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"Despite what you’ve heard, record labels still matter."
21. If you’re a drummer, you can sit down now.
22. “Thanks, we have two songs left” is a boring thing to say, and it seems like acknowledgment of the fact that everyone is waiting for your set to be over. Stop this now, please.
23. “Does everything sound ok out there” is a perfectly reasonable thing to say at a loft space. But if you’re at a place with a legit soundman, well, think of someone grabbing a microphone and asking a room full of people if you’re doing ok at your job.
24. If you have sound problems during a show, roll with the punches. For the most part, audiences are surprisingly understanding, and if it’s not something that can be easily repaired, find solace in the fact that the untrained ear probably isn’t even able to tell that your monitor blew out.
25. Despite what you’ve heard, record labels still matter. Being in a band is hard work and it’s expensive and the business side of it is potentially really complicated. But even more importantly, it’s always good if a reputable label is willing to vouch for you. This is common sense that has come under unwarranted fire of late.
26. And if you don’t have a label, consider hiring a reputable publicity company to work your record. There are many to choose from, at just as many different price points. Ask around—you might find one that’s willing to work with you despite your free agent status.
27. But if you can’t hire a publicist to do the legwork for you, remember: critics’ tastes and areas of expertise vary. For example, Pitchfork editor Brandon Stosuy is super into metal; our own Mike Conklin is really into old-sounding people. Pay attention to who’s covering what in the publications you’re hoping to be reviewed by. Seek out the writers whose palates seem most aligned with your music and focus on reaching out to them.
28. If the whole point of a mass email sent to the world is that an old song of yours has been remixed by someone marginally famous, do not even send that. Don’t let your publicist bill you for sending that. It is totally meaningless.
29. This should probably go without saying, but if you are sending music to bloggers, writers, and critics of all stripes, don’t send anything as an attachment and make sure outside download links will result in an MP3 that is properly tagged and labeled.
30. When sending press materials via snail mail, there is no need for a folder. Or for glossy hard copies of photos. We will not scan them onto our computers. Trust us on this.
"I always had the idea that this was a really great thing to do: it's fun, it's important and we'll do it as long as we can."
Mar 29, 2012