Archive for November, 2012

Digital Marketing For Musicians – ReBlog from dalespeaking.com

November 29, 2012

Old Modem and Computer

Occasionally I’ll be writing a blog for my work website, dalespeaking.com, and occasionally I will reblog/link those posts here in case you’re interested in reading them!

I promise I’ll keep it to semi-interesting industry or music stuff, not posts on our artist’s tour dates or what radio stations are playing what singles.

Also, if anyone can tell me how to properly re-blog something, I’d appreciate it.  I’ve never had to before, so I’m not quite sure how!

Anywhoo, here’s a snippet to whet your whistle (link to the blog):

“Today, the concept of a fan club seems alien, but I’ve felt as though ‘Fan Clubs’ and ‘Mailing Lists’ are right under our noses, we just don’t see it that way.”

Fuzzy Notes Podcast – Music By Furries!

November 26, 2012

It’s done!  It’s finally done!  After a series of weeks with second-guessing, procrastination, starts and stops and restarts, it’s finished!

I had been wanting to record a podcast featuring music by furries for awhile, mainly since there’s a void when it comes to furry music.  Well, not a total void.  There are groups here, a site or two there, individual indie labels and artist sites.  But overall there is no well-known central hub where artists are featured, discussed, interviewed, and showcased.  So, I wanted to change that!

I guess it was a good idea, since there have been almost 300 listens in about 72 hours since the podcast was uploaded!

Featured in this particular episode are Matthew Ebel, TheBlackParrot, The Dead Pixel, Look Left, Colson and Kwipper and a lot of rambling from me…sorry, first episode!  Here are links with more info and the episode!

Podomatic: http://fuzzynotes.podomatic.com

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/fuzzy-notes!/id581600769

Let me know what you think, and if you like it, please rate and leave a comment wherever you listen 😀

Jeffery Straker – Botanic Gardens video

November 13, 2012

Must admit, I already had a soft spot for Jeffery Straker…in part, because I’ve had the chance to work with him on a couple of occasions, but mainly because of his awesome songwriting that bounces between piano pop and cabaret.  His latest album, ‘Vagabond,’ was produced by Kitchener-Waterloo songwriter and producer Danny Michel…another soft-spotty artist o’ mine.

The Botanic Gardens video softens me up even more…probably because of its unapologetic and tongue-in-cheek queerness!  Very fun, very cute, and a great song to boot!

There aren’t very many gay-themed videos – whether they be subtle or over the top – in general.  I mean, Carly Rae went ‘gay’ in her Song Of The Summer smash ‘Call Me Maybe‘ (at least, the object of her affections did) but that was the traditional usage of homos in music videos – comic relief.

In Botanic Gardens, as in Bronski Beat’s ‘Smalltown Boy‘ or Macklemore’s ‘Same Love,’ it’s just a natural part of the story of the video.  Though comparing the three isn’t really fair: Smalltown Boy was an early success at telling the story of rejected gay youth, and Same Love is a modern-day protest song…where Botanic Garden could never be mistaken for ‘political.’

It’s a pretty, well-written song and a pretty, well-filmed video where the main character just happens to be gay…as are several of the passers-by.

Though Jeffery…why you gotta scoot away from the poor bear!  It’s clear he’s into you!!!

…I’m gonna pay for that one…

Monday Morning Quickie – November 12th, 2012

November 12, 2012

If you’re an artist…or a manager…or a label owner…or even not in music, hell, maybe you’re an IT Specialist!  I have one quick piece of advice for you:

Don’t spread your ‘name’ too thin.

Don’t muddy the waters by trying to do too much at once.  More specifically, if you’re an artist with your own ‘promotions’ company, and ‘publishing’ and ‘label’ and all that stuff, try to keep everything separate.  Don’t confuse matters by pushing too many ‘names’ at once, especially if you’re still new.

Writing songs and performing them?  Then promote yourself as an artist.  Let people figure the rest out on their own.

If you have three names (artist, label, promotions, for example) then you have three things people are trying to get a handle on, and all three are going to be diminished.  Focus on the most important one, build it, and then contemplate adding another.

That is all!

Touring Singles

November 5, 2012

I have a scenario for you…maybe a ‘thought-puzzle?’  Naah, not smart enough for that.  It’s an…idea…that crossed my mind yesterday.

You see, I was at the Chad Brownlee & Dallas Smith ‘Boys of Fall’ stop in Hamilton yesterday when this thought passed through my mind.  I had shown up early for soundcheck, said hi to Chad, had that giddy moment I get all the time now when someone on a stage leans over to shake my hand and says “How’s it goin, Roo?”  I should also note that later in the night, near the end of the show, my co-worker Amber made a comment that totally brought the thought back in to my mind.  What she said was, and I’m paraphrasing, “Chad has more songs.”  Referring to his two albums, where Dallas has one.

I should interject one more time…Dallas Smith has MANY more albums than one.  As lead singer of Default he released albums and singles that were very popular (and quite awesome) in the early 2000s.  I am referring to country albums, since he has successfully made the leap from alt-rock to country (judging from the screaming crowd)

BACK TO MY ORIGINAL THOUGHT.

Chad has two albums, Dallas has one.  Chad has…about nine singles.  Dallas has (to my count) two.  Yet they could tour and pull in 50 minute sets full of music.  How can they do this?

I’d argue it’s because of the albums.  And here’s where the ‘thought-idea’ comes in.

If we’re moving to a world where music is consumed in singles, and people (including newsletterer Bob Lefsetz) is telling us that the album is dead, especially among the youth…how the hell will people play 50 minute sets, or tour at all?

Work with me here:

  • Artist releases single.  Based on their good looks, interesting story, and amazing hook it makes it to the radio…hell, it hits #11 on the charts!
  • Artist releases second single, with an amazing video, and hits #2…amazing!
  • Artist tours.

…and what…play the only two songs anyone knows?

I think this is where the ‘singles market’ argument kinda dies.  I’m not saying singles aren’t ‘the market’ right now…consumers prefer singles over albums for the most part, though according to those statistics there was about a 20-25% increase in album sales in 2011 compared to 2010.  Still, the difference is staggering: 1,114,000,000 singles downloaded versus 85,000,000 albums.

But the artist who releases albums has more songs to sing at a show.  And isn’t live performance kind of…the point?  Here’s my conclusion…feel free to argue it if you like!

Singles are to Albums what Business is to Art.

Or more specifically, an artist releases albums because they are creative beasts and probably (hopefully) have more than two or three songs in them each year.  They probably have 30 or 40 that they have to painstakingly reduce to 12 for an album release (with the others shelved or released online for fans).  They tour because they want to perform for people, and want fans to hear all their amazing songs.

A business person sees the financial potential in releasing and promoting one song at a time, packaging up a singer with a pre-recorded track, and maybe pairing them with a few others of the same ilk to send around singing their ‘song’ in front of fans.  While out promoting their song, hired songwriters are busy writing the next one, managers are hiring video producers, labels are finding sponsorship deals…

I’m not slamming the business person.  But I’m acknowledging that the last time we had a singles market the industry was a factory.  Songwriters in Tin Pan Alley wrote the hits, labels found artists for their repertoire, singles were released.  Artists toured, played their hit and a few covers.

Then there was this period as the 50’s went on into the 60’s that artists released albums: coherent, long-playing collections of songs, some of which were *gasp* not singles!  But fans could love them…and artists could play them live.

Maybe I’m reaching pretty far for this one, but it occurs to me that something is lost in a singles market: ‘everything else.’  You have the hits, but some of the best songs just aren’t fit for radio or Much Music.  They’re the songs you want to listen to on the drive to work, or at home while cleaning.

Have you ever listened to Top 40 radio for a whole day?  It’s TIRING!  Imagine if we went back to the singles factory: churn out a hit, tour the artist, have them sing covers to fill the space.  It would be like Top 40 on stage that you pay to see!

I like it when the space between the hits is filled with other awesome songs, rather than other hits.

What do you think about all this?  Am I reaching?  Am I spot on?  Am I crazy?  Let me know in the comments, or maybe even on Twitter @Potoroo!

Something Weird Podcast – It’s About The Music, Baby!

November 2, 2012

Hey all!

I have linked the ‘Something Weird This Way Comes’ podcast here in the past, a show co-hosted by me and Moe Porne that discussed low and no-budget, b-flicks, genre and camp and exploitation films.  The thing is…Moe does the same thing in an amazing show called No-Budget Nightmares, alongside the effervescent Canuck Doug Tilley (…sorry…TILLEY now…just Tilley).

If I’ve learned something in my line of work…working two of the same thing just means you’re in competition with yourself.

…maybe not so much with podcasts…needless to say, we figured the show could use a reboot and format change.

So here it is!  Something Weird is now about the music now, baby!  The music of the movies I love…the weird flicks, the ones so bad that they’re good.

Check it out on Podomatic (and soon on iTunes…hell, just head there an subscribe anyways!!)  I would embed a player here…but apparently WordPress doesn’t like it when you try and do that!

I’d love to hear what you think!  Either comment here, or get in touch on Twitter @Potoroo!