Posts Tagged ‘Laughing Hyena Records’

Hard Luck Jollies – FINALLY!

April 15, 2010

Wednesday April 14th, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL/Milwaukee, WI

Whoo Hoo! I’ve been pumped up before, but rarely like today. I’ve been positively and absolutely giddy all day and the grin on my puss just won’t go away.  My brand spanking new comedy CD “Hard Luck Jollies” is now available for sale at the competitive price of $13 postpaid in the continental United States of America – slightly more for Zimbabwe.

What a hell ride it’s been to get this project FINALLY done, and I can now see why it’s so difficult for bands to stay together for extended periods of time. This one took so long to finish, I almost broke up with myself. It may not be “Thriller”, but at least it’s finished.

The worst part of all is that I’ve had some stupendously sizzling shows in the time since the last copy of the previous one ran out to today’s rejuvenation and rebirth. I shudder as I think of how many copies I could have sold between then and now and it’s probably up in the hundreds. That translates in cash to thousands, and the only one to really blame is me.

Yes, I had problems with my ex business partner and all the ugliness that went with that plus I sold the rights to my first CD outright to Laughing Hyena Records and don’t own it anymore. Those two things contributed to the gap in time along with some reasons on the other side with both the artwork and Donna Gurda who was the producer of this project.

Donna’s mother passed away and she had to attend to all that goes with that, and Pedro Bell’s artwork became an issue when his business partner embezzled from him and put an additional unexpected damper on the project. Any one of those things would be extremely frustrating, but all together it nearly choked out the whole project. I am thrilled it didn’t.

I had to keep plugging or it would never have gotten finished at all, and I’m very glad I did. Donna did a great job on the disc along with Mark Heleniak at EarMark Productions. She used to produce Tom Green’s music projects and she knows what she’s doing, along with Mark. They worked hard and were worth every penny I spent. I appreciate their help.

Pedro Bell’s cover artwork is also fantastic, even though I wasn’t able to get it colorized fully. It’s really intricate cartoon work, and after a lot of testing it was decided to just add color to the name logo for me he created and the words ‘Hard Luck Jollies’. The logo was modeled directly after the logo for the group Funkadelic. Anyone who’s a fan will know.

There are some things I’d change on the packaging just as there are on my last one but it won’t be noticed by anyone but me. It looks very presentable and sounds crisp. Nobody is going to know or care how many delays there were with this, they’ll just enjoy the results, or at least I hope they will. The last one went over very well, and this one is an upgrade.

The good thing is, this won’t happen again any time soon. I’ve already got ideas for the next one and I talked to Donna and Mark about it today as I dropped off copies of this one up in Milwaukee. We’ve got a lot more recordings to go through and there’s enough there for at least one but possibly even two more projects like this so I’m set for at least a bit.

I’ll keep cranking out product as much and as often as I can, but I won’t whore myself. I want to keep some kind of quality control and not just slap anything together. This took it up a notch, and I want to keep doing that as long as I can. I know there’s a lot more in me, and hopefully I can use these recordings to develop more of a fan base, like a musician.

Now is when the real work starts though. I’ve had some solid support from Sirius/XM Satellite Radio and I hope they’ll continue to showcase my newer offerings. Some of the material is the same from the first one to these next two or three, but I did it in a different way. Plus, there’s new stuff added in there too. I purged myself of everything I had in me.

I also have to restock websites that have sold my product like CD Baby and quite a few others like http://www.comedyhome.com and http://www.laugh.com. Those were also years ago and I wasn’t the contact person, my ex partner was. I’ll have to dive in and do all of this myself even though none of this is my field of expertise. For now, I need to be in charge of it all.

I’ll put the word out on Facebook and myspace and I’m even doing it here on my daily diary, which I normally don’t use to plug anything blatantly. This time I have to put it all aside and market this thing. I was always shy about it before, but people liked it and I am still getting compliments from it seven years later. This new one will not be a stink bomb.

I also have to find a way to put it up on my website and have people buy it there. I have no idea how to do that, and I didn’t ask my friend Shelley today when I picked the boxes up from her house. I had them sent there because there’s always someone home watching her kids. She’s also been a gigantic help lately and I appreciate all her efforts immensely.

I appreciate everyone who has contributed to this entire project from Donna and Mark to Pedro’s artwork and also Greg Phelps in Indianapolis who put the whole package into completion mode from getting all the design and art finished to getting the printing done. His company is called Tridigital Solutions and I recommend them for all your CD needs.

The main regret I have is not being able to thank everyone I wanted to thank. The inner sleeve would have had to have been 20 feet long, and I couldn’t afford that. Still, I’m very thankful for all who contributed in whatever way they did. I’ve had a lot of support from a variety of people and I am humbled, flattered and owe them a debt of sincere gratitude.

There’s also a Mr. Lucky song written and performed by my friend Joe Dell’Orfano and a one on one interview with Jerry Agar recorded in the WGN studios. I’m a fan of a lot of people, and an interview is always interesting to me so I put one on hoping somebody else feels the same way I do about it. All in all, this is a jam packed CD chock full of stuff that I’d want to get if I was buying a comedy CD. That’s a formula that’s worked in the past.

This is a milestone, and I love it. One CD isn’t easy to do. Two is twice as hard. Three’s extremely rare, so that’s the next goal. I think I can do it, especially since it’s already been recorded. If you’d like a copy of Hard Luck Jollies, I’ll gladly sign it for you. Please send $13 to: Dobie Maxwell P.O. Box 618 Lake Villa, IL 60046. I totally appreciate all orders.

Needy For A CD

March 6, 2010

Friday March 5th, 2010 – Cranberry, PA

Boy, am I out of road shape. I’m embarrassed. I used to be able to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning and drive for twelve hours or more, then go on stage without a nap. After that I’d still be able to stay up and hang with the comics afterward. I’m afraid those days are over.

I accepted a last minute fallout this weekend in the Pittsburgh area at the Funny Bone in Cranberry. I’ve been here before and it’s an easy gig – one show a night, great hotel. It’s a few bucks in the pocket for a relatively low risk. The worst part is the length of the drive.

It was 623 miles from where I live to the hotel, but I went down through Indianapolis so I could hook up with my friend Greg Phelps. He’s going to be handling the duplication on my LONG overdue CD project, and I needed to work out some details. It was easier to get it done face to face than send endless emails back and forth. It‘s already been far too long.

He’s a former comedian so he knows the game, and he’s been very helpful so far. I trust Greg’s judgment, but it’s time to get something OUT. I finally have all the parts finished, it’s time to make a product already. I finished the liner notes yesterday and I’ve made this packaging a lot less elaborate than the first one. My needs are completely different now.

I wanted to make the first one something I could be proud of. I wanted it to look like I’d signed a recording deal, and I think I pulled that off. I still get airplay on XM/Sirius and it was attractive enough in content to sell to Laughing Hyena Records to put in truck stops.

That’s not bad for a debut, but I know I can do way better. This new one has some solid bits on it, and I remember really liking the vibe I had when I came off stage. It won’t suck or take a step down, so that’s a positive. In a perfect world I’d love to have a dozen CDs.

Comics have different opinions on this. Jay Leno for example, has NEVER put out any recordings of his act to my knowledge. He chooses to sell his exclusively in a live setting, and he’s done quite well for himself by doing that. It makes sense and I respect his policy.

For me, I’d like to get my material out there. I’ve got a lot that hasn’t been recorded yet, and I find that most people who see me live have never seen me at all anyway, so it really doesn’t matter what material I choose to use then. The recordings are for different people. I happen to enjoy comedy recordings myself, but there’s no doubt comedy is better live.

Either way, I need a CD I can sell after shows. People constantly ask, and I’m losing out on potential income every day I don’t have one. That should change in a week or so and it was worth it to stop and see Greg. There’s nobody to blame but me, but it’s getting fixed.

The rest of the drive was pretty brutal. I’ve got a horrible sore throat and there was a big accident in downtown Columbus, OH that backed up I-70 traffic for over an hour. I ended up making it to Cranberry two minutes before show time. This is stress I don’t need, and I felt out of sync the entire show. I’m not the young road buck anymore, but I‘m ok with it.