life and how to live it

So… I have been busy.

First, (or: most recently) I’ve updated my twitter page with a customized background: http://twitter.com/nancynishihira

It’s not perfect, but it is something fun until I feel like modifying it to fit different size monitors!

Also, I’ve been working on the idea of an EPK, or Electronic Press Kit… and I don’t really know exactly where to start.

I’ve got the picture (also see the top left hand corner of my newly designed twitter page)…

And I’ve tried to update my many web pages… finally got the cover to my CD up on last.fm…

Which can be viewed here: http://www.last.fm/music/Nancy+Nishihira

Also, I think I’ve finally (?) been able to get control of the account.

However, I still have to design an album cover for a tiny 3 song EP I’m going to stream on last.fm. (Perhaps I will sell it on CDBaby once the site is situated).

The album is called “Long Lost” and so far, I have the first track, “Infatuation, My Obsession” up to stream.  I converted it from tape (cassette tape!) to mp3.

There are two other tracks, which I still need to convert and add…  These are very old tracks, professionally recorded, which I just “rediscovered”.  I haven’t heard them for quite sometime.  I eventually hope to convert my entire tape collection to mp3.

Still seems like it will be awhile before I can get music onto Pandora; it seems that something on Amazon has to do something and for that to work CDBaby has to have stuff and a barcode and whatever else.

I am actually very excited about making music and art right now.

I have a really cool art idea but I am keeping it quiet now because I don’t want anyone to take my idea until I am done with it!

Listening to so much music has been very inspiring.  Right now, I love Vienna Teng (Hope on Fire is my current favorite).  She has an amazing voice.   I also love the song Grow Grow Grow by PJ Harvey.  AMAZING.

I’d love to get on youtube and record some songs too… I don’t think it’s time yet though.  I’m a little rusty and don’t really have the time to sit down and record stuff, although I also have some fun video ideas.

And as for Tanaka Style…

I am compiling a list of songs to record.  It is likely that the Tanaka Style (or 「田中スタイル」) stuff will be recorded before my solo stuff will.  There is a lot less pressure and more fun!

My next step, after I lay the groundwork… is to play some open mic.

No Music, No Life

The title of my post was an ad campaign by a music company that I have forgotten (was it Tower Records?)  However, Jiro (from GLAY) was in the commercials.

So, music.

I have some interesting leads at the moment that I am going to follow.

However!

I am currently trying to get my stuff situated on Pandora, Amazon and CDBaby, although not necessarily in that order.

It is a hassle getting music onto Pandora, there is some kind of strange process where you have to have your CD on Amazon.com (which it is), but it won’t let me link it, and also there is no “official” album art on Amazon (possibly due to some type of problem when it was imported from CDBaby.  If, indeed, it was imported from CDBaby.

I have seen some big time album cover mistakes via Pandora that made me want to insure this would not be a problem.

Since CDBaby has been revamped… I have been waiting for the features to become accessible.  I think it is finally happening.  I’ve been waiting.

I’ve been thinking of videos lately.  Making music videos for YouTube.  I love the way BNL’s Ed Robertson has created “The Bathroom Sessions”.  If you are a BNL fan and you haven’t seen it, you MUST.  It is pure awesomeness.  Bathrooms are good because they tend to have good acoustics.  I am thinking of recording my next song, “1000 cranes”, in the bathroom, or laundry room.  Perhaps that is a little TMI.  But actually, the shower has the best acoustics – why do you think so many people feel compelled to sing there?

1000 Cranes is also the name of my next album.  “When will I record it?” is the question that an imaginary music reporter would ask me.  “I will record it when I am not working 60+ hours a week,” I would answer.

Also, I need to buy a new microphone cord.

So although I haven’t been doing nearly as much as I would like in terms of music (and art), I am thinking about it pretty much all the time.  Every day.  And that is part of the process in itself.  It is like making tea… maybe the leaves are steeping for too long, but I like a strong, bitter tea with no sugar.

Pandora, Last.fm and being half-Asian

So, I’ve been listening to a lot of internet radio lately, and the best site that I have found so far is Pandora, as far as a station that will play what you want to hear and that is good at predicting what you like to hear.

I think the only problem that I have noticed is that because they are breaking down songs into parts (i.e., “dynamic female vocal”), a person has to listen and categorize all of these songs, so they are missing a lot of very good songs.  And of course, there are things mislabeled.  When you type in Cocco (as in the Okinawan J-pop artist) you get some band that is really called Coco and is totally unrelated.  

Another huge flaw is that Pandora does not have my favorite J-Rock group, GLAY, aka “The Japanese Beatles”.

They do have a fairly good selection of music from around the world, so I will give them kudos for that.

 

Last.fm is fun because it “scrobbles” your music, and tracks everything that you listen to, so that you can share compatibility with your friends.  I was also able to easily upload my music to Last.fm, where Pandora does not currently have an option for that. 

The issue that I have with Last.fm is that it seems to categorize artists by popularity (major label vs. not) when you want to listen to a specific genre.  And if you listen to a genre station for more than an hour, it will literally start playing the exact same songs over again.  Probably the worst thing is that if you want to listen to Ben Folds, for example, and you type his name in the search box, it will play music that they think sounds like Ben Folds, but will NEVER actually play a Ben Folds song.  Which is really frustrating.

 

But I found out a weird thing the other day.  I guess people started tagging artists… according to how Asian they are!?

So under the “half-asian” tag, I am one of the top artists. (Second row from the top, on the right)

 

straight from last.fm

straight from last.fm

 

I will say I don’t think that this tag is entirely accurate; I’m sure some of the women (and it is all women on this page for some reason) are entirely Asian.

Strange…