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Monday
Aug312009

Keeping with a plan and when it is the right time to change plans

It takes a lot of patience, professionalism and effort to put together a good plan of action, whether it’s a business plan or an attack plan when it comes to your career. It takes tens times as much when it comes to following through with that plan. All too often artists, and even business people, will set up a great plan, but then slack on it, cut corners, change it without a solid reason or just go in an entirely different direction. Much of the time, this results in failure because a hodge podge of unorganized and erratic work leads to problems.

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Sunday
Aug302009

The World's Biggest Cover Band

I’m a Coldplay fan.

So before Vida La Vida/Death and all His Friends was released, I wanted to hear some tracks. I saw the apple commercial for Vida la Vida and thought there may be a live version of the whole song somewhere on YouTube.  I didn’t find an official live version, but I did stumble on a cover by this band called Boyce Avenue.

I was impressed that they had learned the song before it was officially released because they knew Coldplay fans would be searching for it. I took a look at more of their videos and realized they were covering nearly every top 40 song there was.  These covers were all generating over a million views

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Sunday
Aug302009

ReverbNation Survey: Artists and Health Care

Its a hot topic for those of us who are citizens of the United States.  Congress, the President, talk show hosts, movie stars, and even my very own barber have strong opinions about health care reform.  So we at ReverbNation thought it the appropriate time to ask some of our Artists about their helth care situations and opinions.  The following represents some of the data collected from a survey taken by a small, random sample of Artists who are US citizens (n=259).

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Sunday
Aug302009

Sprezzatura

Watch this video of Elizabeth Gilbert’s amazing 18-minute talk on creativity. Her speech was the hit of the TED Conference.

Absolutely amazing speech. Emotional, universal, insightful, educational, and funny.

She comes across so nonchalant, light, and conversational. Effortless.

When the conference was over, she asked me to walk with her back to her hotel, so we had a good 15 minutes to chat.

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Saturday
Aug292009

Idea: Musician's own website as definitive source of all info.

Musicians spend too much time entering their data on multiple websites. Filling out forms. Uploading MP3s. Uploading photos. Entering dates and venues into concert calendars. Pasting lyrics and bio. All those stupid profiles scattered around the web, which of course will soon be outdated unless they’re constantly updated.

Some outside sites say, “We’ll manage all your data!” - but I don’t want to go to yet-another-website to enter all of my data, and trust them not to go out of business. In fact, I don’t want to enter my info anywhere but my own website!

So, I think the musician’s own “.com” homepage website should be the one-and-only place the musician ever has to enter their info. It should be the sole definitive source for their music, photos, bio, lyrics, calendar, blog, and especially their fan/friend/email list.

Then it’s the web hosting company’s job to spread that info other sites.

How it works for the musician:

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Thursday
Aug272009

How I use Twitter

Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and mailing lists are all a P.A. system. (Remember P.A. stands for “Public Address”.)

Speaking through them is like stepping up to a microphone, on a stage, in front of 10,000 people. What can I say that’s worth saying to 10,000 people? It has to be something that most of those 10,000 unique individuals will find interesting.

I try not to let that paralyze me into thinking that everything I say has to be super-important. Occasionally I light-heartedly post something cute or funny. Nobody wants to be around someone who’s too heavy and profound all the time.

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Wednesday
Aug262009

Are You Still Blasting Out Press Releases & Stuffing Envelopes and Wondering Why You are Not Getting Reviewed?

Are You Still Blasting Out Press Releases & Stuffing Envelopes and Wondering Why You are Not Getting Reviewed?

An Interview With Deirdre Breakenridge, author of “PR 2.0” & “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations”

Public Relations Has Changed Forever- Part 1

If you haven’t already heard, Public Relations has changed forever. If you are still trying to get the word out about your music by writing press releases and blasting them out, or by stuffing hundreds of envelopes and mailing them to names on a “media list” I urge you to take a few minutes to read this interview.


It is both an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to interview the unstoppable Deirdre Breakenridge who’s books PR 2.0 & “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations,” (co-authored by Brian Solis) have given me chills on many pages. I asked Dierdre to talk to me from the perspective of the music business and she delivered the goods….

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Wednesday
Aug262009

Just say NO to putting an end to illegal music sharing.

There are plenty of artists that would like to rollback the clock to the days prior to illegal music sharing. I have come to believe that this would be a colossal mistake. I don’t say this because I believe that illegal sharing is justified; in fact I am against the ‘attitude’ entirely. Confused yet? This post is going to bring up a pile of unanswered questions like how would one solve the conundrum of enabling yet disabling? So please just consider the philosophical argument.

To eliminate or to throttle file sharing is an assault on your rights as an artists. Moreover, to eliminate or to throttle file sharing (in my mind) is an act that would reduce competition in the marketplace.

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Tuesday
Aug252009

Investing in the music industry...

If you are interested in reading my thoughts about the pitfalls and opportunities pertaining to investing (time or money) into anything connected to the music industry, Hypebot has an exclusive three-page PDF that I wrote over the weekend. Click here to find the post on Hypebot.

Here’s the summary take-away thought: Even today, just about every investment (from small to large) connected to the music industry runs into the major label wall. There is barely a single company that has built a substantial ($20M+ annual) and sustainable business that exists completely outside of the influence of the major label ecosystem.

I believe it’s possible (read the paper). However as of this minute, I don’t see any company that is seriously challenging the establishment. What are your thoughts? (Krzysztof - I already know yours…) Note - the paper is not a book or an instruction manual; it’s simply fodder for debate.

Monday
Aug242009

Songwriting Tips: Create Psychological Distance

When approaching a song, sometimes it can be difficult to confront some of the emotional issue you are trying to write about. A new study posted in Scientific American found that creativity is boosted in situations where there is “psychological distance”. What does this mean for your songwriting? Try and write a song from someone else’s perspective so you can really dig in to the character without focusing on yourself and how people will perceive you. You’re likely to find that when telling someone else’s story, you’re really telling a more intimate story about yourself.

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Tuesday
Aug182009

Play with your instruments and toys, learn them inside and out

Many artists strive to get the best gear, the top equipment and the most stuff that they can possibly cram onto stage or into the studio. Whether it’s that drum or this toy or that additional instrument, many musicians today have too much stuff, and most of them don’t even know how to use half of what they have. So play with your toys. Mess around with buttons, sounds, tunings, setups, etc. You may know the basic sounds, but what else can you do to find out even more about your gear?

In some ways, when you purchase a certain effect or instrument, it’s like you have purchased a kitchen’s worth of supplies and food. When you only use a certain configuration or a certain set up, it’s the same as only using one kind of food from that kitchen. I have a favorite food, but I also like variety and I like to know what all my options are before I prepare or order what I want to eat. Why not apply the same ideas to your gear?

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Monday
Aug172009

3 Ways To Make Money Now - Playing Covers, Playing Sessions & Playing Live

Rick Goetz, is a kindred spirit who has just launched a brand new consulting firm for artists called http://musiciancoaching.com Rick, like me, has spent his entire adult life in the music business and he is DEAD ON when he says: It is essential that you spend your time building your own business rather than asking for help from corporations based on your talent alone.

But how do you build your own business and what specifically works? I got Rick to share a few of his best peals of wisdom I asked him to tell me three things that actually can help an artist begin to build revenue: Playing covers, being a hired gun and working harder on your live show and live show promotion.

Selling $.99 singles isn’t the answer.

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Saturday
Aug152009

Picking a studio, engineer or producer - discount the silly list of names.

How many of you have read a resume or bio from someone in the music industry such as a studio, an engineer or a producer and run into a strange list of names. You know, “I work with This Person who worked with That Person.” While this impresses a few fans and friends, it actually makes you look worse to the industry. The name dropping doesn’t fool anyone….anyone = the people who matter. Yeah, I’m talking to you, studios and producers. Instead of just appearing strong, why not funnel that energy into actually being strong?

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