If you’re new to making music or are just plain aloof, it might seem like the world of live music is a free-for-all where bands and their fans can do whatever they want, but that attitude is a classic hallmark of being “that guy” when it comes to shows. Music scenes are sort of like elephants in the way that they seem to remember even the smallest details about musicians and how they conduct themselves publicly, so what you do at shows is actually really important whether you’re performing or not. Here’s a few of the more prominent “that guy” traits that every musician should avoid:
Ah, the dreaded bad review. Even the most talented and successful songwriters often question themselves after reading a negative write-up about their music, but negative reviews are especially potent when they’re aimed at new and up-and-coming bands. No matter who you are and what kind of music you make, bad reviews and harsh opinions about what you’re doing are an inevitability, and crafting your music a specific way to please critics will only make your music worse. So, what do you do when a bad review comes along?
Every January 1st, millions of people make new year’s resolutions that are meant to lead them to greater things. We promise ourselves we’ll get in shape, eat healthier, get that promotion, move to that new city, or start that new business—whatever it is that’s been brewing in the back of our mind for just a little too long. We’re fired up, we’re excited, and we’re ready to take action.
Unfortunately, so often we let the chaos of every day life get in the way of moving forward on those goals. These things we really want take a backseat to the things we need to do. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When it comes to your music career, pursuing your talent, your dream, your musical destiny is possible to manage amidst a busy life. Put these 3 tips into action, and you’ll soon find your career blossoming.
In a perfect world, the musicians we choose to work with will be thoughtful, helpful, and encouraging when it comes to the music we’re making. But like any relationship, the interpersonal connections between musicians in bands and other musical projects can often be as complex and dramatic as music itself. Sometimes the answer is to dig in, find common ground, and to do the hard work of maintaining these relationships to keep them healthy. But when relationships between musicians become damaged past the point of salvageability, there needs to be a major change.
Whether songwriters like it or not, critics and tastemakers representing blogs and media outlets are a major part of how music is vetted, marketed and sold, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. With how important music criticism is to the success and longevity of a release, it can be tempting for writers to try and make their music sound like something they think will please critics, but they shouldn’t. Here are three reasons why:
Like the bands that frequent them, new music venues are born and every day it seems. Great venues are able to deliver a sense of magic and meaning to musicians and the fans that watch them alike, but setting yourself apart as a music venue is almost as tough as creating meaningful music. Here’s a list of five great new American venues doing just that:
Back when I started making music over a decade ago, nothing made me more excited than booking and playing shows. No matter the venue, quality and size of the crowd and amount of money I made, I was elated to be able to play on stage. But it didn’t take long to realize that some shows were worth my time and some weren’t, and after years of touring and trying to make a career out of being a musician, I learned taking certain shows ended up actually noticeably hurting my career in music.
Every musician is different which means that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure when it comes to shows. But even still, there are some shows that are never worth playing. Here’s a helpful list of five shows every musician should run from:
Hailing from NYC, multi-instrumentalist Cuesta Loeb comes from a family of musicians. Inspired by popular ’90s artists like Green Day, The Smashing Pumpkins, Fiona Apple, and (early) Sheryl Crow, she found her home in Dream pop with dark, haunting melodies, and ethereal instrumentation and vocals.
It’s that unique blend that caught the attention of Fierce Panda, who she signed to after submitting to one of our opportunities.
“We had no idea what we were actually looking for until we found ‘it’ and that ‘it’ was Cuesta Loeb. Fundamentally it was the quality of their ‘Dive’ track which stood out from the pack – the fabulous shoegazey sonics were essentially familiar, but the combination of ethereal melodies and low-slung guitars was something we’d never quite heard before.”
Check out this interview with Cuesta Loeb, where she shares how to be strategic in promoting your music, why it’s important to have a plan, and what’s up next for her.