March 2014

What your Band Facebook Event is Missing – PART 2

We started this crazy train last week and you know we at YouRockRed want an audience to turn up! Don’t be the band that forgets the date! This is part 2 of how to create the most effective band FB event.

Admission cost

-          Include cost ALWAYS- it won’t scare away your audience, it’s essential!

-          Include link to online tickets if applicable

-          Let people know where they can buy advance tickets in person with the record store/distro hyperlinked. E.g. Vertigo Records $10/advance

-          Spell out ADVANCED when it comes to writing the ticket price, e.g. “$10 advance/$14 door”

-          If you’re doing a Pay-what-you-can, don’t be scared of asking for a “PWYC- Suggested Donation $5”  People are generally willing to chuck in what you ask, if not a bit more.

Time of Event

-          This seems basic but seriously, check with the venue and promoter.  You can’t start at show at 5 p.m. and if the confirming email says that, it’s probably load-in time for ONLY your band.

-          Get your am’s/pm’s right!  Don’t write 12 p.m. if you’re playing at midnight! This fucks up the entire venue listing time!

-          The show doesn’t start when your band plays.  Include when the DOORS open and if possible when the rock starts. E.g. Doors 8 p.m./ Rock 9 p.m.

Sponsored Events

-          Spell your sponsor’s name right!

-            Link or at hyperlink their name

-          If they are the title sponsor include “X Company presents…  Mother’s Heroes” in the event NAME

-          Include that same sponsorship intro as the FIRST line people read when they get to the FB event page

Extra info:

-break up any extra info with a few “enters” or “***”

- hosted by? Include if there’s a celeb host/comedian/burlesque gal hosting or MC’ing the event

Social media

-          Include a website where your fans can hear your music (Bandcamp, official .com, just don’t leave us hanging)

-          Twitter

-          Official Twitter hashtag for the event

-          Facebook page if possible for the ACTUAL event or organization


Goodluck, and keep rocking!

What Your Band Facebook Event is MISSING- PART 1

This might seem really basic but instead of just shaking your head we at YouRockRed decided to hook you up with a checklist so you can pack that club full of your music fans!

*Tune in next week when we hook you up with a TEMPLATE you can print and check off to be super organized, you smarty-pants rockstars, you!

PART 1- You must include: 


-          Include ALL info when it comes to this and double check

-          Include the Weekday/end day.  Spell OUT Saturday.  Spell out MAY.  Don’t just write “We’re playing 6/11.” SPELL IT OUT.

Venue info:

-          Venue name AND address with STREET NUMBER (if it’s difficult to find, let people know to turn left at the pizza shop concisely)

-          Venue in the facebook map

-          The venue name spelled correctly (if your fans are driving from out of town you don’t want them to turn up at the wrong Il Mocambo when it’s actually El Mocamba right?

-          If the event is 19+, all Ages, 18+, 21+, kid-friendly

-          If there is parking nearby

-          Buses to take there and nearby stops to get off at (if it’s in a weird place and public transit ends early, let people know so they can catch their rides home!)

-          Dress code? I know you’re not Arcade Fire but if the band is doing a themed-party, say Flapper-style, let your audience know they’re expected to dress to impress… or better yet, throw them “$1 off for coming in costume”

Band Info:

-          List of bands spelled correctly

-          List them in order of performance, not how YOU’D like to play. E.g. We know you’re not headlining over Arcade Fire.  List accordiningly.

-          Define what genre they are e.g. “Mother’s Heroes- folk-rock from Winnipeg” – this is especially helpful for newer bands your audience may not be familiar with

-          List ALL bands you’re playing with including the opening DJ.  Don’t burn bridges and be an asshole because the bass player of the opening band once slept with your ex-gf.  Like it or not, listing their band will DRAW more people to see YOUR band.

-          Websites after the band where you can find out more info.  If they have a Facebook page “@xband” to be hyperlinked automatically


-          Labels associated with them, “e.g. Mother’s Heroes – Saddle Creek Records”

-          Any recent press, “Mother’s Heroes are Winnipeg’s answer to Bob Dylan- Jian Ghomeshi, CBC’s Q”

Is your event a fundraiser?  What charity? 

-          Include links to the charity, possible a brief sentence or two about why the event is benefiting this organization/person/dog-rescue crew.


How to Not Suck at Open Mics

Open mics are a great way to try out new material as a solo artist or someone new to the city.  The people meet at this event (bar staff, mic host, and fellow musicians) can easily lead to your next paying gig.  This is especially relevant for artists that normally play with a main band.  Your side project can generate buzz and get your friends out supporting your new style.

Don’t stay a bedroom artist when a whole new audience awaits you!  (How are you supposed to have strong web-content like videos, photos of you performing or cool poster art if you don’t get out there?)

How to Use Open Mics to Get Future Gigs:

Do a little research.  If an open mic is being offered in a bro-popular bar or entertainment district, and you want to debut some original music, this may not be the right place.  Your best bet is to try the cute little art café or gallery for that style.


Call ahead.  Find out if there’s a sign-up list on the day of.  You can also ask if there’s a drum kit or piano available.  You may be surprised as what’s available to performers.


Dress for the show.  This is still you representing yourself and artistic vision on stage, even if it’s not your target audience.


Treat it like a real gig.  Even though you’re not getting paid, you’re playing.  Be professional.


RehearseRemember your lyrics, gear and how to set them up quickly.  You can be your own Llewyn Davis, but warm up those vocal chords first.


Get to know the venue owners.  Let them know you’re available for future gigs by 1. Thanking them for hosting the open mic 2. Having a CD/contact info to hand to them


This is not your personal private living room.  The venue is being kind enough to offer a free space for you to express yourself.  Bring some friends and get them to order a pitcher of beer.  This makes a huge impact on the general energy of the room and your willingness to return.


Don’t be a brooding artist.  Don’t show up solo, not interact with others and leave as soon as your 3-song limited set is over.  There are open mic regulars who are eager to meet newbies like yourself.  Message them within a week after to let them know you dug their stuff or become Facebook buddies for future shows.


Start or end with a crowd-pleaser.  This is one of the few times that you’ll ever see YouRockRed encouraging you to play a cover song.  But make it your own!  You’re performing to a group of strangers who, most likely, love cover songs in the Ani DiFranco-Jewel-style, so if you bust out some American Pie, they’re going to appreciate the sing-along factor.


Talk to your audience during your set.  Don’t just tune quietly and listen for that awkward cough in the audience.  Let them know where you’re performing next, where they can download your music. 


Get to know the host.  Juno-nominee Amanda Rheaume used to host an open mic in the basement of a mall restaurant that would be packed regularly.  Chances are the people running the night’s program are very passionate about music and can connect you to other opportunities.  Suggest a jam session as many are open to collaborations.  Bonus:  ask them to play the tambourine or bongos during your last song if


Get international. Another tip is to play open mics when you are traveling if you can!  Headed to a cool part of New York like Williamsburg or London, England?  Borrow a guitar or grab your laptop! This is a real gig! As long as you have something resembling a stage and an engaged audience, you have now played internationally.  Publicists and promoters take note of these, as they set you aside from all other local groups.


Got a tip from your own experience?  Let us know in the comments below or send us an email!





10 Ways a Working in Music is not what you may expect

So it’s been 9 hours now that I’ve been sitting at my desk.  Just like you I had to get up, make my breakfast, get dressed and down a few cups of caffeine to be pleasant for anyone around me.  Yeah there were some “Monster” speakers blasting in my office, but that’s all good day’s work.

Be your job as a promoter, journalist, tour manager, or musician here’s some myths I can quickly dispell:

1. Rock and Roll all night and party everyday. If you’re hung over every day you won’t be able to get anything done.  Your health will suffer.  You won’t be organized and quite frankly for any career longevity, you have to look after your body and mind first… by a healthy dose of music in your earbuds at your desk.


2.  You go out to shows all the time.  Yeah, it comes with part of the territory but you also skip out on them often because you have music deadlines or you’d rather relax at home with Netflix even though you’re on the guestlist.


3.  Musicians are super sexy.  Yes, they can be but going 3 days without showering and sweating up a storm on stage does not one hygienic-artist make.  They can be just as awkward as the rest of us; they just have a stage and guitar to hide behind.


4.  Interviewing rock stars for major publications is super cool.  What’s not cool is getting up for a 6:30 a.m. interview with them while they’re on tour in Australia before they board a flight leaving you only 2 hours to file your story with your editor.  It’s stressful and at that point feels can be a bit of a drag.


5.  You get to hang out with super cool artists.  Yes, but they are your co-workers.  You treat them with respect and encouragement the same way that you would if the divey bar you’re meeting in was a board room.  They can annoy you just as much as Bill in accounting. (Also, if you’re behind the scenes, you spend most of your time solo on your laptop emailing them.)


6.  You need to go to school for this.  While I never attended any artist management training program, so much of what I’ve learned has been from real-world experiences over the last 11 years.  Aside from the audio engineers, the people I know that are the most successful have unrelated degrees. Their training instead came through internships, volunteering, artist conferences and just generally making themselves available to any music industry avenue.  Resilience and DIY spirit are probably the best qualities someone pursuing a career in music can possess.


7.  You get paid.  There are dodgy people out there that will always try to take advantage of those in the arts. People don’t read the fine print.  The best way to make sure everything runs smoothly is to make sure you’re involved when it comes to finances and legal stuff. Unless you’re a CEO, you’re working in music because you love it, not because you think you’re going to get rich off it.


8.  You can plan for anything.  There really are few guarantees you can bank on as an emerging artist, promoter or even journalist.  Shows get cancelled last minute, a flash freeze causes pipes to explode at the venue you’ve booked meaning you need to refund all the ticket sales, or a scheduled interview with a band gets dropped because the band breaks up the night before.  Shit happens.


9.  People in music get laid all the time.  Puh-leeze.  Why do you think Morrissey and Rivers Cuomo have careers?


10.  It’s always glamorous. Being at award shows and amazing concerts is awesome but truthfully everything that leads to those experiences you and your friends road trip for can be super stressful.  Festivals, tours, and album launches take endless months of planning to pull off successfully.  The reality is that you don’t see the people close to tears in their cubicles because a tour contract hasn’t come in on time or a cheque for a music video got lost in the mail.


… but why do we do it all then?  Because above all we love music and couldn’t imagine a life any different!

7 Musicians you didn’t know were Oscar Winners

I’ve got a bias when it comes to watching the Oscars.  While Leo will always have my heart, I’m really interested in the music nominees.  John Williams has enough Oscars to go around but watching Karen O and Ezra from Vampire Weekend perform the quietest, sweetest acoustic song from Her could draw in anyone from around the world- and there was close to a billion people watching.  Same goes for U2′s performance of “Ordinary Love”- stripping down to really present the honesty of the emotions and lyrics behind it.

For fun I decided to share with you some musicians you may not know also have Oscars:

Cher.  Moonstruck is still one of my favourite romantic comedy movies EVER.  She won for best actress in 1988.


Jason Segel and Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords.  That they were able to win an Oscar by writing a heart-felt duet with a Muppet – magical.  And not only can Jason sing, the man can write great music too as heard in Forgetting Sara Marshall!  This won for Best Original Song in 2010.


Bob Dylan for Wonder Boys in 2000 for “Times have Changed”.  This is a film any writer should watch featuring Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire and Ironman himself as a pill-addicted-washed-up publisher.  This won for Best Original Song.


Trent Reznor.  The pretty hate machine himself stepped away from the mic to create the incredible pulsating, techno/industrial soundtrack for The Social Network in 2010.


The Beatles.  Best Score for their doc, Let it Be.  Because things were so difficult within the band though, Quincy Jones accepted on their behalf in 1970- the same year they broke up.
the beatles


David Byrne won for scoring The Last Emperor in 1987.  The Talking Heads frontman is pure genius.


And of course Prince for Purple Rain in 1984 for the title song of that same film.


And just because they didn’t win that year, doesn’t mean this clip couldn’t be included.  Here is Robin Williams performing South Park‘s Oscar-nominated song, “Blame Canada,” in all of it’s truly offensive manner.