Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Hundred Acre Woods — Base of My Heart [folk/indie rock] (2013)

There is something at the base of my heart
It yearns for your love, a true work of art
But sometimes my heart gets frozen in fear
It stops pumping blood when I feel you’re near

And I guess I should have been born
With a face that you could love a little more
‘Cause you are the one that I long for
I’ll wait for you ‘til I can’t anymore

I guess that I take comfort in your smile
The way reflects all the words I’ve compiled
But sometimes your smile doesn’t show its face
Incased in a world where for me there’s no place

And I guess we should have been born
In a time that could love a little more
But you are the girl that I long for
I’ll wait for you ‘til I can’t anymore

And I want you to love me
You make me see clearly
I swear its madness
Give me all of your troubles
The ones making you crumble
Its fine my darling
I want all of your being
With every bit in me
credits
from 4​-​Way V​-​Day split, released 14 February 2013 
Winthrop Stevens - Guitar & Vocals
Zack Reinhardt - Banjo & Vocals

Cover Art by Liz Barr
Produced by Pat Loundas

Saturday, May 31, 2014

R.L. Burnside — Ass Pocket of Whiskey [raw-gritty deep-blues] (1996)

One of the all time great blues albums, if not for the music itself, then for the influence it’s had on future artists.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Real Love’ Written by Julia.
Video by Grace Lightman and Will Ritson.
Footage from ‘Golden Gate Bridge Suicides’ by Eric Steel.
2012

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
In and around Ontario, the war on internships rages on. It’s been a hot topic in the press as of late since 2 Canadian magazines (Toronto Life and The Walrus) dismissed their interns after the provincial government questioned the ethics behind unpaid youth employment. This isn’t the first time internship drama has made an impact in the media – there was the Fox ‘Black Swan’ lawsuit that created quite a swell of excitement in September 2013 and it’s got me thinking.

As an intern you have an opportunity to prove to a company why you deserve to be hired over anyone else. In J.J. McCullough’s article for the National Post titled ‘Why Internships Should be Illegal‘, he likens unpaid internships to “something [that] can be very good for business yet still ugly and immoral.” He even goes as far as to educate young internship victims (eyeroll) on “9 tips for ending your internship on a positive note”. As a business owner who employs unpaid interns, I regularly come into contact with many people who agree with McCullough’s point of view on a practice that is a personal career choice many young professionals make. A wise career choice, if you ask me.

Allow me to add a personal spin. Internships are something I feel very passionately about – at the age of 15, the indie record label Wind-Up Records Canada gave me my first internship opportunity. I remember driving from Barrie to Toronto to be interviewed in their office and being totally amazed. It was in that moment I knew I was exactly where I needed to be and that this opportunity was a great chance to prove myself and start my long career in music. Three months later I was hired on a contract basis to coordinate Lifestyle Marketing, and from there I continued to weave my way into the fabric of the company. I started my own company three years later (at the age of 18), and Wax Records (ex-Wind-Up) has been one of my longest standing clients. I am not saying there aren’t bad internships out there, and with them bad experiences, but as a young professional it is your responsibility to decide if you are getting what you need out of an internship and leave if it is not something you enjoy doing. At some point as a young adult you are are going to have to learn how to navigate a good or bad opportunity! It will get easier the more of both kinds you come face-to-face with.

Later on, when I sat down to build the strategies I would run my own company with, I knew interns would be a crucial part of the team. At all times we have 4 to 8 interns each working 2 to 3 days a week. More than 50% of my staff is made up of past interns, each having persevered their way into full-time positions.  For the right people it’s an opportunity to prove themselves in a place where they can have a direct impact on their own success as well as the team’s. We do not pay our interns, but there are many perks to the position. Our interns show up with smiles on their faces every day!

When I hear the Ontario Government enforcing a loose-y goose law like this one and journalists like McCullough picking a war on a practice that is a personal career choice for each young professional it makes me question their appreciation for freedom of choice and their understanding of the market. When I hear young people rolling their eyes at the practice it just comes across as complain-y and entitled. And typically in my career path I’ve been fortunate to learn that complaining, making your problems about the system, and avoiding the basic act of putting your head down and working hard will ensure you’re the only one left frustrated. I’m a big believer in the idea of natural selection in terms of hard work. The world is made up of natural selection. You can say that the opportunity wasn’t fair (and you’re right) and you can say that everyone should be equal (but they’re not) but none of that matters. If you can work hard, and I mean really truly hard, you can overcome any set backs and make a difference. You can be successful. And isn’t that what we all want at the end of the day? By whatever standards we choose to define success, that is.

What I do love about the music industry though – and I know everyone wants to whine that it’s corrupt (more complaining) – is that there is a great sense of natural selection. Those who work hard, write great songs, and have a great strategy usually rise to the top. They are usually rewarded for their talents while the complainers sit back in their basements making their issues about everyone else except themselves. Time and time again the people who put their heads down and stay focused all of the sudden find themselves towering over the rest. Sure there are flukes and exceptions but I have no time to worry about those.

Reporter Andrew Coyne at The National Post, who has been considered an “apologist” by McCullough, raises some great points in his article “Government Crackdown on Unpaid Internships Hurts Interns the Most“. He states, “The [internship] programs are always oversubscribed, to the tune of 10 applications for every one accepted. The government claims to have been acting “on a complaint,” but it sure didn’t come from the interns. Rather, it appears to have come from somewhere in the NDP-union-activist complex, and with an election coming… No one puts a gun to the head of the people (interns).”

I agree with Andrew’s viewpoint here 100%. With laws like this we are going to lead ourselves to an even bigger problem – young “professionals” who actually don’t know how to work hard and prove their value in an increasingly competitive market. If you find a company you like and you can see yourself building a career there, then it’s up to you and only you to rise above any obstacles and make yourself an indispensable part of their team. The interns or volunteers who can do this probably won’t be interns for long. I’m not saying that becoming successful requires working for free or being ‘taken advantage of’. I am saying it takes a lot of hard work, and as a young person given the opportunity to prove yourself, don’t get hung up on semantics and work hard.

Learn to work the system to your benefit, or instead of strategizing your way into a successful position you can sit around and complain about unpaid internships. Meanwhile success is passing you by.

If you ask me, the only consistent and honest thing you can really believe in is hard work. I made this decision at a very young age. I mean HOURS of head down – weekends, late nights at your desk, writing, executing, calling, fighting for what you believe in, and strategizing. To clarify – this is what I mean when I say ‘hard work’. If you love what you do and feel good doing it money should be far from mind.

If you want to find ways to get out of working hard – whether it’s complaining about interning, inflicting laws or opinions to influence the youth of today and their internships, or any other distractions you deem worthy in your life – no one is going to stop you. But rest assured no one is going to look back to help you when you are left feeling frustrated and undervalued in your career and life.

Or perhaps – if you’re one of these people who feel entitled to a great job but don’t feel like doing much of the work needed to get there – may I suggest a relocation to France. They have inflicted a ban on work related web browsing and emails after 6pm. You can soiree while the rest of the world gets ahead and makes important decisions when they’re needing to be made.

Do yourself a favour and start to do whatever it takes. Prove your value and the rest will fall in to place. Hard work speaks louder than any of this.

Call me an ‘apologist’, sure, as long as it’s second to ‘successful’.

In and around Ontario, the war on internships rages on. It’s been a hot topic in the press as of late since 2 Canadian magazines (Toronto Life and The Walrus) dismissed their interns after the provincial government questioned the ethics behind unpaid youth employment. This isn’t the first time internship drama has made an impact in the media – there was the Fox ‘Black Swan’ lawsuit that created quite a swell of excitement in September 2013 and it’s got me thinking.

As an intern you have an opportunity to prove to a company why you deserve to be hired over anyone else. In J.J. McCullough’s article for the National Post titled ‘Why Internships Should be Illegal‘, he likens unpaid internships to “something [that] can be very good for business yet still ugly and immoral.” He even goes as far as to educate young internship victims (eyeroll) on “9 tips for ending your internship on a positive note”. As a business owner who employs unpaid interns, I regularly come into contact with many people who agree with McCullough’s point of view on a practice that is a personal career choice many young professionals make. A wise career choice, if you ask me.

Allow me to add a personal spin. Internships are something I feel very passionately about – at the age of 15, the indie record label Wind-Up Records Canada gave me my first internship opportunity. I remember driving from Barrie to Toronto to be interviewed in their office and being totally amazed. It was in that moment I knew I was exactly where I needed to be and that this opportunity was a great chance to prove myself and start my long career in music. Three months later I was hired on a contract basis to coordinate Lifestyle Marketing, and from there I continued to weave my way into the fabric of the company. I started my own company three years later (at the age of 18), and Wax Records (ex-Wind-Up) has been one of my longest standing clients. I am not saying there aren’t bad internships out there, and with them bad experiences, but as a young professional it is your responsibility to decide if you are getting what you need out of an internship and leave if it is not something you enjoy doing. At some point as a young adult you are are going to have to learn how to navigate a good or bad opportunity! It will get easier the more of both kinds you come face-to-face with.

Later on, when I sat down to build the strategies I would run my own company with, I knew interns would be a crucial part of the team. At all times we have 4 to 8 interns each working 2 to 3 days a week. More than 50% of my staff is made up of past interns, each having persevered their way into full-time positions. For the right people it’s an opportunity to prove themselves in a place where they can have a direct impact on their own success as well as the team’s. We do not pay our interns, but there are many perks to the position. Our interns show up with smiles on their faces every day!

When I hear the Ontario Government enforcing a loose-y goose law like this one and journalists like McCullough picking a war on a practice that is a personal career choice for each young professional it makes me question their appreciation for freedom of choice and their understanding of the market. When I hear young people rolling their eyes at the practice it just comes across as complain-y and entitled. And typically in my career path I’ve been fortunate to learn that complaining, making your problems about the system, and avoiding the basic act of putting your head down and working hard will ensure you’re the only one left frustrated. I’m a big believer in the idea of natural selection in terms of hard work. The world is made up of natural selection. You can say that the opportunity wasn’t fair (and you’re right) and you can say that everyone should be equal (but they’re not) but none of that matters. If you can work hard, and I mean really truly hard, you can overcome any set backs and make a difference. You can be successful. And isn’t that what we all want at the end of the day? By whatever standards we choose to define success, that is.

What I do love about the music industry though – and I know everyone wants to whine that it’s corrupt (more complaining) – is that there is a great sense of natural selection. Those who work hard, write great songs, and have a great strategy usually rise to the top. They are usually rewarded for their talents while the complainers sit back in their basements making their issues about everyone else except themselves. Time and time again the people who put their heads down and stay focused all of the sudden find themselves towering over the rest. Sure there are flukes and exceptions but I have no time to worry about those.

Reporter Andrew Coyne at The National Post, who has been considered an “apologist” by McCullough, raises some great points in his article “Government Crackdown on Unpaid Internships Hurts Interns the Most“. He states, “The [internship] programs are always oversubscribed, to the tune of 10 applications for every one accepted. The government claims to have been acting “on a complaint,” but it sure didn’t come from the interns. Rather, it appears to have come from somewhere in the NDP-union-activist complex, and with an election coming… No one puts a gun to the head of the people (interns).”

I agree with Andrew’s viewpoint here 100%. With laws like this we are going to lead ourselves to an even bigger problem – young “professionals” who actually don’t know how to work hard and prove their value in an increasingly competitive market. If you find a company you like and you can see yourself building a career there, then it’s up to you and only you to rise above any obstacles and make yourself an indispensable part of their team. The interns or volunteers who can do this probably won’t be interns for long. I’m not saying that becoming successful requires working for free or being ‘taken advantage of’. I am saying it takes a lot of hard work, and as a young person given the opportunity to prove yourself, don’t get hung up on semantics and work hard.

Learn to work the system to your benefit, or instead of strategizing your way into a successful position you can sit around and complain about unpaid internships. Meanwhile success is passing you by.

If you ask me, the only consistent and honest thing you can really believe in is hard work. I made this decision at a very young age. I mean HOURS of head down – weekends, late nights at your desk, writing, executing, calling, fighting for what you believe in, and strategizing. To clarify – this is what I mean when I say ‘hard work’. If you love what you do and feel good doing it money should be far from mind.

If you want to find ways to get out of working hard – whether it’s complaining about interning, inflicting laws or opinions to influence the youth of today and their internships, or any other distractions you deem worthy in your life – no one is going to stop you. But rest assured no one is going to look back to help you when you are left feeling frustrated and undervalued in your career and life.

Or perhaps – if you’re one of these people who feel entitled to a great job but don’t feel like doing much of the work needed to get there – may I suggest a relocation to France. They have inflicted a ban on work related web browsing and emails after 6pm. You can soiree while the rest of the world gets ahead and makes important decisions when they’re needing to be made.

Do yourself a favour and start to do whatever it takes. Prove your value and the rest will fall in to place. Hard work speaks louder than any of this.

Call me an ‘apologist’, sure, as long as it’s second to ‘successful’.

Being an up and coming musician can be both a delightful and dreadful gig. You’re always writing music, recording, performing in bars and/or clubs, and trying to sell yourself on social media platforms. Selling yourself also means shooting a music video for your best song. You can always just upload the video to YouTube and engage with trolls, or upload to Vimeo and engage with trolls. But you want to, not only sell your music video, you want to engage with your growing audience and earn more fans. Facebook is the answer for that.

Create a Page

It seems like a no brainer to create a page for your music video but most musicians seem to overthink it. You’ve encountered pages on Facebook before but they’re usually for products, films, or some cause to have you donate money to. You can create a page for yourself (or your band) to garner an online following and inform people of events, concerts, and more. Creating a page for a music video seems kind of redundant but it’s a great step forward for you.


For a music video page, go to ‘entertainment’ and locate ‘music video’

Like a film, a music video is a story with an arc and a message to tell but set to music. It’s not a novel idea since music videos have been around for about forty years but you need to treat each one of your videos like a huge premier set to be seen by millions. The process of creating and maintaining the page is just the same as maintaining your musician or band page; you can update on the filming and editing of the video.

When your music video is complete you can upload it directly to the page and inform those followers. The uniqueness of the music video page is that you can round up more than just fans of your music. I mention before that music videos should be treated like movies because, in a nutshell, that’s what they are. By posting behind the scenes clips and updating on the status video itself will generate a whole new audience. It’s all about the music video to help you sell it and all about how you sell it to generate likes.

Utilize Your Page

Another no brainer; you have to utilize your band page in order to let your audience know about your new entry in your video catalog. You are not just selling your music video to fans but you’re also reestablishing your persons as a musician and your product (music). After the editing of your music video has completed, then it is time to post the work of art to your band page. The process here is the same as your music video page. Sell, sell, sell.

Ads

You can quite literally sell yourself on Facebook and take out an ad to be seen by millions, or to who ever your genre of music appeals. Ideally, you would want to create an ad from your music video page. The reason: it makes the time spent on crafting the ad much simpler. All the time you spent crafting how you want to showcase you impending music video can be ‘transferred over’ into an ad. Just find the ‘Build an Audience’ button at the top of the page.


When you initially create an ad, you can set up the underlying goal. Here I chose to obtain more page likes.

You can customize the ad the way you like, like the name, the description and demographics. You’ll want to narrow down your target audience and demographics. Only you know what your demographics are and it isn’t everyone. You don’t want to have your campaign reach be too broad nor too specific; you run the risk of not reaching the people you need or not reaching enough people. If you make hip-hop songs about 1950s classic noir films, then you can choose the lifestyle and interests of your fans.


File out your demographics and be honest about who you appeal to.

Ads can become very expensive if you don’t know how they work. Most people try to wrap their heads around it and try to buy ads and it ends up costing them more than they could afford. You’ve identified your campaign name now you need to establish a budget. You could make use of a daily budget or a lifetime budget (you also have control over the duration of the schedule). In addition to this you also have bidding and pricing or ways to utilize your budget to its maximum potential.


This is your money and ultimately, you have to manage it. Set a specific budget plan for your ads.

You can bid for page likes, for clicks, and for impressions. If you select Bid for Page Likes then you will be charged every time someone sees your ad, yet you’re restricted by the amount of cash you put in for your budget. If you select Bid for Clicks, then you will be charged for every time someone clicks on your ad (with the same restrictions on budget aforementioned). Lastly, if you select Bid for Impressions, you will be charged every time someone is shown your ad per every 1,000 impressions. I recommend Bid for Clicks but it depends on your strategy.

Create an Event

Why not channel Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve and make a countdown for the world premier of your new music video. Like I mentioned before, music videos are like movies; movies have events to mark the premier of said film, you can emulate that notion. When you schedule out a shoot, you should have a release date in mind on a specific date, more or less. Do not sell yourself short and create an event on Facebook to hype up your work. If you think you’re the next big musician, treat yourself like you are.

Just fill out the credentials like you normally would. Just add, for location, the Facebook URL or the site to where the music video is to be hosted. You can edit the events details even after it’s been created.

These are just a few tips to how you can sell your music video on Facebook. However, you shouldn’t be using Facebook for all your needs. You need to be using multiple social media platforms to sell yourself and your music.

Being an up and coming musician can be both a delightful and dreadful gig. You’re always writing music, recording, performing in bars and/or clubs, and trying to sell yourself on social media platforms. Selling yourself also means shooting a music video for your best song. You can always just upload the video to YouTube and engage with trolls, or upload to Vimeo and engage with trolls. But you want to, not only sell your music video, you want to engage with your growing audience and earn more fans. Facebook is the answer for that.

Create a Page

It seems like a no brainer to create a page for your music video but most musicians seem to overthink it. You’ve encountered pages on Facebook before but they’re usually for products, films, or some cause to have you donate money to. You can create a page for yourself (or your band) to garner an online following and inform people of events, concerts, and more. Creating a page for a music video seems kind of redundant but it’s a great step forward for you.


For a music video page, go to ‘entertainment’ and locate ‘music video’

Like a film, a music video is a story with an arc and a message to tell but set to music. It’s not a novel idea since music videos have been around for about forty years but you need to treat each one of your videos like a huge premier set to be seen by millions. The process of creating and maintaining the page is just the same as maintaining your musician or band page; you can update on the filming and editing of the video.

When your music video is complete you can upload it directly to the page and inform those followers. The uniqueness of the music video page is that you can round up more than just fans of your music. I mention before that music videos should be treated like movies because, in a nutshell, that’s what they are. By posting behind the scenes clips and updating on the status video itself will generate a whole new audience. It’s all about the music video to help you sell it and all about how you sell it to generate likes.

Utilize Your Page

Another no brainer; you have to utilize your band page in order to let your audience know about your new entry in your video catalog. You are not just selling your music video to fans but you’re also reestablishing your persons as a musician and your product (music). After the editing of your music video has completed, then it is time to post the work of art to your band page. The process here is the same as your music video page. Sell, sell, sell.

Ads

You can quite literally sell yourself on Facebook and take out an ad to be seen by millions, or to who ever your genre of music appeals. Ideally, you would want to create an ad from your music video page. The reason: it makes the time spent on crafting the ad much simpler. All the time you spent crafting how you want to showcase you impending music video can be ‘transferred over’ into an ad. Just find the ‘Build an Audience’ button at the top of the page.


When you initially create an ad, you can set up the underlying goal. Here I chose to obtain more page likes.

You can customize the ad the way you like, like the name, the description and demographics. You’ll want to narrow down your target audience and demographics. Only you know what your demographics are and it isn’t everyone. You don’t want to have your campaign reach be too broad nor too specific; you run the risk of not reaching the people you need or not reaching enough people. If you make hip-hop songs about 1950s classic noir films, then you can choose the lifestyle and interests of your fans.


File out your demographics and be honest about who you appeal to.

Ads can become very expensive if you don’t know how they work. Most people try to wrap their heads around it and try to buy ads and it ends up costing them more than they could afford. You’ve identified your campaign name now you need to establish a budget. You could make use of a daily budget or a lifetime budget (you also have control over the duration of the schedule). In addition to this you also have bidding and pricing or ways to utilize your budget to its maximum potential.


This is your money and ultimately, you have to manage it. Set a specific budget plan for your ads.

You can bid for page likes, for clicks, and for impressions. If you select Bid for Page Likes then you will be charged every time someone sees your ad, yet you’re restricted by the amount of cash you put in for your budget. If you select Bid for Clicks, then you will be charged for every time someone clicks on your ad (with the same restrictions on budget aforementioned). Lastly, if you select Bid for Impressions, you will be charged every time someone is shown your ad per every 1,000 impressions. I recommend Bid for Clicks but it depends on your strategy.

Create an Event

Why not channel Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve and make a countdown for the world premier of your new music video. Like I mentioned before, music videos are like movies; movies have events to mark the premier of said film, you can emulate that notion. When you schedule out a shoot, you should have a release date in mind on a specific date, more or less. Do not sell yourself short and create an event on Facebook to hype up your work. If you think you’re the next big musician, treat yourself like you are.

Just fill out the credentials like you normally would. Just add, for location, the Facebook URL or the site to where the music video is to be hosted. You can edit the events details even after it’s been created.

These are just a few tips to how you can sell your music video on Facebook. However, you shouldn’t be using Facebook for all your needs. You need to be using multiple social media platforms to sell yourself and your music.

Monday, May 26, 2014

John Gold (Florida) - Edgar Allan Poe (Music Video)

Bandcamp:
http://johngoldflorida.bandcamp.com/

Brian Buchanan of Enter The Haggis recently shared his thoughts on crowdfunding via Bandzoogle’s blog. He gives a lot of solid crowdfunding advice while taking a look at their differing experiences using Kickstarter, PledgeMusic and Bandzoogle (to run a DIY crowdfunding campaign). I was surprised to find more evidence of Kickstarter losing its leading position but, overall, your choice of platform and related tools should be based on your campaign needs.

Brian Buchanan’s comparison of crowdfunding options does a nice job of looking at the differences as well as the similarities of crowdfunding campaigns. However it’s not an apples to oranges approach.

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that includes a broad range of projects beyond music.

PledgeMusic is a direct-to-fan platform that includes crowdfunding as an option.

Bandzoogle is a music website provider that includes a store which Enter The Haggis may have used for a preorder campaign rather than a crowdfunding campaign per se.

Kickstarter: The Traditional Crowdfunding Approach

Buchanan’s look at Kickstarter includes some talk about financial goal setting that’s important across platforms but doubly so on all-or-nothing platforms like Kickstarter.

Buchanan’s experience was of an inflexible platform that doesn’t handle pledge updates very well. In addition, he found little support from Kickstarter itself.

Though I’d heard good things about Kickstarter’s support in the past, this year I’m only hearing disappointment from campaigners. Perhaps now that crowdfunding is established expectations are higher but limited commentary of late has been negative.

In the past I’ve also heard the argument that all-or-nothing campaigns add a dramatic flare that should help boost campaigns but that seems only likely in a campaign that is running short near the finish line. Choosing all-or-nothing in hopes of surviving last minute failure is not a good plan.

Currently the only argument I’m hearing right now for using Kickstarter is the strength of their brand. I’ve talked to lots of people over the last couple of years who don’t know what crowdfunding is but have heard of Kickstarter.

However, that means you can say “like Kickstarter” and leverage their brand without using their service.

PledgeMusic: Direct-to-Fan Campaigns from Start to Finish

Enter The Haggis is having a much better experience with PledgeMusic though that campaign is still in progress in the recording phase. Paying 15% of revenue seems to be the major sticking point.

Yet Buchanan says everything about the platform is designed for musicians’ actual campaigns and that support was really awesome.

In addition, PledgeMusic looks at the whole campaign, not just the funding mechanism, and that leads to support and platform development that is closely aligned with artists’ workflow.

PledgeMusic also reports sales to SoundScan which supports indie successes such as Lindsey Stirling’s campaign that led to a #2 debut on the Billboard 200.

Bandzoogle: DIY With a Web Store

Bandzoogle is presented as an option for small scale DIY crowdfunding campaigns. Enter The Haggis used their store feature but it sounds like they actually did presales instead of crowdfunding. That’s a strong fit given that Bandzoogle doesn’t take commision on sales.

In a larger sense, Buchanan is pointing out that your choice of tools should be based on your needs. For a small scale preorder campaign, which can take on a lot of the dynamics of a crowdfunding campaign, a solid store feature along with email marketing and other basic tools can definitely do the job.

There are also resources for DIY crowdfunding campaigns including various Wordpress themes and the like some of which would handle more of the process associated with crowdfunding than would a web store.

In the past my hesitation about suggesting DIY campaigns as an option was that some people might view a campaign on a third party platform as more legitimate especially in relationship to refunds.

However, that may be changing as the issue of campaigns that failed after the money was collected is hitting not only the media but the courts.

Given that crowdfunding and preorders require a certain simple level of trust and that successful campaigns are based on direct connections to fans, a band with a strong history of following through may have more to gain by going DIY given the lower fees.

Best Choice?

The best choice will certainly be based on your needs but Kickstarter seems like it’s losing a bit of its edge. It would be interesting to compare to recent experiences on Indiegogo in particular.

PledgeMusic is one company I always recommend considering, in part, because they focus on the campaign from start to finish and provide a lot of support.

I wouldn’t have thought of Bandzoogle for crowdfunding but they are a great example of a company offering a variety of tools at low cost to build your own web empire. And, at the end of the day, the most important platform is the one you own whether you conduct crowdfunding campaigns there or not.

Brian Buchanan of Enter The Haggis recently shared his thoughts on crowdfunding via Bandzoogle’s blog. He gives a lot of solid crowdfunding advice while taking a look at their differing experiences using Kickstarter, PledgeMusic and Bandzoogle (to run a DIY crowdfunding campaign). I was surprised to find more evidence of Kickstarter losing its leading position but, overall, your choice of platform and related tools should be based on your campaign needs.

Brian Buchanan’s comparison of crowdfunding options does a nice job of looking at the differences as well as the similarities of crowdfunding campaigns. However it’s not an apples to oranges approach.

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that includes a broad range of projects beyond music.

PledgeMusic is a direct-to-fan platform that includes crowdfunding as an option.

Bandzoogle is a music website provider that includes a store which Enter The Haggis may have used for a preorder campaign rather than a crowdfunding campaign per se.

Kickstarter: The Traditional Crowdfunding Approach

Buchanan’s look at Kickstarter includes some talk about financial goal setting that’s important across platforms but doubly so on all-or-nothing platforms like Kickstarter.

Buchanan’s experience was of an inflexible platform that doesn’t handle pledge updates very well. In addition, he found little support from Kickstarter itself.

Though I’d heard good things about Kickstarter’s support in the past, this year I’m only hearing disappointment from campaigners. Perhaps now that crowdfunding is established expectations are higher but limited commentary of late has been negative.

In the past I’ve also heard the argument that all-or-nothing campaigns add a dramatic flare that should help boost campaigns but that seems only likely in a campaign that is running short near the finish line. Choosing all-or-nothing in hopes of surviving last minute failure is not a good plan.

Currently the only argument I’m hearing right now for using Kickstarter is the strength of their brand. I’ve talked to lots of people over the last couple of years who don’t know what crowdfunding is but have heard of Kickstarter.

However, that means you can say “like Kickstarter” and leverage their brand without using their service.

PledgeMusic: Direct-to-Fan Campaigns from Start to Finish

Enter The Haggis is having a much better experience with PledgeMusic though that campaign is still in progress in the recording phase. Paying 15% of revenue seems to be the major sticking point.

Yet Buchanan says everything about the platform is designed for musicians’ actual campaigns and that support was really awesome.

In addition, PledgeMusic looks at the whole campaign, not just the funding mechanism, and that leads to support and platform development that is closely aligned with artists’ workflow.

PledgeMusic also reports sales to SoundScan which supports indie successes such as Lindsey Stirling’s campaign that led to a #2 debut on the Billboard 200.

Bandzoogle: DIY With a Web Store

Bandzoogle is presented as an option for small scale DIY crowdfunding campaigns. Enter The Haggis used their store feature but it sounds like they actually did presales instead of crowdfunding. That’s a strong fit given that Bandzoogle doesn’t take commision on sales.

In a larger sense, Buchanan is pointing out that your choice of tools should be based on your needs. For a small scale preorder campaign, which can take on a lot of the dynamics of a crowdfunding campaign, a solid store feature along with email marketing and other basic tools can definitely do the job.

There are also resources for DIY crowdfunding campaigns including various Wordpress themes and the like some of which would handle more of the process associated with crowdfunding than would a web store.

In the past my hesitation about suggesting DIY campaigns as an option was that some people might view a campaign on a third party platform as more legitimate especially in relationship to refunds.

However, that may be changing as the issue of campaigns that failed after the money was collected is hitting not only the media but the courts.

Given that crowdfunding and preorders require a certain simple level of trust and that successful campaigns are based on direct connections to fans, a band with a strong history of following through may have more to gain by going DIY given the lower fees.

Best Choice?

The best choice will certainly be based on your needs but Kickstarter seems like it’s losing a bit of its edge. It would be interesting to compare to recent experiences on Indiegogo in particular.

PledgeMusic is one company I always recommend considering, in part, because they focus on the campaign from start to finish and provide a lot of support.

I wouldn’t have thought of Bandzoogle for crowdfunding but they are a great example of a company offering a variety of tools at low cost to build your own web empire. And, at the end of the day, the most important platform is the one you own whether you conduct crowdfunding campaigns there or not.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Visit http://bit.ly/VH1I4Y to download “Wakin On A Pretty Day”, the first song from Kurt Vile’s new album “Wakin On A Pretty Daze”

Visual depicts legendary Philadelphia artist ESPO (Steve Powers - http://www.firstandfifteenth.net/) painting the cover for the record.

This is not a music video.

http://kurtvile.com
http://www.matadorrecords.com

The following sites offer varying opportunities for promoting your shows. SpinGo focuses on events listings in the U.S. and includes music. Their distribution network makes them especially strong. Billetto is a European ticketing and “event discovery community.” Though it would require using their ticketing services, including free/no fee ticketing, Billetto is taking an interesting approach to supporting events. And Upcoming is exactly that, a grassroots events site that is being revived through a Kickstarter campaign which won’t be available till next year.

SpinGo: Local Events Listings

SpinGo is a local events calendar that seems to be focused on medium to large cities in the U.S. It includes a variety of events with plenty of music.

SpinGo gets out the word beyond their site with a presence on a large number of news and entertainment sites around the country.

Partners have been attracted to their human-filtered listings and SpinGo’s success to date recently led to a $2 million Series A round of investment. So it sounds like they’ll be around for awhile.

You can add events for free and paid promotions are available.

Billetto: Beyond Ticketing to Building Community

Billetto bills itself as an “event discovery community” which provides not only ticketing but a variety of features including merch sales, donations and event management tools.

Billetto also includes member profiles and social elements to build a community around events that lives beyond individual events. As the community grows, promotional opportunities will grow as well.

Currently Billetto is available to “users in Denmark, the UK, Sweden and Norway, and the next countries for launch will be Germany and the Netherlands.”

Upcoming: A Collaborative Event Calendar Reborn

Upcoming.org launched in 2003 as a “collaborative event calendar focused on interesting arts and tech events around the world.” It was a listings calendar with a strong community base which led to it’s acquisition by Yahoo.

Unfortunately Yahoo put it to bed but founder Andy Baio has gotten the go-ahead to take the domain and revive the site. He’s getting things off the ground via an already highly success Kickstarter campaign.

Baio hopes to relaunch in public beta by March 2015 but plenty can happen between now and then.

Nevertheless it’s nice to see a once valued community-driven events listing service getting back in the game. Upcoming.org, whatever form it takes, should be a boon to DIY and indie acts.

The following sites offer varying opportunities for promoting your shows. SpinGo focuses on events listings in the U.S. and includes music. Their distribution network makes them especially strong. Billetto is a European ticketing and “event discovery community.” Though it would require using their ticketing services, including free/no fee ticketing, Billetto is taking an interesting approach to supporting events. And Upcoming is exactly that, a grassroots events site that is being revived through a Kickstarter campaign which won’t be available till next year.

SpinGo: Local Events Listings

SpinGo is a local events calendar that seems to be focused on medium to large cities in the U.S. It includes a variety of events with plenty of music.

SpinGo gets out the word beyond their site with a presence on a large number of news and entertainment sites around the country.

Partners have been attracted to their human-filtered listings and SpinGo’s success to date recently led to a $2 million Series A round of investment. So it sounds like they’ll be around for awhile.

You can add events for free and paid promotions are available.

Billetto: Beyond Ticketing to Building Community

Billetto bills itself as an “event discovery community” which provides not only ticketing but a variety of features including merch sales, donations and event management tools.

Billetto also includes member profiles and social elements to build a community around events that lives beyond individual events. As the community grows, promotional opportunities will grow as well.

Currently Billetto is available to “users in Denmark, the UK, Sweden and Norway, and the next countries for launch will be Germany and the Netherlands.”

Upcoming: A Collaborative Event Calendar Reborn

Upcoming.org launched in 2003 as a “collaborative event calendar focused on interesting arts and tech events around the world.” It was a listings calendar with a strong community base which led to it’s acquisition by Yahoo.

Unfortunately Yahoo put it to bed but founder Andy Baio has gotten the go-ahead to take the domain and revive the site. He’s getting things off the ground via an already highly success Kickstarter campaign.

Baio hopes to relaunch in public beta by March 2015 but plenty can happen between now and then.

Nevertheless it’s nice to see a once valued community-driven events listing service getting back in the game. Upcoming.org, whatever form it takes, should be a boon to DIY and indie acts.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Info provided by BTR Live Studio:

Georgia jam band Little Tybee perform “Signal Below” live in our studio. For this and all the other songs performed during this Live Studio session, check out DJ Maia’s audio broadcast: http://www.breakthruradio.com/#/post/?blog=32&post=1529

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/littletybee

For years BTR has brought the hottest breaking musicians into the studio for a private and intimate performance just for our listeners. Now Live Studio takes a giant leap forward into the world of HD video! The same format you’ve grown to love, presented in a way you’ve never seen it before. Come on in, it’s Live Studio. Tuesdays on the new BreakThru Radio.

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