Nobody’s Going to Help You…

Turning back to the old subject of this blog, how to promote independent music, Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, recently posted an article about how nobody’s going to help you out to advance your music career.

This is my experience on the subject. It’s not in anyone’s financial interest to help a struggling musician. The odds of turning a profit on someone without a huge existing fanbase are against you. So, it’s a tough road.

Good luck to you. Check out the article, read the hundreds of comments so far…


CHANES from Brooklyn on the Microphones! All 5,000 of them!


This dude is so busy studying his lyric sheets that he hasn’t stopped to notice the thousands of microphones raining down on him. Crazy. After getting an email asking me to check out his tunes, I went to his MySpace page, but was unable to get the songs to play because each time I clicked on the player, it sent me to an external spam-looking MySpace Layout ad website. Garbage! It appears that the sheet of raining microphones acts as a layer of spam, raining down upon his profile, waiting to be clicked. As if MySpace didn’t have enough garbage floating around

I’d thought about instituting a no-MySpace-profile links policy on this blog, but had to reneg after breaking it out of laziness almost immediately. My dear CHANES, I want to hear your music but have now wasted a whole lot of time writing a post about not listening to your music and admiring your microphones instead.

Your profile is so pimped-out that I’m afraid of turning into a TV dinner just by looking at it. Please render it usable so I can come back and check out your music! I’m sure it’s great…

Who ARE these people?!

I’m enjoying checking out the eclectic and bizarre mix of music that’s finding its way to TheMusicSnob. My goal with this blog isn’t to tell you what to listen to. I’m NOT some super obscurist toolbox trying to find the next hottest band that you need to know about. Instead, I’m just applying my ridiculous opinions to the wheat and chaff as it passes by. 


On the bright side, ANYONE who wants their music reviewed, even if it’s the worst shit ever made, has an equal chance. There’s lots of good music, but who’s got time to find it all? Let’s just listen to everything that passes by, and rejoice in the interesting badness and goodness alike. So far, just knowing that people are out there working hard to create their own songs and sounds, this puts me in a much more open-minded, kind frame of reference, than if I were listening to a major label release. 

So if you want someone to comment on your music, send it my way.

The Heaves

I wish this band had called themselves The John Belushi Deathtrain is Coming and We Will Be Boarding Soon.

Nothing against The Heaves, though. From this live-basement sounding recording you can tell that they are living the American dream, rocking out, drinking beers and having fun. I would hire them to play a party, if I wanted to trash the place and cause mass chaos everywhere. And if I had a dwelling in which to hold a party. Right now I’m stationed in the public library bathroom, tapping into the free Wi-Fi on a laptop I stole from a guy at a bus station. Who knew?!

ARRGHGHGHG. Rock n roll.

Connect the dots…

Band name is “The Heaves”

Dude’s pic is:

He’s got a cigarette and beer in the pic, named his band after a particular style of vomiting, and has a song called “Giant Need”.

Music style = Punk rock.

Cool. This song is a typical punk rock song, and the group makes good on the genre’s well-cemented conventions. 

At first their Myspace player was tripping out, with this weird syncopated skipping sound, and I was like whoa, this is a pretty trippy introduction. But it was just a computer glitch.

Ian Bouras

Tonight first review is of a track by Ian Bouras, titled “Between Love and Loneliness“. Just from the title, you get the feeling that you might be dealing with an early 20’s version of yourself. Remember those times when you got high in college and jammed out on headphones all night on the keyboard in your dorm room, knowing you had a final exam the next morning? 


Anyway. I don’t listen to much instrumental electronic music, particularly of the “new age” genre, and so when I started listening to this track I was way too conscious of the synthetic instruments and saturated reverb. But the more I listened the more I forgot about the particularities of the genre and came to accept the song’s motion on its own terms. There’s a really nice breakdown that begins around 3:10 (with a fake horn section I think) and builds to around 3:37, which I really dug. Perhaps because it involves one of my favorite chord progressions, a simple descending three chord line perfectly suited for melancholy.  

This song swims in sincerity, so if that turns you off, oh well. There are a lot of nice layers of simple melodies that intersect in epic, tragic waves. 

Douchebags and hipsters may scoff, but I dig the heart and homegrown production. I bet David Lynch could use this stuff for a Twin Peaks reunion episode…

The White Noise Supremacists

I was initially a bit horrified to see an email in my inbox from The White Noise Supremacists, thinking that perhaps David Duke’s campaign manager was spamming me. If he’s not in jail, or something.


She’s Soft Inside

Anyway, The White Noise Supremacists seem to rage sound jihad on a wide range of sounds. I first checked out their video “She’s Soft Inside,” a live performance video. It was grainy and engaging, despite the singer’s seeming catatonia. The sound was rough but the melodies held and carried, some really nice inflections in the just-right spots to squeeze out some drops of blood from this cold heart of mine. A rough crude lovemaking, perhaps something I would listen to if I were fleeing from a crime scene in 1977 with my buddy Derek driving an El Camino. But I mean that in a positive way, because I enjoyed this song a lot.

I couldn’t tell what any of the lyrics are, but the song title suggests that maybe they are about a pelvic exam or something.

Continue reading “The White Noise Supremacists”

The Best Song Ever Written

When I first heard this song, I was riding my bike in my driveway. I had my old transistor radio plugged into the kitchen socket and connected through the window with an extension cord. My older cousin was mowing the lawn, and my mom had gone to buy food for the fish in our aquarium.

The first chords pummeled through the radio and burst into my ears. I thought we were under attack. I fell off my bike and hit my head on the curb. I tried to scream but the sound of the world’s best song just filled every single molecule in the air, leaving me no way to get my message across. I was like a dying monkey, shaking on the pavement.

The lead singer’s voice was like a golden unicorn, soaring through the air with white feathers. Each word rang true, as if his lyrics were divinely inspired.

To this day I don’t know what that song was, because I soon lost consciousness. When I awoke, I had aged three years and was no longer welcome in the neighborhood.


This song obviously does not exist. And this review is probably the worst review of a non-existent song ever written. But this is all part of our big celebration, announcing that is welcoming the fearless and many to submit their songs for bizarre, irreverent, and inspired reviews.

Got a song for us? Send us an email

Music in the Dominican Republic

Right now The Music Snob is in the Dominican Republic, working as a translator on a medical mission.  I’ve brought my guitar, and am providing night time entertainment for the group of doctors and nurses by playing Beatles songs and other well-known stuff. Lots of fun. The locals have such a joy for music. Last year when here I borrowed someone’s guitar on the street and played an impromptu concert. This year, one of the local kids remembered me as the guy with the guitar and was asking me to bring it back to the hospital. So maybe I’ll do that again this year. 

I have no idea what’s been going on with the “music industry” or music marketing lately. And I missed CMJ in NYC entirely. 

Good luck to everyone out there playing and singing and writing. I did score a beautiful electric piano for a fraction of its cost recently, so I have a new compositional tool. 

This site has been quiet for the past several weeks, as I’ve been busy launching a new ecommerce site for One Pearl. One Pearl sells beautiful pearl and semiprecious stone jewelry, and gives away most of their profits to fund organizations that benefit children. They do great work and I’m proud to be part of it. So put down your guitars momentarily and surf the site.

Music Licensing and Re-Title Publishing, Pump Audio…

Who is this man?! Why is he on this site?!

Read below to find out…

We’ve been having a very interesting and informative dialog in the comments section regarding re-title publishing.

Re-title publishing is when a company re-registers your songs under a different name with a performing rights organization (ASCAP, BMI, etc), so they can license your music and collect a percentage of the publishing royalties, and track these royalties separately from any other licenses you may have given out for these particular songs.

Check out the comments section of a previous post on Re-Title Publishing, where you can read the opinions of someone who claims to own a re-title music publishing company. He argues that re-titling is a decent option for bands that don’t have endless hours of time to spend promoting their songs to online music libraries and music supervisors. His particular company seems to promote their catalog actively, spending money to create promo CDs, edit tracks, etc., which you certainly aren’t going to get from a fully-automated web service.

It’s an option.

Continue reading “Music Licensing and Re-Title Publishing, Pump Audio…”

Pump Audio’s Re-Titling of Songs for Publishing

A reader sent me an email recently asking: 

When you/I sign a contract with e.g. Pump Audio, does this “re-title publishing” come automatically with this deal or do they send some other deal to sign?

Does this “re-title publishing” end at the same time after the year or so as the normal contract ends, and what happens with the publishing deal info they’ve made with e.g. ASCAP?

My response was:

“I am not a lawyer, but the way I interpret the Pump Audio deal is that the re-title publishing is included automatically in their contract. They do not explicitly elaborate on it, which is no doubt intentional.
The publishing registration with the performing rights organization (ASCAP) is indefinite, because publishing royalties are generated not from the sale of a license but from the use of the music in a public context. By registering your songs under different titles, they are staking a claim to a percentage of future earnings that may occur if your music is used down the road by those who purchased the licenses. Most other organizations only take a piece of the initial license, in which case you receive all the publishing royalties.”
Here’s a screenshot of Pump Audio’s licensing agreement:
As it states, you are giving them permission to register your songs with performing rights organizations (PROs). Since most musicians will already have done this themselves, this means Pump changes the titles of your songs as registers them as new songs, with Pump as the publisher. They don’t mention the word “re-title”, though. 
Also, the agreement states that they will “pay over to you your share of any resultant performance monies…”
“Your share” is quite a nice phrase, as that could mean just about anything. Including ZERO, I suppose. 
Oh well. Enough about Pump. I’ve brought this up several times now, but I’m not sure how much it really matters. To most of us, a small percentage of something is better than a large percentage of nothing. 
If anyone from Pump Audio wants to response, please do!