Friday, 20 February 2009

View from the other side

I have recently started an independent record label called Pure Acoustica 

As well as doing all the things that labels do i.e. releasing cds and tracks Pure Acoustica is also putting on purely acoustic events (geddit?) in pubs, festivals and a plethora of other interesting venues. I also feature them in my pod-cast It This Thing On?
All the artists are original independent types, not just solo singer songwriter types but bands , poets, comedian and the like
This departure from my usual pursuits, I'm a composer and performer, has given me a slight insight as to the "industry" experience. I have been trawling through numerous Myspace Music and Reverbnation profiles and found some cracking new acts. The process of selecting and rejecting is an interesting one. 
My criteria is , at present, profiles that fall within a 50 mile radius of Southampton as all the events will be in that area. Not the widest of net casts I know but it still gives me plenty of acts to chose from.
So here is my Top Ten list on maintaining your profile. Bear in mind that folk aren't sending stuff to an overworked, underpaid and jaded industry type, this is me enthusiastically actively wanting to find good acts.

1 Remember to put where you're based. For me it's imperative. 
A photo is important. I wish it wasn't but it is. When I'm a trawling through dozens of Myspace profiles the first thing I look at is the profile pic.
Have at least three tracks available. I need some context. Don't worry if the recording is bad as long as the performance is good then I'll carry on listening, even if folk are talking in the background or it was recorded on your phone on the bus.
Select 3 of your most diverse tunes. If I listen to 3 tracks that sound the same I think that's all you've got.
Make sure you visit your site at least once a week. If I come across a myspace profile that you haven't logged on to for six months I'm assuming that you couldn't be bothered anymore. You may have moved on and built your website but at least leave a link and make it obvious.
If you think it will look more impressive if you make up your own little label eg "Nick's Bedroom Records" DON'T. I'm only interested in independent "unsigned" acts. 
If you have any video of any quality (remember it's the performance that is important) put it up. It's all about content.
If you blog then put them all up there or post a link to your blogsite. DON'T just have one old blog that you thought was a good idea once and then just couldn't be arsed to carry on with it so it just sits there 18 months after you forgot that you wrote it and that bass player has left now and you all had your hair cut since then etc etc etc.
Chose tracks that will grab me in the first 10-15 seconds. Long intros have to be more than just strumming the verse for ages, get into the tune. Edit the track so it starts in the chorus if necessary. If I'm hearing the same thing after 20 seconds I'm out of here and on to the next profile.
10 I'm not impressed by pretty "pimped up" myspace profiles. They tend to take an age to load up by which time I'm thinking about having another JD or Stephen Fry has scratched his arse on Twitter! 

This has been an interesting experience and has made me evaluate my own web profiles.
There may be heaps of other types scooting round the web looking for various acts for their particular projects. I've done a few events for folk that have found me by searching for acoustic, independent, 12 string, stunningly handsome ect. So it may be worth going back and looking at your profile through the eyes of someone like me.

If you want me to give you a quick no holes barred opinion of your profile or 
you think you are someone I should listen to or you think I'm talking a load of bollocks then lob a link in the comments box.

The pic is from my good friend Charles Olsens myspace site and possibly one of the best profile pics I've seen. What does it all mean? 

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Podcast Number 9

My longest pod-cast yet! I managed to cram in part 2 of my conversation with the very successful Neil Drinkwater creator, manager and leader of The Red Stripe Band (Jools Holland on Speed!)

Some interesting information on how to make it as an independent musician. He's been managing his band professionally for the past 6 years and has some funny and very useful insights, as well as some startling revelations.

A new jingle for

I even managed to squeeze in two tunes, both from last weeks Pure Acoustica gig at The Dolphin in St Denys. Botyov 1791 singing 17 bottles of Stella and a bargain bottle of wine and me (yes me!) singing a drunken version of Pale Moonlight.

Do you, me and everyone a favour and subscribe to this loveliness by subscribing to this on iTunes. It's the way forward plus you get to see the funky pictures that I cleverly embed!!!

You may also want to check out this little collaboration I did with Swineshead from Watch With Mothers

Monday, 9 February 2009

Is This Thing On Podcast 8

This podcast includes music from Pure Acoustica artists Emmy-Lee and Botyov 1791 and  part 1 of my conversation with Neil Drinkwater a.k.a. Red Stripe from The Red Stripe Band.

Emmy-Lee and Botyov 1791 will be joining me for the first Pure Acoustica event this Thursday the 12 of February at The Dolphin in St Denys
I've wanted to interview Neil for some time. He has been a full-time independent musician for just over 6 years and manages The Red Stripe band a nine piece swing bamd, often compaired to Jools Holland on speed!
He is also a great friend.
More from him in Podcast number nine but that's another story!

Oh yeah and I made this.......