Archive | August, 2010

Promotional Video for YouTube.

31 Aug

Here is a video we are using as an “Intro” we can say to our YouTube channel.  It’s a compilation of footage collected by the amazingly talented girls from TooMuchPanama.com in our “Home at Last Show” at La Quadra Theatre in June.

I don’t know how they managed to narrow about an hour of footage into one intense minute, but then again they are ridiculously imaginative and they pulled it off flawlessly.  If you liked this video, there’s plenty more to watch, and it’s all in their website.

For those of you who don’t know them already, they are a group of three girls who have independently created a webpage featuring videos which cover events, interviews, self-directed miniseries and clips of whatever hilarious idea pops into their heads.  Now, they are very clever and insanely creative so I must insist you check out their work.  A link to their page can be found below.

I’ll also add that they are brilliant, down to earth individuals, and loads of fun to be around.  They are always overflowing with positive energy and tons of charisma.  Often spotted wearing flashy colored sunglasses, possibly a neon wig and a video camera.

TooMuchPanama.com

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Long Distance Relationship (Part II)

20 Aug

Continued from “Long Distance Relationship (Part I)”

"PTY Beautiful Day!" by Andres E. Rivera

Implementation
Nothing is achieved solely on obtaining knowledge from reliable sources unless you apply what you learn. Implementing is taking control of your career on your own terms. The interesting part about engaging in this industry is that a lot of the stuff you read, however recent it may be, is probably outdated once you put the book down. I say interesting because this is an opportunity to analyze the current situation and tailor a plan that suits your needs. The most exciting part of this career consists on making plans and setting goals, only to watch these plans change in the face of new knowledge that is picked up. Every situation is unique and every decision is crucial.

Music
I leave this for last because it is the gasoline that fuels the fire I described above. Your music is like your birth certificate, without it, there is no record you ever existed. Our biggest accomplishment so far I believe is having finished writing all the songs for our first release. Although it might not seem like much, it is the only aspect of this career that truly fills your heart. It is the one intangible item that is yours to keep, and nobody can take that away from you. On its way via mail is the first contract we will ever sign as a band. That contract assures us that by January 7, 2011, we will be at New Noise Recording Studios in Baltimore, Maryland, recording our first ever professional grade release. Apart from feeling astonished by the idea of being there, and the impatience of waiting for that date to arrive, we see this as a challenge, given that 60% of the songs on that release we have never played together.

It will be interesting to see how the music we have managed to record throughout this time comes to life when we begin rehearsing again on May of this year. More exciting is the idea of playing live once again to our beloved Panamanian audience and seeing their reaction to our new material. So many things to look forward to while I sit on this desk, during my work shift here at Louisville…

Thank you for letting us share this excitement with you.

Recommended Readings:

• The Tour Book: How to Get Your Music on the Road, by Andy Reynolds
• The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician, by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan
• Guerilla Music Marketing Handbook: 201 Self-Promotion Ideas for Songwriters, Musicians and Bands on a Budget, by Bob Baker
• This Business of Concert Promotion and Touring, by Ray Waddell, Rich Barnet, and Jake Berry
• Tour Smart: And Break the Band, by Martin Atkins”

Long Distance Relationship (Part I)

20 Aug

On today’s entries, I’d like to share a post I made on February of this year, about 3 months before my graduation.  Gargage had been separated for the past year and month but I was filled with optimism about getting back together once I arrived…

February 12, 2010

“Hello Fellow Readers,

It’s funny how most parents think that college is that time in life where their kids learn to make sense of the world, and at the same time realize that they can’t live in a place in which childish dreams predominate. It’s also funny how I’m sitting at work here in Louisville in the last semester of my senior year and all I can think about is going back home and rehearsing all of the band’s new material.

After a year and so of being physically separated as a band, our drive and motivation is stronger than it’s ever been. During this time apart we have managed to write more music than we did during the time we were together, increase our Internet presence and put together the logistics of our marketing strategies for our debut release in 2011.

In the midst of great change, we have managed to pull through the current with our arms gripped tightly together, and this is something we are proud of, something we’d like to share. We’d like to let you in on the details of what this experience has been like, as well as portray all the effort that has been put into this long distance relationship…

Motivation
What is it that motivates you to focus your interest on figuring out how to make a living out of music? If there really was an answer to that question, the feeling would probably be artificial.
Joel describes it as a fire that burns within which needs to be fed by the feeling of playing live, creating music and making an impact on others through your music. If that fire ever went out, life would become cold and dull. When we started playing in 2007 we developed a passion to become better musicians and performers. This passion gave birth to a new breed of friendship, comparable to a brotherhood. We became a family determined to spend, if not the rest of our lives, the longest time to the best of our capacity being musicians and playing for those who enjoyed our music. Being as motivated to carry on as we were, we came across the question: How can we accomplish this lifestyle we desire so much? The search for this answer gave rise to the learning process…

The Learning Process
This is what I (and probably many) call “doing your homework”. In theory it is the easiest concept, but in practice it requires a lot of time and energy on behalf of the entire team. By team, I mean those in charge of administrating/managing/financing the band’s operations. Some bands have a record label that does this part for them, but in our case, as well as the case of most independent bands, we carry out all these tasks on our own.

Basically, this step has consisted of going over recent and current data on the music industry. This data is made up of articles that have been published, books released, interviews and any other resource that you can think of having to do with the current state of the industry, specifically your niche market. In our case, a large part of our time has been devoted to reading textbooks related to learning how to maneuver inside the industry as an independent band, books on the topics of touring, recording and producing music and

self promotion are quite essential as well. For a list of our personal recommendations, check out the bottom of this entry (meaning the next one in this case).

"PTY Beautiful Night!" by Andres E. Rivera

Continued on “Long Distance Relationship (Part II)”...

The Past.

16 Aug

Like I mentioned on my last post, we’ve been playing together for four years up to this date.  The first two years and a half can be summed up as spent doing the following activities:

Recording Demos.

-Some have been recorded by Daniel Tapia, current drummer of another Independent Panamanian band “Pepe Bahia”, in his home studio.  These are “Vinegar”, “When a Saturday Seems Like a Sunday”, “Stand Alone”, “What You Want” and “Fingers Towards the Sky”.

-The rest have been recorded on our own using our equipment.  Most of these we haven’t uploaded to any site because they lack the quality we desire.  These were recorded, we could say, for the sake of keeping our song ideas in a solid structure for when the time came to re-record these and put them into a professional-grade album.

-Having all our songs in a recorded format also carries the benefit of allowing us to rehearse our songs individually in our own time, which is crucial at this point, considering we don’t make a living off of our music (yet!) and we have other time consuming activities we have to carry out in order to make cash.

Playing Gigs

-At bars, theatres, festivals, fundraisers and the works.

-Gigs are very often organized by the bands playing that night.  Very rarely is a band privileged enough to worry only about arriving at the venue at a given time, playing their set-list and calling it a night.  Artists have to carry out the role of manager, booking agent and promoter for their band at every show.  Reason for which I believe many local bands have called it quits once they realize that being independent was not as simple as they had expected.  One thing I’ve learned throughout these years is to accept it and run with it.

Gargage @ La Quadra Theatre

Promoting

Through our Internet pages mostly (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Youtube etc…)

This entails renovating them every so often, making new friends, uploading our music, pictures, videos, keeping our information up to date, replying to messages, commenting, responding to comments made by others, updating our status and then some.  It’s not really a workload if you love what you are doing.

I should clarify that these activities were being done while all of us attended college and held jobs, some of us them full time.  We were clear about what we wanted to achieve, but we weren’t sure how.  All we knew was that money would be involved, and so saving was (and still is) a necessity.

After about two years and a half together, it was time for some of us to finish our undergraduate degrees abroad.  I travelled over to Louisville, Kentucky where I studied until I graduated in May 2010.  Ramon (Bass) went to Baltimore, Maryland and Rhandy (drums) went to Florida for flight school.  We were physically separated as a band for about a year and a half which could have been detrimental had we not been determined to keep the dream alive.

The story of our time apart will be the topic of my next post.  Happy Reading!

Introduction…

14 Aug

So why start a blog?

Plain and simple; I want to share the story of Gargage.

After playing together for four years, and of course, graduating from college and being thrown into whatever the hell this mess of life after graduation is, we realized that if we wanted to make a living off our music it was time to get serious.

As an independent band in a country where rock music is at the bottom of the food chain, we are faced with several challenges, some of which are unique to us; given our place of origin and the resources (or lack thereof) we have at our disposal.  How we intend to tackle these challenges is where the story gets interesting, hence, the birth of this blog.

Here you will find…

  • Details on how we manage to keep a “working team” mindset.
  • Personal insight on our current and future plans and how we go about developing them.
  • Personal sources of inspiration (Books, articles, blogs, music etc…)
  • Updates on performance dates, recording sessions and everything in between.

Things to look forward to reading about in this blog…

  • First and foremost, travelling to the US to record our first album in 2011!
  • The process of developing our own advertising campaigns (did I mention we are an independent band?).
  • Pre-producing the songs that will be going on our first album.

Enough said on this first post.  There are still 4 years of past trajectory to go through and I will be doing so briefly on the next one.  Oh, and it would probably be a good idea to introduce the rest of the band so be sure to stay in touch and happy reading!

Gargage Artwork. By Joel Mendez (Oh Yes Yo!)

Foreword…

12 Aug

Gargage Logo. By Joel Mendez (Oh Yes Yo!)

How can an Independent Panamanian rock band attempt to make a living by doing only what they love the most?  You probably can’t think of a definitive answer to this question, and not surprisingly, neither can we, but we’re willing to give it our all to find the answer.

Celebrate every victory; suffer every defeat and live every moment side by side as we discover what it takes to share our music and art across the globe.  Get involved.  Become a part of our story…