Month: June 2010

VIMBC here I come

Today is the first day of the VIMBC. This will be my first music conference and I am very much looking forward to immersing myself in the music and the knowledge that I can take away and apply to my own musical path.

They have an impressive group of panelists from vice pres of ASCAP, Ralph Murphy to the most awarded independent male artist in the Canadian country music industry Jamie Warren (whom I met the other evening at a jam and was very pleasant!).

There are others that I have previously connected with via twitter like Aprix’s Ron Proulx and others that I have met here in the Valley such as the gorgeous Sue Medley.

My showcase is on Saturday, 6:30pm at the Whistlestop Pub in Courtenay and there are many, many shows to take in. Here’s the¬†schedule.

So I have my iPad (well my husband’s iPad… shh) in hand and a bunch of new CDs and business cards. I think I am prepared. I was a girl scout after all!

I will be posting things that I find interesting on twitter… so you can follow me there if you want to know what’s going on!

Did someone say schmooze time?

NEW Website is done!

So, after not too much bugging the husband… I have a new website and I love it!

www.helenaustin.com

Between the lovely photos (McKinnon Photography) and my very clever husband, I have a colourful website where the pics re size with the window. It is such a nice way to show off Karen’s skills and my ability to look broody…

I hope I have made it easier to listen/buy/look around etc and hope there aren’t any errors, although that is doubtful after my typo fiasco!

I hope you like it and thanks again Karen!

New website coming soon…

If you have visited my blog before you will have noticed that I have changed the style of it and there is a reason for this. I am getting ready for change…

I may be a creature of habit in many ways (they automatically bring me a glass of wine and spring rolls at the Royston jam every Sunday)… but when it comes to aesthetics, I was one of those kids that changed around the furniture in her bedroom at least a few times a year.

Same with websites. I have changed my website a few times now and the last time was a couple of years ago, so time for change again! And, like reorganizing a room, you get to clear out all the clutter and make it all a bit neater.

So, I couldn’t help myself. With all the lovely pics that Karen from McKinnon Photography did for me I felt that they really should be more of a feature than just snapshots on the page. Here are just a couple of them…

Although I do all my website stuff myself (I even learned how to use CSS …under duress!), there are some things (lots of things actually) that I can’t figure out when it comes to code for websites. This is where my software developer husband comes in very handy. He spends his days (and nights) figuring out how to make things work on iPads and iPhones… so I have set him a task which will be the finishing cool touch to my website. No pressure!

So, when I can drag him away from his iPad, I should have a new website up very soon. I’m very excited about it!

Typos from heaven?

So I have released my new CD, have lovely pics, the artwork looks great, the songs sound great, but wait… what’s that? A Typo?…. and another….

I’m a bit of a one stop shop, partly as a cost saver, partly because I enjoy the different artistic aspects of putting together a CD.

I record my own music at home (but get it mastered… I’m not an idiot!)
I do my own artwork on an old version of Indesign (but get a photographer.. see above)
I design all my publicity (but take it to a great printers… they are VERY patient)

There is one area I should ALWAYS get someone else to do… check the spelling and grammar.

But I didn’t this time. The friend who is my usual eagle eye, is also the friend whose late husband I dedicated the CD to. I also put a speacial (one of the typos) thanks to her too. So I didn’t want to ask her to check her own dedication!

I gave my friend the CD and she called to thank me and then gingerly told me about one typo…. apparently her husband, Mark, had died in ‘Septemeber’ on the dedication. Later I noticed that I had written about his ‘passionante’ enthusiasm for my music. We both laughed, thinking that Mark was messing with us to lighten up the whole death thing! Who knows…

And I can see the little red dots underneath these words now, as spell check catches them…. but not in InDesign… the not dinosaur version anyway!

But that is not all There is one more, but I will leave that one for people with CDs to find(it’s very apt) and just hope that you don’t find any more.

One lovely thought from husband is that when I have run out of these CDs (I did a short run as most people download these days) I can correct the typos and the first ones will be SPEACIAL!

The Sound of Silence…

So I have nodules… again.

The last time was 10 years ago when I was told “Stop talking now for week”. It was one of the hardest weeks! My oldest was 3 and couldn’t read and I was treated like a leper by a young assistant in Gap. I carried around a notebook and it was amazing how many people wrote back to me. It’s like they thought I had gone deaf too… strange.

So here we go again. Singing is fine. In fact singing helps, which is great. But I have 2 kids and lots of chatty friends and I live in a wonderful community where everyone is SO friendly.

One suggestion was to hang a sign around my neck explaining it all, but that felt a bit div-ish! I am, once again, carrying around a notebook but my handwriting is appalling, so I just get funny looks! Which is what I also get because I am smiling a lot to compensate! I think it’s coming across as creepy :/

The strangest thing is that my kids are behaving impeccably. It’s amazing what you get achieved with them when you have to go up to them and look them in the eye instead of shouting across the house.

So the good news is that I can sing and it’s good for me. Now if everyone could just not talk to me, that would make this week a whole lot easier.

Why I don’t have an iPhone… yet.

Just some thoughts on being continually plugged in….

My husband has an iPhone. In fact he got one the day they were released. Same with the iPad.

Now, while I LOVE his iPhone (not so much his iPad), I think it’s wise that I don’t get one. I find that I spend so much time in front of a screen either recording, marketing, emailing, video editing etc etc and I need to take a forced break at some point. Releasing a new CD will do that.

Without an iPhone when I leave the house, I get the occasional blissful hour, not knowing who is doing what or who is trying to contact me.

Now I’m not a strong person. If I am with my husband I can’t resist taking his phone and checking messages, looking at twitter, facebook. He tries to stop me but eventually he relents (because he’s nice!)

So, as much as I should have an iPhone, I am going to continue, for now, without one… until my husband needs a new one… will I be able to resist taking over his old one. We shall see :)