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From The Hollywood Reporter:

Tom Petty, the writer behind such hits as “American Girl,” “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and “I Need to Know” will accept the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Founders Award on Wednesday in Los Angeles. Previous honorees include Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Billy Joel.

“It’s very nice to get an award for songwriting,” said Petty. “I’m duly impressed.”
His process is much the same as it’s always been: Sit down with the guitar and see what comes. When inspiration strikes, “it’s a very real magic,” he said.

So magical, in fact, that he hesitates to examine it too closely.

“It’s really hard to explain because I don’t really understand it myself,” said Petty. “I know that when we have time booked, like when we set aside time to make a record, that’s when I usually get pretty — I guess I get ‘on the job’ as far as making sure I have enough songs, you know.”

He sits and plays, recording bits here and there. The next day, he listens to what he did and either develops or scraps it.

“The phones are taking away the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that forever-empty thing … that knowledge that it’s all for nothing and you’re alone … The thing is, because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away with a little phone or a jack-off … You never feel completely sad or completely happy, just kinda satisfied with your product, and then you die.” – Louis C.K. in GQ Magazine

Douglas Coupland’s latest book, Worst. Person. Ever., is a profane, shocking novel that centers around an awful guy named Raymond Gunt.

“Imagine there’s this really bitter English guy who has Tourettes and swore all the time, except he doesn’t have Tourettes, he just swears a lot. Like, a lot — to the point where it almost becomes like performance art,” Coupland tells NPR’s Arun Rath.

Raymond is struggling to pay off debt that he’s acquired making bad decisions in his miserable life, and he ends up taking a job as a cameraman for a Survivor-style reality show.

“Every book I do is different from the ones that proceeded it. They’re always an experiment. Everything new should offer some chance to change the reader in some way. And with this book, I kind of want you to feel like what would it be like to be hit from fire hoses from seven different directions at full blast. And then, they turn off and you’re sort of standing there, like, tingly, and little cartoon stars sort of flying around the top of your head.

One of the reasons I wrote the book is just because things have been sort of grim in a lot of ways and there’s sort of this epidemic of earnestness. Why not just go against that trend and write something that, you know, might actually damage a person’s soul if they read it.”

“People think I’m a crazy fool for writing ‘slave’ on my face,” he told Rolling Stone in 1996. “But if I can’t do what I want to do, what am I? When you stop a man from dreaming, he becomes a slave. That’s where I was. I don’t own Prince’s music. If you don’t own your masters, your master owns you.”

Last week, India Coran from Dale Speaking Radio Promotions and Digital Marketing in Toronto finally got to see Cher. It was a pretty incredible moment for her as she’s always been a fan. But as she likely danced all night, she came up with a list of things any artist can learn from Cher, and it’s pretty solid:

1) Have a kick-ass personality

She was known for years as “The Bitch” on Sonny and Cher. During her show while fans were screaming she was bold enough to say, “Shut up, I’m talking”. How do you not love that?

2) You don’t need to “fit in”

Cher made a point that she was never really a singer or an actress, so she had to figure things out on her own. You might not be a pop, rock, country etc artist. You may be a mix. You can still figure it out.

3) Make your shows a spectacle!

Granted, she does have A LOT more $$$ for fancy stage setups, dancers etc. But the point is that you should aim to make it impossible for people to take their eyes off of you.

4) Have a social media persona!

Cher is 67 and posts on twitter daily. Her tweets are emoticon filled, and it’s awesome. If Cher can do it, you can do it.

5) It’s ok to lack radio play

Cher’s newest album, Closest to the Truth, yielded 3 singles. Combined, they only received 105 spins on Canadian radio. Does she care? No. A lack of radio play is not the end of the world. I know that Cher has a huge reputation, but that’s all in the past. She’s not reaching any new fans via radio.

6) Use effects tastefully

Cher was the first artist to ever use auto-tune. It was an effect used in her 1998 single “Believe”. It’s a little bit of a signature sound now for her, but it’s used an an effect in dancier songs (such as Take It Like a Man), rather than a necessity. (In other words, she can sing!). If you’re a singer, make sure you can sing (live and recorded) without relying on auto-tune to fix imperfections.

7) Pay for the recording

Cher is listed as “Executive Producer’ on her new album. In other words, she fronted the $. It seems to be the way that music is going. As an artist, you’ll probably have to raise funds to record your album.

8) You can film a music video on a modest budget

Minus Cher’s extravagant paper headdress, her video for “Woman’s World” is just girls dancing in front of a green screen. Totally doable! There are so many ways to make a creative, budget friendly music video.

9) Be Confident

Cher doesn’t give a s*it what other people think about her. She looks, acts and dresses the way that she does because it makes her happy. A little marketing to emphasize who you are is great, but stay true to yourself!

10) Be Healthy 

Being an artist can mean a lot of late nights, partying, poor nutrition etc. The key to longevity is to be healthy. Cher has the most amazing body that I’ve ever seen for someone 67. If you want longevity in your career, you have to be healthy and treat yourself right (that includes adequate sleep!).

From Business Insider:

Investing in a startup like Turntable has to be hard. You put money in and it seems like a rocket ship — then all of a sudden it tanks. What’s that like?

FW: Well, I think we made a bunch of mistakes there, some of which I would blame on the board and some of which I would blame on the company. But in general I think we did not react to the data. The problem with that service was people churned out of it very quickly.

People would come in, fall in love with it and then six to eight weeks later, they were done with it. We knew that pretty early on, but it was hidden by the fact that the number of people who were coming on board every day was higher than the number of people who were churning out. It looked good, but we actually knew that there was something about the service.

I think the problem was that it was too demanding. You had to be in it. It was too social of an experience. What I think we could have done, if we had moved quickly, is that we could have created a passive listening experience. The reality is, if you’re into electronic music or Indie Rock music or Hip Hop or whatever, there were Turntable rooms that were creating as good of a passive listening experience as anything you could get on the Internet, with these super-engaged small groups of users who were creating the streams. If there was a way to just put a Turntable room on and listen to it in the background, I think we could have built an interesting business. But we didn’t move to do that. We just stuck with it too long and it fizzled out.

BI: Spotify came out pretty soon after and stole some of the thunder.

FW: Spotify had been around. I think Spotify launched in the U.S., though, in a big way. I think those are different things. I don’t feel that that was the problem. Someone told me a long time ago that 80% — and this number has been true since the dawn of recorded music — 80% of listening is when someone’s playing the music for you and 20% of listening is when you’re playing the music for yourself.

Vinyl records, CDs, MP3, iTunes and Spotify are experiences where I get to control what I’m listening to and Pandora or AM radio or FM radio is when someone plays the music for me. I think there’s a huge market out there for, “I don’t really want to think about it. I just want to listen.” Pandora is huge.

I think with Turntable we just got that mix wrong. But it was good while it lasted.

 

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Love to listen to music at work? You’re not alone! Spotify just released their research study showing that two in three people (61%) listen to music in the workplace and best yet, that listening to music at work leads to happier employees and boosts office morale and creativity.

This month, the music streaming company partnered with Dr Anneli Haake, an expert on music in the workplace, to conduct research on office listening habits. Here’s some of their fascinating findings:

* Over a third (36%) of workers find that music helps to get them through the day
* 20% of workers find that listening to music is a welcome distraction from their “boring” jobs.
* 16% admitted that they listen to music to drown out colleagues.
* One in ten (10%) revealed that they have judged a colleague based on their choice of music.
* The songs that topped the workplace charts? Their research showed that the most popular genre of music in the workplace is pop/chart music, with over a third (34%) choosing it as their preferred genre, closely followed by rock (29%).

From DIYMusician:

Here is a quick list of artist revenue streams you may not’ve tried to tap into yet.

Remember, I said “streams.” Not all of these options are going to turn into giant rivers of cash on their own.

But when you add them to your normal music sales and performance revenues, they can make a huge difference in the success and sustainability of your music career.

14 ways musicians can earn more money this year
1. Alternative performances and house concerts - Fill in those blank calendar dates while touring. Check out “The Musician’s Guide to House Concerts” and our list of alternative venues.

2. Performance royalties - Get paid whenever your original music is used on terrestrial and internet radio, TV, and more.

3. Mechanical royalties – Maybe you’re already collecting a lot of your performance royalties through a Performing Rights Organization. But are you getting paid mechanical royalties for global streams, international downloads, and more? If not, CD Baby Pro will make sure you get paid ALL the publishing royalties you’re owed.

4. Your music on YouTube - That’s right, the video streaming giant is also becoming a giant in the world of music discovery and monetization too — and CD Baby can help you get paid for the usage of your music on YouTube.

Continue reading the rest of the story on DIYMusician

From DIYMusician:

Gone are the days when you’d record and release a new album every three or four years, throw all your promotional eggs into that one basket, tour non-stop for two years, and then repeat. Everything has changed, from the consumption habits of music fans to the costs and processes of music production.

Nowadays — especially in the independent music world — the more music you release (assuming it’s good music), the greater your chances of building a loyal fanbase that can help you sustain a successful career. Whether you’re releasing monthly singles, two EPs a year, or creating multiple live albums per tour, frequency is becoming key to building a buzz.

Here are 10 reasons you should be recording and distributing more music
1. Keep your existing fans “tuned in” - Our attention spans are getting shorter and our entertainment options are increasing. If you disappear for three years without any new music, you can’t expect your old fans to pick right up where you left off. You need to stay on their radar if you want them to continue supporting you with equal fervor. The more frequently you release music, the more chances you have to remind them of why they love you.

2. Generate more opportunities for press - Likewise, the more music you put out, the more chances you have to contact bloggers, music magazines, local weeklies, etc. Pinning all your PR hopes on one album release every few years really limits your chances to get the press talking about your music.

3. Pace your creative and recording workload - It’s very time-consuming (and potentially expensive) to complete a major recording project all at once. Generally to finish tracking and mixing a full album in one stretch, you’re looking at anywhere from two to twelve weeks’ worth of work. But what about one song a month? That sounds more manageable, healthy, and realistic, which probably means it’s more likely to happen!

You’ll put everything you have into one song at a time to get it right; then have a little break from recording until next month — rather than exhausting all your energy or ideas. You can release a single every month for a year (and even do a release party for each one if you want to draw some extra attention to the new music). At the end of the year, compile the best ten tracks into an album.

Continue reading the rest of the story on DIYMusician