31 December 2009
16 December 2009
Indie Rocks! A Benefit Album For Malaria No More features an outstanding line-up of Artists. Third Eye Blind, which just made an impressive comeback in 2009 by charting at #3 on the Top 200 Billboard Charts with Ursa Major, has generously contributed the exclusive live track “Bonfire.” Acclaimed Swedish indie rock band Peter Bjorn and John donated an incredible exclusive cover track “Summer Breeze,” originally written by Seals & Crofts. The multi-talented Juliette Lewis came on board with “Fantasy Bar,” off her new album Terra Incognita. The Walkmen have given the riveting “Four Provinces,” off 2008’s You & Me, which in a similar charitable spirit, was released as an exclusive with Amie Street, with all proceeds for the album going to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The renowned singer, songwriter, composer, cultural icon, and 2005 Grammy Award Winner Youssou N’Dour is one of the most celebrated African musicians in history. Having already worked very closely with Malaria No More, he recorded the song “Fight Malaria,” and allowed this track to be part of Indie Rocks! A Benefit Album For Malaria No More.
The World Health Organization’s 2009 World Malaria Report shows promising progress in the global effort to end malaria deaths. Between 2006 and 2008, 140 million mosquito nets were distributed across Africa and the results are beginning to show the impact. In releasing Indie Rocks! A Benefit Album For Malaria No More, RED and all of the Artists who have generously donated their music will continue to significantly reduce malaria infections and help make malaria-related deaths a thing of the past.
About Malaria No More:
Malaria No More is determined to end malaria deaths in Africa—and we’re helping the world get it done. We use breakthrough communications, global advocacy and smart investments to help us reach our goal: providing universal access to malaria interventions by the end of 2010 and ending deaths by 2015. Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria, but a simple net can save lives. Find out how you can help at www.MalariaNoMore.org
1.) Peter Bjorn and John - Summer Breeze (Exclusive)
2.) Juliette Lewis - Fantasy Bar, from Terra Incognita
3.) Jeff The Brotherhood - Bone Jam, from Heavy Days
4.) The Grates - Two Kinds Of Right from Teeth Lost, Hearts Won
5.) Third Eye Blind - Bonfire (Exclusive, Live in NYC)
6.) Dirty Little Rabbits- Hello, from Simon
7.) Wild Light - California On My Mind, from Adult Nights
8.) The Walkmen - Four Provinces, from You & Me
9.) State Radio - Calling All Crows, from Let It Go
10.) Those Darlins - Wild One, from Those Darlins
11.) Great Lake Swimmers - Pulling On A Line, from Lost Channels
12.) Kate Miller-Heidke - Politics in Space, from EP Kate Miller-Heidke
13.) Yonder Mountain String Band - Fingerprint, from The Show
14.) Youssou N’Dour - Fight Malaria
15 December 2009
Please note that these are in no specific order:
Kid Mud - Now They Shut Us Down
Read our review
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OnlineRock Podcast Vol. 38 - December 15th Edition featuring Sloan, Midnight Masses, Tanlines, Magic Kids, Steve Mason, MillionYoung and More
OnlineRock Podcast Vol. 38 Hosted By Andrew McNair Featuring:
1. Sloan: Take It Upon Yourself, Hit & Run EP, Murderecords
2. Midnight Masses: Walk on Water, Rapture Ready, I Gazed at the Body EP on Team Love
3. Taylor Hollingsworth: Trail of Tears, Life with a Slow Ear on Team Love
4. MillionYoung: Hammock, Sunndreamm EP self-released, (http://millionyoung.tumblr.com)
5. Magic Kids: Superball, split 7" with The Smith Westerns on Fat Possum
6. Steve Mason: All Come Down, Boys Outside on Black Melody
7. Tycho: Coastal Brake, Coastal Brake single on Ghostly International
8. Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band: Inuit, An Eskimo Christmas EP, self-released
9. Tanlines: Saw, FADER/Southern Comfort 7" Series #11 on The Fader
Andrew McNair lives in Seattle, having recently freed himself from nearly a decade in academia. Aside from producing the OnlineRock Podcast, he also writes and performs sketch comedy.Download Now
11 December 2009
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04 December 2009
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02 December 2009
OnlineRock Podcast Vol. 37 - December 1st Edition featuring Brilliant Colors, Brazos, BOAT, Tune-Yards, Yellow Fever and more
OnlineRock Podcast Vol. 37 Hosted By Andrew McNair Featuring:
1. Brilliant Colors: Absolutely Everything, Introducing on Slumberland
2. Avi Buffalo: What's It In For?, What's It In For Single on SubPop Records
3. Small Black: Despicable Dogs, Small Black 12" on Cass Club
4. Tamaryn: Mild Confusion, Mild Confusion 7" on True Panther Sounds
5. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: Higher Than the Stars, Higher Than the Stars EP on Slumberland
6. Brazos: Day Glo, Phosphorescent Blues on Autobus Records
7. Yellow Fever: Hellfire, Yellow Fever on Wild World
8. BOAT: Lately, Setting the Paces on Magic Marker Records
9. Tune-Yards: Sunlight, Bird-Brains on 4AD
Andrew McNair lives in Seattle, having recently freed himself from nearly a decade in academia. Aside from producing the OnlineRock Podcast, he also writes and performs sketch comedy.Download Now
01 December 2009
30 November 2009
American Artifact chronicles the rise of American rock poster art since its birth in the '60s.
Director Merle Becker crosses the country interviewing rock poster artists from the different eras to discover that America is currently in the midst of a 21st century "rock poster art movement", where thousands of artists around the country are doing silk screened rock poster art inspired by their local scene, the music of our time, and the spirit of our era.
The film explores the history / rise of the current rock poster movement in America, and features a cast of quirky / interesting, and extremely talented rock poster artists, talking about their work, and telling the story of their underground art movement.
Beginning in the 1960s in San Francisco with the birth of the dance concert, a rock poster accompanied almost every show that was put on during that era. Soon, people began pulling the posters off of the telephone poles, almost as quickly as they were put up, and promoters such as Bill Graham started to give them out at the end of his shows to advertise the next week's show.
The art, both beautiful and edgy, closely parallels the changes in American culture throughout the decades.
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25 November 2009
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24 November 2009
23 November 2009
22 November 2009
19 November 2009
17 November 2009
16 November 2009
15 November 2009
The album is a complete live performance of Young’s album Harvest Moon drawn from various solo acoustic shows he performed in 1992 before the actual release of the Harvest studio recording, which makes this performance even more unique.
Dreamin’ Man Live ’92 revisits Harvest Moon 17 years after its release by pulling together a series of intimate solo acoustic performances Young did at the time. The album was produced by Young and John Hanlon and recorded and mixed by Tim Mulligan.
Click Here to Stream Neil Young' Dreaming Man
11 November 2009
Syntaks' Jakob Skott created this video for the song "Twentytwohundred" (from his group's full-length Ylajali), in which the parallels between the Danish artist's visual and aural sensibilities are...
10 November 2009
07 November 2009
06 November 2009
05 November 2009
03 November 2009
02 November 2009
1. Stricken City: Pull the House Down, Songs About People I Know on The Kora Records
2. Frankie Rose: Thee Only One, Thee Only One Single on Slumberland
3. Lymbyc Systym: Ghost Clock, Shutter Release on Mush Records
4. Molina and Johnson: Twenty Cycles to the Ground, Molina and Johnson on Secretly Canadian
5. Glass Ghost: The Same, Idol Omen on Western Vinyl
6. Yeasayer: Ambling Alp, Ambling Alp 12" on Secretly Canadian
7. Holopaw: The Art Teacher and the Little Stallion, Oh, Glory. Oh, Wilderness on Bakery Outlet
8. On Fillmore: Master Moon, Extended Vacation on Dead Oceans
9. Timber Timbre: Lay Down in the Tall Grass, Timber Timbre on Arts&Crafts Records
10. Jookabox: You Cried Me, Dead Zone Boys on Asthmatic Kitty Records
11. Systems Officer: Shape Shifter, Underslept on Temporary Residence
01 November 2009
26 October 2009
15 October 2009
1. James Husband: A Grave in the Gravel, A Parallax I on Polyvinyl
2. Imaad Wasif: The Priestess, The Voidist on Tee Pee
3. Richard Youngs: Broke Up By Night, Under Stellar Stream on Jagjaguwar
4. Grooms: Dreamsucker, Rejoicer on Death by Audio
5. Gentle Friendly: Clean Breaker, Ride Slow on Upset the Rhythm
6. Atlas Sound: Walkabout (feat. Noah Lennox of Panda Bear), Logos on 4AD
7. The Middle East: The Darkest Side, Recordings of the Middle East on ThinkIndie
8. Thao with the Get Down Stay Down: Know Better Learn Faster, Know Better Learn Faster on Kill Rock Stars
9. Neon Indian: Terminally Chill, Psychic Chasms on Lefse Records
10. Flight of the Conchords: Sugalumps, I Told You I Was Freaky on SubPop
11. Spiral Stairs: Maltese Terrier, The Real Feel on Matador
12. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson: The Sound, Summer of Fear on Saddle Creek
13. Sufjan Stevens: Movement IV—Isorhythmic Night Dance with Interchanges, The BQE on Asthmatic Kitty Records
12 October 2009
Visit SF MusicTech Summit's Website at www.sfmusictech.com
08 October 2009
Say Hi - "One, Two ... One" from Barsuk Records on Vimeo.
Say Hi is Eric Elbogen. His latest effort, the brilliant Oohs & Aahs, was released on Barsuk this past spring. Eric has been hitting the road extensively in support of Oohs & Aahs through most of 2009 with the ever-evolving cast of musicians that make up Say Hi on the road. The road warriors began another tour recently opening for fellow Barsuk artist David Bazan. (Eric is pulling double duty on this touring as a member of Bazan's backing band!)
In honor of the extensive coast-to-coast tour, Say Hi is offering up the new video for "One, Two ... One", directed by Drew Norton, that finds Eric hunted by the obsessive, beautiful, and cruel goddess Diana.
Say Hi + David Bazan Tour Dates
10/08 Denton TX Dan's Silverleaf
10/09 Memphis TN Hi-Tone Café
10/10 Murray KY Lovett Auditorium / Murray State
10/11 Birmingham AL Bottletree
10/13 Orlando FL The Social
10/14 Atlanta GA Drunken Unicorn
10/15 Chapel Hill NC Cat's Cradle
10/16 Washington DC Black Cat
10/17 Philadelphia PA Kung Fu Necktie
10/18 New York NY Bowery Ballroom
10/20 Cambridge MA TT the Bear's
10/21 Montreal QC Il Motore
10/22 Toronto ON Lee's Palace
10/23 Pontiac MI Pike Room
10/24 Chicago IL Schubas
10/25 Champaign IL Highdive
10/27 Madison WI High Noon Saloon
10/28 Minneapolis MN Turf Club
10/29 Iowa City IA The Picador
10/30 Lawrence KS Jackpot Saloon
10/31 Omaha NE Slowdown
11/01 Denver CO Hi Dive
11/02 Salt Lake City UT Kilby Court
11/05 Vancouver BC Media Club
11/06 Portland OR Mississippi Studios
11/07 Seattle WA Neumos
05 October 2009
Click Here To Enter
03 October 2009
1. Mission of Burma: 1, 2, 3, Partyy!, The Sound the Speed of Light on Matador
2. LAKE: Don't Give Up, Let's Build a Roof on K Records
3. Califone: Funeral Singers, All My Friends Are Funeral Singers on Dead Oceans
4. A Sunny Day in Glasgow: Ashes Grammar Ashes Maths, Ashes Grammar on Mis Ojos Discos
5. The Shaky Hands: Allison and the Ancient Eyes, Let It Die on Kill Rock Stars
6. Kurt Vile: Overnite Religion, Childish Prodigy on Matador
7. The Fresh & Onlys: Dude's Got a Tender Heart, Grey-Eyed Girls on Woodsist
8. Le Loup: Forgive Me, Family on Hardly Art
9. Headlights: Get Going, Wildlife on Polyvinyl
10. The Raveonettes: Suicide, In and Out of Control on Vice Records
11. The Dutchess & the Duke: Hands, Sunset/Sunrise on Hardly Art
12. Au: Ida Walked Away, Versions EP on Aagoo Records
13. Music Go Music: Warm in the Shadows, Expressions on Secretly Canadian
01 October 2009
Hopewell "Island" from Painless Surgery on Vimeo.
After a screening of the 1971 Japanese counter culture film "Throw Away Your Books, Let's Go Into The Streets" by director Shuji Terayama, I realized I wanted to make a video for Hopewell inspired by what I had just seen. I had a need to make a non-pop video and teaming up with Hopewell was the perfect match.
For a free download of "Stranger" from Hopewell's new release along with a profile of the band, please visit: http://www.onlinerock.com/profiles/hopewell_profile.shtml
28 September 2009
24 September 2009
Fever Ray (aka Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife) will bring her highly anticipated live show to North America this Fall. The tour begins with two performances at NYC's Webster Hall, a fitting venue for the launch of Andersson's return to the North American stage. In 2006 Andersson and brother Olof Dreijer – performing together as The Knife – debuted live to U.S. audiences with two sold-out shows at the acclaimed venue. This time, now supported by a four-piece band, Andersson's Fever Ray persona will be the main attraction.
Sept 28 NYC, NY @ Webster Hall
Sept 29 NYC, NY @ Webster Hall
Oct 1 Montreal @ Metropolis
Oct 2 Toronto @ Kool Haus
Oct 3 Chicago @ Metro
Oct 5 San Francisco @ Grand Ballroom
Oct 7 Los Angeles @ Henry Fonda Theater
23 September 2009
“It was crazy! We were supposed to be underground", exclaims Merihalti. "Thank god Radiohead’s album didn’t come out for another few weeks".
Now the duo is ready to pack their instruments and set into a new adventure, their long-awaited tour of North America with stops in LA, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and stretching as far as Canada and Mexico to make the whole experience complete.
Visit http://www.myspace.com/thedoband for more info.
22 September 2009
Interview with Daniel Johnston at OnlineRock
21 September 2009
That's right, you can see all the daytime programming, incredible Trade Shows, Music showcases, Film screenings, plus tons of amazing evening events at a steep discount if you register before Friday. So what are you waiting for?
20 September 2009
A one-sheet is just that, one sheet of paper (it can be a PDF as well) with just the most important facts about the band or CD. In this new Twitter world we live in, the key is being concise and clear. The most important ingredients of a one-sheet, in my opinion, are listed below.
1. Band and CD Name.
2. Short Biography
3. Three short press quotes.
4. Key Tracks (this could be the single) and indicate if any can be included on podcasts or as a free download.
5. RIYL (recommended if you like) to give readers an idea if they would enjoy this artist.
6. Small picture of CD cover and/or Band.
7. Marketing highlights such as radio promo, ads in publications and tours.
8. Contact info with names, emails, phone numbers and websites.
I'm sure there are other items that help make a release stand out but these are what's important for me. Please feel free to add your own.
19 September 2009
18 September 2009
1. Christmas Island: Bed Island, Blackout Summer on In the Red Records
2. Princeton: Calypso Gold, Cocoon of Love on Kanine
3. J. Tillman: Earthly Bodies, Year in the Kingdom on Western Vinyl
4. Or, The Whale: Datura, Or the Whale on Seany Records
5. Early Day Miners: So Slowly, The Treatment on Secretly Canadian
6. The Almighty Defenders: Cone of Light, The Almighty Defenders on Vice Records
7. Volcano Choir: Island, IS, Unmap on Jagjaguwar
8. Times New Viking: No Time, No Hope, Born Again Revisited on Matador
9. Lake Heartbeat: Mystery, Trust in Numbers on Service
10. Devon Williams: Sufferer, Sufferer 7" on Slumberland
11. Owen: Good Friends, Bad Habits, New Leaves on Polyvinyl
12. Port O'Brien: Sour Milk / Salt Water, Threadbare on Cityslang
13. Why?: This Blackest Purse, Eskimo Snow on Anticon
14. Fool's Gold: Surprise Hotel, Fool's Gold on IAMSOUND
11 September 2009
01 September 2009
1. The Big Pink: Dominos, A Brief History of Love on 4AD
2. The Drums: Let's Go Surfing, Summertime EP on Twentyseven
3. Grand Archives: Silver Among Gold, Keep in Mind Frankenstein on Sub Pop
4. Shannon Stephens: In Summer in the Heat, The Breadwinner on Asthmatic Kitty
5. The Clean: In the Dreamlife You Need a Rubber Soul, Mister Pop on Merge
6. Brown Recluse: Contour and Context, The Soft Skin EP on Slumberland
7. These United States: I Want You to Keep Everything, Everything Touches Everything on United Interests
8. Cotton Jones: Where You Stop for a Minute, Rio Ranger EP on Quite Scientific Records
9. David Bazan: Bless This Mess, Curse Your Branches on Barsuk
10. The Leisure Society: We Were Wasted, The Sleeper on Wilkommen Records/Full Time Hobby
11. Yo La Tengo: Here to Fall, Popular Songs on Matador
12. Slaraffenland: Open Your Eyes, We're on Your Side on Hometapes
22 August 2009
20 August 2009
But recording a cover song on your album says a lot about you or your band. Especially the decision on which tune to cover. Think about it: in the early days Led Zeppelin drew attention to their blues roots by including covers made famous by blues greats; the Rolling Stones did likewise and mixed in a fair amount of Motown originals to boot. Van Halen took off like a rocket with their debut thanks to their wailing cover of the Kinks' classic "You Really Got Me." The Talking Heads had early success with Al Green's soulful "Take Me to the River." The Cowboy Junkies hit the radar after covering Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane."
Each of these covers connected these relative unknowns to the original artists, for strategic reasons possibly as well as the fact that they're all such damn good songs. The upside is obvious, but it also means you better know what you're doing. If you're not giving the cover a new interesting treatment, you'll need to record a version at least somewhat on par with the original. But, in the case of my band Needle, it was well worth a shot. We covered Neil Young's "Helpless" and it's been our most popular song in terms of sales on iTunes.
Besides the artistic considerations, there are legal ones, too. You may wish to contact a lawyer for specific rights and liabilities (I'm not a lawyer and don't play one on TV, or even on this blog). However, I can say that in the case of our recording of "Helpless," we contacted Neil Young's publisher and received a compulsory license where we pay $0.091 every time we sell the song. A service I strongly recommend is HFA's Songfile, which is a web-based directory and database compiled by the Harry Fox Agency and can direct your request to record another artist's song to the appropriate publisher in most cases. It can also help identify the publisher if HFA doesn't handle the clearance.
To download Neil Young's "Helpless" as performed by Needle, Click Here
15 August 2009
1. Abacus: Beach Wail (unsigned)
2. Banjo or Freakout: Upside Down, Upside Down 12" on Half Machine Records
3. Ramona Falls: Russia, Intuit on Barsuk
4. Blue Roses: Doubtful Comforts, Blue Roses on XL Recordings
5. The School: And Suddenly, Searching for the Now, Volume 6 on Slumberland Records
6. Cold Cave: Life Magazine, Love Comes Close on Heartworm Press
7. Truman Peyote: New Wife, New Life, LIght-Lightning on Whitehaus Family Records
8. Six Organs of Admittance: The Ballad of Charley Harper, Luminous Night on Dragcity
9. The Cave Singers: Beach House, Welcome Joy on Matador
10. The Dry Spells: Batwood, Too Soon for Flowers on Antenna Farm Records
11. Addeboy vs.Cliff: Beep My Beep (feat. David Sandström and Erika Moeld) on Headlock Music
01 August 2009
1. The Champagne Socialists: Blue Genes, Blue Genes single on Slumberland Records
2. Black Mold: Tetra Pack Heads, Snow Blindness Is Crystal Antz on Flemish Eye
3. The Dry Spells: Batwood, Too Soon for Flowers on Antenna Farm Records
4. Nurses: Caterpillar Playground, Apple's Acre on Dead Oceans
5. Throw Me the Statue: Ancestors, Creaturesque on Secretly Canadian
6. A Mountain of One: Bones, Institute of Joy on PIAS
7. Circulatory System: Overjoyed, Signal Morning on Cloud Records
8. Memory Tapes: Bicycle, Bicycle single on Loog Records
9. Lightning Dust: I Knew, Infinite Light on Jagjaguwar
10. The Mountain Goats: Genesis 3:23, The Life of the World to Come on 4AD
11. Teengirl Fantasy: Portofino, Portofino / New Image Every Day 7" on Merok Records
27 July 2009
20 July 2009
As a veteran of many bands myself, I realize a band is essentially a musical house of cards, and keeping it together requires patience and perseverance that few of us have. The chemistry among band mates, family and job responsibilities, and other influences make the lifespan of any band precarious at best. I think that, whenever possible, it's important to remain focused on your original goals as a band and what you need to do to attain them. Blowing the band up is sometimes necessary, but too often it occurs because musicians lose their will and become frustrated, not because it's the right thing to do. No one has ever said making it in the music world is easy.
Band stability and focus means not succumbing to the latest trends, and not running around in circles trying to emulate the industry's "next big thing" whatever or whoever that may be. Bands with a track record of longevity and success stick to their guns, and remain confident in who they are, what they do, and how they do it.
Some of the artists I've most admired have produced some of their finest work long after the normal rock industry shelf life, working their way through the inevitable struggles by remaining targeted, and developing their sound and songwriting over time. R.E.M. has retained its original indie cred while attaining considerable success over the last 28 years by adhering to their original formula. American Music Club and Mark Eitzel have gone through periods of commercial ups-and-downs for nearly as long, but have consistently enjoyed critical success and garnered a large following in Europe. Likewise, one of my favorite artists, whom I've seen recently in both LA and in San Francisco is Eels (Mark Oliver Everett). Twelve years into his career and his floating cast of musicians are building a brand, with a new book and documentary out, and eccentric invite lists to his shows that include the Queen of England and the POTUS, they regularly score high-end soundtrack deals including all three Shrek movies.
Not that it isn't wise to take extensive breaks - weeks, months, years - when required. Feel free to record that solo album, produce an up-and-coming artist or play on tour with that side project band that interests you. Such diversions can keep things fresh and keep everyone in your band focused long-term on what's important.
It's a long and winding road, so enjoy the ride and all of its twists and turns. And remember, sometimes its better to be the rock n roll equivalent of a reliable Honda Accord that will eventually get you to where you're going, than a souped-up sports car that crashes and burns at the first curve.
06 July 2009
Now it's easy to open up a CD when there is no shrink-wrap on it but when I get a CD that is still wrapped, it's an extra effort to get that CD into the player. It's especially difficult if it has the tape across the top as well.
So, my tip to you this time is make it easy for a reviewer or editor to get to the music. Remove the wrapper so that the CD just jumps into the player. I've made a commitment to listen to each CD that comes in here so I will take the extra step to remove any packaging but many places won't.
I hope that helps! Until next time...
09 June 2009
We probably all have friends with hand-held video cameras that try to capture some of our shows and rehearsals. And most likely we have a lot of still shots from tours, practices and just hanging out. That was the case with my band Needle but we still wanted to have a video that we would be happy with. As a quick way to put something together, I assembled these stills using iMovie on the Mac. You could also use Movie Maker if you're using Windows. By combining the still shots, using transitions and fades backed up with a track from our CD, we were able to create a decent video. Check it out:
07 June 2009
Call me crazy, but when I venture out for an evening of live music it’s generally with the intent of being entertained by musicians on stage, not to talk louder than the band is playing and spill the latest inner-circle gossip to a room full of strangers. Sure, I like catching up with friends and cohorts, but I can wait until a set break to do so. And if for some reason a conversation can’t wait, I’ll head to the back of the room so as not to annoy others.
A wise trend among clubs these days is helping alleviate this problem. They’re creating distinctly separate areas, out of earshot of the club’s bar area, where artists can perform in surroundings where sound and music are featured front and center. Some venues successfully employing this approach are The Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco, and Piano’s in New York City. Other venues are taking things a step further. Lestat’s in San Diego and The Space in New Haven, CT, for instance. They’ve created dedicated listening rooms, where no food and drink are served, and all eyes and ears are and tuned to the musicians on stage. Such rooms are great for both performers and serious music lovers alike. I’m hoping more bars and clubs that regularly offer live music soon follow suit.
18 May 2009
Let me know if you'll be attending and hopefully we can meet up.
05 May 2009
Reflect upon your latest writings the next time you’re in the shower, consider which outlets are prime targets for your new demo tape the next time you saunter down to the corner liquor store. And think about your band even when you’re pulling up gooey hairballs and indefinable organic matter from the depths of Mrs. Hallstrom’s kitchen plumbing.
Of course, if you aren’t a plumber, but work in a music store or for a club or a label (a topic I plan to address in a future posting), your job already gives you a head-start in keeping your thoughts attune to your budding music career. But there a few simple tricks you can practice otherwise. For instance, subscribe to your favorite music magazines. Many of these, such as TapeOp and Mix are free in exchange for some demographical information. This is especially true with online media, where you’ll be reminded of your commitment to the music profession every time you receive an electronic issue, newsletter or news feed, which can be nearly as often as you check your email.
Another useful creative practice—at least for me—is to keep easy access to thoughts and ideas concerning your band and its music. Always keep music-related documents open when you’re on your computer, leave notebooks open around the house to jot down lyrics in-progress, or just scratch out some musical musings. These, too, are constant reminders that you’re a musician. Also remember, inspiration is often lost as quickly as it strikes, so you’ll do well to have a pen and paper, recording templates for your DAW or a micro cassette recorder nearby when the magic moment arrives.
20 April 2009
I mention this because it never fails to amaze me how many musicians, PR firms and publicists send out inappropriate material for review or consideration. At OnlineRock we receive dozens of albums every week from labels and artists or their representatives who didn’t take the time to look at the music we feature and read our submission policy.
Too often bands get excited by the sheer volume of venues that receive their press kits, rather than the quality and relevance of such venues. They and the firms they hire use a shotgun approach to marketing, planning to spray everything while crossing their fingers that something sticks. This seems a costly and wasteful endeavor. I advocate a sniper’s approach: really qualifying and understanding the websites, magazines and labels you’re interested in, so you can pinpoint your message and have a greater shot at achieving your goal. Case in point, a firm I hired to handle a reviews program for a band I worked with yielded a response rate of only four percent, while my own band Needle managed reviews in 30 percent of the publications we contacted, but only after researching the publications and pre-qualifying them.
I’m not suggesting you ditch the PR or publicity firm you’re now using; they’re pros at what they do for a reason. Rather partner with them to ensure they understand your music and help determine where your band’s most realistic and viable opportunities lie. Then they can tailor messages specific to your target market. You will likely be pleased with the results.
06 April 2009
30 March 2009
If you have any thoughts for the page, please let us know.
29 March 2009
Over the years I’ve recognized that a bit of luck comes into play as far as audiences go at SXSW. I’ve stumbled into the 6th Street clubs where a so-so band plays to a packed house simply because the “band” after them is a Hollywood actor/actress fronting a band or masquerading as a singer-songwriter. Alternatively, I’ve seen bands I following regularly, ones that are critically praised and perform at leading Bay Area rock venues, play before a smattering of only a dozen or two fans, and ignored completely by industry insiders.
So before agreeing to play at SXSW or a similar festival, and deciding to lug your band and its equipment into a van (where you’ll spend lots of time and gas money traversing America’s wide-open spaces), mull over a few things. Realize your set will likely be barely a half-hour and you’re unlikely to sell many CDs or merchandise there. And realize a mind-blowing number of 50 or so bands (some of them heavyweights, like this year’s gigs by REM and My Morning Jacket) are playing around town at the same exact time.
Still wanna do it? Then get on the phone fast, because you should plan to have your band play as many shows possible while you’re there. Give potential fans plenty of opportunities to come see and hear you. In particular, try to arrange additional performances during some of the popular and higher profile shows that occur during the day. These get buzz at the conferences among insiders and typically aren’t saturated by dozens of other shows occurring simultaneously. That means they’ll likely draw a good audience of serious music goers and industry pros.
As I mentioned earlier, you probably won’t sell many CDs at an industry festival like SXSW so consider giving them away to your new fans, the ones that actually stay and listen. One of the most memorable shows that I saw a few years back was from a band called Kitty Gordon. After a smokin’ set to a decent audience, they handed out CDs to everyone that stuck around. I've told a lot of people about them over the years and still smile when one of their songs pops up on my iPod.
And finally, enjoy the ride. If you rarely or never frequent that area of the country, take advantage of planning a tour around the festival by hitting popular locales along your extended drive. Meet new people and forge new ties. Go see music that inspires you. Sometimes things happen at events like SXSW that you’ll never expect. And that is almost always a good thing.
10 March 2009
3rd Annual 'Music for Our Children' Benefit Concert and Auction
Saturday, March 21, 2009 7-10pm
$75/$20 tax deductible (Tickets include one drink of beer or wine,Hors d'oeuvres and a T-shirt!. No host full bar. Please be 21.)
Buy online at www.Advocatesfc.org/Concert
Advocates for Children, CASA for San Mateo County looks forward to celebrating an exciting evening of music, auctions and fun with our friends and supporters. EARL THOMAS IS BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Earl is an exciting, passionate singer cut from the same classic soul cloth that cloaked Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and Solomon Burke. He has performed on bills with Etta James, Ike Turner, B.B. King, Dr. John and Les McCann. You'll want to get up and dance! Website: www.earlthomasmusic.com/
Sponsors: Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Loan Negotiator Group, Borel Private Bank & Trust Company, Palmer Electric, Moquin Press, Revel Industries, Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
Auction items include: Five days at the Russian River for 6, Three nights in Lake Tahoe for 6, a Bay Cruise for 10 on a 48' Yacht, Spar or train with a World Champion Kickboxer, Learn how to water ski with Barefoot Bob, A Dinner for 6 Cooked in your home by Chef Sue Pauly, and much more!
We also have a raffle this year with Three Nights at Lake Tahoe for 6 as the Grand Prize! Tickets are $5 or 5 for $20.
Advocates for Children: Each year, 600-800 San Mateo County children enter the foster care system as a result of abuse and neglect. Advocates for Children trains and supports Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers (CASA) who mentor and speak up for these children. Advocate volunteers spend more one-on-one time with their children than any of the professionals involved in a child's life. They are often the only consistent adults spending time with and advocating for these children during the entire time they are in the foster care system. Advocate volunteers focus on the needs, comfort, and happiness of the children, helping them to have as normal lives as possible under traumatic circumstances.
01 March 2009
Featured Artist at SXSW 2009
18 February 2009
Brightblack Morning Bright - Out on the road in support of their second full-length release entitled Motion to Rejoin (read OnlineRock’s review), BMB played about five shows in the San Francisco Bay area including the one I saw at the Café’ Du Nord. I’ve enjoyed both of their releases as mellow, stoner-rock, Sunday morning coffee mood enhancer however their live performance brought much more energy and volume to the music. This was a welcoming aspect on a "school-night".
Neil Young – If anyone reads my blogs they will know that I’m a fan of Neil Young. He and Lou Reed are about the only musicians that I will see in larger venues. I feel that both of them, after over 40 years of making music, are still vital in both the music they produce and the projects that they are involved with. Neil proved this point once again with his show at the Reno Event Center. While most of his set consisted of older guitar driven songs (Cortez the Killer, Powderfinger, Cowgirl in the Sand), he did a few new songs including "Just Singing A Song Won't Change The World". This was a few days before the election and at first I didn’t get it. After all, a lot of his songs had to have some impact on the world. Ohio, Keep on Rockin’ In The Free World and The Needle and The Damage Done have all made people think and probably change their actions. Then I got it. Just singing a song won't change the world but what you do with it and in addition to it can. For his encore he did a cover of the Beatles's “A Day In The Life”.
Loquat – I went to their CD release show at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. (read OnlineRock's Review) They are a local band that I’ve seen a few times over that past year including a day party at SXSW. They remind me of Ivy with a little bit of Bettie Serveert thrown in. The three shows were similar as far as their set-lists and I was hoping to hear more tunes from their new release but they delivered. If they could get on a few tours with larger acts and solidify their identity, I honestly feel that they could have a shot on a national level. I may even see them again in December when they play with Built for the Sea, another SF band that I've been meaning to check out.
Annuals - We did a review of their latest release called "Such Fun" (read OnlineRock's review) and had their EP playing in the office as well so why not go see them live? I actually saw them at SXSW last year however they didn't make much of an impression. This was mainly due to the venue. It was mainly a sound stage with audience cues and the likes. Bimbo's in San Francisco, arguably my most favorite venue anywhere, would certainly make up for that. And that it did, the six piece band took the stage and held the crowd in its hand the entire show. With diversity (band members switching instruments almost each song) and powerful songwriting, I saw a different band than I did in Austin. Minus the Bear were the headliner at Bimbo's that night and, while I've heard their name, I didn't know the music. I was pleasantly surprised by their power and diversity. They even did an acoustic set.
Willie Nelson - What can I say? I've been wanting to see Willie for a long time and finally had the chance to catch a show during his five night run at the Fillmore. I knew it would be a partying crowd but I didn't know that I'd have to air out my clothes for a week after. It was a great time. The songs were familiar, they playing was adequate and I got to see a few friends that I haven't seen for a long time. It had a reunion feeling about it and made me miss the camaraderie of the good old days when you used to know a lot of people attending shows.
Dean and Britta - After reading Dean Wareham's book "Black Postcards: A Rock and Roll Romance", I sort of missed seeing Luna perform. I was happy to hear that Dean and Britta would be coming to San Francisco and playing at the Palace of Fine Arts, a fine venue thet I've been enjoying more and more. The first time I saw live music there was for the Eels last year. To top off Dean and Britta's show, they performed 13 Most Beautiful... Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests which were projcted behind the band during the performance. These included Paul America, Edie Sedgwick, Richard Rheem, Ingrid Superstar, Lou Reed, Jane Holzer, Billy Name, Mary Woronov, Freddy Herko, Ann Buchanan, Susan Bottomly, Nico, Dennis Hopper. It was truely a beutiful piece of performance art.
Upcoming shows include Antony and the Johnsons, Built for the Sea and other Noisepop acts. Let me know if you have any suggestions :)
13 January 2009
This year marks the 10th anniversary of OnlineRock. Although we were live with a few bands in 1998, we officially launched in May 1999. A lot has happened in those 10 years and musicians as well as businesses have had to adapt and make changes. With the economy the way it is, we still have to keep looking for new ways to keep going. Hopefully OnlineRock can stick around for at least 10 more years. We plan on having celebrations throughout the year including contests, giveaways and other surprises. If you have thoughts on how you'd like to see us celebrate, drop us a line. As always, thanks for your support over the years.