Friday, January 11, 2008

Amplifier, the second coming...

The release of my second full-length solo album came at a semi-inopportune time. I didn't really know it then, but it has proven true. This was not at all a bad thing as far as the rest of my life goes (every morning I wake up in a 1955 mid-century modern house on a hill in Colorado to 180 degrees of mountains --it rules!), but it did short-change any promotion, and thus attention, that the album might have otherwise received.

Amplifier was released on February 6 (one of those appropriate "new music" Tuesdays), in 2007. We did a short run, which means a much, much higher cost per album for us. In 2004, when we released the debut DB3 album ...Straight On Till Morning we did a full pressing of 1,000. Shortly thereafter, Erika and I moved to Illinois, so DB3 in its Columbus incarnation sort of dissipated. This meant no more pushing the album at shows (the best way, almost only way, for an indie band to move merchandise), and a major surplus of product. This made me really gun-shy when making decisions about what to do with pressing the next album.

Amplifier had been made completely by myself over a number of years. I had pieced everything together, written, performed and recorded everything on the album, and made all the decisions. While this allowed me to end up with an album that was almost exactly how I wanted it, it also meant there was no band, as it were, and thus not a lot of touring and shows to push the forthcoming album. I didn't want to get stuck with thousands of dollars of unsold product, so we decided to do a first run of only 100.

That summer I did end up putting together a wonderful little group of people (Gordon Kay on drums, Talia Dicker on cello, and Dave Ward on misc. percussion, backing vox, "Barbara" the accordian and those golden clapping hands). We did some shows around central Illinois, and during those few months we sold every last copy of the first run.

However, only having 100 copies meant that we had to be pretty stingy with them, as we really needed to have them to sell at all the shows. I didn't get to send them off to every indie-radio program and music blog that caught my eye, and I certainly didn't get to send them off to all my friends. This meant that the only people that really knew about the album were close friends who supported the music by buying the album and the smattering of people who had bought the album after seeing us perform live.

Enter 2008.

We are currently getting ready to do another pressing of Amplifier, this time of 1,000. The cover is a book-fold CD envelope format. The cardstock is at least 10% post-consumer waste and will be printed with 100% non-toxic, biodegradable vegetable dyes with a matte UV coating. Not only is it earth-happy, but it's a look that works really well with the "weathered-paper and burn" aesthetic of the album.

The new run will also contain a semi-hidden instrumental track that was left off the original pressing. The song is sort of a coda to "Kandahar" and an introduction to the the musical tone of the forthcoming Cats or Cars album (slated for release in the summer or fall of 2008... unless I get really ambitious and release it sooner).

This run will also allow us to send the album off to blogs and music sites for promotion, something that was not afforded by the limited number and high cost of the last run. Of course, simply "sending them off" won't garner us all the attention we need, so if you hear the album or read a review online and can do your part to comment, review, call, whatever it takes to help make Amplifier more visible... your efforts will go a long way and we really appreciate it.

The greatest tool of the indie musician is the people who listen to the music.

So hopefully now that I'm settled in to the new digs, we can get this ball rolling again. I'm setting up shows around Denver and Boulder, and I've got my eyes peeled for a cellist and a drummer. Now comes the work, the fun, of playing the music again, and getting the tunes into the heads of people all over the world.



Michael said...

let me know when its in. I want one.

Unknown said...
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La Tete said...


so happy to hear that the music continues...and sad that i'm not there to continue it with you.

- he of the golden hands

Troy said...

Kick @$$! Glad to know that Amplifier will be back out there for people to enjoy. I'm jonesing for a DB3 / Dan Beahm / Cats or Cars show!!! Any plans on heading back to Columbus soon? It's been too long.