Promoting artists

I was going to make a post last week about Deep Purple and George Thorogood uploading tracks to the Podsafe Music Network via their music label, who I just noticed have today uploaded some Alice Cooper tracks.

But I didn’t, and in fact I’m not even going to link to them because I decided instead I want to start promoting podsafe artists more. Those three along with previous names like James Brown are good examples of how well-known, popular artists are waking up to how good this network is for promotion. That’s great, but I’m using them as a blatant attempt at adding more weight to my words when I say please go check out artists I link to, and encourage any bands you know to upload their tracks to the PMN πŸ˜‰

The artist I’m linking today is Jenny Dalton who I first heard on a recent episode of Accident Hash. Beautiful voice, more than a little Tori Amos influence and is described thus:

She’s a twist of Tori with a splash of the Cranberries chased with a chilled glass of Kate Bush and with a tenderness and honesty all her own… Fans are taking notice, and this Minneapolis artist has prompted an outpouring of support nationally and internationally.

Not only that, but there’s a very obvious theme behind her debut CD, Fleur de Lily:

Many songs on Fleur de Lily were inspired by her relationship with a soldier through his year-long deployment to Iraq in 2005. The song “At Ease” was written after his two-week visit home in the summer of ’05, and “Iraqi Sky” was based on a dream he had during the separation.

Highly recommended, especially if you’re a Tori Amos fan. You can stream around 30sec of each track from the CD on her website, or 3 complete tracks from her PMN page. Actually I recommend going to the PMN page first, because I find complete tracks better than 30-sec snippets.

Go search for the mainstream artists on the PMN if you want. Me, I just added Jenny’s CD to my wishlist – which is starting to grow to a reasonable size again πŸ˜€

bill are at it again

Back in January I posted about the band bill doing what they called a “podcast payback” which in the end was the only way I could get a copy of their Birthday Suit album.

Well I got a note in my comments the other day from one of the band members, turns out those crazy kids are doing it again with “Podcast Payback 2”! I promised to post about it last week, but I forgot. Sorry guys 😦

Luckily I remembered because it starts today. Head on over to the download page and grab your copy of the Blue Roof Session! It finishes on the 20th of August, so if you miss out it’s your own damn fault πŸ˜›

Details about the download:

Entitled β€œBlue Roof Session (6.25.06)”, the bundle consists of five new songs recorded live 6.25.06 at Blue Roof Studios in San Diego, CA.

To download a free copy of the recording all you have to do is go to http://www.billmusic.net/podcastpayback from Aug. 14th – 20th, enter your email address, and you will be sent a link for the download. Don’t worry. We won’t spam you and only plan to use your email to let you know about future downloads — some of which are already in the works.

Along with the music giveaway, bill will randomly select 10 downloaders to receive one of their newly printed shirts (pictures coming soon).

5 tracks of good music for free. What more can you ask for? If you like it, check out their album (you can stream it completely for free on their website) which is a whole US$5 for digital download. Fantastic value.

Waking up to no DRM

There’s been a bit of excitement recently about Yahoo offering songs without DRM. Most sites fail to mention that it’s only one track so far, a Jessica Simpson track that you can get with your name in it. But quite rightly everybody is excited about the prospect of big labels finally caving in and selling DRM free music.

Podshow has been doing this for a while, they’ve had MP3s for podcasters to play since the site went live a year ago and slowly they’re opening up the purchasing beta so listeners can download the same DRM free files for 99c. The number of times I’ve heard a band thank a podcast via audio feedback is insane, lots of small indie artists are doing well because of promotion on podcasts and that should only increase once anyone can make their music available for sale.

Plenty of small record labels are uploading tracks to the PMN, recognising the value of it for promotional purposes rather than getting bogged down worried about piracy.
There are some big names joining the fun too, the latest being James Brown last week.

 

The revolution is on, indeed.

Lend me your ear

I’m not sure how many of my readers actually clicked even one of the links I painstakingly created for my podsafe music posts.  There were a lot, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the percentage is low πŸ˜‰

I have a solution though.  Instead of the really big post with a ton of links that require you to click through, hit play, blah blah blah EFFORT, I have a single link and a single download.

All I ask is that you lend me 50 minutes of your time, and it doesn’t even have to be in one continuous block.  You can fast forward over bits you don’t like.  But please, head over to Accident Hash and listen to show #159.

It’s a bit overly American themed due to being an Independence day show, but it’s the top 10 songs played on podcasts for the month of June.  Out of that collection, I own one of their CDs and have 3 or 4 others on my to-buy list.  Booty Voodoo is a track that gets stuck in my head every time I hear it, and that’s not a bad thing.

Welcome StarCASTers

I just wanted to say hi to anyone visiting after the boys at StarCAST gave me a shout out on this week’s episode πŸ˜€

well… that, and get my post about fetishes off the top of my blog.  That might’ve been a surprise for any new readers πŸ˜‰

 

This is my second mention on a podcast, and in many ways it’s far better than the first which was more about a story I’d submitted than me.  I’m not really sure how I can help Carlos with Wicked Weasel though (warning: NSFW) – they do ship internationally πŸ˜›

Thanks for the shout out guys, I doubt it’ll cause a scoble-esque traffic spike but I’m sure you’ll have an audience of that size before too much longer. Thanks again for a copy of the EP πŸ˜€

AJ thinks this is a fetish

fet·ish
n.
<snip>
4. An abnormally obsessive preoccupation or attachment; a fixation

… he’s probably right πŸ˜‰


so… my CDs arrived πŸ˜€

The shipping confirmation email was sent 5pm Tuesday afternoon Australian time, and by Friday lunch I had a FedEx guy telling me that next time, I should put the company name on the address if I’m getting it delivered to work.  I’ve had quite a few things delivered to work, and nobody else had a problem… ah well.

CD Baby really go the extra mile for their customers.  I picked the “take CDs out of their box to save costs” shipping, but as you can see they clearly didn’t – but I wasn’t charged any extra πŸ˜€

The only thing I have to do now is get some artwork for each album in iTunes; as far as I can tell CD Baby has already scanned them so I hope they don’t mind me copying the images πŸ˜‰

In closing, the shipping confirmation email is so good I just have to post it…

 

 Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Monday, June 12th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby.  We sure did.  Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year”.  We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Podsafe music rocks!

I was putting together my previous post about buying podsafe music, and spent so much time describing how much I loved each of the albums I’m buying that the post was getting out of control! So I split the fun stuff into a new post.

By far my favourite thing about listening to music on podcasts, particularly popular stuff from the Podsafe Music Network (PMN), is that it’s better than 99% of what I’ve heard coming out of mainstream radio (there is one notable exception in Australia).  While listening to what follows I sometimes dance around if nobody’s watching, and all I can feel is pride in knowing that this podcasting business really is a revolution, and I’m able to experience it as it happens.  In the process I’ve discovered some of the best music I’ve ever heard and I never would have found it otherwise.

When reading this post, try to keep in mind that I have purchased 10 CDs tops in the last ~7 years. Between the illegal music floating around uni and generally not liking the selection of mainstream music for sale, I just kept my money to myself for all but the absolute best cds that I wanted to support. So when I buy this much music, it’s not coming from someone who usually runs out to buy the hottest thing on the radio – each and every one of these bands has touched, inspired or simply awed me through a podcast they were played on.

I can’t remember exactly which artist I first heard through which Podcast, so I’ll only specify if it’s important.  I do know however that they all came from either Accident HashDaily Source Code or more recently the Starcast πŸ™‚

I have put links for each artist to their PMN page where you can hear every single song that hooked me.  I’ll be very surprised if anyone listens to every single artist but even if you only listen to one, the purpose of this post will have been fulfilled πŸ˜€

So, without further ado here’s my list of podsafe artists I like and/or love. There is no order to this and no intentional links related to purchasing in this post, I put all of those in my previous one.

  1. Kevin Reeves, who has been played quite a bit on shows I listen to and I enjoyed his style. His album “It’s About Time” is out now, and a few of the tracks are on the PMN. I documented how much Kevin rocks in previous posts a few months ago πŸ™‚
  2. Matthew Ebel. Simply a fantastic album, his tracks on the PMN have been played all over podcast land and with good reason.  Quite a few of his tracks are described as “top down driving around” music, although that can lead to speeding tickets πŸ˜€
  3. Taxi Doll. Very cool “rocktronica” sound that appealed to me the second I heard it on Accident Hash as I am a huge Garbage fan. They recently removed all tracks from their PMN page for some unknown reason, but the entire album can be played through flash on their website – the third track “look at what you got” is the one that hooked me  πŸ˜€
  4. My Little Radio are just plain awesome, but don’t have an album yet 😦 I listen to their tracks on the PMN far too regularly, particularly the song that hooked me “waste another night”. I will be buying their album the second it’s available. I got to the point where I actually went out and contacted CC Chapman in late January, he told me they were heading to the studio within 2 weeks – I just discovered on myspace that while it may not have happened quite that fast it should be available this month πŸ˜€
  5. Anemo. Holy crap this band rocks, I love their style. Reminds me a little of EvanescenceMade of Fiction was the track that hooked me instantly.
  6. Number One Fan. A few tracks on the PMN, nice pop rock sound and enjoyable enough that I would like to keep a copy of their music around.
  7. 46bliss. Out of all the bands I’ve listed here as heard from podcasts, their song In a Long Time was the very first song to ever grab me by the balls and refused to let go. Crap, was that a year ago?  It’s a shame I’ve waited this long before actually buying their CD.
  8. Mike Errico. The track “skimming” has been played quite a bit, if you haven’t heard it check it out on the PMN. That track alone is why I’m buying his CD, while the other 2 PMN tracks didn’t immediately appeal to me they do grow on you.
  9. Jody Shelton. I nearly had a heart attack when their website had no mention of a CD, as the track blur is one of those ones that really touched me. Then in a stroke of brilliance I searched CD Baby, and found it on what is quickly becoming my favourite music site.
  10. Tourist. Throwing Stones was the first song of theirs I heard, and it’s a kickass track that appealed to me immediately and only got better. Not much more I can say, I’m really lookin forward to this CD πŸ˜€
  11. Laura Clapp was someone I discovered on the Daily Source Code, and the play on there came from some big chain of friends that Adam Curry pointed out was part of the awesome social network that is building up around podsafe music.  Hey Hey Sister was the song that hooked me, which is on the PMN along with a growing collection of her other songs – the latest addition “Not For Me” is going to make me buy her next CD as well πŸ˜‰
  12. Blame Amy don’t have their own PMN page as Piggyback Records put themselves as the artists for each band in their lineup – but on the last page is the first song I heard of theirs, “Perfect Fit”.  Love it.
  13. [Munk] just plain rocks with his genre-defying range of music.  He got notice with his podcast anthem “podpeople”, which is on page 2 of his PMN site.  Also check out “dirty work” on the first page.
    A couple of months ago, he did an interview on Accident Hash.  That interview covered all the major reasons why podcasting is or will be more successful than a record label deal, and I have already used it to try convincing a band to put their tracks up on the PMN.
  14. The Substitutes haven’t had a huge amount of play on podcasts, but wherever I heard them, the tracks “down on my lady” and “god is cocaine” stuck in my head.  Check both tracks out on page 2 of their PMN site.
  15. I first heard the music of Rob Costlow a very, very long time ago (I believe it was first on the DSC).  He has absolutely fantastic instrumental piano music, his song “I Do” is just beautiful and has quite rightly been very popular.  I can’t remember if it was that track or one of the others, but he wrote it to play for his wife at their wedding.  About the only response worthy of that is “wow”.
  16. Jon Schmidt is another Piano artist, although not completely instrumental.  I have no real idea where I found this guy, but he was on my list for a good reason.  To refresh my memory I listened to the song at the top of his website top 10, All of me – and decided to add the CD it’s from (August End) to my list immediately.
  17. Beth Thornley has this awesome little track called Mr. Lovely that I played off the PMN every day for at least a week after first hearing it.  Easy addition to my list.
  18. LoveSpirals didn’t enter my list until recently, although they’ve been played on the podcast scene for quite a while.  Vocalist Anji Bee has a hypnotic voice to die for, and I’ve been enjoying her podcast The Chillcast.  Binary StarCAST played Love Survives on a recent episode, and I was finally hooked πŸ˜‰
  19. Brother Love has been huge amongst podcasts, if you haven’t heard any of his music then you either don’t listen to podcasts or haven’t been paying attention.  The three songs on his PMN page are among the most played of all time from the network, collectively I’d be willing to bet they top any band.  None of that really matters to me though, I put him on my list because I enjoy his music, not because somebody told me to!
  20. Chance began selling all of his music independently through his website in 2004.  A brave move, but it looks like it’s paid off.  He probably hasn’t been quite as big as Brother Love, but his music has also been very popular especially after his simulcast of a concert on many podcasts.  Chance and Brother Love are often used as shining examples of how successful podsafe music has been, and a lot of that is because they’re both fantastic artists.  Check out “Say what you Will” and “Hip Hop High” from his PMN site to see what I mean.
  21. Lorena Miré has a beautiful voice, and the combination of a band fronted by acoustic guitar with what could quite easily be rock songs makes for a sound that just hits a note with me.  Check her out on her PMN site, the two songs that got me are “Kid in a Candy Store” and “Shaking You”.
  22. bill have a varied sound that is nothing short of addictive.  If you listen to nothing else from this lineup, head to their PMN site and play “Sound Scientist”.  That, and “Panacea” are the songs that I fell in love with.

I can’t let this post finish without plugging 4 girls who were the first big stars of podsafe music, I purchased both of their albums off the iTunes music store the day it opened in Australia.  They would be the Lascivious Biddies, who describe themselves as a cocktail pop quartet although sometimes the music has more of a jazz feel to it.  Their song “Famous” is the one that not only rocketed them to fame on podcasts but is also the catalyst I remember as kicking off the entire Podsafe Music Network.  Head over and take a listen.

So there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed this pair of posts, it packs some of my varied taste in music into one big list.  I’m already starting a new list of artists I forgot to buy the first time, and ones I’m only just discovering – so I’ll do another one of these once the shipping costs per CD drop to an acceptable level πŸ™‚

Podsafe music hard to buy in Australia

I’ve been listening to a lot of music podcasts, and 6 months ago decided that I wanted to support the artists I was enjoying so much.  I haven’t bought a CD in a while, very little mainstream music interested me even before podcasting. I started making my list in mid January, and have since early February been preparing to purchase them. I figured there would be hiccups, so I decided to document my experiences.

The trouble is, buying independent US music from Australia is a royal pain in the arse.  Because of this I first thought digital downloads would be preferred because it saves shipping a CD from the US; however as I’ll explain in a second that all changed. I’ve already documented my problems with Paypal so I won’t rehash that.

Prices are in bold, and in US dollars unless otherwise specified. Through all of this, my purpose was to use the means that gave the most back to the artist. Based on what I heard from discussions on the Daily Source Code in February, this meant the iTunes Music Store (ITMS) should be avoided unless absolutely necessary; half the time you can’t even find these artists in the Australian ITMS so that’s ok by me. There were a few cases I found them and this rule forced me to avoid the digital download; however I ordered as many of the physical CDs as possible in one shipment through CD Baby (postage listed at the end) so it didn’t really increase the price much.

Below is my list, in the order they’re listed on my next post describing why I am buying each album. Read them in sync if you want the full story (and a long story it is, too!) because I can’t guarantee that it’ll make much sense if you don’t πŸ˜›

  1. Kevin ReevesIt’s About Time$10 on CD Baby. Pre-order came with 4 tracks and a bonus live track – I was unable to pay for it, but Kevin sent me the pre-order anyway.  Luckily, in the time since I started writing this he managed to release the album on CD Baby, and now I’ll have a proper copy πŸ˜€
  2. Matthew EbelBeer & Coffee$11.99 from CD Baby.
    2.5 With Matthew participating in the PMN purchasing beta I also bought:

    Christmas 2004 Live – Walk A Thousand Miles99c

    Sally Went Down99c
  3. Taxi DollWaiting. Available through CD Baby or iTunes. $8.99  from CD Baby. Unfortunately not in stock at the moment, that’s what I get for not putting this order through 4 months ago when it was in stock 😦
    Postage from CD Baby is a minimum of $4 for slow postage, at which point I’m paying A$17.33 when ITMS AU is charging A$13.52.  Is $4 worth it to get a physical CD?  I was going to say no, but there are a few other CDs below that I can order at the same time so I’ll wait.
  4. My Little Radio don’t have an album yet, and their website is down πŸ˜¦ As I mentioned in the last post I’m including them here because I listen to their tracks on the PMN far too regularly, and will be buying their album the second it’s available.  Thanks to their blog on myspace, that will apparently be very soon πŸ˜€
  5. AnemoSlowburn. They’re popular enough that their CD is available through a LOT of places, including ITMS AU. I went for CD Baby in the end, $12.50.  Slightly more expensive than ITMS, but I’m trying to give the artists money here πŸ˜›
  6. Number One FanCompromises. Apparently too good for CD Baby (looks like they got signed by Universal), but not good enough for ITMS AU so I’m forced to pay $12 for a CD that’s available in ITMS US for $8, plus $6 shipping bringing the total to $17.95.  This is the big example of my problems, it would’ve been one of those snap “while I’m buying off cdbaby” purchases but I don’t like them enough to pay through the nose.
  7. 46bliss46bliss. $11.95 on CD Baby, also available on most popular download sites & iTunes.  After the disappointment from Number One Fan I decided to pick up pistachio home for $9.95 as well.
  8. Mike Errico – Skimming. Signed to engine company records so I’m forced to buy through them; $13.99 plus $2.29 shipping.  It’s only US$10 (roughly) on ITMS AU, but I love this guy’s music and the shipping is cheap so I’m going to bite the bullet and pay a bit extra.  CDs are apparently hand signed too πŸ˜‰
  9. Jody SheltonRise (EP). $7.00 at CD Baby.
  10. Touristthe relevance of motion. $11.97 at CD Baby.  At least one of my favourites is just so simple to buy.
  11. Laura ClappSimply$9.99 at CD Baby.  I was tempted to buy her other CD Where are you going? at the same time, but it’s not in stock.  Ah well, I’ll get it at the same time as the Taxi Doll CD πŸ˜‰
  12. Blame Amy have their self-titled album available in the online store of Piggyback Records for $10 + $6 international shipping, and on iTunes.  The difference is about $A5, but something tells me the band will get more from a $10 sale on their store than a $13 sale on iTunes.  Plus the cover looks cool.  I’m buying the CD.
  13. [Munk] hasn’t put his podpeople or dirty work tracks out on a CD yet, but I’ve discovered that I enjoy his other tracks on the PMN enough that I’m picking up his second cd Severed for $10.99, AND his first cd Anime Sweetheart for $11.99.  I hadn’t heard Anime Sweetheart before today, but previewed it off CD Baby and decided I want it as well!
  14. The SubstitutesThe Exploding Plastic Inevitable. $11.00 at CD Baby.
  15. Rob Costlow – I actually promised Rob in a comment on his blog that I was going to buy both albums but they were only available in ITMS US at the time – that was so long ago I can’t remember which post.  They’re both now available in iTunes Australia, but I decided to buy Sophomore Jinx and Woods of Chaos for $11.99 each off CD Baby since I’m doing
    an order anyway.
  16. Jon Schmidt – August End.  Impulse buy, $12.95 at CD Baby (see the other post for why :P)
  17. Unfortunately Beth Thornley doesn’t have her second CD (with the track I really want) available at CD Baby, but it is available through her website so I may investigate that later.  Her first, self titled CD is available but the sample tracks didn’t really appeal to me 😦
  18. LoveSpiralsFree & Easy$12.98 at CD Baby.  After hearing the samples I couldn’t resist picking up Windblown Kiss as well for $12.98 while I was there.
  19. Brother Love – Album of the year.  The name is not some marketing spin, his music really is that good.  $10.00 at CD Baby which is far cheaper than ITMS AU.  That made me laugh πŸ˜€
  20. ChanceFirst Five Demos ($6.99), Six through Ten ($6.99) at CD baby.  Looks like there is a third CD almost ready for release, which is yet another reason to purchase things from CD Baby that weren’t in stock this time around πŸ˜€
  21. Lorena Miré – I ended up posting about her CD yesterday, so I won’t repeat myself.
  22. bill – Unfortunately they only take paypal.  I have a copy of the CD thanks to their offer 5 months ago, but I feel kinda bad keeping it without buying the CD 😦

Phew.  And on top of that, I got doubles of 2 in there for my mum’s birthday (I’m not saying which ones just yet though :P).  So that’s 20 CDs from CD baby, which comes to a grand total of… $221.  That’s a pretty freaking good value if you ask me.  And thanks to the fantastic service option where they can take the CD out of the bulky plastic case, shipping is only $11 instead of $26.  Brings that total to US$232, or A$320 after bank conversion charges which is what I’d pay for about 10 mainstream CDs.

Odd note – CD Baby didn’t ask for my credit card type, just number and expiration date.  I guess they have a detection algorithm on the server, which makes me wonder why nobody else manages to do that.  It’s very cool!

The other two CDs, Skimming and Blame Amy, come to US$16 each, which to be honest is about what I’d pay if I ordered each of my CD Baby CDs separately.  One came through at A$20, the other at A$22.

So I now have an A$360 hole in my credit card, and I couldn’t be happier as this has been a long time coming.

The final step in all this is to email each artist and tell them I bought their CD because I heard their song on a podcast.  I know many artists love to hear when this happens, and I think it’s doubly important to do because I’m ordering from Australia.  Luckily CD Baby have already thought of that so I’ve already sent a generic message to all but 2 of them – although I’ll be sending an extra one to Kevin Reeves letting him know that his generous offer of a free download isn’t necessary anymore πŸ˜€

Binary star music kick ass

I should be asleep, it’s nearing 1am.  But 20 minutes ago staying up late became worth it, as Hank from Binary Star Music sent me the download links to the CD I was interested in but couldn’t buy due to paypal issues πŸ˜€

The CD is an EP from Lorena MirΓ© called “Kid in a Candy Store”, and I’ve spent the last 20 minutes listening to the entire thing.  The pre-order is only $5, and for that you get 6 very cool songs (which can all be previewed on the site).  I’m not particularly good at describing music, but the genre in the ID3 tag – “Acoustic Alt-Rock” – pretty much nails it.

Please check her music out and if you like it, buy it to support some people who are helping to fuel this revolution.  And tell ’em I sent you, I want to give a little back.

Songs I’ll happily dance to when nobody is watching

Unfortunately I’m not going to get the big posts out tonight, as Tuesdays are my RP group night.  Instead, I’ll share an episode of Accident Hash that I just finished listening to.  I’m a little behind so this episode is 2 weeks old, but it epitomizes a LOT of what I love about podsafe music podcasts.  The music is good, CC is wired, and he’s even more enthusiastic than normal about what he’s doing.

The first 5 songs on this show are either on my recently-purchased list, or on the list that I should’ve but forgot.  The 6th is pretty good too.  All of them are highly recommended.

http://accidenthash.podshow.com/?p=250

If you haven’t heard a podshow podcast recently don’t skip the ad about 2/3 through – it’s not your usual kind of ad as you’ll discover towards the end πŸ˜‰