3THIRTEEN ENTERTAINMENT GROUP ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION DEAL WITH eONE, FIRST SIGNING SMALL TOWN TITANS

3THIRTEEN ENTERTAINMENT GROUP ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION DEAL WITH eONE, FIRST SIGNING SMALL TOWN TITANS

Small Town Titans digital single “We Owe You the Truth” out now

 

DETROIT, Mich. – 3THIRTEEN ENTERTAINMENT GROUP has signed an exclusive U.S. distribution deal with eOne, the largest independent music and video distributor in North America. Already a preeminent booking agency specializing in rock and metal, 3THIRTEEN’s first label signing, Pa. hard rock outfit, Small Town Titans, has released a new single, “We Owe You the Truth,” today on iTunes at: https://itun.es/us/xyp98.

 

“3THIRTEEN ENTERTAINMENT GROUP is very excited to have the opportunity to offer such a great platform for our artists,” said 3THIRTEEN founder, Ryan Darnell. “I am thrilled to have Small Town Titans join the 3THIRTEEN family and look forward to working with the guys on releasing some great music.”

 

Added Small Town Titans bassist/vocalist, Phil Freeman: “We are looking forward to getting this song that we’ve been cooking in the woods of Pennsylvania out to the masses this summer, and Ryan Darnell is an excellent guy to spearhead the operation. The fact that we are one of the first 3THIRTEEN bands being distributed by the agency is exciting. The timing for all of this couldn’t be better considering that the release is in the middle of our first national tour and that the single drops on the 24th, a wildly lucky number for this band.”

 

The official “We Owe You the Truth” music video can be streamed on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/rICrjR2o3Es.
A band that has played over 250 shows since 2011 and shared the stage with acts such as Pop Evil, Black Stone Cherry, Saving Abel, Otherwise, Nonpoint, Foxy Shazam and more, Small Town Titans is currently in the midst of a summer tour with Artifas. A full list of confirmed dates can be seen below.

 

 

Stay tuned for more information on 3THIRTEEN ENTERTAINMENT GROUP and Small Town Titans.

 

7/28 – Hagerstown, MD @ Hard Times Cafe and Cue

7/30 – Akron, OH @ The Empire Concert Club & Bar

8/01 – Battle Creek, MI @ Planet Live Music Factory

 

 

 

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FISHINABOX: Taiji Cove an Environmental Documentary performed in DUBSTEP

TAIJI COVE coverThis month has seen a massive amount of political music hitting the subculture scene across the pond. The most attention grabbing being TAIJI COVE due for release in February by Fishinabox Records.

This album blows the lid off the Japanese Dolphin and Whale-hunting scams and has become a hot ticket in a number of London protests against Japan. We got hold of a spokesman at FISHINABOX who admitted the Album had been leaked early to demonstrators and organisations working to bring an end to the Japanese Dolphin and Whale business.

The Album was heard in the very heart of London Oxford Street, China Town, Trafalgar Square being played by protesters on portable speakers by our MusicBiz reporter.

A large number of supporters on the Jan 17th Demonstration were seen wearing the Album logo’s, Maisie Williams who plays Arya Stark in the hit TV series Game of Thrones was spotted holding a FISHINABOX T Shirt in Trafalgar Square among other up and coming environmentalists and protesters.

TAIJI COVE VALANTINES DISC black CMYKWe caught up with Andie Handei Kumafaro, Horn and Keyboard player for the underground label in Trafalgar Square. He declined a full interview with the Music Biz over the Album Project but commented “The most part of what we do is really just about spreading the message. As a music collective we try to stay anonymous and in the shadows where we belong when compared to the issues at hand. let the album speak for itself, if you are looking for speakers then real credit on this should lie with those representing the organizing Charities and Ric O’Barry’s work, Will Travers for the Born Free Foundation and Dominic Dyer for Care for the Wild who have really clarified the issues here today”.

FISHINABOX had held up release of the Album commercially for over a month to allow it for unlimited download, sharing and use in Demonstration actions by protesters. The protests, from the FISHINABOX Website schedule, should complete within the next couple of weeks.

Look out for this mind blowing release from FISHINABOX Mid February, raw but definitely worth a look, The Music Biz rate’s this Album rating 8/10
TAIJI COVE VALANTINES DISC black CMYK

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The Cost of Free

By Liz Lupton

By Athena Butler

When it comes to recorded music, today’s consumers enjoy a free ride and seem to have all the answers. Song sharing is there for the taking and, in any case, the old music sales model is archaic. But if out with the old and in with the new is stylish in music, the same is not true of music recordings.

For the business, it seems, free is good. However, the decline of recorded music sales has been catastrophic since 2001, when piracy became rampant and the single song Apple economy banished the album. Now, hope for the sector requires a giant leap of faith. In the meantime, the tough job of finding new ways to compensate for this loss of profits falls to the record companies. It may appear that artists are gaining more exposure as music changes hands often and easily. But is the moneymaking of old within the reach of the business?

In recent years, the recording industry has endeavored to replace its album-based revenue stream with more panoptical and commercial based income. For instance, it has used 360 degree type deals, whose object is to secure additional revenue for the label by tapping on artists’ live performances, branding, and merchandising. This has been seen by some, including well known trade writer Donald Passman, as the cornerstone of an industry response to the crisis of recordings.

What this means for record companies is total alienation from the traditional business model, and near zero emphasis on recorded music and no money for artist development. The supply chain, and especially talent, has been taking a hit, with the U.S., for example, suffering, by any standards, a catastrophic drop in the value of recordings (from $12 billion in 2001 to about $6 billion today). Moreover, successful instances of ‘free’ seem exaggerated and are often only suited for top ranking stars who have plenty of access to multimedia and residual bankroll. Radiohead’s attempt at financing a new release with fan donations in 2007 met with poor results; the band, at the time the poster child for the new music economy, has since regretted the move.

In the meantime, subscription and/or ad-based streaming services deliver poorly for artists–which does not help engrain the concept of music recordings as a valuable commodity for investors or the public. In the clamor for ‘free,’ honest, good work, is getting lost in the shuffle, with the business community oddly silent about the time spent by artists honing their craft, writing music, practicing, studying the music of others, performing, and mimicking until they come up with the best possible material they can muster. Music production, one of the leading edges of our culture, seems to be held hostage to a vague and ill-suited business proposition: that marketing reigns supreme.

For sure, artists end up in atypical situations in order to stay alive and relevant. The public is most plugged into entertainment that promotes an escalating shock and awe standard, and this means that writers, producers, and performers must continue to push boundaries in order to keep their jobs and/or remain in the public eye. Stars like Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears stun the public by baring skin on camera, while lyrics, such as Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” are used ever more provocatively. Similarly, the media will only sign artists with all eyes and ears on them. Therefore, it is not enough for a musician to be noticed; they must pop-up and make an indelible impression by any means. This was not so when recordings were valuable.

The whiplash of free, in conclusion, may well be the complete erosion of recorded music as a commodity. This is a very steep price to pay for the industry.

Athena Butler is a student at Berklee College of Music. The Cost of Free is from the Music Business Journal’s October, 2013 issue.

Read more:http://www.thembj.org/
@TheMBJ

Endnotes

1. Curien, Nicolas, and Francois Moreau. “The Music Industry in the Digital Era: Towards New Business Frontiers?” Thesis. Laboratoire D’Econométrie, Conservatoire National Des Arts Et Métiers http://www.eeaesem.com/papers/EEA/2005/1142/CurienMoreauMusic2.pdf

2. Cummings, Alex. “Is Piracy Killing Independent Music?” The Brooklyn Rail http://www.brooklynrail.org/2007/12/music/is-piracy-killing-independent-music

3. “Illegal downloaders spend most on music: study” The New Zealand Herald http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10606781

4. Caramanica, Jon. “For Some, Free Music Is an Investment That Pays Off” The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/19/arts/music/for-mac-miller-wale-and-j-cole-free-music-pays-off.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/the-cost-of-free.html

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Bundle up, it’s cold out there.



By Joshua Macrae

Just got back from a music seminar down in Los Angeles. For those of you who haven’t been there in a while, it hasn’t changed much. It is still the home of some of the most talented people on the planet, it still takes an hour and a half to get anywhere, the sky is still grayish brown, and just like all industry towns, it’s better to be poor some place else.

The seminar was just like all seminars, you go searching for the golden ticket, and you leave with a shopping bag of glossy fliers and an overwhelming sense of bewilderment. Like Vegas, but without the hookers.

And the message is always the same.

Packaging.

Know your niche. Describe yourself in a sentence. Have your elevator pitch ready. Work hard. Meet the universe halfway. Talent is not enough. Create an “I AM” statement and then deliver.

Which, as an artist, and more specifically, as a songwriter, I reject with every fiber of my soul.

You can’t bundle my body of work or contain it in a hash tag. You can’t slot me to a single genre. The art is far more important than the medium. I am Trent Rezner on Tuesday and Hank Williams on Wednesday. I need the freedom to go Disco and Delta Blues and Dubstep and Diggerydoo. I am totally untweetable.

And that’s how it should be.

Right?

When you craft the sound to best serve the song, you could end up with The White Album. Conversely, if you craft the song to fit the sound, you end up peaking in Nickelback territory. You do however get to see what Avril Lavigne looks like without her hoodie, so, touché Chad.

You simply can’t package that which was created outside of the box.

And yet, for all my self-righteous bluster, I’m terribly wrong.

And I’ll tell you why.

Because if you’re anything like me, counting the hits on your Facebook posts, scraping pennies together for studio time, taking the subcompact to LA for the weekend, then you my friend, are standing outside the castle walls. And there is a line in front of you, and a line behind you, and it’s starting to get dark, and it’s starting to get cold, and as critically complex as you are, the gatekeepers can’t see the depth of your amazing technicolor dream coat, they only see a man dressed like a clown.

So decide for yourself what you do best. Bundle that up into the coolest, simplest, most accessible package and make that your thing. Make that your niche, make that your “I AM” statement.

The point is: Get inside by finally listening to the taste makers who have been telling you the same thing since like forever.

And don’t lose heart. David Bowe wasn’t always Ziggy Stardust, Madonna eventually shed the material girl, Dylan went electric and the Foo Fighters are a much better band than Nirvana ever was. (Don’t argue, unless you’ve seen them both live, which I have)

And if you get inside and you feel like you’ve done enough, like, you’re cool with playing the same two hour set twenty years from now at a casino in Jacksonville, then you go my friend. Give Avril a kiss for me.

 

(Joshua Macrae is a singer/songwriter who writes a daily blog about being a musician, a pop culture enthusiast, and a terrible, terrible parent. You can find more at his website www.waitdad.com)

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/bundle-up-its-cold-out-there.html

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The New Napster: Mobile File-Sharing



By Corey Crossfield

As the rise of mobile messaging apps take over the current mobile user population, the ways fans interact with music are changing. Historically, file-sharing takes place over the desktop computer through a P2P software such as BitTorrent. The user opens the music files into iTunes and they have expanded their music library for free.

Many mobile users are starting to figure out how to download music through mobile messaging applications and their smartphones. Transitioning from desktop file-sharing to mobile file-sharing will take a bit of time for users to catch up but the new Napster is already out there.

Napster and Music

Napster was launched by it’s co-founders, Shawn Fanning, Sean Parker and John Fanning in 1999. The service allowed users to send files to each other through the software. As the service became more popular, it made it onto the radar of the record labels. Since Napster wasn’t paying any royalties on the songs that were being downloaded through their software, they were liable and the record labels and other music industry organizations filed lawsuits.

These lawsuits ultimately led to the bankruptcy and end of Napster but the repercussions of file-sharing were just starting.

WhatsApp and Music Downloads

With over 350 million monthly active users within their platform, WhatsApp is one of the largest mobile messaging applications on the planet. The application allows users to communicate with each other through the messaging interface. The most interesting aspect of the application, in my opinion, is their reluctance to sell ads.

While there are many mobile messaging applications available, WhatsApp is one of the easiest to send music to your friends (aka the new Napster). The application offers little distraction in terms of stickers, games and other “traditional” means of social activity. Since listening to music is a social activity, it’s not surprising to see WhatsApp users sharing music with each other.

It does make it a lot more handy to trade and share music you’re listening to with you friends. There are a few ways you can send music to your friends using WhatsApp.

The first way is through iPhone Explorer. **Please note this way is only for an iPhone.

Here are the instructions:

  1. Install WhatsApp on your Iphone through the App Store.
  2. Install iPhone Explorer on your Mac or PC.
  3. Using the Explorer locate the WhatsApp application folder.
  4. Then copy the MP3 you want to send to the the media folder for any of the contacts you have listed within the application. Then you can forward it to whomever you want.

The second way you can send music using WhatsApp can be used on both iPhone and Android devices.

  1. Install WhatsApp on your device using either the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).
  2. Install Google Drive on both your desktop computer (Mac or PC) and on your device (iOS or Android).
  3. Now make a folder on your Google Drive called “Music” (or whatever you’d like to call it).
  4. Drop the song you would like to send in it.
  5. You’ll see the song appear on your iPhone Google Drive folder.
  6. Now try to open the file on your device. It should say that it is unable to because the file type is not supported.
  7. Click Open In underneath the file image and it should show a pop-up that says Open in WhatsApp. Click that icon.
  8. Select the contact you would like to send the song to.
  9. Congratulations you just shared a free song with your friend.

With either option presented above, you are able to send an MP3 to a friend via WhatsApp. There are other options including just sending an email with an MP3 attached but you are allowed to share a song with a friend in the midst of a conversation using the application.

Now someone just needs to invite a device-to-device file sharing program…

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/the-new-napster-mobile-file-sharing.html

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How to brand yourself as an artist

By Jon Ostrow

Establishing your artist brand is a blend of organic unique elements that set you apart and standard business practices to keep your image fresh and consistent

A key part of any marketing strategy is the development of the brand, be it the brand of a person, a product, or organization. As an indie musician, your artist brand can be anything that helps you to maintain a unique position within a market, including your:

• Name

• Logo

• Image

• Sound

• Color palette

• Approach to community management

• Live performances

• Distribution

A common misconception of a brand is that it revokes the artistic license; a synthesized look and feel that are used to define the art.

On the contrary, your artist brand can be the product of a very organic, genuine approach that you take to your art, your community management, your live show, or beyond. As an indie musician or band, your artist brand is whatever approach you take to any aspect of your career that gives definition to your fans and to the market place.

Once a brand has been established, even in an organic way, it is important to nurture and uphold that brand through your online presence. After all, with all of the social media clutter and chaos, why not try to make it easier for your dedicated fans to find you and engage with you?

Given that your artist brand can be anything that makes you stand out in a unique way, there are many things that can be done to ensure your online presence offers the proper reflection. Even within a specific type of branding, each musician can find their own ways to nurture their artist brand.

Below are several examples of ways musicians and bands have leveraged social media to further develop their brand, making it easier for their fans to seek them out, engage and become more loyal to their artistic mission.

1. Maintain a consistent look and feel across all social media

More of a best practice than something unique, every strong brand maintains a consistent look and feel, so let’s go over this one first to dissect how others have pulled this one off.

Dr. Dog’s B Room

Your band website, being your online hub, should define a look and feel and the rest of your social networking sites should follow. Of course, even your band website can be defined by the look and feel of your most recent work.

As was the case with Dr. Dog, who’s most recent album B Room was released on October 1st,
you can see that the skinning, including the imagery, color palette, and font of their website all reflect the
look and feel defined by the album cover.

Dr Dog TwitterDr Dog Facebook artist brand

Dr. Dog then took this look and feel of their album cover, now applied to their website, and expanded that experience to their social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter.

2. Give your fans something to call their own (AKA start a movement)

Not all brands need to involve a movement, but there’s no question that it can be a huge help in the successful development of your artist branding if you can get people behind it. Cleveland-based rapper Machine Gun Kelly did just that. He not only put a name on his movement, “EST,” but he gave them a calling-card in the form of an exclamation.

MGK Facebook artist brandLace up!

Machine Gun Kelly (or MGK) and his fans began using the term “Lace Up” as a way of maintaining positivity: no matter what life throws at you, you lace up and move forward. It was a concept that became a powerful statement of loyalty to the EST movement.

MGK uses his Facebook band page as a platform to share his own journey, and shares the journey of his unique fan base as well.

MGK artist brandTo validate his fans for their emotional (and from the images above, physical) connection to the “Lace Up” statement, MGK released his debut album on Bad Boy Records with “Lace Up” as the title.

3. Use of imagery to further develop brand

Bono with his sunglasses. Steven Tyler with his scarf. Michael Jackson with the red Thriller jacket. The list of artists and their specific imagery goes on and on.

Your image, not just your sound, will become an important part of the development of your brand. This is a concept that goes far beyond music (e.g. Steve Jobs with his black turtleneck).

While no one wants to be pigeon-holed to one look for the rest of their life, a great way of making yourself instantly recognizable to a market is to have a look that is all your own.

Thrift shop hero

Hip-hop has always been a genre to overtly blend fashion and music, especially with designer brands. Seattle-based Macklemore, on the other hand, couldn’t be further removed from this trend. His recent hit “Thrift Shop” set the stage for a niche that no one else had thought of: while everyone goes for designer brands, Macklemore went to thrift shops and found some of the most ridiculous combinations he could find.

Thrift StoreTo develop this concept online, Macklemore took to Instagram and posted photos of himself trying on unique, thrift shop purchases from different cities around the world while on tour.

This use of ‘thrift shop’-centric imagery helped Macklemore further develop his style and overall brand image to a point where it bled into his official photo shoots and high-profile appearances.

Macklemore artist brandingFrom the Billboard Magazine feature on Macklemore as ‘Breakout Artist of the Year':
Macklemore's artist branding at SNLFrom backstage at Saturday Night Live:

4. Strong and Consistent Messaging

In addition to look and feel, it is also important to maintain consistency in your messaging. Be it your blog, newsletter, tweets, or even the official bio on your website, any copy that you publish should maintain the integrity of whatever it is that makes you unique.

• Do you have a dry sense of humor? Are you goofy?

• Are you empathetic?

• Are you understanding of the human condition?

• Do you approach concepts logically or emotionally?

These are just a few things to consider when shaping the voice of your brand messaging.

Sara Bareilles’s Potty Mouth

Singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles has done a great job with her messaging. She approaches her writing from a very personal place — in fact, her official bio is actually written in the first person. Sara is also genuine and honest about who she is and what drives her.

Sara Bareilles Facebook artist brand

Sara Bareilles blog artist branding

Most importantly though, Sara is consistent throughout all of this. As you’ll see below, Sara’s Facebook bio (written in the first person) makes mention to the fact that she has a potty mouth. Something she refuses to apologize for. This appears again in a recent blog post (again, written in the first person) about her new album where she makes a very similar claim.

5. Leveraging strong brand monitoring into engagement

While not actually apart of branding itself, it is absolutely important to monitor all of the other aspects of your brand. By consistently searching for key terms that either directly reflect your brand (i.e. @YourBandName on Twitter or #YourBandName) as well as other keywords that relate to your location, genre, or niche, you will be able to identify existing conversations by new or existing fans and tastemakers, all of whom are important for you to associate with.

Amanda F’ing Palmer

You may be saying: Really? Another example of things Amanda Palmer has done so well?

Amanda Palmer artist branding queenWell the fact is, Internet darling Amanda Palmer quite simply knows what the heck she’s doing. All of the attention that Amanda garners from things like her $1 million Kickstarter campaign is due to the fact that she is not only engaging, but monitoring and re-engaging with her fans at all times.

The dedication of Amanda Palmer’s fan base stems from the dedication that she shows them through constant validation of their support.

If you were to go through Amanda Palmer’s Twitter feed, you would see that her number of retweets almost match (if not surpass) her number of original tweets. And what is she tweeting? As seen above, Palmer is taking the time to seek out her fans who are speaking about her and retweeting them, showing her constant appreciation of their affection. Even at almost one million followers on Twitter, Palmer still goes out of her way to retweet the fans that take the time to speak about her most recent show, TED talk, blog post, album, etc.

There are a few ways to do this:

1. Pay attention to your at mentions on Twitter. Any time you are tagged on twitter, it will appear in your at mentions. All at mentions should be retweeted, responded to or, if nothing else, made a favorite so that you validate those speaking to you or about you that you hear them and appreciate them.

2. Use a Twitter Search tool to monitor effective brand key words as outlined above. This can be done through Twitter’s own search tool OR even better, you can set up a saved search panel on a Twitter management dashboard such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social.

Making a Case for Strong Branding

Branding can take shape in many forms. All of the above will help you to better establish your own brand online but it doesn’t end here. Share with us below in the form of a comment how you have further developed your online brand. Or, share some other examples of others who have done a great job establishing their own online brand so that we together we can all benefit.

Jon Ostrow is a regular contributor to Disc Makers Echoes blog and is the Campaigns Director for Cyber PR. Follow him on Twitter @jon_ostrow.

Read More
Developing Your Artist Brand
Press Kit Fundamentals: Branding Yourself in Your Artist Bio and Beyond
Don’t Rely on Music Tastemakers — Be One!
Press Releases, Band Bios, Publicity, and More
5 secrets of the successful indie artist

Build  your own home recording studio

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Autism Speaks Through Music – Dave Grohl Reaches Out



By Diana C. Hereld

IMG_2487

By Diana Hereld | @christypaffgen

On Thursday, Autism Speaks held their Third Annual Blue Jean Ball at Boulevard3 in Hollywood. The evening began with a star-studded blue carpet, including appearances from Joshua Jackson, Diane Kruger, J.K. Simons and Dave Grohl. Hosted by TV personality Maria Menounos (Extra) and Michael Chiklis (The Shield), the ball included musical performances by Rick Springfield, Ryan Bingham and Dave Grohl, a live auction and the honoring of Chuck Saftler (FX Networks) for his dedication and work in the field of autism awareness, and testimony of Saftler’s son’s personal journey as a child on the autism spectrum.

 

IMG_2554

Only a decade ago, the diagnostic percentage of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) was 1 in 10,000. By 2013, this figure leapt to 1 in 88. While the cause of this alarming growth, treatment and a cure for autism continue to be a heavily debated and controversial issue, the fact remains that the disorder is growing, and attention to this circumstance is no longer optional.

During the event, a few attendees on the spectrum were graced with a photo op with Dave Grohl. One such young man, Andrew Hain, 21, had much to say on why Autism Speaks is a great organization deserving of celebrity endorsement and attention.

“It’s amazing – they do amazing things. Autism Speaks’ main focus is on four things: research, advocacy, family services and awareness. Advocacy can come in the form of insurance reform, where the government can chip in. Research can be raising money for genetic exploration, and awareness…people need to know now that Autism affects 1 in 88 families. We have to get the word out to the general public that it’s more common that in used to be. When I was first diagnosed, it was 1 in 10,000. photo (51)

Andrew’s father, Phillip Hain, originally became involved with Autism Speaks as a volunteer. He has since served as the national director of the Team Up! with Autism Speaks for 6 years.

“I was drawn to it because of its reach into the community, its ability to fund wonderful research and provide tools and resources to help families navigate a very complicated system.”

(For fascinating story Music Makes the Difference on Andrew, ASD and music, please visit the Autism Speaks Blog).

The evening concluded with a rousing and poignant acoustic performance by Dave Grohl. Interspersing hits including “Times Like These,” “My Hero” and “Everlong,” the packed nightclub fell quiet when Grohl shared words on why he was thankful to be in the position to give back to organizations like Autism Speaks. “One of the greatest things about being a musician – I write a song for one reason, and I sing it to you guys, and then you sing it back to me for eighty thousand difference reasons.”

IMG_2639

When so many on the spectrum can be aided by therapies in music developing social skills, memory, abilities in empathy and stimulating cognitive functioning needed for elements like speech, sensory-motor and overall communication, those with the means and reach – especially musicians – should care. People universally connect to and are healed by music in thousands of different ways, and when we have the resources, we need leave no one behind.


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Promotion for the Independent Musician



By Phosphene Productions

In a market saturated with the music of aspiring musicians and already well established acts it can be difficult for new acts to gain exposure. This begs the question, how does an artist stand out and get heard over the masses of music uploaded to the web each day? This guide was written as a follow-up of sorts to our blog “treating your band as a business” and also ties in with our online marketing crash course. The article will be split into two sections: the first pertaining to more traditional “physical” promotion techniques and the second focused on marketing your music online to listeners around the globe.

The Demo CD

The demo CD (or tape if you remember the golden days of the cassette) has long been a staple of promotion for aspiring musicians. A demo of your music can be anything from rough DIY live recordings to a selection of two or three professional recordings of your best songs. Although sometimes a well-composed, well-performed song can shine through a muffled and noisy home recording, it is often more beneficial to select a “single” and a “b-side” at minimum to have professionally recorded. You might be surprised to learn that the cost of creating a professional recording using high quality equipment is often less than the cost of purchasing an entry-level home recording setup of your own. A great sounding demo can be invaluable in getting your act booked for shows and also makes a great freebie to get people interested in your music!

Tips for an effective Demo:
  • Put your best songs forward
  • Have high quality recordings (if you record yourself a small studio can often mix & master your project fairly inexpensively, a pro mix can really take your home recordings to the next level)
  • Keep it short (2-3 songs is generally a good number to shoot for)
  • A small CD insert with art can really help grab attention
  • Don’t forget to include your contact info! (A booking agent can’t book you if they can’t contact you, regardless of how great your demo is)
“Freebies” As A Promotion Tool
While we’re on the topic of freebies we want to take a second to give you a few ideas that will help get the creative juices flowing on ways you can use inexpensive merch items as promotional tools! The idea behind freebie promotion is simple: people love free stuff and are more likely to tell a friend or co-worker about your awesome band within a 30 day window if they have a small reminder in the form of “low overhead” merchandise. As a general rule of thumb, you will probably want to use lower cost merch items for promotion and avoid giving out items with a high manufacturing cost such as clothing or vinyl. For example, stickers are one of the best low-cost, highly-effective promotional tools available. Most everyone likes stickers and wherever, whatever or to whoever they are applied instantly becomes a free promotional outlet for your band. A great eye catching design is definitely a must if you’re aiming for maximum effectiveness. Try giving out smaller stickers for free and place them next to other larger stickers for sale on the merch table (but be sure fans can separate free from for sale!) Download cards are another simple yet effective tool directing fans to your online music and can be printed, at low cost, on formats from business cards to flyers. A good download card design will be eye-catching without being cluttered. You can decide to require “liking” your facebook page (via a “like gate”) before the download will begin.
An example download card from www.dropcards.com

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/promotion-for-the-independent-musician.html

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