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Tuesday
Jul282009

A Lesson In Building Community (Or A Love Letter To Rob Gordon & What Are Records?)

I am in Colorado this week taking some time to reflect on the whirlwind that has been my life for the past two years. I lived here for seven years and founded Ariel Publicity here. And lost of great memories have come flooding back.

I have been spending time with Rob Gordon – my first boss at the only record label I ever worked at What Are Records? What I learned at What Are Records? has set me up for a successful career in the new music business and that is because of Rob’s genius around building community.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul272009

“Where have all the musical geniuses gone?”

In his recent blog post, Eric Beall (Berklee Music) quotes Jason Flom (Lava Records) as follows:

“Where have all the musical geniuses gone? Why has this generation not produced even one musical genius on the level of Dylan or Sly Stone, or John Lennon, or Prince?”

Within his post, Beall offers a sensible answer to Flom’s question. However, I want to try out an alternative explanation. Here it is:

The ‘geniuses’ still exist, but ‘genius’ can no longer be manufactured.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul252009

Twitter 101 For Musicians - Free PDF

. I’ll keep this short. Twitter has a really good how to guide for business but the exact same rules apply to artists and musicians. Go here to download it

Wednesday
Jul222009

"True artists couldn't give a damn if no one hears their music..."

I just dug the following quote out of my last post

“True artists couldn’t give a damn if no one hears their music. The shit (money) just got in the way and marginalized the scholarly pursuit of creating art for art’s sake…”

Do you agree, or are you on the other end of the spectrum?

I say - whatever rows your boat..  Create for an audience of one, or create for an audience of millions.  Make it for money, or make it for art’s sake….

Wednesday
Jul222009

MTT Radio (experiment)

We have put up an experimental page called MTT Radio.  Any artist can post songs they legally control. 

Exposure - over 15,000 industry visitors are visiting Music Think Tank each month.

You may get lucky (some sort of licensing deal) by posting a song to this page or you may receive some valuable feedback?

Enabling commenting on songs is optional.  The newest songs are always on top.

If you don’t like the music on this page please improve it by uploading something better, or simply press the FN FF button on the music player.

RSS Feed for MTT Radio

 

Tuesday
Jul212009

Invest in live show gear or invest in making a better record - which is more important?

An artist writes into Music Think Tank today to ask the question below - can someone please advise this person?

I find myself in a predicament that I am sure plenty of other aspiring artists have as well. Is it more important to invest in a better live show in regards to equipment and sound, or should I consider the importance of having an actual recorded product to spread around?

My confusion is rooted into the conflict between the relationship of the two. If I have a better live show in regards to presence and sound, people are going to be looking for a physical product. However, with a relatively well recorded EP, the same people are going to wonder why our live sound is lacking.

Is it better to focus on one over the other, or is an average-above average result in both more desirable?

Monday
Jul202009

Are you content with your content?

Your website, your Facebook page, your music sample sites and anywhere else fans can find you should have all your key marketing and promotional content, but when does it get old and is it time to update? Remember, while you are chasing after the new fans, it is important to maintain the established ones as well. You have to think about what is going to draw someone to your website and why they are going to stay interested in going back to visit again and again. Unfortunately, way too many artists have very sharp websites that are only updated with gigs or with updates that are quick, pointless blurbs that are not all newsworthy. You have to separate from the pack.

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Sunday
Jul192009

"Does all this shit have anything to do with the music business?"

My phone number is on my contact page on Unsprung Media. At least once a week a random artist calls me direct to chat about business.

Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? That’s me. I have the same conversation every week. No worries, I seriously enjoy these chats.

Bewildered and in disbelief, every artist eventually asks the same question: “Does is all this shit have anything to do with the music business?” Note: it’s not ‘stuff’, it’s ‘shit’ every time and without fail.

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Saturday
Jul182009

Beware of Fringe Fans: Appreciate Them, But Don't Let Them Distract You

Imagine this …

You get an email from someone you’ve never heard from before. He writes:

“I’ve sampled a bunch of your free downloads online, and honestly, I haven’t heard one song I really like. So I’m not sure I want to spring for your new album. Tell you what … give me the entire album for free, and if I find a few songs I enjoy, I’ll pay you for it. Deal?”

How would you respond? (Once you stopped cursing, that is.)

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul162009

artistspaid.com

artistspaid.com is one of my favorite RSS feeds.  I have no idea who runs this site, but it’s worth subscribing to in you are into the music industry.  thanks for the flow of interesting images and article links…

 

Thursday
Jul162009

Zimbabwe Legit featured on Music Think Tank

Thanks to everyone that contributed a story last month. Check out Zimbabwe Legit at the top of Music Think Tank. The Zimbabwe Legit story is below.

I grew up listening to hip hop in Zimbabwe, Africa in the mid to late 80s. We didn’t have direct access to the music in stores or to videos or magazines but occassionally things would trickle in through friends and relatives overseas. Through those channels, we got our hands on a copy of a fledgling hip hop publication called the Source. A guy named Dave “Funken-Klein” Klein (RIP) wrote a montly column called Gangsta Limpin’ that chronicled various hip hop news and info. At the end of the article he’s ask readers to send in news and included his mailing address.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul152009

Top 5 Ways to Track Your Social Media ROI

With the influx of so many social networking sites, and ways to start conversations online it’s sometimes hard to understand what it all means and how it’s helping your music career.

This week I’ve come across some great sites that break down your Social Media Buzz. These sites can give you actual hard numbers/metrics and reports on how you are getting a return in your investment of time online.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul142009

The Song Adoption Formula

If you want to be semi-scientific about music promotion, here’s a song adoption formula to consider: Listeners * Optimal Frequency Rate * Social Situation Rate * Conversion Rate = Song Fans.

Here’s the short form: (L * OFR * SSR * CR = SONG FANs)
Here’s how the formula breaks down:

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul132009

"Listen to my music, and let me know what I should do"

I answered 847 emails in 12 hours today. That’s an average of 51 seconds each. But the single most common request I got was, “Take a listen to my music and let me know what I should do.”

Those emails took the longest. I never know what to do with that request.

Most of the time, the music is good. Not the best or worst thing you’ve ever heard, but good.

Click to read more ...