Editorial

Them Feels When You Can’t Catch the Concert

By Jane Brown, March 8th 2017

Don’t you just hate it when one of your favorite acts announce their tour but they’re going to be nowhere near your area? It sucks.

Certain areas of the country seem to be in a blackout when it comes to the bigger artists, parties, and events. It makes sense as to why they wouldn’t want to come through certain areas due to finances and booking but it’s still a disappointment to the fans. I live near Orlando so I know what it’s like for artists to straight-up skip Florida.

In the event these acts do come through, it’s usually part of a larger concert series or festival. These big events come at a hefty price (I’m looking at you Ultra Music Festival!). But our love for live music is there so we do what we can to see our favorite artists.
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The Power Of Live Music

By Will Oliver, February 28th 2017 — with 1 comment

There’s nowhere we’d rather be than at the center of the music universe, at a live concert. From the smallest, coolest club, to the biggest artists at the biggest arenas, it doesn’t matter to us. Every venue offers something different and unique that is exclusive to the live music experience. The beauty of live music is that although there may be multiple dates within an artist’s tour, each night is its special thing that is shared between the artist and it’s fans, and no one else.
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5 Ways to Save On Concert Tickets

By Will Oliver, February 6th 2017

Woman giving tickets

Although it might seem like the busiest concert season is still far away, you should start planning for your music schedule already. Concert tickets are not cheap and they can be especially costly if you leave everything to the last minute. Luckily, you can snatch a few good deals without paying yourself sick if you just follow these simple tricks and tips. With the help of these five ways, you can save on concert tickets and add one more concert to your list this year!

Buying At The Right Time From Major Ticket Outlets

Let’s face it. Most of us simply head down to Ticketmaster when it comes to buying concert tickets. The website is the most famous and often the most convenient way of finding tickets for all sorts of events. But it can be a bit pricey, although you can cut costs by being smart with your timing.
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Gaming Music Has A Great Effect On Players

By Will Oliver, December 20th 2016

Gaming music has a great effect on the player, and this says something nearly universal about music and humanity’s relationship to music. Music has always managed to change the human response to just about everything. There’s a reason why the movement to get the music out of movies for the sake of more realism never really got off the ground: audiences want soundtracks and people don’t really want to have to reproduce all of the associated emotions on their own. Gaming music has a great effect on the player, and developers are taking advantage of the way that music is almost magical in its ability to evoke emotion.

The Red Flush Online Casino and similar online casino websites are able to use music to their advantage. Many of them are not going to be specifically using music in the manipulative manner of many older websites. However, they are still going to be able to use music in a way that is ultimately going to be beneficial for players. Gaming music can manage to get players in the mood to play, and it can strike any note that the developers are trying to create.

With the right music, players can feel happy, excited, depressed, elated, intrigued, or energized. People are going to vary in their responses to music, of course. However, certain responses are going to be more common than others. Getting people to feel certain things right away when it comes to music really can make all the difference in the world from the standpoint of marketing. Gaming music has a great effect on the player, and it can have several effects in one.

In many cases, playing slots at Red Flush Online Caisno would not be the same without any sound. People will often feel more connected to the proceedings if they are able to experience sound at the same time. Music has a way of ensuring that players are more connected with whatever is happening around them. The Red Flush Online Casino and similar online casino gaming websites are able to accomplish this in a lot of different ways. However, the auditory measures are often going to be the best ones.

There’s a reason why jingles and commercial background music has always made such a big difference in ads. People manage to get the music stuck in their heads, and they are going to associate the products with these catchy tunes. Even if people are not big fans of the music, they are still going to identify with the tunes in some way, and that can be enough to get people to buy the product. Games are more immersive than that. People are not just passively buying and consuming something. They are actively participating and taking part in something, and it is even more important to have music around in order to get people in the right mood when something like that is going to happen. Gaming music has a great effect on the player, and it makes the games that much more exciting and effective for them.

Being The Tall Guy At Concerts

By Will Oliver, September 9th 2016 — with 2 comments

tall-guy

Hey guys, it’s me. The tall guy in front of you at shows (it’s even in my twitter bio). If you’ve seen a show in the city anytime in the past ten years, there’s a decent chance I am somewhere in the bottom frame of your instagram post. Sorry about that. Lots of people express their frustration to me at shows and I can understand why one would be annoyed when they paid good money to see their favorite artist, and then a tree shows up and destroys the entire evening for you. But trust me when I say that I take no pleasure in this, and often wish I could shrink just so I could enjoy a show without waiting to receive that all too familiar shoulder tap.

As I’m sure you’re aware if you read this blog, I go to a lot of shows, and usually have to stand somewhere near the front in order to take photos as a part of my coverage. And there are some people who understand this once they see the camera, and even without it many people are fine with it, as long as I arrived early, am polite and aware of my surroundings. I do feel bad about it, trust me. Half of my time waiting before the act is spent trying not to look anywhere behind me, as I’m sure there is a thousand eyes trying to stare a hole straight through my head. I’ve been told plenty of times about me being too tall to stand there, been asked passive aggressively what I’m doing standing near the front, all that good stuff. Hell, just last year I was shoved by a woman as I was leaving a venue after the show ended. I was quite shocked and confused at what I did to possible piss someone else to warrant it, until I realized that they were the couple who won the lucky lotto of standing behind me. And what could I possibly do about it? In what universe would anyone believe that a 6’6 man was actually the innocent person in this unwarranted physical encounter with a grown woman?
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Some Musical Secrets from a Casino

By Will Oliver, August 11th 2016

In the casino world, there are many nuances, and, as it turned out, the melody is very closely associated with gambling. Due to the popularity of gambling houses, tango and jazz could emerge and develop. What is more, a well-chosen song in a betting house help institutions attract people, and a hand-picked by the player playlist makes his gameplay more deliberate and effective.

Musical Casino Tricks.

In every casino, melody is carefully chosen and assorted. Players who frequently visit gambling houses do not even notice it, but it just means that everything was properly chosen. Having been at least once in a gambling establishment, it is easy to notice that there is no silence there; instead, soft instrumental tones, so-called lounge, are playing in all the gambling rooms. Songs are selected strictly and wisely; their change is almost imperceptible, with no pauses. This easy musical flow is the perfect background which allows you to focus solely on the game. What is more, smartly chosen music often makes players forget the fact that they need to go somewhere and do something. But you can always visit Casinority baccarat guide and find out what it is necessary to remember about when playing your favorite game.
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The Story of KC and the Sunshine Band

By Will Oliver, June 20th 2016

KC and the Sunshine Band

KC and the Sunshine Band are perhaps one of the best known bands of the disco era, charming fans the world over with their fun, upbeat and cheerful sound and their catchy hooks and brilliant lyrical stylings.

The band remains popular to this day, despite starting out more than 40 years ago and while changes to the line-up of the band and the changing tastes of the day mean that the band’s sound has changed a lot, they’re still well loved by those who remember them first time around and a whole new generation of fans.

The disco era in the ‘70s was one fraught with racial tensions and disco became something of a retreat for those outside of the mainstream – the genre was more inclusive than many at the time, welcoming the LGBT community, women and people of all colors and creeds with open arms.

It’s no wonder, then, that we look back on this time with such fondness, or that the biggest disco tracks of the ‘70s are still floor-fillers in the 21st Century. Keep reading to find out more about one of the bands at the forefront of the disco movement – KC and the Sunshine Band.

Bringing the band together

In 1973, Harry Wayne Casey, an employee of the now defunct Florida based TK Records decided to form a band. Originally called KC and the Sunshine Junkanoo Band, it comprised of Casey, the Miami Junkanoo Band and some studio musicians from the label he was working at.

The Junkanoo band sprun from a cultural tradition called the Junkanoo parade which occurs in the Bahamas and cities across the USA with Caribbean-American populations. It takes place on Boxing Day each year and the style of music is also performed at other celebrations throughout the year. This influence on KC and the Sunshine Band could be part of what sets its musical style apart from other disco bands.

Before long, Casey was introduced to Richard Finch, who was a skilled sound engineer working at TK records. Within weeks, a songwriting partnership had been formed and the pair wrote for other artists before eventually assembling KC and the Sunshine Band as it would come to be recognized.

The first couple of singles which were released by KC and the Sunshine band were Blow Your Whistle and Sound Your Funky Horn, and both performed well enough for the band’s label to record another single and album.

While they were in the process of recording these, a song titled Rock Your Baby which was written by Casey and Finch but recorded by George McCrae became a number one hit in 51 countries, and Queen of Clubs, a track recorded by KC and the Sunshine Band with vocals from McCrae became a hit in the UK, prompting a tour of the British isles in 1975.

KC and the Sunshine Band: the album

After such an auspicious start, the self-titled album KC and the Sunshine Band was a hotly anticipated release in 1975 and birthed the first big hit that the group had in North America – Get Down Tonight – which went to number one on the US Billboard Charts.

After that, the band’s star was on the rise; more hits came along with That’s The Way (I Like It), successes at the Grammy awards boosted the act’s profile further and the album Part 3 spawned yet more success. From this, I’m Your Boogie Man; (Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty and Keep It Comin’ Love were chart successes.

Sadly, with the demise of disco as a genre the successes of KC and the Sunshine band began to wane, and their last number one single was (aptly) Please Don’t Go in 1979.

After the spotlight

The disco sound fell firmly out of favor as soon as the ‘70s were over and an acrimonious split in the early 80s, saw KC and the Sunshine Band part company.

It wasn’t to stay that way forever, though, and in the early ‘90s the band was reformed by Casey, with almost entirely new members, to capitalize on a resurgence in interest for disco music.

Since then the band has continued to gig and release occasional new music, including the critically acclaimed album I’ll Be There For You in 2001.

They’re more than capable of putting on a show, and for nostalgia it’s hard to beat these stalwarts of the ‘70s disco scene. If you’d like to book them for an event, the KC and the Sunshine Band agency is MN2S, so contact them with any enquiries you may have.

Hot Tunes: Music Transcription!

By Will Oliver, June 17th 2016

Open your radio on.  Try listening to a new song. Did you get  all the lyrics correctly? Human ears are indeed very powerful in capturing sounds and speech,  but sometimes it also fails, thus for few times we create those funny misunderstood song lyrics called mondegreens.  We do end up with a good laugh when we realize that we sing the song  not out of tune, but out of lyrics.The idea of the new voice-to-text machines is to provide people with a solution to transcribe voice to text. Machine-based voice to text technology makes audio recorded material more easily accessible. Now, how about transcribing song lyrics? We saw in the IBM Watson versus live transcriptionists song lyrics challenge, that using a machine to transcribe an audio song is possible, not as good as a human professional, but still gave us decent results.  Check them here:  https://verbalink.com/transcription-services
Results: Humans still Won, Yay!

interactive

spotify_featured

Taylor Swift made huge waves in 2014 when she decided to pull all of her music off of Spotify’s streaming service. Her motive was one all musicians and even real fans of music, in general, can understand: Spotify’s pay rates are terrible. For an artist to earn even a meager living from streaming their material, that material would have to be listened to millions of times every day. Even artists seen as highly profitable (like Swift), barely earn anything from Spotify’s royalty structure.

For many, streaming services like Spotify are the new form of piracy. After all, when you can listen to something for free in perpetuity without it taking up tons of space on your hard drive or worrying about embedded malware (like you do when you pirate via torrent), why would you stick with the old (and illegal) way of getting the music you want?

Streaming and piracy are real problems for many musicians, especially those who are hoping to make a living from their art without the backing of a major label. So how do they keep their work safe? Is there such a thing as creating something that is piracy-proof?

Security Issues

As many musicians’ popularity grows, the risk of being hacked and having demos, and other not-for-public-consumption files, leaked grows as well. It is imperative that, as a musician, you protect your data and keep your servers safe. Solid network security from Trend Micro is the best tool to have in your arsenal against hackers getting into your stuff and releasing it without your permission.

Security isn’t just important for your own server and the devices you use to work on/upload material. It is also important for any service through which you offer your songs. Making sure that sites like BandCamp, CDBaby, etc are secure is of vital importance to the security of your work and income.

Finally, having security at shows and on tour is also important. A lot of pirated material is created by people who film events and then upload that footage to sites like YouTube. Unofficial concert videos are another source of piracy that many musicians forget about (especially since releasing your music on YouTube is a great way to grow your audience). It’s also difficult to police because automatic cloud backups allow hopeful pirates to keep their files even if a security officer makes them delete the file from the device itself.

Obviously, you can’t confiscate every ticket holder’s phone. You can, however, ask that they put their phones away and make it known that security will remove anyone who tries to film the event.

Make People Want to Buy

Perhaps the best way to secure your files, music, etc. is to make people want to buy what you’re selling. Amanda Palmer gave a fantastic Ted Talk (and wrote a fantastic book) about this exact subject and it’s worth a watch if this is something with which you’ve been struggling.
Believe it or not, there is more to making people want to buy your music than simply creating good music. To encourage people to buy instead of steal your work, you need to form a connection to your audience. Unlike major labels that encourage space between artist and fan, interacting with listeners and helping them to feel more like friends than fans will do far more to discourage pirating than most of your other efforts.

Alternative Income

Finally, it is imperative that you not rely solely on your music sales to earn your living. If it were possible to earn a living via song and album sales alone, bands would rarely tour. Touring and putting on a great live show is one fantastic way to recoup income you might have lost to piracy.

Of course, touring is also incredibly expensive. This is why so many musicians also sell branded merchandise like shirts, buttons, stickers, bags, etc. Merchandise sales offer the largest profit margin and are the easiest to fulfill, especially if you work with third party providers like CafePress, Zazzle, RedBubble, etc.

The simple fact is that piracy is something that is going to happen. It has been a reality since fans found ways to replicate albums on their own. Nothing is completely piracy-proof. Still there are steps you can take to secure your files and to recoup the income that is lost to it. Hopefully, this article will provide you with some ideas as to how to do that.

Practice

Have you been struggling for form in practicing and improving your musical ability? This piece takes a look at top music articles from reputable sites that will help you rediscover your best.

Great home music practice guide from Connexions

In this article, you will discover the fact that even sessions with a music teacher will not be as effective as sessions done on your own when it comes to making progress. Effective practice on your own involves setting goals and setting practice times. Sessions don’t have to be long all the time and you can skip practice once in a while without being too hard on yourself.  The article also highlights the need to cool down in between sessions with other activities such as playing board games or other relaxed games. Here is directory for bingo players if you decide to go the bingo route mid-practice.

How to Practice-Guide from Music Teachers Helper

This article covers six steps of music practice. Even though it is drumming focused, the principles can be deployed with other instruments.  The 6 steps are summarised below:

  • Remind yourself why you are practicing
  • Put together everything you need for a successful practice session
  • Warm up effectively by incorporating simple stretches, breathing exercises and other basic patterns.
  • Practice with focus and push yourself to new highs every day.
  • Write down your goals
  • Repeat daily

How to practice music from Metronome

This short article highlights four things that you should master during practice, which include rhythm, technique, note accuracy/tuning, and tone.

How to practice music from the BBC

This is a lengthy article that details how you can make the best progress with your practice. Some of the tips cover:

  • Understanding the importance of music
  • Focusing on short but regular sessions
  • Practicing until you no longer make mistakes
  • Understanding how to read music even with your eyes closed
  • Understanding the need to practice slow and steady
  • Isolating your problems
  • Dealing with your boredom
  • Moving on from your mistakes quickly

Practicing Music Effectively from Ezinearticles

This article offers analysis on the makeup of a bad practice session. It highlights how plain repetition can lead to boredom and why you should avoid rote learning. It emphasises the need to focus energy on highly specific improvements in small instalments as this will allow you to achieve tangible improvement in very short sessions.

Music practice skills from Learn Music Theory

This article re-emphasises some of the main points we have seen in other content above but this piece is a little longer. Some of the main points include setting practice times, warming up. working on the difficult bits instead of the easy bits etc.

Ten tips for better music practice from Helium

This article offers 90(!) tips from 9 different people on learning music. This is a great resource if you cherish different perspectives on any topic.

If you find any of these articles to be enlightening, tell us what you think in the comments section!

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