Tagged: artistic conviction

Instant Karma - Guest post by Bob Lefsetz

**Guest post from Bob Lefsetz of "The Lefsetz Letter."

 

Bob Lefsetz is the author of "The Lefsetz Letter." Famous for being beholden to no one and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself. His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to EVERYBODY who’s in the music business. Never boring, always entertaining, Bob’s insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music’s American division and consultancies to major labels.

The Musician Business

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"When I started producing records, almost every band I worked with talked incessantly about getting a record deal and “making it”. Now I almost never hear that discussion. And that, for me, is a welcome development."

Musician: The Last Great Classless Occupation

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"To be a successful musician, you don’t have to go to private school and you don’t have to go to medical school. Hell, you don’t have to go to school at all. If you can connect with an audience, you are in. It doesn’t matter if you went to Berklee College of Music like John Mayer or if you were a high school dropout like Dave Grohl. All that matters is when your boots hit the boards of that stage, people sing along. Or when the needle hits the vinyl people listen...That kind of thing just doesn’t happen in other occupations."

Constant Creation - Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz

**Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz of The Lefsetz Letter.

 

"We live in a direct to consumer society. Amazon knows it. Google knows it. Apple knows it. But somehow musicians don't know it. They want someone else to do the work for them. They don't want to take risks, they don't want to fail, they don't want to try new ways. The new way is you bond to your fan. If he or she doesn't think you're living in their house, you're doing it wrong."

Musicians: "What You Need to Know"

**Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz of The Lefsetz Letter.

 

"...That's one thing wrong with the younger generation, they date in groups, they want to be a member of the club, individuality is shunned. But when it comes to lasting art, individuality is key..."

"Song Power" - The Importance of Good Songwriting

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"One of the biggest problems bands have is that most musicians think they can write when they can’t. A great song is oftentimes very easy to play. A lot of great players have an almost elitist attitude about simple songs. It’s a weird aura to have in the studio. I hate it. But I can tell you (cover band musicians take heed), it is a helluva lot harder to write John Fogarty’s “Down On The Corner” than it is to play it...

 

Bands could save themselves so much suffering if they would just admit that they need better songs than they can write. Maybe they need a new member. Or they need to focus on the work of one guy in the group instead of pushing for a lukewarm democratic process..."

Are We There Yet?

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"Sometimes the artist doesn’t even know if he likes his own work...When Bruce Springsteen heard the test pressing of “Born To Run”, he smashed the record into tiny pieces. Couldn’t stand to listen to it. He thought it was the worst piece of shit he had ever heard...The writer Saul Bellow is quoted as saying, “Works of art are never finished, they are abandoned.”...This is true. So the real question is when do you walk out the door? And if you are in a group, how do you get everyone going in the same direction so you can finish?"

Musings From The Tail

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

Music doesn’t sell in the numbers it once did, but a bigger variety is being consumed. There is so much more to choose from. Everyone is splintering into thousands of little niches. So your best course of action as a creator is to nurture and take care of the core people who are really passionate about what you do...[And]...

 

You have to do everything yourself. And that means booking, teaching lessons, playing shitty gigs for cash, producing, making your own records, working in a music store, etc. etc. You can’t specialize anymore...

Radio - Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz

**Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz of The Lefsetz Letter.

 

"The major music business, the "new music" business, is built upon radio, it depends upon it....[but] just like music piracy is a dead conversation, just like streaming has eclipsed it, terrestrial radio is dying...however, its replacement has not reared its head yet. Therefore the oldsters say radio is forever. But lousy sales figures of today's mass market records proves this to be wrong...[so] The young acts of today have to depend upon the young entrepreneurs of today to build their careers..."

Guidance - Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz

**Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz of The Lefsetz Letter.

 

"DON'T DEPEND ON THIRD PARTIES - Being an artist is doing it your way. Now you no longer need a label, gatekeepers are not as powerful as they once were, so why are you playing to them? Of course it's more difficult going your own way, but that's the paradigm of the future. He who plays by the rules gets left behind..."

Setting Your Compass, Finding Your True North

 

Before you can succeed in this industry, you need to understand who you are and where you want to go in the big picture of things. In this clip, the Renman talks about setting your own compass, finding your true north, and reminds us of the importance of being yourself throughout your career.

Seth Hurwitz Offers Advice for New Artists and Music Professionals

 

Seth Hurwitz is a partner at I.M.P. Productions and a longtime veteran concert promoter. As part owner of the 9:30 Club in Washington DC, Seth has been involved in the independent promotion business for decades and his experiences in the business shaped a "realist" attitude toward the industry, to say the least. In this clip, Seth advises aspiring artists to simply: bring it. And for the aspiring business professionals, Seth says the key to success is to figure out what reality is, stick by it, and don't change your version of it because someone's trying to change your version of it. Wise words from an experienced veteran.

Treating Your Art As A Business With Matt Urmy of Artist Growth

 

As an artist, it's hard to make creative decisions based on money. Sure, you need cash to make a living, but when it becomes your main decision maker, you can run into trouble down the road. In this clip, musician and founder of Artist Growth, Matt Urmy, talks about these challenges and how he's learned to deal with them. In addition, Matt reminds us how an artist in today's Music Industry needs momentum and traction on the business side to supplement the music.

How To Make It: Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz

**Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz of The Lefsetz Letter.

 

Your ability to play exceeds social networking. Your chops are more important than your social skills. Frequently the best musicians are near mute, they speak through their music, which brings adoring fans to them. First learn how to play. Everything else comes next...

Making Great Music

 

Every artist can put on a great performance if there are enough lights, effects, and production, but what really makes an artist stand out is a great song to back it all up. In class 7 of Renman MB's Introduction to the Music Business, Renman explains the process of how a great song comes to life and enlists the help of Grammy award winning producer and good friend, Brendan O'Brien, to share his thoughts on how it all goes down. On this episode, we discuss everything from the elements that make a song stand out to advice on how to find a great producer.

Principles of Playing an Excellent Show

**Guest post written by Joshua Powell, singer-songwriter, DIY musician, and frontman for Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery, as featured in his blog Fearsome Folk.

 

"I met with my old friend Sal at Panera one morning. He’s a young and aspiring musician and was willing to look past my greasy hair and elbow-holed flannel to ask for advice on getting his foot into the door of the independent music community....As I fumbled to explain to Sal what I believed makes our show (or any show) one of superior quality, I realized that I could distill most of the factors into four easily digestible elements...and I believe them to be..."

Turn it down a few notches, please!

**Guest post written by Paula Tolly, one half of the Boca Raton based Americana duo 33 Years.

 

"My band recently did a gig where, just after the first song, a note was delivered onto the stage...“Turn it down a few notches, please.” Really? It’s Saturday night and this is only the FIRST song. (sigh) So I ask you, ‘what would you do?’ At first, this seems like a pretty easy question, right. But think - there you are in your first set and how do you really want to deal with this negative feedback?"