Here’s our effort to contribute to indie music team and community building. This page has got titles, links and recommendations on all of the resources we at Featherburn have tapped toward building a viable project. We hope you find something helpful to you and yours. Music business, web presence, recording and distribution, live performance. It’s not a comprehensive study. It could be though, if you wanted to contribute with your own favorite resources. Consider yourself invited. Send them over and I’ll post it up. Enjoy!
Milo (and Team Featherburn)
Live Music Method
How to structure a great live show, and the challenges and benefits therein. To say that meat of the book has greatly influenced Featherburn’s stage work is an understatement. My only criticism of this book is that author Tom Jackson spends the first chapter and a half arguing to convince readers that his method is necessary. Alhough he might be right that the stereotypical long-time rocker would be skeptical and resistant to his teachings, anyone reading the book (or watching its related video) will have already shelled out the hefty purchase price for his work. Buy-in unnecessary. There’s also a substantive 2nd part to the book dedicated to a sponsorship strategy for band funding which, to me, has little to do the title.
The Indie Band Survival Guide
The 2nd edition of this book is exhaustively comprehensive. Probably the title I’ve read, re-read and referred to most of all in building the business and digital side of our project. Accompanying resource guide and forum hosted on the pertaining website.
Social Media Promotion for Musicians
They’re interrelated of course, but the title has chapters outlining best practices for websites, mailing lists, social media pages, and the like. I first read it when it was more current (2013). At 5 years old, it’s probably due for considerable updating, especially given the pace of the digital revolution, and especially especially given shift in music economy from purchase to streaming. There’s nothing much in the book about Spotify, Apple Music or Pandora. I don’t remember whether or not Soundcloud was addressed. Those platforms are staples of the revolution. Anyone know of a detailed, current and effective Spotify strategy/method?
The Artist’s Guide to Success in the Music Business
Less digitally-focused perhaps than most of the titles I’ve seen. Practical and informative when it comes to behind the scenes stuff that isn’t on the computer. Author Loren Weisman seems to be a well-known media marketing consultant and, at least when the the 2nd edition was published, lived and worked out of Harrisburg.
Graphic design aide. A powerful tool for those of us who are not graphic designers. Online platform where one can insert images and text into pre-sized templates for specified social media pages and printables. Basic membership package is free. Two years in, I haven’t needed to upgrade.
DIY Musician Podcast
Personalfavoriteincredibleresource. I feel it’s got a direct pulse on the most current trends and tools available to forward-leaning indie artists. The website hosts links and forum discussion to each pertaining episode.
Carlos Castillo of Schwilly Family Musicians – my guru (gotta have a guru, right?)
Music Business plan centered on career self-ownership, audience relationship and community building, accompanied with a badass software-enhanced Twitter strategy. Refer to me/us if you end up leaning in.
Indie on the Move
I haven’t thoroughly explored this resource yet, as I gather it’s geared more toward touring and Featherburn is still very much a local operation. Among other things, these guys have a venue list with contact info for sale. Anyone who’s purchased this index care to weigh in on whether or not it’s worth the price?
A powerful tool for compressing, conjoining, streamlining and manipulating numerous social media activity into a single platform. Learning curve. Basic package is free, though.
Melody Place Studios
Recorded a solo demo at Melody Place in Harrisburg. Owner and engineer Frank Gorgo gave me a solid product at an extremely reasonable rate. Comfortable studio on the top floor of a 3-story house converted into a music school.