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Posts Tagged: diy

Sun Hotel’s biography indirectly states that the band is made up of a “group of young men with a perceptiveness far beyond their years.” This outlook can certainly be heard in their songwriting, but of more interest to the IA community, their wisdom is also proven in how they conduct business through their homegrown record label, Chinquapin Records.

From an outsider’s point of view, Chinquapin seems to hum along in perfect DIY harmony. Founded on the mantra of artists running artists, Chinquapin not only makes sure that all seven bands involved are pulling their weight, but also that each artist participating in the collective is assigned to a project they can excel in. Whether it’s flyering, booking, making t-shirts or recording, lead singer Tyler Scurlock firmly believes that tailoring everyone’s jobs to what they’re good at helps to create a sense of pride in each contributor, and in Chinquapin. And don’t think these guys are just local college kids booking shows at their campus venue—they’ve booked a slew of national dates for one another. That’s no small feat for only being 18 months deep in the operation.

The label hasn’t been held up by the roadblocks similar ventures face, like uninspired members or presumptuous self-promoters, largely because of the community vibe that Chinquapin’s founders and the New Orleans music scene have helped to construct. According to the guys, New Orleans venues are renowned for how generous they are in giving new bands paid shows. Keep that in mind when debating whether or not to make a stop in New Orleans on your next tour!

But enough about the business. Check out the world premiere of “Without Feathers (5/3/1808)” in the player above, and keep your eyes peeled for their next string of tour dates, most likely kicking off at the end of June!

Welcome to the first installment of our Presskit.to Bus Session videos from SXSW 2012! So yeah, it’s evident in the title that something is a little different about this round of IAtv Sessions—they took place on a bus! For those unaware, we picked up a BandWagon tour bus in Indiana and drove it to Austin for South by. It was our living quarters, a billboard for our new Presskit.to web app, and our mobile IAtv studio. We setup shop in a prime location across from Bandpage HQ on 7th and Sabine and hosted bands from around the world for Bus Sessions. As always, a big thanks to the generous tour support from Shure and the always stellar production services of Strewnshank Productions. These sessions wouldn’t be possible without their help!  Over the course of 3 days we recorded Bus Sessions with 13 bands, and probably used a BandWagon like it’s never been used before!

We were pretty pumped to be able to collaborate with some Boston friends while down south, one example of which can be seen in this video of Herra Terra playing their new tune “Buried Youth.” The guys had a pretty successful SXSW all in all, highlights including hanging out at various panels at the convention center, seeing Kimbra perform in all of her glory, playing an official showcase at Valhalla and with Bad Rabbits at the final Beauty Bar show to round out their week on Sunday.

You’ll notice pretty quickly that this video was not shot with musicians playing a stripped down tune as is the case in the rest of our Bus Sessions. What started as a joke about an acoustic Herra Terra shoot consisting of the band drinking whiskey and breaking things on the bus quickly turned into us realizing that we could probably squeeze Herra Terra’s entire live rig and light show into the bus. The temptation to have a band play totally electric with all gadgets plugged in grew irresistible in this case, and Strewnshank's Crickie Thomas made it happen.  It was also our only session with a live audience. With five or six people crammed into our smelly bunks and countless more craining their necks on the street as they walked past, it was a pretty awesome experience.

Watch the guys play “Buried Youth” in the video above, and stay tuned throughout the rest of month for more Bus Session vids from South by Southwest 2012!

Cambridge songwriter stand-out Sarah Blacker is gearing up for the release of her Perfectly Imperfect EP, and took some time to tell us about how she overcomes writer’s block, a cool service called Concerts in your Home, what effect her career in music therapy has had on her musicianship, and much more. She also serves as proof that it is possible to get your music into Pandora’s catalogue as an independent artist!  Listen to her cover Bon Iver’s “Flume” in the player above, and be sure to make your way out to her Perfectly Imperfect release partywith Air Traffic Controller at Club Passim on March 9th!

Read the rest of Sarah’s Green Room Interview here

Understanding everything involved with music publishing can be difficult, but don’t worry! This article marks the first installment in a series on the topic, the aim of which is to educate musicians on how the publishing system works, and how you can make the most of it! Continue reading to get a better hold on the basics of music publishing and licensing.
Read the rest of the article here

Understanding everything involved with music publishing can be difficult, but don’t worry! This article marks the first installment in a series on the topic, the aim of which is to educate musicians on how the publishing system works, and how you can make the most of it! Continue reading to get a better hold on the basics of music publishing and licensing.

Read the rest of the article here

MOBILE MARKETING FOR INDEPENDENT ARTISTS: TOOLS
by Jem Bahaijoub

So this is it. The final installment in my series on mobile marketing for independent musicians (sob!). We’ve discussed the reality. We’ve established the importance of strategy. Now it’s time to talk tools!  So exactly what tools are out there for the average, hard- working DIY musician? Are the all-singing, all-dancing mobile marketing campaigns of established artists totally out of reach?
 

Well the good news is there are an increasing number of affordable tools that allow indie artists to get mobile. You just need to know where to look. Here’s a handy list based on the assumption you have either NO DOUGH in your pocket, or a budget of LOW DOUGH…..
 
Read the full article here
 

MOBILE MARKETING FOR INDEPENDENT ARTISTS: TOOLS

by Jem Bahaijoub

So this is it. The final installment in my series on mobile marketing for independent musicians (sob!). We’ve discussed the reality. We’ve established the importance of strategy. Now it’s time to talk tools!  So exactly what tools are out there for the average, hard- working DIY musician? Are the all-singing, all-dancing mobile marketing campaigns of established artists totally out of reach?
 
Well the good news is there are an increasing number of affordable tools that allow indie artists to get mobile. You just need to know where to look. Here’s a handy list based on the assumption you have either NO DOUGH in your pocket, or a budget of LOW DOUGH…..
 
Read the full article here
 

Tips for making the most of your home studio space.
DIY Mixing Tips from Mike Harmon

Tips for making the most of your home studio space.

DIY Mixing Tips from Mike Harmon

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While established musicians are able to break out into acting, fashion, and owning professional basketball teams in New Jersey, up-and-coming bands often require flexible day jobs to supplement their income when they’re not on tour.

Written by Dan Ellis and Sean Robinson

Making a living as a touring musician almost seems like an oxymoron nowadays. Unless you are fortunate enough to have family or friends who will pay your share of the rent, you are going to be constantly hustling to scrap together enough cash to keep your extra clothes, cases, gear and mattress off of the sidewalk in front of your place of residence. If you want to spend most of your time on the road, you need to accept the fact that your life at home will be stressful and always on a tight budget. The tradeoff is worth it if your heart is in it. I have spent the past six years balancing travel and work and although I have hit some low points, I have always managed to keep my head above water, sometimes just barely.

The hardest part about maintaining a job and going on tour is having that job there for you when you return home. Typically any office job or ‘career’ job will only afford you a week or two off per year, which is obviously not going to work for you. That being said, you can pretty much toss out the idea of a job that makes you over $25,000 a year. Jobs that are flexible in schedule tend to be in retail (Urban Outfitters, Gap, Record Stores….wait…) and service industry gigs, (waiting tables, bar tending etc.) Not every place is going to be particularly sympathetic to your aspirations and you may be leaving your job as you leave for tour. The good thing is, as long as you work your butt off and have an ambitious attitude, it won’t be hard to pick up another one of these gigs.

Positive attitude and an outgoing personality are the most important qualities you can possess if you want to find and keep jobs while you’re on the road. If your boss sees that you work hard, show up on time and show yourself to be an asset to the business, they will often allow you to come and go within reason.

In bigger cities like New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Miami there are thousands of musicians, artists and actors trying to do the same thing that you are: make money while doing what you love. These are the areas where the best opportunities exist to make a good amount of money for simply being the performer that you are. Event marketing, catering, street promotions, guerrilla marketing and hotels offer high hourly rates, flexible schedules and are usually chock full of performers and artists. Not only can you skip town for as long as you want but you are networking with co-workers every day on the job and expanding your rolodex (look it up, kids.) Freelancing and temping are a great way to have a home and still be an active musician. Check out craigslist under “events” and start applying!

One must keep in mind that not only will you not be working for the time you are away but you will not be making up for that time when you return to work. In other words, the money you earn when you go back to work doesn’t apply retroactively to the days you missed, you simply start making money moving forward from the day you return. This is why it is important that you look for jobs that pay well. Making $9.00 per hour for 30 hours a week isn’t going to cover your rent, food, recreational activities and Netflix and Spotify subscriptions. Now quit complaining and go get that money! Ask a rapper, it’s all about gettin’ that money, son.

-Dan

Here’s our list of jobs that are conducive to hopping in a van for weeks at a time, but feel free to add more in the comments!


1. Server/Bartender: Maybe it’s stereotypical, but there’s a reason this line of work is popular for aspiring entertainers. While often grueling, the flexible hours and high turnover rates in these establishments make it easier to come and go. Avoid being a bouncer. The last thing you need is to punch a guy and not be able to play a bar-chord for 2 weeks.

Notable example: The eccentric Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips enjoyed being a cook at Long John Silvers before being able to front the psychedelic rock band full time.

2. Instructor: There are a variety of ways to go about teaching lessons, and income will depend on if you go through a music retailer that offers lessons or go about getting students independently. If you can successfully line up students yourself, you will have more flexibility and won’t have to split the cost with the retailer. Remember you’re not only going to be dealing with kids, but their parents. The more heads up you give about being out of town the less wrath you are likely to face.

Notable example: Nearly every musician ever.

3. Graphic Designer: While it takes a level of skill and training, the benefits of graphic design work far outweigh the negatives. Whether you freelance or work for a company, it’s a good paying job that can be done from almost anywhere and you can finally put those long hours in the van to good use.

Notable example: Scott Devendorf from The National still runs his own graphic design business while touring the world with the Indie rock group.

4. Painter: After the purchase of basic supplies, being a painter allows you to organize jobs around your touring schedule. Small, non-commercial, jobs can often be acquired by contacting real estate companies or putting an ad in the classifieds.

Notable example: Before Chris Martin painted everything a bright color as the front man for Coldplay, he painted signs.

5. Mover: Although it’s tough work, the moving business is flexible and it doesn’t hurt to burn a few calories before your next tour.

Notable example: Real Rock N Roll Movers is a Los Angeles-based company that was put together specifically to offer musicians a flexible part time job for when they aren’t on the road.

6. Event promotion / Marketing: There are a variety of opportunities available to those who can use craigslist. Companies are constantly looking for help in promoting and running events. This can include catering, street promotion, and being a brand ambassador. Work hard enough and it can often lead to future gigs.

7. Session musician: With a surge in the amount of artists and small studios, session work is a great way to make money and develop your network. However, it is highly competitive and opportunities are mostly contained to large cities and metropolitan areas. Better practice your sight-reading.

8. Function band: Put together a cover band to play weddings and corporate events. There are worse ways to pay the bills than having to play “Shout” for uncoordinated, champagne induced, dancers.

Notable example: Jeff Tweedy had a covers band he performed with while in the pre-Wilco band Uncle Tupelo.

9. Temp: Freelancing and temping are a great way to have a home and still be an active musician. Check out craigslist and contact local Temp agencies about your situation. The kinds of jobs vary, but can get you temporary employment anywhere around the world.

10. Figure Modeling: Often overlooked, but as long as you’re comfortable with stripping down for a class of art students, figure modeling is easy and pays well. Contact the art departments of all the colleges and art groups in your area. You don’t have to be good looking.


A few more options: Barista, roadie/tech/merch guy/fill-in, tour bus driver, screenprinter, copywriter.

Jobs to avoid: Construction, body shops, and illegal activities. There’s only one Rick Allen (one-armed Def Leppard drummer), and it’s hard to tour from jail (just ask Lil’ Wayne).


Dan Ellis is the Musical Director for Shontelle (Universal/Republic), touring musician for Cody B Ware, Exes of Evil and Taylor Greenwood and is a freelance street marketing field manager and brand ambassador.

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There’s no way musicians in search of advice have the time to read through all the new, helpful content published online every day. We’ve pulled our five favorite articles form this week and posted them below so you don’t have to find the best articles yourself!

There’s no way musicians in search of advice have the time to read through all the new, helpful content published online every day. We’ve pulled our five favorite articles form this week and posted them below so you don’t have to find the best articles yourself!

Myspace
Shared some interesting results with us about what happened when they cancelled their artists’ Myspace pages.  (Musformation)

Opening Acts
Simon Tam doled out some pointers on how to make sure you’re the first artist promoters call when they need an opener for a national act coming through town. (Music Think Tank)

Indie AMbassador Industry News Vinyl

Vinyl
Andy Cush let us in on some cool apps that help support the vinyl resurgence. (Evolver.FM)

Marketplace
David Rose from Know The Music Biz schooled us one more time on the most profitable places to sell your music online. (KnowTheMusicBiz.com)

Compensation for Collaboration
Christiane Kinney explain a little Copyright Law as it pertains to songwriters over on CD Baby’s DIY Musician Blog. (CD Baby)

IAtv Session: Love In Stockholm - 1/6/2011

Check it out on indieambassador.com next Tuesday!

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