Posts Tagged ‘The Oats’

Late post! That might be happening a lot in the next two weeks…Speaking of which, I only have two weeks left! Excuse me while I wipe the tears from my keyboard.
But really, I’m fine, I swear. This week I was due for my bi-annual two day knockout sickness. It happens a couple times a year without fail, I’ll wake up one day with just a hell of a cold (or so it seems) and two days of sleep later it will be gone. It’s one of the mysteries of my life.

Besides being sick for two days, I had some pretty awesome adventures this week…

Received a rose from an overly enthusiastic Russian at a sketchy bar deep in Brooklyn (I was flattered)

Hunter became my best friend at work this week after I gave him treats that are apparently his crack

Went to a market in Williamsburg and ran across this. I don’t even know what it is, but I like it.

Also got this sweet iPhone case at that market (reclaimed vinyl ! )

And finally, The Oats had an awesome gig at Trash Bar in Williamsburg

All in all, this week made me realize I was born to live in Williamsburg. Time to start apartment hunting…

I’m gonna be honest, it’s been kind of a rough week, but there were some awesome parts!

For instance:

The Oats played at Don Pedro’s Friday night and rocked the place (naturally). I had to scrape together a mailing list signup due to shitty circumstances, but we made it work, and got 7 new fans!

Smiley faces are infinitely better than giant Xs

Checked out the Highline for the first time! Why haven’t I been there before?? It’s beautiful. And has delicious gelato (pistachio fucking ROCKS)

Beautiful

Went to a show at Bowery Ballroom (by myself, because I’m cool like that – also I’m writing a review for it) and discovered this AWESOME rhythm-based, bass heavy band, Brick + Mortar.

And of course saw River City Extension, who were fantastic, unsurprisingly. There were, however, several drunk uber fans that made the experience significantly more sweaty and mosh pit-y (at a folk show? Really??)

I really should be writing that review, but the events of this week have left me emotionally drained, so I think I’ll devote today to listening to Muse, Mumford & Sons, and just not a giving a damn.

Who’s with me?

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)

  • Go to ALL THE SHOWS
  • 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!

I know pretty much everyone says this, but good lord this summer is going by too quickly. I’m almost halfway through and I feel like there’s still way too much I want to do. Looks like I’ll have to cut back to NO sleep. That’s feasible right?

Here are some snapshots of my 4th week:

Went to see a band who are here all the way from Mexico called The Oats in Williamsburg and noticed this brilliant number marking system. Dominoes. Who would have thought?

Saw my boy Evan play at Googie’s Lounge! 4 weeks in NYC and he’s already had two gigs. This kid’s going places.

Saw this and got very confused…Kind of dark for subway art, don’t you think??

Found a FREE SHOW (two best words ever) for White Rabbits (<3) in Williamsburg with openers We Barbarians. It was awesome to go to a bigger show like that, I’ve been going to too many open mics.

But the best part of my week had to be enjoying the sweet chewiness of a Now and Later. Like a cool kid from the 90s.

Does anyone remember these things?? I used to eat them by the handful.


I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT

So pay attention (please).

The band I mentioned at the beginning of the post (The Oats) will now be managed by yours truly! Get ready to hear a lot more about them, because it’s about to take over my life and I really believe in them as a band. I promise they won’t be the band of the week ALL the time (I guess). If you like The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, or The Pixies, you should probably check them out and come to a show or two. If you like them, email spreadtheoats@gmail.com to be added to the mailing list!


I’m also adding a new feature to my Sunday updates. I’ve been going to so many shows every week, I decided to start keeping track. So here’s to introducing the show counter! (try to contain your excitement)

SHOW COUNT: 7

 

So, in conclusion, stay away from alligators and please, feed a Mexican.

The insanity of this week was just beyond…everything. I had the New Music Seminar (and work), more open mic nights, and a couple shows. The only way I could be more surrounded by music is if I had a mariachi band as my posse.

I’m okay with that.

Sunday, the New Music Seminar opening party started off with the “Fiery Sensations.” I was not prepared for this:

There were some…interesting people at NMS (press pass ftw)

Monday and Tuesday consisted of a gaggle of music industry people discussing why we’re in such a shithole and how we should dig our way out. The head honchos of Pitchfork, Hypemachine, Fluxblog, and Okayplayer hashed out the role of music discovery blogs in the world on Pandora and Spotify Radio.

My favorite panel was the Social Media Movement, by far. I tweeted a quote from the CEO of ReverbNation and they TOTALLY RETWEETED ME. I was feeling pretty famous for about 5 seconds there.

Social Media powerhouse right here. Representatives for Facebook, Spotify, Reverbnation, Bandpage and more discussed social media tactics and changes. I’ll be posting an article about this panel soon.

My friend scored a gig from an open mic night last week, so our little group headed out to Caffe Vivaldi in the blazing heat to hear his beautiful voice (he totally played The Beer Pong Song)

Back to The Bitter End! I’m starting to really dig that place. My friends Cosmodrome rocked the house (funked the house? idk…) and we met some awesome musicians.

Not Captured in Pictures:

Met a lot of new people this week, which always makes me happy. At NMS, I made friends with a band from Mexico City called The Oats. You should probably check them out if you like The Strokes or The Pixies.

After meeting a musician at an open mic a couple weeks ago, I discovered he actually graduated from Berklee 2 years ago. The vast Berklee network continues to amaze me…

I started contributing to Berklee’s internship blog! Check out my first article and, if you like it, check in every week for another!

Look for my first album review on Thursday!

Is there anything you want to know more about (social media, interning, etc)? Let me know either in the comments or by email to Musikleigh@gmail.com.