OnlineRock Blog

09 June 2009

Creating a Video Without Having a Video

If you're like most artists these days, having a video seems like a great idea. You could post it on your website or MySpace page and use YouTube to help spread it around creating more visibility. The trouble is that creating a video in the past has been time consuming and sometimes costly. In addition, you'll want to make sure it leaves a good impression on the viewer. A poor quality video, both in musical performance and video quality can do more harm than good if not presented properly.

We probably all have friends with hand-held video cameras that try to capture some of our shows and rehearsals. And most likely we have a lot of still shots from tours, practices and just hanging out. That was the case with my band Needle but we still wanted to have a video that we would be happy with. As a quick way to put something together, I assembled these stills using iMovie on the Mac. You could also use Movie Maker if you're using Windows. By combining the still shots, using transitions and fades backed up with a track from our CD, we were able to create a decent video. Check it out:

07 June 2009

Are You Listening?

A few weeks ago I went to see the Winterpills perform at CafĂ© Du Nord in San Francisco. The setting was perfect, the acoustics were great, and their sound was really dialed in. One problem, though. Some blabbermouth behind me kept telling his friends what a bad day he had, “And then my stupid idiot boss told me…” Great. That’s not what I just paid almost $20 to hear.

Call me crazy, but when I venture out for an evening of live music it’s generally with the intent of being entertained by musicians on stage, not to talk louder than the band is playing and spill the latest inner-circle gossip to a room full of strangers. Sure, I like catching up with friends and cohorts, but I can wait until a set break to do so. And if for some reason a conversation can’t wait, I’ll head to the back of the room so as not to annoy others.

A wise trend among clubs these days is helping alleviate this problem. They’re creating distinctly separate areas, out of earshot of the club’s bar area, where artists can perform in surroundings where sound and music are featured front and center. Some venues successfully employing this approach are The Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco, and Piano’s in New York City. Other venues are taking things a step further. Lestat’s in San Diego and The Space in New Haven, CT, for instance. They’ve created dedicated listening rooms, where no food and drink are served, and all eyes and ears are and tuned to the musicians on stage. Such rooms are great for both performers and serious music lovers alike. I’m hoping more bars and clubs that regularly offer live music soon follow suit.