Welcome to the Scandinavian Cyber-Posten!
The Scandinavian Cyber-Posten is my blog for the band. Ever since I started reading The Machine's Pump on the Brave Combo website I've wanted my own blog. After all, I'm a creative and intelligent person and I have thoughts on a lot of things. Here's a place where you can read what I think about a variety of topics. I hope you enjoy what you read. If you have any feedback on what I've written, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, August 7
Hitting curve balls--------------------
As I type this I'm in a motel in Anaconda, Montana watching the Mariners game and updating some band business. Why am I here in Anaconda? I'll get to that...
This summer has been very busy at Scandinavian Central. There haven't been as many gigs as in previous years but life has proven to be rather involved. With a wife in college, two spirited kids, aging grandparents, a house needing much maintenance and old vehicles I don't have a whole lot of time for other things. Because of all of these activities competing for my time I've been remiss in updating the Cyber-Posten most of the summer.
The gigs have been fun so far this summer. We've traveled a lot and are looking forward to some more travelling in the latter part of August and then a busy Oktoberfest season. This weekend found us in Philispburg, MT for the Rocky Mountain Accordion Celebration and then on to Red Lodge, MT for the Festival of Nations. It was an exciting and fun weekend of playing. I think we've impressed a lot of people on this trip. I look forward to a return next year. Going to Montana is always one of my favorite things about this band. An added bonus of the trip was our stop in Bozeman to visit my friend and Wisconsin polka legend Roger Pulver. He's a great musician with an uncompromising sense of how the world should be. It's both shocking and refreshing at the same time.
I've also been producing a new album for my friend Terry Palasz, the Polish Diva from Milwaukee. It's a really exciting project. I get to produce various polka styles including German, Polish and Slovenian. I also get to work with some of my favorite musicians in town. This album will kick ass. I'll let you know when it's done.
With the recording session and all the other things going on it's been challenging to get to some of the automotive maintenance projects that need doing. One of those is keeping up the Polka Van, my 1992 GMC Vandura conversion van. It has transported us to gigs everywhere from Hermiston, OR to Chisholm, MN with nary a complaint. Before leaving on the trip I put brand new front brakes on the Polka Van thinking this would appease it for my lack of attention. Today it decided to complain. After leaving Butte, MT west on I-90 the van decided to gently glide to a stop alongside the highway. We had it towed into Anaconda where a mechanic examined it and confirmed my suspicion: bad fuel pump. Now I'm sitting here in the motel in Anaconda waiting for the morning when the fuel pump, filter and strainer will be installed and we will resume our trip westward toward Seattle.
Being stranded here overnight has been a good thing so far. It's given me some time to spend with my lovely wife, something I don't get to do nearly as much as I'd like. It's also given me the chance to talk over some new ideas with my friend Dave who came along to play guitar on the gigs this weekend. We've been putting our heads toghether and looking at the future of the band. There have been some good ideas.
My wife is developing a new site for us on MySpace.com. It seems that all the kids have MySpaces these days. Moreover, it's a good networking site for people of similar interests. Danna already knows quite a bit about MySpace since she has her own site so it was a natural promotional extension of the band to have her create our MySpace. I'll let you know when it's done.
Another idea that came up is to make more extensive use of PayPal. It never occurred to me that the thing I use to pay for eBay purchases could benefit the band. I'll be working on what some of those new applications will be in the coming weeks. I anticipate a time coming when clients can pay us with a credit card via PayPal for performances and recordings. Nothing has happened yet but stay tuned.
We're also looking at alternative ways to distribute our recordings. In the past we've pressed CDs and duplicated tapes. The tapes have officially be relegated to history. After the current stock of tapes for our albums are gone there will be no more. CD technology has finally reacher our older target demographic and we just don't sell any tapes anymore. Beyond that, however, we'd like to get in on the iTunes gravy train. When you sell tracks on iTunes you get great exposure to new markets and low-cost high-margin sales. What that would mean for the band is more money with which to make new recordings which is always a good thing.
Finally, we're considering branching out and starting to build a new following in a nightclub environment. Nightclubs in our area seem to be looking for more new and innovative bands that do more than just drone on between Am and F. Dave is working up a Rush tribute band which is already receiving calls to play everything from sports bars to casinos. He thinks that our band can build a niche audience somewhere in there too. I think it's an exciting opportunity. I know that other bands like Brave Combo have exciting, energetic club shows that draw fans. I think we can be successful in the same market but in our own unique way.
So know you know where we're at and where we're going. I'll let you know when we get there.