September is a weird time of year. After the rush of summer, it starts to become evident where exactly the year is headed. One is able to predict with near-certainty what is actually going to get accomplished and what will have to be put on the following years RESOLUTIONS list. The icing on the cake is that with 9 months passed, you start to see which goals are most important and which ones were thrown in the mix possibly during a drug-induced panic attack.
With this in mind, let’s check in to see how we are doing with the goals we set at the beginning of the year, and subsequently tightened up during quarter two.
1. Obtain $10,000 in revenue for all three bands
This simply isn’t going to happen. We haven’t played enough shows this year to even think about raising this amount of money. With that being said, shows are starting to pop up again. One major accomplishment within this goal is that we have managed to play our highest paying gigs ever during 2010.
The practice of being picky about which shows you play is probably the biggest advancement any gigging band can make. Not only does it make your shows more “valuable” in the eyes of people who actually go out to see music, it ensures that you don’t get burnt out on your own gimmicks.
In light of all the other projects and mini-projects we’ve worked on throughout the year, I’m happy with the amount of money we’ve made. Then again, I’m happy eating “Oriental-flavored” Ramen noodles as a midnight snack.
2. Finish and release The Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad’s Boneslinky!
Done and done. Boneslinky! launches in physical form on October 8th. You can nab a digital copy right now on our music page. Now here comes the fun part: promoting this great album and selling it out. Things have changed a lot since 2007. For one, our contacts list we created during the release of Die Humpin! is completely out of date. It’s crazy to think that after just 3 short years most of the writers and editors we sent stuff to have left their jobs, while lots of music magazines and newspapers have folded.
Secondly, the press isn’t really the press anymore. Blogs have come to dominate commentary on indie music. That’s a really cool yet frustrating prospect. Most of these blogs define “indie music” as sounding something like Animal Collective, The Antlers or Surfer Blood leaving little room for rock-cum-ragtime comedy songs about abortion. That’s fine (I listen to these bands as well), but hopefully we’ll be able to find some music blogs that will open up and take a risk on reviewing our music.
3. Post every week NO MATTER WHAT!
This has been possibly the biggest challenge, but also the biggest reward. We’ve been getting great comments and feedback on this blog. And we managed to lock down a gig reviewing Steven Slate FG-X (which also allowed us to master our album with this awesome piece of software). Writing for Weird Experiments in Band Marketing also forces us to take time every single week to think about the band. I like this concept alot, since bands tend to have two modes: ON and OFF. Even when we had no shows and no new products to promote, The Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad was BUSY. That’s a really cool feeling to have. Now we have shows and product, so things will only get much more hectic and hopefully even more rewarding.
4. Obtain an official endorsement from Party City
Fuck this. I don’t really no where I was coming from with this goal, and I’ve been way too busy to pursue it. I can say that we managed to get a nice endorsement from Raven Beer and over-deliver in our promotion of their great product. In fact let’s breakdown some of things we’ve done to promote this product to our fans.
a.) Organized a professional Flute Squad/Raven Beer photo shoot for press use.
b.) Placed a Raven Beer ad on the front page of this site.
c.) Featured Raven Beer in our album art and show flyers.
d.) Tied-in Raven Beer with our CD release show and as a part of Baltimore Beer Week.
e.) Promoted giveaways of Raven Beer swag on Facebook and our shows.
f.) Appeared publicly at Pigtownfest to promote Raven Beer at their tent.
Why do we do this? Well for one, it’s a really solid product that we can get behind. But also because we want to prove that when we receive an endorsement from a product we’re really going to do our best to promote the hell out of it. We’ve been talking about doing a Raven Beer jingle, but I think we’re going to wait and see how they might use it.
5. Build our Facebook fanbase
This has seemed to slow down. My prediction is that without a solid show schedule mapped out, our fanbase will remain stagnant. So it looks like the focus should be playing more shows in order to make some money and to gain more fans. Sometimes the biggest answers are the most obvious.
To see how we’ve progressed through the year, check out these posts:
Band Goals For 2010: Our initial post announcing our goals for 2010.
Reflections on Q1: Our goal progress check-in from January to March of 2010