Category Archives: Music

50 FAT WAYS TO TURN YOUR FANS INTO FAMILY!

family

There Are Millions of Ways to Think Beyond the Box and Create a Culture of Fans who take ownership of Your Vision and become True Family! Your Imagination is the Limit!

Here Are A Few Successful Methods I have Utilized Multiple Times with My Band SounDoctrine, Within My Own Career, or when Consulting Other Artists. Twist These Up! Have Fun with Them and Contact Me with Further Questions or to Share Your Results!

Tonight (Thursday 8/31 @ 6PM EST) I will be on Hybrid Jazz from Trish Hennessey. We will be unpacking several of these strategies and talking with Many Varied EntreMusicians who will share their Own Tips & Tactics that Keep Their Artistry Intact. Feel Free to Listen & Call In  – Your Voice is IMPORTANT! The Number to Call In is 323.843.6172.  Check Out Trish’s Facebook!

50 FAT WAYS TO TURN YOUR FANS INTO FAMILY!
1. Write a Song With Your Fan.
SounDoctrine Once Held a Lyric Contest on Facebook. JeAnnette Singleton’s Words Worked Well & Won and We Signed a Co-writing deal, recorded and released “(That’s Why) It’s Called Love” on our ‘Inspire’ CD.
2. Feature Fans Frequently on Your Website
3. Feature Fan’s Favorite Quotes in Your Newsletter
4. Honor a Charity Your Fans Support at Your Next Show
5. Feature a Few Fans In Your Next Video.
SounDoctrine asked fans to send in their wedding pics to be featured in our video for the song “Marriage.” The Response was Overwhelming and made for a Great Way to Celebrate the Sacredness of Marriage.
6. Invite Two Fans to A Rehearsal. Have them Stream it on their Pages.
7. Invite Three Fans to A Recording Session. Upload it to Your Website.
8. Have a Fan Host an Old Fashioned House Party. Sell Tickets for $4.99. Stream It!
9. Use Your Song As a Bundle with a Book Release.
SounDoctrine partnered with author Gregory S. Trent who wrote the book “Selah,” which was the exact title of our single “Selah” from the ‘Source’ CD. For 30 Days after the initial release, anyone who bought his book got the single as a ‘Freemium’ (our $$ agreement was with him).
10. Do A Music Marketing Workshop in Your City teaching what You’ve Learned and invite Another Band to Perform. This move builds Solid Relationships with other musicians and also shows Your Fans whom You Are Fans of.
11. Hold a Can Food Drive for the Less Fortunate at your next show.
Early on SounDoctrine experienced the Value of Partnering with Our Fans to Help Out the Community, providing them a Discount on Admission Fee, Helping Out The Local Rescue Mission and Garnering Some Great Press in the Process. We began doing that in other cities as well.
12. Adopt a Color, Create a Symbol, Logo, Style or Phrase and Never, Ever Leave It!
Enhance It, But Never Abandon It! (Think P-Funk!!) SounDoctrine frequently refers to our music as “Originalternativefunkjazzfusion!
13. Create a Blog Specific to Your Fans Demographics & Interests

(This is Different from Your Newsletter which informs them about YOU – The Blog is about THEM)
14. Write & Market a Song Tied to a Personal Event.

(Think Tony, Toni, Tone’s “Anniversary.”)
SounDoctrine’sMeant 2B” doubled as a means to link to marriage & wedding blogs and sites. We also created an extended instrumental remix for bridal parties to use in the actual wedding.
15. Lead and/or Rally A Cause! Show Support for an Issue Bigger than Your Artistry. Draw Attention to It, Speak at a Rally and Let Your Voice be Heard!
16. Endorse a Candidate.
Yeah, I Know, but sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand. This move turns Fans into Family – or Enemies! It doesn’t have to be a Presidential Race, but Someone Your Band Strongly Believes will Make a Difference in Your Community or Country.
17. Throw a Private Party Twice a Year with Invitations Only for the First 25 or 50 Fans who Must Show Up by a Certain Time!

Hold it in a Very Public Place, Ensuring Liability Insurance, Security, etc and Make It Very Special!
18. Produce a Live Event that promotes Other Named Acts and make it a Regular Event!
We were blessed to produce the Youngstown Jazz Fest for three consecutive years, which we spun off into a monthly “Second Sundays” Event which garnered corporate sponsorship and featured artists of much higher caliber than SounDoctrine, which kept our name associated with Quality.
19. Interview Famous Artists. Post The Interviews.
20. Get Interviewed. Ditto
21. Interview the Interviewer. Ditto, Ditto
22. Answer Every Single Social Media Correspondence Sent to You ASAP or Create a Clone to Do It For You.
23. Get Barbershops, Beauty Salons & Boutiques to Play Your Music in their shops.
You Do Have Your Event Posters & Placards in There Too, Right?
24. Perform Live on Local Community TV and Yes, I Mean Schedule Them in Whatever’s City You Perform in Next!
25. Help A Community Center/Adopt A Block or Become A Big Brother/Sister
26. Proudly Promote Your Faith / Lifestyle / Values & Principles
27. Heavily Endorse an Equipment and/or Software Manufacturer.

Keep Track of Your Events & Projects that Utilize their Stuff and Contact them Repeatedly about being featured on their site(s).
28. Bring 15 Unsuspecting Fans In to Your Sound Check.

Ask them how well they are able to hear from various seating/spaces in the venue and thank them. Once back outside in line, they’ll call everyone they know, recount the experience and invite them to come down immediately.
29. Create a Cover Contest for One of Your Songs. Have Fans Upload to Your FB Page.

30. Share the Back Story Of Every Song

(what you were feeling/thinking when you wrote it – what was going on in your life. Share the recording process and how you came up with “that” sound.
31. Become an Actor in an Indie Film.
32. Stay to Meet Your Fans As Soon As the Gig Ends! Talk!
Take Pictures! Sign The CD! Laugh!!!…As Often as Appropriate!
33. Thank Your Fans Publicly as Often As You Can!
Especially Online Right After The Gig!
34. Host An Online“Ask Us Anything Event”
35. Chat Often. Skype a Favorite Fan. Make Them All Feel Like They’re Your Favorite. Dude, it’s possible, I have three daughters.
36. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask…
37. Share Your Mistakes
38. Be Genuine or Quit
39. Be Generous or…
40. Practice Excellence Daily
41. Compliment a Woman Personally (that’s a great color on you / Your Home/Office is Beautiful) Compliment a Man on His Items or Achievements (Dude! How Much Did that Set You Back / Hey, Great Job on That!)before you call me sexist, try it!
42. Call Out Your Fans Name from the Stage, During the Show!
43. Mentor Talent whenever You Find It.
I’ve Never Missed an Opportunity to Give a Person a Chance. Sometimes it’s set me back, Sometimes I’ve been bitten, but Often I’ve gained so much more in wonderful collaborations.
44. Remain Humble. Be Polite. Don’t be a Jerk.
45. Give Music Lessons
46. Visit Elementary Schools in Every City You Tour.
Perform an Assembly with an Educational / Anti-Drug Theme.
And Don’t be a Hypocrite. (Ask Me About This One).
47. Keep Your Email List Current
48. Purge Your FB Friends/Followers as often as Necessary.
49. Populate Your Linked In/Instagram Posts Meticulously.
50. Tweet Thrice A Day

TheEntreMusician.com

Engage, Encourage, Empower!
© 2017 Gerald H. Beulah, Jr. / © 2017 Tejai, LLC

 

I was Listening to War’s “The World is a Ghetto” on Vinyl while Composing this Blog

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Chase Away The Proverbial “They!”

crowdThey Say: “You’ll Never Make It in this Business” 

They Say: “You Need to Go to This School and have That Degree”

They Say: “Only 2% Succeed in Your Industry, So Don’t Bother”

They Say: “You Need The Right Connections”

They Say: “You Have to Dress Like This and Play Your Trumpet Like That or Forget It!” 

They Say: “No One Is Going to Appreciate Your Style of Music!”

They Say: “You Have No Right to Take That Position”

They Say: “You Don’t Deserve to Receive Those Accolades!”

They Say: “It Will Never Work!”

They Say: “Don’t Expect Much, So You Won’t Be Disappointed!”

Yes, They Say a lot of Discouraging, Mean & Nasty Things, often without trying to be Mean, Nasty or Discouraging.

Somehow They forget that the Celebrated Icons They Themselves Honor, Revere & Adore were Told the Very Same Things, Did Not Have the Right Connections, Money, Resources or Attend an Institution of Select Pedigree.

Icons are Pioneers whom Forge their Own Identities, Sounds, Art & Creativity onto the Global Landscape without Asking Permission or Seeking Solace in the Status Quo.

These Ambassadors of Innovation Shift the Platform of Public Paradigms into New Realities of Consciousness that Shape the Future and Transcend Life As We Currently Understand It.

With Constant Obstacle, Hurdles, Detours and Encumbrances at Every Level, Vanguards Chase Away the Proverbial They as These Climb Higher Toward Their Own Thrones, Created Just for Them.

Go and Do Likewise…

I Was Listening to YellowJackets “Shades” on Vinyl while composing this post.

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Your Year In Review…Today

EntreMusicians are Excellent Planners & Keen Executioners. We are Faithful at Follow Up and Process our Visions to the Nth Degree. We Face Forward and Effortlessly Advance to our Next Scheduled Items without Losing the Groove.

All Good, but…

EntreMusicians are also challenged with an Acute Inability to Pause and Review our Work. We fail to Properly Index our Calendars to Scrutinize our Previous Performances & Projects and Ascertain their Effectiveness.

While most of us maintain the habit of waiting until the Final Week of December to sit with our Old & Shiny New Planners, the Wiser Move is to Consistently Schedule Weekly, Monthly & Quarterly Reviews (the More Obsessive EMs Implement Dailies) to Appropriate Our Goals, Sharpening Our Saws as We Meticulously Slice Away.

As We Approach this Fifth Month of the Year (already!) let’s take a day or two to Glance Back at the Rear View to Make Sure We’re Not Adrift of the Course we launched in January.

 

I was listening to Herbie Hancock’s “Mr. Hands” on Vinyl while composing this blog.

 

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You & The SR Copyright

The Copyright in Sound Recording (SR) serves as a Blanket of Sorts for Your Created Work. And by ‘Work’ I mean Your Song, Poem, Speech, Rap, Spoken Word or Audio Book.

If Your Song is Original and You Created The Music, Lyrics, Melody, Arrangement AND Also Recorded these Elements, You are Eligible to File an SR which covers Your Song in Its Entirety, as opposed to having to separately file a Performance Arts (PA) to Cover the Music & Lyrics.

If You have Covered Someone Else’s song and Plan to Release It to the Public in some format, you’d do well to file for an SR copyright of Your Version beforehand. Just make sure you have appropriately secured licensing from the original copyright owner, either through Harry Fox or EZ Song Licensing.

The SR secures ownership of the fixed instrumentation and sounds irregardless of the Original  Author’s contribution to Music and/or Lyrics. I Just completed an SR for My Production of Eric Tyus‘ version of the Sounds of Blackness‘ classic”Everything Is Gonna Be Alright.”

These days it’s important for the EntreMusician to know the subtle nuances of the SR Copyright on their Original Work. This obviously includes Poets, Motivational Speakers, Preachers, Teachers, Rappers, etc., where so much of our public work is subject to being recorded, sampled, set to music, imported into video, remixed and released to Sound Cloud and Other Apps often without our knowledge.

If You were to Give a Speech or Recite Your Poetry on a College Campus or in front of an Audience and the University or Someone were to Record It on their System, Mobile or other device, that person (or the University) would be Entitled to Ownership through the Library of Congress by filing an SR unless Forbidden to do so by Prior Written Agreement. Undoubtedly, the same holds true for EntreMusicians at their Gigs and Concerts – which is why most people utter firm expletives when “NO RECORDING” signs are posted at Shows, but proceed to record anyway…

Both the Grateful Dead and Dave Matthews Band encouraged Mass Audience Recording & Reproduction of their Concerts and found them to be Excellent Promotional Tools which help Spread their Music like dandelions across a deserted field and many other artists followed suit, some opting to release their own “Official Bootlegs” to boost their fan base.

Plenty still choose to Protect the Dignity of their Live Presentations by Forbidding any Unauthorized Recording, Duplication and Sales of their Appearances in any form. But Everyone knows that Technology Stampedes Sacred Rights and bolsters the Mantra of Free Music for All! This has lead to Intense Conversation which suggests that the Ultimate Role of Copyright is Null & Void, since Everything Everywhere is Available to Everyone within a few clicks.

I Would Love to Know Your Opinion, Especially if You are a Content Creator of any Creative Classification. Are You of the Mindset that Your Conceptions should enjoy the Protection Copyright Provides or that from now on All things Should Be Out on Open Source?

Please Leave a Comment, I’d Love to Explore this Conversation Deeper. If You Have Not Already Done So, Download My Free E-Book, 50 Ways to Transform Your Fans into Family.” 

 

I Was Not Listening to Any Music while Composing & Posting This Piece, but all kinds of Random Songs are running through my head..

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12 Tools You Absolutely Need to Prepare for A Wildly Successful Year

  1. A Reasonably Healthy Body, Mind & Spirit
  2. A Brain adept at Creative & Critical Thinking
  3. One Brilliant Idea
  4. The Ability to Prioritize, Plan & Organize
  5. A Mailing Address
  6. A Table
  7. A Chair
  8. A Smartphone
  9. Access to WiFi
  10. An Encouraging Friend for the Tough Times
  11. Humility
  12. Hardcore Perseverance

Now Let’s Go Get It!!!!

…I was listening to The Crusaders‘ “Chain Reaction” (again) on vinyl while composing this

Happy Birthday, Tejai!

 

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7 Legendary Music Producers Who Continue to Teach Me Everything I Know…

With the untimely passing of Super Producer Kashif Saleem and the sudden sad news of Ultra-Compsoer Rod Temperton‘s death, I’ve been in Reflective Mode, remembering those who’ve most influenced me as a producer and in whose muse I most rely on when I am trying to make the best musical decision on a project.

As I explored my vast vinyl collection (one benefit of age), I began to notice a common theme among my favorites. For One, the Best Producers simply ‘stayed out of the way of the artist’ – even if they were the composer. Secondly, The Best are equally adept in multiple styles of music. I was often surprised to find their MusicPrints on a variety of different genre.

For that reason, I have NOT Included L.A. & Babyface or their predecessors Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis or even Teddy Riley, all of whom I highly respect and admire. But these teams ushered in an era of the Superstar Producer whose stature overshadowed both The Song and The Artist. Additionally, although they worked with Musical Acts outside of their immediate genre, the production itself never ‘dissolved’ into the style they were attempting.

I also stayed away from My  Absolute Heroes, each now deceased George Duke, Maurice White & Prince.  Since Motown is it’s own genre, I left them out (for now, but look out for a future blog). And I Did Not The Master Maestro, Stevie Wonder for Extremely Obvious Reasons!

It is extremely difficult to present a “countdown” as if  One Producer is/was Better than the other, irregardless of the number of Grammys, Albums or Artists they produced. In fact, I’ve gone a little out of my way to honor several producers who are not necessarily ‘household names,’ but set standards of experimentation and truth many modern producers obey like the Ten Commandments.

So, Let’s Get Started:

My Personal Homage to Q is his ability to create an experience inside each song. He doesn’t look for the  easiest way to the bridge and allows a chorus to build until it percolates, all the while leaving room for God to walk in the room (his words).

I tried to utilize this approach on “Meant2B

My Personal Homage to Arif is Chaka‘s “What Cha Gonna Do For Me” album. It’s the Statement of the Century and clearly the reason she rose up the ranks from Funk Queen to True Diva. The Songs, The Musicians, The Arrangements, The Sound he created around her voice is probably the reason I most often seek female vocalists to sing my songs.

Nohoour” is such an example

  • Russ Titleman – Russ’ work is hidden in the liner notes of some of your favorite albums. From the first Graham Central Station disc to James Taylor, Eric Clapton and On & On, this Brother’s Production Chops are among the greatest chart toppers out there. His Productions are Clean, Crisp & Clear.

My Personal Homage to Russ is his total transparency in all of the work I have listened to. The Artist is center stage and Titleman simply gives them wings to fly and gets out of the way.

I learned this lesson on “Source

  • Tommy LiPuma – I was 17 when I opened up the First YellowJackets Album and discovered the Magic of Mr. LiPuma. This Man is the Definition of a Music Producer and Everyone from Barbara Streisand to George Benson has called upon him to make their projects soar.  Tommy’s projects sound like a Groove Machine inside a Butter Factory; Rich & Warm and Simultaneously Slick.

My Personal Homage to Mr. Lipuma is rooted in the Casino Lights Album, arguably one of the best Live Albums I own. The Set features the aforementioned YellowJackets, Al Jarreau, Randy Crawford, David Sanborn and Neil Larsen & Buzzy Feiten. The album did what a great production should and made me a fan of each artist!

I was pretending to be Tommy when I produced Eric Tyus’ “Stop On By

  • Jerry Wexler  – was slightly before my time of actually making music, but I can remember my ears glued to my step father’s stereo when Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding was on. We ate Cornbread & Buttermilk in those days and that’s exactly what Wexler’s mixes sound like. Biscuits & Gravy, Hog Guts pouring right out of the speakers and onto the living room floor and when I got turned on to Led Zeppelin and Cream as a teenager, I KNEW those White Boys ate Cornbread too.

My Personal Homage to Mr. Wexler’s legacy is his commitment to Down Home SOUL, which is not a geographical location, but in the heart of True Musicians & Singers. Jerry Wexler Captured It and Archived It forever.

I attempted to do the same on “Blues Crossing” 

I began this post by noting the passing of Kashif and Rod Temperton. Both of these men’s music enveloped, encouraged and inspired my formative years. I am deeply indebted to Kashif by dissecting his eponymous debut and equally seductive”Send Me Your Love.” And You & I both know that Every Single R&B Slow Jam since 1977 follows the law laid down by Temperton’s “Always & Forever

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My 5 Favorite Spaces

This Week I’m Dropping Five of My Favorite Resources & Tools I Regularly Rely On to Bring both Efficiency & Effectiveness to My EntreMusicianship. Through Several Years of Honing Creative & Productive Habits, I’ve Found These Spaces Work Best for Me. Although I Am Sure You Have a Toolbox of Your Own, Here’s My Five Faves:

REASON 9

Although I Also Employ Sonar Platinum, Vegas Pro 11, Sound Forge Pro 10 & Acid Pro 7 (For their Amazing Beat Mapper!) as Needed,  Reason has Long been My First Choice for Writing & Production. Reason is Completely Customizable & Intuitive and I’ve Never had a Need Reason Could Not Handle. It’s Fast, Powerful & Practical!

HOOTSUITE

The Efficacious EntreMusician’s Social Media Presence Must Be As Concise as it is Impactful. Hootsuite Allows Me to Schedule & Post Across All Platforms & Groups Seemlessly. Although the Paid Version Allows Limitless Engagement On Each Stream, I Chose My Three Most Popular Spaces to Post to and allowed the rest to remain Peripheral. Thank God I Have Michaela on My Team to Keep Me Consistent!   (Follow, Friend & Connect!!)

EVERNOTE

I Admit to Being just a Toddler on Evernote. There’s So Much To Learn & Do on this thing!

I Use It to Write Lyrics, Record Thoughts, File Dreams, Keep Key Contacts, Doodle, Design and Shape Stuff! I Love It’s Flexibility & Availability, No Matter What Device I Reach For! There is Also A Paid Version for Power Users.

THE INDIE BIBLE

The Best Way To Describe How I Use Indie Bible is as a Networking Platform, which I don’t believe was David Wimble’s purpose when he created it. I’m Happy to Say I was One of His First Customers. IB’s Main Purpose is to be the Premier Place for Indie Bands & Artists to Find Gigs, Radio Stations & Other Outlets to Showcase their Music – and Trust Me, It is a Wealth of Information. The challenge SounDoctrine faces is that we are in such a Tiny Genre, there aren’t too many places for us to Upload Our Originalternativefunkjazzfusion!” 

But IB is packed so full of resources, we utilize the Information as a Springboard to Help Other EntreMusicians, Most of Whom Reciprocate which Turns It Into A Major “Win-Win”

THE BUZZ FACTOR

Another Ocean of Invaluable Information is Bob Baker, whom Every EntreMusician MUST Check Out. I Cut My Teeth on his Ideas, Advice and Non-Traditional Suggestions. Bob’s Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook Should Be On Your Bookshelf and His Blog Will Provide You With The Nutrition You Need To Soldier On!

I Truly Hope You Could Benefit from The Spaces I spend The Most Time On & Offline. I’d Be Ecstatic to Know Where You Hang Out & What You Use to Get The Job Done! So Reach Out and Let Us Know!

I Was Listening to Russell Donnellon’s incredible “Since You Asked” while writing this entry!

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Ask Yourself The Hard Question!

Let’s Pretend for A Moment…

Say You’ve Invented a Brand New Universal Tool. Its Purpose is to Be An Important, Indispensable Standard that People of All Races, Ethnicity and Cultures will Appreciate & Enjoy!

This Tool Can Be Used In Your Home, Business, Car, Place of Worship or On Your Mobile Device while You’re On The Go. You Know that People Are Going To Love & Appreciate It, Once they are Aware of its Availability  and Affordable Price.

You Own the Patent to this Tool and have Trademarked the Brand Name. Although You Do Not Own the Various Patents to the Equipment & Software You’ve used to Develop This Fantastic Gadget, You Have Patented  & Control the Unique Processes by which Your Tool is Designed & Manufactured. You Are Aware that a Few “knock-offs” may be developed overtime, but Your Methodology Ensures that You Will Become & Probably Remain a Market Leader.

The Next Step is to Partner with a Distributor who can Help Market, Promote and Get Your Tool into as Many Hands as Possible. You Make What You Feel is A  Great Deal with a Company with a Global Reach and Does Not Impede on Your Exclusive Rights & Control over the Manufacture of Your Magnificent Tool.

Overtime, You Notice that This Distributor’s Profits have begun to Eclipse Your Own. For Every $1000 You See, They have made $10,000 and in some cases and in a few regions much, much more, due to their ‘bundling’ of Your Tool with Lesser Quality Devices. Heck, They’ve even Developed a Subscription Model whereby the Customer is able to Use Your Tool As Many Times as They Wish, Without Even Purchasing It.

To Some Extent, You May Not Mind the Creativity of The Distributor’s Concept. After All, Your Tool is Available Everywhere & Absolutely Everyone is Using it and Appreciating its Functionality. Your Tool is a Bonafide Hit!

The Problem is You’re Not Getting Paid What You Know Your Tool is Worth – and – If It Were Not for Your Tool, The Distributor would Never, Ever See the profits they currently enjoy.

So, You Try to Re-Negotiate, Only to Discover that this Very Rich, Very Smart, Well Connected Distributor has successfully lobbied certain Members of Congress, The DOJ, Other Well Established Government Officials and even Similar Minded Partner Distributors to Enforce Laws & Practices that Keep the Big Bucks Rolling In for Them while You’re Left Counting Pennies.

However, Remember that because You Own the Patents, Trademark and the Manufactured Tool itself, which The Distributor Needs to Sustain their Business, You Have A  Crucial Decision to Make.

Would You:

A) Keep Things the Way They Are, Grateful That Your Tool Is A Worldwide Sensation, Even Though You’re Being Robbed Out of Fair Compensation?? (In Fact, You Are Planning to Make More, Perhaps Better Tools to Send Them to Rob You With)

Or…

B) Remove Yourself & Your Tool from The Agreement and Begin the Painstaking Process of Becoming a Niche Distributor where Less People May Be Aware of Your Tool, But You Earn Higher Profits with Each Sale? (the additional profit affords you greater opportunity to improve your marketing)

 

Obviously You Understand that I am Talking About Songwriters and Their Songs.

I Sincerely Desire for Every EntreMusician to Answer This Question Truthfully.

Before You Do, However: Check Out These Two Articles:

STREAMING NOW MAKES SONY $25 MILLION A WEEK

SIRIUS OWNER SAVAGES SPOTIFY BUSINESS MODEL

I Have Had Hundreds of Conversations with Artist/Musicians at All Levels and Each Answer Varies to the Point where I Needed to Simplify My Approach by Presenting a Different Business where the Creator & Manufacture Must Look At The Bottom Line to Determine Whether of Not He/She Could Remain In Business or Close Their Doors.

Music is Such An Emotional Tool that Fame Often Overshadows Fortune. An EntreMusician Can End Up Eating Bread Sandwiches while Everyone is Singing Their Songs… 

 

I wasn’t listening to any music while composing this blog post.

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7 Reasons Why P-Funk is its Own Genre

Last week we explored 6 Reasons Why  Motown is its Own Genre and what EntreMusicians can learn from their stellar examples. Today we open up the can of Maggot Brains and uncover the stanky P-Funk that only continue to get stronger!

1) Crazy Wisdom. Both Words Aptly Apply to the visionary George Clinton who has been able to juggle Multiple Concepts, Rhythms, Personalities (as many as 60 simultaneous band members) & Record Labels and remain Active, Relevant and Viable at 75 Years Old.

Yes, he’s also equally endured Multiple Business Failures, Drug Use and Almost Inappropriate Everything, but just when you think he’s going to Lick His Wounds from a Rocking Chair, He’s Back On Stage, Leading the Charge for The Funk of it.

2) Uncanny Innovation. Early On, George surmised that the quickest way to get the attention P-Funk needed was to separate from the Motown Melting Pot and Trash the Suits and eschew Doo Wop after a few years of trying to fit in. Taking a cue from Hendrix, Clinton formed Funkadelic and put the guitars on the front burner. Enter Singers, Horns and the first Major Bass Line to be dominated by a Moog.

Experimentation took center stage as the band destroyed traditional ‘verse-hook-chorus-bridge’ composition and pursued The One, first and foremost, using whatever sounds were available and took studio production to extreme levels.

3) Comedic Cast of Characters. Every Member of P-Funk was a Star and George arranged for most everyone to Shine by creating multifarious acts within the band. From Eddie Hazel to Bernie, Bootsy, Glenn Goins, Gary Shider, Bigfoot, Catfish, Junie, Skeet, Fratengelo, The Brides, Horny Horns, Parlet, Blackbird, Hamp, Boogie, Fuzzy and On & On, You Cheered for Each and looked forward to their Contribution to the Funk.

George introduced Imaginary Characters into the dramedy which held as much (or more) court as their human bandmates. Dr. Funkenstein, Sir Nose (and Sir Nose, Jr.), Mr. Wiggles, Star Child, Sir Lollypop Man (alias The Long Haired Sucker), Casper & Bootzilla (who were actual aliases of Bootsy) extended the Imagination and Mythology of P-Funk.

It’s a little know fact that George’s production of The Red Hot Peppers’ Freaky Styley that truly put the rockers on the map. His offshoot groups like Jimmy G & The Tackheads, various guest appearances with artists like Xavier and Thomas Dolby and P-Funk’s long standing association with Prince help solidify their into the souls of Funkateers forever.

4) Expanding Narratives. Along with the creatures, real and imagined, are the vivid stories of a Chocolate City & its Vanilla Suburbs,an excursion through Downtown Bimini Road, the humiliation inflicted on Sir Noze utilizing the Bob Gun, the Essence of the Flashlight, the horror of America Eating its Young, Vietnam atrocities outlined in the Electric Spanking of War Babies, the sterile work ethic of the Children of Production in Dr Funkenstein’s laboratory and ultimately, the Landing of The Mothership continue to engage those new to the notion of Funkadelica.

5) Vital Visuality. Cementing the P-Funk Brand are the Neo-Psuedo, Part Comic Book/Part Novel Album Covers, designed by Pedro Bell and Overton Lloyd which carried over to the Chaotic Circus-like Concerts, where the clothing ranged from the Diaper Laden Shider to any number of Indians, Furry Space People, at least one Indistinguishable Animalistic Alien and a Sheet Wearing Clinton dominating the Stage.

6) Enchanting Motifs. Stopping the Show and shouting “Think…It Ain’t Illegal Yet!!” for 37 non-stop minutes reminded You of Where You Were and Why You Were There! “Gagagooga, gagagooga, gagagoogaga!” “Ha da da dee da hada hada da da!” “One Nation Under A Groove, Gettin’ Down Just For the Funk of It!” and countless chants uttered under the breath of bankers and executives in boardrooms, is foundational to the genius of P-Funk! You Can’t Help BUT Sing Along.

Equally Disturbing are the Infinite Infectious Bass Lines guaranteed to move ANY Head & Foot within 15 Feet! You Can NOT Resist (Even if You Don’t Particularly Appreciate the Song!) You Simply MUST Move! And With the Ever Present Spiraling Squigly Synth Lines Hypnotically Weaving Repetitive Motifs In & Out of the Groove, it’s Irresistible!

7) The One! Finally and Equally (if not most) Important is the P-Funk Approach to The One! Adapted from James Brown, who also accented the eagerly anticipated ‘3,’ P-Funk Stomped The One So Hard & Nasty, They Had to Write a Song About It! The One is the Nucleus of Every P-Funk Anthem.

A Famous George Clinton Chant is “It Would Be Ludicrous to Think We Are New To This, We Do Do This, This is What We Do!” Which is Precisely Why We’ve Been Diggin What’s Been Done for Decades and Why P-Funk is its Own Reward and remains in a Category of its Own!

I was Listening to George Clinton’s “R&B Skeletons in The Closet” while Composing this Blog.

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Your Song, Your Story, Your Voice

In Today’s Tumultuous Climate, with Raging Debates driving Social Media & Talk Shows and the Extraordinarily Divisive Atmosphere pervading even the smallest towns in these so called United States, it’s often easy to Ignore the Anointing available to EntreMusicians and Creatives to turn the tide.

The Inherent Power we Possess in Pointing Others toward Peace, Honor, Dignity, Unity and dare I say, the Promise of True Brotherly & Sisterly Love Does Indeed Exists, If We’d All only take a moment to Step Back, Breathe, Think, Pray & Righteously Engage.

As EntreMusicians & Artists, it’s Not Enough to Document the Current Reality, but to Prophecy of the Possibilities we all have access to as Citizens of Planet Earth.

Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Shirley Verrett, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Joan Dresner Bernstein, Gloria Larry House, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder (whose lyrics from “As” were recently recited by Dallas Police Chief David Brown during the Memorial for the Fallen Officers) and countless others uniquely utilized their Art to Soar over Sadder Times, creating a Soundtrack of Resilience, Hope, Salt & Light to Keep Us both Grounded and Looking Up.

So what about You?

How will You employ Your Song, Your Story, Your Voice and even Your Life to Shine as a Beacon in such a tremendously dark time in our country?

Lift It Up! Let It Shine! Sing It Loud! Say It Proud and Show Us The Way!

Here is a song I Wrote with the Dynamic Lyricist & Singer, Marlon Saunders, entitled “Just Think,” produced in a more peaceful period, but relevant for Today & Tomorrow.

 

I was listening to Jeff Lorber’s “It’s Fact” on vinyl while composing this blog!

 

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