16 December 2010

Art Vs. Paper Chasing [OR] Who's gonna pay for this?

On December 4th 2010, there was an album release set for fAbrics at the Old Town School of Folk Music. We here at Rule 6 showed up with many copies of their EP Parathropus Boisei, video cameras to record the set, and high expectations for publicizing our label. The show went off without a hitch, the band played great, we sold 13 or so copies of the album. Our very first EP release show was a success (for a label with no street awareness or buzz in the city, as of yet). We're working on that. My plans for 2011 include posters, videos, stickers, and at LEAST 4 more releases. I'm thinking also of a one-year anniversary party... perhaps I can talk to some local brewers about a mutually-beneficial small-business collaboraction. (Pipeworks Brewing, holla!)

So, I've been watching a doc on Netflix called Paper Chasers. It's an independent film studying the entrepreneurial culture in HipHop. Frankly, I'm enthralled with this movie. (It's pretty deep; I'm taking it a bit at a time. The film is more than 2 1/2 hours long, and I'm only in hour 1!) There are so many levels of the entertainment industry to begin with, and then the niches in hiphop are even crazier, from clothing to production to labels to management...! Interviews in the film have business owners who have MBAs and have also done prison time. And they're successful, by my standards anyway. People you've never heard of who are (regionally) selling 15,000 copies of their own album or someone else in their crew. Self-produced. I'll tell you, these are EXACTLY the stories that made me want to start a label in the first place. Hearing the discouraging talk from every interviewee about how difficult it is to run your business, how hard you have to work, how little rest or pay you're likely to get until things REALLY start popping... I'm listening to all this thinking there's something wrong with me. It sounds like fun. Like FUN! I mean, not eating Ramen for the next 8 years, but the ability to walk away from other means of employment because you know you have to push for something more, to be your own boss & work for your own welfare (instead of the company's)... That's just really inspiring to me. It's the feeling I've had my entire life, while working for the primary benefit of someone else.

It's the getting paid part that I'm unclear how to accomplish. The fAbrics release got us started, that's for sure. As a label, I'm so concerned about getting music out to the people that I agree to a lower percentage of sales profits so that the artist receives more, feels better about working with such a small-deal (but growing!) operation, and therefore has their own incentive to publicize Rule 6. But that means that we have a frighteningly small budget for everything we want to do. (Maybe a small business loan in 2012?) So, besides asking you all (anyone who's reading this) to make a purchase from our bandcamp site, I'm asking you all to help get our name out there. Seriously, I'm talking to the followers this blog has RIGHT NOW:

-Jon Kanner, you're doing an amazing job. Thanks for putting a link to us on your KICK-ASS stop-motion blog. This concludes your return plug.
-Jon Extract, it's cool that you're following the blog. Help me come up with some more content for this page & if ANYONE you know reads blogs (do teens do that? at all? I don't.) recommend us, please.
-Beejay, you're the man. I'm going to need to have a discussion with you. Possibly over a sample glass of smoked porter?

I think that's all the asides for now. The point is, 2011 will have to be all about expansion, awareness, and promotion. RULE NO. 6, baby. Who wants to help us survive?