Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CTR News and Updates

I feel like now is a good time for me to let you guys know what has been going on around here. So much is happening. I'm sure everyone is busy preparing for the new season which brings school, new careers, new apartments, etc... Exciting for us, isn't it?

There has been some confusion about which site I'm going to use for my store (Goodsie or my NEW Shopify store) and which site I'm going to use to blog (this blog or the blog on my shopify website).

So, I'd like to clear up where my "spaces" are on the web right now. Firstly, let me apologize, I know I've confused a lot of people. Truth is, I've been toying with the idea for different store options and blog options didn't know what would be best.

This is what I've decided for the time being:

This blog you are reading now will continue to be where I blog. So please visit this page for new blogs and regular updates.

My online store will be my NEW website which you can visit HERE. I'll still keep the goodsie store open for a few more weeks, just in case, while I'm making the transition, since many of you might still visit that site to order.

www.chandlertherobot.com is the web address for my new store.

If there are any other questions, please ask in the comments below.

In other news, I just moved into a new apartment in Salt Lake City. I'm finally settled in. I found the nearest grocery store, redbox, and post office. I'm good to go. Ha ha. Kind of love it here. The fall is just around the corner and there are crazy events that go on every day just outside my house.

I'm also preparing for my first Trade Show in New York City, The International Gift Fair. I will be exhibiting and showing all of my Chandler pieces at the show. Nick is going to be with me. He's such a good boyfriend:) Also, if you aren't aren't connected to me on Instagram please follow. I will be posting lots of photos of Nick and I exploring NYC as well as Trade Show pics. ( I am "megframpton" on instagram.)

Also, I just released my newest edition to my CTR shop: Shifty The Soldier Bot. I've already received many inquiries to make a Marine and an Air Force bot as well. I'm currently working on some designs for those ideas.

Phew, busy, awesome month so far. What's been keeping you guys busy at the moment?

Honestly,
Meg




Thursday, August 9, 2012

5 Surprising Lessons I Learned About Being An Artist On a Major Label




1. Don't toss your keys to the pros when it comes to mixing your record.

To those of you who don't know how the "making a record" process works, after the song tracks are recorded, they are sent off to be "mixed" and then "mastered" before they are made into physical cd's or uploaded to itunes.  Without too much technical information that will make all of your eyeballs glaze over, mixing involves activities such as adjusting the volume levels, equalizing individual instrument tracks, and panning said instruments, etc… and "mastering" involves making sure all of the songs sound cohesive together as an album. I'm not saying that the very talented mixer dude didn't do a fantastic job on his own on our record. He did. I'm saying that, as an artist, I felt that my part of the job was done once the tracks were recorded. 

My only contribution to the "mixing" of our record was a brief phone conversation with the "mixer", patiently explaining to him that my main concern was to make sure all of MY back up vocals and MY guitar solos were front and center. I mean, come on.

 I listen to records today by bands like "Arcade Fire" and "M83" and am in awe by the "mixes" they have going on. I'm sure they were part of the mixing process from the beginning to the end, which is why their records sound so freakin' awesome! 

The artist is the one who "births" the song, let them make sure that the song's shirt is tucked in and his luggage contains all the essential items like extra underwear and writing utensils before he is sent off to college to fly on his own.

2. Don't be intimidated by the record label people and ask questions!

Now that I've had experience running my own business (Chandler The Robot) for about a year and a half now, I think I finally fully understand the mechanics of running a company efficiently and well. I hate to think of a band and music as a "business", but we should have at least understood the agreement between the record label and us as far as what they needed from us and what we needed from them. 

I think that I was so impressed by their buildings and well-dressed secretaries that all I could manage was dutiful nods of my head to their questioning and a need to keep saying "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for signing us and keeping us here." 

We were right to be thankful, but we should have not been so shy and made sure to ask what we needed to ask, contact who we needed to contact, and make sure that both parties were on the same page. It's really hard showing up to a venue in Iowa with no merch, running around frantically before the show wondering if anything was ever even delivered, pondering if it might be worth it to write out by hand our band name onto blank white Hanes t-shirts with black sharpie, since there was a misunderstanding with the label, and nobody bothered to work out the shipping details.

3. Don't expect that the label will do everything once you are signed and believe you can finally kick back and slow down your efforts.

Woo hoo! We are signed. Now we don't have to do anything, and we will sell a million records and tour forever!!!

Not!

Umm, welcome back to reality. The label did amazing things for us, but that was the time to REALLY push on the gas NOT take it easy. Being on a major label is kind of like surfing. The label is like the huge giant wave you are looking back at as you clumsily putter around on your surfboard. Right as the powerful wave is about to break under you and potentially give you the ride of your life, you don't just sit there like a kid selling lemonade on the side of the street, you paddle, man, paddle like a crazy woman so that the momentum will carry you through!

I'm talking connecting with fans through social media, going out to really meet people and having great conversations after shows. Let fans know how much they mean to you, etc...

4. Don't forget where you came from.

I remember, during "Here, Here, and Here" we had it in our heads that we were supposed be the next Rolling Stones. When we made that record I didn't even know what rock n' roll sounded like. So, the stuff that came out of my head while I was trying to be Jimi Hendrix (when we all know I'm simply not) was just TERRIBLE. Warner Bros. signed us because of the success we had reached on our own by being ourselves and focusing on what we were good at. We had to go through a long loop to figure out that the very best we could be was who we were in the beginning. I'm not saying don't change and improve as an artist, but just don't force yourself to drink delicate wines and wear turtle necks if you really love Pabst Blue Ribbon and your oh-so-soft band tee from high school.

5. Do look back with grattitude OFTEN!

I heard from a friend, who heard from a friend recently, that another girl friend that we both used to hang out with (Have I lost you yet?) just started a punk band and is about to tour in Europe! I didn't even know this girl friend of ours knew the difference between middle C and a fork! I stared, stumped, at the friend who was telling me the news, and said, "That sounds SO awesome! I want to do that?!" And he just looked at me, and shook his head slowly and stated matter-of-factly, "Meg, you already did!" 

And I have. And it was fantastic, one of the most incredible life experiences I have ever had. 

It's so important to remember everything that we've accomplished and all the life we've lived.

Honestly,
Meg

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"Keep Calm and Carry On"

Thank you for all of your fantastic ideas you guys posted on twitter, fb, and my blog for a song title for my new song from "The Khaki Scouts" which will now be called:

"Keep Calm and Carry On" 

Thanks to @Judith Generoso. @Judith Generoso, you win any Chandler you'd like! (Please email me @ chandlertherobot@gmail.com to claim your piece:)

When I first read Judith's title, I simply liked the way it sounded.  Thanks to wikipedia I learned that this is where it originated from and what it meant:

"Keep Calm and Carry On was a poster produced by the Government of the United Kingdom in 1939 during the beginning of the Second World War, intended to raise the morale of the British public in the event of invasion."

Although, I don't love associating the song with an event as turbulent as a "war". I do love the fact that this saying was supposed to help everyone keep themselves together in the event of an "invasion". I kind of feel like some things invade my life sometimes, and it's important to stay focused and thankful. So, although this phrase doesn't literally encapsulate the lyrics of the song, it goes quite nicely with the sentiment I was trying to portray, and well...I just love it. 

Intensity 0890 on youtube asked:
"Can you give a small description on how this song came to you? Inspiration? Experience? Doesn't have to be detailed."


I can't dive really deep into this question because I'm about to move to Salt Lake City today (literally, I'm hopping in my full car to drive up there right after I write this blog!)

Basically, I wrote this song about how I feel about how I used to be a little more "wild" and "crazy" in my younger years. I toured a lot, moved around a lot. I was always meeting new people. Although life is a beautiful, new and crazy adventure at the moment, life now is exciting in a much more somber way. I guess this song is kind of about missing youth. And I know I'm still young, so it's about missing YOUTH, youth. You know, probably college days for many of you or maybe even high school. 

It's about, even though we are growing older, it's important to never stop saying "yes" to opportunities that might scare you (granted they are safe!) and to never stop exploring yourself and the world around you, even if you've piled on a mortgage, a car payment, and all those other adult responsibilities. It's still more important than ever to HAVE FUN!

Honestly,
Meg



Monday, August 6, 2012

The Khaki Scouts: Demo #2


This demo song needs a name! Leave your name for the song in the comments below. If I end up using your name, I'll give you a piece of jewelry of your choice. As always, thank you for listening:) (To download the demo on bandcamp click HERE.)



am  G    C
As I stand here now
Look into my eyes
am G F
Asked myself a thousand times
Lady why'd you try?

am  G    C
Not so long ago
Change my name each night
am G F
Play a different character
Fool them every time
F G C
I'd fool them every time


C
I want my spirit back
F
where did that woman go?
G C
She ran so far, so wide, to where the great wind blows
am
She always reached for higher
F
When fate grabbed from below
C
I wish she'd show up
G
I wish she'd show up
I wish she'd show

am  G    C
Life crashes in waves
and I say "Hey, I need a break"
am G F
I wave my arms and kick my legs
but I go under anyway. 
am  G    C
Where does that leave me now
my clothes tossed in a pile
am G F
I've got some songs and my guitar
And that'll last me for awhile
Yeah that 'll last me for awhile 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Introducing August's "First Thursday": "The Artist Bot"!

This month I would like to challenge everyone (including myself!) to unleash your inner creativity, even if you don't think you are "creative". How many times have we all tried to write that book, finish that song, start up our own youtube channel to share our unique ideas but always put it off? 


Maybe we are overwhelmed by our jobs. Maybe we just can't find the time. Perhaps we simply are scared that we might fail or be criticized? 

Please allow me to be that pesty person who gives you a little nudge. I say DO IT, whatever it is! Finish it. 

To Order "Artist Bot" visit my ONLINE SHOP!

I designed this Artist Bot to inspire and encourage you on your creative journey. He will help you out of writer's block. He will be the reminder that there are other's who do believe in you, and that even if you fail, that failure is just another step closer to helping you achieve your master life plan. 



To the courageous artists of the world who have inspired us all! I tip my hat to you and release "The Artist Bot" as a small token of my awe and appreciation for the ingenuity and creativity that is waiting to be found and set free in all of us.

Bot is approximately 1 1/2" 
Includes a 29" adjustable antique silver chain with lobster clasps
Robot is made from alloy metal with a silver coating.
Price: $50.00
*Only 50 Painter Bots in existence as part of this SPECIAL "Limited Edition" design
*Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery beginning on the official release date (Aug 2nd.)

Honestly,
Meg