Sunday, April 4, 2010

Song of the Week - Week#10

BEACH HOUSE - GILA from Jon Leone on Vimeo.

Ok [Don't] Go: Record Labors Take a Step Back in Marketing Strageries

Ok Go's video for their single 'Here It Goes Again' made the band a house hold name when it came out. It was a smash hit with its eye catching treadmill choreography and the band owe a lot of its fame to it. Take a peek yourself-

OK Go - Here It Goes Again from OK Go on Vimeo.

As Ok Go know it, music videos can be an important part of a musicians career. Record labels know this too, but apparently they are too concerned with music listeners pirating music to take advantage of the media. That's right, goodbye embedded videos. Ok, not entirely, but enough to make a ruckus.

EMI is getting stingy with dinero. I agree that labels must find new ways to earn money, but prohibiting embedding videos for bands who basically owe their fame to their videos spreading like a fire online make little sense. Just because EMI can make a little money from having their videos strictly on Youtube, they forget the long run effect when thinking of the short term benefits. Many of these bands want their videos to be of the maximum use to their fans- enough for Ok Go to switch record labels. On top of this, even if these videos are prohibited from being embedded, there are other sites that have the same exact videos with the feature - like vimeo and myspace (I had to find this week's song of the week video and Ok Go's 'Here It Goes Again' on Vimeo because of this no embeddingness by the way).

Licensing restrictions tied to videos that cannot be embedded has also limited oversees fan's access to these videos. To me, this sounds like a disaster!

Blogging has played a huge part in getting bands out there. Bloggers are even beginning to create record labels themselves.

Are record labels as short sighted and greedy as this makes them seem? EMI needs a reality check and a better plan. Pirating is not great news to them, but as Matt Rosoff from CNET's Digital Noise mentioned - it's not going anywhere. It's time record labels find a way to use this to their advantage.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Suburban Ring-a-Ling: The Local Miami Music Scene and Sirens&Sealions

As I promise, I'm going to focus this post the one and only - Sirens and Sealions.

For starters you can check out their blog/vblog - The Murky Water Chronicles!.

Consisting of Johanna Viscaino, Nick Deluca, Chantal Meza, Gerry Felipe, Matt Gajewski, and Daniel Fernandez - these fellow Miamians and musicians are make quite an impact in the local music scene. They make use of several Miami venues and are currently playing in FIU's radio event Eat.Sleep.Folk.. Networking through sites like Facebook and MySpace has helped them greatly in popularizing their name in Miami. Keeping a blog also helps with connecting with their fans while keeping them update on any news concerning the band.

I currently had the pleasure of interviewing my friend, Siren and Sealion's wonderful lead singer - Johanna Viscaino about the band and their experiences with the Miami music scene.

Who are you!
Who are we? Ummm sea creatures? Umm no we are music lovers. That's what brings us all together, half of us are amateurs the other students of music or the arts. As a the initiator I describe this group as an amazing bunch of talented individuals that I was lucky enough to have as friends and supporters of this musical vision.

How did the band start?
Chanti and I literally were joking in her room saying how we could totally be in a band. This was after looking up the line up one night at STUDIO A when it was still bumping. We weren't pleased with the sounds that were being offered and really by accident created a product together that people really enjoy. Our members have changed through out the past year and a half. I compare us to Broken Social Scene in that sense, there are so many musically inclined supporters of the sound now that we are still able to play shows without steady members.

Where do you guys play?
We started playing at Churchills of course. It was meant to be a one time thing. At Raffa and Rainers "open mic night" CAN YOU ROCK A LIL SOFTER. We immediately got invited to play other shows. That we were not expecting. We were soon playing with the local acts we DID love and admire. Raffa was definitely our first supporter just as she has been for many local artists. She really believes in the scene.

How do you find local venues to play in?
As for venues- a lot of it is word of mouth. I remember within the first few months asking Chanti "should it be this easy for a new band to have this many invites to shows?" and shes like "I don't think so bands usually have to sell their sound and try to book their own gigs. As the one in charge of booking I haven't had to put much effort for our shows. Everything from the hipster infused WHITE ROOM to Churchills to Ps14 to the BORSCHT FILM FELSTIVAL @ the Gusman. It's all people inviting us cause they like what they've heard. We've also infiltrated the Wynwood area with a private show at the new CAFEINA LOUNGE and will be performing Bayfront park in a couple of weeks. So even major projects like working directly with the city has been word of mouth.

How has social networking sites been an impact for your band?
Social networking is all I depend on. It helps me get to know the listeners. I'm on Facebook and MySpace 3 hours out of everyday. Chatting with people, receiving email to play at places, meeting other local artists wed like to work with. Promoting shows in an eco friendly way =)

How’s the environment like for local musicians like here in Miami?

The environment in Miami is harsh man. I mean that is why we are so surprised towards the reaction we get. We have developed a decent following after a year and a half or so. People truly enjoy it and make sure to mark their calendars. The way I see it. Our audience are people like us that were tired of what Miami usually has to offer and are looking for something a bit different. No punk or metal or hip hop or reggaetone (I don't even know how to spell it).

What are your future plans for the band?
Some of us wouldn't mind catching a break and investing a couple of years into this big time. a couple of us have other musical goals. So its tough cause we aren't all in SYNC. We are however recording and I'm working with local design companies to get the album art done and we are working with someone in the business that will hopefully help us spread this sound through the east coast.

Sirens and Sealions are a prime example of how local bands make use of social networking websites. These sites have started a revolution for bands. These bands are able to get their music out in no time. Not only is this music available to fans but also to record labels. It gives them an edge bands in the past couldn't even dream of. It is also a great way to get connected with other artists locally. In the end, word of mouth is very important in this business. However, Facebook and MySpace are a huge part of these band's names being out there.

Lastly, with that being said - don't forget to check them out!

Sirens & Sealions - Tumbleweed from johnolin on Vimeo.

Song of the Week - Week #9

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lady Gaga and the Internet: the Revival of Music Videos

MTV has finally come out and said it - "We don’t play music videos anymore".This is not news to a lot of us. However, just because the music television pioneer is calling it quits, it doesn't mean music videos are a thing of the past though.

As many of you might be aware of (or not), fashionista and current Queen of Pop, Lady Gaga has recently released her much anticipated video for "Telephone". The video, a week after its released, was viewed over 20 million times according to the London Press. With that being said, fear not fellow music video lovers! The internet is here to quench our visual thirst (cheers for YouTube!).

The London Press has brought us good news. Music videos are thriving online - even though they have become "endangered" on television. Vevo, owned by Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Abu Dhabi Media Company (and who also have a section all to themselves on Youtube) has been reaping the benefits. The site, which is solely devoted to music videos, was "averaging 30 million video plays a day and picked up an extra nine million streams each day" after the Lady Gaga video.

Artists and directors (and me too!) are thrilled with this new finding. Rio Caraeff, president of Vevo has come forward to say: "The video for 25 or 30 years has been really pretty much the same, it hasn’t really evolved, then it moved on to the Internet and now its ripe for reinvention”. As the London Press points out, with music videos on the internet, they are no longer limited by the limitations (including time limits) that they would have to encounter when being played on TV.

Is the internet the new new media of music videos? I believe so. Not only do musicians and directors have a new playground to explore, I think this is great news to record labels too. Successful artists, mean successful labels. This is a new way to gain fans and build each musicians image. With the internet, more people can be reached - literally overnight. On the other end, fans are able to give feedback and experience these artists on a whole new plane.

Song of the Week - Week#8

Monday, March 15, 2010

Deschanel and some Ward

Click here to check out She&Him's new album, 'Volume Two' on NPR before it's release!