Songs About The Music Business

Music is their business, so it was not surprising to hear the hosts of Sound Opinions dedicate an entire episode to the music business. Jim DeRogatisi and Greg Kot, who run the weekly program for National Public Radio, discussed on a recent show their favorite songs about the joys and pitfalls of the record industry.

Greg Kot picked “Nothing Is Good Enough” by Aimee Mann, “Mercury Poisoning” by Graham Parker, and “E.M.I” by the Sex Pistols as his favorite tunes about the music business, while co-host Jim DeRogatisi chose “Have a Cigar” by Pink Floyd, “So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star” by Patti Smith, and “Caught Can I Get a Witness” by Public Enemy. All six were worthy selections, but there were many more they could have mentioned.

Here are ten other popular songs written about the grind or delight of a career in music.

Death On Two Legs by Queen

Although it never received the acclaim of “Bohemian Rhapsody” this opening track from A Night at the Opera has Freddie Mercury taking his best shots at underhanded deal makers in the industry.

Geno the Manager by Hall and Oates

Unlike many songs about those involved in the music business, this one actually shows appreciation for the guy watching over the duo.

The Entertainer by Billy Joel

It is a fickle career to enter, as the Piano Man so clearly points out in this jaunty acoustic number from Streetlife Serenade.

Paint a Vulgar Picture by the Smiths

As an artist lies dying, Morrissey blasts the fact that the record company is preparing to capitalize on the tragedy by repackaging her material.

Goon Squad by Elvis Costello

The title group in this Armed Forces track are industry executives, who Costello warns “have come to look you over and they’re giving you the eye, they want you to come out to play but you better say goodbye.”

Free Man In Paris by Joni Mitchell

Reflecting on his youthful days in France, this fed up record exec dreams of getting out of the hit making machinery on this single from Court and Spark.

Don’t Call Us We’ll Call You by Sugar Loaf

Most aspiring artists were already well acquainted with this response when the band made it a Top Ten single in 1974.

Keep the Customer Satisfied by Simon and Garfunkel

Here the customers are those buying their albums, and the title serve as the mantra the duo keeps receiving from their record company.

Thank You Very Much by the Kaiser Chiefs

“It should be a thrill but it feels like a drill” Ricky Wilson sings in the chorus on this track from Retirement, an album with several other references to the pitfalls of success.

Daily Records by the Who

Pete Townshend on this delighftul track from Face Dances emphasizes that he just wants to keep making songs, as he grows increasingly wary of the business side of the music world.

Promoting Your Music Online

Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever for new bands and artists to be discovered and to sell their music directly to fans. How do you get started and what’s the best way to promote your band? Here are some tips:

One of the first places you’ll want to visit is MySpace. By now, everyone has heard of it and millions and millions of people have their own accounts. But I bet you didn’t know that MySpace offers a special type of account just for promoting a band or artist? It’s called MySpace Music and it’s completely free to sign up. With this type of account, you can add up to 4 full songs to your account for people to listen to while they are reading your MySpace page. This alone makes a MySpace Music page worthwhile to set up, since getting people to listen to and discover your music is the main goal of most new artists. Include a link to buy your CD from your own website, iTunes or other music store and you’ve got a great way to increase sales.

If someone likes the music on your profile, they can add your band as a friend, which means they can get email notices when you add a blog or send out a bulletin. Blogging on MySpace is one of the best ways to communicate with your audience (friends), when your band has a tour coming up, an appearance, is working on new music or has any news of any kind, you’ll want to post it to your blog and keep your fans up to date. The more your communicate with fans, the more they will feel like a part of your community.

In addition, you can take advantage of a multitude of other options, including listing your influences, adding a picture gallery, adding full videos, adding banners and many other options.

Just be sure to log in often to approve new friends and to communicate with other members. There are also many MySpace Groups you can join where a message board is set up for members to communicate. Joining an emerging artist type group would help you to network with other new artists and even to promote each other, discuss new ways to get new fans, find someone to tour with or even to collaborate with.

Another essential step to promoting your music online is to have your own website. While MySpace is excellent, it’s best to have as many avenues of promotion as possible. It can be simple, with just a bit about your band and links to buy your album or it can be a major presence loaded with content. The more content you add and the more often you update your website and your MySpace profile, the better, as people will keep coming back to see your fresh content and news. Some elements to consider adding to your band’s website include biographies of the members, history of the band, news section, tour dates and appearance schedule, photos, music videos, sample songs to download, wallpapers, icons, ringtones, links to buy your album or merchandise, discography and anything else you want to let people know about. You’ll also want to link your website to your MySpace and vice versa.

What Facebook’s Algorithm Change Means For Music Marketing

Some of you might have seen that Mark Zuckerberg is changing the Facebook algorithm so that posts from friends and families show up on timelines more than from a business page, a musician page, or a media page.

Now, if you’re in a band, you might be worried because especially for the last four or five years, we’ve basically been told that if you want to market your music, with with social media or Facebook more specifically, you need to post organically, do this daily and you’re going to engage your fan base. This is going to be harder to do now.

But here’s the thing. This happened three years ago.

Facebook did the exact same thing.

They changed the algorithm and a lot of people got very angry because they noticed that they weren’t reaching as many fans and they blamed Facebook for being this greedy company. And while that might be true, there’s actually a more logical explanation.

There’s too much content being produced on Facebook. Everyone’s sharing videos, pictures, posts, everything.

Each time you log into Facebook, there’s something like 2,000 different stories that could show up on your timeline at any given second.

So Facebook, in order to make your experience better in their eyes, they filter all these things to try and make your experience more enjoyable.

Facebook’s goal above everything is they want people to keep using Facebook. They don’t want people to get sick of using it and go somewhere else. So that’s why they make these changes.

Now, what can you do?

Honestly, we’ve entered the era where you need to treat your band like any other small business and you have to pay for advertising.

I’m not talking about paying for Facebook boost posts because if you don’t have it set up correctly, you’re just wasting your money.

I’m talking about setting up a real Facebook ad campaign with the business manager and learning how to do marketing because honestly, you’re running a small business and marketing is an important piece of that.

If you’re trying to grow your fan base, sell your music and your merch, you really need to learn how to use Facebook marketing.

Now’s the time because your organic posts are really not going to be as effective.

They weren’t effective three years ago. They’re going to be less effective now. So, you know, those are the things you could do is start learning to do that now.