere close to rock bottom, you start to realize what matters. What matters to me is my Daughter and my Music. Yeah, I'll never be a star, but I'm secure in the knowledge my music as value. And off I go, down the Harper's Road, be it online or offline. In the end, the love a child gives me something to hold on to, and the Music sustains me.

With a grateful heart I thank all the very good friends I have in my life. I love you all so very much. Not because my heart is wise, but because it is only right I should do so.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Zorch is Dead?????

What a provocative title. I remember as a child reading DC comic books, and every month it seems either Superman or Batman would be dying in the very next issue. Of course, they never really did kill off either hero at that time. But it was upsetting to me as a small impressionable child. After a while, the shock value dissipated and I no longer cared.

Zorch, much like Superman and Batman can't really die. He never lived, he's just a cartoon character on your computer screen. An expression of an identity employed to share some music. Oddly enough, I am Zorch, and not Zorch at the same time. Welcome to my existential quagmire.

I'm sure some people are jumping to conclusions, and while I don't want to be a party pooper, I'm not quitting Second Life. I do treasure the people that appreciate my effort in Second Life, and while they are few in number, they are all quite dear to me. Even if I someday get to the point where I can support myself outside of Second Life, I'll still Play shows now and then for the faithful few.

For the record, I'm not even close to cutting back on shows in Second Life yet. It is my sole source of income at this point. But I'm looking for other opportunities, and frankly any McJob would provided me with more money per month then Second Life does.

This is my last “Get Zorched” Blog. There will be no further Zorch Boomhauer Mp3 collections. Once again, I'm not quitting just moving on. I've come to learn a career based on the music scene in Second Life is not quite the best thing for a performer like myself. I don't play the game well, and just between you and I, while Zorch might not be dying Second Life might be.

Last Friday afternoon, there were 50,000 people online and come Friday evening, there were only 58,000. Use to be about 80,000 online last year this time. Fall use to herald the seasonal rebirth of Second Life after a long drab Summer. However it doesn't seem to be rebounding this year. For someone that is an acquired taste like myself the numbers matter. I only interest a very small percentage of people involved, so I need to move on to a larger population. .000001 % of 58,000 isn't a very big share. However .000001 % of 7 billion is significant.

I'm going to invest more time and effort in my Real Life music adventures and frankly I don't know what will happen. I'm still playing Show in Second Life, but that is were my involvement stops. Much thanks to everybody that supported this blog. Maybe you can follow my next one.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm pissed off

Some say it's better to be pissed off then pissed on. But... if somebody was pissing on me, I could just kick the shit out of them (a reasonable thing to do considering their misdeeds) and feel better about life in general. When you are pissed off, the only reasonable thing to do is sit there and seethe.

What I'm massively pissed off about is peoples general disregard for fucking me over. Let me set the stage for you.

Monday, a holiday in the good old USA, I'm booked to play a show. When the person that booked me set the date and time, I wrote it in on my calendar. When I got to the show, somebody else was scheduled to play “My slot” and I wasn't featured on the schedule at all. Remember how I told you Monday was a Holiday? Well I was at a party to commemorate the holiday and I had to leave early because I had a show.... or so I thought.

I sent the venue operator a note card asking when it was they had me scheduled to play, and a day later I still haven't gotten an answer.

Tuesday was NOT a holiday at all. But on my calendar was a early morning show, so I set my alarm clock and made sure I was good and awake. Once again... somebody else was booked in my slot.

While I didn't have to leave a party, I did get up way before I wanted to in order to play the show.

My next show was booked at Melodies and thank you Twiz for being so freaking reliable. You rule dude.

My last show of the day was a really late show. While I did get up early for my morning “no show”. I did stay up late for what turned out to be my late night “no show”. With less then an hour before show time, the owner sends me a note card informing me the venue was closed until further notice.

Now I feel I should mention, before I logged off of Second Life after the Melodies shows, I checked the Live Music Events Listing, and the late show was listed. So somewhere between 4 PM in the afternoon, and 10:03 PM, the venue closed.

I did contact the guy that sent me the note card. I expected a little... commiseration. Perhaps even an apologetic posture. Of course that didn't happen. The guy blew me off saying, “My booking manager told me that the show was canceled three weeks ago”. Way to pass the buck venue owner. When I told him I was a bit upset about the late notification, he didn't say anything. I guess once the buck is passed he doesn't have to deal with it any longer.

You know, a few sympathetic platitudes could have basically fixed things. But the general feeling of just being dismissed left a bitter taste in my mouth.

There are some great venue owners in Second Life, but the sad fact of the matter is just about anybody can rent a parcel of land, sling a few prims around and start booking people.... for tips only of course. These venues seem to last until the ill informed owner grasps the fact that Live Music Venues require a good deal of effort.

You may not think so, but I work my ass off during a show. I do what I can to promote the show and frankly, that's not even my job. I'm suppose to show up, and play the best show I can play, and if somebody is coming on after me, I need to respect their time and get off stage in a timely manner.

I do understand that stuff happens. But I'm not so upset about people constantly letting me down. I'm upset about the fact they don't even seem to care I'm upset about it.

I feel I should suggest that venue owners are NOT doing me a favor by having me play their venues for tips. I do play for tips because I respect the money spent by venue owners to provide a place for me to basically “Roll the dice”. Some times I win, sometimes I'm a bit disappointed, but I always suggest those enjoying my show, demonstrate their appreciation by tipping the venue. If the venue owner receives 1 L$ during my performance, they have profited from my labors. The reason they profit is because I didn't incur the expense of a fee.

I've known some venue owners for a very long time. There are some very devoted music supporters in Second Life, more the willing to undertake all the work required to have a good live music venue. Salute to those that get it right. And to those that mean well, but don't do well.... at least they mean well. Just say you are sorry when you fuck things up. People really just want to know you care about their itty bitty hurt feelings.

And when you waste somebody's entire night because they think they have a show, but your venue is actually closed, pretend for just a moment, you are not a festering anal pustule with no manners or breeding. Be a....well I guess asking you to be a MAN might be expecting too much. But act like a grown up, and apologize.

And in case you are wondering, my itty bitty feelings aren't hurt at all. I'm just pissed off.