music industry

TuneCore Interview Follow Up Part II: 10 Mistakes Artists Make When Pitching Music

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Another photo from an upcoming Sessions At The Steps performance!

This is the second of two posts written as a follow up to my interview with TuneCore that came out earlier this month. Check out the full article here, and thank you again to TuneCore for having me!

Last week I further articulated some benefits I’ve found to using unsigned or independent artists in projects. Today I address a topic most music supervisors I know could pontificate on for hours and hours: mistakes artists make when pitching their music.

Because I am an unabashed fan of listicles, I kept it to just ten pitfalls to avoid if you are an artist trying to bust into this crazy world. To any fellow music supervisors reading this, I would love for you to add more in the comments!

To begin, here is the question (and my answer) from the original interview:
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TuneCore Interview Follow Up Part I: 4 Benefits To Using Independent Artists (When Possible)

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Photo from an upcoming Sessions At The Steps…Stay tuned!

Last month I had the great pleasure of chatting with Kevin from TuneCore about how I fell into music supervision, my favorite projects and more. The result of that conversation appeared on the internet early this month.

Read the full article here.

While I am grateful for the opportunity to talk (my favorite activity!) and generally pleased with how the final product turned out, I think everyone can identify with the experience of finishing a conversation and thinking, “Argh, I should have said this instead!” or “Oh that would have been a way better way to explain that”. Full disclosure, they were kind enough to let me edit the interview, but as an occasional interviewer myself, I attempted to keep at least some representation of the actual conversation, despite temptations to just re-write my more inarticulate moments.

In particular, there were two questions I wanted to clarify and/or expand upon. Initially I intended for this to be one post, but then the words started flowing and I took it as a sign to split it into two.

This week addresses some of the benefits of placing music by independent artists, when they can save a music supervisor’s life (and how to avoid complicating it).
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12 Myths and Misunderstandings About Clearing Music

Toga CatI want to get this out of the way first. Music clearance is a fluid process, highly dependent on negotiation and relationships. Very little of what I am about to tell you is true 100% of the time.

That said, I’ve worked on a wide range of projects and often come across misconceptions that are 95% false and detrimental to the creative process. A few come up so frequently that I’m convinced there is someone going around to film schools and production companies actively spreading the same incorrect information.

As a filmmaker, an educated approach to music clearance will produce results beyond ensuring you don’t inadvertently cripple your film with an improperly cleared song (which is of course very important). Demonstrating patience and understanding of the process will also give you a greater chance of obtaining your “dream” soundtrack…both in current and future projects.
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Neat Tracks / Conveyor “Woolgatherer”

DSC_5384color-loresI’m not exactly sure when, or what specifically did it, but I credit my awareness of this band to the blog, We Listen For You.  Perhaps because Zach has been such a champion of Conveyor for so long – and rightfully so.  The band delightfully eschews most genre definitions. Just when I think I’ve pinned them (indie folk? folk pop? experimental folk?) they release a new track that completely throws me (in the best way possible).  One of the big bummers of SXSW 2012 for me was having to leave the Wild Honey Pie party in the middle of this Brooklyn-based band’s jaunty, vibrant set.

If you live in New York City, make sure to catch them tonight on an awesome bill at Webster Hall with Freelance Whales and Geographer.  Can anyone tell me though, when can we expect this band back in Los Angeles?

Conveyor “Woolgatherer”

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