Archive for the ‘Music Industry Inside’ Category


Whether you’re 5 or 95, you can benefit mentally, physically and socially from playing a musical instrument

May 5, 2009


Everyone knows that playing musical instrument is fun and entertaining.  But did you also know that playing music is scientifically proven to benefit peope of all ages.

Children and Teens — Playing music positively affects the development of children’s cognitive skills.  It builds confidence, self-discipline and inspires creativity.  Also playing music can increase productivity and help kids and teens connect socially with their peers.

Adults and Seniors — Playing excercies the brain and helps fight memory loss.  It helps reduce stress and lower blood pressure.  And it can stave off depression and loneliness.

Science says there are good medical reasons to play…

  • Playing a musical instrument can reverse stress at the molecular level, according to studies conducted by Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Applied Biosystems (as published in Medical Science Monitor)
  • Making music can help reduce job burnout and improve your mood, according to a study exposing 112 long-term care workers to six recreational music-making sessions of group drumming and keyboard accompaniment. (as published in Advances in Mind-Body Medicine)
  • Playing music increases human growth hormone (HgH production among active older Americans.  A study following 130 people over two 10-week periods measured participants’ levels of HgH.  The findings revealed that the test group who took group keyboard lessons showed significantly higher levels of HgH than the control group people who did not make music. (University of Miami)
Music lessons: Take up an instrument to enrich your life, mind thumbnail

You’ve decided to invest in music lessons for your child – not because you believe they’ll ever grace the professional stage, but because of the many other ways music can enrich a person’s life.

Or maybe as an adult you finally have the desire to commit to an instrument in a way you never did as a somewhat scattered 12-year-old.

Learning an instrument takes a fairly substantial commitment of time and money to realize those sought-after benefits – poise, discipline and better concentration, to name a few. So here are several important tips that can help the budding musicians in your house get more out of their musical education.

Gallup was commissioned by the National Association of Music Merchants (Namm) in the US to carry out a survey, which revealed 97 per cent of people either strongly or completely agree that music can help to develop creativity.


In addition, 96 per cent feel playing in a school band can assist children to develop team working skills, while 93 per cent believe music can help them to make friends.

A further 88 per cent said music can boost school performance and 94 per cent think it can help kids to relax.


Why not take advantage of our FREE Dolphin Music Lesson Blogs.

These are user generated videos picked by us here at Dolphin Music to save you time trawling the Internet for hours….

Have a go today!


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Atmospheric images of Liverpool’s youthful and exhilarating post-punk era

April 29, 2009

Atmospheric images of Liverpool’s youthful and exhilarating post-punk era feature in a new exhibition by photographer Francesco Mellina at the National Conservation Centre from 1 May to 31 August 2009.

Sound and Vision: Music and Fashion photographed by Francesco Mellina, Liverpool, 1978-82 showcases 60 photographs – most of them previously unseen.

The exhibition reveals a unique visual record of the city’s music and fashion scene, capturing the striking individuality and self-expression of gig-goers and acts in this pivotal era from New Wave to the New Romantics and Rockabillies.

Featuring  iconic Liverpool bands and artists such as Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, Pete Wylie and Pete Burns, Mellina’s photographs document key gigs and music venues of the time, along with many more names who went on to achieve worldwide status including Roxy Music, The Clash and The Ramones as well as artists such as Mick Hucknall and U2 who were opening support acts at the time.

As well as being a photographer, Mellina also managed Liverpool band Nightmares in Wax, who later became Dead or Alive. This established him on the music scene and uniquely positioned him to intimately capture bands and fans alike through his pictures.

The exhibition offers a unique visual record of the edgy fashion and music trends that were created, nurtured and encouraged in Liverpool during the late 70s and early 80s. Pauline Rushton, the exhibition curator,  says:

“Liverpool’s difficult times bred creativity in both music and fashion while the city was in the grip of economic decline. Teenagers’ antidote to life on the dole and low wages was to embrace music and fashion, seeing it as a means to express themselves.”

Followers of the emerging music scenes had their own look and fashion sense.  Their distinctive outfits could not be bought ready-made, so were carefully put together and developed to produce individual looks.

“It is fitting for National Museums Liverpool to display Francesco’s work as the exhibition is unique to Liverpool and captures a time that no other city can lay claim to.”says Pauline.

Mellina captures these distinctive styles and creations giving fascinating glimpses and rare insights into a time that many still try to imitate but can never truly replicate.

This is the first time Mellina has displayed his work on such a large scale, he says:

“Although Italian, I consider myself an honorary Scouser. I love the city and it has been my home and creative inspiration for many years. I couldn’t play an instrument and I couldn’t sing but my photography was my contribution to the cultural and artistic scene so to be able to display my work in the city is a huge thrill.”

Francesco Mellina was born in Polistena, Calabria, southern Italy, in 1952. He taught himself English by listening to early Beatles and Rolling Stones records before setting off, aged 16 on a tour of Europe that would see him eventually settle in Liverpool in his early 20s. Francesco trained in photography at Liverpool Art School, now part of Liverpool John Moores University. In the 1970s he went on to manage the Liverpool band, Nightmares in Wax – later re-named Dead or Alive – and he also set up Black Eye Records. Mellina was also nationally recognised and regularly contributed to magazines such as The Face, Smash Hits, Melody Maker and NME


How to Start A Band!

April 29, 2009


Here is a great article on the starting stages of beginning your own band…….sound advice!

For the solo musician, playing music with others is a whole new experience. If you love playing music on your own and with recordings, you’ll probably find playing with others challenging and rewarding. It requires a new set of skills, including listening to others, making space for their playing, and learning what role you play in the music.

If you enjoy it enough, you might consider starting a band. That’s harder than you might imagine. Few bands last years, let alone decades. Very few find fame and fortune.

I was sitting at home one Saturday afternoon when the phone rang. “Adrian, it’s Eugene. I’m putting together a band, and I’d like you to play keyboards.”

Eugene was a talented lead guitarist, and owned the music store where my wife bought a case for her electric guitar. Since then we’d learned that he was related to some of our best friends.

“I’m not sure, Evvie. Uni is really busy right now. It may not be the right time for me to commit to something like that.”

“It won’t be a problem. Just think of it as the occasional jam session. We’ll only get together every few weeks. The other guys are busy too. Wally’s working days and studying and night, and the drummer is in Year 12. We’re all busy.”

I reluctantly agreed to give it a go.

When I arrived at the practice venue I could hear the band rehearsing from up the street. They were loud! And impressive. Things came together really well. We didn’t just play together well – we inspired one another to play better than we’d ever played before. There was a sense of anticipation. Maybe even a sense of destiny.

I was surprised at the end of the practice when Eugene said there would be another practice the following week. Then the next week. And the next again. Around a month later Evvie announced disappointment at our lack of commitment, and (other than playing together at a few parties) the band ended shortly afterwards. I still have the utmost respect for every one of those musicians, and sometimes wonder about what might have been.

Bands don’t work out for all sorts of reasons. The issues this band faced had to do with timing and expectations. Here are some principles that might keep yours together.

Plan Your Rehearsals

There are no rules on how to run rehearsals, but it is important for everyone to have the same expectations and understand one another’s availability. The bigger the band, the harder it is to organize. Luckily, you’re probably starting fairly small, maybe with just a few friends. Be clear about dates and times, and make sure everyone writes them in their diaries. It may be worth following up with an email or SMS.


Once you’ve sorted out when and how often to rehearse, here are some other things to consider:

  • Provide music/chord charts. It’s amazing how much time you can save at a practice by doing some preparation beforehand. This is especially true of providing chord charts. One simple chart can save hours of arm-waving and explanation.
  • Don’t annoy your neighbors. It’s better to practice in a local hall rather than at home. If you do have to practice at home, be kind to your neighbors. Keep the volume as low as possible, and consider warning them in advance. Especially if you live in an apartment.
  • Avoid unnecessary volume. Be kind to your ears, too. Volume can be fun, but it’s not healthy, especially over long periods of time. Make sure that the volume is loud enough for everyone to hear themselves, and no more. Besides, too much volume can cover up some fatal flaws in your sound. Crank it up from time to time just for fun, though.
  • Have a separate rehearsal for vocals. It’s hard to focus on two things at once. You don’t want to keep stopping the band that’s sounding great to deal with a problem with the singing. You’ll make more progress on the melody, harmony and arrangement of the singing parts if that’s all you’re thinking about.

Get Some Equipment

Unless you’re an a cappella singing group, you’ll need some equipment. As a group of musicians, you’re bound to have some already, including your instruments. You may need to purchase microphones, stands and a PA.

The usual rule with buying music equipment is to purchase the best you can afford. But when you’re starting out, you don’t want to break the bank.

Consider buying some of your gear second-hand. A lot of used musical gear is in excellent condition, and is being sold because the previous owners are upgrading. You may also be able to find some slightly out-of-date gear on special.


Decide on Who Makes the Decisions

Decide in advance who makes the decisions – it may save some arguments down the track, or at least make the arguments shorter. Does your band have one main leader – a dictator – who makes the decisions, or will you make them by consensus after careful discussion? And when there are disagreements – and there will be – how will the disagreement be resolved? Will you vote, or will someone have the final say?

If your band becomes successful and you sign with a label, it may be that most of your decisions are made by someone else. Discuss in advance how much control you are willing to give away.

It’s not bad to have strong personalities in a band. It’s just not easy! Strong personalities can give your band the distinction and sense of direction it needs. In fact, a band with two or three strong personalities can develop a style and image that is very attractive – if you survive the disagreements and arguments that are bound to follow! Hang in there, it’s worth it. In a successful band, personality often trumps musical talent.

Decide on money matters early on, too. If you manage to make any money, how will it be divided? Where will the money for buying more equipment come from? And what happens if someone leaves?

Develop a Distinctive Style

Probably you share similar tastes in music to the other band members, or you wouldn’t want to play together. Try to identify the style(s) of music you enjoy, and especially the styles of music that seem to work best when you play together. A recognizable band has a recognizable style.

You may want to start by playing other people’s songs rather than writing your own. You’ll get to learn which styles work for you and which don’t, and you may stumble on some interesting sounds that start to define your band. Watch out for the songs and styles that feel good when you play together.

Sometimes what stands out in a band

is not what the individual musicians are doing, but how they blend and respond to one another. That only comes by practice – lots of practice.

Here are some things you need to learn:

  • Listen to the other musicians, and be aware of what they are playing.
  • Make sure everyone is not playing in the same range. Spread your sound out over the octaves.
  • Don’t always blend. Sometimes you need contrast.
  • Make space for the other musicians so they have somewhere to play. Intentionally stop playing or simplify your playing so they are able to step in.
  • Intentionally leave gaps in your playing. You don’t need to fill every gap – a second or two of silence here and there can be very effective.
  • Listen to the rhythm of the other players, and intentionally emulate it or play against it.
  • Listen to the phrases of the other musicians, and play something to answer them.


Start Gigging

At some stage you will realize you have a sound and style that is distinctive and works well, and enough material to fill an hour or so. It’s time to take things to the next level, and find a gig.

You won’t fill an arena for your first gig, and you probably don’t want to. Choose something safe, like a party, especially if you haven’t played in front of an audience before. You’re enjoying your own playing, but how does the audience react? Do you get people moving, or put them to sleep? Do people move to your music, or stand there watching? The band should get together afterwards and conduct a careful evaluation (or post-mortem) of how you went and how you can improve. Try to identify positive points as well as negative.

You may not make much money to begin with. But you need the experience. Look out for local events where you can play and become better known.

In your first gigs you probably won’t bring the house down. See those gigs as an educational exercise. Take any criticism on-board. Carefully watch audience reactions. Try to identify the type and age of the people who enjoy your music. Start your life-long career of improving your music!

Once you are convinced that you’re going somewhere, you may want to consider getting an agent and/or a manager. But do it carefully. An agent can make contacts for you with the right people. Make sure they can deliver. A manager can look after the business side of your band while you focus on the music. Make sure you’re actually busy enough to need a manager, and you get someone you trust. Get good advice before signing anything.

Consider Your Stage Setup

Before your mind jumps to lights and smoke machines, consider the more simple requirements of stage setup – they’re important. You need to make sure that everyone can be seen, everyone can see each other, and everyone can hear the music.

Some stages are quite small, and it may be a challenge to fit you all on it. Other stages are huge, and you may want to spread out as much as possible. Try to make sure that each musician can see the others. It’s possible for musicians to communicate with one another on stage with just a look or a nod, but you have to be able to see one another. Don’t set up in a straight line, make it more like an arc.

The placement of foldback speakers and on-stage amps are important. Make sure that everyone is standing close enough to foldback that they can hear themselves. If possible, have one for each musician. Guitarists and keyboardists may have their own amps. Try to angle them so that everyone can hear them. And make sure that every musician can hear everyone else.

You may like to place the bass player close to the drummer so they can see the bass drum. Physical proximity can help give you a tight sound.

Once you have all of that organized, consider lights and smoke machines. You will need a dedicated person (or team) to run them, and probably someone to keep an eye on the mix of the music.

Develop an Image that Sells

A band without a distinctive image won’t be remembered. A band’s image should support and reinforce its musical style. It should also be consistent.

A band’s image takes on the style and sound, looks and dress of the band, hooks it together with a name, and delivers it in a memorable way to the fans and audience.

Take time choosing the name of your band. It should probably be a group decision, and you may need to work through dozens of potential names before choosing one.

Work on your stage presence. How will you engage the audience and keep their attention? Will you talk between the songs, and entertain the crowd with witty banter? Will you work on your dance moves, or just do what comes naturally? Will you dress for success, or wear your favorite ripped t-shirt? There are no rules. You need to find what works for your band, and stick with it.

Create an online presence for your band – a website or MySpace page or both. Consider recording some of your best songs and making them available for download or streaming.

You will have more success with agents and clients if you have a distinctive image and definite stage presence. Work on it like you work on your songs. Being a successful band is not just about being talented musicians, it’s about having a recognizable product to sell – your band.


Learn About Marketing

Hard to imagine Jimi Hendrix doing a in H.N.D. in  Music Performance containing “music business” modules, but chances are that’s what a 17 yr old with an interest in a music career does now! Artists have to have more than basic foundations in music if they want to standout from the crowd. An understanding of marketing , multimedia, sound editing, copyright law, people management are just some of the assets you may encounter in a good days band work and that’s without even playing a note.

The days of  ‘waiting’ to get signed by a label are over!  Now an artist or band can fully empower themselves  by composing,  recording, mixing , mastering, burning a CD, distributing an Mp3 across the world via the internet through iTunes and even taking payments for merchandise through Paypal!

All this can be done without even leaving your bedroom!! John Peel would be proud!

It’s pretty safe to assume most musicians see the power of computers in the modern music making process, but what do you do after you have made your track??  How do people to find your music exists??

There are many sites available now to help with the management of artists and bands. Most musicians have a Myspace page but there’s more to life than that! You could do far worse that take a look at these.

peel1 – A social network and music marketplace for indie artists. They give the artists 70% of the sale. – A place for musicians to get listed for small gigs, or find venues to play at. – An online venue for performers to give themselves an online presence with a profile and display their work. – A social network where artists can set up a profile, upload their music and get reviewed and recommended by users. – A site for musicians to find new members for their group or form a whole new band. – A social network for lovers of indie music where the bands can sell mobile content such as ringtones and wallpapers. – One of the most encouraging sites out there. Lots of good advice and the chance to get your music on actual Radio. Its easier than you think so get in touch with them!

huwstephens_200b00d3ggs_640_3601 – Free mailing list manager for artists, promoters, and venues. – A way for musicians to upload their music and sell it just about anywhere they want such as MySpace and Facebook.

Drowned in – Online Magazine and busy user community, promote you things here! – A site with the aim of promoting unsigned bands by arranging to get their music to be played in the background at cafes, coffee shops and more. Also promote you through a Facebook app and MySpace widget. – Lets performers upload their music sell it, as well as manage mailing lists and more. – A place for all types of independent artists, including musicians, to upload their work and promote it. – Indie musicians upload their music and bloggers can display your songs on their sites for free, and if a sale is made, they blogger gets a cut. – A company letting independent artists sell their music directly to the public and the musicians receive 75% of the sale. – An online marketplace and network for indie artists to promote and sell their music. – Allows you to set up a band website easily and sell MP3s. Two levels of stores with one of them being free. – Promote and sell your music and ringtones. – A community of musician profile pages that engage regularly in competition for various prizes. – Bring all your clips from the web together and put them in to one player so they take up less space on your page, so you can promote all your music easily.

plan_b-cover23 – Magazine with good online presence, lovely reviews and great forums for mindless self promotion! Owned by the Everett True so can’t be a bad thing. – A place for musicians to sell ring tones of their works and notify their fans of news via mobiles. – A music widget provider for blogs that lets independent musicians upload their songs for inclusion, and possible sales. – A service for indie artists to get their music licensed for television and film. – A site to help bands promote themselves on mobile devices to their fans. New sign-ups are frozen while they are being purchased by Google. – Software you can use on a laptop at your merchandise table so people can sign up for your mailing list. – A site for independent musicians to try to stay indie by selling their music online. – Allows you to construct a low cost electronic press kit that can be constantly updated so the recipients always get the latest version. – USE THIS SITE! This allows you for very little costs to upload your music and it will distribute it to iTunes, Napster, Amazon, e-Music and most of the major download sites.  It truly is the answer

tunecore_logo_copy – A site for unsigned to put up a profile page and host a play list of MP3s to attract new listeners. – Obvious be true! More videos, more specific keywords, more subscriptions, more ‘fans’


Sweden Takes Internet Pirates To Jail!

April 21, 2009


The “game” of internet piracy has been escalating over the past few months; becoming a trial of who can enlist the strictest rules and combat the most “pirates.” Well, we’re going to say Sweden is the first place contender in this pirate capturing battle, having convicted four men who were linked to a popular file-sharing site, The Pirate Bay. Anyone think of sending the RIAA to Somalia?

The four men involved with the file-sharing site, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, and Carl Lundstorm were all sentenced to a year in prison by the Stockholm district court, and were ordered to pay over $3 million dollars back to various media and entertainment groups like Columbia, according to Yahoo! News. The four men were convicted on charges that said they assisted millions of users to download music, movies and computer games for free, violating Sweden’s copyright law.

Despite Pirate Bay not actually hosting any of the illegal content, the court said the men helped users break copyright laws “by providing a Web site with sophisticated search functions, simple download and storage capabilities.”  According to Yahoo! News Swedish officials cracked under scrutiny from the U.S. who cracked down on The Pirate Bay three years ago.


Play At Manchester’s In The City 2009

April 14, 2009


The legendary music industry schmooze, In the City, has just opened it’s books for unsigned bands’ performance registration.

Taking place in Manchester from October 18th – 20th, the event is one part conference, one part music festival – and one massive media spotlight. Founded in 1992 by the late Anthony Wilson from Factory Records and Yvette Livesay, In The City (ITC) has become one of the most important dates in the UK music industry calendar.

Held at The Midland Hotel and throughout the venues and bars of the music-oriented northern city, everyone from record label executives to part-time fans descend on the city for this event. For many, being there is a must.

Applying to play is free of charge and the ITC team welcome submissions from artists of all genres and nationalities. The ITC Unsigned spotlight has one of the biggest signing ratios of any similar event, and has claimed to spawn top acts like Oasis, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay and many more.

If you’re part of an unsigned band or act, apply online here

You’ll need to include music, biography and an image. For those more in favour of the old skool methods, you can also send three-track CDs with info and pics to the ITC office – details of which are also available by clicking through to the link above.

Bands from outside the UK can apply via SonicBids too. Winning choices from abroad receive up to $1000 towards their travel costs. You can’t get much fairer than that.

The ITC crew are still putting together the keynote speakers, showcases and panels for the conference. Last year Jarvis Cocker and Gold Blade singer and Manchester writer John Robb held talks, and there were panel discussions on topics like What Value Is Fashion To Music? and Can The UK Grime And Dubstep Scene Produce A World-Beating Artist?

Those interested in showcasing themselves on a panel, through sponsorship, advertising or exhibition can click onto the In The City site for more details.


Universal Music Group and Google are now partners in the music-video business

April 14, 2009

Universal Music Group and Google are now partners in the music-video business.

The largest of the four top recording companies and YouTube’s parent company announced on Thursday that they are working together on Vevo, a new music and video entertainment service set to launch later this year. YouTube will handle the technology while Universal Music supplies the content. The two companies will share ad revenue.

The companies said and at this point it appears that Universal’s content and artists will be the only label represented on the site. However, Doug Morris, Universal Music’s chief executive, said in a conference call with the media that he is in negotiations with other top record labels and is confident they will join.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said on the same conference call that YouTube and Universal Music have renewed their existing licensing agreement. YouTube will continue to be licensed to allow visitors to use songs from Universal Music. Professionally made videos from the label will only appear on Vevo, the companies said.

This is the first time that YouTube has launched a satellite Web site, Schmidt said but he added that he hopes there will be more.

For Universal Music, the move means that Morris has obtained the standalone music-video service that he has long wished for. Ever since MTV became a cultural force and huge financial success by offering music videos on TV, the record industry realized that it goofed in thinking of music videos as a promotional tool. Morris has said that in this era of declining revenue in the sector, he doesn’t see anything as “promotional” and argues that music videos are worth cash.


How to run your band..Online!

March 24, 2009

Think it’s hard writing the perfect pop song? Try keeping track of the number of T-shirts buried in the back of your band’s van.

Bandize, a new web service for musicians that’s currently in closed alpha, gives bands a suite of online tools to manage everything from tour bookings and social networking to mundane tasks like accounting and monitoring merchandise levels.

The five musician/web developers behind Bandize say they are trying to cover all the bases in an attempt to make musicians’ lives easier.

“The main thing we’re doing is all of it,” said Beamer Wilkins at the South by Southwest Music festival trade show last week. Wilkins, 25, and his team have been working on the service for just over a year. In fact, their first focus group to discuss Bandize was held at last year’s SXSW festival.

The overlap between music and technology has never been greater. Virtually every band rocks the internet to promote itself these days, using MySpace, Twitter and other popular services to attract new listeners and keep current fans loyal. A wave of iPhone apps like Gigotron, a winner at this year’s SXSW Interactive Web Awards, make it easier for music lovers to find shows they want to see.

Soon, Bandize will deliver business and communication tools that let bands collaborate more easily as they work to take their careers to the next level. Bandize will go to public beta within six months, according to its founders, and will cost no more than $10 per month per band. (Want to try Bandize now? The first 50 readers that use Twitter to request a free trial will be whisked into Bandize’s closed alpha.

Bandize lets bands keep track of tour dates, venues and hotel accommodations, and print out tour itineraries. The inventory-management tool keeps track of every T-shirt or CD that is sold or given away, registering the cost of the swag or the profit from the sale. Bandize lets bands sync their social networking info on MySpace and Pure Volume (Bandize is also working with Facebook), and assign tasks to each other and track productivity.

Every band member gets their own Bandize login, making it easier for anybody to update the data at any time, and accounting data can be exported to popular bookkeeping software.

Scott Hansen, a San Francisco-based electronic musician who records and performs as Tycho, has been using Bandize during the closed alpha. He said it “absolutely” simplifies the music biz.

“My manager works with it handling a lot of the day-to-day, and it’s nice to be able to collaborate in a single space instead of requesting e-mails from him,” Hansen said in an e-mail interview. “Feels more like we’re working on things together now.”

Hansen said he finds Bandize’s novel inventory management system especially useful.

“I sell a lot of T-shirts, so it’s cool to see how much I made on merch at each show I played,” he said.

Other web services, like ReverbNation, help bands make the most of their online marketing and distribution efforts, but don’t offer merch-management tools, even though that’s where some bands make a healthy chunk of their earnings. Meanwhile, software solutions like Indie Band Manager offer powerful tools but don’t offer the easy access, flexibility and collaboration possibilities of an online service.

With offices in Austin and in San Jose, California, Bandize developers are working on an open API to allow for more Web 2.0 functionality, and they’re developing an iPhone app so the bass player, for instance, could update publicity info while riding in the van (if he’s within range of AT&T’s mobile network and not strung out).

Bandize’s Andy Miles says he tracked tour information for his now-defunct band Exit the King using an elaborate system of bookmarks in Safari, but the undertaking required lots of maintenance. He tested Bandize on the road and found it helpful, he said.

“I would like to think it’s kind of the tour-booking hoss,” Miles said.

The musicians who created Bandize seem to have thought of almost everything (although has not had a chance to test the service extensively yet). Bandize even has a feature for keeping track of your group’s assets, like guitars, amps and other valuables. Entering the data once means it will be easily accessible online if you need to file a police report if your trailer gets stolen while you’re on the road.

“Can you tell me the serial number on your guitar?” asked Miles. “No.”

The service also lets band members assign tasks to their bandmates. While there’s no guaranteeing the bass player will actually put up the fliers when he’s told to, at least “everybody knows now,” said Bandize’s Ajit D’Sa. “There’s no excuse.”

Possibly the best part of a service aimed at notoriously short-lived bands: Musicians can take all their personal data with them when they join another group, and bands can cut off a crazy lead singer  when they kick him out for sleeping with the drummer’s girlfriend.

“When one guy quits the band, you can shut him out” from your group’s account, Wilkins said.

Source: wired


Beck’s Offering For Record Store Day – Bands Clamour To Support Independent Record Stores

February 17, 2009


An exclusive seven-inch from Sonic Youth and Beck are the latest offerings for this year’s Record Store Day – a worldwide event in support of independent record stores. The day, April 18th, will see artists joining forces to create exclusive new tracks, live shows, feature bands staffing checkouts, and many more musical goodies.

Over 40 stores in the UK have already signed up and all will be able to sell two split seven-inch singles from the Beggars stable. The first showcases Sonic Youth covering Beck’s ‘Pay No Mind’ and Beck covering their ‘Green Light’. The second will feature Jay Reatard’s ‘Hang Them All’ and Sonic Youth’s ‘No Garage’.

Rough Trade East in London has already confirmed gigs by Sky Larkin and Sunny Day Sets Fire – as well as bands working the tills – for the day, and there’s more to come.

Artists from around the world, from Adam Duritz from the Counting Crows to Ziggy Marley, are adding their voices and faces to the cause. Ronnie from The Killers tells a little tale about a boy, his dad and their indie record store here

Many acts are giving away freebies, such as lyric books from Bruce Springsteen, chocolate from India Irie and special vinyl remixes from Franz Ferdinand.

“I think independent record shops will outlive the music industry,” comments Damon Albarn.  “Long term, their value to people is far greater, because even in our era of file-sharing and blogs, you can’t replace the actual look on someone’s face when they are playing something they really rate and think you should listen to it too. It’s special.”

The event has even joined forces with YouTube to create a Record Store Day channel, where all musical fans and independent record store supporters can add their thoughts. Click here to get involved.

Developed in the States by Eric Levin of Atlanta’s Criminal Records and Michael Kurtz of Music Monitor Network, April 18th will be the second time music fans celebrate independently-owned record stores around the globe.




The Evolution of Social Music

February 17, 2009


Lots of inovations have taken place to take forward music from being something that we encoutered to owning, being a personnal ownership, Walkmans, MinidisciPods. All these devices make music a very personnal experience. The latest format music is taking is that of a socail persuasion

In Todd Rundgren‘s presentation, Time for the Music Industry to Evolve, he notes that with the introduction of the Sony Walkman Tape Player to the marketplace in 1979, it was the first personalized listening experience that people had.  Previous to that if you wanted a personalized listening experience you had to do it in your own home.  This enabled you to take the music with you and it began to adapt to people’s lifestyles. Their listening habits began to change and essentially the music became the background to their lives.  Mix tapes grew highly popular and became a common exchange between ‘star-crossed lovers’ and the like.  This made their music experience active, but mix tapes were still quite tedious to make and your access to music was limited to the people that you knew…


Officially called the ‘Discman’, the first CD based Walkman was initially launched in 1984.  The progression from the Tape Player to the CD Player gave users an increased sense of control over their personalized music experience and would enable them to skip, digitally rewind or fast forward, shuffle, repeat, and loop.  With this heightened sense of control, music was brought to the foreground of people’s lives and began to transform their lifestyles in a way that seemed to more heavily reflect the culture they consumed.  Although traveling with a player and CD case wasn’t as clumsy as tapes, its drawback, pending on the size of your collection, was the bulky, book like case.  This shift in format temporarily took users towards a passive music experience.

The CD-R specification was first published in 1988 by Philips and Sony in the ‘Orange Book’.  In the late 1990’s, high-speed CD burners began to appear in home and office computers.  Its common problem was buffer under run.  For a variety of reasons, the computers at the time could not muster the I/O performance needed to keep the data stream to the burner steadily fed.  If it ran short, the burner would be forced to halt the writing process, leaving a truncated track that usually rendered the disc useless.  Typically, depending on the quality of your computer, it was in your best interest to stop using it during the process to prevent lost time and discs from being wrecked.

During this time period, the cassette-based Walkman was generally passed over in favor of the emerging digital technologies of CD.  Furthermore, with the emergence of the MP3 CD Player and the burnt mix, it was the first time people could, most effortlessly, place the songs they wanted to hear in a ‘maximized order.’  The music would become a part of people’s lifestyles, their listening habits would evolve, and essentially the music became the soundtrack to their lives.  Although this was not the first time that a personalized music experience allowed users to be more actively involved and become ‘curators’ of their music collection, it was only for ‘one work’ at a time.’  Soon, as CD-R Burners became standard on computers, these mixes were widely democratized and accessible to almost everyone.  The ease of mixing progressed heavily, but it relied on external technology.  For many, the introduction of Napster in 1998 meant that their music collection was no longer limited to their social ties, but rather to the Internet connection that enabled them to easily get songs from other people’s computers.

Apple iPods

Once the iPod was introduced on October 23, 2001, it increased people’s ability to maximize their music experience quicker, navigate it more smoothly, and have optimum control over the music they listened to.  Instead of adapting to people’s lifestyles like the Walkman Tape Player, it was now integrating itself into almost everything they did.  The music they listened to was no longer a fixed soundtrack to their lives, but an ongoing experience where they could create song maps in advance or on the go.  Song mapping, encouraged people to ‘take the wheel of the iPod and steer’ themselves in the direction of the optimum music experience that they desired.  They became the ‘curator’ of their entire music collection. Song_mapping This is where the concepts of Experience Maximization and Song Mapping are most prevalent, because people are trying to optimize and excerpt control over music experiences that haven’t yet occurred to avoid future frustrations.  As well as plot out maps of songs that are intended to maximize the level of satisfaction they expect to derive from activities like running by itself.

This personalized, maximized, and fully controlled experience could be taken with you wherever you go and be plugged into docking stations that created a home like listening venue where you choose to set up.  In this case, ‘home is where you make it,’ allowing you to bring a certain degree of familiarity and comfort into foreign surroundings.  Although your office may not sound as good as your home music system, in a sense, it could at least feel like it.  Over the last thirty years, what we’ve seen is a shift from the personal ‘home music experience’ to the personalized ‘feels like home music experience.’  In this personalized realm, music progressed from the background to the foreground of our lives.  It went onto become the soundtrack and then transformed into a song map.  This ‘Evolution of Social Music’ reveals bits and pieces about how the way people interact with music has changed and opens a window into the very diverse and complex listening habits that we have developed.

Watch full talk here


MySpace Scores User Engagement Gains

February 13, 2009

Myspace new

Facebook’s user base may be growing faster, but in the all important user engagement metric, January domestic comScore data showed all time highs in the “minutes per visitor” and “total minutes” categories at MySpace. The social networker’s page views also jumped to the highest level in more than a year.

Arrow up

User Engagement

  • The average MySpace user now spends 266 minutes (4.4 hours) on the site every month; a 5% increase over last month and a +31% increase year over year. MySpace says its users spend nearly 100 minutes more per visitor than the closest competitor.
  • Total minutes spent has reached an all time high of 20.1 billion up 15% from last month and up 44% year over year. MySpace’s total minutes claims double that of the company’s closest competitor.

Page Views Up

  • Page views on MySpace have reached an all time high of 44 billion, more than double that of the company’s nearest competitor. January’s numbers are an increase of 9.4% over last month.

It does the beg the question is its increase  just because people are waiting for Myspace to load!