Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category
This week on Walking The Dog, I talk about Performance Rights Organizations, or PROs. In the US, the PROs are ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. Musicians can register with one of these three PROs as songwriters (music composer/lyricists) as well as publishers of their own music. Once you are a member of a PRO, you can then register your songs, which has the advantage of allowing you, the musician, to use the services of your PRO to collect royalties whenever that song is performed.
In this 15 minute episode, I refer listeners to a website called MusicalRedHead hosted by Christiane Kinney, who is an entertainment lawyer as well as an indie musician. I met Christiane a few years ago at SF Music Tech, and also follow her on Twitter (@musicalredhead). Her blog has a lot of great information for musicians.
In addition to giving a brief overview of what the function of a PRO is, the two issues I talk about in this episode are live performances, especially in smaller venues, and music licensing for television shows and commercials, and where PROs figure in the equation.
Please leave your comments and rebuttals below!
Most every morning I walk my dog. That’s where I do a lot of my thinking about my own music and social media, about music marketing and about what’s happening with music and technology in general. I thought you all might want to come along and hear what was on my mind this Friday morning.
The subject of today’s podcast is gear. What is the role of gear in your music career? Have you recently purchased some new gear and has it made a big difference in your recording or live performance?
In this 5 minute episode I talk about my own experience and also my observations from watching Stevie produce local bands. I didn’t admit it in the podcast, but I’m not immune to the siren song of gear. I’m like a kid in a candy shop at Guitar Center. In fact, I purchased the JamMan Looper/Sampler pictured above in October of last year. I haven’t yet figured out how to use it.
It often seems that musicians are more willing to purchase expensive musical gear than to spend the same amount of money on music lessons, professional performance coaching, song critiques, marketing, or legal services. In my mind, expensive gear is a social signal – but what it signals to others is not necessarily what I think many musicians believe it signals.
I’d love to hear your experience and your opinion on this issue in the comments section below. I’d also love your feedback on this format!
This past weekend I saw the Lego Movie. It’s a fun movie – more than just a 90 minute commercial, as FastCompany wrote, (really, I promise). Now, I rarely go to see movies, so it’s even rarer that I actually like one.
Will Ferrell has a great (non-animated) role, and Morgan Freeman shows off his considerable deadpan and off-the-wall comedic skills. Is there anything Morgan Freeman doesn’t narrate these days? If you’ve never heard him narrate his own life, I’ve embedded it below. It’s hilarious. But let’s get back to the movie.
I think in all honesty, the Lego Movie’s target audience is GenY parents and Baby Boomer grandparents more than children. I wouldn’t be surprised if the movie creates a boom in adult Lego construction. If you’ve read anything about Lego recently, though, they have been amazingly astute at marketing their products in the past ten years. They didn’t exactly need the movie to sell their products.
The movie is packed full of sly inside jokes and life lessons. I thought I would pluck just a few and write them down, trying not to spoil the movie for you, in case you haven’t seen it:
- Encourage creativity in yourself and others. Be patient. Like Vitruvius was with Emmet.
- Sometimes an empty mind can be the most fertile place for ideas to appear. Also, like Vitruvius said.
- Stay flexible so you can adapt to change on the ground. Keep moving forward even when you don’t know what’s going on. Like Emmet did.
- Sometimes a little anger accomplishes a lot. You don’t have to be happy all the time. Like Unikitty.
- Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone else just because you think it’s cool. You’ll attract the wrong kind of people. Like Wyld Style (AKA Lucy).
- Teamwork and collaboration can build things no individual can. Like Emmet showed the team.
- Sometimes the most mundane idea can save the day. Like the double-decker couch.
- Maybe someone who is standing in your way just needs a little encouragement and love. Like Mr. Business.
- Even the most ordinary creator is special. You just have to believe in yourself. Like the cat poster said.
- The prophecy is just made up. You make your own destiny. Like Morgan Freeman (AKA Vitruvius) said.
I think this is the shortest blog post I’ve written in quite a while. Perhaps there’s a lesson in there for me, too…
Would love to hear your thoughts, comments, rebuttals – as always, please leave a comment below.
Happy Holidays to you, too. Thank you for doing such a great job with my son. Despite his challenges with attention, I think he is doing really well in your classroom. I am so grateful for your efforts to see who he is, as I know you do for every one of your students.
I also just wanted to say that I know the Connecticut shooting has been especially difficult for those of us who both have young children and know the sacrifices teaching requires. Many of my friends who are new to teaching were quite shaken by it.
I have experienced first hand, in my student teaching, how much teachers come to care for all the kids in their classroom. It’s not like we plan it – it just happens because we are human, we are empathetic. Teachers are in the profession because of who they are – good people who like children and choose to make a positive difference in the world.