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- August 2004 -

The Indie Bible: Independent Music Promotion
Cover Design By Bob Masse
$29.95 + Shipping

Get More Information on how to Promote
Your Music by Purchasing The Indie Bible!

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Sites Where You Can Get Your Music Reviewed
3. Radio Shows that will Play Your Music
4. Online Services that will Help to Sell Your Music
5. Sites Where You Can Upload Your Band's MP3s or Videos
6. Helpful Music Resources
7. "How to Create and Manufacture Your Music" by Hadas, Eric Mueller and Oliver Goss, Recordpressing.com
8. "Inside the Head of a Music Reviewer" - PART II by Suzanne Glass, Indie-Music.com


NewViewsMusic.com is devoted to promoting music and selling digital downloads from Independent Artists, Producers and DJs.

We provide indie fans with the music they want and indie musicians with the exposure they need.

Visit our beta site http://beta.newviewsmusic.com/main/index.asp today to request more information.

(mention this ad and save $10.00 on the registration fee).

If you own or control quality-sounding material, you should be pursuing licensing opportunities for your music - one of our artists just landed an $85,000 licensing deal for a single song; That’s a lot of CD’s to sell! Indie911 doesn’t compete with or replace how you currently sell music– we support it, while exposing your music to profitable licensing opportunities and a larger audience. If you make music, we’ll help you take if further. How? Through the lost art of presenting great new music, and by paying artists for online radio “airplay,” licensing fees, and sales Thousands of listeners are discovering great new music every day with a FREE and LEGAL system that doesn’t involve file sharing or illegal downloading.

Join us or just listen for free at http://indie911.com
Tel: 310 943 7164


This month's winner of the Sennheiser E835 microphone (visit http://www.sennheiserusa.com )
- Megan McDonald, Anacortes, WA

This month's winner of a pair of Sennheiser HD280Pro headphones (visit http://www.sennheiserusa.com )
- Kristine Mylls, Brentwood, TN

This month's winner of full mastering of your CD by Rare Form Mastering (visit http://www.RareFormMastering.com ) is:
- Kory Livingstone, Concord, ON

This month's winner of the A&R Directory (for more information visit http://www.musicregistry.com ) is:
- Kat Maxwell, Memphis, TN
- Alec Brietzke, Vancouver, BC

This month's winner of the Publisher's Directory (for more information visit http://www.musicregistry.com ) is:
- Kathy Kettler, Ottawa, ON

This month's winner of the Musician's ToolKit CD (for more information visit https://www.bookingagentsdirectory.com ) is:
- Jeanette Williams, Danville, VA

This month's winners of The Indie Band Manager (for more information on this program, visit http://www.indiebandmanager.com) are:
- Kyle Sheaffer, Lake Oswego, OR
- Karl Reamer, Patchogue, NY

This month's winner of the musicSUBMIT music promotion and publicity service (for more information visit http://www.musicsubmit.com ) is:
- Shirley Steele, Vinton, VA

This month's winner of "How To Successfully Promote Your Music on the Internet" e-book by David Nevue (for more information on this book, visit http://www.promoteyourmusic.com ) is:
- Lucy Castro, London, England

This month's winner of "The Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook" e-book by Bob Baker (for more info visit http://www.thebuzzfactor.com) is:
- Katya Mueller, Edmonton, AB

This month's winner of the CD Trophy Clock (for more information visit http://www.cdstands.com/index.shtml?icn ) is:
- Thurman E. Shepherd, Winchester, VA

The winner of a shirt/jersey from Enjoy Music (for more information visit http://www.enjoymusic.com ) is:
- Kyna Ganshert, Madison, WI

The winner of a free entry into The Rock Solid Pressure Radio Show competition (for more info visit http://RockSolidPressure.com ) is:
- Kati F. Sciortino, Chicago, IL

This month's winner of "The Ultimate Survival Guide to the New Music Industry: Handbook for Hell" by Indie 911 is:
- Rhonda Kist, Santa Barbara, CA

This month's winners of a one year subscriptions to Electronic Musician Magazine (visit http://www.emusician.com) are:
- Eric Eaves, Claremont, NH
- Mark Savina, Elyria, OH
- Brittany Drake, Wadsworth, IL


Beat Wire will deliver your press release directly to the desk tops of over 5000 music editors at daily newspapers, magazines, news agencies, top Web sites, radio stations--every place you need to be promoted. Whether it's a new CD, upcoming tour, charity concert, or any other music-associated event you want to announce, there is hardly anything more potentially rewarding than a positive response to a well-written press release. Our clients have had their music featured in major media outlets like New York Times, CNN, Entertainment Weekly and USA Today to name just a few. In addition to press release distribution, Beat Wire can also write a press release for you.

For more information, please got to http://www.beatwire.com
Ready to Supercharge your BAND DEMO?

Let TOURdatabase.com convert your band demo into a multimedia experience by purchasing the Artist Press Kit (AritstPK). We will take your current demo and combine your Music, Photos, Bio & Contact Information into an interactive multimedia demo for you to distribute. Your ArtistPK handles making that first impression so you can do what you do best which is making music.

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Welcome to the August Indie Contact Newsletter.

Our first article this month is a joint effort from the people at Recordpressing.com. This article touches on the key points to consider when you're shopping around for a CD Duplicator.

Our second article is Part 2 of Suzanne Glass's investigation into the mind of the music reviewer. Suzanne has posed a series of questions to her staff of reviewers. Their answers will give you helpful guidelines to follow when you are sending your music off to various publications for review.

We have 4 new sponsors this month that will be making their product available in the monthly draw!

TOURdatabase.com will be giving away an Artist Press Kit (ArtistPK) valued at $149.00. The ArtistPK is a band demo on steroids that combines your music, photos, bio and contact information into a multimedia experience for you to hand out on packaged mini-cd's. Visit http://www.tourdatabase.com for more information.

Justin Goldberg of Indie911 is offering a copy of his book "The Ultimate Survival Guide to the New Music Industry: Handbook for Hell.” Indie911 is the ultimate music network for indies... changing the way people discover and get paid for making music. Visit http://www.indie911.com for more information.

Two sponsors from the past are back...

Brian Cook is again offering a copy of his book "Songwriter's Guide to Demo Submission". Now you can have an edge over the thousands of other songwriters and musicians trying desperately to get their music heard. Visit http://www.songwritersguide.com for more information.

Ariel Soudak, author of "The Galaris Musicians Directory" is offering two copies of his directory every month. Discover thousands of places to promote your music and get the contacts you need in the music industry. Visit http://www.galaris.com for more information.

Thanks to ALL of the new sponsors for donating these monthly prizes!

As is the case every month, there is a large group of new contacts listed that can help you to gain more exposure for your music. So dig in, and enjoy the August issue of The Indie Contact Newsletter!

David Wimble
The Indie Contact Newsletter


Below are the contacts that were submitted to me in July.
The contacts listed are sorted into FIVE sections.

1. Publications that will review your music
2. Radio stations/shows that will play your music
3. Services that will help you to sell your music
4. Sites where you can upload your band's MP3s or videos
5. Helpful resources and promotional sites for recording artists

THE INDIE BIBLE is the All-In-One resource for Recording Artists. It lists 4000 publications that will review your music and 3200 radio stations that will play your songs. Over 10,000 contacts in all. ALL genres of music are covered!

Get your copy today at http://www.indiebible2004.com or visit your local Guitar Center, Sam Ash, Borders or Barnes & Noble (in Canada at Long & McQuade).
Do your records rock? Do they sound huge like the big names? Punchy, warm, loud? Better than the competition? If not, Rare Form Mastering is the answer. Our experienced engineers, mastering grade processing and reference monitoring can bring that major label sound to your music. From your original mixes to the final delivery master, from our engineer's hands to your fans' stereo or surround system. Whether CD, DVD or vinyl, we have the experience to make your music sound the way your audience wants it to sound. Put our 2,500+ albums of mastering experience to work for you. http://www.RareFormMastering.com




Strigl's Music News
PO Box 4112, New York, NY 10163
We do a couple reviews each month. Some of the people who run this site are on-air commentators for VH1. Please send GUITAR ROCK ONLY - Metal, Punk, Glam, Emo, Grunge etc.

Heidi Martinuzzi superheidi@msn.com
An online horror community for women. I want to review and interview independent women musicians in Metal, Punk and Goth music.

True Music Reviews
PO Box 285, Craigieburn 3064 VIC Australia
PH: 61-03-9305-6090 FX: 61-03-9305-6090
LD fleduc@bigpond.net.au
http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/tmreviews Reviews that speak the truth and support artist that create music for the world to hear.

Oathmeal Zine
#7 Dr. Tinio Guinayang Subd. San Mateo, Rizal 1850 Philippines
Mark Nemis oathmeal@yahoo.com
Online punk/independent music/activist oriented diy zine documenting Counter-Cultural activities... in Asia, Oceania and anywhere else.

Tad Loud Productions
3609 Jefferson St, Clovis, NM 88101
PH: 505-762-7346
Sean Pruitt tadloud@plateautel.net
Dedicated to helping promote indie artists by posting links, articles, CD reviews, interviews, news and more.

Dirty Zine
An online Rock zine based in England that reviews demos sent to us by unsigned bands.


The second annual Independent Music Conference, a national event by and for indie musicians, will begin accepting Performance Applications once again for a limited time.

The performances will be incredible, but the IMC is first and foremost an educational and networking opportunity. The IMC is a five day event that's packed with great workshops, panels, mentor sessions, and networking. The current schedule for IMC2004 is almost completed and will be online very soon. We are featuring some new workshops this year that are sure to become popular additions to our curriculum.

The educational value represented by the fine instructors who are generously contributing to this event makes the IMC one of the greatest learning opportunities you can find. Join us and learn how to advance your independent music career.

Please remember that if you missed your chance to apply as a performer in the early phase, you will have one last chance to do so between July 11th and 31st. Watch the web site for more info. If you need more info, you may call anytime: (203)606-4649

IndieGate.com is proud to present the Independent Music Conference
September 2nd - 6th, 2004
Sheraton Society Hill, One Dock Street, Philadelphia, PA
Announces NEW LOWER PRICES - 1,000 CDs in jewel boxes as low as $1,390!

Package includes:
- a free UPC barcode
- worldwide distribution through CD Baby
- free digital audio distribution with Disc Makers' DAD program
- a free review of your music by TAXI
- 300 11"x17" posters for only $99

Learn more at http://www.discmakers.com/hl

Also visit this site to get a FREE "Musician's Guide to the Web"
ROCK / HEAVY METAL BANDS: Try Our Satellite Ads!

Advertise At Blistering.com & Blabbermouth.net:
-> Our Satellite Ads are virtual jukeboxes that play music on command
-> Give your fans immediate access to sound and information from an ad
-> Let our massive audience of 375,000 monthly visitors discover your music
-> We GUARANTEE 750 downloads per month-long campaign!

See and feel our Satellite Ads:




Radio ZuSa
Scharnhorststr. 1, 21335 Lueneburg, Germany
Juergen Kramer j.kramer@zusa.de
I do a show on all kinds of Folk, Acoustic and Traditional music from around the world. I'm looking for more or less Acoustic material without loads of drums and gimmicks.

Noneyet Music WFCF
PO Box 2055, St. Augustine, FL 32085-2055
PH: 904-826-0743
Stu Weaver sw1191@aol.com
A two hour weekly radio broadcast of Acoustic Singer/Songwriters.

We Sold Our Souls For Techno
6518 W. Belmont Ave.
PH: 708-954-7996
Laurynas suomis@yahoo.com
100% Techno radio.

Noneyet Music / Stu Weaver Radio Page
WFCF c/o Noneyet Music, PO Box 2055, St. Augustine, FL 32085-2055
PH: 904-826-0743
Stu Weaver sw1191@aol.com
A two hour weekly radio broadcast of acoustic Singer/Songwriters on 10,000 watt WFCF 88.5 FM in St. Augustine, Florida.

224 N. Washington, Carbondale, IL 62901
PH: 618-529-5900 FX: 618-529-5900
Brian Powell wdbx@globaleyes.net
We provide a public forum for artistic and cultural expression and for the exchange of ideas among individuals and the community. WDBX features 3 Singer/Songwriter shows: On the Backroad, Special Folks and Folk Fiasco.

Feel The Rage CJIQ
Dan Kieswetter rage@gto.net
Weekly Heavy Metal radio show, originating just outside Toronto, featuring all sub-genres of Metal!

D'Art Radio
PO Box 303, W. Long Branch, NJ 07764
Arlene Smith dart1@mail.com
An indie music internet station for the following genres: Rock, Techno, Pop, R&B and Hip Hop.

The Indie Connection WKMS
2018 University Stn. Murray, KY 42071
PH: 270-762-4359
John Gibson john.gibson@gmail.com
A weekly program focusing on independent and local bands airing on WKMS, a 100,000 watt NPR station.

Women of the 90's
PH: 440-228-6479
Mark Collins mecollins@ameritech.net
A radio station on Live365 that features the music of women from the 90's to today.

Upper Room with Joe Kelley Radio Show
PO Box 3481, Bridgeport, CT 06605
Gi Dussault or Joe Kelley npsfunk@optonline.net
On the air since 1982, recognized worldwide for interviews, in-house concerts series and support of indie artists in all kinds of music. Email us before sending a CD.

Psychic Vibe Bot Radio
108-902 Suenaga, Takatsu-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken, JAPAN 213-0013
PH: 011-81-044-866-1422
Drew Golden botanist@psychicvibe.com
An internet radio station specializing in interesting music from all genres.

American Radio Network L.L.C./Megarock Radio
1000 Bates Street, St. Louis, MO 63111
Robert Winkelmann megarock@sbcglobal.net
Producers of Garageband ROCK, a syndicated independent rock, alternative and hard rock music show on 20 radio stations.

Crossroads Radio
Smitsstraat 13, 4623 XP Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands
Jos van den Boom crossroads@home.nl
A weekly radio show on BRTO-radio in Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands in which Roots music and singer/songwriters stuff are played. Crossroads also pays a lot of attention to independent artists! And besides that, Crossroads records its own live material. Once a month musicians from all over the world are invited to record an acoustic session in front of an audience of about 50 people who can attend those sessions for free.

Hidden Planet Radio
PO Box 131, Selah WA 98942
Jason Moore Jason@hiddenplanetradio.com
Streaming the best unsigned rock bands & artists in the world, 24/7.

Get started selling your CDs at IndieGate.com for only $30.00

Have you wanted to get involved with the online indie pioneers at the InterMixx IndieGate, but those pesky $$$ were holding you back? Well, not any more! Sell your indie CD through the InterMixx IndieGate and get started right now for a low set-up fee of only $30.00. It's never been this affordable to get involved with InterMixx, so let the company that's been helping the indie market grow for almost 20 years help YOUR market to grow as well!

Please visit http://www.IndieGate.com and become a Merchant Member right now!
Check out the new InterMixx DIScPLAY! Now indies can sell more CDs at live events with this durable mobile listening station! Comes complete with integrated CD player. Easily portable, it closes to contain and protect all items neatly. Simple, quick and easy to use... just open it and set it on your merch table. Purchase price includes one set-up fee for IndieGate.com.




Dying Giraffe Recordings
St. Anthoniusplaats 9, 6511, TR, NIJMEGEN, The Netherlands
Ingmar info@dyinggiraffe-recordings.com
An independent record label and we are always looking forward to your work. We listen to all the stuff that comes in. You can send us some MP3 files by e-mail or a CD by postal mail.

The Kitefishing Family
241 E. South Temple #4 Salt Lake City, UT 84111
PH: 801-637-2828
camden camden@kitefishingfamily.com
Dedicated to the promotion of all forms of Independent art.

Crony Records
290 Bridge St. W. Waterloo, ON, N2K 1L2
Brad Weber brad@cronyrecords.ca
Community based record label helping musicians promote each other through the label.

Block Party Records
320 N. Canon Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90210
PH: 310 927-9666 FX: 310 492-6111
Tony Hicks tony@blockpartyrecords.com
Reviews all Hip Hop/Rap music of unsigned artists.

Planet CD
PO Box 19481, Charlotte, NC 28219
PH: 704-560-2379
We provide 2 custom designed pages for your listing - an "Info / Bio" page to tell about your music, the artist, or whatever message you want to get across - and a "CD page" which features a scan of your CD cover, a list of tracks and audio samples.

Need Promo
28870 US 19 N. #351, Clearwater, FL 33761
PH: 800-708-0907
Maurice Evans info@needpromo.com
Learn how to make money as a musician. Internet Marketing, Web Design, Artist Development, Consulting and more. Lots of free helpful articles and info on our site. Contact us before sending material.

Indie Booking Agency
28870 US 19 N. #351, Clearwater, FL 33761
PH: 800-708-0907
Maurice Evans bookings@needpromo.com
Got Gigs? We are a full service booking agency for independent artists. We are currently Accepting Applications. Let us help you get to the next level!

Point Five Limey
7536 E. Warren Dr. #15-304 Denver, CO 80231
PH: 303.306.7602
James Gardiner info@pointfivelimeyrecords.com
An online art, music, and culture website that strives to sell, promote, and display a variety art and music from around the world.

Magnanimous Records
PO Box 541, Shepherdstown, WV 25443
curt info@magnanimous.org
An independent, artist-run record label. We accept submissions for our radio broadcast as well as for potential album releases.

RichhKiddz Entertainment
771 Lindbergh Dr. #7301 Atlanta, GA 30324
PH: 404.273.5202
Ced Pitts/ Russ Downs cedpitts@richhkiddz.com
A multi-faced entertainment and management company.

Wounded Records
1145 Stierley Rd. N., Wadesville, IN 47638
PH: 812-985-5969 FX: 812-985-5969
Bryant or Tonja woundedr@woundedrecords.com
Independent Record label. Accepting demos with a positive message. All genres. From recording to production of your project, including distro and promotion, we are here for you.

Arthropoda Records
1223 Wilshire Blvd., #812, Santa Monica, CA 90403
PH: 310-930-0990 FX: 310-315-8273
Craig Garner craig@arthropodarecords.com
Record label promoting original thinking.

If your CD isn't for sale in CD Baby, you're losing sales!
CD Baby has been featured in the NY Times, MSNBC, Wired, CNET and more.
10,000 CUSTOMERS A DAY go through cdbaby.com looking for CDs like yours.
Such a popular online store, you HAVE to make sure your CD is there.
They pay $20,000 a week to musicians like you (over $1 million so far!)
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO START SELLING is go to http://www.cdbaby.net
Takes 5 minutes. Send them a box of CDs. They'll sell them and pay you.
Real cool people. Total first-class treatment. Great CD distribution.
DAD (Digital Audio Distribution)
Launched by DISC MAKERS the DAD service gives independent bands and artists the opportunity to sell their songs online on sites like Apple's iTunes Music Store, Listen.com's Rhapsody, AOL's MusicNet, Emusic, and newcomer BuyMusic.com. The DAD service is FREE with all new CD orders with DISC MAKERS. The service is also available to artists who do not make their CDs with DISC MAKERS for only $75.




Will Cumberland cumberland@jukeboxalive.com
Our Advanced Jukebox Player protects your music from being digitally downloaded, yet allows fans to hear your music online. This creates exciting possibilities for you to present yourself to new audiences without being ripped off. Take a few minute to check us out!
Be Heard - Not Downloaded!
Promotion West
484 Washington St. #106, Monterey, CA 93940
PH: 831 373-6627
John Tallon john@promotionwest.com
MP3 music download site for unsigned artists.

Jones Music
234 Ninth Ave N., Seattle, WA 98109
PH: 865-405-3501
Chris King rvchris@jonessoda.com
Jones Soda has put their love of music into a free indie site.


The Indie Bible is one of the most popular resource for Independent Recording Artists in the world. As an affiliate, you will receive $10 US for each sale of the Indie Bible generated through your site!

Visit http://www.indiebible2004.com/whole.shtml for details.




335 Design
PO Box 19481, Charlotte, NC 28219
PH: 704-560-2379
Not selling many CDs through your web site? Let us help! We provide affordable, superior web site design for musicians and music related businesses.

PH: 252-714-2296
Tony Murnahan tony@stwrongtone.com
Dedicated to offering resources to North Carolina area bands and musicians.

1340 Media
PO Box 1347, Fairmont, WV 26555-1347
PH: 304-363-5224
Mark Fisher mark1340@verizon.net
Provides a low cost bio and press release writing services for independent artists/bands.

Frequency Media
One Lincoln Plaza, Sixth Floor, New York, NY 10023
PH: (212) 621-8466
Erik Maier emaier@frequencymedia.com
Our ArtistMonitor service provides cost effective electronically monitored radio airplay information to independent artists.

International Musicians Trading Post
PO Box 64, Kingston Palms QLD Australia 4114
Matt Benbrook free-ads@musicians-classifieds.com
Free online classifieds for the music industry and musicians from around the world.

Musician's Photo Service
706 N. 76th St. Seattle WA 98103
PH: 206-783-3216
Publicity / promotional photo duplication. We reproduce prints either on glossy photo paper or "LITHOGLOSS" enameled card stock.

Gold Vinyl Demos
PH: 239-463-9820 FX: 239-463-9820
chazzy cleartalk1@yahoo.com
We are a talent search site for unsigned Singer/Songwriter artists. We have a staff of pros dedicated to help you perfect your demo for presentation.

The Ultimate Showcase
PH: 07830-119190
Mike Deal mike@halcyonsounds.co.uk
An excitingopportunityy for unsigned Christian artists in the UK to get their music heard by record industry representatives and the public alike. It is also a chance to win the Ultimate prize, an album, designed, recoded, duplicated and distributed (subject to conditions) and the opening slot at Alton Towers 2005 in front of approx 15000 people.

Norwest Designs
927 22nd St. Bellingham, WA 98225
PH: 360-756-0975
Misha Williams misha@norwestdesigns.com
Specializes in providing high end design service for CD Cover Art and Packaging Projects. Prices start at just $500 for a full custom CD Package Design.Marketing Services include; PR websites, Band Logos, Gig and Event Flyers, Merchandising and more.

myGigz Entertainment Inc.
PH: 778-888-4449
Miklo miklo@mygigz.com
Free service for indie / emerging artists that helps spread the word about their talent.


The Indie Link Exchange is a list of music sites that wish to exchange links with other music related sites. With over 600 current listings, it's a great way to get some FREE exposure

It's a simple one-to-one exchange of text links or banners. ALL styles of music sites are welcome! http://www.indielinkexchange.com/ile
SONICBIDS is an online service that connects musicians and music promoters. Instead of mailing out traditional, bulky press kits, Sonicbids' members email Sonicbids Electronic Press Kits (EPKs). Soncbids EPKs - which contain the MP3 files, pictures, press reviews and contact information - can be easily emailed to anyone, anywhere! In addition, members can directly submit their EPKs to some of the world's biggest festivals, clubs, and conferences for free. Members are also eligible for exclusive Sonicbids spots at some of the hottest conferences around the world. Promote your band in a powerful new way, for only $49.95 a year.

Go to http://www.sonicbids.com/default.asp?pID=1435 today!


7. HOW TO CREATE AND MANUFACTURE YOUR MUSIC by Hadas, Eric Mueller and Oliver Goss, Recordpressing.com
© 2004 All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission


There are many different variables involved in creating an effective package to market yourself and your music. The artistic element of your release, the cover art and promotional materials, are important as they introduce a new dimension to your aesthetic identity. Flipping through endless racks of CDs and records, it is the artwork that can instantly spark an interest for an otherwise unknown release. The hidden element involved in providing your release this opportunity is a well-developed understanding of the options offered by the printing and media manufacturing industry.

The manufacturing process can be extremely frustrating, confusing, and financially straining for musicians and record labels (novices and veterans alike), but with sufficient research and eventually a well-established relationship with the right company, you can make virtually any vision come to life and fit within your budget.

It is first essential to determine the medium(s) that will best deliver your message to its intended audience. If you choose to release your music in CD format, there are a few factors to ponder. Find an independent operation that offers high quality work at reasonable prices and turnaround times, and most importantly cares about its customers. Confirm that you are getting glass mastered replicated CDs rather than duplicated CD's, to insure the integrity of your product all the way through your entire pressing. Also, choose a company that offers the best print quality for the booklets, tray card, and CD face. The use of offset printing results in the most professional print quality, and usually involves a turnkey filmless process that yields much higher line screen than silk-screening and thus better detail on the printwork. This is particularly true on the CD face. Make sure you ask about film charges, as some manufacturers won't mention them until after you have committed to the project. In some cases, films can cost as much as $300, so WATCH OUT. Film charges are normal for the CD face, but avoid going with a company that charges for any films beyond that. There are a host of other options available to make your CD release unique. Ask if the manufacturer can make your CD an enhanced CD; Adding a video or links to your photos or website only strengthens your release in the eyes of fans or industry people, and a good manufacturer will gladly do this at little or no extra cost. Other options to make your CD stand out include making it a dye cut shaped, clear, or even scratch-n-sniff CD. Something utilizing some interesting artwork that takes advantage of the various printed cardboard cases, jackets, and sleeves offered throughout the industry as more hip packaging options for CD's and DVD's. Regardless, find a company who can give you some options to work with, so there is no chance of stifling your potential, or that of your graphic artists'.

Many people opt to release their music on vinyl records as well, as this is still a very popular choice for DJ's and collectors of various musical genres. Should you choose to release your music on vinyl, there are some extremely important things to look and listen for. Find a company that can provide you with the highest level of versatility and quality in terms of sound quality and packaging options. There are only a few companies that still press quality vinyl records, and even fewer who also provide in-house printing and packaging. Manufacturing the packaging and vinyl record at the same facility saves shipping charges and hassle. Another good thing to look for is the use of more modern equipment, like DMM (direct to metal mastering) equipment. DMM processing essentially cuts out one whole generation of the replicating process, reducing the overall cost of making vinyl, while at the same time yielding a wider potential sound range, and significantly reducing the ambient noise, pops, crackles, and hisses that are too often present on cheap vinyl. Also, make sure to get 100% virgin vinyl, not partially recycled compound, as next to mastering this is the most important factor in getting audiophile quality records. Ensure that your records are manufactured heavy enough so that you do not receive warped records when they arrive at your door. A good weight for a 12" record pressing is 140g or above, and for a 7" record pressing 40g and above. A few companies will even record pressing much heavier than this. Asking the right questions and really comparing apples to apples can be difficult when researching vinyl manufacturing, but it is vital in order to get the most for your money. Vinyl is a great promotional tool, and when designed and manufactured well, can capture the attention of DJ's, collectors, and labels as well, if not better than any other medium.

It is understood that releasing music independently is financially draining, and many people cut corners left and right because of this. Depending on the stage you're at, a few cut corners might be okay, but there is also a general understanding that professional looking and sounding packages will certainly have a marked advantage at piquing the interest of A&R folks, writers, publishers, booking agents, DJs and club owners. There are ways to cut costs in the manufacturing of your art and music; sacrificing the integrity and quality of your product is not one of these ways. Do the best you can within whatever budget you find yourself working with, and make sure you DO YOUR RESEARCH. Get what you want and pay a reasonable price for it, and if at all possible, keep it independent.

In summary, find yourself a reputable independent company that can fulfill ALL of your manufacturing needs. Choose a company that is not too small to handle all your needs, and not too big so that you'll find yourself lost in the corporate red tape shuffle. Do your homework as far as pricing goes, and remember cheaper is not necessarily better, and going with a company that promises whistles and bells such as online distribution posters will also increase your bill significantly. Build and maintain a mutually beneficially relationship with a capable company whom you enjoy working with. In the long run it will benefit you much more than the dollar you'd save here and there constantly shopping and bouncing around solely for the cheapest price. =============================================
This article was contributed by Hadas, Eric Mueller, and Oliver Goss, respectively Marketing Director, General Manager, and President of Recordpressing.com. Recordpressing.com is a leading independent source for high quality CD, DVD, vinyl record, and promotional material manufacturing. If you have questions or comments regarding this article, contact Recordpressing.com at help@recordpressing.com.
Recordpressing.com is the leading independent CD, DVD, Vinyl Record, and promotional material manufacturer. Please check us out on the web at http://www.recordpressing.com and email hadas@recordpressing.com with comments or questions.
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7. INSIDE THE HEAD OF A MUSIC REVIEWER - PART II by Suzanne Glass, Indie-Music.com
© 2004 All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission


Q. Are artists in general nice or rude when they contact you?

ERIK DECKERS: In general, they're nice. If they're rude -- EVER -- I pitch the CD.

HEIDI DROCKELMAN: What a loaded question! OK, most artists are fairly respectful and nice upon initial contact. But don't let me sugarcoat this for you - if I had a penny for every band that told me they were "by far, the greatest band you've ever heard", I'd be rich. There is cockiness, and then there are the deluded few.

JENNIFER LAYTON: Very nice. That's one thing I have no complaints about. Some of them have even checked out articles and columns I've written for other publications, which I think is pretty smart of them. I tease them about it, saying that it never hurts to flatter the reviewer!

LES REYNOLDS: Generally very respectful and nice. I feel fortunate in this area and it's been an incredible pleasure.

Q. Do you reply to "When will my review be done?" messages? Why or why not?

ERIK DECKERS: Yes. If I agreed to do the review, then the artist deserves to know when I'll finish it.

HEIDI DROCKELMAN: God help you if you send this to me and I'm having a bad day, then the response can possibly turn on a dime depending on the manner in which someone words this question. It's usually closer to "where the hell is my review" in spirit. But I honestly try to respond to everyone. I understand that your material is important to you, so I try to shoot a line back and give an estimate of when something can be expected. But if you hound more than once, there's a good chance I will let it go even longer.

JENNIFER LAYTON: Yes, I answer these, because I'm a pretty impatient person myself. I do tell the artists before they even send me their CD that I will need about 2-3 months because I'm swamped with submissions, so I get a little annoyed when it's only been three weeks and I get, "Have you had a chance to listen to the CD yet? What do you think?"

LES REYNOLDS: Generally, I do just because I don't want to make an enemy and I want my conscience clear -- like, I've covered my a** and if it persists, I get more firm as the requests ("demands") get more frequent. And finally I just disappear. Generally I don't have this problem because I am upfront about the need for patience.

Q. How do you deal with your personal music preferences when reviewing? Do you review styles you would not normally listen to/buy?

ERIK DECKERS: It's actually a little harder for an artist to impress me when they're in a genre I already like, because I have some definite ideas about what I enjoy and what I don't. But that means that if an artist CAN impress me, then they've done an excellent job. I do review styles that I normally don't listen to, so if an artist can create something that I enjoy (i.e. country music), then they also get a good review.

HEIDI DROCKELMAN: Actually, I may be one of the few reviewers that will instantly admit that I use my personal music preference as a barometer for my reviews. I believe that it is almost an impossibility take that out of the mix, especially when considering first impressions and different "trends". But this can be a very positive tool, especially when considering things like generational preferences (determining who this music will appeal to) and regional trends. It's a fact... we're human. But I like to pride myself on the fact that I grew up in a classically trained environment, coupled with a love of pop and rock, and through my experience as a music director for a college station, I gained an even broader perspective on programming, recognizing tastes, even if it's something that isn't within my personal comfort zone. I like all genres, truly, and love to explore different areas of interest. It's the only way to grow, and to allow the art of music to grow and expand as well.

JENNIFER LAYTON: That's been an interesting issue for me. Over the past three years, I've learned not to rule out styles of music I don't normally listen to. I thought I hated all folk music before I started writing for Indie-Music.com, and now I am completely in love with acoustic folk/rock music. The only thing I can't review is rap. I'm a middle-class white girl who still listens to Barry Manilow and the Carpenters occasionally -- I have ZERO credibility when it comes to rap and hip- hop.

LES REYNOLDS: I've learned, first of all, to separate the "This sux" from the "I don't like this". Second, I have become far more open-minded and that has made all the difference. Case in point: Christina Fasano, AKA the funky white girl. Basically it's excellent dance music but once you get beyond that to the words, well, it's pure sensual and spiritual power. At one time, I would have never gotten past the funk and beat-centric stuff. That CD was the turning point for me, I think -- it ripped me wide open. I still won't do rap or heavy (what I call vomit) rock (usually) or pure commercial country (usually), but I have learned to never say never. Besides, I have been blessed that most artists contacting me directly actually read my bio and they get a good vibe or feel. Generally, it's worked like a charm.

Q. What do you most enjoy about reviewing indie music?

ERIK DECKERS: It's not the same old schlock I hear on commercial radio. In most cases, it's better.

HEIDI DROCKELMAN: It's a constant shocker, truly. I'm still amazed, after all these years, at the quality and talent that's out there. The best thing about reviewing indie music is the sheer unpredictability of it all.

JENNIFER LAYTON: I know this sounds dramatic, but writing about indie music for the past three years has changed my life. I'm a lot more open-minded about so many things because I've learned to be more open-minded about the music I listen to. I've met several of the artists I've reviewed and am so happy that I've been able to encourage them by contributing positive reviews to their press kits. I've become such a fan of indie music that I flew up to NYC for my birthday last year to see performances by some of the artists I'd written about. It's also been great for me professionally -- editors of print magazines have seen my writing on Indie-Music.com and offered me paid freelance gigs.

LES REYNOLDS: The fact that there's an unlimited amount of real talent out there and it keeps coming and won't ever stop. I've heard stuff I would have never heard otherwise, met musicians I'd never even dreamed existed. And the cream is when a real connection is made... that's worth everything.

Q. What most irritates you in writing reviews?

ERIK DECKERS: Getting unsolicited reviews. I'm pretty busy to begin with, and so I have to be selective about whose reviews I undertake. When I get one that I didn't ask for, I don't look favorably upon that artist. If I do manage to get around to doing their review, they've got a bigger hurdle to clear in that I'm already annoyed with them.

HEIDI DROCKELMAN: The only thing that ever gets me is the volume of the mailings that I get. But making the commitment to give advice, constructive criticism, and deliver it in a way that isn't cruel, disconcerting, or rude is never easy. I may have harped a little about bands realizing that the reviewers are human, but remembering how personal the work is to others keeps me in check when delivering my honest opinion about their work.

JENNIFER LAYTON: What drives me NUTS is when artists or labels put me on their mailing lists when I didn't ask them to. Some artists have even put me on their lists before they've even sent me the CD for review. The worst was after I wrote a positive review of one band, and then their label put me on the mailing list of every single artist on their roster. That's one of the reasons I don't deal with labels or PR people anymore. If I love an artist's work, I'll ask to be put on the mailing list. And I have done that many times.

LES REYNOLDS: Bad (inaccurate/incomplete) information on liner notes (it happens) or if the info is not legible -- that stuff is very helpful and often necessary (in my opinion) in writing reviews. That, and wishing I had nothing to do but write, because most of these artists deserve a timely review.

******* Part III next month *********

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