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Ingredients for Musical Success: Live Appearances

Posted in Articles, DIY Diva, Great Blog Off 2008, Indie Music | No Comments »

For a performer, live appearances are your bread and butter. Live shows bring you closer to your fans, and they also help attract new ones. There’s nothing like seeing musicians playing their hearts out on stage, and giving a great show. When done right, these performances inspire the audience. There is a direct correlation of successful shows to CD sales.

Another part of live appearances is being in as many places as possible to promote your CD. This includes networking events. For instance, have you noticed how stars are everywhere when they release a new movie or record? They appear at stores to sign autographs and recently purchased items. Don’t stay home. Get out. See and be seen.

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

Ingredients for Musical Success: The Vocal Performance

Posted in Articles, DIY Diva, Great Blog Off 2008, Indie Music | No Comments »

In pop music, vocals are crucial. The voice is the main thing that listeners hear when they play music. A phenomenal guitarist is great, an amazing drummer is wonderful, but the success of a song literally hangs on the vocals.

It helps if the voice itself is distinctive, a la Macy Gray or Tom Waits, but it’s more important that the vocals be clear, in tune, and capable of conveying an emotion, whether it’s anger, joy, or love. The voice, along with the song, should inspire others to sing along and replay often.

When recording in the studio, be sure to allow plenty of time for vocals. Make sure that the singer is rested and ready, and has time for as many takes as you can afford. Record all takes, even practice ones, because you never know when you’ll capture magic on tape. Sometimes, a vocal take performed “on the fly” becomes the part of the song that touches everyone, so be prepared.

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

Ingredients for Musical Success: Originality

Posted in Articles, DIY Diva, Great Blog Off 2008, Indie Music | No Comments »

Over 30,000 CDs are released each year. In order to stand out from the rest of the releases, you need to be different. Do you write killer songs? Does your lead singer have unique vocals? Is your style or image different from what’s out there now? Take some time to think about your act and how it compares to others currently residing on iTunes and Billboard.

Sometimes it helps to write down a description of your act and its music. Ask a few friends and fans to do the same, even asking for comparisons to popular bands. Compare the notes, and see where you agree (or not). Pay close attention to the descriptions given by those who come to see you play. They may see things that you might never notice from the stage.

The results will be interesting.

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

Music Marketing Machine Course in NYC Starts July 16!

Posted in A Day in the Life, DIY Diva, Great Blog Off 2008, Indie Music | No Comments »

And speaking of networking, I am so excited about my own upcoming course, The Music Marketing Machine! In 4 weeks, you’ll learn how to create your own music marketing plan for only $125. No one cares about your musical career more than you do, and who better than you to take yourself to the next level?

The Music Marketing Machine course is designed to teach singers, musicians, rappers, producers and bands how to market themselves, build their fanbase, and sell their music – without a traditional record deal. The course is equal parts lecture, Master Mind group, networking meeting, and supportive community.

This course is limited to 30 up and coming, and established musicians who support each other’s goals for musical success while also reaching for their own. One night a week for four weeks, you will meet with your group, complete homework, and create your own customized marketing plan.

Most importantly, we’ll have fun along the way. In addition to practical weekly tasks, there will also be “Cinematherapy” homework: suggested movies and DVDs to illustrate each week’s topic!

There will also be an online component in the works so you’ll be able to connect and mastermind with other musicians. As more info becomes available for this new feature, I’ll let you know.

For more info, or to sign up, visit the Music Marketing Machine page

Can you tell I’m excited??

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

Who Do You Know?

Posted in A Day in the Life, Articles, DIY Diva, Future Legends, Great Blog Off 2008, Indie Music | No Comments »

As I create frequent blog posts today about my indie music friends, I realize that I’ve known many of them for more than 10 years. And at the time we first met, we weren’t where we are now.

For example, I met Derek Sivers of CD Baby fame in a 4 week songwriting workshop at the National Association of Popular Music. I met Bob Baker online when we were both writing articles online about indie music. I met Ariel Hyatt “on the scene” at various music conferences. As the years passed, we all continued to follow our particular path and stay in touch. And now we’ve all progressed to major milestones in our careers, and I’m quite proud of them.

Who knew that Derek would one day create this online CD store that would enable him to pay indie musicians millions of dollars? Who knew that Bob would one day create his own music conference? Who knew that Ariel would one day be THE go-to person for online music publicity? Who knew that I’d start a music biz column for Vibe magazine, write an eBook, start this blog, or produce four successful CDs?

The fact is, we didn’t know. And when I think of all the great things that they have accomplished, I am proud of my friends, and what they’ve been able to achieve.

Often we get caught up in trying to meet the industry bigwig. Nothing is wrong with wanting to meet or work with a bigwig, but they are often harder to reach.

Next time you attend a networking event, get to know the person sitting at your right and your left – not just the person who’s speaking on the panel. That person may one day co-write your first hit, hire you for a tour, or even sign you to a production deal. But you’ll never know until you make the connection.

Go ahead. Make that connection.

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

Bob Baker’s Indie Buzz Bootcamp, June 20-22, 2008

Posted in A Day in the Life, Future Legends, Great Blog Off 2008, Indie Music | No Comments »

Today, June 20th is also quite auspicious because it marks the date of Bob “Mr. Buzz Factor” Baker’s foray into creating a slam dunk indie music event. Bob Baker’s “Indie Buzz Bootcamp” will take place this weekend, June 20-22 in St. Louis, MO at the Sheraton Plaza Tower at Westport, near St. Louis International Airport.

Bob Baker
Bob Baker

I’ve known Bob Baker for a few years as a cyber colleague, as we read and write about music in some of the same online places, and I’ve always loved his writing and ideas. He coined the phrase “Guerrilla Music Marketing”, and has been such a great source of inspiration over the years.

Bob has attended tons of music conferences over the years, and he’s finally taken the plunge to create one of his own, which I am sure will live up to the promise of being “a life-changing, one-of-a-kind experience”. Bob has such great energy and spirit, that I know that his event will be unlike any other that you’ve attended.

Bob will also be joined by other indie music mavens Ariel Hyatt, Derek Sivers from CD Baby, live music producer Tom Jackson, indie success story John Taglieri, and more! For a whole weekend, participants will have the opportunity to learn how to take their music careers to the next level, network, and perform too.

For more info on my buddy Bob Baker, aka “Mr. Buzz Factor”, visit his site.

Man, I wish I was in St. Louis!

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

Happy Birthday, Ariel Hyatt!

Posted in Future Legends, Great Blog Off 2008, Indie Music | No Comments »

Today, June 20th, is the birthday of Ariel Hyatt, indie music publicity goddess.

Ariel Hyatt
Ariel Hyatt

Ariel Hyatt founded Ariel Publicity almost 12 years ago in Colorado and her company has since publicized thousands of dates for touring bands, hosted hundreds of special events, launched countless record release campaigns and served as the PR director to several live music venues and festivals.

Ariel has taken her publicity skills to the world wide web, and is a maven in “Cyber PR”. Ariel now works to get indie music maximum exposure online via online reviews, social media, internet radio, podcasts and more.

She’s also written an eBook, Nine Weeks To Music Success: Supercharge Your PR, Get More Fans and Make More Money! which is an awesome workbook to use when creating a music marketing strategy of your own. To learn more about Ariel’s eBook, check it out here.

If you’re interested in seeing Ariel’s Cyber PR skills in action, check her out!

Ariel Publicity Website
Ariel on MySpace
Ariel on Facebook
Ariel on Twitter

How convenient is it that today is also the Great Blog Off, and that I’m seeking content to post every hour for 24 hours straight? As Ariel would say, after this day is over, I’m going to need an adult beverage!

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

New Coldplay CD: “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends”

Posted in A Day in the Life, Celebrities, Great Blog Off 2008 | No Comments »

Coldplay

From LA Times interview with Coldplay’s Chris Martin:

“Like millions of people in the world, I can’t listen to Coldplay,” Martin said with a daft wink. “But my reason is professional. You see, I’m always thinking about the next thing. I’m also always looking for something that will inspire the next thing. Look, we’re the one band we can’t plagiarize. So really there’s no point in me listening to it. If I think, ‘Well, that’s good,’ then I’ll want to use it, which won’t work. And if I think, ‘Hey that’s terrible,’ then I’ll be depressed over breakfast. It’s a classic lose-lose situation.”

Anyone out there have the new Coldplay CD, “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends,” who wants to chime in with their opinion? Feel free to comment below!

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

Having an old dog

Posted in A Day in the Life, Great Blog Off 2008 | No Comments »

LeFever Family Dog

“He’s 13, his breath smells really bad, he’s deaf, he walks like a retired football player, begs with renewed vigor and is increasingly obstinate.”

This blog post is actually a touching tribute to the family dog, written by Lee LeFever of Common Craft video fame. In between all the cool easy-to-understand videos about intricate subjects, is a really great ode to their best friend. Enjoy!

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

Crucial Music Places Indie Artists in Grand Theft Auto 4!

Posted in A Day in the Life, Great Blog Off 2008, Indie Music | No Comments »

A word from our co-sponsor, Crucial Music:

As a Crucial Artist, you could hear your music in video games, TV shows and films like Grand Theft Auto 4, Lost, Sex & The City and more!

Crucial works with the top music supervisors in town and our credits speak for themselves. It’s the fairest non-exclusive deal in town, all revenue split 50/50 and you’ll keep your copyrights. Visit http://crucialmusic.com for deal points and music submissions.

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC