Friday Faves (Free-Cheap Edition) 03-05-13

Free Music Business Book

I’ve just started reading an ebook, The Six-Figure Musician. So far it seems filled with good points about what you need to do to “make it” as a professional musician (spoiler: mostly, work really hard at what you decide you want to do). It is available as a free PDF download from the author’s site (and geek kudos to him for getting the domain name “”!), or you can buy it on Amazon for Kindle for $4.99:

Free Facebook Newsfeed Optimization

I’m testing a 30-day free trial of a Facebook posting service. PostRocket analyzes the fan engagement data you see at the top of your band/business/etc. Facebook Page and uses a proprietary algorithm to decide when to make posts to the page that maximize your fans’ interaction with them.

To do this you set up several posts in advance and they post those at the times they deem best. And since recent research shows that pictures get more attention than just verbal posts they help to turn the latter into pictures from the site being linked, and let you apply some Instagram-like photo filters and add text into the image.

I didn’t have to give them a credit card to get the free trial, and even after 30 days they have an ongoing free option (which limits your account to managing 3 Pages, and does not give you as much analysis of your posts’ performance).

Pay What You Will Music Downloads

First, if you haven’t seen Amanda Palmer‘s recent TED talk The Art Of Asking  I recommend you do so.

Palmer’s message is that there is no shame in asking your fans to support you, and that while it’s impossible to force people to pay for music they generally will give you money and/or other kinds of support if you give them the opportunity to offer it.

So keep your eye out for performers who offer their music for whatever you are willing to pay. Usually there is an option to stream the music first so you can get an idea about whether you like it –  if you do please consider the time, efforts, cost of musical gear, cost of music lessons, nights spent playing in bars for little or no pay while honing their chops, etc. as you decide what amount to give them for their download.

If you are a starving artist/musician/un-or-underemployed whatever: don’t feel guilty if you can’t toss a lot into their virtual hat – but DO drop them a note about liking the music, and tell your friends about it.

Here are a few musicians with pay-what-you-will downloads:

Amanda PalmerTheatre Is Evil

Walter Sickert & The Army Of Broken ToysSoft Time Traveler (just released!)

JaggeryPrivate Violence

Ginger IbexThe Rusty Goat Sessions (disclosure: this is one of my bands!)

Ginger Ibex – Firefly (our 2009 album – following my own advice and just made download PWYW!)

Friday Faves 12-07-12

If you are looking for graphic design of all sorts: website, logos, apparel, packaging, environmental graphics, stationery, brochures, posters, CD covers, Facebook cover/profile images, WordPress blogs, corporate brands, and more, including photography – I recommend Metropol Omnimedia. They designed my band Ginger Ibex’s beautiful CD cover, band logo and poster. To see samples of their work, visit their Facebook portfolio


Some random Kickstarter projects I like:

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Friday Faves 09-21-12: Music and Kickstarter

Music to stream and download:

The benefits are over, but our friends have a long way to go recovering from the fire at Columbia House. A bunch of bands who played the benefits (including me as Reverse Polish Notation, and my band Ginger Ibex) donated tracks for a digital album – pay what you like, all money goes to the Columbia House folks:

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Friday Faves 8/31/12

Some items that drew my attention this week:

If you are a bicycle commuter you may have wished for a way to charge your mobile devices on the go like your hydrocarbon-burning peers – now you can, with the Ecoxgear Ecoxpower Pedal Powered Headlight + GPS/Mobile Device Charger:


Besides being an awesome musician with his band The Army of Broken Toys, Walter Sickert is a perhaps even more amazing artist. Check out this time-lapse video demonstrating some of the things he does to create one of his art pieces:


My friends Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola’s Kickstarter project has (as of today) 12 days to make another $5,700 to their minimum goal. You should donate at least a dollar  even if you don’t care for horror movies for no other reason than they are making sure to personally thank every single donor at any level, plus communicate constantly about how it’s going and what they are learning about Kickstarter in the process:


Somewhere in the Boston subway system this weekend look for me busking with geek guitarist extraordinaire Matthew Lister. We’ll be covering tunes like this: