Thursday, 30 December 2010

Goals for 2011

To eat food that is healthy To drink liquid that makes me feel better not worse To write a blog post every day To take exercise every day Complete the Fierce and the Dead Album and play some gigs with them. To Complete my third instrumental album and complete "the trilogy" To post a video every month To continue to grow my music teaching and social media To only play gigs that are worthwhile to me musically (and not loose money doing them) (even if this mean only doing a few) To fund my music through other interesting work

Sunday, 5 December 2010

All about Tubeify

This morning I received an invite to a new music service - Tubeify. What it does is use the Last FM database to allow you to listen to virtually any song or entire album as long as its on Youtube (and most songs are). Its like Spotify with a much bigger catalogue, all the music you want streaming free to your computer. Where Spotify is limited by the albums it can license Tubeify streams them via Youtube so includes many of the artists that won't license to spotify ie The Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc. This is a very scary thing to the old music industry and I would imagine they are currently in the process of trying to shut it down. It is truly a global juke box, music as a service rather than a product.
Will this mean people will no longer download music? I think we will still, for mobile use (at the moment) but potentially this could be a really useful solution for people who just want to listen to music at home on their computers. Maybe this will make the major labels more willing to negotiate deals with the likes of Spotify. Tubeify is currently only available by invitation only but its worth emailing them on the site, apparently the invites are easy to get. Also the quality of the recording on Tubeify depends on how it was uploaded to youtube so sometimes its quite poor and volume levels can vary from song to song if you are listening to an entire album.
For indie artists it makes it even more important to have you songs available on Youtube - you don't need a video just a photo of you or your album and ideally your web address to accompany your music. Maybe Tubify is the future, maybe it isn't but someday something like it will be. The indie community can move faster than the majors who need to have every decision go through hundreds of people. This is potentially an opportunity for us DIY's to be ahead of the everyone else. You can share what you are listening to on Tubeify, wouldn't it be great if you were the first musician to become popular through Tubeify?

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Classic Rock Society Magazine review of Ghost

Great review of Ghost in the Classic Rock Society Magazine:

Matt Stevens – Ghost
This is an album of excellent instrumental acoustic guitar-led prog. Stevens hails from London and uses both internet and live performances to thoroughly promote himself. This is his second release. It is considered music, somehow diluting the essence of past decades into a captivating listen, giving you snippets of Fripp and Radiohead among others. I can only think of one other acoustic guitarist who pushes the boundaries, and that’s Steve Unruh (The Great Divide). The ten tracks have great intelligence and variety with common guitar loop technique, enhanced through crafted and inventive embellishment (dissonant riff, glockenspiel, bass, real & programmed drums) to create cinematic and atmospheric prog. From sparse and dark (‘Ghost’) to post-rock (‘8:19’), there’s plenty to savour. DP

Cheered me up :) - its been weird being off FB and Twitter, i've got more done to be honest but I miss the sense of community

Friday, 3 December 2010

Bob Lefsetz/Time Off FB/Twitter

I'm taking some time off Twitter and Facebook and Forums for a few days to spend some time with family but just wanted to post this highly useful list by the excellent industry commentator Bob Lefsetz:

1. Be really damn good. Great art makes up for a ton of ills. One can argue strongly if Mel Gibson makes a movie on his own dime and it's great, he can reemerge from the depths. We're a forgiving populace.

2. Don't fall on your sword. Your crime doesn't mean as much to people as the mainstream press says it does. Kevin Smith sat at home, depressed as the man labeled "too fat to fly", but eventually Tiger Woods crashed his car and Smith's foibles on Southwest, which were inaccurately reported, faded away. A career in the public eye is first and foremost about persistence, and perseverance.

3. Play the mainstream media game, die by the mainstream media game. News outlets don't care about you, they care about advertising, they care about ratings. Don't let the tail wag the dog. Katy Perry is in the news every damn day, but she still can't sell out an arena. Get your perspective right. Katy's handlers have got it totally wrong. What does showing off your tits have to do with music? Kanye's not the best-looking dude on the planet, but it doesn't matter, because people believe he's good.

4. If you're not willing to give away something for free, you're not willing to have a career. If Kanye can give away free tracks, why can't you? It's about your relationship with your fans. The song doesn't have to be on the album. You've got to know where in the food chain to charge, and it's not at every contact point.

5. Maintain contact. You're doing your own act. Now, with the Internet, you don't need permission to do it. You can perform on YouTube, you can tweet, less is more is history. Now you always give more, and the public decides how much it wants to graze in your neighborhood. Fans come and go, but you can't let it impact your art. You've got to do what you want to do, not what you think the audience wants.

6. Have a personality. If no one hates you, you're not doing it right.

7. Don't focus on the album release. Your marketing's got to go on for years. The Doobie Brothers released a new album. Straight to the dumper. There was no Twitter presence, no fan engagement, just a record most fans don't know exists and don't want anyway. And I only use the Doobies because they're an ancient act, and all the ancient acts don't know how to do it. You don't need a label and you don't need an album. You need fans, which you've got, and you need to know how to reach each and every one of them. Pat Simmons should have played acoustic in someone's house. The band should have done live performances of classics on YouTube. They should have gotten their fans involved. If Paul McCartney wants to sell a new album, he's gonna have to do it this way too. Unless you want to be a recluse, if you want to survive in the new world, you've got to get yourself out there. Don't pooh-pooh it as marketing, it's performing! And isn't that what you do! And it can be as much about music as you want it to be.

8. In a chaotic era you've got to go your own way, you've got to forge your own path. No one knows, certainly not the mainstream media guys or those at the label. They know how it used to be done. It's incumbent upon you to do it your own way, for yourself. The Eagles can't sell every ticket? How come Don Henley's not on Twitter, he's got opinions. Just putting tickets on sale is no longer enough. Hell, how do people even find out about the gig? Most people complain they didn't know you were playing. And if you're a new act? You've got to be good. And if your goal is to connect with the mainstream and have it do your bidding, you've got it wrong. It's about a career. And you build it. And it works because you've got fans. Your label doesn't own your fans, nor does the radio station, only you do. Start there.

Read this article, it's really well done:


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