Author Archive

What’s your favorite scary song?

October 31, 2014{ No Comments }

Let us know your Halloween jam

Thriller? Night on Bald Mountain? One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater?

Whatever song gives you the most goosebumps, that’s the one I want to listen to today. So lemme know the name of your favorite creepy song in the comments below (and leave a link to YouTube if possible). Read more »

Don’t go broke buying merch: a band t-shirt strategy you need to know

October 27, 2014{ 1 Comment }

Screen shot 2014 10 27 at 6.46.03 AM1 Dont go broke buying merch: a band t shirt strategy you need to knowHow to get the most bang for your buck when you print band t-shirts

You might not admit it to anyone, but I’ll bet seeing a fan wearing your band’s t-shirt is one of the secret little highlights of your musical life.

A striking band logo, a sweet design, quality fabric. Of course you want to print up quality t-shirts to sell to fans at your gigs and on your website. And you want to see your fans wearing those shirts out there in the world, helping to spread the word about your music.

When it comes to ordering t-shirts, most musicians hope to get two-sided silk screen printing with lots of colors on dark color tees,… and in small quantities. But here’s the problem: all of those elements are expensive! Set up costs for the order (and screens for each color) are pricey if only amortized over a small quantity of t-shirts. So we asked our friends at if they had any advice for musicians that want to order great looking t-shirts but don’t have tons of cash to drop.

Here’s what they said:

Two-sided printing has double the screen costs of one-sided printing. Dark colored shirts are more expensive to print on than light or white shirts, as an extra base coat needs to be applied on dark fabric to ensure the inks sit and display properly (a cost not required for white and very light color fabric). 

So, what can a musician do to help keep their costs in line and still have a great product that fans want to buy?

According to, you should: Read more »

How to sign up for Pandora AMP (Artist Marketing Platform)

October 24, 2014{ 2 Comments }

Pandora launches free analytics tools for artists

Pandora, one of the most powerful platforms for music discovery, has just launched the Artist Marketing Platform (also called Pandora AMP), providing free listener data to the 125,000+ artists whose music is played on the Internet radio service.

If your music isn’t on Pandora yet, click HERE to find out how to submit your songs for consideration. If your music IS on Pandora, enroll in AMP and get a detailed glimpse into how your music is performing, who it’s reaching, and more.

Some of the data you’ll be able to view (updated daily) includes:

* Song performance (total spins, thumbs up, etc.)

* Number of fans who’ve created a station for your music Read more »

NYC busker arrested for playing music (lawfully) in a subway station

October 21, 2014{ 3 Comments }

Over the weekend, Andrew Kalleen was arrested for singing and strumming his guitar in a subway station despite the fact that the New York transit authority allows artistic performances (and the collection of tips) in such locations.

And the whole incident was caught on camera, including the moment when Kalleen cited to the police officer the section of the MTA rule that gave him grounds to stand there and keep singing.

Section 1050.6c of the MTA’s “Rules of Conduct” says:

Except as expressly permitted in this subdivision, no person shall engage in any nontransit uses upon any facility or conveyance. Nontransit uses are noncommercial activities that are not directly related to the use of a facility or conveyance for transportation. The following nontransit uses are permitted by the Authority, provided they do not impede transit activities and they are conducted in accordance with these rules: public speaking; campaigning; leafletting or distribution of written noncommercial materials; activities intended to encourage and facilitate voter registration; artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations.

So why the arrest? Read more »

How to use Facebook Events to get more people to your shows

October 16, 2014{ No Comments }

facebook event guide large How to use Facebook Events to get more people to your showsFourteen tips to help you create an effective Facebook Event

Musicians have been debating the efficacy of Facebook as a promotional tool for years now. One aspect of the popular social platform that definitely IS still useful for bands, though, is the Facebook Events function. Since Facebook pages are public, you can use Facebook Events to announce shows, get people excited about your band, and encourage fans to share your music with their friends.

But in order to see results, you’ve got to do it right. That’s why we’ve put together the FREE guide “Creating Effective Facebook Events.”

Inside, you will learn about:

* Why you should create events from your band page, NOT your profile

* The importance of an event photo

* How to reach the most Facebook users with your event Read more »

You’re NEVER too old to make it in music

October 14, 2014{ 16 Comments }

shutterstock 103648034 Youre NEVER too old to make it in musicWhy your age doesn’t have to hold you back in the independent music world

Youth has always been a component of popular music culture: Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles, Madonna, Britney Spears, One Direction, Lorde — they all got their start well before the big THREE-O. And some of them were still in their teens!

But if youth is a prerequisite for success in the pop music business, well we’ve gotten used to plenty of exceptions to that rule throughout the years.

Celebrated songwriters like Leonard Cohen, Lucinda Williams, and Mary Gauthier didn’t really break through until their 30′s or 40′s. Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, Sharon Jones, Peaches, Thelonius Monk… the list goes on and on. Plenty of artists didn’t find their true voice, or record their best songs, or start to build a loyal following until the September of their years, to quote Ol’ Blue Eyes.

And these days, with the powers of home recording, web marketing, affordable video production, and global music distribution at your fingertips, you have just as much a chance to make money from your music at age 55 as you would at age 15. Read more »

This songwriter used his iPhone’s Autocomplete to write lyrics

October 14, 2014{ No Comments }

Jonathan Mann wrote 2000 songs in 2000 days. Talk about prolific. After writing that many songs, though, Jonathan was probably tired of having to do all the creative heavy lifting.

Enter the iPhone: portable telephone, TV, web browser, GPS, recording device, and now… lyrical collaborator. Check out the video for Jonathan Mann’s “iOS Autocomplete Song” above.

The song is clearly supposed to be fun and funny, but it does have the occasional deep accident of meaning too. This method of lyric writing isn’t too far from the cut-up technique occasionally used by David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Thom Yorke, and others. Read more »

What it takes to be a successful musician and entrepreneur: advice from Grimes

October 10, 2014{ 4 Comments }

Grimes original 433x650 What it takes to be a successful musician and entrepreneur: advice from GrimesGrimes, the experimental pop singer (and creator of one of my favorite synth-bass grooves EVER), did an interview for Rookie Yearbook Three, edited by Tavi Gevinson, where she talks about what it takes to be a successful artist and entrepreneur in today’s music industry.

Portions of the interview are excerpted in Elle:

Something I didn’t realize when I started making music was that any entrepreneurial endeavor involves hiring people, creating a company, and becoming a businessperson. So, while you may know me as a musician, in practice I am also a boss… This is simultaneously very cool and very stressful. I’m definitely not the best or most experienced boss. I’m also a young, female boss, which can present a very particular set of practical and emotional challenges.

Grimes then shares some tips for musicians that are learning how to “be in charge.” You can read the full interview in Rookie Yearbook Three (on sale October 21st, but available for pre-order now). For a sneak-peak, check out the excerpts below.

Tips from Grimes on how to be a successful artist and entrepreneur:

• You will never hear more people tell you that you’re wrong than when you’re succeeding. After my album Visions came out, I spent a really long time freaking out because people were telling me that in order to take “the next step” in my career, I would have to become a much better “musician,” that I’d need a backing band, etc. I now realize that (a) none of those people have music careers, and (b) I wasted a lot of time trying to do things I was told were “important for every professional musician” to do, without realizing that as a fan, I am far more interested in things that I’ve never seen before. The point is, listening to haters is pointless. People are judgmental about everything—often because they feel threatened. Ignore them. I think this applies to any business or creative thing, because tomorrow’s world will not look like today’s. Doing something different is probably better than doing the same things that other people do. Read more »

How setting limits in the studio can lead to creative success

October 8, 2014{ 3 Comments }

shutterstock 153925208 300x300 How setting limits in the studio can lead to creative success5 ways to improve your recordings by setting limitations in the studio

In a creative space, endless options can drive us crazy.

This is especially true in the studio, where expectations run high and budgetary and time restraints amp up the pressure.  In this environment a limitation can be the very thing that keeps you sane.

Ever seen The Five Obstructions? It’s a great film, and a great illustration of how arbitrary obstacles can help us focus and push beyond our habitual moves.

If you’re about to head into the recording studio, consider some of these creative limitations:

1) Set a maximum track-count before the session begins — It’s not uncommon these days for Pro Tools sessions to have 100 tracks. Sure, if you’re Dr. Luke recording the next #1 single for Katy Perry, go for it. But if you’re squeezing in recording time on the weekends, do you really want to have to sift through all those tracks every time you open your session? Read more »

Boost sales and build hype with a digital music pre-sale on iTunes and Amazon

October 7, 2014{ 2 Comments }

shutterstock 208122751 300x300 Boost sales and build hype with a digital music pre sale on iTunes and AmazonStart “selling” your new music before its official release date

A digital pre-sale (via iTunes or Amazon) allows your fans to order your music in advance of its release. All pre-sales will be credited on the official release date — so the more pre-sales you get, the higher your sales ranking for that day. Your pre-sale customers will then be able to hear/download your music on the release date.

A digital music pre-sale is a great way to build hype for your latest album, giving you an extra four weeks to create buzz before the music actually drops. And given the fact that both iTunes and Amazon are prime real-estate for music retail, those four weeks can have a big impact.

With a pre-sale, you don’t have to keep telling your fans about new music on the horizon with no retail solution in place to capture interested customers. Now — in the month leading up to the release — whenever you talk about your new music on social media, on your website, in your newsletter, or at a concert, you can tell your fans where to go RIGHT NOW to make a purchase. Read more »