It’s always amazing when you have friends that put you up on new music. In this particular instance, a few friends of mine now living out in Portland exposed me to The Passenger just last year, and I even had the chance to go and see them live. Subsequently, I made the purchase of their independent album, and was pleasantly surprised by their brand of alternative pop rock. There’s a certain sense of self reflection that flows throughout the album, title A Dog Named Bear, that comes when the years pass and you slowly grow from a teen into adulthood. To me, the song that best reflects this is “Gift Horse”: it’s extremely angsty but also celebratory in a certain sense. The thing that I love about the song the most is that it reflects the difficulties that so many of us face in becoming adults, but are either too afraid or proud to admit. It’s ripping and screeching, but also unflinching in it’s vulnerability. It’s loud and powerful but still shows a side of artists and musicians that many times is hidden by onstage and on record personas: one of being fractured and unsure. Definitely a notable song and album from an indie band that will hopefully still be putting out music for years to come. The link to the song is available on Bandcamp at http://thepassengerfl.bandcamp.com/track/gift-horse .
Here’s another video from Hip Hop duo Passalacqua out of Detroit, MI. They were the recipients of funding from the Kresge institute in Detroit and are going to be part of this five-day multidisciplinary celebration in the city celebrating visual, performance and literary artists among many others. Check out the video of Brent and Brian giving a peek into their musical world and all they’re trying to accomplish in Detroit in the video just below.
Check out this cool little video of a journey all the way from Detroit, MI to Austin, TX with a band of courageous, intrepid indie artists and some of their supporters/friends as they head to SXSW 2013. I got the chance to meet them and they’re really good folks. Although that’s not a surprise since they’re from my hometown. Only bad part is that I missed one of the pop up shows that some of the artists did down in Austin, as well as a house party, but hey, you can’t make it to everything at SXSW. Regardless, get a peek and do your research on the likes of COLD MEN YOUNG, PASSALACQUA, JAMAICA QUEENS and many more doing their thing up in the D.
Here is the latest video from St. Louis songbird, creator, innovator, entrepreneur and my homie Teresa Jenee entitled “Ode to October” from her independent music project Electric Yellow. Support excellent indie music like this. It’ll do your soul some good!
Music has changed, all around, plain and simple. Ideals that were formerly thought of as standard and set in stone are now shaky at best in the eyes of many a music business professional and music consumer. And one of the people on the front lines of the changing music business model has been Jeff Price, the former CEO of TuneCore, the famous digital music distribution service that helped independent artists get on the shelves of many of the world’s top digital music services. Price, who also started TuneCore’s Global Publishing Administration and ran independent label spinART, recently contributed an article to Hypebot.com that gives a short history of the changes that have been happening to the music industry in the last 10-15 years. Price exudes an unparalleled confidence in his knowledge and experience in the music industry and does a masterful job of breaking down both where the industry has been and the direction it’s beginning to go in, as consumers and their tastes continue to drive the industry more and more. True, Price’s takes a very hard-lined stance against the major/mainstream music industry, but this is still a great and informative read that anyone interested in the business side of music would do well to read and learn from.
You’ve gotta admit, sometimes it’s pretty easy to become a Debbie Downer about music and the way that it used to be. And that’s especially true if you’re an artist these days, because there has been so much change and so many shifts in the last 5 years alone, save the new millennium as a whole. First there was Napster, then came iTunes, then Facebook and the idea of music on social network sites, and things haven’t been the same since. But there’s also lots of hope to boot, and that’s because of the fact that many times, we forget to look at one main fact: there’s more music now than there ever was before, more variety, more of a chance to step outside of a comfort zone and do something different.
This fact is played up in stark and honest detail by Prefix Magazine music writer Sasha Geffen in her article “Closer To Home: Music Community In The Internet’s Wake”, which first appeared on prefix.com just two days ago. What I love about this article is how Ms. Geffen gives a brief but telling history of how music and the Internet have converged in the past decade plus, and how many elements of the old model and beginning to fall away. What’s even better is that she doesn’t take the role of a bleeding-heart anti-consumerist and gets down to the real deal with the reality of what labels, were, are, and will become. Finally, Geffen does an excellent job of talking about how music communities have been formed and molded even more so since the Internet has taken over, and how “making your own making it” is pretty much the new normal for artists and bands.
Anyone that calls themselves trying to “make it” in music would be foolish not to dive into this opinion piece. Kudos to Sasha Geffen and to Prefix Magazine for such a stirring and timely piece. and be sure to visit Prefixmag.com for some of the latest and greatest in all things music.
I’m gonna make this a really short post, mainly because I want to read it and then go out and get the actual resource that I’m referring to. We all know TuneCore as the premiere outlet for digital music distribution, especially for independent artists. Well, some of the creators and original founders of TuneCore have been gracious enough to put together a digital eBook called “Music Industry Survival Guide”. In this eBook, The company gives a bunch of down to the nitty-gritty, basic but much-needed information for any indie artist in the game today, from areas of promotion, distribution, sales & marketing, getting heard on the radio, and a whole lot more. And the best part of the book is that it’s not very long at all! At only 15 pages, the TuneCore creators made sure to give only the most basic information needed.
And even more good news: TuneCore has put out a series of these manuals, as the latest version, available on the TuneCore Music blog, focuses on thirteen ways of making money off of your music (here’s a link!). I’d definitely suggest “Music Industry Survival Guide” by TuneCore for anyone that’s getting started in the indie music business and is looking to not only make a name for themselves, but wants to make a good living off of their art. Check out the cover art below, and visit THIS LINK for more information on getting the latest “Music Industry Survival Guide” from TuneCore.