music industry advice

10 CMW Picks by YouRockRed

Canadian Music Week starts tomorrow and I’ve put together my top 10 picks for what to attend from showcases, award shows and parties over the next week.

And no, you won’t sleep but you’ll meet new friends, have some laughs and discover amazing new bands from all over the world!

1. Bleeker at Mod Club – Tues April 18

Lucky enough to work with these gents and their amazing team. Go see ‘em before their big USA tour!

 

2. Zoobombs @Silver Dollar – Tues April 18

Silver Dollar is closing and that’s super sad, but this Japanese punk band calls it their second home. I made the mistake of seeing them the first time without earplugs. Pack them. They are LOUD.

 

3. Conferences! April 19-21 @Sheraton Centre

Go learn and be learned. Also, tons of networking to be done. I wrote the feature article for Canadian Musician Magazine if you need any further tips. Particularly, go see Rick Barker talk at 6 on Wednesday. He’s super inspiring.

 

4. Live Music Industry Awards – Wednes April 19 

I’m really excited to attend this as Rush are receiving an award and any excuse to dress up on the red carpet with musicians is OK with me

5. The Indies Wednes April 18 @ The Phoenix 

54/40, Dan Mangan.. So many artists are on this bill. Definitely going to be one of the hottest tickets of the week.

 

6. Canadian Women Musically  - Thurs April 20 @ TBD

This is a non-CMW showcase being put on by some kick-ass ladies from 4-7pm. Message HERE for more info

 

7. Les DeuxLuxes Thurs April 20 @Supermarket

I discovered this band through as a juror for an award and fell hard for them. They’re playing the Bon Sound showcase and I think I’ll be sticking here for more of Thursday night.

 

8. Hollerado at Exclaim/Fred Perry Party – Fri April 20

Wait, it’s not confirmed but my detective work (check out the number of “???????” above!) has revealed they’ve got a new album out to promote. Plus, past clients PONY! are playing too.

 

9. Dandy Warhols Fri April 20 @Lee’s Palace

I think I like this band more after watching the documentary DIGG too many times (and showing my students too). Excited to see them play live.

 

10. No Bro Fri April 20 @ The Garrison

I’ve got a thing for Dine Alone and Buzz bands and both my Friday choices won’t disappoint. These gals are doing Wayhome too!

 

 

… now go get ready to rock!

CMM! Cover Story: How to Do Music Conferences

Thrilled to announce the cover feature article I worked on the topic of music education and how to make the most of music conferences is now available on newstands across Canada!  It’s about 10 pages long, so lots to be learned.

I interviewed festival managers, bookers, producers, publicists, artist managers and more to get a full representation of all the best advice for indie/DIY musicians. There’s also an article on how you can make a music conference happen in your own town.

Pick it up now or read it online HERE.

(P.S. I’ve got the May/June feature as well- stay tuned!)

My cover April

Top 30 Bands Not to Miss at Iceland Airwaves ’15

Iceland Airwaves goes November 4-8 and I made my own list of bands to check out:

You’ll find that this is a list mixing Icelandic bands and international acts. I’ve only seen a handful but spent a few days listening to all that I could find through Spotify and Grape Vine. While working CityFolk I ran into the bass player from Of Monsters and Men in line for the smoothie bar (of all places) and he told me to not try to see everything during the festival, so let’s see how that works out! 

  1. Father John Misty (US- this man has more rock star swagger than 98% of the bands I see in a year)
  2. Milkwhale
  3. Just Another Snake Cult- weird, psych stuff
  4. Operators (saw their first show at Silver Dollar, holla, ex-Wolf Parade!)
  5. BRNS (BE)
  6. Dream Wife (UK)- super Blondie-like
  7. Hjaltalin
  8. Hide Your Kids
  9. Fufano
  10. Reykjavikurdaetur (20 + female Icelandic feminist rap collective)
  11. Junius Meyvant
  12. Mispyrming
  13. Vok ** super stoked
  14. Agent Fresco (Iceland’s current OMAM)
  15. French for Rabbits (NZ)
  16. Dad Rocks (DK)
  17. Tuff Love – fuzz music
  18. LoneLady (UK)- really excited to see this pop-diva
  19. John Grant and Icelandic Symphony Orchestra
  20. LA Priest (UK)
  21. Bo Ningen (JP)
  22. Tanya Tagac (CA)- playing on my birthday!
  23. Verite (UK)
  24. Chastity Belt (US)- still the best promotional photo I’ve seen in a long time.
  25. FM Belfast- supposed to be an amazing dance party
  26. Ariel Pink (US) – caught a ridiculously entertaining show at Time Fest in TO in the summer where the singer flashed his balls to everyone around him. Here’s hoping he wears pants on stage.
  27. Weaves (CA)- Toronto-pride!
  28. Beach House (US)
  29. OBGMs (CA)- saw them at Osheaga and subsequently the only mosh pit at Osheaga
  30. Lord Pusswhip

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @urockred and Instagram @urockred while there! #airwaves15

I’m also super excited to see the off-venue shows KEXP Seattle is doing at the KEX Hostel.

iceladn2

Metro News Ottawa Feature Interview w/ YouRockRed

The next BSOMA session is only a week away and was so jam-packed with awesome music industry insiders Metro News Ottawa interviewed me on it! Also I managed to get the words, “kick-ass,” in print, so that’s an accomplishment. Click on photo below for full article!

Click for link to full article.

Click for link to full article.

Speaking at Canadian Music Week

CMW 2015 is under way and my ears are already ringing (Thanks, Metz!) The 3-day music conference begins on Thursday, May 7, and you can sign up for a FREE meeting with me at the Mentor’s Cafe from 12- 1p.m.

Click here for the link! 

The Don’ts of Emailing/Messaging and Why You Didn’t Get a Reply

This blog post is not intended to come across as jaded but I get a lot of emails and messages requesting information and services without any real thought or courtesy to the services YouRockRed and just I, as a working professional, should reply to.

  1. Don’t send Facebook messages to people you don’t know requesting services or to book your band. This is a pet peeve for most industry. They tell you to send your request to your designated email address, not facebook. I won’t follow up with it if it’s not flagged in my gmail and quite frankly, I enjoy having my weekends off (aside from going to shows).
  2. Don’t ask for free advice or to pick my brain. Good consulting is not free. Expect to pay. Our time is highly guarded as we are such busy people with our own regular clients.
  3. Don’t message if you don’t live in Canada. My speciality is in Canadian music industry.
  4. Seriously, just like online dating, you’d look at the profile of a potential mate to determine if you have anything in common. If you notice in past clients that I have never worked with hip hop, EDM or country musicians there could be a reason why.
  5. If you do send an email unrelated to my services but expect to be given a label or management client because we met briefly at a show or conference, re-consider. I’ve got a ton of clients demanding things from me daily and they get priority to random requests that have nothing to do with what my company is all about.
  6. Don’t not include information about your band when pitching to me. I don’t have time to Google cutie_gurl55@hotmail.com to see if she’s a legit band. Always include links to the basic dot com where your music can be heard, Facebook and Youtube.
  7. Don’t ask me for sponsorship money or trade.
  8. Don’t be pushy (especially on the weekend!). I try my best to reply to every email I receive however the number of emails/demos I get versus the ones I’m able to actually take on are like 1/25.
  9. Be polite. If you do get a reply saying I’m too busy to take you on or that I don’t think that your music is the right fit, there’s not much more to it and is more of an answer most people in the music industry would ever send out.
  10. Keep rocking! Keep playing your music and pursuing your passion because ultimately if you’re good, people will find you and be interested. 92% of the clients I’ve ever worked with I’ve known of or seen in advance of working together. The other 8% are usually referrals from friends and colleagues I trust.

Ottawa Citizen Features YouRockRed & BSOMA

Click to read the full article.

Click to read the full article.

Why there’s been no updates: Speaking Engagements Galore!

I’ve been a little slow to update here as it’s been anything but at the YouRockRed office. I’ve been bouncing between Ottawa and Toronto.

I’m thrilled to confirm that the Bluesfest School of Music and Art info sessions have been continued (April is booked! May is in the works!). I hosted one 2 weeks ago on how to make money in the music industry and another a week back on how to become involved as a music educator in the Blues in the Schools program.  The latter was even profiled in the Ottawa Citizen praising the importance of the sessions influence on the local artists. One gaff, they called me a musician; now while I sing along a ton to whatever is playing on the radio or my headphones, I just work with musicians.

I’ve sat down with some really driven clients for artist consultations (1 hour sessions with me where an artist can get questions answered by an industry expert and objective guidance) in Ottawa to as far as Alberta.

I even popped in on the Tara Recording Academy to give a guest lecture last Monday night to about 30 audio engineering students. We talked about punk rock and how to self-promote to get future clients when they’re out in the production world, including the importance of grant writing. It was a cool connection too because the teacher was an artist that I’d interviewed for a now defunct publication on the street in front of a now closed venue (turned dirty nightclub).

I LOOOOOVE doing speaking engagements and hope to do more here in Toronto and wherever else will have me! Teaching is something I’ve done in the past that just excites me. Back in 2007-8 I taught history of contemporary Canadian music to ESL teen students, but being able to teach to engaged and interested musicians/industry is my bread and butter. Nowadays, it’s my strong journalism background that allows me to research and ask questions to panelists that come out to the sessions.

More news to come!

With teacher Marty at Tara from Autumn's Canon

With teacher Marty at Tara from Autumn’s Canon at the school after my talk

Raid my record collection, no, really: Rdio

If you’re considering working with someone in the music industry, don’t you want to know what they are listening to?  If you look at my past listening history you’ll see that I go on pop music kicks, 70s rock followed by some hardcore punk. You won’t see any new country or even much EDM on there. I don’t mind people checking it out and love seeing other industry folks posting the #nowplaying hashtag or #vinylig. We’re all here because we love music at the end of the day. I’ve made my Rdio public so that when people visit the YouRockRed site they can see what I’m listening to and see if we’re the right fit to work together.

I’ve been a big fan of Rdio since first being introduced 3 years ago. I tried to convert to Spotify but couldn’t do it because all of my past listen history on Rdio.  As a music journalist, Rdio was an invaluable tool for me to research new music; I wouldn’t have to wait for codes from the record company, albums to arrive in the mail or worse yet, buying an album I wasn’t interested in on Itunes and racking up random credit card charges.

Having a wide interest and unlimited exposure to all genres of music is so important to artist development (industry as well). I used to be a snob and not listen to Top 40 radio (30 now) but I think it’s crucial to know what music is popular for how to apply it to your career. Even if you’re into doom metal, singing along to a Katy Perry song doesn’t make you any less metal. If anything, I want to see a cover from your metal band of a Katy Perry song. BOOM. That translates into 30,000 Youtube likes and a festival intro. What I’m saying is that you should open your music tastes up to others as people’s influences may surprise you…. and that we should be friends on Rdio.

BSOMA Presents Music Publishing Seminar feat. Jeremy Fisher

Thrilled to announce the second info session I’m organizing with Bluesfest School of Music and Art. Music publishing is confusing. I’ve got books o the music industry that go on for a full chapter only to say, check with your lawyer or just go buy all of these other books.  Instead I’ve assembled a crack team. I love these sessions because I get to learn too! The journalist in me is fascinated by being able to provoke the most interested and helpful answers.  Plus, a lot of research goes into panels that I’m not as familiar with as say, grant-writing which was the first topic BSOMA presented and I’ve spoken about at other festivals.

Who Owns It - poster

 

The first one in late November sold out in less than a week, so if you’re interested in hearing this expert panel, be sure to buy your tickets in advance.

This is part of the first Megaphono Music Festival happening February 3-5 (reserved wristband holders also have access to the event). I’m going to be hitting up a bunch of the panels on Wednesday and Thursday in advance of the session.

Ticket URL

Facebook event.