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- July 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 Overcome Age Discrimination in the Music Business" - PART III by Bobby Borg author of "The Musician's Handbook"
8. "Inside the Head of a Music Reviewer" - PART 1 by Suzanne Glass, Indie-Music.com


This month's winner of the Sennheiser E835 microphone (visit http://www.sennheiserusa.com )
- Greg P. Brummett, Mineola, TX

This month's winner of a pair of Sennheiser HD280Pro headphones (visit http://www.sennheiserusa.com )
- Robert Riggs, Erlanger, KY

This month's winners of the A&R Directory (for more information visit http://www.musicregistry.com ) are:
- Danielle Clout, Parramatta, Australia
- Janet Castiel, New York, NY

This month's winners of the Publisher's Directory (for more information visit http://www.musicregistry.com ) are:
- Carol Castellano, Mahopac, NY
- Mark Camble, Missouri City, TX

This month's winners of the Musician's ToolKit CD (for more information visit https://www.bookingagentsdirectory.com ) are:
- Kristin Kitko, Bismarck, ND

This month's winner of "100 Miles to a Record Deal" by Bronson Herrmuth (for more information on this book, visit http://www.songrepair.com )
- Nicky Saleeba, Perth, Australia

This month's winner of the musicSUBMIT music promotion and publicity service (for more information visit http://www.musicsubmit.com ) is:
- Shane Mills, New York, NY

This month's winner of a 3-month subscription to the Bandit Newsletter (for more information visit http://www.banditnewsletter.com ) is:
- T. G. Vanini, Woodstock, NY

This month's winner of the CD Trophy Clock (for more information visit http://www.cdstands.com/index.shtml?icn ) is:
- Paul Brill, New York, NY

This month's winner of a one year subscriptions to Electronic Musician Magazine (visit http://www.emusician.com) is:
- Gary S. Campbell, West Milford, NJ


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
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Welcome to the July Indie Contact Newsletter.

Our first article this month is the fourth and final installment of Bobby Borg's informative look at age discrimination in the music business.

The second article is an invaluable gathering of information compiled by Suzanne Glass of Indie-Music.com titled "Inside the Head of a Music Reviewer". Suzanne has posed a series of questions to Indie-Music.com music reviewers. Their answers are sure to help you to better understand how to go about sending your music in for review, and also how to followup your submission.

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 July issue of The Indie Contact Newsletter!

David Wimble
The Indie Contact Newsletter


Below are the contacts that were submitted to me in June. 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).

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




Beyond the Grave
343 Waller St. San Francisco CA 94117
Jer Boehnner chogull@yahoo.com
Providing honest reviews of all type of Dark music.

The Best Female Musicians
Reviews CDs and promotes indie female musicians.

.espacio3.com -> revista de arte y similares
Nena Casas 42, 1 2 / 08007 - Barcelona / Spain
PH: 34932051363
GUstavo "Bambino" Zapico gus@espacio3.com
Online music & arts magazine focused in alternative artists and genres.

cross my heart with a knife
15122 Sunset Dr. Northport, AL 35475
cmhwak cmhwak@hotmail.com
Webzine devoted to emo, Screamo, Kitten violence and the likes with videos, reviews, crazy shizz etc etc.

Hip Hop Logic
UPDATE: 514 Daniels St. #147, Raleigh, NC 27605
Clyde Smith hiphoplogic@netweed.com
Reviews Hip Hop related merchandise, especially CDs and DVDs.

Sydney Gothic
PO Box 284, Newtown, NSW, 2042, Australia
PH: 61-2-9519-0618
Zoog zoog_angelspit@yahoo.co.uk
The online hub of Sydney's Gothic / Industrial / Neo-Cyberpunk community - submissions for reviews and interviews welcome.

Australian Gothic
PO Box 284, Newtown, NSW, 2042, Australia
PH: 61-2-9519-0618
Zoog zoog_angelspit@yahoo.co.uk
Australia's online hub for all things Gothic / Industrial / Neo-Cyberpunk. Submissions for reviews and interviews welcome.

PO Box 16940, Sugar Land, TX 77496-6940
PH: 281-541-0981 FX: 281-565-4239
Madalyn Sklar info@gogirlsmusic.com
All about promoting and empowering indie women in music!

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Also visit this site to get a FREE "Musician's Guide to the Web"
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Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo, NY 14222
PH: 716-878-5104
Jeff Chapman fiset_is_the_man@yahoo.com
91.3 FM, Buffalo's Original Alternative--Independent Alternative Rock, with Roots, Folk, World and Reggae Specialty shows.

PH: 202-483-6864
Marc Sylvestre pittradio@bottomlesspitt.com
Independent music and radio playlist site playing the cutting edge artistry of the independents.

In The Tradition-WDIY-FM Allentown PA
3681 Huckleberry Rd. Allentown, PA 18104
PH: 610-395-5908
Tom Druckenmiller producer/host littlecat@enter.net
I produce and host In The Tradition a weekly radio program which features traditional based North American and Celtic music.

The Raggle Taggle Gypsy: Euroroots on KPSU Portland
1100 W 9th St, The Dalles, OR 97058
Judith Gennett gennett@gorge.net
I play European and euro-influenced music on the radio.

Steel Belted Radio
126 Meadow Lake Dr. Winnipeg, MB R2C 4K3, Canada
PH: 204-224-1663
Terry Wilson steelbeltedradio@shaw.ca
Radio program that features songs you won't hear on your normal radio with hosts Mike and Terry and Desmond specializing in roots, country, and all the down and dirty stuff those wimps at other radio stations won't play!

It's Folk Music, It's For Folks
Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222
PH: 716-878-3180
Ken "Dr. K" Nagelberg doctork@savetheflyingbuffalo.com
Weekly radio show--contemporary folk and acoustic singer- songwriters on independent and self-published labels.

Voyage Beyond Entertainment
7526 Fisher Dr. Falls Church, VA. 22043
Michael Anthony fmyshow@hotmail.com
We play, review and promote any and every genre of music by unsigned and indie artists (except religious oriented music). Will also interview bands as well for the site and show and sell the artists music through our site.

PH: 650-345-7400 FX: 650-345-7497
Steve lexrock@insightbb.com
Lexington's only independent net radio station playing Indie music from across the globe.

"The Long & Dusty Road" on KBOO-FM
941 SE 55th Ave., POrtland, OR 97215
Don Jacobson donj@dslnorthwest.net
I play traditional folk music and folk music with social content written in the traditional style. I do not play folk rock or singer song writers.

KEUL, FM 88.9 Glacier City Radio - "It's All Folk"
Glacier City Radio PO Box 29 Girdwood, AK 99587
PH: 907 754-2489
Karen Rakos keulkaren@hotmail.com
Airs on Sundays from 4-6pm Alaska Time and plays folk, roots, bluegrass and old-time music.

Radio Gets Wild
17 London Rd. Kings Lynn Norfolk PE30 5PY UK
Tim Daymond tim@radiogetswild.com
Indie artists interviewed live on air Have your music featured.

Tell the Band to Go Home
7 Brownell Bay, Winnipeg, MB, R3R 1L8, Canada
PH: (204) 474-7027
Jeff Robson BandGoHome@shaw.ca
Tell the Band to go home is a weekly singer/songwriter radio show on CJUM 101.5 UMFM in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I also review CDs and write music articles for local publications.

Music Forte
John Pratt johngpratt@yahoo.ca
An unprecedented online program that is fast becoming the World's Foremost Community for Music, Education and Business!

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!




Bathtub Music
MUSICIANS: SELL MORE CDs! We are on online CD store dedicated to selling and promoting all genres of independent music with FREE SETUP for musicians.

Awaken Events
Awaken Events - PO Box 07 - Rabat - Malta - Europe.
PH: 356 9988 4824
Nick Grima manager@awakenevents.com
Awaken utilizes unique strategies and an honest, direct business approach to expose artists to the expertise that enables music industry success.

PO Box 380, New York, NY 10276
PH: 646-613-1101 FX: 786-513-0692
Vera Sheps TwoShepsThatPass@aol.com
Gives you a presence on and off the net.

E-World Entertainment
1015 I-35 North, Suite 310 Carrollton, TX 75006
PH: 972-446-0051 FX: 972-446-0035
Ann Schriner A1Schriner@yahoo.com
An Independent Record Label located in the Dallas/ Forth Worth Metroplex, TX looking for talented musicians of all genres to sign.

Nentech Records
2268 Rose Ave, Signal Hill, Ca, 90755, USA
PH: 213 675-1709
Cameron Weaver caelumdeeja@yahoo.com
We are a record label pushing experimental dnb, and are always looking for talent.

BFM Management and Promotion
PH: 917-755-0113
Dennis Halsey dennis@bfmmanagement.com
We provide the tools to ensure artistic and financial success.

CatsAsk Music & Entertainment
PO Box 31029
PH: 705-792-0394
William Rodgers wgr@catsask.com
Band consultation, bio assistance, song copyright assistance and monthly music reviews.

New Zero Europe
federica furlotti via tommaso campanella 21, 00195 Roma, Italy
PH: 338 3100739
Federica federica@newzeroeurope.com
Booking and Promotion Agency.

Del-Fi Records, Inc./Open Door America
PO Box 69188, Los Angeles, CA 90069
PH: 323-966-4800 FX: 323-966-4805
Bob Keane info@del-fi.com
Independent record label with major distribution searching for new bands.

Move Records
1 Linton Street, Ivanhoe, VIC 3084, Australia
PH: (03) 9497 3105 FX: (03) 9497 4426
Martin Wright move@move.com.au
Classical and jazz CD label with own studio with grand piano.

The Rocker
Zeitgeist, PO Box 13499, Edinburgh EH6 8YL, United Kingdom
PH: 01314671827
S Hamilton info@the-rocker.co.uk
Web based music distributor and retailer, with associated information site and newsletter.

PO Box 1606, La Marque, TX 77568
PH: 409-935-7877
Lucky Boyd MyTexasMusic@aol.com
While small, we are doing more for musicians in Texas than other online vendors could ever pretend to do.

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.




234 Ninth Ave North Seattle WA 98109
Chris King rvchris@jonessoda.com
Jones Soda Co. has created this free for all indie music site.

Media Kinesis sales@jbservers.net
Media Kinesis is offering 50mb of free space to the first 500 artists! Get your own pro website, stream MP3 and WMV (video), events calendar, radio station, and much much more. We help you promote your material, and our statistics add strength to your promotional efforts!


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.



MusicPro Insurance Agency
45 Crossways Park Dr. Woodbury, NY 11797-2002
PH: 800-605-3187 FX: 888-290-0302
Affordable and convenient insurance for musicians, including instruments, equipment, studio, tour, composer's liability, travel accident and health.

Collision Industries
10806 Cushdon Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90064
PH: 310.694.1077 FX: 310.694.1077
Harlan Margolis info@collisionindustries.com
http://www.collisionindustries.com/wholesalecustomgear.htm Merchandising/promotional products company that makes custom merch (shirts, hats, matchbooks, etc) for bands, record labels, etc.

Media Web Source
1225 Elm Dr., Oakdale, PA 15071
PH: 412-787-7099 FX: 412-787-7099
Dennis Damp mediawebsource@yahoo.com
Band and songwriter resources, record company submission guidelines, press kit information, how to get a gig, tips on demo recording, music law and song promotion books, and affordable band website design

Pit Promotions
Wanda Taylor wanda.taylor@pitpromotions.com
Free e and street teams for signed and unsigned bands.

923 Kipling Dr. Nashville, TN 37217
PH: 615-367-2803
Ernie/Debbie Simms dsimms55@aol.com
TV Show free exposure for independent artist, country or pop, folk, use acoustic or tracks of your album.

the NextBigThing
c/o Martin Smit/frankie Nexus Pestalozzistr 14 30451 Hannover, Germany
Frankie lightsleeper@gmx.de
The first and foremost thing about NBT is to create a one on one relationship between the band/artist and the listener/ potential fan

Music Arsenal - Record Label Management Software
Jimmy Winter info@musicarsenal.com
Software for record labels to organize, track and utilize their business information.

PO Box 16940, Sugar Land, TX 77496-6940
PH: 281-541-0981 FX: 281-565-4239
Madalyn Sklar info@gigpage.com
An easy, do-it-yourself calendar for your gigs!

PO Box 16940, Sugar Land, TX 77496-6940
PH: 281-541-0981 FX: 281-565-4239
Madalyn Sklar info@indiemusiccoach.com
One-on-one consulting and coaching for musicians at affordable hourly rates.

HellWire Industrial Music Underground
Syphon syphon@hellwire.com
Music charts providing exposure to indy artists in a wide variety of electronic / industrial genres.


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 OVERCOME DISCRIMINATIONTION IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS - PART IV by Bobby Borg author of "The Musician's Handbook" ? 2004 All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission


Hang With The In-Crowd
Sometimes, survival in the youth-conscious world of the music business may mean aligning yourself with more hip or current artists.

Singer/songwriter Liz Phair, who was regularly mentioned in the industry alongside more adult artists such as Sarah McLachlan recently aligned herself with the hit producer team The Matrix on her latest release self titled Liz Phair and is now mentioned alongside younger artists such as Michele Branch, Avril Lavigne and Hilary Duff. Veteran guitarists Carlos Santana collaborated with the modern sounds of singer Rob Thomas on Santana's Super Natural album earning Santana a Grammy nomination and award for the first time in his career. Burt Bacharach, who turned 70 years old in 1998, received rave reviews when he teamed up with the much younger Elvis Costello and wrote and recorded the album Painted By Memory-music critic Stephen Thomas called the resulting collaboration timeless. And finally, it can be argued that the Queen of pop herself- Madonna-cleverly choose to partner with pop princess Britney Spears on the song Me Against The Music on Britney's In The Zone album in order to keep in touch with a new and younger generation of pop listeners- that's not to mention the infamous kiss between the two artists on the MTV awards in 2003; creating a great deal of publicity.

Cover The Recent Hits
Under a provision in copyright law called compulsory licensing, as soon as an author/owner of a composition records an original composition for the first time on phono -recored, and (2) it's distributed for commercial sale to the public, (3) anyone can license it as long as the lyric or melodic content is not dramatically changed or modified. Older artists can essentially attract the attention of a whole new generation of fan by covering more current and hip stars. Case in point-long time show singer Tom Jones had a hit collaboration with the Art of Noise a while back when covering the hit song "Kiss," written by Prince-Jones received the attention of a completely new and younger audience. Country legend Johnny Cash recently covered the techno hero Trent Reznor's song Hurt earning him a great deal of notoriety-cash's video for "hurt" was nominated in 2003 for best video of the year, male video of the year, best direction in a video, best art direction, best editing, and winner best cinematography in a video. Not bad! And note-it works in reverse-younger to middle aging artists can look to covering the classics hits in effort to win a more sophisticated audience.

Be Honest With Yourself?
I once heard a really great quote from a Yogi Master that read, "Be really honest, with yourself, and nothing will ever betray you." Perhaps you're getting tired of working odd day jobs and waiting for that big break when all your friends are now buying houses and starting families? Perhaps being broke and living off of your girl friend well into your 40s for "just one more year" is really not the way to go about life? And perhaps it really is time to stop squeezing into those tight pair of leather pants and trying to pen that rock 80s hit and forget about a career in music altogether. Though, this is an extremely touchy subject for all artists to come to terms with, it may be important to stand outside yourselves for a moment and ask, is this what I really should be doing with my life? There's no point in feeling defeated-it may actually be a huge catharsis in your life. Perhaps there is a whole new part of yourself waiting to be discovered that you have never been open to searching. Just keep the old expression in mind, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Perhaps you really are ready for a life change?

Rock Till Your Drop
Even successful artists have to deal with the issue of- just when is too old-too old. Bands like the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and Kiss are just a few examples of artists who appear that they're going to be around forever-but society both worships and pokes fun at them all the time. Certainly these artists could all retire in that proverbial villa in Spain never to be heard from again-but they proudly keep on putting themselves out into the public eye. From movie soundtracks, to major tours, to records, to DVD sets-these artists aren't going away any time soon. They're rockin' till there dropin.'

Says front man Steven Tyler, "I don't buy into the idea that you're not supposed to rock & roll after a certain date. Maybe I should be in Bellevue, but I'm just having a good time."

Stones Guitarist Keith Richard's- undoubtedly ridiculed the most for his withered look and age puts it this way, "This isn't just teenage kids' s---. This is a man's job, and it's a life-long job. And if there's a sucker to ever prove it, I hope to be that sucker."

Remember Why you Started
Last by definitely not least-always remember why you got started in this business in the first place-Music! Right? Remember-it's all about the music! The greatest and most legendary musicians that serve as our inspirations didn't get involved in the business simply because they're looking to cash in. In fact, to most, music is akin to a fever that never goes away. It's an addiction. A need to express one's self.

Regardless of your age or career position, it's important for musicians to understand that their passion for music is already their success. They've found something that gives them true meaning; and that's something that many people don't find till late in life or sometimes not all. Make sure to hold on to this emotion. Don't let your love for music be contingent upon getting a deal, being wealthy, or selling millions of records- that's only the icing on the cake. Always remember that you choose music for your life because you loved it first and foremost. This way- whether you're performing before 5 people in a coffee house, or 30,000 in a stadium- you'll feel blessed by the gift of music forever.
Bobby Borg is the author of "The Musician's Handbook: A Practical Guide To Understanding The Music Business," now available by Billboard Books on-line at Amazon.com, or in a store near you. mailto: bborg@bobbyborg.com
Indie-Music.com - Where Serious Musicians Surf

One of the original musician resource websites, Indie-Music.com offers thousands of contacts - venues, studios, media, radio, labels, and more. Plus, an extensive archive of how-to's for the music business, and up-to-date commentary on the industry. The Indie News newsletter provides a free tip sheet with listings for radio airplay, record label submissions, gig opportunities, and more.

The A&R Registry, Publisher Registry, Music Attorney, Legal & Business Affairs Registry and the Film & Television Music Guide are the four directories no Professional or Musician should be without if you are serious about your career. Each directory covers the US, Canada and UK markets and comes complete with direct dial phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, assistant names and company websites.

For more information, sample listings or to place an order, go to our website at http://www.musicregistry.com or call us at 800-377-7411 or 818-995-7458.


7. INSIDE THE HEAD OF A MUSIC REVIEWER - PART 1 by Suzanne Glass, Indie-Music.com
? 2004 All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission


What to send? When to follow up? What to say? Should you keep bugging a writer to review your material? What makes writers chose one CD over another to review? And most of all, can you increase your chances of getting a published review when you submit a CD? Answer: Absolutely! By understanding a writer's mind, and following a few simple guidelines, you will substantially increase the likelihood your music will be chosen for a review or feature.

Indie-Music.com recently asked our writers a series of questions designed to let musicians see inside writers' heads, and get a unique look at how the behind-the-scenes process works. After the Q&A, we give a quick checklist for getting your music reviewed successfully.

What impresses you about an artist/musician/band?

ERIK DECKERS: First, the music. A very close second is their professionalism and follow through.

HEIDI DROCKELMAN: Number one, the biggest impression is always the music, and the talent (however sometimes hidden it is) of songwriting. The versatility of all the members is important, and having an appreciation for good songwriting, no matter the genre, will always shine through in someone's work. Sure, clean production always sounds nice and makes a big impression when you're only listening to something a few times for review.... but I've been doing this [reviewing] for a long time now, and if the material is there (even in raw form), the first thing I forgive is production quality. When your songs stand out, even if you've recorded on the worst machine you can possibly find, then that's what counts. Even the worst material can't surpass a production snowjob.

JENNIFER LAYTON: There's no one thing. I've been impressed by so many different things. I'm impressed when I hear a musician doing something new that I've never heard before. I'm impressed when I hear a poetic folk song that expresses something so true, I feel it tugging at my heart. No matter what the press kits look like or how fancy the web site is, none of it matters if I'm not touched by the music in some way.

LES REYNOLDS: Real talent in at least one area (vocal, instrumental, lyrical) and especially when all those elements come together. Also, if they've got their s*** together -- correspond in timely manner, not pushy about reviews, answer questions coherently and communicate well (even if this is through an agent, having the right agent who can do those things is crucial).

What impresses you in a promo pack submission?

ERIK DECKERS: Is the press kit complete? Does it have a bio and head shot or group photo? Are there other articles from other reviewers? If the answer is YES to these questions, then I am impressed.

If the press kit contains a three line bio, or vague and airy generalities discussing the metaphysics of the universe in relation to their music, I am decidedly unimpressed.

HEIDI DROCKELMAN: Oh, this is a completely relative thing. What I mean is, truthfully, for me, I look at this part of the packaging after I've already listened to the music. But the key to a promo pack submission is understanding that all the elements of this packet are crucial, down the line, to bands being "marketable", if getting signed by a label is your goal. Obviously, I'd much rather receive bio materials, a dated letter (folks, it's really hard to separate the volume of mail that some of us receive, so including a dated letter from a band representative is a nice touch), a simple photo that expresses the personality of an artist or band, and on occasion, I enjoy a good piece of gag swag. Taking that extra step, especially if it fits with your image, and coming up with a creative piece of swag can push a pack to the top of the pile. However, please refrain from the offensive, even if it's meant in jest.

JENNIFER LAYTON: I take a different route with promo packs. I know those materials are expensive, and I have a small office and can't hang on to all the press materials I get each month. Which means that if I don't absolutely love the artist, the promo pack winds up in the trash after I write the review. I feel really guilty about that. So when an artist contacts me about submitting material, I tell them they don't have to bother with headshots or elaborate press kits -- just a simple bio sheet that includes the web site address and tells me whatever they want me to know about them. What I'm really interested in is the music.

LES REYNOLDS: It looks like the artist/band took time and care in preparing it and it "fits" with the image and overall music style. Quality photos, if included, also get my attention. While I won't use the pix (except to decorate my pod at work!), it says something about the artist -- I can get a "vibe" or feel off that. I am also just impressed with quality photography since I used to be a photographer.

How can bands get your attention?

ERIK DECKERS: Write a personalized note to me, not a generalized form letter.

HEIDI DROCKELMAN: Bands can get my attention fairly easily, but holding it can be another story altogether. I am all about helping out quality bands and artists, and will take extra steps to make sure that I am doing all I can without showing blatant favoritism (although I AM known for that as well), so some of the ways to do this are:

Be courteous: I should clarify because I despise kiss asses just as much as the repeat offender rudeness. I'm not asking for special treatment, just a bit of humanity.

Remember that you're not the only band in the world and perhaps you are the last person in a long string of artists who are contacting reviewers daily.

Don't be overly-pushy. I don't mind the follow-up to check in on the status of a review, but DO NOT expect to get a review every time you send in material. Some pushiness is good, but all you really need to do is to use common sense to know where the line has been drawn.

You get attention when you make an effort to show others that you are serious and learning the craft, as well as being a musical risk-taker (sometimes those risks come with the cost of being misunderstood, but remember that you don't like everything you hear either, and perhaps that will give you some perspective)

JENNIFER LAYTON: Having said what I said above about promo packs, I have to say I get a huge kick out of some of the creative promotional items bands send me. I still can't get over the band that sent me a thong with their logo on the crotch. Creativity and humor always gets my attention.

LES REYNOLDS: Contact me directly. Keep the lines of communication open and do not tell me to just go to your mp3 site. I hate that! It's become the universal cop-out (besides -- what if the computer is malfunctioning or the internet is down?) Also: if they can describe their music accurately in a sentence -- that shows they know who they are and have read my Indie- Music.com bio blurb.

What do bands do which wastes their money when they send submissions?

ERIK DECKERS: Send crappy press kits. If I don't have much background information on the band, I can't write a good review. If I can't write a good review, then it doesn't help the band much.

HEIDI DROCKELMAN: If they're unsolicited, it's a huge waste of money in general. Don't just blindly send your discs out to everyone you think has an inkling of interest in your work. Make sure that you contact someone and at least use the proper procedure. I'm sure this may sound lame to you, but the procedure we use is built to enhance our reviews, not to bring you down.

On another note, photos, postcards, stickers, bio write-ups, and discs are not a waste of money. Just plan your priorities and work up to the full packet.

JENNIFER LAYTON: Like I said earlier, I hate to see bands spend money by sending me glossy head shots and other expensive materials. While I'm impressed by their professionalism, I'm not a label rep or someone who will have a major influence on their career -- I'm just an indie writer. Also, I tell artists not to waste money by sending their submissions by Federal Express. Regular old mail will do fine, especially since I'm out of the office a lot and not here to sign for things.

LES REYNOLDS: Sending tons of press clippings - one sheet is enough. Sending all sorts of odd-shaped stickers and things that, by themselves -- once away from the package -- mean nothing. Most press kits are guilty of overkill.

How can bands improve their submissions?

ERIK DECKERS: Create the best possible press kit they can. I know many artists want to be judged SOLELY on their music and not their image, but that ain't gonna happen, Chester. We're a visual-based society, and unfortunately, we judge a book by its cover, and fans judge their artists on their image. That's why CDs have cover art. And since most reviewers don't get a chance to see their artists perform live, the only way we can judge an artist's/band's IMAGE is by their press kit. So it needs to be visually appealing.

HEIDI DROCKELMAN: Again, solicit your submissions for review - it will ultimately benefit you more to do some research and look into different publications and specific writers, than it will to blindly send things out. Quality is key - you're looking for someone to thoughtfully review your material, to respect it, and cultivate new contacts for publicity and marketing purposes. Do what you can presently afford, and the rest will fall into place.

JENNIFER LAYTON: I think they can tone down their bios a little. I'm aware that most artists write their own bio sheets, so I have to laugh when I read stuff like "This is the most amazing rock band on the music scene today. No one has ever come close to matching their talent and energy." Gee, somebody call the surviving Beatles and break the bad news to them. I know it's a competitive industry and artists are trying to write BIOS that make them stand out, but try to let your music do the talking. Also, be sure to run your press materials through a spell- checker! One of the funniest bio sheets I ever got was from a folk artist who called himself a great intellectual songwriter, and the word "intellectual" was misspelled.

LES REYNOLDS: Unwrap those CDs - Pleeeze!!! Send quality materials that won't fall apart immediately. Send good quality CDs (occasionally defective ones or discs produced in an odd format are received, and they won't play).

********* Part II next month! **********

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