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One of the tasks nearly every indie and DIY musician takes on is doing at least some of their own PR. Getting good at this job is one of the crucial skills you need to get ahead in today's music landscape. Mashable has a fantastic article on some PR pro tricks that are worth a read to see what you can take away and run with for your own music. Check it here.

Life keeps getting better for the DIY movement. YouTube is now letting anyone sign up for ad profit sharing on their site and they specifically want musicians! How awesome is that. Go here to learn more!

Being in a band doesn't always have to be about being a bad ass and writing brilliant press releases to make you sound like a musical genius.  Sometimes the best way to win new fans is to show the idiosyncrasies of your group.   Recently, the band Them Crooked Vultures posted a funny video of Dave Grohl running around like a maniac due to caffeine overdose.  The video wasn't necessarily to promote anything in particular, just to show what a swell bunch of guys they are and how funny they can be.  What the video has done is: kept the band in the news cycle, remind old fans of what a good band they are, probably introduced the band to a whole  lot of people who didn't know they existed before.  Bottom line is that if it's funny or interesting, people will pass it along and you'll have a much better chance of getting a foot in the door with a new audience.  Of course, you might not have someone as notable as Dave Grohl in your band to star in a video, but nearly every band has characters and sides to their personality that are interesting and worth watching.   Further, since most bands don't bother to show who they really are, this can separate you very quickly from the competition.  

One of the keys to building a following is staying in touch with those who are interested in your music. Part of that battle is getting them to read your updates on any social network they may enjoy getting it from. In steps FlowTown, a service that will pull names, social networks, gender, and many other crucial data from just a single email address. It also offers the utility to target emails to these people based on many different data parameters. Very cool and next level! (via Hypebot)
nextbigsound3.jpgAnalytics are so cool! One of the cool things we get with all these modern advances in technology is a way to measure what promotions are working with artists. At SXSW the party people will see tons of bands shoved in their face looking for attention to become the next big thing. One of the coolest things around the Internet are sites like Next Big Sound that will show if all of this promotion is working and getting bands listens and fans online. They have made a specialized SXSW chart to see who is trending down at the event. A very educational read to keep up on to see if any promotions you are thinking about doing are actually getting results!
In a seemingly smart and forward thinking move for the usually slow majors, UMG has launched a iPhone App that will allow Guitar Hero like features. Claiming to be closer to a real guitar playing experience the App called SixString is available in the App Store today for $4.99. It comes with a few classic songs from the UMG catalog and more songs can be purchased for $.99. Interesting move!
PayPal has just updated their iPhone App and it has perhaps one of the nerdiest, modern ways to make a payment we have ever seen. Just bump two iPhones and you will have the beginning of a transaction. Using this at your merch table can give fans another option to spend money they don't have on them, to buy your awesome merch after being wowed by the wonder of your live set. Take advantage of it!

Use Threadless To Find Merch Designers

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Finding a merch design that matches the sound and look for your music can be a long, hard process. One of the modern ways to find a merch designer is to search the T-Shirt design community at Threadless. Simply go to their site and search around until you find a design you like, when you find this design, look at the designers name and click on it. This will bring you to the designers profile, which usually contains contact information. Now, contact that designer and either offer to buy one of the designs from them or get a new design from them if you like the feel of their work. Easy! (via Keryn)

The Truth About The Subscription Business

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Here's a video from paidContent's 2010 conference panel on "The Truth About The Subscription Business".  Some of the guests include Steve Brill (co-founder of Journalism Online), David Hyman (CEO of MOG) and Jeff Price  president and publisher of The Sporting News).  While the discussion isn't all about music, at around 7 minutes David Hyman discusses why he thinks subscription models will now work for music and explains that they will soon begin trials via Facebook.  A very intersting discussion in general.
monkeymusic.logo.large-774255.jpgLet's just cut straight to it - here are the "must have survival tips" in evolving in today's music market.  Forget about reading boatloads of books and articles, read this and you'll find the practical skills to navigate the landscape.  

The Philosophies Behind Daft Punk

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daftbama1.jpgNot many groups can stay in the public's favor for over 15 years, nevermind in the fast paced world of dance music. Daft Punk is a huge exception to this rule, the group has managed to stay on the top of the dance music scene since the moment we met them. In order to maintain this stature it takes much thought and care. The blog Daft World has crafted a fantastic read on some of the philosophies that have gone into keeping them on top for so long and the type of article anyone looking to have a lasting career can gain some knowledge from.
streetmusician.jpgBefore We Met is a new series on Musformation where we will be digging up some of our old lost content from the early days of our blog before we got the audience we have today. Check out a old article we feel like you may enjoy.

Last year I started wondering how much money street musicians really make. In this old article I made some math and observations on this part time job that many musicians take up. Check it out here.

brick+mortar-20lb from dan feeny on Vimeo.

Brick And Mortar are a fantastic DIY band from the Jersey Shore that sound nothing like the stereotypes you think of when that area comes to mind. Combining Boards of Canada like- atmospheres, with 70's prog melodies and pounding rock rhythms, the group makes a sound that you have definitely not heard before. These guys are gaining a buzz by being both creative and hardworking, recently releasing their debut EP 7 Years In The Mystic Room, which is receiving a very warm reaction throughout the indie world. They gave us a fantastic interview with some smart advice. Do yourself a favor and while you read this interview take a listen to some of their tunes.

Weekend Watching: Dig

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Possibly one of the great rock docs of all time, Dig takes a look at two bands who you don't need to be fans of to enjoy this amazing doc. Capturing the two seperate career paths of the bands, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, this is one of the most enjoyable displays of rock debauchery and music industry reality you will ever see. Don't miss it. 
Drums.jpgIn this series, I will explain my perspective on how bands can make better records by learning the right reasons to choose a record producer, rather than many of the flawed ways of the past. As a record producer with over a decade of experience and hundreds of record under my belt, I have witnessed bands choose me and my fellow producers for both smart and stupid reasons. Seeing as this is one of the most crucial decisions in a bands career, this is some of the most important information you can learn. 

Making a great record is what we all want to do. Unfortunately, one of the biggest causes of a bad record is making a poor choice in who should produce your record. Many veteran music industry people still guess and use flawed logic when making this crucial decision. Over the years we have all heard records with great songs but flawed production. It happens all the time and many times we can't even get into a record because the approach taken by the producer is so repulsive that it makes it a unlistenable mess. After the jump we will begin to discuss some of the flawed ideas that have ruined many a record and in the preceding parts of this series we will discuss how to understand and fix them
Sandbox has up a great article about artist Noush Skaugen who is doing it on her own and has managed to get a serious Twitter following. Obviously if this was done through spam and bots it would not be impressive, but it seems she really gets what goes into getting a base of people interested in what she has to say and it seems it is translating into a growing following. A great read!

Speaking in Code Trailer from sQuare productions on Vimeo.

Back in September we told you that about the film Speaking in Code, which chronicles the lives and sounds of a handful of influential electronic musicians (Modeselktor, Ellen Allien, Monolake, David Sherburne).  The film is now available (as of today) on DVD and can be purchased here.  
neon-indian-drops-new-single-lots-of-pr-tells-us-about-.jpgIf you have never run a blog before, let me introduce you to one of the little pains that us bloggers go through on a daily basis. Often times, when a band gets a significant buzz or has achieved some success, some PR people will aggregate press releases in hopes of being associated with a successful group. If that weren't enough, some PR companies are smart enough to keep sending out press releases for their past clients knowing it will get their emails for their smaller clients through the email filters of bloggers eyes.

In the hilarious pic above you can see Impose Magazine's inbox about the newest release from the Boogereater adored group Neon Indian. Their take is that the band has multiple publicists which could be the case, but I may favor some of my theories above as well as individual PR people representing the band, label/management and another for Green Label Sound who put out this one off single. No matter what, it is an interesting look at what you are up against in the war to get PR for your release. Check out Impose's take here.

Recording And Synth Nerd Links 3/10/10

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We at Musformation read A LOT of blogs. Like, A LOT! We often find things that are interesting, but we don't have the time to write em up for you guys. This makes us feel bad since we are trying to make our community a more educated and entertained one. So every Wed. I will be sharing with you Recording Nerd Links. So if you are that particular brand of nerd/insomniac/internataholic/crazy shut in, enjoy. Nerd.

day.gifOne of the most interesting pieces of data that people are always wondering about is when to post big news about your music. Many people say 9 AM EST on a Tuesday, while others will say to get the weekend buzz going with a mid afternoon Friday post. Fortunately, there are some nerds out there who will actually crunch this data! As far as Facebook sharing goes, blogger Dan Zarrella has written up an extensive summary that finds that the most Facebook sharing is done on the weekends, since many workplaces now have Facebook blocked. He has a very insightful blog post where you can take away some interesting thoughts on how to get your news spread around the net more efficiently. Check it out
If there is anything most bands regularly hear from their adoring fans it is that they are, soooo much better live than they are on record. While some of this hyperbole just comes from the energy of live, loud music and enjoying it with others, there is many a time a band can bring a whole new experience to fans with their live show. The funny thing is, many bands who are great live do not exploit it and show this fact off to their fans as much as they should. After the jump we will go over some ideas on how you can show off your live skills.
In a move that is becoming a regular promotion for buzz bands with a passionate following, weirdo-rockers MGMT are launching a scavenger hunt that they claim will yield life-changing prizes. The band will announce the location of the MGMT Mobile Vehicle in different cities where upon fans can descend to the location and claim these hyped up prizes. If done right, this could be a great way to get awareness and buzz going for a band who needs to defy the sophomore slump to keep their hype going.

GuGuChu is an oddly named site that fills a niche many bands are looking to fill. With a 12,000 venue database and the ability to link to your social networks, they have a site that can easily help making your gigging life easier. The above video is a quick overview of what they do. Check out more here.
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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.