DC Cardwell now on Pandora Radio!

My music is now on Pandora!

I think this is good! To tell you the truth, I’d never previously used the service before, although I’ve signed up for it now, as a user as well as an artist. I’m sure a lot of you are already familiar with it. (At least those of you who live in the US, Australia and New Zealand – it’s restricted to those territories for the time being.)

What is Pandora Radio?

DC Cardwell on Pandora Music

Yes, that’s me on right after Fairport Convention

It’s been around for a while. Much longer than Spotify, in fact it was founded in 1999 – that’s the last century! A long time ago in the world of music streaming. Many years ago I was visiting a new acquaintance and, to my amazement, she and her teenage kids were happily enjoying music streamed from Pandora into their living room. I’d vaguely heard of it but was actually quite surprised and impressed that people I knew were actually using it! It seemed a bit Jetsons to me. In a good way. Oh yes, this was just down the road, but my friend was American so that explained why she was using something so cool and modern! Some things never change – she probably had a microwave too.

If you’re not familiar with it, basically, the deal is that you tell it some of the artists you like, and it suggests other music that it feels is similar to what you like. You can then give  thumbs up or thumbs down to what you hear, and Pandora will refine the music it plays for you.  You can listen to it in a web browser (i.e. what you browse the internet with) or with an app on your iPhone or similar smartphone.

The Music Genome Project

This is all done by a combination of science and human experts, as far as I can tell. You may have heard of the Human Genome Project, which was (very loosely speaking) a massive scientific project to identify the components up of human DNA. Well, Pandora is based on The Music Genome Project, which, according to Wikipedia, was “developed by [Will] Glaser with musical input from [Tim] Westergren. The idea was to create a separate, individualized radio station for each user having just the “good” music on it, with none of the “junk” that other users like. In order to achieve that goal, they had to bring different styles

The Beatles followed up by John Lennon live on Pandora

The Beatles followed up by John Lennon live on Pandora

of music together into a predictable pattern for analysis. They created 400 specifications for each song that is then compared to the listener’s preferences in order to suggest other songs or artists with similar characteristics.”

The writer of this article assumes that “Pandora’s team of curators expects excellence from all the music they accept. As Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder, has said:  “You have to earn your way into Pandora.”

So that’s nice 🙂

Is it Really A Good Thing?

There has been some controversy recently about Pandora’s rates of payment to the artists. I’m not really interested in getting into that argument in this post.  At this point in my career I only know one thing for sure – that my main aim is to get my music heard by as many people as possible! And it seems to me that Pandora is a good way of getting it into the ears of the very people who might like it, but would never have heard it otherwise. We all know that algorithms are changing our lives in ways that would have been unimaginable a generation ago. Well, for me, right now, I’m happy to have the Music Genome Project’s algorithms on my side.

What can YOU do to help?

Don’t sign up for Pandora simply because of me! But, on the other hand, it’s easy to signup, and, well, I’ve had it trundling along in another browser tab while writing this post and, I have to admit, it’s been really effective at playing music I like.

I’m really fussy about the music I listen to (“No! You’re kidding!”my sarcastic friends), but it has kept it on the right path so far – I have enjoyed practically everything I’ve heard, to my amazement, really.

OK, I’ve helped it out by clicking the “Add Variety” button and typing in the names of artists I like, and you can do that to, but it’s also come up with a lot of other artists I wouldn’t have normally listened to. I’ve given two or three thumbs down, that’s all. (Not telling you who to!)

So if you’re already using it, or fancy giving it a chance, you could help me by typing in MY name. Or just find me at http://pandora.com/dc-cardwell – and when my songs are playing, click on the THUMBS UP button!

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How To Get Your Music On Pandora Radio

Having said that, until recently it really was difficult to be featured on Pandora unless you were signed to a major record label or publisher. But they have at last made it possible for anyone to apply for submission. There are certain conditions you have to fulfill, and even then you’re not guaranteed to be accepted. Obviously they still want to maintain their reputation of serving up good music for their listeners. But if you’re an artist, you can submit your music at Pandora Submission Page.  You should set up your own listener account first, unless you’re in a country which doesn’t have the service, in which case you should first email musicandcomedy@pandora.com and they will help you.

– DC  (http://pandora.com/dc-cardwell)

Gorgonzola and Vegemite. What? It was great

Gorgonzola and Vegemite. What? It was great!

Like many people, I detested it for many years – until I made the mistake of tasting it. Now my family despise me when they see me eating it and I’ve almost given up saying “You’ll love it!” I followed the instructions of friends to have it on thickly buttered toast – but only a tiny amount of Vegemite. It really does enhance the flavours of other things.

#gorgonzola #vegemite #foodmatch #pungent


Imported from DC Cardwell’s Instagram account (instagram.com/DC_Cardwell)

Instagram filter used: Hudson

View in Instagram ⇒

Ten Records That Changed My Life… REALLY changed my life.

Ten records that changed my life

Yesterday (8th Jan, 2014) a Facebook friend of mine, Bill Mallonee, posed the following question:

10 life changing records. (I know! It’s impossible!)
Take a deep breath & list ’em in less than 3 minutes.
Don’t over think it.

Well, you know what? I did over-think it. It’s pretty easy to reel off some of your favourite records, like I did here and here, but (being a pedantic git) I felt that if you’re going to describe something as life-changing it had better be something that really did have some particular concrete effect on your existence. So it took me longer than 3 minutes, but not much longer. Here’s a slightly edited and expanded version:

Ten Life Changing Records

Life changing? Life. Changing. Life changing. Records that really, really truly changed my life. Hmm. Not necessarily albums. Nor my favourite, nor the best, nor the coolest records.

1: Johnny Cash‘s first gospel LP (Hymns by Johnny Cash) – My parents had it it and it was probably the first record that felt blissful to me – that showed me how powerful music could be, even before I really became a “music fan”

2: Elton John‘s Crocodile Rock. For some strange reason hearing it on Top Of The Pops was a revelation to me that stupid, freakish, long-haired, ungodly, noisy rock’n’roll music was actually really great. [I know Crocodile Rock, while great, is not exactly the pinnacle of the form, but for me it was the key that unlocked the door.] It was the first record I ever bought and it instantly made me into a “music fan”.Ø

3-5: Larry Norman‘s three albums Upon This Rock, Only Visiting This Planet and Bootleg – My sister borrowed them and they taught me that rock’n’roll wasn’t evil and you could be funny, clever and talk about whatever you wanted [The Ku Klux Klan, Paul McCartney’s Hofner bass, venereal disease, Jesus]

6 – Neil Young‘s Zuma – I heard John Peel play the track Looking For A Love on the little transistor radio under my pillow one night in 1976. I’d never heard Neil Young before but I fell for the sound immediately. I went out and bought the album and it’s still, in my mind, the definitive “perfect electric guitar sound” that I basically strive for in my playing [much of the time, anyway].

7-9: Jonathan Richman & The Modern LoversRock’n’Roll With The Modern Lovers, Patrik Fitzgerald‘s Safety Pin Stuck In My Heart E.P.* & Wild Man Fischer‘s Wildmania!§ – the fact that Marjorie owned these three records that I also loved was a major factor in bringing us together at school in 1977, and we’re still married.

10 – Crowded House‘s Woodface – I’d gradually grown fond of them on the radio (They played Better Be Home Soon, Don’t Dream It’s Over, Fall At Your Feet, Sister Madly quite often on CFMI) when we lived in Vancouver, and finally bought the CD. Marjorie and I felt it was immediately fell for the album in a very, very deep way, particularly the first half, which seemed to representative another kind of perfect sound which we felt we’d been looking for all our lives. Marjorie loved them so much that (to cut a long story

11 – Some other Johnny Cash record – I was listening to him one day at work in the lab about ten years ago [I can’t remember which song but I think it was from his Sun years]

NOTES

Ø I subsequently bought the Daniel and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 45s and was settling in for a lifetime of brilliant Elton John releases, but I wasn’t so sure about Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting (it was OK, but I could think of better things to spend my 45p on)  and never again bought another Elton John single, or, for that matter, a post-1973 album of his. This was my first lesson in pop disappointment.

* Patrik was the first “folk-punk” guy (to release a record) in the original UK punk scene of 1976-78. I’ve always thought that Marjorie and I don’t have an “our song” in the way that Americans talk about it, but I guess Patrik’s Safety Pin Stuck In My Heart was Our Song!

§ Wild Man’s first, and most famous album, was the double album An Evening With Wild Man Fischer, about eight years before Wildmania!. This was his “comeback album”. John Peel played a track every night and I taped the whole album. I used to go round school singing the songs from it (and to think I say I only became a singer about ten years ago!) and some of the songs became quite popular among my friends. (“My name is Larry, I have a canary”, “I went to a disco in San Francisco” – you can see why).

One day Marjorie told me she’d got the album. I actually thought she was only joking as it wasn’t the kind of thing you’d find in the records shops in Portadown. And I think she was disappointed but didn’t really impress the fact on me. But some time later, when we were closer friends, I found it in her record collection and nearly died! It turned out she’d ordered it from “overseas” (i.e. England) out of an ad in the NME.

I spent years wondering how I could get the first album and I eventually found it in a shop in London. But despite it being, by far, the most famous and well-regarded, it’s nowhere near as good as Wildmania!, which, in my opinion, is where his art all came together in its most cohesive and beautiful form; in short, his masterpiece.

Yuendumu Benefit Concert in Melbourne for NT youth – 7th Feb 2014 at TLC

Yuendumu Benefit Gig

A benefit concert for youth programs in Yuendumu, a town in the Northern Territory of Australia

WHEN? Friday, 7th Feb 2014
WHERE? TLC, 265 Canterbury Rd, Bayswater, VIC
TIME? 7 pm

 

Steve Messer’s Strange Country

Country, bluegrass, blues & gospel

The Sweet Sorrows (Sammy & Kylie Horner)

Toronto based Irish troubador & Australian songstress

DC Cardwell, Victor Stranges & Andrea Kocevska

Melbourne singer/songwriters

$20 entry (supper included)

Please invite your friends too!

“Caring, Acting, Sharing with those in need of a hand up”

Contact:

Jennifer Robinson (click to email)

CLICK BELOW for videos by me and my good friends Victor Stranges & Andrea Kocevska who will be performing with me at the concert.

And below the videos is a map to the venue… now you have NO excuses!

The blue marker below shows the location of the venue (TLC)


View TLC (Truth & Liberation Concern) in a larger map

Poster for Yuendumu Benefit Concert 2014 (poster by DC Cardwell)

Poster for Yuendumu Benefit Concert 2014 (poster by DC Cardwell)
Click on the image to download a full-size version for printing

How Social Networking Has Been A Game Changer For Musicians

DC Cardwell with Aria FA71 guitarDC Cardwell is a singer-songwriter, originally from Northern Ireland, now based in Melbourne, Australia. This part-universal, part-personal post was prompted by a question from a friend on “how social media has helped musicians”.


I believe that social networking has had the most profound impact on the relationship between musician and listener since the twin-pronged technological advances of recording and broadcasting in the early 20th century.

Both of those inventions allowed musicians to reach the listener without having to be in the same physical place and time. Before they came along, almost the only ways for an artist to propagate their music were by printed sheet music or by the folk process of memorization and repetition.

But the entire game has been changed again with the advent of social networking (and its close relative social media)

Unrecorded: How it used to be.

Old Graphophone (Gramophone, Phonograph) with horn

This record player is even older than me.

The value of social networking for music-makers is perhaps most starkly illustrated when we’re talking about a particular class of artists, of which I am one.

I’m referring to that large set of creative musicians who have learned to play music in their youth, been incredibly passionate about it, but never done it seriously or professionally. Instead, they’ve put the bulk of their resources and energies into other careers, marriage, raising children, other non-musical pursuits, or less creative musical occupations.

I found myself firmly entrenched in this position during the  “noughties”. Any chance of a music career had slipped away many years previously. I’d married young and my children were already well on their way towards adulthood. I’d had a perfectly good career in pathology for many years, but, for me, it had simply been a way of putting food on the table.

However, during those years just after the new millenium began, I acquired some computer recording software and a few microphones and started to make the kind of music that I’d been developing in my head over the years. Primarily a guitarist, I even learned to sing a bit, just to make things more interesting, and I began writing songs that I thought were reasonably OK.

Screenshot from DC Cardwell's Adobe Audition session for his song Birthday Present

My multitrack session for “Birthday Present”

I was astounded to find that I could record tracks that were of near-studio quality. Due to digital technology and decreasing costs, I could make music that, twenty years previously, would have required the finances and resources of a large record company and an expensive recording studio.

But who was going to hear this music? Sure, I could burn a few CDs and pass them around to friends. I could do some gigs around town, but it was far-fetched for a middle-aged family man with a mortgage to pack his gear into a van and hit the road, widening his audience by traveling the length and breadth of the country playing to whomever would listen.

It was also a long-shot to expect any record company to be interested in a distinctly unglamorous looking forty-something.

Tom Is Everybody’s Friend: MySpace changes everything!

WARNING: stuff about me for a while here!

But around 2004-05 I started hearing about MySpace. I was fortunate to be one of the computer-literate people who was already very comfortable with the Internet, and had even had some experience of primitive social networking. For example, by playing an online word-game I’d found that I could easily make friends with people from around the world. MySpace amplified this ability a hundredfold, also adding images and music to the mix.

I uploaded one or two of my songs to that pioneering network, and to my surprise and considerable delight, discovered that some people actually quite

DC Cardwell's Tom Song in Myspace player - screenshot

My Tom Song in the old Myspace player (screenshot)

liked my songs and even my hitherto unknown singing voice.

I even wrote a song about the network’s founder, “MySpace Tom” Anderson – not a joke song, but a wry 60s/70s-style pop song which answered a question I was often asked by newcomers: “Who is this Tom guy on my friend list?”

My song was called Tom Is Everybody’s Friend and, for a few days after it got mentioned on Tom’s own page, it went viral (or, at, least semi-viral) before the term was even known. I watched my friend count shoot up rapidly and had to field a huge amount of comments and messages. Suddenly I could really see the power of this new social network to get my music out to people all over the world. It was pretty amazing!

Meet The Author: How has social networking helped my music career?

That was the real birth of my new career. Since then I haven’t been one of those lucky enough to make large amounts of money from my music, but I’ve released my first album, Some Hope, recorded some songs in Los Angeles for a film, won a song contest, played a fair number of live shows in my own city of Melbourne, and, above all, developed a faithful, far-flung following of fans all over the world!

I’ve even gone one step further and quit my lifelong career in pathology to do music full-time.

(I’ve been very fortunate in that my wife, Marjorie Cardwell (now there’s a singer!) began a new career after several years of study, and now she supports me as I previously did her. With my new-found skills I was also able to record an album for her, release it and do the bulk of the necessary social networking required to build a fan base for her.)

Most of my middle-aged peers don’t reach that stage of being able to quite their day job, but the point remains – they can still find (and be found by) fans and distribute their music to the four corners of the earth, largely by means of social networking.

Of course, other ancillary online tools, such as blogs, Tunecore, CD Baby, iTunes, FanBridge, Internet radio etc. are also important, but social networking is the human factor of the Internet by which the independent artist connects with existing and new fans.

And, as we all know, the scene doesn’t remain static. We’ve talked about MySpace, and that was the beginning for many of us slightly older folk. But MySpace suddenly lost ground to Facebook and Twitter.

YouTube has of course, become a major platform for people to find and listen to music, and I did go through a phase of serious networking on it, despite its inadequate social interface. However, a while back my YouTube channels were suddenly shut down, I lost all my followers and view counts, and I had to start all over again so that was a bit of a setback from which I haven’t yet recovered! Google has been making improvements to the YouTube interface but in my opinion it’s still, unfortunately, too clunky to be taken very seriously as a social network. Speaking as a video creator, I do hope that it improves in that regard. But I suspect most video consumers aren’t particularly hungry for a better social experience on YouTube. At present, Youtube’s main role is as a repository for our “product”. 

Similarly, Reverbnation and Soundcloud have bubbled along as perhaps the best frees platform for uploading pure music to be shared on Facebook, although, for me, their social value has been much less significant.

Right now (late 2013) my main social platform of choice is Instagram, which may surprise some. For some reason Twitter never quite clicked with me in a sustainable way, but the addition of photographs and removal of the 140 character limit just happens to sit well with my personality.

Way With Words: How does social networking work for musicians?

Social networking is, of course, mainly a verbal medium. Photographs, sounds and videos can be a part of it, but the glue that holds it together is words.

Screenshot of a comment on DC Cardwell's MySpace page

A comment on my MySpace page from the classic mid-noughties era (thanks Jess!)

I remember how, as a young music fan, I was hungry for any information about my musical heroes. I used to collect interviews and articles – physically cut them out of magazines (I can hear some of you young kids sniggering down at the back) – and file them away. You couldn’t just look stuff up. Articles and photographs came in a trickle and you had to be alert in case you missed anything.

If I ever got the chance to say one or two words to an artist I loved it was just unbelievable good fortune! Can you imagine how unlikely that was back in those days?

But that human factor is much more readily available these days, if the artist is savvy enough to use the social networks. I’ve had conversations online with many of my favourite artists. And I’ve also found myself chatting with people I didn’t know and only later discovering that they are brilliant singers, songwriters or musicians. It’s quite nice when friendship comes first and fanship comes afterwards.

Very often people get to know me, and I get to know them, and it’s quite some time before they even find out that I make music. I’ve always been very careful not to be mercenary or cynical in my approach. I really, genuinely, do make friends with the people I meet online! People are smart and, by and large, they know if you’re being disingenuous.

However, I suspect that even if you’re not that good at chatting with people online, you can still make good use of social networking to advance your music career. It isn’t all about lengthy heart-to-heart conversations. here are other ways of using your natural characteristics to attract friends/followers/fans online. If you’re blessed with pithy wit I’m sure you can use that to gather followers. (I suspect that kind of person is even more likely to find their true home on Twitter.) You might be very knowledgeable about some subject – perhaps your favourite band or music style. You might be very beautiful (or at least buff up really well for photographs.)

Social networking is a reflection of life so there is no set way to make things work for you or for me. If it’s not an organic, dynamic process it’s probably doomed to failure. And I know that some artists will just never get it – will never be able to sit at a computer, or stare at their smartphone and see it as a portal to real, living, breathing people. You have to admire people like that, you really do! And just hope that they find another way of getting their music noticed.

In A Thousand Years: What does the future hold for social networking?

It’s hard to imagine social networking going away. Like the post office or telephone they are simply a part of life now. Many websites and platforms that aren’t primarily social still have a social networking element to them. In a way, it’s simply another string to the technological bow. But in my opinion it’s a game changer (I know, we all hate that cliché!) for musicians, and for anyone who is creative and wishes to make their art findable.

We’ve all read about how some extremely famous artists (if I mention Justin Bieber will it put this post up the rankings?) have made their careers solely by virtue of social networking platforms. And sometimes it’s even true. But for every megastar who has shot meteorically to worldwide fame, there are a thousand creative musicians who have slowly and steadily gathered many friends and fans who are hungry for good music.

And the good news is that, unlike major record companies, unlike the press, unlike radio and TV, these social networks are available to all!

Of course, none of this applies solely to people who had previously considered themselves “past their use-by date”. It’s just as important for most younger musicians. But I feel that examples such as mine are illustrative of the power in social networking.

Social networking is (or can be) important for almost every artist today! And even more so for every one who doesn’t have a record company, agent, publisher or other corporate entity to spread their music for them.

But for the non-touring, day-job-working, family-raising, or just stay-at-home artist, it’s absolutely essential and it makes possible what was previously impossible.

Twenty years ago almost every truly independent artist was severely restricted in their reach. Yes, there were a few early pioneers who kicked down doors and walls through sheer force of will. But with the advent of social networking the world became smaller – a lot smaller – for those of us who want our music to be heard beyond our own four walls.

Know Me: True fulfillment as a musician.

DC Cardwell's Some Hope CD

It still blows me away that (at my age)  I have become a singer-songwriter who releases albums!

That connection with the listener, and therefore the realization that my music is being enjoyed and appreciated, is the single most important thing for me as an artist. It’s worth more than money, by far. It’s what tells me what I’m doing is worthwhile!

Yes – I’m enough of an artist that self-expression is absolutely essential to me. And my motivation is, as I often say, “to make the kind of music that I want to hear.”

But beyond the actual act of making music, the most gratifying moment for me is when someone says to me, “Your song means a lot to me!” Or “Those words made me cry because I can relate to what you’re saying.” Or, “I can’t get that riff of yours out of my head!”  

Or, perhaps best of all, that most profound of inarticulate phrases, “Your music rocks!”

And the true beauty of social networks to me is that I get this kind of affirmation almost every day!

Now THAT is a result!

DC Cardwell

Listen to DC’s music here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yuendumu Benefit Gig featuring some of my friends!

My friends at TLC (Truth & Liberation Concern) in Bayswater (Melbourne) are putting on a benefit concert for youth programs in Yuendumu, which is a town in the Northern Territory of Australia. I was asked to perform at this concert but unfortunately I have a prior engagement for that date. It’s for a very good cause and you won’t regret going along! Some of the performers are very good friends of mine with whom I’ve recorded and performed before, namely Victor Stranges & Andrea Kocevska ~ DC


Yuendumu-Poster-banner-web

Yuendumu Benefit Gig

WHEN? Saturday, Sept 21st 2013
WHERE? TLC, 265 Canterbury Rd, Bayswater, VIC
TIME? 6-10 pm

Peter York & The Ordinary Brothers

(with Adrien March)

Steve Messer & Strange Country

Gerry Holmes, Dom Godfrey & Darryl Thompson

Victor Stranges

Andrea Kocevska

Androo Crothers

Ahhhcapella Singers

AND MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED!

$10 entry (supper included)

Please invite your friends too!

“Caring, Acting, Sharing with those in need of a hand up”

Contact:

Jennifer Wallace (click to email)

CLICK BELOW for videos by my good friends Victor Stranges & Andrea Kocevska who will be performing at the concert. 

Review of Marjorie’s album in Strutterzine

“Ireland-born, Australia-based singer Marjorie Cardwell’s In Another World was inspired by the diagnosis of a brain tumour in 2012 so, as you might expect, there are some pretty personal songs included. Fortunately, Marjorie’s sense of irony is firmly in place on an album of retro pop with a generally upbeat feel that’s life-affirming. Cardwell’s voice is the perfect vehicle for these classic 60s-influenced songs and is particularly effective on the bittersweet ‘Not On Your Own’.”

Strutterzine magazine, Jan 2013

 

Strutterzine-Marjorie Cardwell-In Another World-review 2013

Full page

Strutterzine-Marjorie Cardwell-In Another World-review 2013

Marjorie’s review