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Messages - Travis

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16
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Re: Axiology Repress?
« on: May 01, 2015, 04:15:58 PM »
I think it's safe to say all my efforts to prolong the viability of tangible media here have been unsuccessful. No one is less shocked then me. Over the last several years the popularity of CDs diminished to now non-existent. As the poll here would indicate there are about 50 dedicated collectors and supporters that continue to invest in collecting, but thats just not enough.

My attempt to tease a little more out of the last Thanatopsis recordings was a gamble on my part that enough folks would come out of the woodwork to enable to pay for the Requiem CD, re-press Axiology and look at vinyl. And, had this been 2008 that would have been no problem. As it is, I still haven't accomplished the first goal.

Really the problem is much more serious than just tangible product. Even the download sales have become rare. The world has gone to streaming and frankly sharing. There is no money for artists in either of those models. in 10 years what looked like a opportunity for independent artists to profit from their music on the internet through direct sales and social media with out the need for major record companies has been soundly defeated. Ironically and not surprisingly as thats the way power works, by the same corporations that have always controlled art and any profit to be made. CD sales industry wide are down, digital downloads are down and as these articles you read about music sales always say, the bright spot is vinyl sales are up 35 percent. What they always fail to show is it's 35 percent of nothing compared to all other media.

Whats left of the big record companies now is three corporations. Gone are the record moguls that although ruthless where still music fans. Now its all just business people. These companies have been investing in streaming. They have been buying up small streaming start ups and leveraging music rights and rates with streamers they can't own. The revenue streams are diverted through sweetheart deals and as usual independents get the short end of the stick. Artists typically see about .0007 per stream. Even if your selling huge numbers, thats nothing. What about Bandcamp and Tunecore? Really I think these are just predator ventures that promote the music dream to artists pooling as many as they can and take a pretty health chuck of what is really small sales from a lot of artists. I was really shocked to see Thanatopsis Requiem at number 18 of download sales for the week it was released on Bandcamp. Shocked because it sold 20 downloads, do the math.

In short, streaming belongs to the big corporations . Steaming is the future of music delivery. Streaming will be in direct competition to sharing. For Streaming to really work, a sweet spot of universal music availability and price will have to be reached. Corporations have a tendency to be greedy. Here now, sharing wins. Unfortunately in either case artists lose.

In a perfect world, a streaming service that offers any music you want at high quality on demand for around $50 per year with a fair price paid to the artist might, just might have a prayer of competing with file sharing.

Without going into the whole copyrights thing with file sharing. Thats a whole other side of the spectrum, ISPs and how big media really makes money. I'm more interested in legal streaming and fair payment both by record companies and directly to independent artists.

Now, it's a nice day to make music, I think I'll go gardening.

17
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Re: Thanatopsis "Requiem"
« on: April 22, 2015, 01:53:52 PM »
You should have received it by now. Also, it's concerning I didn't get an email from you, did you try the tdrs@  address?  Give a me an hour and I'll dig up your invoice and email address and see if we can make email contact. I'll send you another copy of the CD and email you a download code for the CD so you can at least hear it.

Anyone else who hasen't received Requiem should have. Contact me and I'll track your order and send you a download code.

Also, if anyone else has problems with my email address, try the contact tab and use the email script there.

Update, bigbi, i just got an email from you. Give me a few and i'll get you fixed up.


18
I have done some homework regarding the new USPS rates and how I might be able to lower the international shipping charges for CD's. I checked out a lot of retailers, Amazon, ebay and a bunch of small music online retailers to see how everyone was handling the new USPS mega rate increase for international shipping. Well they are all hurting from this and there are a lot of different approaches. I learned a lot about all the first class mail rates. Letter, flat, machinable, non-machinable and a truly mind numbing situation where a certain post office will treat mail one way and another completely differently. I have been shipping first class package rate. I do that to prevent damage and because the weight of a typical CD forces you into that category. That rate jumped over 60 percent and is just ridiculous.

An interesting read about a lawsuit resulting from Netflix being treated differently then anyone else caused a new rule for sending DVD and CDs as first class letters not packages.
So what some retailers are doing is shipping CDs that were originally in jewel cases with out the case like Netflix. Just the disc and the art. There is some danger of more damage but they have been having good luck with it and it does save on shipping. With a little better packaging and paying a higher non-machine rate risk of damage is reduced.

What a lot of retailers are doing is just that. Your CD is sent without a case. A CD in a wallet or digipak if the packaging is light enough will just make the weight if marked non-machinable as well.

So. I'm going to try this. The post office may shoot me down as well but I want to try.

From now on, if you order a CD internationally that came in a jewel case I'm going to remove the case and send the disc with just the art and CD. I've run numbers and as always it an average price that has to work for a lot of different situations. You may pay more for actual shipping to supplement those that pay less than actual shipping. But overall it will be a big savings from the rate we did have.

For international orders of one CD it's $8.00, order two it's $14.00 and $4.00 for every CD after till you reach 17 and then it's a flat rate after that ( not that thats much of a concern for most). Check out the complete details at the shipping FAQ here:
http://www.travisdickersonmusic.com/hesk/knowledgebase.php?article=12

Domestic order charges are remaining the same.

International shipping has never been more than 15 percent of what we sell. So my incentive is not really to increase sales, I don't think thats going to happen. I really just want the option to be as affordable as it can be to those that want to buy CDs.

Now, I'm aware that we just sold the Thanatopsis CD to several folks that could have saved some money had this been implemented sooner. Unfortunately, that money went to the USPS for services rendered. What I would like to do though is compensate those international buyers with a coupon to be used on any order they might make next.  About 20 international sales of Requiem where made. I have set up a coupon in the shopping cart for those that purchased one.

In the shopping card there is a button to add a coupon. If you enter the invoice number for your Requiem order you will get $8.00 off any order. Your invoice numbers "ship to" address has to match the one your using for you new order. If anyone has difficulty using it, let me know.

Sorry, but thats the best I can do to try to even things out. I'm still looking into other shopping carts and ways to make ordering and shipping more flexible. I am somewhat limited in my incentive as CD sale are really coming to a close but I'll keep after it.

19
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Re: Thanatopsis "Requiem"
« on: April 19, 2015, 05:01:29 PM »
Thanatopsis hasen't made a new record since 2006. There are lots of reasons. Buckethead only works on his own stuff now and Ramy moved away from LA years ago.

20
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Re: Thanatopsis "Requiem"
« on: April 17, 2015, 07:52:45 PM »
The download of Requiem is now available here:

https://tdrsmusic.bandcamp.com/album/requiem

at Bandcamp and full CD preview as well. It's been submitted to iTunes as well and will take a few days to see it there.

I waited a bit because I wanted The CD buyers to have an exclusive listen and hope to improve CD sales.

My hand was forced bit and I'm not surprised but within two days of shipping the CD a Google search of "Thanatopsis Requiem" yields pages of free high quality torrent downloads and someone posted it to Youtube. Kind of amazing since fewer than 100 people have purchased the CD. This all goes to reinforce the fact that there is no demand for CD's. Obviously the music is in demand or it wouldn't be available on hundreds of sites world wide. As a small label thats really a problem, absolutely no way to create revenue with music. So, it looks like the plan to continue the physical catalog is probably not going to work out.

I am happy that it was received well and I really did enjoy making it. Also, I want to thank those that did buy the CD. I have known a lot of you for years. I know you didn't need to buy it but did anyway as a show of support as you always have and as I always have, I appreciate it.

There is still catalog here. I'm going to try to address the international shipping costs issue. Probably by shipping jewel case CD's internationally with disc and art only. And try to use shipping containers that will qualify as first class letters not packages.   I hope to make the cost of international shipping less of a problem. I'll still researching but I'll start another post for that subject.

I've said this before but it's even more true now. If your a collector of CDs and you don't have a copy of one of our catalog CDs this is the time to get them. First to go will be the first Thanatopsis CD. Then Dragons of Eden. Almost all the Bucketheadland CDs here are almost gone, with Inbred Mt. and Albino Slug being the first to go.

I imagine from here out it will be all download only as it is for most other labels. There were more downloads sold that CDs last year for the first time. There are new copyrights laws being worked on in congress right now. Also there is now new pressure for the big internet services providers to police what they allow to be downloaded in terms of copyrighted material. There are some new laws just going into effect that will help artists who got screwed out of their copyrights in the past by labels and publishers.

There does seem to be a bit of a tipping point being reached and so I'm not completely discouraged and have some hope that the complete destruction of the music market is a temporary result of the revolution to all things digital in the 21st century.

21
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Re: Thanatopsis "Requiem"
« on: April 11, 2015, 08:39:11 PM »

Khaneda,

I learned something about glossy CD covers….there is no kind of ink that will stick to them. I tried the good old sharpie but my name just beaded up and ran off the CD. In desperation I grabbed a razor blade and scratched my sig into the cover. Fortunately I thought it looked cool but was a little concerned that somebody would think I totally trashed their CD so thanks for the feedback.

Sportee,

Thanks for the kind words. When I first listened to the tracks that became this CD I thought hey there is some cool stuff left behind and then I thought, how in the F am I going to make anything out of the crumbs from under the sofa cushion I just lifted up. Really, there wasn't much there. There were just the outlines of things with one or two passes from Ramy and Buckethead and sometimes not even that. Some of it is just made from whole cloth. It became a "fun" challenge. I had fun recording new keys. I didn't have my Yamaha concert grand back then so I rerecorded a lot of piano and added a lot and really love the sound of it. I worked for a month everyday recording new keys editing and swearing a lot but I just kept after it. Before on the Thanatopsis CDs I did as little bass keys as I could and left it low in the mix. I just wanted to fill in the bottom but not do anything that stood out too much. This time I used my Prophet and I really spent some time crafting the bass and I really enjoyed it so I mixed it up. Anyway I probably have said too much, it is what it is and it really doesn't matter how it got that way, only to me.

Gackt,

Thanks, I really appreciate the feedback and kind words.

My whole incentive for doing it was to see if I could raise the capitol to keep the Thanatopsis catalog alive. It looks like there is so little interest in CD's now I will be lucky if I can recoup the pressing costs of this CD. However, I really did enjoy the process and I did call it Requiem for a reason. But I'm glad to hear your positive feedback and give me some hope the word will get around and maybe I can pull off one or two of the things I had hoped to eventually. So spread the word.

22
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Re: Thanatopsis "Requiem"
« on: April 11, 2015, 03:23:55 AM »
Thanks guys. Glad to see they're finally arriving.

23
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Re: Thanatopsis "Requiem"
« on: April 08, 2015, 03:28:19 PM »
Track Titles:

1. Introit
2. La Calavera Catrina
3. Resurrection
4. Veneration
5. Hypnos and Thanatos
6. Offering
7. Critical Mass

24
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Re: Thanatopsis "Requiem"
« on: April 07, 2015, 09:20:00 PM »
All pre-order have now shipped as of today.

25
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Re: Thanatopsis "Requiem"
« on: March 28, 2015, 04:27:52 PM »
No, just means I went a head and ordered the pressing before the pre-sales covered the cost. Will probably ship mid April.

26
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Re: Thanatopsis "Requiem"
« on: March 27, 2015, 03:37:28 PM »
Still trying to cover the pressing. I've gone ahead and had them done. With a little luck it will get covered. We'll see about the rest and give it some time.

27
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Re: Thanatopsis "Requiem"
« on: March 20, 2015, 05:08:28 PM »
As far as the postal rates go, we ship first class or priority mail that is basically "airmail". Outside of customs delays it's a week or less delivery times. Other options for economy shipping are by ground or boat and can take months. I haven't wanted to do that because I would be dealing with a lot of "is my order lost" questions. First class offers a tracking option.

I think this is related to the end of CDs in that really, it just doesn't make a lot of sense as a delivery method for music, given the cost of delivery and production. So, really it appeals only to collectors interested in tangible goods. Unfortunately a premium  has to be paid for that. I think if I offered this CD to international buyers as a collectors item, limited in number of an item that would not exist at any other price, that supports the artist directly for $30.00 free shipping you would have to mull over the merits of that as a collector. It might well be we have reached the point were there are not enough collectors to support it and thus CDs will cease to be produced….making them collectors items.

28
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Re: Thanatopsis "Requiem"
« on: March 19, 2015, 06:38:40 PM »
I feel for you international buyers. The US post office raised the international rate 60 percent two years ago. The stamp on a international first class CD package is $13. The rest covers the packaging and incedentals. Thats just what it costs. This did not help the state of CD sales any either, making downloading much more attractive.  I'm looking into a shopping cart software that will allow a more flexible shipping rate then the one charge for all internationl customers the software we have now does ( paticularly not fair to Canadians) like snail mail media rates. But CD sales are so low now it has not been worth the massive headache and expence rewritting the shop would entail. I wish i could say at least your conrtibution is to the good cause of indepenendt music but unfortunatly it's just contributing to the P.O.

29
TDRS artists, music and related topics / Thanatopsis "Requiem"
« on: March 17, 2015, 04:36:01 PM »


Update! Now available for pre-order here:
http://travisdickersonmusic.com/shop/#!/Thanatopsis-Requiem-pre-order/p/48327127/category=813535

Allow 6 weeks for shipping but it could be much less.

What started out as another "When will Axiology be repressed?" question, and the vinyl release option, got me thinking about the Thanatopsis CD's and CD's in general. As has been talked about here many times, CDs have reached the end of their usefulness, at least as far as independent and alternative music releases go. Still, I hate to see these and any of my catalog go out of print. The problem comes after the first pressing sells out the market is saturated and it's ones and two's at a time after that, there is no economic incentive to repress.
So, they are left as download only. Still there is always somebody asking for the CD.

I was looking into remixing Axiology for vinyl and opened some hard drives I hadn't loaded for 10 years and was quite amazed at what I found. Thanatopsis projects were never recorded in the conventional sense, start to finish each CD as a whole. They were always multiple ideas that started out a bits and pieces and fleshed out over time till I had a sense they were done. Then when there were enough to release a CD, I pressed one. What I found was a bunch of tracks in various states of completion left behind. I thought I had used the last of these Thanatopsis tracks on "Left Hanging".  But when I started opening the files and listening I was really enjoying the vibe and performances that were left behind. So I started messing with them. I was a real nostalgic trip. I time traveled back 10 to 15 years and got into it as I always did. It was fun and I very much like what came of it. There is the unmistakable sound of Thanatopsis, you can hear Axiology and Anatomize and even a little Dragons of Eden as the tracks go forward in time. I ended up with about 7 tracks, about 40 minutes of music.

So, here's my idea. It used to be that a Thanatopsis CDs would sell around 400 copies in the first few months of release. I have no idea what the demand would be now. I want to use the sales of this CD to save the others. If I can sell 100, I'll pay for the pressing. If I can sell 200, I'll repress Axiology. If I can sell 300, I'll press the Axiology vinyl. If that generates any more sales then I will repress the first Thanatopsis CD since there is just a handful left in stock. That will insure there will be Thahatopsis CDs available for at least the rest of my life.

So, I will probably offer a pre-sale of the new Thanatopsis with about a 6 week time frame to ship. I may put a track up to listen to but I'm undecided, it might be fun to just drop the whole thing. I'll add a track listing and pre-order information here as soon as I get things lined up for pressing. I'm still mulling it over and I'll listen to any feedback or ideas concerning any of this.

30
TDRS artists, music and related topics / cleaning up
« on: March 01, 2015, 05:19:05 PM »
I will probably start merging Pikes announcements to the topic Buckethead Pikes just to tidy up the board. You don't necessarily have to post an announcement there but eventually I'll move them just to clean things up.

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