Posts Tagged ‘video’

New Years Songs

December 31, 2012

Some songs to get you through New Years!

What Are You Doing New Years Eve – performed by Zooey Deschannel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

I ❤ JGL, and didn’t know he had such a nice voice!

New Years Song – Josh Pyke

I also ❤ Josh Pyke and consider him one of the best songwriters in the world today.  I covered this in the most recent episode of ‘Fuzzy Notes,’ click here if you wanna check it out, it’s Track #3 starting at 9:27!

What Are You Doing New Years Eve – the Rufus Wainwright Gap Commercial

It put Rufus on the map, and is an awesome track…30 seconds…bite sized!

What is your favourite New Years song?  Let me know in the comments or by contacting me on twitter @Potoroo!


Sad Truths

December 1, 2011

Hiya! My name is 'One Hit Wonder Exception To The Rule!' What's your name???

Are you a musician looking to make it big??  Here is my two cents on Radio, Video and Album Sales…
  • Want to get on radio…listen to the station that best fits your genre…listen to who they play.  Write songs that could fit between the two most popular artists.  Are you pop?  Write something that can be squeezed between Katy Parry and Bruno Mars.  Rock?  Can your music squeeze between Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters?
  • Want to get on Much Music or have a popular video?  Do you have tens of thousands of dollars?  We’re talking ‘broadcast’ here.  Watch the station you would like to be played on…find out who directed the videos.  Choose one of them.  Have them direct your video.  If you’re in Canada, apply for a grant…it increases your chances of at least getting a week of airplay.
  • Want to get a number 1 album?  Find an investor.  You’re gonna be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions to get on the charts.  Do you  ‘honestly’ think Adele didn’t have millions of bucks backing her when she hit it big this summer?  Each Rihanna song costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to make.  You need co-writers, producers, marketers, distributors, ad buys, publicists, a tour in the works…

Or you could just write music you love, release it on the net to fans, and let radio, video directors, and investors come to you when the time is right.

I dunno about you guys, but I’d rather pull interest than push my songs on people…just seems like it’s worth a whole lot more in the end.

(PS. at the risk of losing all your faith in me…I only use Rebecca Black as an image because she managed to become famous with a $2000 song that was released on YouTube…I got no problem with Ms. Black!)

Walk Off The Earth

October 28, 2011

A friend at work introduced me to these guys.  Now, if there’s a band that understands how music and video work together to showcase awesome performance ideas, it’s Walk Off The Earth…watch this:

Granted, that vid is more of a ‘side projecty’ thing, but still…if HALF of that music skill and performance translates to a live show then I’m sold.  They have done everything right…they have the musical skill and took it to the next level.  Take one part busker, one part magic show, one part comedian, and ten parts musical talent, and you have these guys.  It can even just be a subtle twist on a recognizable song blended with awesome some simple video trickery, as with…

How fun is that???  And before you say “Oh god, another cover band…” here’s an original:

So, we know they’re good in front of a camera…and we know they’re good in front of a microphone…but I still have to ask: how are they live?

Live performance is where you truly connect with your audience.  The internet has been great at breaking down the walls between artist and fan…it’s conversation, it’s a connection…you can take a picture of yourself on stage, post it on Facebook, and fans who couldn’t be at the show can feel a part of the experience.

But the REAL experience is live.  And, lets face it…unless people are paying you for your videos, you can’t sustain a career without live performance.  When I go to a live show I ‘ALWAYS’ leave with a shirt, a CD, a sticker…something.  My favourite artists who I’ve never seen live…it’s rare that I’ll actually push ‘Buy.’

And if the performance is amazing I’m even more inspired to help them out.  At the John Butler show in Toronto we bought three CDs and spent about $20 on a raffle to win a guitar (the proceeds going to a good cause).  I’ll be honest…I’d heard all of Butler’s music before the show…but had never bought a CD.

But he inspired me to buy everything I could.  Just like Aimee Mann does every time she comes to town.  And The Middle East.  And Tunng.  If it wasn’t for the horrendous line-up, I would’ve bought at Mumford swag as well.

I kinda went all…moneybags there…but the point is I’m REALLY into this band right now.  But I’m witholding judgement on their overall amazingness until I see them live.  Do they switch instruments?  Do they energize the room?  Or do they stand there, strum, and sing.

…or is that enough, is strumming and singing all they need because their talent shines through?  Is their banter hilarious?  Do they engage the audience?

Anyone can make a fun video…very few people can make amazing videos (OK Go comes to mind).  But can they take the fun and throw it at us live?

In my humble opinion, that’s the challenge.  I’ll letcha know if I catch their show!

(and if they’re monitoring blogs…hi guys!)

Vanity Post!

October 19, 2011

I’ve been busy recently working on various projects, from music based to getting started on a history of the Toronto Furry community (…shut up…) and more!!  To be randomly and uncharacteristically vain, here are a few things I’ve been doing over the last 12 months to help musicians get a bit of exposure.


Micah Barnes is a singer, performer, and coach.  He recently released a new album and was looking for ways to draw attention…I thought it would be fun to draw from his vocal coaching experience and do a short series of videos with warm up exercises for singers!  And every class needs a sidekick…sooooo…

Take Me To The Pilot – Show Vid:

I have officially seen TMTTP more often than any other band, except maybe Wendal, in my life.  The guys are great, they put on a fun show, and they let me annoy them backstage with my camera!  Here’s the vid I made for their show in Hamilton earlier this year:

Lynzie Kent’s ‘Tune Talk Tuesday’:

I can’t take credit for the name, but I held the camera, put it together, and helped give it ‘Spahhhhh-kle.’  An ongoing series of videos describing the songs on her recent album release and giving a short sample of the song:

Najuah VPK:

A VPK is a ‘Video Press Kit’ or basically an introduction to the band through visuals, hearing some music, and getting an idea of the background.  I filmed the interview sequences and edited this baby…probably the most complicated thing I’ve done thus far!

Dale Speaking Guitar Contest and Moving Vlogs:

I like having fun, so when we decided to do some video blogs for the company, I wanted in on the action!  Here are the two I’ve done so far, the first for a guitar contest we ran, the second to document our recent move and office!

There you have it!  My first, and hopefully last, vanity post!  Now…to get back to stuff that has nothing to do with me 😉

What Radio and Video Want

September 27, 2011

I wish I ran a radio station…also, a music video network.  I’d like to think my choices would be pretty good, that the music would rock, that opportunities would be given to people who created unique and original music.

Thing is…I know I wouldn’t be able to.  In the end, the bills need to be paid.  Broadcasters don’t exist to play music…they exist to sell ads.  And to do this they need to make sure people are watching and listening.  Experimental folk is unlikely to keep the status quo glued to their seat.

It would keep me…and I’d probably become loyal to any business who advertised during the ‘Experimental Folk’ hour.  But I’m not status quo.  I’m abnormal.

Selling ads.  That’s the whole reason…that’s why stations let television shows interrupt the commercial break, and why radio lets songs get in the way of yet another ‘Two people having a conversation that ends with a cheesy punchline’ ads.  Because they know we aren’t listening for ads, we’re listening for entertainment…so really, it’s a big trick.  A ruse!  …roos?  Hmmm…

What do video stations want?  Easy…I’m going to tell you right now, before you spend $2000 on a video that you KNOW will make it on MTV:


Imagine if you watched videos all day.  You would know a cheap production (even if it’s masked by a clever premise and amazing help from your friend who does colour correction for network television) from a big budget.  Picture the video you want to make sandwiched between this:

And this:

That’s what they’re looking for.  Something that fills the gap.  Obviously, you can’t spend $2,000,000 on your video.  But they are looking for more than just creativity in what you’re filming.  They want POST-production.  Is it broadcast ready, sharp…as a co-worker asks ‘Does it sparkle.’  If you’re serious about getting on Much Music or making an impact with a video do your research: who is directing videos that are getting on TV (in Canada, look at Canadian bands who are making it to air).  That’s the level you have to aim for.

Now…for radio…there are important things to remember as well:

  • If you’re a pop artist, again…EXPECT TO SPEND A LOT OF MONEY!
  • If you’re a rock artist, expect a battle (even to make it on your local rock station)
  • If you’re a unique, creative artist…don’t expect to get airplay anywhere
The Foster the People’s, Mumford and Sons’ and Adele’s of the world are few and far between.  They started as bands and musicians unlikely to make it to radio.  They lucked out.  You could too…thing is, I doubt for most artist’s like this, that radio was a goal.
Writing to get on radio is not the way to go…write music that you want to write, and if it’s good, radio will come (…once you’ve built a fanbase, and online presence, and have played many shows, and worked very hard).
It always comes back to the same thing, in my humble opinion…good song, good attitude, and hard (smart) work is what leads to success.  And if it doesn’t lead to success, who cares, you have a good song and feel good about it!
Success shouldn’t be measured in radio spins and video adds.  When you’re successful, you’ll know.