3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Let Critics Shape Your Music

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:

Rebecca3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Let Critics Shape Your Music
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5 Best New American Music Venues

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:

Rebecca5 Best New American Music Venues
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3 Ways To Make 2018 Your Most Successful Year Yet

Each year we’re presented a clean slate. The opportunity to take what we’ve learned the year before and apply it to the one that lies in front of us. No matter how successful your 2017 was, or the roadblocks you may have hit along the way, 2018 presents the perfect opportunity to dust yourself off and make it the most prosperous, successful year yet. Here are three ways to make 2018 your most successful year yet.

Jay3 Ways To Make 2018 Your Most Successful Year Yet
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5 Myths About “Making It” In The Music Industry

In this industry it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the information being blasted at us 24/7. Do this, don’t do that. This works, that doesn’t. It can be tough to know which advice to follow, and which to stay far away from.

As someone who has been in the industry for the last 10 years as a writer for my own and several other publications, a music publicist, an occasional booker of local shows, and an all around observer, there are a few myths that I see bands still living by, despite any proof they actually work—most of them end up actually being detrimental. Here they are:

Mike5 Myths About “Making It” In The Music Industry
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5 Types of Shows To Avoid Playing

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:

Rebecca5 Types of Shows To Avoid Playing
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Why Trying To Be Different Might Make Your Band The Same As Everyone Else

Time and time again, the sort of music that finds its way to the top of relevance, prominence, and appreciation are ideas that manage to blend listenability with stark originality. When musicians create new, fresh musical ideas presented in accessible, engaging ways, listeners take notice. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense why so many artists and bands do everything they can to set themselves apart from their peers––and often end up generating ideas indistinguishable from everyone else in the process.

Sometimes when songwriters and people in other creative fields try doing something completely different, new, and unconventional, they end up coming up with ideas similar to thousands of other artists. Why?

TylerWhy Trying To Be Different Might Make Your Band The Same As Everyone Else
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How Cuesta Loeb Signed To Fierce Panda Records

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.

RebeccaHow Cuesta Loeb Signed To Fierce Panda Records
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How To Create Your Own College Radio Campaign

Professional college radio campaigns are one of the best ways to introduce your music to attentive new audiences, but they’re not cheap. Depending on the size, length, and nature of the campaign, hiring a radio promotion company to send your release to college radio stations could cost you anywhere from $2,000-$10,000. And if you’re financing the recording, production, and promotion of your record all by yourself, it might not be possible to devote that kind of cash to a college radio campaign.

If this sounds like you, don’t despair. You can create an impactful college radio campaign in-house. Here’s how to get started:

KrissyHow To Create Your Own College Radio Campaign
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