I can’t help it. I love bashing the traditional record industry. When will they get that digital killed the album star?
In The Marquee Blog, CNN.com’s Matt West recently reviewed Sony BMG’s Platinum MusicPass, credit card-like digital albums that allow music buyers to purchase music in non-disc form, log on to a Web site and download MP3 files to their digital players. Long story short, he writes an awesome rant, which thrills me to no end:
“Apparently the company now wants to me to go to a retail store to pick up something that I could just as easily do without ever leaving my home.
This bothers me on so many levels. First, I should mention that I live in Los Angeles, where driving is considered a blood sport. Now, thanks to MusicPass, I can not only take my life in my own hands in order to get music on my computer — I’m also contributing unnecessary carbon emissions and smog to the atmosphere.”
You can read the rest of his review here, but I’ll include his scathing send-off:
“Thanks for trying, Sony. I’ll just stack the rest of these cards over here next to this pile of MiniDiscs and Betamax tapes.”
And the underdogs dance with glee!!!
I think I’m about caught up now with my post-Podcamp schmoozing. Last weekend (April 25-26), podcasters and new media enthusiasts descended upon Brooklyn Polytechnic University for the Podcamp NYC 2.0 “un-conference”. I performed an acoustic set at the iProng stage and gave away copies of my live Dirty5 EP. Special thanks to Ariel Hyatt and the gang at Ariel Publicity for hooking me up with the gig.
My set was recorded on a friend’s video recorder, and I’m awaiting the results. If I look cute, I’ll upload the show. If not, you’re out of luck! 😉 But the YouTube videos are coming to Rock Star Life Lessons very soon! In the meantime, I do have photos to share:
Natalie Gelman and me
The beautiful and talented Natalie Gelman (on the left) organized the performers for the iProng stage. Natalie is a singer/songwriter who also writes for iProng Magazine.
Craig Wilson, Josephine Ancelle, and me
When I first arrived, the iProng stage was graced by the sweet and lovely Josephine Ancelle who performed her original tunes. Backing up Josephine on vocals and 2nd guitar was Craig Wilson, a NYC musician and producer.
Ariel Hyatt and me
After my set was underway, I was visited by none other than the fabulous Ariel Hyatt, my wonderful publicist. She even tweeted about me to her friends on Twitter while I performed. The previous day, Ariel rocked the house as well during the workshop she gave for Podcamp. If you’re a musician looking for more exposure, contact Ariel at Ariel Publicity immediately!! Tell her Carla sent you!
me and Bill Palmer
I had a great time performing on the iProng stage, and I have to give a big shout out to iProng publisher Bill Palmer, who was just a great guy. iProng is a magazine for iPod and iPhone users. The iProng booth also gave out free earbud holders – nothing like cool swag that you’ll actually use! These gadgets are called smartwraps, which looked like this.
I also have to rave about the sponsorship workshop I attended, led by Brian Jude at Digital Cafe Tour. By the way, Digital Cafe Tour is a company which records high-quality live concert videos and documentaries for bands and musicians. They are currently accepting submissions for bands to feature on their “Live 2.0 Independents’ Day”, which is virtual music festival. How cool is that? For more info, visit Digital Cafe Tour for more details.
Last but not least, I also have to thank Tara at Queens Artists, a podcast hailing from Fresh Meadows, Queens. Tara saw me walking around with my guitar, and asked if I was a musician who’d be interested in being featured on her podcast (Is the Pope Catholic?). I gave her a Dirty5 CD, and she promptly added the live version of “Supernova” to the podcast she created the very next day!
I had a blast at Podcamp NYC 2.0. I played, schmoozed, and learned. Now that’s my kind of “un-conference”. Hope to return next year for 3.0!
I’m still new to WordPress, and as user-friendly as this blog application is supposed to be, there’s still much I don’t know how to do yet (hence, my copy of WordPress for Dummies). Over the weekend though, I heard through the grapevine that a recent acquaintance was disappointed that I had no music videos of my own in the video tab. Instead of telling me directly, he told my friend who, of course, told me.
First I got mad, but then I realized that this was needed feedback, and there’s no point in getting pissed at information that can actually help in the long run. And honestly, who knows how many other people I don’t know visited this blog and thought the same thing? In the end, I took the feedback as a compliment that the person liked my blog enough to be disappointed that there wasn’t more video content as promised. So I got the lesson, and I’m grateful. So thank you, Disappointed Visitor. You gave me the nudge I needed to get off my ass and figure this stuff out!
And as you noticed from my Jennifer Lopez embedded video, I finally figured out how to upload videos. And now that I know, I can finally upload my own music videos!!
But before I do that, I have to share one more video that MySpace’s Tom featured on his profile. It features a young aspiring musician performing his version of “Hey Jude” by The Beatles.
You know you love it!!!
Seriously, I was not planning to blog about Jennifer Lopez today.
But while surfing the blogosphere for inspiration this morning, I found a site called JLo Stalker, which featured one of my favorite Jennifer Lopez videos, “Get Right”. As it happens, I watched JLo’s movie Monster-in-Law last night on TBS. JLo plays a temp engaged to marry a brain surgeon (Michael Vartan), whose disapproving mother is Jane Fonda. This funny movie also features comedienne Wanda Sykes who steals all the scenes. Nothing like a sassy black woman to tell it like it is!
Anyway, I like this video because JLo plays a bunch of different characters. And I learned from JLoStalker that the little girl playing Jennifer’s cute little sister is Marc Anthony’s daughter (pre Dayonara Torres) – who’s now her stepdaughter.
So while I’m in a Jennifer Lopez state of mind, here’s “Get Right” courtesy of YouTube. Enjoy!
I’m getting ready for my performance this morning (Saturday, April 26th) at Podcamp NYC 2.0, and I’m excited! Soon I’ll be packing my gear to Brooklyn Polytechnic, and the learning and schmoozing will begin! I’ll be giving away advance copies of my Dirty5 EP, so look for me at 11:45am at the iProng stage!
Says the website: “Podcamp NYC is an “unconference” focused on educating participants on how to use, implement and share any/all new media tools including, podcasts, videocasts, blogs, Second Life, Facebook, and YouTube. The conference is FREE to attend and you’re a “participant” versus an “attendee” at our event.”
If you’re visiting my blog today after meeting me at Podcamp, I do have podsafe music available that I’d love to share with you. Just send an email to me at moxiemusic [AT] hotmail.com, and I’ll hook you up with dozens of podsafe songs for you and your audience’s listening pleasure!
Hell, for that matter, even if you’re not a podcaster, I’ll still send you free MP3s of songs. I’ll eventually add them to this blog, but for now, just hit me up at the above email address.
Thanks for visiting my new blog, RockStarLifeLessons!
Carla Lynne Hall
Today I toured the music blog Indie Muse and stumbled upon a cool singer/songwriter named Etienne de Rocher. Okay, his photo did grab my attention first, but after checking out his tunes, I’m digging his music too. I’m not always good at coming up with soundalikes for you lazy folks out there, but he reminds me a little of a funky Jeff Buckley. But with these things, it’s always better for you to check it out and decide for yourself.
I also went to Etienne’s MySpace page, and listened to “The Lizard Song” a couple of times:
“I went backstage one day, to meet Beck
I gave him my record, he did not care a speck
Kept on talkin to some dude about touring in Germany
I was unhappy, so I went home
I took it so hard…”
Catchy and clever (and cute) – sign me up!!!
Learn more about Etienne de Rocher’s self-titled indie CD at his site.
So what do you call a record that incorporates hip-hop beats and country?
Gangstagrass, of course! Today I found myself touring the music blogosphere, and at 3Hive, I learned about a producer named Rench:
“Rench is a Brooklyn-based producer who mixes old bluegrass and country samples with a standup band that includes slide guitar and fiddle, and he pulls it all together with hip hop beats and splits vocals between country guys and gals and underground emcees from around the way. If your head’s about to explode, join the club. The mere thought of it in abstract made me think of those fun but mostly throwaway “crossovers” like Hayseed Dixie and The Gourds’ “Gin & Juice.” But hey, if Snoop Dogg’s gonna show up at the CMT Awards and Clinton and Obama are gonna keep fighting over who really has his or her finger on the pulse of America, we may as well get down to mashups of extreme urban and rural. And you will get down.”
For song clips, as well as the rest of this review, hit up 3Hive:
See? I’m not the only one mixing country with other genres. Long live the mashup!
Have I mentioned yet that I’ve hired the fabulous PR team at Ariel Publicity? I’m in the middle of my first three month campaign, and in addition to getting songs from my Supernova CD added to internet radio and podcasts, I’ve also been getting CD reviews. The reviews are now coming in, and this one from Feminist Review is pretty awesome:
“First, they should try to get the Top 40-friendly “Supernova” (or its “Reprise”) onto as many radio playlists as possible, and maybe even pony up the money for a well-edited music video to promote the single. The twang and vocal stylization of “Long Distance Love” could work on radio stations with a more traditional county and western format. The soul-stirring “My First Child,” the uber-passionate “My Body’s Keeper,” or the sweepingly romantic “Fallin’” would all boost record sales as follow-up singles. (Incidentally, the seamless arrangement of the horns, organ, and Hall’s voice on “Fallin’” had me hitting the “repeat” button several times.) And “Lucy and Ethel”, a bittersweet ode to female friendship, can be included on the soundtrack of a tear-jerking chick flick.”
What great adjectives this writer uses: “Soul-stirring”, “Uber-passionate”, “Sweepingly romantic”! WOW!!!!!!
And this is only a small part of this great review, although I’ve included my favorite parts here. To read the rest of this insightful review, check out Feminist Review here.
I am surprised at how much the country twang elements were highlighted in this review, to the point where the funkier/pop songs seemed, in the reviewers opinion, out of place in comparison. While Supernova definitely has a bit of country to it (for example the pedal steel featured on “Long Distance Love”), I’m not sure if this CD really defines me as a country artist, as the reviewer believes. Still, I love hearing how my work is received, and I’m grateful for the time taken to listen to Supernova and write an opinion.
Love and thanks to Ariel, Christina, and Stefan at Ariel Publicity for all their attention and hard work. Keep the reviews comin’!!!
One of the best things about not having to get up early in the morning is staying out late to see live music. Last night I went to NYC’s legendary Bitter End to check out the long-running New York Songwriters Circle, run by songwriter Tina Shafer. Held the first and third Monday of every month, this songwriter’s circle has celebrated its 18th anniversary as a series Billboard magazine has hailed as “One of the best showcases for original music in New York City.”
Says their brochure, “The concept is simple: songwriters in the spotlight, sharing their songs in an intimate, unplugged format and, equally important, sharing the responsibility of filling the seats in the club.”
I love watching songwriters in the round for the intimacy and immediacy of the performance. Showcasing songwriters in various genres and status come together to present their songs. Last night’s songwriters were Valerie Miller, Colin McGrath, Matt Munball, Jason Reischel, and Mike Logen. I enjoyed everyone, and I think I signed up for everyone’s mailing list.
Checking out other singer/songwriters is a great way to get inspired and motivated. Participating in these events is also pretty cool too! For more info on future songwriter showcases, check out The New York Songwriters Circle.
Okay, so I had high hopes for the new Rock the Cradle reality show on MTV. Aside from the fact that I saw all the posters in the NYC subway, but couldn’t find any real info before the show started.
So I watch some of the show and learn that the show is another performance-based music reality TV show. The twist is that the contestants are children of famous recording artists. This also means that you get to see the kids, as well as the famous parents each week:
A’Keiba Burrell, daughter of rapper MC Hammer
Landon Brown, son of R&B singer and renowned bad boy Bobby Brown
Lara Johnston, daughter of Doobie Brothers’ singer Tom Johnston
Chloe Lattanzi, daughter of singer Olivia Newton-John
Crosby Loggins, son of singer Kenny Loggins
Jesse Money, daughter of rocker Eddie Money
Jesse Blaze Snider, son of Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider
Lil B. Sure!, son of R&B singer Al B. Sure!
Lucy Walsh, daughter of Joe Walsh, guitarist for the Eagles
In theory, this should be a cool show, but I already have a problem with the concept. For one thing, the talent pool is very small. The main requirement to be on this show is that you have a successful and famous musician parent. While having musical bloodlines is helpful, it says nothing for actual talent in action. It reminds me a bit of children who are born into wealthy families. They didn’t themselves earn the money that brought the family into wealth, so without actual parental intervention, the children may not totally understand the value of money, much less how to build wealth from scratch. With a rock star parent traveling hither and thither while you’re growing up, how does Junior really get to build the serious credentials?
For example, if these particular contestants were auditioning against the contestants of any of the Rock Star reality TV shows (Rock Star: INXS or Rock Star: Supernova) on talent alone, I have to wonder whether they would have made the final cut. The singers in the Rock Star reality show franchise had to hone their talents with years of paying dues on the stage, and in the clubs. Without mommy or daddy to give them a hand, their raw talent has to rise to the top. That means that their confidence was hard-earned. And when you consider the HUNDREDS of singers who auditioned for a Rock Star slot, you understand just how good that you’d have to be. Sorry, but it’s hard for me to be as impressed.
BUT, having said all of that, I may still tune in. MTV is the pioneer of reality shows, which means that the producers will provide lots of other reasons for you to watch, such as emotional storylines and rivalry drama. I just can’t promise to tune in regularly like I did with Rock Star: Supernova (the TV show, not my CD 😉
I did notice one very cool thing in Rock the Cradle. If you were a fan of the Rock Star reality shows, you’ll notice that the house band backing the contestants is made of most of the house band used in both Rock Star reality shows. I was very happy to see Paul and the gang working again, although they’re still in Cinderella mode. The second Rock Star show was originally going to be about finding a lead singer for them. Instead, the show became a search for the lead singer of an all-star rock band featuring drummer Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe), bassist Jason Newsted (Metallica) and guitarist Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses). Once the big names were involved, the house band remained the house band. But that’s the business, right?
From what I’ve seen so far, though, my money is on Jesse Blaze Snider. He’s got the look, the cocky rock and roll swagger that’s needed, and he’s already been performing with his own band Baptized by Fire (aka BFX). This is not the first time he’s been on a stage, and whatever he doesn’t have, he’s willing to fake. He’s talented and hungry – I like that.
However, I’ll stay open to the possibilities. Let the games begin!