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.


Summary

The focus of this week was my trip to LA (Thursday morning to Saturday morning), which included meetings with music directors at five radio stations and a Big Umbrella show at the Whiskey - always a good time. I also did a bunch of consulting work, and made the usual bunch of radio calls.

Cast of Characters

Russ
Russ Osiecki of Big Umbrella, their lead singer and guitar player, and my main contact in the band
Fran
my friend Fran, who functions as sort of Racer Records South, and who is nice enough to let me stay with her when I'm down in LA (she's also a big Wonderboy fan)
Gino
Gino Robair, multi-talented guy who does percussion with Splatter Trio and the Potato Eaters, and runs Rastascan Records
Bayside and Caroline
these are the two distributors Racer works with

Captain's Log, Saturday, May 11, 1996

Today I did a ton of moving stuff around, taking things (cassettes, mostly) to my new storage locker.


Captain's Log, Sunday, May 12, 1996

Today I did a huge amount of work on a consulting project; I also backed up my computer hard drive.


Captain's Log, Monday, May 13, 1996

Radio Phone Calls:

Made 102 radio calls

Other Phone Calls:

* Swapped voice mail with a guy following up on a demo tape he sent.

* Spoke with my CD duplicator about a potential client I referred to him.

* Spoke with a consulting client.

* Talked with one of the buyers at the Tower Records on Sunset in LA. I've been getting complaints from people who have been trying to buy Big Umbrella's CD and can't find it. I encouraged him to order some copies, but he said they already had the order placed for the listening station promotion, and as soon as those get there, they'll have some copies.

Other Things I Accomplished:

* paying bills


Captain's Log, Tuesday, May 14, 1996

Radio Phone Calls:

Made 93 radio calls

Other Phone Calls:

* Got a message from a consulting client about files for the current project.

* Spoke briefly with my buyer at Caroline to invite her for coffee when I'm down in LA.

* Spoke with my insurance agent about insuring the contents of my new storage locker.

* Got a message from a guy in a band I like about an upcoming show they're playing.

* Reserved a rental car for my LA trip.

Other Things I Accomplished:

* general office

* logging demos


Captain's Log, Wednesday, May 15, 1996

Radio Phone Calls:

Made 62 radio calls - including confirming my last appointments for my trip to LA tomorrow

Other Phone Calls:

* Russ asked me to send a couple of packages to clubs where the band wants to play.

* I left a message for a reviewer at Guitar Player inviting him to the Big Umbrella shows in San Francisco next week.


Captain's Log, Thursday, May 16, 1996

I spent all day today in Southern California meeting with music directors.

My first appointment was a 1:00 lunch with Zeke, the indie label music director at KROQ. My plane was late, so I was about a half hour late getting to the station. We had a great, long lunch, though, and had a really good talk. On the way back in, I got a quick tour of the station and got to meet the music director, Lisa, along with Rodney, who does the new music show.

I was supposed to meet with music directors in San Diego between 4 and 5, and it was already nearly 3, so I called them both and told them I was on my way. I got down to San Diego as fast as I could, but it was already 6 pm by the time I got to XTRA. Todd, the music director, had actually waited around for me, and we spent about 10 minutes listening to a couple of tracks on the disc. He seemed to like Bottom Feeder and said he would take it into his music meeting next week.

I hopped back in the car and zipped over to XHRM as fast as I could. I got there at about 6:30, and Greg had been nice enough to wait for me, too. I played a couple of tracks for him, and it turned out he really liked Flowerhead and said he would play it on his Saturday night specialty show tomorrow night, which made me VERY happy.

I drove back up to LA as fast as I could - the traffic was much lighter now. I stopped by at Fran's for a few minutes, then went over to the Whiskey to see Big Umbrella.

I was REALLY tired by the time I got back to Fran's, but it seemed like I had accomplished a lot.

Other Phone Calls:

* Got a message from a consulting client about the password to a project I wrote for her.

* Got a message from Gino of Rastascan, wanting my share of the rent for the storage space we share.


Captain's Log, Friday, May 17, 1996

I spent the day in Southern California meeting with music directors again today.

First, I met with Deanne at KJEE in Santa Barbara; she was very nice and remembered Big Umbrella and in particular remembered Bleach the Needle from their first album. She said she would give the disc to the guy who does her specialty new music show.

After that, I had lunch with Jeff at KTYD (also in Santa Barbara). They had played Bring on the Rain from Big Umbrella's second CD, Guru, so I was hoping they would consider adding this CD too. We had a great, long chat, and I got a tour of the station, which has a really nice integration of automation capabilities with live broadcast abilities.

After that, I drove back down to LA and popped in to introduce myself to the buyer I'd been working with at Caroline - I'd never met her. We talked for about five minutes and she said she had taken care of the problem with the computer listing of Ever Ever Land that morning.

Finally, I went and hung out with Russ of Big Umbrella, while I waited for Fran to get home from work. Russ and I talked at length about charting and touring and radio play and his friends' experiences with record labels. I had my copy of the latest CMJ (College Music Journal) with me, so I showed him the stations where they were charting.

Other Phone Calls:

* Got a message from a guy who had sent me a tape and was trying to get lyrics together for me.

* Got a message from the French Music Office looking for my fax number and the type of music we specialize in.

* Got a message from a consulting client about some changes to a project.


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