Monthly Archive for May, 2010

How To Get Your Music On Music Blogs

This is the first post in a series of guest posts by MusicNomad, a musicians advocate organization that researches, reviews and ranks thousands of companies in the music industry to filter out the ones that help musicians the most.
Music blogs are the new A&R scouts for the music industry. Music fans and record labels use influential music blogs to filter out and find new music, and as a result, all developing artists must now leverage the music blog scene to succeed. Some music blogs write about popular music and give reviews, gossip and MP3’s, but the most influential ones are usually written by one blogger who writes about music he loves and does not follow the mainstream music scene. Music fans on these sites go there because they have the same musical tastes of those bloggers and want to discover cool new music. As a result, if your band is lucky enough to be positively reviewed on a music blog, it can bring new fans to your shows and websites. This should sound familiar to Evolving Music readers, as it shares the same underlying principal as the Niche Music System.
Well how do these bloggers find new music to write about? They go to record stores (yes there are still a few around) and ask the clerks what is new and cool. They ask friends and check out lots of live shows. And, they take music submissions through their sites. The challenge is that most bloggers have no time to listen to everything submitted, so the chances of them listening to your music and getting put on their blog are slim.
However, MusicNomad has compiled a great list of do’s and don’ts for submitting your music that will increase your chances of getting mentioned:

  1. Make sure you check out the style of music the blogger likes and send your music to only those bloggers that like your style/genre.
  2. Personalize the email and refer to something you read in the blog that you liked. Mention some of the bands the blogger likes and that you are in the same genre as them.
  3. Tell the blogger some cool bands you think he will like and in your signature, put your band’s myspace page, etc and tour dates.
  4. Use the subject line to draw attention to something important, such as you are touring through the blogger’s town or you sound like one of his favorite bands.
  5. If you are touring through the blogger’s town, let him know and ask him to come down and check you out.
  6. Send MP3 links

  1. Don’t show up at their home or place of business, they don’t like stalkers.
  2. Don’t send CD’s unless they specifically ask for it.
  3. If you are a rap artist, don’t send your MP3 to an indie rock blogger and vice versa.
  4. Don’t use all caps in your email to them…there’s no need to yell.
In the end, most bloggers write about music they like and share it with readers who have come to respect them for their recommendations and taste. These influential bloggers help promote artists and bring people to their shows. They also get pleasure in helping the bands they like and bringing new fans to them.
About MusicNomad
MusicNomad is a musicians advocate organization that tries to make sense of the vast and fragmented music industry through researching, interviewing, reviewing and ranking thousands of companies in the music industry and filtering the ones that can really help musicians. They then do write ups on the companies, rank them and give you a direct link to their website. There are also tips, news and articles for musicians to explore. The website is free to use and focuses on fighting for the underdog, independent musicians!

SF MusicTech Summit 6: Futuristic Instruments, Irrelevant Labels, and Ticketmaster Madness

With every passing SanFran Music Tech summit, the speaker list and the sponsor list look more and more like red carpet roll calls, and the schedule includes increasingly poignant panel topics. At past conferences, despite the rampant enthusiasm of attendees, there seemed to be an overhanging tone of uncertainty about the music industry. It was as if everyone was walking around being excited about all these crazy new technologies and possibilities and yet couldn’t quite relax because nobody really knew what direction things were going in. It seems like this may be starting to shift. Rob Pegoraro of The Washington Post points out that things could be worse.

As the possibilities of the future of music begin to emerge, one hot topic is the future of musical instruments. Roger Linn, Max Mathews, Ge Wang, John Chowning and Dave Wessel gave a fascinating demo of just what some of those possibilities might look like. Mashable asked what people thought about this. The comments are revealing in that they are a good example of some pretty strong sentiment on both sides of the argument (technology + instruments = good or bad?) .

TechDirt recognized one of the overarching themes of this summit to be the increasing irrelevance of the major record labels, with one clear indicator being that the room emptied out after the popular Ben Folds panel and no one really seemed to care about the next panel which was a “discussion between a guy at Warner Music Group and someone at Cisco about the “direct to fan” artist websites that Warner Music has set up using Cisco’s Eos platform.” They go on to point out one audience question during the “Music and Money” panel, which summed up the whole thing: “If the major labels are such a pain to work with, why work with them at all?”

In response to heightened consumer frustration, Live Nation‘s Noah Maffit told attendees, during the “Live and Online” panel, that Ticketmaster service fees must come down. Ticketmaster’s technology doesn’t warrant the hegemony it possesses over the ticket market, and the company — bought by LiveNation in 2009 — is on a mission to update it, according to David Downs of the East Bay Express. It’ll be interesting to see how they evolve moving forward, especially with fresh, young competition like Ticketfly at their heels.

Stephen Fortner of Keyboard Magazine summed up the summit well: “…it’s grown from a locals-only networking hang largely focused on social networks as they related to music delivery, to a fertile marketplace of ideas covering all aspects of the music business in the digital age–from instruments and production to marketing and distribution.”

Follow the real-time conversation about SF MusicTech on Collecta:

For more on the previous 5 summits:

SF MusicTech Summit 1: Rockstars, Lawyers, Nerds and Me
SF MusicTech Summit 2: Guestlist Wish, Artist Activism, and Label Survival
SF MusicTech Summit 3: Albums Die, Social Media Kicks Ass, Songs Find a Home
SF MusicTech Summit 4: Singalongs, Video Interviews, and Twitter Gossip
SF MusicTech Summit 5: Google Music, API Aficionados, and Pandorable Cars

Camp Bisco Remix Contest: Remix Bassnectar, Disco Biscuits, King Britt or Black Seeds & Perform At Camp Bisco 9!

If you have the skills to DJ for raging masses of party people alongside some of the biggest and best electronic acts, this opportunity is for you! URB and MixMatchMusic have teamed up with Camp Bisco 9 for the second annual Camp Bisco Remix Contest. This year will feature four different artists and songs to remix. The contest starts May 19th with tracks from event hosts The Disco Biscuits, “whomp” godfather Bassnectar, electronica pioneer King Britt and New Zealand soul reggae stars The Black Seeds. One grand-prize winner will be awarded a one-hour set on the stage of this year’s Camp Bisco!

The Songs
Cozza Frenzy (Original) by Bassnectar
The Black Seeds – Slingshot
King Britt – The Intricate Beauty (feat Ryat)
Disco Biscuits – “On Time”

How to participate?
1) Choose a song to remix, and open up that Remix Wizard widget.
2) Download song stems, its free and easy!
3) Create your remix using the stems and any additional music or beats that either you have created or have a creative commons license for. You can also make your mix online by clicking on the MixMaker button of the widget.
4) Upload an MP3 of your remix via the same widget you used to download the stems. Enter as many Camp Bisco remixes as you like!
5) Share the track with your friends and ask them to comment, rate, playlist your mix and share it with their friends on twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and their blogs, etc.
6) Once you have finished and uploaded your remix, Judges from Camp Bisco and will select a winner for each track and one grand-prize winner!
7) Contest ends June 21, 2010. Winners will be notified by June 28, 2010.

Visit the Camp Disco Remix Contest page on URB to start working on your remixes today!

Each remix will have one winner. Each of those winners will go on to compete for the Grand Prize. The winning remix of each track will receive a prize pack of CDs from each of the remix artists and two tickets to the festival. One grand prize winner will also receive 2 passes to the festival with Artist credentials, a custom MobBase iPhone app and lifetime subscription from MixMatchMusic, $200 for travel expenses and a hotel room along with the chance of a lifetime — a one-hour set in front of thousands of festival goers at Camp Bisco 9!

Camp Bisco Announces Partnership with MixMatchMusic
A new addition to the Camp Bisco remix contest team for this year is the Remix Wizard, provided by MixMatchMusic, which includes easy-to-use web-based remixing tools for beginners. “Involving fans in the creative process through remixing is one of the best ways to make the artist – fan connection stronger,” said Charles Feinn, CEO and co-founder of MixMatchMusic. “And, it’s exciting and also humbling to know that we’re playing a part in making those connections happen.” MixMatchMusic’s popular and versatile iPhone app builder MobBase will be used for the first ever Camp Bisco iPhone app.

About Camp Bisco
The 9th annual Camp Bisco festival will take place once again at the picturesque Indian Lookout Country Club in Mariaville, New York outside New York City from July 16 to 18, 2010. The event features three nights of the Disco Biscuits and over forty other acts. Headliners include The Disco Biscuits, Thievery Corporation, LCD Soundsystem and Ween.  For complete, up-to-date information about Camp Bisco 9 click here. To start remixing, click here.

The Musician As An Entrepreneur

Music Entrepreneurs

I wanted to kick off a series of guest posts on Evolving Music by taking a look at a mindset adaption that I truly feel is needed in today’s new music economy. The mental state that I see most artists that I speak with, read about or work with is the one that is looking for someone to take them from point A to point B because they are talented.

This approach can pose a real problem towards growing a business in today’s industry.

As a musician you need to compose a great sense of music/work/life balance. What this means is that your creative and artistic side needs to be nurtured and come first. Without hit songs there is no opportunity to advance in this business.

The next step is utilizing your available time to the best of your availability. We all want time to relax, kick back a few drinks or whatever vice/habits/daily rituals you have. The objective is to balance this out with actual work that is going to progress your music career. This includes playing out live, building local contacts, updating web properties, creating products, leveraging social networking sites, talking with fans and soaking in an education on technology and business.

This is where the mindset of an entrepreneur kicks in.

Think about it. Think about the brands and companies that you emulate. Their CEO’s and figure heads all work their asses of to accomplish a goal which is to essentially grow their company. Their focus is on many things – not just looking for the one investor who will dump in a bunch of money and let the entrepreneur cash out.

Assemble A Team

The next step in this mindset is to begin building and assembling a team to help you in the areas that you may be weak in or have no interest in. The cool thing is that there are a ton of web properties that can help you, and almost become a team member.

Think about MobBase. They are a web service that allows you to have an iPhone application. They act as a developer, hosting company and partner to push your music onto 40 million iPhones. Although they have branded themselves as a service to musicians, they are really a member of your team.

Other members may include graphic designers, marketers, booking agents, financial people and so on. These team members are there to support you and your efforts in growing your vision. There is not one single person that can handle and grow your entire business, but one you understand that to have a career with any type of longevity, you actually need a business.

Some Hard Ass Work

Your music/work/life balance is not an easy mental state to just sit on the couch and figure out. It’s something that requires a ton of time and effort. The artists that I see making the biggest investment in their careers are the ones that take responsibility for their entire career.

We profiled Rhymefest a few days ago over on GYRS. The guy has created a wealth of good music. This is where it starts. Now it’s all about awareness and monetization. He has crafted a pay-what-you want mixtape. He’s blogging. He’s on Twitter connecting with fans. He is using Facebook to connect with a different audience. He is playing live shows. He is reaching out to popular sites and providing quality conversations for their audience.

In short, he is taking responsibility for his success and his career. That is just one example of the entrepreneur mindset for the musician.

Over the next few weeks we will be exploring marketing and business ideas for your music career in this little guest writing feature. Big shout out to MixMatchMusic for letting me hang out over here and check out the video I shot with MixMatchMusic’s co-founder, Alan Khalfin, about iPhone apps, marketing and design. It came out really cool.

Till next time.

This post was written by Greg Rollett, a music marketing and digital entrepreneur from Orlando, FL. He is an advocate of the New Music Economy and has an awesome community of entrepreneurial minded musicians at Label 2.0. Follow him on Twitter, @g_ro to chat about the music game.

photo credit: Chris-Håvard Berge

Band iPhone Apps – Interview With MobBase

Greg Rollett of Gen-Y Rock Stars and Label 2.0 chats with MobBase’s CFO and Director of Business Development, Alan Khalfin, about how you can create your own iPhone app, engage the modern music fan, and build excitement around your iPhone app to drive awareness and installs.