New Artist Website

I thought I would share a new website I put up for my music alias The Horrorist. I went for clean and as simple as possible. I hope you like it. Just a few weeks to go before my new album is released. I can’t wait to let you hear it.

“A songwriter is an individual who writes both the lyrics and music to a song. Someone who solely writes lyrics may be called a lyricist, and someone who only writes music may be called a composer.” – Wikipedia

For more info: thehorrorist.com

SoundCloud Player Customizations

Did you know there are a few hidden or extra ways to customize a SoundCloud player? First, for a few extra color choices head over to a Get Satisfaction post which shows you some text and numbers to enter into the Embed code: link. If you want to go further check out The SoundCloud Custom Player at GitHub (that’s how the image of the player above was created): link. If you have customized your player let me know I’d like to see it!

“This plugin allows you to create easily customizable, HTML/CSS/JS based audio players. It uses jQuery together with the official SoundCloud Flash widget for the audio streaming and widget JS API for its control.” – github.com

Follow me on SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/thingstocome

Post all your music in full on YouTube

Yesterday’s post where I asked the question if your a musician should you fight piracy was very interesting. Most people agreed with my first inclination that you want the most fans no matter what the means. Therefore today I ask: Should musicians post all their music; full length songs on YouTube? Here’s my reasoning. Over time fans are going to post your full songs on YouTube. If you have a music video they will repost that. If you don’t have an official video they will just put the song up with some text or often they will get creative and have a slideshow of photos of you or something similar. Why not beat them to the punch this way you control the video? If you control it you can at least add links to buy your tunes somewhere legal. You can have your own annotated links, images, etc… If the song is a hit you could even make some money with Google AdSense. I’ve attached two examples to this post. The first one for my song One Night in NYC. It has over 800,000 views but I wasn’t the one who uploaded the the video. I certainly wish I did so. Maybe I can claim it somehow without it loosing it’s view count? The second example is for a song I recorded “Soul of Emptiness”. Someone just played the record and displayed the lyrics. I think most fans know the YouTube audio quality is cassette-ish so if they love the song they still seek out a better version to own. What do you think? Upload each song in full to YouTube starting on day one?

“Join the largest worldwide video-sharing community!” – youtube.com

For more info: youtube.com/thingstocomerecords

What is the best way to get my album reviewed?

The music and artwork is now finished for my next album Joyless Pleasure. I would like to send out pre-release copies to get reviews in magazines and important websites. I actually think normal people/fan reviews carry more weight but this is the first step. I have two questions to Wire to the Ear readers. 1. What’s the best way today to go about this? 2. Do you have any specific recommendations of places I should try and get the album reviewed? If you have any specific contacts at a media outlet that would be a bonus as sending music off into the abyss makes me cranky.

Thanks for your help!

photo credit: Steven Depolo

7500 in Marseille

I’m back from France and I’m happy to report that the event known as La Nuit Rouge pulled in 7,500 party goers. I spent some talk time with Pet Duo, Alan Fitzpatrick, Mindindustries and DJ Rush (at the airport). Everything from the moment I started my set was golden. Now since this is a tell all blog let’s rewind to my departure to France from JKF Airport.

I arrive at Long Term Parking. I’m a little later than I hoped because there was of course a few hours of traffic for what should be a 20 minute drive. I get on my Delta, KLM, Alitalia flight. I think they do this codeshare crap knowing they need to blame someone for mistakes so they take turns on each other. I’m in my seat. One hour goes by we don’t take off. Two hours go by we don’t take off. We finally get a report from el captino, “There’s a broken clasp in the cargo bay we are manufacturing a new one. Once we get the paperwork from Atlanta we can fly.” We approach three hours and they tell us we have to disembark. I know why they did this. There’s some new rule you can’t leave passengers hostage more than three hours. Now if you thought that was the bad part oh boy you are mistaken.

I had a layover in Rome. I missed that layover by a mile so when I asked when I could get another connecting flight from Rome to Marseille I was delighted to find out the only one would be late Saturday night at 9:30PM. That would get me into Marseille at around Midnight. I had a 1:00AM set time. That also meant that I’d have to spend 9 hours in the Rome airport waiting for that connection. I thought about canceling my show and just going home but I’ve only missed three shows in my entire career.

I was supposed to play the weekend after 9/11 in Stuttgart. I had my apartment robbed a few days before I had a gig. The third show I missed was my fault. Being that I have performed a zillion times since 1992 I think it’s a record worth keeping nice and I am sure promoters know I am reliable (which keeps bookings coming). So I decided to check into the Hilton Hotel Rome at the airport. I got a day rate of 100 Euros and slept myself into superman again. I woke up and took the short flight to Marseille.

I got to the gig and it was the usual war zone. Pet Duo was on stage with 6 CD players, two mixers, booze. On the same 5 foot wide table sat the lighting guy, his controller, the house mixing console and sound guy. I need a few feet of space too and I was on next. So I hovered around the Pets who are luckily my friends. They are also generally happy people so they didn’t mind me crawling around them. I hooked my gear up. They stopped playing. I started playing. I had a wonderful time after the show (this isn’t really a tell all blog!). Life is good and no matter what I go through to get there it’s always worth it!

“one night in new york city ou encore can you hear the sound… olivier chesler, trop bon, même le personnage c’est quelque chose!!! c’est quelqu’un ce mec!!!” – jérémy couvreur (via facebook)

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626044993121″]

For more info: facebook.com/lanuitrouge

Letting Go

Over the past three months I’ve been experiencing Chinese Democracy syndrome. Chinese Democracy was the Guns and Roses album that took them a decade to release. They wrote, erased, rewrote, sweated, talked and stressed instead of just letting it out. The truth is I have recorded almost 30 songs for my next album called Joyless Pleasure. I’ve worked harder and I’ve been more inspired while making these songs than ever in my life. Certainly it will be my best effort and about half I consider gems. Yet I still sit wanting to make one more song. One more that will be the one that will take it all over the top. I don’t have any advice in this post. I’m only sharing this strange experience. I am going to let go. I have my last song in Ableton. Maybe I just don’t want to go take the album photos!

“In the music industry, a release is usually a term referring to the creative output from an artist available for sale or distribution.” – Wikipedia

photo credit: Karola Riegler

Shopp Digital Download Store

Last night I attended the WordPress NYC Meetup Group at NYU Poly. The theme of the evening was ecommerce. I wanted to see if there was a good solution if you wanted to skip iTunes, Beatport and Amazon. There were three presentations covering the popular WordPress solutions: WP-eCommerce, Shopp and Ecwid. A representative for each product showed off what the products could do. Next, the WordPress Meetup Group broke into three parts everyone following whatever product they liked best into a separate room.

WP-eCommerce and Shopp were similar but I thought Shopp was cleaner and the develeper really knew his stuff so I followed him into the Shopp room. Ecwid was the only product with a monthly subsciption and it was based and hosted your files in Russia. I actually won a rafle for a free year of Ecwid but I still skipped past it. I’m sure it could be a great product but the entire idea of my night out was to find a free or pay once self contained solution.

Years ago I ran an online store script off my own website called the Easybe shop. Shopp is far simplier and more powerful to use. You can sell digital goods quite easily. Download links expire and are encoded so your source url is never revealed. You can send out coupon codes. You can sell physical goods. You can sell digital and physical goods within the same product using variables (such as a CD or MP3 download). You store lives on your Wordpres site within a link but there are sidebar widgets or shortcodes to put any product or product category into any WordPress post (nice!). There are options to host your files on your own server or if you’re a huge site you can use Amazon S3. There are language plug-ins and much more. The price seems very reasonable to me at $55. The only time you pay more is when there are full version point upgrades.

Because Shopp is a full store not specifically an mp3 store it doesn’t have a built in audio player but you can use SoundCloud embeds or a Wordpres plug-in like Audioplayer for your sample clips. I really liked what I saw and I’m going to set up a sample shop here on this site over the weekend. I still think you should have your stuff available for sale on iTunes, Amazon and Beatport. However, why not have a one click away store where no one get a cut of your action?

“Shopp seamlessly integrates into your WordPress website from administration to your online store’s shopping experience. It looks and works like it was meant to be part of WordPress all along. And Shopp plays well with other plugins by adhering to the WordPress plugin development guidelines.” – shopplugin.net

For more info: shopplugin.net

Stratus SoundCloud Player

Stratus from Lee Martin on Vimeo.

The only type of SoundCloud player that was missing was one that would float on the top or bottom of a site and continue to play as you switch pages. Lee Martin solved the problem with his new Stratus SoundCloud player.

“Stratus is a jQuery powered SoundCloud player that lives at the bottom (or top) of your website or blog and enables visitors to listen to SoundCloud tracks & sets.” – stratus.heroku.com

For more info: blog.soundcloud.com/stratus

Discogs Mobile

The incredible music info archive site Discogs now has an optimized version for iOS and Android devices. I’ve used the site thousands of times. Often I go there to get info I can’t remember about my own releases! Here’s the page for some of my music on Discogs: discogs.com/artist/Horrorist

“To access Discogs mobile, simply navigate to www.discogs.com using your preferred mobile browser. By default, you’ll see the mobile version of Discogs with an option to switch to the full site if desired.” – discogs.com

For more info: discogs.com

Andrew Zuckerman: Music

Andrew Zuckerman: Music is an iPad multimedia book with interviews, photographs and portraits of 50 popular musicians. What has me interested is the theme of the interviews. Andrew asks why music is important. What makes music important to the artist. “The App is currently $4.99 and is available on in the App store: click here

“The Andrew Zuckerman: Music iPad app features dynamic portraits of over fifty musicians, from across genres, who provide their perspectives on one of the most universal and yet unexplainable art forms. It includes portraits and a short film for each contributor, as well as interviews and behind-the-scenes photography. Live text from the interviews can be organized by theme and is sharable. Musician pages link directly to the artist’s page in iTunes…” – andrewzuckerman.com

For more info: andrewzuckerman.com