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My Beautiful Streaming Pie Chart, And The Ugly Reality Underneath 

I recently asked the subscribers on my mailing list what service they use to stream music.  I thought this would be valuable data, that would get me one step closer to my ultimate goal:  taking over the world.  Here's what they said.

YouTube - 26%  The majority of the survey participants picked YouTube.  I'm sure Google makes plenty of money off of the platform, but i do not.  The latest data claims YouTube pays around $0.00069 per stream (if they pay at all).  My best guess is that I've made less than $2 from them in my lifetime.  It's not even worth the effort to look up the real number.  If you ever wondered why I don't make music videos anymore, this should explain it.

Spotify - 23%  Next up was Spotify, which happens to be my streaming platform of choice.  They only pay around $0.00437 per stream, but I make enough money from them to pay for my own premium subscription.  So that's a win, right?

None - 19%  This surprised me.  With the prevalence of smartphones, high speed internet, and free streaming options, I would have thought that everybody at least dabbles in streaming.  I don't get it.

Something Else - 13%  I reached out directly to anyone who gave this answer to find out what they were using.  A few people mentioned Bandcamp or Noisetrade.  But most of the people just didn't write me back.  :(

Apple Music - 11%  I've tried Apple Music, but I didn't like it as much as Spotify.  Plus, other than a limited trial, they don't have a free streaming option.  My music is starting to get some traction there, but it's nothing compared to Spotify.  They pay $0.00735 per stream.

Pandora - 4%  I go back and forth on Pandora.  They've got some cool (and free) tools artists can use to promote themselves.  But they don't always work.  And they've got their fancy music genome project algorithm that does magical things.  But it doesn't always work.  They pay $0.00133 per stream from their "Premium" listeners (not sure how much from free accounts).  I don't make much money there, but I like being potentially discoverable by their algorithms.

Amazon - 4%  This is another one that doesn't offer a free streaming option, other than a trial period, so I've never really bothered with it.  A penny probably trickles in every once in a while, but that's not going to send my kids to college.  They pay $0.00402 per stream.

The Absolute Losers  The other options in the survey that nobody picked were Deezer, Google Music, TIDAL, and Napster.  Apparently, nobody I know uses any of those.  I don't either.

So what have we learned with all of this valuable data?  I don't know.  That I'm screwed, and will never make any real money off of my music?  I kind of knew that already.

Left Bank Magazine: Rainbow Lasers 

Thank you to Andy John Mendosa from Brooklyn's Left Bank Magazine for reviewing "Rainbow Lasers."  Here's what he had to say:

North Carolina’s Velcro Mary have released their self-described “disco meets hair metal” track, “Rainbow Lasers.” Instrumentally, the song features sopping wet, late-90s hacker-synths, subtle, low-mixed vocals with whimsical, surrealist lyricism, twirling together over a nice house beat. 

At about 1:36, “Rainbow Lasers” changes drastically into a pounding, distorted guitar heavy, power-pop chorus, singing the song’s title with driving hair metal energy. The band was right when they described the track as having an “M. Night Shyamalan twist”; it comes very suddenly and unexpectedly, but it’s not jarring in a bad way. The song has a unique tongue-in-cheek nature to it that is funny, while, at the same time, not crossing any lines into a place of pure parody or satire. Its whim feels sincerely goofy and in the pursuit of a good musical time, not just for laughs.

Read the full article at https://leftbankmag.com/2019/01/25/sounds-velcro-mary-rainbow-lasers/

Mary Christmas 2018 

 

December is here, and with it comes another Velcro Mary Christmas single.  This year I've covered the holiday standard, "Up On The Housetop."  Additionally, all of my Xmas singles have been added to the Official Velcro Mary Playlist this month, so enjoy them there if you feel so inclined.  Happy songs about Santa Claus aren't your thing?  I get it.  Don't worry--there's darker stuff on the horizon coming in 2019.  Until then, I wish you all the best no matter what you are or aren't celebrating.

Flight Risk 

"Flight Risk" is another song recorded with my 3-string fretless cigar box guitar.  This time I plugged it in for a dirtier tone.  I added some percussive flavor to the song with an instrument called the vibraslap, which is designed to sound like teeth rattling in the loose sockets of a horse's jawbone.  Seriously.  You've heard it before in songs like "Sweet Emotion" by Aerosmith, and just about every song that Cake ever recorded.  It looks like this:

 

 

 

Love Letter On A Dollar Bill 

Regarding gratuity, if you order a drink at a bar in the United States, etiquette dictates that you should tip the bartender at least $1.  The bartender is already paid to be there, though usually less than minimum wage.  For a task that may be as simple as popping the cap off of a bottle of beer, or pouring liquid into a cup, we as a society have decided that they deserve an extra dollar, and hand it over without much thought.

Meanwhile, musicians are scrounging for tiny fractions of pennies.

I used to write notes on the dollar bills I'd leave as tips at diners and bars.  Little messages to the world.  If one made it back to me after twenty years in circulation, I wonder if I'd even recognize it?