I have noticed the return of traffic and aircraft noises as Sydney re-opens. Sort of. Start, stop, start. Methinks this will be the way of things for the next 2-4 years.
Gig's returned...then went away...then returned...then...
People forgot how much they missed live music and then forgot they missed it, or perhaps they have become so accustomed to staying home that there is a permanent shift in Bands/Venues/Patrons/Media/Music/Cultural Relevance.
Meanwhile - Things are going well, and going sloowwwwly.
Theo was due an album and he is producing Downtime Season One Best Of and it's going well
As there are no rules, we are happily contemplating all the ideas we can entertain.
That brings us to Stormcellar Collectives next recording project which is running in parallel to the Best of Downtime. Perhaps 'sequentially' is more accurate.
We're gathering guests, ideas, edits. We still have no conclusion on how to finish the projects.
The Stormcellar material from our recordings in the US last year still needs some attention, and that requires revenue and that requires...gigs.
Slowwwly - Downtime Episode 2 saw me work out some of last weeks tech problems. We are almost there.
I didnt start promoting Season 1 until Episode 6 because it took us 4 Pilot eps + 5 season eps to sort the process.
As we used the time in which we could have a done a technical rehearsal for mixing album stuff, Episode 2 of this season was still a little risky.
I have some local network issues to deal with, and I need to write myself a Server Operation manual so I dont get overwhelmed when things go wrong (and they do, that's tech).
Thus - it's going...it's going slowly. It will take me at least until the end of the quarter to complete the tech stuff we are working on in the back end.
To recap - 3 albums in Post/Development/and editing. 1 Streaming show operational and in development. Additional website changes and other stuff in development.
We're going to fundraise a little to help hire some of our mates as session muso's cos stuff is tough.
You know what we're up to, support it here: paypal.me/stormcellarband.
Here's episode 2, Season 2, Downtime
Talking to one of our mates in the States, he hasnt had a gig since March last year. If you see a muso streaming and they have a donation thing and you have a buck, do it, they're hurting.
Friend of the Band Monte gave us a surplus screen and it is huge and HUGE and I was well..and it was...GREAT A great idea. Now the other guys can see WTH the show looks like and I can see our guests.
So....Episode 1, Season 2. We called off Date 1 for restart due to COVID precautions (someone had a fever).
This time, it looked like the Weather was going to do for us and we did not strictly have a Wet Weather Plan. Well...Theo Suggested Bongos so I guess we did.
As I didnt know if we were on/off until pretty much last minute I gave up on promoting it. I think that was a wise move. Not cos things went wrong (they did) but cos promoting stuff in the old way may not matter anymore (separate discussion).
All things considered it was still a hoot.
Now, to do it better for Ep 2...we have to look at what went wrong.
The nutshell was, without doing a technical rehearsal, we were overwhelmed on the day by gremlins and it makes it hard to troubleshoot down to an on/off level of testing.
With so many moving parts, clearly being able to see where the problem is can be a task in itself. As we had not done our prep, the episode was called No Homework.
- Network issues (had to drop my net altogether and go Hotspot from my freaking phone omg)
- Server Issues (things went wrong, the server issues an error code but Bec tells me that doesnt mean it isn't working. I understand that and it still makes me go um...)
- Platform issues (what the heck is the new error code from Twitch or was it just our bandwidth sucked or was it the server or was it ARGH)
- User Issues ( I need to write myself a manual on how to reboot the server properly)
- Sound issues (Monitoring PC had issues, recording gear was fussy and wanted reboots)
- Weather issues - I was all for canning it but Theo wanted to push through. We are ok on the electrical front but he got a wet butt.
The upshot was that it took as 30 min to manage the ARGH and we didnt get it all right. FOTB Dion says 'thats the joy of live TV' so maybe it's an inescapable part.
In true Stormcellar style we managed the disaster. Before we do it again, we are going to rerun the gear again and I have to do some more training to remember my Linux basics.
I am Ok with the errors and learning how to do this. It's a challenge to get my brain in a new mode. It's a new type of 'gig' and there is a learning curve.
It's not just the 'how to' it's the 'how now' as the environment, the software, network, time zones it's all variable.
I love it. this is just our thing.
Oh yeah recording/mixing process underway on 3 projects. Plus Other Stuff. I'd show you faster but there's only one of me and some of this stuff is hard :)
Help out here. Paypal.me/stormcellarband
Other work? Ok.
It's HOT today.
Everything is going. Going....slowly.
Best of Downtime Season 1 is in mixing. Two more projects moving ever-so-slowly through mixing and development.
I expect with luck we'll get season 2 of Downtime up this week.
Paypal.me/stormcellarband, you know you want to.
Somewhere in my car, my room, somewhere...there is a bunch of lyrics in a blue folder. Scraps of paper. Things stapled together.
Stuff that sucks. Stuff with lines through it. Stuff that I think is great, right now, which I will later dismiss.
It has been said, poems are never finished, merely abandoned.
As we have been in Development Mode, this folder has been following me around.
Oh where, oh wherefore art thou folder?
Or...maybe it's not really such a bad thing to be lost for words. Or those words. Or to have lost some words. I'm fairly sure the universe will not notice the inconvenience. I'm wondering if I will.
Imma need some lyrics though cos TERRY IS ON FIRE.
I get one more email from him with a song i'm just going to have to...err..encourage more songwriting! Terry's stuff is great and he's in a major output mode. I feel like we're the Beach Boys trying to keep up with his Sergeant Peppers. Which makes us due for a Pet Sounds.
BTW that was a highly dense series of 20th century musical references. No time to unpack.
Oh it's on. Yeah you better believe it's on. Where's that folder!
Meanwhile, there are tech things to do and they're taking me some time to learn/think/work out.
My brain objects to additional information.
With COVID etc there are not likely to be too many gigs for a while. If any. Thus, we need to transition to other ways of doing this.
Downtime is on the way back for Season 2 and there's more good stuff to do, if circumstances prevail.
We have the technology (mostly) and it works (most of the time...sometimes...well pretty well really...except for...anyway).
It's not that it's strictly that hard, it's that there are a lot of moving parts and putting it all together is a thing.
And it's not even so much about the tech. It's about where we fit into the scheme of things.
COVID will be with us in one form or another for a while. Venues? Gigs? Touring? What does that look like at the end of this?
Does it exist? Is there really a return to normal?
Sydney went back into fast lockdown recently. Venues are still at limited capacity.
Stop. Start. Stop. For a while.
That does not preclude us from trying to catch some of Terry's prolific output vibe so we'll do that for a while.
When I am ready, we'll also be introducing a few changes to the site and some other stuff that may/may not work, but really, who knows at this point?