Think of all these albums in which bands couldn’t afford to hire extra instrumentalists. Just how good would they have been if a service like Record Together had existed back in the day? What if The Who had managed to hire cello players for “A Quick One, While He’s Away” (the mini-opera after which their second LP was named)? Would real cellos have sounded better than the jokey “cello, cello, cello” the guys ended up chanting in the finished record? Would that have taken away from the charm of the piece? That could be debated for longer than it took Brian Wilson to release “Smile” as he had originally conceived it, and we’d never come to any kind of agreement. Integrity, ingenuity, imnocence… the people who would veto using outside instrumentalists always end up talking about such things.
Yet, they have to admit that some classic albums could have been nothing short of perfected if artists could have had access to accomplished session players. If The Smiths had hired a full orchestra to play on their epic “The Queen Is Dead”, the end result could have been even better than it was. When the album was originally recorded, the band had to hire the services of “The Hated Salford Ensemble” (IE guitarist Johnny Marr playing everything using a keyboard) to get the accompaniment they wanted for songs like “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side” and “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”. Continue reading →
As you know by now, the “Listen With” button lets your friends listen to the songs you’re playing while you’re online. Well, I want to call your attention to how friends interact with these songs.
Each time a friend clicks on the “Listen With” button, the chat room that’s opened for your friend to talk with you will also display a link back to the artist’s Facebook Page. So, checking out that artist’s profile becomes as easy as 1-2-3. No need to hunt for information all over the Internet.
From a marketing point of view, I don’t have to tell you how cool this is. If you’re the artist at the center of it all, the “Listen With” button can make people who’s never heard of you before head down to your profile, and go through your bio, your songs and your merchandise. They’ll even get to buy tickets for upcoming shows. Everything will be just one click away.
This is the first time since Facebook launched it’s music partnerships that the company does something which lets artists gain fans so easily. Seen in this light, Facebook’s alliance with Spotify was just the beginning of an unparalleled incursion in the music scene. Is 2012 going to be the year in which music goes truly social? With the evidence we have at hand, a case can certainly be made.
This new site brings together musicians and PR agencies in a grand way. If you’re an artist, you can turn to StoryAmp.com to create dispatches by uploading your music, bio, photos, videos and concert links. These dispatches can then be shared using any of StoryAmp’s press lists, and brought into the hands of journalists. That doesn’t mean they’ll write about you and your wondrous ensemble, but at least you’ll make your presence known to them. It’s a start.
And any way you look at it, using a site like this one is infinitely cheaper than trying to hire the services of a PR agency. StoryAmp can actually be used for free, and if you need to flex some additional muscle then you can sign up for a premium account. This will give you unlimited audio streaming, unlimited password-protected downloads and the chance to upload an unlimited number of photos and videos to be used in your dispatches. Continue reading →
Jazz Cypher is a social network which is aimed at jazz musicians and connoisseurs. It enables them to create their very own profiles, list their likes and dislikes and post on a wealth of jazz-related topics. For example, the site makes it very easy for performers to promote upcoming shows, and also to find other musicians to play with. And these venues that feature combos playing live can spread the word about the acts they are to feature next through Jazz Cypher, in a cost-effective way (IE for free).
And what would a social network be without photo albums? Jazz Cypher enables users to upload all their images and group them in the relevant collections. These can then be seen by all their contacts and friends.
So, the site gives jazz musicians and lovers the chance to do what social networks let people do in general: connect among themselves, and share these things they are enthusiastic about. Only that here everything is kept within well-defined limits and boundaries, and no discussion is careening off-topic.
Personally, I feel it’s important to mention that even someone like me (who is neither a jazz performer nor someone who is overly-keen on the genre) found the site quite interesting. It actually made me feel like playing the CDs by Diana Krall I have in my possession. I have no doubts that if you’ve got the genre under your skin, you’re certainly going to fall for something like Jazz Cypher.
We Love Your Songs is one of these community sites for new musicians that I have reviewed before, and that I will keep on reviewing until the end. I mean, such resources are terrific – young performers get a chance to nurture their talent, and fans get a chance to become familiarized with the ones who might as well become tomorrow’s stars today, when they were mostly unknown numbers. Plus, those who support a band locally get a chance to show their allegiance online more than easily
As in any other social site, users (IE bands and punters) have to sign up for their own accounts to interact among themselves. Once accounts have been created, it is very easy to upload media, and interact one-to-one both by commenting on what’s being shared.
And in order to elicit the best from bands (and to encourage fans to become even more involved) lots of different competitions are held on the site. Continue reading →
The meteoric success of artists like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga has opened everybody’s eyes to the role the Internet can play in a musical career, and Wanabez is here to let singers and instrumentalists have a fairer chance of being discovered.
Wanabez is a brand-new video portal for aspiring musicians, a place that is comparable to a version of YouTube in which only videos of people looking for the big break are uploaded.
Just like YouTube, Wanabez can be used for free. And the videos that are uploaded can be commented and rated by just anybody – site visitors, other performers, industry folks who stumble upon them…
Besides, since videos can be sorted both by rating and by the number of comments they have received finding the most promising acts is a much easier task. Any person looking for emerging talent can visualize only those that have received the highest qualifications, and avoid having to sit through one band after the other of fifteen year olds doing their own versions of “Whole Lotta Lovin'” with the divine conviction that they are incendiary, when they are just a good couple of light years from getting anywhere near the mark. Continue reading →
As I am sure you know, Apple has just given the iTunes store a social layer by releasing Ping, a network that is solely meant for music-related interactions. According to Steve Jobs, Ping has been created to solve the problem of discovering exactly what to listen to on iTunes.
Note that Ping is not really an independent website; it is actually part of iTunes 10. It is not a site that you sign up for, and it is not a mobile application either.
Ping lets you see what your friends have downloaded, what music they like, and which gigs they are attending. And if you follow other musicians (some celebrities are already there), you get to learn about new releases straight from them. You are also informed about any shows they are going to play.
Privacy (a big issue ever since Facebook tried to impose some big changes on users sometime last year) shouldn’t be a cause of concern – you can keep everything as public or private as you want. It is possible to create a closed circle with your ten best friends and exchange music among yourselves if that is what you want.
However, the shortcomings of Ping have already been pointed out. And in a unanimous way at that.
For starters, you will lament the absolute lack of intelligence Ping has got when it comes to recommending music to you. It just looks at the artists of the hour and recommends them to you, with little rhyme or reason. Since Ping is not an independent site but it is actually part of iTunes, you would think it would use iTunes’ “Genius” feature. Well, it doesn’t. And that was a big letdown to many. Continue reading →
Songbright is a new service that will let any musician stream his own pieces online, and generate an income for doing so. The premise is to pay artists for the actual times their songs are played, and I think the system will specially cater for those who are beginning. I say so for two main reasons.
First, the pricing is very reasonable – there are four plans to go for, and signup actually starts for as little as $1 a month. That plan (“Basic”) will let you upload one song. There are three other plans available, too, and they will let you upload 3, 5 and 10 tunes and their respective names are “Plus”, “Pro” and “Rockstar”.
That brings me to the second reason why I think this will suit budding musicians best. Now, let’s get honest. How many good songs one really has? I mean, good songs. Not the ones we wrote for that girl we fancied in order to make her go weak at the knees, not the ones we love because they have a true sentimental value attached to them. Good ones. The ones that could let us crack it. Many of us don’t even think about it. Continue reading →
You might wonder why are new social networks for musicians still being released when we have resources like MySpace available, and you have a point. But you must understand that to people located in specific parts of the world, the idea of networking locally is attractive by definition. That is, if they know the ones who are found within a given network share at least a certain geographical proximity, it is all the more enticing. The WWW has brought a whole elasticity when it comes to collaborating with others, yet if we were given the choice of collaborating over the Internet and doing it face to face then we all know which way we’d go. Continue reading →
This is a new network that is solely devoted to musicians. In fact, the site is so new that it is still in alpha. If you have a band that is missing one or two components, here you can place an ad and see profiles that are a good match. On the other hand, if you are on your own and would like to join a band then here you will be able to see if you can make strides towards fulfilling your musical vision.
Also, features for building up bonds with fans are underway. These will include the ability to engage them through sites like Facebook and so on. That is only logical – the obvious step after having the lineup in place is having somebody to play to, and somebody that is receptive and loyal at that. Continue reading →