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Internet radio/TV and record label D-I-Y

This is the final chapter in the series of articles under the banner of “Get On Up! Get Into It! Get Involved!” I’ve devoted my column to how we as a community can help the music & recording industry rebuild itself to the level of excellence that was set forth by those whose passion was and is to create good music for the public. This chapter is dedicated to how we could use the Internet the way record labels, radio & TV have been a part of promoting music.

Let’s start with radio programming. Unless you are in the biz and think that everything is A-O-K, commercial radio in the USA is one big mess. Very few stations are locally owned, even fewer are locally operated and let’s face it – voice-tracking (having an announcer pre-record their “breaks” and weather forecasts) is here to stay despite radio’s desire to maintain a local presence. We all know that music on commercial radio is limited to a small list of songs whereas community and/or public radio may have a variety of shows even these programs can only play so much music.

What to do? Host your own radio program on the Internet – it’s easier than one thinks. The World Wide Web has opened up several possibilities for music lovers to host their own programs – especially a show featuring original music that has not been released on a label. Web sites such as www.live365.com allow folks to produce and host their own on-line radio show for a fee (to cover music clearances). This is an excellent way for an up-an-coming artist or act to “test market” their works to see if listeners like what they hear.

As far as television is concerned, one can research if there is a program on public television or a cable access show that gives exposure to local artists. If no such program exists get yourself a decent computer camera & audio software so you can produce a show on-line. Channels such as You Tube have several folks already doing this and receiving feedback for their works. In fact, vocalist Arnel Pineda was hired by the legendary rock band Journey to be their lead singer after the group saw the feedback Arnel received for his performance on YouTube of their works (and yes, Arnel’s vocals do somewhat resemble that of Journey’s great front man Steve Perry).

Finally, a record label and yes, I still refer to music on discs as records. The term “D-I-Y” not only means “do it your self” but it also was a term folks used to describe acts that funded and released their own works. Many music people have done this for decades – my personal favorite is rock/folk singer Ani DiFranco who has released over 20 albums on her own Righteous Babe label since 1989 (Ani still operates the company out of her hometown of Buffalo NY while she lives in New Orleans with her husband & daughter). Nowadays, having a record company is easier than one thinks – all you need is a computer, professional music software (Pro Tools, Adobe Audition), a digital mixing board, studio microphones, your chosen instrument(s), blank CDs and a good graphic design program for the artwork. Record your work, have it mastered (having a good engineer working with you does help), burn the music onto disc, print out copies of cover art with track listings, have some plastic jewel cases handy, sell the discs wherever you perform and through the Internet (via your own web site and You Tube) and – voila! – you are in the record biz! Another consideration would be having your music available via download. On line companies such as CD Baby are great at helping independent acts sell their music through downloads and having CDs available. Just think – an on-line radio show, music videos via You Tube, making the music at home, selling it via downloads and CDs…who the hell needs the major record labels!

IN CONCLUSION….

I do hope these articles have given both new and older music folks some food for thought. In order to raise the bar of the music biz to a standard of excellence, both veterans and newbies need to be involved and it’s got to start in our own communities. Don’t wait for the big labels or commercial radio to turn things around – that’s only going to happen if we do the work on the local tip and make some noise (or good music, I should say). To all who have the talent & the passion I say good luck and let’s make it happen together.

ANI DIFRANCO'S WEBSITE - http://www.righteousbabe.com/


 

Comments

  • Juice 4 years ago

    Good article Kev.

    The truth is that while most people see gloom & doom, the internet has changed the game & offers some very exciting possibilities.

    One could argue the the advent of the internet offers a freedom & opportunity for artists to be the master of their own fate, as never before.

    Good info & thanks for the food for thought!

  • Chris 4 years ago

    Some of us have been championing just what you've written for a some time now. You're quire right. The Record Industry is dead. Long live the record industry.

  • Fred 4 years ago

    Great article Kevin. You speak the truth for sure here. I couldn't agree with you more. Great view on the music and radio biz. :-)

  • Chazz Dixon 4 years ago

    Great article Kev. Raising the bar.
    It's so very important that we do it ourselves.
    Raise the bar.

  • Linda Bailey 4 years ago

    Great article Kev. The internet possibilities are boundless. You really opened my eyes. Thanks for the information.

  • Pwajdeur 4 years ago

    So very true, it reminds me of our interview, that I did with you on Freedom Affairs which I don't see up yet, no biggie, yes HypNoXIOUs rides again, and we are doing it Garage Band style until I get all our PC's up with the same Cubase or ProTools software, which is also another great thing about the internet, writing songs on the same platform and sending bytes across the web and working long distance is huge right now. Even physical rehearsals are becoming a thing of the past with streaming "jamms". Anyway, could go on, thank you Kevin once again for an inspiring and uplifting article. Rock and roll will never die, it's just more cyberized, and thankfully so! My music "record" label is Tripd ofthe Tongue Records, and it's beginning to get strong too! Keep the faith, people who love music will never let the industry squash us. We ARE the sellable elements the man needs just the same. Just new and deeper strides must be taken to achieve ones goals! On with the show!

  • Marv 4 years ago

    I agree Kev! I listen Internet Radio perhaps 90% of the time for about the last 3 years. I only listen to commercial radio when I am in the car and stuck in traffic. I miss the days when radio played everything and each station had a unique identity born out of the on air personalities in each city.

  • Stephanie 4 years ago

    Kev
    I have heard that SIRIUS is having some serious problems (no pun intended. They had no business paying Howard Stern an insane amount of money. Internet radio is the wave of the future for disc jockeys and musicians. Well stated!

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