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December 18, 2017
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Industry Insider: 10 Suggestions for Success in the Music Biz - Part 2 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 November 2007 05:46
Image By John McGlasson - GJD Contributor
In part two of my suggestions for musicians on how to succeed in the music biz without a label or distribution, I'll try to dig a little deeper into the direct marketing end of things. (Here's Part 1 just in case you missed it)

6) Keep Your Feet on the Ground- If you're over 20, it's a different world for musicians than the one we grew up in. The days of the rich, pampered rockstar are pretty much over, even well-known bands are having to tour endlessly to make up for the loss of retail music revenues, which is an all-consuming life that many musicians aren't cut out for, and can make it difficult to produce more albums. If you expect to only make a living like any other job, you probably won't be disappointed, but if you expect to re-live the glory days of rock, it's not likely. Set realistic goals.
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A Fan's Notes: The Boss is Back PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 November 2007 19:46
Image By Chip Lovitt - GJD Contributor
Last year I gave a rundown of my top ten concerts of the year. 2007 isn't even over yet, and I've still got four shows to go before 2008 arrives-the Black Crowes, the Pat Metheny Trio, Neil Young, and Suzanne Vega. But I'm pretty sure I already have my number-one show for 2007-Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at New York's Madison Square Garden. For my money, Bruce and the band provide the biggest bang for the buck as far as rock shows go.

Like all the Springsteen shows I've attended-and I've seen dozens-the event is more than just a rock concert. It's a gathering of friends, fans, and fanatics, and it takes on the energy and spirit of a tent show revival, except it's a lot louder and a lot more fun. Imagine 20,000 fans on their feet, fists thrust in the air, screaming "Bruuuuuce," and singing along to favorite songs like "Badlands" or "Born to Run." There's an excitement, passion, and power you just won't find at any other concert these days.
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Live Review: Alter Bridge - Hagerstown, Maryland, October 20, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 November 2007 07:51
Image By Jim Basara - GJD Contributor
I was anxiously awaiting the release of Alter Bridge's new CD - Blackbird - this month, particularly after the release of the single "Rise Today". Their debut CD, One Day Remains, was great, but much of that material was written prior to Myles Kennedy joining the band. So, while their live performances have been flawless, I was looking to the Blackbird CD to really demonstrate the band's potential. After the first listen, I was delighted; after the 20th listen, I was convinced that Alter Bridge will have a very strong impact on rock and roll for many years to come.
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Industry Insider: 10 Suggestions for Success in the Music Biz - Part 1 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 29 October 2007 16:42
Image By John McGlasson - GJD Contributor
I spend a lot of my time explaining to artists who send me CDs for consideration why most of them probably don't need a label, and I believe it so firmly now that I'm going to lay out my ten pointers for artists to achieve success, or at least get on the road to it, without help from a label or distributor.

1) Personal Assessment- Look in the mirror and ask yourself; "Am I really good enough to do what I'm trying to do? What sets me apart? Am I unique somehow, or am I a hack?" To answer these questions honestly is the first step to professionalism. Deep down every musician knows the answer to these questions; few are honest with themselves. Try hard to see yourself as the world sees you, as if for the first time. Are you trying to sound like someone else? Is your material pro-level? Are you a strong live performer? Would you buy your own stuff? This is what a label would be asking about you, it's valuable to be able to do this for yourself. It's also important to ask yourself if the life you live is going to allow you to do what it takes to be a pro. I had an amazing player send me a CD who's married with 3 kids, a full-time job, mortgage, the whole bit. There was no chance to ever tour or make the sacrifices necessary, so he had to face that his life choices had pretty much counted him out.

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Industry Insider: Are All P2P Downloaders Thieves? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 October 2007 18:47
Image By John McGlasson - GJD Contributor
I'm going to dive into unpopular territory here, at the risk of insulting the reader, and ask the question; is everyone who's ever downloaded music through a p2p site a thief?

Conservative estimates place illegal to legal downloads at 40 to 1, realistically it's likely closer to 100 to 1 globally, so the odds are good that most people reading this have illegally downloaded at least one song or album you had the easy option to pay for.

Which raises another issue. What about stuff you can't find anywhere but the p2p sites? I think most artists and labels agree that when it comes to obscure, hard-to-find material, have at it. Someone was nice enough to make their copy available when no label or distributor apparently sees the title worthy of release, and p2p sites are a great place to find these titles, so the answer to the original question is no, p2p sites have a legitimate purpose, and all users aren't thieves.
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A Fan's Notes: The Troubadour Tradition: The Genre That Would Not Die! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 October 2007 19:30
Image By Chip Lovitt - GJD Contributor
Musical trends come and go, but the singer-songwriter genre seems to go on forever.

Well, forever may not be the right word to use in today's downloadin', low CD-selling, I-Tunes-driven age. But it has to be said, one of the most durable guitar-based genres over the last forty years has to be the singer-songwriter-acoustic-guitar-player thing. Combine a great song, a distinctive voice, a sweet-sounding acoustic guitar...

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Adventures in Guitar with Ronny North: The LA Amp Show PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 October 2007 04:40
Image This year I attended the LA Amp show at the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys, California. They had over 40 different companies showing their latest gear. The show has been going for a few years - all produced by Loni Specter.

I arrived at noon and immediately dove in to check out all the cool stuff.

The first cool thing I saw at the show were the Nordstrand guitar pickups. Norstrom has been making custom pickups for some time and is known in the industry for his great stuff. Man did the pickups sound great. I tried out his standard humbucker and his standard vintage single coils. Both sounded so good. I'm definitely going to look into them in the very near future. Carey Norstrand was actually in the demo room and was a very nice guy and definitely knows his stuff from what I heard in his pickups.
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Whammy Bar Mix Tape: Vol. 1 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 September 2007 07:07
1_Larry.pngBy Larry Dobrow - GJD Contributor
When we celebrate double-reverse-super-awesome guitar players in this space, we tend to focus on a single guy and his body of work. This is all fine and good when the discussion turns to Richard Thompson or Jimmy Page, whose virtuosity can sustain a 700-word column. But most of the players out there? They inspire the occasional pumped fist and "you might like this, maybe, if you're in the mood - MP3 attached" email, but little enthusiasm for a full-bore career/catalog appreciation.

Which isn't to say that these assorted guitar C-listers don't occasionally soar as close to the sun as that Icarus guy who used to manage Iron Maiden (at least, that's how I understand it). If you look hard enough, there exists at least one Guitar God moment in just about every musician's oeuvre... okay, maybe not Jewel's.

So let's dub today's exercise "Whammy Bar Mix Tape: Vol. 1." What follows is a list of seven guitar-ish songs that, owing in equal part to my total lack of taste in music and my unwavering fondness for tracks I first encountered when I was 12, never fail to pump (clap!) me up. I ask you - better yet, I challenge you - to give each a listen and tell me that the individuals involved don't do a perfect job of matching song with tone, riff and style.
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Whammy Bar: Tom Scholz PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 September 2007 07:07
ImageBy Larry Dobrow - GJD Contributor
Upon acknowledging to friends or acquaintances that you admire the six-string stylings of Boston's Tom Scholz, you are generally met with one of three different reactions: "They suck," "You suck," or "Dude, that guy sings like a girl." To these self-appointed arbiters, I say: bah!

That's right: Bah! Put that in your tube (amp) and smoke it.

Whatever issues you might have with his band's super-smooth, radio-friendly ditties - which have aged better than the Stones' late-1970s offerings - Scholz earns serious points for his melodic virtuosity and triple-reverse-wheelie-harmonized fills. Factor in his bona fides as a sound engineer, and Scholz is as much of a golden guitar God as anybody who picked up an axe during that decade. Also, his real first name is "Donald." That bears noting.

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Industry Insider: Ask Not What You Can Do for Your Distributor... PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 September 2007 06:42
Image By John McGlasson - GJD Contributor
I've assaulted the distribution end of this biz for almost a year now in my columns, but I feel like I'm just getting started. The longer I'm in this business and make friends with other labels with different distributors, the more I learn about the racket, and what they really do for money, as opposed to what you may assume they'll do for you when you sign up.

I was recently reading a back-and-forth in an industry blog between the author and a guy from Ticketmaster. One reader replied that Ticketmaster waits 90 days to pay artists after the event takes place, but why?

For the same reason most distributors have you on a 90-day delay for your digital payments, though in most cases they get paid for them monthly, because they're using your money to make more money.
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    Featured artists who will be performing music written by and associated with Jimi Hendrix include blues giant Buddy Guy, contemporary guitar greats Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Eric Johnson, Cesar Rojas and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos as well as Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford.
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    Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) and Italian distributor M.Casale Bauer proudly announce the grand opening of the Fender Custom Shop Showcase Italy. It is the third such international exclusive Fender guitar destination, joining the elite Fender Custom Shop Lounge (Düsseldorf, Germany) and Fender Showcase Tokyo (Japan).

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    Los Angeles, CA – World-renowned Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel will  release Center Stage, a live concert DVD on October 14th via Favored Nations Acoustic.  
     
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    Montreal, Canada- September 16th, 2008: Renowned guitarist Daryl Stuermer will be giving Godin Performance Clinics in and around Quebec and Eastern Ontario from September 29th to October 3rd 2008.

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