The CyberPR (Ariel Publicity)New Media Pioneer Interviews 10

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New Media Pioneer: Jason Tippitt of Mental Nomad Podcast and Pod Across America

 

http://mentalnomad.libsyn.com/

http://www.myspace.com/mentalnomadshow

 

Mental Nomad Podcast: Eclectic music podcast. I play almost every sort of music, though geared a little more toward singer-songwriters.

 

Pod Across America: Also an eclectic music show, but each episode focuses on one American state at a time.

 

Q: How long have you been broadcasting?

 

A: The Mental Nomad Podcast started in March 2007; it was initially a

twice-a-week show but has been weekly for about a year now, with a few

exceptions. The show’s eclectic, with an intention toward including

music from outside the United States and music from female vocalists

in almost every episode.

 

Pod Across America started in October 2008 and will be two episodes a

month, usually one episode per state. I started in Delaware, the first

state, and will go through Hawaii, the 50th state, in order … a few

states will get two episodes just due to the sheer number of musicians

from those states.

Q: In your opinion, what does a good song need to consist of?

 

A: To me, a good song is one that gives me some sort of emotional

reaction … thrilling to the highs, coasting through the lows,

laughing at a clever turn of phrase or feeling my stomach churn over

some emotional conflict that rings true to me.

 

A song can be really simple and yet really powerful: Bob Dylan’s

“Tomorrow Is a Long Time” and Queen’s “Bijou” are contain very short,

very simple lyrics but the mix of the lyrics, the vocal delivery and

the music turns them into something magical.

 

Most of the music I really enjoy has lyrics, and usually the lyrics

are in English. I do listen to some instrumental music, and I do

listen to some non-English-language music, but the instrumentalists or

vocalists really have to soar above and beyond for me to really engage

the music.

Q: What is your favorite band or favorite genre of music and why?

 

A: Attorney and writer Andrew Vachss has observed that “blues is truth,”

and I agree wholeheartedly. Blues gets down to the core of the human

experience, the raw truth of emotions laid bare. It’s naked and

honest, and even when the blues singer engages in bragging, the

exaggerations point the way toward his or her insecurities.

 

More broadly, music that tells a story is what really gets my

attention. Blues, certainly folk music, certain rap and rock ‘n’ roll,

the cabaret storytelling of a Tom Waits or the deeply emotional jazz

of Jimmy Scott … music with personality.

 

Q: What changes in content laws, broadcasting rights, etc., have

affected you most?

 

A: I feel unqualified to answer this question. I haven’t paid a lot of

attention to the legal issues, whereas I probably should pay more

attention. In early episodes, I was a lot quicker to download a song

from MySpace and play it, then ask permission after the fact. I

wouldn’t dream of doing that now.

 

Using a content provider such as the Podsafe Music Network and working

with publicists such as the folks at Ariel Publicity — where the

music is pre-cleared and podsafe — is the smart way to go, I’ve

found. I’d rather be able to find new music I might not have heard

before and play that than risk getting sued for playing a U2 song that

everyone’s going to hear all over the place, anyway.

 

So the limitations put in place by respecting the law challenges me to

look for the next Bob Dylan, the next Tom Waits, the next Emmylou

Harris.

 

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in

generating album sales; do you feel podcasts have that power?

 

A: I haven’t personally experienced any huge revenue surge from doing

podcasts and the blogs associated with them, though I do include links

to both the music I play and, to a lesser extent, to the videos that

strike my fancy from artists podsafe and non-podsafe.

 

That said, I have absolutely discovered new music that I’ve

subsequently bought through blogs and podcasts. Blogs and podcasts

offer a great way to sample a lot of music that I wouldn’t hear on

heavily formatted local radio or even the music channels on digital

TV.

 

Podcasts come to you. Blogs come to you, if you syndicate their feeds

through a reader. They require less effort than logging into MySpace

or Facebook, slogging through the many pages of contacts you have, and

noticing when a particular band has updated the profile. So yes, I

think podcasts are a more forward-thinking way of marketing a band —

it’s letting other people be your street team, rather than trusting

people to find you.

 

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The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)13

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Man Behind the Monitor: Bill Prevost of rifRadio

 Aside from being a steadfast advocate of the unheard underdogs, Bill Prevost of rifRadio meshes cause related substance with entertainment on his Internet station “Radio Iraqi Freedom.”

 T:  How did rifRadio get its start?

B:  I’ve always been a big defender of the underdog. About four years ago, I got increasingly tired of the way that our military was being constantly disrespected and maligned by the mainstream media. I decided that the best way to show my support was to create a music station that might bring a little bit of home to them wherever they were. You can’t do this over the airwaves unless you are fortunate enough to get a large conglomerate like Clear Channel to syndicate you and that was not financially feasible for me. But the Internet, now that was a possibility. It’s not as restricted and I was allowed more freedom. The “rif” in rifRadio stands for “Radio Iraqi Freedom” and will be forever dedicated to those who put their lives on the line everyday so that I can do this. Something that should never be forgotten. If you want an idea of the alternative take a look at what China is doing with the Internet. ‘Nuff said.

T:  What encouraged you to dive into Internet Radio as opposed to other forms of broadcast?

B:  I think what I liked most was the freedom to do things the way that I thought they should be done. Not having to follow the archaic protocols and standards that the regulated industries have adopted. For instance, I play complete albums because the artists of that album had a particular message or idea that they were trying to convey. I’m not going to get into any deep discussion about this, I don’t think that I need to. A few examples of this though would be almost any Pink Floyd, Yes, or Alan Parsons Project album. Even Boston’s first album, the one that they cut in their basement because the record companies said that they weren’t good enough, has a very fluid format.

Boston, Brad Delp in particular, also was the encouragement to me to listen to “Indie” music. I’m the person that watches the movies that the critics give thumbs down to. I find that they are usually better than the ones that they do like. For the last few years, the big music companies been sitting around whining about piracy and downloads. This is not because the artists lose out. To the contrary, it’s because they lose out. A couple of great reference articles are interviews with David Byrne (Talking Heads) and Thom Yorke (Radiohead) in the January 2008 issue of Wired Magazine. They have seen the industry eat artists on a daily basis. It used to be all about the money. Not how much the artist would make, but how much they would make at the expense of the artist. They also have seen the future and it is a future that benefits the artist as well as the industry. In my opinion, (and I say “in my opinion” only out of some sense of political correctness, something I greatly despise), the recording industry downfall began with the likes of Madonna. Think about it. Could you imagine Robert Plant, Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton or any of the greats of the past with backup dancers? Alvin Lee, (Ten Years After) wrote a line that I think says it all. “Go tell Madonna it don’t do nothin’ for me”. Why is it necessary to have 38DD and big asses bouncing around the stage? Don’t you think it kind of distracts from the guy that spent his life learning to play the 12-string or the message that the band is trying to get across?

There is so much talent out there that isn’t getting out because the recording industry starts to milk them for money the second that they get any recognition. You can’t make it if you don’t pay. How ridiculous. If that doesn’t stifle creativity and ambition, what does? Groups like TSC (Te Stone Coyotes), Jupiter One, Blood Red Sun, Telling On Trixie, artists like Pete Berwick, Papa Satch, and Bill Kelly are where the future of music lies. I sincerely hope that they read the articles that I mentioned.  The sky is the limit if they get it right.

I was fortunate to have found CyberPR (arielpublicity.com). Of all of the publicity companies that I am in communication with, they have what I consider some of the best talent available. I’ve found that they can distinguish between the good ones and the great ones.

T:  As a radio broadcaster, do you have a favorite radio personality that you’ve been inspired by?

B:  In music radio, no. I have tried to combine the attributes of three stations that I grew up listening to in the 70’s and early 80’s. I’m from the Denver area and back then we had a station called KLZ FM, (they later became KAZY). I had a friend at the time that was a DJ. I would go as a guest with him to a little place in the bottom of the Brooks Towers called Ebbets Field when he would MC. I listened to such greats as Leo Kottke and Lynyrd Skynyrd, (a few days after their release of “Pronounced”) and others. Unfortunately it became too commercial as time went by and I switched to KBCO in Boulder. I liked their laid back style and my favorite DJ was Ginger. They too became very commercial over time and that led me to the Ft. Collins college station KTCL. The students ran it and occasionally they would “buck the system”. They also played local music and the stuff you didn’t hear on commercial FM. Those days are gone. I try to do the same now. I still have to play the stuff everyone remembers, but I can also slip in the stuff that you only heard if you bought the album.

T:  What is the biggest challenge you face as an Internet Radio station manager?

B:  It would probably be promotion. I have an edge as I did concentrate on the military. I’ve been told that I am one of a very few Internet radio stations allowed on bases, but as you can guess, I have no way of knowing other than word of mouth. I am working on some new and exciting ways of promoting my station, but I don’t want to fall into the same old commercial trap. You can get that anywhere.

T:  What advice would you give an aspiring station manager looking to grow their listener base?

B:  I could tell you that but then I’d have to kill you. No, I guess I would just say do what feels good. The Internet is wide open. Use it wisely. Try to get an idea of what people want and make it work with what you want. Respect your listeners; they are what it is about. Find a cause or ideal that you want to advance and do so with intensity and respect. I can’t say that word enough. I have two. The appreciation of those who would die for me and the advancement of what I see as the future of music. Self-marketing and incredible talent are the next wave in the music industry. I’m a firm believer that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. The rewards are security, accomplishment and satisfaction.

T:  What’s next for rifRadio?

B:  I want to be the source for “Indie” music. I want someone to call up a band or artist and say, “I heard you music on rifRadio”. I want the talent that is sitting out there to say, “I sent a demo to rifRadio….”. I am dealing with what I consider to be the best publicity agent out there right now. Eventually, I will have to expand, but for the immediate future I have every confidence in what I am doing and whom I associate with.

If I can make this thing work, I have plans to build a recording studio catering to Independents. I’m out in the middle of nowhere. I wake up to moose and deer in my yard.  I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I have fiberoptic Internet and all the amenities that I need. This would be the perfect place. I even have a producer in mind. I’m a long way from that, but not deterred. My station has been climbing steadily in my server’s ratings and my ideas to make it even better are just starting. I do believe that I will achieve my goals.

 

To check out what’s playing on rifRadio now, visit: http://www.rifradio.net

 For the complete interview with Bill, including a few referrals to insightful articles about the landscape of the music industry, check out: https://nbtmusic.wordpress.com/

The NBT Music Columns : The CyberPR Blog (Ariel Publicity)7

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DMCA…Huh?

 Tom Schulte – the mind behind Outsight Radio Hours – gives us all a little insight on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

 A few days back, we received a rather upset email informing us some of the ID3 tags we used for our CyberPR artists weren’t compliant with the DMCA regulations set forth for Internet broadcasters.  We realized we weren’t up on the DMCA, nor were our musicians.  Luckily, Outsight host Tom Shulte is extremely knowledgeable on the subject and was gracious enough to share his wisdom with us. 

 Trevor:  First, Describe how Outsight got its start and what’s the purpose behind it?

 Tom:  I started off as a music journalist in 1988 and “Outsight” was the name of my column that appeared in various underground music publications, like Carbon-14, Glass Eye, Caustic Truths, and others. During that time I was a bit of a political activist. So, I ended up in an organized act of civil disobedience supported by local Libertarians, National Socialist Party and more. This was a pirate radio station called Radio Free Detroit, which at 10 watts was the largest of its kind at that time. We actually wanted the FCC to shut us down in order to draw attention to the microwatt revolution, but for a long time they wouldn’t. The result of this unexpectedly long time behind the mic was that I became addicted to broadcasting. Seeking to legitimize my experience I ended up with a Thursday morning drive-time show called “Outsight” on local AM radio. From there I went to Public Radio and, when it became technically possible, Internet radio with now defunct CollegMusic.com in late 1998. That’s how it started, and now my show is heard on WXOU 88.3 FM in Michigan, as well as Live365, LUVeR.com, NewArtistRadio.net, Radio-Freedom.com and other Internet Radio sites and just about everywhere you can get a podcast, including iTunes.

 The purpose was to satisfy a need for immediacy and direct transference of sharing new music I am excited about with an audience, compared to the remoteness and delay innate to publishing, even Web publishing.

 I had decided to phase out my journalism to focus on graduate school, and this was also a way to continue to work with a subset of my label, publicity, and artist contacts. I had to tell everyone anything they sent would be broadcast and not reviewed. I actually wanted many people to say “no” if only to free up time from handling mail to give to my studies. Actually, the opposite happened and I got more email and communications to handle for programming my shows than I had for writing my column!

 TD:  As a digital broadcaster, what are your thoughts on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, especially in terms of music content?

 TS:  I agreed with the spirit of the DMCA as soon as it came out. That is, Internet promotion of new music should not be used to enable or make more convenient unlicensed acquisition and copying of music. To do so, in my opinion, would be mistreating the music I am given for the show. So, from as soon as I read the guidelines I have followed the spirit of this directive. For instance, I bleed the ending of one song over the beginning of the next and don’t play whole album uninterrupted. All this prevents people from being able to easily rip individual songs or whole albums off my streams or my podcasts. So, my podcasts are not individual MP3s, but one two-hour MP3 of the whole show.

 TD:  Have you ever been forced to take content off your site due to the ‘DMCA Takedown Provision’?

 TS:  Oh yes, since I want to get broadcast as many places as possible in order to benefit those that supply me with music and share the songs I am excited about, I have to abide by stricter and stricter rules. See, I produce one show every week and then make slight edits, for instance to include underwriting, to make the show appropriate. So, in order for me to work this way, I have to abide by the strictest rules of any of my outlets. So, basically, that means following the DMCA to the letter. So, I have had to stop doing artists tributes (too many tracks in a row) and other things that are allowed on terrestrial radio – even if it is simulcast over the  Web!

 TD:  Many criticize the DMCA for placing too much favor on behalf of the copywriter, as a broadcaster do you agree with this opinion?

 TS:  Well, the DMCA was the first time that I recall that the Internet broadcasting community lost the fight to have imposed on them radically different and more severely limited laws that those that apply to terrestrial and even satellite radio. So, this set up the “separate and unequal” premise that led to the current crisis of nearly punitive royalty rates for Internet radio. We have to change the minds of legislators so they take it for granted that all broadcasters, regardless of media, should be treated fairly and equitably.

  TD:  What should a musician know about the DMCA?

 TS:  Serious, career, professional and semi-professional musicians that take their careers seriously will take it upon themselves to learn the essential features of all laws that affect their art. This includes, but is not limited to, the gist of the DMCA. The DMCA is, for instance, as relative to the modern career musician, as the laws regarding mechanical and performance royalties.

 TD:  As digital broadcasting continues to take new norms all over the Inetner, what merits and downfalls do  you see with this?

 TS:  Well, the merits are it is a great time to be a music fan! So much music and so much convenience in accessing it! For the working musician or any sort of broadcaster, the competition is just tremendous. You have to compute for ears against iPods, cell phones, satellite radio. Next, we’ll have to compete against MP3-enabled kitchen appliances!

 However, I feel there is hope. As the breadth and utility of consumer electronics widens, Internet radio and podcasting will be embraced more and more. Eventually, a critical mass will be reached that will make Internet-based music streaming explode into the mainstream. Some tipping points in this development to look for are when the center of gravity for access to Internet music moves from the computer to the home’s main entertainment center where the TV and stereo are. Also key would be Internet-delivered music accessible in the car as conveniently as FM is. Look what that did for satellite radio!

 TD:  How do you feel about taking questions from fans via email or chat room to increase fan interactivity?  Do you use this on the site?

 TS:  I think it is great! This really speaks to immediacy I mentioned before. I really appreciate the listener feedback and love requests. On good nights, the audience teaches me more than I have to share with them! I use the same id in MSN, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, etc. and that way I can allow listeners to contact me live during live shows or moderated re-casts.

 TD:  What’s next for Outsight?

 TS:  I want to take my listenership to the next level! Outsight only began broadcasting a few months ago. I am still learning how to make my shows most suitable to the podcast listener. Feedback from listeners is really helping. Each show features a phone interview with an artist archived at http://www.new-sounds.net/coolstreams. For instance, this week, we had on Martin Atkins (PiL, Killing Joke, Pigface, etc.) about the independent music scene in China. I find the best thing to do is more Outsight toward letting that interview set the theme and content of the show so that each episode out there in the “podosphere” can stand alone as self-contained and coherent entertainment and information. That is taking effort on my part, as the history of Outsight has been very freeform and eclectic up to this point.

 For more from our favorite political activist turned broadcasting junkie, check out Outsight Radio Hours at www.new-sounds.com