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#Follow Friday @DonPassman

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Donpassman.pngAt Musformation we have decided to follow Twitters lead and suggest you a Twitter feed we find to be totally awesome every week. We figure it is time to show people by example who is using Twitter right and good the awesome resources it holds.

DonPassman is one of the most esteemed figures in this business. This comes from the fact that he wrote the definitive beginners guide to the music industry, All You Need To Know About The Music Business . When I attended college over a decade ago and read this book it enlightened me to many of the things you need to know to get what in the hell people are talking about in this business. He now drops little interesting tidbits of knowledge via his twitter and is definitely one to follow.

Programming Note: We're In Flight

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planejandt.jpgThat's right, as you read this week, Todd and I are very excited to be on our way to Martin Atkins TourSmart weekend in Chicago. The blog is on autopilot so you will still see some posts but we won't be keeping you up to date with current events but come back on Monday and we will tell you some of the awesome stuff we saw this weekend in Chicago!

When Young And Hungry Is Not What You Want

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The Kids Are All Right.jpgOne of the pieces of advice I regularly give to any band seeking my help is to "find someone young and hungry" to help them in various aspects of the industry. One of our most popular articles on this site is even titled Do You Really Want Someone Who Is Old And Experienced In These Times? As much as I and many others love this saying it is EXTREMELY flawed, and I didn't realize it until I heard it come out of another persons mouth.

"Our label wants us to go with a mastering guy who is young and hungry"
It was one of those moments I wish I could see the look on my face, a band with all of the talent and potential in the world, with a label who is experienced and yet so clueless and naive it pained me to the bone that they could end up with a flawed record since a label thinks that someone can walk into a field like mastering and get a great result. Mastering takes time to MASTER the craft in order to gain optimal quality. It also takes a lot of money to afford the equipment to do it right. Not a kid in his parents basement with some plug-ins. There are some thing in this industry that can be done by amateurs since their fresh and enthusiastic view on things can breathe new life. There are other things that take years to learn and craft such as contract negotiations that you can't just pick up and be talented and a natural with. While I will always argue that finding someone young and hungry can do you a lot of good, there are exceptions to every rule. Do not ruin your record by thinking this applies to mastering.

How To Get Tribes On Your Side

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180px-Seth_Godin.jpgDo you love Seth Godin's Tribes? Well so does everyone, so get over yourself. Kidding! If this book is up your alley there is a great article by a blog that goes by The CEO of Rock Blog that has 22 ways to get Tribes on your side. a worthwhile read for all of you marketing, new media dorks. I think someone just threw a rock through my glass house?
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One of the common themes here that we discuss at Musformation is the fact that most A&R don't like or even listen to the type of music that they work in. What many of them are looking for is a genuine reaction from fans that shows that you don't need to beg or be marketed to people. They want to see that when someone discovers your music organically they like it immediately. This makes their job and everyone else involved have an easy time working your music.

We have all seen the bands begging for comments or pictures of people wearing their merch on their Myspace. No one is a stranger to getting fans to vote for them in contests and astroturfing any of the online voting competitions. While these are bonuses in A&R eyes these do not indicate that you are going to be easily marketable and sold. So what does?
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The folks at Nimbit from time to time bring us great blog posts. The one they posted this week was particularly awesome where they speak of an experience they have when they go to speak to the students at Berklee's music school every year.

"Every time I get in front of a group like this  is "How many people consider a label deal to be a viable option for developing their career?" Two years ago when I gave this seminar, nearly 80% of the room raised their hands. Last year less than half the people indicated that a label deal was part of their success strategy. This year when I asked the question, exactly ZERO people raised there hands."

That is the type of change we at Musformation can believe in! Read the full post here.
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We are always thinking about how do you sell music in this new age of digital downloads? Well, one way is to hit teenagers in their favorite hangout and hope they will send it as gifts to one another in a celebration of consumerism in order to show their appreciation to one another via this wonderous display of materialism! So what does this mean? Facebook has partnered with LaLa to give everyone who is sitting on Facebook all day way to give something nice in the form of music to one another. With this partnership, while you are waiting for your Internet girlfriend to comment on your status as to  what you ate for lunch and she is busy flirting with someone else on Twitter, you can remind her of your existance by sending her a copy of Lady GaGa's "Paparazzi" as you chase here down in cyberspace untill she loves you. LaLa's catalog is available for this service and the payplan is quite interesting. For one Facebook credit ($.10), a song can be streamed online forever. But for for 9 credits ($.90) the track can be downloaded. This could be an interesting development that sees artists who are on LaLa seeing an upsurge in sales.


Myspace Music Becomes More Useful To Musicians

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myspacedashboard.pngWhile we have been running around sticking a fork in Myspace for months now, the Music side of the site has been busy re-upping their game. As of today when you log into your account you will now have access to an Artists Dashboard. You will now be able to see how your demographics look, the location of your fans and the trends of how popular your songs and page are. If that weren't enough you also get access to your data for iLike. A very welcome addition to the service.

Google Music Service: The Screenshots

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Being out at CMJ last night, I had many conversations about the New Music Model. One of the things that prevailed from convo to convo was the entitlement artists still feel to be lazy and think that the business hustle of their life should be done by their managers and label. This morning I awoke to an article by Bruce Warila on The Music Think Tank that also touched on a similar subject. In this article Bruce touches on the idea that managing bands is often like the lottery. I will actually contest this analogy because the lottery is based on pure luck, the fact of the matter is the flaws in what is expected in the artist/manager relationship diminish your chances compared to others who get it.

While many people in the luddite society of the music business have woken up to the realities of free and and the increasingly level playing field that the Internet has created for artists, what they have not woken up to is this means that artist is going to have to do much of the hustle on the business side if they want to even survive, never mind get ahead.
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Just an hour ago we were all in the dark as to what Google's music service would look like and it appears we now know. TechCrunch is reporting details that it will be a partnership with LaLa and iLike.

Recording And Synth Nerd Links 10/21/09

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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.

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While having a 24 hour music store in the heart of Union Square will make some of us NYC musicians quite happy, we will unfortunately be getting it in the form of a Best Buy. Deciding to fill up the vacant Circuit City spot in Union Square, Best Buy has decided to move on in and claims the store will feature "the largest Best Buy Musical Instruments Department in the United States." Guitar Center a few blocks down the road is shaking in it's shoes. Coming soon to a city that sleeps near you.
(via Consumerist)

Must Read: The Indie Maximum Exposure List

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Billboard The Journal of Dead Music Ideas has turned into a silly publication that publishes very out of touch and laughable things. One of their recent chortle inducing publishing blunders was a Maximum Exposure List which was a great idea in concept, but had an epic failure in execution. In retaliation smart minded Ariel Hyatt got together with a few other music industry minds and made a more realistic list that is AMAZING! I just gave it a quick read and would say this is an essential read for anyone looking to figure out what to do with their music and how to promote it. Go get it!
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Details are emerging about something we all kinda knew would happen - Google will setup a music service in the US. While they have been offering a free music service in China for a while the people who are taking guesses on what their US service will be are imagining it will not be free. While it seems no one has any real details and everything is speculation, it is inevitable this will be a big curve in the road we all need to learn how to adapt to.
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There are a growing number of ways to track your artists presence on the net everyday. MusicMetric is the latest to step in the game as a paid service that boasts the ability to sift through the noise when your artists name isnt as unique as you would like it to be and hopefully find mostly usable data for you. TechCrunch covered them today and have invites that will give you a free trial to try out the service so you don't have to pay!
happy-endingtoddandi.jpgYes, it's CMJ and time to get out your social skills. As you know we write about and love TopSpin Media and all the smart things they do for the new music model. They are having a meetup at the lovely LES cokeden Happy Endings @ 8 PM. It's at 302 Broome Street and should be a good time. We will be there and would love to meet you! If you have a progressive view and interest in the music biz and are interested in meeting like minded folks this is the place to be tonight. 


In recent months we have seen Miley and Trent Reznor quit Twitter in a dramatic huff as if this was something they might need rehab for. While this subject may be done to death I want to make a greater point of why people do not get what Twitter is and why it does not need to run your life.

I have friends who often tell me they think Twitter is lame and see no reason to be on it. What everyone in this boat misses is this is becoming a way that people like information delivered to them. By joining or staying on Twitter it does not mean you need to post every time you do eat a good meal or your significant other pisses you off. You don't need to post half naked pictures or even read what the people who follow you say. Miley and Trent had million of followers and these were all people who wanted to hear from them and keep in touch. Instead of taking a rebellious-addict-cold-turkey approach to the tool they decided to cut off people who would have been happy with simple tweets like "new album drops tomorrow" and "tour dates posted here."

Years from now when Miley is the Mandy or Christina and thankful that anyone even cares what she has to say she will wish that she had a means to find all the people who cared. Going on Twitter does not mean you need to connect with the world, it just means you can now own a way to keep people up to date with you. You don't need to tweet everyday or read what others say. Simply use it as much as you would like and as a way to allow people who like to digest information 140 characters at a time can keep up to date with what you are doing. Whether it is Myspace, Facebook, Email or Twitter when you don't allow your fans to get information in the format they like for it to be delivered, you cut off your potential to keep gaining more fans. 


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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.






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