Being A Star – Between Diva Behavior And Imposter Syndrome

By Hilde Spille

I love watching the stars at this short, warm nights! For people, being a star means that you are in the spotlights, that others notice you, that you are famous. We admire you, you inspire us.

All the admiration does something to you and your ego. Your ego is blown up big way! Like a balloon. That’s how people with an imposter syndrome experience it. They still feel the same as they were before they became famous. They are anxious all the time, anxious that others might call them a fraud, that others deflate the balloon.

In the Dutch documentary-series “Fuck, I’m famous” I heard Jeroen Pauw, one of the major Dutch talk-show hosts, talking about his fear to be unmasked. When he’s walking on the street and people recognize him, he tries to avoid any contact by concentrating on his smartphone. He knows that others will think of him as arrogant, while in fact he’s very self-conscious.

The other side of the medal is, when you think that you have a right to all privileges that you get because of your fame. Often you don’t even know the name of the people surrounding you. You don’t seem to care, as long as they put you in the center of all attention. In psychology they call it ‘diva-behavior’.

Opera singer Bianca Castafiore (see picture) from the comic albums of Tintin is a great example for diva-behavior, as is Donald Trump. They have high demands for everyone around them, expecting that they have the right to be the center of everything and everyone around them.

Both ways of dealing with an inflated ego will lead to problems for yourself and your loved ones. How can you find the right balance when being a star, when standing in the spotlights? The ego leads to problems once your personality is defined by it.

But there is more, you are more than your ego. If other aspects of your personality can grow with your ego, the big ego doesn’t need to be a problem. Imagine your ego and the other aspects of your personality as rays of a star. If you want to become a real star, ego and talent is not enough. People who have managed to grow into a real star, are Barak Obama, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Annie Lennox.

Developing the other aspects while still supporting ego and talent is not easy, but I can help you.

The imposter-syndrome is one of the subjects in “The Music Managers Guide To Mental Health“, by MMF-UK and Music Support. Definitely worth reading, for everyone working in the music business!

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/being-a-star-between-diva-behavior-and-imposter-syndrome.html

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3 Keys To Breaking Into The Industry As A Broadway Musician

By Cherie Nelson

Fairbanks violinist Caitlin Warbelow wanted to grow up to be a scientist. Instead, she’s performing on Broadway in Tony-nominated “Come From Away,” a true story about the September 11 attacks. Warbelow earned degrees in violin performance, anthropology, cartography and urban planning before stumbling into success, which she says came to her unexpectedly. She was trying to make it as a musician in New York City when the opportunity came her way.

While opportunities like this may come by chance, building a foundation to increase your odds of success can at least be planned, as Warbelow’s prior violin education and musical experience illustrate. Here are some steps you can take to help you stand a better chance of breaking into being a musician for large theater productions on or off Broadway.

Get a Musical Degree

One step Warbelow took that laid a foundation for her success was earning her degree in violin performance. Playwright Garth Wingfield says that having a higher degree is one of the best steps you can take toward getting a foot in the door in the industry, reports ShowTickets.com. While some musicians are self-taught or trained through private lessons, today’s Broadway musicians have at least a master’s degree. Getting a musical degree from a respected university shows that you’ve got the training and the commitment to succeed at your craft. It also gives you an opportunity to network with music professors, drama teachers and other professionals who can open the right doors for you.

Warbelow was smart to get other degrees besides her music degree. This looks good on a resume, showing that you’re a well-rounded person and making your personality stand out. It can also give you something to fall back on while you’re trying to break into the industry.

Join the Professional Musicians Union

Another step you should consider is joining the Associated Musicians of Greater New York Local 802, which is the world’s largest local professional musicians union. This will give you excellent benefits, including referrals for gigs and help with negotiating contracts and salaries.

However, once you join the union, you can’t take non-union gigs, so don’t take this step prematurely. Make sure you’ve got enough amateur experience to successfully handle professional gigs before joining. In New York, it can take seven to 10 years to build a network of connections before you’re ready to become a professional, according to conductor and musical director Brian Usifer.

Build a Network With Conductors and Musicians

Building a network within the industry is crucial to gaining access to the right opportunities. Follow the scene and get to know who’s who in the industry. Attend performances of important conductors and musicians, and ask musicians if you can sit as a guest in the pit and follow the book as they play. Use live events, phone calls and email to reach out to people in the industry.

The goal of this type of networking is to get opportunities to sub. However, it’s important when making introductions to approach as an observer and not as someone expecting to sub. If you show up consistently and demonstrate your interest in learning, you boost your chances that someone will ask you to sub when they need a replacement. Being available and prepared to sub and making the most of the opportunity when the chance comes your way is key to getting noticed by fellow musicians and conductors.

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/3-keys-to-breaking-into-the-industry-as-a-broadway-musician.html

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Why Your Home Recording Sucks (And How to Fix It)

By Ben Jacklin

Recording at home is a viable option for musicians now. Whether you just want to throw together a quick demo or you want to record a whole album from your garage, you can get a relatively affordable setup and set up something resembling a makeshift studio at home. Just because you are a musician or singer doesn’t mean that you are an audio engineer, and there are many reasons your recording probably sucks.

  1. Not tuning. I wish this weren’t on the list but I hear it so often. Fix? Tune your instruments!
  2. Zero production. Just recording something isn’t enough, and it will need to be compressed, polished and edited. Fix? Record into proper software and use the editing and effects facilities on offer.
  3. Poor acoustics. Don’t record in your kitchen, it probably will sound awful. Fix? Buy, or even make some acoustic treatments.
  4. Not multi-tracking. A room microphone to record your whole band isn’t going to give you any control over volumes and effects. Fix? Track each instrument separately or at least with its own microphone.
  5. Bad microphones. You can get decent microphones without spending a fortune, but the $5 toy karaoke microphone you bought your niece isn’t going to cut it. Fix? Find a decent mic setup or even borrow one.
  6. Bad playing. It happens, guys. Sometimes you’ll listen back to the demo and think “well that sucks”. The song might not be that great, your technique might need some work. Fix? Practice, practice, practice.

Home recording done right is great, it liberates garage bands and lets you take more of the work in house, plus it means no waiting for studios and engineers to be available. Avoiding some very basic mistakes can go a long way to ensuring your recording is at least passable.

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/why-your-home-recording-sucks-and-how-to-fix-it.html

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4 Reasons Why You Should Focus On Small Music Blogs…Not Big Ones [Sonicbids]

By Shivani Patel

Everyone wants major press placements. I get it. There’s a lot of clout that comes with a feature on Alternative Press, Stereogum, Consequence of Sound, etc. However, in their quest to shoot straight to the top, emerging bands are missing a vital component to career growth: small, indie blogs.

There are a lot of reasons that your band might not be ready for a major outlet to take notice, thus eliminating it from your options completely. The first step in all of this is to really accept that. Know that you’ll get there one day, but today might not be that day, and that’s okay. Now, let’s talk about why small music blogs can be a major component to your success.

1. They’re easier to get in touch with

This is pretty important, right? If you can’t get in touch with someone, that pretty much eliminates your chances at a feature. I want to be clear that unless you’re being very personal and specific in your pitch and have put some effort into building relationships, it doesn’t matter who you reach out to, you probably won’t get a response. But assuming you’ve done a bit of work, being able to actually get in touch with a blog is going to be your first leg up.

2. They’ll push your music much harder than large outlets

Smaller outlets will almost always push your music much harder than their larger counterparts. I don’t know why exactly this is, especially since independent blogs make little-to-no money, but it is a fact I have come across time and time again since entering the music industry in 2009.

When I say they’ll push your music harder, I mean it in every sense. They’re apt to offer more feature opportunities, including longer form features such as interviews and in-depth reviews. (When was the last time you saw a lengthy feature on an unknown band in a major outlet?) Once that’s published, you can bet they’ll be pushing it all over their social media and tagging you, thus offering even more exposure to the piece. (By the way, you should do the same when you receive coverage.)

3. Their audiences are fiercely loyal

They take everything to heart, and they look forward to the features that make that blog unique, including their spotlights on emerging acts. Because small blogs tend to post more emerging artist features than anything else, their readers expect it and they look forward to it. They’re there because they want to discover new music, not just because they want to keep up with the latest on the bands they already know. Readers of small blogs tend to take writer’s recommendations to heart, and because of that, they’re a lot more likely to stop and listen to your music rather than scroll past.

4. You grow together

I’m a huge advocate of the theory that if we stick together, we grow together. This is especially relevant when it comes to securing press features. It’s unrealistic to expect that your music will capture the attention of major blogs or labels right out of the gate. However, if you take the time to build your relationships from the ground up and align yourself with others who are in the same growth stage as you, I really believe that you can do amazing things and that your career can thrive.

As your band begins to grow and gain notoriety, it’s very possible that the writers you once worked with at a smaller blog will go on to write for larger outlets, or at the very least know someone who does, creating new access and opportunities.

By supporting a site that’s still in its infancy, you’re saying, “I believe in you, and I want to be a part of your journey.” After all, isn’t that what you want blogs to feel about you and your music? The more you embrace growing together, the more successful you’ll find yourself.

Still don’t believe us? Here’s why small outlets will do more for your music than big ones.

Angela Mastrogiacomo is a music enthusiast and the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PRand Infectious Magazine. You can find hanging out with her dog, eating sweets, and curled up with a good book.

Via Sonicbids

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/4-reasons-why-you-should-focus-on-small-music-blogsnot-big-o.html

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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Getting Verified

By Music Think Tank

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/musicthinktank-weekly-recap-getting-verified.html

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Everything You Need To Know About Getting Paid In The Music Industry

By Shivani Patel

The music industry relies on royalties as a form of payment from licensed copyrighted songs and recordings. However, recording artists earn their royalties on the sale of their music while songwriters earn them mainly on public performances.

Licensing and their specific royalties fall into four categories:

  1. Mechanical Licensing and Royalties is permission to reproduce music on some type of media
  2. Performance Rights allows music to be performed live
  3. Print Rights is the sale of printed sheet music
  4. Synchronization rights is when you need a license to reproduce a song into television program, film, video, or commerical

We’ve put together all of the information you need to know about the different types of royalty categories here.

When do you get paid?

Symphonic Distribution pays on a quarterly basis and reports are loaded 35-45 days after it ends. In order to see reports you must be a symphonic distribution client and have access to SymphonicMS.com system. If you would like to know the estimated report loading dates click here. However keep in mind that we do not control when the partners will provide us the reports but we will do our best to report quickly as possible.

Here’s how you get paid…

Through SymphonicMS, you click request payment through the royalties section. Make sure your latest payment and tax details are entered to receive payment. As mentioned before, you must be a client of symphonic distribution and have a valid W9 and W8-BEN on file.

We send payment via Check, Pay Pal, Bank Transfer, Chase Quickpay, and Xoom. You are charged fees depending on your location and what you choose to receive your payment in. For more information on each of the payment options click here

Royalites for Other Services

For the sake of this post, other services are considered: Publishing Administration, Neighboring Rights, Soundcloud Monetization, STEMS, Physical, Sample Packs, Music Video Distribution and more.

We report royalties for other services at the same time of our quarterly statement postings. We only report once we have received payment for the said service and of course, data.

Tax Information (USA and Internationally)

Whether you are in USA or abroad, you are responsible for reporting the royalties you receive through the sale or streaming of music. We send payments from every sale you report.

Tax forms should be completed because it is imposed by the government and every distribution company operating in the US should abide by regulations. Your tax forms should be updated through SymphonicMS but you can also deliver them through making a ticket.

As of January 1, 2017, some updates to the tax procedures for international clients of Symphonic Distribution have been launched. Please click here to understand how this affects you and your payments from 2017 going forward.

For more information on royalties and payments, please visit our Help Desk.

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-getting-paid-in-the-music.html

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Tips For Getting Verified On Shazam And Accessing Analytics

By Shivani Patel

updates

Join Shazam’s community of artists on the blue carpet! Getting verified on this platform is simple and can help you to connect with more fans. Shazam is the place where the world discovers music…and often where artists can engage with fans long before other social networks. Join the likes of Armin van Buren, Major Lazer, and more!

Here are our tips for getting verified on Shazam:

  1. To become a Verified Shazam Artist, click here.
  2. If you have a verified Twitter account, you music follow Shazam on the social network to be considered.
  3. Once you visit the verification page, Shazam will ask you a few questions. It is helpful that you have your contact details, email address, high-quality photo, and details about your artist page on Twitter, Facebook, or SoundCloud.

By becoming a Verified Shazam Artist, you also get access to Shazam Connect. This will help you to understand how your music is performing and how people are engaging with it. You can learn more about your followers, such as follower growth over time, geographic data, gender, and age.

You can also see where you are trending and get push notifications when you are buzzing in specific locations. Shazam Connect can also tell you what’s working well via their artist dashboard.

You can also begin to build a personal relationship with Shazam. As you grow, developing a 1-to-1 relationship with their music team is key as they can advise you on best practices and artist visits. Shazam also loves to highlight artists’s success. They feature the best new music on their dedicated Shazam for Artists social accounts.

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/tips-for-getting-verified-on-shazam-and-accessing-analytics.html

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Responsible Rock N Roll: 4 Tips For Your First Concert

By Kara Masterson

Going to a rock concert can be one of the craziest experiences of your life. You’ll just need to make sure that it’s the good kind of crazy. If you’re headed to your first live rock’n’roll experience, here are a few tips for maximizing the fun and minimizing the drama.

Know What to Bring

Money is the most important thing, especially if you plan on purchasing merchandise. You might also want to pack a portable charger for all of those long hours waiting in line and playing games on your phone. If the weather channel is predicting rain, stash a poncho in your car; it’s less bulky than an umbrella and won’t anger the people standing behind you. When in doubt, remember that it’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.

Dress Yourself Appropriately

You might be tempted to emulate your favorite rock stars when choosing your concert attire, but don’t forget that you’re going to be stuck in that outfit for the duration of the show. If your white face paint is going to melt right down into your thick, sweaty vampire sleeves, you’ll only attract attention in the bad kind of way. Stick with your regular clothes for a rock concert. You don’t want anything to catch fire when the pyrotechnics come out.

Research the Rules of the Venue

Many venues have strict rules against things like knives and fireworks. They might also disallow bags over a certain size for the comfort and convenience of other concertgoers. You’ll need to be careful about electronic equipment, too; while some bands don’t care if you tape the show, there are others that absolutely hate it and will have you escorted off the premises if they see that tell-tale glow in the crowd. Make sure to check the rules on phones, tablets, selfie sticks and video recorders.

Don’t Drink And Drive

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 25 people die every day as a result of drunk driving. You’re also four times more likely to have a drunk driving accident at night than in the daytime, and guess when most concerts end? Do yourself a favor and make other arrangements for getting home after you’ve been imbibing. You can call a taxi, schedule an Uber/Lyft vehicle or just pick a designated driver from among your friends. If you do make the mistake of driving under the influence, you can end up with a hefty fine as well. There are lawyers like Steve W. Sumner, Attorney At Law who can help you try and minimize the financial consequences, but if someone is seriously hurt as a result of your actions you will still have to live with that knowledge. Do yourself a favor and don’t drink and drive.

These are just a few tips for enjoying your first concert. You’ll get the hang of them eventually, but until you’re comfortable with the live music experience, let these guidelines help.

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/responsible-rock-n-roll-4-tips-for-your-first-concert.html

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What Unsigned Bands Can Learn From Disney

By mark knight

Last weekend, I was speaking to a music manager who was bemoaning his band’s lack of new music. “We have no new story” he said. The band in question have 19 tracks on Spotify and a host of video content. If got me thinking, what can we learn from Disney?

Disney understands that a good story is always a good story. They also understand that once they have a good story, they have an endless new audience for that story. Disney marketeers ensure each new generation is exposed to the story by allowing them to see it in the format of the day.

Take Cinderella for example. The film was originally released in theatres on February 15th, 1950 it was subsequently re-released in theatres no fewer than five times in 1957, 1965, 1973, 1981 and 1987. Then with the growth of in-home media consumption Cinderella was released again. On VHS video and Laserdisc in 1988 as part of the Walt Disney Classics collection. In 1995 the film received a Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection video re-issue. Then in 1997, the film was re-released for DVD, Disney then remastered the movie in 2005 for the 6th edition of its Platinum Editions series. (Disney sold 3.2m copies in its first week and earned over $64m in sales). There is more…

In the UK a ‘Royal Edition’ of Cinderella was released on DVD in April, 2011 to coincide with the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Then in Octob 2012 a 3 disc Blu-ray was released, and a 1 disc DVD edition was released on November 20, 2012. It goes on and on….

Let’s bring it back to music for a moment, and understand the differences. If you ever try to release music to the industry (radio, magazines, and blogs) you will be told in no uncertain terms unless it’s new, they won’t play it or even listen to it. They won’t even support new music that came out two weeks ago! The traditional music industry distribution channels demand to hear about new music 8-10 weeks ahead of its launch. Once the launch date has passed the music industry, in all their infinite wisdom are unlikely to touch it, support it or play it.

So you spend the last year, writing, recording, mixing and mastering your album and then because it wasn’t promoted with a long enough lead time, nobody will ever listen to it. How heart-breaking is that! Then even if you do send it to them with sufficient lead times, you are still overlooked by radio, and press who largely only support major label signed artists.

In music you are told you have one shot, and for most unsigned artists that one shot means an expensive and ineffective push to radio and press who ignore it anyway. After this time, that track is deemed old and useless. It sits disregarded on a shelf, on a CD at a gig, or as part of an album on a streaming service. How miserable and wasteful.

The good news is that nowadays the way people consume music has changed, and the traditional music industry media distribution channels are declining in importance and relevance for unsigned bands and independent artists. Today we have direct to consumer channels, and we don’t have to play by the archaic rules of the old music media world.

Let’s start with Spotify, the streaming music service allows fans to listen to whatever they want, whenever they want. Spotify has also inadvertently destroyed the concept of new music, but combining new music with old music on their playlists.

New on Spotify simply means ‘new to me’ with Spotify curated playlists containing music by theme, not by release date. On the playlists we analysed we found newly released tracks alongside tracks that span an 11-year release date period. For most listeners, it’s all new music, because it’s the first time they have heard it. When was the last time you heard a track on Spotify that you liked and then Googled it to check when it was released? Of course not, nobody cares about release dates. The music industry’s obsession with the next new single and release date is out of step with how fans consume music online.

So let’s forget the traditional music industry media channels and consider how we can apply The Disney model to other direct to fan distribution channels like social media. As a new band or artist on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter et al you have new fans finding you each week. Most fans arrive in response to one thing. That could be The one gig they attended, the one YouTube video they saw, the one track they found on Spotify. So that means you have a lot more to share with them.

If your band released their first single, EP, or album 5 years ago, how many of the new fans that have followed you this week do you think have heard all of your back catalogue? We suspect very, very few. Forget the music industry as an audience, and focus on your fan audience. Until all your fans have heard all your previous tracks and watched all your previous videos, you have so much left to do.

How to become a Disney marketer.

  • Start by creating assets for every track you’ve ever released. It doesn’t have to be expensive, these assets could include:
  • The musical score of the track, so your fans can play along at home
  • The printed lyrics of the track
  • The limited edition live mp3 give away of the track
  • The limited edition vinyl of the track
  • The Spotify playlist featuring the track, plus other favourites that inspired its creation
  • The audio track: On Spotify embedded as a player direct from social media
  • The artwork for / inspired by the song
  • The story of the song (written interview)
  • The story of the song (video interview)
  • The behind the scenes making of the music video
  • The lyric video
  • The official music video
  • The dance remix
  • The alternative acoustic version
  • The unreleased instrumental
  • Plan to push these pieces of content out on social media. (Use services like Tweedeck, Later, or Facebook itself to schedule posts to avoid the daily slog) Either focus on one track at a time, or mix them up so you have different pieces of content for each of your tracks throughout the same week. If fans don’t like one track or one video, there is always something new to discover. They might not love the audio, but love the lyrics, the remix or the acoustic version.
  • Use Spotify as a sign off for all pieces of content. EG Discover this track and more of our music on Spotify to maximise revenue generating opportunities

Let’s say you have two albums and two EPs already released, that means 15 tracks or a potential for 450 different pieces of content to post on social media. Suddenly you have over a year’s worth of Facebook posts all ready to go. And just like Disney once you get to the end, you start again, recognising new fans are always joining midway through the cycle. It’s like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, the job is never complete, and you are always adding new tracks and content to each cycle. Give your fans the chance to discover all your music, and make all of your tracks work for you, imagine the additional income if your fans all listened to three more of your tracks on Spotify each week.

Unsigned bands and independent artists, it’s time to start thinking like a Disney marketer, don’t promote your new single and stop, promote and continue to tell the story of your entire back catalogue. Make the most of social media and Spotify, think like Disney.

Words Mark Knight. @RightChordMusic

RCM offers PAYG management sessions for unsigned bands and independent artists. Never be bound by contracts again. Find out more and book your session here.

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/what-unsigned-bands-can-learn-from-disney.html

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Judging An Album By Its Cover

By Robert Lanterman

“I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but I’ve found you can judge an album by its cover.”

My friend recently said this to me and while I kind of hate to admit it, I also have found a positive correlation between good music and aesthetically pleasing packaging. If nobody’s heard your music before, the artwork may be the difference between skipping over it or checking it out – especially in the digital age where there’s so much music available for free. Here are some tips I drafted up for creating and choosing the correct album art.

How Will You Feel Listening to It?

I recently got a thrash metal album from a ska label. No, I’m not joking – I ordered a box of albums from a label who was cutting down on inventory, and although the label was known for ska music, this record was thrash metal. And you know, I knew right away that it was a thrash metal record because the font looked like this.

Certain aesthetics — color, font, logos — give away the mood of an album, and sometimes the genre. A melancholy album may use a lot of gray and be more minimalist than an upbeat, silly record, which may include more bright colors and random props. Of course, you don’t have to play by the rules, and I will always rail against stereotypical album covers. But you should do this in a way that lets people know how they might feel while listening to the album, or at least make them curious enough to check it out.

Surprise Your Audience.

Genericism is one of the biggest plagues in music and art today, and a generic album cover will make someone not want to listen to it. Why check out something that looks exactly like something else, and therefore will probably sound generic as well? The same font, art style, and color scheme that everyone’s using doesn’t do you any favors.

That said, a surprise is good. It doesn’t have to be a huge middle finger to anyone or use nudity, but it should be distinguishing. This can mean a lot of detail or minimal detail – but it should be unique.

There’s a short documentary about Black Flag’s original artist Raymond Pettibon that talks about the shock value which brought people to the band in the 80’s, and does the same today. While their logo was simplistic and not too controversial in itself, the band’s show flyers (designed by Pettibon) were often highly offensive and surprising. Whether it was the gamit of Charles Manson profiles, or the sacrilegious art that covered “Slip It In,” the shock value worked and people all over the world know Black Flag because of it.

Simple is Safe

Complexity can be good but it’s very hard to pull off. Even though I appreciate some complex music, complex album art makes me less interested. Less is more, and it intrigues people to find what’s hiding behind the face of the album. The friend I quoted at the beginning of this article told me about buying Screeching Weasel’s BoogadaBoogadaBoogada after seeing it in a store, with no idea what it sounded like. The artwork for this album is simple and eye grabbing. The plain pink background, silly title, and signature weasel logo grabbed his attention immediately – it gave the feeling of intrigue.

This is a record I put out for a band last year and it’s gotten more attention than anything else I’ve done on my label. Yes, the band is very good and that’s why people bought or listened to the release. But I think the simplicity used was eye grabbing for many people to check it out, especially reviewers. The use of primary colors with a simple drawing of each band member (and their logo) uncolored kept the cover simple enough to understand, but aesthetically pleasing enough to want to investigate.

Photoshop is Universal

Photoshop is the universal standard for artwork in all kinds of media and I highly recommend you get it for yourself. It’s not easy off the bat, and you may need to take some classes to get the hang of it. But it’s a cheap monthly fee you can cancel whenever (as cheap as Netflix), and everyone uses it.

Every photographer I know and almost every person I know who creates art professionally uses Photoshop and or is at least able to use it when need be. It’s the best format to use when passing artwork from one person to another, for the purpose of expanding on a former piece, creating layouts, or formatting before sending off to a pressing/printing plant (all printing companies need important specifics due to the nature of their work, which Photoshop can meet).

Some day, there may be a different standard. But as for now, Photoshop is universal.

Cartoons and Comics are Always Cool (Unless You’re a Ska Band)

I love comic book-esque, cartoony album artwork. From Green Day to Sonic Youth, I’m almost always inclined to check out an album if it resembles a cartoon or a comic book. I even recently listened to a band I hate just to see if they’d gotten better due to their rad album artwork (spoiler: they still suck). As long as it’s not too cheesy, this is really a great idea. Unless, of course, you’re a ska band.

I don’t know what it is. It didn’t used to be this way. But the genericism is strong with this one. Less Than Jake’s Hello Rockview sold how many copies? Goldfinger’s first album is equally as awesome as its cover. But at this point, ska bands have gotten so cheesy, unserious, and bad that a comic book cover just highlights all of the not-to-be-taken-seriously parts of them. So if you’re in a ska band and you want to be taken seriously, stay away from cartoons and comics. Please.

Rob Lanterman runs a record label and still listens to ska. Follow him on Twitter @robolitious.

Read more from the source: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/judging-an-album-by-its-cover.html

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