Musicians Jump on the TorrentWagon

Seems other bands are beginning to realize what Jagged Spiral knew a long time ago: the recording industry is dead, and Do-It-Yourself is the new Black.

Before bands were only seeing their music as a ‘product’ something that they ‘sold’. But not anymore. Bands like Jagged Spiral, NIN, Radiohead, and Atmosphere have broken the paradigm: they front all the costs themselves: engineering, production, mastering, duplication, graphics, packaging, etc…  They have a pro-quality ‘product’, but they give it away for free.

This article on TorrentFreak points out that artists are catching on. They are realizing that the possibility of popularity is more likely than the possibility they can sell one-thousand CDs.  They drop their music on bittorrent and other file-sharing clients in the hopes of publicity (which is free) versus advertising (which costs $$$$).

This is great news for fans of real music. Leave the music industry behind for suckas who will gladly pay $18 for the latest piece of over-hyped, over-processesed, under-talented garbage. Dive into myspace, torrent and band websites to find the real thing . Music that the creators care about, and gatekeepers-be-damned.

What do you think? Is this behavior undercutting the perceived value of music?  Will the internet drown in a deluge of crap-rock? Is this empowering artists to usher in a Renaissance of music? Drop your comments below.

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Not Enough Bullets picked by MN Spin!

MNartists.org has a contest called MNSpin. Each week, three songs are picked by members of the local music industry.

I set up a profile on mnartists.org a while ago, and uploaded the tracks “Monsters”, “Not Enough Bullets” and “Let It Out”. I entered the tracks in the MNSpin contest sometime early in 2008. It seems that Dana Raidt, the music director for Radio K has great taste in music, because she chose “Not Enough Bullets” as one of the three winning songs for this week’s MNSPin contest! http://www.mnartists.org/article.do?rid=208156

Here’s more info about MNSpin:

Winning tracks from each contest are selected by panelists from within the music industry. Each week a three-song playlist from the winning submissions will be featured on the mnartists.org and Summit Brewery web sites. Quarterly listening parties at area venues will take place and a compilation CD of music from the yearlong contest will be produced.

Submission Specifications and Entry Process Any and all types of music accepted; only three tracks per musician will be reviewed for possible inclusion on the CD. Tracks can be uploaded to artist pages on mnartists.org, and a URL of the page can then be e-mailed to mnspin@mnartists.org. Submissions must come from mnartists.org members. To sign up for membership, visit www.mnartists.org/join.do?action=join.

mnSPIN is sponsored by mnartists.org, Summit Brewery, Springboard for the Arts, and McNally Smith College of Music.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed that Not Enough Bullets will get picked for inclusion on the yearly CD compilation…although it is quite difficult to play bass with my fingers crossed…

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Review From Evil

Thanks to all those who made it out to the “Days From Evil” CD Release Party last Friday. It really means a lot to us to see our Friends and Fans brave the strange weather. Jess informed me that the puce-colored sky was conjured up by the Dark Lord herself, and those of you coming to the show would be spared, and would not perish in a burst of purple lightning.

The party was great fun, and those who missed it…missed it. For the first time ever we had a merch table with real merch on it! (Thanks Xtna!) The hard copy of Days From Evil was there in all its long-awaited, hard-earned, shrink-wrapped glory. (Thanks Tim!) Band buttons too! (Thanks Karrie!)

Fortunately, Jagged Spiral was there too, somehow managing to mix loud music with theatre; both comic and tragic. Colin’s brand-new Gibson Explorer made it’s first public appearance. Josh got into a fight with his own drum set, and I poured a half a pitcher of beer over myself and jumped into the boy’s moshpit with my bass. (Yes, there was a girl’s moshpit too.) Like I said, if you missed it, you missed it.

Josh, Colin and myself would like to publicly thank all the people who made the CD Release party a big success:

  • Uber-Thanks go to Josh at Club Underground (no relation to Josh from Jagged Spiral) for having us out and running the soundboard.
  • Thanks to SBI for taking the “sober slot” and playing first to warm up the room. Thanks for firing up the moshpit, and for the pitcher of beer, some of which I actually got in my mouth….
  • Thanks to Sick Machine for coming down from St Cloud to rock out with us! I picked up their new CD “Ready To Burn” and you should too, check out the single “Black Out Sunday” on their Myspace Page
  • Thanks to Something To Fear for taking the fourth shift and closing out the night with some wicked, double-female-fronted metal! You did a fantastic job, and we look forward to seeing/playing with you again!
  • Special thanks to Xtna for putting together the merch table and sign, and to Jess for helping her keep it running through the event!
  • Thanks to Jeremy for acting as the human “meat shield” between the boys and girls mosh pits! Who knows what might have happened if they had mixed…? Combined with Jagged Spiral’s music, it’s probably better that we didn’t find out, at least until we can look over our liability insurance contract…
  • Finally, thanks to all the people who came to the show: Nancy, Sarah, Jess, Xtna, Jim, Reid, Denise, Karrie, Teresa, Boog, Tara, Dan, Pat, Tim, Jeremy, Lisa, and many more who came out to support the Spiral! You people get the Jagged Spiral Seal of Approval!

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Jagged Spiral Presents – Days From Evil CD Release

CDs are on order, and three years of hard work are about to pay off. We are excited to announce that Jagged Spiral’s debut masterwork, “Days From Evil” will be available in CD form on 11 July 2008!

“Days From Evil” is a concept album which tells the story of a hero confronting monsters only he can see. The music covers a wide range of genres, including Gothic Hard Rock, Acoustic Ballads, and Majestic Epic Metal. Much of the music on “Days From Evil” was also used by Jagged Spiral in the movie score for the local vampire movie “Pray For Daylight” from Stone Soup Films.

Ha, and my guidance councilor said I’d never accomplish anything! Now he owes me five bucks! Not surprisingly, that’s the same price as admission to the upcoming Days From Evil CD Release Party! For the price of 1.25 gallons of gas, (which won’t even get you halfway up to the lake for the 4th of July,) you can experience an entire evening of devastating music, as Jagged Spiral takes the stage at Club Underground on Friday, July 11th, to celebrate the release of our new CD.

Our live show will contain some stripped-down selections from “Days From Evil”, (Sorry, no acoustic guitars and no string orchestras!) and plenty of new material, all of it dark metallic rock fueled by adrenaline and Jag-Bombs. Bring earplugs.

Details:
Friday, 11 July 2008 – Doors at 9PM, – Music at 9:30
Club Underground – 355 Monroe St, Mpls MN
21+ (Bring ID!) – Cover $5

The Days From Evil CD will be available for purchase at the show for $8. All proceeds from the sale of the CD will go towards the following:

  • Josh’s Red Bull addiction
  • Fines from the City of Minneapolis for ‘disturbing the peace’
  • The massive debt we ran up during the three years it took us to get this project finished

Also, we have some very special guests joining us for the event: S.B.I., Sick Machine and Something To Fear (who just got done kicking tail at the Flight of the Valkyries festival!) so come out and celebrate with us!

-Jagged Spiral

PS: If you know anyone who likes loud guitars, please pass the message along! Share the Spiral!

Days From Evil Press Release has been… Released

We’ve been working on Days From Evil for years now, but I won’t feel a sense of completion until

  1. I hold the physical, shrinkwrapped CD in my hand
  2. We celebrate the CD with an Release Party.

Thankfully, those things are coming to fruition. Very soon, the order will be placed for CD copies of ‘Days From Evil’. Almost three years of effort are drawing to their long-overdue conclusion.

Promotional copies of the disk are finished, (sans the insert booklet). Just seeing the physical CD with printing on it has made me quite happy. Now, I’m just working on the insert artwork, which should be done this weekend, and the order can be placed next week.

As I mentioned previously, the “Days From Evil” CD Release party has been booked at Club Underground for 11 July 2008. Three other bands will be there to help us celebrate: S.B.I., Sick Machine, and Something To Fear. Jagged Spiral has gone through a significant upgrade in gear since our last live set, and we’re focusing on pulling together a nice, tight, and loud show. Bring earplugs.

I’ve completed the press release about the event which you can check out here: http://www.jaggedspiral.com/forms/dfe1.pdf and I’ve distributed it (with a copy of the CD) to all the usual suspects. With any luck we can expect some honest and objective reviews of “Days From Evil”.

Even if we don’t move a single copy of the CD, even if the critics slaughter it, even if no one comes to the release party, we will finally have payback for three years of hard work, and I’ll have a sense of completion that will let me (mentally at least) move on to other things… like the next album!

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Jag Bomb – The Official Drink of Jagged Spiral

Jagged Spiral doesn’t generally do product endorsements, but sometimes something comes along that surprises us with its simplicity and moxie. Things like that warrant public approval, especially when all three of us are in agreement.

At the Apocalyptica concert last April, Jagged Spiral discovered the Jag-bomb. (Pronounced Yag-Bom) At least, I only remember having two.

Jag Bombs have been around for a while now. For those not in college, a Jag-Bomb is a combination of Jagermeister and Red Bull.

I know what half of you are about to say. “Are you Insane? Mixing something that makes people Fight with something that gives people Energy?” The other half were going to say, “Are you Insane? Mixing something that tastes like Cough Syrup with something that tastes like Radioactive Camel Urine?”

Agreed on both counts, however, there is some strange co-mingling of effects and flavors with the two ingredients, and the end result is less undesirable than you would expect.

The drink is an interesting dichotomy of emotional directions, much like Jagged Spiral’s music. Therefore, we are announcing that the Official Drink of Jagged Spiral is the Jag-Bomb. If you ever come see us live, [Editors Note: Like at the July 11th CD Release party for example…] try one out, it will definitely put a unique spin on your perception of our live sound…

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Results of the “Rock the Dash” Contest

While we didn’t get into the ‘winning circle’ of the top 15 bands, we got awfully close. Jagged Spiral peaked around 18th place, and ended up in 28th place out of the 458 bands that participated. We’re actually pretty excited about making it to the top 6 percent! Thanks to everyone who helped us out and voted for Jagged Spiral through what is possibly the most clumsy music-user-interface known to man (right next to the 8-track tape) We certainly couldn’t have made it that far without your help, and we appreciate it.

If you hear of other music contests, make sure to let us know…

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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The Reunion Tour (or Lack Thereof)

The Jagged Spiral Marketing and Promotional Headquarters has been overwhelmed with requests to verify rumors of a Jagged Spiral Reunion Tour. We can neither confirm nor deny these allegations [Authors Note: Actually, Sugar told us that we’re best not to even talk about it. But she didn’t say not to blog about it.]

I can say that a Reunion Tour for Jagged Spiral would be difficult, if not impossible, for the simple fact that we haven’t broken up. At least, if we *had* broken up, I’m sure the guys would have told me about it. Pretty sure.

For further details about the rumored tour, I’ve been told to defer all questions to our new Public Relations Manager; Tom Waits, who held a press conference to clarify and/or obfuscate all the details of the Very Likely Only A Rumor And Not An Official Jagged Spiral Reunion Tour, which has been code-named “Operation: Glitter and Doom”, (which is not to be confused with the Tom Waits album of the same name):

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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No, I Never Slept With Diablo Cody – Live!

Before you check out our first live performance of this new song, I have to get a couple disclaimers out of the way:

First, I have to apologize for the poor quality audio/video even for youtube, this is pretty rough. The video camera we brought to the show got left ON, and the battery was completely drained. Fortunately, we also brought a digital camera that can shoot video, but as you will see, that isn’t its primary function.

Secondly, this will not be the final version of the song. The lyrics (which were derived from this blog post) will change, and the subject of Diablo Cody will most likely be changed as well. The song has become cursed, and all kinds of bad things happen in the studio when her name gets mentioned. Bad mojo, baby. So we’ll smudge the studio, and change the song.

Thirdly, we truly do love Diablo Cody, and we truly did not sleep with her, and we hope she enjoys the song. No offense intended.

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Update on Alpine’s Rock the Dash Contest

Instead of getting ready to release the list of winners from Alpine’s Rock the Dash contest, they sent out an e-mail saying the contest has been suspended due to voting system tampering, and all votes will be reset to nil. Voting will start over on April 1, 2008 and continue until 30 April.

This was not unexpected.

I certainly wasn’t going to tell you, but I know some of you must have figured out how to ‘cheat’ the system, and vote more than once per day. It’s as simple as clearing your browser cache (more specifically, your cookies) and you could vote as many times as you liked. It became obvious when bands were shooting to the top of the list in no time at all.

My hope was that *those* votes would simply be removed from the contest once Alpine figured out WTF, and Jagged Spiral would rocket to the top (becuse of the honesty and integrety of our fans). Unfortunately, Alpine decided to implement a “more secure” online voting system, and start over.

So we’re going to need your help again.

Yes, the interface blows. Yes, it sucks to scroll down to the “J”s to get to Jagged Spiral. No, you can’t go to the “Albums” list, because there isn’t one! I’m starting to think Colin is better off using the portable CD player in his car.

But, thanks to all your help, both Jagged Spiral songs “Let It Out” and “Not Enough Bullets” crawled up the charts, past hundreds of other songs, to end up in 60th and 61st place after three weeks!

Please visit www.rockthedash.com every day that you can (from every computer you can) throughout the month of April, and help push Jagged Spiral to the top 10! If Jagged Spiral wins one of the prizes, we promise to sell it on craigslist, and use the $$$ to buy Colin a nice car stereo system!

Thanks for your support, and keep voting!

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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