Soft Shoe

This music gig doesn’t pay very well, but the fans are all right.
Milkshake n’ Honey – Sleater-Kinney

I’m feeling a little like the emcee who keeps trying to keep the crowd entertained with jokes and witty anecdotes while the main act guzzles Jack Daniels and curses out the stage crew for wrong-colored M&Ms backstage. While the headliner takes their sweet time getting ready, the emcee is thrown out to the hungry masses to do a little soft-shoe. “Did ya hear the one about the lumberjack, rock star and mortgage banker? No? Hey, who threw that?”

OK, here’s an interesting tidbit to keep you occupied (enter big eyeroll here). The year was 1995 and if you were like me, you started your own college entertainment newspaper. The upside of this project was all the free CDs, concert tickets, interviews and listening parties you could handle. The downside? Besides not making a ton of money, you had to weed through the piles and piles of crap to find the good stuff. For every Pablo Honey, you had to listen to fifty not Pablo Honeys.

One day you find yourself bored in the office. You’re waiting for it to stop raining in Seattle (good luck) or a check to come in the mail so you can eat (stupid 30 day billing cycles) and you pop in a CD by a band called Whale. You recall a brief knowledge of a song called Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe getting some MTV spins, but for the most part, you are skeptical. Then you have one of those “holy crap, these guys are good” moments that lasts about a year. You tell as many people as possible about Whale. You go to their shows. You make your friends go to their shows. You play them at parties. You even write how awesome they are, but by the end of it all, it’s you and about 60 other people on the planet (including their native Sweden) who dig Whale. The album is titled, We Care, but in reality, no one seems to care, but you.

The truth is, I have countless bands like this stored in my head. Bands like Schtum, Figdish, 1000 Mona Lisas, and Prose n’ Concepts. Maybe they made a little splash, but there was never much of a ripple. These were bands that got a little love from a label for some studio time, a manager, and a van. Other than that, they were on their own. You never saw wide-eyed enthusiasm change into systematic contempt so fast. This was the era of the listening party and meet and greet. It was sad. Unless the label’s college rep had lots of drink tickets. Then it was awesome. Rock on!

The point is, you’ll be able to download Whale’s We Care on Qtrax very shortly. Then you can decide for yourself. Maybe we’re got a chance right an old wrong and soon Whale will be headlining Lollapalloza this year. Or, are my musical tastes now up for debate. I downloaded it (since I lost that CD years ago) yesterday and gave it a couple of listens. I stand by my first call. This is an awesome band and a great record.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some brown M&Ms to get rid of.


33 Responses to “Soft Shoe”

  1. Well I don’t have anything to say but what do you expect. The fans are angry. I’ve played both ends, as the emcee and the band, and there is nothing more nerve wracking than planning to hit the stage at 10 and not go on until 1am. It gets tiring thinking you are going on then you realize the drummer has forgotten his sticks.

    • seankonnery Says:

      He’s forgotten his sticks many, many times. You would think he would have learned from his mistakes already.

      • That’s why the band I’m in just has four accordions and a flute. No drummer to f— things up. ‘Course we don’t get many gigs…

  2. Ummmmm, “coming soon”???

  3. Also at some point the show must go on.

  4. C’mon, throw us a bone. “Bone” here being a noun, not a verb.

  5. People, including myself, are starting not to believe anymore. I have been a huge supporter of QTrax, but all the missed deadlines and “teases” of an “impending launch” (including yesterday’s QTrax twitter comment of the soft launch happening yesterday, which of course didn’t happen), as well as “just a little patience” and “we’ll be ready by the end of March” posted here, are disheartening. Total BS if you ask me, I’ll just go pay 99 cents to Itunes because they actually have a product!!

    • sigh…I wish I had something for you guys. Even a bone. When I know something, and I have the OK to post it…you’ll be the first to know.

      • morechocolate Says:

        Qtraxer, “sigh…I wish”…?

        you have to do better than that after posting-tweeting and pumping “the faithful” yesterday, “Today should be the day for a US “soft launch” of Qtrax 1.0. Later this afternoon or this evening.” and, after the bashing that the non-soft-launch has reignited on some boards.

        you began to establish your credibility with people who have been following and investing in Qtrax for 6 or 7 years – hanging on to get to this moment.

        now – not tomorrow – whoever you talk to at 211 mad ave has to give you an accurate-specific update so you can do some damage control and, at the same time, protect your own credibility.

        and i’m waiting.

      • seankonnery Says:

        So when is the new version of Qtrax going to be ready?

  6. I have remained loyal and positive for years ….through all of the bad press and failed dead lines and misinformation….and even I have become disenchanted and disheartened by the whole “coming soon” propaganda….today is the day…..what ever!

    • morechocolate Says:

      Qtraxer, avdi speaks for many.

      how many? for sure thousands. maybe many thousands. maybe more.

      i’ve followed him for over a year on the most followed blln board. he’s been a relentless, unwavering supporter and defender of blln and Qtrax, and its management — starting with the ’08 midem non-launch debacle and, then, during the fall-out from numerous non-launches and unmet expectations.

      that kind of loyalty compels accountability.

      you need to deliver an accurate-specific update as fast as possible. the longer it takes, the more it will cost in terms of Qtrax’ credibility – and yours.

  7. guitartutor_ca Says:

    The best thing is to launch without telling us. Wait a day and then say “we launched yesterday its dunn!!”

  8. luckybleu Says:

    I checked out whale ,more of the sperm whale than the killer whale variety, im my opinionbut hey thats what music is all about ..different strokes…

  9. The Qtrax site seems to be down. Is this just me, or is everyone else experiencing this also? I’m hoping that this means that they are updating the site to version 1.0….:D


    • morechocolate Says:

      Qtraxer — message @ says, “sorry this site is temporarily unavailable”

      an explanation is needed since we the soft-launch didn’t happen on tuesday. will you be posting one soon?

      • morechocolate Says:

        Qtraxer – just trying to understand what’s going on here.

        please explain how you can post and tweet what you did about the soft launch, then brush it off when it doesn’t happen, then ignore your own blog and not answer/respond to important questions?

        i had high hopes that this blog would bring some badly needed credibility. things got off to a good start. but, now it’s crunch time, and you need to show up and explain what’s going on.

  11. One can only hope that this is some bizarre Rope-A-Dope strategy, that the other companies will eventually get tired and fall down ie; Spiral, Rukus and maybe now Imeem, and Qtrax is left standing virtually alone, and not really the situation that Qtrax is overmatched and under-prepared to begin with.

    ANY explanation is warranted.

  12. I totally agree that the playing field is becoming very quiet and empty of competition, however, we need to get Qtrax off and running…Rukus Spinal frog and now Imeem will have customers and advertisers looking for a new place to spend their time and money. Timing and product launch for Qtrax are critical for a successful capture of customers and ad revenue…will someone please shift gears into overdrive and let’s get this buggy moving!

  13. I realize that you’re all frustrated. So are we. I have nothing new to report other than that things are delayed a bit. It’s somewhat out of our control. Believe us when we say that we appreciate our supporters. There is nothing new to report other than we’re working very hard to get things off the ground. I can assure you that. This is our primary obligation. Posting blogs, twittering, press releases etc. are not our primary objective despite our desire to keep everyone informed. There are things that we can legally discuss, and there are things that we can’t. Sometimes no news is just that. No news. We respect all of your opinions and appreciate your interest more than you know, but also realize you’re tired of hearing, “stay tuned.” If it was easy, it would’ve been up a long time ago.

    • morechocolate Says:

      here’s a different take (you’ll like avdi’s better).

      1. too little too late.

      2. ignoring and respecting are mutually exclusive.

  14. More, thank you for your kind words…Qtraxer all I am asking for is the truth about what to expect…loyalty deserves more than we are receiving and as Mr. More so eloquently put it…. time to support your official Qtrax blog…. Qtraxer you have a loyal following so come out from under the covers and speak to the masses. We can handle the truth…trust me “we can handle the truth” just speak it!

  15. I posted just before your post…. so please appreciate where I was coming from…and thank you for responding with what you know and with what you can disclose. My apologies for jumping down your throat while you were responding to the board.

  16. Thanks for responding QTraxer.

    So, from a TECHNICAL and TWEAKING standpoint, LEGALLY you can’t comment on the FINANCIAL aspects as they relate to the SOFT LAUNCH, oh, US PRE-RELEASE of the product until the continued delays have led the FAITHFUL to chewing on their keyboards, kicking their dogs and causing a run on XANAX at their local Walgreen’s pharmacy?

    Clears that up. Thanks!

    • I agree with bigaboy, if it were a software or hardware related issue, one could talk about it. Since it might have to do with finances, they have to zip the lips.

  17. Today is a new day and a Friday launch would be great, something to keep us all busy with over the weekend….if they do launch today I hope they keep plenty of tech personnel on board over the weekend to handle any software related issues….nothing like the site going down or having downloading problems and having to wait until Monday to address the issues….let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  18. I was under the impression, from Qtraxer’s post, that it could be a bit longer- the way he spoke of delay and out of their hands made me think it was a bit more than tweaking the tech end of it. Maybe I’m wrong….?

    • Dave, I think you’re right. “Out of our control” translates to financial or last-minute legal issues. Who knows? At the same time, as soon as the green light gets turned on, we should all see that splash page activated.

      Hopefully sooner rather than later.

  19. Hey I noticed that the player is working again after being down for the last few days. I don’t notice any changes to the portal, or are we not upgrading to a new version right now?

  20. harrysdog Says:

    Can the last one out, turn off the lights

  21. ROFLMAO…good harry..:-)

  22. morechocolate Says:

    qtraxer – splash page went from “coming soon” to “watch this space closely” (aka “coming soon”) and back to “coming soon.”

    lots of people have developed a relationship with qtrax – and have been anticipating it for a long time.

    isn’t this blog where qtrax can communicate with all those people and inspire some confidence. the silence here is unnerving.

    should we continue to keep the faith?

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