Saturday, March 29, 2008

Okay - Ralph Mouth it is...and comment on this problem...

Though there were a ton of great ones - as paulie points out, everyone will just call it "The Ralph Blog" maybe I'll rotate thru banners with alternate names.

First, I have no idea why some users have to keep signing in/registering. I've been logged in since I started this thing a couple of days ago, so I haven't experienced it. Though it sounds frustrating. Maybe be sure that "cookies" are turned on in your browser prefs...that is one guess. I hope that doesn't keep you away - 

SO, yer thoughts, please:

As most of you know, we at Ralph like to put together package deals for various new releases. Besides the new CD release, the package often includes a bonus CD, a tshirt, something of that ilk. As you also know, there are some fancy MUTE reissues coming out for both CLASSIC Residents releases, ESKIMO and DUCK STAB. 

Okay, these are really important releases, right? Not to be taken lightly. One could argue that these 2 releases helped most all of the modern music world form their opinion about The Residents. On the one hand, you have the short, catchy, humorous (but a little frightening) pop songs from Duck Stab and the longer, conceptual, experimental, serious work of Eskimo. 

Both of these have become iconic releases, pointed to again and again by modern music's most innovative artists (along side releases like Trout Mask Replica, Rain Dogs, Pet Sounds etc). Okay, you know all this shit. Now to the point.

Here at RalphAmerica, we'd like to do something to celebrate these reissues, as they're sure to be fab packages (Mute's lovely hard book covers are becoming legendary with the Rez Fan.) Here are some of the issues I'm thinking about, however:

1) UK/Europe release for these releases is end of April, and the N.America release is end of May. How f-up'd is that? This happened with Voice of Midnight, and it caused us ulcers, headaches and binge drinking.  You see, if we do a "presale" for you to get one or both of these releases, in a package with some other exclusive RalphGoodie, and you live in the UK/Europe, we'll be getting emails from you (probably not you, who is reading this, but you who are not), saying "I can buy this CD right down the street...but i Preordered it from you, why isn't it here yet?" Then we start feeling a bit, uh, like we're doing a lousy job. If it happens once, no big deal, but usually it's several emails a day.

2) As important as these releases are, I'd bet dollars to donuts, that ALL OF YOU have both of these in yer collection already. In fact, you probably have several versions of both. Does the release date matter to you? If it is on sale down the street from you, do you care if it's still a month away from arriving in yer mail box, (with an added goodie?) In other words, will there be the same anticipation to receive an Eskimo/Duck Stab package, as there was for Voice of Midnight? I'm guessing, no. But lemme know.

3) How many of you are going to buy these again? Like I say, the package will be tops, and they're definitely worth getting, but will you be more likely to pick these up if we have some sort of deal for you? If so, what kind of deal would be attractive to you? A new shirt? I wish there could be a bonus CD, but I don't think that'll happen. Other ideas? A special box to house these two releases? I'm just yappin' out my ass...ideas?

4) Carbon footprint: This has definitely crossed my mind, and I wonder if you think about it. I know some of you in Europe have written to me about this. When a disc is manufactured in the Netherlands (as all the Mute releases seem to be - or somewhere in Europe), then a bunch of them get shipped to the Caroline/EMI warehouse in the US (eventually...chugchug), then a bunch go to our one stop in California. Then we order from the one stop, and they come up in a UPS truck to us in a couple of days. Then we package a bunch of them into small envelopes, many of which head back to Europe again. Some end up just miles away from where it was manufactured. I've considered finding an outlet in Europe to handle the Europe orders, but for several complicated reasons, this turns out to be WAY more expensive for us.  Yes, it's more expensive for us to not import them here, and ship them out. No wonder everyone is downloading everything. Anyhow, do you have a creative solution to this? Maybe some way to send you the missing parts of the "ralph package" if you've shown you've purchased the 2 reissues elsewhere? Again...I'm yappin' out my ass.

It's a brave new music world, and all of us are struggling to keep up with these changes. So any ideas you may have are certainly listened to. Let us know what yer thinkin'. Yabberyabber.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The First Ralph Chron post

Okay, it's a really lame name for the blog. But it's 10:25 at night, and I'm still in the office and I'm not feeling so creative. Give me another name and if it's good, I'll use that instead. I'll have some questions coming up here for YOU, The Residents FAN. I figure there will be at least 13 of you that will stop by to look at this on a semi-regular basis (thanks Paulie, Goatboy, and the guy who set up the Residents forum). 

Anyhow, give me some better names for this site! Thanks. I have an important question related to the Mute re-issues coming out soon of Eskimo and Duck Stab. So stay tuned -