It's been a few weeks since the release of Which Way to the Starlite and things are going pretty much how I thought they would. People are listening through streaming services all around the globe and CDs are selling (a second printing is in the works). It's all good. However, there have been some discoveries that have led me to make some rather difficult choices with regard to who gets what, where and when.
WHICH WAY TO THE STARLITE - IMPORT CD
To start with, the CD version of the new album is only available in the US. I hate having to do this, but the cost of shipping a five ounce package is astronomical and, in the end, a deal killer for me. Case in point: shipping a CD to Mexico - using the basest of base level USPS services - is double the cost of the CD to the customer. Double. FedEx, UPS, DHL and the like are even more. It's absolutely out of control and because of these costs I had to make a decision.
In so many ways, it's like when I was buying Import CDs that I'd found in the back pages of Hit Parader or Goldmine (when it was great) and other music-related periodicals. I remember vividly buying a Japanese copy of Michael Bolton's Everybody's Crazy on CD in 1987. It cost me forty bucks and took forever to finally make it to my house. That's what buying imports was all about. And here we are again.
So, to make up for the loss of having an actual product to own and hold, I've added a bit more to the download. Now, when you purchase the download you'll get the full 12-page booklet in PDF form. It's all there and I think that's a cool add for the price.
I will write this: if you're living abroad and want the CD version and you are willing to pay whatever it costs, by all means, let me know and I'll make that happen. In the meantime, CDs will remain US only.
PLAY IT AND THEN "LIKE" IT (WHAT D'YA MEAN YOU DIDN'T "LIKE" IT?!)
Another thing this old fart (keeping the kids off my lawn for many years now) noticed, almost immediately, upon the streaming release of the album, was how many plays were happening on YouTube. Within a week there were over 1,000 plays, total, of the eleven songs on Which Way to the Starlite. For this artist, that's kind of huge. It's a little sad that a single play of one of my songs is huge, but let's face it: it is. But what you learn quickly is that a single play means very little unless it comes with the god-awful thumbs-up "Like."
Honestly, all of it - the streaming, the social media, the Likes (or nots), is bullshit. It's all utter and complete crap. And it's all of these metrics that are killing creativity and artistry of all kinds. It just gets in your head and messes with you. I couldn't imagine being a younger person today dealing with all of the different judgement tools laid out before them. Ugh. Instagram is the only place I post anything (and that's very little) and I will most likely be deleting that account very soon. Again, I'm not interested in being a part of that machine. It's bad enough I believe a website is necessary to promote anything I've done, but it is the last tool I feel actually matters to anyone working in the creative arts.
FIDDLE FOR US
A few people have asked if I plan to perform in support of The Starlite album. The simply answer is, "No." Let's leave it at that, shall we? Performing has always been a sticky one for me and I honestly can't imagine what performing in the age of cellphones would be like. I last performed, in front of over 10,000 people, in 2003. Phones were not a thing then and people paid attention, even for a moment, to what someone was doing on stage. Seeing what I've seen over the last twenty years, with regard to "crowd participation" makes me sad.
Finally, the next album is in the works and by the end of the winter I should have everything ready for mixing and mastering. I plan to release that album in the Fall of 2023 and there will be another in 2024. I'm keeping busy with all of it and enjoying the feedback I'm getting for Which Way to the Starlite.