2009 Year-End Review

December 31, 2009

With about six hours left in 2009 (at least here on the East Coast of the US) I'd like to dedicate my 45th blog post of this year to you. There are currently some 100 million plus bloggers in the world and who knows how many bands; so thank you for taking the time to visit our blogs and share our music!

Over the last year I have tried to give you some insight into what the guys and I do both on and off the stage to create, sustain, and support our careers. By reading our blogs, coming to our shows, and buying our records you make everything we do possible. I hope you enjoy the following look back on 2009!

During January and February, the guys and I began discussing the shape we wanted our next album to take. After receiving some stellar placement, culminating in our feature in Spin Magazine's best of 2008 issue, we had our work cut out for us, but we were really motivated by Lensing's reception. Looking back, I think we really benefited from challenging ourselves at the very beginning of this year. Not only did we want to lay the foundation for a strong album, we also wanted to take the time to create a network so that we could engage and learn from you. In 2009 we went social and March was the month that things really got started.

During the month of March, I began to teach myself html to build a new atrisHQ. I wanted to personally create a website that would truly function as our online headquarters; a place where you could reach us at anytime, see what we were up to, and share your thoughts. Our friends Phillipe and Rachel kindly helped. [Entry: a'tris selected artist of the month on radiogetswild.com]

During April we launched the new a'tris HQ, created a Twitter account, and integrated the two [Entry: New Website and Twitter!] We also debuted a new online merch store. And were honored by Head Case Radio as one of their Featured Artists.

In May my bandmates and I supported Relay for Life and helped Wes Simkins from Acoustic Alternative Radio to drive donations for his team. We also supported our friend, Kristen Reed, with her cancer awareness project, More Than A Zodiac Sign. [Entry: Relay for Life] During this time we were selected artist of the month by Radio Gets Wild, and received some great exposure thanks to Phoenix Radio. We were also greatly honored to be featured in Music Connection Magazine thanks to our friend at AirPlay Direct. [Entry: Music Connection Magazine]

June was a great month for us as we had the pleasure of creating a wonderful relationship with Rob Saunders from Deuce Management and Promotion who, to this day, has been a huge supporter of a'tris as well as a guiding light in the music industry. Through Rob, we had the pleasure of meeting Kevin from Somojo who honored us with the front cover of his very first magazine. [Entry: Somojo Magazine! w00t!] Additionally, we made our song "Dark Lotus" available courtesy of Microsoft and ReverbNation and were astounded that, in a short few weeks, an overwhelming 3,000+ people downloaded the song.

In July we thanked ReverbNation and Microsoft for their campaign by shooting a video in which I expressed our gratitude. Microsoft added this video to many of their websites and it created another remarkable exposure opportunity for us. [Entry: A Message from Mason] We also received our first fan cover thanks to Tiger Darrow and were honored by her interpretation of "Automatic Doors." [Entry: Tiger Darrow Covers Automatic Doors] To thank Tiger, I returned the gesture by covering one of her songs, "Beautiful Release" and sharing the video with you on our blogs. [Entry: Media Overload!] I also started a local open mic to reach out to fellow independent artists and began to share some of the new tunes we'd written for a'tris' next album.

During the month of August, I had a great chat with the folks at WildGoo Radio about a'tris' new material. I also refocused my energy to find solutions to allow us to better connect with you. I began blogging much more frequently thanks to some great software I discovered called Blogo. And, after reaching out to the developer, Benjamin Jackson, I created a give away to help empower you to more easily share your thoughts using his app. [Entry: Win a Copy of Blogo Blogging Editor]

Empowered by Blogo, I really got into the swing of Blogging in September. During that month I shared articles with you about everything from our interview with Paradize Radio, to Fame Game's continued support, and my thoughts on lyric writing. I asked for your help to win several contests and, thanks to you, we were #1 on Ourstage, and became globally ranked at #71 on ReverbNation's Alternative chart! Needless to say, I was extremely grateful; especially since Reverb has over 250,000 band members. [Entry: a'tris Loves You!]

By October I really began to fully appreciate Twitter's power and took a moment to introduce you to our first 123 tweeps. [Entry: Meet Our First 123 Tweeps] This was one of our most viewed blogs for the year and really changed the way I approached blogging. Over the course of the month, I started to share your thoughts in my entries including screen shots of my Twitter client and your tweets. When we began working with Urban Outfitters and my keyboard was damaged in transit after a show, I twitpicd some pictures of it. Your condolences were truly appreciated. [Entry: Congratulations!]

In November I took a break to vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and caught a shark! I'm still very proud of that. I greatly appreciated your comments on my vacation post, [Entry: Beach Vacation] and am so glad that you took the time to get to know me outside of my work with a'tris. While I was relaxing a bit, Angie created our first fan site [Entry: We Have a Fansite and It's Awesome] and Leah DeVon from Indie Style TV featured our "Automatic Doors" on her television show on Comcast. [Entry: Happy Black Friday!] w00t! On a personal note, I was also truly honored to be selected as one of The Modern Vocalist's featured singers.

This month I began reflecting on the year in a post facilitated by the coding of Chad Scira [Entry: Tweet Clouds], which analyzed the subjects about which I tweeted the most this year. Despite getting wrapped up in holiday festivities, I wrote more posts this month than any other including [Entries: Meep Meep Meep..., Video Hookup, and Headlights] I also really polished up our Youtube page [Entry: New Youtube Channel] and began working on further integrating our social networks. The best part of this year has yet to be written. Just a few days ago we partnered with Microsoft and ReverbNation again to make our song "Symbols in the Legend" available to you as a free download. The band with the most downloads gets a check from the boys at Redmond so, before you break out the champagne and watch the ball drop in Times Square, please take a moment to grab our song! Just click here. You'll find us at the top of the list. As our way of saying thanks, if we win, we'll give one of you a free t-shirt! [Entry: Would You Like a FREE a'tris Shirt?]

To conclude my year-end review, I would like to thank the people below who have commented on our blogs, mentioned us on Twitter, and/or connected with us across our social networks. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed following, interacting with, and learning from you! If you don't see yourself on this list and feel you should be there, we agree with you! It's impossible to thank everyone who has touched our lives and helped our careers this year, but we'd like to try! Please leave us a comment so we can acknowledge you.

Amie_FM, Pierre, The Messerschmitt Twins, Tiger, ashdawood, keikomushi, redshojin, alkaseltzerplus, splatteredjelly, MSWindows, amycourts, britwoolard, misterperturbed, JaqFan, strobegirl, giftsshewants, noostarteam, skatermom36, angyelle, ArtistData, Googlecar, robilyaimy, filmnetdotcom, kiwi1079, ChristianAmador, BBSatellites, ashparkmusic, ragearts, JLJebitsch, bettrthanthevan, radioexile, nucof, somojomedia, askStella, Pat_Donahue, ashAfied, kristenreed, patdaddict8, supahninja1, DIEMAHBOY, Sarthanan, eddiesteele, arbertas, thekliciousshow, SnowyOwl1959, DylanGalvinMusic, TomWa, Nordicblackbird, SweetenedSorrows, octoberskies0, alisareed, theholygoes, suzibird, NearaRussell, amedfraryd, zestoretic12, iriihutoR48, ldrinkperiods, emoxita12, Garden2Garden, *~*Meggerz's Boo Boo*~*, Sue, Kayla, Tiger Darrow, Kristen Reed, Ms. Communication, Shawn M. Smith, Toonces, Patricia, and Steve.

I'm really excited about the future and look forward to getting to know you better next year. Our new album is winding its way to completion and I can't wait to share it with you! My new year's resolution is to make 2010 the year of a'tris. What's yours?

Wishing you peace and joy!

-Mason


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