Wednesday, December 22, 2010

5 Predictions for the Music Industry in 2011

~ This is amazing...
Article source HERE.

1. Subscription Services Will Be Popular, But Not Profitable

If Spotify’s $26.7 million loss in 2009 is any indication, subscription services still have a ways to go before they’ll actually become profitable. Hell, isn’t even turning a profit yet — although it could be getting close.

Still, this year and the end of last year saw services gaining even more steam — MOG launched its all-you-can-eat service in December, followed by Android and iPhone apps, and, most recently, an app in the Chrome Web Store. Rdio also launched to much excitement, and Slacker Radio announced that it would be launching an on-demand offering as well (possibly across a variety of devices to be unveiled at CES).

Yes, streaming music services have been around for a while now, but what’s changed in the past year is the number of devices you can access them on — everything from the iPad to Roku to the Xbox Kinect to the upcoming Chrome OS devices. The ability to listen to music on-demand across a variety of devices is sure to be a hit among consumers — it just remains to be seen how these services will monetize.

2. More Artists Will Finally Get Social

You know your friend in that band that never gets gigs? The guy who basically has no idea how to use Twitter and thinks Foursquare is a playground game? Well, even that guy is going to start realizing in the coming year that he can’t just keeping sticking his head in the sand where social media is concerned.

I mean, Billboard recently tapped Next Big Sound to gather stats for its “Social 50″ Chart; we’re talking about a publication that’s been around since 1894 paying attention to social metrics where artist popularity is concerned. Let’s hear that date again: 1894. So basically the fact that you’re over 30 is no excuse for not having a social media presence.

Add to that MTV’s burgeoning interest in the social space — its assignation of a Twitter DJ and the launch of its new music discovery tool — and you’ve got a lot of eyes on the digital sphere.

In the coming year, I see more artists following in the footsteps of socially savvy bands like Kanye West (for better or worse), Ben Folds and Pomplamoose, and learning how to use social tools to their advantage.

3. Music Videos Will Continue Their Renaissance Online

This past year, a very sizable player entered the online music video space: Vevo, which launched at the end of 2009. In just one year, Vevo has become a very worthy adversary to sites like when it comes to hosting music videos, and MTV, for its part, has started amping up its online/on-air video output as well.

Now, we’re not saying Vevo has single-handedly sparked the renaissance of the music video, but it has helped give the format a kick in the you-know-what. That platform, coupled with the growing ability of artists like OK Go, Arcade Fire and Kanye West (he’s everywhere on this list) to create true cinematic, and sometimes interactive masterpieces — which are the bread and butter of the viral web — have ensured that online music videos will continue to be eminently shareable in the coming year.

4. Ping Will Never Take Off — Never

Apple’s new social network, Ping, launched to much excitement this year, only to disappoint those of us in the media who were keen on replacing MySpace with a new locale for music discovery. Why? Well, there were scant few bands on the site at launch, and two months out of the gate, the site boasted only 2,000 artists. (The process to get an account on Ping is not as simple as creating a username and logging in; Apple needs to vet bands before granting them access.)

In the ensuing months, Ping has made an effort to become more social, adding Twitter integration and social playlists, but the site’s focus — predictably — seems to be more on commerce than social. For example: Yes, you can create and share playlists, but you can’t use your own songs to build said playlists — you must assemble them from iTune’s song previews. So, basically, by sharing playlists users are creating free advertising for iTunes rather than trading tunes.

Yes, MySpace may be suffering some financial woes (and a bit of an identity crisis), but it’s obviously a much more social sphere than a place for commerce (which may explain the financial woes). Case in point: It just added a suite of fan management tools for artists. Ping may not die this year — Apple is a tenacious beast — but I don’t see it gaining any traction either.

5. Music Piracy Will Not Die

Despite the looming spectre of the COICA Internet Censorship and Copyright Bill, people will continue to file share and steal music. They’ve been doing it for 10-plus years and they’re not stopping now.

Unfortunately, artists will continue to have to find creative ways to take advantage of the leaky nature of the web by adopting pay-what-you-wish models (a la Girl Talk and Trent Reznor) and taking advantage of the buzz that a leak builds (a la The National).

That’s not to say that matters are looking sunny for artists. It’s likely they will have to continue to diversify their methods of garnering cash by ramping up touring and licensing deals.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Focus Your Efforts

~ Article source found HERE. This is just one opinion, but I find it to be pretty on point. Of course there are the few lucky ones that will slip through the cracks that will be able to avoid grinding out some real hard work and sacrifice, but ya really can't count on that if you take yourself seriously.

If you're a hobbyist, then enjoy the considerable fruits that come from musical composition, performance, and direct distribution. Music is one of the greatest pleasures in life, whether performing, listening, mashing-up, or discussing. But pretending to pursue a professional career - while actually living the life of a hobbyist - is a tragedy.

So if your statistical chances of making it are close to zero, what's the better approach? It's not a romantic, DIY, Long Tail-inspired game plan. It's slogging it out on the road for 200-plus dates a year, sleeping in the van, getting your stuff stolen, finding it again, getting ripped off by the club owner a day later, fighting with your bandmates.

It's sitting in a room for hours writing incredible music. And recording, performing and perfecting that music every day. Even on Thanksgiving.

It's saying goodbye to comfy nights on the couch with your girlfriend, a round of beers with your buddies, or two-week vacations. And the same thing goes for the team, which needs to be equally committed to sacrifice and total success.

Why not just get a real job? It's also explaining to everyone - including your family - why you're barely surviving, why your art takes precedence over everything else in your life. And this is not a modern-day reality: artists have struggled for centuries to make ends meet. The numbers have always been stacked against musicians, internet or not.

And then, when all of those sacrifices are made, when you cut out all the comforts you think you're entitled to... then what? You get a lottery ticket, to possibly become self-sustaining and even wildly successful.

And if your number comes up, what happens then? If you actually get substantial traction, if you can fill 200 rooms a year, then you're now ready to work some more - a lot more. To expand the base, structure partnerships with professionals, distribution partners, management agencies, and even labels. Because even total control needs to be sacrificed at some point.

Copyright Your Music!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Music Submission

I get a lot of requests from bands / musicians to check out their press kit / demos / videos etc.
Well now you can send me all that stuff HERE.


Friday, November 19, 2010

The Fight Continues

U.S. Senate takes up bill combatting illegal downloading
by Adam B. Vary (EW.COM)

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee announced today it had unanimously approved a bill giving the Justice Department new powers to combat websites that illegally offer copyrighted content for sale, download, or streaming. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D, Vt.) and Orrin Hatch (R, Utah), would allow federal law enforcement to effectively shut down websites that demonstrably participate in the regular unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. Several Hollywood guild organizations, including SAG and the DGA, issued a joint-statement in support of the bill, saying, "We believe today’s committee action is the first step in making it much more difficult for rogue site operators to run their sites with impunity."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tour Reality Check

~ A buddy sent this to me. Just thought it was kinda funny... enjoy!

How to Tour in a Band or Whatever

by Thor Harris

1-Don’t complain. Bitching, moaning, whining is tour cancer. If something is wrong fix it or shut the fuck up you fucking dick. Goddamn.

2-If you fart, claim it.

3-Don’t lose shit. Everybody loses shit. Don’t fucking do it. (Asshole).

4-Don’t fuck anyone in the band. There are tons of people to fuck who are not in this band. Dumbass.

5-If you feel like shit all the time, drink less at the gig. You will play better & feel better. What are you… a child? Some have the endurance for self abuse. Most don’t.

6-Remember the soundman’s name. He will do a better job.

7- Eat oranges. Cures constipation & prevents colds.

8-Masturbate. Duh… Where & when? Be creative. You’re an artist right?

9-If YOU can’t carry your suitcase 3 blocks, it’s too goddamn big.

10-Respect public space in the van. Don’t clutter, you fuck.

11-If you borrow something, return it. Not Fucked Up.

12-Do not let the promoter dick you or talk you out of the guarantee.

13- Driver picks the music.

14-One navigator only (usually sitting shotgun). Everyone else shut the fuck up.

15-Soundcheck is for checking sounds. Shut the fuck up while everyone else is checking.

16-Don’t wander off. Let someone know where you are.

17-Clean up after yourself. What are you… a goddamn toddler?

18-Touring makes everyone bi-polar. Ride the waves as best you can and remember, moods pass. So don’t make any snap decisions or declarations when you are drunk or insane.

19-Fast food is POISON.

20-The guestlist is for friends, family & people you might want to fuck. Everyone else can pay. They have day jobs.

21- Don’t evaluate your whole life while you’re sitting in a janitor closet waiting to go on. You think you’re above having shitty days at work? Shut up & do your goddamn job.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

LimeWire Gets Shut Down

~ What do you all think about this?

A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday granted the music industry’s request to shut down the popular LimeWire file-sharing service, which had been found liable for copyright infringement.

The ruling by Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan federal court halts one of the world’s biggest services for letting consumers share music, movies and TV shows for free over the Internet.

Saying that LimeWire’s parent Lime Wire LLC intentionally caused a “massive scale of infringement” involving thousands of works, Wood issued a permanent injunction that requires the company to disable its “searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality.”

Record companies “have suffered — and will continue to suffer — irreparable harm from Lime Wire’s inducement of widespread infringement of their works,” Wood wrote.

She called the potential damages “staggering,” and probably “well beyond” the New York-based company’s ability to pay.

The signed ruling was made available by The Recording Industry Association of America, which represents music companies. It has said Lime Wire has cost its members hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. A copy of the ruling was not immediately available on the public court docket.

In a statement, Lime Wire expressed disappointment at the ruling. “While this is not our ideal path, we’re working with the music industry to move forward,” it said.

Lime Wire said the injunction lets it continue testing a service that allows users to buy music from independent labels. The company said it hopes to negotiate agreements with the entire music industry ahead of a full launch.

Founded in 2000 by Mark Gorton, Lime Wire has been a thorn in the side of record companies because millions of fans used it as an easy means to find and download music for free.

U.S. recorded music sales have fallen in value to $7.7 billion in 2009 from $14.5 billion in 1999 according to the RIAA. The music industry blames online and physical piracy as the primary reasons for the decline.

Tuesday’s injunction “will start to unwind the massive piracy machine that Lime Wire and Gorton used to enrich themselves immensely,” the RIAA said in a statement. It said the court will consider damages at a January trial.

The RIAA represents labels owned by Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Group, owned by the Terra Firma private equity firm.

LimeWire has said it has more than 50 million monthly users. These users accounted for 58 percent of people who said they downloaded music from a peer-to-peer service in 2009, a survey by NPD Group showed.

As technology and broadband speeds have improved, LimeWire has also been used to illegally share movies and popular TV shows, attracting criticism from Hollywood as well.

Wood’s decision to shut the LimeWire service followed a unanimous 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling against file-sharing service Grokster Ltd.

In that ruling, the court said companies could be sued for copyright infringement if they distributed services designed to be used for that purpose, even if the devices could also be used lawfully.

The case is Arista Records LLC et al v Lime Group et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 06-05936.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Some Great Advice

~Here is some good advice pulled from a much longer interview with Neil Patel that I found on Musician Coaching. You can check it out HERE.
Last question, if you had a group together and were trying to get their music heard online and offline what would your (very basic) strategy be for getting heard? I know the core music business isn’t your expertise but the music business is disarray at the moment. I figure you might have some great ideas.

I would first create band pages with my music on all of the major social networks. After I have done that I would go to all of the other popular bands that are similar and make them my friends. And lastly, I would then interact with other bands through their social profiles. I would do this through commenting, which is a great way to drive their visitors back to my band profile page.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I Want To Meet You!

Well, if a life of being hungry and tired sounds like a good idea, I would definitely like to help you achieve your goals... seriously, if you would like to chat about your music and / or a career in music I am now available to do so. Music180 is a brand new company that I am proud to be a part of. You can check out my profile here
I look forward to meeting you!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Get Signed to RoadRunner Records

Yup kids, ya heard it here first... now get uploading!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ask Blasko

October... a great time of year. I must be feeling inspired. I made a few changes around here. Some of you may notice a new Blog title and this months poll. Social networking: how important is it to you? I recently deleted my MySpace, Twitter and Facebook as I found them to be distractions. I felt my focus was better served here and on my company.

That being said, the new Blog plan is to be more interactive. I want you to email me at and send me some pertinent questions that you would like to get some perspective on. I am also going to bring on some guest bloggers (peeps from the business) to tackle some answers as well.


So Ya Wanna Be a Rockstar?

~ I nabbed this off of the Music Think Tank blog. Originally penned by Jonathan Ostrow (his info is at the bottom of the post). Enjoy...

The idea that any emerging artist can become the next multi-platnum recording artist is null and void. Save for very rare instances, there is just not the level of demand in music that creates the necessary environment for a superstar to develop, and those who do break through at that level either had the connections or the marketing team that was smart enough to mold the musician to look and sound exactly how the labels want them to. But this is nothing new.

As the DIY Musician movement strengthens, musicians are continually gaining more understanding as to how they can sustain a career in music without the need to sign to a record label and sell over 1 million copies. There is a seemingly limitless way for musicians to use their knowledge of any and all aspects of music to create a sustainable career doing what they love:

Music Licensing

Music licensing is a great opportunity for any aspiring musician to get paid for their recorded works to appear in TV and film. Helen Austin, a musician who has dedicated her career in music to licensing her works has put together a wonderful article on laying out the 4 Steps to Film and TV Placement.

Live Performance

The live performance sector is seen by many as the new focal point of the music industry. Although ticket giant Live Nation reported a drop in ticket sales for the summer of 2010, the live performance scene surrounding the emerging music scene has been flourishing. A new trend for musicians, especially in the upcoming hip-hop scene is to forgo signing with a record label, only to sign with a major booking agency who can effectively act as the liaison between the artist and other, well established artists and venues.

Studio/ Session Musician

There is always a demand for highly trained, highly qualified musicians to step in and add support on an album. This is not limited to any instrument or genre and can range from freelance work to working contractually for a major label. However, as the demand is high, so is the competition - in order to work as a studio/ session musician, you MUST be able to read music at a fluent rate and be able to adjust your playing to suit the needs of the client.

Band Manager

The negotiation skills and industry understanding gained from your own endeavors are the perfect skill set to get you started as a new band manager.

Music Teacher

Teaching music can be done at quite a few different levels of understanding and pay-grade, ranging from private in-home lessons up to collegiate-level music study. While it is certainly an attainable goal to establish a few clients and teach out of your own home without having a degree in music, it is almost guaranteed that you will need to have a degree in music and possibly even teaching in order to teach in any sort of professional setting.

Pit Band For Off-Broadway Productions

Although most broadway productions use classical music and orchestras, there are many off-broadway productions that contain much more contemporary forms of music. National Shows like Cirque De Sole and Blue Man Group, as well as many other smaller performances have scaled down from the orchestra to a smaller, Rock n’ Roll oriented music section.

Instrument Repair Technician

This can be done as either a part-time or full time job, and depending on your level of specialization, it can greatly range in pay-scale. Though you may be able to find work based on understand you’ve gain from your own research, this is one of those jobs that typically requires some sort of apprenticeship before you are fully hired as a professional technician. If this is something you are considering, there are quite a few resources out there, such as NAPBIRT that provide a free exchange of information for instrument repair technicians.

Book Bands For a Local Venue

Booking other music acts for a local venue is a great way to not only learn the inter-workings of the live music industry, but to gain some potentially valuable contacts should you ever decide to give it a go yourself.

Ghost Songwriter

Many musicians and artists have forged especially lucrative careers out of ghost songwriting for singers, performers and pop-stars. It is a fact that while Britney Spears was at the height of her fame, a woman named Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was writing the songs for her. More recently, Stefani has gone on to become one of the most successful pop stars of all time under the name Lady Gaga.

House Band/ Residency

There are clubs, bars, theaters, restaurants, hotels, resorts and even cruises all over the world that look for groups or solo musicians willing to act as the resident band. These residencies can range from nightly to weekly to monthly and offer a steady stream of income while you take the time needed to write and establish a fan base.

Page Turner

This one seems a little ridiculous, but there is actually a demand for ‘page turners’ who can literally sit and read along with musicians, turning the pages of sheet music at exactly the right moment. Check out this article from NPR that explains how it all works.

Music Transcriber

There are plenty of musicians and singer-songwriters who lack the understanding of music theory to be able to transcribe their music. Many musicians have found freelance work by charing an hourly rate to sit down with other musicians who play back what they’ve written while it is all transcribed on sheet music. Not a bad gig if you enjoy listening to music at an extremely slowed-down rate…

Film/ Video Game Scoring

Similar to music licensing, there is a plethora of major and indie film and/or video game makers looking for musicians to score their work.

Freelance Music Journalism

There is no one with more potential to become a freelance music journalist than a musician. The understanding of music theory and the music industry as whole can be just the qualifications needed to write insightful reviews of albums or live performances or maybe even essays for about the current trends or state of the music industry.

Music Production

Of course, with the DIY music movement becoming so contagious, many musicians have begun to take the many aspects of music production into their own hands. Ranging from recording to mixing to mastering, many musicians have created sustainable careers in the field of Music Production, allowing them to then later fund their own projects with their own money and experience.

These are just a few of the many, many ways to use your love for music to establish a sustainable career. While not all of the possibilities are glamorous or even all that lucrative, meaning it may take a few different revenue streams to make this music-filled lifestyle sustainable, you can at least rest assured knowing that your life is fueled by what you love… Music.

Written by Jonathan Ostrow (@miccontrol); he is the co-founder of MicControl, a music blogging network based on a social networking platform. This article originally appeared on the MicControl Blog on Sept. 21, 2010.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Home is Where You Park the Van

~ The easiest way to make money is not to spend it. When you are starting out it is essential that you cut corners and sacrifice as much as possible so that you can hopefully turn a profit. Thanks to the DIY Musician blog for these helpful links. I wish we had these tools when we were touring and couch surfing in the mid 80's!

Touring: an extended period of physical exertion, grueling drives, bad nutritional choices, and little rest, where breaking even is often regarded as a smashing success. Sounds fun, right? It is! But don’t make it any harder on yourself by sleeping in the van every night. There are two great websites that can help link you up with some free, hospitable accommodations. is “a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit.” Basically, this is an online resource for those who want to travel cheap and then return the favor or pay it forward when someone else from the CouchSurfing community is headed through your neck of the woods. Home-stay experiences are rated so that both the host and the guest feel confident and safe. “free places to stay for bands on tour.” Essentially, this is like CouchSurfing geared specifically towards musicians and fans. You get a warm bed, soft couch, or a hard floor with a sleeping bag (either way, it is better than the van or paying your hard-earned gig money on motels every night). The host gets to show their appreciation and feel a stronger connection to you as an artist and potentially forge a lasting friendship that can be vital to your continued touring efforts.

Check both sites out and see which one works better for you. And remember, the key to using these kinds of services/communities successfully is to reciprocate the generosity. Don’t be a take-take-take/gimme-gimme-gimme kinda person. Go out there and tour and stay at peoples’ homes for free, but open up your house or apartment to other musicians when they’re on tour, too.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Twit Tips

~ Some helpful twitter tips I grabbed from here:

1. Build a fan base:

So you’re just about to burst on the scene, showering the populace with your synth-heavy, electropop goodness. How do you go about capturing the attention of those who will make or break you: your future fanbase?

According to Brian Levine, manager and social media consultant for the emerging act Bananas for Mowgli, “Up and coming bands with little to no released music are able to take advantage of Twitter by aligning themselves with artists who share a similar fan base or aesthetic. First thing you should do is start following these people as well as the most relevant taste makers in your genre or ’scene’ if you will. Use Twitter management tools to expand your network and be in the right circles.”

That’s what Levine is doing right now for Bananas for Mowgli, whose debut album drops on October 26.

2. Collaborate:

Do you follow some awesome band on Twitter that you would kill to jam with? Why not tweet at them? It can’t hurt. You never know who’s going to be down to hook up with you — especially if you don’t try. Eric Victorino of The Limousines was able to score a kind of collaboration with DJ Samantha Ronson by merely paying attention to mentions of his band on Twitter.

“We keep tabs on who’s talking about [us] and who’s mentioning us,” Victorino says. “Samantha Ronson and Lindsay Lohan were both talking about us once, so we just reached out to them, like, ‘Hey, hi.’ And from that came — I wouldn’t say a friendship — but just sort of an e-mail conversation with her. And whenever Samantha would go DJing, we’d give her a new track.”

3. Trade a track for a tweet:

Are you a smaller band with a pretty strong fan base? Well, use the hell outta them, we say — but give them something in return. Paul Lamontagne of Bearstronaut used Twitter as both a method of releasing the band’s new single, “Shannon,” [click to download] and gaining more followers.

“We used something called ‘Tweet for a Track,’” he says. “Fans can — for the cost of one tweet — [get the song]. It gets reposted on their Twitter to all their followers, and they get the single. No money changes hands, but we get to reach as many followers as possible.”

4. Get your fans to promote you:
Similar to trading a tweet for a tune, crowdsourcing your fans when it comes to promotions can also be a boon. Brian McClelland of He Whose Ox Is Gored told us, “[Our Twitter following] really did pick up once we started talking with people, and it’s kind of snowballed from there… We’ve been getting some radio play, so we’re going to go on our Twitter and do merch giveaways to people who call up and request a song.” Get He Whose Ox Is Gored’s new single, “Cloven Hoof” here.

5. Have a personality:

Yeah, your lyrics may be tight and your beats danceable, but that doesn’t mean you’re socially literate. Pick the wittiest member of the band and assign him or her the role of official Twitterer, or “Twitter Czar” as Westin Glass of The Thermals deems himself. If fans can tell you’re having fun via your tweets, they’re much more apt to engage with you (and attend shows, buy records, join a cult in your name, etc.).

“Last May, when we were doing our spring tour, we were posting on our Twitter and we were just going crazy on there,” Glass says. “One of us would be sitting in the front of the van and one of us would be sitting in the back of the van and we’d be just like just posting all kinds of crazy inside jokes, nicknames for all the people in the band. We were just trying to make each other laugh by posting all sorts of weird stuff that probably made no sense to anyone, but people seemed to like it…. I just post jokes and song lyrics from ‘90s epic hit songs, pictures of Axl Rose and, I don’t know, just whatever.”

6. Organize and aftershow:

According to Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, “The best music happens after the show.” Foreman often uses Twitter to organize said aftershows. He merely sends out a time and location, and the crowds come running. Most of the time, they’re totally lo-fi, with just an acoustic guitar — but the audience can number up to 500 fans.

Recently Foreman had a run-in with the cops in Florida after they broke up one of his on-the-fly gigs. What’s more rock ‘n’ roll than that, really? Still, Foreman is now taking greater care to run his Twitter-organized shows by the local authorities before rocking out.

7. Retain your independence:

When you’re in the public eye, most of what you say and do goes through a kind of filter, which makes it hard to retain some measure of indie cred. Remember Hanson? The teen pop group from 1997 who took the world by storm with their jam “MMMBop?” Of course you do. Don’t front. We all had that tape.

Back in the day, Hanson was signed to Mercury Records. But after Mercury got swallowed by Island Def Jam in the merger of PolyGram and Universal in 1998, Hanson left and put out their third release, Underneath, in 2004 on their own label, 3cg Records. They’ve been indie ever since, releasing their latest album, Shout It Out, this year.

“[Twitter] allows you to take out the middle man,” Taylor Hanson tells us. “If we had had Twitter [back when we started], it would have moved us even more rapidly toward the idea that has made it possible for us to continue as a band, which is, in part, that direct connection with your fans…. And with Twitter, it’s really about, ‘how do you make that connection?’ …. It would have been a really key component for us, probably moving faster toward being independent. Because it would have even further empowered and encouraged us by being able to communicate with our fan base, and stay really proactive with them, regardless of changing label structures and corporate mergers.”

8. Share photos:

While we wouldn’t suggest giving followers a flipbook of your life, sometimes a picture can — to be totally cliche — be worth a thousand words. “I enjoy putting up pictures of [my] kids doing things because it humanizes [me] just enough with photographs without getting too much closer,” Ben Folds tells us. “It’s a pretty mean world out there sometimes, it’s kind of nice to make someone a little more human.”

Folds also includes his wife, Fleur, on the action. “[Fleur] feels like she can provide another angle to it,” he says of his wife, who once ran the main newspaper in the Turks and Caicos Islands for five years and was also a photographer for that paper.

“We’re actually going to make a book of TwitPics together — like a coffee table sort of thing,” he says. “So on the left page, if you have Fleur’s photograph of the moment and on the right page you have my photograph of the moment, it actually tells kind of an interesting story that way.”

9. Have a contest:

Everyone loves a good contest — it combines fierce, tooth-and-nail competition with prizes. What could be better than that? If you’re edging up to an album release or a tour, a contest can be a great way to drum up some publicity and to engage your fans by letting them feel like a part of your creative world.

“I wanted to give out commemorative posters to all of the concert-goers at my first two record release party shows,” says Pete Yorn, whose self-titled disc drops on September 28. “So I was like, ‘Make a poster everyone, it will be fun.’ It’s cool that people actually made them; it’s just another way to see the artistry of the fan base and how creative they are. Usually that’s the best stuff. I’m blown away by how talented they are; they come up with really cool stuff.”

10. Keep up with tech trends:

OK, so Twitter basically approached Arcade Fire about offering a deal on their new album, The Suburbs, through the @EarlyBird program. Still, the band has been majorly into social media of late — playing a live-streamed show on YouTube and even launching an interactive in-browser video with Google. The band was therefore a natural choice for Twitter when it came time to pick an album to sell via the service.

“We saw that Arcade Fire had a new album coming out, and there was a lot of anticipation around it and the fact that they were doing a live stream on YouTubeYouTube and taking a Q&A from Twitter,” says a rep for Twitter. “We knew that they were familiar with the platform and open to using it in innovative ways, so we thought it was a great opportunity to get them involved in our @EarlyBird program and also make a pretty compelling story to help with their album sales.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010


So, I am starting a monthly poll. This month, Sep 2010, the poll is how much would you pay to have an industry professional listen to and critique your band's demo?

There are many sites that offer this service like and just to name a few. Have you or anyone you know used these services or ones like it? How was the experience? Could it be improved somehow?

Thanks for your feedback,


Sunday, August 29, 2010

The King is Dead; Long Live the King

~ Check out this highlight from a longer article I found here:

And isn’t that what this should be about? The fall of the music industry – and the ascendence of online music – hasn’t benched the careers of musicians destined for stardom, it’s opened up opportunities for people who never would have gotten any playing time in the first place. Never before have bands had so many avenues with which to get their music out to potential fans, and we should be embracing that instead of mourning the loss of a machine that will never be resurrected in its previous form. Are you going to become a millionaire musician with this new model? Probably not. But you probably weren’t going to in the first place.

Adjust your expectations. Play more shows. Offer more merch. Use the new technology to your advantage, because it’s not going anywhere. Don’t waste your time wondering what could have been, if only major-label support were still a cash-cow reality. It’s pointless. Push forward, and don’t become one of those people who complains about how things were better back in the day. They weren’t.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Are You Ready For A Manager?

~ Hmmm, do you think you need a manager? Well if so, this little piece by Rick Goetz I found on might be the info that you are looking for. Enjoy...

Let’s start at the very beginning – do you have anything to manage? I know – sounds like a stupid question, but is it? I’m not asking you if you have lots of work that you could use help with, nor am I making light of the pure volume of work that is the creation of both recorded and live music. What I am asking you is do you have something ready to bring to market that needs managing or are you still building out your product? There is no shame (I’ll repeat it again) NO SHAME in being in the developmental phases of your career. We live in an instant gratification kind of world, which is why when I write articles like this I know statistically that a majority of people won’t have made it this far because they were looking for a “get famous now” button. Take your time and develop your product – this will help you rise above the MILLIONS of other people who went out to guitar center purchased their first instrument and recording gear and had the first song they ever wrote up on MySpace the next day hoping for some kind of miracle won’t ever come.

Back to management – let’s talk about what you should have together before even considering approaching someone to invest in your career. *** Notice I said invest because whether or not they spend a dime on you management is an enormous expenditure of someone’s time*** Before approaching anyone to manage you- have most of these together:

  1. No apology recordings of your music
  2. Professional looking photos of you or your group
  3. A basic – findable website (custom URL) you can update yourself
  4. A Mailing list and a place where people can sign up on said list
  5. A social network presence (twitter, facebook, myspace, youtube)
  6. Live performance footage (preferably in front of a crowd)
  7. A well written bio highlighting your accomplishments

These are the building blocks and the marketing materials you will use over and over and over again. There are no words, no email sales pitch and probably not even naked photos of an executive in compromising positions that will get you taken more seriously than having the items above in place. Many of these items can get pricey so do your homework and shop around if you feel that any of these items are best done by work for hire. Having these materials will get your more gigs, will get you taken more seriously by your peers and potential fans and ultimately (if you have a product people want) will help you build a business in music.

“Okay – wait – isn’t this super basic? Does he think we are Idiots?” No, absolutely not. All I can tell you is that if you buy into Google querries as a representative sample of the population (I do) it would seem that aspiring musicians are searching for the wrong things to get ahead. Check out what people search for online for music related terms according to a Google AdWords querry in June 2010:

Term: “Get My Music Heard Online” Global Monthly Searches: less than 10

Term: “Get more people to my shows” Global Monthly Searches: less than 10

Term: “Make a Living In Music” Global Monthly Searches: 46

Term: “Marketing My Music” Global Monthly Searches: 110

Term: “Get a Music Manager” Global Monthly Searches: 590

Term: “How to Get A Record Deal” Global Monthly Searches: 18,100

Draw your own conclusions but I think too many people are looking for a shortcut to fame that barring an act of God or Justin Bieber just doesn’t exist.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Who Is Your Audience?

~ As a band it is important that you understand, acknowledge and engage your audience. The world is not your target demographic, at least not at first. It is important to focus on a specific group and then spiral out from there. Here is an article I found this morning on that backs this concept:

Typically when the term “lifestyle business” is used it means a business that is established to afford the founder a particular level of income so they can enjoy a specific lifestyle. In this definition we are talking about the lifestyle of the business owner. As a lifestyle business owner you might choose to have a business that allows you to work out of your home, or an internet-based business, or as an artist you could choose to tour the country playing your music. This is part of the lifestyle you desire to live.

There is another definition for “lifestyle business” that implies the business is makingproducts or services for customers that choose to live a certain lifestyle. There are many businesses that appeal to people based on their lifestyle. Businesses that fit into this category include music, yoga, natural grocery stores, and skate or surf shops among others. The actual product made or sold by these businesses appeal to customers who appreciate, embody, and live a certain lifestyle.

This second definition is the most important one to understand as you grow your business. In this post I’d like to point out how I have seen artists successfully capitalize on this understanding.

First, think of who your audience is – visualize them. What defines these people? What do they have in common? Next, recognize that you are a business… period. This means you must sell products in order to sustain yourself. Yes, I realize that’s not as sexy as just being a musician but it’s the truth. You are making products for your customers/fans. What do they want? Almost every band sells t-shirts and caps but what else might your customers/fans want? What else fits in with their lifestyle and the lifestyle you promote? Thinking this way and creating these products is not selling out – it’s giving your customers/fans another chance to get closer to your brand. This is good, healthy business.

Some examples:

Jack Johnson – Jack comes from the surfer culture in Hawaii and California. His songs evoke this feeling. He makes films that speak to this. Though this isn’t a revenue stream, he has greening partnerships that embody his message. He has arecord label that signs bands of a similar vibe. Each year he produces a festival on Hawaii that benefits schools on the island. Jack clearly sees that he’s in a lifestyle business.

Zac Brown Band – A southern rock band (part country, part roots rock) pushes the southern message in their songs and through a beautiful cookbook. Zac owned a restaurant so it fits with his message and branding. He also holds a BBQ before shows which you can buy passes to. I even read somewhere that he sells a line of BBQ sauces. Zac has created a solid lifestyle business and each product reinforces his brand.

Unkle – Jame Lavelle and his team clearly decided that they are also in the visual art business, not just the music business. Their vinyl releases and limited edition releases include posters and full books with gallery style art. Even the packaging is top notch with unusual layout and design. The presentation elevates the music, the image, and the brand of the artist. Though it must be time consuming to craft such an involved product, it also sells for a higher price than the standard product and fans appreciate it. Unkle gets that they are in a lifestyle business.

Jimmy Buffet - Of course, Jimmy Buffet is the king of lifestyle business. He has frozen food products, margarita mix, restaurants, apparel, books, albums, beer, and more all of which strengthen his image as the ultimate summer time, good time brand.


It’s most important to focus on building your business where the momentum is. If that’s touring or albums then by all means focus on that. But as you start to get some traction and business starts moving, see that you are in business just like any other business owner. Find products for your fans/customers that they will want and that will bring them closer to you. Creating other products that fit the lifestyle of your fans can be just as artful as creating music and your fans will appreciate it just as much.

Article source:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the Blasko Overdrive Pedal

~Sorry for the shameless promotion...

Blasko and Pro Tone Pedals team up to bring you the Blasko Bass Overdrive pedal.

Crossroads, TX – May 18, 2010 – Widely recognized bassist, Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Ex-Rob Zombie) , and cutting edge guitar effects manufacturer Pro Tone Pedals have joined forces to deliver to you a bass overdrive designed to bring new levels of tone shaping, growl inducing, low end pulverizing distortion.

The Blasko Bass Overdrive pedal is meant to be as versatile as Blasko himself. In the course of an evening onstage with Ozzy, Blasko will need to cover a wide range of styles from tender ballads to hard charging metal anthems. This pedal performs perfectly in such an eclectic set list.

The Blasko Bass Overdrive comes equipped with a Baxandall EQ system for ultimate tone shaping capabilities and sits in the pocket of low to medium-high gain; at low settings you’ll be pleased to feel its vintage amp like response and tone, while at high gain settings you’ll get some spicy gain heating up your signal, sending it into a modern metal/industrial realm. Pushing the ‘Hi’ and ‘Low’ controls will give you a more scooped midrange and add additional grit to your signal. Additionally, the unit can be powered anywhere from 9-18volts. At higher voltage you'll get increased clarity, more output, and an overall edgier tone.

As with the entire Pro Tone Pedals product line, the Blasko is hand made in the USA, is 100% true bypass with grounded input for noise free operation, and comes backed by a 5 year warranty.

Release date: June 15, 2010

List Price: $249

For information visit or