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.

Captain's Logs are written sporadically and tend to get skipped if I'm insanely busy or am doing a lot of computer consulting (and hence very little Racer work).

I'll try to post this as consistently as possible 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.


Overhauled my computer system, dropped off both CD bulk mailings, and did lots and lots of consulting work ...


Captain's Log, Monday, August 21, 1995

* did some consulting work (tech writing)

* labelled samplers for upcoming mailing

* listened to 7 demo tapes

* wrote replies to the people who had sent me those demo tapes (this is the part I'm usually terrible about - I manage to listen to tapes reasonably quickly, but it takes me forever to actually respond)

* wrote a macro to make it easier to print demo reply letters

* printed the contracts for Utechma (a master purchase, artist releases for each of the artists who played on the album, and mechanical license agreements for each of the songwriters)

Phone Calls:

* spoke with three different consulting clients about their projects

* spoke with a fan of Amy's who's anxious for a copy of the new CD and had ordered yet another copy of her first CD in the meantime - I asked if he wanted me to hold his order and ship them both tomorrow, since I'll have advance copies then

* spoke with the printers who are printing booklets for Utechma; asked them to Fed Ex me 100-200 booklets and tray cards so I can hand-assemble advance copies when I get the raw CDs tomorrow

* spoke with the buyer at our new distributor, MDI; she had a few questions about the package I sent her

* spoke with Amy X Neuburg about last minute details on the contracts


Captain's Log, Tuesday, August 22, 1995

* picked up the advance copies of Utechma at the mailbox

* hand-assembled 60 copies of the Utechma CD (snapping together the three parts of the jewel box with the back tray liner inside; inserting the disc; then inserting the booklet)

* assembled a bulk mailing of CDs

* met with Amy X Neuburg to give her some advance CDs and the contracts

* listened to three demo CDs

Phone Calls:

* spoke with a local rep for a national distribution company; he gave me some phone numbers of buyers and said he would also call them on my behalf, since he's familiar with Racer artists

* spoke with Dug Moldawsky of Garden Variety; caught up on happenings with the band and an upcoming show

* spoke with Amy X Neuburg; she's not sure whether the clear jewel box looks better than a black one

* spoke with a consulting client


Captain's Log, Wednesday, August 23, 1995

* filled some orders and shipped some promo copies of Utechma

* dropped off the bulk mailing at the bulk mail center

* did some consulting work

* assembled the rest of the advance Utechma CDs (about 70)

* labelled over 500 CDs for the next bulk mailing. Halfway through assembling the mailing, I decided to check whether I had enough pieces going to any one state to require that they go in their own bag. As it turns out, I did. I should have checked beforehand. I had to open up a couple of bags and pull out all the samplers going to Pennsylvania and put them in a separate bag. (Bulk mail rules are a little weird sometimes.) A small reminder in the importance of doing things in order without skipping any steps, and doing it right the first time.

* mailed out tickets to Big Umbrella's upcoming show at the Whiskey; I sent a pair each to folks at various LA distributors, retail outlets, and one-stops.

Phone Calls:

* spoke with the CD duplicator about the possibility of using black jewel box trays for the remainder of the Utechma order

* spoke with a filmmaker who's interested in using a Garden Variety song in a TV show

* spoke with a couple of people on a consulting job I'm doing

* spoke with an artist who wants to submit a demo

* spoke with Amy X Neuburg; she's decided the clear jewel box trays are best, so no need to change the order

* spoke with a guy who's setting up a music-oriented WWW site. I've spoken with him a lot in the past; he used to sell ads for a radio station and then was looking for a job in the music industry. He wanted to sell me a slot on the WWW site, but I have no budget for WWW advertising at the moment. We had a good conversation about WWW issues and advertising and completeness and related issues.


Captain's Log, Thursday, August 24, 1995

* did some consulting work (tech writing)

* finished assembling the CD sampler bulk mailing

Phone Calls:

* spoke with three different consulting clients about their projects

* spoke with Amy X Neuburg; there's a slight error in the mechanical licenses for her and Tim Root. We decided that crossing out the error and correcting it was fine, as long as everybody initialed the change.


Captain's Log, Friday, August 25, 1995

* dropped off the bulk mailing at the bulk mail center

* dropped off the recyclables at the recycling center (Racer generates an incredible amount of recyclable junk mail, magazines, and cardboard)

* got my first WWW form working! A guy I met three years ago at a Counting Crows show had very generously written a form for me that handles sampler requests. I plugged it in, changed a couple of lines, and voila - it works! It will make it much easier for me to compile names and addresses in the future for sampler mailings.

* filled a mail order

Phone Calls:

* spoke with three different people about a consulting project

* got voice mail from someone who wants review copies of Racer stuff; I've never heard of the publication, and they didn't leave a phone number, so I probably won't send them anything


Captain's Log, Saturday, August 26, 1995

* my boyfiend is lending me a replacement Mac in hopes of getting rid of all the problems I'm having with mine, so I spent all day backing up everything on my computer and his computer and then copying all the files over. I also installed a newer version of system software.

* while all the backups were running, I cleaned up a bunch of stuff in my office


Captain's Log, Sunday, August 27, 1995

* did some consulting work (tech writing)

* did lots of computer cleanup - threw out files I didn't need (they're all backed up now anyway), tried out extensions with the new system to see which ones worked, stuff like that.

* captured sound files from Utechma for uploading to the WWW site

* invoiced a couple of consulting clients

* went to see Cockeyed Ghost, an LA band that was playing here in town. (Their drummer is Paul from Wonderboy.)

* sat up and chatted late into the night with a couple of musicians from LA who were up here for the Cockeyed Ghost show. They ended up without a place to stay, and I knew them from LA shows, so they crashed on the floor of my office.


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