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New Moon in Capricorn, or Inspiration is Everywhere

Posted in A Day in the Life | 5 Comments »

Walk the Line DVD Cover 350

Tonight I watched Walk the Line…again. I own the DVD, and I love watching it. The more times I see it, the more details I catch. In this biopic about Johnny Cash, there are so many sounds and experiences that inspired his sound. From the rhythm of the shoeshine boy, to the Heavenly Highway Hymns that he grew up singing with his mother in the cotton fields, Johnny Cash was a musical sponge.

It’s funny in a way that I even watched this movie tonight, as I should have been sleeping anyway. Earlier this evening I attended a woman’s circle to celebrate the upcoming New Year, and felt grounded after setting my intentions in a public, yet sacred setting. As a Capricorn myself, I’m also looking forward to my birthday on January 10th, and I wanted to mark this particular New Moon as the occasion I’ve chosen to shift my life into the direction that I want it to go. Not the direction that others may have wished for me, but that is okay.

This has been a wonderful and powerful year, in which my greatest accomplishments took place on the Inside: I am conscious of my connection with The Creator, and I’ve watched this blog grow, and take on a life of its own. I’ve learned about internet marketing, social media networking, and search engine optimization. I’ve coached other musicians to help them find their direction, in turn, finding my own. For most of the year, I’ve been in hermit mode, totally focused on the inner world, and even missing days here and there (this has been a particular blessing!).

I’ve purposefully fallen off of people’s radars, and I’ve made peace with that. I’ve released major relationships this year, and become selfish for a change. It’s funny how the decision to be true to yourself can feel threatening to others. But this year has been incredibly amazing in its lessons, and I have a feeling that I won’t understand the consequences right away. I’ve planted many seeds, and taken the time to nurture myself. This was not easy, but needed. In the end, nurturing myself and my spirit has been highly satisfying.

This holiday season has been, at times, particularly snarky, uncomfortable, and confronting. Other times, it has been joyful, heartwarming, and uplifting. Even though I’m still “going through it”, I am going through it, and I can finally see the light in the distant future. That feels good. As my choir director likes to say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will NOT build a condo there!” Similar to the recent Winter Solstice, I feel that my longest nights are getting shorter, and I understand that my Spring will eventually arrive. Not necessarily when the calendar says it’s Spring, but when my soul says that it’s Spring. And because I am an optimist through and through, I also acknowledge that that could happen as early as next month 😉

So now that I am in this current spiritual/emotional/mental state, I am ready to create again. I am ready to start over, even from scratch. I am ready to make music. While watching Johnny Cash tonight, I couldn’t help but think of something Artist’s House’s Andrew Goodrich wrote to me. When I was feeling ornery earlier this week, he sent me a Twitter message, something to the effect of: “Just remember that inspiration is everywhere. Inspiration is anywhere.” Wow. Who says that Twitter isn’t profound?

Even though I wasn’t ready for Andrew’s message at the time, I did spend the last few days reviewing Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and taking myself on Artist’s Dates. Artist’s Dates are blocks of time in which you refill your creative well by going to movies, museums, etc alone, to prime the pump, so to speak. I reread my copies of The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp, and Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo. I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Museum, and checked out their Gothic and Seduction exhibits, which wasn’t even my thing, but in retrospect I’m glad I went. I put on my coat, and got out of the house for a change. Left my home, and experienced something different – someone else’s creative ideas. Even if the exhibit’s creepy vampire style didn’t inspire a new song, the next morning, I woke at 6am and completed the writing for my new newsletter. What an awesome feeling that is! I was on a natural high for the rest of the day.

I haven’t had a decent wireless internet connection in the past few days, which also led to my unplugging for a few days – always a good thing. Robert Scoble just received a FriendFeed Intervention from TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington, and I’m conscious enough to see the parallels to my own life. Time to get back to the work. Now that I’ve had my own time away from the internet, I’m excited about refocusing on music. A single woman with a guitar and lots of time on her hands can do a lot of damage.

For me, to go back to my guitar, with total Beginner’s Mind, and just make music, is what 2009 is all about.

Artists House Indie Music Christmas Compilation is Here!

Posted in The Great Give Back 2008 | 2 Comments »

Artists House website just released it’s Christmas Community Compilation! In the spirit of the season (and full disclosure) – yes, I am on it, but so are a lot of other cool indie bands, and I’m so excited to be a part of this holiday compilation.

Special, special thanks and praise for Andrew Goodrich of Artist’s House for putting this compilation together, and helping to build the indie music community.

Interview with Heather McDonald, About.com Music Careers

Posted in A Day in the Life, Future Legends, Interviews | No Comments »

If you enjoy the music biz blog posts on my site, then you’ll love Heather McDonald’s About.com Music Careers page. Since meeting Heather this year via Twitter, I have had the pleasure of getting to know another passionate indie music fan, who shares a wealth of knowledge, and I’m excited to share her with you.

Heather McDonald, About.com

The Rock Star Life Lessons Interview with Heather McDonald, About.com Music Careers
by Carla Lynne Hall

Rock Star Life Lessons: What are your favorite parts of music promotion?
Heather McDonald: Talking about music! I love music, and when I’m working on something I really believe in, it’s a great feeling to turn other people on to it. Sometimes, music promotion can be quite formulaic and frustrating, but it all becomes worthwhile when someone else gets excited about some music that you’ve introduced to them. I also love talking to other people who love music, so when you call someone to talk about a new release and you end up just shooting the musical breeze with them – that hardly feels like work.

Also, hearing a song you’ve worked on getting some radio play or seeing a review or interview that you helped arrange is a good feeling.

RSLL: I learned recently that you spent 7 years in Scotland working for Shoeshine Records, an indie label. How does music promotion differ from Europe to the US? Or does it?
HMc: You know, it is different. Speaking about the UK specifically, one of the biggest differences is simple size. The UK is a lot smaller than the US, and that matters. There’s so much less ground to cover, and it’s a lot easier to get national exposure. Doing a “national” tour in the UK can mean hitting five or six cities – if you get regional press coverage at each stop, you’re well on your way to having a decent buzz going about your music. Do that a few times, and chances are that a lot of music fans will know your name.

Another huge difference to me is radio. I’m not saying it’s a walk in the park to get your music played on the radio in the UK, but it is significantly more accessible than it is in the US. I think perhaps the death of the great John Peel has changed things a little bit, but there is a lot more support for independent music on UK radio than there is in the US. My music friends in the UK bemoan the plight of the indies on radio, and I’m not saying it couldn’t be better. But compared to American radio? Big difference.

Of course, you also have to consider the fact that a play on say, Radio 2, reaches a national audience, unlike regional US radio.

I actually find the music industry in UK to be quite different overall to the music industry in the US and could probably go on for days about it!

RSLL: What is one action a musician can take to build their music business?
HMc: I’m a little old school, but my answer has to be: book a show! Heck, book a tour! Get out there and play. I know that the overriding theme for musicians these days is that the answers to building their profile lie on the internet, and I’m not discounting the importance that all of the new opportunities that the internet has created for the music industry. However, I’m a big believer that building an ardent live following, even if it’s just in your town for now, is ultimately more cash in the bank for your music career than adding friends/followers/what have yous to your social networking profiles all day long. Those things are important and useful, but the translation of social networking friends to bums on seats at your shows isn’t a forgone conclusion. The trick is finding the balance.

When you play live, you build a following that is more invested in you than following you back or accepting your friend request, you perfect your craft, you make connections – these basics still matter. In other words, don’t sit around on the internet all day debating, say, whether or not the future of monetizing music is selling merch at shows. Get out, play a show, sell some merch and make up your mind that way! Learn by doing. It will be eminently more useful to your music career.

RSLL: If you were starting all over today as a musician, what would you focus on?
HMc: I think that these are both exciting times and exceedingly confusing times to be a musician. I’m lucky that my job lets me interact with a lot of musicians who are just getting their start in the industry now, and a lot of them email me because they feel like they’re just spinning their wheels. There are just so many paths to go down these days that it’s easy to go a little way down all of them, only to find out you’re not really ever reaching any of your big goals.

What I always tell them – and what I think all musicians should make a point of doing these days – is to just focus on the basics and go for it. You should make a point of educating yourself about how the industry works and pay attention to the internal industry debates and dialogues, of course, but I think it’s a tremendous mistake to think that recording a good song, promoting it and playing it live aren’t still the bottom line. And yes, really, focus on the music before you focus on anything else. If your music takes a backseat to developing this plan or that plan, you’re building a house of cards.

This point may sound kind of obvious, but I encounter a lot of musicians who are extremely concerned about whether this site or that site is better for promotion or if the CD is dead or vinyl has been resurrected or any number of industry issues, but who have never played a show or even written enough songs to fill up a demo. Again, I do believe that now more than ever it is important for musicians to understand the industry as a whole, but be careful to avoid the temptation to put the cart before the horse.

When you build a strong foundation, opportunities tend to guide your next steps, but once I had something to promote, I would cherry pick a few homes on the internet to network with my fans. I think it’s better to be a vocal member of a few communities than getting lost in the shuffle joining every single networking site out there. I would also get my own website. Social networking sites are not enough.

Last but not least, I’ve spent the past several weeks interviewing lots and lots of teenagers about their music habits, and while plenty of interesting things popped up, one thing every single one of them said was that YouTube is one of the first places they go when they want to search out new music. I’d make getting a presence there a priority.

###

Heather McDonald has worked in the music industry since her teen years. She started out sitting behind a record store counter, first as an employee and then as the manager of a small, independent record store. During her time at the record store, Heather worked closely with both major and indie labels on new release promotion and worked on in-store performances from artists across all genres.

Heather left the record store to move to Glasgow, Scotland, where she worked at indie label Shoeshine Records. There, Heather got to do a little of everything: dealing with manufacturing and distribution, securing international licensing agreements, artist management, tour booking, show promotion and album promotion.

Heather now works as a freelance writer, covering music for many print and web outlets. She also works in PR for various bands and record labels. She is currently involved in the set up of a label designed to give Caribbean based musicians opportunities in the US and Europe.

Heather’s About.com Music Career page

Heather’s About.com Blog

Follow Heather on Twitter

Create a Vision Board for Your Music Goals

Posted in Articles, DIY Diva, Indie Music, The Great Give Back 2008 | 8 Comments »

Vision board-prosperous

Create a Vision Board for Your Music Goals
by Carla Lynne Hall

Creating a Vision Board for your and/or your band’s musical goals is a powerful way to set your musical intentions for the next year. As today is the Winter Solstice (the longest night of the year), ancient civilizations believed that it is a powerful day for planting “spiritual seeds” as they waited for the Sun (and Spring) to return, but you can make a Vision Board any day of the year!

If you’ve read or seen The Secret, or you’re into the Law of Attraction, you’ve probably heard about Vision Boards by now. But if you haven’t, I’m happy to share my how-to’s!

What is a Vision Board?

Also known as a Treasure Map, it’s basically a collage of pictures and words that represent your goals. The purpose of a Vision Board is to inspire you, and keep you on track. If you have a band, this can be be a fun project to complete together.

Step One – Set Your Intentions

What do want to accomplish musically in the New Year? Here are some ideas to get you started:

* Get booked at the hottest venue in town
* Tour Europe
* Open for a major label artist
* Sell 500 (or more!) CDs
* Record or complete a CD
* Have 100 paying guests at a gig
* Play a solo gig
* Learn to play a new instrument
* Take vocal lessons
* Start or join a band

Step Two – Find and/or Create Pictures to Represent Your Goals

One way is to get a stack of old magazines, and cut out pictures and captions that represent your goal.

musicmags

Another way is to go to Google Images and flickr and search to your heart’s content. Print out pictures and sentences that are meaningful to you.

Be sure to include pictures of yourself and your band!

Step Three – Make Your Collage

With a glue stick (probably the cleanest method), or other adhesive, arrange your pictures and captions
on poster board, or a bulletin board. You can also use a sketchbook or scrapbook if you like.

Let your imagination be your guide!

Step Four – Keep Your Vision Board In View

The whole point of a Vision Board is to keep your eye on your vision. If you prefer to keep your Vision
Board in a scrapbook, be sure to review it often. If your band rehearses in someone’s garage, there’s no
better place for a band’s Vision Board to be. I once visited a singer who had her Vision Board framed and hung
on her living room wall, which I thought was a nice touch. The cliche is true: Out of sight, out of mind!

Another idea that I learned from musician Luna Jade is to create a Vision Board on your computer desktop. This is a great way to keep your vision within sight!

Here are some of the pics from my Vision Board. If you’re handy with Photoshop, you can also do cool things like put your band’s photo on the cover of Rolling Stone!

Vision board-Billboard
My CD Supernova #1 on Billboard

Vision board-healthy
Me with J.Lo’s body 😉

Thanks to the magic of flickr, I was also able to find pics of other Vision Board examples to give you more ideas:

Vision Board- sample1

vision board-sample2

Obviously, my focus here is music, but you can also create Vision Boards for your personal life, for other goals like taking a great vacation, and meeting your Soulmate. If you have kids (or not), this is also a fun project that you can do as a family.

Be as creative as you want, and have fun with your Vision Board!

What if The Pope Had A Social Network?

Posted in A Day in the Life | No Comments »

tas081219.gif

Faithbook, care of the Argyle Sweater comic by Scott Hilburn
Published December 19, 2008

The Winner of My First Blog Contest is…

Posted in A Day in the Life, The Great Give Back 2008 | No Comments »

Egyirba High!!!!!!

It is beyond cool that Egyirba won the $25 cash, as she entered the blog contest a number of times, which gave her the highest probability of winning 😉 Egyirba blogged about the contest, and signed up for my newsletter, The Soulflower. She even stumbled one of my articles, which may have been the first time, but hopefully not the last, that that has happened!

Egyirba is also a creative artiste, so she will also get a feature in Rock Star Life Lessons next month, so stay tuned!

I want to thank everyone who also entered the blog contest, as I was worried that no one would. I learned a lot from this experience, and I look forward to holding more blog contests in the future – with bigger and better prizes!

No One is Coming

Posted in A Day in the Life, Articles, DIY Diva, Indie Music | 2 Comments »

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I think it’s important for every person from every background (not only musicians) to consider this thought:

“No one is coming.”

As depressing as this sounds at the outset, I find it empowering because it is the truth. While it would be lovely to have someone come and shower us with money and opportunities, that’s not the way the world works.

If you really take that thought in, and digest it, your response will make the difference in your career.

When we’re NOT expecting someone to take over the reins, only then can we understand that we are the only ones who can make anything happen. It’s up to us to create the energy and the heat for our career, which in turn will create those opportunities that we seek.

Investors and agents are more interested in how you handle your BUSINESS, and they’re mostly interested in how they’re going to get a return on their investment. If you’re not already creating $500,000 worth of excitement for your music, why should they invest $500,000 in you?

It’s easy to assume that you’ll make the big moves AFTER you get the investors, but if you’re not already making $500,000 moves and decisions now (in time and effort), how can you expect to be taken seriously??

“No one is coming.”

So what are you gonna do about that?

###

This post originally appeared as a comment response to Derek Sivers’ blog post: Nobody’s going to help you. Does that encourage you or discourage you? Derek got me all fired up, and after rereading what I wrote, it looked like a good rant to me 😉

Image Credit: Colin Dussault’s Blues Project, “The Hardest Working Band in Northeast Ohio!”

How to Record an MP3 Holiday Song with a Laptop: Quick & Dirty Style!

Posted in A Day in the Life, Carla and Goliath, DIY Diva, The Great Give Back 2008 | 8 Comments »

When you want to record a “quick and dirty” holiday MP3 for your fans, the first thing you need to do is look at the means that are already and easily available to you. If you have the time, of course you can always write a song, and then upload it with whatever technology you have around you. If you have the creativity and the means to make a video like Space Zombie Christmas, knock yourself out! My HP laptop has a Sound Recorder option available in the Accessories section, so at the very least, I could record an a capella track if I wanted.

But I wanted to do something a little more than that, so I decided on getting a Karaoke track from iTunes for 99 cents. For weddings or other gigs where I had to use a background track, I used to go to Colony Records in NYC and buy an entire Karaoke CD for $30. Mind you, I would only need one instrumental track out of twenty,
which would be a bit of waste. Through a tip I learned from an opera singer, turns out that you can buy ONLY the track you want for $1.00 at iTunes. Very cool.

It’s also important for me to mention that these holiday tracks are for PROMO ONLY, and will not be for sale. That would be a violation of the copyright of the Karaoke Band’s recording, which is a BIG NO-NO! If I get any cease and desist letters, I’ll remove the songs with the quickness, so get your holiday MP3s now!

My first step was to choose the song. I started by entering “christmas karaoke” into the iTunes search.

iTunes search for Christmas karaoke

Then I tried searching for specific songs, such as entering “12 days of christmas karaoke”

iTunes12DaysKaraoke

By checking the “popularity” column, I can get an idea of which karaoke tracks are the less cheesy ones. I also click to hear samples myself, to make sure that the particular version is in the right tempo and key. For these kinds of recordings, there are no vocal overdubs, so choose a song that you know particularly well (or practice the mess out of it!)

So I purchased “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from iTunes. To record the song, I played the song, using iTunes.
Clooney Christmas Style Karaoke

By placing a headphone mic between my voice and my laptop speakers, I experimented with the distances in order to get a decent live “mix” recorded by my laptop’s Sound Recorder.

1st attempt at recording my own voice

Singing live into my headphone mic

After finally recording a take that I liked, I played it back in my iPod headphones. The track sounded okay, but it felt like something was missing, as if the song was stuck inside the track, and the holiday joy didn’t quite come across.

Then I remembered that I had purchased an iPod voice memo gadget ages ago, also known as the Belkin TuneTalk Stereo. I had yet to use it, but now seemed like a good opportunity to figure it out!
Belkin iTalk Voice Memo Gadget for iPod

By adding this gadget to my iPod, I’m now a bit more dangerous!
iPod, meet iTalk

Here’s my new and improved recording set-up
My direct to MP3 recording set up

It took a few tries to get the recording together from a technical standpoint. I had to trigger iTunes to play the track with my right hand, and record the vocals using my left hand on the iPod. And I had to remember to click all the gadgets in the correct order.
Record on one hand; Click one another

This time I liked the live sound of the recording a lot. I sang a few more versions until I was finally satisfied enough to relieve my neighbors of the misery caused by hearing the same Christmas song over and over at 2am in the morning. Then I burned the track to a CD.
.WAV File Burned to CD-ROM

Since the CD contains a .WAV file, I then had to rip it into MP3 form. Since I still don’t know how to do that using a computer, I used my secret weapon: my standalone KLH CDR-2000 MP3 Recorder.

I placed the CD-Rom with the .WAV file on the left side, and a blank CD-Rom on the right side.
The .WAV File on CD-ROM

Then I clicked the buttons that convert the .wav file to into MP3: Voila! The MP3 is ready!
Voila! The MP3 is Ready!

After the MP3 was burned to a CD-Rom, I then saved it to my hard drive, and uploaded it to my You Send It account so I could share it with you lovely people.

Enjoy my holiday MP3s below!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


Please Come Home For Christmas

###

Like any good Rock Star, I blame this on my publicist.

As you may have heard, Ariel Hyatt is holding her first Holiday Fundraiser. So like a good girl, I set up my blog to support my fave charity, Songs of Love. And I think I’m all set, right? That is, until I get the email from Ariel, saying something to the effect of,

“Send me a holiday song so I can promote you!”

“Just like that, record a holiday song? Ha!” I think to myself. But when your publicist assigns a task like that, I know damn well that she is offering an opportunity here. And I love opportunities. So I challenged myself with the question: With little resources, how can I record a holiday promo song???? And this blog post was the answer. For those of you on Twitter who requested the specific how-to’s that I used, I hope these tips help you too! In all honesty, I’m flattered that you even asked 😉

I hate when musicians apologize onstage before they even start playing, so I will not apologize for any recording imperfections, glaring or otherwise. Enjoy my tracks for the love offered.

Happy Holidays!

Best Indie Music Web Resources of 2008

Posted in A Day in the Life, DIY Diva, Future Legends, The Great Give Back 2008 | 7 Comments »

It has been a great year musically, but I’ve decided to skip a “Best of 2008 Music” list in favor of listing my personal list of “Best Indie Music Web Resources of 2008”. And as I’ve designated December 2008 for “The Great Give Back 2008”, I’m not limiting my list to a measly 10 either. All of the below sites have been a source of great information and/or inspiration for me this year, and I’m grateful to have found them online.

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Rock Star Life Lessons’ “Best Indie Music Web Resources of 2008”

by Carla Lynne Hall

About.com Music Careers
Heather McDonald’s About.com Music Careers site covers the music industry topics that musicians need, from being a musician, contracts and publishing, industry careers and more. Heather is a music industry veteran, having tons of experience in indie labels, marketing and publicity. I’ll be featuring an interview with her later this month, and you’ll see why top-rated About.com has her running the Music Careers site.

Ariel Publicity’s Cyber PR Service
Ariel Hyatt and her team gets reviews and placements for her clients (Yes, I’m one of them!) on podcasts and internet radio, and is an amazing resource. Whether your musical style is rock, pop, or urban, check out the link to watch a demo video for her Cyber PR Service. If you’re more of the DIY type, then get her eBook Music Success in 9 Weeks, in which she shares her tips and secrets for building a buzz for your band. With the purchase of her eBook, you also get to join her private Cyber PR Mastermind forum for free. Since I happen to also be the forum manager, you’ll have TWO coaches, plus a supportive community of musicians joining you on the road to success.

Artists House
Artists House has got to be my favorite industry music blog and Twitter partner this year. Every time I visit this site, I lose myself for hours in the sheer volume of great content. And if you’re following @artistshouse on Twitter, you are sure to learn about the latest trends that they find all over the internet. I’ve stopped trying to keep up with them. It’s best just to visit their site directly, and soak it all in. You won’t be sorry!

Band Letter
Bands need newsletters, right? Well Band Letter makes it easy for you by designing a customized html newsletter for you to send to your email list. In addition to enabling you to keep your fans up to date, you can also make your newsletter a mini-store for you and your band by including links to merchandise, and even your songs on iTunes. I had been trying to take my former snail mail newsletter online for a while this year, but I was constantly frustrated at my efforts at doing it myself. Finally, I signed up for this service, and designer Kevin Greenstein has made my life so much easier – and saved me from pulling out my hair. As much as we indie musicians love to do things ourselves, it’s also good to delegate. Thanks Band Letter!!!

Bob Baker’s The Buzz Factor Blog
Bob Baker has been THE VOICE of indie music promotion for as long as I can remember. Whether you read his Guerrilla Music Marketing or MySpace Music Marketing eBooks, or visit his blog, attend his events, or just listen to his advice, you will be blown away by the generosity of the information he shares.

Derek Sivers
Now that Derek Sivers has sold CD Baby to Disc Makers, he is still scratching his itch to help indie musicians. On his personal site, he shares his unique perspective of the indie music scene and indie musicians. His upcoming new project MuckWork, will “help you make a living with your music, by doing your uncreative dirty work for you, so you can focus on playing, writing, and improving.” Love that!

Hypebot
Hypebot is the first website that I found this year that used the term “Musician Middle Class” – what an empowering concept! This site features tons of articles and tips for the musicians who are serious about getting the job done.

Indie Band Survival Guide
Co-authors Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan are lead members of Beatnik Turtle, a rock band based out of Chicago. They play live, have produced eighteen albums, written music for television, films, and comedy shows at Second City, and licensed music to ABC Family, all without a label. They’ve also created a website with TONS of resources for you to use. Oh, and they also published a book of the same name on St. Martin’s Griffin Publishing. Wow!

Inner Rhythm
Kavit Haria is a tabla musician in London who also consults about the music business. He has a great mind for marketing and strategy, and I’ve enjoyed a number of his books, in addition to his blog this year. He is a huge proponent for musicians becoming music entrepreneurs – musopreneurs – and taking their power into their own hands. I’m also working with Kavit on an international musician project that you’ll be hearing about in 2009, and I can’t wait because it will be very tasty!

Know the Music Biz
I met David Rose this year through the Cyber PR Mastermind Group, and was amazed at the amount of information and articles on his site. You may have even read one of his articles here! To keep his blog fresh, he also includes many guest bloggers, and the marketing strategies he presents are effective and affordable.

Lefsetz Letter
Love him or hate him, Bob Lefsetz is always keeping it real during his rants on the music industry.

Madalyn Sklar’s Music Biz Blog
Also founder of GoGirls Music.com (Cuz Chicks Rock!), Madalyn offers her down to earth wisdom for indie musicians. If you ever meet her in person, she’s just like that for real. Love her!

Musician Wages
How can I not include this blog that’s dedicated to the working musician? Here you can find out what to take with you on that cruise ship gig you just booked, as well as how to haul your gear on mass transit. This is also where I found Cameron Mizell’s article on selling original music on iTunes, which by itself was awesome!

New Music Strategies
Andrew Dubber is a gentleman, scholar, and a DJ. Ian Wallman from Output production call’s New Music Strategies a “site that both informs and stimulates ‘fresh & forward thinking’ about an industry that’s in its greatest period of change since the introduction of the wax cylinder”. Need I say more?

Reverb Nation
I love Reverb Nation for the TOYS!!! This site has all the free coolest widgets, fan sign ups, and band newsletter templates to keep you busy for a long time. And did I mention that it’s FREE?

Sound Music, Sound Money
I really love where Doug Ross is coming from. As a full-time musician for 20 years (without getting famous or going broke!), he shares what he knows about personal finance, so we can learn how to keep – and grow – what we earn.

Thirty Day Challenge
In August of this year, I joined thousands of people worldwide to participate in the 4th Annual Thirty Day Challenge. Led by Ed Dale, the Australian guitarist turned internet marketer, we all learned the basics of niche marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). I practiced my new tricks on test blogs, and have been tweaking Rock Star Life Lessons ever since. This was also free, so there was no charge for the awesomeness!

Tone Box Digital
Can’t forget to mention Tone Box Digital, the online music label that’s going against the big dogs for WIRED.com’s Small Business Contest. Run by Jason Bradford, this digital label is founded on the idea that the artist always makes the most money. Tell me THAT’s not a new music business model!! Check out the contest, and Vote for Tone Box Digital while you’re at it! 😉

Twitter
Ah, what else can I say about Twitter? For one thing, if you’re reading this blog post, there’s a damn good chance that you heard about it via Twitter, so that’s a good reason for a plug right there. If you are a musician, and you’re not on Twitter, you’re missing out. Nuff said!

The Great Give Back 2008!!!

Posted in A Day in the Life, DIY Diva, The Great Give Back 2008 | No Comments »

December is The Great Give Back 2008 here at Rock Star Life Lessons, and I’m supporting a few fun initiatives:

Present for You!

My First Blog Contest
You still have until December 18th to enter to win $25 cool cash! It might not sound like a lot now, but it will surely come in handy for the person who gets it via PayPal on December 19th! It’s a token of my gratitude for all the readers who have supported my first year at this URL, also known as my new “home on the web”.

My Songs of Love Foundation Fundraiser

Ariel Hyatt Publicity is sponsoring it’s first holiday fundraiser, and I’m very excited to raise money for The Songs of Love Foundation, an organization that I’ve worked with for a few years. Songs of Love provides personalized songs for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, providing the medicine of music.

Tone Box Digital’s Bid to Win WIRED.com’s Small Business Contest
Jason Bradford who runs Tone Box Digital says that I’m the loudest person to make a push for his company to win this contest. It’s probably true, but I truly believe in what he’s doing for indie musicians. You have until December 31st, and it just takes a click!