a survival guide for bands
PLAN DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH? DOES YOUR BAND KNOW YOUR AGENDA? IT IS IMPORTANT THAT ALL MEMBERS OF YOUR BAND KNOW WHAT THE GOALS OF THE BAND ARE.
GRAPHIC LEGEND BAND LINK
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and the earth is deep, so the hearts of kings are unsearchable. Buzz brings professional design directly to new bands, helping new musicians distinguish themselves. Buzz distills and distributes essential wisdom gathered from fans, bands and industr y professionals. art director STEFAN ARONSEN assistant designer ZEN ZENITH: PLEASE DO NOT FIGHT executive editor IAN TUTTLE field editor BR ANDILEIGHA ROBIN STR ACNER colaboration OLIVIA PARIOT: WIRETAP MUSIC colaboration MIKE G: WIRETAP MUSIC fourth executive advisor LIAN NG third executive advisor CAROLINA DE BART0LO second executive advisor TROY ALDERS first executive advisor BR AD RHODES photo assistant AMY SCANDURR A photo assistant STEPHANIE TR APP contributing writer KENDALL DIX: ATTORNEY AT LAW contributing writer LINDSAY GARFIELD: OR, THE WHALE contributing writer IAN STAHL: ER A ESCAPE contributing writer AMY WILSON: CPA IN TR AINING special thanks to MOM & DAD, BROTHER, SISTER, FAMILY, FRIENDS, JACOB HENNESSEY-RUBIN: MOR AL SUPPORT, OLIVIA: WIRETAP MUSIC, ANTON: JUDGEMENT DAY, GR ANT: BATTLEHOOCH, ZEN: PLEASE DO NOT FIGHT, PETER: EAROFTHEBEHOLDER, JUSTIN: PUNCHFACE, DAMON: PAR ANOIDS, PEARL STARBIRD, NIANA LIU: WATERCOLOR MAPS, CASEY KOERNER: ARTIST, LAR A DE GARIE: ARTIST web design STEFAN ARONSEN digital director JASON ROBINSON web editor MICHAEL HER AUF web video YOUTUBE.COM/SFINTERCOM social network MYSPACE.COM/SFINTERCOM social network FACEBOOK.COM/SFINTERCOM president STEFAN ARONSEN email STEFAN@SF-INTER.COM phone 415.894.2302 cfo OLIVIA PARIOT consultant MIKE G mailing address PO BOX 423525 SAN FR ANCISCO, CA 94142 general info INFO@SF-INTER.COM office number 415.894.2302 web SF-INTER.COM BUZZ MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY SF INTERCOM AND FEATURES WIRETAPMUSIC.COM The goal is to help new bands and struggling bands become more viably successful. Buzz utilizes existing social networks to connect with bands; this ties the book into a rich web presence that ser ves as an interactive clearinghouse. Buzz is the lifeline linking bands to their audiences, venues, labels, and producers.
art director executive editor web
STEFAN ARONSEN IAN TUT TLE SF-INTER.COM/ BUZZ
• PO BOX (32) • MYMAIL (34) • DE ADT WEETS (38)
• SF MISSION 94110 (44) • BUSKING (50)
• • • • •
the scene & be seen
CD DESIGN (56) 1ST HOW-TO (58) 2ND HOW-TO (60) INSIDERS SCOOP (62) OGSM TO YOUR GOALS (66)
• IT’S THE L AW, BABY (70) • HAVING FUN? (72) • ROAD TRIP? WHAT I’D PACK. (74) • TEN SURVIVAL TIPS (78) • WIRETAP MUSIC (94) • THE BAY BRIDGED (95) • L AST WORDS (102)
CONTRIBUTORS BRAD RHODES: ADVISOR firstname.lastname@example.org As an avid collector of letterpress machines, Rhodes understands time’s effects on industr y and technolog y. His friendly, no-nonsense advice guided SF Intercom’s identity from concept to fulfillment and kept the entire project on track and moving forward along an aggressive timeline. Well-known throughout the graphic design industr y, Rhodes offered valuable suggestions and true wisdom.
CASEY KOERNER: ARTIST email@example.com Koerner’s aggressive compassion and relentless pursuit of artistic parity make him a positive, bold force around SF Intercom headquarters. Koerner contributed feature drawings and illustrations to Buzz Magazine, and his unwavering support and occasional ecstatic outbursts transformed late work nights from sullen drudger y into spiritual awakening.
L ARA DE GARIE: ARTIST firstname.lastname@example.org Lara brings energ y and life to buzz. Her artist ideas, lifestyle and personality take the computer hard edge and soften it with hand done crafts. She is somebody that can lift the mood of a drear y office by walking in the door. Her efforts on Buzz were often behind the scenes, but always of epic proportion.
JACOB HENNESSEY-RUBIN: DESIGN SUPPORT email@example.com There’s something profound in that first friendship in a new city. Hennessey-Rubin has remained a constructive, insightful ally to Aronsen and SF Intercom even as his personal focus has shifted from graphic to industrial design. Acting as a personal curator of over 200 blogs, Hennessy-Rubin kept Aronsen’s own finger firmly planted on the indie music pulse.
SPECIAL THANKS: stephanie trapp, amy scandurra, olivia: wiretap music, anton: judgement day, grant: battlehooch, zen: please do not fight, peter: earofthebeholder, justin: punchface, damon: paranoids, pearl starbird, niana liu: watercolor maps, casey koerner: artist, lara de garie: artist, shayna rader: editor
STEFAN ARONSEN: ART DIRECTOR & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF firstname.lastname@example.org Mr. Aronsen is uniquely qualified to write this sur vival guide thanks to his far-reaching experience, his contacts within the music industr y at the promotion and production levels, and his friends and colleagues that continue to struggle and succeed as musicians. By approaching the problem of sur vival in the music industr y with a fresh perspective and his rich design background, Mr. Aronsen brings to the table a new set of ideas that will be a valuable asset at ever y level of the business. OPENING WORDS: BUZZ—Yes? Who’s there? Oh—it’s you. I didn’t know you were coming! Well—what are you here to do? Oh yeah? Really? How do you plan to do that? Interesting! What is the first step? How will planning make bands more successful? That is what you said you’re going to do —right? Well—Awesome! Let’s get started!
ZEN ZENITH: ASSISTANT DESIGNER email@example.com Home-schooled and hugely huggable, Zenith is lead singer of the talented indie band Please Do Not Fight. His eye for clean design kept Buzz Magazine looking sharp. His personal involvement in the indie music scene kept its voice authentic. His spirit aided SF Intercom morale when obstacles presented. Zenith splits his time among making music, teaching guitar, and leading events for fellow “unschooled” folks.
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DR AWING BY: s t e f a n a r o n s e n
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OPEN ING MAIL
SURVIVAL IS SOMETHING THAT ALL BANDS STRUGGLE WITH. A LOT OF BAND COVER UP AND MASK THEIR MISTAKES PRETENDING LIKE THEY NEVER HAPPENED. INSTEAD OF COVERING UP THE STRUGGLE FOR SUCCESS, WE ARE ENCOURAGING MUSICIANS TO SHARE THEIR STORIES WITH EACH OTHER.
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BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW AND CHEW IT. PLAN MORE THAN YOU CAN DO AND DO IT JUSTIN: Punchface
NAME YOUR BAND
THE GRUNT WORK
BE MORE SPECIFIC
Think of a band name that is origi-
Well its good to lay down who is taking
Well, planning is super important but
nal and easy to Google search. If you
on what tasks/jobs in the band. Cause its
I think the thing that has helped us
pick a common word or phrase for your
like a business and you don’t want only
the most is the way we plan. You need
band, like “The Chevrolets” it will be
one person taking on the grunt work.
to evaluate your goals and then break
hard in the future to search for writeups about your band because all you will find will be car stuff. If you search for “Radiohead” or “The Arcade Fire” you pretty much only get material from those bands. ANTON: Judgement Day
Like one person should be in charge of
merch and f lyers and another should
Let’s say your goal is to “Be a success-
be on top of the social networking sites,
ful band”. Okay, that’s a start but it’s
a couple people should make sure there
an awfully vague goal. Ever yone has
are shows booked, someone needs to be
a different definition of success and
in charge of the money that the band
you should think about what you, as a
makes. I think its important to plan
group, want to really accomplish. This
out who is taking on what task cause
also helps align ever yone’s intentions
if one person is pulling all the weight
within the band.
MAKE A BLUE PRINT
it can lead to the ultimate break up of
Planning is important because that’s
how you lay out your blueprint for get-
Being in a band is like being business
ting shit done!
partners, lovers and creators. Being in a
YOU PROBABLY SUCK
Bands must plan that ever ything takes
band is hard, vulnerable work, but lots
Most important is to create an effective
more time than you think.
of fun. If there is no communication
Bands must plan to practice a ton if you
can crush a band. There has to be give
want to sound good
and take and it is a group effort down to
Bands must plan to not underestimate how beneficial it is to TALK about goals,
and jobs aren’t set in place, I think it
the last action. OLIVIA: Wiretap Music
ZEN: Please Do Not Fight
marketing plan to get your music out there. Start small and build your way up gradually so you can gauge your audience and get feedback on your music. Fans make themselves known and if you are not getting feedback or building
visions, dreams & ideas.
an audience you probably suck.
GR ANT: Battlehooch
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SOUNDS EVOLVE It’s Alex. I would say planning is important because if you’re going to take your band beyond jamming and do something like a tour or record an album, it’s a BIG undertaking. That said, you have to let a lot of stuff be spontaneous and be f lexible. We had a big plan to promote our first EP, but our sound evolved after we recorded it, so rather than work really hard promoting as we had planned, we switched gears and put time into our new material. ALEX: Hey Young Believer
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Paranoids Psychedelic / Rock
Planning, yes, hmmm … planning is good … depending on what your goals are as a band. In fact, that’s probably the first step you should take with regard to planning—collectively deciding what the band intends to be and how far it wants to go. Do people want to tour relentlessly? Be in a prolific studio recording project? Get famous as fast as possible no matter the cost? Just hang out in the garage and smoke dope? (In the latter case, I’d recommend no planning. Planning is a total buzzkill.) If various members have wildly differing goals, it’s good to get that established up front, so people don’t find themselves wasting their time in the wrong project. So, the first step is getting together early on and deciding on some group intentions. Once everybody is basically on board and the band is rolling, cohesive, and at least somewhat stable, I’d recommend the band get together outside of rehearsal, maybe once or twice a month, to do some planning and keep things moving in the direction everybody wants to go. This is the time to fuck the abstract and get some specific shit done—for example, get Joey to make a flier, Mikey to call up some clubs and book a couple shows, and Davy to replace his crappy old guitar with a fresh new axe. Then come back in a couple weeks to make sure everybody did their stuff, and come up with some more specific stuff for everybody to do. This may sound like a pain in the ass, but if everybody in the band has the same goals, everybody should be able to pitch in somehow. In an idea world, this will help bands avoid stagnation and aimlessness, and hopefully keep everybody interested. I’ve been in too many projects in which hours are spent theorizing, pontificating, and generally bullshitting about the future, but nothing ever gets done. Much of the time, you’ll find out it takes less time to do something than it does to talk about doing it. Hmm, maybe I should actually try this out myself!? Damon
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sfintercom PLANNING ADVICE: If you are starting a band in the bay area, you must define your goals and make a plan, otherwise you are navigating blind. less than 5 seconds ago from web
MrAnnex Band Advice: Clearly define what it is that you want for your future. Getting signed is only a short term goal with no clear benefit anymore. 1 day ago from web
michaelwinger Advice to prepare for recording. rehearse as much as you can. Get your songs as tight and arranged before you hit record. 1 day ago from web
JoeylsHere Good advice: List a band location on your web site or Myspace page: A real location, no “Prison City.” Not “Middle of F-ing Nowhere.” 1 day ago from web
brandileigha Was inspired to write a piece for @sfintercom w/ the opening sentence - “Make peace with the fact that you might not become a rock star” 1 day ago from web
DRIVVEN @sfintercom simply put, 360 Deal is a business model where the label gets a share of all an artists revenue streams, the devil is in the details. 1 day ago from web
awlmusicgroup i also use www.entrepreneur.com to give me advice on running this label, that and artisthousemusic.com 1 day ago from web
wheatus @sfintercom Managers and Labels and Lawyers have not worked … Working hard to think up your own custom internet presentation has wheatus.com 1 day ago from web
pdnf @sfintercom Prep! You don’t wannna be writting in the studio and wasting time and $$$! Field test new tunes and figure out every detail. 1 day ago from web
tylerhaganME when opportunity presents itself multiple times … maybe that means you should jump. lacing up my air jordans. 1 day ago from web
Photo by Stephanie Trapp: www.StephanieTrapp.com
THE ENTRANCE BAND
LUCKY JESUS www.getluckyjesus.com
BOOKING SHOWS THE HARDEST PART 0F BOOKING SHOWS IS KNOWING WHERE TO BOOK SHOWS. ATTACHED ARE A COUPLE GOOD VENUES IN: THE MISSION
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BOOKING SHOWS: SF MISSION 94110 I FIND I SPEND MOST OF MY TIME IN THE MISSION. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS TO KEEP ME ENTERTAINED.
Two stages (one indoors, one outside
Small bar, small stage, huge impact.
The Elbo Room is a double-decker venue.
on the back patio), cheap booze, and
The Knockout has a rabid following,
Downstairs earns the Elbo moniker with
themed events draw one of the thickest
which keeps this snug venue hopping.
smashed in crowds of seen and be-seen
Diverse bookings also feature many DJ
hipsters. Swoopy booths offer some re-
events. This is a bar you want to play!
spite, but for music fans the downstairs
hipster crowds in San Francisco to El Rio. The concert area is separate from
www.theknockoutsf.com watering hole and no audience for your 3223 Mission Street show, but with heavy celebration from San Francisco, CA 94110 Broke Ass Stuart, among others, El Rio cross street: btwn Fair & 29th Street is a choice venue. district: Mission Tel: 415.550.6994 www.elriosf.com 3158 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94110 cross street: Cesar Chavez Ave district: Mission Tel: 415.282.3325 the bar, which can result in a packed
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Bar reviews made possible by Ian Tuttle: www.sf-inter.com/archives/category/venues
can be skipped in favor of a dedicated stage and concert hall up top. With room for 200+, and an elevated stage, this is prime indie music real estate.
www.elbo.com 647 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 cross street: 17th Street district: Mission Tel: 415.552.7788
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BOOKING SHOWS: SF MISSION 94110
BENDERS BAR AND GRILL
Whether it’s the absurdly long happy
Benders burnt down a few years ago
Rumor on the street is dark things once
hour or the high-school girl bedazzled
then rose from the ashes like a tat-
happened in the basement. Anyone left
décor, the Make-Out Room is as ad-
tooed phoenix. The black exterior and
alive to tell about them can’t quite re-
vertised. Lots of small booths, a small
barred windows greet bikers of ever y
call the details. Bluegrass Mondays and
dance f loor right up front, and a good
variety. Whether you ride a chopper or
Big Band Wednesdays punctuate a well-
tall stage make this a nice all-purpose
a fixie, you’ll dig music on a small stage
rounded mix of great music and the
venue. Show up early Friday and take
and chow some great food. An outdoor
cozy bar has great beers on tap. Shows
advantage of their happy hour menu.
smoking patio keeps the cravers cool.
are often standing room only in this
www.makeoutroom.com 3225 22nd Street
www.bendersbar.com 800 S. Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94110 cross street: Mission and Valencia district: Mission Tel: 415.647.2888
San Francisco, CA 94110 cross street: 19th St. district: Mission Tel: 415.824.1800
Bar reviews made possible by Ian Tuttle: www.sf-inter.com/archives/category/venues
small venue that packs a crowd.
www.amnesiathebar.com 853 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 cross street: 20th Street district: Mission Tel: 415.970.0012
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THE FEROCIOUS FEW
BOOKING SHOWS: SF MISSION 94110
What is a Busker? Never heard of them? It’s not a new band it’s not a new concept, but few are bold enough to tr y it. Now I’ve come to ask why? It doesn’t cost money, you don’t have to book in advance and there is ver y little risk involved. While you’ve been busy booking shows. Bands near and afar have been playing shows. A lot of the times bands most people have never heard of are playing live shows for over a hundred people. How many people came to your last show? (That’s a rhetorical question! Don’t answer it!) Are you curious what they’re secret is? STEFAN: SF Intercom
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ON THE STREET BUSKING STEFAN ARONSEN: SF-INTER.COM
Q: WHY PLAY THE STREET? The best way to book shows in clubs is to go out to shows and talk to people. Your music might be awesome, but clubs still may not want to book you if they don’t know who you are and who your friends are. They need to sell drinks, and they want to know that you have friends that will come out and buy some. And you can also meet other musicians that way, who may want to add you on to their shows. That’s a great way to start out. Years ago, I was a busker (solo). I did it for fun, and because I didn’t know how else I could play my music for new audiences. It was a good way to practice playing in front of strangers. B and Not B have actually only performed in non-traditional venues (other than house parties) only twice — once at the gas station in Redding, and once (well, maybe 6 times) on that day in the van. Both times, we were motivated by a desire to have fun and surprise people, and to have fun videos to share later on.
WHAT IS THE LAST SHOW YOU SAW? The last show I saw was our friends The Parties’ EP release show at Hotel Utah this past Saturday night. Those guys aren’t the best at promotion, but they totally rule, at least if you like 60s-style pop with 12-string electric guitars and threepart harmony. They’re truly great performers. Another band I love to watch are our friends My First Earthquake. Rebecca, the singer, is a fucking amazing presence. She commands your attention with her intensity and her dance moves, and really knows how to talk to the audience and make them feel part of the experience. I’m most comfortable with the songwriting aspect of being in a band, but I’m always tr ying to learn better performance skills by watching the masters.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE TO HELP BANDS? Well, go out and meet people. (In person.) Get off your computer once in a while. But make sure you use social networks, too. Honestly, we’re still pretty new, and I’m not sure if our modest success with live shows and antics like this YouTube video will translate into actual interest in our music once our record comes out. I’m tr ying to figure out the answers to your questions as we go, and sometimes I feel like I don’t understand anything. But it’s all fun, anyway. Hope this helps, DAVID: B And Not B www.myspace.com/ bandnotb
Above, far left: MISSION - San Francisco neighborhood Watercolor painting by Niana Liu: www.nianaliu.com
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THE AIMLESS NEVER MISS
THIS SECTION WILL GIVE YOU AN INSIDERS LOOK AT HOW OTHERS IN THE INDUSTRY CREATE AND FOLLOW PLANS.
DIEGO TRINIDAD ISN’T SITTING ON HIS COMPUTER WAITING, HE DIDN’T ORDER 1000 CD’S. BUT HE IS SELLING CDS … MAYBE MORE THAN YOU?! I MADE MY PURCHASE ON THE CORNER OF 10TH AND MARKET.
ABOVE FAR RIGHT: Diego Trinidad has a CD, a business card, an active Myspace and he’s selling CDs. I took a few minutes to help him make stronger design choices that wouldn’t cost him more. It’s just smarter design.
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Visit Diego Trinidad at: www.myspace.com/diegotrinidad
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1st how-to WHEN WORKING IN YOUR JOURNAL. DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE PAGE.
CRE ATE A LIST OF TASKS
ESTABLISH A DUE DATE
you can’t do ever ything yourself. Use
If you have followed the steps of sur-
must be accomplished. Next to each job
vival, then I can assume that you have purchased a journal. If this is so, then you contain in your grasps the tools needed for this project. However … if you don not have a journal … What the “F” are you waiting for? Set this sur vival guide down. GO BUY A JOURNAL … Do you have your journal? Ok … We can continue!
I’m not sure when you thought you became god. A reminderk … you’re not, your journal to list out the jobs that specify the amount of time for it to be accomplished. Then assign the job to a band member, friend or fan. At this point it is that persons responsibility to accomplish this goal. Check in regularly, you must delegate jobs. You can’t do ever ything by yourself.
ESTIMATE TIME NEEDED The best way to accomplish your goals is to establish a time line in which your goals will be accomplished. Start vague
TOOLS TO GET STARTED 1. A LARGE JOURNAL.
and progress to more specific goals. For example: In 2 weeks “state date” we will have a logo. In 4 weeks “state date” we will finish website. In 8 weeks “state
2. PENCILS, CRAYONS, SHARPIES.
date” we will play first show at “state
3. A BOX OF GLUE STICKS.
be ready to change.
4. EXACTO KNIFE & PLENTY OF BLADES.
REFER TO GRAPH REGUL ARLY
location.” Be as specific as possible, but
Perhaps two months have past since you took a look at the first page of your journal. A lot can change in 2 days, let alone 2 months. Be sure to write all thoughts down, also refer back to your list and thoughts regularly. If you’re writing it down you are creating a map for yourself. One can presume that if you follow your map you will never get lost.
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2nd how-to BUBBLE CHARTS ARE AN EXCELLENT WAY TO FIND CONNECTIONS AND BRANCH OUT YOUR IDEAS. NEW BUBBLES = NEW IDEAS A bubble chart is a type of chart that displays data series as a set of circles, called bubbles. Bubble charts can facilitate the understanding of the relationships. Use a bubble chart in order to string ideas together. They are also helpful for creating ideas you have yet to solidify.
TOOLS TO GET STARTED 1. A LARGE JOURNAL. 2. 1 SHARPIE & 3 HIGHLIGHTERS 3. SCATTERED THOUGHTS 4. A WHOLE LOT OF POTENTIAL
Perhaps your band is working on a name or considering an alternative advertising? You need a bubble chart. Bubble charts are important in planning, they help create connections, and locate similarities. Bubble charts help cultivate ideas you may not have originally considered. When doing bubble charts keep in mind no idea is a bad idea, all ideas are simply a new bubble.
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Visit The Indie Band Survival Guide site at: www.indieguide.com
While The Indie Band Sur vival Guide by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan is certainly well written, the language and layout appeals more to managers, record label executives, and â€œleft-brainâ€? thinkers, rather than the musicians it supposedly targets.
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Portions of the inside scoop were inspired by The Indie Band Surivial Guide by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan - www.indieguide.com
Based on obser vation and common sense, most bands are not going to sit down together and read through this oneinch thick picture-free book.
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OGSM TO YOUR GOALS STEFAN ARONSEN: SF INTERCOM
OGSM IS AN ACRONYM FOR OBJECTIVES, GOALS, STRATEGIES AND MEASUREMENTS. IT IS USED AS A TOOL TO JUDGE PROGRESS AND PRACTICALITY OF YOUR ULTIMATE GOALS. There is no need to do a Google search for this. I did, it didn’t help explain the term. Also don’t do an image search. It doesn’t produce results. So instead, just take my word on this one. This is how I do OGSM. First write an O, which stands for objective. You must now establish what your objective is. Then write a G for goals, it is here that you must list out 6 band goals. Strategies might be the hardest step, but you need to figure out how you’re going to achieve your goals. Finally The M is for measure, you need a gage to measure whether your objective was successful. There are lots of ways to organize your thoughts. This is just one. Tr y it; if you like it, it’s yours.
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THE SLEEPOVER DISASTER
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THE COMMUNITY SECTION HAS STORIES FROM INDIE FANS, BANDS AND INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS. EACH STORY HAS ADVICE ON EVERYTHING FROM LAW TO ROAD TRIPS.
On the Pacific
you to t
scene h At this
The bay area indie music scene is extremely active, the peo-
ple have something to say. I’m just tr ying to give them a place
to say it. My goal is to help you be more successful by sharing
advice from people who have experienced a lot of the things
you’re experiencing Sometimes people with a lot to say just
need a place to say it. Finally that place has come.
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t a mat-
. As the
IT’S THE LAW, BABY KENDALL DIX ATTORNEY AT LAW
I TRIED TO WRITE THIS SPECIFICALLY BUT I THINK THE SPECIFICS WILL REALLY DEPEND ON THE SITUATION, SO I WROTE THIS AS A GENERIC SCARE TACTIC. Planning is probably the most important thing in the legal
You can be nice but just be detail-oriented and ready for
industr y, and it pays to be obsessive compulsive. In the 21st
what comes next. Sometimes it can help to plan on reveal-
Centur y, lawyers have been tr ying to bring a new era of ci-
ing your true motives in a really backwards way. If you want
vility to the legal profession and leave the contentious ad-
it in your rider that you get a football helmet filled with
versarial process for TV and movies. This is undoubtedly a
cottage cheese at ever y venue, don’t tell them it’s really
good thing, but it doesn’t mean that we’re suddenly living in
important to you. Tell them it’s really important that you
a magical gumdrop world with rainbows and unicorns.
get more points on the back end of your iTunes sales. After
’s preswill be
Lawyers like to pretend that they’re all buddies and working together to achieve something to benefit both their clients. In reality, attorneys are as devious as ever. Ever y lawyer has
you go back and forth for a while, let them know you’re not happy about it but you’ll take a beefed-up rider in place of the money.
a plan and each phone call, letter, and clause in a contract
If you’re negotiating a deal and you think the other lawyer
has a purpose, which is usually to cover that lawyer and his/
and client are nice, there’s a good chance that they are and
her client’s asses if the other guy decides to drop the act
you’ll enjoy doing business together. It really does happen
y to you,
and start playing hardball. It’s therefore important that you
all the time. But you have to be prepared for them to fuck
r him to
always have a goal and a plan in mind no matter what you’re
you if it’s in their best interest Acting in self interest is one
doing. Become familiar with all the bullshit details that
of the most reliable of all business characteristics, so cross
you think don’t matter because knowledge is power when
all your T’s and dot all your lower-case J’s. When they stop
it comes to negotiation and litigation. Think several steps
putting that cottage cheese helmet in your dressing room
ahead. Know what the response to your action is going to be
because you trashed your last hotel room, you’re going to
before it happens. And always assume the worst.
want to make sure you have ever ything in order to tell them to fuck off because you have the legal language on your side. Just think back to all the musicians who were getting cars and advances from their record companies but ultimately end up with no rights to their music and die penniless. Have a plan and don’t be that band.
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The art on this page was created by Casey Koerner: www.caseykoerner.com/
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ng of Ju-
f God to
BY: BRANDILEIGHA STRACNER
proverbs by the
ver, and for the
IS WHAT YOU ARE CURRENTLY DOING MAKING YOU HAPPY? IF YES … DON’T FORGET THESE TIMES! Not making it. All to often I see that look on your faces. That tired, discouraged look. You’ve been at it for a long time … playing shows, promoting, getting your album just right. You know you have something special and that your music has potential to really go places given the right opportunity. I’m sure it does. I’ve heard lots of music from local bands big and small. They are all kinds of awesome, in a dozen different ways. I recog-
lf in the
d do not
r him to
nize that your music is important and you have something unique to say. However, the truth is, like anyone else who works in radio or artist management, I have a stack of 50 EP’s by my stereo that have never even been opened and Myspace friend requests from 5 or more bands a day … There are just too many and bands and not enough room for ever yone at the top.
If your smart, you’ll prepare yourself well for the possibility
that your band might not make it to the big time. Do yourself
a favor: live in the moment. Play because you love it, make
e end if
music and enjoy doing it. Say something important and be
sincerely thrilled when you hear it impacted one person.
Maybe 2 out of a hundred bands will get the fame they de-
sire … You can’t do much to control that. Again my advice to
you, love the ride.
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, copied It is the
ROAD TRIP? WHAT I’D PACK. LINDSAY GARFIELD: OR, THE WHALE
I BRING MY PHONE/IPOD, HEADPHONES, A WALL CHARGER, A CAR CHARGER, A BOOK OR TWO, A PAD OF PAPER, PENS FOR SONG WRITING, JOURNAL-WRITING … I bring two bags: one for the trailer and one for the van. This
when I’m packing stage clothes is, “if I don’t love it, I don’t
can be compared to a checked bag and a carr y-on. The trailer
take it.” When I’m cranky or in an unfamiliar city where we
bag has most of my stuff in it. On a standard two-week tour
don’t know anyone, feeling like I look good and I’m comfort-
I usually pack a small-ish suitcase. I don’t like duffel bags
able puts me in a better mood. I pack a pair of undies for ev-
or back packs, as it is really hard to find things in a pinch.
er y single day of tour. (Hey, you might not get to wash your
(i.e. You get to the venue and have one hour total to load-in,
clothes.) I also pack two pairs of shoes, on of which is a pair
sound check, set up merch, and get ready.) So in my trailer
of sneakers to go with my running gear. Also shower f lip-
bag I bring enough show clothes for 7 nights. My general rule
f lops are important for the good intentioned, but extremely
074 PLAN - STEP 1
dirty hosts. Finally, one outfit to sleep in, a bunch of t-shirts, one hoodie, a hairdr yer, a straightener and a towel. For my van bag I have a great shoulder laptop bag with a million pockets. (Pockets are good.) I bring my phone/iPod, a wall charger and a car charger, good headphones, a book or two, a pad of paper and pens for songwriting and a writing journal. I also pack a laptop computer with wireless data card to do promotion and keep in contact with bookers, sound guys, etc. while on the road. Next to my computer you’ll find my Flip Video camera for those impromptu, hilariously, and bad free-styling sessions, and for filming people taking open-mouthed naps, etc. I also bring a sleeping bag, sleeping pad (for those rough nights on f loors), a blanket and a pillow. Some of the guys bring neck pillows or small back pillows (hey we’re not 19 anymore!) My bathroom supplies include makeup, brush, gum, a metal water bottle, also its good to bring plastic bags for trash and recycling in the van, a roll of paper towels, tissues, wet-wipes and disinfectant wipes. (Maybe a bottle of Simple Green). We generally bring a plastic tub of snacks. (Sometimes do a Costco run beforehand.) We usually buy rice cracker mix, almond clusters, cheese, crackers, beef jerky, mixed nuts, fruit, granola bars, chocolate, Redbulls. We tr y to shop at grocer y stores for deli sandwiches along the way if we can help it. We almost never do fast food, but sometimes it’s hard to avoid. If you’re the only girl in the band, I recommend bringing all the girly things you could possibly need. Don’t expect to get to a drug store. You’ll probably make it to one, but likely a day or two after you run out of something. I use a pack of plastic travel bottles I got at Walgreens for shampoo, body lotion, face-wash, sunscreen, and that seems to help maximize space. If there’s at least another girl in the band, and you’re friends, I recommend coordinating with her beforehand. (i.e. One hairdr yer and one straightener is fine.) If you’re the same size, you could share clothes. I prefer not to do this because your clothes get pretty dirty by the end of tour, but I have in the past.
075 BUZZ by SF Intercom
Or, The Whale www.orthewhale.com
BUZZ GUIDE THE FIRST STEP OF BEING A MORE SUCCESSFUL BAND IS TO CREATE A PLAN. HOWEVER WITHIN PLANNING THERE ARE A LOT OF DETAILS YOU MUST CONSIDER. LISTED ARE 10 OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TIPS TO CONSIDER.
078 PLAN - STEP 1
TEMPO NO TEMPO
079 BUZZ by SF Intercom
1 _ CRE ATE A G A ME PL A N: d o y o u k n o w w h at i t i s y o u w a n t t o a c c o m p l i s h ? d o e s y o u r b a n d
2 _ K EEP YOUR PL A N IN A JOURN A L: n o w t h at y o u ’ r e w r i t i n g t h i n g s d o w n … c r e at e a
syst em for k eeping your t hough t s org a nized. for me, i prefer w ri t ing a nd gluing m y ide a s
i n t o a n a r t j o u r n a l . y o u m ay h a v e o t h e r i d e a s , t h e f o r m at i s n o t i m p o r ta n t . w h at i s
k n o w y o u r a g e n d a ? i t i s i m p o r ta n t t h at a l l m e m b e r s o f y o u r b a n d k n o w w h at t h e g o a l s o f
i m p o r ta n t i s t h e p a p e r t r a i l o f i d e a s .
the ba nd a re. ge t inpu t from your ba nd a nd write down your goa l s. don’t forge t to refer t o t h i s l i s t r e g u l a r ly .
080 PLAN - STEP 1
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3 _ K NOW W HO YOU A RE BEFORE YOU TELL OTHERS W HO THE Y A RE: d o e s i t a n n o y y o u w h e n
4 _ TA K E A RISK , BU T DON’T BE RISK Y: s o m e t i m e s b e i n g s a f e i s t h e b e s t a n s w e r . h o w e v e r ,
t h e r e c o m e s a t i m e i n e v e r y c a r e e r w h e r e y o u n e e d t o ta k e a l e a p o f f a i t h . i s u g g e s t t h at
y o u ta k e t h at l e a p , b u t m a k e i t a c a l c u l at e d o n e . d o n ’ t ta k e l e a p s w h e n a t i n y s t e p w a s
o t h e r s t e l l y o u w h o y o u s h o u l d b e ? w h y d o y o u t h i n k t h at i s ? p e r h a p s i t ’ s b e c a u s e y o u
t h e o n ly t h i n g y o u r b a n d r e q u i r e d . w i l l s e e t h i s , a n d w i l l r e f e r t o y o u a s a b a n d t h at h a s d i r e c t i o n .
s e n s e t h at t h e y h a v e n o i d e a w h o t h e y a r e . f o r t h i s r e a s o n , i s u g g e s t y o u e s ta b l i s h w h o y o u a r e . k n o w w h at y o u r g o a l s a r e , w h e r e y o u ’ v e b e e n , a n d w h e r e y o u ’ r e g o i n g . o t h e r s
082 PLAN - STEP 1
083 BUZZ by SF Intercom
5 _ DON’T BE CHE A P OR YOU’LL LOOK CHE A P: e v e r y t h i n g c o s t s m o n e y . s o m e t h i n g s c o s t
6 _ DON’T SPEND MORE TH A N IT’S WORTH: y o u a r e n o t t h e f i r s t b a n d t h at n e e d e d a c d
a n d y o u ’ r e n o t t h e f i r s t t o c r e at e a w e b s i t e . s o y o u b e t t e r f r i c k ’ n k n o w h o w m u c h o t h e r
b a n d s p a i d a n d w h o t h e y p a i d . t h e r e i s a b s o l u t e ly n o r e a s o n y o u s h o u l d g e t b u r n e d . u s e
m o r e m o n e y t h a n o t h e r s . t h i s i s w h y m a n y b a n d s l e a n t o w a r d s u s i n g c h e a p a lt e r n at i v e s
you look che a p! you didn’t
other bands as a resource when making big decisions such as these.
r e a l i z e y o u w e r e b e i n g j u d g e d b u t i r e c e i v e d y o u r l a m e f ly e r / c d / p o s t e r a n d i n s ta n t ly
t o t h e m o r e c o s t ly c o m m e r c i a l p r o d u c t s . t h e d o w n s i d e i s
judged you. consider this the ne x t time you try a nd save a couple bucks.
084 PLAN - STEP 1
085 BUZZ by SF Intercom
7 _ DON’T CRE ATE MORE TH A N YOU CA N SELL: s a l e o r n o s a l e … d o n ’ t g e t d o o p e d i n t o
purchasing more than you can sell. i know to many bands with cds in their closets. it i s n o t s e x y , c o o l o r l e g i t t o b e s e l l i n g c d s f r o m y o u r l a s t b a n d o n t h e m e r c h ta b l e o f
in a pl astic disc.
y o u r n e w b a n d . y o u m ay s a v e o n e d o l l a r p e r c d , b u t m o n e y i n h a n d i s b e t t e r t h a n m o n e y
“ i t ’s
a l l b e e n d o n e b e f o r e !? ” g o o d ! t h e n w h y a r e y o u b e i n g a f o o l a n d m a k i n g t h e
8 _ DON’T M A K E THE SA ME MISTA K E OTHER BA NDS H AV E M A DE: h a v e y o u e v e r h e a r d t h e s tat e m e n t
s a m e m i s ta k e s o t h e r b a n d s a r e m a k i n g ? l e a r n a n d g r o w f r o m o t h e r b a n d s m i s ta k e s . b e f o r e
s ta r t i n g y o u r n e x t p r o j e c t , d o y o u r r e s e a r c h ! f i n d o u t h o w o t h e r s h av e d o n e i t
y o u r c h o i c e s b a s e d o n t h at .
086 PLAN - STEP 1
087 BUZZ by SF Intercom
post s shows on m yspace pages, b a nd
is not you! not e very thing band
9 _ DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF, E X PLORE A LTERN ATIV E OP TIONS: b a n d “ a ” m a k e s f l i e r s , band
fa ns go. perh a p s your fa ns l ik e cupc a k es a nd si t in dolores pa rk w i t h a
i s g o i n g t o w o r k f o r y o u . c o n s i d e r n e w w ay s o f r e a c h i n g f a n s . y o u r f a n s m i g h t n o t g o
boombox a nd a bot tle of cooks. how a re you going to re ach them?
yo u’r e a l l d o n e
e v e r y t h i n g w i l l g o s m o o t h ly n o w !!! w r o n g !!! a l w ay s r e f e r
10 _ E VA LUATE A ND RE-E VA LUATE YOUR PL A N REGUL A RLY: a w e s o m e … y o u m a d e y o u r
b ack to your pl a n. be prepa red to ch a nge, ch a nge a nd re-ch a nge your pl a n. you must be
f l e x i b l e a n d r e a d y t o a d a p t. k e e p t r a c k o f c h a n g e s a n d y o u r n e w p l a n i n y o u r j o u r n a l . i t i s a l w ay s p o s s i b l e t h at y o u w i l l r e t u r n t o y o u r o r i g i n a l p l a n .
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nceal a As the
THE SCENE & BE SEEN TWO BIGGEST PROJECTS STEFAN ARONSEN: SF-INTER.COM
WHEN I STARTED THIS SURVIVAL GUIDE I DID EXTENSIVE RESEARCH TO SEE IF ANYBODY IN SF WAS ALREADY MAKING ONE. I FOUND THAT A LOT OF WEB SITES ARE WRITING ABOUT BANDS, BUT NOT MANY ARE WRITING FOR BANDS. No matter if you’re a fan, band or industr y professional, there
research you’ll find there are websites in your city who re-
is one thing we all share in common, our love of a live show.
ligiously focus on listing venues, reviewing bands and post-
s a wise
However, sometimes it’s really hard to know where to see lo-
ing calendars of must see shows. A quick way to connect to
cal shows, what local bands are good, or perhaps where the
t he music communit y is t hrough t hese music websites. For
bands we like are playing. These challenges are made less so
your reading pleasure let me present, Wiretap Music and
by people with a passion for music that exudes anything you
The Bay Br idged.
or I can muster (maybe). What I’m saying is … with a little
092 PLAN - STEP 1
THE PINK SNOWFLAKES
093 BUZZ by SF Intercom
THE SCENE & BE SEEN OLIVIA PARIOT
WIRETAP BY: STEFAN ARONSEN
HAS BEEN INTRODUCING YOU TO THE BEST NEW LOCAL BANDS THEY FIND. Olivia has major passion for indie music. So much so that she can’t help but live it. She has dedicated her life to discovering and sharing the bay area music scene with you. Originally Olivia thought she was going to make a career out of being a musician. When that dream blew up in her face she was left devastated. However, in time she realized her true calling to combine her love for video with her knowledge of music. Thus became Wiretap Music. If you’re a fan you’ll love Wiretap Music for its inter views, blogs, vlogs and detailed calendar about local bands. For those of you in a band Wiretap is a great place to post your shows, submit your music for review and connect with other bands in the bay area.
094 PLAN - STEP 1
Visit Wiretap Music at: www.wiretapmusic.com
CHRISTIAN CUNNINGHAM & BEN VAN HOUTEN
BAY BRIDGED BY: STEFAN ARONSEN
EDUCATING THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA INDEPENDENT MUSIC If you’re researching the bay are music scene, likely you’ve heard about The Bay Bridged. If you haven’t you’re either dead or not paying attention. The exciting thing about The Bay Br idged is the fact that it was started as a project of passion by two guys who were fans not ba nd s a nd were at t he t i me worki ng on projec t s t hat had not h i ng to do w it h mu sic. Now they both have ever ything to do with the indie scene in the bay area. Christian and Ben have their hands in projects on both sides of the bay. I admire their dedication to approaching the scene from the angle of “ bay area” not “sf ” and “other.” Check out The Bay Bridged. They’re doing a great job of branding themselves as a
PHOTO BY: a l i n a s c h e r s c h n e v a
major supporter of local music.
Visit The Bay Bridged at: www.thebaybridged.com
095 BUZZ by SF Intercom
MUSIC FOR ANIMALS www.facebook.com/musicforanimals
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0102 PLAN - STEP 1
0103 BUZZ by SF Intercom
THE SLANG MEANING OF BUZZ IS AN EXCITED INTEREST OR ATTENTION SURROUNDING A SOCIALLY POPULAR TOPIC. THIS BOOK WILL PROMOTE THE BAY AREA MUSIC SCENE, DELIVERING WHAT IS SOCIALLY POPULAR DIRECTLY TO THOSE MOST INTERESTED IN IT.
BUZZ is produced by SF Intercom
Buzz helps the community flourish by actively curating a collection of advice from existing bands, spotlighting venues that cater to indie m...
Published on May 24, 2012
Buzz helps the community flourish by actively curating a collection of advice from existing bands, spotlighting venues that cater to indie m...