Why is asking what people they want such a powerful thing?

3 Things I Pondered Today 

  1. Why is asking what people they want such a powerful thing? 
  2. How does giving away your best work for free help you in the long run? 
  3. Why are grab bags so exciting? 

I’ve been working on a podcast about cassette tapes and today I posted to the board I am on asking what people wanted to hear in the topic about it. A lot of people responded and wanted to know where to find it. I shared where to find it. The podcast is super basic right now and the two episodes are kind of short. I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take on it however I know it is going to be about cassettes. Nothing to do with vinyl or cds or any other media but specifically about cassettes and if those the media types outside of cassette are brought up it’s in a historical commentary or even comparison but the bulk of the topic is tapes. 

For one I wasn’t trying to promote the podcast and didn’t put the link some people asked for it so I shared. I really wanted to know what my target audience wanted so I figured what better way to find out then to ask. It was helpful because I know exactly what they want to hear about. The difficult thing is creating a conversation about what they want to discuss. I noticed that it’s super powerful to give somebody else the mic. It’s nice to be able to take in what other people want in hopes of delivering it accordingly. 

The podcast is free and there were offers for sponsorship which I turned down. I am not creating that podcast to generate money I am creating it to build up the community and share the progress of my projects. It’s funny because I sell so much during the day but when it comes to my own work I don’t want to sell it. I almost want to give it away for free always but the cassettes and such take time and money so I end up putting a bottom line price on it. I have decided that in my new series of creating cassette mixtapes for individual cities or places. The first tape I did used public domain Soundscaping and from now one when I visit a place I commonly go to I will create the sounds myself through field recording. I already have the second city in mind which I am going to record in August while on vacation. 

I made three tapes today and dropped them at End of An Ear when I went to pick up 3 grab bag of 7” vinyl records. For a while I was doing a Mixcloud project where I would purchase 7”s at random and put them online for people to discover the random single tracks I got. Anyway when I was checking out I asked if I could leave the mixtapes there and the guy was very excitingly telling me that it would be fine. I left three and the only thing I could think of was how long it would be before they got picked up. The store closed in an hour and it was a holiday so I was super curious. 

This specific tape was relevant to Austin there were a bunch of subtle references that perhaps only people who have visited or live in Austin would catch on to. One of them for example which is my second to favorite track on the mixtape was Jeremiah and The Amphibians @ Bushy Creek which was inspired from the Hi How Are you Mural also known as Jeremiah The Innocent a famous painting near University of Texas. The mural and drawing are by Daniel Johntson a local lo-fi musician who came into popularity for his willingness to hand out his mixtapes for free to just about anybody who would grab them. It was a similar concept that I was shadowing and the subtle homage was finitely out of respect. The track itself has frogs making noice in the background of the audio. It’s so perfect for the concept. I almost want to send one to him if he had fan mail I would. 

Another thing about this mixtape is that the album art is a photo I took a place that no longer is around in Austin. The Hope Gallery was a graffiti park where people could paint on the walls which was recently torn down or closed. That picture was from Hope Gallery and I had photoshopped it to look different and mixed up. Once again there is a lot of little subtle and obscure Austin influences and references in it. 

There is something super exciting about getting a blind bag. Ironically I haven’t opened some of my last blind bags from my last 7” haul. Today I am going to open one of them and record a couple tracks to do a MixCloud upload. I might also make this into a mixtape that I will send to a person who has every single one of my released tapes. I will likely send it and wait for them to receive it before I publish to MixCloud. I think from now on my MixCloud 7” uploads will be directly put to mixtapes as part of keeping everything tape related. Should be fun.