Entertaining Angels

Modern and accessible rock

The Fabulous Hot Finks

Throwback rock with gutsy vocals and tasty hooks

Brent Kinseth

Intimate acoustic folk

Far Beyond Rescue

Hymns that rock

Mustard and the Works

Melodic rock

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Interview with Stetson and Cia of Songs of the Fall

Knee deep in a recent YouTube search for regional indie talent, I stumbled across Songs of the Fall. Though they currently hail from Nashville, Stetson is a former resident of Colorado. I am not normally drawn to bluegrass and country of this flavor, but their sensitive and sensible approach hooked me straight away. A far cry from the heavy-handed sounds that often populate the pop country radio channels, SOTF handle their music with kid gloves, giving dignity to each note. I was interested to know more, and Stetson and Cia graciously took time out of their busy schedules to field a few questions about their experiences with music.

SPCS Records: Where and when did your journey with music begin?

Cia: We met in 2010 through a mutual friend. I (Cia) was closing out a 12 year bluegrass career with the band Cherryholmes. Stetson had been playing the singer-songwriter circuit in Colorado and Arizona as well as guiding fly fishing and elk hunting in Colorado and Alaska. We were introduced by the engineer at Skaggs Place Studios.

SPCS Records: What musical styles or concepts keep you going on your journey?

Stetson: We both enjoy a lot of old country, bluegrass, and roots music. As writers, we try to keep it as genuine and real to life as possible. We chose the name, "Songs of the Fall," because we write a lot about the falls we go through in life. Whether falling in and out of love, on hard times or temptations, life is about the fall and how we deal with it and grow.

SPCS Records: What has been your favorite venue to play thus far? Why does it stand out?

Cia: We had the honor of playing several awesome venues this year like the Highline Ballroom in NYC, The Varsity Theatre in Minneapolis., and The Paramount Theatre in Bristol as the supporting act for Crowder. If we had to pick a favorite, it would probably be Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa. The history and atmosphere there are amazing!

SPCS Records: Often times, our culture of celebrity skews the expectations of young artists. Have there been any surprises for you in the music industry so far? If so, what has been the biggest?

Cia: We have found it to be disappointing that so much of the industry seems to be money and image driven, as opposed to it being just truly about the music.

SPCS Records: What does "success" in the music industry look like for you personally?

Stetson: I think that people enjoying and connecting with our music and us making enough money to pay our bills is a success all in itself. Because so many people think that if you don't "hit it big," you aren't successful. If we can continue to get up on stage and play our music and continue to write our own music, there's a sense of satisfaction and success in that.

SPCS Records: Stetson, Cia, thank you for your time today.

Stetson and Cia's latest endeavors can be seen and heard here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Examining Business Strategy as an Independent Creative Professional

In a revolutionary age of digital everything, contemporary artists are fed advice from every angle until the cacophony of noise is nearly too much to bear. Social media platforms rise and fall and seemingly each new day brings with it a shiny sparkling best practice to consider. Distilling the static has proven to be too much for many musicians I rub shoulders with and the creative community has become even more polarized with a growing divide between rabid early adopters and disenfranchised pessimists.

In 2012, an event was created to assist the creative community in innovative ways to stay agile and profitable in the volatile online marketplace. XOXO, the brainchild of Andy Baio and Andy McMillan, is still in its infant stages, but is already drawing notable players such as  Dropbox, Etsy, and Squarespace.

At this year's conference, Jack Conte of Pomplamoose was one of the keynote speakers. His candid lecture on his creative endeavors, the trappings of success, and the shift in online marketing is very relevant and well-informed. The delivery is signature tongue-in-cheek Jack, but the message is very insightful and patently applicable to the independent working artist.

It is not our usual form to feature videos in the tens of minutes in length, but this issue is of such financial urgency and so rooted in the issues of creative identity that we couldn't help but share.

—A.Hunt, SPCS Records