Selling out or buying in?

Who's making noise in and around Madison? What's new in the business of making music around town? Review shows and CDs here. Please keep all hype in Hype Exchange.
chainsawcurtis
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Selling out or buying in?

Postby chainsawcurtis » Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:57 am

Anybody else been in myspace contact with these folks? Here's their myspace url.

http://www.myspace.com/madison_rockers2


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Illumina is a label based in Boston. http://www.illuminarecords.com

I got a message (that I assumed was s p a m ) that they are starting a campaign in this market area using local talent and leaning on an anti-drunk driving message. They invite talent to join the campaign, get on a compilation disk and take advantage of an aggressive marketing organization. They offered telephone numbers, links to "Rockers For Life" in other parts of the country, etc.

Short story, I ignored the message and I even refused to be their friend. A few days later I got another note that really looked like boiler plate. "We haven't heard from you. Call us." My reply was, "If it walks like s pam and talks like s pam - it's s pam. I have an actual landline phone. I'm in the book. Feel free to call me."

Sure enough, less than an hour later I get a call from these folks. As they have in other parts of the country, they are aggressively searching for talent in this area to help get out the message that accidents caused by drunk drivers affect more people than just the person who loses their licence and/or kills/maims another person. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I understand this and I "get it."

The question is this. Is being associated with an organization like this a sell out? Smells like it to me. Did I mention that if you get "asked/chosen" to be on the local compilation disk it costs the artist $600?.

Them - "Well, if you sell fifty disks you've covered your costs! And you get all this publicity for free!"

Me - "Well, to be honest, I don't think I could sell fifty disks of this comp. Most of the places I play are bars and taverns. It's how I eke out a meager living in music."

"We can help you take your music to a higher level."

"And what do you (Illumina) get out of this?"

"We're getting the message out."

"About drunk driving? And building your marketing network for the label."

"Yes."

Me (jaded-read: old) - "OK. I'm just making sure I understand what you're doing."

Them (getting a little testy. John, the original caller, actually passed me to Jason, another marketer. I let him. It was, afetr all, their dime) - "We don't think you "get it."

Me - "Oh, I get it. I just don't think I can afford it."

Them - "Well if you don't think you can sell fifty disks, we probably don't want you on the compilation."

Me - "I can sell fifty disks but probably not of this. But thanks anyway."

Them - "We just wanted to make sure you knew this wasn't sp am."

Me (relieved that I wasn't being s pammed and honored that my music was being singled out for this project) - "Uh, OK. Thanks anyway."

Discuss...?

DrAwkward
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Postby DrAwkward » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:04 am

Pay to play in any context = bullshit. If they're so eager to get their "message" out, they can front the costs themselves.

Sounds as bad as that whole Emergenza scam.

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Postby Kyle Motor » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:04 am

The Motorz got that too. Yeah. We ignored it.

For $600 you can put out your own CD, it is total bullshit to pay $600 to be on a comp.

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Postby Michael Patrick » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:07 am

You got one of those messages too? And here I thought I was the special one in Madison being singled out for attention...

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Postby Kyle Motor » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:09 am

They did personalize our message by naming one of our songs and saying it has a "rad guitar solo" in it. It is a pretty rad guitar solo.

Michael Patrick wrote:You got one of those messages too? And here I thought I was the special one in Madison being singled out for attention...

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Postby Michael Patrick » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:13 am

Kyle Motor wrote:They did personalize our message by naming one of our songs and saying it has a "rad guitar solo" in it. It is a pretty rad guitar solo.

Michael Patrick wrote:You got one of those messages too? And here I thought I was the special one in Madison being singled out for attention...


Aww man, now I'm REALLY bummed. Because the song of mine that they mentioned also has a rad solo, but they didn't compliment me on it... :(

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Postby lil bunny fufu » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:56 pm

We got the "your song Bryan's Roses is awesome" flavor of no-really-this-isn't-spam-because-we-listened-to-one-of-your-songs bullshit. Nobody mentioned any of our rad solos either, MP. :cry:

We get hit up with the exact same deal about once a month, and the only things that really ever change are the dollar amount involved and the country of origin - a lot of the ones we get are from Europe. Invariably, when you check out the "label" you find that they don't have any roster to speak of and seem to only exist to schlep these promotional compilations.

After researching them on the interwebs, I call or e-mail all of them "just in case", because you just never know when you might be able to make a good networking contact and once in a while stranger things happen. So far they're all used car salesmen that get belligerent when it becomes apparent that you can see what's behind the curtain. But hey, I tend to be an optimist, so what the hell.

I don't necessarily agree that pay-to-play is ALWAYS bullshit. There are times when you're purchasing valuable promotion that you're not going to get otherwise. There are also times where you could play a gig for free where there's greater exposure instead of playing a paying gig with less exposure. Would a situation like that be considered pay-to-play? All that aside, I do think that the vast majority of pay-to-play situations are in fact bullshit.

Emergenza's a great racket. For the succubi running it, that is.

chainsawcurtis
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Postby chainsawcurtis » Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:21 pm

Whew. Glad I'm not getting all that jaded in my old age. I was starting to think that I might actually be missing something here; it being for a good cause and all. My "cause," as such is the local food pantry in J'burg and I told them so. I really hate feeling guilty for not trying to give back a little.

The last time I got a phone call from the WI Sheriff's Association to buy tickets for something I told them that if they wanted to send an actual officer to my house with tickets to buy, I'd be happy to fork over the dough. Other than that , no thanks.

I don't see anything wrong with attaching myself to something legit, though. If a comp disk for a good cause in Madison was locally generated I'd be happy to submit a piece - gratis, of course. In exchange for some publicity. Of course. But to help some guy with a marketing idea get his label off the ground? Uhn uh.

Thanks all for the input. Now back to my regularly scheduled lurking.

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Postby Michael Patrick » Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:29 pm

chainsawcurtis wrote:The last time I got a phone call from the WI Sheriff's Association to buy tickets for something I told them that if they wanted to send an actual officer to my house with tickets to buy, I'd be happy to fork over the dough. Other than that , no thanks.


Whenever I get a call from the Sheriff's Association (or really the fundraising company that takes 90% of what people donate...), I always tell them that I already support the police. Because I pay my taxes... :wink:

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Postby supaunknown » Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:38 pm

Let's create our own comp CD extolling the virtues of drunk driving.

There's a company called Fatal Vision that's created nifty things like the Fatal Vision Goggles, which are essentially blurry beer goggles, and also a go cart thing that has two settings - 'normal' and 'drunk'. The drunk setting causes all the controls to have delayed reactions.

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Postby DrAwkward » Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:52 pm

lil bunny fufu wrote:I don't necessarily agree that pay-to-play is ALWAYS bullshit. There are times when you're purchasing valuable promotion that you're not going to get otherwise. There are also times where you could play a gig for free where there's greater exposure instead of playing a paying gig with less exposure. Would a situation like that be considered pay-to-play? All that aside, I do think that the vast majority of pay-to-play situations are in fact bullshit.


There are a few far-flung exceptions, i'm sure. And yeah, the whole "exposure" thing actually has value on rare occasion. It all depends on the kind of exposure you're getting, though. I mean, maybe we could get a gig on a country fair stage in front of 2000 country music lovers, but that kind of exposure wouldn't do us any good! On the other (hypothetical) hand, ask me to pay $100 to, say, tour with the pAper chAse for a month, and i'll have the chck written out before you can tell me who to make it out to.

Every man has his price!


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Postby Jeribelle » Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:11 pm

yeah, The Type got that "yr so awesome" message too.

it said to only respond if I was totally serious about making it in the music "biz".

which i'm not. :P

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Postby benfury » Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:15 pm

all this talk of pay to play and no rave bashing. pay to play cd comps are bad enough. but pay to play venues? shit.

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Postby lil bunny fufu » Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:51 pm

the Good Doctor wrote:
There are a few far-flung exceptions, i'm sure. And yeah, the whole "exposure" thing actually has value on rare occasion. It all depends on the kind of exposure you're getting, though. I mean, maybe we could get a gig on a country fair stage in front of 2000 country music lovers, but that kind of exposure wouldn't do us any good! On the other (hypothetical) hand, ask me to pay $100 to, say, tour with the pAper chAse for a month, and i'll have the chck written out before you can tell me who to make it out to.

Every man has his price!


'zactly.


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