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“Walk of Shame Anthem” by Shayna Ferm

Posted in Future Legends, Indie Music | No Comments »

OMG! I smell a theme of the day! After watching the “Walk of No Shame” commercial, I then came across a music video by Shayna Ferm, an indie artist. She created a great little video about today’s theme of walks of shame, and it’s also been featured in And why the hell not? If you’re visiting this blog, there’s a probable chance that you’ve been there too. If not, pay attention, you might learn something.

Walk of Shame Anthem by Shayna Ferm

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

The Walk of No Shame

Posted in A Day in the Life | No Comments »

So here’s something different…

Have you seen the Amp Energy Drink commercial with all these people taking their “walk of shame”? It’s hilarious to me, even if it brings up memories. But not that recent, mind you 😉 Since I sing about walks of shame in Left Side Blues, I suppose it’s only fitting that I spotlight the commercial here.

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

The Strategy Guide To Succeeding As A Musician in 2008

Posted in A Day in the Life, DIY Diva, Future Legends, Indie Music | 1 Comment »

While surfing the internet, I found a free indie music biz eBook that actually has a lot of great ideas in it. And did I mention that it was free?

Kavit Haria is a tabla player from London who’s developed indie music marketing strategies on his side of the pond, and his ideas are worth checking out.

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

Ariel Hyatt’s Cyber PR Bootcamp May 2008

Posted in A Day in the Life, DIY Diva, Future Legends, Indie Music | No Comments »

So I’m an Ariel Hyatt Cyber PR Evangelist.

Ariel Hyatt is one of the coolest women that I’ve had the pleasure to know for about 10 years now, and she’s an indie music publicity Goddess. For almost 12 years, her Ariel Publicity company has created exposure and opportunities for indie artists around the globe, and I’m excited to finally be one of her clients.

In addition to being a great publicist, Ariel also excels at educating musicians. Last weekend I attended her Cyber PR Bootcamp as a presenter as well as a participant, and I learned even more about internet publicity and Web 2.0.

ariel at her cyber pr bootcamp

For a whole day, I sat with 15 other musicians in a cool loft on the upper west side of NYC. These folks were also way cool, and I’ll be blogging soon about them and their music as well. At the end of the day, we drank champagne and debated about the music biz. Loved it!!! An awesome time was had by all!

Ariel & Janine Wilson
Ariel and Janine Wilson

Gwenn and her fantastic pink hair!

Martin & Jude Folkman
Ariel with Martin & Jude Folkman, publishers of Musician’s Atlas

Zach Brock
Jazz Violinist Zach Brock

Heather Marie Philipps
Gorgeous singer Heather Marie Philipp

Me at Cyber PR Bootcamp
Here I am talking about online music marketing

Josephine Ancelle and Nick Howard
Josephine Ancelle and Nick Howard enjoying the post-bootcamp bubbly!

Matthew Ebel
The multi-talented Matthew Ebel talking about podcasting

Group shot of Ariel's Cyber PR Bootcamp
Group Shot of Ariel Hyatt’s Cyber PR Bootcamp!

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

I’ve finally joined the Twitter Generation!

Posted in A Day in the Life | No Comments »

I feel like I am behind in raving about Ariel Hyatt’s recent indie music bootcamp, and contacting the new friends I met during it, but somehow I have found time to join Twitter, the microblog sensation that Ariel is an evangelist for. Tons of people you’d love to know use it, and it’s a quick way to find out what people are up to.

Follow me at

Tweet, Tweet!

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

NY Daily News: “Rock is the New Black”

Posted in A Day in the Life, DIY Diva | 1 Comment »

This morning I opened up my NY Daily Newspaper to read an article that almost brings tears to my eyes. Jim Farber, the News music writer, writes an awesome piece about how Rock is the New Black. I’m one of the rare black girls from Miami who grew up listening to rock music. And of course, it ended up being my choice of music to sing and play. To be fair, rock music wasn’t the only style I listened to, but it was the style that influenced me the most.

When I hit puberty and junior high, I went to a predominately white school, and found the local Classic Rock station. Although in those days, the music was actually current. Or perhaps the music found me. I listened to Styx, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and had crushes on boys with blond hair and blue eyes. My music and romantic choices felt perfectly normal to me, regardless of what my grandmother thought.

In high school, I sang in a Rush cover band (in addition to the school’s pops chorus), and was usually considered a little “different”. It never bothered me. I figured that black people created rock music – why shouldn’t we still enjoy it?

After high school, I sang with an original Progressive/New Wave band called “Some People’s Children”. We played Friday nights in Fort Lauderdale at a venue called The Reunion Room. This is the same place where Marilyn Manson & The Spooky Kids first made their appearance, and they were as great a live show then as they are now.

To date myself, this took place during the 80’s, at the advent of a new cable channel called MTV. At home, I played this channel 24/7. During band rehearsals at the bassist’s house, the music video station also played constantly.

One day I’ll never forget is when a new video came on while we were taking a break. The music video was “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour. It was the first time I had ever seen a black rock band.

They. Kicked. Ass.

People often talk about where they where when president JFK was assassinated. I talk about where I was the first time that I saw the Living Colour video. It blew my mind to see and know that there were other black folks that played the music that I also liked to play. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that it changed my life. I bought that Living Colour CD as soon as possible, and learned every song. I read their liner notes and learned about an organization, The Black Rock Coalition, that supported their efforts.

When I moved to NYC in 1995, I wanted to meet people, so I indeed joined The Black Rock Coalition myself. I later became the Executive Secretary, and organized live shows featuring bands like Screaming Headless Torsos, and saw great shows like Skunk Anansie, Fishbone, and 24-7 Spyz.

And I knew that I wasn’t alone.

Reading Jim Farber’s article today felt like home, especially since he interviewed Earl Douglass, the current Executive Director of the Black Rock Coalition. Earl is the one who once gave me a bootleg copy of a live Jeff Buckley show. Jeff Buckley ain’t black, but Earl and the BRC are open to great music, regardless of the color of the performer, which is how it should be.

Thanks to digital downloads, Earl is quoted as saying, “People now hear music before they see it. They’re not necessarily putting a face to it. All that matters is a good song. ”

Amen to that.

I had planned to include the “Cult of Personality” video here, but the suckers as Sony have disabled the Living Colour video codes from YouTube. But that’s okay. Instead, I’ll feature Skunk Anansie’s “Secretly”. Enjoy!

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

Rapper Slick Rick Gets Pardon from NY Governor Paterson

Posted in Celebrities | No Comments »

Slick Rick
80’s rapper “Slick Rick” was finally pardoned after years of being in legal limbo.

According to Hip-hop pioneer Slick Rick was given a full pardon Friday (May 23) by New York Governor David Paterson, most likely ending a deportation threat that has hung over the rapper for 11 years. According to The New York Times, Governor Paterson delivered the pardon to prevent the MC from being deported to England, where he was born and lived until the age of 11.

In 1991, Slick Rick (Ricky Walters) was convicted of attempted murder and weapons charges after he shot and injured his cousin and an acquaintance. Rick served five years and 12 days in prison before being paroled in 1997, but a law that threatens to deport immigrants convicted of aggravated felony or weapons charges had always loomed large.

In 2002, Slick Rick was arrested aboard a docked Caribbean cruise ship — by the INS, who had been fighting for his deportation since 1995. He spent a year in an immigration detention center in Bradenton, Florida, before a judge ruled he could go free in 2003.

In administering the pardon, Governor Patterson noted that Slick Rick had served his sentence, had earned an “exemplary” record while in prison and on parole, and had lived in the community without incident for over 10 years. He also cited Slick Rick’s community service and the fact that deportation would separate Rick from his wife and two teenage children, who are all American citizens.

Slick Rick was 25 years old at the time of the original incident and one of hip-hop’s biggest — and flashiest — stars, recognizable as much for his immeasurable amount of jewelry as he was for his iconic eye patch (he’s blind in his right eye as a result of an injury as an infant).

In another story from, titled “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick Just Got More Amazing: Pardoned”, the story is summed up this way:

But now New York’s governor – the first black, blind one of New York, David Paterson has just pardoned the Ricky Dee. Gov Paterson is 54 years old, raised in Brooklyn, represented Harlem in the state senate and knows exactly what time it is.

I can find the poetic justice in all of this. So for all you Slick Rick fans (and haters), here’s his “Children’s Story” video:

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

Magic’s in the Makeup

Posted in Videos | No Comments »

Magic’s in the Makeup
Originally performed by No Doubt
Performed by Carla Lynne Hall
Recorded at The Cutting Room, NYC, 2005

Overcoming Creative Jealousy

Posted in Articles, Back to the Woodshed! | 4 Comments »


What’s green and felt all over? It’s Jealousy, that evil monster. Yep, folks, it’s the dark side of being an artist, and not very pretty. I guess we are all susceptible to it, though some times are worse than others. Some may disagree. but I rank jealousy with masturbation. Ninety percent will admit to it, and the other ten percent is lying. What I’m here today to discuss on my soapbox is not that it’s an evil thing, but that it’s normal. Of course, I’m not condoning the shredding of a rival diva’s costume minutes before she goes onstage (which has happened in real life to a friend). I’m only saying that when she gets on stage, looking totally fly, singing fierce, singing her ASS off, it’s normal to want to strangle her. And if she’s a bitch to boot, it’s even more difficult to be happy for her (”Gee, I don’t know why God decided to give me all this money this year. Isn’t it great??” – Yeah, right). Before I go on, I want to make it clear that I admire every musician that I’ve ever mentioned here in my blog, but I’d be lying if I said there hadn’t been moments during any of their performances that I thought, “Damn, that was good. I suck.” To be fair, maybe someone has thought that during one of my shows. Maybe not, but it’s still a fact of life for an artist.

Being an artist of any medium practically is an ongoing challenge. Commercial demands aside, as an artist you are constantly faced with a blank sheet of paper, canvas, or lump of clay. Sometimes you feel inspired. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you come up with roses, other times it’s manure. An artist is rarely happy with his/her work At least, not for long. You finish a project, and you can’t believe that you created it. The next day (or sooner), you wonder if you can ever do it again. Creating art, like dying, is something done alone.

The helplessness of an artist probably contributes to various addictions. When you add the demands of the marketplace to the equation, it can get ugly. We ARE our demons…Of course, I can still find the positive spin to all of this. When you see someone else kicking butt, especially someone you know (and usually like), listen to your heart. The jealousy and envy stem from wanting something they have. Deep down in your heart, you always know what you lack as an artist. When you watch someone who has it, it hurts. It’s WAY too easy to get stuck in “Oh, she slept with the producer”. Maybe she did, but I have yet to see ANYONE get ahead just because they knew “who to do”. It takes a lot of work to go forward. Besides, the producer probably made her dress up in a Wonder Woman costume. He may even have incriminating photos of the moment as well that she will forever worry about. Tell me that that’s not hard work!

But I digress. The trick, I think, is using that feeling to energize your own improvement. Personally, I find that watching someone who has something I need to improve upon makes me work for it even more. It can be painful, no doubt, to watch someone on stage have a seemingly flawless performance when you feel that your own stage presence lacks, due to nervousness. Well folks, one thing I learned is that there is NO magic involved to great performances. It’s really true that practice makes perfect. Whatever you want to improve, you can. You think you’re not connected, get out and meet people. You want to write better songs, put in the time. You want to know more about the business, read some books.

You know what I hate? People who go to the same seminars that I do, but ask the same question (or different versions of it) time after time. I just want to say, “You got your answer last month. Get on with it!” There comes a time in each life when you have to own up to what you need to do to make it happen. If you can’t or won’t do it, perhaps something else is meant for you. I say all that to say this: sometimes jealousy tells you what you need to do. Other times, it’s plain old envy. Just don’t let it rule your life. By focusing on others, you’ll lose track of your own growth. This year I challenge you. Work on ONE thing that will bring you closer to your goal. You know what it is. Just do it.

Excerpted from The DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Guide to the Music Biz by Carla Lynne Hall. Available at

30 Days to Greater Exposure

Posted in Articles | No Comments »

So you think you’ve done all you can do to build a buzz? Try a couple of these ideas on for size, in no particular order:

1. Send letters introducing yourself to 10 people in the music industry
2. Hold an acoustic House Concert in your living room.
3. List your web sites in search engines
4. Improve your search engine placement using HTML meta tags
5. Plan a benefit performance
6. Be an opening act for a big act coming to your town
7. Get your CDs in local stores
8. Get your CD placed in a record store listening booth
9. Get your CDs in and
10. Call a local morning show DJ
11. Play an in-store at a Mom & Pop record store
12. Play at a local or college radio station
13. Hold a contest
14. Improve your songwriting
15. Develop a killer live show
16. Go to a local music business event
17. Create a local music business event
18. Keep flyers and business cards with you at all times
19. Perform at a hospital
20. Get a famous person to review your CD
21. Create a media list of all your local music writers
22. Send new reviews to your media list regularly
23. Invite college journalists to your show
24. Apply for or a give a local music award
25. Perform at least once a month
26. Always have an upcoming gig to promote
27. Meet other local bands in your genre
28. Go to their shows
29. Send a regular e-zine to your mail list
30. Pull an old-fashioned publicity stunt

Try a few of these – I dare you!

Excerpted from The DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Guide to the Music Biz by Carla Lynne Hall. Available at