Bands, Butter, and Margerine…

•July 24, 2007 • 4 Comments
The following article is a great promotional thought copied from The Secret Music Life of Kat, which is an excellent blog with lots of quick thoughts on music promotion. I highly recommend it.
And don’t forget to stop in and get the new Boochie Shepherd album at iTunes!

I have two tubs of “butter-like” substances in my fridge.

One of them is …butter and the other is margarine.

I rarely use the butter even though, I prefer the taste.

Why?

Because the margarine is more spreadable. It’s easier to use. I don’t like the taste as well, but in my busy life simplicity trumps quality.

I imagine your music fans are somewhat like me. If you want them to spread the word about your music, you need to be spreadable. You need to make it as easy as possible for them to promote you AND you have to give them something to promote.

Don’t just create a great CD. A great CD alone won’t make people talk about you for long.

  • Create a great CD – definitely a good place to start.
  • Give away a free song (to give them something to talk about and promote).
  • Make graphic badges, logos and buddy icons and make it easy for them to use (post the code, host the images on your server)
  • Have a story to tell. Give them some background on one of your unique songs or a particular experience you’ve had.
  • Offer bios and copy of various lengths so that journalists and bloggers can easily get and use the information they need.
  • Post YouTube videos of your live show. Encourage your audience at each show to video your set and post it to YouTube.

Put yourself in their shoes and try to think of any way you can make it easier for your audience to spread your music.

Be spreadable. Like Margarine. Not Butter.


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What Makes Music “Christian?”

•July 24, 2007 • 1 Comment

Here is a great little definition of by Chris McConnell, the founder of Band With a Mission. BWAM is essentially a Christian battle of the bands. You might have heard the name of the event before; it’s where Rush of Fools got their rise to the public eye.

There are a lot of bands that aren’t quite sure whether or not their music fits into the Christian scene. Listen to what McConnell has to say about it here. For another, more in depth, look at this blog.
And as a little bonus, here’s a YouTube video of a drum solo by Boochie Shepherd drummer Heath Hood:

Boochie Shepherd music on iTunes

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Upload Christian Music Videos

•July 13, 2007 • 3 Comments

Here’s a quick blurb to let you know that GodTube is a great new place for Christian artists (or any Christian, for that matter) to host their videos. It’s essentially just a YouTube for people who love Jesus. It’s very new, but it could serve as a great way to help market and promote your music to your target audience.

Uploading videos is a great way to bring in exposure and even merch sales for your band. Boochie Shepherd uploaded the new video for “Vertical” onto YouTube and it has received over 1,200 views in under a month.

www.godtube.com

Props to fellow blogger Brian Alexander for turning me on to this site.


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iTunes Killed the Album

•July 13, 2007 • 1 Comment

Nobody wants to hear a full CD.

OK, maybe that’s a little excessive, but let’s put some thought into it…

When was the last time you stopped and listened to an album in its entirety? For me, it hasn’t been that long; I dig hearing an artist’s entire thought process. But I fear that I might be in the minority these days.

iTunes has taken over music. They sell singles at less than a buck. They give away free singles every week. Even when people do get a full CD from , they usually just listen to the songs they’re interested in. That’s not to say that actual, physical CDs are unnecessary. Far from it. You can’t make any money at a live show without a CD to sell.

But let’s say somebody does buy your . They are likely gonna listen to it once, then rip the songs they like to their computer, , or whatever medium they choose.

That having been said, maybe it’s time to spend more energy focusing on singles rather than entire albums, especially if you are an indie artist.

There’s a good article about all this over at the Lefsetz Letter (be warned: he does use a few “choice” words, so if you are offended by that, be careful).

What can your music career learn from this? Maybe there is more potential for a single to gain exposure (and earn income) for an artist if it is marketed properly than if all the promotional money and effort were spent on an entire album. From my own personal experience, Boochie Shepherd has sold far fewer full CDs on iTunes than we have copies of the current single, “Vertical.” Seriously, it’s probably a 10:1 ratio in favor of the single.

And a single on its own can propel an artist to stardom. Remember when Lisa Loeb’s “Stay” hit #1 before she even had the album to support it? She simply got it placed onto the right soundtrack and then woke up one day with the most popular song on the planet. I think I love her, by the way…

So, let’s brainstorm and think about ways to make this concept work for us as indies, shall we?


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Prince Gives Away Free Music

•July 5, 2007 • Leave a Comment

is a genius. Need some proof?

Apparently, he gave away over 2 million copies of his new , packaged with the British paper Mail on Sunday (check the story here). In so doing, he has made some people on the retail side of music very, very angry. How does that make him a genius?

First of all, Prince has completely engaged his . And he has stirred up a ton of . On top of that, he was paid a handsome share by Mail on Sunday to include his CD with their mailing.
Most importantly to me, he has shown us that there a lots of different ways to skin a cat.

How can you take this and apply the concepts to your own music ?

Get the new Boochie Shepherd CD on iTunes!


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 Fat Kid Records on Squidoo.

Evan Almighty = No Church Service

•July 2, 2007 • 6 Comments

OK, this is slight deviation from my standard posts, but I thought it was worth discussing if anybody is up for it…

I saw an article on the ‘net earlier today announcing that a had canceled services in order to go view the new movie “.” I went to check out the thing for myself, and here it is (see the page for yourself here):

Sunday, July 1
Evan
Almighty
9:00 and 11:00 am
$5.00 per person
No Sunday Services!
Click here to order tickets online.

So, how do you feel about this? Personally, I don’t think it’s cool. I’m all for the movie; that’s not my point. But to replace an actual worship service, an established worship service that the community knows about, with a movie watching session… I’m not hip to it. I’m especially not to hip to charging the members to see it, ya know?

So, let’s discuss, shall we?


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Click here to download “VERTICAL” by Boochie Shepherd!

Boochie Shepherd website

Fat Kid Records on Squidoo.

How To Write Better Songs

•July 2, 2007 • 1 Comment

It’s such a difficult thing to talk about . The processes and the motivations are very different for everybody. Some people are setting out to a hit song; others intend to write a worship song. Some people want to motivate others; some only intend to express themselves.

Whatever reason you have for writing a song, we almost all want the same thing: for people to love our . That having been said, here are some thoughts on what makes a great song great…

1. People can relate to it. I can remember lying on my bedroom floor as a teenager, with all the lights turned out and Pearl Jam’s “Black” playing on the stereo. I distinctly remember thinking, “This guy knows exactly how I feel.” And in that moment I knew I wanted to write songs that brought the same reaction from other people. A great song is great because people can relate to it. It’s wonderful to express yourself through songwriting, but if you are the only one who understands the meaning of the song, people simply won’t connect with it on the same level as they would with a song that expresses a feeling or that they are experiencing or that they understand.

2. It is emotional. Not only lyrically, but in the performance as well. If the lyrics say, “She broke my heart” but the performance doesn’t convey that, most of the song’s emotion is stripped away. In the Boochie Shepherd song “All the King’s Horses” there is not only an emotional lyrical content, but an emotional performance, as well. I truly believe that just singing the song beautifully wouldn’t do the emotion of the tune justice.

3. The music isn’t overly complicated. As a , this one takes some pride-swallowing. Sometimes to simply write “3 chords and the truth” is almost offensive to a seasoned musician; but almost all of the greatest songs ever written are very simple musically. And some of the most phenomenal musical pieces of all time simply don’t make great songs. Maybe they aren’t very singable; maybe they involve too many difficult musical phrases… whatever the case may be, sometimes it’s just easier to convey a great message within a very simple framework.

4. Use lots of imagery. As a songwriter, you should force the listener into the place you want them to go. For instance, in the aforementioned “Black” by , Eddie Vedder uses some very vivid imagery to describe his feelings. Rather than saying “My whole world is falling apart”, he says:

“And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass

of what was everything.

All my pictures had been washed to black…

It tattooed everything…”

That’s vivid, and when combined with the vocal delivery and the musical atmosphere, there is no room to wonder about the emotion of the situation.

5. Make a suitable musical atmosphere. Don’t write heavy metal songs with lullaby lyrics. And don’t write lullabies with gangster rap lyrics. Use a musical medium that properly facilitates the message you are trying to convey.

These are just a couple of thoughts I have on writing better songs. You can check out Boochie Shepherd on iTunes to hear some of these concepts in action.

I’d love to hear your input!


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Fat Kid Records on Squidoo.

 
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