Tag Archives: record label

Like a Great, Wheezing, Lazarus. Only More So and with a Heroic Beard.

Just as the year started kicking off work-wise, I was stricken with the flu. Highlights included four solid days of migraines and a false dawn a couple of days ago whereupon I delivered a guitar for sale to the city centre and just about ended myself.  Symptoms have now died down to a mere wracking cough and occasional back wrenching sneeze, so it’s back to business.

I’m happy to tell you that the new Dog Moon Howl EP is called These Days and will be released (CD/download) during the month of March, which this year follows hot on the heels of February.  The actual date is not yet set, but we’re planning an end-of-the-month launch gig in Glasgow, so, you know, expect it around the end of the month.  Ish.  More news on this soon, including a teaser track to be brought to you via the magic of YouTube.

Once that’s all sorted, The Craig Hughes Two will be releasing our mini-album, Off the Cuff, culled from a live-in-the-studio session we recorded late last year.  With a running time just shy of a half hour, the tracks are a mixture of live regulars from m’back catalogue, now performed with significantly different duo-arrangements, and a couple of cover versions.  We’re just waiting to get the licensing sorted out for the covers so we can decide on a release date – it will be available on CD and download; tape release TBC.  A further update will follow once everything’s in place.

Things to have fallen significantly behind during this past near-fortnight of influenza induced inertia include blog updates and gig bookings, so I’ll be on those again properly as of later today.  Expect some updates over at Ritual Objects of Sight and Sound and to the gig pages of www.craighughes.net and www.dogmoonhowl.com presently.


EPs. Albums. That sort of thing.

Be warned!  This blog entry concerns itself with the business side of running a micro-label and maintaining a recording career.  Inevitably, words like ‘marketing’, ‘pricing’ and ‘packaging’ will make an appearance.   I don’t normally think in such terms, honest, but when trying to rescue your ailing business via the age old alchemy of Business Planning, you just can’t escape them.  Read on if you dare …

This past few weeks has largely found me trying to put together some kind of workable business plan for the next twelve months.  Things have changed in the four years since I started this business, most notably with my move away from film/video soundtrack and production work after a particularly poisonous experience in that field last year (recently exacerbated by further post-production bullshit), meaning that for the foreseeable future I will not actively be seeking out media work, despite it having been a cornerstone of my business – and income.  It’s unfortunate, but I have such a low tolerance for fuckwits.

My biggest concern, however, is full-length Album Number Two.  It has now – somewhat unbelievably – been slightly over two-and-a-half years since the release of Pissed Off, Bitter And Willing To Share.  That album did well for me, particularly by way of generating excellent press and airplay but since then my only significant solo release has been the mini-album Pennies On My Eyes at the tail end of 2010.  That picked up a couple of excellent online reviews and – most surprisingly – a Scottish New Music Awards nomination, but was a limited release, available as part of the Graveyard Full Of Blues split CD with Sleepy Eyes Nelson‘s Build That Coffin Of Mine, and digitally only through my websites (via Bandcamp).  Since then, I’ve been devoting quite a bit of time to Dog Moon Howl, the heavy rock band I put together with old muckers Bryan Campbell and Ally Tennick.  We recently released a demo EP, Strip-Lit Hell, which has been doing well for us.

So, now that the band is properly up-and-running, it’s time to concentrate on my solo work again.  I’ve certainly got plenty of songs in place and a strong idea for the overall vibe and look of the album and package.  Unfortunately, releasing an album can be a costly business – even when done on the comparative cheap.  All of the previous releases I have issued through my label Channel Nowhere have been to a degree experimental, trying every format (EP, single, album, mini-album, split CD, download) and level of pricing and distribution (buy-at-gigs only, full DD, limited DD, multi-buy deals, pay-what-you-want, free) as well as a variety of different packaging formats (various jewel cases, wallet packs, DVD cases, PDFs).

All of this has been done until now with the Channel Nowhere in-house duplication/printing set-up, on what is basically a modified print-on-demand basis, as per my original business plan.  This helps to keep costs down while maintaining quality at a high standard but it’s also seriously labour-intensive.  So, with another new packaging concept in place for the next album, the likelihood is that there will be at the very least some elements outsourced, particularly printing.  Which of course means expense.  Tie this in with what would be a very tight production and release schedule (both Pissed Off and Pennies were released late in their respective years which quickly made them seem a year ‘old’ when marketing them in the following months, so I know I’d be best aiming at a release date no later than September) leaving me with the inevitability that I have to delay the project until early 2013.  Which, believe me, is deeply fucking frustrating.

I’m left with the prospect of a second full year without a meaningful release under my own name.  Given that I’m also about to delete my first EP (Broke, Lonely and Guilty), the old back catalogue’s going to be looking a tad depleted too.  So, the current notion, which is flirting with the possibility of becoming a plan, is to release an E.P in September/October.  As you might have gathered by now, I put a lot of stock in the album as a format, but I also like the EP – I feel you can be a bit more ‘fast and loose’ about EPs, so their contents will likely vary to include covers, alternative versions of older tracks and likes; this will be a ‘volume one’ type-deal, with future releases in the series (main title to be confirmed) appearing on an as-and-when basis, between albums.  Also, packaging-wise the EPs will be your basic ‘cheap-and-cheerful’ (wallet pack with lyric sheet) and priced accordingly.  I’ll be doing a bit of touring around this release and should have some cool news about that soon.

The rest of the Channel Nowhere plan for the next twelve months includes – as well as lots of live work – hopefully a YouTube video-series or podcast (details to follow), an EP and album release called The Lies Behind The Truth (a bit on the prog side, that one) and an album from Dog Moon Howl.  ‘Kinell!