Lots of people have asked about the day-to-day workings of an indie label, so I thought I'd start giving a little running commentary of just exactly what it is I do around here.

I'll try to post this pretty much every day until I forget to do it, I run out of time, or I find out people think it's incredibly pretentious and boring.

Comments and questions are heartily encouraged.


Captain's Log, Tuesday, November 1, 1994

Made 26 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Spoke with Linda of Garden Variety about artwork she's designing for their second album. We talked about software and size specifications; I'll send her some templates I have.

* Spoke with Paul of Wonderboy about some upcoming shows they'll be playing.

Did some more computer work.

Captain's Log, Wednesday, November 2, 1994

Made 39 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Spoke with a manager about a demo he wants to send.

Filled a mail order.

Sent about 200 cassette samplers to Wonderboy's publicist; she's attending a convention of booking reps for colleges and wants to give them away there.

Did some more computer work.


Captain's Log, Thursday, November 3, 1994

Made 49 radio calls.

Did lots more computer work.

Captain's Log, Friday, November 4, 1994

Made 17 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Spoke with an artist who had sent me a tape; told him I didn't think it was right for Racer.

* Spoke with one of the guys in a band I'm hoping to sign; told him what information I needed to draw up the contract (mostly information on a sample they used, plus details on who played on which tracks).

Did some more computer work.

Captain's Log, Saturday, November 5, 1994

Did some more computer work.

Captain's Log, Sunday, November 6, 1994

Did some more computer work.


Captain's Log, Monday, November 7, 1994

Made 28 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Spoke with a guy who's working on a film; they'd like to use part of a Garden Variety song in the movie. I called Dug of Garden Variety to talk it over.

Did some more computer work.


Captain's Log, Tuesday, November 8, 1994

Made 30 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Got a message from the CD plant that the Big Umbrella CDs are being pressed and should be done around 11/17. I'm still not sure if the artwork has arrived.

* Spoke with Garden Variety's former manager (she's still a friend of the band's) about the possible movie deal.

* Called my 800# company (Metromedia) and asked them to make sure I can get 800# calls from Canada (it was supposed to be set up that way in the first place); also asked to switch over my main outgoing long distance calls to their company (I've been using MCI, but I think the switch will save me some money).

Filled some mail orders and reserviced some radio stations.

Did several hours of computer work.


Captain's Log, Wednesday, November 9, 1994

Had lunch with the music director for KFOG, the local AAA station (and the one I listen to all the time). He was UNBELIEVABLY nice. We had a nice long chat (he caught me up on all the Chicago radio gossip; I grew up listening to Chicago rock radio, and he co-founded the Loop (WLUP), one of the biggest AOR stations there). He told me he thought there might be a place for Big Umbrella and Wonderboy on KFOG's playlist, but that it would be much easier to fit them on after the new year. It was really, REALLY terrific talking with him.

Also:

Made 43 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Played phone tag with the CD duplicators and found out that they STILL don't have the film for "Guru".

Did some more computer work.


Captain's Log, Thursday, November 10, 1994

Made 40 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Got a message from a Big Umbrella fan wanting to know their upcoming tour dates.

* Called Russell of Big Umbrella to confirm their tour dates; talked briefly about their trip to Seattle and said I'd call again soon (had to get back to my radio calls).

* Spoke with Dave of Wonderboy; he needed some extra copies of the "Abbey Road To Ruin" booklets.

* Spoke with my previous duplicator; he said the "Guru" film HAD been sent to the new duplicator.

Also cleaned up my telephone log, marking off calls I no longer need to return. (I currently have over 300 calls waiting to be returned, some of which are months old; I usually don't cross off a call until I've done SOMETHING about it.)

Did a ton of computer work.


Captain's Log, Friday, November 11, 1994

Made 24 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Continued playing phone tag with both both duplicators about the "Guru" artwork film.

* Spoke with a manager who wants to send me a tape of an artist he manages.

Did tons more computer work.


Captain's Log, Saturday, November 12, 1994

Worked like a maniac all day on computer stuff.

Captain's Log, Sunday, November 13, 1994

Worked like a maniac all day on computer stuff.


Captain's Log, Monday, November 14, 1994

Worked like a maniac all day on computer stuff. (I was supposed to turn in this project on Friday, and then it was extended until today; but a file I needed wasn't given to me until after noon today. I now have until tomorrow morning.)

I did take a few minutes out for urgent phone calls:

* Spoke with an artist who'd sent me a demo; I asked if I could call him back next week.

* Spoke with the new duplicators; it turns out the old plant sent them the WONDERBOY film instead of the BIG UMBRELLA film. Oops. Called the old duplicator, asked them to send the Big Umbrella film Fed Ex.

* Got a call from Tower Records about the possibility of a Racer album being included in their listening stations. Tried to return the call but missed the guy by a few minutes.


Captain's Log, Tuesday, November 15, 1994

Turned in my project at Apple, came home and went to sleep for a few hours.

Made 15 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Got a message from the filmmaker who wants to use the Big Umbrella song.

Filled some mail orders.

Did NO computer work at all.


Captain's Log, Wednesday, November 16, 1994

Made 13 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Spoke with the folks at Tower about the listening booths. They're interested in using "Abbey Road To Ruin". They need a bio and some additional info.

* Called the old duplicator to get the master recording for "Abbey Road To Ruin" sent to the new duplicator.

* Called the new duplicator to let them know the master is on the way and to place an order for a repressing. (Fortunately, they already have the artwork, since it was accidentally sent to them instead of the "Guru" film. [grin])

* Spoke with Christian Nesmith, who produced Wonderboy's third album (not yet released, but EXTREMELY cool). He has a friend who's in a really great band, and he wanted to know more about Racer. We spoke at some length about how Racer works.

* Got a call from a woman who books bands in Arizona; she had met Wonderboy's publicist at the booker's convention and wanted to talk about booking Wonderboy. Since I don't book any of my artists, I put her in touch with the band's publicist (who's currently doing most of their booking).

* Left a message for my lawyer about a number of legal issues I have questions about. She called back, I explained my questions, she said she'd research them and get back to me.

Got an electronic message from my supervisor on the big computer project asking me if I could do one more little task for them. I worked some on that today.


Captain's Log, Thursday, November 17, 1994

Made over 50 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Spoke with my distributor who sells to Tower; told him about the listening station opportunity, and also asked him to see if he could get another payment from Tower before the end of the year.

* Spoke with my lawyer's assistant about my legal questions; I'll go over all those issues in a separate message.

* Spoke with a couple of people about computer jobs (one I did several months ago, wondering when the book would be published so I could get paid; another about a possible upcoming job).

Did a tiny bit of computer work.

Worked on artists' royalty statements, which are 2 1/2 weeks overdue at this point. (I consider it a point of honor to pay royalties on time and feel REALLY bad that they're late, but it was really tough to get them done with that computer project eating up so much of my time.)


Captain's Log, Friday, November 18, 1994

Ran a bunch of errands and had appointments today, so didn't make any radio calls.

Ran around a lot, though:

* Went to the bank.

* Went to the desktop publishing place to drop off a disk so they could reprint film for the inside of the "Abbey Road To Ruin" booklet (the original had an error).

* Went down to Silicon Valley to meet with two computer consulting clients.

* Came back up to the city and went to UPS to ship 1000 booklets for "Abbey Road To Ruin" to the new duplicators. (When I did the first pressing, we had to get 1000 extra booklets because they had a minimum order.)

* Went to the desktop publishing place and picked up the new film.

* Went to Federal Express and shipped the new film to the new duplicators.

Had a phone call:

* Spoke briefly with Gino (of Splatter Trio) about the Potato Eaters disc I want to put out.

Also, finished up the artist newsletter (sent to artists with their quarterly royalty statement, updating them on what's going on here at Racer and keeping them posted about each others' releases).


Captain's Log, Supplemental: Radio Promotion Details

Radio Calls, 10/24/94 - 10/28/94

Had 14 uncompleted calls (left on hold, MD was out sick, etc.)

Left 110 messages.

Got 2 messages.

Spoke with 62 people: 27 hadn't listened. 10 didn't remember seeing it. 3 or 4 had changed music directors or music hours.

Big Umbrella's "Guru" is getting airplay at: KMSA WCBR WUSR KZYR KOTR KZGL KZZP

Wonderboy's "Abbey Road To Ruin" is getting airplay at: KYLC WBWC


Captain's Log, Supplemental:

Radio Calls, 10/31/94 - 11/4/94

Had 11 uncompleted calls (left on hold, MD was out sick, etc.)

Left 93 messages.

Got 2 messages.

Sent 20 giveaway copies and reservices 20 other stations.

Spoke with 48 people: 20 hadn't listened.

Big Umbrella's "Guru" is getting airplay at: WFSE


Captain's Log, Supplemental:

Radio Calls, 11/7/94 - 11/11/94

Had 12 uncompleted calls (left on hold, MD was out sick, etc.)

Left 77 messages.

Got 4 messages.

Serviced or reserviced 30 stations.

Spoke with 63 people: 23 hadn't listened.

Big Umbrella's "Guru" is getting airplay at: KOTR KMSA KZZP

Wonderboy's "Abbey Road To Ruin" is getting airplay at: KYLC


Captain's Log, Supplemental:

Radio Calls, 11/14/94 - 11/18/94

Had 11 uncompleted calls (left on hold, MD was out sick, etc.)

Left 47 messages.

Spoke with 21 people: 8 hadn't listened. About 3 people liked what they had heard but wanted to listen some more.

Wonderboy's "Abbey Road To Ruin" is getting airplay at: WJJH WBWC

Overall:

Lots of people have said they don't have room for it now but might give it some play after the first of the year. Some others said they liked what they heard but didn't really want to play it until other stations were playing it, so I should call back when we have some chart activity.

Generally, it's been very encouraging, with lots of people actually taking my calls, and a fair number of people saying they like what they hear. I'm hoping we'll get some substantial airplay in January and February; those months will probably be the real test for me.


Captain's Log, Monday, November 21, 1994

Made about 25 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Spoke with the duplicator; they've now got everything they need to press a bunch of Abbey Road To Ruin CDs (mostly needed for the Tower listening station order); they're still missing the film for the Guru pressing.

* Called the old duplicator AGAIN about the Guru film.

* Reordered shipping containers for the CD samplers. (I can't send out any more CD samplers until the order comes in.)

* Spoke with a guy in a band in LA that my friend had suggested I check out.

Did a bit of general office stuff.


Captain's Log, Tuesday, November 22, 1994

Made about 26 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Spoke with Wally of Wonderboy to get some info about the band so I could fill out a form for an LA radio show.

* Played phone tag with a manager for a band I may be interested in.

Did a bit of general office stuff.


Captain's Log, Wednesday, November 23, 1994

Made about 28 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Left messages for buyers at Virgin Megastores, asking about packages I sent months ago.

Did a bit of general office stuff.

Looked through all the music forums on CompuServe.


Captain's Log, Thursday, November 24, 1994

TOOK THE DAY OFF.

Captain's Log, Friday, November 25, 1994

Rearranged my office, moving all the bookshelves from one wall to the opposite wall and shoving half the inventory into a corner.

Captain's Log, Sunday, November 27, 1994

My distributor came by and picked up a few hundred copies of Abbey Road To Ruin for Tower stores.


Captain's Log, Monday, November 28, 1994

Made about 23 radio calls.

Other phone calls:

* Spoke with a client in Silicon Valley about a computer project.

Did a bit of general office stuff, including some very backlogged bookkeeping.


Captain's Log, Tuesday, November 29, 1994

Made about 40 followup radio calls. Also called bunches of stations to get the name of the MD & confirm address etc.

Other phone calls:

* Spoke with a guy at a satellite radio programming service; one of the MDs had suggested I send him one of my discs, and I got his permission to send it (and the address [grin]).

* Left a message for the post office about a possible mail theft. I sent about 10 packages three weeks ago (mostly reservicing radio stations, but also one mail order), and none of them seem to have reached their destination.

Did a bit of general office stuff, including some very backlogged bookkeeping.


Captain's Log, Wednesday, November 30, 1994

Made about 16 radio calls. Also called about 37 stations to confirm format & get MD's name etc.

Did a bit of general office stuff.


The Captain's Log is an inside look at the day-to-day operations of an indie label. Contents may have settled during shipping. Questions, comments, ideas, and thoughts are encouraged (whether or not they're related to the log).

Grinning,

Kristi
Racer Records