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So indie it hurts

The internet is positively exploding with ways to get to new music. Seems that everyone’s trying to build the next hot spot for discovering new bands that nobody’s heard of yet. While I think that most of them won’t catch on, I think it’s great that people are trying so many different approaches to this whole thing, and I’m doing my best to try and get Psycliq music up into all of them.

The Sixty One is a very slick music-player-community site that I’ve just run across. I’ve started to put Psycliq songs up there, but they’ve got a one-song daily upload limit so this could take a while. Ironically, somebody already bought a copy of Results Not Typical from there, even though only ten out of the seventeen tracks have been uploaded. I kinda feel bad for that person. So, person who bought that album, if you’re reading this, just drop me a line and I’ll make sure you get the rest of your music!

Noisetrade is an interesting experiment in letting people download free music but setting out a tip jar. They limit what you can put in there, so there’s not much to speak of and most folks seem to just come for the free downloads of the latest updates.

Grooveshark is a neat little indie radio station thing, similar in concept to Last.FM. I have no idea how to extract stats from that sucker though so I have no idea if anybody’s listening. If you are listening, thank you!

I’ve got a deal in the works with Magnatune to get onto their distribution service, which will make it so that movie studios and game companies can license Psycliq tracks for their stuff. That’d be kind of awesome. They even publish under Creative Commons, which is really cool. In a bit of an odd move, they didn’t want to carry a couple of tracks, but hey. More on that whole thing once it actually goes live, and I have no idea when that’d be. Update: The Mathemagician’s Riddle is up on Magnatune right now. Other albums will be up in the next few weeks sometime.

Then there are the few distribution places that I know of but haven’t managed to break into yet, including Pandora and FiXT Music. Those would be awesome channels and would open up a whole new world of listeners, but it seems that they’re pretty picky about what gets in the door. I’m sure there are many other places out there, too, so let me know if there’s anyplace that Psycliq ought to be and isn’t.

The main music site on Bandcamp remains the official home for Psycliq music and will be the first and sometimes only place to get certain songs, like the remixes and christmas albums. And CDBaby is still one of the best places to buy physical CDs, if you’re a curmudgeon like me and still like to own atoms.

Now is a really good time to be an independent musician. There’s so much you can accomplish without the structure of the record industry. There are listeners out there that small timers could have never reached before. Unfortunately, that means that everybody else is trying to do the same thing, leading to a world of noise like none other. At least a lot of this new noise is actually pretty good in its own right.

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Psycliq you can wear

As those who have followed this blog for the past year know, I am very much a fan of print-on-demand services. They’re a fantastic lifeline for independent artists such as myself, since they don’t usually require up-front costs and they take away the need to manage inventory or reach a certain sales throughput to be useful to all involved. Late last year, I switched CD production of Results Not Typical over to CreateSpace who manufactures the CDs to order and makes them available directly through Amazon.com, where many of you like to buy your CDs. The print-on-demand model fits so well that I’m probably going to be going with them for future Psycliq albums as well.

Then a couple days ago, I ran across a site called SpreadShirt. These fine folks do on-demand manufacturing of t-shirts, bags, blankets, and other cloth-like objects. I had used CafePress in the past, and while interesting, I was never very impressed with their quality, since they use inkjet transfers to print everything. SpreadShirt, however, does both direct printing of raster graphics onto the fabric as well as vinyl printing of vector graphics. The latter category is particularly exciting as it results in a quality not unlike that which professionally screen-printed shirts would have.

As of today, I’ve got one direct-printed design available in the shiny new Psycliq SpreadShirt Store, “sound advice”, and you can see the image for it up at the top of this post. I couldn’t decide which font to use for the design, so I decided to just use all of them at once. I really like the results, but I’m even more excited about the upcoming vector-art “finest in electronics”, which you can see the proof image of here as well. One of the coolest things about the vector design is that you can completely customize it, from the color choice to the size and placement of the image. You can even add your own text to the shirt if you like!

As a bonus, you can also buy a shirt with the word “SHIRT” on it in unambiguous capital letters. That way, nobody gets confused.