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The 10 Awesome Practices Of Online Music Promotion

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

It’s no secret that we’ve got more opportunity than ever to be heard. Between bedroom composers, online publishing and mobile file-sharing, opportunities await like the jagged teeth of a K.O.B.U.S! fan. But rather than falling into the trap of thinking that it doesn’t take much to get your name out there, remember the massive pool of competition. Follow these tips to raise your online profile as an artist.

The author of this post is also the musician behind this video. Visit Pravda23.com and download free local electronic albums. See what I mean about promotion?

Stream Your Music

There are about a million sites you can use to upload your music for the public, but start with Last.fm, MySpace, iMeem and iLike. Drop a few free tunes in there, because 30-second tidbits are about as tasty as the floor of Carfax. Let them listen.

Get A Homepage

Seems obvious, but spend the R150 and get a homepage rather than sending potential fans and clients to MySpace or Facebook. You either own or are owned.

Go Big

Don’t just rely on three or four sites. Hit every popular music site with your profile, but also get your images on Flickr, join Mxit Music, Twitter and YouTube. Even if it’s just a foot in the door, online music promotion is more about volume of content than the quality of your music. Get noticed by being prolific.

Continue reading The 10 Awesome Practices Of Online Music Promotion

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Levi’s® Young Guns Blows Into Cape Town

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

No excuses. In your face. Raw and emotive. Packed with talent. But also uplifting, inspired, unique and like a breath of fresh air. That’s the legacy that Levi’s® Young Guns has created in the past two years, tearing across the country and spreading the sounds of alternative, immediate, energetic music to their thousands of fans across South Africa. These are the big names of tomorrow, the young who never settle for less and are intent on making a mark that is unique, overpowering and hard-hitting. So put on your brave face, leave your inhibitions in the closet and venture out to enjoy this tour de force, a countrywide programme brings a few upstarts to a town near you.

Levis Young Guns

The chaos blows into Cape Town on Thursday May the 22nd, landing at 14 Hope Street, a venue so cool it doesn’t need more than it’s address as a name. Last year’s Cape contingent saw The Beams, Unit-r, BlaqPearl and T.O.P. sharing their styles with hordes of hungry fans. This year it all starts with Jitsvinger and ETC Crew who are going to cross dimensions, shift paradigms and turn it all on its head with their eclectic range of strictly South African sounds.

Continue reading Levi’s® Young Guns Blows Into Cape Town

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How You Can Prove Anything With Statistics

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Thanks to the fact that statistics can prove absolutely anything you want them to, we knuckled down to some hard research over a case of beer and discovered a host of results, some shocking and some rather boring. Check it out.










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Liesl Graham: Chrysalis

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Opening track Be Real‘s sweeping, glitchy intro will put you on the back foot from the start, and it’s around now you’ll probably hear someone ask, ‘who’s this playing?’ Yep. Thanks to pop-rocking second album Chrysalis (2008, Loneroc), the artist you’ve heard about, read about and perhaps seen out and about seems to have finally spread her wings and fluttered upwards.


The artwork may suggest an artist more pre-occupied with adolescent butterfly and bedroom diary imagery, but this ain’t cherry-pop for slumber parties: it’s melodic dance-rock; the kind you may hear at the end of the end of the movie, just as the hero grabs the girl and embraces her, thoroughly re-inforcing gender stereotypes and getting some action at the same time. Aaah, Hollywood.

Like that weird patch of fuzz at the small of my back, Go Home has grown on me. In criticism, it’s very detached/emo. But in praise, the track oscillates between the soft padding of the crystal-clear beauty of the female voice and a simple hard-rocking, singalong hook.

Tender and cinematic, Little Bird is the timely, slow-tempo break to Chrysalis’s opening energy. Hold Me follows with a similarly acoustic sound (as does closing, unplugged Hare-Krishna-esque version of the track), and now you’re hugging the wall of the alternative music bar, getting some words in with the cute guy that ‘accidentally’ bumped you with his pool cue before handing it over to his mate in the middle of the game, saying, “I’m out.” Just so he could chat to you. Bless.

“Most thankfully, we have an ALBUM here, and not just a collection of tracks.”

There’s a lashing of background electronica on Chrysalis, but, for the most part, we’re talking about live drums and the type of stuff you could reproduce live quite easily, without the trappings of truckloads of hardware. Of course, there is the cheesy value of lines like, “I just wanna walk in the light of what I believe,” (Faithless Heart), but hey! It’s pop! And, most thankfully, we have an ALBUM here, and not just a collection of tracks. In other words, you know what you’re in for the moment you hit play.

Nothing experimental or weird about it. Seems like Graham’s reserved her place on the radio-friendly bandwagon. But as an independent female artist in South Africa, Graham’s niche sure has been carved out for her, thanks to the likes of trendsetters like Karma-Ann Swanepoel (and Henry Ate) and…uh, the aptly named Louise Carver. It’s pretty safe to say that with two sexy albums and the look (and hopefully feel) of Xena the Warrior Princess, Liesl Graham’s beyond ‘upcoming’.

  • Liesl Graham Home | Myspace | Facebook

  • Posted in Album Reviews | 4 Comments »

    New Dirty Skirts Album: Daddy Don’t Disco

    Monday, April 28th, 2008

    Hello good people,

    Our apologies for being so quiet. But we have been cooking up something special for you – a new album, which is called Daddy don’t Disco. You’ll have to wait just a little bit longer as we are currently in studio recording the beast. We are doing this with Theo Crous, legendary guitarist of the Nude Girls, and now also a highly respected producer who has worked with a long list of cool bands. Now we are on that list too.

    Daddy Don’t Disco
    June 1st 2008: Prepare to disco…

    Writing Daddy don’t Disco has been an amazing experience; it’s been very rewarding, occasionally funny, and, as anyone who writes music knows, at times goddam difficult. You’d be forgiven for thinking ‘who cares, just tell us what it sounds like.’ But we’re afraid that we just can’t do that. Not yet.

    What we can show you of the album writing process you’ll find in our pre-production blogs. Check out the videos (on the “if you’re dirty” group and our band page) that examines our pre-production process, as shot by our friends at the African Attachment. Or the pre-production photographs shot by the talented Mister Ross Hillier (check out this guy’s stuff). Or just carry on reading this insightful and well written blog to fuel your erudition. What we can tell you is that the previous album On a Stellar Bender was really a collection of songs whose origination spanned at least a year and a half; the material had various authors and mirrored a changing band. To the contrary, Daddy don’t Disco was written in three very intense months. Whew.

    The Dirty Skirts: Homewrecker
    More Vids on our YouTube Channel! | Submit Your Own Vids!

    “We knew we needed to get cracking.”

    The process kicked off with writers’ shock as we realized that the months of improvising (as a methodology for generating new material) had yielded no songs. We had recorded tons of audio files, which contained sonic explorations, riffs, some interesting moments and a fair whack of nice sounding, slightly useless sound garbage. What was lacking was much evidence of strong verse/chorus relationships. With Theo Crous’s studio booked for April, and our first pre-production session with him as our producer planned for early March, we knew that we needed to get cracking, and fast.

    The outcome of us knuckling down has yielded something that sounds pretty different to what we have made before. The songs “have their own being”, and have us wondering that we might have created something very unique.

    Once we complete the album we will tour to the UK in late May. In June we will launch the album in South Africa and proceed to tour our country over the course of a few weeks.

    All tour details will be announced through the media, our Facebook (‘If you’re dirty and you know it clap your hands‘ has moved. Here’s the new page). And don’t forget to download the free mp3s you’ll find on our Myspace

    See you soon,

    The Dirty Skirts

  • Dirty, Sweaty, Real: Assembly Does Adidas
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  • Dirty Skirts Home
  • Dirty Skirts To Tour Europe In May 2008
  • Buy On A Stellar Bender

  • Posted in Industry News | No Comments »

    PsynOpticz Presents Electro-Magnetic Beatz

    Sunday, April 27th, 2008

    Hey everyone,

    Well, the hype for the second PsynOpticz event is huge! With such a sick lineup I know I wouldn’t miss it for anything!

    Visuals from Twizted, the last party by PsynOpticz.
    More Vids | Submit Vids

    Bruce (Afrogalactic)
    PlusMinus (Organik)
    Stereal Key (Groovy Troopers)
    SwiTcHcaChe (PsynOpticz)
    Silo (PsynOpticz)

    Just an update for you all about the guestlist: we’re giving 5 places away to every 20th confirmed guest for the event and for every 10th person that joins our group on Facebook. In other words, loads of tix up for grabs.

    Spread the word!! Join the revolution! Friday is a public holiday so it’s time to smash it up. We have a few bottles of tequila on the house going around so be prepared for a night of craZynesss!

    For guestlist stuff email psynopticz_productions@yahoo.co.uk

    See you all on Thurs 1st May for a night of Electro-Magnetic Beatz! Thanks for the support!!

    PsynOpticz Crew

  • Electro-Magnetic Beatz Event Page
  • Twizted: Indoor Party Kicks Off With A Bang
  • PsynOpticz Presents Electro-Magnetic Beatz: 1st May 2008
  • The Bang Bang Club: April/May Gig Guide

  • Posted in Event Reviews | No Comments »

    Bloodline Ltd | This Is Our Way: CD And Tour Dates

    Friday, April 25th, 2008

    Oh my sack. It’s just around the corner, and we’re ready for blood. Bloodline Ltd, South Africa’s undisputed premier Hardcore (HC) outfit, begin steamrolling their way across our great nation this weekend, laying waste to stages, security fencing and anyone stupid enough to stand in their way. They also release the hardest album you’re ever likely to hear and it will leave you bruised and battered. Be sure to check out the tour dates and catch them where you can.

    Bloodline Ltd tour
    Bloodline Ltd: Get ready to pass out with anger.

    Bloodline Ltd hit the hardcore punk/metal scene with a vengeance in 2006 and quickly caught everyone’s attention through support slots for USA’s Most Precious Blood and Germany’s Spermbirds among others. Delivering a live show that can only be described as a “full frontal assault” they spent most of 2006 filling venues across South Africa, including a riotous appearances at Woodstock 8 (and again at Woodstock 9) that required extra security to control the audience. In 2007 the band maintained their momentum as one of the top “alternative” live acts in South Africa with appearances at X-Fest, Fracture Fest, Oppikoppi and Woodstock 9.

    They have recently completed recording of their ferocious debut full length album “This Is Our Way” due for South African release in April 2008. Bloodline Ltd have also not escaped the attention of the international scene where the band are being hailed as one of the top new HC acts and the album is set for release in Europe in July 2008 with a Headline tour of Germany, Austria, Italy and more supported by Italian Hardcore outfit The Vendetta in October of this year. A USA release and tour is also on the table and in consideration for 2009.

  • Check out more on Bloodline Myspace

    Friday 25 April
    Archers, Barbara Road, Edenvale
    w/ NEW FOUND DISORDER + Facing the Gallows + Go!Go!Bronco (Durban)
    Doors 8pm. Cover R30.

    Saturday 26 April
    Shenanigans, Banbury Cross Centre, Northriding
    w/ NEW FOUND DISORDER + Go!Go!Bronco (Durban)
    Doors 8pm. Cover R30.

    Wednesday 30 April

    Black Dahlia, Boksburg
    Doors 8pm. Cover R30.
    *Thurs 01 May is a public holiday*

    Friday 02 May
    The Bohemian, 5 Park Road, Richmond, Johannesburg
    Doors 8pm. Cover R30.

    Thursday 08 May

    Cafe Arc, Pretoria
    Doors 8pm. Cover R30.

    Friday 09 May

    Castillions, Potchefstroom
    Doors 8pm. Cover R30.

    Saturday 10 May
    Goodfellas, Klerksdorp
    Doors 8pm. Cover R30.

    Friday 16 May
    UFO Pub + Roadhouse, Brakpan
    Doors 8pm. Cover R30.

    Saturday 24 May

    Rafterz, Vanderbijlpark
    Doors 8pm. Cover R30.

    Friday 30 May

    ROAR @ Gandalfs
    299 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town
    Doors 8pm.

    Saturday 31 May
    Corner Bar, Durbanville, Cape Town
    Doors 8pm. Cover R30.

    Saturday 07 June
    Skate Park, Pavillion, Durban
    All Ages. Doors 6pm. Cover R30.
    Friday 13 June
    Tin Cup, Witbank
    Doors 8pm. Cover R30.

  • Posted in Event Reviews | No Comments »

    Cape Town Band Impropriety: Audition Update

    Friday, April 25th, 2008

    Hey Guys,

    Just an update on how our auditions are coming along. We’ve started off with the vocal auditions, and pretty soon I think we’re gonna start hearing some singing to our songs:) This process has taken a bit longer than we expected, so please don’t think we have just dissed or forgotten about anyone!!

    Impropriety: One Voice One Heart
    More Vids on our YouTube Channel! | Submit Your Own Vids!

    As soon as we’re done with the vocals we’ll be sure to move on to either guitars or bass, will keep you all updated though.

    Thanks for waiting patiently, hopefully we’ll be rocking out at shows really soon:) And if there are any more people still keen to audition for vocals u can send either of us (LeRoy or Simon) a message and we’ll make a plan to meet up and take it from there..

    Have a rad long weekend.

    LeRoy and Simon

    More from Impropriety

    As musicians we try and make music that is sincere and honest, songs that progress and change as we do as people. That’s why we hate genre’s, although we’re punk rock we throw in a bunch of different elements according to our individual influences. We’ve done loads of things as a band, which is not really all that important to us cos in the four years that we’ve been going, all we’ve ever wanted to do is have as much fun as possible with the people around us.

  • Impropriety on Facebook

  • Impropriety - gif1 Impropriety - gif2

  • Impropriety Seeks New Members
  • Impropriety Myspace

  • Posted in Industry News | 5 Comments »

    Red Bull Music Academy: Apply With Overtone

    Friday, April 25th, 2008

    Hey all,

    Just a reminder that it’s just over one week till the application phase for this year’s Red Bull Music Academy ends. Overtone will be handling applications on behalf of the RBMA organizers.

    By May, 3rd, 2008 your complete applications should be in our hands so that we can ensure they reach the RBMA headquarters in Germany on time.

    The completed questionnaire along with a mix-CD or selection of your own music, and two current photos should be dropped off at one of the following venues:

    CPT- Overtone HQ (The Planet Art, 32 Jamieson St, One road up from Kloof)
    CPT- Hi Five Music & Clothing (34 Kloof Str)
    JHB – Soul Candi Store ( The Zone Rosebank)
    PTA – Hip Hop Joint (shop 24 Sunnypark Mall, Sunnyside)
    DBN – Funkbox (Florida Centre, Morningside)

    Get your stuff to us in Cape Town or any of the above stores asap. We’ll forward your applications to the crew, and get you on a plane for Barcelona! Best of luck!

  • Red Bull Music Academy: Home | South Africa

  • Posted in Industry News | No Comments »

    The Recording Process | The Importance Of PR

    Friday, April 25th, 2008

    2007 was the year that the music industry formally collapsed. Or changed, whichever way you wanna look at it. Whichever way you do, artists like Madonna, Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead started giving the finger to the Big Four. And last night, two of our guest speakers chatted on the recording process and publicity in the South African context, at the Monthly Overtone Shmooze [last Thursday of every month in Cape Town CBD].

    Overtone Shmooze April
    The Overtone Monthly meeting: good place to have a beer and learn.

    Every month we hand-pick a couple of key speakers to come and share their experience with us over a drink at our beautiful offices in Cape Town’s CBD. Join us next time: May 29th, 6.30pm. Contact us for more.

    Dockyard Studios is a spot in Woodstock run by the professional and internationally groomed musician and producer Matt Allison. Arriving in style, Allison opened the talk with how artists in South Africa can be expected to succeed when recording their album.

    Recording in South Africa

    Matt Allison: The Recording Process In SA
    More Vids on our YouTube Channel! | Submit Your Own Vids!
  • Before you even enter the studio, make sure your album is fully prepared for the recording environment
  • Rehearse beforehand with a click track, have your arrangements and lyrics on paper for reference, borrow and bring a variety of instruments other than your own, etc
  • Understand that you’re creating a quantifiable product. In other words, you need to make your money back. Be professional if you want it to be your profession.
  • Actively make the effort to speak to other artists who have recorded beforehand. Pick up the phone and call Overtone if you need contact numbers of established artists [overtone.co.za].
  • Be open-minded and choose an engineer who has musical inclinations if you want ideas in-studio.
  • After a few more beers, next on the bill was Plus 1 Media Jon Monsoon [contact], publicist for 11 South African bands and Overlord of the Underground. Monsoon’s work has been published widely in magazines such as BPM, and he gave us the lowdown on what it means to be the middleman between the artists and radio stations, the online field and print publications.

    Publicity and PR in South Africa

  • There is a marketplace out there for whatever you’re doing. Paying someone for PR (Public Relations) is a good idea if you want to be noticed.
  • Be the first person to do what you do. Consider what your Unique Selling Point (USP) is, and give that the majority of your efforts.
  • While it’s a good idea, you don’t need a publicist. You can use the online environment and blogs, forums and sites like Overtone.
  • Commercial radio in South Africa is unfortunately rife with payola, and getting played is largely a question of how much you have to spend. However, the majority of South Africans of all backgrounds are more firmly rooted to community and campus radio stations.

  • Don’t forget to visit us in Cape Town’s CBD for our two-hour meetings on the last Thursday of every month for a Q&A with leading members of the music industry. and at the moment is the only meeting in Cape Town where you have the opportunity to learn from experienced players and figure out what everyone else is up to. The event is sponsored by Overtone. Contact us for sponsorship proposals.

  • Overtone will publish the majority of the press and band-related messages that land in our Facebook inbox. Friend us now right here and send us your music spam. :)
  • March 2008: The Overtone Shmooze Rocked

  • Posted in Backstage Blog | 1 Comment »

    Be A Part Of The Mobile Disco

    Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

    Like you may have heard, Overtone is now an (almost) fully-functioning music store. We’d like bands and fans to be a part of the launch of our groundbreaking new music player, which you can embed on any site. Hey, isn’t it about time you plugged into the local music scene…?

    Sell on Overtone. Download the Contract Now!
    right click/save target as…

    Music Shop on Overtone
    Embed the player on MySpace, Facebook and other sites. Get noticed. It’s free.

    Remember 2005? When the Arctic Monkeys struck gold by becoming the first generation of Myspace-made bands? Their debut album became the fastest selling in British music history. What we now know is that it was only a matter of time before bands embraced the wonders of digital publishing, and pretty soon, everyone was undercutting the distributors in a rapidly changing industry. Another thing we now all know is the lyrics to I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.

    Trent Reznor post
    Trent Reznor says it like it is

    Then, in 2007, the music industry died. We’re not gonna waste our breath justifying it: there’s enough reading out there. See the links below.

    We’re here to remind you that Overtone is now taking the phenomenon of digital music publishing to the next level with our a mobile MP3 player. Embed it anywhere, and make friends with Overtone, one of the fastest-growing South African music portals. We host the music, and quality SA music gets streamed all over the web. And whether you like it or not, you’re making a statement: I support local music, not because it’s local, but because it’s good.

    Bands and artists: get your player up now. Then send the link to your buddies. Show everyone you’re serious about being noticed. Sell your album in our online store. Get in bed with the most band-friendly South African music portal.

    Check out the The Overtone Music Shop

  • Starting A Record Label
  • “The CD Is Dying”
  • The Taxation Of Music?
  • David Byrne And Thom Yorke On The Industry
  • Survival Strategies
  • More news…

    “Isn’t it about time you plugged into the local music scene?”

    Posted in Backstage Blog | 2 Comments »

    Freedom Toaster Takes MP3s Offline

    Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

    First, there was some Bushman scribbling in a cave. Then came the Egyptians, who taught us about papyrus and a funky new walk. Then Gutenberg, who had bad handwriting anyway. Now comes an explosive new way to get information and music out there, and Overtone is set to be the face of it. Ladies and gentlemen, we present the Freedom Toaster by Breadbin Interactive.

    Freedom Toaster

    When, in history, has a band ever been able to record and release a track to beyond the World Wide Web in a single day? Overtone joins the cutting edge of the rapidly changing music industry landscape by becoming the vessel for a revolutionary new way of publishing music and data.

    What is the Freedom Toaster?

    The Freedom Toaster is a stand-alone information and data distribution kiosk which will be implemented in South African shopping malls and places of public interest in early 2008. The unit resembles an ATM, but instead of distributing cash, users will be able to download music, e-books, open-source software, videos and…well, anything.

    What’s the big deal?

    The big deal is that ordinary people without Internet access will be able to download homebrewed South African music and data from a reliable, legal source.

    More importantly, in the same way that the printing press removed the need for educated scribes, digital publishing has now removed the need to access a personal computer.

    What do we pay?

    Nothing. Due to widespread awareness in the music industry and the novelty of the Freedom Toaster, artists and labels are throwing free, promotional music at us. We’re throwing it back at you. Bands who want to get on the bandwagon, contact us.

    How does it work?

    Insert your USB drive, blank CD or DVD and select what you want through the simple touchscreen menu. Shop until your drive or disc is full. Checkout, and get your content copied by the Freedom Toaster on the spot.

    Overtone has positioned themselves perfectly to capture this turning point in music publishing history. Not only are we launching our online MP3 music store soon, but we’re steadily creeping up the radar. Now, we aim to provide South African artists and fans not only with a colourful entertainment news and video blog, a music industry directory, a steadily growing gig guide, and an artist management service, but with the resources to get our artists distributed like never before.

  • Bands! Let Us Help You!
  • Overtone To Launch Online MP3 Sales
    Overtone Music Shop
  • More news…

    Posted in Music Features | 1 Comment »