New coming soon!

and Souled Out Show album!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Listen to 'Em: The Grouch

Most recognize the West Coast for it's chucks, dickies, and the Hyphy movement, but make no mistake; they got some lyricists! Introducing The Grouch, a dope hip hop head who stresses the importance of good lyrics, and everything else comes second. He teamed up with producer Eligh of his Living Legends crew on his most recent work, and has been blending a lot of the feel good old school hip hop with a new twist to it. For those sick of mainstream hip hop and looking for something a little more unique but still with it's roots, check out The Grouch.

Listen To: The Bay featuring Murs

The Grouch Myspace
The Grouch and Eligh Myspace

Thursday, April 23, 2009

8 Reasons to Release a Follow-up EP

Here is a great article by Brian Hazard I found on, a great site for music advice and basic discussion on the music industry for indie artists. Now if I could only take that damn advice and get my album out. More on that issue later this week...

You've just released the album of your life. The songs are honed to perfection, the production is top notch, and you found your true voice as an artist. How can you possibly top it with your next release? I suggest you don't even try.

Instead, follow it up with leftovers. You may call them outtakes, b-sides, or even rejects. You can come right out and admit that it's not your best stuff. Your fans will still want it, and some will delight in what they consider hidden gems.

This week I released Second Thoughts, a companion EP to my latest album, The Thought Chapter. It features the four original songs that didn’t make the album, plus six remixes of album tracks. Enough fans requested a physical release to justify a limited edition of 100 CD-R copies, signed and numbered in cardboard jackets. My graphic designer friend Todd LeMieux did the layout as a favor, and the discs in printed jackets cost $262 shipped from Disc Makers. More than half were sold as pre-orders at $10, and I suspect the remainder will sell in the next few months. The EP has taken in $100 in digital sales from my own mp3 store in three days, and will generate income for years on iTunes, Amazon, and the rest.

My first follow-up EP only came out on Tuesday, but I already consider it a success. Here are eight reasons to try it for yourself:

1. A better album. The most important benefit is that it forces you to record more songs than you need for the album. Knowing you'll have a few extras gives you the freedom to take chances, and relieves the psychological pressure to make every song a hit.
2. Revive your album promotion. A follow-up can renew interest in your album just as the hype begins to fade. I waited five months after releasing my album, but your timing should coincide with a natural lull in your promotion. Depending on how far you want to take it, the follow-up could spawn a new series of blog posts, press releases, or even a tour!
3. Show off the album in a new light. The follow-up pays homage to the album by demonstrating that you included only your best material. It invites fans to compare the songs that didn't make it to the songs that did, which can spark discussion on forums and blog comments. Even if they disagree with your decisions, they gain a deeper appreciation of the songs. After all, not every album is worthy of a sequel!
4. Stimulate sales of your back catalog. Whenever I release something new, sales of my back catalog pick up. In this case, a number of fans ordered the album and EP together. You might consider a combo offer for die-hards, like bundling the EP with a t-shirt.
5. Fatten up your discography. Some fans want to own everything you produce. Every couple of months someone asks how to buy all my albums at once. In that case, bigger is better! Even if you've only got one album, the follow-up EP dodges the whole issue of the "sophomore slump" by making your second release deliberately subordinate to your first.
6. Stay in touch with your fans. Before this album, I essentially disappeared for five years, while my mailing list declined from 1,200 to 500 subscribers. The follow-up EP shortens the perceived album release cycle and keeps you connected with your fans.
7. Provide a better return on your investment. You've already spent the money to record the songs. You can get great remixes for free by running a contest at Acid Planet or Remix Comps. If you go digital only, you just have to pay for mastering (you might consider me for the job), and maybe graphic design, though you can get away with using a slight variation of the album cover.
8. Expand your stylistic range. Though music sales are hard to come by these days, there is still money to be made licensing your music for film and television. My music falls between the cracks in genres, but now I've got legit club and trip hop mixes of my songs. If remixes aren't your thing, you can release acoustic or even instrumental or a cappella versions.

I'm convinced that the follow-up EP has lots of benefits and few drawbacks. What do you think? Anything I've overlooked, pro or con? Let's discuss it in the comments.

In a future post, I'll reveal my plans to turn the follow-up concept on its head for my next release.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fav 5

On random nights when me and my friends are chillin getting drunk or whatever we do at college we often end up talking about which famous people it would be fun to just chill with for a day. So I compiled a list of the five celebrities that make my top 5 in terms of hanging out with. Oh yeah, the one rule is if you're a dude, you can't pick a hott chick just cuz u wana bang her or something, it has to be someone you'd want to chill with all day on a friend basis. That means if you say Jessica Simpson, I know u dudes are lying your ass off. Women, same with you, I know you don't admire Mathew Mchonahay (not even going to attempt to look up how to spell that correctly) because he is a great actor...

5. Dave Chappelle
I don't care if he went crazy or not, he's a funny dude. It would be dope to just hang out with this dude for a night and see if any of those crazy trips he talks about during his stand up ever happen.

4. Hugh Hefner
Any dudes fantasy life would be to be him obviously. From chillin at the mansion to the one or two good looking girls he knows, it'd be a good day. And if I can still get it up to get with women when i'm his age, never mind hot women 40 years younger than me, I'll be satisfied.

3. P.Diddy
I don't see me and Diddy as ever being good friends, but to chill with him for a day and see how big he lives would be dope. You this dude gets the best of the best in everything, and won't take no for an answer. I picture going out with him for a night basically being the shit. VIP everything, limos, fine women, and plenty of celeb cameos.

2. Conan O'Brien
This dude is hilarious. I'm actually finding myself going to sleep earlier lately since he has been off the air for the last few months while Jimmy Fallon transitions into his spot. Basically this dude can make a rock funny, so hanging out with him would be non-top entertainment.

1. David Beckham
No homo, but dude has the world on his nuts. It'd be crazy to walk through the streets of London or anywhere in the world for that matter, and see how he gets treated. He mine as well be royalty. Soccer fans of both sexes love you, and women would love you if you were a janitor. Can't picture a better life.
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