The New Breed of Record Labels: Helping Bands Help Themselves

Polyphonic will invest in bands, who in turn will operate like startups, dealing mostly with contractors to handle various aspects of a band’s work, such as merch, tours, publicity, recording etc. They will share profits from their music and tours, but – and this is the really important part – they get to keep copyrights and master recordings. It’s about royalties, of course, but it’s also about controlling what happens to your own music, something that has troubled many artists, such as Tori Amos, Trent Reznor or Radiohead, when they dealt with major labels.

Now, that sounds interesting… its about time entrepreneurial spirit met music in an artist-friendly way.

The New Breed of Record Labels: Helping Bands Help Themselves

Music Labels Reach Royalty Deal With Online Stations

There’s been a lot of concern among in the community of fans of small and innovative music webcasters like Pandora about royalties being set by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board – fees were set at rates which would have potentially put companies like Pandora out of business. With this new agreement, however, it looks like the industry folks have have relented a bit.

Details are in the NY Times article, but this pretty much sums it up:

“This is definitely the agreement that we’ve been waiting for,” said Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora

UPDATE: Tim Westergren’s summary is here. I really like those guys!

Music Labels Reach Royalty Deal With Online Stations

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Musicians: Do you have 1000 “True Fans”?

In this 2008 blog entry, Kevin Kelly wrote posits that it should be possible for artists to survive on a modest (1000) number of “true fans” who would spend enough money per capita on their favorite artists to support each artist. The exciting idea was that this would make it possible for artists to focus on their art, even if it weren’t popular, and not live like a pauper.

A followup blog entry, “The Case Against 1000 True Fans” presents some sobering results: apparently such an artist doesn’t exist.

But is that still true? Are social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc allowing musicians to reach down the long tail and find the 1000 true fans among the hundreds of millions of music fans? That is, in part, what motivates me to write this blog. I see the potential micro-celebrities to become self-supporting simply through social networks and I want to highlight success stories, tools, best practices, and other advice for aspiring “1000 true fan”-style musicians.

So my question to readers is whether or not they are, or know of, musicians supporting themselves (either partially of fully) through a “true fan” model? Are you a true fan supporting a musician that you like? Do you know of resources for artists wanting to build a “true fan” network?

[Thanks to Adina Levin for the links]

Musicians: Do you have 1000 “True Fans”?

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Vibe Magazine Shutting Down Immediately

Is this:

  1. A sign of the general economic times
  2. A sign of the decline of print media
  3. A sign of nothing in particular?


Vibe Magazine Shutting Down Immediately

Jason from West Seattle Pleasure Club

Just saw Jason from WSPC live at open mic at Angelica’s. Check out his band here.

Jason from West Seattle Pleasure Club


B is For Bob (full album online)

I’m probably not in the habit of discussing individual releases, but as a dad, this one is a special exception. I grew up listening to my dad’s Bob Marley albums, and now my kids get to hear the same songs, made perhaps a little more appealing for them (at 6 and 8). Definitely a must-have — and the songs are available to listen to for free online right now:

B is for Bob is a collection of original Bob Marley songs re-imagined for kids and fans of all ages!!
The international musical legend’s eldest son, four-time Grammy winner Ziggy Marley, executive produced the album, which bridges the gap between the timeless Bob Marley and a new generation of kids.
Bob Marley’s music touches people of all ages. With children in mind, Ziggy has transformed 8 of his father’s songs while leaving 4 of Bob Marley’s other masterpieces untouched.
Released just in time for summer, this is the perfect album for the entire family to enjoy!

B is For Bob (full album online)

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United Breaks Radio

Online Breakbeat Radio station, and what appears to be a really interesting and active fan community around the music as well:

Full featured internet breakbeat station broadcasting over 60,000 minutes of the finest domestic breaks. Search our fast growing breakbeat music playlist and request your favorite breaks to be played on ubRadio! You may also dedicate your request to otherbreakbeat fans. Come join ubForums breakbeat forums, A great place to interact with your favorite breakbeat producer or dj. Also, Talk to other fans and members about your breaks music passion! Register and join the breakbeat music forums today! Check out ubLIVE breakbeat dj schedule for the full lineup of weekly live dj showsbroadcasting live audio and occasionally video only on UnitedBreaks.FM

United Breaks Radio

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Djembe Strap Tutorial

I used this tutorial to make my own strap for my Djembe out of 2” strapping. I bought about 15 feet of it at REI (off the spool), cost me less than $11.

Playing Djembe standing up is a whole other experience than sitting down.

Djembe Strap Tutorial

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#musicmonday on Twitter

If you like talking about music (especially on Mondays), you may want to check out the Twitter hashtag #musicmonday. I’ve also found #funkfriday.

I’m curious if people have seen other music related “day” tags (the idea being that everyone starts talking about a community of music on a particular day of the week). If you find any active ones, post in the comments to this entry!

#musicmonday on Twitter

Me Like Good Music

I just found this site because its owner just followed me on Twitter.


That’s an agenda I can buy into. Electronica, Pop, R&B, Metal, Bossa Nova.. you name it, there’s something for everyone. In-browser streams and information about the artist/music for each track.

Me Like Good Music