Thursday, October 22, 2009

CMJ day 3

It appears to be a theme that by the end of the day I am exhausted in New York. There is just too much damn walking, but since the weather has been in the 60's and 70's the whole time I really can't complain. I am going to break down today's events in a few different sections because so much happened. I actually found time to do touristy things today. I rode the subway up to Times Square and checkout the sights. It surprised me that it wasn't as big as movies and tv make it out to be. I need to go back at night when the lights will stand out a lot more. I checked out a few stores then went on to the CMJ panels.

Career Choice Series: I want to work in music marketing. This was the first panel that I attended today. I was told several things that I already knew today, but it was nice to hear them from people in the industry. I was told the most important thing is to do your job well. All the people on the panel agreed that the money will come if you do the work. I learned that finishing college looks good to them because it shows that you are goal oriented but they also said that just because you have a degree doesn't mean that you are entitled to anything. They said a degree is only part of it. This makes me feel better because it is obvious that I put in more time at the station than I do to school. You also need to have the mindset to "make it happen" even if you don't know what someone is wanting you to do you have to be self driven enough to figure it out for yourself. These were all interesting things that I'll keep in mind when looking for a job. When it came to actually talking about music marketing there were different ideas but the one that stood out to me was a band Ash. They are trying a new marketing concept where they will release a new song every two weeks starting in January. The songs will be released on 7" Vinyl and digitally. Then halfway though the year they will put all the songs together on an album, then at the end of the year they will do the same thing with the second half of the songs. It is a way to get the new fans excited about the project and the anticipation of new music. One of the panelist said that Lady GaGa should have done something like this to maximize her profits.

Not oil and water:Connecting the physical and digital music product relationship was the second panel I attended. This was a very boring group of people talking about the way that they still rely on physical cds and they are unsure of how to move to more digital. The only part that sparked my interest was a topic that was brought up involving Japan. Apparently in Japan when you buy a cd, you can open it up and scan a special barcode with your phone. When you do this, the album automatically downloads to your phone. If this can occur in America, iTunes may actually have some competition. Apart from that they mentioned a few companies that throw in things like posters, extra songs, and digital copies of cds when you buy the physical copy. These all seem to be ways to combat internet pirating but it seems like noone really knows where this side of the industry is going.

Thursday I went to the Music Hall of Williamsburg to see The Temper Trap. I would compare the venue to the big brother of Birmingham's Workplay Theater. The layout was pretty much identical it was just larger. When I arrived I was greeted by the music of Goldhawks. They are a London based band with a nice Anthem Rock sound, similar to the new Kings of Leon album. I really liked hearing their song 1996 live. They handed out cards to everyone that had their myspace account on it so you could download that song for free. The next band to come on stage was Mumford and Sons. I had heard one song by the band prior to seeing them live. The song "The Cave" has been featured on Live 100.5 since this summer and it really made me want to hear more from the band. Seeing them live was a treat. The lead singer played guitar but also had a kick drum and a tambourine at his feet. He was the only percussion for the band with his steady 4/4 beat, while keeping the backbeat with the tambourine. I am not sure how he was able to keep it all straight while playing guitar and singing. The other members of the band played piano, electric banjo, and standup bass. They had a really rich sound. I would compare them to the bands The Avett Brothers and Flogging Molly, Their album has just been released in London and won't reach us in the states until March but I'll be keeping a lookout for it. Finally The Temper Trap came on stage. I found their album back in June and claimed they would be big, and it looks like that is coming true. They were even featured on the cover of this month's CMJ. During the show lead singer did a great job of really getting the crowd clapping and dancing to their music. I was really impressed with the way they adapted their songs to give them some more energy live. Their standout song is definately "Sweet Disposition". Once they played the first few bars of the song, everyone knew what they were in for. With the crowd jumping, the lights shining, and the singer hitting his falsetto it was one of the most memorable times I had in New York. To finish the set the band played their song "Science of Fear". The singer had a floor tom that he poured water on so at the end of the song the show looked like it was right out of a Blue Man Group performance. It was a great ending to a spectacular show.

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