There is something special about Pittsburgh, PA.  I know many people say that about where they were born, as it is part of the nurture in the nature/nurture aspect of us becoming who we are. I’ll be the first to say that other cities have part of my mind and spirit, but Pittsburgh will always have my heart. Going back every now and again grounds me as to where I came from and helps to remind me where I am going.  This trip was no different.

I played two shows that were completely different experiences, and both truly enjoyable.  I sat out a couple more opportunities to play, as I wanted to spend more time with family and friends instead of an audience. All in all I got to connect with friends and the town again (although I am still grateful to be in SC in the winter).

Next time, I’d like to have a few more days to accomplish more and see more and enjoy more. It always seems like a week is never enough.  That said, I’m energized for a great summer of shows and other musical adventures!

Random, Unattached EP Thoughts

 

I would never assume anything about the physical aspects of pregnancy and child birth, but from a psychological standpoint there are some similarities in bringing a long-term artistic project to life. Any album, if done right, should be a labor of love — growing from conception to fully formed artistic pieces that form a fuller, artistic whole. I’ll be the first to admit that I have music that was put out just to share music, without the pretense of putting its best artistic foot forward (sometimes you just have to share some music). But studio albums should be different. It goes beyond simply sharing music. It’s about the process of crafting music to share.

I know that recordings can’t capture the energy exchanged between performer(s) and audiences, so I have come to realize that the studio is where you create art and the stage is where you create magic. Where time on stage should be moments of connection and energy exchange between those listening and those performing,  time in the studio should be time to connect (or reconnect) to the music. I found out a great deal about my songs on this EP just by playing them to a click track. My last album, Songwriters Lament, I learned so much about those songs just by taking in what the other artists playing on the album saw in the music.

By connecting with it on an artistic level, each song feels like a child i have been raising. Releasing the EP, I find myself with a bit of empty nest syndrome or postpartum exhaustion. These are no longer my songs. These songs are now the property of those who can listen and re-listen to the exact same take of the song and get whatever feeling, thought or nuance they get out of them. Why I wrote the songs is unimportant. Why I changed that major to a minor is only important to me. And I’m good with that.

In a month or so, I’ll start thinking of the project and then it will become my next labor of love, proud that my previous creations are out and making their way through the world. Even as I go through the business side of the new EP, I look forward to the creation side of what’s next.

 

Plan Your Content

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If you’re considering adding a blog to your site, you’ll want to have a plan beforehand. Planning your blog will help your subject matter remain consistent over time. It’ll also help you determine whether or not there’s enough material to maintain a steady stream of posts.

One pitfall many new bloggers run into is starting a blog that isn’t posted to frequently enough. A shortage of recent posts can give your visitors a bad impression of your business. One may think “I wonder if they’re still in business” or “they may want to hire a writer.”

A blog, like any other customer facing aspect of your business, communicates your brand. If it isn’t maintained and given proper attention, people will notice. Post regularly and keep your content fresh. Give your audience a reason to visit often.

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Categories and Tags

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If you write about a variety of subjects, categories can help your readers find the posts that are most relevant to them. For instance, if you run a consulting business, you may want some of your posts to reflect work you’ve done with previous clients, while having other posts act as informational resources. In this particular case, you can set up 2 categories: one labeled Projects and another labeled Resources. You’d then place your posts in their respective categories.

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Pages vs. Posts

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If you’re new to WordPress you may be wondering what’s the big deal behind Pages and Posts. At first glance they appear to be one and the same: if you were to create either a new page or a new post you’d be presented with nearly identical interfaces and in many cases the public appearance of pages and posts will look the same.

Don’t let this fool you. There’s a very fundamental difference between the two and that difference is what makes CMSs, like WordPress, great platforms for integrating blogs with traditional websites.

Pages

Think about the kind of pages that make up a typical website. Most often you’ll see pages like “Home”, “About Us”, “Services”, “Contact Us”, etc. Within WordPress these are often treated as Pages; documents that have no particular regard for the time they were posted.

For example, when you visit the “About Us” page of your favorite company’s website you don’t expect the content to be very different from what was available there a week ago.

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