Wright Records Ushers Reggae Artists Into Today's Music Industry

Categories: music-biz shiz

Courtesy of the label
The crew at Wright Records
A growing number of successful bands and packed shows in Orange County all have one name in common: Wright Records.

Building a local launch pad for artists worthy of success has become a mission for Nathan Wright, founder of the Lake Forest-based record label and California Sound Studios, a recording and rehearsal space that doubles as the label's headquarters. "If an artist has great music and can get out there and perform and entertain, this is the platform to be recognized through," Wright says. "We want the best artists around to know that, so they can let us know they're here and we can sign them."

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Why Tipping Musicians Is Important

Categories: music-biz shiz

Come on, sexy people
By: Reed Fischer
Is it any wonder why so many bands break up? It's financially taxing to write and perform music, and that says nothing of the time commitment and mental strain that comes along with being an artist. Some people make light of the realness of the struggle, but it's not funny when an act you care about can't survive.

Instead of wringing your hands, put them into action. Call it Artistic Darwinism, prolonging a personal brand of entertainment, or whatever you like, but helping excellent musicians stay excellent isn't complicated. To quote AC/DC, "Money talks."

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Wiener Records: The Label That Says "Yes" To Every Band

Categories: music-biz shiz

Courtesy of Wiener Records
Danny Gonzales of Wiener Records
By: Jessie Schiewe
Record labels are exclusive by nature. They are purveyors of taste, harbingers of new talent. Getting signed is a milestone in any artist's career. But what happens if anyone can join a label? Does it still mean something? What happens to a member's-only club when everyone becomes a member?

At Wiener Records, anyone can be a Wiener. The business model behind the Burger Records offshoot is remarkably simple. Bands pay anywhere from $250 to $650 for the manufacturing of 100 tapes; plus, they get social-media shoutouts and their music sold on its website. "The point of Wiener is that everyone can do it," says Danny Gonzales, the "head guy" behind the record label. "You can literally burp on a mic for 20 minutes, and I'll put it out."

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OC's Fearless Records Starts Fresh Up in LA

Categories: music-biz shiz

Tyler Evans
Fearless Records
By: Tyler Evans
We're accustomed to our OC bands leaving the nest to migrate to LA . But it rarely happens with our record labels. Recently, Fearless records made a leap up north to open up shop in LA on Jefferson Blvd. from their office in Sunset Beach as they continue to grow the label. We're happy to hear about Fearless' expansion (their mostly known these days for churning out Warped Tour-caliber bands like Motionless in White, Pierce the Veil and The Color Morale). We were also a bit bummed to hear they moved and also curious as to what the new digs were like. So they offered to give us the grand tour of the new office.

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Pazz & Jop: Village Voice's Critic's Poll of 2013's Best Music

Categories: music-biz shiz

Looks like Kanye is a god after all...
Call yourself a music lover? Then you should have already been salivating over this year's Pazz & Jop critic's poll unleashed by the Village Voice today. Kanye West's Yeezus was chosen best album, while Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" was best single. Try not to be too surprised. But click through the rest of the music highlighted in this hallowed list and get caught up on the artists that made 2013 listenable. Not much love for OC artists to be found, unfortunately, though a few L.A. bands are sprinkled in, including sisterly power trio Haim, who snagged the number seven album of the year, Days Are Gone, and the number three single, "The Wire."

See also: Pazz & Jop 2013

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Whole Foods Has a Record Store. Oh No?

Categories: music-biz shiz

Courtesy of Whole Foods
"Pile on that kale salad," sings Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes from the Whole Foods parking lot. The ad-libbed riff on his song "It's A Little Bit of Everything" draws a mannered whoop from the weekend afternoon crowd, who have come to politely welcome Whole Foods into the music curation business.

Indeed, over the weekend the grocery store chain debuted vinyl-heavy music dispensaries in five of its 340 stores, including this one in West Hollywood. The event is swarmed. Valets scurry to park cars while those in attendance slurp oysters and crunch gluten-free pita chips. Two Mercedes get into a honking match and the sound-guy shouts: "Shit just got real in the Whole Foods parking lot." Soon, many in attendance go inside and dutifully buy Arcade Fire records. Such is the state of the industry in 2013, where folks are increasingly less likely to buy music at an actual music store.

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Bad Religion's Jay Bentley and Brian Baker Talk Biz With KROQ's Kat Corbett

Categories: music-biz shiz
Daniel Kohn
Corbett, Baker and Bentley talking shop
Have you ever wanted to get advice from your favorite band and hear directly from them about the ups and downs of the biz? Well that's what happened last night at the Yost Theater, when the OC Music Awards teamed up with Red Bull to sponsor a Q&A session with Bad Religion's Jay Bentley and Brian Baker moderated by KROQ's Kat Corbett.

The session, which lasted about two-and-a-half hours, featured commentary from across the musical spectrum. Some of the more candid moments came at the beginning of the three-part symposium, when Bentley recalled some highlights (and lowlights) from the band's early years -- teachable moments for anxious onlookers. The band also brought their tour manager, Cathy Mason, and Jason Feinberg, the vice president of digital strategy for Epitaph Records (which is their label).

Here are some of the highlights (both biz and from the band's history) from the free-flowing discussion between the panelists:

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Ottmar Liebert: A Flamenco Guitarist Who'd Rather Listen to Horns

Matt Callahan
Ottmar Liebert is one of the most popular flamenco-style guitarists, yet he doesn't like to place himself in that genre. Instead, Liebert infuses flamenco techniques with his own style that borrows from non-stringed instruments and genres you'd never imagine he'd listen to. The Grammy-nominated and platinum-selling musician relies on touring and record sales to make a living, which would seem to have given him a practical, unromantic outlook on the art form, but it's actually become his guide for how he interprets the world and finds his way through it.

He plays with his trio at the Coach House on Thursday, and even if you're not into flamenco or its fusions, he shares some sound advice for aspiring musicians in all genres.More »

My Bloody Valentine's Website Crash Shows What it Means to Be Indie in 2013

Categories: music-biz shiz
my bloody valentine.jpg
High Road Touring
My Bloody Valentine
By: Dan Moore

My Bloody Valentine released a new album over the weekend, and by all accounts it's very good. There are a lot of thick, quavering guitars on it, you can't really hear the vocals, and nothing goes much like you expect it to, which is to say that if you enjoy My Bloody Valentine, you'll enjoy m b v. But on release day, a lot of fans who'd already waited 22 years for the follow-up to Loveless were stuck whiling away another few hours without it--because demand had crashed the band's website.

Between 1991 and 2013, working musicians--like every other set of entrepreneurs--have gained countless new ways to get their music in front of the people who care about it. But they've also found themselves with a lot of new jobs. This is the first My Bloody Valentine album in which Kevin Shields has also had to micromanage a webmaster.

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Kickstarter Bands: Can Uncle Sam Touch Your Money?

Categories: music-biz shiz
all star weekend.jpg
Allstar Weekend need to consult their accountant

By: Tessa Stuart

Boy band Allstar Weekend are Poway's answer to One Direction. The San Diego county-bred group got its start on the Disney Channel music competition Next Big Thing back in 2009. They took second place on that show, but the exposure helped the band ink a four-album deal with Hollywood Records, book a tour with Selena Gomez and score a few spreads in J-14 magazine.

Two albums into their record contract, though, Allstar Weekend and the label ran into "creative differences." The latter wanted to continue milking the younger demographic, the former wanted to make more mature music, and they parted ways.

To fund their next work, this summer Allstar Weekend turned to Kickstarter. The trio, now living in Burbank, made a video asking fans for help and compiled a list of rewards for donating.

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