Monthly Archives: December 2008

Who’s Your Biggest Fan?

You are.

I recently started a Fanpage my Music on Facebook for everyone who supports my music. In turn, I joined the page as a fan. As a result, people started emailing me and asking why I would do that.

Kevin Rose should wear his Diggnation shirt.
Lisa Bettany should wear her shirt.
Gary should wear his Wristband.
Jason Calacanis should be the most active user in his community.
Fred should wear his hats, etc.

Gary rockin the wristband

Lisa rockin her shirt.

If you don’t believe in yourself than no one will. You HAVE to be your biggest fan.

So who’s your biggest fan now?

You Are :)

New Music "Last Words"

I spent alot of time this week on this new piece. It’s called ‘Last Words’. You can listen to it below!

Go here to Purchase this or more of my music.

This piece means alot to me: I always feel that people are at their strongest when their back is against a wall. In turn, the power of this piece represents that exact moment – when things are looking down, possibilities are stacked against us, and we feel it’s near our ‘Last Words’, that we are in fact at our strongest – because our strengths are found in times of anguish, not happiness.

My Music is Creative Commons 3.0 NC and Podsafe.

Thanks for all your support – Lots more to come guys!

MC Frontalot, MC Lars, And YT Cracker Show At Philadelphia’s Khyber

MC Frontalot threw an amazing performance together for his Philadelphia fans at Philadelphia’s Kyhber in order to promote his latest CD “The Final Boss

My Interview With MC Frontalot, MC Lars, And YT Cracker:

It was being held at Philadelphia’s Khyber, and was alongside rappers MC Lars and YT Cracker. MC Frontalot first came onto the scene with his CD and coined the term “Nerdcore

Entering the stage with a bright orange dress shirt, a headlight, and a mic, MC Frontalot rocked out to the crowd with his songs like “Tongue-Clucking Grammarian” and the CD’s title track “The Final Boss”. The crowd quickly sang along, and threw their fists in the air (picture below).

It was an interesting scene – both in the crowd and on the stage. The Khyber is an extremely tiny venue, and so it was difficult squeezing 150 people into such a small space, but it made it an intimate performance and alot of fun laughs and moments. In addition, the view all around was of people wearing Nintendo jackets, hats, merchandise, and more. You could tell this was a movement – the people lived this stuff, and any mention of aliens, videogames, or nerd culture was adding fuel to the fire :)

As a fan of hiphop and all things geek and nerd – I was pleasantly surprised, and then to sit down and talk with MC Frontalot, MC Lars, and YT Cracker I began to get a real sense of community between them and their fans. Well, now they can add one more to the mix, it was a great show, and I had a blast.

To learn more about MC Frontalot go here


MC Frontalot’s Music Video:

Class 9: Kanye West, TI, And Beatles: Sample Examples

I recently wrote a post about how Sampling has grown into an artform in itself and how Internet songs are bleeding into Mainstream audiences, etc.

So this interested me in explaining “How Sampling Works” in music! Basically, you’re taking a sections of the song, and looping them, mashing them up, and in turn creating new music from it. But this stems a whole ‘nother beast – Copyright!

To learn more on Sampling go here.

The History Of Christmas Music

The History of Christmas music started as Carols that were first sung in Europe thousands of years ago. They were sung at the Winter Solstice celebrations as people danced round stone circles. The Winter Solstice usually takes place around the 22nd December – which is the shortest day of the year. But its important to mention that these celebrations were year around, but the Winter Solstice tended to stand the test of time.

But what does the word Carol mean?
Well, the word Carol actually means “dance or a song of praise and joy”. Its a word that is derived from the Greek word “Choraulein”.

Early Christians wrote and sang Early Christmas Hymns written around the 700’s that were overseen by the Bishops, etc. Soon after this many composers all over Europe started to write carols. Unfortunately, they were unable to sing in Latin as well, and therefore, made it less joyful for them.

But then St. Francis of Assisi started his Nativity Plays in Italy. The songs in these plays were also refered to as ‘canticles’, because they told the story during the plays. Soon enough, the new carols spread to France, Spain, Germany and other European countries!

One of the famous Christmas Carol Collectors was William Sandys. Before carol singing in public became popular, there were sometimes official carol singers called ‘Waits’. They were allowed to sing for money on the streets during Christmas time. Otherwise, it was illegal and they could be charged as beggers. They only sang on Christmas Eve.

With the creation of CD‘s and the Printing Press Christmas music became more available and easily accesible. Soon people were able to pass it around, collaborate, and listen to it in their houses, cars, and more! Also, at this time, many orchestras and choirs were being set up in the cities of England and people wanted Christmas songs to sing, so carols once again became popular. Many new carols,such as ‘Good King Wenceslas‘ and George Frederick Handel‘s ‘Messiah‘ which can listened to here.

Special thanks to Why Christmas and Bill Petro.

So there you have it – The History of Christmas Music!

Youtube Goes High Def And Affiliates With Apple’s iTunes

Musicians now have even more resources for bigger and better quality content for their work. The biggest video sharing site in the world is now in High Def. It’s not HD – but its close. It’s better to refer to it as “Higher Quality”. Still, this is big news for video producers, artists, advertisers, TV shows, and yes – musicians.

Music Videos have been around since the 70’s ever since MTV launched on August 1, 1981. Now with the affordable costs of cameras, distribution, and more, we will start to see movies, music videos, and all sorts of video creations on Youtube.

But there’s more…

In addition we’ve started to see Purchase from iTunes links below the videos of several channels – mainly major labels. Look at the picture below and you’ll notice it at the very bottom.

But in typical Google fashion, they will probably roll this out to all users in the future – which would boost an entire indie music market on Youtube. Direct links are the secret to the internet, and this is big news.

So, as a musician myself who successfully sells my music off of my website, and affiliates with aggregators like CD Baby to sell my music off iTunes – I feel very good about Youtube and where’s its been headed. Their mailing system is a bit better (although a gmail integration would be smart), as are their features like annotations, search, etc.

To combine the huge amount of traffic, adsense payout, and now iTunes and High Def features – Youtube is setting itself up to take a large stake in the movie, music, and entertainment business.

So will Youtube be the new MTV – and with direct purchasing links for new music videos? Only time will tell…

Fandoodle Pays You Money To Support Your Favorite Artists

Update: Fandoodle is now known as Fan Distro

OK – so we all know you LOVE your favorite musicians, and that you tell all your friends about them. Well, now you can get paid every time you spread the word! Enter Fandoodle.

Essentially, its an affiliate deal, where the fans get paid to do what they already do for free – spread the word. So will this work out? Well, Fandoodle is in beta – and the site looks pretty bad. But according to their site, you get a 20 % commission on CD/DVD sales. No mention of mp3’s, merchandise etc. though.

In this world of viral marketing, mailing lists, Twitter, Digg, etc. people’s word of mouth is larger than ever. In 1 hour, I can get in touch with my network of over 3,000 people.

Most podcasters/bloggers who are part of the Podsafe Music Network usually affiliate with CD Baby artist’s to get a portion of sales in order to support their hard work and effort in promoting the artists. But that generally only works for direct purchases for those who are at the site while listening to the podcast. Fandoogle, on the other hand, puts the power into the fans – as well as the podcasters.

I wonder how successful a service like this could be. Money is usually the #1 motivator for doing things. So I wonder if this would create a serious powerhouse between bands and their fans. But fans spread the word because of their passion for the artist, not money.

I remember Jonathan Coulton discussing in this blog post of his thoughts about this idea back in June, 2007. I agreed with him, because affiliate marketing is big business. Everybody wins in this case – The artists, the merchants, and the fans. That said, I think that as the internet becomes more mainstream, it’ll open up the doors for more business models like this. Imagine being at the mall, and telling someone about a band, and having them purchase their music on the spot via their cell phone, or laptop :)

So what do you think? Will business models like this allow bands to have full time staff with no overhead? Could you see yourself using this service?

Microsoft – The Restaurant

Chris Brogan wrote a post about cross promotion titled ‘Thinking About Branding‘ the other day. Basically, he mentioned how he thinks a company should not branch out into other venues – but I disagree. I would want to try these things out – and study them.

Microsoft – The Restaurant‘ was one example, and he mentioned that when he thinks of Microsoft he doesn’t want to think food – but that is a deadly way to think. When I thought of Apple computer’s I didn’t necessarily think of a phone company, or a music store. But when creating a business, one has to think of their demographic and where they are and what they would do with your service.

The truth is, I feel Microsoft would benefit from a restaurant. People eat and work at the same time now more than ever. It’d prob be a neat little coffe shop, but with the newest gadgets, like their Microsoft Surface.

The Microsoft Surface could launch an entire restaurant enterprise, just like the iPod launched an entire music store.

When I think of Starbucks I used to only think coffee, not WiFi. When I think WaWa I used to think convenience store, not a gasoline chain. But these evolutions cross promote and are a convenience for customers.

WaWa sells gas to allow costumers to shop while their car is filling up

I’d also think of all these ‘strange combinations’ as an experiment on how companies work on their cross promotion. It’d be a study in marketing, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft the Restaurant succeed, and in turn study of how they did it (or how they failed).

So what companies do you think would be good for ‘Branching Out’? Do you Agree or Disagree with my thoughts?

Radio’s Worst Year In Over A Half Century

Last month Andrew Winistorfer of Prefix Mag reported that Sirius XM had serious troubles to take care of in this new media world. Its stock prices were at $0.16 a share.

In addition, it was recently reported that terrestrial radio is having its worst year… in decades.

Yes – we’re in a recession of sorts, but terrestrial radio is definitely feeling the pinch, too – not just Satellite.

Meanwhile, internet entertainment and business models are booming. Indie Rockers “The Sick Puppies” recently made an appearance in Youtube Live, which was seen by millions, and their successful Free Hugs Campaign has become an internet meme. In addition, Metallica and many indie musicians have recently been using New Media in order to grow their brand and tap into the movement.

In addition, we recently we learned how Satellite Radio and XM have a serious customer complaint about their merger. And all of this is happening at a time of financial crisis. So now as more independent music and release their own content, use Creative Commons, and go to the internet for information and services, things like terrestrial radio and Satellite are being taken over by RSS Feeds and Internet Podcasts/Streams. Things like Pandora are using widgets and new media in order to grow, as their seeing. Whereas others who are not in the internet scene are seeing decline. The demographic and formats are changing, which explains radio’s decline – even with the radio merger of other businesses.