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Say Hello to Symphony

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

Say Hello to Symphony from NYC

One of my bestest friends in the whole world, Rich, is a sound engineer who has awesome friend karma. In other words, he introduces me to cool people all the time, mostly musicians, although not necessarily. Rich is the kind of guy who has a New Year’s Eve party and invites people via Craigslist – and somehow selects people you’d actually want to spend your New Year’s Eve with. A music lover, Rich often uses his Tribeca apartment as a music performance space. During one of his recent “house concerts”, he showcased an awesome band named Say Hello to Symphony.

As always, I highly suggest that you listen to their music before taking my word for their sound, but I adore their intelligent quirky pop meets Radiohead meets Jeff Buckley sound. They have a happy sound that I love, play with time signatures, and they’re just delightful.

Check out their MySpace page here and say hello to Say Hello to Symphony!

Overcoming Creative Jealousy by Carla Lynne Hall

Posted in A Day in the Life, DIY Diva, Indie Music | No 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 jealousy is 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 tons of musicians, but I’d be lying if I said that there had never been any moments 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


More music biz articles can be found in the Rock Star Life Lessons Reading Room.

Music Marketing Machine Coming to NYC in July!

Posted in A Day in the Life, Carla and Goliath, DIY Diva, Indie Music | No Comments »

I’m happy to announce my upcoming 4-week “Music Marketing Machine” course in New York City.

Equal parts lecture, Master Mind group, networking meeting, and supportive community, my Music Marketing Machine course is an “incubator style” workshop designed to teach singers, producers, rappers, and bands how to market themselves, build their fanbase, and sell their music – without a traditional record deal.

At no extra charge, all participants will receive a Music Marketing Machine Workbook for designing their own individualized marketing strategy. At the end of the four weeks, you’ll have an individualized music marketing plan – created by you, just for you!

Where: Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP 21), 18 West 18th Street, New York City

Dates: Wednesdays: July 16, 23, 30, August 6, 2008

Time: 7-10pm

How much: The regular price of enrollment is $200.00 per person. If you register now, you can take advantage of the “Early Bird” rate, which guarantees your spot in the course for only $125 ~ a 20% discount

“Carla, thank you so much for your insights – you really have inspired me to get into music on a professional basis.” Emma Wolfin

Register using the PayPal button or email me at moxiemusic [AT] hotmail [DOT] com. You can also find more info on the dedicated Music Marketing machine course page.

Sign up now!