Viggo and I just finished our first venture into the world of vinyl. This is a compilation of tracks remastered from other releases for vinyl. There is one original track just for this release. Mostly Viggo on solo piano but Buckethead and I play on a few tracks. There are just a few hundred of these pressed and as Viggo likes to do, will probably not be repressed. Just a guess on my part but like "One Less Thing To Worry About" this will probably be a collectors item. Pressed on high quality vinyl, 17 songs, double LP set. More information here: http://travisdickersonmusic.com/shop/#!/Viggo-Mortensen-double-vinyl-LP-Seventeen-Odd-Songs/p/68031187/category=818120.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The website has been given a facelift. I've been here almost 25 years and I wanted to organize the mess I left after years of mucking with this site. I've added some personal recollections and details as I remembered them. I tried to tie a bunch broken links back together and added more downloads to Bandcamp and made those links part of the store. The whole Vince DiCola catalog is there now. So no separate download section. If you see anything I've missed and I'm sure there is a bit, let me know. I'm still adding so more to come.
We did this video more as a document of making a record rather then just filming a live performance in studio. The basic track and solos are all live, then we did overdubs for the vocals, acoustic guitar, organ and added and introduction.
Happy Holidays to every one. I know it's been quiet here recently but I have had a busy year and a fun one. I'm looking forward to the new year and hope to get back to finishing projects half done and playing with the video set up here a lot more. So to everyone good cheer, hope your enjoying the holidays and having as much fun a I am.
One of my favorite artists died today. An important artist and trail blazer. Unafraid, bold, pioneering. He was an important part of my influences. The importance of not being to polished, something he made an art form. He, like Dylan and Neil Young had all the tools for great songwriting with innate ability personified a time when music and art triumphed polish and commerce. I'm off to listen to Loaded and Transformer...........
We installed a bunch of HD cameras and lights into the studio recently. Last week Lindy, Paul, DJ and I went in and gave it a work out. We did two songs from The Owl Dives Through The Crescent Moon. This one is Came to Rest. I'll post the next one soon. Hope it's the first of many performances I'll post to my Youtube channel.