My Top 5 Music Review Pet Peeves
Technorati estimates that there are about 450 million ‘active’ English language blogs right now. That means that about 1 out of every 6 people in the world has an active blog. Of course, if you add non-English language blogs, the estimate rises to over a billion. And, it is estimated that 1 out of 3 people read or follow a blog of some sort. Of course, there is really no way of knowing the true numbers, but, it’s safe to say, they’re pretty big ones! With such massive numbers, blogs are an essential component to developing your company’s web presence.
Our little piece of the cyber Universe, here at TNBTA®, dwells within a very niche, specialized neighborhood; people, players and politics of independent music and busking across the globe….. It’s one of those gated communities with pretty awesome SEO—and we get a lot of visitors. So, I thought I would share a few tips, on how to be welcomed into the neighborhood, or how not to be thrown out. That being said, here are five of my top pet peeves or tips, depending on your perspective.
#1: Submitting music without knowing what the blog covers. This sole transgression is what prompted me to write this post. Do you remember that Seinfeld episode where Elaine buzzed the Jehovah witness into the building and they couldn’t get them out and so she–(Elaine) was evicted? Not to wax poetic, but don’t be Elaine or the unwanted proselytizer. If you expect someone to listen to the songs you are selling, at least provide them with the same courtesy. Familiarize yourself with their work, what they like, what they cover, etc…You are after all, asking someone to listen to your art and render a thoughtful opinion and recommend it to their readers. I recently received an introduction to Singer/Songwriter Josh Damigo, in which his upcoming album was forwarded, along with an explanation of why they thought we would like the music, which songs were their personal picks, current contact information and they had already joined us on Twitter and Facebook. These are the best letters and the ones that are sure to get coverage in the future.
#2: I love ‘Artist One-Sheets’, and encourage them to be included in a press packet. It’s a personal preference, yes, but one that I enjoy. But some of the things I have recently received, really shouldn’t be in the One Sheet, bio or cover note. Here are some examples:
“I’ve been going over my last decade of music writing…” OH THE HORROR. Yes, I capitalized on purpose.
“…this isn’t your usual jangly indie band with four lads playing guitars…” This band, which is made up of four guys playing guitars, seemed to be exactly that.
#3: I’m a big supporter of indie artists and live music, so I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but, I am. I recently received a note from a Singer/Songwriter. The note, which was a thank you for attending their live show, was off to a good start, until this line; “We would love you to review our CD. You can purchase it here (insert iTunes link).”
#4: Lack of information or on the opposite end of the spectrum, TMI-(too much information). There is a huge difference between a bio and press release. Know the difference. A recent bio that I received, gave me two bits of information. One, where they were from and two; that they are considered the ‘premier party band of Cleveland, Ohio.’ In case I didn’t mention it, they are from Cleveland, Ohio.
Conversely, my inbox overflows with flowery diatribes, (most probably written by girlfriends or mothers of said band), that give little information and massive eye strain. There are certain things that you should hire a professional for. In my case, its SEO and tech support. I am never going to learn and execute these things well enough, so I hired an expert; Edward Jenkins. In the case of many musicians, it is press releases and bios. For more information, check out our interview with music publicist Laura Goldfarb, by clicking HERE.
#5: It was Dale Carnegie who said; “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” How great is it when I open an email that says, “Hi Heather” or something of this sort? It’s pretty darn great.