Archive for August, 2010

First Friday// September 3 // 6-9 PM

August 29, 2010

Bandwidth Pt. 2

August 26, 2010

On Friday, August 20th I attended the second day of the Bandwidth music / technology conference in San Francisco. The conference was held at the beautiful Bentley Reserve (included in the National Register of Historic Places).

Instead of the usual large panels at the front of room, each Bandwidth session took place in small conference rooms with all participants sitting around the table and engaging with each other. The hardest part of the day was deciding which of three panels to attend each hour. I kept thinking I picked the wrong one..

At 10 AM I hit the “Direct to Consumer: How Involved Should a Label Be?” panel led by Tricia Rice (Director of Digital Media, Welk Music Group / Vanguard Records / Sugar Hill Records). Her presentation style was informal and directed most questions at the group. My take aways:

  • There is no album cycle anymore. In many labels artists mix it up and will maybe do one “top line” record, then a four song pack just for iTunes, then a mixed-tape, then an EP and then might cycle back to another “top line” or more traditional CD release.
  • When partnering with third parties – make sure that partners are incentivized to help on all channels (not just for example iTunes or just Facebook, etc.). You need partners that will support you selling music everywhere music is sold.
  • Associate with other artists as a way to “rise the tide” for everyone. Example Tricia gave was a free holiday download put together across labels. They helped the artists compile 15 tracks from 15 different artists and then made all the tracks available for free to all of the artists’ fans (through a Topspin email for media widget). Each artist gained a significant amount of new fans/emails to market future projects. This is an example of a label using their resources to help do something that has no direct financial gain but probably has future financial potential.
  • Labels need to focus on the bigger picture. In the past reactions might have been, why do we help an artist build channels/fanbase when we don’t share in the benefit (directly) – but the bigger picture is if you DON’T do that = nothing happens.
  • Another perspective is that many labels feel their teams can run these channels (social networking, artist website, etc.) better than the third parties an artist might hire to do that – so they do it for free at first in the hopes that artists will allow the label to get more involved in those areas.

At 11 AM it was time for the keynote conversation with Jac Holzman  (founder, CEO and Creative Head of Elektra Records and Nonesuch Records). Jac’s talk was a highlight of the day as he talked story and dropped gem after gem of industry knowledge. Here are the ones I picked up:

  • Everything informs your life – good or bad.
  • Most every great songwriter writes children’s songs as well.
  • As a record label I would get a lot of shots, but in most cases the artist usually only gets one.
  • There is a lot of stuff happening on the sides – we are so focused on moving straight ahead that we tend to miss the stuff on the sides.
  • It tends to be the little things that change your life.
  • Have respect for every aspect of the recording process.
  • Many times it just “didn’t work” and the process was to see if you could fix it. If I couldn’t fix it, I would give the masters back to the artists and let them work on it.
  • An album is context and content and a lightning bolt.
  • In the beginning, price it low enough so people can get used to it.  Experiment with pricing.
  • Think about everything from the standpoint of the consumer.
  • If you are going to be an independent music producer, you need to be kind of insane.
  • A great album is touched by fairy dust at some point.
  • His style was always to be so well honed that you have room for a miracle to happen. You are always looking to bring out that extra element that works. The moment where you say “this is why we do this”.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of the artist, it is us with them, not us against them.
  • There is no single way to do anything.
  • An attitude of someone who runs a record company is let the chaos happen. Keep your own head straight, but let the chaos happen.
  • The fact that you can make a record, doesn’t mean it should be released.
  • I am firm believer in good first filters. There is a lot of room today for first filters.
  • We are not a music industry, we are music rights industry.
  • Keep it lean.

Following up Jac was a brown bag lunch session with Ted Cohen (managing partner, TAG strategic).

At 1:00 PM I picked the “In The News: A discussion of the topics, trends and technologies currently impacting the industry” led by Kelli Richards (President & CEO of The All Access Group).

The discussion revolved around:

  • Monetizing before, during and after live shows, including new technologies that allow fans to have an immediate live take away, etc.
  • Embracing “game changing” technologies
  • How to best harness the direct to consumer market
  • The idea of music and an “identity” and giving the market ways to give the “gift of music”

At 2:00 PM I picked the “Your Social Media Network: Creating Passionate Advocates” led by Larry Weintraub (CEO of Fanscape, Inc.).

Discussion centered around the value of a social relationship:

  • Question – How to value a fan who engages with a brand within the social media fold
  • Answer – It depends on the goals of the business
  • Give customers content that: relates to them, drives them to take an action, and keeps them interested.
  • Actively engaging w/customers = increase in profit from each customer

Bandwidth Pt. 1

August 25, 2010

Last week we attended the Bandwidth music and technology conference in San Francisco, which “brings together professionals in the music, media and technology worlds.” The first day’s sessions gave us great insight on the widening spectrum of strategies used to sell music—many of which are cheap and easy to utilize. Here are some tips on DIY music marketing:

Document Everything
Practice recordings and backstage footage can be exclusive content today and may turn into archival gems tomorrow; there is great potential value in documentation.

Be Seen
Fans want photos. The photo section is often the most popular section of an artist’s website—no matter what genre or subject. A photo gallery on your personal page and/or social media site can get a lot of clicks.

Don’t Underestimate YouTube
YouTube trumps Myspace when it comes to audience and content selection. As the 2nd biggest search engine (after Google), a YouTube account is an invaluable marketing tool.

Tip: A good, unique cover song video can attract a lot of traffic to your account. This approach creates a pathway for potential fans to discover your original work.

Twitter, at its best, is a platform for sharing authentic content and building long-term relationships. Bands can use the site to become more accessible to their fans, creating a sense of intimacy and familiarity. Consistently making valuable posts (make sure to filter out the unimportant or uninteresting) is a good was to increase awareness. Frequent tweets also help search engine optimization (meaning you will appear higher on a list of search results).

Tip: It doesn’t all have to be about you. Bands and artists endorsing each other is a great way to show support and attract attention.

Good luck and happy marketing! Stay tuned for pt. 2 of our Bandwidth tips.

Pt. 1 produced by Sabrina Sierra

Introducing Chris Price aka Voxx Romana

August 23, 2010

Meet our First Friday artist for September. Reception is Friday, September 3 from 6-9 PM featuring live art.

Chris Price –

Artist Statement and Bio

As an artist, I find myself intensely drawn to the process of making and creating things. I love seeing my art form from imaginative ideas and sporadic inspirations. I find just as much joy in the creative process as I do in the finished product. My mixed media art is a testament to the usage of all the tools and mediums available, to create a fresh prospective and an infinite number of possibilities. I enjoy using collage, screen printing, alternative printing processes, patterns, stencils, spray paint, painting, and graphic design together to create multi-dimensional symbolism in my work.

I was born and raised in Colorado. As a youth I was interested in art and fascinated with it’s freedom and creative. At 12 years old, I began to skateboard and that continued to the present day. My formal education in art started in high school where I was inspired by, teacher and international artist, Floyd D. Tunson. Around this time I also developed an interest in street art which has influenced my art in many ways. I then attended Community Collage in Colorado Springs for graphic design. My work in the design and printing industry has also had a profound influence on my art and helped lead me to a more mixed-media approach to my art. I moved to Northern California in 2009 to further my art career and have been warmly welcomed by the local community. 

Santa Cruz Idol – Deadline for Entry is Monday, August 16

August 12, 2010

The Santa Cruz Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors is now accepting applications from singing contestants for their annual Santa Cruz Idol & Elegant Spaghetti Dinner.

The deal:

  • Now accepting applications for singing contestants
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Only the first 100 people who submit applications with audition a capella
  • Download application here – or email Margie Kiedrowski at

Deadline for applications – Monday, August 16

Audition date: Saturday, August 21 at 10 AM sharp
Audition location: Pacific Blue Inn in the Mill Gallery next to The Cosmo Factory at 131 Front Street

For more information contact Margie Kiedrowski at

Gadgetbox Recording Studios Open Mic – Wed. August 18

August 11, 2010

Introducing the latest open mic. Gadgetbox Recording Studios (417-A Ingalls Street) will host their first songwriter open mic night on Wednesday, August 18 from 7PM-9:30PM. Housed in their newly remodeled “grand room” the event will combine the intimacy of a house concert, with the superior acoustics of a professional recording studio.

Hosted by the Gadgetbox staff, each performer will be given a two-song or ten minute maximum time limit.  The all-ages show will start promptly at 7:00 PM and performers are encouraged to arrive early and place their names in a fishbowl.  Names will be drawn randomly to establish performance order. Gadgetbox will provide a standard stage set-up and sound engineer as well as usage of the Yamaha C7 grand piano. Performers will also have the option to be videotaped (in HD quality) free of charge and can purchase their raw multi-track audio from the event.

A sliding scale donation ($1-$5) will be accepted at the door on the evening of the event.

  • Starts next Wed. August 18
  • Continues every other Wednesday
  • 417 Ingalls Street (across from SC Mountain Brewery & Kelly’s Bakery)
  • Parking available along Ingalls Street or in Kelly’s Bakery Courtyard

Overview of Santa Cruz open mics we know about includes:

Are we missing any?

Holy Hour – Tips on How To Book A Show at The Abbey Coffee, Art & Music Lounge

August 9, 2010

Complete blog can be found on The Good Times Making Noise site.

The Abbey
350 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Show schedule on their MySpace page –

  • Booking contact: Bennett Gibson
  • Preferred method of contact: email –  (please do not call). Be sure to include your band name and link to your music in the email.
  • Timing: booking about 2-3 months in advance (but sometimes has last-minute cancellations to fill)
  • Payment: none available (but you can sell merch and have a tip jar)
  • Shows: Saturday and Sunday night from 8 – 10 PM (so special occasion Friday night shows)
  • Staff: all volunteer – the entire shop is a non-profit run by Vintage Faith Church
  • Genre: generally acoustic, singer-songwriter, bands tend to unplug (people bring brushes and not full drum kits) – nothing too loud. Think folk, jazz trios, etc.
  • Local bands vs. touring – about 50/50
  • Sound – in-house sound system including PA, sound board, etc.

Open-mic once a month. Sign up at 7 PM, show starts at 8 PM. People can and do get booked from the open-mic. Facebook –

Bands Wanted – Reggae Night @ Boccis Cellar

August 9, 2010

Boccis Cellar is starting a reggae night one Friday a month (maybe more later) and now is your chance to get in on the ground floor. Boccis’s already has music 7 days a week and are looking to start a new theme night.


  • Your band members need to be at least 21 years old
  • Need to be able to play at least three 45 min sets
  • Performance is in the inside bar area (not the back patio)
  • Boccis offers 30% of the alcohol the bartender serves while you are performing plus a meal from the band menu and cocktail for each performer (up to five band members).
  • The 30% bar on week nights ranges from $30 -$120 (to as much as $300), Fridays is about $150-$250+.
  • If you can bring in 25-30 + of your drinking fans you can go home with a nice full pocket.
  • Friday evening is usually 8:30 – 11:30 depending on the crowd (the longer you play while folks are drinking the more you can make).
  • PV 600R 6 Channel PA provided (you bring mics, mic cables, stands)
  • You use the House PA as its volume fits the room well
  • The bartender = your boss while you play

If interested, email Toby Gray at Make sure to include  a link to your band’s web presence and/or MP3s.

Summit Idols Benefit Concert

August 2, 2010

In support of the Theatre in the Mountains and Loma Prieta Joint School District’s music/art program. Performances will be held on August 27 and 28. Last summer’s “Summit Idols” was a sell out. Cash prizes for the Best Adult soloist, Best Teen soloist, Best Child soloist and Best Group.

The auditions will be held on August 2nd (5pm-9pm), August 3rd (10am-9pm), and August 4 (5pm-9pm) in the Dance Room at the Loma Prieta Community Center

Audition slots are limited, so please call Libby McCord at 408-353-3055 ASAP to schedule your audition appointment!

Click to download: audition packet