That Doesn't Suck
by Christopher Knab ,
Back to The Academy
For my next 10 Blog Postings I will feed you a daily 'Reality Sandwich' to chew on.
term ‘Reality Sandwiches’ appeared in a poem by the late Beat poet
Allen Ginsberg. I adopted it years ago to explain that there are
certain realities about the music business that must be chewed and
digested in order to rid ourselves of any naïve concepts and beliefs
about breaking into the industry. With this in mind, the following
observations should be taken as wake-up-calls about establishing your
First Sandwich: Make Music That Doesn’t SUCK!
we do indeed live in a time when everybody and their sister can and
does make their own music, that doesn’t mean that your music has what it
takes to make it. A&R Reps are always saying, when asked what they
are looking for, “We don’t know what we are looking for, but we’ll
recognize it when we hear it.” What we can read into this comment is
that your music must truly stand out in some significant, original,
dynamic, and creative way.
95% of the independent music out
there contains regurgitated ideas that were ripped off from some other
more gifted musicians. Don’t copy! Borrow yes, but copy no.
Challenge yourself. What is it about your music that makes it stand out from all the rest?
songwriting to musicianship, music intended for the marketplace must be
performed and recorded capably. Music that sucks is music that does not
grab your listener. Music that sucks is music that takes only 10
seconds to dismiss because the production quality, or the vocals, or the
lyrics are pedestrian at best, or mediocre for the most part. Music
that sucks is music that sounds like you’ve heard it all before.
you don’t think a lot of the music coming out today sucks, drop by your
local college radio station and ask them to let you listen to some of
the hundreds of new CDs they get in the mail every week. You won’t even
be able to listen for more than 20 seconds to most of the independent
releases that flood the market today.
Make music that doesn’t
suck and you will be making music that makes the listener’s hair stand
on end, or gets their feet moving uncontrollably, or singing your songs
in the shower because they can’t get it out of their heads. Music that
doesn’t suck is music that packs people into clubs, and gets people so
excited that they are willing to spend their hard earned money to buy
it. So, what does non-sucking music sound like? It sounds like all the
varied records that are selling around the country, and it sounds like
what the people are talking about to their friends. It sounds like all
the great music you bought for your collection.
Christopher Knab is an independent music business consultant based in Seattle, Washington. He
is available for private consultations on promoting and marketing independent music, and can be reached by email at: email@example.com
Chris Knab's book, 'Music Is Your Business'
is available from the Music Biz Academy bookstore.
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