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Greil Marcus is considered one of the great living rock critics in this 45 minute speech he discusses the definition of America through music for all you still in the Fourth of July spirit.
Now you may thinking be thinking what can I learn from an Emo/Pop band that looks like a bunch of trannies and have called Barack Obama a traitor to his country? Well they are about to do something that is pretty smart. Earlier today we told you that your band can only go as far as the quality of your last recording. With that in mind, why not increase your chances of going far by putting out new songs more often?

In this age of the gatekeepers being gone and the Internet making it easier for every band to be heard by the world the lifespan of an album is now smaller then ever. While there are some exceptions of records that can still push singles two years down the line, most mid-sized artists are lucky if they can get anyone to pay attention to their records 3-6  months later. One way to solve this is to put out releases more often. This revs up the publicity stream for your band and gets you in the news cycle more often, as well as giving your fans something fresh and new more often. We have all seen bands lose their fans interest by taking to long to release new material. This goes tenfold for bands targeting teenagers since 18 months later they can be on to the next trend.
Each 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. Make sure to check out the rest of the Rock and Pop Charts as well as their Indie, Rap, Country and Dance Charts!

  1. 21 Guns - Green Day
  2. A Looking In View - Alice In Chains
  3. New Divide - Linkin Park
  4. Heavy Cross - The Gossip
  5. 100 Little Curses - Street Sweeper Social Club
  6. Notion - Kings Of Leon
  7. For What It's Worth - Placebo
  8. Love Drunk - Boys Like Girls
  9. One More Chance - Bloc Party
  10. Treat Me Like Your Mother - The Dead Weather
  1. I Gotta Feelin' - Black Eyed Peas
  2. Here We Go Again - Demi Lovato
  3. I Don't Care (2NE1) - 2NE1
  4. Obsessed - Mariah Carey
  5. Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
  6. It's Alright, It's OK - Ashley Tisdale
  7. Bulletproof - La Roux
  8. I Know You Want Me - Pitbull
  9. Lovegame - Lady Gaga
  10. Goodbye - Kristina DeBarg

We all know updating all of your sites can be a major pain in the ass and there are new services popping up all over the place to help you with this. ArtistData is looking to be one of the most thorough solutions for these tasks you could imagine. They offer the following services:

  • Myspace Calendar sync and other calendar feeds
  • Ability to submit your shows to local media services (newspapers, calendars)
  • RSS feeds of all of your news
  • Ability easily create newsletters
  • Synchronized Twitter and Facebook status updates
  • Submission to concert databases
  • CSV updates
  • Website sync (depending on your websites setup)
  • Touring book sheets and organization tools
  • It looks like they have sync with tons of sites like Eventful, PureVolume and SonicBids as well!

There are more Facebook features coming soon as well as many other things it looks like from their site. The site looks very promising and they are still in Beta. Try it while it's hot!
One of the less discussed ideas that is forming - now that the gatekeepers of the music industry are gone - is the idea that your recording is determining your bands potential more than ever. If you do not put you're all into writing the best song possible, tweaking it to death and then getting an amazing recording for it - any work you do afterwards may be all for naught. As the playing field levels with the Internet's dominance, the major labels epic fail and emerging crowdsourcing technology - what begins to matter more then ever is a great song. No amount of touring, promotion, and neat marketing tricks are going to get you as far as a band who records a great song and really executes it well and does the same amount of work. After the jump we will elaborate further on this idea.

We save you the trouble of going to a million websites and just tell you what garbage is worth skimming over.
One of the ways to get to the to the top of searches is to write yourself a quick Wikipedia Entry. The first thing you need to do is create a login. Then read the wiki on starting a new article. While Wikipedia advises against writing about yourself we won't tell if you don't. Keep in mind Wikipedia does maintain a good amount of quality control. If you write in broken English and call your band members a bunch of d00dz, odds are the article is going to be nixed. If you can form a coherent sentence you can write a few quick sentences about your band and link some of your sites as sources to have another page that points to all of you / your bands pages which will help your SEO immensely.

The Essentials Of Email Etiquette

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email.jpgI get a lot of questions about the right way to write to people via email. This always amazes me since I write some very sloppy emails (Todd and Jackie are already laughing that I am even writing this article). I read this great article today on email etiquette and felt that everyone out there in the music world could benefit from it. We all spend a lot of time trying to decipher some really retarded emails. If we all paid attention to this article our lives would be a lot better.

To tide their fans over to the release of their new record, Artwork, The Used are offering up a new guitar tab every week to tide their fans over till their new album is released. You can also upload videos of yourself playing these songs to their site. Interesting way to build momentum for their new release.
Saturday morning, CD Baby is going to unveil what promises to be an awesome tool for indie artists. Their long hyped new website which will feature single song downloads, artist pages, online uploads and download cards! They will be modifying their cut of their share of profits on direct digital sales to 25%, while the old rate of 9% will stay the same for iTunes, Amazon and the other online stores they service (press release excerpt in the jump). Stay tuned and be sure to check out their new store from a service that has been helping indie artists since the Internet was run by dinosaurs in mouse wheels.
Very interesting news that we want to hear more about via Digital Music News. Below is a quote from Jeff Price of TuneCore:

""If an artist is doing well, there is a direct line through which UMGD can extend its hand or, via the existing TuneCore model, the artist can choose to continue to succeed on their own," commented Price.  "It is the continuation of the shift to serve the musician."The partnership also involves Guitar Center, a TuneCore investor and strategic partner.  As part of the pact, Guitar Center will open floorspace to certain UMGD titles, a non-traditional outlet that already includes TuneCore releases."

More at Digital Music News.

We have TuneCore's press release in the jump so you can read what this means in plain english rather than some garbled press release.

Apparently a duplication problem has caused Dino Jr's new album Farm to be a few db too loud. While most bands would let it slide, their European label Pias is offering exchanges and some stamps for anyone unhappy with their purchase. The Guardian has a quote:
"While duplicating the original master ... the software programme 'doubled' the sound layers. This resulted in a 3dB increase in volume."
We bet the too loud version is still quieter than Death Magnetic.
When not asking to be dropped from Roadrunner or making tons of money on Twitter, Amanda Palmer is twittering. The message below:

"use these nekkid AFP post-sharpie-twit-frenzy-photos to mock up a rolling stone cover. - post results."

If you follow the link to the site there is about 30 or so naked pictures (ugh NSFW and armpit hair for you conservative types). We have a feeling if these end up on the cover of Rolling Stones she'll be making a lot more than $19K from Twitter. Ugh interesting marketing move or um something?
wearingtwittert.jpgPosting your music to Twitter becomes more and more important everyday in order to reach and update your fans on what you are doing. Thankfully SoundCloud has brought us all a way to do it that gets streaming out of the ghetto of Myspace quality streams. In fact SoundCloud sounds pretty amazing since you can upload .wav files instead of nasty low bit rate Mp3s. If that weren't enough you can place a link of where to watch the video of your song and where to buy your song! Follow me to the jump and I will show you how to let the world of Twitter hear your songs in a great sounding audio stream that can help promote your music.
crass.jpgPunk rock is always ahead of it's time and exceptional in the looks department. Yahoo compiled 25 of the more awesome punk logos that show how powerful and memorable logos can be. If you haven't found an amazing logo for your group yet see if you can find some inspiration in these.

How To Make Your Keyboard Less Gross

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No not that type of keyboard, the one you are using on your computer right now is what we are discussing here. Inc has some great ideas on how you can stop feeling like you are typing through a pool of crumbs.
reznor jesus.jpg
Early this morning on the NIN forum Trent Reznor gave some really amazing insight as to what to do to get noticed in the music business. Previously he gave similar advice in his Digg interview. Below is an excerpt and after the jump we have the whole thing.

"* Forget thinking you are going to make any real money from record sales. Make your record cheaply (but great) and GIVE IT AWAY. As an artist you want as many people as possible to hear your work. Word of mouth is the only true marketing that matters.
To clarify:
Parter with a TopSpin or similar or build your own website, but what you NEED to do is this - give your music away as high-quality DRM-free MP3s. Collect people's email info in exchange (which means having the infrastructure to do so) and start building your database of potential customers. Then, offer a variety of premium packages for sale and make them limited editions / scarce goods. Base the price and amount available on what you think you can sell. Make the packages special - make them by hand, sign them, make them unique, make them something YOU would want to have as a fan. Make a premium download available that includes high-resolution versions (for sale at a reasonable price) and include the download as something immediately available with any physical purchase. Sell T-shirts. Sell buttons, posters... whatever.

Don't have a TopSpin as a partner? Use Amazon for your transactions and fulfillment. []"

While often times we give the benefit of the doubt - especially in synth based songs - that the original songwriter just wrote a song that is similar. Ehhh not this time. This seems like Will.I.Am may be changing his name to Steal.I.Did. Let's not forget the time he stole from Daft Punk and got himself a lashing. We have a feeling this will be a big story soon enough. (via Music FM)
Oh boy! Recently we told you about the poorly thought out idea ASCAP had to retrieve royalties every time Ringtones play. Derrrr... Obviously ASCAP's members want to see some revenue and unfortunately all they can come up with to bring it in is some really bad ideas. Their newest one is to go after bloggers who are embedding YouTube videos on their blogs in order to help promote their artists.

We take particular offense to this since Musformation regularly posts videos to help promote music we think would be of interest to our audience. We understand if ASCAP goes after the many sites that are leaking artist's music with the intent of making a name or a few bucks off constantly upping songs that the artists haven't authorized their leaking. But, when they go after sites like Mahallo who are aggregating music to help promote and provide discussion on the Internet, our ears shoot out steam and we wonder who is going to hand these clowns a copy of Appetetie For Self Destruction?

If ASCAP wants to go after bloggers who are embedding videos (that their artists have enabled for embed I might add) to help promote them and discuss their music I will be happy to lead the revolt and fight against whatever pinhead is running that show. If they want their artists to have the unfair advantage of no longer being aggregated to users on the net, I am sure the blogging community will be happy to boycott them. This will surely lead to even more revenue lost than they can gain from this stupid idea. Their statement (after the jump) implies that they will not be going after personal blogs with no ads, but it seems like any monetized site may be in their sights as targets. Where is the keyboard cat for an embed when you need him? Oh he is after the jump too! I sure hope he isn't registered with ASCAP!
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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.