Posts Tagged ‘Hillbilly Hellcats’

My translation of Hugh MacLeod’s “Ignore Everybody”

January 4, 2010

Hugh MacLeod's "Ignore Everybody"

Here is my off-the-cuff totally subjective translation of how Hugh’s 40 ideas apply to my music carreer-
1. Don’t worry about what others say or think.

2. Be as original as you can so others won’t give you advice.

3. Don’t think you have to write the next “Sgt. Pepper”

4. That crazy idea for your next group of tunes that you keep thinking about is the right one.

5. You don’t need a publisher or a record company.

6. Don’t over-analyze, get it done.

7. Don’t think about what will sell, say what you have to say.

8. Keep your current source of income while you are creating your next project.

9. Keep you own culture as creative as you can.

10. Climb your mountain-not someone else’s.

11. Your Squire Strat and free laptop recording program are all the gear you need.

12 Play Austin when there’s no music festival going on.

13. Discover what is unique in how you do you music, what it is about, or to whom it speaks.

14. Play the cover pick up gig for $100 if you need the money, but play your originalswhere you won’t feel pressure to change them.

15. Live to gig another day.

16. When the gig is not right, be willing to walk away, politely.

17. Hang out with people who can teach you something.

18. Remember passion- what yours is, and who expresses it to you.

19. Don’t spend much time thinking about how the gigging scene used to be better.

20. Sing you own song in your own way.

21. LP, CD, MP3, Album, EP, Single-media is always changing.

22. Say what you must- don’t dumb it down.

23. You are your own most important audience.

24. Don’t worry if it will sell- no one ever knows.

25. Set an appointment to write.The inspiration will follow.

26. Keep at it while you’re looking for your own angle.

27. Write what resonates for you-don’t think of the listener.

28 Don’t ask anyone what they think of your work.

29 Be authentic- don’t seek awards or recognition.

30. There will be a price to pay-be willing to pay it.

31. There will be chaos in creativity- embrace it.

32. Most musicians’ best work was done when they were broke. Bling is a burden.

33.Your songs and shows will change as you change.

34.It is one thing to not pursue luxuries, but it is another to have a bed, food, health,transportation, and a space to create.

35. Most musicians had way more fun in their garage band than in their top 40 six-nighter band.

36. You are most free when you are not famous. Appreciate it.

37. Write your blog, post your songs. Those who like them will hang around.

38. There is as much satisfaction in one person’s appreciation of your work as their is in a whole room of people shouting and stomping their feet.

39. You made your CD, toured, sold quite a few- now what?

40. It will be costly to follow the muse, but you will never have to wonder “what if?”


December 11, 2009

A few weeks ago Ariel Hyatt sent out the free Rockstar 2.0 report, and I quickly skimmed through it. It reminded me of all the internet tasks I still had left undone. The first thing I resolved to do was get my text mail list together, since I have been hearing repeatedly that email and Myspace were soon going the way of the model T. So now there is a flourescent sign on my guitar amp that says text hellcats to 69302. When you do, you get a coupon back for $1 off on a Hillbilly Hellcats t-shirt.
Next the email list guilt set in, so I started the research. Would it be Eweber, or Icontact, or Constant Contact, or Bandletter, or Reverbnation? I like the way Reverbnation was linked to everything else, so I filled out my Reverbnation pages, signed up for the mailing list and gigfinder. Followed the impossible directions from several videos to set up Myband on my Facebook personal and fan pages, and in one month have gone from #427 rock band in Denver to #27. We now have 62 addresses on our Reverbnation email list, which I was proud of until Derek Sivers casually mentioned the other day that there’s an advantage to having a non-html mailing list.
A trip to the Durango Songwriters fest in October re-introduced me to Barbara Russell, and I left the showcase with Barbara as my new coach at On her first phone call the next week I bought Carla Lynn Hall’s Twitter for Musicians- I have been tweeting aimlessly and wanted to get it right.
Then an archived call of Barbara’s introduced me to Patrick Schwerdtfeger and his Webify Your Business book, a great 52 week plan to get it together on the internet. I am 4 weeks into that.
With the aid of Myspace, Google, and Craigslist, my dream of gigging in Hawaii came true mid November. My Colorado bassist pulled out of the trip 10 days ahead of time, but through Craigslist I found a bassist in Honolulu who also managed a music store and backlined the gigs. I got on the plane with two confirmed Hawaii shows, but after the first show in Honolulu booked four more in the next two weeks right on the bandstand. It seems that Hawaii venues have a problem with bands from the mainland actually showing up due to flight costs and logistics. Nothing like being there in person to establish credibility.
I wanted some reading material for the plane flight, so I downloaded Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It! onto my Iphone Kindle app, and had finished 8 chapters by the time the plane landed in Honolulu. I knew then that my dormant was going to be pointed to, where my primary blog was going to be a video blog, not just written or photographic, as explained by Gary. I made 3 Hawaii videos and they’re up there.
Oh yeah, in my briefcase was Ariel’s 9 weeks book 2.0, and I posted on my Facebook hillbillyhellcats that I was going to work through it once and for all.
Well, the Hawaii shows went great, and I landed back in Denver Dec. 1st to 10 degree weather, my mind plotting how I was going to sell all my crapola, tie up my loose ends, and relocate to Honolulu.
I was somehow reminded of, and took the plunge Monday, buying 4,000 plays.
The next day my Rev it up with Taz album had risen to #7 on the Amazon Indie retro charts- I like to think it wasn’t a coincidence.
I have backed off touring for awhile to get my internet chops together, and to methodically work through 9 weeks. It all feels very hectic, but let’s see what’s been done-
1. text list
2. email list
6. Facebook personal and band page from 15 contacts to over 500.
7. re-upped sonicbids and have sent to 12 submissions
8. re-upped broadjam and have sent in 6 submissions.
9. Sent out offers on Craigslist, Twitter, Reverbnation, Myspace, and Facebook to teach guitar lessons via Skype today, at several fans’ requests.


Chuck Hughes

Playing Hawaii 5-0.