Archives For December 2010

I never got to meet Joe Strummer, but one time I was at a bar in Toronto and saw this guy who looked exactly like him – he was standing there, hanging out by himself, having a drink.  I was almost going to ask him if he was Joe, but didn’t feel right about it.  What the hell would Joe Strummer be doing here by himself, right?  Turns out, The Mescaleros had played a show earlier that night at another bar down the road, and it actually was him.  I missed my chance, and not long after that he passed away.  That was eight years ago on this day, Dec 22, 2002 and that’s my Joe Strummer story.

Regardless, no matter what type of musician you are, you should know about The Clash.  Great songs, incredible performance energy, pure integrity,  a sense of purpose and lyrics that have intense meaning.  It’s pretty much the definitive checklist any band should work toward.  Have a look at WestWay To The World if you’ve never had the chance.  Or give it as a gift to a musician you know and tell them to watch it.  Three times.

This looks like something at least worth checking out – ReverbNation just released the beta version of an iPhone app that will allow you to collect fan mailing list signups, manage all your different status updates, send email newsletter updates and more, all from the comfort of your iPhone.

And the best part is that it’s free.

The downside – you have to sign up to Reverbnation and use their service to manage all your data.

It will be interesting to see what functionality future versions of the app will add though.  Some I thought of would be Credit card/Debit card transaction processing, SMS group signups and group text-messaging, location-based targeting of fan messaging, and merch inventory management.

Too many musicians are waiting for the money.

“If only we had the budget for more production, our stage show would be sooo much better.”
“When we get signed, we have the best idea for a music video that’s going to blow everyone away.”
“If we could afford to hire big named producers, we’d have better songs too.”

Here’s the thing… creativity doesn’t cost anything.  There’s probably at least three ways a band could improve their stage show without spending a dime.  No one (except Kanye) is spending a ton of money on music videos, it’s all about the creative IDEA behind it.  And if a songwriter just kept writing more songs, the new songs would start to get better than the old songs.  At least in a way.

And, the number one reason to not wait for money to come and save you, is… there’s going to be another band who isn’t waiting.  They’re out there DOING something about it.

And between someone who’s waiting, and someone who’s doing… you know which one’s got a better shot at getting the money in the end.

New Beginnings

December 16, 2010 — Leave a comment

I thought this site needed one, after my not having posted anything up for quite some time.

It’s not the greatest idea, to stop output for so long, but musicians go through this all the time.  Sometimes it does some good to take a step back for a while.  You get rejuvenated, and re-inspired.  You can re-discover what it was that got you excited in the first place.  Then again, sometimes it’s a bad idea because people forget about you, or you get so used to not-doing-it that you never do it again.

But that’s why you need to do things for yourself first and foremost.  Write, sing, make music, paint, act…. do it because you’re compelled to.  Not for any other reason.  If other people like what you’re doing, they’ll come around.

Hopefully you’ll come around again too now that I’ll be posting a bit more frequently again.