The Unsigned Mind……. empty!

It’s happened to all of us and seems to be happening to me more and more. It’s that really uncomfortable moment when your brain just seems to stop working and you can’t come up with the name of someone OR something that should be very easy to recall….

Yup….. nothing there, NADA…. a complete blank!

The good news is? Well, it happens to all of us. (NO getting older jokes)

but it happens to musicians and other people that are of the creative type more often than they would like to admit. Every kind of artist suffers this at some point. Sometimes it’s called writers block. Some artist write it off as just not feeling like being creative. Others come up with interesting ways to try and get some sort of creativity to come out of their minds and be transferred to their preferred medium, be it canvas, paper, recordings or some huge block of granite that you chip away at a little at a time.

Interestingly enough, the most creative times for me, and when I do some of my best stuff is just after I wake up in the morning. Another interesting and very annoying time is in the middle of the night. I don’t know if I dream this stuff and wake up with it on my mind or if being surrounded by the darkness shuts off the sensory input and forces the brain to entertain its self. It’s just annoying that I wake up in the middle of the night with lyrics, melodies or bass lines in my head. It’s also the most inconvenient time!

That leaves me with two options. Option one is to just forget about it and go back to sleep. While that’s the easiest way out it’s not the most artistically productive. Option two is get up, write it down or record it then try to go back to sleep. The penalty for following option two is a long and tired day at work with almost no productivity and a long series of really bad decisions brought on by exhaustion.

So…. the question is…. What’s a person to do?

After thinking about this for a really long time it has finally occurred to me. There’s not a good answer. I think the right description of the problem is that I’m stuck with an unanswerable paradox. I once heard Bart Simpson describe as paradox as “damned if you do, damned it you don’t”.

I’m certain he got one thing right…. it’s the life of the damned! …lol….There sure are a lot of people that have the desire to write a book but never do and that leads up to the empty part.

This isn’t something you can set aside time at “4 pm on Friday afternoon I’m going to sit down and create something”. I guarantee when 4 pm on Friday rolls around you’re going to have one thing and one thing only. A completely empty brain. The results will be NADA, NOTHING. You will stare at a wall with a completely blank look on your face. NOTHING will happen. It’s a guaranteed thing. In fact that empty brain thing will begin to make you feel like a village idiot at approximate 4:05pm….

HEY, there’s a new song title “5 minutes to stupid”. Wish I could drop what I’m doing and work on it….

Let’s not confuse this with the times that you have a strong desire to sit down and think about nothing. Well, nothing except maybe a cold beer or a margarita in your hand.

So, the next time you see someone walking around with that totally blank look on their face please be kind and hand them a sign. Prefereably one that says “Artist in Training”.

The Unsigned Mind…… the Plan!

The best laid plans of mice and men…….

Or is that layed, or lain or …..pfffft…. someday I plan on getting someone to be an editor. Ability to spell and know grammar required……

Yeah, another plan that may or may not come to fruition…….

Musicians always have LOTs of plans. In fact you need a plan for almost everything these days. Like most days I plan to get out of bed. That plan generally goes the intended direction. On weekends I “plan” on sleeping late…. yeah, that plan rarely works out for me either….. (ok, I’m rambling here and need to get to the point.)

We’ve kind of had a plan all along. Mostly, our plan is to write and play music. We have planned to NOT be a bar band and try to stick with festivals and showcase type stuff. That plan has been pretty easy to accomplish. All we did was just not try to book any bar gigs. You don’t ask, you don’t receive….

Another plan was to record some albums. First one finished and slowly writing songs for the second. Another successful plan….

We planned to do a video. BOY now that plan worked out REALLY well…. in the process we met an awesome videographer AND we’ve managed, completely on our own, to get it onto a National TV Broadcast. Waaaaa Hooooooo! Sounds like we’re on a roll here…..

There are other plans currently in operation. Our website being able to offer merchandise for sale has mostly been accomplished. Selling a bunch of merchandise….. well, we’re still working on that one. We’ve got merchandise but it’s not really flying out the door like we would like. So….. as an ongoing critique that plan is kind of almost working as “Planned”…… stay tuned for more on that one. We need this plan to succeed in order to pay for other “plans”……

We’ve had other plans. For instance, we’ve reached out in multiple directions to find a manager to replace the one we had. The whole problem with that plan is so far no one that we would be comfortable working with has surfaced. I’ll go into some detail another time about why a manager would be a real asset to our “plan”….. lol…

So, now we’re working on a plan for New Orleans. We’ll be down there at a time that the French Quarter will be full of entertainment industry people. Record Producers, MANAGERS, Record Company A&R reps and executives, Entertainment Law Attorney’s etc etc etc…. it will also be FULL of musicians trying to get noticed by these people.

Yeah, and I’m sure everyone of them has a plan too…….. so now we’ve got battling plans going on. Geeeesh, could it get more complicated?

Now our plan has to not only include enough money to pay for this trip but it also must include doing something to stand out from the crowd of musicians trying to get noticed. I was thinking of shaving my butt and walking backwards for 3 days while in New Orleans but that began to sound dangerous and I don’t think my butt looks that good anyway. Also, don’t think I’ll have any luck trying to convince Jeana this is a great plan for her…….

So, I wonder what we CAN get away with?

We’ve approached some PR and marketing firms in the New Orleans area. This is a great plan but we would need to sell completely out of CD’s and t-shirts in order for that to happen. Let’s see…. at the rate they are currently selling we can probably PLAN on doing something in New Orleans in a few years but not next month…..

Problem is that the Cutting Edge people expect us in New Orleans next month. We PLAN on being in New Orleans next month too……. (insert emotiocon for extreme headache from thinking to much here.)

So…… are you thinking we have a plan for New Orleans? Well we’re trying……

About a year ago we came up with the idea of “Homeless Marketing”. You hand a sign with your message on it to a bunch of homeless people. Tell them that you’ll be looking for them at the end of the day and if you find them and they are still showing people the sign we would give them 50 bucks….

It’s a great plan but at 50 bucks a pop we could end up homeless pretty quick…… Not to mention that I’m pretty sure someone would begin to complain that it’s not politically correct to exploit homeless people for profit…..


We have a friend that’s an actor in LA. He specializes in playing a homeless person on TV and in movies. He would be great! BUT there’s the little problem of getting him from LA to New Orleans.

But then…. how does one get people to pay attention to homeless people. In many areas they’ve kind of become an invisible nation of people….. hmmmmmmmmm…..

So, we began to look around where we live for inspiration. Lots of dirt, a few rocks, plenty of trees and wide open hay meadows full of weeds………

Hey, wait a minute, what was that last thing……

WEEDS!…… wonder how much attention one would get if he was standing on a street corner with a sign that said FREE WEEDS! (think anyone would notice the S?)

Yeah, we’re working pretty hard to get noticed in a town that thrives on being outrageous and different while trying to market to a small group of industry professionals that are inundated by TONS of strategic outrageous and different marketing plans.

Yeah, it’s tough being a musician. We’ll let you know how the plan works out.

Got Ideas? If so we would LOVE to hear from you…….

The Unsigned Mind….. What’s it all mean?

I wasn’t sure if I should start or end this with an emotional outburst…. lol… AAARRRRGH!

I think that’s pirate speak for…. AAAARRRRRRGH! Lol…..

but seriously…. it’s complicated. I mean, the music business that continues to grow in the modern landscape. What’s making it complicated is the amount of information, and sometimes dis-information, that today’s artist is overwhelmed with.

There’s also trying to decide if you should even bother to pay attention to all this information. It’s not just information that comes in… it’s also all the outgoing information. Today’s music fan and the websites they frequent are totally content driven. The newest content appearing at the top of the page. Then we add in all these “cookies” and “algorithms” that give priority to all this content based on what these mathmatical critics determine to be the most relevant to the interest of the readers/viewers/listeners and it starts to get complicated.

But wait…. because it doesn’t end there…..

Statistics….. these little computer critics also do another interesting thing. They help other computer programs generate statistics. Stuff like, what got listened to. How many people read what. What kind of content attracts the most traffic. How many people saw the latest blog posting of “The Unsigned Mind….” yeah, stuff like that…. which begs….. is there anybody out there?…..

On one site we’ve had a song in the top 100 world wide for months. It even went as high as number 11 or something like that. So, what does that mean…..?

Well….. it means that a lot of people that visit that site listened to the song. And honestly, that’s about it. Well, that and we get bragging rights to the ranking. It hasn’t put not one single penny in our pockets though….

Over all we are overwhelmed by all this influx of statistical information. So much so that it would drive a person crazy. Not to mention the stress caused when you see a dip in the progress of all this statistical information. I mean, this crap can cause a serious anxiety attack….. if you’re interested in such things.


I could founder on numbers every day. I live to wake up and check our Reverb Nation Ranking, The Number One Music Charts, how many views our most recent Facebook post had. How many new “Likes”, our Twitter followers….. It’s just an endless nightmare of information.

Then there’s all the “linking” this stuff together so all these algorithms and cookies and websites and Google and Yahoo and Ask Jeeves and such talk to each other…… It almost makes each post take on a life of its own. Then you review all the site statistics and numbers and graphs and charts to see what people like and what they don’t so you can change how you post things…..

Heck, some of this stuff even changes based on what time you post. For instance, did you know the average life expectancy of a facebook post is only 4 hours? Yeah, me neither…. heck, some days my coffee last longer than that…… well, except that recently I’ve been informed that my days of caffeine enjoyment are OVER!….


But I guess that’s another post for another day…..

What it all boils down to is this. Musicians will do almost anything to try and get noticed. We’re an unsightly crew and we thrive on attention. Well, everyone except the beautiful lady that plays mandolin in The Captain Ledge Band……. BUT, it is just amazing all the information that the Unsigned Musician is overwhelmed with. There’s all the stuff above plus more…. for instance. For some reason the “Likes” on our facebook page skyrocketed from teenage girls in Istanbul, Turkey at one point. There were several thousand of them and it happened without explanation. You should have seen all the numbers coming in as it was happening. I got so excited that there was serious danger of soiling articles of clothing….

But ultimately it slowed down, then has begun to reverse its self. BUT it sure was exciting while it was going on. I believe that’s called an “Anomolay” in statistical terms…..

It’s also enough to make a musician even crazier…..

I’m going to finish this up with one little thought….

If you see a particular sailing musician walking around in a daze completely unaware of his surroundings….. well, be nice, he’s just trying to understand what all those numbers floating around inside his “Neurologically Poor” mind really mean…..