Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Good article in Wall Street Journal about indie artists achieving success online

Here's a good article which ran in the Wall Street Journal about independent musical artists finding an audience for their music through the internet, and then signing with indie labels. Much thanks to reader Andres Rosado for bringing it to my attention.

Musician Finds a Following Online
Word-of-Mouth on Blogs and Other Sites Attracts Fans -- and a Record Deal


In late 2006, Justin Vernon, a musician in Eau Claire, Wis., recorded nine songs while staying at his parents' hunting cabin in northern Wisconsin after a breakup with a girlfriend and his long-time band. He used just a desktop computer with recording software, a three-piece drum set and a guitar.

A few months later, Mr. Vernon posted the songs on his MySpace page, hoping to get some listeners and feedback. He also printed 500 copies of a CD with those songs to sell to friends and fans and send to music bloggers for review.

He got that and much more.

Thanks to the buzz his online tracks generated on music blogs and social-networking sites, Mr. Vernon has played at numerous venues and appeared on the "Late Show With David Letterman." He signed a record deal in October 2007, and his first album, "For Emma, Forever Ago," sold about 87,000 copies through mid-December, with about half of those downloaded online. With a band he formed early this year, called Bon Iver, Mr. Vernon is now playing sold-out concerts across the U.S. and abroad.
Complete article

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Media Pioneer: Jason Tippitt of Mental Nomad Podcast and Pod Across America

New Media Pioneer: Jason Tippitt of Mental Nomad Podcast and Pod Across America


Mental Nomad Podcast: Eclectic music podcast. I play almost every sort of music, though geared a little more toward singer-songwriters.

Pod Across America: Also an eclectic music show, but each episode focuses on one American state at a time.

Q: How long have you been broadcasting?

A: The Mental Nomad Podcast started in March 2007; it was initially a
twice-a-week show but has been weekly for about a year now, with a few
exceptions. The show's eclectic, with an intention toward including
music from outside the United States and music from female vocalists
in almost every episode.

Pod Across America started in October 2008 and will be two episodes a
month, usually one episode per state. I started in Delaware, the first
state, and will go through Hawaii, the 50th state, in order ... a few
states will get two episodes just due to the sheer number of musicians
from those states.

Q: In your opinion, what does a good song need to consist of?

A: To me, a good song is one that gives me some sort of emotional
reaction ... thrilling to the highs, coasting through the lows,
laughing at a clever turn of phrase or feeling my stomach churn over
some emotional conflict that rings true to me.

A song can be really simple and yet really powerful: Bob Dylan's
"Tomorrow Is a Long Time" and Queen's "Bijou" are contain very short,
very simple lyrics but the mix of the lyrics, the vocal delivery and
the music turns them into something magical.

Most of the music I really enjoy has lyrics, and usually the lyrics
are in English. I do listen to some instrumental music, and I do
listen to some non-English-language music, but the instrumentalists or
vocalists really have to soar above and beyond for me to really engage
the music.

Q: What is your favorite band or favorite genre of music and why?

A: Attorney and writer Andrew Vachss has observed that "blues is truth,"
and I agree wholeheartedly. Blues gets down to the core of the human
experience, the raw truth of emotions laid bare. It's naked and
honest, and even when the blues singer engages in bragging, the
exaggerations point the way toward his or her insecurities.

More broadly, music that tells a story is what really gets my
attention. Blues, certainly folk music, certain rap and rock 'n' roll,
the cabaret storytelling of a Tom Waits or the deeply emotional jazz
of Jimmy Scott ... music with personality.

Q: What changes in content laws, broadcasting rights, etc., have
affected you most?

A: I feel unqualified to answer this question. I haven't paid a lot of
attention to the legal issues, whereas I probably should pay more
attention. In early episodes, I was a lot quicker to download a song
from MySpace and play it, then ask permission after the fact. I
wouldn't dream of doing that now.

Using a content provider such as the Podsafe Music Network and working
with publicists such as the folks at Ariel Publicity -- where the
music is pre-cleared and podsafe -- is the smart way to go, I've
found. I'd rather be able to find new music I might not have heard
before and play that than risk getting sued for playing a U2 song that
everyone's going to hear all over the place, anyway.

So the limitations put in place by respecting the law challenges me to
look for the next Bob Dylan, the next Tom Waits, the next Emmylou

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in
generating album sales; do you feel podcasts have that power?

A: I haven't personally experienced any huge revenue surge from doing
podcasts and the blogs associated with them, though I do include links
to both the music I play and, to a lesser extent, to the videos that
strike my fancy from artists podsafe and non-podsafe.

That said, I have absolutely discovered new music that I've
subsequently bought through blogs and podcasts. Blogs and podcasts
offer a great way to sample a lot of music that I wouldn't hear on
heavily formatted local radio or even the music channels on digital

Podcasts come to you. Blogs come to you, if you syndicate their feeds
through a reader. They require less effort than logging into MySpace
or Facebook, slogging through the many pages of contacts you have, and
noticing when a particular band has updated the profile. So yes, I
think podcasts are a more forward-thinking way of marketing a band --
it's letting other people be your street team, rather than trusting
people to find you.

To find more interviews and New Media tips for musicians please visit: www.arielpublicity.net/blog

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Premiere: Sound Advice TV

Premiere: Sound Advice TV

To view the premiere Webisode of Sound Advice TV with Derek Sivers click HERE:

This vodcast is just one of 16 installments featuring Derek Sivers

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you do not miss a single episode!


Don't want to wait 16 weeks to get all of Derek and Ariel's knowledge