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Rules Of Life

From Prescription Music PR:

When a new fan joins your mailing list– either at a gig or via your website – there are probably a few things you want to let them know about: for example, where to find you on social media; the URL for your merch store; and forthcoming gig dates. Rather than send out emails manually to every new subscriber, use autoresponders (provided by tools such as Getresponse or Mad Mimi) to schedule these in automatically – i.e., so that X number of days after signing up to your a mailing list, your new fan gets email Y. For example, a subscriber could get an email immediately upon sign-up with details of your Facebook and Twitter pages; a week later they could receive a link to an online store full of delightful t-shirts and so on. All this saves a lot of time.

Additionally, if you know that you are going to need to publicise various activities at specific points in the year, you can also schedule in e-newsletters to go out on relevant dates with relevant information. This saves you having to panic about sending tour-related e-newsletters when you’re in the middle of a rehearsal for said tour – it will go out automatically in the middle of that slightly-too-long guitar solo.

RSS (Rich Site Summary / Really Simple Syndication) is a feed from a website that another website can use to publish content…and it’s your friend. If you have a blog on your site, for example, you can use its RSS feed to trigger e-newsletters, meaning that when you update your blog, your fans receive the latest content from it in their inbox. You can also use your RSS feed to send your content automatically to your social media profiles, meaning that when you add new posts to your blog, or images to your gallery, your Twitter followers see a relevant tweet as soon as the new content is live. And, if you make your RSS feed publicly accessible on your website, your die-hard-technically-savvy fans who naturally use an RSS reader (a ‘news aggregator’) to stay up to date with the music scene can enjoy news from your site in the list of publications they follow.

Google Alerts allow you to monitor the web for new content about topics of your choosing: in your case, the ‘topic’ is whatever your band happens to be called. Google Alerts is very easy to use: you just enter your act’s name and pick when you’d like to receive updates regarding any online mentions of the band (as-it-happens, daily or weekly). This means that whenever an influential blogger is giving your band a bad review, you’ll get a notification. The other thing that Google Alerts is good for – and I’m slightly reluctant to tell you this – is for keeping your music PR company on their toes, because you can use it to see how well they are doing with your online music PR campaign…

Read more band hacks here

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the great heroes of the civil rights movement. Watch as LeVar Burton reads you a story about Dr. King’s life from the Friendship Baptist Church in Pasadena, California. The Story Time video focuses on teaching children about the importance of the acceptance of others, no matter differences in personal, religious, political, or physical dissimilarities.

Not only is this Story Time video tremendously personal and meaningful for LeVar, who in 2000, proudly received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Album: The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr., but the video is embedded with a positive message of the value of human kindness and resiliency that both children and adults can find relatable.

We’re still living in a world where elders need to be respected, and good thing for that. Seniors all around the world were all asked the same question: “If you could tell one thing to a young person, what would it be?” The consistency among all of these different people, different countries, and different cultures won’t surprise you. It’s the advice you already know, but sometimes need to hear from time to time.

I urge and challenge musicians and artists alike to push themselves to be a voice of the times that we live in. I know that many see what happened to Dixie Chicks’ Natali eMaines (she bravely expressed her opinion/dismay on the Bush administration declaring war & was unjustly targeted….while in hindsight being CORRECT) suddenly there was an onslaught of radio silence from artists across the board (correction not everyone was silent, but the silence was deafening) although I’m kinda/sorta addressing the hip hop nation I really apply this challenge to ALL artists. We need new Dylans. New Public Enemys. New Simones. New De La Roachas. New ideas! But it just doesn’t stop there!! We need outlets (hello Clear Channel Radio One Vh1) to balance the system. Yeah I’m just as guilty of feeling the high of all that I despise (“Devil’s Pie” D’angelo) but the reason why this nation seems to be moving 3 steps ahead in some areas…..but then 7 steps backwards in every area is a lack of balance. I’m not saying every song gotta be “Fight The Power” but in times like these we need to be more community minded (taking a wild guess that “urban radio’s” format didn’t change much from the pre program stuff (using that word *politely*) we’ve been hearing for years. & when I say challenge I don’t mean breathless race to the finish on who makes the more banging “Fuck Tha Police” sequel. I mean real stories. Real narratives. Songs with spirit in them. Songs with solutions. Songs with questions. Protest songs don’t have to be boring or non danceable or ready made for the next Olympics. They just have to speak truth. I laugh & have fun w “Bitch You Guessed It” like everyone else. But my soul is aching man. Seriously just ONE or Two songs that change the course. This is something I feel the need and urgency to put out there.
– Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson via Instagram

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives. “Scandal” actress Kerry Washington took the stage to accept GLAAD’s Vanguard Award, given to someone in the entertainment industry who has helped push LGBT rights forward. It’s been awarded to people like Drew Barrymore, Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lopez, and Jennifer Aniston.

She gets it right.

“Now you would think that those of us who are kept from our full rights of citizenship would band together and fight the good fight. But history tells us that no, often we don’t. Women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people — we have been pitted against each other and made to feel like there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of ‘other.’

There is so much power in storytelling, and there is enormous power in inclusive storytelling, in inclusive representation. … We must be allies, and we must be allied in this business because to be represented is to be humanized. And as long as anyone anywhere is being made to feel less human, our very definition of humanity is at stake, and we are all vulnerable.

We must see each other, all of us; and we must see ourselves, all of us. We must continue to break new ground until that is just how it is. Until we are no longer firsts and exceptions and rare and unique. In the real world, being an ‘other’ is the norm. In the real world, the only norm is uniqueness, and our media must reflect that.”

herzogFound in the book Werner Herzog – A Guide for the Perplexed.

1. Always take the initiative.
2. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need.
3. Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
4. Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief.
5. Learn to live with your mistakes.
6. Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern.
7. That roll of unexposed celluloid you have in your hand might be the last in existence, so do something impressive with it.
8. There is never an excuse not to finish a film.
9. Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
10. Thwart institutional cowardice.
11. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
12. Take your fate into your own hands.
13. Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape.
14. Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
15. Walk straight ahead, never detour.
16. Manoeuvre and mislead, but always deliver.
17. Don’t be fearful of rejection.
18. Develop your own voice.
19. Day one is the point of no return.
20. A badge of honor is to fail a film theory class.
21. Chance is the lifeblood of cinema.
22. Guerrilla tactics are best.
23. Take revenge if need be.
24. Get used to the bear behind you.

[via] and Boing Boing

AP: Common received some backlash for his comments about ending racism on “The Daily Show” last week. What are your thoughts?

John Legend: Oh yeah, I heard a little bit about it and I understand what he’s saying because I do believe that part of us ending racism is us seeing each other’s humanity and learning to love each other, even if we look different or worship differently or live differently. But I think it’s not enough for us to extend the hand of love. I think it’s important that that goes both ways. It’s important also that we look at policies we need to change as well.

It’s important for us also to fight for certain changes that need to happen. And one of those issues that I really care about is education. But also another one is incarceration, which is what I talked about at the Oscars. And mass incarceration is a policy that’s kind of built up over the last four decades and it’s destroyed families and communities, and something we need to change. And it’s fallen disproportionally on black and brown communities, especially black communities, and it’s kind of a manifestation of structural racism. So when you think about that kind of thing, it’s not enough to say we need to love each other, you have to go behind that and say we need to change these policies, we need to fight, we need to protest, we need to agitate for change.

Via Yahoo

The Slaight Family Foundation today announced that it will donate $7 million to support seven Canadian non-governmental organizations. The donation will be split equally among all seven groups, which include Stephen Lewis Foundation, War Child, Free The Children, Right To Play, Human Rights Watch, Partners In Health Canada, and World Vision.

The donations aim to support Canada’s efforts in global humanitarianism. The work of these NGOs will be supported over the next four years as they aim to create change in seven unique ways across the globe.

“The work these seven NGOs are doing is critically important. When we were selecting different organizations to partner with, it really came down to the versatility of these projects and the need for change in these regions,” saidGary Slaight, President and CEO of Slaight Family Foundation. “We hope these gifts will benefit many people for years to come, and that we inspire others to support humanitarianism efforts on a global scale.”

The gifts were announced today at an event hosted by the Slaight Family Foundation. Leaders in Canadian humanitarianism and business leaders were also present.  Chief executive officers from all seven NGOs spoke about the importance of these gifts and the projects they will support.

“The work that we do as humanitarians is only made possible by the generosity of others. The generosity we’ve seen from the Slaight Family Foundation is an inspiring example of those who want to make a difference in the world,” saidDave Toycen, President and CEO of World Vision. “At the end of the day, our dream is to change the lives of women, men and children around the world, and these donations help make that dream a reality.”

The donations announced today will fund seven special projects in different regions throughout the globe. Each project will touch a different group of equally important recipients, including women and children in Thailand, grandmothers and orphans in sub-Saharan Africa, and victims of war and human rights violations in Cambodia and beyond.

The Slaight Family Foundation Gifts, in detail:

Stephen Lewis Foundation
Support to grandmothers raising children orphaned by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa
The Stephen Lewis Foundation will continue to work with grassroots organizations to improve the livelihood and security of grandmothers raising children orphaned by AIDS. Support will be provided through food security, income-generation opportunities, and housing for grandmothers and orphans in their care, as well as national convenings of grandmother groups in Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.

War Child
Justice support to abused mothers and children in war torn countries
Support for mothers and children that have experienced abandonment and violence inflicted by war is critical. War Child aims to expand current justice programs to additional war torn countries where the need it evident. These programs rebuild legal structures, provide access to free legal counsel and ensure authorities understand the meaning of rights.

Free The Children
Agriculture and food security in Kenya
This project focuses on community based support for 2,000 farmers in 20 Kenyan communities through training and resource availability. Agricultural education will be offered through school based support, which will focus on training and support work on farms, agricultural clubs, and construction of school based green houses for school and home consumption.

Right To Play
Child centered learning in Thailand
To help with the physical, emotional and social wellbeing of children in Thailand, Right To Play will focus on improving life skills through sport and play based learning activities. The donation will improve access to teachers and volunteers and increase the capacity to incorporate play into school activities.

Human Rights Watch
Access to clean water and sanitation in Thailand
Developing expertise on rights to clean water and sanitation is the focus of this project. Increasing women’s rights and developing sophisticated methodologies for documenting economic, social and culture rights will assist in gaining access to clean water and sanitation.

Partners In Health Canada
First residencies in emergency medicine in Haiti
Over the next five years, Partners In Health will train 18 residents in emergency medical care to help assist with trauma, triage and disaster relief in Haiti. Processes will also be set up to ensure a transfer of skills to other medical professionals in the area.

World Vision
Protecting human rights in Cambodia
World Vision will work to prevent human rights violations in Cambodia through education and assistance. Work will focus on advocating new policy initiatives to government, raising the profile of human rights issues within Cambodia, and helping victims of human rights injustice transition back into the community.

I always thought my career at the beginning was more about courage than talent. It went from a dream to being in an environment with Jeff and Lieber & Stoller and Don Kirshner and Phil Spector – my transistor radio came to life. But for all the hits I had at the time – with John Lennon giving me my gold record for ‘Rock Me Gently’ – you get lost in the fact that you have so many friends. It wasn’t reality. You’re on the Billboard charts? You got tons of friends. Not on the charts? People don’t call you back.Andy Kim, Rolling Stone