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Music Industry 101
Ghostbusters and the Modern Musician, part I (Keymasters & Gatekeepers)

Ghostbusters and the Modern Musician, part I (Keymasters & Gatekeepers)

I have been thinking a lot about Ghostbusters lately, and the more that I think about it, the more that I believe that there is a lot that independent musicians can learn from the film. Seriously! Thus, our new series: Ghostbusters and The Modern Musician. Today, we examine one of the film's key...

James Mercer (The Shins) on Going Independent

  The Shins’ James Mercer was recently interviewed by Pitchfork regarding the bands line-up changes, new album and new self-owned label.  When they asked about why he is going to start releasing his music via his own label, he replied, “Because you get more money…I mean, it’s more work and it’s more headache and all...

What’s In Your Contracts?

  The guys over at ArtistsHouse shared this article from indie-metal entrepreneur Wicked D on what band’s need to make sure the include in their contracts–not contracts with labels and promoters, mind you, but with one another.  He includes tips on copyright, business formation, and more, and as it’s not too long, we recommend taking...

Chuck D: Get Yourself Out of the 90s

I finally sat down and spent some time going through the Red Bull Music Academy interview with Public Enemy's Chuck D from October of 2008, and while it is long (more than 120 minutes!), it's worth spending some time with. Besides providing insight into the early days of hip-hop and the history of P.E.,...

Smackdown: Music Is My Day Job vs. Digital Music News

In "The DIY Utopia," Digital Music News editor Paul Resnikoff takes on the idea that independent artists can earn a living from being a full-time musician. I do not mind that he is asking questions about the economic viability of the do-it-yourself model, nor do I take specific issue with his reluctance to make...

Origami – L.A.’s New Vinyl Specialty Shop

  I realize that old-school media loves to run stories on how “vinyl is back,” but they still make me smile–especially when they focus on indie music retailers. Read more about Echo Park’s new vinyl specialty shop Origami in this (surprisingly) accurate article from the LA Times (and the store is even co-owned by Mark...

Is Music Piracy Wrong? (MusicianWages.com group blogging event)

...rather than continuing to re-hash ethics-related piracy debates from the late 90s and running around in philosophical circles, what we should all really be discussing is how musicians can earn a living making music, despite the rampant music piracy, as it's not going away, regardless of what theRIAA and others may believe that lawsuits can...

Trent Reznor: “hone your craft…then present it in a way that exploits it the best”

...Digg finally posted their much-anticipated interview with the forward-thinking Trent Reznor. The questions were all written and voted-on by Digg users, and (happily, for us) the bulk of the discussion revolves around new music business models and includes very detailed advice on how music artists can use technology to connect with both fans and...

Finding Your Audience: Old-Skool Style

We have been focusing on using technology and, more specifically, the internet to find your ideal audience, but the truth is that musicians have been successfully finding fans for much longer than the last decade, and many of those Old-Skool pre-internet techniques are still very effective. Here are a few tried and true ways...

Somebody wants to hear your music…

...if there is one thing that we can learn from Blip.fm--besides the fact that people from around the world like to share what they are listening to--it is that if you make music, there is someone who wants to hear it; you just need to reach your audience...

Not at SXSW? Not a problem…

As you know, we were not at SXSW this year, but here are some of our favorite articles and recaps from people who did actually attend...

Smackdown: Music Is My Day Job vs. The Huffington Post

Mike McCready's essay for the Huffington Post on the future of the music industry demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the opportunities and possibilities that artists now have access to: you don't need mass exposure, and you don't need the support of a major label. Build your tribe and create your own success.