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!

Dale Speaking Podcast!

October 30, 2012

A dog flying through space eating planets…just screams PODCAST!

Booyah!

In and out quickly!

I am doing a new podcast for my job…first episode is out, second is on the way this Monday.  It’s on music, the music industry, and trying to pass on the stuff we learn while embedded in this crazy music world!

I can’t embed it so please click here if you’d like to check it out!  I’d love to hear what you think about it as well…and if you love it, click here to check out the iTunes page and subscribe!

Note: I have TWO *gasp* other podcasts coming down the pipe – one on music by furries (called Fuzzy Notes), the other on music from b-, low-, no-budget and cult movies (called Something Weird This Way Comes)!  When I’m done those, I’ll link ’em here!

I’d promise to be back with a real blog sometime soon…but I keep thinking I’ll do it then find I have nothing to say…SAD!  I’m still alive though, don’t write me off yet!

Barrage of Music!

September 24, 2012

I find myself in my usual chaotic state, surrounded by music.  I think I can subdivide ‘music’ in my life into a few different categories:

  • Casual Music: The music I want to listen to, have in my iPod cause I lurve it, seek out…you know, the kind of music 99% of music listeners listen to
  • Work Music: Sometimes this passes into Casual Music, but generally means the music I ‘need’ to listen to, the artists I work with, the people who come to us for work
  • My Music: The music I make…you know, that stuff I kinda haven’t done much of in awhile.
  • My Work Music: Music that is pretty much done for fun, but also I have an obligation to do.  Like when I say I’ll make a song for a video…it’s my music, but it’s also work music.

My Casual Music has been all over the place recently, from old faves (Aimee Mann) to new faves (Cher Lloyd…I know, I know) to in betweeners.  I recently opted to delete my whole iTunes library and reimport it from my folders to eliminate problems I’ve been having forever.  I accidentally deleted my playlists too so I’m discovering what I’m missing when I go to listen to it and don’t have it.  GAH!

Work Music has also been all over the place.  Urban artists who claim to be better than the ‘Canadian crap’ that pop stations play…hip hoppers and RnB’ers who have some talent but need some work…and country country country.  Yup, I spend most of my time listening to the music most people list as the geners they don’t like: Rap and Country.

…though, if Rap and Country is the music most people don’t like, why is all the money there?  Quandary.

My Music comes in brain idea spurts that sound like “Doo Doo Doo” as I try to capture them through Evernote or some sort of recorder on my phone.  They generally stay there, and have for about a year.  I need to set up my studio at home again.  Lazy.

My Work Music is dead in the water.  I want to help a friend out with some audio for a video he’s making, but no ideas come to me.  I’m blocked!

In all, my life is music and music is barraging me!  It’s hard to sit and focus, figure out what I should be paying attention to and what I should just move to the background.

And this is why it’s hard to write blogs these days.  What would I write about?  I don’t want to focus on artist’s I work with, but that’s where I’m listening most.  And focusing my attention for thirty minutes…that’s hard…

Being a Roo is hard…

Very Hard

Is there anything in particular you miss about this blog or you’d like to see me focus on?  The ‘Awesome Album Art Fridays’?  The posts on the industry and how it relates to an artist?  Reviews?  Randoom posts about nothing?

Knowing what people expect may help me focus!  So, if you were focused enough to read through to the end of this blog, I trust your judgement!  Hit me up, either here or on Twitter.

Holy Crapknuckle!

September 10, 2012

I haven’t posted in a LONG time! I apologize and offer no excuse other than distracted brain between sleeps…meaning I sleep, am confused and wander through the day, then sleep again. Which is no excuse at all.

To let you in on things, here’s an update:

– I am looking to start recording again…so, first I must set up my recording studio!
– I am switching directions on the ‘Something Weird This Way Comes’ podcast and it will focus solely on the music of low- and no-budget films…everything from the movie scores to the eclectic bands who record songs for movies that didn’t have the budget to pay them. Because I love that stuff…

That’s the music side! So that’s what’s coming up.

I will hopefully get some reviews up…such as the very very late Donna Fullman review, reviews of albums that have crossed my desk at work such as Jeffery Michael Straker, The Trip and many many more.

And of course, the usual rambles about the industry, bad movies, and being a furry in this wild, wild world.

Hope you haven’t abandoned me! I ‘should’ be back!

Shock and Awe: The Allnighter Film Festival Of Great Schlock

July 26, 2012

The Poster for Shock and Awe!

On Saturday, June 23rd I attended one of the coolest events in the world ever!  A B-movie, Grindhouse, Exploitation…whatever you prefer…film festival, which ran from 11:30 pm to 10 am the following day, showcasing five films (and one mystery film) in a row.  It was called Shock and Awe (link to the Facebook page) The experience was…amazing.  Why?

THE FILMS:

Screened were The Groove Tube, What Waits Below, Horror Hospital, A ‘Mystery’ Film, Rappin’ and the classic Sleepaway Camp.

Every single one of these films were off-beat (for many reasons).  For instance:

  • The Groove Tube was the first spoof on television, complete with gross gags on advertising, a TV show about drug dealers that turns into a cautionary tale produced by the Catholic church, and spontaneous gratuitous nudity among many other great and strangely timeless takes on television in the 70s
  • What Waits Below, a movie that wasn’t sure what it wanted to be, moving unsmoothly from adventure film to explorer film to underground creature film to ‘Can’t We All Just Get Along’ film.  It has one of the best ‘Fade to picture within picture’ scenes I’ve ever seen
  • Horror Hospital, with some of the most blatantly bad but genius lines (I’m not going to rape you!, , and a plot involving automoton creation and a rock star trying to escape the relaxing weekend he had hoped to experience
  • ‘The Mystery Film’ …was amazing…one of the best of the night…and sorry, you had to be there, so I can’t tell you what it was.
  • Rappin’…a hip hop musical…so bad that the rap about the fat kid who loves food was probably the best of the bunch
  • Sleepaway Camp, often considered a Friday the 13th rip off, but a genius flick with guys in short shorts and halter tops, amazing synth pop soundtrack, and a twist that actually shocked me the first time I saw it

I didn’t yawn once.  I wouldn’t have had the opportunity.  Mainly thanks to:

THE ORGANIZER:

Dion Conflict curated the night, and you could feel his love for the crowd and the movies in each introduction.  An avid film collector, a collector of the rarities and off-beat gems that  might otherwise be lost (apparently his copy of Horror Hospital was on the way to the trash heap when he rescued it!).  This man does exactly what I wish I could, so there’s loads of respect for him and what he does.

THE SETTING:

The Revue Cinema in Toronto was an amazing setting.  It reminded me of the Bookshelf in Guelph (and to a strange extent, the old 3 Star Cinemas in Guelph as well).  A small theatre, one screen, no long hallways or massive lobbies.  It felt like there was history there, a love of film, and a respect for the film goers.

THE PEOPLE:

When I watch these kinds of movies among friends I’m usually the one laughing loudest, commenting the most, and noticing the subtle quirks that everyone else ignores.

So being among like-minded movie goers was life-affirming.  Highlights included:

  • The laughing!  We all seemed to laugh at the same times, and they were times normal people wouldn’t laugh!  During What Waits Below, some RIDICULOUS moments transpire, and we all caught them
  • The clapping!  We applauded exceptionally bad lines that were delivered well.  We applauded exceptionally bad scenes that were crafted with (misplaced) care!
  • The interation!  During Rappin’ we regularly clapped with the rap…during the Mystery Film we had been assigned a series of reactions to specific triggers on film, and not only did we join in, we altered them to make them even more amusing…
  • The mutual love!  At the end of each movie…we applauded…because we appreciated the movie

How can you not be happy to be surrounded by people who are there for the same reason as you are, watching the movies you love to watch at home, but on the big screen!

THE EVENT!

I will never miss another Shock and Awe.  It was invigorating.  And I highly suggest that if you’re in Toronto, and love the beauty of low-budgetand off-mainstream film, you shouldn’t either.

Follow Dion Conflict on Twitter here: @dionconflict – And read his blog here!

You can follow me on Twitter here: @Potoroo

And a big thanks to @Doug_Tilley for first turning me on to this fest!

Do you have any favourite low-budget, b- or exploitation flicks?  What are they??