Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Smart Marketing or Annoying Spam?

Well I am sure you know we have been on a bit of an Olympic break - especially on hockey days!

I have noticed something during big games or competitions; on Twitter people are doing a lot of promo and, marketing during these times - smart or annoying? You tell me?

Maybe smart because I do notice it, but because I don't really use Twitter for marketing, also annoying as well...thoughts?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Spring cleaning and my top 5 information sites for musical artists.

Hey everyone, just wanted to put these links out to you again, in case you are spring cleaning.

Spring is the time when we usually feel we need some movement, some fresh ideas and new starts; so if things are not going the way you want them to in your music world, maybe it's time for a spring clean. Time to look at and reassess what's working and what's not.

I was emailing with an artist tonight who is looking for a change and some forward momentum. There is so much good information out there, but before you can look at marketing, you have to very carefully, and honestly look at what you have to market.

There are millions of artists out there trying to do the same thing as you, so do the very best you can. (And don't let that seem daunting, because no matter what, you are an original and will have your own audience - you just have to either find it or make it!).

My checklist of marketing 'readiness' includes:

1) Product - make it as good as it can possibly be.
2) Web presence - again, make it as good as possible (my 3 C's - clear, concise and clever).
3) Live show - literally - have your act together! Be comfortable and confident.

And while you are working on these things, and to make the time go faster if you are indeed waiting on sessions/income/web designers etc!, read and study and learn about marketing your own product.

My top 5 music information sites (and their twitter names) include (in no particular order):

Pitchfork | ( pitchforkmedia on Twitter )

The essential guide to independent music and beyond.

Derek Sivers | ( sivers on Twitter )

Entrepreneur + programmer. I help musicians.

Artists House Music | ( artistshouse on Twitter )

Helping Musicians and Music Entrepreneurs Build Sustainable Careers

ariel publicity | ( cyberpr on Twitter )

I run Cyber PR, a digital PR & Social Media firm for musicians. I also wrote Music Success in Nine Weeks

ThornyBleederRecords | ( thornybleeder on Twitter )

The Bleeder Blog: Home to Thorny Bleeder Records. Music Commentary, and Indie Advice.

It's so important to get your ducks in a row before you put yourself out to the world. First impressions still matter.

And good luck to all of our artists playing out at Olympic venues this month - to check out schedules go to .....all our shows are FREE!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I make a wish/ Shark fin soup -Repost for Chinese New Year!

Hey everyone, this is a repost from last year - but so important I'm going to say it again. If you or anyone you know is going out for a meal to celebrate the Chinese New Year - please think carefully before you order!


When I was a kid, I watched Jaws through my fingers. When I was a teenager I watched Aliens and Amityville through my fingers too, and last night (how many years later?) I watched Sharkwater the same way.

Now, I have seen a lot of stuff in my time, I was a member of Greenpeace and am still a member of Amnesty, but last night, the combination of the viewing horror coupled with the shame I felt for being so blind, was enough to have me up half the night wondering what the heck we could do to make a difference. So here is.

Step one - Tell you.

Watch Sharkwater- Get involved in your world - Don't eat Shark Fin soup

Step two - Hook up with Rob Stewart or Paul Watson -

Rave On signed on to do what we can to save sharks. I know you are probably reading that asking yourself ' Save sharks? Give your head a shake Ashton!', but trust me, I'm right about this.

Step three - Possibly a large order here

Try to make sure that Vancouver's Asian community bans, boycotts and blacklists any restaurant or importer of shark fins or prepared shark fin soup. I know there are groups already working on this in Vancouver, so please do your part and if any of you want more information I'm on it. Write your local government check your local Asian food place do what you can. Can we create an embargo? Put on a live music fundraiser? Write me at and we'll work on it.

Sometimes I am so disappointed in myself. I fell for it, hook line a sinker as a matter of fact. I fell for the media hype and fear mongering, and I never stopped to ask myself - is it true? I have always been afraid to swim in the ocean, and when I do, I always look for fins, whether I am in Hawaii, the Cooks, Tahiti or just over at Sandy Beach in West Van. I was had.

My wish tonight is that I will no longer hold my hands over my eyes afraid of what I might see.

Be careful with your ocean. Pass it on.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rave On Music Exclusive

Are you a club, lounge or DJ? Do you want some wickedly good Ambient Grooves for your place of business (we won’t even ask what it is) – drop us a line and we’ll send you out a USB stick loaded with music from 3 of our hottest Ambient Groove bands, our treat. Let’s get this party started!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Giving credit where credit is due!

Hey everyone! I know I have not posted much, we are literally swamped around here not only with the upcoming Olympic Games and Winter events, but also with some advanced planning for this year's EarthDay Concert, cd releases, radio promos, recording oh yeah and eating/sleeping/dogwalking/gigging etc etc...

BUT - I had to stop dead in my tracks once again and pass along this bit of info because, you know I LOVE it when we find some out of the blue, over the top, great customer service, and today we found and experienced another one of these great people!

As many of you may know from experience, sometimes it's a b**** trying to find parts up here in western Canada. Parts, tubes, electronic bits and bobs; so today was a really big score! For ages we had been trying to find these parts and usually end up having to order stuff in from Mojo.

But today we discovered Doug at Case Ware. One minute we were on the phone, and a few hours later we were having our items hand delivered, by himself, at no charge, with a smile, in the dark and pouring rain. We did not ask about delivery, it was offered first thing, and the charge for the items? Literally under 5 bucks.

I'm telling you, we're inviting this guy for Christmas.

Thanks Doug, you are one in a million!