Archive for the ‘Live’ Category

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Are You Just Like Mumford & Sons? Have You Ever Played In Front Of Just 12 People?

September 17, 2013

Have You Ever Played In Front Of Just 12 People?

One of my artists just sent this email to me.

It’s “normal” to play gigs in front of small crowds…but most artists give up and get discourged when they have only a few fans in the audience….obviously, Mumford & Sons kept going…

“Just got back from Mumford and Sons. They played in St Paul in front of 20,000 people. The main Mumford said one of the greatest lines I’ve heard in a while: ‘Thank you all so much, we were wondering where you all were when we played at the 400 Bar in Minneapolis in 2009 in front of 12 people! It got better, the next time we played the Varsity Theater, the next time First Avenue, and now we’re here!'” -Rex

So, the next time you get discouraged that there “aren’t that many people” at your gig, remember to keep going! If you’re good and keep at it, one day you’ll be playing bigger venues!

***

Success requires dedication, focus and commitment.

I’ve turned my love, my passion, music, into a full-time job and want to find other artists who are in the same boat.

If you know of an artist who is equally committed, please let me know!

(Please feel free to forward this email and this email alone to members of your band or other artists you know. But please do not post it on a web site or blog without asking permission from the author. Thanks!)

Copyright @2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without author’s prior consent.

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management ~ True Talent PR

9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320

Beverly Hills, CA 90210
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

http://www.truetalentmgmt.wordpress.com – Read my music blog for advice on making it in the music business

 

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Some Tips For Making Your Live Show Amazing

August 8, 2013
I’ve been to hundreds and hundreds of live concerts during my life.Perhaps I’ve even come to one of your shows?

I’ve seen hundreds of superstar artists from The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay and Muse and Madonna to Arcade Fire and Pitbull and Ke$ha and Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera and Beck and gosh, just way too many to mention.

Of course, I’ve seen many “mid-level” artists at 5,000-7,500 seat venues.

But I’ve also seen hundreds and hundreds of independent, unsigned bands and artists play at small clubs in and around Los Angeles.

Here are just a few helpful tips from what I’ve learned over the years:

1)  One of the best things you can do as a live act is to ENTERTAIN your crowd. In fact, as a performing artist, that’s pretty much your ONLY job and reason for being up on stage. Remember, even your friends and family and significant other drove through traffic and probably paid to park their car AND gave up a slew of other options for their evening to see you perform. Your fans may love you on YouTube or record (mp3?) but when they come to see you perform, they want a SHOW. So, entertain them!

I know, you’re an artist, and you’re obsessed with chord changes and making sure you don’t hit a wrong note or key or God forbid, break a string on stage. And you think your fans care about your songs as much as you do. But, until you’re Coldplay, they don’t. So focus on the crowd and don’t get in your head too much about the sound and such. Trust me. We hardly notice any technical issues unless there is major feedback or something.

2)  LOOK into the crowd! That’s right. Nothing is going to keep people’s eyes on you more than a lead singer (and band members) that are looking at them. Of course, don’t stare or be creepy. One tip is to look at the top’s of people’s heads.  It will look like you are looking at them but will be far less distracting!

Have you ever been to a show where the lead singer didn’t look at the crowd? I bet that got boring pretty quickly. Besides, that whole shoegazing band thing is out…and I’ve yet to see a huge band perform that wasn’t looking DIRECTLY into the audience and fan’s faces directly!

3)  A key to being entertaining on stage is to be ENERGETIC. I can’t tell you how many artists I’ve seen perform who just stand there with their guitar (or sit behind their keyboard) and just sing their songs without any real energy.

If we come to see you perform, we want a SHOW! We’re not sitting at home watching TV! If we come all the way out to see you perform tonight, you better BRING IT on stage.

Now maybe you can’t run around the stage but you have to just exude energy.  Move around if you can. Dance if you can. Just move around! I can’t tell you how boring it is to see an unknown act perform at a club and just have every single band member just stand there behind their instrument. And don’t get me started on band members who just look at the floor or at their instrument instead of looking into the crowd!

If you need some examples, check out my favorite band of all time, Keane. Watch this live video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u022JnifnO0 . See how much energy the keyboard player has! He’s literally bouncing up and down WHILE HE’S PLAYING! Watch the lead singer, Tom, as he sings — he’s got his hands in the air and even when he’s not running around on stage, he has his feet tapping and moving. Sure, he doesn’t have a guitar in front of him – but maybe that’s the key to making some songs different — put down the guitar or come out from behind your keyboard or guitar and just sing — and do it with some ENERGY!  Watch that video! You’ll see that even the drummer, Richard, is bouncing around as he plays up there.

After all, you wouldn’t go to a spinning class or dance class if the instructor just stood there, talking, with no energy, right? You want someone in front of a group of people to LEAD you and be INSPIRING! So, do the same for your fans! You are the instructor AND the artist and they will dance if you dance. They will move if you move. Watch the crowd the next time you’re up on stage. Their energy will match yours. You want a better crowd? Put on an AMAZING live show full of energy and fun and see what happens!

4)  Make your stage outfits INTERESTING. Don’t let the band just wear “whatever” to the show. I’ve had lead singers instruct the other players to wear all black or white. At least do something so you look like you’re one unit, not 4-5 girls and guys who just threw on whatever they felt like 5 minutes before leaving the house.

But, you’ll say, “ABC band just wears a t-shirt and jeans on stage” and sure, many do.  But keep in mind, those artists are already HUGELY successful so people are coming to their shows to hear HIT SONGS they’ve heard on the radio for YEARS.  Until you have a roster of top 40 hits, you’ll need to do something more interesting on stage than wear what you wore to work earlier in the day – or just a boring t-shirt you found in your closet the night before.

Are you a 70s rock band with a 70s fashion style? Great!  Are you goth or 80s or what?

Just do SOMETHING!

A bad image is better than a “blah” image or no image at all!

5)  Do a COVER SONG.  Come on.  Even superstar acts who have sold MILLIONS of albums do cover songs.  Here’s just one example of Sara Bareilles covering Beyonce – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1qD4LtaRIU

Throw one in towards the end of your set.  Trust me.  People will like a new arrangement of a current (or old) hit.  Just make sure it’s a song your target audience will know!  I once managed a band who decided to open (bad idea) with a U2 cover song at music festival in front of 10,000 people.  Problem was, most of the crowd was so young, they had no idea who U2 was or what song they were singing!  Do something current or REALLY well known and you’re sure to leave them wanting more!

6)  ENGAGE your fans.  Get them to sing along with that cover song.  Or one of your own!  (Hey, at least let them sing the chorus).  Trust me, if you can get ME to sing at one of your shows, you’ve done a good job.  The audience is likely getting a bit bored towards the end of anyone’s set so leave them with a GREAT feeling from singing along or asking them questions during the show.  Even using, “How’s everyone doing tonight?” is better than just singing song after song.

7)  TALK between songs. Ya know, to make sure we haven’t fallen asleep or aren’t tempted to check our phones for messages or new Facebook posts.

Don’t talk  between every song though.

Write out some funny jokes or funny stories. Practice them in front of your friends or family (or strangers) to make sure they are good – and make sure they are honestly reacting!

Most successful touring artists use the same stories over and over – just like comedians because they know what will make a crowd laugh from past experience. If you want to do well touring, make sure you are entertaining BETWEEN songs as well as DURING the songs!

8)  Before your last song and before you get off stage, be sure to tell everyone you’ll be at the merch booth right after the set to sell CDs and shirts and mention that you’ll sign autographs! Not only will this dramatically increase your merch sales, it will also bring goodwill to you as fans will tell their friends not only how great the show was but also how NICE you were to them after the show. And yes, be sure you are NICER than Mother Teresa. No one likes a snobby or rude artist.  NO ONE!

9)  I know what you singer/songwriters are going to say. You’re going to say that you can’t dance or move around on stage because you’re singing sad songs and your show and music isn’t about a performance. Well, just keep in mind, that’s fine. But that’s also why you don’t see many singer/songwriters playing large venues like Staples Center or Madison Square Garden. Katy Perry went from gigs at Hotel Cafe to wearing outlandish outfits and singing pop songs. I grew up on Tori Amos and she just played piano – but she was a crazy bird and told silly and funny stories between songs and she, like Regina Spektor here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmfZDt8wvcs was just so gorgeous and captivating to watch that she didn’t need much else. But these gals are the exception to the rule.

10) Oh, one more thing. Be sure you warm up your voice before your show.

Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/needfilmtvmusic, and let us know how we’re doing.

Did you like this email?  Write back and let us know!

Thanks and until next time!

Sincerely,

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. #320
Beverly Hills, CA  90210

http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

Copyright ©2013 TRUE TALENT MANAGEMENT. All rights reserved.Our mailing address is:
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. #320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

http://www.truetalentmgmt.wordpress.com – Read my music blog for advice on making it in the music business

You are receiving this email because you have either sent us music in the past or are an artist or band that we’ve heard great things about (or are otherwise involved in the music business as a manager, attorney, A&R, etc).

To unsubscribe from future event notifications, please reply to this email with the subject line “unsubscribe” and specify if you’d like to unsubscribe from True Talent’s database entirely or just from our music requests. We certainly can’t imagine why you’d leave though since we’ve placed now over 50 songs in film/tv, including “Sex and the City” and “The OC”. Major labels, artists and managers have asked to be added to the list.

Getting music in film/tv is one of the best ways to get exposure for music from indie / unsigned bands.

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I have a confession to make….

June 15, 2010

Touring is important.

Everyone in the business says it is.

And I’ve repeated this mantra for YEARS.

And to be honest, I never QUITE FULLY understood exactly WHY touring is SO important for a band or artist to do.

It just made sense.

I mean, all the “successful” and “superstar” artists you see broke through touring.

But just RECENTLY it dawned on me just WHY TOURING IS SO IMPORTANT.

Because touring is really one of the only proven ways to create DEMAND for your music.

Sure, you’re an artist.

You write songs in your bedroom, living room, on airplanes or what not.

People should just “discover” your amazing songs on myspace or on the Internet and buy them, right?

Ha.

Well, that’s a nice dream.

WAKE UP!!!!

Life doesn’t work that way.

The reality is, even with the Internet – and amazing things like youtube and myspace and facebook, you STILL need to CREATE DEMAND for your music. (Well, if you want to make ANY money from your music, let alone a living from it…)

ANYONE can write a song, record it and throw it up on myspace (and millions have).

But what separates you from THEM is touring.

What separates a REAL artist from just an artist making music for fun or as a hobby, is TOURING.

YOU NEED TO TOUR TO CREATE DEMAND FOR YOUR MUSIC.

Now of course there are the exceptions to the rule.

Mainly for teen idols (Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, etc) and pop stars (Britney, etc).

But not many….

Are you Miley Cyrus or a Disney kid? Then you probably don’t need to spend years on the road touring….or do you? Taylor Swift when interviewed on TV recently said she took “any” gig she could get before she was signed. ANY gig! Are you doing the same?

Plus keep in mind that those young artists often spend 5-10 years trying to get their big break through auditioning for TV shows and going on likely hundreds of commercial auditions, paying their dues in other ways, like in crummy TV shows or pilots or small indie films before their big break.

Most actors were at it for 5-10+ years before getting their “big” break. If you don’t believe me, go to imdb.com, and type in your favorite actor’s name and see all the bit parts they had in crappy indie projects before they became famous. Brad Pitt, for example, did quite a few “small” projects before his big break – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000093/. The Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz’s of the world (i.e. hitting it “big” without “too” much effort) are far less common than 99% of actors! Even Megan Fox did a ton of small TV shows for YEARS before becoming an “overnight success” by being cast in “Transformers” – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1083271/ – but does she or anyone talk about this in interviews? Of course not! She’s a STAR and they want to sell you on the fairytale aspect of that – not the reality that even movie stars slugged it out for years on crappy TV shows!

I know, you want music to be EASY.

But the reality is, if you want fans, you need to EARN them by TOURING and winning them over at a show ONE BY ONE.

Doing meet and greets after each show – signing autographs, being charming, talking to them! Being a real, genuine person! So they’ll tell their friends and your next show will have double the turnout as the last one! Even a show of 10 people can turn into a show or 20 or 30 next time if you meet each fan and they tell 2 friends and bring them to the next show. That 20-30 then can turn into 50 and 75 and 100 and…well, I think you get the picture!

So if you’re making music for fun as a hobby, don’t worry about touring. It can take YEARS to break this way and you probably have a day job and/or family and can’t do it anyhow.

However, if you’re young, driven or just simply REALLY want to “make it”, YOU HAVE TO TOUR.

If you have the hope or dream of EVER getting signed by any label, they likely will want to see you perform LIVE!

And there is no shortcut to becoming GREAT live!

A multi-platinum producer who worked with many huge superstar acts said to me, “there is no ‘shortcut’ to becoming GREAT live – you just have to get out there and perform and your live show should improve on its own, like anything in life does with lots of work and practice!”

So unless someone in your family has left you a million dollars to market and promote your music career, you’re gonna have to do it the “old fashioned way”. (And ironically, ALL of the artists I’ve seen that have had rich parents “help” them with their money, are no further along than artists I see who have not a dime in their bank accounts. In fact, the DRIVE that should be there for an artist who came from nothing should make them work a MILLION times harder than any artist who is handed money to tour or promote their music somehow.)

Nothing works better than hard work.

So there you go – figure out a way to tour and if you write GREAT songs and put on a GREAT live show, one day soon you will likely be very successful!

This summarizes it well:

Touring is important, not because we are “artists” but because we are musical artists. Touring and local dates have been the lifeblood of every professional musician/songwriter the entire history of American music. The symphony and opera are not a part of the landscape of the American musical heritage. American music is dance music and bands going back to the earliest American history are dance bands. The acts you mention as exceptions are also make their money from touring. Miley toured more than half of 2009 and her Dad is constantly touring. Labels and publishing companies make money from record sales and licensing. Artists make money from selling tickets.

Justin K

True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
— Jedi Master Yoda


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What to do when you have a “bad” gig – i.e. hardly anyone shows up…

April 11, 2010

It’s inevitable that, as a performing artist, you’re going to have great gigs and “not so great” gigs.

All you can do is control how you react.

I’ve managed artists that, upon seeing a poor turn out at a gig, decided it “sucked” and decided to play a crappy show and complain about the lack of a crowd all the way through the set.

Think doing one bad show doesn’t matter?

Think again!

What happened?

The promoter heard the band did a bad set and the promoter never booked that band again.

A better thing to do would have been to say, “Fine, there are only a few people here. Well, I’m going to make sure I win over each and every one of them. I’m still going to give it my all because this is what I love doing so I might as well make the best of it.”

And, in fact, I’ve managed bands that sold more CDs and merchandise at a show with 5-10 people in the audience than a show with 400 people in the audience.

The artist was so amused at the small crowd, he even took a bathroom break in the middle of his set. Now while this generally isn’t a good idea, he did it in a cute/funny/amusing way. He charmed the audience. He stopped caring and taking himself so seriously and that night he really made a break-through in terms of how he performed.

****

Now I know, as an artist, one of the hardest things you may ever have to do is perform to a crowd of none. Or a few people. Or a club with just the bartender, door guy and waitress there.

But hey, you rehearse and there’s no one there, right?

So maybe look at any gigs you do with a poor turn out as a fancy dress rehearsal.

Have fun.

Who cares?

****

I’ve managed bands where one day they’ll be in front of a crowd of 10,000 people at a festival – and the same night (or very next night) they’ll literally be in some dive bar performing for almost no one.
I know this must be hard on the ego — but as an artist you have to figure out a way to deal with it.

Say to yourself, “Self – Well, this is still more fun than going to the gym or doing laundry or rehearsing in front of the mirror” — tell yourself whatever gets you through the set.

If the crowd is THAT small, have fun with it!

Get each and every audience member up on stage with you at some point.

Jump off of the stage and go talk to them — or sing to them from the audience.
Mix it up.

I guarantee that if you connect that well with a small, small group of people, they will remember YOUR show as the one where they got to go up on stage. I bet they’ll go home and tell 10 friends. Or they’ll tell 100+ facebook friends, “Hey, I was in this club with 3 people there and this guy/gal/band put on the most incredible set. He even made me a drink in the middle of his performance” or something to that effect.

You never know what could happen from just winning over ONE fan.

One tastemaker.

One person who just LOVES you and tells EVERYONE they know about you.

Try it next time.

And remember.

Gigs are like day jobs.

You’ll have great days.

And not so great days.

You’ll get through the not so great days.

And the next day, the next gig, will be better!

Have a sense of humor about it.

Have fun.

Life is too short to get upset.

***

Feedback on this email (already!):

Jennifer,

Your emails are always great but this one takes the cake. I am the person that I am today for always making the best of small crowds! Talk about building character and humility.

So many of us artists get so lost in the whole ego part of it that we totally forget what it’s all about when we let a small audience stop us from putting on the best performance we can put out for the people that actually bothered to show up! I always treated each and every challenging night as an opportunity and treated those in the audience like they were the only important people in the world!

Shame on any musician that doesn’t learn to leave their egos at home when their job is to entertain the people that actually showed up! It’s a bigger challenge than having a much bigger audience hence why the potential reward is so much greater, the artist approaches each and every situation the same! It’s their job!

Thanks!

Lourdes

****

Dear Jennifer,

As a footnote to your e-mail, for which thank you :

“On their first American tour in October 1978, The Police gave a concert at Poughkeepsie in upstate New York. There were less than 10 (ten) people in the room, but instead of packing up and going home, the group decided to amuse themselves and gave an excellent concert before coming and talking to the public. As luck would have it, among the rare spectators were three enthusiastic DJs.

Thanks to them, the song ‘Roxanne’ was in constant rotation on the radio from the next day. It was the beginning of a huge love story between The Police and America.”

(Roughly translated from ‘The Police and Sting’ by Christophe Crénel, published by Librio.)

Best wishes,

Richard

****

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
— Jedi Master Yoda


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Think superstar artists didn’t tour their butt off and hustle to make it big? Read this email from Jewel…

April 1, 2010

This is an email Jewel wrote to her fans but in her own words, describing how she became successful.

Think successful artists didn’t tour their asses off and promote, promote, promote along the way?

Read this – I guarantee it will inspire you!

Also, in other news, if you’re looking to promote your music to radio, film/tv or press, hit me up. My April is looking really jammed but I might have time to squeeze in a few new projects.

Jennifer

****

Posted in From Jewel on March 11, 2010

I’d like to tell you all the story of you.

While I watched my own career blossom, I got to see the mirror

image of my fans blossom, and we grew together, and because of each

other.

When I was young and getting discovered, I was terrified of

living in my car forever, but I was also terrified by fame. My

solution? Make a folk album. I thought if I could have a career like

my heroes John Prine or Tom Waits, with a cool cult following, and

make a good living, then that would be the thing to do. Boy did I

have no idea how far that folk album would take me.

Before I got discovered, reason I loved singing in the coffee

shops in San Diego was because it made me feel less alone. When I sang

on that tiny stage, I could see and feel the hearts of the few people

who came to see me, and I could talk about my worst fears, my worst

insecurities. I could express my rage and my doubt and my unabashed

hope – all because I could see in the eyes of those listening that

they felt the exact same way. A bond was formed when I sang, telling

secrets on myself – that was special.

As you know, I grew up singing in bars, doing cover songs. I

didn’t experience what I’m talking about here. When I sang my own

songs and got to tell my own truth, it was like magic – it was like

being in church. It felt like being forgiven. It was like confessing

my sins, and for doing so, I was rewarded with the kindness strangers

offered, I suppose, because they saw themselves in me, too. It felt

like medicine at a time when I so badly needed positive reinforcement.

The more I told the truth, the better I felt, the closer people felt

to me, and the less I felt alone. It was just a raw human experience.

I didn’t know that before I released my first album, there fans

were already using the newly formed internet to spread the word about

me. I just packed up my guitar, and began doing relentless tours that

I called ‘residency tours’ throughout the country.

My idea was to try and recreate what I had done in San Diego, by

playing the same coffee shop the same night of the week for a month in

a given city. So I did this circuit that was grueling. I played the

C’est What? Cafe in Toronto every Monday, Boston Kendel Street Cafe

every Tuesday, The Last Drop Cafe in Philadelphia every Wednesday, The

XX in NYC every Thursday, the book store every Saturday in DC, and

then I would drive it all over again and do it every week for a month.

I would then move to another region like the northwest, and do it all

over again.

I only sang in front of a few folks, but I was able to form a

small loyal following, provided they didn’t walk out during Pieces Of

You (the most misunderstood, yet plainly obvious song I’ve ever

written). The more I toured the more industry insiders told me I would

never make it, I’d never get played on the radio, Nirvana and Sound

Garden were God, and it wasn’t cool to be sensitive and care. I guess

that’s when the fight came out in me. I had lived through hell, and I

still found it in my heart to care and to have hope because the most

genuinely desperate must. It’s the spoiled slackers, in my view, who

could cling to their cool veils of cynicism, because they could afford

to be cynical with their comfortable lives. I was on the edge of the

abyss, and staring into it, I knew the only thing that would keep me

from falling in and being lost forever was if I dared to have faith. I

fought like hell for the right to hope.

The world was full of grunge bands and angst on TV and in the

movies, but what I saw in front of me touring was different. I saw

something different in the faces of those who I sang for. The tide

felt like it was going to change, and the press just didnt know it

yet. People didn’t want to hurt- they wanted to feel better, just like

I did. And just like me they were willing to fight for it. I began to

feel like maybe I could beat the odds. Maybe, just maybe, I could

stick my foot in the door of the male dominated music business,

because I felt like I had a small but fierce army that was marching

with me.

I began to hand out flyers after I sang, with local radio

stations numbers on them, and I asked people to call and request me.

I sang in college campuses everywhere I went, and passed out my

flyers, and because of the web, I was aware that I was not alone.

There were folks out there that cared about my music and about me, a

complete stranger, and they were trying to help me. I began to call

them my Every Day Angels and amazingly we were a force to be reckoned

with.

As my career began to break, I became a bit scared. Fame really

scared me because I had always been so introverted, and I was afraid I

was creating a monster I may not be able to control. The media scared

me, and I wasn’t sure how to interact with them. But my online fan

community always let me be myself, and I tried to continue to tell the

truth in my writing, and I began to feel I could have a two way

conversation with fans as I grew bigger.

I realized IDOLOTRY is what scared me about fame, because it was

jut that, an idle worship. It does not help anyone grow- the worshiped

become frozen in a mythological caricature that was immovable, (and

usually resulted in falling off said pedestal) and being a sycophant

or worshipper of said idol offered no self-examination or self

empowerment. I wanted a different relationship with my fans- one that

empowered fans- one that let me off the hook! I wanted to be human and

grow and make mistakes and be imperfect, and I wanted fans to rely and

look to each other for answers to their hopes and prayers- not to me.

As I became successful, I was receiving gifts and so much love,

and I felt like my life had turned around. I mean my life REALLY

turned around! My fans and me really pulled it off, and I was safe,

and comfortable, and I was being showered in gifts from fans. But I

felt guilty, because I didnt need gifts as much as other people in

the world that I knew. I decided to ask my EDAs to take whatever they

wanted to send me for my birthday, and instead give to someone who

needed it. And in typical fashion, they went above and beyond by

organizing the most amazing acts of kindness. Funds were raised to

help a local San Diegan get a handy cap vehicle that was sorely

needed. On my birthday I received a bound folder of page after page,

documenting community service and charitable acts committed by my

fans. It was the best present ever.

I even had an EDA who happened to be a lawyer help me with a

lawsuit I was facing, when I desperately needed the help. He worked

tirelessly in a time that was really hard for me. It was very touching.

Life being life, it never stays the same, and soon I experienced

some of my hardest years around 2003 – and all I have ever been able

to say about it was what I expressed in GOODBYE ALICE IN WONDERLAND. I

lost faith for a while, and as my world seemed to shatter, I had to go

back inside myself and try to challenge myself once again to find a

way not to become cynical or bitter. I wanted to be stronger, not

broken by what life had dealt me, but it took me a while to find my

way out of a dark hole. I didn’t trust anyone, and while I still made

music (because it still is what heals me) , I lost touch for a while

with everyone but Ty as I tried to put myself back together again, and

I’m glad to report, I feel good. I am not broken. We only are if we

let ourselves be.

In just a few short years the current age of the internet is so

exciting, as I feel I am able to return to a even more personal

relationship with my fans, in an even more direct way.

There are many new fans that I have, and I want to welcome

them. Some of you are country, some of you are pop and some of you

are rock, with a secret soft spot for whatever it is I am – but all of

you must love lyrics, otherwise you wouldnt be here.

I want to introduce all my new fans to the best fan community I

have ever heard about- and I want to invite you all to become EDAs.

I have created a Twitter account for you, and as you join it,

you will be added to the list. Click HERE to follow.

I will commit to figuring out a date to do another free fan

concert for you all, if you want to organize it yourselves again, (you

guys want to pick a name?) We will work it around my schedule like

last time of course, and I look forward to figuring out a good venue

where and when that it can happen!

Lastly, as EDAs, I would like to share with you what I would

like our call to arms to be:

Be kind to each other.

We have a rare community that is truly diverse – respect

everyone’s differences here. No matter the political, religious or social

orientation, we are all the same and trying to figure life out.

Build each other up, don’t tear each other down.

This is a hard enough world; we can all use a place thats

positive.

Dare to be honest with each other; you will be rewarded for it.

Tell secrets on yourselves, you will feel much better.

Be miracles for each other.

This community is what you make of it. The charitable acts, and

the course of the EDAs is up to you – it’s yours. Some of you need

jobs, while others may know someone who needs an employee. Some of you

create artwork, while some of you may need a logo for your own

business. Some of you need medical advice; some of you are doctors.

And some of you need someone just to listen. Pay attention to each

other, and if you run across something thats easy to give, give it.

We are all connected on this crazy web, and we can really take

advantage of it. I can personally attest to the fact that profound

change happens in small ways – and what you can do with your own hands

is POWERFUL.

I look forward to more years of making more music. I really feel

my best creative years are ahead of me, and with you guys backing me

up, I feel confident there will always be a place for me.

Finally, below is some more in-depth info about the EDAs that

Alan wrote, please feel free to read it if you want. Its really cool.

Lastly, I want to thank each of you, and especially my original

EDAs for continuing to be a miracle in my life. I dont think any of

you will ever know how my life has changed because of you. I was no

one special – just a scruffy kid that got turned away from a million

places. You all made me feel special. It gave me courage and I began

to dare to learn to shine my little light while I sang and when I

wrote. I am no different than each of you. It sounds corny, but it’s

true – we all just need to dare to shine.

xxj

EDA History (originally written and posted in 1998)

In 1994, a couple of San Diego based members of an Internet

discussion group that focused on women in music began a side

discussion about the virtually unknown San Diego coffeehouse singer-

songwriter, Jewel Kilcher. Upon hearing Jewel several months later at

The Kendall Cafe in Cambridge, Jeff, tech-savvy listserv owner, was

intrigued enough to create the first internet discussion group

dedicated to the discussion of Jewel’s music and performances. The

jewel@smoe.org mailing list/discussion group, was officially launched

the following

day on Sunday, February 19th, 1995.

Like countless other Internet discussion groups at the time,

the handful of initial subscribers enjoyed discussing their common

interest and keeping each other informed. They also circulated taped

live recordings and TV appearances (via snail mail, primarily) which

gave them a wider perspective on Jewel’s increasingly prolific output.

Through these initial efforts and upon the release of Jewel’s first

album, more people became interested and within the first year, the

list had grown substantially.

During that time, an organized effort to promote Jewel’s live

appearances began and listmembers began relentlessly calling radio

stations in support of Jewel’s first album, which at the time, was

going nowhere fast. Interest continued to grow and a handful of

listmember fansites were created over the course of the next year or

so, increasing her online presence. Jewel appreciated the support very

much and referred to them as her “Every Day Angels, a phrase taken

from her song, I’m Sensitive. The name stuck and became commonly

notated as EDAs.

Soon enough, EDAs began meeting each other at Jewel’s

performances and friendships beyond the daily email discussion began.

The EDA numbers continued to grow through 1995 and early 1996, but

unlike other rapidly growing Internet groups, the EDAs continue to be

one of the most intelligent, inspired and friendly places anywhere on

the Internet.

In mid-1996, a woman on the list suggested how enjoyable it

would be if Jewel were to perform a concert exclusively for this

discussion group. Timing was right. Jewel and her management agreed

that this would be a fun idea. The subscribers were informed that

Jewel would enjoy doing this provided the EDAs join her in Bearsville,

NY (where she’d soon be recording) and organize all details

themselves. After much organizational effort, a free private show was

planned for July 18th, 1996 at The Bearsville Theater in Woodstock,

NY. A second benefit show was also planned for the following night

with all proceeds going to help the struggling Bearsville Theater.

Hundreds of EDAs from all over North America converged in

Bearsville and spent several days camping together and experiencing

two of the most diverse and engaging performances of Jewel’s career.

The EDAs named the event “Jewelstock” and they created t-shirts,

buttons and came bearing gifts for each other in the form of music,

food and drink. After spending three days and nights together, many

attendees struck up permanent friendships and everyone who attended

left Bearsville significantly moved by the experience and Jewels

kindness. That such a diverse group of people could come together and

create something so great, all of them motivated by love of music and

a desire to share, without any monetary pressures or incentives,

speaks volumes about what the EDAs are all about.

The dynamics of the discussion group were forever changed by the

experience. Many EDAs began taking Jewel’s lyrics to heart and

manifested them in projects that helped to support each other as well

as to promote volunteer work improving their own communities. The EDAs

have accomplished impressive things over the past two years, many of

which have been selfless acts of kindness that have had profound

impacts on the recipients and the EDAs as a whole. A wonderful

example occurred in conjunction with Jewel’s 23rd birthday. Rather

than send gifts to Jewel, the EDAs were encouraged to effect positive

change in the world as their gift to Jewel. Sure enough, a perfect

opportunity presented itself. The entire EDA list organized to help a

severely injured hit and run victim from San Diego, who had no medical

insurance. He was in need of a van outfitted with special lift

equipment so that he could be mobile, return to work and resume a more

enjoyable life. The EDAs raised several thousand dollars, which was

donated to the fund and helped him accomplish these goals. San Diego

area EDAs also took it a step further, by spending time with him,

sharing favorite concert tapes, and bringing him to local concerts.

With the EDA numbers rapidly growing as Jewel’s first album

was taking off, several members began organizing a nonprofit

foundation (Every Day Angels Foundation aka EDAF) which promoted and

helped organize community volunteer work. These EDAs inspired many

projects including blood drives, clothing drives, volunteer work at

food banks, children’s hospitals and shelters, among many other worthy

endeavors.

EDA get-togethers have also taken on a life of their own. One

notable form of these events is “The Living Room Tours” (aka LRTs). An

ongoing project, where live performances are hosted at EDA homes, this

has been remarkably successful. The basic concept is to book touring

singer-songwriters directly into fans homes and promote the

performances cost free via email directly to those interested. Nearly

50 artists have participated in the Living Room Tours over the past

two summers and Ive yet to hear any of them refer to it as anything

but a positive experience. Having attended many LRT gigs and having

hosted two of the largest ones on Cape Cod, I wish I could do nothing

but LRT gigs! The concept dramatically changes the dynamics between

performers and audience in a most positive way. The musicians seem to

revel in the fact that everyone wants to listen and audiences

experience an immediacy and connection not experienced in any

traditional performance setting.

An annual EDA reunion in Bearsville has also been well attended

and smaller EDA parties and get-togethers are increasingly common.

EDAs often travel far and wide to attend these events. Thousands of

lives have been enriched through the efforts of The EDAs. Many feel

honored to be included and the recipients of The EDAs common good

will. MrBB

***

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

http://www.truetalentmgmt.wordpress.com – Read my music blog for advice on making it in the music business


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The importance of playing live shows

March 1, 2010

Today’s topic is: THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAYING LIVE SHOWS

I seem to get asked all the time “Do I REALLY need to play live shows?”

Well, to me, that’s kind of like a mechanic saying “Do I really need to know how to fix cars?” or a baker saying “Ooh, but to get hired as a baker, do I really need to make CAKES as well as pies and cookies and pastries?”

The answer is a resounding “YES!”

****

The point is, it’s really part of the job.

Now if you’re a composer, or just want to write jingles or music for ads or even some film/tv/video games, etc. then no, you don’t need to play out.

If you consider yourself a “songwriter” and not an “artist” you can just stay home and write songs.

Look at Diane Warren or Kara Dioguardi on “American Idol” – they are songwriters, not singers, and make a VERY good living just writing songs for other artists. And for many of you, perhaps a career as a professional songwriter is more practical these days that trying to get out on the road, developing a fan base and touring, especially if you have a day job and family to support.

Or, if music is just a hobby for you, and not something you need to make a living from, who cares about playing live shows? Just make your music and sell it to your friends and family and get a myspace page and be done.

***

But, to me, if you’re a true artist, an artist WANTS to be out there performing every night.

An artist WANTS to be in front of fans and getting immediate feedback from their music.

A true artist will play for 2 people or 20 people or 200, 2000 or 20000 people and not care who is there.

Now here are some other reasons why it’s important to play live. You may have some to add to the list:

1) As an artist, touring income is and should be where you make 80-90% of your money. Music on CDs can be downloaded or stolen. Myspace fans are great but if they aren’t buying your music and supporting you, how can you ever hope to make a living from making music? Live shows cannot be stolen. It may take months or years, but when you play out, each successive show should bring out more people / fans to the next gig if your word of mouth is good and you’re marketing effectively. So 5-10 people could be 20 then 40 then 80 then 100 and you get the picture…there is no magic shortcut to building a fan base. You need to connect with fans one by one unless you’re Lady Gaga…

2) I hear about all this doom and gloom in the business these days but yet, I’ve been out to 2 shows in the past week here in LA. Both were on very rainy, wet, disgusting nights and yet in each situation, the clubs were packed (almost sold out) because the bands performing were great live. We are all just human beings and at the end of a bad day of work, people will still drive in bad weather to see a great band perform. Music is good for the soul and many of my friends who work in the business say it’s literally SAVED THEIR LIFE! Even hit songwriters! You’re doing something important, creating art. Don’t you want to share it with other human beings in public??

3) If you’re looking to get signed to ANY type of record deal, whether it’s an indie label or major label, you NEED to be out there and playing live shows as often as you can. In fact, one of my good friends is an A&R executive and he only scouts at venues here in LA so if you’re not playing out somewhere, it’s unlikely he’ll ever hear about you or care.

4) If you’re lucky and HARD WORKING enough to ever get signed to any label, the first thing they’ll do is get you a good booking agent and get your butt out on the road. Why? Because labels know that the only well to sell CDs (outside of a MONSTER hit song on the radio or on TV) is from touring. Every artist that is huge now has busted their ass on the road for years. U2, Coldplay, John Mayer, Dave Matthews, you name it!

5) If you’re doing it right, every live show you do should lead to at LEAST 1-2 more shows (or other good opportunities). If not from someone at the club, then fans or industry people will come up to you and say “Hey, my buddy books this place, you GOTTA come play here” or “I love your music, can I use it in my indie film” or “I love your music, I’m going to tell all my friends on facebook about you and upload a video to share”. That type of reaction will only come from playing out!

6) Especially if you’re an indie artist, you’re not going to move any volume of CDs or get REAL fans on your mailing list unless you’re out there gigging!

7) You never know what AMAZING things can happen from just one gig. One artist was playing at a book store and a guy heard her perform and was so blown away by her voice, he literally started a record label to promote her music and spent untold amounts of money promoting her. Sure, this may sound like winning the lottery, and I wouldn’t expect that to happen, but no matter WHERE you are playing, there are rich people all over the world who also are music FANS and would perhaps just love to find an artist or band they believe in. And let’s face it, their day job that made them rich is likely boring so many people love the idea of investing $$ in an artist because the music business, let’s face it, is very “sexy” and desirable to someone who say, looks at spreadsheets all day.

8) Lastly, don’t you WANT to get out there and perform? Even superstar artists endure endless weeks, months or years on the road because they love being in front of an audience. And sure, if you’re HUGE, you’re making MILLIONS a year from touring. Look at Madonna, The Eagles, U2, Springsteen, Celine Dion, etc. These acts could never get played on the radio again or make or sell another CD but can easily make millions a year from doing shows.

In short, touring is INCREDIBLY important if you want to sell any CDs or make any type of living in the music business.

Now get out there and book some shows!!!

Jennifer

***

BELOW ARE SOME EMAILS FROM YOU FROM AGES AGO ON THE OLD TOPICS:

re: “It’s called the music BUSINESS for a reason” article

We are a small production company with an office in Hawaii and Hollywood. I have read your very ambitious efforts for a couple years now! Actually, I applaud what you are trying to do for those that are looking for the brass ring in music, in fact, the clubs in Hollywood play upon the desperation of bands and make them sell tickets to play at their venues. Now you don’t do this but the end result is the same. They make money having a free band who brought people and money and will buy drinks…Great Scam! You sell opportunities and collect when they make some kind of a small deal with end-users of the Bands product be it Radio or Advertisers.

Why not slowdown a little, grab a band that actually has the goods and pitch them to the powers that be? Would you happen to know XXX xxxx? He sells info on the music industry business and dealing with the Record companies. I wonder if he has ever gotten a band signed because of something they got from him?

I wonder, as well, if you have ever gotten a band into some success!

Norm

[Editor’s Note: I’m definitely not a fan of any “pay to play” venues but understand that venues have rent to pay as well as insurance, staff, etc. It’s not cheap to run even a small club, let alone one on the Sunset Strip so yeah, if you want to play at certain venues, they are going to make you buy tickets in advance as they cannot lose money when I’m sure hundreds of bands have said to them, “Oh, don’t you worry, we’ll pack this place” only to find that 3 people show up on the night of their show. I say, don’t play in these venues. If you aren’t big enough to sell hundreds of tickets, don’t play a “pay to play” venue. Play a house or living room concert instead. You shouldn’t go into debt just to say you played The Whisky….And don’t call everything a “scam” that charges money. Just because you can’t afford it doesn’t mean it’s a scam. Businesses are in business to MAKE money not lose money! And for the record, of course I’ve taken lots of bands and pitched them to my A&R contacts. It’s a very time consuming endeavor and in most cases, spending thousands of dollars to showcase a band or do things to get a label’s attention was a huge WASTE of money. That money could have been so much better spent on making and promoting an indie CD release than trying to get signed. If you want a look at my success, take a look at my web site or google my name and/or company name!]

*****

re: What would you do with $100,000 for your music career?

A:

Distribution, touring, co-op advertising with Borders/B&N/Starbucks/iTunes/etc, touring, publicist, touring…
Basically, a lot of touring combined with telling people about the album and tour. Luckily for me I already won the “make an album jackpot” (I made a record with Richie Podolor & Bill Cooper (producer & engineer for Three Dog night, Steppenwolf, New Radicals) and it has Grammy winning top session player Rami Jaffee on piano, B3, and accordion.
Hell, I already have a business plan put together…I have a budget for ads, touring, publicist, etc…
If you know any one giving that out, let me know…
I’ll send you my business plan financial breakdown.

Sincerely,
Tom C.

*****

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
— Jedi Master Yoda

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Touring in the music business

September 5, 2007

Date: September 5, 2007 7:27:51 AM EDT
Subject: Touring in the music business – Sept 2007

Here are some of the responses I received regarding touring.

Note the first one and how positive the author’s tone is compared to the second email.

One attitude breeds success. The other, frustration and failure.

Which type of artist are you?  Which do you want to be?

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA  90210
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

Jenn,

This is one of the best emails you’ve sent out.  I loved it.

I wanted to respond to the question about touring.  I recently did my first tour as a solo artist.  I chose cities where I knew I had a bit of a fan base – or even one or two “rabid” fans who would help get the word out.  At all of the places I played, I had smaller, shall we say “intimate” crowds.  But the people who came to see me were incredibly supportive and appreciative.  And I sold CD’s and T-shirts, which would have otherwise sat in the closet (other than the internet sales).  And I definitely believe that when I go back to those same places, I will get larger crowds due to word of mouth.

{Editor’s Note:  Good point.  You can make really good money selling CDs and merch at shows.  In fact, at shows with just a handful of people, I’ve had bands I manage sell more CDs and merch than at shows with much larger crowds.  I think the fan feels much more connected to the artist at a smaller show.  So next time you’re playing to a couple people, instead of getting sad or angry at the lack of a crowd, make sure you win over each person in that audience and they’ll probably buy a CD, t-shirt, come see you next time, and bring some friends to boot!}

Did I make money?  Yes.  Did I break even?  No – mostly because I rented an SUV to carry my sound system (I have a Camry!) and the price of gas ain’t cheap these days.  But I helped cut down my costs by staying with friends in most of the cities where I played at.  On the other hand, I also made connections on the trip that will help in other areas of my business down the road (podcasts, additional dates, etc.).

[Editor’s Note: Again, great point.  It’s much more realistic to make money touring as a solo artist or with one other band member than as a full band.  Punk bands, again, can do well, as many of them get by with a drummer, bass player and lead singer/guitarist — only 3 band members total.  They sleep on friend’s floors and sofas when they tour.  In fact, one guy started an indie label that signed a HUGE band, and even though he has tons of money now, he still sleeps on friend’s sofas when he travels even though he could afford a fancy hotel room – force of habit I guess.  And also, great point about networking – it’s all about who you meet on the road.  You’ll learn a lot more touring than you ever would sitting in your living room, that’s for sure!}

Most importantly, I LOVE to play out.  For every person who comes to hear my play, particularly in a new city that I’ve never played before – frankly, I consider that a privilege.  On any given night, particularly a weekend night, there are so many entertainment options out there for the average consumer.  So I do my best to connect with each person – and let them know that I’m glad they came to see me play.

[Editor’s Note: What a great attitude to have!  If you truly want to be a successful artist, you have to LOVE playing out.  Love touring.  If you don’t, this will all feel like too much work for you and will frustrate you.  Don’t do something that frustrates you.  But know, if you really want fame and fortune, that’s what it takes.  That’s why the people that make it are truly in love with performing and hopefully writing and recording their own material.  Otherwise, it will be the kiss of death for you as you’ll start to hate parts of the music business that “require” you to tour.  Don’t tour because you “have to”.  Tour because you WANT TO!}

I’m a singer/songwriter so when I play, it’s just me and the acoustic guitar.  Although a few of the dates were the traditional club/coffeehouse type gig, I also had the luxury of doing a few different types of venues.  I did a few bookstores (I chose local vs. the national chains) and I also did a home concert.  Let me talk about both of those.

Bookstores.  One of the advantages of playing independent bookstores is that they will typically play your music in store and will also carry it.  To help promote my bookstore shows, I sent them posters, postcards to place by the register, and also sent a CD to play in store.  One of the bookstores played my CD fairly regularly, which helped pique interest and get people to the show.  So when I arrived, the first thing they said to me was, “Before you leave, make sure we buy some CD’s from you.  We could have sold a dozen of them already if we had had them.”  This particular bookstore hosts a regular music series – and they totally knew how to host a concert.  They were pro’s.  They were also the only place on my tour that charged a cover to see me.  Between the door and CD/T-shirt sales, it was my best money night of the trip by far.  Funny thing is, the crowd was the most receptive that night (based on sales, emails and MySpace messages), which was also the night that I thought I did a “not so great” performance.  It just goes to show you that you can’t always judge a show by how you THINK you did.

[Editor’s Note: Great job promoting the show – I often check out concert posters at a venue and see who’s coming there – some of the best placement is in the men’s and women’s restrooms – you have a captive audience there!  And again, smart move on sending some advance CDs – also, try sending a stack of CD singles for the club to leave out or pass out!  Or a sampler of :30-1:00 minute clips of 3-5 songs could work too!}

Home concerts.  I’ve done a few of these and they are my favorite shows to play for a couple of reasons.  First, the people who host them are friends who love and support you and will bring their friends there, or they are experienced people who regularly host home concerts.  Home concerts are a very viable alternative to club bookings and any artist at the indie level should explore them.  The audiences at home concerts are always very appreciative, which usually translates to a high percentage of CD/T-shirt sales.  Plus they come to hear you play (unlike some bar gigs where you’re background noise).  That, combined with playing in a living room, makes for an intimate atmosphere that simply cannot be beat.

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my tour because I feel that I did a few things right.  First, I always check out similar artists at my level to see where they are playing – or I ask my fans in different cities for information on appropriate venues.  All of the venues I played (other than the home concert) came from that.  I also put together an itinerary book with daily wake up, leave, and load in times, venue contact information, maps, etc., to stay on schedule.  So the tour was well organized with no surprises.  Plus, I knew from the start that I would not play to the same size crowds that I can draw at home.  Most importantly, it all comes down to the music and making a connection with people.  I practice every night in an empty room, so it’s a special thing to play in front of an audience.  And playing in front of people as consistently as possible will make me a much better artist than three times the hours of practice in an empty room.  If the only reason we do music is to make money, well, that’s stupid.  This business is hard.  And to me, music is ultimately about connecting.

I have a full time job, so I don’t depend on my music to make a living.  That being said, I want to be able to finance my next CD from what I’ve earned from the first one.  So I am seeking every opportunity to sell more, gain a wider exposure – and yes, license my music.  But going on tour made me feel like a “real” artist, not just a local or internet artist.  And it made me totally miss the days of traveling full time (I was with a vocal group previously).  It was a wonderful experience, and I can’t wait to start planning the next one.

Have a great Labor Day,

-Mike R.

[Editor’s Note:  What a great email. Very informative and inspirational!  Thanks so much for sharing!}
*****
Very interesting info Jennifer.

But the thing about this is even though you are on point, giging around can catch an act up in a road to nowhere also.  There are so many great musicians out there who need a chance but will never be heard except in the local scene.  Pretty soon they have to play the game called “life” and gigging around won’t support this.
[Editor’s Note:  True, not everyone will “make it” and very few artists have the privilege of making their living 100% from the music business.  It’s very smart to be honest with yourself and perhaps, give yourself a time limit.  I think a lot of bands figure, if they don’t “make it” by the time they are around 30, they pretty much give up the “rock star” dream and settle down.  There’s nothing wrong with that. And these days, you can write and record in your home studio and use a computer and ProTools and focus on making music and licensing it, instead of going for the big pot of gold…}

On another note as a 35 year vet in the biz, so many acts make it without any live performance and are created by producers and labels with high $$ production as their live performance.
[Editor’s Note:  That may be true but these artists were signed for a reason.  Again, they are young and beautiful and determined beyond belief.  And the label thinks they can market their music primarily through radio.}

Ever seen 50 Cent perform?
How about the ones who sing and stand there with guitar in hand for two hours til you need to just leave?
[Editor’s Note: I haven’t seen 50 Cent perform but what I know about him is that he was Eminem’s prodigy, if memory serves me….Wait, Google provides his whole life story -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Cent .  But really, what’s your point?  Sounds like petty jealousy.  Yes, people make it.  Some are incredibly lucky. Some are incredibly talented.  Usually you need both, but there are always exceptions to the rule. Why spend your time being bitter about others’ success?  Instead, be happy for them, and work towards that being you!  Yes, there are many acts these days that aren’t great live. But they may be great songwriters.  Or great producers.  Or great rappers.  Or have a great “story”.  There’s usually a reason someone is signed.  Maybe their parents are famous.  It may not always be fair but you can make it, but only if you never give up and are realistic about your abilities.}

I have several options that are the best singers and talent I have ever seen. Winning Grammy contests and more but if you do not have money get out of the music business….even with contacts it won’t buy you a career.. You will end up with 20 catalogs of songs and CD’s in your closet drawing dust.
{Editor’s Note:  You’re right in that music doesn’t sell itself.  CDs don’t sell themselves.  I think there is a huge misconception that all you need to do is get a record deal and POOF you become a star.  Or just MAKE a great record, the rest will magically fall into place.  NO!  Not at all! Artists that do get signed work their butt off once signed. They do a million radio interviews and performances.  Back in the day, they’d go meet retail.  They schmooze at the label.  They pester the label for more attention and support.  They do every little show imaginable.  It’s not “the dream” of an easy life.  Artists that ‘make it’ work their butt off.  I have never met one single star who wasn’t an incredible perfectionist and motivated beyond your wildest dreams.  In fact, it explains why there are “so many bad songs on the radio” – these artists aren’t the most talented, but I guarantee, they are the most driven.}

Hopefully we are embarking on a new era of music and a smarter generation of listeners.
Instead of being force fed music, we actually get to chose what we want but what makes one band different from another (touring costs $$, merchandise costs $$, promotion costs $$)
{Editor’s Note:  Yes, with the popularity of YouTube and Myspace, hopefully we are getting to choose tomorrow’s stars more than ever before.  But here’s one thing money absolutely cannot buy you – TALENT.  DRIVE.  Those 2 qualities are far more important than having money.  Why focus on what you don’t have ($$) and focus on what you do have?  Focus on your strengths, not weaknesses!}

What it takes is years of work, virtually no social life or relationships, families and $$$$$$$$$$$.
{Editor’s Note:  Yes, you’re absolutely right.  Now the truth comes out.  Money helps, don’t get me wrong. But it’s really the years, decade or more of hard work, giving up a social life, etc.  Many successful artists give up a relationship and a social life and instead, stayed home in the studio, writing and recording songs.  Or for hip hop artists, making beats.  And again, while money helps, there are plenty of artists who “make it” without a trust fund.  In fact, most A&R guys I know rather have an artist that grew up poor and starving than one who grew up with money.  Why? Because the artist that grew up poor will remember how bad it was to grow up being poor and will stop at nothing until they are successful. Christina Aguilera is one that didn’t have much growing up, and in fact was abused as well.  And look what a huge star she is now! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christina_Aguilera }

Otherwise, I would have to advise playing a bit in your teen years, gigging and closing the shop.
{Editor’s Note: With that attitude, you’ll never make it.  Gig until you’re 19, then cash out?  I’d give it til at least 30!  Artists like Sheryl Crow didn’t hit it big til their 30’s.  Sorry, but your bitterness, while I can understand it, isn’t helping your cause…}

Do not mean to be negative but it is what it is!!!!!!!  We hate to say it but you have to love the struggle and music and have $$$$$$$
{Editor’s Note:  You are extremely negative and also, I had to correct about a thousand typos in your original email.  A bit hard to take an artist seriously that can’t even be bothered to send an email that isn’t full of typos.  But you’re right.  You do have to love the struggle.  Blame your lack of money as the reason why you didn’t “make it” but sounds like a cop out to me.  Did you really work as hard as you could have?  Gig everywhere possible? Write amazing songs?  Perfect your songwriting and live show?  It may be too late now but try not to end up bitter against those that have money.  You gave it your best shot.  Again, not everyone becomes a rock star.  Hopefully you had fun along the way :)}

****CLASSIFIED AD***********************
Alucard is looking for a decent show in LA.

We are a fast-tempo melodic rock band, similar to Strung Out or Saosin.

We fit well live with everything from pop-punk to metal.

We have played around the LA area a number of times, so we may be able to help with some
draw.  We can offer showtrades for GOOD shows in  Michigan.  We prefer all-ages, but we are open to
18+ and 21+ shows as well.

The dates we’re available in southern California are:

Sunday – 9-16-07
Monday – 9-17-07
Tuesday – 9-18-07

Any help with an of these dates is very much appreciated.

Please contact:
alucardbooking@yahoo.com
or
myspace.com/alucardrock