Playing in Cincinnati, Filming, and Merching

It seems like this past week has just flown by. There’s been so much going on that it’s going to be difficult condensing this into a single post, but I’ll certainly do my best. Here’s a brief little outline of everything that’s happened in the past week:

I. Road Trippin’ It

II. Playing Shows and Filming in Strange Places

III. Finally Getting Some Merch up on the Interwebs

I’ll pretty much stick to this exact outline for the rest of this post. Just in case you were wondering why I bothered including an outline.

Road Trippin’ It

This past Friday I piled into the Pontiac Vibe with my good friends Joey and Mitchell to head up to Cincinnati for a busy and sleepless weekend. Joey and Mitchell are my roommates, and they also help me with my music a lot. Mitchell engineered, mixed, and mastered my EP, and Joey filmed my Indiegogo video, helped with branding, and has been doing an awesome job as my merch guy at any shows I play. Joey is also cooler than Mitchell. I DIGRESS.

We stayed at Mitchell’s parents’ house in Kentucky, but the next two days were pretty much spent entirely in Cincinnati (yes, I know, there are parts of Cincinnati in Kentucky, but in my mind it’s all Ohio). Friday night consisted mostly of us walking all over Cincinnati and observing the wreckage of Oktoberfest and returning at 2 am.

On Saturday morning I played at Velocity Bike and Bean in Florence, KY to a very whispery crowd after renting a PA system extremely last minute for $15 (thank you Willis Music). Saturday evening saw the three of us in Clifton near the University of Cincinnati playing at the Roh’s Street Café with Zach Zook and Charlie Millikin. Needless to say we were all exhausted, but it was a good time and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

A lot more happened in Cincinnati that I won’t worry you about, but I did learn two invaluable pieces of information from this trip. 1). Check to see if the venue you’re playing at is near a big university, and then be sure to check if they have a homecoming or other huge event going on. It will greatly impact your show’s attendance. 2). Don’t walk across the Purple Bridge into Cincinnati at midnight and then get lost in Covington.

Filming with the Cops

On our way back from Clifton on Saturday night, we drove past a warehouse in construction that was just too perfect to pass. We turned around and went back to shoot a quick video. My friend Mitchell dropped us off as Joey and I ran inside to shoot as fast as we could (P.S. It’s going to look really cool when it’s done). We shot the video with no problems, but when we left we just so happened to jokingly give a hitchhiker’s thumb to a car that turned out to be a cop. He was a tad bit curious about what we were doing, but he was a nice guy and didn’t act suspicious of us. After that, we hopped back in the Vibe and went back for some well-needed sleep.

I’ll be sure to post it here when the video is done. There might be more than one video coming soon, so I’ll let you know!

Merchmerchmerch

I know, I know– it’s about dang time. Well it is dang time, and I now have one piece of merchandise up on Society6! It’s a poster designed by my aforementioned friend, Joey Brodnax. Joey is pretty awesome and does some sweet video work as well. Check out his Vimeo channel here. Also, here’s the link to that Society6 page where you can buy the poster.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated on everything that’s going on. Enjoy the music, and I’ll talk to you again next Wednesday.

Music

This week I’ve been listening to a lot of The Red Headed Indian, my friend Caroline’s music project. Caroline is an extremely talented musician, and I’m so excited that her EP is finally out. She’s one of the hardest working musicians I know, and she puts so much of her heart into her music. For fans of Fleet Foxes, The Lumineers, The Civil Wars, Ray LaMontagne and any kind of amazing folk-soul music. Give her a listen.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/honey-ep/id916279899

Spotify: The Red Headed Indian – Honey

Noisetrade: http://noisetrade.com/redheadedindianmusic/honey

I’m Still Alive — September 18, 2014

Hello, readers. I just wanted to let you all know that I am, in fact, still alive, and that I am still working hard on bringing music to you and people like you. Thank you for listening and for sticking around. It really does mean so much for people to appreciate my music, my creations. Thank you.

As for my music, things are coming along. I’ve finished several new songs that I’m very excited to share with you, and this weekend I’ll be playing twice in Cincinnati. This will be the first time in a LONG time that I’ll be in Cincinnati, so I’m excited to go exploring the city. If you want to see me play in Cincinnati, I’ll be at Velocity Bike and Bean in Florence, KY in the morning at around 10am and at the Roh’s Street Cafe at 8:30pm. I would love to meet you, so please be sure to swing by if you’re in the area!

Since the last time we talked I’ve also been scattered all over digital distribution sites like iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify, so needless to say I’m halfway famous. Of course I’m being facetious, but I did recently get the little “<1000" plays marker next to my songs on Spotify, so I think I've achieved true indie cred, as my brother would say. That's not to say that I'm not selling physical albums too, though. Order one through BandCamp or just meet me at a show and buy one. I'll even sign it for you and shake your hand!

I'll try to stay on top of this blog, but the increased pressures from school and work are making this difficult at the moment. Stay tuned for updates, and remember to enjoy the music. Also, enjoy the changing of the seasons. Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year, and I am so looking forward to visiting Georgia again in October for the Greek Festival and for the Gold Rush Festival and for changing leaves in the Blue Ridge Mountains and for apple orchards and apple cider. Be present to appreciate fall before it's gone, as it's always gone much too quickly. Go hiking, listen to some Bon Iver and Iron & Wine, and drink some apple cider or eat an apple donut for me. Be here, in the moment.

Until next week,

Forrest

Wednesday Weekly Update – September 3, 2014

Good morning, and happy Wednesday. Here’s the rundown for everything going on in the world of Forrest Brown Music in the past week and a sneak peak of things to come.

New Shows, New Music, and Album Release

That’s right. Busy busy busy. Next Tuesday (September 9th) I’ll be playing a show at the Curb Café here at Belmont University with the Illustrious Mr. Ross McCorkle (I haven’t actually met Ross yet but I’m sure he’s just as illustrious as his name implies). Just one day before that, There Are No Unsacred Places, my debut EP, releases digitally on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, etc. THEN a little over a week later, I’m heading up to Cincinnati to play two shows in one day at Velocity Bike and Bean and the Roh’s Street Cafe in Florence, KY and Cincinnati, OH, respectively. I know, I’m trying to stay busy. But I’m not complaining. Busy is good.

Getting Registered for SoundExchange and Submitting Music to Pandora

As an independent musician, having multiple streams of revenue is imperative. That’s why I’ve been getting all my ducks in a row by doing things such as registering for SoundExchange. SoundExchange is a performance rights organization (PRO) much like BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC, except SoundExchange collects digital performance royalties for copyright holders and featured artists. Whenever you get played on things like Pandora and Sirius XM Radio, you’re owed a digital performance royalty as a featured artist or copyright holder. SoundExchange makes sure that happens. So heed my advice and register for SoundExchange RIGHT NOW if you haven’t done so already. You might get some extra money you didn’t know you were owed. Which is a perfect segue to my next topic…

PANDORA! I submitted my music to Pandora Internet Radio on August 27th and am currently waiting to hear back if they’re going to accept it or not (fingers crossed!). Pandora has to review whatever music you submit, so my music is currently in that stage. The review stage. I know a lot of people complain that Pandora doesn’t really pay artists well, but the way I see it, exposure can be invaluable. At least you’re getting paid something for that exposure. I’ll be sure to let you know if I get accepted to be on Pandora.

Badgering Radio Stations and Record Stores

Well, hopefully not badgering. But I am contacting them! Specifically ones in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, Dallas, and Washington, DC. So if you know of any good record stores or radio stations in those areas that would probably sell or play my music, please let me know! I want to make sure the people who want to hear my music have easy access to it, and this is one of the best ways of doing that!

That’s it for this week’s Wednesday Weekly Update. The last Bedroom Session YouTube video is in the works and will be up as soon as possible, and guitar tabs for my songs are on the way as well! I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted, but until then, happy Wednesday and enjoy the music!

P.S. This past week I’ve been listening to a lot of Bad Suns and Kaki King. Strange combination, but I like it. Bad Suns just released their first album this year, and so far my two favorite songs off it are “Cardiac Arrest” and “Dancing On Quicksand.”

Kaki King is a phenomenal guitarist and artist, and I’m a huge fan of her work. Also, she’s from Atlanta, GA (my hometown) so that’s a plus as well. I picked up her 2004 album Legs to Make us Longer at McKay Used Books here in Nashville the other day, and I’ve really been loving it so far. Check it out if you get the chance. Kaki’s 2012 album Glow is also fantastic. What have you been listening to?

Wednesday Weekly Update — August 27, 2014

Greetings, and welcome to this week’s Wednesday Weekly Update. The school year is back in swing, and that means things are busier than ever. So without any further ado, let’s get right to it.

Subheading One: In Which Forrest Moves Back to Nashville and Misses Last Week’s Update

Image © Jim Davenport via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/52ft5m

Image © Jim Davenport via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/52ft5m

If you follow this blog religiously like I do, you might have noticed that last week there was, in fact, no Wednesday Weekly Update for August 20th. This is because I was moving back to Nashville, Tennessee, home of trendy coffee shops and McDougal’s Chicken. Ah, McDougal’s. It’s almost exactly like Zaxby’s except less mainstream and more expensive. Still good though.

Anyway, I’m back in Nashville, and it feels good. I missed this great city something fierce.

Music Licensing Deal

Image © Triple Scoop Music

I haven’t been able to devote as much focus as I would like to my own music lately, but I did manage to wrap up a music licensing deal with Triple Scoop Music shortly before hitting the road. Being able to license your music as an independent artist is a great resource, and I’m really grateful that the people at Triple Scoop liked my music enough to contact me.

This was after a couple other music licensing companies had turned my material down, so just remember to keep on keeping on… You never know when a success is just around the corner. It really is important to thrive on rejection, and I’ve been learning that more and more as seemingly failed attempts turn into something good. So there’s some inspiration if you’re feeling discouraged.

EP to Release in Two Weeks

This is it, kiddies. The day we’ve all I’ve been waiting for– the day my album releases on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, and many others. Yes, the rumors are true. There Are No Unsacred Places does indeed release on many popular digital platforms on September 8th, and you can even pre-order it off Amazon now! Also, don’t forget that physical copies are available for order from my Bandcamp profile, which you can find here. I might start putting together other merch as well, so be sure to watch for updates about that!

Well, here we are again– at the end of another Wednesday Weekly Update. I’ll try to keep these shorter now that school has started back. And while I’m sure that I will undoubtedly continue to have new and interesting things to fill you in on, I might take a bit of a break from focusing so much on reporting what I’m up to and focusing instead on offering tips and insight on how to get started as an independent musician.

There really is no better way to learn than to just do it yourself, so I’ve certainly been learning a lot over the past several months that I didn’t necessarily learn from any books. Feel free to respond in the comments about a question you might have or to email me personally at forrest@forrestbrownmusic.net.

Until next week. Happy Wednesday, boys and girls.

P.S. This week I’ve been listening to a band from Athens, Georgia (close to home!) called the Family and Friends Band. Check them out! They’re a refreshing take on folk rock, a genre I feel like can get really tired sounding. For fans of Fleet Foxes, Noah Gundersen, Frightened Rabbit…definitely worth a listen.

Wednesday Weekly Update – August 13, 2014

Good morning, world. This is the Wednesday Weekly Update, coming to you a day late due to busyness and insufficient time. My sincerest apologies to my subscribers who were undoubtedly refreshing their inbox every two seconds all day yesterday. I’m a bad person.

The update is late this week because there was simply a whole lot going on. Kind of a good problem. So without teasing you anymore, let me catch you up on what’s been going on.

There Are No Unsacred Places in Stores

Cupbearer Picture

If you happen to be cruising through the popular tourist destination of Cumming, GA and just happen to stop by The Cupbearer Coffee and Tea Outfitter and His Rock Music, you might be pleasantly surprised to find copies of my compact discs being sold in these fabulous locations. And I say “might” because you really will find them.

The Cupbearer and His Rock have been gracious enough to sell copies of my CD in their stores, and as of this past Monday you can buy them. I think the going rate right now is $6, but if you tell Bob at His Rock that I told you you could have one for free, he will probably question your motives and/or the truthfulness of that statement.

One Chapter Ends, Another Begins

Crimson Moon

Last night I played my last show in Georgia for a while. Truly a bittersweet moment. We laughed, we cried, we danced, but we mostly just drank coffee and ate crab fondue dip from The Crimson Moon Cafe (10/10 would recommend).

But really, it was a very good experience all around. I’ve been playing at the open mic nights the Crimson Moon hosts every Wednesday for a few weeks now, and I’ve met a lot of really great people doing it. Make sure you check out my new friends Jacob Elliott and Xak Hodges, they’re very talented and genuinely nice people. Go like their Facebook pages and subscribe to them on YouTube. It will be well worth your time. I will be back in Georgia over Christmas, and I’m sure I’ll be playing in Dahlonega as often as I can.

Which leads me to divulge some exciting news…I got a gig playing in Cincinnati, Ohio! On September 20th I’ll be playing my music for the lovely people of Cincinnati at the Roh’s Street Café with the talented Mr. Charlie Millikin. This is my first official out of state gig, so if you’re in the Cincinnati area, stop by! Charlie plays at 8:30 and I go on after him. It’s $3 at the door, but I’m thinking about a deal I might offer people who can bring some friends…

Last Day on NoiseTrade

Noisetrade

Last week an artist relations person from NoiseTrade contacted me and wanted to feature my music on “New and Notable” in their bi-weekly newsletter and on NoiseTrade’s homepage. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity, and the next day, there I was. This was a great opportunity for me, and I am so glad and thankful that NoiseTrade liked my music enough to want to feature me.

This lasted for exactly one week, so my last day of being featured was yesterday. You could download my new EP totally for free as long as you provided your email address and zip code. I’d say overall this was a great success. After checking this morning, my final total downloads for the past week was 762. And that’s from literally all over the world. That’s crazy! I had people from all over the country (and even one from Germany) contacting me to tell me they were enjoying the music.

This was a very humbling and kind of surreal experience for me. I’m a guy from a tiny town in North Georgia, so to know that hundreds of people all over the world were downloading my EP and enjoying it really made me happy. And I’m not at all saying that because I was making money off it or anything (I made a grand total of $3.15 in tips haha), but just because it really does make me happy to know that I made someone’s day a little bit better with my music. Awesome.

Well, that’s it for this week’s update. I’m sure there are some things I forgot to include that I’ll kick myself for later, but I try to keep this from getting too long. Until next week, then. And as always, enjoy the music. Happy [belated] Wednesday, guys and girls.

P.S. This past week I’ve been listening to an album called The Great Glass Jar by my new friend from Maine named Arlo Cristofaro. What a cool freaking name! Fantastic album, too, and I really truly am not just saying that. I urge you to listen to it, especially “Dear Sergeant Pepper.” What a beautiful song. I can really relate to it, as it’s one of those kind of nostalgic growing up kind of songs. Really tugs at my heartstrings. Anyway, I’ll stop crying on my keyboard now and give you the links to this great collection of music:

Spotify: Arlo Cristofaro – The Great Glass Jar

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-great-glass-jar/id691469219

Bandcamp: http://audiblearlo.bandcamp.com/album/the-great-glass-jar

What have you been listening to?