You Don’t Choose Trendy Music, It Chooses You

Trendy music is always a topic on year-end lists.

Goodbye To A Lousy 2016

Looking back on a year that for a lot of us was probably not our greatest glory is a hard thing to do. I think the one thing that got a lot of people down had to be the deaths of a lot of entertainment icons. Musicians, actors, and creative types that many, if not all, of us are familiar with. Its sad to see icons pass away.

Sizzling Trendy Music

While I didn’t really grow up thinking about pop music, I have come to embrace it pretty hard in the last year. But it doesn’t mean I wasn’t aware of many of the popular musicians who passed away this past year. The main reason for the embrace isn’t to be chasing trendy music, but rather to spread out and create more interesting music. Rock feels like a dead subject – especially when most rock isn’t being overly adventurous in sonic terms. Pop music on the other hand is ingesting so many different vibes that it becomes really hard to ignore.

Fantastic Spotify

Spotify encapsulates the beauty of finding out what is trendy music. Streaming music and especially Spotify makes it incredibly easy to listen to more music than you can shake a stick at. For me it means taking time to listen to what is topping the charts. This in turn gives me the ability to tear apart the instrumentation and the concepts that led to the creation of the song. That in turns improves my writing, my arrangements, and my production skills.

trendy music

An Inspired Past

While I don’t spend a ton of time dwelling on the past, I did spend time appreciating the music of many who passed away this year. Part of what has stood out is the timelessness of the music created by artists like Prince, George Michael, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Leonard Cohen, and producer Sir George Martin. That’s an incredible list of people who redefined the music industry in decades long before I started playing an instrument.

Impact With The Now

Newer music like Daya, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, Alessia Cara, Bieber (yes, I’m putting him in this list), and DNCE shows how I can incorporate a variety of styles and make them something new. Looking forward into 2017 I’ve got a line of singles I’m excited to get released. Every song is different from each other. There’s even some that are a serious departure from my normal concept of releasing music. Think someone like DJ Snake or Calvin Harris, more trendy music and I’m looking to keep people on their toes.

Demolish Your New Year’s Eve

So on this final day of 2016 I want to wish you a fond farewell to a poor year of entertainment deaths and welcome you to an exciting year of new music. Wherever you end up partying tonight, I hope you’ll have a seriously mind-blowing time. I also want to see you survive any experience you use to ring in the new year.

See you on the flip side with new music to play for you!

Happy New Year!

Hello 2016 Goodbye 2015

hello 2016Hello 2016

Happy New Year to ya. Its already time to say goodbye to 2015. In one way I’m wishing 2015 could keep going as its been a pretty good year. However, I’m already looking at 2016 as the launch pad for several great things to come.

New Music

Via Twitter I was asked by Jodsters if I’ll be releasing more singles in 2016. The immediate answer is yes. I have several new singles lined up and in the can. So to speak. Currently working on the video ideas to get them fleshed out and ready to release along side each single.

Along with that will be a better media presence. Gotta start stepping up the streams and plays for the newer music.

There will be one more push with Touch. The next single coming for release is called “Thump Thump Thump”. A juicy rich groove of a song that as some Jodsters have said “Make you want to move your feet in a happy manner.” I’m sticking to that funky audio lap-dance for your ears type of thing.

More Video

I got a killer gift for Christmas of a GoPro Hero4. Thus I will do my best to shoot more video and get it up on my YouTube channels and other social media. Should make it a lot easier to shoot, that’s for sure. The bonus is, I’ve recently met a couple of people and reconnected with some friends who do a lot of things behind the scenes with creating film/video. As I team up with them, it should lead to some really cool video output.

Plus, I’ve been asked to put my greatest guitar lesson on video. In case you didn’t know, I used to teach guitar lessons. There’s one super important lesson that no other teacher on earth ever teaches. Though I’ve long wanted to start a guitar lessons website geared around great lessons on playing guitar – I haven’t yet gotten around to it. Thus I will make sure this highly valuable lesson gets shot, edited and put up on my YouTube channel for everyone to enjoy. Lucky you it won’t cost you $100/half-hour to get it.

Dorian

Already on January 1 I had some fans asking about my dog Dorian. Telling me they’d like to see more pics and video of him. Thus if you’re down to see more of my dog, go follow his twitter account @dorianthedog. The more feedback he gets, the more video and pics he’ll deliver.

Beyond

There are a few things that are happening with the older catalog. If things go right, it will mean a nice payoff that will help springboard the new singles and more. Unfortunately have to be like Apple on this and not say anything further.

Goodbye 2015

Goodbye 2015. You’ve been really good to me with delivering a network TV theme. Nightwatch on A&E if you have not yet seen the show. Here’s to 2016 bringing me 3 more this year – that’s the goal.

Create A Spotify Playlist

What’s on my mind today? I’ll tell ya, it’s creating a Spotify Playlist.Spotify Playlist

Spotify Playlist

See, I’m working on fully embracing the streaming concept. To that end, I’d like to add what I can to your Spotify playlist profile. What do you mean Jody? I mean this simple 1, 2, 3 for musical bliss for us both:

  1. You can create public playlists that get shared with other Spotify users and via social media. Thus, if you put one of my songs (Touch, hint hint, either version of it will be ideal) on a public Spotify playlist.
  2. Tell me about it. Email here at the website, tweet me, Facebook me, Snapchat me…
  3. Once you tell me that you’ve added me to one or more of your public Spotify playlists, I’ll follow your playlist from my Spotify profile – then I’ll give you and your playlist a shout out on Twitter.

I figure that having a large number of eyes (from my Twitter account and just so you know I’ve got over 70,000 followers there) see your playlist and Spotify profile will help you get followers on your Spotify playlist

While I’m most interested in currently have you add Touch to a playlist, I’ll be happy with any of your favorite choices from my releases. So get adding and lets have fun sharing your playlists!

spotify playlist

Limit?

There is no limit to the number of playlists you can put my songs on. The more playlists you create and put them on, the more shout outs you’ll get – provided I can keep up with them all. Have fun and above all, enjoy the music!

p.s. – bonus shout outs to my other social media accounts will happen if you put me in great company of other huge artists or give your playlists really awesome titles.

Great Guitar Tones In MainStage Multi Amp Setup

Part two in my getting great guitar tones in MainStage talks about creating multi amp setups. Imagine if you could take the amplifier rigs of people like The Edge, Joe Bonamassa, Aerosmith, Joe Satriani, and reduce them down to a single laptop with a midi foot controller. You can. Watch and find out how.

Multi Amp Setup

This is scratching the surface of what this software is capable of doing. See me live and join the revolution in guitar tone by utilizing multi amp setups to achieve big sounds.

Dancing To DNCE

torreyI’ve been on vacation and little bit under the weather for the past several weeks, aside from my appearance at the UMAs.

Dancin To DNCE

I’ve been helping my mom and sister with the building of a cool little vacation shack in the city of Torrey. It prides itself on being “The Middle of Nowhere”. Actually its right next door to a stunning national park called Capital Reef.

I shirked my musician responsibilities for a couple of weeks and donned my builder’s theory. I’m not a construction worker, but I played one for a couple of weeks. During the process I got to roll around in the dirt while playing with insulation and plywood. No. Really. I did roll in dirt in confined areas attempting to do stuff. Did it work? I think so.

Unfortunately, though I was wearing a breathing filter mask, I still took in a lot of dirt and probably some insulation as well. Shortly thereafter I came down with bronchitis. If there’s anything that sucks more for someone who sings for part of their living – its not being able to breath. Add to it the fact that you get to cough violently in the vain attempt of expelling whatever is filling your lungs with goo.

[sarcasm]Happy Happy Joy Joy[/sarcasm]

The end result actually is that we now have a really cool place to get away from civilization. Really get away from it. Real silence.

At night the stars are incredible. To the point where its extremely easy to see the arm of the Milky Way and a veritable plethora of stars, constellations, and pin dots in the black sky of night.

I’ve rambled… Back to DNCE.

A few days back, I was finally starting to feel better. Cough was abating. Nose not so stuffy. I hopped in the shower after putting on Apple Music (yes, I’m a music streamer). In the middle of the shower a song came on. It had me feeling so good that I literally started dancing in the shower. Before the song ended I stepped out of the shower as I wanted to know what I was listening to.

I dried my fingers and hit the home button on my iPad and it revealed that I was listening to Cake By The Ocean by DNCE.

I finished my shower, toweled off. Then tweeted about how I felt so good I was dancing to Cake By The Ocean by DNCE. Who’d a thunk. I looked up the twitter account for them. So new that it had very few followers. But people started RTing and Faving my tweet about the song and about DNCE.

As it turns out DNCE is a little project of one of the Jonas Brothers and another guitar player that I’m following on Instagram is playing for them. Go figure.

Its a weird title for a song. I wanna say its fitting they’re calling themselves DNCE, but it’s a bit to “hip” to be removing the ‘A’ from the title. Whatever. If a song can get me to dance in the shower – it doesn’t really happen – then they’re doing something right. Right?

Eddy Cue Says Apple Music Will Think Different

Another Open Letter For Apple

Dear Apple & Taylor Swift,

A kind thank you goes out to Eddy Cue for taking swift action (pun intended), or rather reaction to the open letters from Taylor Swift and many other artists in regard to Apple about Apple Music and their non payment of royalties to artists during the trial phase of an account.

Here’s his three tweet response to Taylor Swift and Indie Musicians:

“@cue: Apple will always make sure that artist are paid ‪#‎iTunes‬‪#‎AppleMusic‬

@cue: #AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period

@cue: We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple”

Eddy / Apple Music obviously felt more of a sting from Taylor Swift than they did from musicians like me. For that, I am happy to have Taylor speak up about something all musicians should be more vocal about.

Personally I don’t allow my music to be on services that pay no royalty at all. While I can understand why others aren’t happy with Spotify’s freemium model – I actually like it. I’m very interested in seeing how Apple Music can differentiate itself from the herd and build a product people want to use.

In referencing what I tweeted last night: Thank you Apple, Apple Music @cue and Taylor Swift for Thinking Different. I appreciate that a company can see the forrest for the trees and make good for the very art they’re attempting to build their platform with. If only all the other services did the same thing. I only support those that do. However the streaming landscape pans out, I will have my music on the services that properly compensate artists and people use and pay for. That you can count on.

Thank you for reading this, supporting my music and I hope see you in the streaming future!

Jody

Do The Right Thing Apple Music!

Apple MusicOpen Letter To Apple & Apple Music:

That’s right Apple Music, time to listen up from the trenches.
Think Different
&
Do the right thing.

Dear Apple & Apple Music,

I’ve been using your products for a long time. I’ve enjoyed every computer, iPhone, and iPad that I have had in my possession. I’ve defended your business on many an occasion whether it be on price or about your software. In doing so, I’m quite sure that I have helped your business grow to the behemoth that it is now – the richest corporation in the world.

I have purchased and I still purchase your products to create the music I put into the world. I respect your business and it should be compensated appropriately – even when you purchase a company I had an endorsement with (Emagic) and you in-turn disband their endorsements. I still buy those products I use to create the music you need for your service.

I was excited when I helped CD Baby create the path for artists to be a part of iTunes. Which I saw as a way to level the playing field between those signed on major labels and those who opted to avoid them.

However, the recent news of your Apple Music streaming service has me befuddled.

How can the richest corporation that once heralded the arts and their creators, especially music, now drive a stake through our hearts? Seriously. Apple & Apple Music, asking those of us without major label deals to forego royalties for 3 months is OUTRAGEOUS. Its reprehensible. To put it mildly its thievery. The humor is Taylor Swift, an artist who could actually weather this type of “lull” in her income, has also stood up in solidarity about this injustice.

Mind you Apple & Apple Music, I’m a massive proponent for streaming. Its where music is going, I fully understand it and welcome it with open arms. But what I do not understand, is how you can place such a burden on the very people that create the content you need to make your streaming business actually work. At least Spotify pays on their “freemium” model, and pays quite well.

Apple, Apple Music, or more directly Tim Cook/Eddie Cue, unless you’re going to start giving me computers, iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches for free 3 month trials and subsequent lower payment rates – I see no plausible reason why I, or any of my colleagues, should give you the labors of hard work to promote your business for free. That’s bad business. Its bad enough that you won’t allow non-signed artists to get promotion on the iTunes store [nor likely in Apple Music either]. Its bad enough that you won’t allow us to sign our own small labels directly with you (forcing us to use 3rd parties to distribute our catalogs to you at additional cost to us and introducing more middle men into the system). Treating us like 3rd world citizens despite the fact that non-signed music represents more than ⅔ of your catalog over the major labels is, what I call, classism at the expense of art.

This is what I [and I’m sure many of my fellow musicians who do believe in streaming] would ask of you: Think Different and Do The Right Thing Apple Music.

What is “Do The Right Thing Apple Music” you might ask?

Simple: Pay us our paltry royalty for every stream regardless of the 3 month trials you’re offering. Hell, right now you’re getting a discounted royalty rate as it is; as has been set by Congress. Paying us (writers, publishers, producers, artists) out of the billions in your hoard of cash reserves should not be a problem for you. While at the same time it will prove to your customers that you have a service worth paying for because our musical art is there and properly compensated.

So I ask you to Think Different, Apple Music… and do the RIGHT thing.

How To Call Attention To Your Music

logoThe age old dilemma for musicians going it alone without a record label often wonder how they can call attention to their music. Musicians working on surviving in today’s music business are attempting to figure out where things are going. The biggest issue is often what happens after they get the music written, recorded, and are ready to release.

If there is someone who had a more direct line on what did and didn’t work for musicians forging a path without a record label, I don’t know who it would be. The best source for such information is Derek Sivers. He created CD Baby. He helped to usher in the paradigm of the music industry with allow non-signed artists a platform for selling CDs away from their shows.

Derek ushered in another change when he gave CD Baby artists an avenue to get their music onto iTunes (albeit, he had a little coaxing from me as well). Which is still one of the better platforms to use for most non-signed artists to get their music onto iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.

Derek wrote a book called “How To Call Attention To Your Music” and put it up on his website sivers.org as a free publication for any interested musicians. I recently decided to take a look at it and realized this book is in PDF format. Great format for a wide range of portability. However, many of us are now using more modern devices like iPhones, iPads, Kindles, Kindle readers, eReaders, etc. Thus I took a few minutes out of my day today to convert the book into EPUB format. That way, everyone who is interested in Derek’s sage advice can now read it in iBooks, Kindle, Nook, etc. Like it was a real book that can be paged through on an electronic device.

Grab “How To Call Attention To Your Music” EPUB format.

As per Derek’s page for getting the book, I’m making it available for others to have as well. I would really appreciate it if you would sign up on my email list (http://hearjody.com) if you grab this copy of the book in EPUB format. Mostly because it’s a cool thing to do for someone that took the conversion step out of making it easy to read on your favorite eBook reader.

Now go forth and rise above!

p.s. – welcome to May!

My State Of Music From 2013

music from 2013State Of Music From 2013

It’s December 31st and of course that means we’re closing out 2013. I got a hair in my quiche to write out some thoughts on what happened musically for the industry and for myself. There’s a shift in the universe going on for the industry. I’m working on staying ahead of the curve and do what I can to make 2014 my breakout year from consumer obscurity.

My Year

A year ago I was making the finishing touches on a group of 18 songs that had been whittled down from 72 songs. I had people voting on the songs they liked most and pointing me in a new direction for the music I create. A definite change on how I’ve been approaching what music I release after I’ve created.

I ended up doing a song in February as a take on an internet meme. The meme that poked a little fun about Taylor Swift and the sheer number of guys she’s been through in the public forum of celebrity scrutiny. The end result was a quick song and a mashup of photos for a video to go with it (Maybe You’re The Problem). After pushing it to YouTube it actually went a bit viral – at least for me. It got a lot hate, it also got a lot of love.

Shortly thereafter I got into a situation where I was talked into attempting a crowd-funding drive to make a push to fund the new music that I had all demoed and picked. There was a month of refocusing my site and all my social media presence – much needed. Then came two months of time getting the whole thing setup. That included reading books about doing it right, shooting videos, getting levels and items sorted out. All of this was supposed to get a real nice run up with interviews and TV appearances.

Bad PR

Unfortunately I should have pulled the plug before it started. Early on, when I was dangled with the TV stuff, I also had a separate hookup for a very nice TV interview. I contacted the PR company and asked for answers to questions the reporter was peppering me with prior to getting the interview scheduled. The PR company dropped the ball and left me hanging on questions I couldn’t answer. Additionally they pushed the start date of the campaign and moved it more than 4 times over 3 weeks. I should have known right then and there it was gonna be a problem. But because it was a friend who I was dealing with at the PR firm, I decided I’d overlook that and plow ahead. BAD IDEA.

Needless to say, everything that could have gone wrong, did. Though I had other marketing consultant friends tell me that the execution of the videos, and such was as perfect as can be… It still failed due to a strong lack of follow through from the PR firm. I ended up spending a bunch of money with zero return. Additionally it wasted nearly 6 months of my life as I had to put so much time into it.

New Music

After floundering with the crowd-funding, I had to rethink how to get the music out in an efficient manner. I decided to take each song as a single and really focus each one. The first song I jumped on is Touch. In October I got Touch finally recorded thanks in large part to George Leger III. In November I got it all mixed and mastered. In December I shot the lyric videos for it. I got the video of the making of the song edited. Come January of 2014 I’m hoping to get the music video shot so that I can finally get this first single released and start a cycle of 12 new singles with videos released in 2014. That is the goal.

From a sales standpoint 2013 has seen a steady increase for me, but the real increase has been streaming. Not bad considering the fact I didn’t get to perform as many shows as I would have liked.

Streaming Services

It’s no secret that I hold a bit of disdain for Pandora. They’re doing everything they can to fuck the very people that they have created their business around – the musicians. Asking the U.S. congress to reduce the royalty rates of a discounted rate they already had. Happiness is that congress didn’t fall for it. However Pandora recently won a lawsuit that could really fuck up the way musicians get paid for their hard work.

On the flip side, I actually really like Spotify, due to a change of mind and heart. Actually I like a lot of streaming services other than Pandora (i.e. X-Box, Deezer, iTunes Radio, Amazon Cloud, et al). The reason why? They’re all doing the right thing, paying for streams and getting the appropriate licenses to do so. Something the big P isn’t doing. The reason why I know quite a bit about the royalty streams is that I control almost all the music I’ve ever written.

The Majors

The rest of the industry during this past year has been turned even further on it’s ear. First with a summer hit where the artist decided to proactively sue another before they got sued. Hello?!? Robin Thicke with Blurred Lines. Nothing like having interviews saying you were listening to a particular song in the studio before you created a song that sounds just like another song, then sue the original artist about it. That’s pretty fucked up.

Next comes the phoenix of Miley Cyrus. Talk about a brilliant remaking of a child star. While so many people got caught up in the hubbub of what she was doing, most completely missed the fact that it was heavily calculated. It was so obvious and fun to watch, like the MTV awards and Wrecking Ball. Less than a week ago it was still happening with the song Adore You.

If I back it up a little further, I can say that it was interesting to see David Bowie, Jay-Z, Paul McCartney, and even the most insane nut of the entire industry Kanye West, all release full CDs. What happened in each case was lots of hype in the run up, then about a month worth of a real sales spike and then the precipitous drop. What does this mean? Even the superstars can’t push an album for more than a month any more, not even when spouting inane crap from the mind of an oppressed schizophrenic (Kanye). Precisely why I’m switching to a string of singles. Wonder if the rest of the industry will figure it out in 2014. Even amongst my musician friends – they’re still thinking in terms of whole albums.

The surprise of the year has to go to Beyonce. How a superstar of her status could keep a whole album and set of videos under wraps like she did, is nothing short of spectacular. The release was equally as cool, but only something that could be gotten away with by a star. Unknown artists do this all the time and no one cares. It’s now been done and the cache is over. So over in fact, that retail outlets have refused to sell the physical disc. Big business can be so fucked up – so much so that music from 2013 needs apparently needed a jumpstart from a very large car battery that couldn’t be found.

Looking Forward

Personally I’m really looking forward to 2014. I’m putting my mouth where my money is on being different, much like when I became the first non-signed artist on iTunes – thank you Derek Sivers & CD Baby. This time it’s releasing a string of singles with videos and no album/CD.

The first song (Touch) is really taking my friends, and those who have heard it, by surprise. This is a fantastic thing, especially when everyone is saying it’s something they never expected but that they really dig it. Mega plus!

Another event that I’m happy about is called MusicSlam. A 9 day music networking, education, and festival event. I’ve been working on it as an idea for several years. 2013 is where it starting coming to fruition. MusicSlam got it’s permits in mid November and within weeks we will be taking submissions to fill the 100 spots we have for performers.

See ya in 2014, in music, in video, in pictures, on the road, and at MusicSlam.

Oddities In Life

What a strange week it’s been. Finally got all the mixes back on the new single. Thanksgiving where we usually give thanks for what we’ve got. Black Friday and the multiple stories of people being their utmost rotten. Then the death of my grandmother and the death of Paul Walker. Craziness all around. Some real oddities in life, that’s for sure.

Thanksgiving

First off, I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday (if you’re stateside). I know I enjoyed mine. I didn’t do much of the cooking this time around, but I did make dinner rolls from scratch. Yes, I did end up using fresh ground wheat to make the flour. Tasty little morsels.

Black Friday

I’ve never been one to participate in the ritual of Black Friday. This year was no exception. What scares me about America is the utter nonsense that people display. Especially on the day after the day of Thanksgiving, or in the asinine example of places like WalMart where they’re now starting on Thanksgiving itself – sad. I hate seeing/hearing the stories about people trampling others, punching others, and being downright disrespectful to others all because they want to buy something. That’s insanity.

New Single

All the mixes are back on the new single. Currently having a small group of people vote on which mix they like best so I can send it off for mastering. So exciting. Absolutely psyched to be filming a video for it very soon.

Video

As you’re about to find out, I’m having to postpone shooting the video for my new single Touch.

Death

Black Friday takes a different meaning for me this year. My grandmother passed away. The last grandparent had a stroke earlier this year and she’s finally gone on to the next phase of what happens when you die. Due to her passing, I’m having to reschedule the shoot of the video for Touch.

Then last night I got word of Paul Walker’s passing. What a shame. He was a fun actor to watch. I certainly enjoyed a lot of his movies. Even got to be a part of Fast & Furious 5 for the preview and voting on the movie. What a tragedy that he had to go in a speeding car crashing into a tree. If the reports are accurate and the photos are correct, I would hope that he passed before the resulting fire.

Stay tuned for more good news coming soon. Till then, be well.