Archive for the music Category


Posted in Art Business, Marketing, music, PR, The DIY Musician on November 17, 2011 by artlovemagic

post by Derek Miller

The Atlantic did a killer piece that highlighted the trend towards band’s using Anti-Marketing.

Short Version: Some indie bands are purposely obscuring their names, hiding their faces, and refusing interviews as a means of image-management.

Love it.

As I mentioned previously, becoming too popular too fast will hurt your band’s longevity. 

Buzz magnifies people’s expectations, which in small doses is beneficial for a band. But if too much buzz is laid on, the gap between fan’s expectations and the actual music is too wide, and the fan is left with a foul taste in their mouth.

Smart bands need to adjust how much hype gets pushed on them. Too little and the band’s fan growth stagnates but too much and the band’s fan base deflates. It’s all about managing expectations.

From the article:

From that point on, there has to be enough substance to the group to sustain them through the post-hype phase. Look at Die Antwoord. The South African rave-rap duo baited the media for months with a lewd web art, bizarre videos, scarce information, and exotic promise. Once people learned that they were a satirical act helmed by Johannesburg performance artist Watkin Tudor Jones, who had released music under other personas in the past, excitement for the group largely vanished, right on time for their Interscope debut, $O$, to debut at 109 on the Billboard 200—a flop by major-label standards.

Anti-marketing is a valuable tactic. It’s a pressure-release valve for when you feel that the press is going a little too far in their promotion of you. How to make the call when you’re getting extravagant praise is the real challenge here. Intuition is all you’ve got here, and that’s easily clouded by the ego getting all warm-fuzzy from the attention. In all likelihood you won’t need this tactic though, since most artists don’t get explosive hype storms.

Anti-marketing, like all tactics, needs to fit within the strategy of your art. Using a tactic that doesn’t fit your strategy is not a good idea. Self-aggrandizing rappers probably don’t have much use for anti-marketing. Bedroom produced indie-electro-pop is a different story.

Keep an eye on how much hype you get. Anti-marketing may one day be just the tool you need to keep buzz under control.

Derek is an MBA in entrepreneurship, painter, and bassist for Onward We March, a local progressive metal band. He teaches business skills to artists and writes weekly music business advice for his blog Derek Thinks Music. Got a business question about your art? Shoot him an email at

Preparation for Underground

Posted in Artists, Community, Magic, music, photography, poetry, Shows with tags , , , , , , on November 6, 2011 by artlovemagic

Story by David Rodriguez

Underground will be here sooner than you think. The 2012 show is scheduled to be presented on Saturday, February 11, at South Side on Lamar once again.

So what is Underground? Underground is Dallas’ Largest Live Art Event of the year! Over 50 visual artists creating in the space, 2 stages, several Djs, a 21+ Room (Blue Room), and a VIP Lounge.

Here are a few links to help you with that answer:

Did you feel that?

Underground 2011 Interview: Cody Phillips x Monster Bot Dallas TX


Underground facebook page

How can you join Underground 2012?

Volunteering at Underground

Photo by William Neal

Our volunteers ROCK! Thanks to Caterina ‘Rina’ Provost-Smith, Yesi Sukilynn Soto, and Janelle Ghana Breeding for helping make Underground 2011 a success! Photo by William Neal.

Welcome! Thank you for taking an interest in being a part of Underground, 2012. Underground is the largest Live Art Show in Dallas! This show has several opportunities for you to lend a hand to make it happen. We ask volunteers to select one shift during the event night (Feb. 11, either  5:30pm-9:30pm, or 9:30pm-1:30am) first. That is the most important portion to fill. If you would like to volunteer for any other opportunity given, that would be great! Here is a link to get you connected:


Photo by Jenice Johnson

Want to be a Visual Artist at Underground

Welcome! Thank you for taking an interest in being a part of Underground, 2012. This show will be presented on February 11th, 2012, from 8pm to 12am at South Side on Lamar in Dallas. The production team is currently in the process of selecting visual artists for this event. All mediums are welcome (photography, painting, sculpting, jewelry, installation, illustration, welding, vinyl toys, body painting, etc.).

Underground will have a 3 week long gallery exhibit prior to the show. Artists are putting $30 and they keep 100% of sales from both the exhibit and the event. As always, all artists are creating live within the event. Our audience is interested in seeing your approach and method. All visual artist MUST produce a piece of work DURING the event. You do not have to finish the piece. Here is a link to get you connected:


Photo by Sondra Beamon

Want to be a Band/Musician at Underground

Welcome! Thank you for taking an interest in being a part of Underground, 2012. This show will be presented on February 11th, 2012, from 8pm to 12am at South Side on Lamar in Dallas. The production team is currently in the process of selecting bands/musicians for this event. All genres are welcome. Please tell us a bit about what you do. We are looking to have our stages (yes, more than one stage) set by the end of November, 2011. Expect an e-mail by the end of November informing you of your status for this event. Here is a link to get you connected:

I look forward to jammin’ with you guys and gals!


Artist Spotlight: Justin Griffith

Posted in Artists, Deep Ellum, music, Spotlight with tags , , , , on October 22, 2011 by artlovemagic

Tell me a little bit about yourself..

My name is Justin Griffith, but most people know me as GOAT, which stands for Grades Of Absolute Truth.  I’m an elementary music teacher by day, and an extremely active musician every other minute.  I’ve been teaching since 2005.  I’m literally addicted to music and I love kiddos, so teaching made perfect sense to me. I’m heavily involved in Dallas’ music scene and feel like it’s a HUGE part of me.

As you have grown within your talent, what inspires you to create?

My inspiration comes from living this crazy life.  Multiple things happen everyday that spark some type of thought that may eventually become a song or be a part of a song.  Inspiration is crawling everywhere you look, just gotta pay attention.  Those little moments that seem magical have to be documented somehow and as musicians and artists, it’s our job to do it.

How long have you been producing your craft and why did you begin this form of expression?

It’s hard to say how long I’ve been developing my craft because it’s been almost a life-long thing.  I’ve been told that I used to recognize songs within the first few notes of hearing them since I was a young child.  I received my first guitar when I was in 5th grade and began taking lessons immediately.  I sang formally in a choral setting from 7th grade all the way until I graduated college.  I played guitar, bass, and sang in rock, blues, and metal bands from junior high until my second year of college.  I studied classical voice at the University of North Texas in Denton from 2002-2005, then graduated from there with a Bachelor of Music degree with a minor in education.  I started experimenting with solo stuff around 1999.  My first big show as a solo artist was in 2004 and my first official solo release was in 2006.  Now I’m sharing what I know about music with students and what I’ve learned about life with audiences through music, so you can say that I’ve dedicated my life to it.  I began music as a form of expression because I needed an outlet.  I started writing poetry and lyrics when I was 13 to get things off my chest.  Although I had a great family life, I went through dark times as an adolescent and still deal with those battles today.  My Mom has said before that music saved my life and I agree without a fraction of doubt.

What do you ultimately want to accomplish with your talent?

My ultimate goal has always been to make a living from music.  In a sense, I’ve accomplished that through teaching.  At this point, I strive to continue stepping up the ladder of success by building a larger regional and national following through regular performances and creative releases.  I’ve had a plan to work on recording projects throughout the school year, then hit the road to promote and tour during the summer.  I’ve had a small amount of success with putting that into motion already, but I plan to build it up more.  On a more personal level, I want to make a difference.  I crave making positive impacts on other people’s lives and I feel like it’s my calling to do it through music.

Outside of your artistry, what other interests do you have?

The majority of my interests are linked to music somehow.  I’m into audio engineering, mixing, mastering, graphic design, video editing, promotions, marketing, event planning, leadership, and philanthropy.  Love to play basketball, cook, camp, shoot guns, and spend time with my peoplez too.

What was your first experience with ArtLoveMagic?

My first experience with ArtLoveMagic was in 2008 at South Side on Lamar.  I attended girlShow and was blown away.  A friend of mine had a table set up to raise funds for breast cancer and I was mainly comin’ out to support her.  At that time, I was in the process of launching H4 (Hip Hop Helps Heal).  I met Michael Lagocki that night and invited him to the first ever H4 meeting.  I wanted to involve ArtLoveMagicians in our breast cancer benefit show.  Since then, I’ve been involved in multiple ALM shows and have a huge amount of respect for their movement.  They. Freakin’. Rock.

What web address can one go to to view more of what you do?

You can find out more about me, my music, videos, and show calendar at

How can someone contact you?

If you wanna drop me a line, ask a specific question, or book me for a house party, an event, or a personal performance, hit me up at


How Much Does It Cost to Make A Hit Song?

Posted in Art Business, music, The DIY Musician with tags , on October 20, 2011 by artlovemagic

Derek is an MBA in entrepreneurship, painter, and bassist for Onward We March, a local progressive metal band. He teaches business skills to artists and writes weekly music business advice for his blog Derek Thinks Music. Got a business question about your art? Shoot him an email at

According to this NPR article on the Rhianna song “Man Down”, it costs $1,000,000.
Some highlights:

-Pay to Play (aka Payola) never disappeared. 
Majors labels are venture capital firms, and they need smash hits to cover all the money they’ve spent on their unsuccessful artists. And it’s in the interest of radio to convince the music industry that it’s THE kingmaker. “Court us, or suffer irrelevance!”

‘Treating the radio guys nice’ is a very fuzzy cost. It can mean taking the program directors of major market stations to nice dinners. It can mean flying your artist in to do a free show at a station in order to generate more spots on a radio playlist.

Former program director Paul Porter, who co-founded the media watchdog group Industry Ears, says it’s not that record labels pay outright for a song. They pay to establish relationships so that when they are pushing a record, they will come first.

Porter says shortly after he started working as a programmer for BET about 10 years ago, he received $40,000.00 in hundred-dollar bills in a Fed-Ex envelope.

Current program directors told me this isn’t happening anymore. They say their playlists are made through market research on what their listeners want to hear.”

-If you’re a DIY artist, radio is a waste of your time and money. 

Radio plays what majors push, it’s a symbiotic relationship (even though labels HATED radio initially and used the same arguements that level against today’s music piracy). With competition for listener’s ears from iPods, satellite radio and internet radio, advertising dollars in radio aren’t what they used to be. The cash has to come from somewhere.

The return on investment for radio plays doesn’t make sense for a DIY musician. You’d be throwing your money away at what is essentially bribes, when you could hire a manager or a publicist at a fraction of the cost and have a much bigger impact on your fan base through targeted marketing.

One caveat: Sometimes radio will play more independant music, but only once the listeners begin demanding to hear the music. It’s cheaper and better to have your fans convince radio through their voice than you trying to convince radio through your wallet.Let’s be fair to radio, though. If I could figure out a way to legally get $40 thousand dollars sent to me without any questions asked, I’d be all over that like mayo on a gas station tuna salad sandwich.

-The major labels are built on old economics.

Too much overhead.

Back when there were only a few major distribution channels in the 50s, you could reasonably count on huge acts selling tons of CDs because there weren’t as many bands to choose from. Now that there’s an infinite number of bands, the industry isn’t concentrated anymore. You can’t “gurantee” a hit even by throwing millions of dollars at it (the Rhianna song has been met with lukewarm reception and flagging profits). A fan doesn’t have to have taste dictated by the masses anymore, hence the arrival of fantastic niche players in genres such as Gypsy Punk and Cello Rock.

Good for our ears, bad for majors.

-Throwing dollars at a mediocre song can only do so much.

Have you guys even listenered to her new song?

“rum pa pum pum pum”…

Come on now.

Music is about the music.

Astronautalis: THIS IS OUR SCIENCE

Posted in Community, Love, music, reviews with tags , on September 9, 2011 by artlovemagic

Allow me to wax poetic  about a musician with a lot of local ties, and a damn fine new album-

RE: Astronautalis’ new album THIS IS OUR SCIENCE:

This is the music we deserve. As intelligent, evolving beings, these are the passionate, future-forcing songs that remind us that we are still very young indeed. When we listen to This Is Our Science, we silently promise ourselves that we’re never going to listen to shitty music again.


You can stream it here by clicking on the pic below:

Just what is SYNCHRONICTY?

Posted in Artists, Deep Ellum, music, Shows with tags on September 6, 2011 by artlovemagic

(ˌsinkrəˈnisiti) – Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events, that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, that are observed to occur together in a meaningful manner.

SYNCHRONICITY is also the name of the next ArtLoveMagic event on September 10th, 2011.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to describe it for this blog and the best answer I can come up with is the following photo collage:

Simply put, Synchronicity is a mash-up of over 24 local artists and performers, jamming together for one night, to create something unexpected. If it was a math equation, it’d look something like this:


This lineup of creative energy is just ridiculous. Even for ArtLoveMagic, SYNCHRONICITY will be a senses blurring stir fry of diversity and creativity on overload.

It also signals a return to the kind of show ArtLoveMagic was built on. Not a mammoth “UNDERGROUND” or “girlShow” type mega-event, and not a controlled model show like Art & Coffee. SYNCHRONICITY is an experiment. What does the Dallas art scene look like if splattered across a canvas like a Jackson Pollock painting?

Get ready to be amazed. There’s no better way to spend your Saturday night.


Synchronicity is Saturday Night 9/10/11
at 2826 Arnetic from 8pm-2am
21 and up   door = $5

for more detailed info on the performers, visit SYNCHRONICITY’s facebook event page here.

How Do We Make People Enjoy Our Music More?

Posted in Art Business, music, The DIY Musician on August 18, 2011 by artlovemagic

Derek is an MBA in entrepreneurship, painter, and bassist for Onward We March, a local progressive metal band. He teaches business skills to artists and writes weekly music business advice for his blog Derek Thinks Music. Got a business question about your art? Shoot him an email at

How do we make people enjoy our music more?

An excerpt from a  thought-provoking article on the psychological effects of price on perception of wine quality reminds us that emotion depends on context.

Individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less. Our results indicate that both the prices of wines and wine recommendations by experts may be poor guides for non-expert wine consumers.

Which one came from a box?

The taste of a wine, like the taste of everything, is not merely the sum of that alcoholic liquid in the glass. It cannot be deduced by beginning with our sensations and extrapolating upwards. This is because what we experience is not what we sense. Rather, experience is what happens when our senses are interpreted by our subjective brain, which brings to the moment its entire library of personal memories, wine shop factoids and idiosyncratic desires. As the philosopher Wilfrid Sellars pointed out, there is no reasonable way to divide sensory experience into what is “given to the mind” and what is “added by the mind.”

The price of a wine (context) influences how much we enjoy it.

Time to pour some box wine into a fancy bottle.

How is this relevant to our music? If the show is sold out and crowded, people will tend to assume your music is better. If someone who cut in front of you in line suggests a band to listen to, you’re less likely to dig on the band.

The better you craft the emotional context that people experience your music through, the better people will perceive your music.

Genuinely engage with fans (live show, twitter, website, merch booth etc), explain stories behind your songs, build a band mythology, play with bands that fit your sound, add a bit of mystery to your act… Anything that creates a compelling context will improve the quality of your music.

What context are your fans experiencing your music through? How can you improve the context?

(Previous posts on this topic here, here, and here.)

A year in the life of Dustin Cavazos (in 7 minutes)

Posted in Community, Love, music, videos with tags on July 13, 2011 by artlovemagic

We’re just really proud to see someone in our community that has this kind of support- and is using it to produce good work. If you don’t know Dustin Cavazos, or his music, you really should check him out. This short video will let you walk with Dustin for about a year, bridging the release between releasing his two most recent works.

More about Dustin can be found at his website:

here’s another one – just for fun
this was done to promote Dustin’s new album Be.Leave.Me.

Local artists making waves – Teddy Cool

Posted in Artists, Community, Deep Ellum, music, videos with tags , , , , , , on July 9, 2011 by artlovemagic

Don’t sleep. Director Teddy Cool and his crew at Blue Pill Entertainment are doing some amazing work lately – a LOT of it. In a recent conversation, Teddy let me know that he had a goal of directing 10 music videos this year alone (currently, he’s completed and released 5).

photo by Gordon Black

Teddy’s work is a cut above. From the shot selection, to the lighting, to the editing, these videos are sharp, clear, and professional. Teddy’s impacting the local art scene by giving musicians quality videos that showcase their talents… and he’s really good at making his subjects look like rock stars.

Below are four videos, all directed by Teddy in recent months. Each features a local hip hopper (or crew) performing original work. It’s worth noting that pretty much all of these were shot on shoe string budgets.  I find it inspiring that Blue Pill can do this much with a few cameras and a few dedicated people.

JackRabbit James’ Me and My Music video uses several different locations and tons of local faces. The “extra” song at the end of the video was a last minute choice to add, but ends up being one of the most expressive and fun parts of the whole thing. Make sure you watch all the way through.

Playdough’s Ya Heard was a single day shoot in Denton in only two locations. I was lucky enough to be there and get to see the crew work. We shot a LOT more than you see here. Teddy shoots enough so that he has plenty of good moments to pic from. One thing that impressed me the most, was that by doing most of the work in-camera (ie without post effects) we were able to look at shots within minutes of filming them.  This is a great example of doing a lot with a little and using lighting correctly to make everyone look good.

* — * — * — * — *

Language warning: the next two videos are not for kiddos

Teddy directed the first two videos of the DFW cypher project. That project involves small teams of local rappers coming together to perform on a single track and display their lyrical talents. Great editing here is what enables a very simple shoot to produce a great video.

This one really takes it all the way. Hardcore hiphop crew, the Aux Heard, put together this fast and powerful track. Together with Teddy, they created a video with feature film quality shots and effects… and ZOMBIES! This one really blew me away when I saw it.

It’s great to see someone local really going for it, and expressing this much talent. Keep your eyes peeled for a soon-to-be released experiment that artlovemagic and Teddy teamed up for. Check out a sneak of that here.

Keep pushing, Dallas.


Artist Spotlight: Jamie Reeves

Posted in music, Spotlight, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 27, 2011 by artlovemagic

Tell me a little bit about yourself..

Hey there. My name is Jamie Reeves and I am a singer/songwriter from a little city called  Wylie, TX. Both of my parents grew up in musical families, so growing up my parents were always supportive of my love for playing music. With both of my older brothers being guitar players,  it wasn’t long after getting my first guitar that I began to strum the strings and write lyrics.  Before learning guitar I developed a passion for writing poetry. Lyrics and messages to the soul are very important in my music.  These days I reside in Carrollton where I play solo acoustic shows and high powered rock electric shows with  The Demigods.

As you have grown within your talent, what inspires you to create?

WOW! What an amazing question! One big thing that  inspires me to express is the world around me, and the world within me; even more so, the bridge that connects both of those worlds. Then there is the emotional world; it can take us to the highest highs and the lowest lows, it lets us express ourselves in the most unique fashion.  Then there is the “State of the World.”  It lets us create the beauty that we wish to see when we look from behind our eyes. Even though the world is filled with so much suffering, we can still make things brighter by following our dreams.

How long have you been producing your craft and why did you begin this form of expression?

I began writing songs with my brother Jake Reeves at the age of 11. With the help of my dad who was a harmonica player in the Dallas blues and Texas country scene, we played picking parties for the  now well known radio station 95.3 The Range. At the age of fifteen my Dad bought me my first acoustic guitar.  It wasn’t long  before I was singing and strumming, writing and molding, finding my self through poetry and sound. At heart, I am a healer. I can remember the first time I sang a note in front of my first grade music class and a shock of electricity ran up my spine. I felt I could heal with my voice, and this is why I continue to sing.

What do you ultimately want to accomplish with your talent?

I like this because this is a larger than life question. I want to share my music with the people on this planet who want to make this world a brighter place to live.  To one day be a part of something so big, it changes these false systems that we are all trapped in. I want to remind people of the old ways of the tribe and Shaman; to heal themselves with herbs, organic foods, and ancient healing methods. To plant trees, to respect nature and every form of life.”We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of the dream.”

Outside of your artistry, what other interests do you have?

These days I enjoy riding my bike, playing with my animals,  hanging with my family, practicing healing and magical arts, reading, camping, spending time with my niece, and crystal collecting.

What was your first experience with ArtLoveMagic?

My first ArtLoveMagic show was girlShow 2008. A couple of months previously I had met Deborah Driscoll and Cheryl Anderson at a local art collective called The Shanty. At the time I had taken somewhat of a hiatus from music and was focusing on research and activism. I started actively playing at the shanty, and once again began to write songs. Deb and Cheryl instantly told me about girlShow and ArtLove Magic. I started writing a song of inspiration called “Frozen memories” before the show. It was as if all of my emotions and built up energy from that year was packed into the song, and I was so ready to finally play a show again.  The night was filled with magical paint brushes and flashes of photography, beautiful faces, and voices. When I took the stage the magic took over, as I sang frozen memories I looked up to see everyone at the show watching me very intensely.  I had not yet finished the song, but on that magical night I wrote the rest of the song on stage, and I shined bright. ArtLoveMagic is an incredible organization for artistic people to gain inspiration, I am so happy that I found these fantastic beings during that difficult period in my life.

What web address can one go to to view more of what you do?


How can someone contact you?

You can email me at