Category: Misc.

You Have to be Nice on The Internet Too

By mvt2412, July 27, 2009 3:01 pm

I just read an article about how Social Networking is still “social”, even if it is over the internet.

It’s true that even though you are conversing with people on the internet, you still must follow some guidelines. Many users do not realize that there are often additional steps that must be taken on the internet to convey some of the nuances of conversation.

Musicians can make use of tips like these as well. For instance, a great way to “get the word out” to people about your music, is to get others to promote it. Utilizing a social networking site such as Twitter is a great way to do this. However, as the article explains, the format and wording of your “tweet” may determine whether or not others choose to re-post it.

Similarly, artists sometimes use their social networking sites as a place to let loose about their feelings on different matters. As the article says, its important to watch your language. Many artists and others have found themselves in hot water about something they said on their Twitter or Myspace pages.

Check out the article here.

Michael Tuschman

COPYCATS Media, Marketing Intern

 

Twin Cities Shows and Events 7/24

By chrisbrummund, July 24, 2009 12:45 pm

For folks around the Twin Cities, here’s a quick rundown of some of the shows and events going on this weekend:

If you’re planning on going to the 10,000 Lakes Festival in Detroit Lakes, I’d imagine you are already there and not sitting at a computer while reading this blog.  There are plenty of COPYCATS Media customers and other local bands playing alongside some huge national acts.  Among them are Atmosphere, Trampled By Turtles, Cloud Cult, Mason Jennings, The Honeydogs, and more. Of course, the three big headliners at this festival are Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, and Wilco.

Castle and Rockford Mules are playing with Scorpion Child at the Triple Rock Social Club tonight.

Sajak and Sans Pants are playing with Midwestern ska legends 3 Minute Hero at the Fine Line Music Cafe on Sunday.

Kid Dakota is at the Uptown Bar on Saturday night.

The Softrocks are playing with Lazer Forever and Sharp Teeth at the 331 Club tonight.  As always, there’s never a cover charge at this venue.

The New Standards, featuring former members of Semisonic and The Suburbs, are playing both Friday and Saturday night at the Dakota Jazz Club.

That’s just a small sampling of what’s going on this weekend in Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Did we miss anything?  Leave us a comment if there other cool events you’ll be attending these next few days.

Weird Ways to Distribute Music: Do They Work?

By mvt2412, July 20, 2009 2:15 pm

I came across an interesting article over at wired.com about new ways that artists are marketing and selling their music. Check out the article here.

According to the article, teenagers are less frequently downloading music and more frequently using online radio sites like Pandora. To combat this trend, artists are trying to find more creative ways to market and sell their music. Some of these are a bit absurd, and range from offering a free music download when you purchase a can of soup, to selling music in older formats (8-Track anyone?). Some artists are even offering t-shirts that include a download of their album. The question is “Is any of this effective?”.

It’s anyones guess which, if any, of these things will catch on. However, I’m willing to bet that at least a few of them will NOT catch on. Especially the ones that use older media formats…

cassette-tape

While selling music on a cassette tape would certainly make you different, I don’t think it would necessarily increase sales. I doubt that the current generation of iPod users would trade their iPod that carries multiple thousands of songs, for a walkman just to listen to one cassette. In fact, check out another article on that subject here. The same is true of artists who are offering their music on the now ancient 8-track.

Some of these methods, on the other hand, have great potential.

remixable

Some artists are offering iPhone apps that allow users to not only listen to their music, but remix it as well. In my opinion, something like this could really take off. It can be downloaded instantly, used wherever you are, and is compatible with an iPod. I can fully imagine many teens using something like this, where I cannot with something like an 8-track version of an album.

Make sure to check out the article here.

Michael Tuschman

COPYCATS Media Marketing Intern

Happy 4th of July from COPYCATS Media

By chrisbrummund, July 2, 2009 3:04 pm

We’ll be closed tomorrow, July 3rd, for the holiday weekend, but we’ll be back at it on Monday morning.

If you are forgoing the lake cabin getaway and staying in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area for the weekend, here’s a sampling of good concerts around town:

Dillinger Four is playing at the Triple Rock Social Club on Saturday night.

Legends of Rock and Roll Tribute Show at the 501 Club on Friday. Local bands play tribute sets to the Ramones, Nirvana, and Rush.  Now that’s a great mix of music!

Lookbook and Ghost In The Water at the 331 Club. As always, the 501’s sister club never charges a cover.

Elvis CostelloElvis Costello playing at the Taste of Minnesota festival on the 4th of July at Harriet Island in St. Paul.  The festival runs throughout the entire weekend and features other national and local bands such as Staind, Throw The Fight, The 757’s, Judas Priest, Jason Shannon, and others.

The Roots are playing tonight at the First Avenue Mainroom.

Head to the MN Zoo Amphitheater for Soul Asylum tonight and Toots & The Maytals on Friday night.

Music in the ZooHaley Bonar is playing at the Walker Art Center’s Free First Saturday concert in the Sculpture Garden.

If that isn’t enough music for one weekend, there’s still a couple more shows on Sunday: Charlie Parr is playing the Turf Club and No Doubt is at the Xcel Energy Center.

That’s what caught my attention for the weekend.  Anything else going on worth checking out?  Let us know.

And now, I’ll leave you with this patriotic tribute by the Muppets.  Have a great weekend!

Favorite CD Cover Art at COPYCATS Media

By chrisbrummund, May 22, 2009 4:21 pm

Recently, we stumbled upon a blog posting a bunch of stunning cover art.  You’ll see some classics on there, like Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of The Moon,” as well as fairly new albums like Green Day’s “21st Century Breakdown,” too.

We decided we’d post some notable artwork that we’ve seen come through our office over the years.  I’ll post some suggestions from each employee here at COPYCATS Media.  Here are some of Justin Kristal’s favorites (click on images for more information about the band/album):

The Slant “Old North”

The Slant - Old North

Doomtree “S/T”

Doomtree S/T
Charis “Creation. Destruction. Restoration.”

Charis "Creation Disruption Restoration"
Gloria “A Lesson In Self Destruction”

Gloria "A Lesson In Self Destruction"

Champion “Different Directions: The Last Show”

Champion Different Directions The Last Show

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From There to Here

By copyzac, May 6, 2009 10:45 am

Posted by Zac Boyd

I’ve grown up around music. Somehow, it has always been a big part of my life. My folks got caught up into the scene that the 70’s had a tendency to produce. Everything was all about the booze, the drugs, and the rock n’ roll. They lived their lives the way you see played out in movies like Almost Famous. Having kids didn’t change that aspect. Up until the time that I was seven years old, there was always some sort of booze, drugs, and all sorts of rock n’ roll records around the house. That was the norm for our family.

Things changed drastically once my Dad decided to change around his focus from all of the latter mentioned vices to religion. He came home one day and dumped the booze down the drain, flushed the drugs, and burned every rock n’ roll album that was in the house. The lifestyle was to change. He felt that he had to replace his life, with a completely new and different life that only involved religion. To him, rock n’ roll was of the devil.

After the change over, my Dad would soon become an ordained minister. He became a Pentecostal pastor for a church and the music in the house went more downhill. Instead of rock n’ roll, we were listened to Praise and Worship music that was to be sung in the church. This of course is not to be confused with Hymnals (although by the time I was out of the house, I pretty much knew all of those like the back of my hand as well).

The problem, though, was that my Dad decided that the churches where he preached needed music to accompany the sermon. To enhance the services he led every Sunday morning, he gave a drum kit to my brother, a guitar to me, and then proceeded to teach us the basics so we could be his band. We caught on pretty quickly to our respective instruments and played the services every Sunday morning.

The problem with handing instruments to us eager children, is that we had a tendency to grasp onto the instruments and their background when it’s something as cool as a drum set or a guitar. Being so enthralled with the guitar and the different sounds that I could make, I started to listen to music that was not allowed in our household. My parents refused to let us listen to anything that had distortion on it, or didn’t play into the Christian scene.

Like any warm blooded child would do, we did exactly the opposite of what our parents wanted. I would snag any sort of record from kids at school that had guitar licks on it. They blew my mind. I was starting to listen to older records like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and was blown away by how amazing the guitar riffs and tones were. It was a great distance away from the typical music I listened to at home.

It wasn’t until after my parents found my hidden stash of records that I decided to start to look into other avenues of music. If they didn’t like the music they confiscated, they were bound to hate the music I brought into the house shortly thereafter. Keeping the records and tapes hidden again, I found myself trying to dig into music that I felt was evoking more emotion than what I was listening to before.

I wanted something that was completely new to me and everyone else at that point. I started picking up CD’s at record stores that none of the other kids at school were listening to yet. I’d pick up CDs they would probably never even hear of. It made me feel like I was scouting out new music. I remember walking into a record shop and buying Korn’s self titled debut, Deftones’ “Adrenaline”, Tool’s “Aenima” and the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.” These were all discs that I wasn’t familiar with and that I knew no one in my school was listening to yet. These albums have become milestones in my youth. I still listen to each individual disc from time to time.

I was never really good at hiding my records, or maybe my parents were just that good at finding them. Once I got out of the house, it was open game for whatever I wanted to listen. Every pay day I would find myself at the CD store. Directly after work I would leave and end up spending hours digging through disc after disc. I picked up obscure CD’s, but would also try to stay up with the latest mainstream music that was on the radio. I always enjoyed finding a band before they became popular on the radio. It always made me feel as though I had discovered them and everyone else jumped onto my bandwagon of enjoyment.

I would pick up anything from pop to the heaviest metal you could find. I loved it all. Even the music that I hated, I loved to hate. The nice part about it, was that I loved or hated it for a reason. It wasn’t because someone was telling me to love it or forcing me to hate it. I don’t segregate when it comes to the music I listen to.

Fumbling through my CD collection these days, you can find music like Alison Krauss & Union Station and discover a Dillinger Escape Plan album directly behind it. I’m in love with music. If it has a great beat, or a crazy guitar riff that sounds more difficult to play than to listen to, I love it.

So to conclude this little history of my musical upbringing, I’ll include the top 10 albums that have made the soundtrack to my life (in no particular order):

1.) Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine

2.) Zao - Liberate Te Ex Inferis

3.) Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

4.) Sigur Ros - can’t pick just one album

5.) Deftones - Adrenaline

6.) Dashboard Confessional - Swiss Army Romance

7.) Coheed & Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: III

8.) At the Drive-in - Relationship of Command

9.) Glassjaw - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence

10.) Far - Water & Solutions

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Music Services: Pay-per-download or subscription?

By chrisbrummund, April 30, 2009 12:21 pm

Posted by Chris Brummund

I started writing up this post for another site, but then I thought, “This is related to music.  I’m going to use it for my work blog and then I can just take the day off.”  I’m kidding about taking the day off, but the rest of it is true.

I came across a good article touting all that is good and great about Rhapsody’s music service. I tend to agree with most of this article. Rhapsody gives you on-demand access to an extensive music library for $15 per month.  That’s about the same as buying 1 or 2 CDs a month.  The only other “cost” is you have to put up with their rarely-updated, buggy software.Rhapsody Logo

This article and it’s accompanying reader comments inspired me to resubscribe.  I actually had a subscription but ended it about a month ago. It wasn’t intentional. Well, it sort of was. My credit card on file had expired and I didn’t update my account with a new number. They e-mailed me a couple times before shutting down my service, but I decided to hold off on submitting payment. I thought I’d use this as an opportunity to explore some other services.

I again tried to get into iTunes. I really dig their store and the software is fairly easy to use. Unfortunately, iTunes does not offer subscription services for their music. That’s kind of a deal breaker for me.  I absolutely love the subscription model and think it’s the best choice for music fans.

As a music fan, I like to go out and explore all types of music. Rhapsody gave me an entire catalog of over 6 million tracks on demand. I could listen to them streaming online, download them to my hard-drive to listen offline, and transfer them to my MP3 player. If I wanted to burn a mix CD, then I would pay the obligatory $0.99 a track. This is perfect for music fans like myself. Unfortunately, music fans like myself are in the minority.

There’s a reason why iTunes is so incredibly popular, and it’s not just because of the iPod’s complete and utter dominance of the MP3 player market. The reason is that the $0.99-per-track model is perfect for the majority of music consumers who have a narrower listening preference. Most don’t care for full albums, b-sides, and live tracks. They are happy with just purchasing singles they hear on the radio.  Most consumers may not hear more than $15 worth of new songs in a month.

That’s perfectly fine for them, but not me.  I want the whole enchilada (sometimes with a side of rice and refried beans), and a subscription service delivers that at the most reasonable price. I wish Apple and others out there would start offering subscription plans. More competition for this market will lead to better products and services for us all.

Some people have said to me, “Wouldn’t you rather own your music?”  Ultimately, yes I would.  But due to my budget limitations, I would never be able to purchase as much music as I listen to through the subscription service.  Plus, if I am to “own” some music, I’ll go out and purchase the CD to get all the added frills.

So what say you?  How do you purchase and consume your music?  Pay-per-download?  Subscription?  Streaming online?  CDs?  Vinyl?

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Where's the Beef?

By copycatsmedia, April 27, 2009 4:28 pm

Posted by Chris Brummund

Here’s a fun example of daily human conflict I’d like to share today:

The location of our office is somewhat cut off from the rest of Downtown Minneapolis, so when we’re looking for a quick lunch, the employees at COPYCATS Media often like to dine at the college cafeteria across the street.  It’s a fine establishment that provides freshly grilled burgers, made-to-order sandwiches, a full salad bar, and daily specials that range from chicken linguine to meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  It’s quite excellent and comes at a bargain price.

COPYCATS sales rep Adam Wachter and I went over there to have ourselves a delicious lunch.  We were delighted to see that the sandwich special of the day was something called a steakhouse tortilla wrap.  It’s not really a sandwich; not really a steak; but something good to eat, nonetheless.  I conveniently stepped in front of Adam to get my order in first.  The surly sandwich-maker put together my wrap without incident.  I was pleased.

Adam stepped up next and ordered the same thing.  He also asked to have his made without tomatoes and onions, to which the sandwich-maker replied with a grumbly grunt.  Adam also asked to have his wrap in a to-go box.  This request was granted, but again with an indecipherable grunt.

Here is where the story gets interesting (it really doesn’t get interesting; slow blog day).  There was only about a half-slice of meat left in his little tray at the sandwich making station.  A normal wrap (or at least the one that was made for me just minutes before) has three full slices of delicious, protein-packed beef.  The sandwich-maker just throws on the half-slice and continues on with the rest of the wrap, which only consisted of lettuce, cheese, and mayo, since he opted for no tomatoes or onion. 

So what would you do in Adam’s situation?  Would you make a third request that the chef tend to the meat deficiency, or would you meekly accept the wrap that was handed to you and retreat to the COPYCATS Media office to consume your mostly lettuce-mayo-cheese tortilla wrap?

Britain’s Got Video Editing and TV Producing Talent?

By copycatsmedia, April 17, 2009 1:50 pm

Posted by Chris Brummund

A video that’s gotten millions of views on YouTube over the last few days is a performance by Susan Boyle on a TV show called “Britain’s Got Talent.”  The Twitter dimension can’t shut up about it, either.  But amongst all the feel good comments, there’s a small but growing debate about the whether this whole thing was legit or not. 

I don’t really care to debate whether or not she was lip syncing or if she was a plant put in by the producers.  What I would like to point out is the over-the-top video and sound editing that makes one question the legitimacy of this performance.

It starts with the crowd shots of cast rejects from The Hills rolling their eyes and shaking their heads.  It carries on with an oddly placed crowd roar the very second after she begins singing.  Then it really gets obnoxious with the cuts of the guys mugging backstage.

Sure, those all could be real-time, authentic reactions to the situation, but the way it was edited makes it appear fake.  They could have kept the camera fixed on her during the singing, then get the judges’ reactions after the performance.  Instead, they over-did it and made it feel like a well executed marketing ploy.

I suppose the way it was produced maximized the emotional reaction from the TV audience.  But if I wanted an emotional reaction, I’d go rent The Mighty Ducks and replay the scene where coach Gordon Bombay offers Charlie some encouraging words before he takes the biggest penalty shot of his life.  When I watch my reality television, I want it to be real, dammit! 

Wouldn’t it be great to see some rough footage from this performance?  Since they are probably strict about audience members pulling out digital cameras or cell phones, our only hope is that a rogue studio employee leaks it out onto the internet.

Perhaps that should be an added-value element to reality TV shows in the future.  Sell the raw, unedited footage from shows like The Real World, Survivor, or Flavor of Love on DVD or in digital format that can be downloaded/streamed on your computer.  If they are concerned about the real footage undermining the manufactured reality of the show instead of enhancing it, then put that footage in the vault and release it after the show is long cancelled.  I would pay to see it.  Would you?

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Cats at COPYCATS Media

By copycatsmedia, April 1, 2009 4:02 pm

No smart-ass April Fool’s Day posts here.  Just cute little kittens. 

Did You Know?

COPYCATS Media founder, Steve Javinsky, loves cats.  So much, in fact, that he named the company COPYCATS.

OK, there’s your smart-ass, AFD comment.  The company was not named after our founder’s insatiable love of all things cat.  It was just a coincidence.