Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Here at Rave On we're all about giving back, in fact, we feel it's a responsibility that we have to our community, be it local or global. For that reason most of our artists are hooked up in some way to one charity or another, through cd sales or live events etc.
For Haiti specifically, we have artists who have donated tracks to Paste Magazine's Campaign (see last post below), some who are donating partial proceeds for merch sales and some who are raising money at gigs - and today I received this email from CD Baby -
"Starting on Monday, January 25th and continuing for two weeks, we will donate $1 of our cut from every CD sale through our website, and $1 from every download sale over $8.99 on our site, to the American Red Cross and to Mercy Corps, a Portland-based relief organization with a large presence in Haiti. "
So here are two great ways to give and you don't have to do much, but let people know that maybe now is a really good time to buy your CD and/or point people to Paste where they can get some downloads of great music in exchange for their donation.
We all have a responsibility to take care of each other out there - and you don't have to be U2 to help out with your music - just use your voice.
I know it must seem like someone always wants something, And I understand compassion fatigue, but these are super easy ways to help out and be involved.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
If you are just tuning in, I am posting up the last part my blog checking out Hugh MacLeod's little book: "Ignore Everyone". Please check back two posts ago and start at the beginning if you like!
I know this is a weak way to start this next section, but I need to sit down with this chapter again. Hugh talks here about 'the watercooler gang' and I need to revisit this idea before I can translate it into the world of music - so more soon!
didn't take the initiative to do what he wanted to do and became bitter and despondent in long run - in the music business, or in any arena, it's about not trying your own road- and selling yourself short..this was the main theme, but this chapter was FULL....also - think ahead, don't living on past glory etc etc.
I had a hard time with this chapter because in my experience the 'water cooler' gang was a little different...but I see now....
In Chapter 20, Hugh talks about 'singing in your own voice'. This is so important for emerging artists to know. You don't need to be or look 'perfect' to get your soul music out. You will ALWAYS, but always have an audience if you are honest and true to yourself. I have had lost of artists come in and try to sound like so and so and whomever is hot on the charts, but it doesn't fly.
Why would you want to be a copy of someone else anyway?
Chapter 21 is important for the emerging artist as well. Hugh talks about the pros an cons on being in something for the wrong reasons.
This is an interesting topic. He states, when you're young it's cool to experiment....I translate this to - have a band and get girls. Hugh says, BUT if you are in it for the wrong reasons, it won't/can't last.
Ok so here I have to stop and say hmmmm....seems to me there are a lot of bands out there that most likely got into the music business for the real or imagined perks, and some of those bands probably made it and some of those people are probably even still happy....sooo...hmm...
If was directly this blog specifically at emerging talent I would say, try hard to get into music for the right reasons, that being that you have that creative talent or musical urge inside of you that needs to come out.
Hugh says," You can wing it while you're young, but it's not until your youth is over that the devil starts seeking his due. And it's not pretty.".
So maybe true for most, but a few have slipped by his grasp ..so far, it can't be denied. Maybe not the way to do it in my book, but there you go.
This chapter is about 'selling out' - BEFORE you get your foot in the door. Hugh talks about watering down your product and trying to make it fit for a specific audience before you have any audience at all. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, or at least very thin soup.
Advice here - be yourself and your audience will come to you, I promise.
This chapter is two sentences long, but speaks volumes. Basically it boils down to even fewer words - 'less talk, more action'.
People don't really care about all your big talk, let's see the finished product!
Derek wrote about this as well I believe - there was a study done that pointed to the notion that people who talk a lot about their project, are less likely to follow through - so head down and to work!
Monday, January 11, 2010
If you have been following along, here is the next part of the blog project. If you have not been following, read the last post, first~
Saturday, January 9, 2010
The book he sent me was Hugh MacLeod’s little book ‘Ignore Everybody’. I was thrilled to receive this one in particular, because I have been a faithful follower of Hugh and his scribbles (gapingvoid.com) for a very long time, and so was hoping this would one day find it’s way to me.
So here we go –
I AM not really sure how to blog this, but I thought I would be very thorough and let you know what Hugh has to say, and then will talk a bit about how it translates.
To start off, Hugh says: ‘When you have a good or great idea, the people closest to you will often react negatively’.
This is true in any arena, people won’t want you to change. Change is uncomfortable, and in the music industry, I guess there is a real possibility that you and your life may change if you ever let ‘fame’ get into your head. But also true in any venue, just hang tough, keep on track and just remember if YOU feel your song/music/marketing idea is great, then hang on to that feeling and remember that those who are most negative are reacting that way because they are anticipating a change in your situation. This could be a good measurement tool!
IN chapter 2, Hugh talks about sovereignty over your work. He talks about having your own idea, making it work, and hoping it will attract whatever you need it to attract (fans, label interest, management, agent, MONEY). He tells about how he discovered his ‘niche’ (drawing on the backs on business cards!) and how fine it felt when he found it.
This is easily transferable to any singer/songwriter, who knows the feeling of writing a really good song that just comes straight from your soul. These songs are often the best and will attract an audience.
Maybe this is a good thing to remember, to try and always make music from inside of you, from that soul place. Making music is about making peace inside of yourself, it is self soothing, and I believe that is one of it’s main purposes, and when the music comes from that place, people can’t help but listen to it’s purity – no matter the genre.
IN chapter 3, Hugh talks about ‘putting in the hours’. This is the same in any arena, but again may be more relevant to the music industry today, where the artist does need to be more of an active participant in the process. We all know about ‘the golden age’ of the record deal, and that the possibility of a record deal these days, is slim. In fact, even if you do get yourself a record deal, it is probably because you have been out there, have talent, and have successfully marketed yourself so well that you get noticed. This is in fact the advice of the labels – ‘if you’re good we’ll see you’.
Hugh ads a note here too – to pace yourself as well, go slowly and carefully and build yourself a strong foundation. In the end you may not end up with what you wanted at the start, but wherever you are, you will be stable on that foundation.
Case in point, a musician who has spent years touring, doing ok but never really ‘making it big’, but doing it well, carefully doing his bookings and all the scut work, finds that he enjoys more the tour booking and management side of the coin; he now has so many good contacts and so much knowledge that the work just comes to him.
IN chapter 4 Hugh talks about ‘the loneliness’ of having a good idea. He describes the bandwagon jumpers and those who ‘want to be on a winning team’ no matter what that team is.
Magnify this times a million and you will have a good idea of the music business today (and throughout recent history). People will always want to be your friend, know you, say they know you and want a piece of the action. Sadly the music business is full of people like this as well. Be careful whom you confide in, work with and give your money to – always!
Trust comes with time, so be wary and be safe.
IN chapter 5, Hugh says the magic words: “If your business plan depends on suddenly being discovered by some big shot, your plan will probably fail”. He talks about how, by the time he was ‘discovered’, he didn’t need to be.
These are difficult words to hear, and hard words to say to a burgeoning artist. And again I have to reiterate what I mentioned earlier, a label will only look at you if you have already got yourself out there, and better yet, are an ‘earner’. Musical artists are a dime a dozen these days, and as my friend Producer Tony Marriott says, “Anybody with a computer is a producer”.
Hugh goes on to talk about how ‘publishers’ (in the book world) are ‘middlemen’ – see earlier post about bandwagon wannabees (ooh, is that mean?) Does an artist need a ‘publisher’? I don’t know the answer to that one. It has been my experience that people in a lot of instances want to deal with the artist themselves – no doubt to maybe get a better deal – but at least this way the artist is in charge. Good I guess, if you are savvy – better get savvy.
IN chapter 6, Hugh talks about being responsible for your own experience – to live life inside out not outside in. This relates to the artist in loads of ways: fame= power= ego=power=fame etc etc etc. The lesson here, may be same as is in chapter 2: ‘soul music’ – no matter what, make your music from the inside out, live from the inside out.
“Don’t fear your crayons!”. In 7, Hugh talks about the potential to be creative. That we all have it and that we should continue to our creative voice in spite of our evil grown up ways.
Well, this one is easy – in the music world, we don’t seem to have those ‘evil grown up ways’ – enough said.
Another hard truth in chapter 8 – don’t give up your day job. Hugh talks about reality – having to eat, pay bills…and as a musician and artist in today’s world, because you will most likely have to support your career on your own, you may indeed have to keep that day job, sleepy as you will be!
Remember that saying about ‘loving what you do, no matter what it is, because then it will never feel like work’? Well, get to loving waiting those tables or teaching that class of grade 5s. It does work. And just think, you’ll be collecting real life stories – then, at the weekend, you can rock out with your cool, real life inspired songs.
OK – taking a break to read a bit more -
Friday, January 8, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
I've been having interesting conversations with people this week, and this new year's more than ever, people are making up their minds to make some pretty significant changes in their lives.