Breaking News – Mother Goose Gets Hit By Merger Mania

Mergers have taken over the world. My very first bank – Bell Federal – has long merged with LaSalle Bank, and now if I want to talk to someone about my mortgage, I have to call a place I never even heard of before – Troy, Michigan! Here in Chicago, Marshall Field’s has been swallowed up lock, stock and barrel by MACY’S – almost bringing about second Revolutionary War.

Now, just think about what would happen if our beloved Mother Goose friends were also to be bitten by the Deadly Merger Bug. Let’s start off with pretty Little Bo Peep. The same day that she found her sheep, she bumped into her old friend, Goldilocks, and they immediately went to the home of The Three Bears and did some negotiating – and they are now known as the jazz group, Peep, Goldi and the Bears. Now look at poor lean Jack Spratt. He and his hearty wife stopped to chat with Simple Simon as he was going to the Fair. Deciding to merge together, they made lots of dough selling their wares. And what about Old Mother Hubbard whose cupboard was always bare? She moved in with Little Jack Horner while he was relishing his Christmas pie, and they became known as H&H, Horner and Hubbard, and their business grew and grew and she no longer had any worries about feeding Fido. The Famous Three Blind Mice moved in to the cupboard, and made a nice comfortable home for themselves, but they continued to squeal an awful lot.

Little Boy Blue blew his horn one day and was overjoyed to discover that his music had led him to find that frolicsome twosome, Jack and Jill; the poor kids got lost as they trudged up that hill. They got together and created Jack and Jill’s Horn of Plenty English Tea Shoppe. One day the Cat and his Fiddle came over to cheer up Little Miss Muffet, who had fallen off her tuffet and then all got together as they went over to say hello to Old King Cole, who called on his Fiddlers Three and they incorporated themselves as Music a la Mode and played at the king’s fabulous birthday party. After quite a bit of trouble, Humpty Dumpty got himself together and limped over for needed rehab to the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. She worked hard to get Humpty completely back to his old self, and he reciprocated by starting up Humpty’s Bedie-By Service, 24-hour care for tough toddlers.

What’s Working Right Now in Music Marketing?

It’s Chris Rockett here, your friendly neighborhood tactics pimp! Today I want to talk to you about what’s going on behind the scenes for my music promotion projects.

So what am I doing?

To help please the internet and the mighty “King Google” I’m placing much more emphasis on content based music marketing. You have seen that I’m doing YouTube videos, Twitter posts, Facebook pages, and blog posts.

This all works great to bring in new fans to your gang, because there is so much to talk about in your music scene, and you can easily jump into the conversation.

Let’s have a look at how you can do that…

Google – You can obviously pay for traffic on Google, but it’s really hard to make a profit so I’m going to suggest you use a process called “Search engine optimization” or SEO.

This means that you show up in the natural search results which will bring new fans to your website.

Did I mention that this kind of fan generation is totally FREE. (Very cool)

You can download a great introduction to SEO here.

But I would suggest you not overcomplicate this and just follow my simple process…

=> Add lots of articles to your blog related to the music scene that you work in.

=> After a while you will start to rank for a lot of different keywords and will be getting hits from all over the place.

=> Do the “Guest post method” and use the links back to your site to power up your blog trust in Google. This will in turn make it easier to rank for other terms.

Facebook – Make sure that you have a Facebook fan page and share high quality content everyday. Create work that is exclusive to your Facebook fans.

When you post ask then to comment and make sure that you join in the conversation before it dies. Share your YouTube videos, blog posts, new songs, guest blog posts and never post any crap on there at all.

If you do this right an post the best stuff you can find, people will share your content, and more and more of their friends will find and follow your page, which will create a feedback loop.

Facebook Ads – I’m also using ads in some cases and you can read my free guide on the Gen-Y Rock Stars blog here.

YouTube – Just start making simple videos at least three times a week and deliver high quality content to your network with not only your own music, but also your opinion of news in the scene, and album reviews for other bands.

Twitter – Track down the latest breaking news in your music scene and become the best source of music information for your fans. Also let your followers know about your own music once in a while.

Final thoughts

People are already looking for quality information about their favourite music so you need to plant yourself in front of those fans and then attract them back to your own website.

Toadies – Play Rock Music

Remember this band?… It seemed like the Toadies ruled the air waves back in the mid 90’s, after the release of Rubberneck in 1994. One song off that album, “Possum Kingdom,” has even achieved somewhat cult status in recent years with new generations. Every song on that album was great, and then they just disappeared. Interscope records put the kabosh on their follow up album “Feeler,” which finally saw the light of day in 2010.

One of the things I always liked the most about the Toadies was the dark undertones in their music. I have frequently heard the Toadies called “alt-rock,” but they really defy most labels. Part grunge, part heavy drinking bar band, part west Texas/ZZ Top boogie, there is a lot to like about this band.

Well, the band from Fort Worth, Texas is back again. This time with Play.Rock.Music. The band has said in interviews that they felt more freedom recording this record than any other, that’s good news for us, as the Toadies are best when they are unbridled and doing what they do best.

The album starts out with “Rattler’s Revival,” a great rockin’ opener that made me very optimistic about the rest of the tracks. I was further rewarded with the next song, “Low.” This is my favorite on the album, a loud guitar rocker that makes you want to push the pedal down while your driving. This song has pumping guitar and rock steady drumming that goes back and forth from bass line only breaks, to dual guitar down strumming. Songs on the album like “Magic Bullet” and “Epic Castles” keep the tempo and energy up.

“Summer of the Strange” has that dark feel, and is all about losing control/hold. Lots of whining guitar and rumbling bass lines throughout.

The closest you get to “Possum Kingdom” on this release would have to be “Beside You.” A creepy song that says even though “you don’t really know me,” that “I’ll always be closer than you know.”

“Sunshine” is a twisted ballad, and another track that takes you back to Rubberneck, this time reminding me very much of “I Burn.” A slower tempo song with a rumbling bass line that builds into Vaden Todd Lewis’s trademark singing/screaming. The whole song keeps building and pulling back, like the New York Dolls classic “Frankenstein.”

The song “Animals” is another classic sounding Toadies tune, about our primal human urge. It’s another rocker that repeats “Tonight we’re just two animals.” Lots of tempo switches and a booming chorus.

“Laments of a Good Man” is a less serious song that is filled with jerky guitar and call and response versus. The chorus switches into a Rollins Band type slow, driving groove… “It’s so hard to be a man, to be a good man.”

Another style stand out is “We Burned the City Down.” This track is a full blown Texas blues/boogie track, complete with slide guitar. The theme is a nihilistic commentary current living, “no longer slaves to modern ways” we burned the city down…

The album ends with the slowest song (the only slow song… ) on the album, “The Appeal.” At over six minutes, it’s also the longest on the album. This track features some chorus effect guitar, and a bluesy backbeat. But don’t worry, there are some good build ups, but it never goes over the top like the rest of the album. You almost need the rest by the time you get to this track.

Breaking News – The Mastermind Support Group

A way that I have found invaluable in maintaining focus is by being a member of a superb writers’ group called Sisterwriters with my two lifelong and forever friends, Wendy and Isha. We have been together for a number of years and offer to each other whatever support is needed.

The support is as varied as talking about and sharing our writing to talking about our personal relationships. We reside in a place of no judgement. We come together in a place where we can be ourselves. The importance of this in our writing and life process cannot be overstated. It is imperative. It is a must in order to enable our creativity to flow through. We recognise, too, in this space that we are holistic human beings. When we come together we bring all of ourselves, not just a part, and that if one aspect of ourselves is unhappy in some way, then this has an impact on other aspects of ourselves, and so it is very much a support group with writing at its centre. We meet at least once a month.

Fanatical focus means doing whatever it takes. I use candles virtually all the time. There is something about the element of fire that touches my soul. I know that if I am working on a project that I am having some difficulty with then, where possible, I will light candles and use them quite literally as a point of focus. The candlelight warms my heart and helps me to stay focused. Whether this is purely psychological or not, essentially does not matter. The point really is to do what works for you. I will often stare into the candle and internally ask the questions I am having difficulty answering and I hold an absolute, unshakeable expectation that the answer will come at some point in time when I need it to.

I burn incense and use essential oils. They give me a sense of well being, as well as enabling me to stay associated to the state of being focused. I particularly like frankincense and myrrh, lavender, eucalyptus, orange, lemongrass, clary sage, ylang ylang, geranium and rosemary. These help to create a relaxed and to some extent meditative mood. I also listen to great soul-fullness music – and this can be of any genre.

I read biographies of people that interest me – Oprah Winfrey, Linford Christie, Henry Ford, Richard Branson and Ray Kroc. I am keenly interested in seeing where people started, finding out about their motivation for being who they are and the direction they have taken. It is rare that people say that they simply drifted into the position that they are in. I want to know and understand what it was/is that they believe about themselves, what sort of things they tell themselves about their abilities. I want to know about their trials and tribulations and what they did to overcome them. I love to know where people are now on their continuum and get a sense of where they are going. Having this information really helps me to stay centred on where I have been, where I am now and where I am going, providing me with a sense of certainty about achieving what I want.

Typically, achievers have a sense of being driven, a sense of purpose. They have goals that they set themselves, they work incredibly hard and stay focused. And deep down they have a sense of their possibilities, even in times when others may not have that same sense of them.

We all have inner self-talk and we can make a decision about whether the self- talk will serve us or defeat us. Most successful people have inner self talk to reflect empowering beliefs such as: ‘Yes I can’, ‘I’m worthy’, ‘I’m intelligent’, ‘I have got lots of great ideas’, ‘This can be done and I’m the person to do it’, ‘I can ask for support and expect to receive it, recognising that people do have a choice about whether they give that support or not’, ‘I wonder what great ideas I can come up with today’ and ‘There’s always a way’.

Disempowering beliefs such as: ‘I’m not worthy’, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not intelligent enough’, ‘I’m scared, I cannot do it’, ‘XYZ has better ideas than I do’ ‘I’m too old to start again’ ‘The system won’t let me’, ‘What’s the point, I won’t get a loan anyway?’ ‘I’m not part of the old school tie network’, ‘I’m not well connected’ and ‘I haven’t a clue’. These and other similar thoughts really have an immobilising effect, often leaving the thinker of the thoughts doing nothing to secure their dreams.