Posts Tagged ‘Bands’

You may (or maybe not) remember from when I first started blogging that I love going to shows. If I can find a good show for every night of the week, it’s been a fucking fantastic week. There was a blizzard (snowpocalypse? yay sensationalism) this past weekend and the worst part wasn’t that every place to get food was closed or that I could barely walk anywhere, it was that the shows I was excited for were canceled.

Pictured: not me

That being said, there are so many shows each week that I have to pick and choose. And I’ve noticed some patterns in the shows that get the shaft. So here are some reasons I won’t be going to your band’s next show:

1. You Had A Show A Week Ago

And have one next week too. Even if I haven’t been to any of your shows, I’m more likely to see the band who plays, at MOST, every two weeks than someone I know I can just wait to see next week.

If I have seen your show, playing so often provides no distinction between each performance. It’s better to play a show, then take the time to develop your songs, performance, or stage presence, and THEN play a show. That way it feels completely new and interesting and I’ll actually be interested to see what you have planned for next time.

2. I Have No Idea What You Sound Like

This baffles me. Fans don’t become fans by finding you on Facebook and waiting until they can go to a show to hear your music. Fans are formed with the least effort (for them) possible. Put up at least one song before you start playing out – unless you’re playing open mic nights where there’s a guaranteed audience.

3. It’s In Another State

Facebook has ways to sort your friends for a reason. If I’m in Boston and your show is in Rhode Island, there’s no way I’ll be coming…just don’t even invite me. I’ll get all excited for it and then realize it’s definitely not walking distance. If you want to offer me a ride and place to stay, that’s a different story…I’m always down for a good adventure 😉


You cannot annoy me into attending your show. And for the love of god, don’t send me a personal message unless we are close enough that we’ve shared a fork.


Now here are some tips from my favorite Internet places:


Jacob Jeffries Band – Crazy Under The Moon

Genre: Pop/Rock

Listen if you like: I don’t even know what to compare this to…catchy, upbeat, good pop/rock songs


Muse – Plug In Baby

Genre: Rock, Alternative, Symphonic Rock

Listen if you like: Radiohead, Queen, Epic Music



Mumford & Sons – White Blank Page

Genre: Folk, Indie

Listen if you like: Bright Eyes, River City Extension, The Head and The Heart


Apollo Run – Chasing Rabbits

Genre: Alternative, Pop/Rock

Listen if you like: Muse, The Matches, Art Decade

When I announced that I’m now managing a band in NYC on Sunday, some people (okay one person, I’m not exactly big time here) were curious about the events that led to that decision. Here I’ll tell the tale of how I came to manage them, from first meeting to now, with a sprinkle of advice thrown in (you know how I do).

NMS and Determined Networking

A few weeks ago, I attended the New Music Seminar at Webster Hall and posted about it here. What I didn’t mention was the band from Mexico that I met on the first night, the opening concert.

Before the show, there was a “red carpet” of sorts for all the media to take pictures and do quick interviews. I only had my iPhone so I was mostly there to see who was at the concert and hopefully learn a little more about the seminar. There were a couple bands that walked through that had the potential to play my preferred genre of music, one of which was The Oats.

I am not the most social person. Every outing takes a good deal of energy from me and I have to force myself to walk up to new people and start a conversation. But that’s exactly what I did. The first band did NOT seem interested in what I had to say…they replied with obligation and gave me their card, but they clearly had better people to talk to. Refusing to be deterred, I walked up to the next band in the hopes of, at the very least, getting their information and finding some new music. I didn’t realize I was starting a friendship and a partnership.

The Oats were very enthusiastic about meeting new people (my friend was with me) and we talked for a bit about their sound (The Pixies, The Strokes, The Libertines), their story, and my aspirations in the music business. We exchanged information and went our separate ways.

Networking Tips (Trust me, I know this shit. Thanks Google!):

  • Be Confident – If you don’t believe you’re an interesting person to talk to, no one else will either, and they’ll quickly run the other way
  • Have A Conversation Starter – With those bands, I opened by confirming their band name and inquiring about the genre of music they play. It can be anything from complimenting an article of clothing to asking about their position in the music industry.
  • Focus On Them – People love talking about themselves
  • Get Their Contact Info – Ask for a card, a number, or an email, and make sure not to lose it!
  • Follow Up – Send a quick email saying how great it was to meet them and include an open-ended suggestion to meet or work together

Follow-Up and A Show At Public Assembly

After the New Music Seminar ended, and I actually had some free time again, I sent out a follow-up email saying I liked their music and asking for a list of show dates. Of course, they added me to their mailing list (good move guys) and sent me a free download (and again!) along with their calendar. Naturally, I went to their next show, which was at Public Assembly in Brooklyn. At 8pm on a Sunday. What I’m saying is there weren’t many people there.

Despite the small crowd, The Oats rocked it and made the perfect self-deprecating joke, without making it awkward. They also enlisted the help of a rubber chicken to ask for emails from the audience. I was really starting to like this band.

After the show, my friends and I invited them to hang out back at our place, have a beer, and play some music (as we’re wont to do..). Even with their Mexican accents (meaning language barrier), they fit in with us Berklee kids. Musicians gotta stick together, you know?

The Rest Is History

But I’ll tell you about it anyway. We started hanging out more regularly, talking about their time in Toronto and how the radio stations in Mexico don’t like bands that sing in English, and I just became determined to help them build a fan base here in NYC. I checked out their online presence, gave them a few tips, and promoted shows through my social media profiles. Then, I got them a gig in Boston (THIS FRIDAY AT MACHINE). Occasionally, they’d mention they were looking for a manager, but, seeing as I don’t have any experience, I was resistant to offering my services (I was scared shitless that I’d mess it up).

But, after talking about my experiences with my internships and previous concert planning and promotion, along with all the help I’d offered them and my enthusiasm for their music, they asked me to be their manager. And, as you know, I said yes.

Sign Your First Band (Advice For Aspiring Managers)

  • Find a small band or two that you really believe in, based on their music and their dedication
  • Introduce yourself as a person interested in music business – and their band (don’t mention management yet!)
  • Prove Yourself – Because you lack the experience, you have to help them before bringing up management…give advice, help with promotion, book them a gig, whatever is in your capabilities to do
  • Mention that you’re interested in managing bands, if they seem interested, talk about how you would help them and let them know that if they need a manager, you would be glad to help
  • Wait – there isn’t much you can do after this without the risk of seeming desperate, so let them think it over and if they bring it up again, you’re golden

So now we’re in the development stages of this collaboration. We made a contract (always do this – ALWAYS), set some goals and guidelines, and are working non-stop to make it all happen.

Sometimes it all feels like a dream. Two years ago, I never would have believed I would be where I am now, or would have gained so much knowledge and so many connections. It’s a surreal feeling living your dream (forgive the expression). I wish everyone had the chance to be in my position, and that’s why I write this blog. I want to share my experiences from my pursuit of success in the music business, and I want those experiences to help as many people as possible, although even just one would make me happy.

If you want to see The Oats play live today at 4pm, check them out via uStream on Rew & Who!

Have a wonderful 4th of July everyone!

My Life. Through Music.

Posted: June 12, 2012 in About Me, Bands I Like
Tags: , ,

-This post is about to get very self indulgent. If you couldn’t give a rat’s ass about my personal life and are just waiting for the music reviews and business articles, skip it! If you’d like a glimpse into my life, this is the place to be.-

I have always had a close, meaningful relationship with music. Sure I’ve wandered into embarrassing territory (I was young), and I’ve gotten stuck in ruts, but I could easily segment my life based on what I was listening to at the time. And that’s just what I’ll do. Hopefully there will be some bands on here you know, as well as some you don’t. I’m all about discovery.


This was a good time for me. I didn’t have to worry about ANYTHING. I grew up in a small town in Ohio and my parents both worked. My dad’s a civil engineer and (at the time) my mom was an aerobics instructor. I have an older brother who has brighter red hair than me…he always believed I stole our parents’ attention as kids. My parents are the most wonderful people I could hope would raise me; they knew that I loved music and singing from a young age and encouraged that passion completely.

Those of you who have parents who discourage the pursuit of music, I don’t know how you do it, but it’s fantastic that you do. Keep on keepin’ on.

Music that defined the era: Classic rock, second wave punk – Ozzy Osborne, Ted Nugent, The Offspring, The Presidents of The United States of America, Queensryche


Wakeboarding is what I remember most from this segment. I learned the water sport at the tale end of being 6 (summer birthday) and competed in amateur competitions for 2 years. My parents have always been very entrepreneurial, which is where I get my desire to be my own boss, and my mom ran a boat business at the time. I’m pretty sentimental about the summers of too much sun and competing against boys twice my age (and winning, you know how I do). I also started a private elementary school, which, in its PRIME, had about 100 students for K-8th grade. It was one of those schools where we called teachers by their first names and didn’t have bells to end each period.

This is also where I met my best friend of 13 years, Courtney. She introduced me to Pokemon and that was that. Bonded for life. To your right, you’ll see one of our *rare* moments of insanity==>

When I transferred to public school I was way ahead in math and way behind in science. My school wasn’t perfect, but it encouraged me to be independent and, more importantly, taught me that authority figures are human beings, just like everyone else, at a young age.

Music that defined the era: (This is kind of a “lost era”) Boy Bands, more classic rock – NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Rush


Easily the worst years of my pre-college life, middle school was nothing short of torturous. The transfer from private to public school was such a shift, my innocent little self was not prepared for the jolt. I’d never really experienced bullying or “cliques” or any of the typical social pains of school because everyone was kind of forced to hang out with each other at my old school. In a new class of over 200 students, I was pretty much lost. On top of that, Courtney had moved out of town and I could only see her every once in a while. Luckily, I had my music as a sanctuary. I was taking piano lessons, private singing lessons, and was accepted into a very prestigious children’s choir in Ohio. I also began to acquire a little bit of chub by 8th grade, which was lost after a choir trip to Europe where my picky eating prevented me from eating anything but bread, followed by a month-long camp that kept me active. Going into high school (Catholic high school, no more public school for me), I was excited to find a place, and I did. I met my two best friends of high school, Katie and Cate, on the first day and we were pretty much inseparable the whole first two years.

Music that defined the era: 70s and 80s rock, post-grunge, Brit Pop – Journey, REO Speedwagon, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Creed, Nickelback (these two were later banned from my ears…), McFly (Cate, Katie, and I obsessed for a few years)


Oh my. Ooooh my my my. Boys. Boys are what took up my thoughts during my Junior and Senior years of high school. What can I say? I was a late bloomer.

My first few forays into relationships and attraction were filled with nerves, anxiety-induced weight loss, intense connections, and life-altering rejections. But mostly I was just being over-dramatic. I also used my teenage angst to start writing more seriously and picked up the guitar to be able to actually back up the lyrics and melodies in my head. At the end of my senior year, I was rejected from my top two choices for college and my first real boyfriend, and I started the worst job I’ve ever had, all in during spring break. With all of these seemingly dead ends thrown my way, it’s safe to say I was at a pretty low point in my life going into college.

Music that defined the era: angst, Alternative Rock, new folk, pop punk, Female Rock Singers – Taking Back Sunday, Bright Eyes, Hellogoodbye, All Time Low, Paramore, Flyleaf


My first year of college was not so great, to say the least. Somehow I wound up surrounded by people with some serious issues, who didn’t like me all that much. I spent most of that year in a relationship that was maintained through manipulation and threats. Again, the light in the tunnel was my music. I wrote more that year than I think I ever have. I also reapplied to my top school choice (Berklee College of Music). Persistence pays off and I’m now attending that school. After i was accepted, I really took a lot more initiative in finding other musicians and that summer was the best one of my life. I played several shows and felt so on top of the world preparing for Boston.

If I hadn’t had that year, I really don’t think I would have appreciated the opportunity I was given coming to Boston.

Music that defined the era: Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, FolkCartel, Paramore, Flyleaf, Rise Against, Taking Back Sunday, Anberlin


Berklee ftw! I was so incredibly lucky to be able to take advantage of everything that school has to offer. I went in with a determination I had lost over the previous few years, and damn did it pay off. My first year I joined the Songwriters Club and volunteered to do EVERYTHING I could. The president at the time really liked my competence (his words) and basically became my mentor for that year. I ran my first events and shows and met so many amazing and talented people. This is also when I realized that I’m not meant to write songs for a living, which was a blessing and a curse. I always dreamt of performing, but when I tried it, I kind of really hated the pressure and never being satisfied with a performance. I still write occasionally, but it’s mostly just for my benefit. 19 was when I realized I want to be successful, not famous.

Over the summer I lost some friends and made some mistakes. Mostly due to the full discovery of alcohol upon entering Berklee. There are times I wish things happened differently, but I see it as a way to learn and not fuck up again. Which I’m sure I will some way or another, but hopefully not too badly!

I also met many more boys, had a few heartaches, and learned how to move on quickly (i.e. write a song about it).

Music that defined the era: Alternative Rock, Dubstep, Folk, Berklee music – Passion Pit, Muse, The White Stripes, Mumford & Sons, Skrillex,  songwriters at Berklee (Charles Johnson, Jesse Beauchamp, Giorgi, I could go on)


At this point (my second year at Berklee) I was running the Songwriters Club and founded and ran the Ski and Snowboard Club. I also wrote for the Music Business Journal briefly and tried just about everything under the sun that I might be interested in. I met the guy I dated for 8 months (longest relationship yet!) and that support allowed me to buckle down and get a lot done. My grades improved, I ran two of the biggest student run concerts at Berklee and managed the other 3-4 shows we put on a year. The only downside was that my social life just tanked. As in it was essentially non-existent for a while. Again, learning experience.

I applied for the internship program in New York in the Spring semester, searched for internships obsessively, and found some pretty fantastic places to work for the summer, including the school magazine.

Music that defined the era: Alternative/Blues Rock, Folk, Dubstep, Blues/Jazz, jam sessions – The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nina Simone, The White Stripes, Punch Brothers, Skrillex, jam sessions…which I didn’t take part in because I can’t improvise to save my life.

That pretty much brings us up to date on things you probably didn’t know about me. It’s pretty much impossible to sum up a life in a few paragraphs, so I might go into more depth about some things as I feel like it (if I feel like it), but mostly I’ll post about my current life and about the music industry.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Want to know more about my life as an atheist in a Catholic school?

Hit me up below, or follow me on Twitter/Facebook. Fuck yeah, social media.

It’s no secret that I love music. In fact, it’s one of the first things you’ll learn after meeting me. In these weekly posts I’ll spread the joy and let you know what band I’m really diggin’ at the time. I’ll also put a song if there’s one I’m really stuck on. Could be a new band, an establish band, or some washed up rockers who really should watch Spinal Tap.


River City Extension – Today I Feel Like I’m Evolving

Genre: Folk, Bluegrass

Listen if you like: Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers






Facebook’s been annoying people lately, but it’s still an important way to promote yourself and your music. These do’s and don’ts of Facebook marketing are geared towards musicians, but they really can apply to any business or product.

DON’T tell your fans what to do

Have you ever been solicited with “Vote for us to be the #1 band on (insert site here)!!!” or “Listen to our new EP and follow us on Twitter!” It gets annoying. Many bands and musicians make this mistake because they believe that the best way to get people to listen is to advertise like it’s the 1950s. Unfortunately, that won’t work anymore, and the most successful bands find ways to connect to their audiences FIRST, and then use those connections to promote more effectively.

DO Share Your Journey With Your Fans

The better way to promote is to present information similar to how you would your life to a friend. Let your fans know what you’re up to (writing, recording, music video, etc), don’t shout it at them. Provide content they will enjoy and make them want to be active in promoting your music. If you want them to vote for you on some blog or magazine competition, make a request, not a demand, and make it seem like they would be contributing to your success and ability to make more awesome music.

Ideas For Content:

Marketing Plan Tactics For Independent Musicians Part 3: Content Is King

DON’T Require “Likes” To Unlock Your Songs

Of all the sins committed on Facebook, this one irks me the most. At best you have a “like” that may or may not be attached to an actual fan (they won’t know until they listen to your music) and at worst, you lost a potential fan because they decided it wasn’t worth the “like.” It may seem like a good idea on the surface, but requiring someone who isn’t yet a fan to do something is likely to end up in fewer fans. If they like your music, they’ll like your page.

DO Request Emails For Track Downloads

If someone is looking to download your music, they’re already a fan. You have something they want and you can use that leverage to get something valuable from them. Emails are incredibly important, especially for bands who are taking the DIY approach. They allow you to target your fans specifically for shows or promotions or even exclusive content. By all means, still put a price on your music – someone may prefer to pay $1 rather than give out their email – but make sure there is at least one song available for download in exchange for an email (make it a single, not an album cut).


Bandcamp is great for this. As is Topspin.

DON’T Rely On Likes Alone

Likes are not a great representation of how many fans a band actually has. For example, a percentage are likely from friends and family of the band (who may not actually listen to the music), from people who listened to a song and then forgot about you, or from people who are interested in the music, but don’t take initiative when it comes to spreading the word.

DO Look At Stats

Facebook did a great thing for bands and businesses when they added the “reach” and other stats to pages. If you can get people talking about you, that’s a sign you are gaining popularity and a fan base. Try to get as high a ratio of “talking about this” to “likes” as possible. Those are your true fans. You can count on these people to share your content and reach people who might not have heard of you yet. Facebook keeps track of both the people talking about you and how far their posts reach.

Get Started:

Understanding “Talking About This”

100 Ways To Promote Your Band

Seth Godin Agrees

What do you do to keep your presence on Facebook interesting?

My weekend, in a nutshell (with pictures):

Found an AWESOME little cafe on my first day in the city, Berkli Parc Cafe. I highly recommend the Chipotle sandwich. Delicious.

After my first day as an intern, I got a great reminder why I do the work that I do. Bear Language at The Bitter End. If you like Radiohead or Muse, please check them out, and then go see them live.

Wished I could be half as cool as this man. Just playing the saw. nbd.

Had the realization that, no, I’m not in Boston anymore. And I’m OK with that.

Why? This view:

And this one.

Goodnight New York