(From therundown.tv)

Welcome to the Space Jam

Ahhhhh, it’s that time of year again!

(From therundown.tv)

(From therundown.tv)

October? Fall? Oh, right. No, I was talking about the annual Nuçi’s Space Jam series. Every Thursday in October, you can go to Nuçi’s Space for some prime local live music. But, these just aren’t you regular agent-booked shows. Students from a class in the Music Business Certificate program- MBUS for short- are divided into groups who each have a mission to put on a concert benefiting the Nuçi’s. All they’re given for certain is a venue and date. Finding artists (who are cool playing for no monies), decorating the space, providing hospitality, promotion, organizing raffles/art displays/other interesting exhibits, and all other tasks fall to the young confidants. Talk about weight on your shoulders… this project is also graded. But, the professors know exactly what they’re doing here. It’s like moving to Spain after taking an introductory Spanish language class for two months. The Space Jams are tangible experience for us MBUS student.

But, before I continue this abnormally-long post, I bet some of your are asking what Nuçi’s Space is. Nuçi’s Space came about after the tragic suicide of UGA student and local musician, Nuçi Phillips. His family created this place,nucis located on Oconee Street, for musicians struggling with depression and other disorders to actually get help for suicide prevention. It’s a safe environment for bands to practice with four rent-able spaces, and free of substances. Nothing I say can truly express how immensly important this institution is for our city. I love and support everything about it. Want to get involved? Volunteer, tell others about it, come to a Space Jam- the net of ticket collections go straight to the Space.

And not to mention, every Space Jam is so fun. When it’s your groups night, you’re either running around like a chicken with its head cut off, wringing your hands like a middle school boy about to ask a girl to dance because you’re so nervous about people showing up, or you’re standing in front of the sound booth just chillin’ because this is the first group meeting you’ve graced you presence with. Personally, my Nuçi’s Space Jam ended up attracting a lot of people. I remember looking around as our headliner took the stage, watching the audience cheer and jump with excitement. I thought, We did this. We are not experienced, not professionals, but we did this. It was the first time I realized that college isn’t a waiting period… just let me roll out the cheese mobile for a second…  we will always be in metaphorical college. We will always be learning, but its not formal so no one thinks it really counts. No wonder most college seniors are terrified to graduate. School is a security blanket. As long as you study, you get to stay! But, if all you do is study, how will you ever relieve any anxiety about not knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life (which is also another myth I’d like to dispel on another occasion)? We bind ourselves by invisible limits on what we are capable of achieving because we consider ourselves ‘inexperienced’ and ‘lacking direction’. You’ll continue to be those things for the rest of your life if you keep waiting ’til you ‘have you act together’. This one project was a wake up call. It’s terrifying and its awkward… for a while… but that’s how you know you’re getting somewhere. So, get out there.

Nuçi’s Space Jam #1 is tomorrow evening at 7! Click here for more info.

Can’t make it tomorrow? Try #2, #3, #4, #5, or #6 (in Nov.)
Find Nuçi’s and the MBUS program on Facebook and Twitter.

Market or Die

IN A WORLD where fans more often look at social media accounts than websites for updates on their fav artists, it’s more important than ever to learn about ugly yet beautiful animal named Marketing. If you pet him and give him treats, Marketing can earn you new ‘likes’ on Facebook daily and more importantly- people off their butts and into venues. It’s a temperamental animal at times, because not every artist can use the same set of tactics and yield the same results. So, it might take a bit to get any results. Trust me.

Here’s a few pieces of advise to take your bands Facebook page from, “Oh, you have one?” to “I check it every day”. The advise is a mix between what I learned as an intern this summer with Thirty Tigers (thanks Morgan, Sarah, & Whitney!) and being an observant ‘net user.  And, I’ll use some local Athens bands to show ya what I’m talking about.

Figure out your band’s voice

Do you only us lower case letters in all your posts? How about punctuation? Are you overly explicit in your details? Are you sarcastic? When you’re an up-and-coming artist, we (the public) need to get to know you in order to remember you. Analyze the way your bandmates talk to each other, to fans in person, on stage to the audience. What do you want people to think of your band? Then tailor the words/messages in your posts to reflect all those things. Dana Swimmer and New Madrid excel at this.

Give it some gas

At the birth of your Facebook page, you absolutely need to nurture it with some key info. It doesn’t matter if what you put in the “Bio” section is real or not, it needs to have something. Padre‘s bio says nothing about the band itself, but its hilarious. Dank Sinatra on the other hand, actually has a history of the band.

Update frequently

Ok, what I’m about to say may scare you. Try to post something on some social account every other day/few days when you’re just starting out. I know, I know, I’m not the best example and I dread using social media. BUT, you will lose people if you go months without posting. They’ll forget your page exists. Hopefully you have fans that are dedicated enough to rely on checking venue websites or have your number, but there’s a reason why marketing exists. Locals who have this down: Emily Hearn, and New Wives.

G3t wEiRd

You need to remind your fans about upcoming shows. We are all terribly forgetful. But, bands are made up of humans and humans do more than just play music. Take the voice you defined earlier and do something with it. Post a funny picture with a funny caption. Post a boring picture with a funny caption. Talk about the weather- no, don’t do that.  There’s thousands of bands out there-why are you special? LET THE WORLD GET TO KNOW YOU. I love the Secret Stages posts from Brothers. They’re killin’ this section.

Eye candy is your BFF

A whole page of status updates full of words is boring. Sorry ’bout it. Think about how you scroll down your personal Facebook news feed. What is your eye caught by? A great picture, video link, graphic! Stand out among the madness. If you don’t have any graphics, take some pictures, record a video on your phone, ect. There are maybe a handful of posts within the last two months that DON’T have any eye candy from the Family & Friends page.

Maybe it’s not all about you

Well, of course you made a band page for your band… but, the music biz heralds itself (at least on the indie level) on being a commuity-oriented environment. People help each other out. If you have a buddy who needs help with a kickstarter or just released an EP, think about sharing that on your page. Maybe he or she will share your big news in return! Check out Phiness for a good example of that.

OMG TAGGING

Whenever you’re posting about a show where your band isn’t the only one playing, tag the other bands AND the venue. This way, all the followers of said organizations will see your post and will hopefully go to your page (and then to the show). Dank Sinatra can you show you the ropes.

Things you would’ve never thought of…

1. Make sure you put that you are from Athens, GA (or whatever city you hail from). This will help narrow the search, especially if your band name is Fork or some other kind of one-word nonsense.
2. You can opt to schedule posts. When you’re finished typing a post, there’s a little clock to the left of the ‘post’ button. So, you can schedule things if you won’t have time when you actually want it to be live. It’s like a mini Hootsuite for Facebook.
3. Try not to change the pages profile picture and/or cover photo tooooo often. You want to stay somewhat recognizable to people.

 

This has been a public service announcement.

Here’s a great vid from (not Athens, but Nashville locals) The Lonely Biscuits. Another great example of good marketing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Athens Weekend Pickin’s

THURSDAY

Red Bull Sound Select strikes again! This time we’re at the Georgia Theatre to bow down to Reptar & New Madrid w/ BABY BABY, Cousin Dan, and Jungol. Tickets are $3 is you RSVP, and $10 if you don’t. I’d advise to get there a little early- RSVP doesn’t guarantee entry… so, it’s like a Georgia home game.

FRIDAY

I’d go with the tiniest bar I’ve ever been to in Athens- Go Bar. They have a very interesting array of talent happening Friday night. I’ve never seen/heard Sad Dads, Dandy Line (who formed like earlier this month), Papa Legba, or DJ Hot Wax, but I am willing to take a chance on this one. Just take the night to townie up.

SATURDAY

Speaking of small clubs, how’s Caledonia gonna fit all these musicians and all their instruments inside their closet of a venue? I’d go just to see that magic happen. But, I’m really going because New Wives and Padre are on the bill. These indie fiends equal some good times regardless of amplification. Also that night: Juna, Pallow, Madre Padre, and Maetel.

SUNDAY

Sundays in downtown Athens are usually bombarded (very slowly) by bleary-eyed students who whisper their orders, and pleasantly-dressed church folk. So, I think the venues have learned they gotta give us at least one day to recover. BUT, this weekend will be one for the books.

The first ever Yard Jam at 510 Pulaski St is happening. Doors @ 6:30 and music @ 7:00 from Athens lovelies Sam Burchfield, Andrew Huang, and making their Athens debut- HOSTS of Nashville!! Cover is $3. The party is hosted by yours truly and UGA’s own Kelsey Butterworth. Come on out! Check out the Facebook event for more details.

Realgood Recent Releases

Kids These Days- Judah & The Lion

kidsthesedaysIt’s the first-ever full length album from trio! Well done, gentleman. A lot of changes with this one compared to their EP’s Sweet Tennesse and First Fruits. Speaking of firsts, this is the first album without the use of female backing vocals. Not that it’s inherently good or bad, it’s a choice to better define their sound so, I support that. Kids These Days presents our ears with a much more diverse content lyrically and melodically than ever before. First Fruits was strictly Christian worship tunes. Sweet Tennessee was more discrete about the incorporation of faith/Christianity into the mix. But, I think testing the waters with songs off ST like “Our Love” proved to Judah & The Lion that their intentional crashing of “secular”/”sacred” music works… really, really well. I see a whole lot of confidence from that realization that translates into the instrumentation arrangement and production- not being scared of taking chances. We [music listeners] like chances when they end well. Kids These Days is an end that is well with us.

My favorites? Kickin’ Da Leaves. The first time I ever heard the guys play was in a music business class. I was entranced by this song. I went home and tried to search for it online for what felt like forever. FINALLY after a year of waiting, I have it in my possession.  Overall, “Twenty-Somethings” and “Rich Kids” is incredibly relate-able because I am a twenty-something with absolutely no money. if that’s you, then well… here ya go.

 Swimmin’ Time- Shovels & Rope

I have to say… if you’re not a HUGE Shovels & Rope fan, you’re probably really into “Birmingham” and maybe one other song. But, I swimmintimethink they’re slower tempo tracks like “Lay Low” and Swimmin’ Time‘s “After The Storm” are the duo’s greatest treasures thus far. The latter is an audible representation of being at the fabled yet very real rock bottom and knowing there’s a way out, but you can’t pull yourself up. You’re begging for help… and awaiting the answer…. Is there anyone out there who can help me? It’s a haunting six minutes.

Another gem, the raunchy “Ohio” with delta blues horns and distortion effect on the guitar that make you wanna skip outta town and indulge in a sin or two with the NOLA natives.

My #3 pick from the set is the title track. The refrain will follow you. Everywhere. Let it inspire you.

**See Shovels & Rope live in ATHENS in two weeks! Oh, wait. You can’t unless you already bought your ticket ’cause it’s sold out, son. Whoops.

 BOTH ALBUMS AVAILABLE ON ITUNES AND SPOTIFY

Weekend Picks in Athens

THURSDAY

New Earth gets my vote for The Heavy Pets w/ The Freshtones and Harlem Albright Band

FRIDAY

Caledonia Lounge gotcha covered with a FREEEEE show all about The Orange Constant from Statesboro, GA.

SATURDAY

If you’re one of the few people not at all interested in the Troy v UGA game, then you’ll most likely have enough energy to muster for some live music. For all those unaware, that was sarcasm. I appreciate your patience. Anyway, for all you hip hop people, I’d suggest this week’s installment of Athens Intensified at New Earth featuring The Egyptian Lover. But, I’m more of a rock gal myself and would go to The Georgia Theatre for some Earphunk with Kyle Hollingsworth Band.

PARKLIFE FEST

This Sunday just down the road (a little ways) in Atlanta, is a one day music fest that is by all means worth the drive. PARKLIFE is happening at Atlantic Station’s Central Park from 2:00 til whenever they kick Jake Bugg off the stage. But, before Bugg we have Altanta’s own Shadowboxers, Mississippi natives The Weeks, Nashville heroes LP and The Wild Feathers, and then all the way from Brooklyn come The Lone Bellow. Oh, man… and day-of-show tickets are $30. I’d gladly pay that much to see ONE of these artists.

Jake Bugg, LP, and The Weeks are the only ones I’ve never seen live before. I’m expecting big things from all of them. I’m sure they’ll deliver. I remember listening to Nashville’s Lightning 100 one morning, and hearing this girl wailing with only an acoustic guitar to cut through the otherwise silent studio. It was LP doing a live performance of Tokyo Sunrise and it was the greatest.

I think I listen to The Lone Bellow’s self-titled album at least once every day. You should too.

If you’re road trippin’ to PARKLIFE, here’s a Spotify playlist to get you there. It’s basically every song from every artist playing. Pretty basic.

Here’s another one with my favorites from each artist!

Athens Weekend Round up

THURSDAY

I pick Moon Taxi at the Georgia Theater. I do believe tickets are sold out, so that is tragic for all those without. Opening for them is another Nashville band, The Lonely Biscuits, whom I have stalked via Audiotree… so there’s that. There’s going to be so much jam happening in the GATH tonight. Fav tracks to look out for during the show: ‘Southern Trance’ & ‘Running Wild’ from MT, and ‘Casual Vibes’ from TLB.

FRIDAY

Head on over to New Earth for a little more local flavor than my Thursday pick. Hey- they’re all from Georgia so that’s lovely. Up and comers, Walden headline the night. A hometown buddy of mine, Alex Young, will show us his stuff before then, and ever BEFORE that is Atlanta’s Ryan Steffes. A night o’ singer/songwriters.

SATURDAY

Melting Point takes the cake tonight for Dayroom‘s 20th anniversary show featuring AthFest veterans Kick The Robot. I would even go just to see Kick The Robot. So much talent. So wow.

SUNDAY

PARKLIFE festival in Atlanta, yo. Music starts at 2PM with The Shadowboxers. Then it continues with The Weeks, LP, The Wild Feathers, The Lone Bellow, and then Jake Bugg. Oh, holy cow. CAN’T WAIT.