Use Twitter as a promotion tool for your music.

Twitter is a service that fits somewhere between email, instant messengering and micro blogging. If your a musician or record label you can use Twitter as a promotion tool. Twitter has RSS feeds and badges so each of your posts can instantly be placed across the internet at several locations at once. Twitter is also a type of social network and you can follow friends or companies your interested in. You do so in a public time line made up of a everyone you are following. It’s a fun and addictive experience. Let’s take a closer look.

I created a Twitter profile for my music studio. I use this profile to promote whatever is going on in the studio, new releases and even important wire to the ear blog posts I made. Posts are limited to 140 characters of text which I think is brilliant because you are really forced into stating simple moments and facts. I input entries vie my Twitter page online but you can also post Twitter entries by using software on your Mac or PC, IM clients or mobile devices like cell phones, etc…Twitter - Things to Come RecordsYou can see my Twitter page here:

But you do not have to go to my Twitter site to see the updates. Take a look at all the locations those posts travel to:

On this blog Wire to the Ear look on the far right column:
“Things to Come Records Studio Updates”.

At the Things to Come Records homepage in two locations…
First on the homepage under the “In The Studio” section:

And at the bottom of the studio page:

On my MySpace page on the left hand column there is a grey badge titled “What am I doing?”:

At the official website for The Horrorist on the bottom of the studio page:

On my Facebook profile on a turqiouse box in the left hand column titled “Twitter”:

As you can see your Twitter posts can take on any look. You can use the official Twitter badges or style your own using CSS. You can also choose how many recent updates should be listed.

The video above is a really great way to grasp everything Twitter is about. Highly recommended.

Use Animoto to make music videos from photos.

There is a website called Animoto that lets you upload or import a set of photos and music and then it will churn out a slick music video for you. Usually when I get back from a live performance the promoter or fans will send me some photos of the show. Why not get these into music video form onto YouTube? Great promotion no?

Of course you can take the time to create a music video from still images in Final Cut Pro, iMovie or Adobe Premier but Animoto is super easy, fast and effective. Here’s how it works: Head over to Animoto - The and sign up for an account. Click “create video” on the top left of the window. Next, you choose “30 Second Video – Animated Short” or “Full Length Video”. The 30 second clips are free to make. If you want to make something longer it will cost you $3.00. There is also a yearly subscription fee for $30.00 which allows you to make as many full length videos as you like. Now you either upload your photos or import them from flickr. Remember my post “Why every musician should have a flickr pro account.“? Here’s another reason why! You can also import photos from Facebook, Picasa, Smugmug, and Photobucket. You can choose a few photos to be featured by adding a “Spotlight” tag on them. Then you add your music and hit “finalize” and Animoto does its magic. A great new feature they just added is the ability to send your creation directly to YouTube.

You end up with a pretty neat music video. Fancy transitions with zooms and pans make your static photos come to life. The thing I personally like is how fast the process goes. Take a look at this short clip I put together from still photos from my show in Espenhain, Germany at Praezisionswerk and my song Now Destructor:

There’s nothing stopping you from using promotional photos and a talking soundtrack or an interview. Why not create a video of your album covers or event flyer’s?

“Animoto is definitely a slick, fun, easy way to compile your photos into energetic videos.” – Harrison Hoffman, CNET

There is one thing I don’t like about the service and that’s the fact that they slap the Animoto logo at the end of the video. The logo appears even at the end of full length videos you pay for. I contacted them to see if there was a way around it and they told me no. Oh one more thing: use Firefox, Safari gave me trouble.

Music charts are a good promotion tool.

Music Music

Each month on the first I make a top 10 music chart. Songs I am really into at the moment. There are a few good reasons to do this. If your a band or an artist, some of your fans will be interested in what your current tastes are. The fact that I know I need a chart each month forces me to discover and seek out new music. As a musician it’s important to be always listening to what’s out there and not get stuck completely in the past.

There are places you can post your chart other than your own website. Your MySpace, Facebook and pages can host your chart. Slow news week but it has been a while since you sent an email newsletter? Make it look a little more meaty with a chart. If all the songs in your chart are on iTunes then turn your chart into an iMix. Likewise, if your music is entirely available on Beatport you can publish the chart on Anytime your interviewed include your current top 10 chart. If your known enough many magazines print DJ charts each month. Groove Magazine often prints my chart.

Should you put your own songs in your chart? Hell yes! If your own new material isn’t in your favorite new songs of the month then you shouldn’t be releasing it to the world! If you want to get fancy make the song titles click able links to a place where someone can hear and buy the song right away. Also consider including a photo of yourself or the album cover of the number one song on your chart. If you like you can even include a little description of your chart’s style. I add a disclaimer to my chart because I put everything on from Country to Minimal! Don’t forget to put your website next to your name and a little message somewhere saying “feel free to reprint this chart anywhere”.

With the onslaught of a million net labels charts have become an important tool to find hot songs. I like to read them and make them.

The Horrorist – Top 10 – February 2008*
The Horrorist

01 Electric Feel – MGMT
02 Washmachine – Workidz
03 Nietzche – Abstrackt Keal Agram
04 Story of an Artist – Daniel Johnston
05 You Should Tell Me So – Orilla Opry
06 13 Dobermans – The Horrorist
07 Bubbleblitzen – Miro Pajic
08 Beneath You – Mark Mendes
09 U Turn – Mark Ramsey
10 Stereos and Such – Popof

*The Horrorist chart is not your normal DJ Chart. The music here is not normal. These are songs Oliver Chesler is listening to now. If your weird and like great music then listen to these songs. If you are normal I am sorry this chart is not for you.

photo credit: phil_h.psd

Grandaddy is one of my favorite bands.

In the above interview Jason Lytle the lead singer of Granddaddy tells us what the secret of songwriting is. This video has been going around for a while but it’s definitely worth watching so I reposted it. I wish this band did not break up. I saw them live at Irving Plaza and they were superb. One of my all time favorite bands. Here are ten great Grandaddy songs:

  1. The Crystal Lake
  2. Jed’s Other Poem (beautiful ground)
  3. So You’ll Aim Toward The Sky
  4. Hewlett’s Daughter
  5. Lost On Yer Merry Way
  6. A.M. 180
  7. Nonphenomenal Lineage
  8. Underneath The Weeping Willow
  9. The Final Push To The Sum
  10. Rear View Mirror

Do you like Granddady? What’s your favorite from them?


Check out wiretotheear’s bookmarks.

delicious logoAs I ever rummage the internet for all things music electronic I often come across very interesting items. Not everything I find deserves a post but are cool tidbits nonetheless. To share these kinds of findings with you I joined which is owed by Yahoo is a social bookmarking “platform”. Basically you sign up and instead of keeping your bookmarks in your browser they appear on the website. Why do this? To share of course! So you can now see whatever cool findings I come across on a given day here:

But guess what? You don’t have to leave this website to see the latest 5 things I looked at. Just move your eyes to the right side column and scroll down to where it says “wiretotheear’s latest bookmarks”.

Still want to know more about social bookmarking? Check out this video great video at the blog: click here

Put a Creative Commons Licence to your music.

Why not allow some of your music to be free? Free for others to use on podcasts, radio shows, remix, mashup or simply free to listen to? This can be a great promotion tool. Creative Commons is a non for profit organization that offers CC licenses from their website.

You log on, answer a few questions and they give you the license. The service is free. You can specify some variables you would like in your license. For example, you can allow people to use your song but require they attribute the work to you. You can choose if you allow your song to be used commercially. You can specify if you don’t want to allowCreative Commons Shwag modifying your song. When you get your license you can simple have some text displaying the type or display one of the cool CC icons.

The video above from Veronica Belmont and Maholo Daily shows the basics of using Creative Commons in reference to the music world. It shows some websites you can use to promote your newly licensed music. Also in the video is a lame attempt at a mashup in Ableton Live which is worth watching just for a laugh.Here is a song I offer for free. It was also released on a 9/11 Tribute album:

Creative Commons Licenes are not just for audio, you can add them to text, video, images and software.

photo credit: openDemocracy

Use Twitter to let your fans know what your doing.

Twitter logo

The dynamic between artist and fan has changed in recent years. It used to be if you were an artist you wanted to seem out of reach, high on a pedestal from your followers. However, today fans want a personal relationship with you. It’s not good enough to give them a monthly or even weekly update. They want to know what your doing right now! One of the best tools to give a window into your life is Twitter.

Twitter - Things to Come RecordsSo what is Twitter? To start head to and sign up for an account (it’s free). Click on Profile and give yourself an avatar. Next under where it says “What are you doing?” type up to 140 text characters. In a way it’s like a mini-blog letting the world know what’s going on with you at that moment. These moments you enter are called Tweets.

If you have friends on Twitter you can follow them and vice-versa. Besides the archive of all your own Tweets you can also see a master timeline which shows your Tweet and your friends Tweets.

Now comes what I think it the best part. Click to and create a widget that displays your Twitter updates on any web page you place it. This is great because you only have to put your Tweets in one place but instantly wherever you have badges your updates will show.

I have Things to Come Records studio Twitter badges on my MySpace page (, Facebook page and artist website ( If you notice they all look different because you can customize the badges to fit any site. If you notice on my artist web site’s studio page my Tweets are not even in a widget but customized into the look of the page itself using CSS. You can also have your Tweets injected into a WordPress blog as posts using Alex King’s Twitter Tools.

Twitter Tweet - screenshotIf you find going to a web page to input your Tweets cumbersome and your on a Mac try Icon Factory’s very nice program Twitterific. There is also a nifty Dashboard Widget called Twidget. I am sure there are Windows Twitter applications too. There are also methods of sending Tweets by email and Instant Messenger clients.

Lastly, I’d like to point out that Twitter has some competition. Google has a similar service called Jaiku and Kevin Rose and the Digg crew run Pownce. Unfortunately they are all incompatible. Come and follow my record label on Twitter:

Why every musician should have a flickr pro account.

flickr sticker on mac

For many years I had the photos I wanted to show the world on my record label’s website. Photos from live shows, promotional photos, studio photos and photos from other artists on my record label. I used Gallery and then later Simpleviewer to make the galleries. All the photos were stored with my ISP on my server. You could come and see the photos if you came to my website. The only way you would know when new ones were added would be if you were on our mailing list. Lame! It’s 2007 and there is a much better way.

There are some major advantages to switching from the above method to a flickr pro account.

First off to be clear you can still have your photos on your main website. In fact, the process of putting your photos on a regular web page from flickr is easier than using a gallery generator. A site called flickrSLiDR makes it simple. You input the URL of your flickr set and if you want to limit the gallery to certain photos you list the tags of Continue reading Why every musician should have a flickr pro account.