Posts tagged CMJ Music Marathon
I haven’t really given much actual music industry advise on this site since I started it. There are too many people tossing advice around out there, and no shortage of musicians who think they don’t need advice, and very little about the exchange appeals to me. I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy teaching — It gives me an appropriate place, time, and specific topic to dole out advice. This unregulated, free-form, internet know-it-all advice from everyone is… not good. In fact, even the information I see from people who have one or both feet in the music industry is typically terrible. And, one final stupid article was the straw that broke this ass’s back…
The article I read gave three simple steps on how to get into CMJ Music Marathon in New York. Step one was to be able to attend a fest in New York in October without getting paid to do so. Step two was to have music industry buzz. Step three was to make sure you promote the show once you get it. So that’s three steps, and of those three, only one is an actual step sandwiched between the obvious and the unrelated. Sorry to waste your time by rehashing, but I want to illustrate how bad a lot of the advice out there is. Bad and pointless. But, just like this nut job here, I don’t like giving criticism without also providing resolution.
So, I could write an article on how I would go about getting your band into CMJ. In fact, I could lay out a strategy to get your band there without Sonic Bids or an Agent, or even solid buzz, but I’d rather address the more broad issue plaguing musicians and those who give them advice: Quid Pro Quo.
If you want to know “How to get into CMJ?” you’re asking the wrong question. The right question is “Do I have anything CMJ wants?” Well, what if you’d rather find a booking agent and let them worry about CMJ for you? Fair enough. Do you have anything a booking agent wants? Do you have anything a label wants? Or a manager? Or a music editor? If you’re think “Yes, I do! I have great music!” You’re dead wrong. Having talent is the prerequisite to getting into Music Business 101- its not the reason you ace the class.
I’ll break this down into steps.
Step one: Decide what you want. A showcase at CMJ. A Publicist. A manager, etc…
Step two: Find out what they want in return. Buzz, money, reputation, history, etc…
Step three: Honestly evaluate if you have what they want. If you do, approach them through a proper channel. (Hint- if you don’t know the right way to get in touch with someone wait until you do) If you don’t have what they want go back and try and figure out how to get what you’re missing.
People don’t seem to understand that its damaging to ask for things your career doesn’t yet deserve. It shows anyone who’s paying attention that you don’t know what you’re doing. Whereas the opposite is true when you ask for only what is appropriate. This helps build a positive reputation. If you come baring gifts, and understanding what’s required of you to make a relationship mutually beneficial people will take you seriously. Quid Pro Quo: This for that.
Ok, so my last blog was about Priscilla and I getting attacked by bears in South Dakota- AND LOVING IT! …that was about six months ago. …or eight. And, it seems as though I’ve gotten pretty bad at updating this blog. I promise to try and do better… but, in the mean time, he’s what I’ve done the last- I don’t know, year or so.
In September we went down to Winona for the fifth annual Zombie Pub Crawl. Unlike some more normal cities zombie crawls, in Winona you get a good feeling for what a real zombie attack would look like. People stop traffic, climb on cars, projectile vomit all over, and even chase unsuspecting college kids who don’t know what’s going on. One high schooler tried to start a fight when his daddy’s Chrysler 300 got a little bit of puke and blood on it… what a wuss. The only zombie he attacked was a girl, and his opening line was, ‘you can’t hit me, I’m a minor.’ Then he promptly tried to strangle a girl zombie before the rest of the angry mob of drunken undead gently removed him and told him to go home. This boy will be a huge douche bag one day…
Also, Priscilla launched Pirk, a soap and beauty company. All natural, organic when possible, soap and face scrubs and bath bubbly salt junk, all that sort of crap. People have been liking it so far!
In October, Maudlin and our agency Green Room Music Source, went to New York City again for the CMJ music festival. I was very disappointed by the fact that we didn’t steal any mannequin body parts this time. We did eat a lot of food, and get a better understanding of how the Russian Mafia operates.
Then, in November, Maudlin welcomed a new band member into our wacky fold. You may remember Nick from last years St. Patrick’s Day adventure.
December was a time for holiday magic! Maudlin hosted our second, kind of annual ‘The Worst Christmas Pageant Ever’ at the Hexagon in Minneapolis. Discribing this event isn’t as much fun and just listening…
January was cold. We don’t do anything in January here because it’s just too cold. When the New year is over we turn in to primordial cave people. …We also make ice sculptures though.
February has Valentines day in it… Weak. I got Priscilla a pan for Valentines day. Yup, a nice pan. I thought this was probably not the greatest gift I’d ever come up with for Priscilla. However, after seeing her reaction to getting a very nice pan, I’ve decided that she only gets pans for gifts from now on. That’s your relationship advice for the year- Pans, chicks dig them. Or, at least, Priscilla does…
That’s about it… Oh, and George Clooney, STOP making movies. Please. The glory days or over my friend. Speaking of people who should stop doing what they do, I found this website recently. What a beautiful charity! www.killlilwayne.org Hopefully someone will make a similar site for Weezer soon. They must be stopped!
Until next time…
This picture kind of sums things up. New Yorkers are the nicest people in the world, they didn’t even kick us out! We were invited to play the CMJ Music Marathon, and braved the long bore of the Ohio Turnpike to see what the Big Apple had in store for Maudlin. Well, it had great food, kidnapings, vandalism, and grand theft mannequin, that’s what it had in store.
This is where it all started. Downtown Manhattan, in some club somewhere, they had created a ‘musicians lounge.’ This lounge had free booze, free food, free haircuts, free massages, and free interviews with Walter from Stabbing Westward. …So we ended up hanging out there most of the time.
While all the New Yorkers we met on the street were fantastic, we soon found out that most of the 1200 bands from all over the world who came to New York were made up of boring people. As we tried to live it up, they mostly stood in tightly nit groups talking to their own bandmates. Then one really stupid chick I was talking to tried to argue with me about the size and danger of moose. WTF?!?!?!
I was telling a story, I could tell she really wanted to hear, about my family camping trip to Superior National Forest, and I mentioned that a big moose walked out on to the road. It was huge! We were driving a little Focus, and I said the thing was nearly three times as tall as we were. Then she was all like saying this really stupid crap about how moose aren’t that big, and I was full of it, and that they were like big deer and couldn’t hurt anything.
Well, I had never punched a girl before, and I didn’t think now would be a good time to start, but I really wanted to. Instead I found the first woodsy looking guy I could- some dude in a wolf mural sweatshirt. It was ugly as sin, and clearly a joke, but something told me- this guy knows his animals. Turns out he used to give wildlife tours in Alaska. They would scare off black bears that had come on to the resort with golf carts, because, as we all know, black bears are the nancys of the large predator world. He told me they received special training on what to do if you ran into a grizzly while hiking- but if you ran in to a moose up close… you’re just screwed. I lost track of that chick… but someday she’ll get hers…
Anyway, then Jason drank way too much and took over an entire sofa by himself after a lunch stop in Little Itally where he managed to smash a framed picture of James Gandolfini in his inebriation.
Eventually, we found a band that was not boring to chat with, Robotanists. They hailed from LA, and had a bizarre fetish for mannequin hands. Now, I have to give credit where credit is due- they were the first to steal a body part off the mannequin. But Maudlin is not a band to be outdone. Who would be stupid enough to put a bunch of designer clothes on a mannequin and then leave it in a room with musicians and unlimited free alcohol? Yeah, exactly. We plundered the mannequin for clothes and limbs like it was 1725!
As an after thought to all the shenanigans, Maudlin also played a showcase at the Lit Lounge which was great…
Bars in New York stay open until four, and music only went until one. The Lit neglected to let us know that the “green room” became the “smoking lounge” after two… So we had all over our gear spread out when hooligans began to flood in all over everything. Poor Jason ended up getting stuck watching things and was whiteness to several prostitutes haggling with people about ‘jobs.’ Eventually we had to make an escape before Jason was thrown into a deal as a bargaining chip.
We got back to the lovely Wendy’s place where we were staying in the East Village, and I realized I had forgotten the Green Room banner. Green Room Music Source is our booking agency, which I also now work for. I was entrusted with the safety of the banner, and I wasn’t about to lose it, so I told Jason and Priscilla I would be right back and I darted out to hail a cab. It was 3:30 am and I had half an hour to get back to Lit Lounge, but it was only ten blocks, so I wasn’t worried.
I got into a cab and said ‘Take me to 93 2nd Ave” I think the guy said ‘ok’ in some language, but I’m really not sure. Pretty soon he turned onto the freeway, and I quickly tried to explain that I was only trying to go to 93 2nd Ave, which was only a few blocks away. The driver reassured me he know where he was going. Then he told me he was trying to avoid bar traffic because it was dangerous… (as he did 90 on the freeway, slamming on the breaks several times, very nearly rear ending other cars…) When the drive continued I began to argue with him. ”I’m trying to get to 93 2nd, it’s ten blocks from where you picked me up, this is not the right way!” He finally exited onto 93 street and told me that 2nd ave was just a few blocks away. This is important. In New York they use intersections as opposed to street addresses. 93 2nd Ave is in the East Village, 93 AND 2nd ave is in East Harlem. He pulled over and tried to kick me out… What a d-bag.
Finally, after a shouting match with this guy, we were back on the way to the East Village, and my four dollar cab ride turned into a thirty dollar cab ride. I was able to get the sign though, so it wasn’t all bad. It was no surprise to us when we hailed a cab the next morning to take us to Seth’s place in North Arlington, NJ that this cab driver was also retarded.
Driver: Where are you going?
Maudlin: North Arlington, NJ
Driver: Ok, fifty five bucks plus tolls
Maudlin: Ok (we load in and start driving)
Driver: Where is North Arlington
Maudlin: *le sigh*
Later we realized he had pee bottles in the front seat …if only we had seen them sooner… But, all and all, it was a fantastic blast of a time! The locals were all great, and far better looking than the locals anywhere else- and therefor better. We can’t wait to go back!
See you guys later!