Issue # 135 Zzaj Rant


9/02/2013 10:49 am:  Just finished adding links for CD BABY to many of the CD’s reviewed in issues # 134 & 135… you can help keep our ‘zine alive by using those buttons (it counts as a referral) to purchase (either digital downloads or hard-copy CD’s) those you liked from listening to the samples…. please help me spread the word (far & WIDE) about this… I’ll also be joining the AMAZON affiliate program next week & will go back in and add those purchase links, too.  My recent requests on FB to support the ‘zine resulted in several contributions that extended the life of the magazine out through December 2015… that may seem a long time, but it all goes very FAST… so, for those who haven’t yet, please consider hitting the DONATE button on our pages to make a contribution to help us keep this effort alive!  More as it happens!

8/16/2013 11:42 am HST – I’m sitting here listening to some beautiful music from Meg Bowles on my last forced furlough day for 2013; getting ready to review several other CD’s this weekend (I hope, anyway).  On the “business end” of things, we are working to move a new organization here to Hawaii, so I will be fully engaged at the day job… probably take about a year (or a little more) to complete this transition, but I expect good things will come of it – both for the organization and (perhaps) on a personal level.  I snagged about 15 full-length CD’s last week, so that will be even more fodder for the QUEUE page.  Some folks have written to me asking how I manage to review SO much music & still keep my energy up for it – well, basically, it’s because music is about all I have right now… that’s not a sob story, it’s good news… no TV, radio only through the net & little outside contact (stuff COSTS so much these days, particularly here in Hawaii, that I seldom venture out).  Guess that’s about it for today’s entry – keep coming back here for updates.

8/10/2013 8:54 pm HST – As a continuation of the thought below – just think about how kids communicate these days… mostly through their cell-phones. & since the text capabilities now allow them to send LINKS, that YOUTUBE vid you put up as a part of your campaign to get your CD on the market & recognized by a wider audience COULD GO VIRAL… but only if you took the extra time to prepare (and prepare well) and post that vid, right? The way most kids have their phones setup is that they have essentially ALL their close contacts in a group… so if they spot something that was TOO funny, TOO cool, or the MUSIC they think everyone will WANT to LISTEN to, they can just COPY the net address, paste it into a group text & hit ENTER – and all 1000 (or so) of their friends will get that hit at once. The other side of this coin, of course, is that if the VID you post to YOUTUBE is “lame” – it will be recognized for it’s flaws… so make it your BEST SHOT (based on what YOU think is cool, of course) – if you can’t come up with something musically cool – POSTPONE your posting – that is the LAST thing you want is to have a “lame” link go viral. Any way you look at it, though, doing a VID as part of your promotion package is something you’ll want to strongly consider!


     8/9/2013 6:54 pm HST – Here are just a few thoughts/tips for players/promoters submitting music for review.  In the “good old days”, home-produced artists (& I know, because I was doing it myself – as early as the 1980’s) spent hours/days crafting the packages we sent off for review… cover art/cover letters/biography & all of the printed material that was going to be submitted to the magazine to ensure we would get a review.  Run through the CD one last time – make sure there were no “glitches” or “dropouts” in the sound.  The same rules need to go into packaging your DIGITAL submissions… when a reviewer receives a digital package, one of the first things looked for/at is the cover art (or links to where the cover art can be downloaded – which is even better, ‘coz most bloggers are NOT going to put up copies of your art – the link is always better) +, THEN, you get to CHOOSE what you want the world to see, & don’t have to worry about a reviewer (or the web server) “crunching” your image!  Did you include a release and a bio sheet (again, preferably with embedded links to other online resources)?  I can tell you from my own long-time experience in reviewing music – if the submitter includes links, I definitely WILL check them out…. this is VERY important!  Did you check/re-check the zip file you’re pushing up to HIGHTAIL or DROPBOX?  If a reviewer gets a digital package & attempts to unzip it – & it doesn’t open up or the files can’t be read… it WILL get “dropped”… some reviewers (such as myself) will let the artist or promoter know that there was a “fail”… but probably not more than once – so CHECK those files before you push them out.  & lastly – have you LOADED a video sample up on YOUTUBE or VIMEO?  This is very important, too; as a “for instance”, I have a REVIEW QUEUE page up that readers can use to hear/see the artist… if all you have is a CD cover up – today’s kids will SKIP you – they’ve come to EXPECT “instant access” to you, so before you submit your CD for review – PUT up a video so the readers/listeners can SEE & HEAR you before they read the review… “wet their whistle”, so to speak. ,

     8/8/2013, 4:10pm HST – As I begin this newest ishissue, I have several convergent strings of thought shaping and forming… in the main, what I’m thinking about are my “habits”… as with all of us, I have several “good habits” (in other words, self-discipline enough to repeat those things that have done well for me – like listening to music), but (as with all of us) I have several “bad habits” as well… I won’t outline each of those habits (there are other places for that, like FB pages, right… lol), good or bad, but this is something we all need to ponder on occasion – for without giving those habits some consideration, we’re bound to continue down the same habitual paths & rabbitholes.  One way I’ve found to cut back on the “bad side” of habits is to encourage myself in those that have been segregated out as “good”… anyway, I’m not going to go much further on this thought, since those deliberations belong to each individual, I think.  At any rate, the other thing on this entry is just to note that if you want to see my thoughts through the months of September & October (2013), bookmark this page & come back to it every 3-5 days… I’ll be using it as a sort of “occasional diary” as I’ve done over the last couple of issues.  Lastly, if you have something you’d like to rant about – get in TOUCH with me at & let me know about it – I welcome your rants, especially about music, but any rant’ll do!