Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I've written before about the endless stream of emails I receive, touting the latest music opportunities.
I always click on them....eventually....out of curiosity more than anything else.
For example, the latest Music Dealer's "opportunity" is a song about Grandma. I think grandmas are great, although I barely remember one, and I never knew the other. Hence, I have written no songs about Grandma. I've written a song about Mom, but that isn't what they're going for here. It does make me wonder, though, about the grandma I never met. I wonder if she was more like me than my mom was, because Mom and I weren't exactly simpatico, if you get my drift.
But, as always with these posts, I do digress.
Generally, with the Music Xray emails, I just delete them without reading. Because they're always touting the most recent "opportunity matches" that don't really match in the least, and I don't have the money to toss around like some wild-eyed millionaire anyway.
Not to mention the scathing reviews I received from some of my earlier submissions. I never even asked for critiques! What was that? Just an extra-added soul-crushing bonus?
One guy said something (I actually deleted the email, so I can't reference it) about how tentative the singing was. Well, yea! I hate (hate!) recording! In fact, I'll make up any old excuse just to avoid it. I'm tired; I have a tummy ache; my voice is shot from all the smoking (which is true, by the way). I AM NOT A SINGER. But the fact remains that I have no money to hire a professional singer, so if I want a demo recording of any of my songs, I have to do it myself.
But for some reason, tonight, I clicked on the latest Music Xray email, and it said something about submissions for radio stations, or something. And I thought, well, let's see.
So, I surfed on over to the site, and I found a particular outfit that shops music around to various regions of the US (because apparently different regions have different tastes; little did I know) and to radio stations in the UK. The UK thing was somewhat intriguing, because I find that those fine people are more discerning than the dolts that market and/or listen to music here in the good old USA. No offense to the US, but here, it's all about the cheese quotient, and about the butterflies and rainbows and unicorns; not the actual music (ahh, cynicism is alive and well tonight!)
So, I thought, what the heck? Why not give it a go? I could put it on my credit card, so that's not like real money. Is it?
I'm a big fan of this song by my husband, so I bit the bullet and clicked the submission button.
Then, I thought, well, let's see what else is out there, radio submission-wise. And I found this place called, "Women of Substance Radio". Isn't that precious? Women of substance. As opposed to what? Women of Superficiality?
But I figured, hey, I'm a woman. So, I, in a fit of insanity, submitted this:
I'm really pulling for my husband's song, though.
And I, too, looked at song critique opportunities. I almost thought about doing it, but then I saw the submission price ($35.00) and thought, why in the world would I pay $35.00 for somebody to diss me, when some of these other guys took it upon themselves to do it for free?
I'm a realist, and yet not a masochist. My focus now, really, is promoting the other band guys' music; not mine. Yet, there's still that little self-indulgent side of me that wants somebody to say, "That's a good song! Terrible singer, but good song!"
Just don't feel compelled to send me a critique, cuz I really don't want one, and I'll just send it to my "trash" folder anyway.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Sometimes I don't follow up on emails for a long time. I mean, so-called "professional" emails, not personal ones.
I had a couple of emails regarding Jango; one from CD Baby (who is distributing our first pitiful CD), and another from......somebody. I don't remember.
These two emails have sat patiently in my in-box for a few months. Yes, months. Okay, I don't necessarily follow up on things that require a lot of time and effort (and if I don't think there's a whole lot of reward).
But tonight, since I was really at a loss for something to do, I thought I would clean out my in-box.
The thing is, everybody promises stuff, and experience tells me, none of that stuff actually happens. And does it really make any difference if our songs pop up every couple of weeks on a website, and whoever happens to be listening clicks on the "next" button and just moves on to the next song? And do I even want to know that?
But I'm just barely enough of an optimist to think, well, somebody might like our stuff! I mean, somebody?
I don't really like to diss artist sites, because someone is likely gaining some benefit from each of them. However, I will say this: If you sign up for Hello Music, be advised: Apparently, if you're not considered (by them) to be in their top, top echelon of artists, all they are using you for is to push electronics and equipment (at a very special price!)
You will get almost daily emails from them (until you put a stop to it), advertising their latest deals. I don't want to say that they just solicit artists in order to get their email addresses, but yea, that seems to be what they do.
I was curious, after awhile, to find out why they never seem to advertise any "opportunities". So, I did a search for the company, and found this:
Not every band will be plugged into a potentially revenue-generating slot such as Pump Audio, Zalon said. Some will instead be offered discounts for services that partners offer for a fee. Still, he said, "no matter what [the song] is, we're going to listen to it, and we're going to find opportunities."
If that's what they do, fine. I just think they should state that upfront, when they are soliciting bands. "Hey, if we don't like you, can we still spam you to try to sell you stuff?"
Needless to say, I've crossed Hello Music off my list, as they have crossed us off theirs. And more power to the guys who've gotten deals through the site; good for you. It's just not for us, as has been obviously and subliminally communicated.
Now, Music Xray, so far, I like. Why? Well, yea, they charge you to submit to opportunities, but they don't arbitrarily exclude you. If you pay your money, you get to submit. They don't screen. If one is willing to shell out the fee, then one gets to compete. And they don't spam you, trying to sell you stuff.
Which leads me to Jango. Why sign up? Well, I figure, why not? They give you 100 free credits. We can't get on Pandora, lord knows. So, at least somebody will listen, at least for half a second. And you get feedback, so they say. Feedback can be a soul-killer, but one has to have a thick skin in this biz. I guess I'd rather have one honest person say they don't like my song, than a bunch of songwriters on some music forum giving me disingenuous "atta boys" (or girls). At least I know where I stand.
Basically, the reason I wrote this post is to solicit feedback regarding Jango. Has anyone had experience with the site? And if so, what's your consensus?
It's really neither here nor there if we (meaning, I) wasted my time uploading songs. I'd just like to know if it's something to keep on my radar.
But, if they start trying to sell me stuff, then they're (truly) barking up the wrong tree.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
With Red River's brand of music, we thought the most appropriate use of it would be in the area of music licensing; you know, TV, movies, commercials.
Face it, we're not in the mainstream of popular music (by "popular", I mean commercial radio).
What really got us started in this endeavor was a personal phone call from a guy with, I guess, a start-up licensing company, because I don't know why in the world else he would call us, unless he was trying to build a catalog.
That was probably five years ago. He told me that our music would work well in TV shows such as "Big Love", and others that I don't remember. So, we signed up. Haven't had one lick of luck with that company. Oh well. It didn't cost us anything. (Every now and then, I get emails from them, looking for something obscure, such as "authentic Russian folk songs". Really??)
With that bit of experience, I began to explore other licensing companies. Tried a few; got rejected by some. That's neither here nor there. Rejection doesn't even faze me anymore.
We have had one hit with Audiosparx. By "hit", I mean, we actually got a taker. It was for a student film. I was thrilled! Hell, to hear your song playing over the closing credits of a film ~ it's heady stuff!
And frankly, Audiosparx is one of the nicest, most personable companies to deal with. For their personal attention alone, I recommend them.
About a year ago, I started getting a bunch of emails from Hello Music. These places always LOVE you when they want you to sign up. Once you do, they kind of just shun you. They'll send you the occasional email that says (subliminally), "No way in hell are you going to qualify for these, but here are our latest opportunities. Good luck, loser."
Again, I'm not bothered by that. As long as someone doesn't spam me every day, I'm good.
Good old Reverb (I like to use the familial term for ReverbNation) asked us, and about five million other artists to submit our music for potential licensing opportunities. I got about 20 separate rejection emails out of that experience. No offense, but don't ask if you think our music sucks. Do a bit of homework first. Separate the chaff from the wheat.
There's this place called Music Dealers. I think I learned about them on one of those songwriter message boards. They have opportunities, such as "fun - upbeat". What does that mean? That's kind of generic. Or they want covers of famous songs. We don't do covers. What's the point, really? And we're not necessarily known for our "fun, upbeat" songs.
Our latest is Music Xray. I like their business model, although some of their opportunities, that cost $4.00 to submit to, are kind of lame. No offense. "Pay $4.00 to possibly get played on an internet radio station". Do you or anyone you know listen to internet radio stations? And frankly, I could do the research and submit to numerous internet radio stations for free, if I really wanted to invest the time. But what's the point, really? Bragging rights? That's kind of a pitiful thing to brag about.
And while we're on the whole subject of licensing, I don't know about you, but I see a lot of commercials that use stripped-down acoustic-based songs. I think, hey, we do that! Or can. I think those artists must be paying somebody to push their stuff, or else they're signed to major labels, and I just haven't ever heard of them. We're just as good, but maybe not "quirky" enough. Gotta work on that quirkiness.
So, in summation, by all means, give music licensing a try. But be forewarned. Your production had better be on par with what the big boys do, or it's a no-go; sorry.
But you never know; you might one day catch lightening in a bottle. It could happen.
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