Unlike most, I go around town telling people that it’s a great time for musicians. Just look at NIN, Radiohead, Justin Bieber, OK Go, Arcade Fire, Flaming Lips and up-and-comers Childish Bambino and Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All… all of these musicians see the Internet as an integral part of their creative process.
If I’m spending the majority of my waking hours on the web, you better deliver me a digital lifestyle to buy into. If you do that, I will hype all your songs on Twitter; I will retumblr your posts; I will join your online fan clubs for pre-sales; I will stay up all night and watch your YouTube remixes; I will buy tickets to your live shows and watch movies you score.
But I will not buy your music. I will find it for free online with one Google search. It’s too easy. I am your modern day fan. The model can be changed, but the labels are not going to help you, your fans will.
Free advice for musicians:
- Have a perspective and start a blog, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. You don’t have to do it all. Just do one really freaking well.
- Release a few songs every year under Creative Commons. Outreach remixers.
- Befriend bloggers. Pick up some PR skills or find a really ambitious fan to help you out.
- Make some digital deals. Find a production company, website, mobile platform or brand that needs some high quality content. This is where they money is at.
- Play live shows. Lots of them. Charge for them but sometimes do it free for the fans.
- Keep making good music. If it sucks, forgetaboutit.
New School Examples:
Old School Examples:
NIN’s Creative Commons album
Radiohead says pay what you want
Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube
OK Go gets State Farm to sponsor their music video since EMI wouldn’t allow embeds
Arcade Fire’s Chrome Experiment
Warm weather enters NYC and I start to act as if it is summer. I plan to see several shows over the next few months. If you’re going to any of these, make sure to holler at me. (And yes, this list will get longer.)
4/20: Whitest Boy Alive @ Bowery Ballroom
5/6: Local Natives @ Bowery Ballroom
5/28: Jeremy Messersmith @ Joe’s Pub
6/4: Stars @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
6/9: School of Seven Bells @ Mercury Lounge
6/30: Tokyo Police Club & Passion Pit @ Governors Island
7/9: Bear In Heaven @ South Street Seaport
7/23: Free Energy & Best Coast @ South Street Seaport
7/27: The National & Beach House @ Prospect Park
8/6-8/9: Lollapalooza @ Grant Park
The January issue of Vogue will feature Vampire Weekend, Beirut, Horrors, and MGMT sporting designer threads. The sneak preview looks damn sexy.
The award goes to NPR. The list itself could be a beautiful playlist. “Songs of Shame” by Woods, “Davy” by Coconut Records, “Shelter” by Xx, “Hospice” by The Antlers, “First Day of Spring” by Noah and the Whale, and so much more.
The New York Times calls it, “a kind of psycho-religious version of Frogger.”
From The Observer: It took me longer than it should have done to work out that the internet is one giant independent record shop – thousands and thousands of cute little independent record shops, anyway – and they don’t actually charge you for the music they stock. The MP3 blogs that stretch for miles and miles, as far as the eye can see, down that stretch of the net that isn’t reserved for pornography, are staffed by enthusiastic and likable young men and women who absolutely don’t want to rip the artists off: they are always careful to post links to iTunes and Amazon, and the songs they put on their sites are for sampling purposes only. (For the most part, they are encouraged to do so by the artists and their labels, who take out adverts on the more popular sites, and are clearly sending advance copies of albums to the bloggers.) It works for me. I listen, and then I buy what I like, because owning music is still important to me. If the music I like stays out there in cyberspace, as it does on Spotify, then somehow it cannot indicate character and taste in the same way, although I doubt that younger generations will feel like this, and good luck to them. …Read more here.
The Heteropoda davidbowie is distinguished by its large size and yellow hair. It’s only found in Malaysia. A German spider expert named it after Bowie because the musician has named several songs after spiders. The expert also explained that naming spiders after celebrities builds awareness.