Archive for October 19, 2011

Industry Tips & Advice: Seth Godin on the Music Business – Part 1

Seth Godin talks to Music Business Radio about the changing face of the music industry.

Industry Tips & Advice: How To Plan, Book & Organize a Successful Music Tour

Planning how to market a music tour is discussed in this free video series that will ensure that your band is ready to hit the road before the tour begins.

Expert: Athena Reich
Contact: www.athenareich.com
Bio: Athena Reich is a professional musician, actress, artist, singer, songwriter and coach for all of the above.
Filmmaker: Paul Muller

Industry Tips & Advice: Indie and College Radio Promotion BY George Howard

For an emerging band, especially if you fall into the indie rock vein, hiring somebody to service your records to what they call the CMJ panel, the College Music Panel (500 or so stations around the country that are affiliated with colleges that play a similar type of music), can be the best money you have ever spent. Indie promoters have relationships with these CMJ stations, and will make sure your music is paid attention to. For example, say you start getting airplay in Nebraska at the college station, and they just start banging it for some reason. Well, now all of a sudden, you’ve got another stop on your tour market where you can go play and do a live show on the college station.

College Radio is one of the few low levels of entry that hasn’t been completely co-opted by the majors.The college stations, the non-profit stations, which can really, really sell you records, can still be accessed without being signed to a major (or any label).

by Steve Theo
Knowing how to get onto college radio is important. You need to service the right stations at the right time. And you need to know who to send to at each station and when to follow up with them.

If you hire an independent promoter to work your record they will do most of the targeting for you. They all keep databases full of contact names, times to call, snail and email addresses, historical data on what they have played, etc

The “add date” or start date at radio is the week that you pick to start your campaign. This can be months before, months after, or right on the release date. The most important thing is to avoid the busiest weeks of the year when all the major labels have multiple adds (eg. Sep, Oct, Mar, Apr).

Your CD should be mailed 10-12 days before the add date. Anything earlier will result in early adds and anything later will mean they will get it too late to review it and add it on time. The package should contain the CD and one sheet of paper or sticker on the CD with info about you. A full press kit is not needed for radio.

Get Music on RadioThere are many fine promoters who will work your record to these stations for a fee. A normal project can cost anywhere from $1000-$4000 depending on the amount of work, you are normally charged a weekly rate. These promoters will help you pick the right add date, right stations, and they know when and whom to contact at each station .

While over the years industry types have argued over college radio being a good format or not I will always feel that even though your song may not be heard by millions you are still sending your record to hundreds of “tastemakers” across the country. If they love your band chances are they will help you in their market whether it be on the air, at a venue, with their peers, etc.



Article: Hip-Hop N’ Politics: Poll Shows Half Of Americans Want Marijuana Legalized by Sha Stimuli

High Times! Marijuana Legalization Receives 50 Percent Support

The subject of the legalization of marijuana is coming up more and more. And although the Obama administration is against drugs, a new Gallup poll shows that fifty percent of Americans want the drug taxed and sold legally in the country.

In 2006, that number was at 36 percent and in 2009 it jumped to 40. The numbers have fluctuated greatly over the years since 1970 only 12 percent favored the popular drug.

With all the medical dispensaries shutting down due to the government’s actions it may seem like legalization is far away.

Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement on Monday, “No other law is enforced so harshly and pervasively yet deemed unnecessary by so many Americans.

Spending billions of dollars and arresting over 800,000 people annually for violating marijuana laws now represents not just foolish public policy but also an inappropriate and indecent use of police powers to favor one side of a cultural and political debate.”

With the momentum swinging towards the legalization of cannabis sativa, how long do you think it will be before government officials decide that marijuana can join alcohol, tobacco and fast food as vices that are harmful but lawful?



Article: Five Books to Increase Your Hip-Hop Knowledge by Gabriel San Roman


Rapping, DJ-ing, graffiti and breaking round out the four essential elements of hip-hop culture. Knowledge, an essential element in its own right, is seen as that which binds all the other pillars together. Over the past few years, as early youths of the hip-hop generation have grown up to become journalists and scholars, a host of new books have hit the shelves over the past few years exploring everything from the art form of rapping, hip-hop’s history, and the socio-economic crucible from which it emerged. The contributions expand on the element of knowledge offering their own respective insights.

Here are five books, listed in no particular order, to up your game!

1. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation by Jeff Chang


​For readers who want a better understanding of the history of hip-hop beyond some decade-specific countdown on VH1 and its accompanying irreverent commentary, than Jeff Chang’s critically heralded book is a good place to start. The music journalist assembled the ambitious and weighty book by way of important interviews with DJs, graffiti artists and b-boys, as well as profiles of prominent rappers. Chang places the rise of hip-hop in the United States within the political economy of Reaganomics. The emphasis of that analytical frame led to cheap criticism from some reviewers, but Can’t Stop Won’t Stopnever pretended to be the definitive go-to book, just another contribution from a certain vantage point. The introduction is written by DJ Kool Herc, and if you don’t know who he is and why he is important to the history of hip-hop, all the reason more for you to pick up a copy — and soon!

2. Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation by Sujatha Fernandes



​With hip-hop now spanning across the lands far and wide, sociology professor Sujatha Fernandes seeks to answer if the culture can truly change the world in Close to the Edge,released last month by Verso. Readers are taken to four axis points in travelogue style, and introduced to rappers in Australia, Cuba, Venezuela and Chicago. All along the way, Fernandes continually looks at the interrelationship between the internationalism of hip-hop, as exemplified by Afrika Bambaataa’s call for a “Universal Zulu Nation” and how it is shaped by local realities as illustrated by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s classic cut “The Message.” The politically minded inquiry illustrates the dynamics of Chicago’s underground scene, the tensions laid bare in a visit to Cuba by U.S.-conscious hip-hop acts, the voice of aboriginal MCs in Sydney, and concludes with an empty auditorium in Caracas, Venezuela.

3. Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop by Adam Bradley


​Taking its title from a Nas track, professor of literature and rap aficionado Adam Bradley has written one of the most insightful books on the language and techniques of rhyming. Dr. Cornel West called it “subtle, sophisticated and soulful,” as well as “a marvelous exploration into the poetic genius of rap and the cultural gravity of hip-hop.” When for the Weekly in 2009, I wrote, “The fundamental concept Bradley sets forth is the ‘dual rhythmic relationship’ of rap that allows for creative variations in an MC’s delivery. In this, the consistency of hip-hop’s 4/4 beats allows for a rapper’s verbalizing to become a dynamic instrument.” Within that relationship, he cites an array of rappers, analyzing their uses of storytelling, metaphors and similes.

4. The Real HipHop: Battling for Knowledge, Power and Respect In the LA Underground by Marcyliena Morgan



​With a focus close to home, Marcyliena Morgan, a Harvard professor of African and African-American studies, tells the story of Project Blowed in Los Angeles with The Real HipHop. Founder and executive director of the HipHop Archive, she centers her examination on Leimert Park, where youths in 1994 moved open-mic nights from the Good Life health-food store to the Kaos Network. The moment was one in which the media gaze was transfixed on West Coast “gangsta rap,” with Project Blowed founders, such as rapper Aceyalone, helping to spur a compelling cultural revolution. Having spent seven years observing workshops, Morgan charts its history using interviews with principal players who were present from the onset and lyrical transcripts of the legendary freestyle battles that honed the skills of many LA underground MCs.

5. Chicano Rap: Gender and Violence In the Postindustrial Barrio by Pancho McFarland


​In the realm of Chicano studies, sociology professor Pancho McFarland has dropped a one-of-a-kind contribution onto the academic field. A laboring task that entailed researching more than 500 songs from 70 rap artists, the author looks at what the rhymes of Chicano youth are expressing about violence, sexual agency, gender stereotypes and life in the “post-industrial barrio” and what larger context they emerge from. With the subject matter of rap being McFarland’s own form of rebellion with academia, he lays out ways in which Chicana feminists, conscious rappers and others offer a counternarrative to negative trends to yield an emancipatory potential. Krazy Race, Psycho Relam, JV, Ms. Sancha and the Funky Aztecs are just some of those analyzed in the book that, in speaking to the culture and language of young brown people, is well-positioned to reach and teach.



Industry Tips & Advice: What a Concert Promotions Company does

Larry Vallon, Senior Vice President of National Booking at AEG Live, describes how a concert promotion company like AEG goes about its business.

Shoot Date: February 2007

Article: Soulja Boy Arrested…

 has learned that Soulja Boy was arrested at 3 AM this morning in Temple, GA. DeAndre Cortez Way was in the car with 4 other men and were pulled over for a traffic violation. Police discovered “substantial amount” of marijuana and $70,000 in cash inside the vehicle, as well as guns. Soulja Boy and all 4 men were arrested.

Update:  has now learned that the weed and the gun discovered during Soulja Boy’s arrest this morning were inside a briefcase which allegedly belongs to the rapper. Cops found a briefcase during the search, which they believe belongs to Soulja Boy and inside, officers claim they found a “substantial amount” of weed and a firearm. All 5 men have since been released after posting bond.

Music news: Hip-hop star Soulja Boy arrested in Georgia by

According to the , Soulja Boy has been arrested on drug charges and is being held without bond.  Another Hip-Hop artist that tarnishes the culture and the music.  What are your thoughts?

“Temple Police Chief Tim Shaw tells the Associated Press that police stopped the rented early Tuesday. He says officers found marijuana and guns inside.” Associated Press (AP). “Hip-hop star Soulja Boy arrested in Georgia – USATODAY.com.” News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World – USATODAY.com. N.p., 18 Oct. 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. <http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/story/2011-10-18/soulja-boy-arrested/50812818/1>.



Industry Tips & Advice: Merchandising by JakPrints

Music Merchandising

When placing when placing your first apparel order you may want to consider a few key topics. The most important factor that will determine the direction you take is budget and demographic. Once you have established who your “core following” is, you will be able to determine if shelling out the extra money for those finishing touches is worth it. A good business model is far superior to one of “over the top” design, so keep in mind the profitability of the proposed project. The more money you make from your first couple of designs may give you that extra buffer to try new things down the road. Don’t sink your ship before you make it out of the marina.
Make a Business Plan
You can increase your profit margins in a number of ways. The first method is producing large quantities. Many printers up-charge smaller quantity orders. The second way that you can yield larger returns, is to keep your graphics simple. Often times it is the 1 and 2 color designs that are most effective, graphically speaking, so don’t feel the need to go overboard your first time around.

Music Business PlanScreen fees charges are usually around $15 -$20 per screen or per color. These costs are almost always a one time fee because the films are saved and catalogued for future use. If you plan on reordering the graphic in question, it may make sense to order a 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 color graphic, but your profit margin will be smaller the first time that you order. The same thing goes for multiple print locations. If you select front/back/left sleeve/right sleeve, all to print on one shirt, you will end up with an awesome looking product, but always weight the benefits and disadvantages before placing your orders.
Who Will Buy Your Shirts
The second thing to consider before starting the design process, is to analyze your demographic. Identify who will be most likely to buy your product and study their style preferences and spending habits.
How to Merchandise Clothing Your demographic will tell you a lot about the direction that you should steer your printing endeavors. By observing your “core” followers, you will be able to determine the style of garment and artwork to decorate them with. For example: if you are a band/musician in the metal/hardcore/grindcore genre, you will obviously want to stock up on black t-shirts. This will be the bread and butter of your operation. You will be able to identify trends by studying magazines in your area of interest if you are not already familiar with the customs of any specific clique or group of people.

Design Your Graphics
Once you have a business plan, and a general idea of how you would like your shirts or other decorated apparel to look, you will need to begin designing your graphics. To avoid many headaches and prolonging valuable turnaround time, design your files following the proper preparation guidelines the first time around. If you do not have access to the proper tools, such as computers and the preferred graphics programs of your printer’s choice, find a designer that does. When considering a graphic artist, be sure to get quotes from multiple sources and from people that are sympathetic to your cause. You may be able to find more reasonable design rates if you just shop your ideas around.

If you design your files yourself, first request templates or the measurements of available print areas from your printer. Once you have determined how “big” to build your files, and what dimensions will restrict your graphics, be sure to build them at the proper resolution. It will almost always be 300 dpi “at actual size” if you have chosen to build your files in pixel or raster based graphics programs such as Adobe Photoshop. You can always build your graphics “too big” and resize them to be smaller. You cannot however build your files too small or too low of resolution. If you do so, you will be asked to rebuild your graphics from scratch, so be very careful.

Ask your printer if they prefer that you prepare your own separations or if they prefer to have you send “flattened” files. This means that all of the layers have been condensed to one flat picture. If you want to go the safe route, ask your designer to build your artwork in a vector based program such as Adobe Illustrator. Vector artwork is saved in such a way that you can resize your graphic to any size without compromising the print quality of the image. The last thing to consider before you begin is what color mode is most appropriate for your project. For apparel printing, it will usually be RGB.

Once you have graduated your first successful print job, you can begin to experiment with more advanced techniques such as metallic inks and foils, puff inks and embroidery. Once you have established a following, you may want to consider additional finishing options that may give the effect of a more professional looking product, such as hang tags, relabeling and poly bagging.

If you have any questions what options are most appropriate, always consult your sales representative. They will usually be considerate to your cause, and help you weigh your options in a point of view that you may not be considering.



Quote Of The Day

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.


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