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The music industry is filled lying and cheating scoundrels who will do anything to get ahead. Payola, quid pro quo and buybacks have been the music industry norm for years. Chartfixer is a site that is looking to attempt to get the good old days of buybacks back in the music industry by offering music buyers money to buy artists who they work with latest singles. While we highly doubt this service will get popular it is another of those eye-rolling parts of the old music business we hope will dissapear. That said, if this is your cup of tea, be my guest.

A nice interview with We Are Scientists, discussing music licensing, the formation of the band and working on a major record label. 

Online management software for groups is heating up and Marcato Musician is another one that looks like a great tool! Whether it is managing your groups schedule, calendar, social network updates, press kit updates and much more. The tool is free to single bands and looks like a great way to get your group organized.
hughmac.jpgBlogger, artist, and now author of the amazing book Ignore Everybody, Hugh MacLeod is one of the leading authorities on the creative process.  Famous for his business card drawings (as seen above), Hugh gained a great deal of initial popularity through his always intriguing Gaping Void blog - filled with drawings and personal insights on art, creativity and a myriad of other topics.  In addition, MacLeod is an avid music fan with some keen insights on the industry, even appearing as a panel speaker at SXSW 2010.  This week we were lucky enough to pry Hugh away from his artistic endeavors long enough to record some of his piercing observations.  

Using FourSquare To Help Your Music

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If you haven't heard, FourSquare is about to cross 1 million check-ins per day. This means it is about time that you get on it. Like man musicians you are wondering what is in it for you to join? Thankfully, Todd and I have been playing with this thing for a while now and we have figured out a few way it can help you.

  • Checking in at your show when you arrive sends a message out to all of your friends that you are at that venue. We all know friends forget about your gigs at times and this is an easy way to subtly remind them that you are playing tonight.
  • Checking in when you are at other people's shows, or at various hang outs shows that you are human and gives you a chance to create more of a bond with your fans.
  • If you are on tour and need help with something or have a question you can send shouts that only your local fans will see. This makes life a lot easier when you need to find a place to stay or a cheap mechanic/
To start getting people to follow you on FourSquare make an account and let your fans know that you are on there by putting up links on your various social networks. Get a head start as this becomes a huge new platform for bands to get more fans.

Silicon Valley Insider
has up a great article that sheds some serious light on how long being viral lasts. Most YouTube videos see all their popularity within the first week of being discovered. This should make many people rethink the fact that putting out a new video will give their group's promotion legs for weeks to come. Read it here.

One of the stupidest things you see band run around doing is complain how stupid the questions are when they get interviewed. Unfortunately this is part of your job as a musician and inevitably you are going to deal with some of the most braindead, uninformed questions in your time as a musician. Sadly for you it is your job to learn how to compensate.

If someone asks a stupid question, you need to make like a good politician and sometimes answer it a different way or even just change the subject after one sentence with a "by the way." People who blame the interviewer for the questions and "gotcha questioning" are morons and should be treated as such. Smart artists like James Murphy, Jack White and Marilyn Manson find a way to always spit out what is on their mind rather than what is on the interviewers mind. This technique will take you much further than answering questions about your latest cover song.

Socialism I can believe in!
Need to find a rehearsal or recording studio in your area? Well now Music Nomad has developed an awesome directory called OpenStudio that will help you find one with lots of other info on each studio. A useful resource when you are in a crunch on the road and need to get some work done, or when home and looking for what else is in your area.
Publicist Scott Feldman is blogging where no one has before. He is trying both Nimbit and TopSpin's software to figure out what to use for music marketing. A burning question lots of us would like to see the details of. While Nimbit is opened to the public, TopSpin is a little more exclusive in their partners. Check out his results here.
meet the press.jpg has a section on careers and music and today they have some info on a subject we discuss often, how to get better covered by the press. They also link to some templates for press releases which can be helpful for those of you novices out there. Check it here.
It's getting hot in here! The heated debate over whether artists shouldn't worry about record sales just got a little more heated as Lady GaGa's manager claimed to not worry about record sales (easy with a Diamond record under her belt), the money is in touring and merch. Meanwhile, Imogen Heap tweeting out that she is having trouble touring because the money isn't coming in.

While they are both right, this is another strong illustration of how crazy the music business is today. Artists need to find ways to monetize tons of different sources and keep a lean tight ship in order to make real money. While there is no doubt artists are still making money in every mode the real conclusion is that you need to be taking income from everywhere you can to survive today.
disrupt on Broadcast Live Free
The music industry is full of big promises. Unfortunately, like a one night stand, most of them are not kept up with. One of the things you can do to make sure people stay motivated on your project is to build incentives into a project. Management and record contracts can easily have milestones built into them so that way you are not stuck in a situation you wish you never got into. When negotiating a contract with someone in the industry make sure to get each parties responsibilities put into the contract, so that if things aren't going the way you planned it is easy to make an exit.

Promoting Your Hip Hop Record

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Shockingly, we have a lot of readers who make hip hop. One of the complaints we get about Musformation is we seem a little more rock orientated than hip hop. Well, if you have ever met Todd and I you would probably understand that in one second. With that said, we love the hip hop and listen to a lot of it but it is not our business, for sure. Thankfully, you can read this fantastic article and learn a ton of inside secrets on effectively promoting your hip hop music. Word to your mother.
mognetwork2.jpgAs always TechCrunch is on the latest trends and one of them is the fact that MOG's online radio service is gaining ground in online streams and very fast! The service is one of the younger services yet is doing big things and fast! It is always important to know new avenues that are performing well for promoting your music and coupled with Reverb Nations digitial music distribution service you can easily get your music on this exciting service.

Jango Pay-To-Play Now With 3 Speeds

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Jango has always been a powerful way to get your music discovered by new potential fans. Their PowerPlay Campaign is a great option to get your music played by paying to get in front of ears of groups with fans similar to yours. One of the complaints of the service had been that plays could evaporate out of nowhere. Jango now offers three speeds for how fast your plays will run out, this can help for people looking to sustain their campaigns and get more targeted results.

Four Tet On The Tenori On

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TweetForATrack for a long time was one of those service that was really exciting. Unfortunately a recent business decision of their has us pretty ticked off. They now charge $150-$25 to get your fans emails from the service (it used to be free). While I have no problem with charging for these emails since they do an amazing service but this price seems a bit steep and the fact that this also applies to songs you put on the service before the instituted this change rubs us the wrong way to say the least. Not cool guys!

Bundling Samplers On Bandcamp

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We recently talked about what a good idea it is to make a scene sampler. One of the other cool thing you can do with samplers and Bandcamp is add them as a bundle to your release. If you want to promote other releases or other acts on your label, simply use the bundled content function and make a zip of MP3s of some songs you would like to use.

Everybody Is A Music Maker

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It is no secret that online radio is one of the best ways to promote your music. With services like Pandora, Last.FM, Jango, Blip.FM and other services not only can you get your music before the ears of listeners who like the type of music you make, but you can also get paid for your plays as you begin to dominate the online radio airwaves.

It all comes down to this. As you come down to entering the studio and then recording your songs you are now tasked with one of the most difficult balancing acts ever known to man (ok... well maybe to musicians). We have written countless articles on how to avoid many of the pitfalls many musicians fall into when they go to capture their material. Read on and make something great for us all to hear.

With everyday, as the gatekeepers die and the major labels lose power it becomes more and more about just having a great song. This being the case you better start brushing up on your skills! We have assembled a lot of advice and tools for you to use to write better songs on the other side of this link.

When trying to break your music out of your circle of friends and out to the whole world, you are inevitably going to have to take on the hat of doing some publicity for your own music. As you begin to take on this large task there is numerous bits of advice that you may have overlooked on how to do this effectively. We have assembled numerous articles on how to take over the world of music and get it out there.

Now that you actually have songs recorded you need to get them out to the world to be heard. With every day that passes more and more amazing tools become available for artists to do this without the help of a label. We keep an up to date guide of everything you could ever want to know about what you should do in order to make the right choice on how to get your music out to the world.

Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Tumblr, YouTube all become more and more important everyday (well maybe not Myspace, but contrary to much chatter it is still important to know the most up to date ways to make Myspace feed your other pages). We keep musicians up to date with the most current ways to use all of these social networks to promote your music. If you are not reading our guides to social networks you are missing out on the crucial knowledge of how to promote your music with the most up to date techniques.

What separates the winners and losers is how well you handle playing live and then getting your show on the road. Playing live and touring may seem easy but there are countless pitfalls that one can encounted over time. We show you all the new tricks of the trade as well as wise advice that has been passed down over the years.

Managing a group of people and keeping everyone on the same page and motivated is one of the biggest make or break factors of any sucessful group. There are many emerging tools that can make this easier and we sort through them, all the while dispensing valuable advice on how to deal with your members with minimal chaos.

Getting covered by blogs is fast becoming one of the things that everyone wants to figure out. Sadly, there is not a lot of information out there on how to do just this. We have quite a few articles with the techniques we use to get the bands we work with on to some of the top blogs out there.