Stream Free, Legal Music with Grooveshark.com

The new Grooveshark.com lets you stream free music – without interruption.

As much as we love Web radio stations like those available from Pandora.com, Slacker.com and Last.fm, the one thing they all lack is total control. That’s where Grooveshark comes in handy. You can stream virtually any music you want – for free – without any advertising interruptions. Grooveshark’s catalog is huge so, while you might not find absolutely every band you want, you will come close. It’s fast, easy and almost limitless. You pick the bands and songs you want, and build playlists to listen to and share with friends.

For artists, you can set up a Grooveshark profile to help get your music discovered. There are advertising options, analytics to show how people are interacting with your music, and more.

Watch the video below. We show you how to get started streaming the music you want with Grooveshark.

YouTube Music – Change is Coming

antiyoutubeWatching music videos and listening to music on YouTube is about to change. A flurry of analysis and projection has YouTube losing upwards of $470 million this year. And overwhelmingly, the most watched videos on YouTube are entertainment. That includes music videos, and the record labels are none to happy about it.

Turns out, they are losing (or just not earning) millions because artists’ music videos are getting millions of views and generating zero revenue. So lately Warner has pulled music video from YouTube. Germany and the UK saw all major label video get pulled as well. So, is the same thing going to happen in the US?

At this point, probably not likely. However, the more record labels that pull out of YouTube, the worse off we’re all going to be. Fans, that is. When official videos start disappearing, YouTube will be forced to pull other videos of the same artists. It also could turn out that when labels cut deals with Google and YouTube for “official” music video content, the “unauthorized” ones will start to disappear. And that could include concert footage – bad news for Sound Citizens everywhere.

Of course, this all speculation. But here’s hoping the labels strike deals with someone like Hulu instead.

For good measure, here’s a video from AC/DC. An “official” video from a Warner artist. I guess they haven’t removed everything yet. Let’s hope YouTube and fans keep rocking.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doHoE156RAo[/youtube]

10 Twitter Tips for Musicians and Bands

One of the great things about Twitter is that it gives the feeling of being connected with hundreds, even thousands of people without ever actually meeting them. And if there’s one thing any fan wants, it’s to feel connected to their favorite bands. And as a band, you want your fans to feel close to you, but you clearly can’t meet them all.

If you don’t yet know about Twitter, at the bottom of this post is a short video showing how to get started and use it. It’s very easy to set up, and once you’re up and running, you can make updates (or ‘tweets’) in seconds. Suddenly you’re instantly connected with your fan base and you’ll find that they will go a long way in getting the word out about anything you want. You can even make quick updates from your phone via text message – perfect for when you’re touring.

Without further ado, and in no particular order are 10 tips to help you use Twitter, promote your band, and connect with fans like never before.

  1. Tweet a Song. When someone is following you on Twitter, they see your updates. So, if you tweet a link to a new song (or a live performance of a fan favorite) you might find that one of your followers “retweets” the post to their followers, who are not following you, and therefore did not see your tweet. Now those followers, who might not have known about your band, can hear your song. You might just make some new fans.
  2. Be Active. Your fans want to know what you’re up to – that’s why they’re fans. Update regularly – even if it’s just once a week or so. It goes a long way to making your fans feel connected. Not many bands are terribly active on Twitter, so it’s an excellent opportunity to dominate the space.
  3. Follow Fans Right Back. The only other thing more annoying than following a band that doesn’t update is seeing a band with 10,000 followers but only follow 3 people back. Go ahead and follow your fans, you have nothing to lose. What’s more, they will brag to their friends that their favorite band is following them, prompting even more followers.
  4. Get Personal. Don’t be afraid to add a little personality. Usually when I see tweets that say something like “I’m eating a cheeseburger, and it’s good,” I consider it a waste of my screen space. But something like that from a band (or any celebrity for that matter) takes on a different meaning. It humanizes the experience and gives some personal insight into a normally distant relationship between band and fan. Twitter is an excellent way to make people feel like they know you – take advantage of it.
  5. Update About Recent Performances. Your fans want to know about a show you just did. It’s not only a great way to stay in touch, but also to let followers know how much you enjoyed the crowd and their city. You know how when you mention a city’s name during a performance and everyone goes nuts? Same thing applies with Twitter.
  6. Announce Upcoming Tour Dates and Appearances. Recently announced tour dates have a way of spreading through Twitter (and consequently all over the Web) and give followers and fans a sense of urgency. Will you be featured on TV or radio soon? Tell ’em.
  7. Give Away Some Tickets. Want to make friends fast? Consider giving away a pair of tickets to your followers. Start by announcing that you plan on giving away tickets soon. You’ll see a deluge of new followers. Then follow through by selecting a random follower(s) to receive free tickets to an upcoming show. Make sure to make a post after the fact, telling the rest of your followers that a winner was chosen and call out the winner with an “@” link, like this: Thanks everyone for the great response to our ticket giveaway! @TheMikePhillips is the winner!
  8. Give Away a Free Download. In the same way as giving away tickets, give followers a free song download every now and then. When a fan sees that you occasionally give away a free tune, they will tell their friends and you’ll end up with a quickly growing list of follwers.
  9. Run A Poll. Let’s say you have an upcoming gig in Chicago. Send out a tweet polling your followers, asking which song they would like to hear at your next concert. Take the one with the highest votes and jam it during the gig. Do this and you will get instant credibility with your fans. You’ll also get some media attention, guaranteed. PollDaddy has an excellent tool for polling Twitter users.
  10. Be Real. In the end, we’re talking about music – a very personal experience for everyone. Treat your followers like you would treat a friend, or a fan you just met in your local pub. Twitter lets you share your life and experiences with many, many people, all at once and from a “safe” distance. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it can make a big difference in how fans connect with you and your band.

Follow me on Twitter, at Twitter.com/SoundCitizen

UPDATE: We found another cool Twitter tool called Twaud.io. Check it out.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzSqp4o2Fyc[/youtube]

Be a Music Producer for $10, Share Profits with SellaBand

Have you ever wanted to be a music producer? For as little as $10, you can. In true crowd-sourcing fashion, SellaBand lets anybody with an Internet connection get into the biz by helping fund independent bands to get their albums into production.

First, you sign up as a “believer.” Then you browse through thousands of bands to find one you like, or one you believe has the opportunity to become a success. Once you find it, you can buy a “part” for $10. You’re now a partner, and it’s up to you to promote the band and recruit fellow believers. When the artist reaches $50,000 in funding (or 5,000 parts), they hit the studio and start laying down tracks. When the album is finished, you receive a limited edition CD as well as a free download. Now for the best part – when albums start selling, the artists split the net revenues with all of their believers 50/50 for a period of five years. So, the more they sell, the more you make. There are also levels of production, ranging from “believer” to “executive producer.” The higher levels can even give you certain publishing profits, like earning when a song is played on the radio or TV. Don’t like the way things are going? You’re free to leave anytime you want with a refund, or shift your parts to other artists.

It’s really a brilliant idea. SellaBand takes full advantage of the “wisdom of the crowd” and has a legitimate shot at turning the recording industry on its head. When you think about the power of social networking its hundreds of millions of channels for promotion, you can see how this could be huge. And SellaBand realizes the potential – they offer embeddable widgets for social profiles and websites to help you raise funding for your band.

“SellaBand is a revolutionary concept as the music industry evolves to embrace and utilise the technologies of the 21st century.” -James Lewis, Producer of the Arctic Monkeys.

For artists, SellaBand offers a way to get in the studio – not based on the politics of the music industry, but based solely on listeners. It’s an amazing opportunity to not only produce an album, but build buzz along the way. Artists are also free to leave the program at any time, but once the full amount of funding is attained, they are obligated to produce the album with SellaBand.

Perhaps the biggest attraction for artists, SellaBand gives the opportunity to tour the country in true rock-star style with Arena Fest. Through a combination of user votes, money raised, judging and performance, selected bands will perform in 10 cities around the U.S., all-expenses paid. From uploaded a demo to rocking an Arena filled with thousands – that’s pretty cool.

I’m a believer in Radio Orange

Ten Ways to Give Back with Music Charities

It’s the season for giving. And as a music fan, what better way to express your love of music than to ensure music lives on and continues to grow and evolve through future generations? Therefore, Sound Citizen presents to you a list of 10 music charities, both to support existing musicians and to give the chance for aspiring musicians of all ages to share in our love for music. Do your part, be a sound citizen and make a contribution. In no particular order …

  1. vh1savethemusicVH1 Save the Music Foundation: Perhaps the most widely known, this non-for-profit is “dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in American public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education.” Since 1997, VH1 has provided more than $43 million worth of musical instruments to over 1,600 public schools in America. You can contribute through donations, attending fundraiser events and more.
  2. Guitar Center Music Foundation: Tax benefits come with a donation here. You can donate on the website, participate in fundraiser auctions and buy gear from which proceeds benefit the foundation. Guitar Center’s foundation looks to provide opportunities for music education through programs for all ages. They are also partnered with former President Jimmy Carter’s Carter Center, focused on human rights issues.
  3. Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation: Inspired by the film, Mr. Holland’s Opus, the film’s composer started this foundation to collect and donate new and used instruments to schools. You can donate money through the website and by check, or donate a gently used instrument.
  4. National Endowment for the Arts: The federal government’s arts program collects donations online, but you can also mail a check. In addition, you can specify how your donation is used via a particular discipline (arts education, literature, music, musical theatre, etc.) or by national initiative (Poetry Out Loud, NEA Jazz Masters and more.)
  5. tipitinaTipitina’s Foundation: The goal of Tipitina’s Foundation is to “support Louisiana’s irreplaceable music community and preserve the state’s unique musical cultures.” The birthplace of Jazz, the New Orleans unequaled music scene must be saved. To date, Tipitina’s has donated more than $1.2 million worth of musical instruments to 20 area schools. Sound Citizen is a New Orleans native, and I can tell you there’s nothing more important there than the music. The food is a close second.
  6. The ASCAP foundation: “Children Will Listen” was established “to bring the musical theatre experience to young students nationwide.” It was started in honor of Stephen Sondheim, ASCAP member and the composer behind such greats as West Side Story and Gypsy! In addition to providing funding and equipment for schools, the program runs several summer camps.
  7. Sound Art: This organization provides music instruction and resources to the children of Los Angeles. You can donate on the website through PayPal, and there is a “wish list” where current items in need are listed for hopeful donations.
  8. sphinxSphinx Organization: Sphinx seeks to encourage classical music in underserved communities and among minorities. They also strive to “… promote the creation, performance, and preservation of works by Black & Latino composers.” Sphinx was started by Aaron P. Dworkin, “… to help overcome the cultural stereotype of classical music, and to encourage the participation of Blacks and Latinos in the field.”
  9. MIMA: Modern Improvisonational Music Association. This organization is focused on world-wide music creation. This is truly a global effort and is supported by an array of countries. Visit their website and watch the video – it’s inspiring.
  10. DownloadUplift.com: The brainchild of Music For Charities (MFC), you can listen to, then download music from a varitey of indie artists. Each time you purchase a download, proceeds go to any number of charities of your choosing – everything from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to the Best Friends Animal Society.

UPDATE: I found another very worthy cause. Pandora – teamed with Global Giving, Pandora looks to spread the music love through three projects. Music Transforming Lives for Brazilian Youth aims to keep kids away from dangerous jobs with drug dealers. Little Kids Rock focuses on supplying public school teachers with supplies, curricula and training for music education. Pandora also teams with the aforementioned Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

There you have it, 10 great ways to make the world more musical and to ensure future generations experience the same joys we do every day. Go ahead … make someone’s day.