Electronic Music Open Mic and Forum (Manchester)

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I’m taking part in the second Electronic Music Open Mic and Forum (Manchester), this coming Saturday April 15th, 2017. I’ll being playing two of my songs live – one old one and one new. The old one is Half Past One, which was one of the demo tracks of the month in Future Music magazine a few years ago. The new one is as yet untitled.

The open mic night is at Fuel Cafe Bar on Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester, and starts at 7pm. There’ll be loads of great unknown and unsigned bands and solo artists there, so head on over and lend your support!

About the Electronic Music Open Mic and Forum

Started and run by spoken word and electronic music-maker, Martin Christie, aka Poet and the Loops, in early 2017, the Electronic Music Open Mic and Forum is the world’s first open mic night and forum purely focusing on music produced by electronic and digital means, including laptops, synths, drum machines, loop stations, groove boxes, sequencers, samplers, iPads, modular synths, keyboards, analogue and digital devices of all kinds. The first night was held in Manchester, and has since gone on to Sheffield, then back to Manchester, and is due to go to Huddersfield, Leeds, Bristol, and London.

Read more about the Electronic Music Open Mic and Forum on Facebook….

https://www.facebook.com/events/412457249101883/

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Stephen Fry, blogging and musicians

Musicians and bands should take notice of Stephen Fry’s comments on BBC’s Analysis programme “Stephen Fry: The Internet and Me”. Fry points out that Twitter and its ilk have made it easy for celebs to bypass the press offices and gossip columnists, and tell the world what they’re doing as soon as it happens. Why though, are there not many bands and musicians on Twitter? Why aren’t there many bands from Manchester (UK) not tweeting that they’re doing a gig on Friday night? No DJs either, plugging their new set?

Mr Musician, it’s ok to have a Myspace page and add a new event, or go on Facebook and tell your followers when your CD is out, but do you use your Myspace blog to involve your fans (or potential fans) in your writing process, or post a comment on your FB wall to say you’ve finished another track? If you had a Twitter account, you could send update your fans on a regular basis: “someone from a record label was at the gig earlier tonight” – that sort of thing.

Surely you’re not waiting for manager to do it for you? If you’ve got a PR person, are they on Twitter, or Digg, or even blogging on your behalf? To me, a lot of bands – especially unsigned ones, are missing the boat. They’re not looking for new ways of promoting themselves. Yeah, they’re on Youtube, Bandcamp, Facebook, but everyone is. How many people read comments or blog posts on Myspace  these days? How do you know it’s not the record company’s PR department writing a post?

Think about Stephen Fry’s “Help, I’m stuck in a lift, but I’ve still got time to Twitter” tweet as an example of what I mean.  Stuff like Twitter just a great medium for keeping his fans and followers uptodate with what he’s doing: when his next TV programme is on, when he’s recording a podcast, and when he’s going to have a cup of tea. So many people, many of them are celebrities, have switched on to the self-publicity machine that is Twitter, especially in the UK. Jimmy Carr, Philip Schofield, Chris Moyles, Alan Carr – they may not be really famous and massive celebs, but they’ve all realised that their fans and potential fans read their Twitter posts. 

Mr Musician, Mr Band member, Mr DJ, Twitter et al let you build up your profile for your fans and let people know that you’re a real person, with real thoughts, not just a noise on a CD. Get Tweeting when you’ve finished a recording session, or when you’re getting a new guitar!

My daytime job is in e-learning in a further education college, and I’m amazed by the number of applications, websites, and other stuff I come across that could be used by bands to promote what they’re doing.

Don’t forget, this is just my opinion. If you want to know more about what I’m upto, why not follow me on Twitter!

All the world’s an MP3 stage

I’ve been thinking about the number of music hosting sites and MP3 directories that I have my music on. Most of them are free-to-download places where people can just have my tracks for nothing. I started off in late 2004 by choosing just one site – Electromancer.com, which is now no more, just because I lacked confidence about my music and it seemed like a good place to start when I’d never even considered putting my music out to the public. In fact, even though Electromancer closed down last year, a lot of the artists are still active on the forums of another site, Nervejam, and are still as friendly and supportive as ever.

I got a bit more confident after getting some great reviews, thinking that more people might give me a listen, so I followed links and recommendations about other hosting sites, signed up to 2 or 3, and waited for the plays to roll in. Then I started chasing more sites and more plays, until I had tracks on about 1o or 15 sites. I’ve now lost track (and usernames/passwords) of most of those sites, and still get the occasional email from them, saying someone has posted a comment. A quick check on google as to which sites I’m on offers up 94 links for “mistrust music site” and 30 for “never alone mistrust” (my first track from 2004).

I still see the same old faces on all these hosting sites,

Continue reading All the world’s an MP3 stage

Music Licensing

Someone on the Big Chill forum that I occasionally visit wanted some advice about getting his music marketed through a music library and wondered if he had to sign up with MCPS and pay £100 for the privelege. As you may have read on here, I’ve recently signed a non-exclusive agreement with a major UK library, and haven’t had to register with MCPS, so something doesn’t add up if this chap has been told otherwise.

As far as I’m aware, the agreement I signed sorts out pre-clearance for my tracks that the library is offering to film, tv, companies etc. In other words, if a few tv production companies hear of one my tracks on the music library’s website and want to use it, there’s no need to wait ages for them to send me an individual agreement for each programme, for me to check them, sign them and send them back, etc, before anyone can use them.

From what I understand, the music library registers my track with MCPS (they get listed as the publisher), the production company requests a licence from MCPS website giving the catalogue number of my track, and the production company pays MCPS for the licence. MCPS (eventually) sends the licence fee (minus their admin fee) to the music library, which then pays me (minus their take – usually 50%).

If anyone else is looking for advice on signing up with a music licence in the UK, have a look here at the MCPS production music guide, which even shows you the official rate card for different types of production (anything from about £20 to £000s). The music library should be registered with MCPS – if they’re in the UK and not on this list, it’s probably not worth dealing with them.

If anyone from the USA or other countries is reading this and knows something about it in other countries, please let me know.