Multitasking And My New Studio

While I was playing the guitar and downloading some stuff I read this article about the problem of multitasking. And… yes, I already know I have a real problem with multitasking. Like most of us, I do it too much instead of concentrating on doing one thing at a time.

It may be something that’s been exacerbated everywhere by mobile phones and other modern distractions, but I spent most of my life having to multitask, because it was absolutely essential in my old career of pathology lab science. I had to spin plates* hour after hour, day after day, year after year. Even before the ever-increasing modern curse and horror of downsizing staff and upsizing workload, I had to be able to do lots of things at once – things that were literally a matter of life and death. And I still have nightmares about it… always about not having enough time to do everything.

So even today, after being out pathology for four years, I still feel like I have to be doing several things at once, and at the same time thinking about half a dozen other things that need done!
 
And I’ll bet it’s the same in most jobs. What about yours?
 
I love it when I do actually let go and focus on something. It happens when I’m recording or playing music… but not all the time. I might still be checking emails and Facebook every five minutes, on a bad day. However, on those days when I really get into it I can focus for hours on end and those are the days when I achieve something.
 
Or reading a book – something I don’t allow myself enough time for any more – but that can absorb me enough to stop thinking about other things. The problem is that I expect the book to absorb me, rather than me absorbing the book – you know what I mean? If the book isn’t riveting enough I’m likely to put it down rather than put the effort into it. It shouldn’t be like that because that reduces the act of reading to mere entertainment.
 
Anyway, it’s interesting that this article came up in my emails today because, on the very day that my new studio here in Tasmania is finally up and running (yeah!) I had already been thinking that I now need to actually get down to making music again. My fingers can hardly even work the guitar! I’d better get them back up to speed before my new Dean Boca electric 12-string guitar arrives from DW Music in Canberra! 🙂

* If you don’t know what plate spinning is, you’re too young to have watched old-fashioned variety shows on TV.  Check out this clip from The Ed Sullivan Show.

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)

Rod Cordner and Jean-Pierre Rudolph tour England, June 2014

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see Cordner & Rudolph in England!

Exactly 26 years ago, on 7th May 1988, we left Northern Ireland, but for nearly 10 years before that we played all over the country with Rod Cordner and spent a huge amount of time with him, his wife Jennifer, and his whole family, to whom we are eternally thankful for their inspiration, friendship, prayers, love and kindness.

In those years we also became great friends with French virtuoso violinist Jean-Pierre Rudolph, who became Rodney’s musical partner when he toured all over Europe, which he did frequently. And, again, we have much to thank Jean-Pierre and his wife Anne for – we even managed to avail ourselves of their generosity when we were in their home town of Strasbourg, France and Anne put us up for a few days even though we’d never met her before!

We catch up with Rod and Jenny every time we’re back in Ireland, and their home is still the haven it always was for us when we visit Portadown, where we both grew up.

Sadly, I haven’t seen Jean-Pierre (or Paddy-John as we used to call him) since we both happened to be back in Ireland at the same time in 1996, and I would love to be able to see the two of them perform together again. But if you’re in England you have a chance to catch them on this short tour in June.

If you do make it along, say hi to Rod and Jean-Pierre for us. And if you can, grab a little bit of video on your mobile phone and share it with me, OK? 🙂

– DC
Rod-Cordner-Jean-Pierre Rudolph-tour-poster-2014

Here’s a photo that I took of them when they played at Greenbelt Festival in England in 1986.

Greenbelt-Jean-Pierre-Rudolph-Rod-Cordner-photo-by-DC-Cardwell

Tuesday 3rd June 2014
Bradford BBC Radio 106.6FM
Drive programme with John Hebden, 4-6 pm
www.bcbradio.co.uk
Listen LIVE HERE!

Friday 6th June 2014
Hartlepool TS24 0QJ
Contact David Taylor (see poster for phone no.)

Saturday 7th June 2014
Chapel A House Concerts
Leeds LS7 4LF
Contact Alan Gibson (see poster for phone no.)
www.chapelahouseconcerts.co.uk

Sunday 8th June 2014
Old Royal Oak
Knaresborough HG5 8AL
(see poster for phone no.)

Monday 9th June 2014
Bishop FM 105.9
The Folk Show with Terry Ferdinand 9-11 pm
Listen LIVE at www.bishopfm.com

Wed 11th June
Ravenscourt Arts
London W6 0UH
Contact Darren Hirst (see poster for phone no.)
www.wegottickets.com/event/271690

I love my original old copy of “On The Beach” by Neil Young because…

I love my original old copy of #OnTheBeach by #NeilYoung because the pattern on the beach furniture is printed on the INSIDE - where the record goes! How cool is that! Samuel and I played "Motion Pictures" on our webcast today, replete with his sweet lap steel (he manages to sound just like the late, great #BenKeith!) and my harmonica on one of those dang neck braces where the harp seems to go away from you every time you try to play it.
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I love my original old copy of "On The Beach" by Neil Young because the pattern on the beach furniture is printed on the INSIDE – where the record goes! How cool is that! Samuel and I played "Motion Pictures" on our webcast today, replete with his sweet lap steel (he manages to sound just like the late, great Ben Keith!) and my harmonica on one of those dang neck braces where the harp seems to go away from you every time you try to play it.

For up to date info about my webcasts, please sign up for the newsletter at dccardwell.fanbridge.com
(And you'll also get some free mp3s!)

Our Woodface singles box

The only #Woodface single we actually have in our Woodface singles box was Four Seasons In One Day, which came with it (and which, incidentally, I sang on both of my webcasts in the last 24 hrs.) I think Marjorie found this in that cool record shop in Bellingham, WA, whose name I've forgotten. But we also use it to store our single of Nails In My Feet, which was especially dear to us as it's signed by the whole of #CrowdedHouse (for it is they) and as well as the scintillating title song, it includes the then rare You Can Touch, an absolutely gorgeous song, which later surfaced on the outtakes album Afterglow. I was also surprised to find a block of wood in there, appropriately enough. I think I might have put it in there to reduce the risk of squishage when we were moving here from Canada. Anyway, I just wanted to post this because I was discussing Nails In My Feet with @lotusrootsky - hi!
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The only #oodface single we actually have in our Woodface singles box was Four Seasons In One Day, which came with it (and which, incidentally, I sang on both of my webcasts in the last 24 hrs.) I think Marjorie found this in that cool record shop in Bellingham, WA, whose name I've forgotten. [EDIT: I remembered – it was Cellophane Square!] But we also use it to store our single of Nails In My Feet, which was especially dear to us as it's signed by the whole of  Crowded House (for it is they) and as well as the scintillating title song, it includes the then rare You Can Touch, an absolutely gorgeous song, which later surfaced on the outtakes album Afterglow. I was also surprised to find a block of wood in there, appropriately enough. I think I might have put it in there to reduce the risk of squishage when we were moving here from Canada.

 

Hank Williams as Luke The Drifter. A 10″ record on MGM.

#HankWillams as Luke The Drifter.  A 10" record on MGM. My Mum & Dad had very few records when I was growing up but they were almost all really brilliant - I loved them then and they sound just as good today! Probably very influential on my musical development, too. This is one of them. @omnivorerecordings are releasing newly discovered radio recordings by Hank Williams for Record Store Day and the preview I heard sounded fantastic! Hank was incomparable. #omnivore #omnivorerecordings
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Hank Williams as Luke The Drifter.  A 10″ record on MGM. My Mum and Dad had very few records when I was growing up but they were almost all really brilliant – I loved them then and they sound just as good today! Probably very influential on my musical development, too. This is one of them. @omnivorerecordings are releasing newly discovered radio recordings by Hank Williams for Record Store Day and the preview I heard sounded fantastic! Hank was incomparable. #omnivore #omnivorerecordings

 

For up to date info about my webcasts, please sign up for the newsletter at dccardwell.fanbridge.com
(And you’ll also get some free mp3s!)

And one more blurry iPhoto of Neil Finn who sounded fab in Melbourne tonight. #neilfinn

And one more blurry iPhoto of Neil Finn who sounded fab in Melbourne tonight. #neilfinn
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