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Brad Sucks: Guess Who's a Mess album cover

Guess Who's a Mess, my third album. 10 tracks, instant downloads.

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Crunch time. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Mixing the album. Did a mixing meeting with Rob and am back on track with the album. Actually excited about getting it out, which is strange for me. It’s really taking an embarrassing amount of time. You would think this would result in exponential improvements and new material and awesomeness and you would be wrong. Just a lot of coordination and logistic delays.

I’ve been reading a lot about the album being dead and all I can think is: THANK GOD. I’m not sure I ever want to do this again. But what to do instead?

Getting ready for Harvard + the show in Cambridge. Looks like there’ll be a Metafilter meet before and during (and after?) the show on the 12th. I think I’ve got my show pretty much down, new Firewire card = improved stability, blah nerd blah.

The big thing lately has been packing all my gear to get down there. Do you know what a custom guitar flight case costs? I will tell you: around $500. That’s five HUNDRED dollars. It would be cheaper for me to fly to Boston, buy a $250 guitar and throw it in the garbage on my way home. I honestly haven’t ruled that out but for now I’ve ordered an SKB Freedom case which apparently “smells” (read the reviews) but works good.

If my guitar is shattered on the way there, I’ll buy a cheap one for the shows and give it to a homeless person before I leave.

Getting the website ready for the new album. I’ve been re-jiggering all my store stuff for the new album and beyond and that should go live in the next week I hope. Due to lack of sales I’ve decided to drop the OGG format and limit it to MP3 and FLAC. Simpler for everyone. OGG fans can always get the FLAC and convert it as it’s lossless after all. I want to support open formats but I’d rather it not feel like a waste of time, energy and resources.

Posted on - January 31, 2008 [at] 10:56 pm by Brad
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Finally swapped out the default items from Gimme Some Money to something more Brad Sucks-y:

gimme-items

You got your beer ($5), you got your pills ($10) and you got your twenty dollars ($20).

Posted on - January 10, 2008 [at] 11:05 pm by Brad
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Bunch of things coming up:

  • February 11th – Harvard University [Cambridge, MA] – Q&A and a few songs.
  • February 12th – The Middle East [Cambridge, MA] – Full show
  • March 7th – Canadian Music Week [Toronto, ON] – Speaking.

Hope to see you there.

Posted on - January 10, 2008 [at] 11:01 am by Brad
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There’s a new button available if you care to donate:

Info (and previous button) here. As people have pointed out this button looks good at any angle.

Posted on - January 9, 2008 [at] 5:52 pm by Brad
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Here’s a picture I took when I was sorting socks a few months ago:

August 28, 2007 2 002-1

Look at all these different bastards! What for? Can the human race not agree on a black sock style?

What I’d like is a standardized black sock specification. So I could always buy replacement or additional socks that match the ones I already own. Please: open source community, W3C, Creative Commons — somebody help make sense of this important issue.

Posted on - January 3, 2008 [at] 9:55 pm by Brad
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saul williams Trent Reznor released some facts about the Saul Williams record he produced and then released digitally for $5 [nin.com]:

Saul’s previous record was released in 2004 and has sold 33,897 copies.

As of 1/2/08,
154,449 people chose to download Saul’s new record.
28,322 of those people chose to pay $5 for it, meaning:
18.3% chose to pay.

Of those paying,

3220 chose 192kbps MP3
19,764 chose 320kbps MP3
5338 chose FLAC

Thoughts:

  • 28,322 * $5 = $141,610 which for a solo artist and zero marketing investment seems pretty decent. Of course partnering with a super famous established artist like Trent helps.
  • With 154,449 downloads and earnings of $141,610 that works out to earning $0.92 per download which vastly exceeds all bandwidth costs.
  • 154,449 seems like an extremely low number of downloads. The hype for this album was primarily in nerd-centric venues so I’m assuming the majority skipped the ecommerce shit and went straight to torrents for their downloads.
  • This isn’t counting other digital sales avenues — did they put it on iTunes? That’s where most people are buying their digital music these days, not going direct to the artist’s website.
  • I think putting such a low limit on what people could pay was a dopey idea. If we’re going to be dealing in intangible value, why not let consumers decide for themselves?
  • Are there really that many FLAC users out there?

All in all I think it was a success even if they feel disheartened. Trent admits that he spent too much on the record. I’d be interested to know what the costs amounted to. I can’t even conceive of spending $40,000 on a record let’s say and having $100,000 left over would keep me in beer and guitar strings for another year or two.

Posted on - January 3, 2008 [at] 9:04 pm by Brad
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