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emokids.jpgI talk to lots of bands in lots of towns all across the country, and I absolutely love it when someone tells me nobody in their town goes to shows. It's as if the community held a town-hall meeting and decided, unanimously and enthusiastically, that they will no longer attend live music performances. Sometimes I like to picture the mayor smashing a guitar in celebration.

Not only do the labels think you're dumb and want you under their thumb, they also think you, the consumers, will buy the same regurgitated nonsense again and again.  It was just reported that Kelly Clarkson has lost a battle with her label RCA who will be releasing a single called "Already Gone" despite the fact that is is the exact same backing track as Beyonce's hit song "Halo".  The controversy began when Clarkson's co-writer Ryan Tedder gave both singers the backing track to listen to (unbeknown to Clarkson who wrote lyrics for it only to realize later that it was already being used on the Beyonce song).  The movie industry is bad enough with its endless string of awful sequels aimed only at cashing in on previous greatness, but releasing a song with the same backing track is utterly laughable. In a time when the industry is quickly losing its stranglehold on consumers, instead of innovating they are regressing further into madness with moves like this.  Reason number 9,987,234 to go at it on your own.   
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Poor Myspace, wilting away before our eyes. Poor you, since you used to have a place with friends where they were reading what you were doing every single day, all day long while your band annoyed us with bulletins and status updates. I have news for you, this is probably going to happen to Twitter or Facebook as well. Don't believe me? Remember when you were friends with Friendster and you couldn't believe when Myspace turned it into the first Internet ghost town? Itcan happen again. Follow me to the jump and I will teach you how to ensure that all that work you did messaging people to be friends with your band won't go to waste a second time.

Twitter 101 Intro For Uber Noobz

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twitbird.jpgIt's no secret that we kneel at the feet of the Twitter gods nearly every day with this site.  Despite our initial reservations regarding the service, we've seen the amazing results that a Twitter account can achieve for a band, business or individual.  Yet we also realize that some people still just don't get Twitter (I was one of those people for a long time).  For those folks, Twitter has gotten smart and released a 101 document to try and clear up some of the confusion.  Initially, the guide was created to market to businesses interested in using Twitter, but the same rules apply to your band.  If you're a n00b who is still scared of being a twat by not tweeting, this is for you.  Check out the Twitter 101 PDF here.

Do it! Do it! Do it! The Financial Times has released word that Apple is in cahoots with the major labels again planning a secret project entitled "Cocktail" that will launch with their new tablet netbook-large-sized-iPhone-computer-life-changer invention. The last time we saw these two plotting behind closed doors we got the original iTunes that we all know and love. The early guesses are Apple will be finding a way to help sell deluxe additions to albums as well as offer added incentive to buy releases like album liner notes, enhanced artwork, etc. This is great news for the labels who have been experimenting with many bundles to entice buyers into buying instead illegal downloading. This is even better news for those of us whose work recommendations come largely from the albums we make. Producers, engineers, songwriters and studio musicians can all rejoice that soon people will be able to read credits about their work along with every release. Bout time!  Let's all do "The Hippy Hippy Shake" and be excited you can now read album credits to a Georgia Satellites record to see where Brendan O'Brien got his start before producing and mixing every song ever.  

We previously told you Spotify was coming to the Android OS and have added millions of tracks from Indies and Majors alike. Now it has come to the iPhone and after watching this video I just soiled my pants in shock of how amazing it is going to be. Like we have told you before, if you haven't gotten yourself on Spotify yet - now is the time. Head over to Ditto Music and get on it today since the whole world will be on this App any day now.
clash.jpgThe music world is abuzz with the news that two of the most progressive thinkers in the business along with some others have teamed up to start a new "label" with a new model on funding and artist ownership. One of the concepts that this label will be employing is outsourcing. Artists will receive a $300K investment and then hire out  outside PR, distribution, booking etc. As opposed to the old major label model of doing much of this in-house.

When I worked at an indie in the 90's I once heard the saying that we weren't much different than "having a credit card with some distribution and a PR department." This saying wasn't entirely true back then since distribution was hard to come by before the Internet and we held the key to access many things bands could not get on their own. As time progresses this saying is becoming all the more true of what many indie labels are becoming these days.

With that said the model Polyphonic is adopting of investors and outsourcing will be a viable one for everyone in the music industry to learn from. After the jump we will discuss what bands and music industry figures should prepare for with this new announcement and some of the new business models we can see emerge in the new music model.
504x_boba.jpgEach week Musformation brings you the The Wiki Chart. The Wiki Chart calculates the majority of the streaming audio charts and figures out what the world is really listening to. The chart is undergoing a huge makeover and they have added a countdown to v3.0 we can't wait to see what they do. This week we are changing it up and brining you the Indie and Urban Charts. Be sure to check out the rest of the positions and their other charts.

Indie Chart
  1. So Insane - Discovery
  2. Got Nuffin - Spoon
  3. Stillness Is The Move - Dirty Projectors
  4. No Hope Kids - Wavves
  5. Sacred Trickster - Sonic Youth
  6. Twin Of Myself - Black Moth Super Rainbow
  7. Bruises - Chairlift
  8. I Start To Run - White Denim
  9. Rabbit Heart - Florence and the Machine
  10. Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear
  1. Death Of Autotune (D.O.A.) - Jay-Z
  2. OK, You're Right - 50 Cent
  3. Best I Ever Had - Drake
  4. Better On The Other Side - The Game
  5. Every Girl - Young Money
  6. Knock You Down - Keri Hilson
  7. Prom Queen - Lil Wayne
  8. Cali Love - Tyga
  9. Birthday Sex - Jeremih
  10. Kinda Like A Big Deal - Clipse

Artist House Music has an interesting poll going right now that all of you should take the time to answer so we can learn what to do about selling music in the future. The question is whether music fans buy music through widgets? This is increasingly more important as a new widget becomes available everyday, with TuneCore recently announcing a new super widget as well. Personally, I bought Metric's Fantasies through their TopSpin designed widget (as seen above) recently and have bought a few singles I liked through the flawed SnoCap widget on Myspace in the distant past. Go tell Artist's House what you think.

Downed In Sound had a great tip sheet from Goldrush's Robin Bennett who has run many a festival and is now giving out free advice to make them more successful. Many of these tips are also wise advice for running small shows. If you plan on putting on a show anytime in the near future read these wise words.

Hey! I bet you have never seen that video before?!?!? What if YouTube would allow you to see every website that posts a video that you posted? They do now! Qhat can you do with this information to help your band? Can we talk a little more about stats than we already have? Follow me to the jump and I will show you how awesome this new feature can be for your band? 
Cnet has an article where David Pakman is claiming investors are losing interest in the music business. While we said this would happen, it seems nearly every week we hear about a different music startup on TechCrunch getting millions in funding.

The article claims that out of 109 music startups only 5 have shown a return. Sounds a lot like major labels results with bands! Despite all of this it seems that with the announcement of Terry McBride and Brian Message's new Polyphonic label being based around an idea of $300,000 investments into bands we will be seeing a shift of investors who still want to get involved in the "glamorous" music industry going this route instead of investing in streaming audio options. We will see in the coming months.
First we tell you Your MySpace Music Page Is Still Important and then we call Myspace The New Ghost Town Of The Internet - are we off our meds??? No! Here are the facts - even if Myspace Music is growing this means bands are still adding music to it. It does not mean it was what it used to be for marketing and gaining new fans. The fact that most of your friends aren't using it as much and have left it for it's cardigan wearing buddy Facebook is exactly why you need to draw traffic to your other sites like we have been advising. We have never advocated neglecting your Myspace page but we definitely don't feel like you should be staying in on weekends making Myspace friends like it was 2007. Keep the page up to date. Check in on it, but concentrate on building your mailing list and getting people to every page you have. Oh yeah! Do you want to read another study? Probably not, but here is the link to TechCrunch for it!

#Follow Friday @JamesPew

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jamespew.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.

As we said above we are trying to show you who is tweeting right and how to use twitter properly. We recently came across a fella by the name of James Pew's twitter and we have to say he is killing it. Everyday he links articles helpful to musicians, producers, and anyone interested in the industry. He also links in his blogs post at StudioManifesto which are equally as good. Check him out and learn how to do it right!
Everyone and even their mother is talking about how important stats are to your future as a band. As the playing field is leveled - quality and marketing are what it is all about. How do you know how to market unless you know what works? Stats! Right now most of your marketing is probably based off sites like Twitter, Myspace, iLike, Last.FM, etc. But those sites have limited stats!

Well, now they do if you use a website called RockDex to figure them out! On this site you can see how all your songs and videos are performing on many of the sites listed above. They also offer data from Eventful, MTV and more including profile views and friend adds from Myspace. If that weren't enough you can also grab data about which cities are tweeting about your band (by number and graph) so you can route your tours better with this data. I got totally lost in the awesome knowledge in their site and haven't even figured out all the amazing ways we are going to be able to parse this data and make it useful to bands. Right now they are still working out pricing but it will be based on subscription for under $10 a month. Go there now and look at some of the stats for other bands on there (it's free) and see what it can do for you! You'll be hearing more from us later on how to take this data and make the best of it.
We don't mention iLike a lot. It is hard to get us to do anything for the disgusting corporate assholes at TicketMaster who try to scam music lovers of every hard earned dollar they can. What does Ticketmaster have to do with iLike? They are an investor, but now we are starting to like iLike since they supposedly want Ticketmaster out of their life. From TechCrunch:

We've confirmed from multiple sources that San Francisco/Seattle based music service iLike, which has been profitable since 2008, is raising new capital in an unusual transaction designed to push out Ticketmaster, an investor since 2006.
TechDirt just put up an article stating that apparently the music industry revenue is growing in the UK according to some top economists. Because of increased concert attendance and merch sales a new study is claiming that retail is the only side suffering. While we personally think there is a new study each week that claims the opposite of the last one published. We do not doubt for one second that these three things are true and that where sales happen has redistributed away from retail and over to merch. We think it is seriously flawed to think that the industry is actually growing when we personally know many people who haven't bought a single record in years and are far too jaded to go to shows. I don't think the music can actually grow when you have people who decide to stop buying from an industry that they used to buy from. Studies can conclude many things but sometimes you have to go with common sense.

TODD P GOES TO AUSTIN trailer from FVMMO FILMS on Vimeo.

Out in Brooklyn where Musformation is based out of - Todd P is known as one of the best promoters the city has ever seen. Making shows fun and interesting again in a wide variety of venues most promoters wouldn't dare go near. This doc promises to capture some of the DIY spirit many believe to be dead these days and show who is still involved in it.

Future Of Music.jpgAwesome resource for music industry knowledge, The Future of Music Coalition has relaunched with an awesome new layout today! If you are not familiar with them they describe themselves as:

"Future of Music Coalition is a national nonprofit organization that works to ensure a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want."
They have a policy summit coming up in October and if you are into this type of thing you should sign up ASAP!

We save you the trouble of going to a million websites and just tell you what garbage is worth skimming over.
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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.