Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rhythm Child

Soul, Childrens

For music, pix, video, and more info, go here

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Corey Smith : Rock, Folk, Indie

Athens, GA
Rock, Folk, Indie, SingerSongwriter, Pop, Americana, Acoustic, Southern Rock, AltCountry, Roots, Social Responsibility / Charity, Adult Contemporary, Organic, Rock-Pop, Lyrical, AAA

For music, pix, video, and more info, go here

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New indie label Panacea3 featured in "Minnesota Business"

Article in "Minnesota Business":
New Record
By David Gee
(Photo by Tate Carlson)

Panacea3 is comprised of young professionals/musicians determined to turn the dismal state of the music industry and general economy into an opportunity, not a roadblock. Company founder, drummer, producer and Berklee School of Music grad Andrew Linde says the venture is a vehicle to transform hobby into career while maintaining creative control and feeling good about their revenue streams as artists. Right now, the label consists of one artist (his group) as the flagship/guinea pig. As the strategies become tested and more refined, he says they will expand to work with more artists
Complete article

Monday, March 16, 2009

New indie label started by Nellie Furtado

Thanks to Mind Booster Noori for bringing this to my attention.

Interesting report in Billboard that Nellie Furtado, a singer signed to frequent RIAA plaintiff Interscope Records, has gone into competition with her label, launching her own "indie" record label:

Nelly Furtado Launches Indie Label

March 16, 2009 06:00 AM ET
Cortney Harding, N.Y.

Pop star Nelly Furtado is not the first major-label musician to start her own label, but she is one of the few to do it with an indie. Furtado is launching Nelstar in cooperation with the Canadian independent label group Last Gang Labels.

The Toronto-based electro-dance band Fritz Helder & the Phantoms is the first act signed to Nelstar and will release its debut album July 7.

"Nelly just wasn't that interested in doing a OneRepublic/Timbaland type of thing," says Chris Taylor, president of Last Gang and Furtado's longtime attorney. "She's an independent spirit, and she wants to make sure we build the band at the right pace. It's also very important to launch a band with indie branding behind them and be able to build them brick by brick."

Taylor points out that Furtado has close ties to the band, noting that two members are her backup dancers.

Furtado says she never considered introducing the Nelstar imprint via her label, Interscope.....

"....When you are a new band and you sign to a major, you get thrown to the fire."
Complete article

[Ed. note. Anyone taking bets on where Ms. Furtado will sign once her contract with Interscope has been fulfilled? -R.B.]

For music, pix, video, and more info, go here

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Six Steps to Maximize Your Conference Experience, Make More Music-Business Contacts, and Advance Your Music Career

Over my 13 years of attending SXSW I’ve seen plenty of bands who did get a coveted showcase and not only did they not get signed, but also they did not meet any key players in the business or benefit their careers in any way by showcasing.

Reasons for this included: They received awful showcase venues and times; they were busy loading and unloading gear, babysitting band members, or getting tanked at parties to make the journey worthwhile; or they opted for their measly $100 stipend instead of for the gold: the festival pass.

Here’s my musician’s South by Southwest survival guide to get your through one of the most massive and overwhelming conferences of the year. This guide is not just for SXSW; it’s also for any music conference out there!

Part of the trick is: Show up prepared. Know who will be attending and create some goals before you get there.

I believe all musicians should attend at least one music conference per year. They are expensive to get to. Think abut it this way: Music lessons were at one time expensive, and so was your equipment and those things are also vital for your career. Conferences are the best place to meet people who work in and around the music industry and are a relaxed environment to connect with vital people in.

For those of you who do not have connections in the music industry, going to a music conference is your chance. This is an annual business trip you should never miss!

Austin, Texas, a wonderful city, and its distractions are many. But, keep in mind that this is not a vacation. It’s a work-related learning experience, and with a little planning and foresight you can have a million-dollar conference.

STEP ONE: Before You Go, Get Connected! Get involved with some online communities that are SXSW-related.

Facebook Group:

MySpace Group:

Ning Group:

When you get there: tweet!

TIP: Use all of these sites and more social media sites to connect to individuals who may be attending as well.

LOCALS TIP: If you live in one of the towns that a conference is taking place in be helpful - offer advice on where to eat a good inexpensive meal in town, where to get an instrument repaired, find a rehearsal studio, good backline or offer up your couch and floor for a band to crash on.

SXSW site:
Use the SXSW Registrant Directory

Get registered to the South by Southwest directory and go through and determine who you may want to meet before you arrive in Austin A producer? A publicist? A manager? An agent? Drop them a personal e-mail using the amazing South by Southwest interactive tools Web site and introduce yourself. If you are playing, invite people to come to your showcase. Also post messages on the blog (and if you do blog and Twitter about it before you go!)

STEP TWO: Bring Business Cards, Fizzkicks Cards & Postcards Go armed with business cards. If you over the age of 18, you should have a business card, especially at events like this. Your business card should not just have your name and number, but should have good information about what your band sounds like, your Myspace page, your Facebook, and links to any other places people might be able to find you online. A photo of you or a band logo would also be highly recommended.

I know what you are thinking! It is very easy to unsubscribe once signed up and so it’s not a ploy at all. You are providing a quality offer and you are askig for their email address in exchange for it.

I love Fizzkicks cards because they double as a business card and a music-download card -

TIP: Put one sentence about your music (your pitch) on your card and the instrument you play. A card with a name and address is totally useless and unmemorable! Put a photo of yourself on the card or your band logo to add even more branding and recognition.

I suggest talking to your webs designer to implement this. aweber and 1 Shopping Cart are two systems that can be integrated into your site to deliver these results.

TIP: I do not recommend bringing a ton of CDs. People are overwhelmed with free CDs so it’s better to get people’s business cards and mail them a CD as a follow-up after you get home.

STEP THREE: Take Risks Introduce yourself to a stranger.
I “accidentally” met Tommy from Universal Buzz at a bar because I thought he was someone else who I was supposed to meet, and we’ve been colleagues ever since. Don’t be scared to take risks and meet people. Conferences are friendly places.

STEP FOUR: Attend Panels
It’s tempting to blow them off and hit all of the parties but you should make an effort to sit in on at least one or two panels per day, on any topic that interests you, and learn. Take notes.

STEP FIVE: Sign Up for Mentoring Sessions
Most conferences have amazing mentoring sessions where you can sign up to have one-on-one face time with the industry people that are paneling (and some of the most important people in the music business will be sitting there ready to meet with you). I never, ever would have met one of the most important editors at Rolling Stone had I not signed up.

TIP: When you do go to a one-on-one mentoring panel, be prepared to meet these people, and make sure that you have done your research and have specific questions to ask them.

STEP SIX: Follow Up!
The moment you get home, make sure to send thank you notes, e-mails and follow up with every single person that you met. If appropriate, add them to your e-mail list.

Never send your pitch or talk about business in the first initial e-mail. Get people to respond to your follow up by just being friendly.

TIP: If you do not follow up your trip and hard work will have been a waste of your time. Do not rip yourself off here!

There are plenty of other great conferences that I recommend including:

CMJ, New York City, NY

Atlantis, Atlanta, GA

Winter Music Conference, Miami, FL

Folk Alliance, Memphis, TN

Americana Music Conference, Nashville, TN

Taxi Road Rally, Los Angeles, CA

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Former Windows chief Jim Allchin to release debut podsafe album: 'Enigma'

As his former Microsoft colleagues work to get Windows 7 out the door, Jim Allchin is getting ready for a new release of his own. The longtime Windows chief, who retired after Vista's debut, sings and displays his considerable guitar skills on "Enigma," a new solo CD scheduled to debut next month. Amazon is already taking preorders.

To get a sense for Allchin's talent on the guitar, check out "Kick It," the last track on this sample page. Allchin's site also has an interesting biography in the style of VH1's "Behind the Music," tracking his life from its modest origins on a Florida orange grove through college to Microsoft and beyond. There's even a fun, Rick Springfield-style photo (below) among his press images.

"Enigma" incorporates a wide range of styles, but one reference on the Web site shows that Allchin applied to the album a level of discipline that the Windows team, under his leadership, struggled to achieve at times during the Vista development process: "To avoid even more diversity several songs were eventually removed from the CD because they included even more styles," the site says.

The tracks removed "will show up on the next CD for sure," the site says.

Allchin's longtime passion for the guitar was well-known during his time at the company, so his musical turn isn't a surprise. He has stayed in the news since his Microsoft departure because of a series of emails disclosed in lawsuits against the company, showing him writing candidly about about Apple and the Windows Vista Capable program, among other topics.

So what's with the album title? Appropriately enough, it appears to be based at least in part on computer science.

Enigma Machine is the name of the first track. "Enigma Machines were early encoders/decoders for cryptography," Allchin explains on his site. "They had many rotors and the guitar sound in this song reminds me of this amazing device as well as the intensity of the search for an answer to some puzzle."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Going Mobile - The Future Of Marketing For Musicians

Going Mobile - The Future Of Marketing For Musicians
by Ariel Hyatt of Ariel Publicity/Cyber PR

Many experts say that the #1 way we will all communicate within the next 3-4 years will be thorough our mobile devices. It is no secret that the United States is far behind Europe and Asia in ease of use and advance technologies in the mobile realm but it is never too early to begin looking at a mobile strategy.

With that said I will be exploring how musicians can fully utilize using mobile technologies throughout 2009 but here is a primer. I saw Helen Keegan present in Iceland at the You Are In Control conference at Iceland Airwaves 2008 and I was wowed by her presentation.

Helen is a mobile marketing, advertising and media specialist working with a range of clients from media owners to brands and agencies to mobile technology companies. She has been working in mobile marketing for more than 8 years.

I asked her a few questions via email and she was generous enough to answer them for us here:

How Can Musicians Effectively Use Mobile For Marketing? - 7 Questions For Helen Keegan of Beep Marketing


Using mobile phones is now integral to our lives. Artists should be thinking about who their audience is and how to build it - whatever ways are relevant. And that has to include mobile today. Young audiences in particular are technology agnostic and want instant gratification and will use the nearest device or service available to them whether that's their phone, their laptop, the TV, their iPod, their PSP, whatever.

1. Where is a good place to start for artists just beginning to think about a mobile strategy?

The artist should probably start by using their mobile phone to create and capture content themselve - short video footage, podcasts, moblogging, photographs, twittering etc. All this can be done instantly and cheaply from a mobile phone and helps the audience get to the real essence of the artistóthey feel they're getting beyond the branding and the manufactured image. Music is about soul after all isn't it so being able to share what you're really thinking and doing would seem to make sense to me.

2. How often should artists communicate via mobile platforms once they have one set up?

There is no fixed answer to this. It's about building a community and having a conversation with members of your community and allowing your community to chat to each other. What I would say is that if you're using SMS, then make sure you have permission, make it easy to opt out at any time, make sure it's free (or very cheap or sponsored) and don't overdo it. Think about how much you might tolerate. Also think about what messages those individuals might be getting at that time - Friday night at 6 PM is probably not a good time to promote stuff when a lot of people are organizing their weekend. Similarly, if you have a teen audience then waking them up with a text message at 7 AM on a Sunday morning might not always go down well. We're talking about real people here and real conversations not just push alerts about gigs and releases.

3. What's the easiest way for an artist to build a mobile list?

It's not about building a list; that's too simplistic. It's about building a fanbase and community and allowing those people access to you via mobile and vice versa. Permission is a given when using a communication method. Spam is in the eye of the beholder and even if it's legal, people won't tolerate it - fans or not. Personal information can be collected in a variety of ways - text in promotions at gigs, fill in leaflets with your information, capture it on websites or mobile websites - all the usual methods. But make sure you have the tick box to opt in and make it easy to opt-out (by replying STOP to a text message for example).

4. What's the easiest way for artists to deliver MP3s to fans via mobile?

Helen suggested we ask Steve Lawson who coincidentally also writes for Music Think Tank and he generously provided the answer:

The MP3s to fans thing is an interesting one - the easiest way if you don't want to make your audience pay for them would be to do an MP3 blog with Wordpress, add the Mippin plug-in, and just post the links in blog posts - most mobile phones will just ask where you want to save the file when clicked on.

If you want to charge for it, life gets a little more difficult. I had a conversation recently with the former head of Paypal mobile - there's a joke name for a division. He left after Paypal failed to do anything sensible for mobile at all, despite him organising meetings with the top dogs at Nokia for them. He did say there is some code that can be used, so I'm going to get onto him, find out what it is, and as soon as I do, I'll post it on music think tank! But at the moment, it's pretty tough to do.

The big problem is that most of the online sales apps is that the front end is flash driven, and virtually no mobile handsets can handle flash. iPhone users can obviously use iTunes. I've no idea what the deal is with getting ones music onto the Nokia music store. I've had emails from the head of Nokia music, so will ask him as soon as I can!

This is an answer that seems it will unfold as time goes on.

Helen also comments:

Research tells us that young people are sideloading more tracks than their downloading from their phones. That means they're downloading tracks to their laptops and transferring the files across to their iPods, phones, whatever. So what I would say is that DRM is a no-no otherwise you're not able to share the track between devices.

5. I know ringtones have experienced a decline in popularity. Should artists still make their music available as ringtones? If so, what's the easiest way for them to do that?

Yes, ringtones are still important - short snippets of a track available in the various mobile formats would make sense. There's plenty software available on the Internet to allow for you to do that cheaply or free.

6. I know you are a twitter evangelist, just like me. Are there any tips on how musicians can use Twitter to create group mobile communication?

I love twitter and for me the most important things are authenticity and joining in. Be yourself and engage with other Twitterers. If Stephen Fry and Richard Branson can do it, then so can an artist!

7. Do you have any parting mobile advice you'd like to give a band or an artist looking to learn more?

Yes, check out Paul Brindley's MusicAlly and read David Jennings' book Net, Blogs 'n Rock 'n Roll. And get yourself into blogs and google alerts to keep track of what's happening in mobile and music.

You can read about Helens work and follow her interesting blog here:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Media Pioneer: Kevin Breuner of the CD Baby Podcast

New Media Pioneer: Kevin Breuner of the CD Baby Podcast

Kevin is a podcaster, blogger, and sync licensing agent. He resides in Portland, OR where he developed and maintains the podcasting and sync licensing efforts for CD Baby.

Podcast -
Blog -
Twitter - kbreuner

Q: How long has the CD Baby Podcast been broadcasting?

A: Our first episode of the DIY Musician Podcast posted back in May 2007, so we have been podcasting for a year and a half.

Q: What do you try to acheive with each podcast?

With each episode, I'm always asking myself, "What can artists learn from this episode. Does this create discussion around topics that are really valuable to the indie music community?" Those questions are bouncing around in my head from the beginning to the end of an episodes production. I think with a podcast or blog, it's incredibly important to stick to the intended purpose, and because of that, there are interviews that were never released. When it came down to it, they didn't serve the purpose we want to achieve with the podcast. Ultimately, I hope that each episode continues to empower artists to take their music career into their own hands and make some realistic steps forward.

Q: What is the main goal of the CD Baby Podcast?

A: My goal with the podcast was to create an "honest" straight forward resource that CD Baby artists and the indie music community at large could use to help move their career forward. I always enjoy talking to other artists and musicians(I'm an artist as well!), and throughout my time at CD Baby, I've talked to thousands of artist that are trying to breakthrough with their music. What surprises me, is how many artists, both newbies and seasoned veterans alike, fall into the same traps over and over again.

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

A: So far, podcasting has remained relatively untouched. There are quite a few podcasts that play mainstream music (that has not been properly licensed), and I think we'll start seeing the major labels take an interest in cracking down on the usage of that content. But the beauty of the podcast and the invention of the RSS feed, is that you can have direct access to people who are interested in what you are saying. There is no gate keeper telling you what you can and can't do.

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 do, and I'm actually surprised that more bands aren't using podcasting to help promote their music. We actually interviewed a band that released a podcast before they even had all their members. The podcast chronicled their journey as they found the final member and wrote songs, recorded and so on. It immediately caught the attention of the folks over in the iTunes podcast section, and the band's podcast received a front page feature before they had even played a show. By the time they had all their members and started playing out, people were coming out wearing the bands t-shirts they were selling through their website. The fans really felt a connection to the band. I will say though, for a band to have a podcast that builds their fan base, it must have a couple key components. 1. It must have a point - It can't be people goofing off in front of a mic or telling inside jokes 2. It must draw the listener into the bands story - Save the shameless self promotion(They probably already are a fan) and give them the real you. 3. It has to be consistent - quite possibly the hardest part. Nobody will be interested in it if you do one episode every couple months. I'm actually in a new band here in Portland, and we have a podcast in the works. We've spent so much time really trying to define what it will be and how it will work just to make sure that it becomes a part of what we do. If we just made a random haphazard stab at it, it would be doomed from the beginning.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cyber PR 2008 Holiday Fundraiser raises $850 for Charity!

Our Cyber PR Holiday Fundraiser for 2008 was a success! The goal of the Cyber PR Campaign was to bring musicians to make a difference. Because of our participants we were able to raise a total of $850 for charity!

Here are our prize winners:

Silver Tinsel Winner
Andrew Hand - Charity: World Hunger Year & Musicians on Call
Raising $125 they will be receiving a copy of my brand-new Sound Advice DVD featuring Derek Sivers – 82 minutes of our best marketing and PR tips.

Sparkly Lights Winner
Tom St. Louis- Charity: Sleeping Children Around the World
Raising $300 they will receive my “Music Success In 9 Weeks” book and the Sound Advice DVD, plus they will get full access to my closed private online Mastermind website for life.

And our Grand Prize Winner who raised the most was:
Jana Mashonee - Charity: Jana’s Kids
She will receive the Sparkly Lights prize package of Raising a whopping $425 she will receive my “Music Success In 9 Weeks” book and the Sound Advice DVD, plus get full access to my closed private online Mastermind website for life. We will also send her my Musicians Web 2.0 Boot Camp.

We would like to send a big THANK YOU to all of our participants including those who helped promote the fundraiser!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sound Advice Ezine- Acknowledge Your Notable Accomplishments of 2008

Acknowledge Your Notable Accomplishments of 2008

During times like this when the television and the newspapers seem to be chock full of only doom and gloom, it is an appropriate exercise and it is simple. Here it is:

Write down at least 20 notable accomplishments that you have achieved over the past twelve months. They don't all have to be music-related, of course. Some of them can be things that are happening in your family, or at work, if your work is not being a full-time musician. Some examples are:

• Released an album
• Made 30 new friends on Facebook
• Played a benefit concert.
You get the idea...

When you have written them all, take a look at them, fold them up, and carry them around with you in your wallet. The next time you're faced with the doom and gloom, read them to yourself and acknowledge what you've done.

Bonus round, write down your lifetime accomplishments on the other side of the paper.

Happy holidays and may you have a healthy and successful 2009!
Cyber PR!

For music, pix, video, and more info, go here