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Derek Sivers On Perspectives On Value

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Derek Sivers always has big, smart ideas. In one of his more insightful posts he talks about how your perspective on what gives your music value, may not in fact be reality. We don't always have self awareness when it comes to our own music and he makes some great points in this article.
ohsleeper.jpgThe realities of touring can be pretty um.... REAL. Shane from the band Oh Sleeper shows off the economic side of how bad this can be on a band today. Pop over to the jump and see a post from Facebook.

Loud records get a very bad name these days and how loud you will want to make your own particular record is a huge creative decision that must be made for your record. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to properly make this crucial judgment call. After the jump we will discuss how you can begin to figure out how to make a wise decision for your record.
We all know that Nielsen's Soundscan is an out of date measurement of what people are really listening to and consuming in the music world. At the start of the New Music Seminar on Tuesday Big Champagne announced the would now be issuing a weekly chart entitled The Ultimate Chart to solve the problem of no one else undertaking such a task.

The chart takes into account a variety of sources like online radio, Facebook streams, iTunes sales and YouTubes streams. While awesome sites like Next Big Sound do a great free job of showing some of this, they don't seem to take in all the info that this chart does. Looks like it will be a useful addition to the music discourse.
Headliner.FM is a website that can help spread your music across social networks via recommendations. They are running some new promotions that can help spread your music a little more:
  • 10 for 1 Promotions: Accepting promotions already earned you Band Bucks, but now for every 10 promotions you receive you earn a Band Buck bonus. The bonus will be between 1,000 and 15,000 Band Bucks depending on the size of your band.
  • Lower fees: Headliner previously charged 15,000 Band Bucks for every promotion you created that was accepted by 1 or more bands. Now we charge a small percent based on the size of the promotion you create. This will enable you to create more promotions and do more with the Band Bucks you already have.


Last week when Bandcamp announced they will begin to take a cut of the sales made through their site, many of us who give away music for free through their site were wondering where they would go next. Thankfully in the comments section they have answered many questions like this one (see pic above) and have updated their recent blog entry with further info.

Planning Far Ahead Is A Waste Of Time

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One pitfall I see many groups make is they plan way too far ahead. This is stupid since the world is going to end in 2012. JOKING! The real reason it is foolish to plan far ahead is that things change and fast. If things are really happening for you in the music industry so many opportunities and changes are going to happen along the way that it is a waste of energy to plan far ahead.

Talking about 6 months from now and making firm plans leaves no room to let the many great things that pop up happen. Keep your mind open and roll with the punches. Concentrate on your next three steps and let the big picture happen with small strokes.
backstage_pass-001.jpgIt's that time of year again where bands come out of the woodwork with alleged international tours. There is a giant gap between running with the bulls while listening to your iPod and actually "touring' in global markets.  Booking festivals is hard, but if you want to take some of Justin Biebers fans away from his playpen, follow these tips and you'll be booking high profile international festivals in no time: READ HERE

Featured on a panel at New Music Seminar 2010, Courtney Holt from Myspace Music discusses the future for the company and addresses rumors as to whether they are going to a paid model.
REALTALK COVER150.jpgIf you read this blog, you know that we believe that record companies handling of leaks is one of the many holdovers of a bunch of Luddites refusing to adapt to the times. We write constantly about their refusal to figure out a way to take a leak and turn it into a good thing. As circumstance would have it, I had the chance to put my money where my mouth is when one of the groups I manage, Man Overboard, had their record leak 28 days before the intended release date (which happened to be yesterday). After the jump we will discuss how we made this become another thing that won us both new fans and the loyalty of the ones we already had. 
Veoba.pngThis weekend Todd and I attended the Murder City Devils show on the Williamsburg Waterfront and aside from all the leg tattoos something caught our eye. There were ads for new music service Veoba everywhere we looked. Upon doing some investigation we found this service offers the following:

  • CD & Vinyl Manufacturing (CD's & Vinyl, Short Runs, Bulk)

  • Custom Merchandise (T-Shirts, Hats, and Hoodies)

  • Digital Distribution (One time set-up free, 100+ online retailers)

  • Download Cards (Plastic, Recycled, and Seeded Paper)

  • Guerrilla Marketing (Hand-to-Hand, Outdoor, Retail)

  • Online Advertising (1 week to 2 month campaigns)

  • Venue/Booking Info Database

Check out this cool new service and be sure to report back to us!


By now we have all seen groups trade Tweets and Facebook likes and shares for tracks. One of the cool things I have not seen before is trading a share to unlock an extra track after you already liked the group on Facebook. Musformation favorite Metric is doing just that though, check out their Facebook page and get your head around what this strategy can do for you.
Ditto Music have launched a new service for iTunes where they will aggregate within 24 hours. As well they claim to be the only aggregator who reports these sales to SoundScan so if you are trying to look all bad ass and make it on the Billboard charts they can help you out.
dave_kusek_b.jpgDave Kusek of Berklee has written a fantastic article on his Future Of Music blog on the concept of that what you know is what matters in the new music business, not who you know. A great read and philosophy we stand by.

Who Are The Millenials

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MOG Launches Mobile App

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yes_men.jpgIf you stick around the music business for more than a minute it is easy to see a group with a lot of potential get ruined by bad leadership from their management. One of the ways a group can get ruined is by having a "Yes Man" as a manager. Part of being a manager is to provide leadership and guidance and give the group a perspective when the band isn't making a wise move and making selfish or lazy decisions. Recently, there has been quite the controversy as prolific producer Diplo has taken to trashing MIA and now in Black Book he has said much of the problems with her poorly received new record stems from her management. Here is what he has to say:

"Me and Switch tried our best to be quality control of the record and she didn't want that. She kind of went on her own way. I was like, Look, nobody in your crew--we were the only people she could trust, and our asses were on the line too. We got here because of working with people like her. We care about the way things sound, and when the people that she works with don't, then it's fucked up. She's got a talent in every aspect. She's got ideas bigger than any artist I've ever met and she's someone to fuckin' make that happen. All she has is a bunch of yes men around her and they kinda suck."

Having a sounding board and an objective perspective that doesn't always agree with you helps you make good decisions for your music career. Make sure you are not going into business with someone who can't pull their weight.
guguchu widget.jpg
GuGuChu is a music sharing platform and has now launched their first round of widgets. Their press release says it better than we can so cue the copy and paste:

"Guguchu offers a band page creator that is particularly relevant for young start-out bands looking for an effective and inexpensive way to create a Web presence, we believe that any aspiring artist should ultimately aim to have a dedicated band website.  Widgets are a powerful way to easily incorporate vital marketing and sales functionality, drive traffic to the band website, reach larger crowds, make more fans, and sell more music.  Over the coming weeks we will incorporate additional functionality with the aim to offer the best widgets available to bands and their managers", says Guguchu's co-founder and CEO Bernd Strenitz.

Highlights of Guguchu's first generation widgets
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Secure and high quality music streaming
  • One-click sharing on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google Buzz, StumbleUpon and Tumblr
  • Fully customizable interface allows seamless integration with any page style
  • Track against email or simple fan email collector both available
  • Allows fans to grab their band's widget and place it elsewhere on the Web thereby increasing the band's reach even further
  • Tracks how the widgets spread virally across the Web
  • Shows where the fan base is located for more targeted marketing and promotion
Pricing, availability and future plans

Guguchu's integrated platform for bands, band managers and indie labels is currently available free of charge with the aim to implement a flat rate, commission based structure later this year/"

1st place.jpgWhile I will always argue that if you are an unknown band you better make the best song on your record one that blows everyone away, there are flaws to this theory. I have witnessed countless bands over the years decide that the way they should sequence their record is from the best song to their least favorite. While this may coincidentally work it is going to fail more than it works. The fact is what most people are looking for in a record is an emotion and when you scatter the emotional movements of a record in a random way it can often be very disruptive to the flow of the album. Having two ballads on the record and having them be Track 2 and 9 can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. While every record requires a new approach to it's emotional sequencing one things is for sure, be sure that you don't have a partying song segue right into the ballad just cause they go in sequence of your favorite to least favorite. Think about the emotional experience a listener will have and you will have a record listeners will enjoy much more.

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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.