2019 in Review

After restoring the blog, I see that the last post was the 2018 Year-ini-Review. So before posting new stuff, I thought it might be useful to post my 2019 Year-in-Review, even though it’s 8 months late.

My acoustic band, Scupanon, continued playing gigs in 2019, with Diamond Jim Hewitt replacing Paul Ermisch on violin. Janet Lipson continued with backing vocals, and Sam Caston re-joined on percussion on a few gigs. We played a total of 13 gigs, mainly at breweries, but also a very successful gig at Swallow Hill, the big folk music venue in Denver. 45 people paid an average of $10/ticket to see us play there. Videographer Dave Briggs filmed it and edited two song videos, so we finally have a couple of decent videos for promotional purposes.

Electric Poetry played two more gigs, then came to an end. The drummer, bass player and lead guitarist had moved on to a new band. That was just as well, because I wanted to form a new band– Total Flower Chaos– that would play all my songs, including (and especially) my political songs such as “Metadata” and “I Didn’t Believe,” as well as my rock instrumentals, that weren’t being played by Electric Poetry. Also, I was doing almost all the administrative and promotional work for Electric Poetry, and decided that, in my next band, I would make it a requirement that all band members contribute to that work. It’s too much, and not fair, for one person to do it all. I ran a Craigslist ad and recruited a new bass player, Ryan Watts, towards the end of the year.

I released two singles in 2019 for download and streaming, Voice of Doubt under the Total Flower Chaos bandname, and My Favorite Disguise, under my own name.

I resumed voice lessons after an 8-year layoff, this time going with Molly Zackary at Swallow Hill. I’m learning a lot and improving.

Playing the gigs with Scupanon and Electric Poetry resulted in an expansion of my fan base– a 15% increase in the email list. In addition, 13 CDs were sold at those gigs and 2 tshirts.

For the second year in a row, I met my goal of breaking even financially with music. Music income exceeded expenses by $189. And I also broke even in music gear sales and purchases for the second year in a row.

In September, one month after turning 65, I quit my day job, and resumed doing music full-time. Hopefully I will not have to take another day job for the rest of my life. The goal is for music income to continue covering music expenses, and Social Security and my retirement savings to pay my living expenses.

In summary, I feel like I succeeded in my mission of serving the misfits with my music in 2019. I made progress and am moving forward. I had high hopes for 2020– forming a new rock band and starting to play gigs by May, and continuing to play gigs with my acoustic band, but a little virus would wreck those plans. So I shifted gears and learned how to play solo internet shows, and decided to make my next big record instead.

Rob Roper September 5, 2020

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