‘Features’ Archive

A Grassroots Career In Music w/ Elephant Revival

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Elephant Revival Indie Ambassador TrueDIYThe Band: Elephant Revival

The People: Bonnie Paine, Sage T. Cook, Daniel Rodriguez, Dango Rose, Bridget Law

The Projects: Summer tour, Break In The Clouds LP

Hometown: Nederland, CO

Transcendental Folk quintet (yes, that is a great example of a catchy, memorable genre label) Elephant Revival has been gradually growing and touring the country for nearly five years now. Through a series of smart promotional decisions, great music and a dose of good fortune, the band has been signed to Chad StokesRuff Shod record label and recently opened for one of the Dispatch reunion shows at Boston’s TD Garden.

We caught up with Bonnie, Dan, and their manager John at Berklee’s Cafe 939 to talk veggie transportation, organizational tools, treating your career as an investment, the importance of taking a tech on the road, and what it’s like to be signed to a label owned by a musician. Watch the video below, and be sure to check back soon for our follow up with the whole band backstage at the Garden after they opened for Dispatch!

Elephant Revival Quick Tips

  • If you’re having difficulty getting airplay on commercial radio stations, give some thought to the public stations. Rotation on these stations is less competitive, and if your music suits the channel’s listener demographic, it can be great exposure and bridge the release to additional music stations. Elephant Revival became the number 1 played local artist on Colorado public radio stations, and airplay on bigger stations soon followed!
  • (more…)

The Boston Phoenix – Best Music Poll 2011

Friday, June 17th, 2011

The Boston Phoenix hosted the 22nd annual Best Music Poll – 2011 Edition Awards Party last night @ Brighton Music Hall, featuring house band Bodega Girls, and special performances by Freezepop, Moe Pope and Mean Creek. 2011 saw a good mix of new and familiar faces in the winners circle.

Check out the winners after the jump!


Biz: Grooveshark For Artists 101

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Since Grooveshark’s launch in early 2007 they’ve been in what seems like an endless back and forth with record labels and device companies — namely Universal, Apple and now Google (Android). They’ve done their part by securing licensing deals, adhering to DMCA take down requests, offering PRO payouts, and creating partnerships with numerous labels and artists. Unfortunately, the company still catches flack from companies big and small over the legalities of their service. What most people don’t know is that founder and CEO, Sam Tarantino, had artists in mind when he set out to, as he put it, “fix the music industry.” In addition to their awesome consumer facing platform, Grooveshark provides a free artist dashboard that tracks a girth of artist-specific demographic and analytic data as well as offering affordable radio and promotional campaigns.

Our first Grooveshark article is one of our most popular posts to date, but really only dissects the streaming music service from a fan’s perspective.  Even though we make a point to spread the good word about Grooveshark’s artist tools as often as we can, we still had a few questions. To clear these up Indie Ambassador’s Aidan Rush chatted with our friend Aaron Ford, VP of Industry Relations and Business Development, to explain the system in a little more detail. When you’re done checking out the interview be sure to head over to the Grooveshark artist dashboard!

indieambassador.com: The analytic data made available by Grooveshark is so valuable to any artist, is it free?

Aaron Ford: For now everything is free on Grooveshark. That includes demographic information on our artist.grooveshark.com site, and also if we’re working individually with an artist we can generate custom reports. We do that a lot with labels, management companies, and touring agencies that use a lot of our data. While we’re doing promotions for a tour geo-targeting promotions in certain areas for the tour, we also feed data on the back end to artists, agencies, and managers. That kind of data for the music industry is essential.

These days you can’t afford to go to Atlanta when you should have gone to Athens to tour where your fan base is. You can now play an all ages show because you have data telling you your fan group is younger, and you even know which songs are their (your fans’) favorites. I’m a musician too, I’ve been out there in a van trying to make things work. It’s pretty demoralizing to have a crappy show when you could have had a great show just one town over if you’d just had a little bit of data.


The Guide to Self-Releasing an Album

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Back in the day, artists pretty much had to be dependent on record labels for their album releases due to the costs involved. A shift in music retailing trends, though, has made it  possible to bypass record labels entirely and still have tremendous reach. Thanks to the Internet, it’s now possible for almost any musician to gain an audience around the world. In the article below, Cameron Mizell begins his 4-part series about self-releasing an album. Having previously worked at a record label, Mizell is experienced on this topic and is now passing his knowledge on to the independent musician. Have you released your own album? Was it successful? As always, we are anxiously awaiting your comments!


(Musician Wages) An Introduction to the Self-Released Album

Credit: Cameron Mizell

This article is part 1 of a 4-part series by guitarist Cameron Mizell. For more information about self-releasing your album, visit the series home page:

The Self-Released Album

Musician Wages Cameron Mizell Indie Ambassador E2GIn what seems like a past life, the only way to release an album was through a record label. The label had the money to pay for your recording, the ability to distribute it around the world, and the marketing resources to make sure people knew your album was hitting the stores. Today, any resourceful individual with a little bit of money and a lot of creativity can make an album commercially available to the same number of people as a major label.

I have been involved with coordinating the release of about 200 albums, ranging from my own self-released album to Herbie Hancock’s Grammy winning River: The Joni Letters (2008′s Album of The Year). My previous job at a record label taught me a great deal about this process, and it’s definitely helped me when I released my own albums.

This is knowledge that I’d taken for granted, but after several of my musician friends asked me things like, “How do I sell my music on iTunes?” or “How can I sell my CD from my website?” I realized I ought to put it all in words and post it on MusicianWages.com to help anyone that wants to release their own album.

This article is the first of several that will discuss the ins-and-outs of releasing your own album. We’re just covering an introduction today, flushing out the generalities that will help you navigate this end of the business. The articles are for everyone that has never done this before, or those that want to do it better on their next release. Let’s start with a little background.


Warner Finally Sold, But What Does It Mean?

Monday, May 9th, 2011

News broke late last week that after months of speculation, Warner Music Group had finally been sold. Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik was the winning bidder, doling out a whopping $3.3bn for the transaction. But how will this affect the music industry as a whole? Will Warner’s models and objectives remain unchanged or will they point their business in an entirely new direction? Check out the comprehensive article from CNBC below, and let us know how you think this will all pan out for the music business in the comments!


(CNBC) What Warner Music Sale Means for the Music Biz

Credit: Julia Boorstin

Indie Ambassador E2G CNBC Warner Sold for 3.3 bnAfter three months of bidding, Warner Music was finally sold to Access Industries’ Len Blavatnik for $3.3 billion. Blavatnik, a Russian billionaire with a taste for deal-making is paying a premium of about a third over WMG’s average share price, which is certainly good for investors.

Why was there so much interest in the music label? Simple: The hope for a merger with debt-laden label EMI, hope for digital growth, and hope that the music publishing business is indeed stable.

So now that the deal is done, what does this mean for the future of the label and the rest of the struggling music industry?

Potential merger — Warner Music could be a good fit for EMI, which struggling with massive debt was taken over by Citi [C  45.20        ] earlier this year. Together the companies would create the world’s largest music company. Now they’re the third and fourth largest record labels behind Universal Music Group, the largest, and Sony [SNE  28.06        ], number two — could find economies of scale. But they’d also face regulatory hurdles and allegations that they’re creating a monopoly.