a survival guide for bands
PLAY If you play shows; play hard. If you are booking shows, book well. If you are a fan, support your band with all your might. There is only one you; make sure youâ€™re being the best you at all times.
GRAPHIC LEGEND BAND LINK
08 PLAY - STEP 5
09 BUZZ by SF Intercom
010 PLAY - STEP 5
011 BUZZ by SF Intercom
012 PLAY - STEP 5
013 BUZZ by SF Intercom
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 NO 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) • DEADT WEETS (38)
• The soma 94103 (44) • Busking (50)
• • • • •
CD DESIGN (56) 1st How-To (58) 2ND How-To (60) Insiders Scoop (62) JOURNAL REVIEW (66)
• When the l aw comes … (70) • Having Fun? (72) • radio vs yoga studio (74) • TEN SURVIVAL TIPS (78)
the scene & be seen
• Pacific noise(94) • The Owl mag (95)
• L ast Words (102)
CONTRIBUTORS LIAN NG: Advisor
email@example.com Lian strives to combine restraint as well as boldness into his design. Buzz’s clean lines, simplification of clutter and refined headers resulted from Lian’s relentless attention to detail and lofty standards. Lian created the dialogue that helped solidify what kind of publication Buzz would become. Lian’s vision for Buzz took it from a monthly rag to the beast it was meant to be.
brandileigha stracner: field editor firstname.lastname@example.org Opinionated and bold, Stracner takes advantage of her job as an intern at Live 105 to attend and critique as many local shows as she can handle, which is just about all of them. Stracner looks for a personal connection between band and fans, and her inter views, writing, and professional connections built solid relationships among many indie bands and Buzz Magazine.
Amy SCANDUrRA: Contributor email@example.com Scandurra’s soft-spoken, mild manner belies her inner rockstar. When she’s not too busy dancing with explosive exuberance at local, live shows, Scandurra contributes commentar y and photography to SF Intercom. Her passion for, and deep knowledge of, indie music make her a go-to guru for friends and fans alike.
jacob hennessey-rubin: Design Support firstname.lastname@example.org 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, olivia: wiretap music, anton: judgement day, grant: battlehooch, zen: please do not fight, peter: earofthebeholder, justin: punchface, damon: paranoids, kendal dix: attorney at law, amy wilson: cpa in training, stephanie trapp: photography, niana liu: watercolor maps, casey koerner: artist, lara de garie: artist
stefan aronsen: art director & editor-in-chief email@example.com Stefan Aronsen is the only nonmusical member of a vastly talented musical family. From a young age Mr. Aronsen struggled to learn first wind instruments,
and finally percussion instruments. Ever y attempt ended in exasperation and embarrassment. Not until college, where he discovered a strong talent for graphic design, did Mr. Aronsen finally develop his own unique expertise to offer the music industr y. OPENING WORDS: BUZZ!!! I have always loved the sound of innovation. There is something so exciting about a community of creative people getting together to create a movement so loud you can hear it. There is no quieting the movement. Buzz is a sur vival guide by SF Intercom for Bay Area musicians. It has over 100 pages packed with solid advice from amazing fans, bands and industr y professionals. The goal of Buzz and SF Intercom is to use existing advice to help you become more viably successful. The buzz is loud and with your help it’s only going to get louder.
Ian Tut tle: editor firstname.lastname@example.org Tuttle moved into SF Intercom’s offices as a writer among graphic artists. His multiple projects span from a novelin-progress to a weekly short-fiction blog. Tuttle contributed his talents as a copywriter to many stages of SF Intercom’s growth, drafting business plans, venue summaries, and bios. He brought insight and clear vision to the dispersed cloud of possibilities of Buzz Magazine’ mid-life crisis stage.
PICTURE ME BROKEN
024 PLAY - STEP 5
025 BUZZ by SF Intercom
photo by: Stefan Aronsen
026 PLAY - STEP 5
027 BUZZ by SF Intercom
028 PLAY - STEP 5
029 BUZZ by SF Intercom
While the industry used to be made up of three separate and distinct parts (band, label, fan), that model has been drastically changed. The new model, as Buzz sees it, is a cohesive three-part industry served by strong intercommunication.
030 PLAY - STEP 5
If you don’t have someone who is paying attention to the money, you end up eating every last dollar you made. BEN RICHARDS: Singer-Songwriter
Keep it fun and fresh
Invest in your band
All you really need to do is play as many
We’ve found it is impossible for us to
Oh yes … Also I recommend that all the
shows as possible, with the best bands
write songs and keep practicing sets
money made from shows goes back into
you know, and meet as many bands as
for shows. So now we break our time
the band fund rather than being split
possible. If you’re a good person, and
down—we’re taking a month off shows
up and given to the band members to
your music is good, and you’re exposing
to write, taking three weeks to record
use personally … making merch, re-
yourself, things will happen for you. I
cording and making CDs, and gas all
think it helps to know where you want
month to prepare a full set that we’ll
take a lot of cash … So it’s important to
to be in a year. And saying you’d like
then play (in different variations) for
set up a band fund and a person in the
to be playing the Greek Theater doesn’t
the next couple of months so that we’re
band who is good with money and can
count. Set reachable goals for yourself,
not constantly having to practice the
manage that fund.
like playing Cafe Du Nord, or playing
same songs all the time. That helps too
with a certain band you love that’s a few
in keeping things fun and fresh for us.
steps ahead of you, or getting played on certain radio stations. But mostly
OLIVIA PARRIOTT: Wiretap Music
ZEN: Please Do Not Fight
it comes from the ground up, and it’s
GO GET LUCKY
a ver y organic and sometimes sudden
The most important rule you have to
process. Surround yourself with bands,
know is that no one knows how to get
blogs, and people who love music.
famous. Rules don’t mean shit! Getting
famous just happens through forces we cannot control and if you ever get famous, consider yourself ver y, ver y lucky. So go out there and get lucky. SAM CHASE: Perfect Machines
032 PLAY - STEP 5
BE MORE SPECIFIC It’s hard to make it on the road without at least some sense of organization and professionalism. For us, that comes from our drummer, Matt Whalen. He somehow always knows where we are, where we’ve been, where we’re going, and how and when to get there. Ever y band needs a Matt Whalen. JONATHAN DEVOTO: Bird by Bird
033 BUZZ by SF Intercom
Perfect Machines Progressive / Glam / Punk
words of wisdom for a new band from Rock Star SAM CHASE: STARTING OUT: 1. A name is not as important as you think. The band you are gives meaning and context to the stupid name of your band. Guns & Roses is a pretty stupid band name when you think about it. Same with Green Day. What the hell is that even supposed to mean? That isn’t badass. But we don’t ever think about that. 2. It sucks, but image matters. Just sayin’. 3. Know what you want to sound like as a band before you start writing. Make sure you are all on the same page. 4. It’s more important to be friends with the people in your band than to find the greatest musicians. 5. Be in a band because you love to make music. If you are doing it to get girls, you are wasting everyone’s time and space. The worst music is the music that is written to get girls rather than for the love of it. 6. Write music that means something to you. Your songs need a purpose. 7. Pretense will kill your band before it has even begun if you let it. 8. Make your live show as entertaining as your music. Give the crowd something to look at while they are listening. 9. Be different. Very, very different.
034 PLAY - STEP 5
ONCE YOU ARE A NEW BAND: 1. Get stickers and give them to everyone. 2. Push your band on everyone. Live your band. 3. Make friends with bands. Listen to local music. It helps with knowing which bands will work well on a bill with yours and you’ll find which bands and fans may like yours. 4. Play, and play often. 5. Don’t just get on other bands’ bills. Make your own and repay the favor to the bands that put you on their bills. 6. Go to shows even if you are not on the bill. It’s a great way to make friends with bands and promote your own band. 7. You gotta spend time and money on this. Being in a band is not a lucrative job. It is your endless pit of spending, late nights and hard work. 8. Get your name out there even if no one has ever heard you. It is better to be the band that everyone knows but hasn’t heard, rather than to be the band that everyone has heard but no one remembers. 9. The band has to be your #1 priority. 10. Stand out, even when you aren’t on stage. Even if you aren’t at a show. When you are walking down the street you are still in a band and the more you stand out, the more people will recognize you from your band.
035 BUZZ by SF Intercom
AS A BAND: 1. As a band you don’t deserve shit so don’t act like you do. 2. You have got a lot to prove because you are not the greatest band in the world so don’t act like you are. 3. Once you get on stage you are the greatest band in the world. Act like you are. 4. Whiskey is a good warm up drink but it is a doubleedged sword, so watch out. 5. Make friends—lots and lots of friends—because for a long time those are the only people that are gonna come to your show. 6. Once on stage never complain that people aren’t in front of the stage. You’ll never be able to pull the whole crowd to the front and when you don’t pull anyone you look like a whiny douche. Always be confident on stage. Even if no one cares about you or your band. 7. Rock out to the other bands on the bill. Be genuine. Don’t try too hard to show support. Fake looks fake and while they appreciate you rocking out they can tell when you are only rocking out because you want them to do the same to you. Rock out and mean it. When they are done, talk to them. If they are good, tell them that. If they don’t rock out for you, so what. At least you burned some calories for a good cause. 8. On stage, even if the club is empty, play like you are playing to a packed house of adoring fans. SAM CHASE: Perfect Machines
036 PLAY - STEP 5
037 BUZZ by SF Intercom
sfintercom Concerts are usually in the dark. Perhaps bands should make shirts and business cards that glow in the dark. less than 5 seconds ago from web
CHAUNDON my advise is to perfect your craft! Do not. under any circumstance compromise your integrity!!!!! 1 day ago from web
TheHotToddies @sfintercom advice about tour? Just get out there and do it! Myspace is a great resource to find cool bands to play with :) 1 day ago from web
MarinLocalMusic @sfintercom they need to have a presence at shows they need a following - then contact the bookers - might have to do some tuesdays 1st 1 day ago from web
all_ages @sfintercom you can build your scene by creating your own infrastructure. be creative, and remember almost anything can be a “venue” 1 day ago from web
ArriveLounge Another 5th band member video tip: Don’t wear a T-shirt with a huge logo or a band t-shirt. 1 day ago from web
3ringrecords @sfintercom The CD is no longer a viable revenue source and vinyl is on the up. Digital sales help but for how much longer? 1 day ago from web
Musibility TIP: Move the free line! Give away MORE MUSIC! Monetize on the back end for more money than before. 1 day ago from web
pdnf @sfintercom Naked drummers = The only way to go IMHO ASAP FYI LOL ROLF BBQ 1 day ago from web
saraahB Freaking the fuck out. I would advise no one leave before the last band plays. OMG. 1 day ago from web
Photo by Stephanie Trapp: http://www.StephanieTrapp.com
BOOKING SHOWS The hardest part 0f booking shows is knowing where to book shows. Attached are a couple good venues in: THE SOMA
043 BUZZ by SF Intercom
BOOKING SHOWS: THE SOMA 94103 THERE are lots of drink specials in the soma. do your research and get your drink on.
Most people have never seen a show
Ever ything about Brainwash is small. If your audience isn’t all 21 yet and
here. In fact most people don’t even
Small stage, small tables, no dance you’re rolling in on a tour bus, book
know it exists. However, if you want to
f loor, and no cover add up to little or your next show here. Home of tour-
create a large festival, show, or event,
no pressure. If you promote, you’ll pack ing bands as well as local Battle of the
and you have a ver y large following,
the place. If you don’t, people will still Bands, this is a great all-ages location
this is a great spot in SoMa to do it.
come. Brainwash is recommended as a that consistently has a line stretch-
www.mezzaninesf.com 444 Jessie Street San Francisco, CA 94103 map cross street: 6th & Mission district: SOMA Tel: 415.625.8880
044 PLAY - STEP 5
test venue to tr y out your show pres- ing around the block. A big stage and ence. As an added bonus for you tour- a large dance f loor are bolstered by a ing musicians, all bands get to do free full kitchen. laundr y or have free food.
www.brainwash.com 1122 Folsom Street San Francisco, CA 94103 map cross street: 7th St. district: SOMA Tel: 415.255.4866
Bar reviews made possible by Ian Tuttle: www.sf-inter.com/archives/category/venues
www.slims-sf.com 333 11th Street San Francisco, CA 94103 cross street: Folsom & Harrison district: SOMA Tel: 415.255.0333
046 PLAY - STEP 5
BOOKING SHOWS: THE SOMA 94107
Hotel Utah Saloon
330 Ritch Street
THE EAGLE TAVERN
This is a hotel with a bar and a bar
As you all probably know by now, this
They only do shows on Thursday nights.
with a venue. Hotel Utah ser ves amaz-
spot is in an alleyway and yes it can
The Stud books 1-3 months in advance.
ing food and fine drinks in an intimate
seem shady, but this spot has a jem on
They get a lot of requests, so it takes
setting, complete with wood paneling
the inside. 330 Ritch is located at 360
a while to get a Thursday gig. It helps
and a cool balcony. The venue is mostly
Ritch St in the SOMA district of San
if you have some other bands in mind
seated, so this isn’t the best spot for a
Francisco. With past performers rang-
you want to play with. When they have
mosh pit, but if you want a classy show
ing from M.I.A. to Kings Of Leon, if you
a show for you, they’ll let you know, so
in a storied spot book it here.
make it in you’re making it.
keep tr ying..
www.hotelutah.com 500 4th Street San Francisco, CA 94107 cross street: Bryant Street district: SOMA Tel: 415.546.6300
330ritch.com 360 Ritch Street San Francisco, CA 94107 cross street: Brannan @ 3rd
www.sfeagle.com 398 12th Street San Francisco, CA 94103 cross street: Harrison district: SoMa Tel: 415.626.0880
Bar reviews made possible by Ian Tuttle: www.sf-inter.com/archives/category/venues
047 BUZZ by SF Intercom
RICKY LEE ROBINSON www.facebook.com/rickyleerobinson.f b
BOOKING SHOWS: THE SOMA 94107
We always tr y to have free CDs for people to take, so they don’t feel the pressure to spend any money, but we also have our polished CDs for sale too (5 bucks). We definitely make enough money and collect enough emails to make it worthwhile—we’ve peaked at $150 for playing for one hour. GR ANT: Battlehooch
050 PLAY - STEP 5
Ricky LEE ROBINSON JUST WANTS TO BE SEEN STEFAN ARONSeN: SF-INTER.COM
I saw him. anD—According to him, that is his goal. So—he’s doing a great job. Then I e-mailed him to see what his idea of success was. I had some buzz a couple of years back in the club scene that rapidly dwindled as I didn’t promote myself. Weirdly though, I’m getting a lot more satisfaction playing in the street. I make more money in the street than the clubs for certain, a lot more people see it, and it’s lot more interesting. I’ve had to get used to the idea of the police getting involved :( But success to me right now is having a whole lot of people see it, so that seems to be happening. As you have an interest in this I am wondering if you know enough folks who are doing the street thing that we might organize something someday.
S: I do! You should look up The Ferocious Few and Battlehooch. Both of these bands busk in san francisco. I hadn’t heard Battlehooch, but I looked and yeah, ver y cool. I know the Ferocious Few, Francisco and I have run into each other a lot, playing some of the same spots. I saw him when I was playing at the exit of the power to the people concert in golden gate park a couple months ago and the rangers kicked me out. I ended up calling the parks office and they said I could get an event permit for $500 if I wanted to put on a show. I think this is technically illegal, but I have no wish to fight with them over it. So I was thinking of getting a permit and doing a multi-band show when it gets warmer. My understanding is this is how the folks who do Mission Creek and Noisepop all started out. I would want a killer lineup of acts that are on the fringe and aren’t getting done a lot of favors by the current powers that be. Cause I’m in that categor y ;) RICKY LEE ROBINSON www.facebook.com/rickyleerobinson
Above, far left: SOMA - San Francisco neighborhood Watercolor painting by Niana Liu: www.nianaliu.com
051 BUZZ by SF Intercom
PLAY LOUD, PLAY HARD, PLAY SMART, AND donâ€™t play with fire; learn from others Mistakes.
Vitamin party â€Ś Smart dudes! I hope they realize this! Months before This survival guide existed, they sent me a cd. thEY successfully fulfill most if not all of my survival tips for persona! Smart design, web address, contact info on everything and they sent it to me!
ABOVE FAR RIGHT: Vitamin Party press package, contents: 1 CD + 2 stickers + lots of red = big impact. Buy CD at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/vitaminparty
056 PLAY - STEP 5
057 BUZZ by SF Intercom
When you donâ€™t have access to a dark room, Stencils are the poor mans screen print. Step One: You need your image to fit on an 8.5x11 piece of paper. Generally I will change my image width to match 8.5 or 11 (image> image size). Then I trim using canvas size to make it a perfect fit (image> canvas size).
Step Two: This is a step where some people find it fastest to change the image mode to gray scale. I like using desaturate under image>adjust on the menu bar.
SteP THREE: Select your entire canvas (Control A on a PC, Command A on Mac). Copy your canvas (Control C on a PC, Command C on Mac). Paste your canvas (Control V on a PC, Command V on Mac). You now have a second layer that you should do all your alterations on.
Step Four: On the menu bar select image>levels change your black to 120, your grey to 9.99 and your white becomes 196. This is not an exact science. Likely you will have some trial and error. Tr y multiple numbers till something works.
Step Five: You may find that step four blows out areas of detail you find important. I combat this by creating multiple copies of original and repeating step four on additional layers. Then on the layers panel click the arrow and multiply top layers. Any areas that are too dark can be deleted using the erasure tool.
058 PLAY - STEP 5
Bubble charts are an excellent way to find connections and branch out your ideas.
refer to graph regul arly 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 youâ€™re writing it down you are creating a map for yourself. One can presume that if you follow your map you will
TOOLS TO GET STARTED 1. an image 2. Photoshop (or comparable) 3. 8.5x11 card stock paper 4. a printer with ink
059 BUZZ by SF Intercom
060 PLAY - STEP 5
SPRAY lots of layers, spray them thin, don’t try to cover everything in the first round. I use heavy weight card stock for my stencils. Some people prefer cardboard or sheets of film, but those items can’t be printed on a home printer.
Step One: When you are ready to print your silhouette it is a good idea to shrink the image by down to 80%. You will need the
Step Four: It is in Step Three that you will realize a need for paper arms to hold your white areas in place. (These might also be called connectors) Try to hide them, make them part of the design … it’s like framing a house, everything needs to be connected with cross beams.
extra white space for over spray and to
(i) In the past I’ve used thread and sewn
increase the stability of your stencil.
brackets into my stencil.
(ii) If you make a mistake you can use
Before you start insure that you have a
clear tape to mask bad cuts and re-at-
shar p blade in your Exacto and plenty of back up blades to replace the one
tach areas that were not suppose to be cut off.
currently in your handle. I have used as many as 10 blades on a super detailed stencil.
TOOLS TO GET STARTED
(i) It is not a good idea to use dull blades.
1. 8.5x11 card stock Print out
It makes cutting more difficult which increases your potential to make a mistake. When you struggle to cut you also
2. Masking tape
increase the risk of cutting yourself.
3. Box of exacto blades
4. Exacto Knife
Plan out all your cuts. Your going to cut all the black areas, but some black areas can’t be cut off due to loosing important white areas. This is where being creative comes in handy.
061 BUZZ by SF Intercom
062 PLAY - STEP 5
For indie music listen to Aaron Axelsen Sundays on from 7-10pm LIVE105: http://www.live105.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.
063 BUZZ by SF Intercom
064 PLAY - STEP 5
Portions of the inside scoop were inspired by The Indie Band Survival Guide by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan - http://www.live105.com/
Based on obser vation and common sense, most bands are not going to sit down together and read through this oneinch thick completely picture-free book.
065 BUZZ by SF Intercom
CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK STEFAN ARONSEN: SF INTERCOM
I lived above bottom of the hill for one month. You can hear everything from up there. Especially SOUND check. I have two things to say on this note. Isn’t there anything you can test the mic with other than “CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!” You’re creative think of something! Just so you don’t get cheecky with me “TEST, TEST, TEST” is not an improvement. Now to my point; Don’t miss sound check, nobody in the crowd likes hearing you chat with the sound guy and thumbs up means ever ything is awesome … not “TURN UP MY AMP.” The sound guy is your best friend for 45 min. Treat him like a god and you will have a good show. Abuse him and you may find you just lost a venue for your gigs.
066 PLAY - STEP 5
067 BUZZ by SF Intercom
068 PLAY - STEP 5
On the Pacific
you to t
if all your practicing is for one night of playing. Then play like it’s going to be weeks until your next show. go big or go home. Be extreme!!!
I understand that shoegazing is a type of music. I’ve learned
this recently. However … If you’re not a shoegazing band,
come with full force, kick doors down and come in with a
bang. You have 45 minutes on stage and any fears you have
need to be thrown out the window. Tonight you are a rock
star! Act like it!.
069 BUZZ by SF Intercom
scene h At this
olomon, king of
WHEN THE LAW COMES TO PLAY
er is the
Kendall dix attorney at law
Even lawyers know how to have fun. This is an account of how a lawyer handles the law when they find you with your pants down ~ Stefan
When I was 14, my friend’s older sister took us to Horde Fest.
At t his point, I sit w it h The Finest on t he law n outside t he
We left around 9 on a cool, crisp Kansas City in the summer-
bat hrooms and proceed to spin a yar n about how I was only
time morning. And by that, I mean the temperature was 100
dehydrated and had become ill from consuming too much
degrees with 90 percent humidity.
water. Eit her because I was bor n to bullshit or (more likely)
In the infinite wisdom I’d acquired from my time on Earth,
o say to him to
n. What do not
I opted for a steady supply of canoe beer and brown, seedfilled schwag in lieu of breakfast and lunch. It didn’t take long for my dehydrated, underdeveloped body to succumb to extreme intoxication. At t hat point I was shir t less, sweat ing profusely, and totally savage dr unk. I felt a litt le dizz y and it seemed like t he per fect t ime to go to t he bat hroom to cool off and evacuate my bowels.
he took mercy on me because I looked like a 10-year-old w it h a chromosome disorder and couldn’t fat hom somebody t hat young being a dr unken liar, he let me go and told me to be careful. Then the clock struck 1 p.m. It’s definitely not the best concert I’ve been to. I don’t even remember if Blues Traveler or Neil Young was headlining that year, but that was the first, and definitely not the last time, that music and the law (or rather, avoiding the law) intersected in my life.
Yada, yada, yada … my pants are around my ankles and I’m
throwing up into an amphitheater toilet. The cold concrete
of the less than sanitar y f loor felt incredibly soothing to my skin at that point and I sprawled out pretty much completely
naked and went to sleep.
When I came to, a nice gentleman was outside the stall door
inquiring into my well being and telling me to put my clothes
on and come to talk to him. It should probably go without
saying that he was an officer of the law.
070 PLAY - STEP 5
The art on this page was created by Casey Koerner: http://www.caseykoerner.com/
071 BUZZ by SF Intercom
n your tired, look. at it
album You have
places right I’m
radio vs yoga studio AMY NICOLE WILSON
You need to start promoting your music in less conventional ways than you have in the past. If you’re reading this magazine, there
All kinds of music have place in the
is no doubt you’ve heard heaps of sug-
yoga room—not just Thiever y Corpora-
gestions how to promote your music:
tion-esque stuff. In the warm-up part
sending your demos to radio stations,
of class: a glazed, lush, harmonic elec-
networking on music forums, creating
tro-pop tune will make your heart soar
a MySpace page, maintaining a website,
as you do a sun salutation. In a chal-
knowing SF Intercom. Here is an idea
lenging vinyasa series: a hard-driving,
you may not have thought of yet: give
stomping rock n’ roll jam can inspire
copies of your music to all of the yoga
you to do yet another chaturanga. And
teachers you know.
at the end of class: an indie rock acous-
Yoga is about opening your heart, your
music from and kinds in a
mind, and your body – at times it is tre-
tic ballad will sound so good in sivasana, it just might make you shiver.
mendously inspirational. This is why
And here is the best part: the students
yoga and music go hand and hand – be-
will ask about your songs. I talked with
cause music is tremendously inspira-
Rusty Wells, a renowned Vinyasa yoga
teacher based in San Francisco, about the reactions he gets from the music
Think about it: yoga class has oppor-
tunity for an intense music listening
experience, and it’s all up to the yoga
people make judgment about whether
or not to download a song based on a
20-second clip. Not into the song on the
So – get out there and talk to your yoga
radio? You’ve got 5 other stations pro-
friends! Give them your demo!!! Ask
grammed. But in a yoga class you have
them to play your songs in class, or ask
surrendered this control to your teach-
them to hand out your demo to their
er. You are there, you’re stretching,
teachers. Ask them to play your songs
sweating, and you have nothing else to
streaming on their website. Ask them
do but breathe and hear what is being
to send a download of your newest
presented you. As an independent band
track with their next newsletter. And
tr ying to get exposure – this is what you
while you’re at it … ask them to show
need. You need to get your music played
you a stretch to fix that kink in your
in the yoga room.
neck from your guitar strap ;-)
he plays. “It happens in ever y class, I get requests for the playlist. I recently taught at a 3-day conference in Chicago where I received 50-60 questions about what I played!”
Om Shanti! Amy Nicole Wilson
072 PLAY - STEP 5
073 BUZZ by SF Intercom
ng of Ju-
we just FINISHED our record
f God to
Blake Dahlinger: I the Mighty
proverbs by the
Recording your band is hard. I was reading somewhere that recording drums is EVEN hardER. Have you found this to be true? ~ stefan
I would definitely agree that recording drums is hard. Es-
bass, or vocals where youâ€™re recording one thing at a time
pecially when getting the right sound from the drums as a
and can edit that one thing â€Ś with drums your recording
whole on the record. I think this is due to the fact that with
like 10 different pieces at once so editing and making all the
drums there are so many different pieces (snare, toms, bass
sounds gel together is a bit more complicated.
drum, all the different cymbals). Itâ€™s different than guitar,
074 PLAY - STEP 5
My advice for drummers attempting to
Do some pre-production recording with
record would be the following:
your band before recording what will
Know what you want your drums to sound like. Know what gear you need to get that sound and talk to your recording engineer so they can help you get the desired sound. If you want deeper/ bigger sounding drums they’re gonna need to be big-
actually go on the album. That drum fill you thought sounded so awesome going into the chorus when you play live might not sound so good when you hear it recorded. Practice to a click/metronome and definitely record to a click/metronome.
General advice to being in a band: It’s a partnership and a total group effort. Everyone should have an equal say and opportunity to express their opinion. In my mind it’s just as much about great friendship and respecting one another as it is about making great music. It’s a lot of hard work. Make it your life and leave ever ything out on the table if
ger in size … not a jazz kit. Likewise if
Make sure you’re aware of how you’re
you want to take it all the way so that
you want a smaller sounding kit don’t
playing the drums, meaning … if there
you know you did ever ything you could
play John Bonham sized drums. Make
is a section of a song that’s really rock-
to be successful. And this is really cli-
sure you have the right heads (coated/
in’ and heavy make sure to play the
ché, but it’s absolutely true … if you
clear, 1 ply/2 ply) so you get the tone
drums with some force … Don’t be a
want something done right, do it your-
you’re wanting … and make sure to
pussy :) the energ y will definitely come
self. This isn’t to say you don’t need
have brand new heads on when going
through on the recording. Likewise if
help along the way, but don’t sit around
into the recording session. Change out
there’s a more subtle/quiet section or
waiting for things to happen. With the
the snare head ever y so often (and the
a crescendo/decrescendo make sure to
Internet age and the current state of
toms/ kick as necessar y) if you’re doing
play with those dynamics … don’t rely
the music industr y it’s more possible
a longer recording session so the drum
on the recording engineer to add that in
than ever to be a successful band with-
doesn’t start sounding ‘f lat.’
through editing on the computer.
out being on a major label. BLAKE: I The Mighty
If you like what you’re reading you can find I The Mighty at: http://www.facebook.com/ithemighty
075 BUZZ by SF Intercom
BUZZ GUIDE Playing MIGHT come natural, but playing and making money might not. Attached are 10 survival tips to help you play in a more viablE and successful way.
078 PLAY - STEP 5
079 BUZZ by SF Intercom
2 _ PL AY LOT S OF SHOWS: v e n u e s w i l l n o t b o o k y o u f o r a s h o w i f y o u a l r e a d y h a v e a
h e a d l i n i n g s h o w . h o w e v e r c o n s i d e r o p e n i n g f o r o t h e r b a n d s . a l s o p l ay i n g s h o w s t h at
1 _ DO W H AT YOU DO TO THE BE ST OF YOUR A BILIT Y: i f y o u a r e p l ay i n g s h o w s , p l ay h a r d . i f
a ren’t in s a n fr a ncisco w il l help a s w ell.
y o u a r e b o o k i n g s h o w s , b o o k w e l l . i f y o u a r e a f a n , s u p p o r t y o u r b a n d w i t h a l l y o u r m i g h t.
DO WHAT YOU DO TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY t h e r e i s o n ly o n e y o u , m a k e s u r e y o u ’ r e b e i n g t h e b e s t y o u at a l l t i m e s .
080 PLAY - STEP 5
PLAY LOTS OF SHOWS
081 BUZZ by SF Intercom
c r o w d , i t m a k e s p r o m o t i n g e a s i e r . s e c o n d , ta k e y o u r i n s t r u m e n t s t o p l a c e s w h e r e p e o p l e
4 _ GO W HERE THE PEOPLE A RE: t h i s h a s t w o m e a n i n g s . f i r s t , p l ay v e n u e s t h at d r a w a
h o u s e p a r t i e s . t h e y m ay n o t k n o w y o u ’ r e c o m i n g , b u t t h e y ’ l l b e f a n s a f t e r t h e y s e e y o u .
3 _ GO W HERE THE MONE Y IS: i t m a k e s s e n s e … t h i s j u s t m e a n s i n v e s t y o u r s e l f i n
shows, but figure out why a nd h ave merch a ndise re ady to sell.
g at h e r . t h i s d o e s n ’ t a l w ay s m e a n c l u b s , v e n u e s a n d t h e s u c h . c o n s i d e r b u s k i n g o r m ay b e
p r o j e c t s t h at h a v e p o t e n t i a l t o m a k e p r o f i t . a l s o p l ay s h o w s t h at p ay , p l ay s h o w s t h at
GO WHERE THE MONEY IS y o u c a n s e l l p r o d u c t , a n d p l ay s h o w s t h at p r o m i s e f u t u r e m o n e y . y o u c a n s t i l l p l ay f r e e
082 PLAY - STEP 5
GO WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE
083 BUZZ by SF Intercom
5 _ PL AY LOT S OF SHOWS: d o n ’ t l i m i t y o u r s e l f b y p l ay i n g s h o w s o n ly i n s a n f r a n c i s c o . b r a n c h o u t a n d p l ay s h o w s i n t h e e a s t b ay , p e n i n s u l a a n d s a n j o s e . y o u ’ l l g e t b e t t e r
PLAY OUTSIDE OF SAN FRANCISCO shows or busking.
at p l ay i n g , g r o w y o u r f a n b a s e a n d m a k e m o n e y . y o u m i g h t a l s o c o n s i d e r p l ay i n g a l l a g e
6 _ PL AY PUBLIC SHOWS: b u s k i n g i s a g r e at w ay t o p r a c t i c e a n d m a k e m o n e y . i t i s n o n n o t g e t t i n g i n t r o u b l e . f i n d p o p u l at e d s t r e e t a n d s e t u p .
t h r e at e n i n g . t h o u g h y o u d o h a v e t o d e a l w i t h c o p s . p l ay i n g a c o u s t i c s e t s w o r k s b e s t f o r
084 PLAY - STEP 5
PLAY PUBLIC SHOWS (BUSK)
085 BUZZ by SF Intercom
7 _ PL AY V ENUE S YOU CA N FILL: y o u w i l l l o o k s u p e r p i m p f i l l i n g a s m a l l v e n u e . h o w e v e r ,
PLAY VENUES YOU CAN FILL you will look super foolish book ing a l a rge venue a nd h aving the sa me number of fa ns.
8 _ PL AY A LL AGE S SHOWS: t h i s i s n o t a c h o i c e t h at i s a l w ay s a v a i l a b l e . m o s t v e n u e s i n
s a n f r a n c i s c o a r e n o t a l l a g e s . h o s t y o u r o w n s h o w o r b o o k at a l o c at i o n t h at i s . t h e r e a r e a l o t o f u n d e r a g e f a n s i n t h e b ay a r e a .
086 PLAY - STEP 5
PLAY ALL AGES SHOWS
087 BUZZ by SF Intercom
s ta g e p r e s e n c e ” i s f o r t h e k i n d o f m u s i c y o u p l ay .
9 _ H AV E GOOD STAGE PRE SENCE: i f y o u ’ r e g o i n g t o s t e p o n s ta g e y o u b e t t e r o w n t h at
HAVE GOOD STAGE PRESENCE s ta g e . w h y s ta n d i n f r o n t o f p e o p l e i f y o u a r e n o t g o i n g t o e n t e r ta i n . a l s o f i n d o u t w h at
“g o o d
there is not much i can do with
“h av e
“h av e
f u n .”
f u n .” y e t i d e c i d e d , a s m y l a s t
10 _ H AV E F UN: i h at e w h e n b a n d s s ay “ h a v e f u n ” a s t h e i r s u r v i v a l a d v i s e . i r e a l i z e i t ’ s
s u r v i v a l t i p, b e c a u s e i t s e e m s t o b e u n a n i m o u s , i w o u l d t e l l y o u t o
088 PLAY - STEP 5
089 BUZZ by SF Intercom
nceal a As the
claim a , “Come
THE SCENE & BE SEEN THE PEOPLE YOU SEE STEFAN ARONSEN: SF INTERCOM
In a never ending battle to bring local bay area professionals to you, I GIVE YOU Pacific Noise and the Owl SF. Enjoy! Sometimes the people you see ever y day have a life you don’t
It is your responsibility to know these things. Sometimes or
even know about. I’ve been discovering more and more peo-
someday you’re going to discover you’re only as good as the
ple I’m connected to who have alter egos that are ver y im-
people you know. That is why smart people should surround
s a wise
mersed in the bay area music scene.
themselves with smarter people and dumb people should surround themselves with less dumb people, and drunk people should surround themselves with less drunk people. The problem occurs when the person who is more than you realizes. So don’t let them realize. (Shit … does this even make sense anymore?)
092 PLAY - STEP 5
093 BUZZ by SF Intercom
THE SCENE & BE SEEN john swanson
pacific noise BY: STEFAN ARONSEN
May or may not still be active, but it has lots of interesting content. I was originally introduced to John as “the dude that I found on Craigslist.” See my friend Jacob was looking for roommates and found John. For months I never saw john. He was never at the house when I came to visit. Jacob told me he was working multiple jobs and attempting to create a new kind of blog. It took me a couple more months to research this “ blog.” At first I was turned off by its rough indie nature. However in time I came to enjoy the ver y thing I originally disliked. John managed to make rough a style. I have enjoyed what was a small sapling (blog) become a (web org) tree with branches. If you love videos you’ll enjoy Pacific Noise. John has managed to capture a major portion of the bands currently playing in the bay area. I love Pacific noise for its rough nature and plethora of selection.
094 PLAY - STEP 5
Jason Jurgens & Mari Tanak a
THE OWL MAG BY: STEFAN ARONSEN
Located in SF & covering the indie scene you’re in. The Owl Mag is a San Francisco/Bay Area centric online music magazine. They offer insightful news, reviews, videos and features about local artist, emerging / unsigned bands, independent DIYers and those that have “made it.” Their intention is to create a place where music lovers can submerge themselves in genuine music knowledge without feeling out of place. The Owl Mag remains objective and true to the Bay Area music scene. They highlight many artists and quality venues. Their goal is to provide an easily perusable site that lets fans find information on a range of different music styles. They call themselves Owl Magazine because Owls are Nocturnal and seen as being wise. They suggest it’s like their readers, but one could also argue it’s like them. They are here in SF, they are writing about bands. You should really check them out.
095 BUZZ by SF Intercom
THE FLAMING LIPS www.facebook.com/f laminglips
098 PLAY - STEP 5
099 BUZZ by SF Intercom
0100 PLAY - STEP 5
0101 BUZZ by SF Intercom
0102 PLAY - STEP 5
0103 BUZZ by SF Intercom
By emphasizing advice from existing bands, spotlighting venues that cater to indie music, and building a network of resources designed with the indie musician in mind, Buzz targets a niche market. But with its cross-genre synthesis of best practices gathered through research among every style of music, Buzz has much to offer in the realms of hiphop, rock, street, urban, punk, and any other live performance based style. BUZZ is produced by SF Intercom
By emphasizing advice from existing bands, spotlighting venues that cater to indie music, and building a network of resources designed with...