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The Afterlife Interview and The Outback Musician's Survival Guide

In March of 2009, while working on the album Minutes To Circle, I was interviewed in documentary fashion in Chicago's Lincoln Park on a cool morning. The questions weren't posed to the viewer, just my discussion of them. This interview has seen better than 5,000 views now and remains a nice example of some of my thoughts on songwriting and the creative mindset, among other things.

Here it is:

OFFICIAL CHICAGO BOOK LAUNCH and all that jazz...

I'm looking to put together a dashboard books and music tour for the spring. Where should I go? Do you have thoughts on this? Would you like to host a house concert in your town? Know a place that would be good for my solo show and/or a book reading? Contact me with your ideas on this. I'm getting started right away by looking at a map of the U.S. and pointing at cities I want to visit. Yep, that's how it starts. It's either that or I have a couple places that I'm already booked or that have been bothering me to come visit, and I build around that.

WORKING TO THE NEXT LEVEL

I'm looking at how I might move to the next level of exposure for my work. As a creative person, my primary concern is to create. My secondary concern tends to be making money, and my tertiary concern is typically promoting to a wider audience.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIVESTREAM and other stuff

At 7:30pm CDT tomorrow (Friday, September 15th), 

I'll be giving a live solo acoustic show at

Phil Circle Music
In Rogers Park, Chicago.

Yep, that's my place of business, my home studio, my vast corner office, the center of my empire, ha. I'll be joined by a half dozen friends as part of my "studio audience" as I stream live through Facebook and YouTube.

FIRST BOOK REVIEW ROCKS and DOWNLOADS FOR HARVEY RELIEF

ALL PROCEEDS FROM DIGITAL DOWNLOADS WILL GO TO HARVEY RELIEF!

That's right! CDBaby is donating all their proceeds from digital downloads to relief for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Unfortunately, I suspect Irma will cause an extension of this.

Go to my page and when you buy a download, that's happening through CDBaby:

http://philcirclemusic.com/music_listen__buy/

BOOK AND CD DEAL and other stuff

I'M SIGNING UP NEW STUDENTS FOR THE FALL.
I'M BOOKING SHOWS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR.

...HERE'S A SPECIAL DEAL ON MY BOOK AND CD...

Featured video...

ORGANIC GROWTH AND HOW TO ACHIEVE IT

I’M GOING ORGANIC...
METAPHORICALLY, THAT IS.

As I continue to grow my mailing list, “likes” to my pages, followers on social media, and all the necessary promotional tools, I’m looking at more organic ways to do it.

For the most part, other than running ads for students or to promote a particular show, all of my promotion goes out to people who genuinely followed me, found my page or joined my mailing list. In other words, I don’t go fishing or use any auto-follow apps. It has been truly organic growth.

MY BOOK COVER and more...

It looks very much like my first shipment of books will be gone pretty quickly after it arrives in July.

Advance orders are coming in.

So, if you'd like to reserve a physical copy, now's the time.

Send $15 and put "OUTBACK" in the info field.

You can do so from any page of my site or...

http://www.philcirclemusic.com/pay_here

I'M READY TO PUBLISH!

I’M WAITING ON THE COVER DESIGN AND THEN IT’S TIME TO PUBLISH MY BOOK – PHYSICAL COPIES, EBOOKS AND PRINT-ON-DEMAND WILL BE AVALABLE SOON. But you can still get involved…

You can still buy advance copies of my book “The Outback Musician’s Survival Guide” to help me offset my out-of-pocket expenses, but I am ready to go! They’re $15, but tips are fine, too. I’ve received several from those who can and like to be advocates or patrons of the arts. Click and send with “OUTBACK” in the info field.

http://www.philcirclemusic.com/pay_here/

FINISHING MY BOOK

I'm getting closer to completing the 2nd edition of my book The Outback Musicians' Survival Guide. Really, thought, the first edition saw such a small distribution, for most anyone, this is the first. Also, this one is going to enjoy a wider distribution, has a nicer formatting, new stories, and is more linear. 

TAKING APRIL OFF FROM SHOWS DOESN'T MEAN TIME OFF

Here’s the link to download your FREE EXCERPT in PDF format, for those who still haven’t had a chance to grab it or are checking in for the first time: 

 

What's Next Over Here?

Having successfully launched my new show “Songs…Our Stories”, I'm not letting up. While pushing a crowd funding campaign (or, as I like to call it “Audience Funded”) to supplement my own financial input for various projects, I'm looking to place the next most immediate project on the completed list. Here's details on that from a recent press release. 

GETTING MY BOOK TO PRESS...HOW YOU CAN HELP

HERE ARE SOME OPTIONS FOR CONTRIBUTING TO MY PROJECTS:

Printed copies of the book will run $15. It will also be available as print-on-demand (POD) through Amazon and other sites, e-book, and as a PDF straight from me. To complete all the set-up, pay for the printing of enough physical copies to keep it affordable, get it distributed, and all that fun stuff…I need to raise $1500. I’m already on my way, thanks to advance contributions. Join the people who are already part of the movement away from the mainstream.

GET YOUR FREE BOOK EXCERPT

My first edition included this excerpt, which has now been updated with new and (I find) exciting information about trends in the music industry. In addition, there are many whimsical stories about life on the frontlines, thoughts on everything from songwriting to teaching to touring, the losses, the victories, the online posts, and some pictures (not more than ten).

 

BE PART OF THE MOVEMENT

WHAT CAN A DOLLAR BUY THESE DAYS?

What can a dollar buy these days?

The quick answer is...not much.

From me, the answer is...quite a bit.

Read on and find out the what and why.

HOW MAY I HELP YOU?

How May I Help You?

We ask this when we answer the phone for a business, or approach a potential customer at a retail establishment, or maybe just to sound like we care.

So, do we?

STEP AWAY FROM THE MAINSTREAM

Alright...nice...and...slow...

Step away from the mainstream.

MY DEALS FOR YOU: "MINUTES TO CIRCLE" CD PLUS...

Thanks for joining the movement away from the mainstream music industry.

Here's hoping we find more converts.

 

PLAYING HOUSE OF BLUES

This show went great and I will be back...

Songs...Our Stories

Songs...Our Stories, a New Kind of Show by Phil Circle

We all have those songs that remind us of some time in our lives, the tunes that have served as our soundtracks. We’ve all listened to a song and felt almost as if it was telling our story. Some of us may even hear a song we relate to and envision a video short of events in our life in that very moment, a past moment, or an envisioned future moment.

TWO RECENT ARTICLES

Here are links to two articles I recently wrote.

MY MUSIC RELATED SERVICES INCLUDE...

MUSIC SERVICES PROVIDED BY 
PHIL CIRCLE

IN ADDITION TO TEACHING, 
I PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING:

Back Home In My Sweet Home Chicago

After nearly six years living in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, my wife Megan and I have found our way back to Chicago. 

MILLY AND MAD HARRY MADE A STORE

I'VE BEEN SELLING STUFF THRU EBAY ON THE SIDE FOR YEARS. HERE'S THE STORE:

FIVE DAYS OF ONLINE BUSKING...

I will perform Five Days Of Online Busking. This will be a live worldwide video feed...

WORLDWIDE LIVE VIDEO STREAM PERFORMANCES

I now do live performances in streaming video on a regular basis!

AS YOU CAN TELL, I'VE BEEN LAYING LOW...

As I expect we all do, I've been taking it easy of late.

So You Wanna Be In The Arts...

I'll tell you this:

They need you, you chose it. Now give it your all or die with tremendous regret.

See you in the ring.

 

ONCE MORE AROUND THE SUN

It’s one day in a year when we think it’s all ending or starting anew. It’s really just one day. Still, there’s never anything wrong with renewing your vision for the future, letting past mistakes wash away, and resetting your mental/emotional/spiritual computer. Get to it on your own terms. Mine include continuing to live with a passion for all I do and a sincere love and appreciation, even on my most jaded days.

"THE OUTBACK MUSICIANS' SURVIVAL GUIDE" IS NOW AVAILABLE... Read on for more info

 

 

AND MORE OF DRAFT ONE OF THE OUTBACK MUSICIAN'S SURVIVAL GUIDE

“Here’s the card run to Jewel, don’t take too long. I’m having a dinner party tonight.”

“Okay.”

“Wait, do you know what endive is?”

“No, but I’m sure I can…”

“It’s important to my recipe this evening, so be sure you don’t mix it up. Go, I’ll see you soon Paul.”

“Phil.”

I got tired of correcting him. He did explain that he had a son or nephew or something named Paul, so it was a compliment when he mixed it up. Besides, it happens to me a lot.

 

 

A First Draft Excerpt From My Upcoming Book

Touring Scenario, Final Episode:

As Mike and Serge traded driving duties on the road to New York City, Phil napped in the back, intermittently waking up to crack a beer and practice for the show that night at CBGB's. Bill had gone on in his rental car to continue the business he was out there to do.

 

RECENT RADIO APPEARANCES AND PHIL'S eBOOK.

I've made a couple appearances on radio recently.

One on WPR, Wisconsin Public Radio, which you can listen to by clicking on "Listen Hear" to the left of this page; another on Northern Spirit Radio, a local online station. You can hear this one by clicking HERE.

I'm also working on an eBook where I'll relate stories, give advice and share research about being an independent musician, and various other related stuff from my 25 years in music.

You can read serialized entries every day on The Little Blue Honda Tour Facebook Page and my music page on Facebook.

I've also set up a way to participate in my live shows:

http://www.stageit.com/philcircle

You can join for free and enjoy any show I broadcast.

HELP REPLACE LEM'S STOLEN GUITAR

My long time friend and fellow musician, and a groomsman at my wedding, Lem Roby, was loading out his gear at a show in suburban Chicago, and came back in to find his prize electric guitar missing. Someone had stolen it.

LIFE IN SEMI RETIREMENT

 

So, I've been laying off live shows for a couple months, with the exception of a couple fundraising efforts and one in my current hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin for the Volume One Summer Concert Series. I've been taking time to work on a play called "The Therapist," acted on stage in two local productions, one as a lead, but otherwise have been enjoying great reviews of my latest release, "The Unsung," and some down time.


MEMORIAL CONCERT FOR "MATTEO" and other news

In December of 2011, I received a phone call from my friend and brother in music of 20 years, groomsman at my wedding to Megan, and the man that taught me much of what I know about the blues, the biz and live performance. I had last seen him on a trip back to Chicago for my Mom's memorial in October when we and our wives sat together on his front stoop and talked. He was finishing his last round of chemo for his second fight with cancer and was confident it was working. Then one day in December, I received this message on my phone:

HIP SURGERY FOR PHIL

 

June 25th of 2O12, I had my right hip replaced with a titanium one. As I write this, I'm still in the hospital and feeling the pain of the surgery. My right ass cheek where the incision was made is dark purple and I keep oozing blood. They gave me a blood transfusion yesterday. Apparently these are rather common things for this surgery when done on younger patients. Most total hip replacements are done on people at least 10-20 years older than me.

THE NEW CD IS DONE AND AVAILABLE!!

 

I finished what amounts to my 10th CD to date, aptly called

"Living In The Chippewa Valley"


MOVING INTO 2012

 

2011 was quite the year for me for good and bad. My lovely sweetheart Megan and I got married August 14th and moved into a beautiful new apartment overlooking the Chippewa River in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin. My student roster continues to grow. I played as many as 15 shows a month at the height of the summer. I got started on a new CD called “Living In The Chippewa Valley.”

 

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE INTERNET

 

While it’s no doubt a beneficial exercise from a marketing standpoint to understand your audience, I laughed to myself (I do this often, along with having conversations with myself) as I reflected. When did it become so important in the emotionally disconnected world of the web to be popular? Is everybody looking for fame? What happened to fulfillment?

 

HERE WE STAND, HEAD IN HAND...

Last month, while in Chicago, I played a couple shows, lost my exhaust system and replaced it when I had hoped to be at a Cubs game (guess my car is a Sox fan?). After this, I went to the studio and recorded with George Belle again. This time, we did the classic Tom Waits tune "Time." It occurred to me to do this tune while surfing videos and recalling my college days, when a teacher of mine had me perform it for a school performance. I hope you like it. It's amongst "Da Coverz" here on the site (click the "Music" page) and you can have it for free, for now. In fact, all my covers are currently free.

SPRING HAS SPRUNG IN THE EC

Glad to see that there's still snow on the ground the week before my birthday. I haven't experienced this since 1979... oh crap, guess this sort of gives you a sense of how freakin' old I am. Ah, well.

HOPE YOU'VE BEEN READING

 

First off, I hope you'll take a quick look over my last blog here and participate.

Now, on to what's next...


HOLIDAY SHOPPING AND OTHER NONSENSE

 

I'm not a huge fan of the holidays for a few reasons, some personal shit I should get over, and one in particular being that we should all be maintaining a spirit of generosity year round. As far as the various religious holidays and the solstice that folks celebrate, go do so! But let's not allow it to become a great big excuse to over shop our credit cards and line our shelves with more stuff we may not need. Love thy neighbor doesn't mean give them another Blue Ray player... try helping them some other way and when they need it. When I get to my little year end run down on here, you're going to read words of the deepest appreciation for all so many have done for me. So, let's start with this idea I have... give something of meaning to someone who needs it and someone who doesn't.

THE GAILS OF NOVEMBER

35 years ago today, The Edmund Fitzgerald sank under 25 foot waves and 85mph winds in Lake Superior, with all 29 hands going down with her. Living, as I do now, in the North Woods, only miles from places mentioned in the song and story, and the homes of many on board, it seems to hit home more than it did when I first heard the story and song when I was ten. Maybe it's the gails I've experienced since then, and even now, who can say.

NEW DIGS, NEW GIGS!!

 

Well, after putting 8000 miles on The Little Blue Honda, covering 31 cities in 21 states, I'm settled into a house just outside Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where I look off the back deck into the north woods. I've made myself available to The Eau Claire Music School, where I'm teaching private lessons and will be conducting an October 10th indie musician's workshop. I'm booked in gigs throughout Wisconsin and am working diligently on the next leg of touring while Megan works on more editing for the many hours of video we gathered on this last tour.

OFF TO THE NORTH WOODS

We've nearly completed six weeks on the road and are now heading to the North Woods of Wisconsin to make plans for the next leg of the tour. There's tons of video to edit, but the DVD showing the studio process with George Belle during the making of my two recent releases along with live appearances from the March and May tours is complete and available. Here's a highlight reel:

SITTING IN AUSTIN

We're hanging around Austin, Texas for a few days before heading north again for a time.

UP THE EAST COAST


Megan has so adjusted to the insane summer heat of the Deep South that she finds this cold. Not I! This is perfect weather

PALM BEACH RESPITE

We're (Megan and I) taking our every dollar earned and handing it over to job creation throughout the country.

NEW ORLEANS AND BEYOND

If I can afford to make my way from town to town bringing music to the masses, living on small (if any) pay, tips (from people through my site and at shows), and merchandise and sales (both places, too); so can anyone!

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

I sat last night on a bench in front of a little bar I had just played and an old man came out to join me for a smoke. He drawled on about how life's too short to anything but what you enjoy

TWO CDS COMPLETED!

 

Well, we did it! George Belle and I started these two new CDs February 10th and finished up June 22nd!

This is definitely record time for me to finish even one CD, much less two.

 

New Recordings and My B-day Show

My first memory is of my Mom (Lilias Circle) teaching me "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at about age four.

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