2020 Year in Review
2020 saw me take several steps forward in my development as a musical artist. I continued the shift in my musical priorities from acoustic/folk to rock, and became more open about my political self. When the Coronavirus pandemic halted my efforts to form a new rock band, I shifted gears and embarked on a project to record a new rock album. The pandemic forced me to (finally) learn how to do live internet concerts, and (finally) make videos of home performances. Hey, I'm from the South, so I'm a little slow.
In terms of promotion, I upgraded my website, created a fundraising page for my recording project, and restored and updated my blog. The motivation for the blog was so I could post the semi-autobiographical email series I did in the summer of 2020 about my radical political activist youth, and my music career. I also upgraded my social media presence (or what I call "anti-social" media).
The first few months of 2021 will be dedicated to finishing and releasing the new album. Then I will be focused on forming a new rock band to play those songs-- and others. Then gigging with the new band will be the priority-- hopefully the pandemic will be over and live music venues will have re-opened by then. All that will probably take me through the end of 2021. Maybe once the band is formed and playing, I'll have time to get back to composing and writing new music.
My presence in the acoustic/folk world is going to have to move to the backseat, while I over-correct the imbalance, and move my rock music personality to the forefront. Once the rock band is established and gigging, I will resume my presence in the folk world with a new acoustic group. Because the folk thing is part of me, too.
All this aligns with my mission of serving the misfits of the world with my music and lyrics. I am less and less concerned with what the mainstream people think. They were never going to like my music anyway. I am moving forward.
A big thank you to the 5 members of The Misfit Club and the 20 people who have contributed to my new record project. Thanks to all of you for attending my live shows, my internet shows, buying my CDs or downloads, or listening to my music on the streaming services. You are only a few months away from hearing my best music yet!
--Rob Roper, December 31, 2020
Pre-production and Basics (drums and bass) are completed. Click here or on the New Record link above to read about it and see photos.
--Rob November 9, 2020
New Recording Project!
Ten years ago, in 2010, I recorded my first full-length album, Misfit. It was released the following year, in 2011. I went all out on this record. I hired a great producer and engineer, and recorded it in a great studio. I hired professional studio musicians, and a great artist to do the artwork. And I selected the 10 best songs I had written up to that point for the record.
Ten years later, in 2020, I am going to record "Misfit 2!" OK, I will probably give it a different name, but that's the idea-- it will be a full-length recording-- my biggest recording project since Misfit. I have chosen The Keep Recording studio for this project, with owner/chief engineer Jeff Kanan as both my engineer and co-producer. I met with Jeff a couple months ago to discuss the project, and felt very comfortable with him and his approach. He has enormous experience as an engineer and producer, both in LA studios, and with numerous Denver bands and artists.
This will be a rock album! In that regard it will differ from Misfit, which was a mix of rock and acoustic music. I will select my best 10-12 best songs from the past several years that haven't been recorded yet. Pre-production sessions happen later this month, and we begin recording in November. And I will hire a professional artist to do the artwork.
Funding for the project will come primarily from my "record company"--The Misfit Club-- which consists of my fans who contribute a regular amount each month to help me record new music. I have launched a campaign to get more fans into The Misfit Club so I can make this reocrd. I have created a page on this site to track the progress of the campaign, and provide more details and updates on the recording project. Click on the New Record link on the navigation bar above.
--Rob October 6, 2020
Band, Recording, Blog
I'm still trying to recruit members for my rock band, but it's been very difficult because of the Coronavirus restrictions and venue shutdowns. So I decided to shift gears and record a new album. I've chosen The Keep Studios in Denver with engineer Jeff Kanan. I will record 10-15 songs and instrumentals; material I've written over the past 12 years. This will be a rock music record.
In other news, I've finally fixed my blog. Click on the link on the above navigation bar to access it. Comments welcome.
--Rob September 11, 2020
Live Shows, Recording, Band
Since the last update at the start of the Coronavirus shutdown, I've been busy with several aspects of my music career. I've been holding internet concerts, songwriting, preparing to record new music, and trying to recruit members for my rock band Total Flower Chaos (although that's been almost impossible to do without in-person auditions).
Some venues are cautiously re-opening in Colorado, where I live, with strict rules about social distancing and wearing masks. In fact, I am playing my first gig since Coronavirus hit tomorrow. I will continue to investigate and play safe live gigs, because it's what I love to do. I will also continue to play internet gigs.
The best way to keep up with what I'm doing-- recording projects, live shows, and everything else-- is to join my email list. Simply add your name to the form at the right of this page, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll add you.
--Rob June 26, 2020
Like all musicians, all my gigs have been cancelled due to measures taken to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. Not only can we no longer do what we love-- play our music live for people-- but it impacts us financially as well. I ask music fans who haven't lost your jobs to support your favorite bands and solo artists by one or more of the following ways:
Buy records-- CDs or vinyl.
Some people, myself included, like to have physical copies of our favorite albums. For one reason, listening to a record on a good home stereo provides superior fidelity. Secondly, many record have cool artwork and information on them. Thirdly, music that lives in the "cloud" can disappear anytime because you don't own it. Nobody can take a record away from you.
Buy paid downloads.
Unfortunately we receive virtually no money when you listen to our music on streaming platforms such as Youtube, Spotify, Pandora, etc. So if that's the main way you listen to music, please consider buying some paid downloads to help us out. Bandcamp.com allows you to pay more than the listed price for a download to support the artist.
Join the Artist Fan Clubs.
Many bands and solo artists have a fan club on platforms like Bandcamp and Patreon, where you can make a regular monthly contribution. Please consider this, at least until we can gig again.
Tip During Live Internet Shows.
Live video streaming platforms, such as Facebook Live, don't pay us for our performances, like real music venues do. Most artists will provide a way to tip them. Please consider doing so.
How You Can Help Me:
If you want to support me during the shutdown, the best way is to go to my Rob Roper Bandcamp Site and my Total Flower Chaos Bandcamp Site and buy Downloads, CDs and Tshirts. On the Rob Roper Bandcamp Site you will also find the Misfit Club where you can make regular monthly contributions. Misfit Club members have exclusive access to live recordings and things not available to the general public.
I plan to use this shutdown as a songwriting opportunity. I am writing solo as well as co-writing with other songwriters. Hopefully I'll get a few good ones out of this!
With a little support from our fans, solo artists and bands be able to get through this. As of this writing there's no light at the end of the tunnel, but hopefully the day isn't too far away when we can all get back to doing what we love-- playing live music for you. And you can get back to doing what you love-- going out to hear live music.
--Rob March 29, 2020
New Look for the Website!
Today I release the new look for www.robroper.com! As you can see, I now have a banner photo on the homepage, and a different color scheme for all the pages. The navigation menu has been moved to the top of the pages. I corrected a bunch of mistakes and simplified the code-- all "under the hood" stuff that you can't see, but will make the website easier to maintain. I also embedded my upcoming shows from my Reverbnation page, so I no longer have to enter the shows in two places. Have a look around, I hope you like it!
--Rob Jaunary 2, 2020