Sum Greater – Get Managed on the Cheap

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Sum Greater Entertainment had another beneficial meeting last week. Everyone involved has been busy making songs and websites, logos and business cards, legal work and paperwork, and generally coming up with ideas. It was good to come together to compare notes and see where we can take the organization.

Since we are just starting up, Sum Greater is still hashing out everything from our sale’s pitches to what basic services we offer. We all have some ideas of where we want to go, and how we want to get there, and so now we’ve been making strides in getting all of that down on paper so that people can actually use us as a service in the Hillsboro area. Here is some of what we talked about in last two meetings:

Minutes!:

I wrote a song for future use by the charity. We listened to that, and inspected and edit new business cards, a mock up tour guide and drink coupons, and the new website that OC is finishing up. Lots of new stuff and things, which feels very professional. A graphic designer made us a few versions of a logo. And, with of this fun stuff there was, of course, a bunch of paperwork to go along with it.

UPCOMING SHOW AT INFLUENCE IN DOWNTOWN HISTORIC HILLSBORO?

Can’t say for sure, yet, but the rumor around town is that Influence might have just won a grant that will allow the Hall to put on a new series of concerts. Stay tuned for more on that; I’ll post about it when we know for sure. Evan, who founded the Hall and has been working with musical acts in Hillsboro for years, has agreed to give Sum Greater some pointers (a Supervisory External Coach, if such a thing exists).

Mock Tour!

Most of our meeting was taken up with discussing new ideas, and the idea that excited me the most is that of doing a tour around Hillsboro, Portland, and coast. We will get our name out there, and start to work out the nitty-gritties of how to make a tour happen for an act represented by Sum Greater. Some of our events will provide both music and live art – paintings inspired by the music by Al from ABPositive.

(P.S. If you also are excited about the idea of manageable beginner musician’s tour, organized for you by Sum Greater, then let me know. Personally, I’ve never tried it, and I expect it to be a real boost in exposure and experience.)

SHOUTouts

Thanks to Clark’s Bistro for hosting our meetings – they have great Moscow Mules, if you are in the market. Thanks to Cedar House Media, who has been doing some great work for us with the cards and flyers. And, as always, thanks to the Influence Music Hall for just being awesome.

Final Thoughts: What is Sum Greater, Exactly?

I’m not sure! We want to be what the music community in Hillsboro needs us to be. Here are our initial ideas:

Talent Management (We coordinate and book and manage tours)

Event Promotion (Posters and posts to increase your turnouts)

Openers (Providing talent to fill out the show, or even dancers and painters to back you up)

And, it is for a good cause: Social Impact, a public benefit workforce funded by Sum Greater.

 

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Make sense? Ideas? Thoughts? Let us know on our facebook page or comment on this post.

 

 

 

 

 

links:

new song:

https://mybrokenid.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/new-song-mostly-finished-see-the-process/

sum greater:

https://www.facebook.com/QuintonAOConnor/?fref=ts

cedar house:

http://www.cedarhousemedia.com/index.html

clarks:

http://www.clarksbistroandpub.com/

influence:

http://influencemusichall.org/

abpostive:

https://www.facebook.com/ABPositiveco/?fref=ts

new song, mostly finished, see the process:

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my first song written for a paid assignment. i’m working with a new organization called Sum Greater Entertainment. we put on concerts in Hillsboro, just outside of Portland, Oregon. part of the proceeds go to a charity, and this song is for that charity.

 

i actually touched up the audio a bit, and added some backing instruments, but when i uploaded the .mov file to youtube it had, very oddly, stripped it of all the edits to the audio. i uploaded the file 3 times, and each time it uploaded quickly but didn’t have the edited audio. very strange. if i listen to the same file, from my desktop, it has the bass and drums. anyone know what is up with that?

i thought about writing this song for about 2 months, and i actually wrote it in 1 night. that is often how my creativity works. i picked at the idea of writing a song on such-and-such a topic and imagined how the tone of such a song should feel, for weeks, only thinking about it once every few days. 1 month in, after i had mulled a bit, i had the idea of using a riff and melody that i’d made up without the charity in mind at all, and then after a few more weeks of mulling i realized that i’d stopped imagining using any other tunes. at some point, without really realizing it, i had decided on this melody.

then, at around 2 am a few nights ago, i picked up the guitar. i didn’t think very hard or long about what i was going to write, in the same way that a boxer might study theory before the fight so that it becomes second nature and instinctive, during. once i had a mood and a free moment and the opportunity to play without anyone bothering me, i just slipped into it. i wrote the lyrics in about an hour. here is the first draft:

lend a hand in spring get one to lead you in the autumn

plant a seed and turn your back and it grows

i’ll teach you how to walk for an iou

then you can help me cross the road

spend a bit of time on it, take interest in the spinning

in the cycle as it comes back around

the best part about falling down

is getting back in touch with the ground

i don’t owe you nothing

and you don’t know me

something tells me

we’ve got more in common than not

we both know the bottom like a second home

on second thought

i guess i’d like to give it a shot

if “we’re” all “us” then we’ll always get to the top

if you shiver in the winter come inside or give the winner

nasty looks for playing king of the hill

applaud the upstart sneaking up to reign ’till they catch a chill

right now we are still designing our website, but i’ll post the relevant links we have so far:

Sum Greater’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/QuintonAOConnor/?fref=ts

my first blog post about our show at Clark’s:
https://mybrokenid.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/sum-greater-entertainment/

buy my music:
https://themanwhofellinbuffalo.bandcamp.com/

sum greater entertainment

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the saturday night before halloween this year saw Clark’s Pub in Hillsboro, Oregon packed to the brim with sweaty monsters and demons drinking microbrews. Clark’s was hosting their annual party, Boos, Booze, and Brews: Bayou, and this year i got to participate both on stage and behind the scenes as part of a new Hillsboro entertainment business, Sum Greater.

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Clark’s has been a major part of my personal musical experience for the last year, as they do rock and roll shows several times a week and open mics and jams to boot. As for the acts they hired through Sum Greater Entertainment, none could claim that we have been unaffected by the open atmosphere, great stage, and opportunity to try out new sounds that Clark’s provides.

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a few facebook pictures won’t quite do the evening justice, but take my word for it when i say the place was packed to the gills. i opened up the show early while people, decked out in their trick-or-treating finery, were just starting to trickle in, and by the time Brotherman played the stage had disappeared in the swaying – and shouting, and singing – crowd. in between our acts the pub shook like a subwoofer to the amazing talent of Loveless Root, Tied to a Grizzly, and Swampy V and the No Motives.

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the show, with the musical talent and the energy and the positive atmosphere and the creepy sexualized dollar store dress-up, was a blast, but it meant even more for me because this was the first event that Sum Greater Entertainment helped organize. it was satisfying to see 100 people lining the walls around the bar, and it felt like it confirmed what i and a few friends had been hoping to find: that Hillsboro is excited about live music, and the people in the city love original art and rock n roll, and that Sum Greater just might have a shot at making a big impression on the music scene in Portland by organizing more shows, at more amazing local venues, with more amazing local talent.

the idea behind Sum Greater is to make an entertainment business to help connect musicians that want to play their music to venues that want to hear it. all of us who are involved with this fledgling pursuit are either artists or patrons ourselves, and we can see opportunity for downtown Hillsboro to keep expanding as an artistic hotspot. Sum Greater Entertainment is, for now, just an idea crystallizing into a real thing, but our foundation is solid:

  • we want to encourage the Hillsboro music scene and start-up artists by connecting them. we don’t want a single empty stage on a friday or saturday night at any bar or coffee shop, and we hope that we can fill those places to standing room only as our talent builds followings and ties with the community
  • we also know that we want to find a way to make Sum Greater profitable enough to use our business to generate income (51% of our proceeds) to a charity founded by one of our board members – more on that to come in another post.

i’ve never tried to start a company before, and i have to say that the process is confusing and exhilarating. already, we have a core group of Oregon musicians involved, along with visual artists, and we can boast years of combined experience in business and the music industry.

we have a lot of work to do: currently we have graphic designers whipping up our business cards, a twitter account and a website in the works, and, of course, a few piles of paperwork to file. i’m encouraged by the interest that i can already see from the community, and from the outstanding success of our first show, made possible by the fine people at Clark’s. and we are looking towards the next show: last friday i and a few other reps from Sum Greater met with the board of Influence Music Hall, a Hillsboro institution that has become synonymous with great music downtown, and in just a few minutes managed to come up with some exciting ideas for future shows (nothing set yet, but consider this a teaser of big things to come).

i’ll be writing about Sum Greater for the next few weeks as we keep working. consider this a cattle call for all music acts, visual artists, and performers of all kinds who want to be a part of a scene. we can make it, but we need you: Sum Greater needs board members, partners, and venues that are as passionate about live music and great shows as we are. if you are interested in helping or getting in on the ground floor, or if you have any questions, feel free to hit us up on the facebook page, and stay tuned to my blog for updates as we polish up our social media outreach. if the halloween show was any indication, this could be the start of something big.

he’ll stop at nothing for a shot at something sexy, while it’s hot…

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…and therein lies the thrilling plot of PICTURE SNATCHER. that is a real quote from just one of the wonderfully creepy public domain videos i edited together for my new project. it is a music video for my cover of Blank Space (my version is called “blankspace”) by Taylor Swift, for a contest.

the original song has some depth that i never considered until i heard Taylor Swift introduce it as a reaction to her fans conception of who she was:

“In the last couple of years the media have had a really wonderful fixation on kind of painting me as like the psycho serial dater girl.”

the tune grew on me once i realized that Swift was singing from the pov of a fictionalized version of herself created in the minds of her audience. she blamed it on the media – who supplies digestible, sensational narratives – while i am more inclined to blame it on the market – which votes with money and clicks to support tabloids, and pointless bickering on panel shows, and more grease in our food, and gawker. the Group decided that, based on a few glimpses of her life framed in clickbait on the sidebar, we could understand her characteristics and what complications we could expect to unravel in her plot, just like any movie. or at least a little part of lots of us did, and that adds up over a population into thousands of disembodied fragments of humans bitching about your dating life.

so, Swift identified how others identified her (which is not at all simple for me, but might be for a celebrity?) and then took that character and wrote a song from her perspective. then we, the market, hear the song and at least a fraction of us just assume we are hearing autobiography. it seems very meta and ironic under a catchy surface.

i rewrote my cover version from the pov of a crazy celebrity stalker. i recorded it in my bedroom, with a friend’s microphone. my laptop and ancient version of garageband are so old that it is almost impossible to get an entire song recorded; halfway through a take the microphone will short out and start crackling, or the program will close as it tries to load an instrument. i like that i live in two worlds; i have one foot in the future, because i can record high quality music by myself for low startup costs in my own bedroom, all using technology that has only existed for tiny sliver of history. but one foot is in the past, because even a few years, single digits, is enough for this new technology to become hopelessly outmoded. humans made and used the same flint spearheads for 10,000 years, and at that time we were already physically indistinguishable from modern humans. now i am using a computer that is mostly a mystery to me, that i could never fix or rebuild by myself, but as long as it works i can create miracles of objectified memories that can be artificially recreated for eternity.

the video that goes along with it (public domain american television from the 20th century) is menacingly innocent. all together i rewrote and learned the song, recorded it, and made the video in a little less than two weeks. all of the sudden i really, really like contests and deadlines. i am most happy when i’m not even considering happiness because i’m in a flow state, and flow states appear when i am under pressure.

find your opinions, and give them to me; album art

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i put this together with a pen and acrylic drawing scanned into gimp, and throughly mish-mashed it. i’m thinking of using this image for the cover art for my next album. my music project is called the man who fell in buffalo (click photo to go to my page and take a listen for free, if you need a musical reference to go with the picture). any thoughts? like it or hate it? can’t tell what it is? what does it make you think of?