Help Boston Discover The Arts Fuse

My client The Arts Fuse is about to launch its first large advertising campaign in Boston, with banner ads running on taxicab tops during May and June.

We’re using the Boston-based fundraising platform and so far we’ve raised 29% of our goal, with 22 days to go.

With the sad and sudden loss of The Boston Phoenix, Editor in Chief Bill Marx (WBUR, WGBH, The Boston Globe, The Boston Phoenix) and The Arts Fuse are stepping up to fill the void for arts coverage with its online arts magazine, which celebrates its 6th anniversary in 2013.

The Arts Fuse covers dance, film, food, literature, music, television, theater, video games, and visual arts. Because we are online, our readers are both local and global, helping to reinforce Boston as a cultural hub.
The Arts Fuse has 60+ expert writers and critics, 1,500+ articles online for free, 4,000+ Facebook fans, and 25,000+ web visits every month.
With The Boston Globe for sale and its arts coverage uncertain, Boston’s arts coverage has devolved into mostly complimentary coverage that does nothing to challenge readers. Once the public discussion of creativity degenerates into ever more ingenious forms of publicity—dedicated to selling tickets, pushing product, or generating gossip—the arts will have become a ‘prestige’ economic pastime rather than an indispensable realm of imaginative possibility.
Our goal is for The Arts Fuse to re-invigorate in-depth, thoughtful discussion of the arts.
The Arts Fuse has launched a crowd funding fundraiser with the Boston-based company to run an advertising campaign on 50 Boston-area taxicabs to help more people discover The Arts Fuse this May and June.

Future of Music Summit 2012

On Tuesday, November 13th, the Future of Music Coalition will hold its 11th annual Summit in Washington, DC, this year at the New America Foundation from 9 AM-6 PM EST / 6 AM-3 PM PDT.  This year’s event is now at capacity and sold out!

As you may know, the Future of Music Coalition is a national nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in June 2000 by musicians, artist advocates, technologists, and legal experts, the Future of Music Coalition works to ensure that musicians have a voice in the issues that affect their livelihood. FMC’s activities are rooted in real-world experiences and ambitions of working musicians, whose perspectives are often overlooked in policy debates.

Over the years, FMC has provided an important forum for discussion about issues at the intersection of music, technology, policy, and law.

I’ve known about the Future of Music Coalition since 2001 and interviewed two of its co-founders, Jenny Toomey and Michael Bracy for my podcast, Well-Rounded Radio, an interview series featuring musicians and music industry thought leaders.

In 2011 I helped FMC with their Artist Revenue Streams research project, where we asked the question, “How are today’s musician’s earning money?” More than 5,000 US musicians and composers took the survey and the final results have been presented at dozens of music conferences around the world to help people understand changes and trends in how to make a living when making music.

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of working with George Capalbo and Paul Kamp of Backbone Internet Radio on the JP Music Festival, a music festival in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood featuring more than 25 artists. The goal of the festival was to put some of our favorite local musical talent in front of a larger audience, The festival, just in its second year and attracting 1,500 people, was heard by more than 9,000 people over the course of one September day with Backbone’s help.

Working with Boston colleges Emmanuel College Radio and Simmons College Radio and their radio stations to broadcast the concert live, it was also distributed through theIntercollegiate Broadcasting System and TuneIn to reach music fans around the world.

For a tiny, new festival to have this reach was extremely exciting for the festival organizers as well as all the musicians who performed and had the opportunity to reach new ears and fans. It helped get the festival’s brand to a global audience and gave all the participating artists another way to reach potential fans. The webcast also gave our sponsors and underwriters exposure through both the live broadcast and post-event plays.

Given the Future of Music Coalition’s mission “that works to ensure a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want,” we wanted to look at new ways to reach people working in the music industry with this daylong event. Streaming audio from the Summit with Backbone Internet Radio is a terrific way for FMC to do that.

Backbone will help with FMCs streaming the event on November 13th, but they’ve also set up a preview station broadcasting now, which features highlights from past Future of Music Summits to give listeners a sneak preview of the kinds of subjects and ideas to be discussed this year. It was quick and simple to set up the station, using Backbone’s OnAirStudio and OnAirDisplay software.

Ultimately, the Future of Music Coalition is going to reach many more people across the US and through this audio stream, helping the organization to accomplish its mission and goals by educating and inspiring musicians.

The speakers and panels at the Summit will tackle big-picture issues like:

    • new ideas about how musicians are making a living
    • federal policies that impact musicians
    • insights and strategies from music industry insiders

View the full event’s schedule.

It’s a great event for musicians, entrepreneurs, academics, legal professionals, technologists, and media personnel.

Everyone listening to the event from around the US and world can ask questions of our live speakers and panelists via social media, as well via:

Need a reminder? RSVP for the E-Summit on Facebook or sign up for an email reminderfrom FMC.


Song Sparrow Research takes off…

A couple of years ago I interviewed Song Sparrow Research, a band from Seattle that I thought was truly amazing, for my music interview podcast series, Well-Rounded Radio.

Their first album was great…recorded in a giant metal-working warehouse in Seattle, the moody and dramatic album made me recall great artists like Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake, Sonic Youth, The Velvet Underground, Brian Wilson, and Neil Young.

Song Sparrow Research incorporates elements of rock, jazz, classical, folk, and experimental with guitar, cello, upright bass, electric bass, glockenspiel, drums, synth, percussion and assorted instrumentation.

The band name comes from a research project that lead singer and guitarist Hamilton Boyce was involved in while studying for his degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Washington.

Among my current Layers Marketing clients is Song Sparrow Research, whose second album just came out.

And guess what?

It’s even better than the first.

Recent reviewers have been raving  and citing bands like Beach House, Beirut, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Travis, as well.

Song Sparrow Research is playing a live set today, Wednesday, September 26th at 3 PM EST / 12 PM PDT on KEXP, the Seattle nonprofit radio station that is heard around the world and is one of the most influential “radio” stations in the world.

This is a big deal for an unsigned band who have recorded, produced, and released their album themselves.

Perhaps the playing field is actually flattened.

You can hear the new album and their debut.

Tune-in online if you are able; KEXP will stream the set live.

RSVP to our “online listening party” event on Facebook if you are so inclined and help us spread the word!

Second annual JP Music Festival

The JP Music Festival is back for its second year and will happen on Saturday, September 8, 2012. The festival features musicians who live or work in Jamaica Plain. This year’s amazing line-up at the JP Music Festival is as diverse as JP, with genres including funk, jazz, Mexican, classical, hip-hop, rock, Americana, folk, dance, punk, pop, and metal.

A 75-minute mix tape featuring most of the performers can be heard on Soundcloud.

The 2012 line-up features:

Almost Righteous
Rick Berlin with the Nickel & Dime Band
• Eamonn Bonner
Bob Bradshaw
Dennis Brennan
• Select Members of the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra
Coyote Kolb
Lauren DeRose
Amelia Emmet & Thick Wild
The Fully Celebrated
Gracious Calamity
Jamaica Plain Symphony Orchestra
The Late Greats
Lenny Lashley’s Gang of One
Pepe Gutierrez ‘El Tapatio’ y Mariachi Mexamerica
Morris and the East Coast
The Needy Visions
Riding Shotgun
Rocky Nook
Streight Angular
The Whiskey Boys

We’ll also have food trucks on-site available as of 11 AM, activities for kids, music merchandise, and a bike rack for anyone who would like to lock up.

Kids activities include…
• an instrument petting zoo with violin, electric bass electric, guitar, trombone, clarinet, and more!

Food vendors + trucks will include…
BBQ Smith
City Feed
Staff Meal
…plus carts selling cupcakes and popsicles!

Last year we had more than 1,200 people attend!

With car parking extremely limited, we encourage everyone to carpool, walk, bike, or take mass transit: best T options include the Orange Line’s Stonybrook stop or the number 39 bus, exiting at South Huntington Avenue at Perkins Street. Bike racks will be provided.

Teaching “Generating The Publicity Buzz” at Emerson College

Over the last two years I’ve been teaching “Marketing and The Internet” at Emerson College as part of their Professional Studies Certificate Program for Marketing and Branding. I just finished up the Spring 2012 semester and it was terrific. The class is a mix of Emerson Students and working professionals who want to learn more about e-marketing. This past semester included participants working on projects for Balance Spa, Cambridge Systematics, CAPLAWGloria Asselta, Draganfire, Kroc Center, ScooziVeryst Engineering, and Xcitex and it was a terrific semester.

This summer at Emerson I’ll be teaching “Generating the Publicity Buzz,” a course about public relations and help participants learn about public relations and refine their PR skills.

As the course catalog says…

“Participants will learn to promote products and ideas by setting objectives, choosing appropriate messages, selecting effective publicity vehicles, and creating public relations plans. With emphasis on the practical, participants will learn to build public relations contacts, draft media advisories and news releases, set up news conferences, pitch stories and profiles, write opinion pieces, develop media relations with reporters, handle crisis communications, and use the Internet and other new media to generate publicity. Individuals will build a public relations plan for their brands to generate buzz among employees, customers, and the media.”

We’ll use the text book, “The Practice of Public Relations” by Fraser P. Seitel, which is a terrific book. In addition, we’ll have a variety of online readings.

We’re coming up on the deadline for signing up for the course this Thursday, May 17th, so wanted to spread the news in case you’d like to take the class. The class costs $650 for 10 classes, starting June 4th and running until August 6th.

Find out more about the program and sign up before Thursday!

Any questions, please let me know at! -Charlie

15 Steps to Starting a Local Music Festival (in a bad economy)

Last year I had the good fortune to get pulled in to help out with marketing for the first-ever JP Music Festival in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

Put together by Rick Berlin, Shamus Moynihan, and Randace Moore, it was created because they and others recognized that Jamaica Plain has a vibrant music scene that was kind of hiding under the covers. The neighborhood has lots of musicians who lived and work here and we have several other neighborhood festivals, but we all wanted a festival that was all about the local music to bring it to the front and bring together the ‘hood.

The first festival took place on Saturday, August 20, 2011 and was an unqualified success. More than 20 artists and bands performed over six hours to at least 1,200 people. It was a hot summer day, but I, for one, was amazed at how smoothly everything went and what a great time people had.

Afterward, a number of people asked us how we put the event on, especially given how bad the economy is/was, so we’ve put together a two-page pdf document that we want to share with others who want to put on local music festivals around the US and around the world.

We call it “15 Steps to Starting a Local Music Festival (in a bad economy” and we hope others can learn from what the team behind the JP Music Festival have learned and bring more live music to their community!

- Charlie