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mzl.zekaxfyb.320x480-75.jpgR5 Productions has been putting on some of Philly's best DIY shows for nearly 15 years. In keeping with modern times they just launched what we see as a fantastic idea. An App for the iPhone that will alert you to upcoming R5 events, another new way to connect with fans and strengthen a scene. 

We previously told you that CASH Music offers a free code to install a TweetForATrack software to spread the word about your music. If you are not a web geek doing anything involving code can be pretty intimidating, thankfully this video will show any lament how to get the job done so you can start getting the word out about your music to more people!

In case you haven't heard the world is freaking out about a supposed leaked demo of Britney Spears singing "Telephone" after Lady GaGa penned it for her. While we will not know till someone comes forth with the truth of this story, much of the discourse on this leak is missing the knowledge of a common studio practice.

Often times when a songwriter is penning a song for a star they will have a session vocalist sing a imitation of the way that star sings. I have done countless sessions that have done this and seen talented singers go from Rhianna to Mariah in the time it takes to open a different session file. This is a common practice in trying to show an artist how easy it would be for them to make it a hit. I have even heard some imitations so dead on you would swear it was the artist they were demoing for.

To go even further, it is common practice to leave the imitation vocal in as a double for layering in the final mix. It has happened many times in many successful songs. So before we all go around having our minds blown over this whole Brit/GaGa thing, let's remember if GaGa wrote the song for Britney, odds are she had someone sing it just like her (if not herself) and that is what we are hearing, not actually the "real" Britney Spears.

Weekend Watching - Golden Days

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Golden Days is a documentary on the group The Damnwells who signed to Epic records and did not have the best time. It shows the stupidity of the majors and that is probably not the route you want to go. It is available now on Netflix and for sale on Amazon.

Tim Ferriss On How To Deal With Haters

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If you achieve any type of success you will inevitably have to deal with haters. Yes people love to go on the net and just talk trash and as annoying as it is, it usually means you are doing something right. The always wise Tim Ferriss has some great advice on this subject that can help you "win" these altercations. Check it here.

RIP Walter Sear Of Sear Sound

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The infamous Walter Sear of NY's Sear Sound passed way yesterday at the age of 79. Any diehard synth or recording nerd knew of Sear's love of analog gear be it synths or his famous Sony Tube console. He was always a great voice in the discourse of recording and will be missed. More here.
pasta.jpgIn our newest interview series, Interview With A Blogger, Musformation attempts to get in the minds of music bloggers to find out what makes them tick, how they look at music and how artists and bloggers can better communicate.

Charm City (aka Baltimore) has long been known for it's thriving music scene and it's not suprising that it's supported by one amazing blog.  Pasta Primavera is a tour deforce of relevant music and is also run by one of the nicest in the biz, Laurent Hrybyk.  This week we sat down with Laurent and got an ear full on blogging, the local Baltimore scene and the Pasta Primavera perspective on the static music today. 
lala.jpgAccording to their own website, Lala (now owned by Apple) is shutting down May 31st and is no longer accepting new members.  But why would Apple buy Lala, a seemingly successful site bought for around $80 million, only to come in quickly and shut it down?  Many suspect it is simply preparation of a subscription based site of their own that would be a sort of iTunes upgrade or extension.  With the power and market leverage that Apple maintains, expect the subscription version of iTunes to be epic and most likely game-changing in the industry.  It is very likely that Apple senses the rapid growth of Spotify (which hasn't even launched in the US yet but still has 7 million users) and Rhapsody and is planning accordingly.  Digital sales showed sluggish numbers in 2009 and Apple has yet to get its feet wet in the cloud services arena of music.  More insight on the story here.  
CD Baby has up a fantastic article on how to run a successful college radio campaign. One of the keys to many bands success can still be found in the buzz that a massive college radio campaign can bring to a band. Check it out here.
Seeing as the RIAA's major label buddies don't exactly have the cash coming in by the truckload anymore, they need to find some new sources of income. In this desperation they have turned towards traditional radio outlets and decided they now must pay the labels and performers (good news for us musicians!!!) performance royalties, despite the fact that they were traditionally considered promotional. While it is easy to frown on the RIAA for every step they make, radio has been looked at it in a new way in the modern era as streaming Internet services become the norm. Perhaps it is time to reevaluate how artists are paid in the medium. More at Consumerist.
Dropbox is a indispensable tool for any musician or recordist. Whether you use it to share files with collaborators or just store files in the cloud it is one of the coolest tools ever. Lifehacker has up a great article on some ways you can use the service that most people do not know. Check it out here and make life easier.

Dave Allen On The Music Business

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The Story Of Epitaph Records

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Epitaph Records is one of the biggest indie labels in the business and one of the few labels that rarely follows and always leads in it's business practices. The BBC has up an awesome hour long look at the label for the next 7 days. A great listen on a subject that can be inspiring to anyone looking to try to make it on their own. Check it here.
Many artists enjoy the new opportunities fan funding sites can bring to them. Add SliceThePie to the list of sites out there that can help you get fans to finance your next project. The site takes on the role of giving fans money they can put towards artists they like in exchange for listening to new up and coming artists and reviewing their material. The site enables feedback for artists as well as the ability to get investors. Another great option for groups looking to get empowered through fan dollars.

The above video shows Spotify's powerful new sharing tool that will help fans show what they are liking (and not show what they are ashamed of or disliking) as they listen to the service. If you have not gotten you music on Spotify, ReverbNation recently unveiled a cheap way to get it there. Do it so you are ready for the near future when they launch in America.
If you are a musician not only do you need to edit audio, but odds are you are going to need to do some graphic work as well. Thankfully the website Aviary allows you to edit both in a free online interface. Check out their details in the above video and see what they can do for you.
Play:MPE is a service designed to put record company minds at ease in preventing leaks while allowing writers to listen to streams of records, was hacked last week causing a few high profile releases to leak. Unfortunately, a hacker got into their system and decided to brag and release a few releases to the world which has now compromised the service's reputation. Play:MPE claims to have the hacker's identity and are looking to prosecute the offender, though it seems the service's integrity is forever tainted by this event. Another nail in the coffin of ever being able to keep a record from leaking. More on the story here.
CD Baby has long been a great way to get your music to iTunes and other digital stores. They have now rolled out a new service that will get your song on not only their service but iTunes as well for just $9 and 9% of your net royalties. Another great option for getting your music out to the world. Find out more here.

Why Fans Buy Your Merch

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Fan-Purchase-Motivations_final.pngReverbNation's blog has up a fantastic post on a subject that every group should be concerned with - why fans buy your merch. It takes a great look and breaks down the elements of what goes into good merch and is a great think-piece that can help inspire you to do bigger and better things. Check it out here.
maintain.gifWhat exactly is a publicist and how does what they do differ from what you do?  A publicist is someone who has an established relationship with individuals in the press and can nearly guarantee that certain people will give your band a chance because of this established relationship.  So if you follow our advice on getting the attention of bloggers and people in the press there is a good chance they will find your music, write about you and then you will have established a relationship yourself.  So now that this relationship has been started, it is important to nurture it so that it will continue.  When individuals write about my band I will do any number of things.  First, I always send them a sincere thank you note saying something nice about what they do on their blog or how well they write(most of them are shocked and very happy when I do this).  I will also try to find and friend them on Facebook (this makes the relationship even more personal and allows them to get to know me even outside of my band member persona).  Then I will pay attention and find out more about them, what music they're into, what else they do, what matters to them.  I'll also frequently offer to get them into shows free if they are local or when we press a new band shirt I will offer them a free one to show my appreciation.  The biggest difference between you and a label or a publicist is that they are usually using the company credit card to buy drinks, dinners and schmooze press people.  In this instance (and with a limited budget) it helps to use whatever resources you can.  Just remember that just because someone writes about your band doesn't mean they'll do it again - there are a lot of people vying for their attention and you have to separate yourself somehow.  The more you can build genuine friendships with people in power to promote your band the more you'll be functioning as a publicist and the better off your band will be.  
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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.