Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Matchbook Romance Reunites for GK! Holiday Festival

A Very GK! Holiday Festival

This weekend, A Very GK! Holiday Festival is coming to New York for it’s final show this year in Poughkeepsie. In October, the Alternative Press announced that Matchbook Romance will reunite to headline the GK! Holiday Festival for the New York Date. Matchbook Romance released two albums, “Stories and Alibis” in 2003 and “Monsters” in 2006 (Billboard). Among the band’s major hits were “Monsters,” and “Promise,” both were featured on MTV and VH1. In the past, they’ve toured with big names such as Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy, and Chiodos and have been members of the Take Action Tour. Originally from Poughkeepsie, New York, it made sense for Matchbook Romance to come back from hiatus for this show, it will be their first live performance in over 3 years.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

August Burns Red goes Christmas

The holidays always provide an opportunity for artists to capitalize on merchandise sales by offering limited edition products, bundles, discounts, and other promotions. A great way to seize the season is to release a Christmas cover song album just as August Burns Red released “Sleddin’ Hill” this year. The album features 13 tracks by the Christian metal band, each one taking a familiar holiday song. “Sleddin’ Hill” redefines Christmas songs to include a double bass pedal, fast tempos, and technical guitar solos.

The first track of the album, “Flurries,” sets the tone for what is to come. August Burns Red uses the song to show the listener that although this is a Christmas album, it does not mean that there is going to only be sleigh bells and soft melodies. The song starts of with characteristic sleigh bells to set the mood and gradually progresses to a faster tempo adding in harder drums and guitar melodies. Throughout the entire song, August Burns Red effectively uses breakdowns and tempo changes to keep the listener guessing what is coming next. August Burns Red did a fantastic job of incorporating traditional Christmas elements with their well-known sound, especially in this song. The entire album can be streamed on Youtube.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bayside's Hurricane Sandy Benefit Shirt


In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, several people are still without power while others are left with nothing, trying to rebuild their lives. There are a lot of unanswered questions about the future; how will those affected continue to live their lives and how will they fare without electricity, food, water, and other basic needs? Volunteers have come together to try and help out by bringing donations or contributing monetarily to the American Red Cross.

Some musicians are using their national reach to get fans to help out in any way possible. Bayside, a band I wrote about just a few weeks ago, has always called New York “home.” Although they are on the road touring now with Taking Back Sunday, they are still looking to help any possible way they can. And now, through their merchandise website, they are offering a Hurricane Sandy Benefit shirt to their fans. All of the proceeds from the sale of this shirt will go to the Greater New York American Red Cross (Bayside).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Business Plans? Are they necessary?

An article in the New York Times details the opinions of several business plan experts about the importance of an entrepreneur writing a business plan. A study was conducted in 2009 by the University of Maryland’s business school to find out how important business plans were to venture capitalists, who fund entrepreneurs and start up businesses (New York Times). It was found that several venture capitalists rely more on experience and gut feeling rather than the details of an entrepreneur’s business plan (New York Times).

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bayside Pre-Order Bundles


Bayside, the alternative rock band from New York, announced last month that they would be releasing a cover EP this fall. Their last full-length album was “Killing Time,” which was released in February 2011 (Billboard). Since then, Bayside has been touring with Taking Back Sunday and the Vans Warped Tour. This fall, Bayside is hitting the road once again with Taking Back Sunday, who is promoting the 10-year anniversary of their album, “Tell all Your Friends.”

With news of the cover EP, comes the news of new Bayside merchandise and bundles. Starting today, fans can pre-order the CD along with 8 different merchandise bundles through their online store. Various bundles include combinations of hats, scarves, hoodies, and shirts, varying in price from $22-$120. Each bundle comes with the album, a sticker, and a signed poster, along with whatever other items the fans select.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

An Artist Manager's Dream or Nightmare?

Billie Joe, lead singer of Green Day, gave quite the performance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival last week. According to WPTV, Billie Joe’s reaction was in response to his set being cut short during the concert. After throwing around a few f-bombs, Billie Joe went on to smash his guitar on stage, outwardly displaying his anger and frustration. For the past few days, fans have been buzzing about the performance and the allegation that Billy Joe has checked into rehab for substance abuse (Alternative Press).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Punk Goes Pop Volume 5 Release Date

Punk Goes
Fearless Records just announced that ‘Punk Goes Pop Volume 5’ is to be released on November 6. This album is the fifth volume in the Punk Goes Pop series and includes performances by The Maine, Mayday Parade, We Came as Romans, Breathe Carolina, and Forever the Sickest Kids. The collection is well known for their other albums such as ‘Punk Goes Crunk,’ which features alternative rock artists covering R&B songs, ‘Punk Goes Classic Rock’, which features classic rock songs, and ‘Punk Goes Acoustic’, which features alternative rock songs.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Yellowcard's Southern Air Review


Yellowcard emerged in the early 2000s and quickly became well known for their quick tempos and violin incorporation. Their first album with Capitol Records, Ocean Avenue, released in 2003, was amazing in terms of technicality. With songs like “Only One,” “Empty Apartment,” and “Way Away,” listeners were introduced to something they had never heard before. Violinist Sean Mackin added more depth and emotion to the songs and complimented Ryan Key’s vocals. The band played on the Vans Warped Tour and toured with Matchbook Romance (Billboard). Since then they have released a few albums, Lights and Sounds in 2006, Paper Walls in 2007, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes in 2011, and now Southern Air (Yellowcard).

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Using Industry Podcasts

Every individual that is involved with the entertainment world needs to become aware of the various types of legal issues that can significantly affect your business. One of the most important topics when it comes to entertainment is copyright law so knowing the misconceptions about the law can decrease your liability risk. Keeping up to date with current events as well as industry podcasts can provide extremely valuable insight and expert resources.

The first podcast was presented by a Minnesota Law radio program examines “The Myths and Misconceptions of Copyright Law.” Within the half hour program, Marsha Stolt, an attorney that specializes in copyright, trademarks, and intellectual property, details the basic information that everyone should know about copyright and intellectual property. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Entertainment Law - Know the Basics

Entertainment Law

When it comes to the music industry and entertainment world, one must be extremely careful when entering contracts and agreements. Taking the time to read the fine print and seek legal advice can protect you from making costly mistakes. Misunderstandings and ignorance are not valid excuses when it comes to the contractual obligations you agree to with your signature. It helps to be versed in at least the basics of entertainment law, so you know what to look out for in an industry that has a tarnished reputation.

In a recent article, The Hollywood Reporter states that the singer Dev is suing her record label Indie-Pop over her recording contract. She signed the contract in 2008, which gives the company 75% of her income. In today’s industry, labels are looking for other revenue streams due to the popularity of digital music and the shift away from consumers purchasing physical albums. The record labels are making money by taking a percentage of merchandise and ticket sales in addition to music sales. I wrote about 360 deals in an earlier post, “Developing New Revenue Streams.” Many artists are upset with their contracts when they realize how much this really amounts to. Now Dev says that she was pressured into signing the deal and that she didn’t adequately review the document or seek legal counsel. The article states that Dev is accusing Indie-Pop of manipulating her and saying that the company didn’t look out for her best interest.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Vans Warped Tour teams up with Bandhappy

Vans Warped Tour
The Vans Warped Tour is among the most anticipated musical events of the entire year. Spanning 7 weeks, countless cities, and featuring many popular and up and coming bands, thousands flock to their nearest venue to catch all of the excitement. Fans brave sweltering heat, long lines, occasional rain, and risk injury to see their favorites play, or meet their idols at merch tents for signings and pictures.

This year, Warped Tour introduced a new vendor, Bandhappy. Bandhappy is a “music education service” that allows fans to take music lessons from their favorite band members. Students can sign up through the Bandhappy website and reserve their time with artists for lessons during Warped Tour. The on-tour lesson schedule allows students to take lessons from Yellowcard, Miss May I, Streetlight Manifesto, Bayside, Chelsea Grin, Pierce the Veil, and many more bands.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Kid Jerusalem

Kid Jerusalem
With the changing tides of the music industry and the emergence of the DIY method, it has become harder and harder for bands to differentiate themselves from the competition. Although it has become easier to connect with fans, distribute material, and generate a presence, it is still hard to break that barrier with fans because of all the other bands competing for the same attention.  So in order to be successful and establish a true, loyal fan base, the artist has to really have all of the right elements.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ashes Forever Interview

Ashes Forever
Ashes Forever is a two piece metal band from New York City. Having played several shows all over the east coast and sharing the stage with names like Rosetta, Another Breath, and Shai Hulud, they are a forced to be reckoned with. The band consisting of Matt Dillon and James Gaskill originally formed under the name “Don’t Give a F***” and released their first EP “A Girl Burning and Dying” last year. They have since changed their name to Ashes Forever and released their second EP entitled “Love, Leave, Forget, Repeat,” which is available to download on Bandcamp. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Financial Literacy for Musicians

Financial literacy is a topic that has been one of the main focuses on the Entertainment Business Finance course I’m taking this month from Full Sail University. It’s extremely important to understand the basic financial concepts of opportunity cost and breaking even in order to make sound financial decisions.

Since more musicians are opting to remain independent these days, it is incredibly important for them to learn the financial basics as well in order to make their jobs easier. Independent artists do not have record labels and accountants to take care of the numbers so learning a little about finance can go a long way.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Palm Kids' New EP

Palm Kids is a three piece alternative rock band based out of California. Having formed in February of last year, the band already has a following on several social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter. They are known for their upbeat tempos, melodic intricacies, and catchy choruses.
Their newest EP entitled “Somehow,” really showcases their diverse sound and the talents of each member. The first track, Dance With Me begins with what sounds like angsty vocals but the song really develops to be more uplifting in the chorus, all the while retaining the right amount of edginess throughout the entire piece. Palm Kids seems to have just a little hint of The Matches, another alternative band from California that signed with Epitaph Records in the past.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Differentiating Visually

Jess Wilson
In the past, I did a post about how personal branding and various actions can change the perceptions of consumers. This week’s post will focus on how visuals can also alter the perceptions of your target market. Visuals are an incredibly important way to portray a specific mood or image for your brand. As an artist, your album artwork, logo, and personal image are all ways that consumers can derive ideas about the brand. Ries’ Pieces is a business blog focused on branding. In the post, “Being Different Visually,” the author describes how a number of companies differentiate themselves just by looking different from their competitors. The energy drink Red Bull has a very distinctive small can. Monster on the other hand, differentiated themselves by using a larger can. Consumers don’t have any difficulty in determining which product is which because each has their own way of standing out in the consumer’s mind. If your brand is easily recognized, it’ll stand out more and gain more attention from consumers.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Utilizing TED is a great resource that links users with speeches and presentations conducted around the world. The website has videos on several industry related topics including technology, business, science, and entertainment. The speakers are often incredibly resourceful when it comes to passing on ideas, lessons, and knowledge pertaining to a specific topic.

Adam Sadowsky used his speech to tell the story of how his team had to overcome several obstacles in order to design and build the Rube Goldberg machine used in OK Go’s music video. The band had set forth several requests for requirements of the machine. For example, the machine had to start the music, go along with the mood of the song, synch with beats of the song, and be in filmed in one shot. Other requirements were set forth but it was these specific ones that seemed to make Adam Sadowsky’s task impossible to complete.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Knowing Trade Organizations

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a well-known organization that works with various artists and recording companies within the music industry. The RIAA has several purposes including certifying sales awards, protecting intellectual property, and conducting market research. It is much different from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), which handles various licensing and distribution of royalties.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Developing Stage Presence

In order to get fans excited about music, the artist has to be excited about their music. The perfect way to get others hyped and excited is by developing a stage presence. The way an artist portrays themselves on stage is a direct reflection of who they are and what their music means. An artist that moves around, dances, and is passionate, truly cares about what they are doing and connects with the audience better.

Recently, I went to a concert at The Chance Theater to see one of my favorite bands. One of the opening bands couldn’t connect with the audience because they lacked experience performing. It was a little awkward to watch because they didn’t know how to move and bumped into each other. The audience was stiff and unsure of how to react to the music and the overall performance of the band. Even though the band tried to encourage the crowd, it seemed like a forced, unnatural effort. The band needed to calm their nerves, practice, and become comfortable.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DIY Artists as Project Managers

Several bands and music artists are opting for the do-it-yourself route to putting out albums, distributing merchandise, touring, and marketing themselves. Cutting out the traditional record label means more money in the pockets of the musicians but it can also mean more money coming out of their pockets. Still, whatever it costs financially, doing things yourself might pay off more in the long run (though it means not having the resources and exposure a label can provide).
Kill Hipsters
Just recently, two well-known bands have announced that they might switch from the traditional model to the DIY model of the music industry once their contracts are up.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Developing New Revenue Streams

In the music industry, it has become a bit difficult to sell full albums due to advancements in technology that allow streaming or purchasing of individual songs. Many fans prefer to purchase only the songs they like instead of a full album for $9.99 or more. The dilemma now is how to make up these lost profits and generate more revenue in a time where some physical formats of music are not being sold.
Fearless Records

Record labels have been fully aware of this and have a solution in the form of 360 deals. These deals take a portion of all of the revenue artists generate including that from merchandise and ticket sales. has more information regarding these types of deals.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Personal Branding

The hardcore band from Ocala, Florida, A Day to Remember, recently teamed up the Make A Wish Foundation. It was the dream of Zak Spang to play on stage with the band. Alternative Press Magazine reports that during a show in New Jersey, his wish came true.

A Day to Remember

A Day to Remember is well known within the rock genre and has played at many famous music festivals like the Warped Tour.  With their upbeat tempos and occasional screaming vocals, the band can be perceived to be a tough, high-energy band.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Welcome to An Artist’s Interlude, an online resource for artists looking to take the next step in their careers. Information pertaining to marketing, management, distribution, legalities, and other relevant news will be shared through this blog.