I spent last weekend up mid-state NY, visiting Foster Reed and his family. Foster runs New Albion Records, the venerable new music label that put out my only commercial CD, Song + Distance, back in 2001. He is yet another ex-pat from the Bay area. He asked me up to play in his storefront in Hudson during the town’s annual, festive Winter Walk. He’s only had the storefront since this summer so this was a first for him. It worked out quite well. “The public” (oh, them) is always fascinated by music on glass. I’m always encouraged by the fact they stay around in these non-concert settings. They come for the glass but stay for the music. And the kids! They are always mesmerized by it. It was yet another in my long line of odd gigs. It turned out quite well for Foster as well. He sold a bunch of my CDs (probably more than he’s sold all year) and increased awareness of his presence in the Hudson community.
I find it so funny that a new music label has an actual (as opposed to virtual) storefront. Especially given the direction music distribution is going. It’s of course mainly his business office and it just happens to be a storefront. Foster and his wife, Trisha, are right there on the cutting edge of digital distribution. The day I was there, they had just committed their entire catalogue to be part of Naxos’ subscription service, and had also just signed on with a national library streaming service. They seem to be focusing on streaming sites, at the moment, by way of avoiding having to deal with mechanical rights. (Foster mentioned what a drag it is to have to calculate multiple percentage of single cents twice a year). He also had some suggestions for direct artists’ pay sites, but that will have to wait for a future visit. They had to leave early the next morning to go pick up their new baby in Guatemala (!). But he & I will be continuing our conversation soon. He’s interested in releasing a volume 2 of my music. (Perfect timing! I have lots to say!)
One more thing, totally out of the blue. But over on Neil Dufallo’s blog, he writes of an overheard conversation. Someone said: “Once you’re a pickle, you’re a f***ing pickle — you can’t go back to cucumber, knuckle-head.”
NYC folk philosophy.
Oh, one more thing. You folks who read my blog through google reader missed a couple of audio files in my last post. They took only one of the three and put it at the end. They must still be working out the kinks. So head on over to my site for the real thing. Wouldn’t you much prefer to be reading this on faux wrinkled paper?