Festival preparation for musicians goes beyond renting the van and finding a place to sleep. For instance, are your songs copyrighted? Did you know that you should be getting paid royalties for your performance? Here are four things you should do to secure your intellectual property before you pack your bags this summer.
Music Think Tank Open
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Over the years there have been many lawsuits between and among the members of various musical bands. These lawsuits have concerned everything from disputes over the distribution of money to the right of departing members to use (or not to use) the band name in connection with ongoing endeavors. In most cases, it would have been better to be safe than sorry, and get the understandings of the band members in writing when everyone was in agreement just so all the parties remember what they agreed to at the start.
The internal group member contract between the members of a band is fundamentally important, but many musical groups ignore this crucial early step. When two or more people associate for the purpose doing business they create a partnership in the eyes of the law. General partnership law applies to the association unless a written agreement states otherwise. General partnership law provides, among other things, that all partners equally own partnership property and share in profits and losses, that any partner can contractually bind the partnership and that each partner is fully liable for the debts of the partnership. In the case of most musical groups, a written agreement setting forth the arrangement between and among the group members as partners is preferable to general partnership law.
Mastering is the most mysterious and least understood of all audio processes. Sometimes referred to the “black art”, there are many misconceptions around it. Many budding audio producers and composers confuse it with mixing. Mixing and mastering are 2 separate processes and have completely different processing goals. Mastering is a final and the most important step in getting your audio to sound like a million dollar.
If you have ever held back in a performance and left the stage feeling that you know you could have done better and can’t understand why you didn’t just go for it, then you will get what I mean when I say that confidence on stage can be the difference between a fantastic performance and a lacklustre one.
Yet confidence is one of the things that so many singers struggle with and it is something that is never really talked about. You’re just expected to be born awesome and put on a great show and not doubt yourself, but there isn’t a musician alive who wouldn’t doubt at least one aspect of their performance.
Just as stage craft, musicianship and songwriting are skills that are learned, confidence is no different. Let’s have a closer look at how you can master confidence on stage if you break it down into three easy steps:
“The industry is both the enemy and the best friend of the artist. Trouble is, they need each other.” – Chrissie Hynde
Is there anything more uncomfortable or awkward than an artist meeting a radio programmer (as exemplified by the photo above with Bono and The Edge at KTIM-FM in San Rafael CA in 1981)? In the world of music marketing and promotion, it’s an essential piece of the puzzle that is intended to lead to airplay. It’s the artist bearing his or her wares to the marketplace by way of a pitch, a smile, a kind word, a thank you - some sort of person-to-person exchange of pleasantries. It gives meaning to the music and the musician, way beyond anything that a cold, faceless, piece of plastic (or WAV file) can summon up.
No matter how many fans, FB friends, record sales or website hits they have, musical artists (and the industry behind them) still need radio, one station at a time, to make it into the ears and the minds of the general public. Nothing has changed in that respect.
The Internet has not replaced the valuable face time between artist and radio programmer.
This strange bedfellow thing is not a recent development. Sinatra reportedly hung out in radio station studios with all-night deejays hawking his latest releases. Murray The K deemed himself the “Fifth Beatle” when he befriended the quartet upon their first visit to New York and played their records non-stop and back to back on Top 40 powerhouse WINS. I myself spent 20+ years at Warner/Reprise hauling singers and bands into radio stations and backstage meet and greets – almost 5,000 such events by my count – so I know a thing or two about the execution, dynamics and purpose of this ancient rite.
I am Nino Munaco, Editor and Blog writer for Ourtunez, the Music Network. Ourtunez is a free music streaming service that features Independent musicians. Any one can sign up, upload their music and instantly receive the benefits.
Your music will gain exposure through our website and app. New music discovery is missing in other music streaming services but Ourtunez excels in that department. Even our “mainstream” stations are full of independent artists who have signed up. They are being played alongside today’s (and yesterday’s) biggest artists. We even have a Comedy station where independent comedians can be discovered.
We are looking for people who want to be a part of this community of amazing artists.
Have you ever felt like you were no longer in the loop when it comes to new music? “Have you heard Beyonce’s new song?!” “Did you get tickets for that gig?” “It went to number 1!”. None of us like to feel left out when it comes to the hottest new songs, the latest summer smash, or that killer album everybody’s talking about.
Here are a number of methods to stay up to date with the best music and most anticipated releases.
1. Social media
Following your favourite artists and bands on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook will ensure that you are constantly in the know about what’s out and what’s coming next. Artists promote themselves and their music this way as it’s the easiest outlet to connect with their fans.
By John Lahr
As of January 21st Spotify now has a legitimate contender in the music streaming market, as Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s Beats Music steps into the ring. It is the culmination of eighteen months of development after Dr. Dre’s lucrative consumer electronics company purchased MOG in July of 2012. Entering with a soft launch in late January, the service announced its arrival in spectacular style with a Super Bowl advertising blitz featuring T.V personality Ellen DeGeneres. While Beats Music and Spotify have many similar features, both services have very different views of the future of the streaming marketplace, and different ways of communicating their vision to consumers.
Like Spotify, Beats Music offers a library of over 20 million songs to choose from, the ability to create playlists and sync them to your mobile device for offline listening, and a radio feature1. However Beats offers far more advanced features for discovering music thanks to its “Sentence” radio and “Just For You” curated playlists tailored to taste preferences you give when signing up.
Born in Santa Barbara, California, Katy Perry was a confident and talented performer even at a young age. Thus, it is not surprising that she has become one of the most loved music artists in this era. Her originality, fascinating style and infectious charm helped her reach the top – and she just keeps getting better and better with her latest hits and performances!
A Star Is Born
A New Dance Music App and YouTube Channel
CRUCAST is an exciting new resource for dance music fans, allowing them to discover new and classic mixes from their favourite DJ’s and stream great music at home or on the move. CRUCAST features dance music of all styles and genres and is constantly updated, in order to provide subscribers with the freshest mixes from the best DJ’s in the world.
The CRUCAST App is simple to navigate, easy to use and better still it’s absolutely free. The CRUCAST Youtube channel is a comprehensive library of ever diversifying DJ mixes, allowing fans to discover and enjoy brilliant electronic music.
As an independent artist, no matter what your style, genre or sound, there are a few things that you have at your disposal that many mainstream or major artists don’t or can’t always claim: extreme flexibility, genuine grassroots connections at a local level, and the ability to be more adventurous and creative with your music. But one of the most important things an independent artist must realize they have a great advantage in is something that may at times be taken for granted or even shunned: self education.
Any independent worth their weight should at least be in the process of building up their personal library filled with books that they can use as reference guides to their own success. There are tons of music business books any artist can find at their local bookstore or major chain. The key is to have a solid idea of the information that you want and a plan on how to use it.
Almost a decade ago Myspace was at the top of it’s game. It was not only a new way for users to interact with other users through bulletins, comments, and messages it was a social mecca. I mean heaven forbid you moved someone down from the number 1 spot on your top 8 and connection between bands was just as strong.
DIY was always around and DIY will never die but Myspace gave DIY a steroid boost. Unlike most social networking sites bands and artists alike could reach out, talk to and add users without being deemed “spammers.” Bands could also track their daily hits and track plays and by those results be ranked on their performance on the Myspace Music charts.
How you tell your story is as important as what you tell
If you remember back to high school English you probably recall the idiom “show don’t tell” which is especially relevant for writing artist biographies. If you were an agent or talent buyer, would you pursue an act with a bland, cliché-filled, unimaginative bio that reads like a college resume or an engaging, moving, interesting or funny story that comes alive on the page?
Language is a tool, like any other, and one that you can use to convince potential supporters of your value. If you can tell your story in a way that engages and triggers the emotional centers of the brain, you are much more likely to get a “yes” when it comes to critical career-building opportunities.
PRINCE’s NEW DEAL WITH WARNER BROTHERS RECORDS IS A PART OF THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF THE ISSUE OF COPYRIGHT TERMINATIONS UNDER U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW.
The music business headlines are touting the story that Prince has returned to Warner Brothers Records after 18 years with a deal that will see him regain ownership of his back catalog of recordings. This deal marks a new era as the ability to terminate master recording copyright after 35 years was granted in the Copyright Revision Act of 1976 and became effective in 1978, the year that Prince’s debut album came out.
Just as the record business has been staggering back to its feet after the digital assault started by Napster over a decade ago, another hard blow to the record industry business model is starting to have ripple effects. Recording artists and songwriters from 1978 and after are now entitled to start terminating their contractual transfers and demanding back their copyrights.