Bedroom to Red Rocks The Newsletter An "everyday musician's" quest to play one of the world's most beautiful venues... but to get there in one year.
Every week, I update those who are interested in this project via this newsletter.
Reply If You Want:
This newsletter is a two way street. Feel free to reply to this, and I will see your comment and reply back to you. If there is some aspect of this project that interests you that you want to hear more about (or even the opposite), I want to know! I'm hoping to provide interesting insights that can be extrapolated to many different perspectives.
Custom Song For Random Subscriber:
Every month, I'll make a custom song of some sort for one random subscriber (I'll reach out to that person separately, and I'll show the results in here).
Currently working with a few local business and other people to sponsor this newsletter, which includes fresh storytelling and content, not just logos pasted into the footer. If you want to be a part of anything along those lines — I'm all ears.
THEME of the Month:
As you'll find out below, I plan to establish a theme for each month, in which all the music and content will be rooted. It will help me focus a bit more, while also scratching my constant itch to explore, as I will then change it up the next month.
Share This With a Friend:
Feel free to share this with a friend. Reply back to me letting me know you shared it with a friend and I'll even send you both a harmonized 'thank you' video message.
February 13, 2023
WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, DUDE? (Every week's editions won't always been this long, I promise.)
I'll begin with 'the why.' It's a bold claim to I think I can go from nowhere valley to the top of musical Mt. Everest (for me that is Red Rocks), all in one year. If I love making music for the sake of making music (my family can attest, for better or worse, I basically have an instrument on me at all times), then why attach such dramatics to it all? Well, starting from the simplest explanation, this whole thing makes me flat out excited. It's a dream I've had for some time. I've come to learn, albeit slowly, that dreams cannot be taken for granted. Purpose and direction, however they manifest, are gifts. We are lucky to have them, however fleeting each wave may be. This may sound wild, but I feel compelled to do this; as if I don't really have a choice. It's this or let my soul wither and die. I'm tired of driving by mountains wishing I could see the view from the top. It's time to pull up to the trailhead and to do the work of climbing up. Two, and perhaps most importantly, the actual process of pursuing this dream involves all kinds of things I love to do and want to do more of, irrespective of actually accomplishing the end goal. I'll have to push myself to make even better music. I'll have to complete more songs. I'll have to get more feedback on my production and recording skills. I'll have to connect with other musicians to jam and for advice. I'll have to find creative musical ways to make a dime or two. I'll have to play a lot more live shows and practice a lot more. I'll have to write this newsletter consistently (writing is my other most favorite hobby, though I share it publicly much less frequently). I'll have to make creative content and learn to grow an audience. This is the real magic of this project — that the process of getting to where I want to go means doing more of the things I love and want to learn. In some ways the end goal is not really important at all. Lastly, though there is of course a healthy dose of ego involved in wanting to play a Red Rocks show, believe it or not, there is a large part of me that is just excited to maybe inspire a few other people to find courage. Are there things you love to do? I hope you can find a way to do more of them.
BRASS TACKS Let's get down to brass tacks: how am I going to get there? What's the plan? Well there are three main avenues in which I can see a path forward for this happening:
I headline in some capacity:
I get the attention of a promoter who will take on the booking costs and setup in return for a portion of expected ticket sales
I book my own show, which looks like, at minimum, would be a rental fee for Red Rocks is of at least $7,500, and costs associated with a concert — including sound, lights and security — run upward of $100,000. I'll likely interview the Red Rocks team about this process, as I think it would be fun for all to know the inside scoop.
I also envision this show as being co-headlined by a number of other local artists and creators, morphing into one elaborate production. Would be a great way to pool resources and financial support.
I get the attention of an already popular touring band and open for them at Red Rocks.
This would be the most cost effective and efficient method. I'd be honored to do this as well. No wrong answers here.
I'll keep you all updated on the above, but for now, I've identified the following mini-goals that I'll need to take action on in order for any of this to be possible. I'll be updating the numbers according to these goals each week, and tallying against them as signs of progress. It's a simple way to gamefy the goal for me with things I can actually control.
MAKE (A LOT) MORE MUSIC
I think of creativity often as a war of attrition. In order to make anything good, you have to just start making as many things as you can. You have to ignore the perfectionist in you. The critic that thinks nothing is good enough. For every 50 things you make, you might have 4-5 that are truly great.
SO, I'm marking each month with a specific theme (I've already started for this month, but will reveal what it is soon.) And then, I'm just going to make as much music (originals, covers, instrumentals, jingles) that take root from that theme.
As I move through this year, hopefully with this method I'll have a pretty wide and solid catalog to pull from as I approach other bands, promoters or collaborators for the final live show.
GET BETTER AND MORE SKILLED
I'm under no disillusion that I will need to continue to progress in order to make this happen. But I also feel that there is always a way to get better. You just have to put your attention towards those areas (which is easier said then done).
Find the gaps. In some ways, if you looked at this project like a math problem, it's quite simple. You + Skills x Experience = Red Rocks Show Opportunity. So really, I'm solving for what skills and experiences I'm lacking to get the final answer. The only way to find that out is to source feedback. I'll likely reach out to producers and other industry execs to find ways to get real feedback on my work (not that those people should be or are the gatekeepers of musical art, more so that they've often failed forward enough to know what works and what doesn't in a broad sense; many have the real experience). Once you know what's missing, it's much easier to work on it.
I have come to realize that everything you put out online via social media conveys some form of a "brand" that becomes "you," whether you like it or not. So by not trying to have any sort of brand, you actually now just have a brand that you didn't intend. A little intention is not a bad thing in this sense.
I'm planning to experiment a lot with social media. I'd rather not be so precious about it. What's working, what's not, what's something new I can try, what's something old I love, etc. I'll write about it on here a lot, I'm sure, but you can expect me to be changing up the current formats quite a bit.
My first exploration will be shorter and more "hit-style" content, with more frequency. I've been studying some other artists I like who seem to have found ways to grow while also still keeping the beating heart of their authentic brand in tact. The biggest caveat for all this is figuring out a way to do this without spending too much time on it. I think batch strategy will work nicely here. More to come on this in these newsletters.
GET CONNECTED AND COLLABORATE
My favorite thing about music is that it's this amazing form of expression. It's a form of connection between human to human that language cannot access alone.
I'm planning to continue my interview series but will potentially tweak either the content or the guest strategy based on my goals. More to come here, but I have been loving connecting with others and plan to keep it up. I even have a few more to share very soon.
I've also been dying to collaborate with other musicians more, whether in a live setting or even from a producing perspective. If that sounds like you, hit me up! I will be reaching out to others to collaborate on specific projects.
Beyond music, I hope to connect with other artists, businesses, and creatives. I think there is a lot to be gained by working together.
Streaming royalties aren't necessarily a great or reliable way for the average band or musician to make money. I'm on a mission to figure out better ways for music makers to make reliable income without having to be a household name.
I'll be writing about and even exploring different methods that others might be able to make use of, subscriptions, NFT's, Patreon, Sponsors, streaming rev splits, merch, etc. More to come here, but the goal is always to create value for the audience, just in novel ways.