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Herbert "Herb" Alpert (born March 31, 1935) is an American musician most associated with the group variously known as Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass or just TJB. He is also a recording industry executive -- he is the "A" of A&M Records (a recording label he and business partner Jerry Moss founded and eventually sold). This awesome Doc takes a look at his life.

Big News: Pandora Adds Music Videos

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pandora_icon.pngMashable has just reported that Pandora is now adding music videos to their already awesome service.  Apparently, every Monday, Saturday and Sunday, the music streaming site will offer up new artist-produced videos.  It appears that the videos will be rolled out slowly at first with perhaps wider implementation in the future.  Big artists like The Prodigy, Animal Collective and Kid606 were some of the first to launch videos there.  By going directly to the artists for videos, Pandora may have bypassed a good bit of the licensing nightmares one might expect in this situation.  If you are interested (and we know you are), there are now submission details for artist videos in the FAQ section. It goes without saying that this could be a huge move in the right direction for Pandora and incredible bonus to unsigned bands seeking exposure.   

#FollowFriday @DefendPopPunk

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defendpoppunk.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.

Earlier in the week we interview a band called Man Overboard. They have started a Twitter that is a great idea for any band who feels outcast from their genre. In response to being dissatisfied with the attention going to many of the bands in their genre that they don't care for, they have started a Twitter that promotes all the bands they feel are doing good things in the genre of pop-punk (you can find it at @defendpopunk). This is a great idea and is a proactive way to spread the word about what you love about music. Great job guys!
A few months a friend told me that unless you searched News, Blogs, Web, Videos and Groups separately in your Google Alerts you would be missing content from around the web. Sure enough, that night I went home and added these searches to all of my Google Alerts in fear of missing a great story or something written about the bands I work with. I also left the Comprehensive Alert on as well. I am happy to say 3 months later there hasn't been an Alert that has slipped by the Comprehensive search (note: some articles do slip by google all together though which is why I also suggest using BackType). This means I can safely say this is a myth and the only search you need to do for any of your Google Alerts is Comprehensive. Whew! Now I have to start deleting all these useless searches.
Bandzoogle has just unveiled two new additions to their awesome service this past week that we thought may make you guys happy.
  1. Music Download Codes - This will allow you to do things like dropcards, or give away free downloads with the purchase of other merch like T-shirts
  2. Auto Posting to Twitter - Whenever you add a gig or a blog post it will automatically update your Twitter. Less headaches!
Calling around booking a tour can send you into a whole new bracket of minutes on your cell phone each month. This coupled with promoting a band and doing legwork all day can mean your phone is attached to your ear all day long. One way to get around the high minutes charges is to get an Android phone and a Google Voice account. This will allow you to make free calls over Wi-Fi from your phone. But this does need some tweaking, head to Lifehacker and find out how to save a ton on your phone bill with these two.

Host A UStream Concert For Your Far Away Fans

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ustream.gifRemember after In Rainbows came out and the whole world was gushing every time Radiohead made a bowel movement? Despite my cynical tone, one of the coolest things they did during this time was host a couple of live streaming concerts from their practice space. They also did live DJ sets where they showed their fans all the stuff they have been listening to.

If you have even a moderate size fanbase this can be a great thing to take advantage of and sites like make this possible very easily. All you need is a camera or two and to set up and either give the site a live feed or video you have already edited together. Send out the word to your fans that you will be having a live UStream show (you can always archive it later for anyone who missed it) and promote it a little bit. If you have an awesome live show this can be a great way to show fans how great you are in this context. You can do these streams from venues or from your practice space. It doesn't matter as long as you give your fans something cool to watch.

Avoid Band Photography Cliches

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TuneCore has had a widget for a while to play and sell your music. To my ears it is one of the better sounding widgets in the game today and it just got a lot more useful. Any record you have uploaded through TuneCore can be put into one of their widgets where you can embed tons of info about your band. They have added a few new additions today including linking a photo gallery from your Flickr account, your YouTube videos, tour dates, and a very interesting addition where people can donate to your band directly through the widget. Some cool new additions to a great widget, head to TuneCore if you use their service and get to work.
Whether it is record reviews, press releases for a new business, or just news about what you are doing, the content you write about whatever you are promoting is very important. While many people think of a bio/press release as something to describe what they are selling this isn't always the best way to look at. What you really want to do is write what you want the articles to say about you. My Father is an advertising copywriter of 30+ years and has told me time and time again that more than half of the press releases he sends out get copy and pasted right into the articles written about what he writes. Between running this blog (we copy and paste press releases all day long) and working for bands for the last ten years I have seen the same results.

This means is you need to describe and pay attention to every word in your bio/press release, since odds are this is exactly what is going to end up in front of reviewers eyes. Conveniently, whatever would capture a readers eyes will probably make a writer want to write about you as well. Make sure you describe what you do thoroughly and describe what is unique about it in a clear and coherent way. If you do this right you are bound to end up with much better press.
stagebloc.pngComing in early October is a new service called StageBloc that promises to solve many of the headaches that come with keeping your web presence in sync and up to date. There service offers the following:

  • Custom artist websites.
  • Automatic Facebook and Twitter sync.
  • News/Journal, Show, Music, and Video management.
  • Easy Management of multiple accounts for managers and labels.
This all looks like a great start too a cool new service to read about some of the other things they do go here or to see some of the stuff they have already done check this out. Pricing TBA.

Lilly Allen Forgets That Mixtapes Are Piracy

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Breaking A New Band With The Keiretsu Method

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tallconcert490.jpgBruce Warilla of Upsprung Media has a great post with some knowledge you don't hear everyday. Giving great advice on how you turn a listener into a fan of your music. A great read 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.