Monday, May 30, 2011

Last Saturday night at Zebulon... (updated with download links... AND VIDEO!!)



...was the business!

The turnout was great, the energy was through the roof and the music (if I may say so, myself) was firing on all cylinders! The interesting thing to me with playing this Nigerian boogie and disco stuff to crowds is how fresh and new it is to so many people... A lot of times, the crowd would stop dancing to applaud at the end of a record! Thanks to everybody who showed up and showed love! And for everybody else who wasn't there... you missed out on a sweaty, jam-packed, ol'-fashioned, get-down good time... but no worries: hopefully you'll make it next time!

On Friday night, Frank and I paid a visit to WNYU to do a tequila-fueled spot on the A Downtown Affair radio show with Alex and Mike.

Check it out here:

A Downtown Affair Part 1
A Downtown Affair Part 2

BRAND NEW WAYO in stores... GET YOUR COPY NOW!!! ... BRAND NEW WAYO in stores... GET YOUR COPY NOW!!! ... BRAND NEW WAYO in stores... GET YOUR COPY NOW!!! ... BRAND NEW WAYO in stores... GET YOUR COPY NOW!!! ... BRAND NEW WAYO in stores... GET YOUR COPY NOW!!!

phew... Promoting is hard work!

UPDATE (5/29/11): If you want to download the FULL show (the two streaming links above offer a slightly abridged version), then get thee to the incredible LET'S GET SERIOUS site... which by the way offers hours of good listening by way of archived A Downtown Affair shows.

(I'm probably going to update this post yet again tomorrow... I'm into recycling!)

UPDATE (5/30/11): Okay, this is the last update on this post. I had to add some video from the night, captured courtesy of the awesome Aja & Fre! Dig those hallucigenic video projections... Frank created those and they drove the crowd into a frenzy!

23 comments:

Ivory Dome said...

Bring it to New York!!!

Comb & Razor said...

Where were you that night?

SHAME said...

WHAT! WHAT! ZEBULON? SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN U HAVE SEMI DYSLEXIA! WHAT? WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT? SHAME JUST OVERWHELMED ME NOW NOW ARE YOU STILL HERE?

Comb & Razor said...

Nah... I'm back in Boston. I might be back in NYC (and at Zebulon) fairly soon, though...

bobbalin hot said...

Nigerian disco! Cool! Looks like a great party!

Comb & Razor said...

It was!

icastico said...

Howdy,

Saw your comments over at Holy Warbles and thought you might find this interesting...

http://www.rufuspollock.org/economics/p2p_summary.html#id21013320

The important finding for your situation is this...


"According to Blackburn who investigates this issue the 'bottom' 3/4 of artists sell more as a consequence of file-sharing while the top 1/4 sell less."

Until you are firmly established, the word of mouth that file sharing provides improves sales. From my own experience, the albums that I have available for free have brought in more money than those that aren't. No competition.

Particularly since you have such great liner notes/booklet etc...people will want to buy the product, and hearing about it is the main struggle. File sharing can help get the word out.

There is no right answer on this topic, but I think people's intuitions/guts often lead them to clamp down too much.

Anyway...nice work I plan on purchasing as soon as I can free up some funds.

Comb & Razor said...

icastico -

I'm familiar with all the studies on this subject and while I'm not fully convinced by their conclusions I do recognize the extent to which file sharing can goose sales. I accept that technology has created the expectation in the audience to get some free samples before they commit to buying. In fact, I believe that a big part of why I have been able to enjoy some small success relative to other startups is because I have been giving away free music on this blog for 4 years now and have been able to build a base that associates Comb & Razor with some degree of quality.

But from my observation, the whole "free sharing leads to real sales" phenomenon applies more to active musical artists than it does to catalog releases. A live artist circulates their music for free, they build up enough of a fanbase that comes out and pays to see them when they play live. At their shows they sell merch and they sell copies of their record to the enthusiastic fan they accumulated through filesharing.

How much of that equation translates to reissue albums where you don't have active artists to promote it and maintain the excitement level? Where the music is essentially all you've got?

I know we like to sanitize the whole debate by using terms like "previewing records" so we can convince ourselves that we're just auditioning the music and that we are going to purchase it if we like it. But is it necessary to disseminate it at 320 quality just to "preview" it? Mp3-based DJs are already out there playing gigs with that "previewed" music and I see little incentive for them to go out and purchase the product after that point.

And furthermore: I don't believe it. I have "previewed" plenty of compilations, promising myself that I will by them if I like them but the truth is that I rarely do. There's too much music coming down the pike every day and too few dollars coming into my wallet so there's hardly any point in spending money on it once I've got it in a high quality format, especially as I pretty much rip all the CDs I buy into my iTunes anyway.

In the end, I have long ago accepted the reality that the digital revolution has almost completely stripped recorded music of any value as a viable economic commodity. And that's why I didn't freak out and demand that the link be removed (not at first, anyway). Filesharing is gonna happen, and there's pretty much no way to stop it.

That's why I put so much work into the liner notes and the packaging of Brand New Wayo (and intend to do the same with future C&R releases), to try to invest it with some value beyond just the music.

But the reason I came back and asked for it to removed is because I clicked the link and found that it was being shared via Multiupload, which simultaneously makes it available on like 7 other servers. That's a bit much, I think... If it had been just one Mediafire link or whatever I would have let it slide... But the CD has been out for less than a month; let me sell a couple of copies before you carpet-bomb the Internet with it, y'know?

icastico said...

I appreciate what you are saying. But, as a musician who is active, but can't do live promotion (by the very nature of the stuff I do...one guy in a bedroom studio), I haven't found the file sharing anything but beneficial. You may be right about the compilation thing, I just don't know.

I agree with you, however, that the "previewing" thing is mostly silly. The actual effect of sharing comes from the music getting heard more widely and a percentage of those who like it paying for it. For me, that has been about 6 to 8% of people paying with the rest taking it for free (this is better than average, btw). Thing is...the larger the number of people hearing, the larger that number of buyers has been. I don't know how many you pressed, but if it is a limited run of, say, a 1000, then you can expect to sell all of them when 10,000 have a free copy.

It seems to me the main advantage active artists have today is that an album can be created essentially for free when they don't have to deal with a label (ignoring sunk costs for instruments and recording equipment). So, it doesn't take much to recoup...for what you are doing, you have a higher up front...makes it tougher.

Anyway, I find the topic interesting...it will continue to be fluid for a few more years methinks.

m said...

Nice. (Trainspotter) Do you know the a track ID of the song that came in at the 1 minute mark of your clip? It's great.

Would be great if you could score a night up here locally (I'm in your neck of the woods). I can see the challenge in that, but would definitely support.

Mannii

Mannii said...

Whoops, in the comment above I meant to say video clip from Zebulon for the track ID, not the other mixes. Much thanks.

Mannii

Comb & Razor said...

Mannii, that track is "Loneliness" by Eunice Mokus. It is a hot one, isn't it?

I would definitely try to get a regular night going around here and I'm kinda working towards that but like you said... it is a challenge!

Mannii said...

Much thanks! Between the keys, the guitar, the vocals and the double hand claps, I can't figure out my favorite part. Thanks for confirming that.

Please tell me that this isn't one of those rare gems that only Frank could find in Ghana. lol *begins hunt*

Comb & Razor said...

It's rare, but I can't speak as to whether or not Frank has it!

Funny thing, though, is that it's one of those ones that slipped through the cracks in a way; I remember seeing it on eBay a few years ago but because everybody was chasing the really big, popular records it ended up selling for almost nothing. Haven't seen it show up again since then and even "in the field" I've run across it just once (which is the copy I currently have).

Double F said...

Sorry I meant Rick Asikpo LOL

Double F said...

Uh oh seems like my first comment totally disappeared... So I was saying, I hope this tremendous song from Rick Asikpo will be included on the next volume of BNW !! Totally freaky !!

Comb & Razor said...

Yes, you will probably be hearing that track on an upcoming release!

(and to answer your question, it seems it was just that one track that had the defect)

U.

Double F said...

I listened to the whole "Downtown Affair" show, man you really want to kill us badly with these songs don't you ?! It seems like I discover a new kind of Funk I barely ever heard before, & I feel like there's a whole universe of thunderous basslines and thrilling rhythm sections waiting for me to listen to. I wondered if you would have some Nigerian boogie LPs to sell ?? There's a new shelf at home starving for them...

Comb & Razor said...

Thanks a lot, Double F!

I'll have to check if I have any spare copies, but go ahead and email me at combrazor (at) yahoo dot com.

Double F said...

ok, thanks for checking !

Double F said...

I forgot, there's a "part 3" to download on the Let's get serious website, but no tracklisting. We really got a problem here because that part 3 is full of monstrous jams !!

Comb & Razor said...

Nkono Teles - "Martins Street Special"
Robo Arigo - "Dem Crazy"
Steeve Black - "Fun in the Street"

Double F said...

Thank you !