Getting Listed in Time Out New York

This week I spoke with another Time Out New York staffer Sophie Harris,  Music Rock, Jazz etc. Staff Writer, about getting listed in the magazine [check out the interview with Jamie Falkowski, Time Out New York–The Volume–blogger]. She gave us a detailed account of the process:

How do you decide which bands to list in the magazine?
It’s a combination of things. We’re trying to accommodate for all the people in New York and all of the music being played in any give week. It’s kind of a tall order. There are a lot of musician’s who we list that we just think are great and that we think will be really successful. Other times, it’s a matter of personal taste–what we think people will enjoy. We have to make sure that we’re covering who ever is big that week, the hot ticket, even if we think they’re perhaps, not so musically delightful. We want to get a really broad spectrum in there and to uphold our reputation for spotting talent early. There always a bunch of bands that have been featured in Time Out when they were still completely unknown and there’s always satisfaction on our part when that person becomes really big. And it’s a responsibility on our part to weed out who is really good.

Continue reading

Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

1000 True Fans Theory

While speaking with Samuel Howard Spink, NYU Clinical Assistant Professor in Steinhardt’s Music Business Program [interview to come], I was introduced to Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans Theory.

The theory: to subsist as an artist, you only needs 1000 True Fans to spend $100 a year on your work (and that gets you a modest $100,000 salary).

I am suggesting there is a home for creatives in between poverty and stardom. Somewhere lower than stratospheric bestsellerdom, but higher than the obscurity of the long tail.

Who’s a True Fan? “Someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce,” writes Kelly.

The best relationship that can be made between the artist and the True Fan is a direct one: they buy CDs off your website, the come to your shows advertised on your blogs and Facebook pages, etc. And the reward of this close relationship (other than the monetary)?

Pleasing a True Fan is pleasurable, and invigorating. It rewards the artist to remain true, to focus on the unique aspects of their work, the qualities that True Fans appreciate.

Continue reading

Posted in 1 | 2 Comments

Managing The Antlers

Recently I spoke with Dawn Barger of Post Hoc Management and manager of The National, Nicole Atkins, Evangelicals, and The Antlers. According to, The Antlers are one of the 10 Brooklyn bands that you should hear right now [1.12.2010].

With their new album Hospice set to drop March 3rd – and with long-long-time Antlerphiles like Pat from Pop Tarts Suck Toasted already proclaiming it as a frontrunner for best album of the year – The Antlers are putting all the chips in for 2009….well, based on the two songs we’ve heard from Hospice it certainly sounds that way. With this concept album, penned by frontman Peter Silberman as an explanation for his exile in NYC, the band aims high, skywriting their missives on a murky skyline…”we are Antlers, hear us roar!” We like it.

What did Dawn have to say about managing the band?

The Antlers have only been a band for about two years. How did everything (touring, releasing a second CD, and having a full team of representation) happen?
I think everything is based on writing an incredible album. If you write really incredible music, I think everything will come and then you can just amplify that. And that’s what they did. Then it’s just putting a good team around it and working hard. They have toured tirelessly. They have done a billion interviews. They work really diligently. They’ve opened up for bands, they’ve headlined, they’ve co-headlined.

Continue reading

Posted in Business, Music | 1 Comment

In One Wind, an introduction

As promised, I am bringing you the official introduction to In One Wind.

This weekend I spent some time with the band, both meeting them in Washington Square Park, where they talked business, and watching them rehearse at their current/alma mater university, The New School [Rob and Lily graduated in 2009, the others are graduating in 2010].

Friday, April 2. Late afternoon, approx. 6 p.m.
Inside of Washington Square Park I find the band sitting in a circle, legs crossed Indian-style, several feet to the left of the Arch. I’d seen them once before–from their performance at Pete’s Candy Store–and of course, I’ve seen their pictures, but it was the circle with a snare drum bag to the side that gave them away.

Unintentionally, they form a certain coordinated band aesthetic: The guys are all wearing button down plaid shirts, Max and Rob are wearing shorts, Angelo and Steven are wearing jeans. The girls, both wearing jeans, wear jackets seemingly fitting to their personas; Lily has on a black and red detailed leather biker jacket, Mallory wears a magenta cardigan.

They’re finishing up a meeting as I approach, and as I sit down, they finalize by scheduling rehearsals for the week of the 26th. iPhones and agendas come out.

Toughest part of being a band? Six different schedules or six different opinions?
: When it comes to our opinions, we’re all pretty agreeable and if we don’t agree we’re open to talking about it and figuring something out
: More often than not, we’re on the same page. But, in terms of scheduling, it can be comically difficult. We chain e-mails, 30 replies long, of us of us trying to meet for an hour.
: With the discussion of opinion varying sometimes, I find that there’s a really nice balance of people and their focuses and their backgrounds. Some people will be focused on different things—what’s most musically interesting, if musical ideals are still being held, showmanship—like is this a good show? Is it boring?—Slow music? Fast music? Venue? There’s a nice balance to keep things on good grounds.
: We all have slightly different musical backgrounds and slightly different musical tastes. We all like a lot of the same stuff, but we all approach music differently and that makes the group diverse in a nice way.

Continue reading

Posted in Band | Leave a comment

Reading my way into the music business.

I’ve taken my own advice and I’ve begun to read Donald S. Passman’s, All You Need to Know About the Music Business, 6th Edition.

After reading Part I, I now know how to assemble the best possible team of advisors. For those of you looking to break into the industry, enjoy the following outline.

First, you’ll need the following:
1. Personal manager
2. Attorney
3. Business manager
4. Agent

But, before you find yourself a team, you must first polish and prep yourself as an artist. Passman says:

  • You want to be sure your music is ready for the big time.
  • The first thing is to get your music down on a CD.
  • The important thing is to get down your energy, enthusiasm, and drive
  • Make the music that moves your soul. Continue reading
Posted in 1 | 1 Comment

Music: Time Out New York

Time Out New York, a weekly magazine, features the latest of what’s going on around town. Their music section includes a feature story and reviews of top live shows, albums, and most recently, tracks. The section also boasts an abundant listing of shows happening each day, in all genres (their website has even more listings).

Today I spoke with Jamie Falkowski, Digital Production Manager, and for our purposes, Time Out New York Music Writer, about the section. Here’s what he had to say:

Does the magazine/blog look to feature up-and-coming bands?
For sure. Up and comers are a big part of what we like to do. While we have a strong focus on local talent, we like to make sure our readers are checking out the best of the best. In print listings for top live shows will typically feature a well known artists, but more than likely the other 4-5 previews are focusing on artists who are making a name for themselves or just starting to buzz. The blog offers even more flexibility to promote new artists through interviews, show coverage and highlighting new and exciting music and videos. In this day-and-age web exposure can be more important than print and artists can truly grow and gain a fan base from internet campaigns alone.

Continue reading

Posted in Show | 2 Comments

The music business, for dummies

Books teach us everything we need to know about anything. We can learn how to play golf or practice yoga, date or be wine connoisseurs. Can we then read up on how to be musicians? The following how-to books can be a guide to aspiring artists hoping to break into the music industry.

1. The Complete Handbook of Songwritting: An Insider’s Guide to Making it in the Music Industry by Mark & Cathy Liggett.
This manual not only outlines the techniques of songwriting but also covers such areas as royalties, contracts, & even setting up one’s own music publishing firm.

2. The Musician’s Handbook: A Practical Guide to Understanding the Music Business by Bobby Borg.
FINALLY, a book written BY A MUSICIAN FOR MUSICIANS–from an author who has actually been in the trenches himself—from rehearsal studios to label signings, from recording studios to concert stages. Get the STRAIGHT FACTS about the music industry–NOT THE FAIRY TALES.

Continue reading

Posted in Show | 1 Comment