Tag Archives: Artist

Promote Your Content On A Custom Facebook HTML Page [MUSIC HELP]

Having a page on Facebook today has become a very important source for independent artists to connect with the majority of their fans on the internet. With only a few musician based apps on Facebook, such as Reverbnation’s “Band Page” and Root Music’s “BandPages” App, it’s hard to project your content in the creative and original manner you wish to. The Static HTML application for Facebook is the only legitimate way to achieve that overall customization you need to stand out.

To get started you must first download the Static HTML App to your Facebook Page. Once you’ve downloaded go to the NEW tab titled “Welcome” on the left side-bar of your page. This is the edit page where the code can be input. You will also notice a second text field located below the initial one. This allows you to place similar content via code for Fans only, forcing non-fans to “Like” your page in order to view your exclusive content.

Static HTML Edit Screen

Static HTML Edit Screen

Here at Music Without Labels we have been searching for a few coding options to help bring a number of different content types to the Facebook Landing Page for all viewers to experience, current and new. The Static HTML application allows you to use a number of different codes such as CSS, Javascript, and of course HTML, giving you all the possibilities available with most custom websites. This walk-through will show you the steps taken along with the code used to obtain the page you currently see below. We hope this article will give you the insight you need to go off and customize your own page.

Music Without Labels Static HTML Page

Music Without Labels Static HTML Page

Taking a look at the image header located at the top of our Music Without Labels Facebook page titled “The Beat-Play Experiment”, you will notice it is linked to our blog at http://musicwithoutlabels.com. Here is the code for this linked header image.

Static HTML Source Code [HEADER]To personalize this code with your own image simply upload your image to a preferred online network (Facebook will work great for this), then replace the link in RED with your specified URL. To change the hyperlink in the image swap the GREEN text with your own link. The BLUEtext represents the title of your image which appears in the meta data.

Now all you have right now is a header image. I know, nothing really too big, yet. Looking at the main show located below the header image, you’ll notice a background image (with curtains), a soundcloud player in the middle, and 3 image links (social media buttons). Once again I’m going to begin by giving you the overall code we used then guide you through some of the steps to customize everything yourself.

Static HTML Source Code [BODY]In order to harness the remote background image we used a table which you can see starts the code. This leaves the GREEN text that follows to be the image URL and the dimensions. (NOTE: Facebook pages have a maximum width of 520 pixels.) Proceeding the background part of the code comes the content within the table, which displays on top of the background image. The BLUE text code represents the centered soundcloud player you see on the MWL Facebook Photo above. You can embed all sorts of online content from a number of different services including Youtube, Vimeo, Mixcloud, Soundcloud, and more. Simply copy the embed code from the media you want to post and paste it directly where the BLUEtext is in the code.

Just like the header link image at the top of the page, we used a similar code and added 3 linked images, in RED, within the table. To choose a specified area on the page we used ‘absolute positioning’ which allows you to alter the pixels to a specified location. (This takes a bit of saving and checking your work, so be patient.) The first URL in the code presented in YELLOW refers to the linked URL. Following this URL are the parameters for image positioning and size from TOP, LEFT, WIDTH, to HEIGHT. The second URL in YELLOW refers to the specified image URL (Must upload image to online server to obtain URL).

With so many different variables in this layout there are multiple areas for customization. Creating personalized images and using the codes to strategically position links and images will open a whole new wave of promotion throughout your Facebook Page. Now you are able to deliver content to your Facebook fans in your own way. So we encourage you to get out there and test this code for yourself and don’t be afraid to try different content types and layouts. Please comment with any of your own examples and be sure to contact me with any questions concerning the process. Also, to ensure that your new HTML page is the ‘Default Landing Tab’ go to your “Edit Page” and select “Manage Permissions” on the left then select the new tab in the specified drop-down field.

Written By: Mark G. Valente | Online Marketing Director | @MarkwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

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Choir Boy, Johnnie Gets His R&B Fix [Audio]

The congregation slowly begins to fill the seats while a soft Gospel melody is being played on the piano. Neatly dressed in a blue suit, Johnnie Williams starts singing, “This is the best place… Being in the house of God.” Hitting every rift and run, people wave their hands in the air feeling good and praising God. His voice soothed the listening ears with his words, that even with your eyes closed you envisioned serenity from his tone.  The Preacher’s grandson voice is truly a gift that has enhanced since  he began playing when he was sixteen, every Friday and Sunday in church, but no one had a clue that his passion outside church was R&B.

Some may argue that R&B music could be losing it’s touch to Pop music since current artist such as Rihanna, Beyonce, and Usher have had transitional success. Then there is autotune, which has been silenced and shunned by Jay- Z, but it hasn’t stopped artists who look for a more unique sound without belting out every song like Whitney Houstson, Jazmine Sulilivan, and Jeniffer Hudson. In some cases  singers don’t feel the need to sing in key or at all, however, Johnnie Williams is the complete opposite.

Johnnie has been singing since the tender age of 8 in a church choir, “I like singing but I didn’t start until I was in he 10th grade. I went to my friend Kelly’s house and heard a group called HCL (High Class Lovers.) I went home and did my own demo and came back the next week and let them hear it, and they let me join. I listened to the demo recently, and that thing is the worst, I definitely gotten better.” Shortly after, HCL had changed their name to Prospect and won a talent show at Abington Senior high school. After their triumph the group parted ways, but Johnnie strived became great and he continued pursuing his music and began writing and producing with his band mate, Kelly. Johnnie’s hard work hadn’t gone unseen. Fortunately, he had the opportunity to meet Damon from the famous R&B group No Question, who discussed the possibilities of a comeback after the group’s hiatus, but this time with Johnnie as a member.  After auditioning for it he became a member and they started working and completed 4 songs, but soon after differences erupted among the members about unmade promises that weren’t kept, “Deals with money were on the table and when it came down to it everything kept falling through, so I separated ties.”

Once the group fell through, that situation had not discouraged him, yet motivated him to focus on his own music.  Johnnie went back on his grind at his in home studio where he produces 10-20 beats per week and writes all his material from his inspirations, “My inspiration comes from people around me, people I know, and people that touch me emotionally and personally.” Almost immediately, Johnnie had heard that MTV was having auditions for Diddy’s Making the Band, Season 4 in search for the next boy group, “I auditioned on Myspace and they gave me the VIP ristband so I din’t have to wait in line.” He went to a New York club where the auditions were held and sung Usher’s, “Let it Burn” for Michael Bivins, Slam, and Ankhra and was passed to the 2nd round. The next day Johnnie had to prepare for the combination of dancing and singing portion,  “I got past the dance round but didn’t pass the singing round because I lost my voice after standing outside in the winter cold waiting for my auditions.”

Since his MTV auditions, he became good friends with Dyshon, who was a finalist on Making the Band and helped him with background vocals for Dayshon’s solo project as well as his own project. Currently, he’s constantly posting music on Youtube, and plans on taking Neyo’s place in the music industry as a writer, proudcer, and singer and doesn’t mind just writing for other artist,  “I do music just to do it, I want a deal, but I do music for people and do songs to sell them.” His new single is called Confession (I Love You), which is a slow ballad written and produced by him that is receiving a lot of positive feedback, “It’s my favorite song I’ve ever recorded, because out of all the songs I’ve done, I let my all out on this one.”

By: Mereb Gebremariam | Beat-Play Ambassador Philadelphia | @MerebwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Bombadil – “Barcelona” [MUSIC]

Bombadil released this mp3 on their website to promote the release of their album, Tarpits and Canyonlands, along with Spain victory at the World Cup. The album has 15 tracks in which “Barcelona” did not make the final cut of, so they decided to give the song away to their fans. This song was one of the few songs written by a friend of the band, Dan Shvartsman. It’s amazing that this song didn’t make the cut for the album; I definitely advise checking this one out here.

Kanye West – Power [VIDEO]

Marco Brambilla, Italian-born Canadian artist and filmmaker designed this new revolutionary music video bringing living art to the voice of music. A good deal of his work is in-motion art. Here are some stills of Marco’s works to better gain an understanding of his underlying style:

Marco Brambilla - Civilization

Marco Brambilla - Civilization

Marco Brambilla

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GarageBand.com Takes A Dive

This morning, GrageBand.com users were informed via email of the discontinuation of the site, effective on July 15th 2010. Being a Myspace powered company along with iLike, the sites current users will be able to transfer their GarageBand accounts over to iLike. On a funnier note; people are still able to sign up for GarageBand. (Makes Sense) Here is the email that was sent to the users concerning this motion.

Dear [user],

It’s been over ten years since we started helping discover independent music on the ol’ interwebs. Things have changed a lot since then. Most of those changes have been good and some of them have been bad. Some changes are just bitter-sweet.

It’s with this bitter-sweetness that we are announcing today that Garageband.com will be discontinued as of July 15th, 2010.

The landscape of how music is discovered and delivered has changed drastically over the last decade and we are proud to have been a huge part of that change — first with Garageband.com and then with iLike.com and beyond. Sadly, that landscape will not include Garageband.com anymore.

Link your account to iLike: (action required)
If you want to continue to make your music available for streaming or download on iLike.com and the iLike application on Facebook, please go to iLike.com and login with your Garageband username and password by July 15th, 2010. This will automatically link your account to iLike so we can port your music, profile photo, and biography to iLike.com.

Finally, if you have recently made a purchase on Garageband.com and would like a refund, please email refunds@iLike-inc.com to request a refund. Valid refund requests must be received no later than July 31st, 2010.

Sincerely,

The Garageband and iLike team

I believe this to be a start to a long chain of foldings for Myspace. They have been on a quick decline in the online community for the past 2 years now with the power of Facebook and Google flooding the internet. Cutting costs will be a big thing for the future of Myspace as they struggle to focus on the right paths to bring success once again. It will be interesting how long iLike can hold on with the huge advancements in online music streaming and promotion. They are really going to lose it when BeatPlay.com is released.

By: Mark G. Valente | Online Marketing Director | @MarkwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

MUTO Wall Art Animation by BLU – DISGUSTING! Would be the Best Music Video EVER

PZC – The Woodshed – Album Review – Great Folk Singer!

Artist Name:
PZC

Album Title:
The Woodshed

Positions:
Paul Zimmerman-Clayton  – Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist

Genre:
Folk/Acoustic

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Business Owner Anxiety? Use the Clipboard Effect and De-Stressorize!

For any independent business owner, even if you’re an independent artist, being your own boss is tough. How do you stay on top of everything when you’re being pulled in a million different directions? Especially when there’s so many different responsibilities to keep track of? Here’s a couple tricks I’ve used to stop my own anxiety.

First, when I felt that the list of things I was in charge of was too big to even remember off hand, I made a spreadsheet. At the top left I wrote “Action Items:” Then below I listed all of the actions I go through(or should) almost daily, such as Blogging, Research, Drafting, Email, ect. Then every day I check off the categories I did and list the specific projects I worked on.

It helps me in a couple of different ways. It lets me know which areas I’m hitting the hardest and which ones need work. It also lets me track how much is actually getting done daily, and it gives me something to be proud of. Also it pushes me to be more productive so I can have the simple joy of checking off those boxes.

There’s just one other crucial step in this process: Get a clipboard. For some reason, there’s something official about having a clipboard with information regarding the productivity of your business. It is reassuring, and especially when your office is your living room or your basement, and your environment might not be so “official” looking, having something that represents that order to your business is important, and having things organized like that goes a long way for your peace of mind.

One more AWESOME and similar organizational tool for any business owner, that can sky rocket your productivity, is called the Mini Day Method. Check out that blog post for more info, it is REALLY worth looking into.

Today’s Advice: Don’t stress, buy a clipboard!

Written by: Dante Cullari, Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

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The Invention of the Toolbox, and How it can Save Music

What came first, the toolbox or the tool? This is not a trick question, it’s obviously the tool, and we have proof. However, with the emergence of more tools, and more applications for these tools, it became apparent that another tool, a tool’s tool, was needed: the Toolbox.

It is no different for the current state of the music industry and all of it’s awesome web tools. I see the future of music going in one distinct direction in order for it to flourish the way it naturally should. It may sound cliche, but the only way true, good music(like the old days) will live on, is if the surviving community of great music decides to unite as one. This may sound like an empty gesture, but with today’s standards, uniting is as easy as selecting and supporting ONE universal music social network online. It’s almost as simple as a mouse click these days to organize collectively toward a common goal.

Once a single platform is established, the possibilities for collaboration and integration of all of the awesome sites and tools that are out there are opened up increasingly, and can benefit the users way more than the current set up. Third party apps can be integrated with the social network to expand the capabilities of the site and its users.

Also, a huge part of this platform should include an effective ad model, that is unobtrusive and that sponsors the content. Artists can track ALL of their plays, vid views, profile views, merchandise page views, shares, ect, and if they give their music away for free, they could then gain ad revenues based on popularity. The downloads on this network would also be very safe, putting an end to crashing computers and lawsuits.

Bands could be able to perform live streaming concerts and sell tickets on this platform, as well as their merchandise, and they can have their updates sent directly to their fan’s profiles. Band members could even eventually practice with each other from across the world if this system is created, leaving even the opportunity for new bands to form, where it would have been impossible before.

Having one music platform would open up the doors to a more efficient way of artist promotion as well. There could be a system where users follow people they share a taste in music with, and then the user’s radio pulls songs from their friend’s playlists when they press play. There could be many ways for users to control this. What this really means is the best free promotion an artist could get (and currently can’t). For example, if my friend likes a song enough to playlist it, then it will get sent to me, and if I like it enough to playlist it, it gets sent to everyone who’s following me, creating an automated word of mouth system that makes the music itself completely viral, as long as it’s good.

There’s currently no term for this, but it can be described almost as a 2-way status update, where a user not only receives the content, but passes on the content that they like. This amazingly simple, but innovative system. will have incredible implications, not just for the promotion of music, but eventually for any product.

Basically, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have ONE platform online for music, and a million and one reasons why we should. It doesn’t mean the end of all of the current music sites, it would just mean the integration of them all together, performing the role of a toolbox for all of the cool web tools out there. Imagine, before tool boxes, people only had access to a limited amount of tools at a given time; but with the toolbox, the options became almost limitless, given the tools. I see the future of this spreading generously throughout many facets of our lives.

Also in the future, along these same lines, could eventually be mobile hardware, as well as mobile apps that are universally accepted for music distribution. Then, of course, I hope we would do the same thing for TV and Movies, which would be to essentially free the industries, in almost every sense of the term. This system is inevitable and I am certain it will happen in this decade, just as sure as the invention of the toolbox was after the introduction of numerous tools. Organization is key!

Written by: Dante Cullari, Founder & President, Beat-Play, LLC

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Tim Britt From NoManZero Interview With Music Without Labels & Beat-Play

Give us some background. Where are you from originally, where are you now, how did you get there?

NoManZero started as a project between myself, and a former band-mate, Ron Luke as an effort to get signed to a major label in the late-90s. We got some “spec” deals from local professional studios that shopped us to the big labels but we missed the boat as that Seattle type of sound was not longer the hottest thing on the market. But we still liked the sound a lot and didn’t feel compelled to chase whatever was new at the time so we stuck with it after a year or two break that allowed me to get my Masters in Music Technology from New York University in 2002 which obviously kept me musically sharp during that time.

Ultimately, we financed the album ourselves ($15,000 of pure analog 2”tape recordings) and we finished it up in 2007. However, my former band-mate left the band not too long after due to forces beyond his control and in the end, I was the last one standing from the original 3 man line-up that recorded the album. It took till now to line-up a solid band that can tour the record. But all is well that ends well so no complaints and ultimately, things worked out for the better and usually do if you keep your head together and don’t panic.

What Genre would you classify yourself as?           

NoManZero is 90’s style alternative rock with some classic rock thrown into the mix. We are a hard rockish guitar band but not as heavy as the most molten metal the scene is seeing now…as no cookie monster vocals. Our current singer sings throughout the entire song which doesn’t always happen these days.

What is it that drove you to pursue a career in music, and what it is that drives you individually as a musician?

Like most people in this biz, the pure joy of listening to your most favorite musical stars is a real influence. Guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Van Halen brought me (and millions of others to this day) such fun and excitement as a kid that I basically didn’t want that party to end. It seemed to be something I had a knack for and I just like being in a band. It’s a blast and I would recommend it highly if you are willing to get it together which takes a lot of work continuously over a period of years.

What struggles have you faced with having your music heard and getting your name recognized by outside markets?

NoManZero and virtually any band face the hurdle of an over saturated market.

A rock band making a recording is very, very common these days. But we met this challenge by employing a producer known for working with world class acts and taking the time to get the best out of the songs we had ready to go. And  I see the next question and that will explain a rather unique approach we took to get our music heard in outside markets.

 

What kinds of things do you do to promote yourself?           

We did something that to our knowledge and the people we worked with had never been done. We worked with a special group of Chinese dissidents to craft songs that promoted freedom in China and simultaneously expressed a rock attitude that we were comfortable with. This was following in the footsteps of giants before us like John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix that stood up for things they believed in by involving their music. That led to videos being made of our songs that have broadcast on the alternative free Chinese community TV network, New Tang Dynasty Television which broadcasts worldwide. These videos are out there on some sites still and hopefully we can get them on to a site controlled by you guys too.

 

I should say so that all involved with this saw it as a “win win” situation. NoManZero knows how many amazing and talented bands there are out there and we wanted to differentiate ourselves from the pack. And we did but we also like playing in front of crowds that like to have fun and will freely admit that we are not really any different than other bands who get into this for the fun that it really is. But we were lucky to have been offered the opportunity to support a good cause while having a good time.

 

Is there a predominant message you hope to get across In your songs?

As it turns out, the general theme of this record, “Global Warning” seems to be pretty up to date even though some of the songs were originally penned back in the 90’s. That general theme is that full-on corporate or institutionalized greed can breed some very bad things that ultimately stop a huge number of people from enjoying this life so beware and take care of yourself. That over arching message grew to include the Chinese situation I referred to earlier. Interestingly enough, as our country continues to slip deeper and deeper into debt with China as of late, this album is more current now in regards to the message than it was when the songs were written. The musical style may owe a certain amount to the 90’s but music is all over the map so that doesn’t have to be considered a bad thing.

What are your thoughts on the future of the music industry and where it’s going?

Well to be honest, and this is not meant to try and get into Beat Play’s favorite list, but sites like this have taken over the industry. Everyone knows the business has de-centralized and that it is a new game. It is NOT “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” as The Who said back in the day. There is a new boss and in most cases, look in the mirror and you will see that boss. We are an independent band and call the shots. That has allowed us to write controversial songs that are banned in China and our videos are not G rated…they show what really happened in China to students who rallied for democracy. What’s going down in Iran right now is a apt parallel to be honest.

Are you currently unsigned, and do you plan on staying independent?

After our initial experience in the 90’s with professional recording studios shopping us to the major labels being a failure, we turned our back on the big business as an option for NoManZero for good. We are unsigned and will remain that way.

What are your reasons for being an independent artist?           

Well in our case it’s a bit different but a large reason is we don’t want to be censored by an outside authority who decides what we can write songs about. The other reason is that we already paid to record the album, and with digital distribution, we likely stand to better having 100% of the proceeds come back to us rather than 80% going to a record company for minimal promotion. The days of multi-million dollar advances are over from what we can see.

Who are some of your favorite artists?           

Personally, I really like Alter Bridge. We had a chance open up for them in NYC at Washington Square Park where I went to school at NYU, but the permit fell through. But those guys, Jimi Hendrix, Soundgarden, Hinder, Fuel…all guitar driven bands are at the top of my list including the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Do you ever feel that people will be missing out on your music because you are not signed to a major record label?

Likely that is the case but bands can’t depend on a major label to do everything for them. Staind sold 2,000 copies in the Springfield, Mass areas as an independent band and that helped cement them into a deal. Creed did the same thing in Florida. So we responsibility to get our music heard is our own shoulders. If we can’t make things happen on our own, no major label would be able to as well. And by the time a band is rolling, they may very well want to stay independent because they have done the work and will be reaping all the rewards rather than splitting them up with a big company.

Your art can be very experimental. Do you ever wish there was an easier way to access the music you sample from, or wish that you had access to a huge library of undiscovered music, which is updated everyday by itself?

Certainly, time is in very, very short supply for NoManZero these days. With all of the obligations of writing new songs, rehearsing, keeping up with technology and booking and playing live shows, we don’t have time to look around for undiscovered music. So having this be a simple process done for us that gives back good music we like would be wonderful thing.

What would you say if I told you that there’s a new force in Independent Music that will give you all of the power of the Major Labels and more, while at the same time giving you complete control over all aspects of your musical career, and you will never have to sign a thing?

Three words…..BRING IT ON!!!

And you would have access to the worlds first ever audio component auction, where pieces of songs are sold off at auction prices to be repurposed in other songs.  What kind of impact do you think that would have on your music?

As long as our message in our songs was not changed, it sounds like something that could work out well for all involved.

The only catch is you have to choose to use it to your benefit, or not.

Exactly, each situation is unique but being open minded to new things is a very good thing in this business.

It’s called Beat-Play.

Honestly, all of us in NoManZero are really looking forward to seeing this new paradigm come into existence and appreciate you checking out what we are doing now.

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