How to manage a family band as a parent: promoting AND protecting your kids

By Chris Robley
June 24, 2016{ No Comments }

How to manage a family band as a parentWhat’s Working in Indie Music Today: Lessons in Success from New Artist Model Member Margaret Dombowski

By Dave Kusek and Lindsay McGrath of the New Artist Model: Turn your passion for music into a rewarding career.

Music is a family affair for manager Margaret Dombowski.

The band she represents — “pop punk” phenom The Magnifiers — is made up of four of her five children. Elliott, 16, and Eden, 15, play guitar and sing. Eliza, 12, plays the bass, and Everett, 10, handles drums. Together these siblings write and perform edgy alternative music that is winning fans at concerts and online.

The Magnifiers’  EP Report Card sells on their website for $5 and is filled with original songs like “Zombie Raid on America.”  In addition, the group offers individual songs on iTunes and Bandcamp. The band performs regularly at festivals and clubs in Chicago and beyond. In June 2015, they won the Illinois Teen Battle of the Bands.

In May, The Magnifiers appeared for the second consecutive year at the Hong Kong Pizza Party Music Festival in Piano, Illinois. Then in June they will grace the stage at Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago. Read more »

Meet “Chairman,” CD Baby team member and resident sign-spinner for the month of June

By Chris Robley
June 23, 2016{ No Comments }

The Chairman: bassist, singer, madman, Cheap Trick devotee, CD Baby employee, and now… official sign-spinner.

That’s right. Chairman was so excited about CD Baby’s special deal to offer Standard album distribution for just $29 during the month of June that he took to the streets and rocked a few of his best stage moves.

Check it out in the video above, and then sign up YOUR new music for worldwide distribution (including Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, CD and vinyl sales, and much more) for just $29. No annual fees!

Musicians guide to touring Europe without a booking agent or label (Part 1)

By Guest Blogger
June 23, 2016{ No Comments }

Musicians guide to touring Europe without a label[This article was written by guest contributor Brett Newski, an indie-pop songwriter who has toured extensively in Europe. Brett’s forthcoming album Land Air Sea Garage will be available in the US this fall, and you can watch the “world’s worst press conference” regarding his music HERE.]

Touring can be brutal. You know this if you’ve been on the road, especially in America or the UK. Don’t worry. It gets better. Europe is the holy grail of touring for musicians: great hospitality, primo food, unpretentious attentive audiences, government arts funding. It’s the mega jam. I try to spend at least 8-10 weeks per year touring Europe. This fall will mark my sixth European tour. It’s a place of extreme loyalty that you’ll be able to go back to for decades (if you do it right). Below is what I learned about getting started DIY touring Europe.

Before You Leave

Please make a good EP or CD. Booking gigs without good songs/recordings is going to be truly tough. Don’t skimp on graphics. If you suck at Photoshop, hire a designer. Many great albums get passed by because the cover art is a turd. In the age of infinite albums, great cover art will give your record a chance of getting heard.

Have a quality Web site. No legit venues will book you without this. It doesn’t need 10 tabs and run 40 pages deep, even a sleek splash page will suffice. (Good examples: Ezra Furman, Laura Lou, Small Houses)

Consider stripping down your band for the first EU tour. If you’re a songwriter you’re in good shape. If you’re an eight-piece band, good luck. Strip it down to 3-4 journeymen and play stripped down. This first tour is a recon mission that you will build upon. Read more »

How to get the IRS to waive your band’s tax penalties

By Guest Blogger
June 23, 2016{ No Comments }

Musician taxes - getting penalties waivedYou open your mailbox, and there’s a letter, from the I…. R….S! Questions start racing in your mind. How did they find me? What does this letter mean? Am I going to be able to afford this? When do I have to pay them? Who can help me fix this?

You’d be surprised how many musicians can’t pay taxes when they’re due. Some of the most painful and expensive fees from the IRS are usually failure-to-pay penalties which can be up to 25% of the tax you owed. Of course, the best way to avoid IRS penalties is to not let them happen in the first place.

Here’s how I negotiated a musician out of $1,560 of penalties from the IRS for not filing their tax return on time.

This was the first year this band had set themselves up as a business. Their “old” CPA set up a corporation for them and then ditched town so they simply didn’t file and a year later needed help. After I filed their return, they received a notice saying the tax return was late, so I called to get it waived.

The truth is, if you forgot to file, or couldn’t pay when the tax was due, you can get the IRS to waive your penalties too. Let me show you how, but you’ll need to grab some information first: Read more »

What are you doing for Make Music Day? In Portland, Oregon there’s gonna be a ukulele flash mob!

By Chris Robley
June 20, 2016{ No Comments }

June 21st is Make Music Day, a worldwide celebration of learning and playing music that began in France over 30 years ago, and has since reached over 100 countries.

I’ll be taking part by playing a couple gigs in Portland, Maine. Some of my friends way over there in the other Portland (Oregon) will be hosting a ukulele Mass Appeal, a “large gathering where people bring and play ukuleles together.”

Last year they had over 100 people attend. It sounded like this: Read more »

“We are doing 90% business and 10% music” (Artist management in the modern music industry)

By Guest Blogger
June 16, 2016{ No Comments }

Modern music managementWhat’s Working in Indie Music Today: Lessons in Success from New Artist Model Member Rishi Deva

By Dave Kusek and Lindsay McGrath of the New Artist Model: Turn your passion for music into a rewarding career.

Rishi Deva manages the chart topping, award-winning Canadian artist Parvati. With his help, she has risen twice to #1 on the Canadian electronica charts with her rich pop songs, dance anthems, and electronic soundscapes.

Parvati has performed live at venues including New York City’s Madison Square Garden and Earl’s Court in London and reached millions of listeners in Asia on Asia Pop 40 radio and YAN TV. She has three singles coming to top 40 pop radio in 2016: “I Am Light,” “Yoga in the Nightclub,” and Shanti Om.”

The Line Between Music and Business

Rishi not only works with Parvati on her music career but helps manage her other business interests as well. Parvati is founder of YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine, a company dedicated to teaching a gentle form of the art  that combines chi-energy work with yoga poses. She is also the author of self-help book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie” and publisher of the online “Parvati Magazine.” Read more »

Ask your fans (using YouTube poll cards)!

By Chris Robley
June 14, 2016{ No Comments }

Using YouTube's poll cards

One of YouTube’s newer card options lets you poll your fans

Your video viewers can weigh in:

  • * What song should you cover next?
  • * Which of your studio tracks should you make a video for?
  • * Who was their favorite actor in the video?
  • * Did they prefer the guitar solo or the synth solo?

Read more »

How to make an interactive end card

By Chris Robley
June 14, 2016{ No Comments }

What is an end card?

End cards are a great way to increase your audience engagement, drive more video views, and boost subscribers on YouTube. They’re those short outros that you often see at the end of YouTube videos where the creator can:

  • * ask viewers to subscribe
  • * tease and link to other specific videos or playlists
  • * link to a related behind-the-scenes or making-of video
  • * link to an approved merch store
  • * link to other channels (this is helpful for videos where you’ve collaborated with other artists on YouTube) Read more »

Manage your YouTube channel while on the go

By Chris Robley
June 13, 2016{ No Comments }

YouTube Creator Studio appYou’re in the passenger seat of your tour van with the stereo cranked, staring out the window and thinking about YouTube tags. Okay, maybe you’re not thinking about tags. But what better time to do some of the management work on your YouTube channel: changing tags, responding to comments, etc? Because the last thing you want to do when you’re off the road is hop online and stare at a screen.

With its Creator Studio app, YouTube gives you a simple way to manage your channel from your mobile device.

Here’s what you can do with the YouTube Creator Studio app

The Analytics Overview tab will display: Read more »

Is “marketing” killing your music?

By Chris Robley
June 13, 2016{ No Comments }

Target Marketing Advice for MusiciansA free webinar about the right way and wrong way to market your music

Join CD Baby’s VP of Marketing Kevin Breuner and Dave Kusek of New Artist Model on Tuesday, June 28th (7pm EST) as they tear down the barriers that kill effective music marketing, and show you better ways to do it.

Learn about the traps that many artists fall into in the social media age, things that artists commonly think are “marketing” but are really just a waste of time. In this webinar, Kevin and Dave will help you understand what actions will get you moving (and marketing) in the right direction.

What you’ll learn at this webinar

* SEE how to avoid the TRAPS that waste your time on Social Media. Read more »