May 2010

May 31


SFD Review:

Any Port In A Storm DIRTY HEADS Review by Marc B.

Huntington Beach natives The Dirty Heads have a new album out, and they want you to hear it. They pulled out their bag of tricks for this one, and the end result is a colorful mix of heavy, pissed off hip-hop and light, acoustic barefoot jams.

The obvious, breakthrough hit-and-a-half is the catchy love story “Lay Me Down” featuring Rome of Sublime. According to my father, “Rome was the only one with any talent.” I disagree. They’ve all got talent. The Dirty Heads have that raw, barefoot, pissed off talent that’s harder to see than Rome’s smooth, vanilla ice-cream vocals.

The album’s harder edge is exposed on tracks like “Hip-Hop Misfits” and “Sails to the Wind,” both with an almost Eminem quality. They’ve got the hard stuff down, ready to go. But it’s important to remember that most of these songs come from barefoot, latenight jams. This sound is well documented and really comes out on tracks like “Stand Tall” and “Rains it Pours.”

My personal favorite is their opening track, “Neigborhood.” (Listen to it in the player below!) It’s a screaming theme song for the southern California beach bum. Combine that with the remake of their original hit that made them local favorites, “I Got No Time,” and you’ve got Core fans will be pleased to know that it sounds just like the original, just better in all the right ways. New listeners will find this track incredibly catchy, and funny. “You say you get more pussy than a gynecologist”.

Dirty Heads’ album “Any Port in a Storm” combines genres into a surprisingly pleasing recording throughout, its worth a listen. Have a listen. Do it.

You can scope the album on iTunes or Amazon.

Check out some tracks from the album:

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May 27


SFD: 3We, through our label Oniric Records, announce that legendary reggae band The Wailers have contributed an exclusive new track titled “A Step for Mankind” to our “Solutions for Dreamers: Season 3” compilation album. This compilation, to be released July 1, 2010, is the third in our Solutions for Dreamers series and all of the proceeds generated will go directly to the United Nations’ World Food Programme(WFP).

The World Food Programme is the world largest organization fighting hunger on a global scale. WFP is committed to getting food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict, and natural disasters. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries. We at Oniracom and Oniric Records have been inspired the work the WFP does and are proud to partner with them on Solutions for Dreamers: Season 3.

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May 26


Facebook’s New Privacy Settings

Author: jimmy

Facebook has rolled out some new privacy settings today in hopes to put their millions of users’ minds at ease.  Also, maybe to shut a few people up, but that’s wishful thinking. 

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said the new settings will give users “one simple tool” to control how their information is shared - with friends only, with friends of friends or with everyone.  “All of the controls we had are still there if you want to use them,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “But we just wanted to make it easy for people who want to put themselves in one bucket very easily with just a couple of clicks.” 

Basically, the privacy page got redesigned so that it’s no longer confusing AND controversial.  For example, a single click will now let users block all of their information from being accessed by third parties, such as game or application developers.  In the past, users had to go on a little treasure hunt to find and turn off this setting.  Applications will also have “dramatically less access to your information by default” according to Zuckerberg. 

Another noteworthy change - the information that is shown when someone searches for your name is now different.  In the past, Facebook would show your name, gender, hometown, activities, profile photo and networks.  Hometown and activities will now be private.     

The controls are definitely more simple but unfortunately not private by default. You still have to seek out privacy settings and change them if you care about controlling who sees what. 

If you’re too lazy to do that or don’t really care about all this privacy nonsense you can opt to use facebook’s “recommended” settings.  Judging from their track record I’m sure they’ll have good recommendations.

Check out Facebook’s Privacy Guide here.

Old Privacy Page

New Privacy Page

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May 24


On Transparency

Author: nathaniel

Since speaking at the Social Media Business Summit in London on March 18, I’ve been pondering the meaning of transparency and what this paradigm means to business and the social realm. The topic is HOT on the tongues of many as Facebook works out its kinks and philosophy in this area.

I’m convinced that humanity is entering a fantastic age, where undiscovered aspects of ourselves and the world appear the moment we imagine. And I firmly believe that our social networks offer us the means for this evolution to take place. And I believe that transparency plays a significant role in this growth process.

We have entered an age where fantastic job titles are possible, careers for Social Relationship Architects, Social Strategists, and Social Physicists, among others. These careers are for people who have training in existing disciplines AND who are able to think metaphorically, drawing lines across right and left hemispheres of thought, weaving new worlds of relationship. Many brands are using liquid metaphors and the overall ethos in business culture implies, and actually demands, porous, permeable forms.

We live in a time when our networks contain people who are super-relevant and specific to our dreams, aspirations and challenges. Goethe’s quote could not be more true at this time: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” It takes a boldness composed of genius, power and magic to enter one’s social networks and begin creating and synthesizing relationships. It takes a willingness to ask questions, be awe-inspired and open to what your particular network has for you, for where you are right now. No other person has the same network that you have. No other person sees the world like you do. And no other person has the opportunities to contribute to this customized network than you…you are, after all, the one who built it and owns it. Corporations, communities, and the numerous other forms that humanity has created for progress MUST be more like the clear waters of the Mediterranean vs. the opaque waters of the Pacific.

Transparency is not something to be feared. It is the greatest opportunity to be exactly who you are meant to be, no shame, no fear: a wild animal out in the open, a tendril springing across the earth for all to see as you bloom and root into the soil of your community and offer your fruit. And, of course, as in the animal and plant kingdoms, there are associated dangers of competition and survival of the fittest. As human beings, our challenge is to balance all of the shades of experience: thought and heart, mind and body, civilization and “the wild”. And it is this very weaving of opposites, of varying shades, that creates the patchwork quilt of the human family and our social networks. Transparency offers benefits to progress that cannot be ignored. Learning implies freedom of movement and communication. Transparent environments offer us this.

My observation is that an alignment is taking place globally that is akin to a holographic puzzle coming into wholeness. Before, with Google, we looked and found. Now, with social networks like Facebook, we see in multi-colored, multi-dimensional space, what the community surrounding a keyword looks like…we see the faces, read the updates, hear the music and taste the journey that this key-phrase is taking. The paradigm of transparency is revealing the living nature of our languages and images. This is a good thing!

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May 21


We have compiled a list of what we find to be the most interesting and informative music blogs on the web. The list amounts to 21 music blogs, but is divided into four categories; Music Blogs (general reviews of up-and-coming music), International Blogs (reviews up-and-coming music from specific countries and around the world), Entertainment Blogs (covers news and reviews of a variety of art forms), and Music Industry Blogs (covers the latest happenings of what is moving and shaking in the music industry).

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May 19


The socializing of media and tech is a bid by the human heart to transform the cold, hard, and un-feeling processes of “bottom-line, quantitative” thought INTO a tool for saving all that is beautiful about this planet, the human spirit and our beautiful flora/fauna. The season of the heart has arrived AND, because our tech was born from the imagination, it MUST serve that same SOURCE. Here are some steps you can take to HUMANIZE your entrance into the social fabric of the internet:

1. Discover communities closest to your heart through the use of free monitoring tools. To do this make a list of 40 keywords/keyphrases that match your heart/passion/goals. Then go to this page and find the FASTEST climbing Facebook pages associated with those keyphrases:  “Like” these.

2. Observe the choices, challenges, impressions, and wants of the people within these Facebook pages AND other networks Most of the monitoring tools available to do this observing are listed at this wiki:

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May 12


“Wow” is all I could say after stumbling upon Pomplamoose (thanks Taylor).  Not only is the band’s sound appealing to my ears, but the band’s video editing works seamlessly alongside my brain’s interpretation of each layer of sound.  I’ve included three of their videos for you to check out, but of course you can see them all on the Pomplamoose YouTube Channel.

The band’s sense of marketing is spot on with today’s new media / self-promotion techniques.  They cover two popular songs but with their very unique style—Lady Gaga’s “Telephhone” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” (both embedded in this post if you click “Read More”).  Of course covers of current pop songs help an emerging (super talented) artist spread virally/quickly (anyone up for a Susan Boyle cover?). 

And for their holiday track “Always in the Season,” Pomplamoose offers a cool direct-to-fan trade at the end of the video: donate an animal to a friend through World Vision and get 2 free mp3 downloads in return.  Fans mail their proof of purchase to the band, and in turn get their download links.

Pomplamoose - “Always in the Season”

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May 12


Twilight Soundtrack Promotion

Author: jimmy

The artists on the latest Twilight Soundtrack are currently being revealed one at a time for the next 7 hours on Myspace.  The social networking site will be releasing the artists’ names every 30 minutes until the roster is complete. 

I personally think this is a really cool and innovative way to generate buzz on a soundtrack that already has more buzz than a bee (yes, that was just said).

The Twilight soundtracks have become a force to be reckoned with and have already cemented their status as the “who’s who” in the popular/indie/cool music scene.

Check out the soundtrack list HERE.

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May 11


What To Sell Your Fans

Author: brendan

Direct-to-Fan stores (often built through Topspin, Nimbit, or Bandbox) only work if you have a good strategy behind it.  You need to be intentional about what products you are going to offer in your album bundles.  Just because you list an item as $65 doesn’t mean it’s a good package.

Scott Cohen, co-founder of The Orchard and manager of The Raveonettes, recently wrote up his thoughts on what bands should offer their fans.  He makes three great points that are essential to understand before you start selling to your fans:

1) You have 3 fan groups you need to point your strategy towards: Core, Casual, and New Fans

“All three groups want something different. New fans just want a track or two. Casual fans want a track or the album. And the core fans want as much as we could release. It’s significant to note that no one group is more important than the other—we should be able to succeed with each type of fan and strive to feed their comfort zone of music consumption.”

2) Most of your fans will buy singles, unless you specifically market them something better

“Looking at the total fan base, when given the choice between a $7.99 album and a 99-cent track download, 75% chose the track. This is a combination of casual fans and new fans. However, when given the choice between a $3.99 EP and the track, fewer than half chose the track. By providing different pricing and format options, we were able to increase our sales from the casual fans who want more than a track and less than an album. And there weren’t any marketing costs associated with the releases.”

3) You still need to offer CDs and Vinyl, but get creative with Digital

“According to Nielsen SoundScan, about 80% of 2009 album sales in the United States were physical, so there’s still a need to sell CDs and vinyl. Digital, however, is more complex because consumers have the opportunity to unbundle the album and even to download it for free if they want”

To read Scott’s full article, please click here.

If you’d like to see some current examples of bands that I think are doing this well, email me and I’d be happy to share.

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May 06


Music Power Network, or MPN is a new online resource available to up and coming musicians and aspiring music business professionals. MPN was started in November 2009 by music industry guru Dave Kusek. Kusek is the Vice President of Berklee College of Music, and founded their online music education program.  He also co-authored the best-selling book, “The Future of Music, Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution” years before the advent of the current digital music business.

Read more

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May 06


 published an article “How Top Musicians Are Utilizing Their Facebook Pages” showing how bands now leverage Facebook more heavily as they turn from artists into brands.  With many of Facebook’s tools (old and new), artists are able to form lasting relationships with their fans, rather than selling them the occasional album, EP or single.  Oniracom shares this philosophy—in fact all of our websites, microsites, widgets and social media destinations facilitate direct to fan marketing, fan-oriented growth tactics and lasting relationship building.

By collecting additional contact information from their fans through a sign-up form, musicians can augment their Facebook campaigns with mass e-mails and mobile promotions. Mozes, a leading service providing mobile engagement tools such as mass promotional text messaging, powers the mobile sign-up of many leading musician pages such as Rihanna and Kings of Leon. Email sign-ups are predominantly handled through an integration of a widget, often developed by an artist’s record label. Jack Johnson, in a tab powered by Oniracom, baits users with a free mp3 but then requires an email address to which to send the file.

Tabs which offer downloads, especially of rare b-sides or live recordings, in exchange for contact information are a great choice for musicians because they entice both hardcore and new listeners with something exclusive, and help establish the artist on the fan’s hard drive, not just their web browser.

Read the Article Here

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