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
Tuesday, March 10
Greetings, Scandinavian fans!--------------------
If you're good at reading dates you'll no doubt notice that I've written nothing in this space for almost two years. This brings up two questions: why have I written nothing during that time and why did I decide to write something now? I'll address those questions individually...
Question 1: Why have I written nothing for this blog during the past two years?
There are a few reasons for not having written anything for two years. I'm not overly vain. I don't really believe that what the Smilin' Scandinavians do is very noteworthy. Part of that is selection bias; since I'm the leader of the band pretty much everything we do is routine to me because I've planned it out and made it happen. Part of that is the need to keep posting new content on our Facebook page. The ubiquity of Facebook means I have to keep up our profile and make sure there's always new content for our fans to view. Since people (including myself) see Facebook on a regular basis I have to keep posting new things about what we're doing. Focusing on Facebook leaves me feeling like there's nothing left to say here.
Google Analytics tells me that people are still looking at this blog which acts as a great reminder that there are fans who want to see more long-form, in-depth information about the band and what we do. To me, it's not all that interesting when I have to print a new copy of "Kulkurin Kaiho" for the tuba book because somehow the previous copy got lost. That's just a normal duty for a bandleader so I don't think of it as being different or exceptional enough to warrant mention here on the Cyber-Posten. I'm learning from talking to you, the fans, that you actually like to know more about what happens between performances. (You also want to know about the five-year-delayed new album.)
With that in mind I'm going to try and share more about what we do as a band and what it takes to make things happen. In this modern era where communication is so rapid and so regular, fans are accustomed to having more access to information about what their favored performers do. Since you've taken an interest in what we do here I think it's only fair that I try to give you more information about what happens. If it's boring then just skip to another post or go to one of your other favorite websites. If it's interesting, keep reading. If you have questions, email me and I'll try to answer.
Over the weekend we did a new promo photo. Despite what I wrote above, I know it's a big deal. I know that because it has taken twelve years to make it happen. Life has given so many intervening challenges between that time and last Saturday that it was very difficult to get everyone together at the same time in the same place to take pictures. We worked with a really great photographer, Tino Tran, who had some fun and creative ideas for the new pictures. Most importantly, we *FINALLY* did a promo picture in our German outfits that we use at Oktoberfest. Booking agents and other venues have been asking for a proper Oktoberfest picture for several years and we're finally going to have one.
Another reason this picture is a big deal is because it will be the first actual promo photo with our current banjo player in it. Glenn Dudley joined the band in 2005 playing banjo but since it was only a couple years after our last photo we didn't see a need to do a new photo right away. Ten years later, he's been playing with us without ever having been in our promo picture. That means he was never on any posters or signs. We're going to fix that with this new picture. Henceforth his smiling face will be in all our promo materials.
Question 2: Why did I decide to write something now?
It's late winter. Winter is the slowest time for me as a performer so I take the opportunity to do a lot of the behind-the-scenes work that it takes to run a band. I do taxes, write new charts, edit the books, book gigs for the year, and review promo materials. Part of that process of reviewing promo materials is reconnecting with what we're already doing for promotion. When I looked at this blog I saw that nothing had been posted in almost two years. Despite it being so out-of-date it's still getting views. Since it's still getting views that means fans are still looking at it which would imply that I need to give them something worth looking at. I need to remember that what seems mundane and uninteresting to me can be quite interesting and enlightening to fans.
Sunday I went up to Sequim with my friend Tom Demski to visit the accordion social and say good bye to my friends Steve and Jeannie Berg who are moving to North Carolina to be closer to family. I've known Steve and Jeannie for more than ten years through our involvement with the accordion community. They have both been tireless workers for the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration. They also began the accordion socials in Sequim, which is why Sunday's accordion social became an opportunity for everyone to gather together and bid them a fond farewell. Steve and Jeannie exemplify why I enjoy being a part of the accordion community: they are exceptionally nice people. I always enjoy performing for my fellow accordionists. The crowd was appreciative and supportive, as expected. Steve and Jeannie were very happy to see so many of their friends before they leave for the East Coast. I had a lot of fun traveling with Demski. Most importantly, I got to keep my skills sharp by giving a solo performance in between appearances with the band. Regular playing is good for me and, by extension, good for you fans of the band.
Postscript: About the album...
About that... The rhythm tracks are all done. It's been five years since we started recording it. There have been many times where life has intruded on my ability to complete the recording. One of the biggest intrusions was the need to fix failing, dysfunctional bathrooms here at my house. That finally happened in February thanks to my friend Mark Wolford. He's a fine drummer and also a very fine carpenter. By his efforts I now have two functional, beautiful bathrooms in my home. With that issue resolved I can now turn my attention back to the recording. I need to go back and listen to the tracks to get back to where I with production a couple of years ago. Once I do that we can start going forward with recording some accordion and vocal tracks. Will that happen soon? I hope so. When it does you'll be one of the first to know.