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September 23, 2015

Another Reason to Choose the SM58 Over the SM48

At almost half the cost, the Shure SM48 may seem like an attractive alternative to the Shure SM58. While the SM48 shares very similar specifications, the SM58 boasts industry best build quality, and, as I discovered, the SM48 may cost you more down the road.

Both mics come equipped with a protective grill designed to crumple and protect the element. Gigging musicians will eventually dent these screens. and they meant to be replaced.

The SM48’s grill currently retails for around $30 more than the SM58’s grill. While you may save some money up front, you will likely spend more in the lifetime of the SM48.

 
 
September 2, 2015

Five Tips for Playing An Outdoor Festival on an Extremely Hot Day

Outdoor concerts are a fun experience for both bands and audiences. Outdoor venues, however, raise their own challenges. Extreme heat is one of them.

Here are our five takeaways from playing in 90+ degree heat earlier this summer.

1. Keep Gear in the Shade

Plan ahead, don’t expect the venue to provide shaded storage for your gear. Guitars left in the sun will face constant tuning issues. Metal gear may become dangerously hot to the touch. Most worrying of all is the potential heat-related failure of amplifiers, the PA, or other essential electronics.

2. Use Tuners With Daylight-Visible Displays

Since you’ll be tuning often — likely under bright conditions — be certain that your tuner’s display is visible under bright daytime conditions.

3. Stay Hydrated

In extreme heat conditions, it’s important to proactively hydrate. Remember, if you’re feeling thirsty, then you’re already dehydrated.

4. Prepare to Sweat

Bring extra towels and bandannas to wipe sweat from your hands, brow, and strings. Drummers should consider additional stick wax, and guitar players should consider strings with higher friction.

PRO TIP FROM SWEDBERG GROVE “Black guitars may radiate more heat than white guitars; guitars made of ice may be best for first set (before guitar melts)”

5. Empathize With the Audience

If you’re hot, the audience is hot too. Use this as an opportunity to connect, and make it a memorable part of the show.

Llamas

We’ll be playing outdoors at the Hamley Steakhouse in Pendleton, Oregon this Saturday (9/5/15) at 6 PM (where a chance of rain is in the forecast).

 
 
May 7, 2015

Choosing Our Digital Distribution Partner

When we released our new EP last July, I was hesitant to jump on the iTunes/Spotify bandwagon. Not only is digital distribution a bit of a buzzkill for anyone who prefers analog formats, but most of the models just didn’t fit our needs.

The Regular Players Weren’t Right for Us

If you’ve done any research on the subject, you’ll find that CD Baby and Tunecore are the most recognized brand names. Neither product seemed like a good deal.

Tunecore charges $49.99/year to keep your music online (after a low introductory-offer). This basically ensures that once sales of album fall below a certain number, it doesn’t make financial sense to keep the music available online.

CD Baby charges a $59 one-time fee to distribute an album. While this feels like a better deal than Tunecore — since the music is available in perpetuity — sixty bucks is enough to make you think twice about what to distribute and when.

A Better Model?

In the end, I decided to use Distrokid. For $19.99/year, we can distribute unlimited tracks to all the major retailers. Even if we released something every other year, we’d still be ahead of CD Baby’s more expensive model.

Distrokid’s list of retailers is significantly shorter than the competition, but frankly, I’ve never heard of any of the hundreds of other partners listed on the competition’s marketing materials.

High Plains Drifter EP Now Available at Your Favorite Digital Music Store

Previously only available at our online store, and at live performances, you can now download or stream our album from:

 
 
October 6, 2014

Why Open Mics Matter

How can talented songwriters build a following that they can build upon in a world of heavily marketed pop music?

While many potential venues would love to support aspiring artists, many venues who just can’t compete with established venues and their national acts.

Open mics provide an opportunity to reach a broader audience, while allowing small venues to draw a regular crowd.

I’ll be hosting an open mic at Papa’s Mexican Grill in Everett on Saturday, October 18th. Our goal is to bring more diverse elements to Everett’s burgeoning music scene. We could use your support, and hope to see you there.

 
 
August 17, 2014

Thank You Wyoming and Oregon

We’ve been back for a week, and before it gets on too long, I wanted express how much we appreciated the hospitality and support from the people in both Wyoming and Eastern Oregon. A special thanks to the Coal Creek Coffee House for hosting an impromptu concert in Laramie.

In addition, thanks to the Gillette Brewing Company for the two growlers, and Hamley Steakhouse for the amazing steak meal.

 
 

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