Friday, April 25, 2008

Hi Everyone! Due to recent events (that I'm praying will work out) I wanted to blog about Jeff McClusky & Associates, one of the biggest entertainment and artist promoters in the country, which is based in Chicago. They work with both major and indie labels, as well as internet companies and film companies; they've played a huge part in the movie soundtracks that have had massive success, like Titanic and Men in Black (admit it, you have both!!) Jeff McClusky has been working in the music biz for over 30 years and has contributed to the successes of U2, Rolling Stones, Smashing Pumpkins, Madonna, and Pearl Jam.
This summer I'm looking to have a kick ass internship with something having to do with music. I have something set up with ASCAP, which is a non profit performance rights organization (I'm going to blog about them tomorrow). It sounds really fun and I'd learn an important part of the music business that not a lot of people care to learn about. But just recently, I caught wind of an opportunity that was practically placed into my hands from the heavens! So here's what happened: My old neighbor just happened to sit next to Jeff McClusky at a boxing game, or some kind of game, and they got to talking. Somehow the conversation turned to his daughter's high school, Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart, which coincidentally is where I went! Once my neighbor mentioned by plans to get into the music industry and the things I'm doing at IC, he suggested I contact him. If I got an internship with him, I would be working for the big movers and shakers of the industry and getting to work on events like Lollapalloza, which McClusky basically runs. Working for him could help set up my career before I even graduate.
Ok, i've gotten carried away. But I was so excited when I got the news I had to blog about it! Tomorrow I'm going to talk more about my internship at ASCAP. I need opinions on which one you guys think I should pick!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Is gossip the new way to market music?

So a lot of the stuff we read in the tabloids is crap, complete crap. It's all fabricated and innacurate and we can't take any tabloids seriously. But we look at them. We can't help it; we glaze at them in the magazine aisle and when we are checking out at Wegmans. So its an obvious move for the tabloids teaming up with musicians to promote their music, because gossip is what interest people most. So does anyone think its a coincidence that Ashlee Simpson got engaged AND supposedly pregnant right before her 3rd album is about to be released? released?,1,6148267.photogallery

UMM...actually I can't decide. The force of the tabloids is so strong it can make you thing anything. Then AGAIN......celebrities aren't stupid.,1,6148267.photogallery Ashlee Simpson hasn't been doing much in the past couple years; she NEEDED some publicity. Also she is releasing her album between Madonna and Mariah Carey, two heavy hitters. Did Ashlee come out with this info "coincidentally" at the same time her album comes out? PUH-LEASE. she hasn't been doing anything lately other than posing with her boyfriend/fiance/whatever Pete Wentz. Put it has people talking about her, and could encourage sales of her album. I know its getting vicious out there, but really? You're going to whore yourself out to US Weekly just to the that "edge" for records sales.

Honestly I love music, I really do, even the over-prosessed stuff like Fall Out Boy, but..resorting to tabloids to gain attention for you album, well clearly you're album can't speak for itself (COUGH ashlee simpson!)


Friday, April 11, 2008

You know what really grinds my gears?....

One of my last blogs I talked about the Honda Civic Tour for Fall Out Boy's last concert, and how much product placement there was. Well they are doing it again with Panic At the Disco's new tour. And it seems like it's gotten worse. Panic just performed their first show of the tour the other night and concert goers were disappointed to have the concert constantly interrupted by car commercials and video of other artists signed with the label. Sadly I know from experience that they aren't very good in live performances, but this is the last straw for me. I know labels are trying to find new ways to promote because records sales aren't enough, but I don't have the heart to go to a show, even of some of my favorite bands, and put up with that. It's not even about the money, because those kinds of bands don't go for much, maybe $30-40 max. It's just the idea of it. I don't go to concerts to watch car commercials, I got to see live performances. Just like I don't go to the movies to see ads for breast augmentation. There is a time and a place people!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Live Nation

I've been hearing a lot about Live Nation but not really sure what they actually were. I was curious to find out more about them. I knew Madonna just signed with them, U2 got a lot of buzz for signing with them too. Jay-Z is the newest artist to sign with them. But I had never visited their website for any concert tickets I had to buy or anything like that, I just read about them in the news, apparently not done often enough). They're a concert promoter, they cut deals with artists that pool tours, merch, record sales, and everything in between. A sweet deal for the artists because they're making money where they're losing money in record sales. U2 and Madonna are signing close to hundred million dollar deals. But what about us? the consumer? I mean they may be helping out musicians, but I have not seen the fruits of their labor. They don't offer any cheaper deals to concerts. The artists they have singed seem to be explusive of big names like Rolling Stones, so their tickets still go for a beautiful $200. I don't see any $20 concert tickets for indie bands. What gives?? If Live Nation is supposed to be this ground breaking business why is it not even affecting the most important component: US?

leave your comments :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Biodome the Sequel!

Epic Records and Dr.Pepper have teamed up to promote the band Cartel and their sophomore CD. The marketing stunt, "Dr.Pepper Band in a Bubble" will film beginning May 24 the band living in a giant bubble located near the Hudson River while they record their album, which will "burst" the final day June 12. The film will turn into a 4 episode series on MTV and and webcams will show live footage on the Cartel understands the criticism they'll get as "sellouts" for the hokey promotion, but point out the difficulty of releasing a successful sophomore album. They had a successful first album "Chroma" and played on the Warped Tour, but a failed sophomore album is known death wish to the band. Cartel wants to do what they can to help prevent this and believe this project will help them stick out in a sea of bands. While the idea of watching people in a confined space make me feel like a total creeper, the difference of this stunt, "is intended to give fans a first-time, real-time look into the making of the band's newest album."
By MTV showing the episodes, does that mean its going to have a Real World meets Making the Band kind of vibe? With P. Diddy-esque dude hovering in the background giving demands and the Real World "disease" that makes everyone in the house go totally nuts? Cause that would be sweet to watch. But in all serious, when I first saw the news article, I was upset to see it was about Cartel, whose music i've liked for a while, but i'm getting used to seeing bands I like endorsed by large companies like Honda Civic's Fall Out Boy tour. I understand why Cartel agreed, its natural for people to want promotions at their job, so why not them? If living in a giant bubble for 3 weeks help sales of their CD or give them more fans, fine. great. But seeing the members of my favorite bands like performance monkeys of the big sponsor throwing their brand in my face every 3 seconds, it's just...a little...disheartening.

Friday, March 21, 2008

When you think of good hair, what comes to mind? Madonna? OMG guys me tooo! Apparently Sunsilk does too because they announced that their new campaign "Life Can't Wait" will debut Madonna's first single "4 Minutes" off her umpteenth album named "Hard Candy," that also featured Marylin Monroe and Shakira. David Rubin, the Director of U.S. Hair Care Operations says that the commercial will show the different looks of Madonna throughout her career with the idea to inspire young girls to play around with their hair for different looks. In this article
Rubin said, "Madonna continues to be such an inspiration for young girls by continuously reinventing her looks, and we expect the new commercial will also encourage girls to evolve by changing their looks and making their hair and lives happen in a variety of exciting ways." The idea is that girls who have great hair in many different styles will give them the confidence and success like Madonna has had.

Don't get me wrong, Madonna has worked extremely hard for over 2 decades and has inspired girls in fashion and "take-charge" attitude. She seems to have a great family and I admire her adoption of a young child from a disadvantaged country. But excuse me if I'm wrong, but wasn't she also the woman who put nude pictures of herself in a book and has admitted to experimenting with drugs? And while changing her image can be seen as empowering to some, you could also see it as someone who needs to change as often and as dramatically as Madonna is someone who isn't happy with themselves, or don't know who they are as a person? Maybe I'm reading too much into this. I'm guilty myself for cutting of my hair and changing it from blonde to red at times, so I have no problem with Sunsilk's campaign to encourage girls to change up their looks. But perhaps choosing Madonna isn't the best choice. What about Rhianna who has gotten daring haircuts AND is a good role model for young women. I know why: because the music industry is so hard to break through, by playing Madonna's single in a commercial it will get the tune stuck in young girl's heads and might influence them to download her CD, set to release on April 29. niiiiice, Sunsilk, way to play on girls insecurities on their hair AND pressure to look like celebrities. I know that this Friday, I'm going to try the classic 80's Madonna crimped, bleached look :)

your thoughs?

Friday, February 29, 2008

Hey Guys, Let's get another Facebook application!

In a surprise move, Facebook has added a music application: Although they already have the iLike feature, the new music application will allow Facebookers to get paid downloads, buy merchandise, and get tour updates. It doesn't offer anything that is new or exclusive than other websites like Myspace. Also, what is this, their 560 billionth application? I'm not surprised that Facebook added this, they needed to fill every last nook and cranny after "How popular are you with your friends?" and "When will you get married?" Now that the music market has gone digital, sites like Facebook and Myspace are clawing at each other to get listeners to use their sites and not others. I know that Facebook added the music application because that's what any other business in order to keep up with their competitors, but I don't think they are going to have much success with it. It seems a little overkill for Facebook members as well as the artists. I doubt musicians will be keen on getting yet another website to maintain because it won't be towards different audiences. The same 14 year old that's Myspace friends with John Mayer would have one for Facebook.
I think that it can go in two directions. One, the Facebook music application will get huge with because they teamed up with iTunes, which could influence listeners to move away from using different music sites and use Facebook for all their music needs. The other would be complete failure due to member's lack of interest and musician's discouragement of repetition.
Sorry Facebook, you're a little late for joining this competition. Then again, that is just my opinion. What do you guys think?