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FanBridge has announced a fan collector for the iPhone.
This means you can now enter your fans info into their App and have it added directly to your mailing list. A fantastic way to avoid countless hours of copying fans emails from a notebook.

Using Reverb Nation To Spread Your Music

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ReverbNation whipped out an awesome Facebook share tool a little while back and has always had a great way to trade emails for downloads. They have now posted a great blog post on how to use their awesome service to  spread your music. Snooze on it and lose on it.
TuneCore has up some exciting news that itunes aggregation can now sometimes take as little as 24 hours! This is great news for a music community that is moving faster by the day. Check out their blog about it here.
Horowitz-Bomb-500.jpgIf you're upset about Arizona's immigration reform at least get some satisfaction the Mexican music market is about to explode.  Given global numbers and the music landscape, Mexico may set the tone for growth for the remainder of 2010 and 2011.  Why?  

Programming Note - Off Today!

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klaxonsalbum050610.jpgAnother summer Monday of slow news. We are taking the day to work on the Musformation book and getting together some awesome articles for you guys for the rest of the week. Happy Monday.
When you are direct support or local opener it can be depressing running the merch booth and seeing everyone flocking to the headliner's merch booth. One way we have found that can net you some extra sales though is to undercut the competition by selling all your merch for $1 or $2 cheaper than the headliner. If you do it in a smooth way they will not see it as disrespectful thing and instead just see it as part of the free market. Get your capitalism game together.
Publishing deals are a confusing and mystifying thing that can be extremely lucrative for your music career or harmful and tragic. The blog Serve The Song has up a fantastic article that gets into many of the details that go into a publishing deal and it serves as a fantastic overview of the whole process. Don't miss this.

Seeing as most bands blogs/websites are built on WordPress it is big news when WordPress unveils a huge update like this. Some of the new features include  custom backgrounds, headers, shortlinks, menus (no more file editing), post types, and taxonomies. See the above video for more or check out their blog post.

Cool Merch Idea: Custom Sigg Bottles

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Everyone is going crazy for Sigg water bottles to go green and all that hippie stuff. One of the cool things that CafePress allows is for you to make custom Sigg Bottles that you can sell to your granola eating hippie fans. This is another cool way to get free advertising and merch sales in a cool new way. Check them out here.
Reverb Nation put up a great blog this week, reminding all of us that they have a fantastic tool to help you book a tour. The Gig Finder is an amazing tool that no group should ignore that has the power to recommend you gigs based on where you have played before. Check out a great explanation on RN's blog.
youtubevideditor.pngHave you uploaded tons of content to YouTube or think you are a master collage maker? YouTube now has a very cool video editor where you can cut together videos in YouTube's library. This can be a great way to creatively recycle some of your old videos by stringing them together to make a new one. The possibilities are endless with YouTube's cool new tool.
Musformation is filled with a lot of information - the kind we believe can bring you ultimate success in the music business.  But just what do we do with this deluge of data and knowledge?  Even for us, the primary authors, it's often overwhelming.  With all the advice and options out there for how to improve your songwriting, shows, production and sales, it can be quite confusing as to what one should do next, where to spend money, how best to spend your time, etc. 

I didn't respect many of my teachers in high school, but one of my history teacher's favorite maxims my senior year was something I'll always remember: "Major on the major and minor on the minor."  What the hell exactly does that mean?  Choose the things that are most important to work on and don't sweat the smaller stuff.  If your band doesn't have a decent recording yet, it's probably not important that you spend all your time worrying about the type-face on your Myspace layout, or the 15th new t-shirt design for your band when you haven't released a new single in 10 months. 

Pick and choose your battles and don't get caught up in the minutia.  We provide a hell of a lot of information, but we're the first to say that it's not for everyone nor is all of it the most pertinent stuff you should be worrying about.  We want to put up all the data out there and let you decide what is worth doing and what is not.  Further, no one is in the exact same boat, so as songwriters, producers and artists ourselves, we must do the same. 

When getting bogged down with an enormous project or to do list, ask yourself: "is any of this going to make a significant impact on the goals for my music?"  If the answer is no, move on to something that is likely to produce significant results for your music.  Your music, like most everything else, is a business and you too should be looking out for that magic formula of maximum return on minimum investment.  
I go to rehearsals with bands nearly every week and I see one thing over and over again. Band's find it totally acceptable to have a PA where the vocals sound like a muted mumble with some melody. Seeing as vocals are one of the most important things in your group this not only harms your ability to judge your live performance but also your songwriting since you can't get a clear vision of what you sound like. While a PA is expensive it is an expense that is stupid to skimp on. Having 5 guitars compared to one great PA is a mistake far too many bands make. Getting a great well tuned PA can make the difference between sounding like a bunch of doofs and a professional group.
Mixlr is a new site in beta that looks to be a uStream for audio. Enabling artists to easily broadcast concerts and DJ sets this is another set that can easily help you give fans extra stuff to bite into and cool content. If you would like to try it go to their website and enter your email and they will send you an invite when they are available.

Sound Around Demo from Sound Around on Vimeo.

Who doesn't love a good a iPhone App? Sound Around look to have developed a great user interface so that bands can update their own iPhone Apps and customize them the way they would like. With easy news, tour and audio/video updates this looks to be a great way to make a cheap update. They are in beta right now and looking for artists to sign up. Check them out and expect more details later in the week.

image-10-for-glastonbury-festival-friday-night-and-saturday-gallery-442136532.jpgGlastonbury Festival sure isn't playing around for this year's festival.  In essence they are giving the finger to all the other A-list festival and saying "good luck topping this sh**."  Read about 4 ways Glastonbury will turn the festival market upside down.

Starbucks To Offer Free Unlimited Wi-Fi

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We all know that finding Wi-Fi on the road is a big pain in the ass. Now myou have a reason to stop in Starbucks aside from clean bathrooms and strong overly priced drinks. Starbucks will soon have free Wi-Fi in all of their stores across the country, enabling you to get juiced up, motivated and able to get some work done in all of their stores. Read more here.
showsched.jpgWhen is the best time to tell someone about your next show?  After they've just seen you play an amazing one, of course.  When selling merch, always try and find a way to include a show schedule to let people know when you'll be playing again.  Something as simple as a small slip of paper can be slipped inside a disc sleeve or if it's sealed (taped) onto a CD case.  If you read our piece on rolling your shirts with rubber bands you can also try slipping a small show schedule under the rubber band so everyone who buys a shirt also knows when/where you'll be appearing next. You can also include other info like your website or any other promotions.  If someone is taking the time/effort/money to buy merch from you, chances are they are the type of fans who would definitely be interested in seeing more shows.  These avid listeners are also likely to be your mouth piece and tell other people as well.  Take advantage of the energy you've created after an electrifying live show and plant the seed for fans to come back and see you all over again.  
Yesterday, ArtistData announced in a blog post that they have been acquired by Sonicbids. This seems to be something to jump up and down about since it will make it so that their services can be used by more people and their services will be free from now until 9/1/10. Read more here.
templatespinaltapblack.jpgEven though MySpace is dying everyone wants to have a hot looking MySpace layout. You just aren't one of the cool kids unless your MySpace is "pimped out" (in my opinion if you use the term "pimped out" for anything you are not one of the cool kids). With that said MySpace has up 5 layouts that are easy to install and customize so that you don't need to start from scratch and can simply build a profile around these neat and cool templates. Get them here.

Programming Note - Off Today!

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Hey Everyone...
It's summer and we are hard at work on our upcoming book. So today we are taking it to the beach and doing some work but tomorrow we will be back with new blog posts. Thanks and enjoy your day.
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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.