A sampling of my writing.
For anyone that grew up on Long Island, Montauk is a special place. In recent years, the Hamptons crowd has crept in, but most of us still think of Montauk as a low key fishing community with great beaches and plenty of family-friendly fun spots (i.e - Puff n Putt, Fudge n Stuff), lovingly referred to as The End. What many people who enjoy Montauk don’t know, though, is that it has a separate past. A dark and mysterious history full of covert government experiments, time travel and an other-dimensional creature named “Junior” that served as the inspiration for the Netflix original series, Stranger Things.
Or at least that’s how the story goes...
Camp Hero State Park is 415 acres of pristine maritime forest, freshwater wetlands and sandy beaches situated on a peninsula just southwest of the iconic Montauk Point Lighthouse. It’s a favorite locale for Long Island hikers, thanks to its dramatic bluffs that offer breathtaking ocean vistas and diverse wildlife. It also happens to be considered one of the best surfcasting locations in the world. But before it attained status as a nationally registered historic site, the government used the land for over four decades - the extent to which is highly debated.
There’s a saying in Long Beach: “I’ve got Long Beach sand in my shoes”. It’s a way for LB locals to speak to the love they have for their tight-knit community while calling to mind the many memories they create on their city’s beautiful beaches.
As great as our beaches are, kicking back in the sand and surf isn’t the only way to enjoy Long Beach’s expansive coastal habitat. From quiet evenings on the boardwalk to exploring the marshes around Reynold’s channel, there are countless ways to enjoy the outdoors in Long Beach.
Here are a few of them to get you started.
Surf One Of The Best Breaks in the Northeast - Long Beach is home to some of the best waves in the northeast, and a growing number of surfers from the area are serving as ambassadors to LB in the wider surf community. Will Skudin, who surfed one of the biggest waves ever recorded at Nazare in 2013, is a top competitor on the Big Wave Surfing circuit. He also runs the Skudin Surf Camps and Surf For All Foundation - both based in Long Beach. Point Lookout’s Balaram Stack has developed a reputation as one of the most innovative surfers in the world and there’s a whole field of talented locals in the lineup every day - even in the dead of winter.
Read the full blog at https://www.ntvli.com/blog/2018/9/23/long-beach-sand-in-my-shoes
Polyphia Artist Bio
Polyphia is not only the biggest, but also the best metal band in the world. No other act has managed to marry a masterful command of melody with hip hop rhythms and dark and sinister tones in such an enticing way - and they’ve done so without the crutch of sing-along vocals. In challenging the generally accepted constant that dark and technical music has to be atonal and undanceable, the four members of Polyphia have done their part to advance the world of instrumental rock in a manner that has seldom been matched in the history of the genre.
On the band’s greatly anticipated new full-length, New Levels New Devils, Polyphia have taken yet another defiant leap forward. The band has made a conscious effort to replace distorted guitars and epic breakdowns with a soundscape of bass-heavy trap music, which guitarists Tim Henson and Scott LePage explore with their virtuosic guitarwork. While a lot of the beats originated in the studio and utilize techniques usually associated with hip hop production, Polyphia’s formidable rhythm section of Clay Gober and Clay Aeschliman did a remarkable job of recreating them on bass and drums respectively. This gave the album a more organic quality that allowed them to achieve a high degree of cohesiveness, despite having worked with a handful of top-tier producers in studios ranging from Los Angeles to their hometown of Dallas, Texas.
On New Levels New Devils, the band meticulously chose their collaborators to ensure that each guest appearance would work towards helping make it the best effort of Polyphia’s career. This elite cast of collaborators includes producers such as Y2K (Killy, Yung Bans) and Judge (Migos & Marshmello, blackbear, Young Thug). It also includes a collection of guitarists such as Jason Richardson, Ichika, Mateus Asato, Yvette Young (of Covet) and Erick Hansel and Mario Camarena (both of CHON) that share space at the pinnacle of the guitar world with Henson and LePage. Finally, the lone vocal feature comes courtesy of hip hop phenom - and long time Polyphia fan - Cuco, who has captivated tastemakers over the past year with his lyrical prowess and unique style.
As has come to be expected of Polyphia, New Levels New Devils is as diverse as it is ambitious. On the sizzurp-infused funk metal of “Yas”, the band delivers exactly the sort of otherworldly guitar licks you would imagine from a Polyphia and CHON collaboration. On the Y2K and Judge produced “O.D.”, the band takes us on a rafting trip through the cerebrospinal fluid that flows maniacally through the brain of an evil genius. On “So Strange”, the band teams with Cuco to create a track that references an uncanny amount of the best elements of popular music released over the last 40 years. The track that is perhaps best suited to explain the record, though, is lead single “G.O.A.T” - an innovative anthem that floats from movement to movement in a way that only a band as adept at composition as Polyphia could pull off. “G.O.A.T” has been a highlight of the band’s set on their recent tour with CHON, transforming the pit into an epic wall of death that quickly dissolves into a dance party.
The level of innovation exhibited on New Levels New Devils is nothing new for Polyphia. Their previous EP - 2017’s The Most Hated - explored the potential intersections between electronic dance music and pioneering guitar rock in a way that had never been attempted before. Upon its release on Equal Vision Records, it went on to reach #6 on the Billboard “Independent Label Release” charts and cracked the top ten for the “Current Rock” charts. It would even showcase the band’s crossover appeal by hitting #41 on the “Top 200” and #36 on the “Top Current Albums” charts across all genres. Still, one listen through New Levels New Devils will leave the listener certain the band will crush those numbers this time around.
New Levels New Devils is out October 12th on Equal Vision Records. Once the world gets a hold of it, there is little doubt the concept of ‘popular music’ will dramatically change for the better.
Get To Know: Ospreys (ntvli.com)
Most Long Island residents that spend any time on the coasts have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of an Osprey. Whether its returning to their nest on Reynolds Channel from a successful hunt out at sea in Long Beach or circling over the Long Island Sound, the Seahawk is a majestic sight to behold.
As they prepare to make their way down south for the colder months, here is some background on one of Long Island’s most beloved summer residents.
Back From the Brink - A Conservation Success Story
From the 1950s through the 1970s, Ospreys were a rare sight around Long Island. The use of the pesticide DDT had decimated the population - thinning their eggshells and poisoning adults throughout the area. Since DDT was banned and efforts, such as man-made nest constructs, to restore the population have been implemented, Osprey populations have grown by about 2.5% (from 1966 to 2015) annually according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey.
The Seahawk - One of The World’s Most Successful Anglers
The Seahawk is the picture of concentration when hunting. Studies show that Ospreys catch a fish about once every four dives. The same studies estimates that an Osprey hunts for only 12 minutes before catching a fish on average. Anyone who has ever thrown a line in the water knows just how exceptional that is.
They owe this success rate to a few characteristics that set them apart from most other raptors. First, they have a reversible outer toe that allows them to grasp with two toes in front and two behind. They also have barbed pads on the soles of their feet that allow them to steadily grip slippery fish. If you've ever seen an Osprey dive for a fish, you'll notice that they dive head first for less wind resistance. Moments before they reach the water, they adjust their bodies to lead with their talons as they enter the water. All the while they never take their eyes off of the prey.
This technique is very different than another well-known fishing raptor, the Bald Eagle, which coincidentally has also made a return to Long Island in recent years. Eagles undertake what’s called a “fly by” method, with only their talons breaking the surface of the water. An Osprey, on the other hand, will dive up to three feet in pursuit of its prey. Their wing joints are specialized to allow a vertical takeoff when emerging back into the sky. Once in the air, a few shakes will shed the excess water from their feathers - which are oiler than any other species of hawk in order to repel water more efficiently.
Ospreys on Long Island
Each spring it takes Long Island’s Ospreys roughly 20-30 days to travel the almost 3000 miles from South America to our shores. During that time, they often follow the same route and stick to the same resting spots. Over 40 Osprey nesting platforms can be found in the 17,000 acres of wetlands in the Town of Hempstead and there is a popular vineyard named after these stately birds in Peconic called Osprey’s Dominion.
Read full Article: https://www.ntvli.com/blog/2018/9/23/get-to-know-ospreys
WHY CAN'T I GET PRESS?(Source: Tunecore.com)
One of the hardest parts of chasing press is the fact that there are no guarantees. You can be the hardest working artist in the world who just created a ‘once-in-a-generation record and there is still a chance that journalists will choose not to cover it.
Maybe they ‘just don’t get it’, or they’ve got a lot of other assignments from bands they already listen to that they need to finish up. Maybe you just share a name with their ex and they can’t get past that.
No matter the reason for it, the lack of a guarantee that your efforts will be rewarded can be heartbreaking for a young artist. If you find that you’re constantly asking yourself ‘Why Can’t I Get Press?‘, we’re here for you.
Here are five easily fixable problems that a lot of artists trying to get coverage might encounter and how to remedy them:
‘So, what’s your story?’
Writers are just like everyone else, overworked and underpaid.
They’re getting hundreds of emails everyday and it would be impossible to write great stories about each artist they come across that they like.
So…write the story yourself. Well, not literally.
Just make sure you know what elements of your story set you apart from other artists and make sure that comes across in your pitch. You can do this via a personal email (highly recommended), a press release or an artist bio. No matter how you do it, make sure you’re giving an insightful look into your project that will inspire the writer to the point that the story will just pour out of them.
A great story + great music = great press.
Read full article HERE.
Northern Faces Artist Bio (Client: Equal Vision Records)
Northern Faces began the writing process for their new full-length, Fingers Crossed, under a self-imposed urgency that it may be the band’s last shot at making the project a sustainable career. The Albany-based alternative rock trio have poured everything they had into Northern Faces since starting the band in 2012, and their efforts have brought them considerable success. They released a critically acclaimed Self-Titled debut on Equal Vision Records in 2015 and have toured constantly with bands likes The 1975, Royal Blood, The Kooks and countless others in the years that followed. Still, the band felt they needed to rise to a new level of prominence this time around or face the possibility of having to explore other options professionally.
The three lead singles from Fingers Crossed succinctly paint a picture of how the record reflects that story. Behind the hazy, ethereal synths, driving percussion and massive hook of “Messin’ With Me” lies the story of how the band felt when they decided to hit the restart button on the project midway through the writing process. On “Firecracker”, we see the band wrestling with the idea they ‘might not be good enough’ set to a masterful blend of modern indie, folk and classic rock. Finally, the uplifting refrain of “All I heard, is this has gotta get better / All I know, is we have to stick together now” playing out over an inspiring soundscape on “All I Know” serves as a beacon of hope - signifying the moment when the band’s unwavering resolve triumphed over their concerns.
What the members of Northern Faces - Bryan Shortell (vocals, guitar), Marco Testa (vocals, guitar) and Matt Ippolito (bass) - were able to create in spite of their self doubt is a testament to how truly talented they are. Fingers Crossed is an infectiously honest collection of ten songs ripe with introspection and perhaps the band’s biggest hooks to date. It brings Northern Faces’ signature brand of meticulously crafted alternative rock, sing-along choruses and innovative guitarwork in a bold new direction that works as well on record as it does in the live format where Northern Faces has long been regarded as one of the most underrated acts in rock.
Fingers Crossed was produced by Casey Bates (Portugal. The Man, Foxy Shazam, Chiodos) and will be available August 24th, 2018 on Equal Vision Records. Both label and producer were part of the team behind the success of their debut record. This album is the rare record that manages to balance diversity with cohesiveness. It contains the massive pop hooks that continues to draw so many people to their previous work, but the new, more personal writing approach has allowed for an album where it is evident the band came to those poppier elements organically. As Shortell points out “this record captures who the band is at this point in our lives. It’s like a tattoo, whenever we go back and listen to it in the future, it’ll evoke a vivid memory of who we were when we were writing it”. Fingers Crossed is a moment in their careers that Northern Faces will undoubtedly be very proud of for the rest of their lives, and one that fans will hold close to their hearts.
How To Build A Buzz On Spotify
The idea that streaming services, and in particular Spotify, are integral to a successful music marketing campaign no longer comes as a surprise to anyone who has been following the industry for the past few years.
For a lot of artists, the idea of getting their new single included on a massive Spotify official playlist has surpassed a favorable review on Pitchfork or Rolling Stone atop their priority list. That being said, how to get official playlisting remains a bit of a mystery for most independent musicians.
Unless you have direct access to someone on Spotify’s editorial team or are working with a major digital distribution service, there isn’t really any quick solutions for getting playlisting. That, however, doesn’t mean you can’t build a solid following on the platform that could help get the editorial team’s attention and lead to official playlisting a few weeks (or sometimes months) down the line.
Similar to the start of a public relations campaign in which a publicist (or artist) goes after press, you can attract attention from your larger targets by building a bit of a groundswell with lower hanging fruit.
If you can succeed in at least a few of the initiatives listed below, you may be able to get enough buzz going to earn a coveted spot on a massive playlist like Fresh Finds, Rock This or eventually, New Music Friday!
Hail The Sun Artist Bio
Donovan Melero can’t sit still. Since finding sobriety nine years ago, the vocalist and drummer for California-based progressive-rock band, Hail The Sun, has found himself constantly consumed with the idea of making the most of every day. Melero - along with bandmates Aric Garcia (guitar), John Stirrat (bass) and Shane Gann (guitar) - manage both the creative and business sides of Hail The Sun as they continue to grow into one of the most revered acts in their genre. Melero has also developed into one of the most respected booking agents in rock due to his incomparable work ethic. Somehow he even manages to find time to advance his side project, the progressive rock supergroup Sianvar, which has developed a sizeable cult following of its own. Still, he can’t seem to reach a level of success where he is satisfied with what he’s accomplished enough to take his foot off the gas - even for a second.
On Hail The Sun’s latest full-length, Mental Knife, Melero tackles that constant need for self improvement and his obsession with making up for lost time in a way that is both unabashedly honest and artistically innovative. The title of the record stems from the idea of cutting out those aspects of your life that don’t contribute to a more fulfilling existence. The subject matter largely centers on trying to develop a genuine confidence that allows you to acknowledge your own imperfections and provides the strength necessary to work towards correcting them.
Sonically, Mental Knife is the closest the band has come to realizing the sound they’ve sought since forming in 2009. Melero, along with guitarists Aric Garcia and Shane Gann who share songwriting duties, lived largely in the same creative space for this record as they did on its predecessors - Culture Scars (2016, Equal Vision Records) and the Secret Wars EP (2017, Equal Vision Records). However, all four members of the band have elevated their already impressive style of play on Mental Knife; pushing the limit of what is capable when walking the delicate line between intricate song arrangements and massive riffs and thundering rhythms.
The biggest difference between this record and the band’s previous releases is owed more to that development in terms of technical prowess and collaborative chemistry than a conscious shift in direction. To realize their vision, they worked with Beau Burchell, best known for his role as a member of Saosin and producing that project’s iconic Translating The Name full length which was a major influence on the members of Hail The Sun. Burchell served much in the way an editor works with a novelist; advising the band on areas that needed a bit more work to realize each song’s full potential. As Melero points out “it was the first time we ever left the studio each day with homework”, which could be new guitar riffs in a certain spot or finding a way to layer a bridge to really make it explode.
The result is an album that slams harder than Hail The Sun’s previous work. The performances and recording quality on Mental Knife reach a level the band has never achieved before. These upgrades allowed the band to construct the most “Hail The Sun” record possible. Mental Knife doesn’t reinvent the band’s sound, but it does find a new and innovative way of delivering the message. On the lead single and title track, Melero directly addresses the record’s mission statement behind a wall of scorching guitars, visceral screams and driving percussion. “Suffocating Syndrome”, which is included on this year’s official Warped Tour compilation, imagines what a conversation with a god would be like over the sort of heavy ethereal soundscape that one would expect from such a weighted question. “The Strangers in Our Pictures” and “Glass Half Empty” explore elements of how Melero copes with the insatiable desire to be better that he’s developed in sobriety. The former addresses the remorse he still feels regarding how he treated himself and those people around him as an addict while the latter speaks to the double-edged sword of having an addictive personality - meaning that the same thing that brings you to your lowest points can also be responsible for your biggest accomplishments. Both tracks also happen to be among the album’s most innovative attempts at exploring alternative arrangements and stepping outside the band’s comfort zone.
As each day closes, Melero has gotten into the habit of asking himself “can I put my stamp on this day?”. It’s a reminder that every day is an opportunity to get closer to achieving your dreams. With their new record, Hail The Sun can proudly stamp their names on the album knowing that it is a tremendous step forward for the band on their creative journey. Mental Knife will be released September 28th on Equal Vision Records.
FROM LOCAL TO REGIONAL: MAKING THAT NEXT STEP (For Tunecore.com)
Congrats! You’re starting to really draw a crowd in your hometown and the local press outlets are taking notice. That’s a huge step for a band in building a sustainable career as musicians. You should be very proud of your accomplishments as you start preparing yourself for the next leap forward – going regional.
I’m sure your confidence is growing as an artist, and you’re starting to get social media followers from far away markets. Maybe some smaller blogs from all over the world are beginning to post your music. However, touring as a relatively unknown band can be one of the most stressful and defeating experiences you’ll go through as a musician. It can even bring the demise of your project as tempers begin to flare over constantly losing money and playing to rooms of ten people.
You probably became a musician in the first because you love it. So why be in a rush to add unnecessary stress and take the fun out of it? Rather than blindly booking a huge month long run of dates, your best bet is to start doing weekend warrior runs to neighboring cities. You still might play to some empty rooms at first or encounter some troubles on the road (i.e – van problems, band tension, getting stiffed on payment by promoters), but you’re never more than a day or two away from your own bed and the financial hit you might take is never too substantive.
I know the road is calling you but taking the proper steps early on will give you a better chance of having the amazing experiences on tour you’ve always dreamed of. Here are some ways to make that leap from local sensation to regional act getting their first taste of the touring life.
Read full article: https://www.tunecore.com/blog/2018/05/from-local-to-regional-making-that-next-step.html
Hopesfall Artist Bio (Client Graphic Nature / Equal Vision Records)
Trust is key to any successful creative collaboration. It allows an artist to take risk and creates an open dialogue where each member is free to set aside personal ego to work towards a greater common goal. For melodic hardcore legends, Hopefall, that trust has become second nature over their twenty plus years of friendship and, as a result, their new full-length, Arbiter, continues the band’s legacy as pioneers.
Hopesfall formed in 1998. Over the next decade, the band would undergo numerous line-up changes but always drew from the same core group of lifelong friends to source new members. The bond between the group was so strong that even after disbanding in 2008, guitarists Joshua Brigham and Dustin Nadler and drummer Adam Morgan continued to get together on Wednesday nights to work on new music despite having no plans to release it. It was during these jam sessions that the music that would eventually find its way onto Arbiter first began to take shape.
In 2012, Brigham and Morgan visited frontman, Jay Forrest, in Chicago culminating in the decision that Forrest would add vocals to the demos. The lineup for the band’s reformation would then be cemented in August of 2015 when bassist, Chad Waldrup, joined the group to see Hum and Failure. Still, the idea of putting out new music as Hopesfall wasn’t part of the plan. With the lineup complete, the band brought their demos to another trusted collaborator - producer Mike Watts (Glassjaw, Dillinger Escape Plan, O’Brother) whom they had worked with on two previous releases, Magnetic North and A Types. It was Watts who brought the demos to Dan Sandshaw and Will Putney of Graphic Nature / Equal Vision Records where the idea of releasing it as a Hopesfall record was finally discussed. A testament to the band’s hard-earned legacy, the famed label immediately jumped on the opportunity to release the project.
Arbiter has a decidedly unique bend to it, but Brigham points out that it is built off of the same principles as Hopesfall’s previous catalog - “big riffs and dark melodies”. Forrest adds that the driving message of Arbiter remains the same as well: “Hopes fall. Tragedies happen. But that doesn’t mean you should give up or not stay the course”. Arbiter is a diverse collection of songs that encourages curiosity and exploration. Album opener, “Faint Object Camera”, holds truest to the band’s roots. It is an aggressive, riff-heavy track that was built loud enough to fill any room. “Tunguska” represents the other end of the spectrum with it’s ethereal, laid-back tones and driving melodies, and “H.A. Wallace Space Academy” bridges the gap between the two with it’s incredible dynamism and exuberant energy. Topically, Arbiter is political without taking to the bully pulpit. Again, “H.A. Wallace Space Academy”, “Tunguska” and “Faint Object Camera” serve as a perfect representation of the album’s diversity as they tackle the political manipulation to one of FDR’s Vice Presidents, a massive asteroid strike and a now defunct telephoto lense that at one point was part of the Hubble Telescope, respectively.
Arbiter is set for release on July 13th via Graphic Nature / Equal Vision Records. It is at once a reminder of why the band has become so influential and a beacon of the band’s continued evolution. Look for Hopesfall to support the release with select tour dates later this year.
Hot Flash Heat Wave - Paste Mag Review
"Glo Ride", the new single from San Francisco's Hot Flash Heat Wave, is basically the soundtrack to escapism. Whether you're talking a vacation in the Caribbean or some particularly dank Indica, the uplifting bounce and lofi groove of "Glo Ride" sets the stage for your trip. It's also one of those rare hybrid tracks that has a little bit of something for everybody - some trip hop, a dash of psych rock and a whole bunch of shoe-gaze can all be picked out on this genre-bending anthem.
The band is currently on the road with fellow San Franciscans No Vacation and, from what we hear, HFHW's live show is a mood enhancer on the same level as the two previously mentioned escapes. Don't sleep on them if they're in your town!
Link to article - https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/03/glow-ride-mix2-r1wav.html
Lume Artist Bio
In 2014, The members of Lume - Daniel Butler (Vocals/Guitar), Dylan Hulett (Bass), and Austin Hulett (Drums) - started the band with the purpose of emerging themselves in a diverse, vibrant musical scene that would help them reach a new level as a band. After several sold-out, limited run releases and a prolific touring schedule that found them hitting almost every state, the band entered the writing process for their upcoming full-length, Wrung Out, in late 2016 with the goal of recording what could become a pivotal release in their career.
Wrung Out is largely centered around a string of personal tragedies the band endured around the time they began work on the record. In the span of just a few short months, the band lost three close friends to suicide or drug overdose, forcing them to evaluate life through a different lense and burying them in questions with no easy answers. Wrung Out would become a memoriam to their lost friends and a method of catharsis for the band as they went through the stages of grief. It is a meticulous examination of the societal pressures that all too often lead to tragedy - mapped out like the investigation board a detective would use to solve a crime.
With Wrung Out approaching this central theme from so many different angles, it was important that the band emphasize the individuality of each song. The band turned to Mike Watts (Glassjaw, Dilinger Escape Plan, O’Brother) to produce the record and help guide them as they expanded their sound. They also enlisted Johnny Dang (of o’Brother) and Spencer Ussery (of Big Jesus) to collaborate on several tracks; learning valuable lessons about crafting a song from both in the process. The result is a diverse collection of ethereal, heavy rock songs that owe as much to the bands they grew up on - such as Soundgarden and Radiohead - as they do to contemporary rock bands like Citizen, Chelsea Wolfe or Nothing.
Wrung Out is undoubtedly Lume’s most ambitious record to date and having signed to Equal Vision Records, it will surely see them rise to new heights in 2018.
Grandmas Shred and Party in New Polyphia
Video for “40oz.”! (Polyphia Press Release)
Genre-blending instrumental heavyweights, Polyphia, treated fans to a hilarious new video for “40oz” - one of several singles off their 2017 The Most Hated EP - today. The video stars three grandmas shredding and partying their way through a beautiful afternoon. The elderly friends enjoy decadent desserts, malt liquor, tasty riffs and banger drum fills as they dance and roll through their neighborhood on 4-wheel scooters. Somewhere in Miami, Blanche, Rose, Sophia and Dorothy are undoubtedly nodding their approval as they watch a new batch of Golden Girls jamming out. There is no better way to kick off the weekend than by partying with these ladies on Polyphia’s YouTube this afternoon.
While the video will make you laugh, the band’s technical prowess woven over hip-hop and acid jazz beats on “40oz” will catch your attention in a totally different manner. The track is a perfect example of why people all around the world turn out in droves to attend demonstrations and performances from the band. The videos on Polyphia’s YouTube routinely reach over a million views and their dynamic live show has become one of the most in-demand tickets around. Polyphia spent most of the past few months on tour with acts like Between The Buried And Me and Dance Gavin Dance as they put the finishing touches on their highly-anticipated upcoming Equal Vision Records full-length due out later this year.
Stay tuned for new music from Polyphia and make sure to keep an ear out for the next time the band brings their incredible live show to your town.
See full press release here --> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CeoalI0dGDjPW9-CJt0miyHAJ-r2k_nzuhyyztohliw/edit?usp=sharing
How Are People Finding New Independent Music?
New music discovery is a highly personalized process. Fans of different genres tend to find music in different ways and, obviously, people of varying age and geographical demographics also tend to favor different manners of discovery. Unless you have a major label or an indie with a large budget putting out your music, it’s very difficult to cover all of your bases. Your best bet is to hone in on who is most likely to enjoy your music and focus heavily in the areas where that sort of fan is most likely to be searching for new tunes. That’s not to say, allocating some time and energy in other areas is not beneficial, but with limited resources it’s always best to be more focused on the areas where you will get the most bang for your buck.
Below are several sources people tend to tap into for music discovery:
According to a 2017 Study by Larry S. Miller of the NYU’s Steinhart Music Business Program, if your fans tends to be members of Generation Z (born after 1995), this is largely a waste of time. Due in large part to having grown up in an ‘on demand’ culture, the number of teens that tune in on their AM/FM dial dropped 50% between 2006 and 2016. As more and more new cars are coming equipped with streaming service integration (a projected 75% by 2020) and people are turning more towards “Smart Home” devices like Amazon Alexa in their households, this number is expected to decrease further unless Radio undergoes an extreme makeover.
Traditional radio campaigns tend to be very expensive and have high barriers of entry, so unless you’re an established pop star selling out arenas, putting any eggs in this basket is probably not worth the investment.
Sirius XM is a weird sort of hybrid in this scenario. The barriers to entry are high (though not as high as their terrestrial counterparts), but there are a handful of bands that break nationally in large part due to XM every year. In particular, getting rotation on a station like AltNation, XMU, Octane or The Highway can really help kickstart a band. The biggest issue with XM is that, even if you find yourself in a DJ’s favor, you need to be able to show that your marketing campaign is firing on all cylinders before they’ll really jump behind a project.
If you’re at the stage in your career where your streaming numbers are high, press is coming in and you’re touring consistently at mid-sized venues, investing in a College & Specialty Radio campaign that builds towards pitching XM is worthwhile. If you’re not quite there yet, you may be better off investing more time in building your fan foundation and business model out first....(cont'd)
Read the full article at https://www.tunecore.com/blog/2018/02/people-finding-new-independent-music.html
Greyhaven Artist Bio (Client: Graphic Nature / Equal Vision Records)
Empty Black, the new record from progressive metal band Greyhaven, is best encapsulated by one phrase - “make the accident look like it was on purpose”. This isn’t due to a lack of intent, but more so to a commitment to experimentation. As a product of the vibrant yet insular music scene in Louisville, Kentucky, Greyhaven has never been afraid to pursue the avant-garde. On Empty Black they’ve created an album that is pristinely violent while challenging the norms associated with heavy rock music.
Greyhaven’s debut full-length, Cult America, was released in 2014 and has since enjoyed a steady increase in revarance from fans and critics alike. On Cult America, Greyhaven came close to achieving the sound they’ve sought since beginning their careers in music. With four more years of creative maturity in hand, the members of Greyhaven - Brent Mills (Vocals), Johnny Muench (Bass), Nick Spencer (Guitar) and Ethan Spray (Drums) - were able to precisely pinpoint their intentions on Empty Black, resulting in a collection of songs that brings to fruition their vision of a rock record that could withstand the test of time.
Lyrically, Mills follows in the footsteps of writers who penned words that worked as well inked on paper as they did sung on stage. He studied writers like Kurt Cobain, Lou Reed, Thurston Moore and Jim Morrison whose lyrics are often considered poetry. The most notable influence came from Cobain’s practice of coupling broken, often contrarian, phrases in a way that made perfect sense. The lyrics on Empty Black are intimately provocative; encouraging the listener to seek a personal interpretation of their meaning, even as everything from phrasing to cadence and delivery tie into a definitive mission statement for the record.
At the core of Empty Black is the theme of universal struggle, both on a macro and micro level, best exemplified by the cyclical nature of the opioid crisis or our dependency on oil. Government maintains a volatile control over an international drug trade that causes the decimation of small town communities across America and an oil economy that is destroying the environment. As these epidemics spread, government involvement becomes more lucrative, increasing their incentive to grow their roles in these industries. Here we find one of the many meanings for the title, Empty Black, as the term conjures images of both gasoline and heroine.
As each new international crisis found its way into the headlines during the writing of Empty Black, Mills’ lyrics delved into more obscure territory and the the composition of the tracks would grow more vicious. There is a sinister sense of urgency to Empty Black, but the band still sees it as a positive album. When you’re faced with a world on the brink of destruction, you can either be sad and angry all of the time or you can focus on what makes you happy. That’s what this record is to Greyhaven - a source of catharsis in a life where one can justifiably get lost down a rabbit hole of negativity. The band’s hope is that it will provide fans a similar liberation from the anxiety of life in 2018, or any other year.
Empty Black was produced by Will Putney (Every Time I Die, Body Count, Knocked Loose, Amity Affliction) and will be released this spring on Graphic Nature / Equal Vision Records. Greyhaven will celebrate its unveiling with the band’s biggest tour to date supporting Norma Jean on their North American dates. With the release of Empty Black, this tour will undoubtedly be the first of many big steps forward in Greyhaven’s story to take place this year
Night Verses Artist Bio (Client: Equal Vision Records)
At the core of most truly progressive music is a certainty amongst those involved that everyone is working towards the same bigger picture. When this level of trust is combined with an unshakable commitment to innovation and unmatched technical prowess, the possibility to move beyond the conventional songwriting approach and create something truly groundbreaking can exist. After 15-plus years of collaboration, the members of Night Verses have developed this level of chemistry and, on that foundation, have built a new collection of songs that lives outside the realm of contemporary heavy rock.
Since the mutual parting of ways with vocalist Doug Robinson in 2017, Aric Improta (Drums/Sampling), Nick DePirro (Guitars) and Reilly Herrera (Bass) have challenged themselves to find a sound that will push the boundaries of what an instrumental rock outfit can accomplish. While Robinson’s departure was never expected, no longer being tied to a vocal melody has opened the door for the remaining members to explore a myriad of new musical directions. They’ve taken full advantage of this opportunity to craft a new sound, avoiding the trap of just recreating old Night Verses songs without vocals in favor of taking the path less taken, both by their peers and in terms of what the band has previously released.
In January of 2018, Night Verses introduced their new direction to the world via a 3-song EP released on Equal Vision / Graphic Nature Records. This initial offering from the band puts the diverse array of influences the band has drawn from for their upcoming full length on full display; setting the bar high for what fans can expect from that release. Whether it’s the prolonged absence of drums in areas (something the band noted was present in classical compositions but not in most current popular music) or the abstract vocal samples that serve as additional instrumentation (as borrowed from 90’s trip-hop), Improta, DePirro and Herrera have challenged themselves to write and arrange songs that they felt they would have never been able to pull off even a year ago; a difficult task for three musicians already considered among the world’s elite.
With such ambitious goals in mind, Night Verses turned to producer Will Putney (Every Time I Die, Body Count, Knocked Loose, Amity Affliction) to help realize the sound they’ve sought their entire careers. This was undoubtedly the right choice, as Putney was incredibly in-tune with their varied influences and was able to bring the best performance out of each member. The fact that he shared a very similar pedigree with the band allowed them to integrate each of their, often obscure, influences into something both cohesive and unlike anything the band has put out previously. As the band points out, when they brought up a reference, Putney was able to guide them in a way that would apply it as if it were a filter that delivered what the band wanted from the reference while still staying in line with what they were trying to accomplish within the bigger picture”.
This latest EP consists of three songs (“Copper Wasp”, “Vice Wave” and “Vantablonde”) that will be part of the band’s highly-anticipated second full-length on Equal Vision / Graphic Nature Records later this year. Their Equal Vision debut in the form of the critically-acclaimed 2016 The Vanishing Light which was produced by Ross Robinson (Slipknot, At The Drive-In, Norma Jean). In support of that record, the band toured with ISSUES, Of Mice & Men, Envy On The Coast and more, and delivered multiple well-received performances at NAMM in 2016. Before signing to Equal Vision, the band debuted the project with a pair of Kris Crummet produced releases; the Out Of The Sky EP and a subsequent full length entitled Lift Your Existence. Around Out Of The Sky, the band headlined across the UK, as well as, frenetic introductory shows in Los Angeles and New York. They would spend over two years touring off of Lift Your Existence including dates with Norma Jean, letlive., The Fall Of Troy and culminating with headlining dates in Anchorage, Alaska.
Already beloved by critics and fans alike, look for Night Verses to reach new heights in their role as torchbearers not only in heavy rock, but in regards to the wider world of progressive music in 2018.
Nathan Hussey (of All Get Out) Artist Bio (Client: Equal Vision Records)
Nathan Hussey may have chosen Christopher Hitchens as the namesake for his latest album, but it wasn’t the catalytic author’s politics that he drew the most inspiration from. Hussey, best known as the frontman and primary songwriter for Texas-based alternative rock outfit, All Get Out, was more motivated by Hitchens as a man; his intelligence, the veracity with which he supported his beliefs, his constant quest for personal evolution and, most of all, his life story.
Christopher Hitchens endured a lot of suffering. His mother, entangled in an affair, took her own life in a suicide pact with her lover. His father fought a long, drawn-out battle with esophageal cancer and the same disease would eventually lead to his own death. As Hussey delved deeper into Hitchens’ life and these tragedies, he began to think about how they likely affected his ideology and the questions that naturally arise from his beliefs. Simultaneously, Hussey witnessed his own family coping with loss and the two scenarios, taken together, would soon emerge as the central theme behind his new full-length, Hitchens.
The Day The Lights Went Out On Broadway; What The Way The Giants’ Handled Eli’s Benching Says About the State of the Franchise (BigBlueUnited.com)
Instagram, Thursday Night Football, The Oklahoma City Thunder and the country of Serbia have all been established since a quarterback other than Eli Manning last started for the Giants. In that time, Manning has thrown for over 50,000 yards. He has twice been named Super Bowl MVP, one of only five players to win the award multiple times, and he has led over thirty 4th quarter comebacks and forty game-winning drives. As evidence by the outpour we saw on Twitter, he has earned a position as one of the most respected players, by teammates and opponents alike, in the NFL. He is an iron-man that undoubtedly deserves to go ahead and eventually overtake Brett Favre for the all time record. Still, what’s so infuriating about Eli’s benching isn’t so much the fact his consecutive game streak is coming to a premature end. It’s the manner in which it was carried out and the implications in terms of who we are as a franchise, not just in 2017 but moving forward, that it represents.
For over eighty years, The New York Giants have been a beacon of class and loyalty. The Maras have been revered around the league for what they represented; a family-oriented organization that cared about their players and fans more than selling jerseys and luxury boxes. Sure, they are among the league’s most profitable organizations, but that is due to the community they have developed around the team not any flash-in-the-pan signings or publicity stunts. As a result, being a Giants fan is a trait passed down from parent to child. If you’re the offspring of a Giants’ family, you inherit that legacy, along with the tales of great games and heroic moments, as soon as you’re old enough to watch your first game. That love of Big Blue never leaves you, and there’s very little doubt that you’ll someday pass that love onto your own children. In other words, the Mara’s have always developed the Giants fanbase the right way.
I THE MIGHTY RELEASE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED NEW RECORD
“WHERE THE MIND WANTS TO GO / WHERE YOU LET IT GO”
ON EQUAL VISION RECORDS!
San Francisco’s I the Mighty took a bold step forward creatively today with the release of their highly-anticipated new album Where the Mind Wants to Go / Where You Let it Go on Equal Vision Records. Already one of the most progressive voices in alternative rock, Where the Mind Wants to Go / Where You Let it Go sees the band exploring new territory both sonically and topically. It is a collection of nine artistically mature, meticulously crafted rock anthems that sees lead vocalist, Brent Walsh, tackling the topics that have helped shape his own personal growth since the release of their last album; both in terms of life experience and in regards to more abstract topics. You can stream the record now on YouTube or Spotify and purchase the album through the band’s webstore.
The band has released three diverse offerings from Where the Mind Wants to Go / Where You Let it Go over the past few months. While “Silver Tongues” (featuring Tilian from Dance Gavin Dance) and “Where The Mind Wants To Go” exhibit an elevated take on the brand of rock that the band has built their following on, “Chaos In Motion” sees them dipping into previously uncharted territory with the help of producer Casey Bates (Portugal. The Man) and mix engineer Neal Aaron (Twenty One Pilots, Walk The Moon). The band premiered “Chaos In Motion” via an OCD-trigger video which was picked up by Viral Thread whose post about the track/visual has amassed over 1.3 million plays.
Read Full Press Release: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JDZTNqA_-B5fZQ6SDTKlGmgoRRno3NcN3TbFtqo4bdE/edit?usp=sharing
STAL Artist Bio
(Client: STAL / Kindred Mgmt)
STAL translates to steel in more than a few languages. As a result, the word conjures feelings of coldness and evokes imagery of a modern, industrial life. On his new EP, Fresh Blood, Pierre-Marie Maulini (the man behind the STAL moniker) strikes the perfect balance between the cold, sleek varnish of this picture and something decidedly more harmonious and human. In doing so, he creates a perfect example of how one can keep their humanity in the age of twenty first century digitalism.
Maulini has always shown an exceptional proclivity for music; even as a child growing up in the South of France. This love and talent would first manifest itself in the form of A Red Season Shade, the post-rock outfit he formed with his older brother and a few close friends. The band signed to Gentleman Records in 2006, an opportunity that would lead to Maulini connecting with local shoegaze legend, Anthony Gonzalez. The two grew close and Gonzalez would eventually invite Maulini to be a touring member of his band, M83. The next two years for Maulini would be spent touring the world, opening for acts like Kings of Leon and Midnight Juggernauts or headlining their own international tours. It was here, on the road with M83, that Maulini was first exposed to the world of synths, keyboards and other electronic elements that would soon be so prevalent in the music he would create.
Upon his return home, Maulini wanted to delve deeper into this new world of musical possibilities he had discovered. This desire would lead him to move to Ireland where he would work with renowned sound engineer, Patrick Walsh, to help broaden his horizons regarding what keyboards and synthesizers were capable of. Still, Maulini hadn’t forgotten his roots and a lot of the guitar work on which he first made a name for himself would remain integral to the new songs he was writing. Post rock is “all about atmosphere” and Maulini tries to “bring a degree of epicness to his music” as a result of his background in the genre.
How To Book A Gig Yourself…and Be Invited Back (Tunecore)
No matter what anyone tells you, we have yet to figure out a digital musical experience that can equal the fan connections a band can conjure through their live show. There is something in our DNA that is profoundly impacted by live music. Maybe it’s the shared experience with those in attendance or the nostalgia a concert can create for a certain time in our lives.
Or maybe it’s something more primal; the process of syncing our natural rhythm to live drum and bass as it pulse through our bones. Either way, performing is still undoubtedly the best way to create loyal fans and combat the current “musical-flavor-of-the-week” culture we live in.
Still, developing a live following is no walk in the park. You’re going to need to dedicate hours-upon-hours of time to tightening your set and tirelessly promoting your shows. It’ll get tedious, and success won’t happen overnight, but if you work hard you’ll eventually graduate from dingy bars and VFWs to better rooms. On top of that, I can honestly say nothing can match the indescribable feeling you’ll get from performing in front of a room full of people and, if you’re lucky, the dedicated following you’ll gain from gigging out.
Here are some tips on how to book that first gig, and how to get invited back!
Read Full Article: http://www.tunecore.com/blog/2017/09/book-gig-invited-back.html
Pop Math Mission Statement (Client Pop Math)
Pop Math is an audio-engineering class that introduces young girls with a passion for music to the basics of the recording process. Our curriculum offers participants the opportunity to learn how to work with Garageband recording software, as well as, vocal coaching and songwriting. We believe that technology is an essential component of the creative process in 2017. When young musicians incorporate it into their art, the sky is the limit in terms of what they can accomplish.
We also work with students to analyze the structure of some of their favorite pop songs, keying in on what makes them so memorable. Participants in the Pop Math program learn valuable lessons such as what it means to "challenge a hook" or the difference between verse and chorus melodies, giving them the foundational knowledge necessary to begin turning the songs they've dreamt up in their head to reality.
Once our Pop Mathematicians have captured the basic knowledge of writing and recording, we turn our attention to performance. We teach the girls about topics such as vocal projection, breathing and correct usage of a microphone, leaving them ready to sing properly over the tracks they've been working on or make the transition from the studio to the stage.