The Music Industry – An Outsider Looking In

23 03 2007

***The Following is a combined opinion of certain Music Industry Reps, Execs, Pros, and Artists who I’ve run into along the way***

Remember those friends and family members that said “Your band can go anywhere!” or “You’re gonna make it!”? Did you ever believe they were right? Do you believe that your music is an artform that will soon be appreciated by the masses because they will realize that you are an “Artists” and not some “Drone of the Industry”? Were you ever stuck in a place where you thought that you could play one or two shows, and be instantly picked up by a Record Label? I’ve got some pretty bad news for you. You were *wrong* to ever believe any of the above.

The Music Industry is just like any other industry across the world. It stays alive.. how? Money! How does it make that money? By housing, shopping, and promoting bands and artists that produce music the middle/wealthy class citizens of the world will enjoy, and eventually buy. So, you wanna make it? Then let today’s lesson begin.

You’re probably wondering where I get off making such a bold statement about *Your* music. Well, let’s give you a little history lesson about my industry background. Am I in the Music Industry? No… But I do have a band (hold your applause. There are millions of us out there). I’ve played “Industry Showcases”. I’ve been involved in Promoting my own music as well as for other bands and artists. My College Professors at SUNY Oneonta were all Industry Pros in their fields, so I learned a whole lot from their experiences.

My band is in an online competition at FameCast.com with a chance to win $10,000 and Global Exposure. If you would just click HERE, it only takes two minutes to find *Soundscape Soul’s* video, create an account and vote for us to make it to a Live show in Austin, TX where we….. Did you click? Did you vote? How many of you had even an inkling of a desire to click on that *HERE* text and send us your vote?

Promotion

So, you either clicked and voted, or you click, or you did non of the above. Why did you do what you chose to do? The most common answer would be “I clicked, but didn’t vote”. Why? Let’s show you a quote from a response that I personally received from Promotions involving my band and this competition.

Quote: “Music is art, not for promotion and making money. Go to hell, I’m sure there you can make money off of a pure Art Form. You’re disgusting.”

Now, that might have been a little harsh, but it holds true to a lot of people. But here’s the catch… that quote came from a Band on the world’s so-called “Best Networking Website for Artists and Bands to make a name for themselves”. I’m talking, of course, about MySpace. Can you name 10 Artists that *Started* on MySpace with zero following, and scored themselves national or worldwide fame through their *Friends* list? Take your time. What makes Promoting an ugly side of the industry, is that it came sometimes come off as a little bit desperate. Some *Music Purists* believe that an Artist’s music is meant to be heard because it is destined to be heard.. and that if the music is from the heart, their music will be remembered forever. Are we in the 1960s? That era has come and gone, probably before most of you were even born (I could be wrong).

Here’s another friendly reminder: Not everyone will like your music, and more importantly, you! There will always be 1 person, 100 people, 1,000 people (you get my point) that will dislike or even hate your music, and you, no matter how popular or unpopular you or your music ever becomes.

“Don’t forget us little people”/”Never forget where you came from”

I know you want to be believe that… so bad! Don’t you? People tell you that all the time. How many times a day do you think some Top 40 Bands actually keep in touch with ever single person that’s ever said those phrases above? Is it because they’ve become so uptight and full of themselves that they forgot “where they came from” or “the little people”? If you just thought “Yes”, then you need a lot more help than I thought. Most of the time, when you’ve hit the status of many Top Artists and Bands, you have *Zero* time to do anything you want to do. Why? Because they don’t run their lives anymore. That’s what the Record Labels and Managers are for!

If you’ve read this far, then you’re a trooper!

Now, let’s reveal my real feelings on the above discussion.

– Yes.. I’m in that band above.
– Yes.. I do believe that Music is an Art Form. I’ve believed that ever since I first started to sing when I was 11 years old.
– Yes.. I do believe that some popular bands are butchering popular music and shouldn’t even be allowed to perform.
– Yes.. I believe Live Shows (of top mainstream bands) stink these days, because Artists and Bands are being studio engineered to sound better on CD than they are on stage.
– Do I hope that the Mainstream side of the industry changes? You bet!
– Do I expect you to actually vote for my band? Only if you feel like taking the time to watch our video and if you truly enjoyed it.
– Do I hope you leave this page with some knowledge of how harsh the industry can be, even on the most simplistic level? 100% Yes.

Now, go forth and promote your music. Do it proudly. There will always be those among you who will dislike what you do. It’s their own opinions… and having an opinion is another thing that makes us all great.





Austin City Limits… So… Close…

19 03 2007

FameCast 4

It’s that time again! Now my band is in an even tighter spot in the FameCast Fenom Competition (aka: The Top 10!). Now the competition is ridiculously tight! Round 3 is now underway, and the Top 10 is in our sights. But with your help, one more time, your votes can help us finally reach the status of Top 5 Artist, earn us a flight to Austin, TX to film a live webcasted taping of the FameCast Fenom Finals, and compete for the title of FameCast Fenom! Here’s how you can vote:

1) Head to our voting page at: http://www.soundscapesoul.com/famecast
– If that doesn’t work, try Clicking Here
2) Click on the *Vote for this Artist* icon to the right of our video
3) Register for a Free Listener Account or Login to your already existing account
4) Use the above URLs to get back to our voting page
5) Click on the *Vote for this Artist* icon to the right of our video

It’s as easy as that, and it takes less than 3 to 5 minutes, just like the last round. What else can you do to help rack up the votes? Spread the word by telling your friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else you know who has access to a computer and the internet! Last Round, one of our fans sent messages to as many people as she could on her AIM Buddy List, and generated over 50 votes in less than 2 hours! Imagine the number of votes you could help us rack up like that in 7 days!

There it is, yet again! If you can cast your vote, rock on! If you could help spread the word, rock on even harder! This musician thanks you so so much!

Side Note: I can’t wait for the baseball season to start! Lets Go Mets!

And now, your Daily Moment of Zen, brought to you by my man, Pootie Tang!

I’m gonna Sine Your Pitty on the Runny Kine…
Red Phone Ringin’. Baby!





Fantastic Instant Viral Excuses (aka: Five)

15 03 2007

Here are Five things that you might not know about me, especially if you’re a new reader or have no clue how you wound up reading my blog.

Oh yeah, Tag! Rebecca, You’re It! Ashley, You’re It Too!

1) New York City makes me sick. Literally. I feel like I have a year-long cold when I’m in any of the Five Boroughs. How do I know this has any truth? That the city could cause my seemingly endless sickness? I spent my college years in Oneonta, NY. In Upstate New York, the air is as blue as the crayon named “Sky Blue”. You can breathe without feeling the need to hoarf every time you breathe too deeply. Every time I went home to Queens for a break, or inbetween semesters, I automatically caught a nasty and violent cold for at least the first 4 or 5 days I was home. Sometimes I would be sick for the entire duration of a break from school. But wouldn’t you know it… when I got back to Oneonta, I was miraculously cured by the day after I returned! Damn NYC Smog…

NYC Smog

2) I’m a Mexican Polish Jew. I bet you would’ve never guessed that! If I’m not the textbook definition of a Mutt, then I don’t know what I am!

P-Mex Flag

3) I auditioned for Double-Dare at Universal Studios in Florida. Yep, tis true, but I never made it on to the show. Here’s what went down:
a – Clinched the 3rd and final winning spot in “Simon Says”
b – Lost in an “Orange-Rolling” Competition

Double Dare

Now.. how can anyone lose in an Orange-Rolling Competition? We had to roll an orange across the stage… with our Noses! That didn’t seem too hard, or did it? What was my downfall? The two girls I had to face were incredibly tall compared to me. So naturally, their oranges made it to the other side of the stage while I was barely halfway there. Talk about size doesn’t matter…. yeah… my ass!

4) You Can’t Do That On Television (aka: My Daily Moment of Zen)

This show was and always will be my biggest TV Obsession. Why won’t Nickelodeon *cough cough*, I mean Viacom… Why won’t Viacom dig deep into the Archives of Nickelodeon and release this show on DVD!? This show was and always will be, and I quote, “The Best Kids Show in Television History”.

5) New York Mets Baseball. Die Hard since 1985!

Mets Clinch 2006





Lafayette, My Inner Thetan is Stressed!

10 03 2007

****Are you familiar with South Park’s Scientology Episode? Good!

This past Thursday, I ventured down to DC on my first business trip with my coworker buddies Ashley and Rebecca. Our trip started out great: a nice train ride down, a gorgeous hotel, and an amazing first night’s sleep. Our Friday started with a few early interviews in the hotel’s restaurant. After 3 awesome interviews to start the day, we decided to take a break and take a walk around our area of DC. After walking a few blocks, we come across this:

Scientology

That’s right, the Founding Church of Scientology. I’m not one to poke fun at other *Religions*, but I’ve done my research, and I’m not buying it. Now, when we walked by the Church, all I wanted was that photo you see above. But when it was all said and done, our curiosity for the funny caught up to us and we ended up inside and going on a free tour with “Sheila the Wonder Drone”!

One of our first stops in the Church of um… oh.. yeah.. Scientology, was the office of L Ron Hubbard himself. Oh wait, that’s not right, because it was a *Replica* office. How freakishly bizarre is that?

{ Lesson 1: the “L” in “L Ron Hubbard” stands for Lafayette. }

According to “Sheila the Comatose Wonder”, every Church of Scientology has a replica of L Ron Hubbard’s Office, so all can see where Mr. Hubbard wrote most of his Science Fiction. Yep.. that’s what I said, Science Fiction. Before leaving the replica office, “Sheila the Robot” shows us the Creed of Scientology and some of its “Laws”. Yep… Laws… Sheila then explained to us that one of Scientology’s main goals is to make people “happy”, by finding the “painful memories or thoughts” that cause us stress and unrest, and suppressing them.

{ Lesson 2: Basically, by numbing yourself to the emotions and feelings that have shaped you as a person and made you who you are today, you will become happy… huh? }

“Sheila the Depressed” then gave us a small speech about happiness, and about how happiness is not something that can be easily obtained. And did you know that you can’t by happiness at a store? Also, in order to obtain happiness, you need to do a little dance. To better express her exact words and meanings, and to show you our expressions of confusion and held-back laughter… I give you, Ashley and Rebecca!

After our little incident of confusion, “Sheila the Sad” took us downstairs and gave Rebecca a stress test on what she called an E-Meter.

E Meter 1
{ Funny looking thing, ain’t it? }

So Rebecca sits down, grabs on to the machine’s two cylinders, and “Sheila the Nut” asks Rebecca to spit out any thoughts of stress and unrest. After Rebecca starts to feel like she’s in therapy, “Sheila the… okay, I’m done” gave her a pinch. This wasn’t just any pinch. It was more like an uncomfortable caress. Yuck! Sheila then asked Rebecca to recall the moment of the caress… I mean growth… I mean Pinch! (Sorry, brain fart). While Rebecca starts to think about the pinch, and the little meter starts to haywire. Suspicious… I know… In fact, Rebecca wasn’t thinking about the pinch at all, which made it even more suspicious.

{ Lesson 3: Thetan!? Huh!? }

So, how did this all end, you ask? Sheila gave us a DVD that explains Dianetics and the writings of L Ron Hubbard. Finally, after a half hour of silence, we leave the Church. No disrespect to Scientology. I just can’t help but to be a little… skeptical… about a machine made up of two tin cans and a science fiction writer telling me I’m not happy because my inner-thetan is being weighed down by stress. Cheese?

Read more about this uncomfortable experience by going to Rebecca’s Blog and Ashley’s Blog





Help A Blogger Out, Sweet?

6 03 2007

If you’ve been reading my blog, and enjoying it, your help would be incredible appreciated with this post. So, here it goes… My Band, Soundscape Soul, is involved in a huge online competition. We could win the chance to play in a Live Webcasted Performance to be deemed the first ever “FameCast Fenom”. The Grand Prize is $10,000 and a ton of promotion to Top Tier talent agencies galore! So, without further adieu, I give you the body of the promotional email that I’ve been sending out. If you can help, follow the instructions, send us your vote, and pass the word around. Thanks again!

**** Promotional Email – START ****

FameCast Round 3

Thanks to your help, and the help of all of our fans, we’ve successfully moved on to the Top 25 in the FameCast Fenom Competition. Now that we’re in such a small class of Artists and Bands, the competition is about to get tighter. Round 3 is now underway, and the Top 10 is in our sights. With your help, yet again, your votes can bring us closer to being a Top 5 Artist! Here’s how you can vote:

1) Head to our voting page at: http://www.soundscapesoul.com/famecast
– If that doesn’t work, try Clicking Here
2) Click on the *Vote for this Artist* icon to the right of our video
3) Register for a Free Listener Account or Login to your already existing account
4) Use the above URLs to get back to our voting page
5) Click on the *Vote for this Artist* icon to the right of our video

It’s as easy as that, and it takes less than 3 to 5 minutes. What else can you do to help rack up the votes? Spread the word by telling your friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else you know who has access to a computer and the internet! The easiest way to help is to forward this email to anybody you know! We can’t begin to tell you how much we appreciate all of your dedication and support! Keep on being you!

**** Promotional Email – END ****

Well, there you have it. If you have 3-5 minutes to cast your vote, then you’re awesome! If you could help spread the word, even awesome-er (I know, I botched that one). If not to either one, it’s totally cool. You’re doing a pair of up-and-coming artists a great service!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about my Daily Moment of Zen. Today’s clip is one that revived my faith in the Music Industry. Three incredible performers, playing together on the Music Industry’s biggest stage! Enjoy today’s clip, and vote away! Thanks again!





Oy! Religious Puck? No Fare!

2 03 2007

Can you believe it’s March already? After the somewhat sweet weather today, I sure can! Shut up, Richard… Anyone wanna go see ‘Music and Lyrics’? (Totally Joking!) If anything, you should be watching my Daily Moment of Zen…. right… now!

Karen Carpenter… What a tragedy that was. One of the most beautiful voices to ever grace our ears… taken away from us. But that wasn’t the point of that clip… or was it?

{ Giveaway of the Day: Leave a comment with your favorite *Fusion Food*. The comment that expresses the wackiest, goofiest, and most creative Fusion Food wins a free mp3 from Soundscape Soul, my band. }

At some point today, I was having a conversation about Judaism and Mormonism. How did I end up in that discussion? It all started with: “So I was riding my bike, and a religious-looking Jewish man approached me. He asked me, ‘are you Jewish’? Is that something they normally do?”. Yes, I walk around all day, stopping people dead in their tracks, and confirming their Judaic status… Okay, I’m not religious, and I don’t do that. But I’m sure you could imagine the reputation I would build up if I did, right?… right?… hello?… Darn it, lost my audience again! Come back!

Feel like promoting my blog? If you do, then you totally rock! To help you in your efforts of blog promoting, I made this nifty banner. It’s just a smaller version of the title banner, but it’s pretty sweet! Enjoy, and spread the word! (Only if you want to… please?… you know you want to… right? You do… don’t you?)

Blog Banner

Isn’t it pretty? huh? isn’t it?

Ever decide that it’s been way too long since you’ve REALLY listened to the music in your iTunes Library? Tonight is that night for me. It’s been way too long since I’ve put my library on shuffle and just let it go. Why is this important to write about? Because I stumbled on a song that took me back.. way back.. back to the day.. which was a wednesday in fact. What song? It’s non other than City High’s “What Would You Do? Anyone remember the real lone survivor of that short-lived group? If you instantly thought, “Oh! I know! Claudette Ortiz!”, then I commend your knowledge of the music industry!

{ J Soul’s Wii Fitness Age: 29 }

Now that’s something to be proud of. A video game telling me just how fit I am, based on how skilled I am with the Wii Remote. Nintendo has just created the future… Word!

Wii Coffee Stirring, anyone? Maybe a little Wii Air-Traffic Controller?








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