Month: September 2017

For Bands Only!  7 Tips on How to Run Your Band Successfully from Author Tim Wenger.

9/21/2017

On a Thursday night in September, at Old Fire House Books in Fort Collins, Tim Wenger lectured about how to run a band successfully.

There the small audience in the bookstore received invaluable insight taken from Tim’s own experiences touring with his own band.  He also talked about all he learned from his experience as a music editor at a major publication and his job as venue manager working nightly at a club in Denver.

Read on to find out what Tim had to say about how to succeed as a band in today’s musical landscape.

  1. Press Releases

“Pitching media is a big part of being in an independent band and pitching them correctly is an important thing,” said Tim.  “Let them know that you’re building a buzz around town and they will cover you.  It’s their job.”

Tim explained that the media does not want to “miss out” on something hot or cool like your band playing on a Friday night.  Tim also stressed the importance of acting professionally in your email.

“I’ve seen so many emails come into me written in all caps or completely lacking punctuation or using like hip-hop vernacular or any other form of complete un-professionalism.”

Editors delete emails immediately if it’s not done professionally Tim said,  so be sure to include a press release, a high resolution photo, a link to your music, a link to your social media account and give the editor a good reason why they should cover your event like your latest record release or a new music video.  Tim stressed you should “hype” it up.

“If you don’t get a response in a few days there’s absolutely no harm in sending a follow up email.”

Visit Tim’s website HelpMyBand.net.  It provides a sample press release you can use as a reference.

  1. Image is everything!

When it comes to social media bands should post regularly, use a pic and portray an image of them moving forward in the local scene.

Tim talked about how tempting it is to be negative on social media.  For example, it would be easy to bash the club you played at last night because things didn’t go so well, but don’t do it!

According to Tim you need to stay away from negative social media all together.

“The entire foundation of a band is built on attracting people to your band and to do that you need to create an image of positive progression.  You need to create an image of a community around your band… You want to be out there mingling, you want people to see you, you want people to see that you’re part of the community and you’re building a movement around your band.”

  1. Pre-sell tickets for shows.

“What I see a lot of bands around Denver that are very successful doing… actually driving them to people,” said Tim. “Set up like one night a week leading up to the show where one or two of your guys are going to drive around town and deliver these tickets. Take them to people’s work.  Take them to people’s houses.  Do anything you can to get the tickets in people’s hands.”

The more tickets your band sells the better the times slots, dates and shows you will get down the line because promoters and managers at the venues will see you’re results.

  1. The night of the show.

“You want people to leave the club with the image of you as being a professional,” explained Tim. “You always want to have merchandise.  You always want to have T-shirts, music.  Give them away something for free.  Everybody should be leaving with something that has your name on it every single time.  There’s really no excuse for that not to be happening.  Digital download cards are a great way for that to happen.”

Tim’s favorite website for musicians is BandCamp.com.  For merchandise he likes BigCartel.com when it comes to selling your band’s wares.

  1. Touring Hacks

 Befriending another band in another town is a “tried and true technique” according Wenger when it comes to finding a way to go on tour with your band.

“Contact a band in that town, in your genre, and just talk to them,” said Tim. “Ask them if they’ll host you, you know, do a show swap.  They bring you to their town.  You bring them to your town.”

Tim emphasized the most valuable thing a traveling musician could have is other bands that are friends in other towns.

“It’s basically worthless to play somewhere once and never go back again,” Tim added.

He mentioned the term “routing,” which is how you expand your fan base in other areas.

You should go back every six months to a year and the people who saw you last time will come back and bring their friends to your next show.

There is also another term Tim brought up called “circling,” which is how bands expand their circle.

“Maybe it’s Denver, Grand Junction, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Albuquerque, and then the next time you go you add two more dots to that circle, you know, you add Pueblo or Santa Fe or whatever it might be and you slowly expand your circle… It works.”

  1. Road Etiquette

There’s no sleep on the road and too much junk food is bad for you, so Tim suggests putting ice in a cooler and storing good food to eat while in the van.

Also “me time” doesn’t happen so much on the road and before your live show that night you should take some time to go on a walk, go do your laundry or sit in a cafe to get away from your band mates and to recharge your batteries.

  1. Can I make a living with my band?

In all of Tim’s experiences in bands he never pocketed any money.  All the money made went right back into expenses and merchandise.

“It’s a very taboo subject and it’s something that’s really sensitive for a lot of people,” Tim said. “It’s the ‘dream’ and it drives a lot of bands apart and it’s very stressful over time when you’re not making any money and maybe you have a kid or a wife or whatever it is. You have obligations.  You have rent.  It’s tough.  That’s why I emphasize so much the making it be a part of your life, but not the entire thing.  I think that’s the biggest thing that leads to burnout… There’s a reason why I don’t have a chapter in my book called How to Sell a Million Records because I haven’t sold a million records.”

So, I have a band!

Tim says the biggest problem with bands is breaking up and he wrote his book to help keep bands together instead of apart.

“The entire impetus for this book is to help bands manage themselves better, present themselves better, so they can last for more than six months, two years.”

Get all the advice you need on running your band today by buying, “So, You Have a Band: The definitive guide to presenting your band as serious business” by Tim Wenger in Kindle e-book form or print on demand over at Amazon.

Visit :

www.timwenger.net

www.helpmyband.net

 

 

 

 

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Try these Gripad Workout Gloves

I tried these Gripads in the gym.

It gives you a good grip if you use heavy weights, do pull ups, etc.

When I do bench press it works pretty good, but if you are used to “throwing” weights around and loosening your grip when you are lifting weights, you can’t because the grip is solid and nothing slips. 

You have to completely let go of the weight to release your grip.

There is no support for the wrist, which you are probably used to with regular work out gloves, but these guys free up your hands to concentrate on lifting properly and heavy with their nice padding.

Buy a pair for yourself today to see what they are like.

$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $25.

Without Joseph Campbell there’d be no “Star Wars”

“It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into the human cultural manifestation.”

From the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell

You know, George Lucas really makes me green with envy.

Why didn’t I have friends like Francis Ford Coppolla and Brian De Palma after graduating from film school?

Actually . . . I never went to film school I just have an MFA in creative writing.

I’ve never lived in California either, so of course I don’t have a roster of influential friends who could introduce me to studio heads, but so what? I get the privileged honor of writing blog posts!

But enough about me. This post is supposed to be about a genius named George Lucas!

Did you know Joseph Campbell said George Lucas was the best student he ever had?

“Who?” you’re wondering. “And why does that matter when I could just go stream a Star Wars movie instead of reading this blog post, Evan?”

Well, let me explain . . .

Ol’ Joe Campbell wrote books about the influence of myth on human beans.

This guy Campbell researched ancient and modern religions, tribes, stories from long ago to discover what was so important and special about them to us.

Bill Moyers did a whole series on PBS, years ago, about the subject of “myth” and interviewed Joseph Campbell in it. The show is simply called The Power of Myth.

Basically, my point being, his books are trez importante to anyone who considers themselves a writer.

There are many elements in mythical stories that writers should gleam from.

There’s the hero’s journey, there’s usually a damsel in distress, there’s also some wise old sage man, person or “it” who helps the hero get the insight he needs to defeat evil and his enemies — and these are just a few of the things a writer should think about when writing their own stories.

“I had an idea of doing a modern fairy tale . . . (I) stumbled across The Hero with a Thousand Faces . . . I began to understand how I could do this. It was a great gift.”

George Lucas honoring Joseph Campbell

I don’t know about you, but the fact that George Lucas became a household name because he studied Campbell’s books makes me want to go out and buy everything written by this guy.

Here’s a list of books and stuff you should check out to continue your own personal odyssey of becoming the next George Lucas.

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise by Chris Taylor

Everyone’s reading this one to get the nitty gritty on how George Lucas did it.

Star Wars Trilogy Bonus Disc (2004)

A surprisingly cool video about George Lucas and the cast of Star Wars.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) by Joseph Campbell

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers

What do you think about George Lucas and Joseph Campbell? Leave a comment below.

13 Halloween Gadgets You Can Order Online This Year To Make Your House Haunted!

13 Halloween Gadgets You Can Order Online This Year To Make Your House Haunted!

When I was a kid I went to Niagara Falls a couple times with my family for vacations.

Once there we would go to seafood restaurants and play mini-golf after, but also, at some point, we’d visit the haunted house, the wax museum, the torture museum and even the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” museum.

If I remember correctly I think there was even a Houdini museum.

Yeah, we saw the falls, too, and went on that boat wearing hooded orange ponchos like everybody else, but all those weird, haunted, elaborate attractions definitely left an impression on me.

Nowadays, if I wanted to, I could take a page from Niagara Falls’ book and make my own house into a haunted one and you can, too, because some of the same gimmicks I saw at the Falls as a child are now for sale on Amazon!

Here are 13 examples you can go check out for yourself to decorate your home this Hallow’s Eve.

The Haunted Mirror

Check out this Motion Activated Haunted Mirror on Amazon.

1. Motion Activated Haunted Mirror with Creepy Sound/Luminous Portrait Halloween Prop Decoration

Nothing could freak you out more than staring into a haunted mirror waiting for an animated image to scare you pants off! Stuff like this frightened me as a kid and made me question what’s real and what isn’t!?

$18.99 on Amazon!

Bringer of Death

The Grim Reaper is the bringer of death.

2. Prextex 5 Ft. Animated Hanging Grim Reaper Skull with Shackles Chains Best Halloween Decoration Prop

The porch to your house will just be barren without a Grim Reaper there. It has a skull with blinking red eyes to freak out trick or treaters. It’s 5 foot tall, makes, scary sounds and the hands shake.


$25.99 on Amazon!

Lights

You are going to need lots of lit up attractions in order to make your house look really cool.

3. 2017 Night Creatures Halloween Red Blinking Eyes Scary Decorations Outside Lights Props Animatronics

Buy these blinking eyes to light up your walls, the front porch or your garage. They look like a bunch of creepy creatures in the woods just waiting to pounce!

$24.99 on Amazon!

4. 7 Pack – 9ft Neon Glow Light El / Electroluminescent Wire Variety Color (Blue/Red/Green/White/Yellow/Orange/Purple) – 3 Mode Battery Controller – Party Decoration Wedding Halloween Music Festival

Everyone needs some glowing light strings. Click here to see examples of how people outline their Halloween masks with this stuff for a cool effect!

$28.99 on Amazon!

Projections

Digital effects and projections are all the rage and here are a few you should check out to scare or “annoy” your neighbors. Take your pick!

5. AtmosFearFx Witching Hour Halloween DVD Projector Kit with 1900 Lumen LED Video Projector, Reaper Brothers High Resolution Window Rear Projection Screen and AtmosFearFX Witching Hour DVD

If you don’t own a projector or screen you can order this full package deal to really go over the top this Halloween!

$249.99 on Amazon!

6. AtmosFEARfx Phantasms Digital Decoration

You can play these scary DVDs on your flat screen TV continuously if you don’t have a projector.

$39.99 on Amazon!

7. AtmosFEARfx Ghostly Apparitions Digital Decorations

You could have the projection screen hanging from two trees in your yard or just hang it right in front of a window, like in your attic, pointing out onto the street to make it look like it’s haunted up there with a real live ghost!

$39.99 on Amazon!

3D, baby! Yeah!

Get creepy in 3D this year and really wow the kiddies who come to check out your haunted house for tricks or treats.

8. AtmosFX 3DFX Form

You aim the projector onto a “human-shaped inflatable vinyl form,” standing over 5 ft tall, to make this attraction creepy as hell!

There’s also sound so you can really present something unique that everyone in your neighborhood will be talking about for days.

$59.99 on Amazon!

A Window Wonderland for Hallow’s Eve, Thanksgiving and X-mas!

If you want to be ready for Christmas after your Halloween fun is over, then check out these projection devices.

9. New 2017 Star Shower Window Wonderland by BulbHead Includes 12 Original Movies for Christmas (6) and Halloween (6) (1 Pack)

You just plaster the screen against the window of your choice, aim the projector at it and now you got movies for people to see from the street for both Halloween and Christmas!

$59.99 on Amazon!

10. New 2017 Slide Show by BulbHead – Includes 12 Full Color Slides for Christmas (6), Halloween (2), Other Holiday/Celebrations (4)

$39.99 on Amazon!

Props and Decorations

If you need something simple and not complicated try these wall, window and yard decorations.

11. Amscan Halloween Trick or Treat Asylum Party Scene Setters Mega Value Wall Decorating Kit (Pack of 32), Multicolor, 65″ x 32 1/2″

People can see them from your windows or inside on your walls. They won’t be like CGI. More like how they used to do it in the olden days for those 50 and 60s movies. Think a big painted backdrop for the background. You know what I mean, scary bean!

$9.45 on Amazon!

12. Smartcoco Broken Finger Hand Foot Scary Bloody Broken Body Parts Halloween Prank Props Decorations

Nothing is creepier than having body parts lying around your living room or “panic” room this season.

$3.49 on Amazon!

13. Prextex Pack of 4 Halloween Décor 22” RIP Graveyard Lightweight Foam Tombstone Halloween Decorations RIP

Rest in peace this year with your very own graveyard in your yard! It’s a simple, cheap, yet effective way to decorate.

$24.99 on Amazon!

Celebrate Halloween in style!

Whatever you do this Halloween makes sure it freaks you out, but be safe. Halloween is fun for the whole family and with some of these gadgets and props your “homemade” haunted house will look amazing!