OnlineRock Blog

30 March 2009

OnlineRock Facebook Page

I've decided to start building a FaceBook fan page for OnlineRock.  It's just starting out but if you'd like to be a fan, please visit our OnlineRock FaceBook Page.

If you have any thoughts for the page, please let us know.

29 March 2009

Bands Should Plan Strategically for Music Festivals

Well, I’ve recently returned from another stint of networking, partying and ear bleeding at SXSW (the only way to do Texas). As usual, the week was a blast. But as I took in dozens of bands in nearly as many venues, I thought about the pros and cons emerging bands must consider upon playing there.

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

As some of you may know, I am involved in the CASA program.  It's time for their annual benefit concert.  Try to check it out if you get a chance:

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

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:

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

South by Southwest 2009 Preview

The SXSW MUSIC AND MEDIA CONFERENCE features a legendary festival showcasing more than 1,800 musical acts of all genres from around the globe on over eighty stages in downtown Austin. By day, the Austin Convention Center comes alive with conference registrants doing business in the Trade Show and partaking of a full agenda of informative, provocative panel discussions featuring hundreds of speakers of international stature. In its 23rd year, SXSW remains an essential event on the music industry calendar.

Featured Artist at SXSW 2009