Friday, May 30, 2008 

500,000 Hits in 365 Days for Singer/Songwriter Katie Reider

I was absolutely moved by this. I received an email from one of our GoGirls Elite members asking me to take a moment and read Katie's story. That I did. You should too.

For over 10 years singer songwriter Katie Reider has inspired the hearts of thousands with her music and genuine personality. Just as she was reaching the peak of her career in January of 2006, a tumor developed in her upper left jaw that progressed into her sinus, skull base and left eye orbit. Over the course of one year (2007-2008), this rare tumor has taken away her sight in one eye, her voice and most importantly, her ability to perform. was created with the help of Katie Reider's loyal fans to reconnect Katie to her audience while she undergoes treatment.

Start listening to her songs by downloading katie's Voice (9 original songs written and performed by katie over the last 10 years) for $1.00 donation to her cause. Help us continue to spread Katie Reider's music over the next year by linking ONE more to

I encourage everyone to take a minute and check out this site. It is well worth your time.

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~

Thursday, May 29, 2008 

Cool site to check out:

I'm always checking out cool music web sites. Here's one worth looking at.

The site passionately promotes the best unsigned bands, and provides awesome content such as interviews, backstage videos and even a monthly album that any band can apply to be a part of. The monthly album pays out generous royalties to artists and is completely free for them to join.
Get more info at

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 

Charity Auction Benefiting Music Rising

"Icons of Music II" Charity Auction Benefiting Music Rising

Featuring property from The Edge and other U2 members

Music Rising, the brainchild of U2's The Edge, Bob Ezrin and Henry Juszkiewicz, was created to rescue the musical culture of the Central Gulf region from destruction caused by the 2005 hurricanes. This May, you will once again be able to contribute to the cause via live broadcast and real-time bidding on during the Icons of Music II Live Auction from the New York Hard Rock Café.

Watch as over 400 collectibles from musical royalty go on the block including many from The Edge's personal collection. As an added bonus, bid real-time like you are there in person by registering free for this auction. Check out a preview of some of the auction items available in the photo gallery.

How: Tune to to watch live on our home page
When: Saturday, May 31
Time: Preview show: 9:30am EST
Auction sessions: 10am, 1pm and 7:00pm EST

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 

Kerrville Folk Festival -- We Came, We Saw, We Loved It!

Article + photos by Madalyn Sklar

Sara Hickman from behind the stage My first impression of the Kerrville Folk Festival was, "damn it's hot out here!" And that my friend is not an understatement. Late May can be very hot here in Texas, even in the beautiful hill country of Kerrville which is located about an hour West of San Antonio. This is an outdoor event that has taken place yearly since 1972. This year's dates are May 22 - June 8.

It was my first KFF and I decided to embark during its first weekend -- May 23-26. I knew several GoGirls that planned to attend and I figured I would run into plenty more. That is enough reason for me to go and yes, brave the brutal Texas heat. I will admit it... I like being indoors with a/c when it's hot out. But I was down for the experience and have heard so many great things about the festival.

'nuff said...I took Leslie Starnes with me as my assistant for the weekend. She plays in the popular Austin band, Bon Terra. We were both greeted at the front gate with warm smiles and friendliness. They gave us our press passes and parking permit and as we walked away they said, "welcome home!" I come to find that is their standard greeting to everyone. Kinda cool.

Parking at this event is not easy. Had I known the parking lots, well fields actually, were dusty, bumpy, rocky and just not good on a car I would have NOT taken my nice Audi. I would have opted for a SUV which navigated the grounds way better than a small sports car. Live and learn! I also found it best to get there earlier in the day if you want to find decent parking. Now most people stay and camp. They don't leave. I'm not a camper so we stayed at the luxurious La Quinta in town -- 9 miles away. I quickly found that it pays to make your way there as early as possible because a VIP parking permit did you no good when you get there late in the day or into the early evening.

my poor car!On day 2 Leslie and I decided to grab dinner in town and upon our return there was nowhere to park... at all! The place is filled with young volunteers directing you where to park, etc. They were not helpful in getting us parked so as press we could cover this event. Hey if you can't get there you can't cover it. My biggest complaint other than the heat is to actually have a real VIP parking area and put someone in charge of it otherwise don't give out VIP parking permits. This was never the case the entire time we were there. It was extremely frustrating to find countless cars with regular parking permits parked where we were supposed to be parked. Okay I'll stop bitching about it. So back to day 2, we had a choice... park in BFE (and I mean BFE!) or go back to town and drink. We opted for the latter and ended up at the festival's host hotel, Y.O. Ranch Resort Hotel, and had a blast with our new friend, Steve-O the bartender.

GoGirls Elite member Lojo RussoMy favorite daytime activity became the Threadgill Theater in the afternoon for the New Folk Emerging Songwriter Competition. It was held this past Saturday and Sunday. It was an opportunity to get out of the sun and enjoy some really great live music. Several GoGirls performed here: RJ Cowdery, Rachael Sage, Lojo Russo and Emily Elbert. Also on Sunday I followed GoGirls member Amy Meyers to the Ballad Tree song circle that was a super cool, outdoor open mic (with no mic) atop a beautiful hill. It was a great chance to take in really great songwriting. By Sunday I was really getting into the groove of the festival and had figured out the lay of the land. There is camping just about everywhere you turn. Some are there with small tents while others have a more elaborate set up. There were even a handful of large RVs and motor homes.

Sara Hickman rockin it!! And it's being broadcast live on XM Radio right now.The highlight for me was Sunday night watching GoGirls member Sara Hickman on the main stage. I'm a big fan of hers. We met at Folk Alliance in Austin, TX back in 2006. She is not only talented but extremely hip and cool. This past February while at the GoGirls Secret Meeting at Folk Alliance in Memphis she made up a cute GoGirls song on-the-spot and even rhymed my name in it. I know, not easy to do! I was in heaven!

Sara put on an amazingly wonderful set on the main stage before a huge crowd. She is witty and charming and between songs she engaged the audience and even found the opportunity to say "nipple" all while this show was being broadcast live on XM Radio. Watching her perform made the entire trip -- heat and parking problems aside -- all worthwhile!

To recap:

* Don't take a sports car
* Bring lots of water and sunscreen because it's HOT out!!
* Get there early for parking
* Kick back and enjoy great music

This event goes on for two more weekends. Check it out. If you are looking for fun in a laid back setting, this is the place.

View a bunch of photos here!

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 24, 2008 

GoGirls at Kerrville Folk Festival -- day 2

Our second fun-filled day out in the TX hill country was met with great live music on the Threadgill stage. I ran into a bunch of GoGirls and just had fun people watching. There are so many people here camping and really taking in the experience. I heard about 3am song circles. This is the place to be if you are seeking a cool music community.

I'll reporting back again tomorrow.

Rock on,

Friday, May 23, 2008 

Team GoGirls at the Kerrville Folk Festival

Hey everyone, Leslie and I arrived to the festival, got our press badges and scoped everything out. What a super cool event! There were tons of people already here taking in the folky tunes of various performers. We ran into fellow GoGirls elite member K. C. Clifford and her husband David. The vibe and energy here is infectious. We can't wait until tomorrow to see what it brings.

Signing off for now...

Your roving reporter,
Madalyn Sklar


Going To The Kerrville Folk Festival

Check back here regularly all weekend for updates from the Kerrville Folk Festival!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 

Myspace Marketing Tips v.1.6

by Madalyn Sklar

So I spend a great deal of time working and consulting with indie musicians and music businesses about Myspace marketing. There are so many tips and tricks to increasing your effectiveness that in turn helps you see better results. I'm here to share them with you.

Having The Right Profile Photo

It is extremely important to have an effective photograph that is representative of you and your band or business as your main profile picture. Case in point, I've been working with a client who was not getting optimal results with friend requests. I felt strongly that one reason why was the his profile photo did not scream he was a musician. It looked like a professional business head shot. Okay fine, it wasn't bad. BUT... it made his profile seem like a personal one where he was simply out trolling for new friends. That was not the case. He's an extremely talented musician who is trying to increase his fan base. I immediately suggested he replace the professional head shot with a more appropriate musical photo of him on stage with his guitar, wailing into the mic. It fits. It makes sense. Okay it's only been a few days but he's happier. He's getting better results.

Remember in business - and yes, you are a business - first impressions are everything!

I hope you find this information useful. Please feel free to share your stories with me!

Check out my new site, Social Networks for Musicians, and let me know if you need some help.

If you haven't done so already you can download my FREE Report on Myspace Marketing for Musicians at

Copyright © 2008 Madalyn Sklar, IndieMusicCoach

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach, consultant and author. She founded IndieMusicCoach and has spent over 12 years working with a wide range of independent musicians all over the world - U.S., Canada, Ireland and Japan thus far. Her goal is to help indie artists achieve greater success in the music business by working smarter not harder. She is also the founder of, the oldest and largest online community of indie women musicians, with a vision of bringing together and empowering musicians from around the world.

Madalyn is available for one-on-one consulting and coaching at affordable prices. Check out for more info.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008 

There’s a new game in town…and it’s called…STEREOFAME!

The Online Social Music Game

Create Your Own Virtual Record Label & Compete For Rewards!

Compete for a slot at this year’s After The Jump Festival on June 21 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Galapagos Art Space and North 6th street in New York City. The deadline is June 3, 2008. Sign up here and automatically get 500 points. The winner, chosen by the festival’s promoters from the top three vote getters on the site, will get to perform on the main stage. After the Jump is the first festival of its kind to bring together two dozen of NYC’s premiere music bloggers in a celebration of the music that drives them and the causes they believe in.

If you’re an up and coming independent artist, what could be seriously cooler than winning big merch and rewards based on the “thumbs up” responses of the only folks that count—the fans? And if you’re a music lover, what could be more fun than getting all those awesome goodies for having great taste and knowing a winner when you hear one?

With the launch of Stereofame (, the online social music game, both artists and fans get what they deserve—to start with, mountain bikes, skateboards, surfboards, incredible trips, all based on the points they earn for making and promoting great new sounds.

If you’re an artist or band, don’t let your music just sit there on myspace or iTunes waiting to be discovered. That sort of passive listening is a thing of the past. No matter your genre—pop, rock, alternative, rap, R&B, country, jazz…Stereofame welcomes it all--get the respect you deserve in the form of promotion on the website, all that sweet merch and even opportunities to work with professional producers in a legit studio or headline festivals and concerts.

Once you’ve signed up on Stereofame , you simply upload your songs and invite fans to start listening. If they’re digging your songs, they can do a lot more than earn you points with their text and video comments and thumbs ups—they can start a virtual indie label and sign you to a deal.

If you’re a fan that has a knack for knowing which band is going to be next year’s Vampire Weekend, you deserve props (and prizes) for helping to discover them. Once you’ve earned your cred, Stereofame will promote your choices on the site and you can start strategizing how to bring the artists you sign to the world. The more points they earn, the more you get. It’s like fantasy football, only you’re picking the next big music icons instead of an all-star quarterback.

Monday, May 19, 2008 

Two Products I Recommend...

I have used these with great success and personally recommend them. Believe me, I know how hard as indie artists it is to get ahead. What I love about The Virtual Publisher and The Virtual Publicist is that it's great up-to-date information already compiled for you. It's well worth the cost.

Rock on,

Friday, May 16, 2008 

Don't Tread On My Live Music!

Have you heard? The City of Chicago wants to make it impossible for live indie music to exist in Chicago. WTF?

I think it’s ridiculous for any public official to think they have the right to stop live music in any capacity. Most musicians crave an outlet for their music to be heard by a live audience whether it’s a large stadium, medium size club, small venue, the local coffee shop or even a house concert. On the flip side most people crave live music, which is why they will spend their hard earned money on a show and will even drive long distances to see their favorite performers. And let me tell you independent artists are NOT exempt from this. They have wonderful, crazy, rabid fans who will walk the ends of the earth to see them perform live. Who give anyone the right to take that away?

As an event promoter who mostly produces benefits there is no way we could afford the ridiculous fees the City of Chicago wants to impose so that means sorry but NO GoGirls shows in Chicago. How sad to tell our members, “sorry but your city makes it impossible for us to produce a show here.” Would indie musicians resort to creating an “underground” music scene? You bet! But how ridiculous to have to hide this and worry about the legalities of these actions.

So I say, stand up and fight this. Visit Save Chicago Culture because they need your support.

I have to say that it makes me proud that I live in Texas where it would be considered a crime if someone tried to take our music away. After all, Austin is the live music capital of the world!

I would love to hear your comments on this. Bring them on!

Rock on friends,
Madalyn Sklar

Copyright © 2008 Madalyn Sklar, IndieMusicCoach

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach, consultant and author. She founded IndieMusicCoach and has spent over 12 years working with a wide range of independent musicians all over the world - U.S., Canada, Ireland and Japan thus far. Her goal is to help indie artists achieve greater success in the music business by working smarter not harder. She is also the founder of, the oldest and largest online community of indie women musicians, with a vision of bringing together and empowering musicians from around the world.

Madalyn is available for one-on-one consulting and coaching at affordable prices. Check out for more info.

Thursday, May 15, 2008 

What to do and not do at a music conference

Reposted from Madalyn's Blog on 5-21-07

My thoughts after attending Hyperfest in Albuquerque, NM

by Madalyn Sklar

I just returned from the second annual Hyperfest Music Conference & Festival. It was a lot of fun but makes me think of plenty of do's and not to do's.

Hanging out with Jodelle

Here is my list.


Have plenty of CDs (with the wrapper removed) and business cards on you. I'm amazed how many people don't do this!

Smile and be approachable. This is a network event so make the most of it!

Meet and mingle with music industry professionals as well as other musicians. You never know who can help you.

Attend workshops & panels. You can never know it all. Take the time to learn something new.

Be professional. Always, always be professional.

Follow up! What is the point of meeting all these new people if you don't take the time when you get home to send a follow-up email, phone call or hand written note.


Think you're better than everyone else. No one likes a diva.

Arrive late for your showcase. It's a great way to not get invited back!

Not be prepared to showcase. Be rehearsed. Be well groomed. Always look your best. Don't look like you just rolled out of bed.

Please feel free to send me your comments. I welcome your feedback!

Copyright © 2007 Madalyn Sklar, IndieMusicCoach

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach, consultant and author. She founded IndieMusicCoach and has spent over 12 years working with a wide range of independent musicians all over the world - U.S., Canada, Ireland and Japan thus far. Her goal is to help indie artists achieve greater success in the music business by working smarter not harder. She is also the founder of, the oldest and largest online community of indie women musicians, with a vision of bringing together and empowering musicians from around the world.

Madalyn is available for one-on-one consulting and coaching at affordable prices. Check out for more info.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 

FREE Teleseminar tonight! & IndieMusicCoach presents...

“Yoga for the Voice”

Madalyn Sklar


Join us tonight, May 14, for this free 60-minute "teleseminar" and listen to Madalyn Sklar, founder of and IndieMusicCoach interview musician and vocal coach gfire.

Madalyn will begin the call with info on her latest quest to help indie musicians: Social Networks for Musicians. If you are confused by Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Blogger you'll want to hear about this.

Wednesday, May 14
8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific

Sign up at


Tuesday, May 13, 2008 

Madalyn's Myspace Tip

A few days ago I blogged about bad Myspace advice that was circulating on several Yahoo groups in my post, Crossing the Line to Make a Buck in the Music Business. It made me think about how much we believe what we read from so-called music industry professionals. How many of these people really know their stuff?

When it comes to Myspace promotion, I know my stuff. I have years of experience to prove it! See With that said I would like to share some information that you might find helpful.

Madalyn's Myspace Tip:

When it comes to adding friends, have a strategic plan. Don't just randomly add friends. Look for like artists and bands. If they enjoy the music of someone with a similar style, chances are they will like you. Be sure when you are adding friends to put in a note such as, I hope you enjoy my music! And once you get new friends take the time to get to know them. Respond to their messages and comments. You want to turn your new friends into fans and buyers.

I do like using and recommend Friend Blaster Pro. It allows me to be efficient which is the key. But don't think you can now do 400 friend requests per day because this program is going to zip right through it. Well it won't. Thanks for our friend CAPTCHA it's much slower but still better than doing it manually. And you want to stay under the Myspace radar so you don't get your account deleted. It's best to do no more than 275 per day. I typically do between 200-250 requests. Also I recommend not using the comments, messaging and bulletins features. Really just stick to friend adds. Using these other features can make you look like a spammer which is a sure way to get your account deleted. I recommend commenting, messaging and posting bulletins manually.

Please feel free to comment. I welcome your feedback!

Copyright © 2008 Madalyn Sklar, IndieMusicCoach

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach, consultant and author. She founded IndieMusicCoach and has spent over 12 years working with a wide range of independent musicians all over the world - U.S., Canada, Ireland and Japan thus far. Her goal is to help indie artists achieve greater success in the music business by working smarter not harder. She is also the founder of, the oldest and largest online community of indie women musicians, with a vision of bringing together and empowering musicians from around the world.

Madalyn is available for one-on-one consulting and coaching at affordable prices. Check out for more info.


Monday, May 12, 2008 

Managing Your Time More Efficiently

I'm always talking about my motto, working smarter not harder. You may have heard me talk about it at a music conference or teleseminar call or really just about anywhere I can throw it into a conversation. Why? Because we kill ourselves working so hard and not always doing it in the most efficient manner.

What can we do as DIY (do-it-yourself) indie musicians to better manage our time? Lots of things! Here are 4 that i think will help you manage your time more efficiently.

1. Daily To-Do List
I'm a big fan of daily to-do lists. It's so easy to have all the things you want to do up in your head but once you write it down on paper it can really help you focus. So take a moment at the start of your day and think about what you need to accomplish and write it down. Some people need to write it all out on an entire sheet of paper. If your list is too long, start with what Jim Meisenheimer, author of 57 Ways to Take Control of Your Time and Your Life, calls the six-pack. Basically prioritize the six most important items on your list. What works for me is a 3x3 post it note that sits next to my laptop all day. It has my six-pack listed and it helps so much. Do this however it works best for you. But the key is to have it near you so you will see it throughout the day.

2. Turning Off Your Email
I know this is not an easy one! If you are like me and use Outlook it's too easy to get distracted every time an email jumps into your inbox. You get the little pop-up notification and so you drop what you are doing to read it. This is a huge way to get unproductive! Last year I read a really great book called The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. He also put out an awesome report, The Low-Information Diet: How to Eliminate E-Mail Overload & Triple Productivity in 24 Hours. I highly recommend reading both for great ideas on managing your time AND dealing with the challenges of email overload.

3. Go On A TV Diet
This one is brilliant and it comes from Derek Gehl at The Internet Marketing Center. Like Timothy Ferriss, he employs a lot of the same ideals when it comes to managing time. And we all know how much time we can waste in front of the TV!

According to Derek:
... Well, as you probably know, TV is one of the biggest time wasters there is -- so even if you think that an evening of TV is helping you relax, all it's really doing is stealing valuable time from you -- time that would be better spent working on your website!

So true! This comes from his article, Six Ways to Find More Hours in Your Day. It's a great read.

4. Wake Up An Hour Earlier
I know for some there are just not enough hours in the day. If this is you, you may consider getting up earlier in the morning so you can get a handle on your projects. Many say, especially those with children, that it's great because the house is quiet and they can accomplish a lot. In Derek's above article (just click on the link) he mentions cutting your lunch time in half. That too can allow you to be more productive. Again it goes back to doing what you find works for you.

So there you have it. Four ways to better manage your time. Please feel free to comment and let me know what works for you.

Copyright © 2008 Madalyn Sklar, IndieMusicCoach

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach, consultant and author. She founded IndieMusicCoach and has spent over 12 years working with a wide range of independent musicians all over the world - U.S., Canada, Ireland and Japan thus far. Her goal is to help indie artists achieve greater success in the music business by working smarter not harder. She is also the founder of, the oldest and largest online community of indie women musicians, with a vision of bringing together and empowering musicians from around the world.

Madalyn is available for one-on-one consulting and coaching at affordable prices. Check out for more info.

Friday, May 09, 2008 

Madalyn Sklar + recommends Crystal Clear

Go Girls Music recommends our friends at Crystal Clear Disc, Promo, and Apparel for your CD/DVD replication, T-shirt/apparel, and other music promotional needs. Serving the regional and national independent and major label music industry for over 35 years, Crystal Clear has grown to become one of the largest, most experienced and respected replication and music promotional products companies anywhere in the country. Visit them on the web at, or contact the head of Crystal Clear, Jim Cocke directly at 800-880-0073, ext 114 or Be sure to let Jim know you were referred by Go Girls Music for great discounts and special offers!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 08, 2008 

Tips for Booking a Tour for Your Band

by Vilma Jarvinen

Madalyn's Note: I came across this informative article on the net today. It was written by Vilma Jarvinen who is in one of our GoGirls Elite member bands, Sweet City Action out of FL. I wanted to share this with you because she offers great insight on booking their own tour and how it worked in their favor.

This article is reposted from the Grooveshark Blog.

I’m not an expert on booking tours, but I did book one and my band miraculously broke pretty much even on our revenues and expenses. From one musician to another, here are some helpful ideas to consider:

1. How to start booking.

Select the start and end date for your tour and figure out a window of time you’ll be in each city you want to play. Contact the promoter or venue at least 2 months in advance and give them a few choices of dates, so they can go straight to them on their calendar.

Also, include what you sound like in the text of your email because it will probably give them more reason to click on your band’s Web site link if you’re the right type of music for them. Lastly, try to include press reviews and pictures in your press kit–I’d recommend saving money on postage and just emailing a Sonic Bids’ electronic press kit.

If they decline booking you, don’t give up yet—ask them to recommend you to someone else in the area who could help book your band’s genre. Almost every promoter, venue owner and band I contacted gave me more people to contact.

2. Clinching those dates

Follow up with a phone call over email, if the promoter or venue’s Web site doesn’t state a contact preference. I called a venue in Tampa while the owner was carrying a Thanksgiving turkey and I cracked a joke about it to break the ice. It was way more personal than emailing with him.

Sometimes, venues will ask you to look for bands in their city to play with you and then contact them back after you have a line-up. Another strategy is to offer show trades on your favorite social networks. Out of all the types of people I’ve asked, promotion companies were the most responsive, local bands were the second most responsive and venue owners were the third. Music foundation Web sites like The Austin Music Foundation were great resources to find people to contact.

3. Additional booking tips

Base your dates on one major gig if possible, like ours was based around playing the GoGirls Invasion at SXSW that we had won through Sonic Bids. And don’t forget to book dates for the way back—or else you’ll have a long way to drive with no free place to stay.

4. Securing housing and money

Email the other bands on your bill or even the venue owner for some floor space to put your sleeping bag on. Out of three other bands of people and a venue owner, someone will probably let you crash on their floor for a night.

Ask for a guarantee when appropriate. I say when appropriate because you don’t want to lose a gig by asking for too much. Do your research on what is the usual payout at the venue you’re playing at. For example, I asked Breakin’ Bones Entertainment what the usual payout was at the venue that she booked us. It was pretty high, so we asked them for a guarantee and got one.
5. Getting a van

If you already own an insured van, you’ve lucked out of this expense. Otherwise, you’ll have to reserve a rental van early. Don’t forget the window chalk to write your band’s Web site on the windows along with fun drawings. Also, we wrote “Austin or Bust” on our back window. We got quite a few friends on all our social network sites this way!

6. Ice for the cooler, gas, food

Don’t forget to bring a cooler. Make sure that it doesn’t leak though. Ours did and one of us left his smelly socks in the area that turned into Lake Smelly Van. We bought new ice nearly every time we stopped for gas. We saved a whole lot on food expenses since we ate out of our cooler most of the time. And that money was definitely needed considering the price of gas these days.

7. Promotion and social networking

I saw so many hilarious and resonating promotional techniques, but I’ll save those for another post. On the note of promotional techniques however, I’d like to end with a quote from a blog post called “The Story of a Rock Star” by Mark Nissley that I read a while back. He’s referring to a rising star in the ‘90s who’s so obviously Jewel:

“…While all the very talented musicians around her spent their time between and after sets, hanging out back stage and drinking (among other things), the teenage girl did something different. She met her fans and really talked to them. She told her story at every show. She positioned herself at the exit and shook every patron’s hand. She asked people if they liked her music. She asked people to come back and see her. One of those hands she shook was an executive from Atlantic Records. They came back to see her, and brought a contract.”

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 

Crossing the Line to Make a Buck in the Music Business

by Madalyn Sklar

We all know there are sharks out there waiting to take your hard earned money. They promise things but don't deliver. We always keep a watchful eye out for them. And I must say it's just as upsetting when they disguise themselves as do-gooders with loads of free information to gain your trust only to lead you astray or give out bad or inaccurate information. It's crossing the line to make a buck.

So with that said, I'm always on the lookout...

I get really irritated when so called fellow music industry professionals use inappropriate marketing tactics to get you to buy something so they will earn a hefty commission. This happened yesterday on several Yahoo discussion groups that I'm a member of. I felt compelled to respond and call this guy out on what he was doing.

The subject of his email read:

Get 10,000 MySpace Music Fans/Buyers Every Month!

Okay wait a minute... that was an immediate red flag to me. You cannot get 10,000 fans/buyers (um "friends" would be the appropriate term here - another red flag, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about!) every month. In his post he talked about how it's important to have a Myspace page and that you should check out his FriendBlasterPro "informational link" (love that one) on his Myspace page for details.

So I go to his (not impressive) Myspace page and there are several paragraphs of inflated numbers that would make just about any naive indie musician salivate.

Here is a condensed version of what it said:

Add a whopping 350 fans/buyers daily! Balloon your network to 2,450 fans/buyers weekly! And, gather an incredibly humongous 9,800 fans/buyers monthly!

And, your number of friends added will easily go to over 10,000 each month due to other people visiting YOUR friends that you have added and seeing your link on THEIR MySpace sites. At the end of one year of having used this automated software on a daily basis, your MySpace Friend Network will have grown to over 120,000 people!

There were links to take you to Friend Blaster Pro, which by the way I think is a great program to use when it comes to adding friends quickly and efficiently on Myspace. But what people don't realize is that this guy is getting you all worked up so you'll buy this program which will in turn give him a nice commission per sale. Now I have NO problem with him saying, "hey I love this program and recommend it" so that you go to the link, buy it and he gets a kickback. What irks me is the WAY he's doing it!

So I responded to this man's post on two Yahoo lists to let him know how I feel and to educate him as well as the readers.

Here's my response (I removed his name and took out those Myspace stats quoted above):

That is not very responsible advice you are giving out about Myspace and Friend Blaster Pro. I’m not against using adder programs but what you are telling people on your Myspace page is not smart. If you use an adder program and do 350 friend requests a day you will red flag your account and possibly get deleted. I have been working bands Myspace pages for years and my advice is to stay under 300. Ideally do between 200-275 daily.

What you are doing here, and I’m going to call you out on this, is that you are getting people excited about these inflated numbers so they will check out Friend Blaster Pro from the link you posted on your Myspace page. If they buy it you get a commission on the sale. I’m not against you sending people to a site you think is worthy where you get a commission but the way you are going about it is not very appropriate. It’s no wonder so many indie musicians have a hard time trusting us music industry professionals when a sneaky tactic is used to get them to buy a product so you make a few bucks.

It’s not right! Maybe it explains why I’m a successful music business coach/consultant for well over 12 years because I don’t believe in these tactic to make $. Yes, I will refer people to a product or service I believe in where I get a referral commission. But I DO NOT use a tactic like this to do it!

I felt I did the right thing calling him out on this. I do not like seeing indie artists getting taken advantage of. Maybe that was not his intention. I don't know. I'm patiently awaiting his response to this.

I would LOVE to hear your comments on this subject. Please feel free to respond.

Copyright © 2008 Madalyn Sklar, IndieMusicCoach

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach, consultant and author. She founded IndieMusicCoach and has spent over 12 years working with a wide range of independent musicians all over the world - U.S., Canada, Ireland and Japan thus far. Her goal is to help indie artists achieve greater success in the music business by working smarter not harder. She is also the founder of, the oldest and largest online community of indie women musicians, with a vision of bringing together and empowering musicians from around the world.

Madalyn is available for one-on-one consulting and coaching at affordable prices. Check out for more info.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 

GoGirls is giving away FREE ReverbNation tank tops!

Sign up at

About ReverbNation
ReverbNation provides innovative marketing solutions that musicians need to compete, cooperate, and differentiate in an increasingly noisy online environment. Unlike typical "closed" communities, artists use ReverbNation as their home base for approaching marketing and promotion across the Internet as a whole — be it via social networks, blogs, or the artist's homepage. Tools like TunePaks, FanReach, and Widgets give the artist the power to spread their music and information virtually anywhere. Real-time stats then provide a 360-degree view of how the music is spreading, who is listening, and which fans are actually passing it on to their friends and posting it on their pages.

Monday, May 05, 2008 

Social Networks for Musicians

As most of you know, I've been doing Myspace Promo for bands and businesses for quite some time. I have decided to expand on this to include other social networks like Facebook, Twitter Flickr, Blogger, etc.

Social Network Confusion?

Don't worry, we can help! Madalyn Sklar and her team at & IndieMusicCoach work with indie artists and bands as well as music business professionals. With over 12 years internet marketing and promotion experience, they know their way around social networks like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Blogger, Wordpress and more!

Trends show that these social networks help indie and mainstream musicians reach far beyond their backyard to attract more fans and buyers worldwide. By using these networks you will increase your internet presence, sell more music, find better opportunities and keep your fans and friends coming back for more. These tools allow you to stay in touch (even in real-time) with your fans by offering music, photos, videos, blogs and more!

Take a tour and learn more about our services. We're here to help you!
You do what you do best... create music. We do what we do best... make you look great on the Internet!

Get more info at


Thursday, May 01, 2008 

GoGirls Elite Interview with The Locals

by Annette Warner

Editor's Note:

Occasionally, if you are as lucky as I am, you get to get up and use the bathroom thrice to keep from wetting your pants while interviewing talented and hilarious folks like the band members of the Chicago based rock band, The Locals. This I did. Aside from being incredibly easy to listen to musicians with strong hook tunes, awesome vocals, loaded melody’s and radio ready talent, they are likely one of the most creatively driven promoters of themselves I’ve ever appreciated. And I gotta say…musicians struggle harder than ever in a much easier to be heard industry to be recognized these days, – and most of us, knowing we’ll barely, if ever, break even, rely on plastic to eat, and make it from gig to gig. But there’s a certain danger, boy let me tell ya, , when we start sharing our plastic with fans..,and sleep with our plastic in cheap hotels, start buying our plastic drinks instead of the other way around, and, when you get to the point you never know where your plastic is going to turn up next…you are a member of The Locals…

I hope you enjoy reading this interview with three of the most amusing, engaging and authentically crafty musicians I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know, and their side-sorta-kickette, Danger Boy – (Who, not much of a team player, chose to be separate from the group for his own interview.) –

Hey! Enjoy! – Annette Warner – Editor

GG - Let's start off with getting a description of how The Locals began – time frame, motivation, and a bit about the members, and what they each bring to the party as a unique talent.

Yvonne: The Locals were formed in 1997 by me and Christy (the bass player). I was performing solo/acoustic at the time and was just about to release my first full length disc "Bliss". I recorded with several local Chicago musicians as a backing band and loved having the full band so much, we formed The Locals. The band started as a 4 piece acoustic/rock thing and here we are 11 years later (wow has it been that long???) totally transformed into an alt-pop indie rock band. And we're having a freaking' blast! So far as the unique talent each one of us brings to the party:
Christy writes these juicy bass riffs that really drive the songs. Bass players don't get "noticed" a lot of the time, you know? They tend to be a sit in the pocket and quietly kick ass kind of group, but Christy is different, people always notice and a lot of times the thing they end up walking away humming it the bass line. Her stage presence is pretty insane to…she's got this head swinging thing.

Kirk: The Locals began in 1865, just as the Civil War was coming to an end. Yvonne Doll and Christy Nunes ran a halfway house for Union soldiers in Mount Melarry, Delaware. On April 23, Kirk Snedeker wandered into the parlor with severe lacerations to his shirt. Yvonne and Christy took him in and provided him with room and board for they anticipated would be a long convalescence. During their nights by the fireside, the three would sing together to help pass the time. Soon after, they decided to fill out their sound by taking up instruments. Oddly, all of them wanted to play the jugs,but they settled on guitar, string bass and drum. Years later, they still all want to play jugs.

Yvonne: Leave it to Kirk to somehow work in jugs.

GG – Any body parts you guys want to brag about?

Yvonne: Kirk has seriously long toes. We call them "tingers" as they are almost as long as fingers. I'm not sure how they factor into his playing style but I'm positive they do. We've played with a couple of great drummers, none of them had tingers. Kirk, aside from his circus-like digits, is also a seriously amazing drummer. He puts a lot of thought into every fill, every placement. He's also adds some pretty sweet backing vocals. These in-particular are due, in large part to his tingers.

(GG is rolling – seriously – "Tingers?" )

Christy: Kirk really does have freakishly long toes. It's unique, but I'm not sure he's fully harnessed it into a talent. Kirk, you should really work on that.

GG - Danger Boy seems to be the most popular member among The Locals, and if you don't mind my saying so - rather cocky for being a caped runt. I mean, I see more of him, than you guys in the headlines. Any inside trouble, jealousy or hanky panky going on with any band members you want to tell us about? Describe his birth, life and current ideal woman …or …man?

Kirk: Caped runt? Wow. I heard something totally different. Truth is, DB knows no bounds, and I'm getting tired of hearing "it's not molded plastic for nothing."

Christy: Now that you mention it, that little bastard is a bit cocky. He's always telling us what to do and when to do it. I think I'm getting tired of his attitude. We do all the work and people line up to have their picture taken with him. Who is he? He comes to practice and drinks all the beer, he comes to the shows and steals all the hot ladies, he wont let me wear the cape or mask anymore. I'm questioning his loyalty. I've seen him flirting with Kirk's girlfriend on more than one occasion, I'm just saying...

Yvonne: There is always trouble when someone like Danger Boy is around. He gets a thimble full of Jack Daniels in him and starts saying stuff like "Kirk, l miss your musk, let's get an apartment together". So far as his ideal mate, he's pretty closed mouth about that stuff. Although there are some pretty serious rumors flying around about him and Madalyn Sklar, but then again we was just seen last week involved in some PDA with Ryan Seacrest backstage at American Idol soooo, it's hard to say.

GG - What would you say as a collective of awesome musicians is the ultimate message you want your fans to get? And individually – what are your goals in music?

Kirk: I think it's important to convey honesty in music. Yvonne's lyrics are very honest and open. She is very observant and considerate, and is not afraid to write about things that concern her or things that make her happy; like my extremely long toes for instance. The intensity of her voice is truly amazing and she sings with passion. Also, her hair is very honest it won’t lie to you. Christy is my favorite kind of bass player. The kind with the left boob that jiggles wildly at every show. Her bass lines aren't just supporting roles, they are true parts in and of themselves. They help bring the songs to life, and give all of us listeners something else to hum along with the melody. We all have a great time playing together and I think that is captured on the CD and in the live shows.

Christy: This sounds corny, but I think music is about feeling good. When I've had a long day or I'm suffering from road rage, music is the one thing that can make it all go away in 3 minutes. Whether its blaring from my car stereo or being slapped out of my bass, its a complete escape. I hope that people can throw on our disc and get that escape. I hope people can come to our shows and get that escape.

Yvonne: I get really stoked when people have a connection to the tunes. I have in my mind what the songs mean to me when I write them, but I think once you put them out there in "the world" what other people connect to can be totally different than your original intention-- that's pretty cool. One guy came up to me after a gig and told me that him and his wife you know have a specific mix of tunes that they, well "do it" to and one of our songs is on there. LOL! That was awesome, and of course now I think of that guy and his wife every time I sing that song. Does that make it a three-way? I feel so dirty.

GG – Where is everyone from:

Yvonne- Cincinnati OH, Christy - San Diego, CA, Kirk -Fairfield CT

The Locals GG - Tell us about your latest release, and tell us how it differs from previous releases. Describe your growth as a band since your first gig together. What has changed the most? Improved the most? Anything gotten worse?

Kirk: this is my first recording with the girls, and I couldn't be happier. I have never been as proud and excited about something that I've helped create. As far as changes go, during the last year or so, we¹ve been concentrating on tightening up the sound playing with a click track during rehearsals. I think we've matured in a very short time.

Yvonne: Our new disc is a TOTAL departure from the previous Locals sound. We were pretty established as an acoustic-rock band and this disc, the new songs are alt-pop, indie rock. It's a totally different band. I love the electric guitar, I'm totally addicted to it, heavy distortion, loud.. yeaaaaaaaaaaah! Since we no longer (technically) have a lead instrument I think where we most improved is that Christy's bass stuff is taking more center stage. The music is more open and you can really hear what she can do. I've also stepped up a lot on guitar and really opened up my playing. I usually do most of the lead guitar on recordings, but always just did rhythm live - now I do a mix of both.
Kirk's fear of public vomiting has actually gotten worse with the new cd.

Christy: Yvonne and I have been playing music together for 11 years now. I think the thing that has made it work, is that it keeps growing, changing and evolving. When we first started playing together, I was just backing her up on her solo acoustic singer/songwriter stuff. We then evolved it into a band, where everyone contributed and created "the sound". We've been an acoustic band, a jam band, an alt-rock band and it keeps growing. We've been playing with Kirk for almost 2 years now and the 3 of us are building a sound that is much different from anything we've done in the past. It’s guitar-heavy, yet intricate. I also have to say, recording this album with Steve Gillis has pushed us all towards becoming better musicians. He's the first producer who has really challenged us and said "I know you can do that better, lets try this" and pushed us out of our comfort zone. I think the result is the best album we've ever made.

GG - What's your dream gig – Describe? Anyplace you are willing to sell Danger Boy to go?

Kirk: Sell DB? He cannot be sold, nor will he be bought. He transcends all currency, credit and most barters that involve gigs that would enable us to relocate to San Francisco without worrying about finances.

Christy: Hands down, I'd trade that little runt and my left breast to open for PJ Harvey anytime, anywhere. I love PJ.

Yvonne: Dream gig? Opening up for Modest Mouse. I'd love that. Would I sell Danger Boy to get it? Wow that's so... "C-Grade Lifetime Movie starring Heather Locklear" but yeah, I'd sell the little bastard. Just kidding DB, (shit now I'm never going to hear the end of that)

GG - Without a doubt, you mix humor, sincerity, compassion, and philanthropic ideals as a magic potion and your great vibe even energizes your website. Care to discuss any political opinion or stage your band supports with a passion?

Kirk: I firmly support myself whenever I can. The girls get uncomfortable when I don't. No politics here, though I must say that George W. has been a complete inspiration. To think that someone as inarticulate as me can lead this country as a role model was inimaginateable (sic) 8 years ago.

Yvonne: HMM, well I wouldn’t say any of us are terribly political. Although, personally I'd love to hear them announce... "Mrs. President" in 2009. (wink wink). But we're always willing to play benefit concerts for great causes. We do a Leukemia Benefit every year which is one of my favorite gigs.

Christy: I fully support Peanut Butter and Tequila. Not necessarily together, but they are two of the greatest things ever invented. I have a long answer to this question that goes into why I think we need to elect Hillary as our next president and why I think people should pay more attention to the environment, but what it all boils down to is peanut butter and tequila.

GG - Top 3 "must do's" advice for independent musicians?

1. Don't do it for the money. Do it for the girls. You knew that.
2. Always thank the club, the booker and the sound person.
3. Junkscaping. Seriously, no one wants to see it like that.

1) Never give up
2) Never give up
3) Repeat 1 and 2

1. Practice your instrument and never stop learning. The second you think you know it all, is the second you should sell all of your equipment and get off stage.
2. You have to run your band like a business. Having great songs and being an amazing performer is only half the battle, you also have to market yourself, book yourself, promote yourself, sell yourself, etc.
3. Treat the people who come to your shows like royalty. Without them, you are just another guy/gal with a guitar, in a basement, drinking yourself into a stupor, mumbling "I am a golden god".

GG - How do you feel about the state of the industry now regarding the rise of independent music?

Yvonne: You know I keep hearing that no one will ever buy an actual physical CD anymore. I find it kind of hard to believe. But I guess because I just love having the artwork (I'm a very visual person) and the lyrics and getting the "whole vibe" of the disc. That being said, this is an amazing time period for music. The playing field has really been leveled. You don't really need a label anymore. It's easier than ever to get your music out there and heard by a lot of people. It's really exciting. As always though, indie artists need to take control and get proactive with promotion and the business of running a band because it's also really easy to become a needle in a hay stack!

Kirk: We're in the midst of a huge change. What is true of independent music is true of most things that you usually have to dig a little to find the true gems. While history might remember Kelly Clarkson, it might miss say Arcade Fire. But you always had to go way out of your way to find the goodstuff. Now, it¹s a lot easier to dig. While you'll hear Hinder on the car radio, you'll hear And You Will Know Us streaming on the internet in a few clicks. Sites like,, and are great examples of stations that really push the indies.

Christy: If you read magazines and look at dollar figures, you would say the music industry is dying. I think it’s great because the music industry as we know it should die. The idea of 20 or 30 powerful AR reps roaming the US trying to find the most marketable performers they can sell you and convince you that you like is old and done. Technology has outdated the old system. Musicians can now develop their own websites, put up a myspace, record their own music, make their own CDs and do it all sitting in their pajamas from the privacy of their own home. You can go online right now and comb thru sites to find 10 great new bands that no one has ever heard of, download their music, find out where they are playing next, order a t-shirt and become their biggest fan. . As a music fan, you now have access to great music from every city and every country that you never would have been able to access before.

GG - Name one thing each of you did right separately, to land together. A pivotal moment in musical time….

Kirk: I moved to Chicago and left two bands behind in CT. I told myself that I would wait to join a band until I found one I loved. I happened to read Yvonne's craigslist "drummer wanted ad" and my tingers started tingling. I got the gig and best friends too.

Christy: I wouldn't be here, and I wouldn't be in this band if I didn't foolishly decide to jump in my truck and move from San Diego to Chicago in 1996 with my band at that time. I say foolishly because who would trade beautiful, sunny San Diego, 75 degree days 364 days a year (there is that one day a year that is like 65 and rainy) for Chicago snow and bone chilling wind? I think getting here was half the battle. Moving cross country with less than a $1000 to your name, to play music and making it work proves to me I can do anything. Or does it prove I will do anything? I don’t know, it does prove something, I suppose?

Yvonne: Kirk moved to Chicago. That helped!! Christy moved to Chicago. That helped!! I'm willing to move anywhere they want to go next. And I think we all have been playing our asses off for years before meeting. So now we're all seasoned, good live performers who know what's up. And we're ready for whatever else is next.

GG - What's been your biggest lesson in self-promotion? Something hard to experience, but at the end of the day, motivationally prosperous…

Yvonne: You really have to be tireless about it. One of the best piece of advice I got years ago was to do at least one thing every day to promote your band. That really works cause if you sit down to do that you always end up doing more than one thing. Another thing that I think is equally important is to take a genuine interest in the people around you. I've learned more (and gotten so much more great things for the band) from really taking an interest in the fans, artists, and really anyone I meet and cultivating a real relationship with them. People really respond to that collaborative effort. So you're not just all about promoting yourself. Most people don’t like to be talked "at". I like to try and leave every conversation knowing more about the person I met than what they know about me. I mean-- make sure they know what they need to know about you - (who you are, who your band is and what your web url is-- yes for sure). But take an interest in every person you meet. Find out what they are passionate about. It's really fun, interesting, and most of time people really respond to it and want to help if they can.

Kirk: I am really bad at self promotion sometimes I don¹t even tell myself when I'm playing, so I'm learning a lot from the girls.

Yvonne: Kirk, we have a big gig on June 14th, bring your tingers.

Christy: Hooking your wagon to a 6" tall, masked, plastic doll is both prosperous and a lesson in humanity. People will do some of the most private things in public with a plastic doll and let you photograph it for fun and promotion on the internet. It's really quite amazing.

GG - Last but not least – On GoGirlsMusic…

Kirk: Playing the GoGirls festival in Austin this year was a great experience. Madalyn's done a great job at bringing together independent musicians in a new, original format.

Christy: We love GoGirls music. Madalyn Sklar is one of the coolest people we know. She is amazingly supportive and a great advocate of independent artists. She loves music, and she has made a career of supporting and promoting indie musicians.

Yvonne: I tell a lot of people about, and when I do I say this: Madalyn Sklar is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. She is pure spirit who just truly love music and musicians. She's a force really!. And only good things can come out of that. I can't say enough!

Danger Boy! This interview With Danger Boy–Sklar (?) took place in Sunny Mexico per Danger Boys demand…and though he doesn’t know it yet, his treat. He sips Margarita’s made of Melon Liquor and dark beer. ..and wants me to be hurt because Charo is waiting….but I don’t. I’ll keep the questions short…like him.

GG - Is that your real hair color?

Have you seen my hair lately? Its ratty, dirty and smells like beer. I don’t have time to dye my hair, I don’t even wash it. This is all natural, baby.

GG - Do you play an instrument?

I have mastered the kazoo. There our countries that I am not allowed to visit due to my overwhelming popularity as a master kazooist, for fear of rioting and anarchy. My kazoo playing has overthrown many third world governments and was single handedly responsible for the destruction of the Berlin wall. This is why I wear a mask. I now spend my time mentoring The Locals as a way of giving back to the people.

GG - What do you think of The Locals?

They Rock. They are the soundtrack to my life. They are also good in bed, I know as I have slept with all 3. While I won’t say who was the best, I will say Kirk does make the best breakfast afterwards.

GG - Have they done well for your career as a mascot? What's your compensation?

I'm the show, they are the mascots. I'm not sure why people have such a hard time understanding that.

GG - Chick or Metro magnet?

I don’t want to limit my appeal. Everyone is attracted to me. People want to be me or be with me. I'm kind of a big deal.

GG - Cover bands?

Have you seen the movie, Chasing Amy? Cover bands are tracers. I think people go to see cover bands because they want to hear music they know, music they already like, get drunk and sing along. They don’t want to experience anything new. I'm currently forming a cover band, but we are only going to play songs people hate, like "I'm too sexy" by Right Said Fred, "We built this city" by Starship and the entire recording collection of Michael Bolton.

GG - Height/weight? What do you drink?

7", 1.23 lbs and EVERYTHING

GG - If you had room for a tattoo…what would it be?

I have plenty of room for a tattoo. Most people don’t know this but my underwear is tattooed on. Underneath my tattooed underwear is the original GoGirls tattoo. I was the first!

GG - Do you have nightmares about hands? What is your worst experience with a Danger Boy fan? Best?

I have nightmares of being kidnapped and dragged to Indiana. For those who don’t know the story of my multiple kidnappings, you can check out the videos at
Crazy Locals fans kidnapped me, took me to Indiana, washed my hair, cleaned my cape and had their way with me. It was strange, yet sanitary?
Look at the pictures of me from The Locals shows and you will see why I keep coming back for more. I've been licked, kissed, eaten, felt up and the only band member lucky enough to be the "meat" in a boob sandwich.

GG- On GoGirlsMusic…

Did you hear that Madalyn Sklar and I are an item? The rumors have been circulating for months and I'm here to confirm those rumors. I've legally changed my name to Danger Boy - Sklar. You heard it here first.

Madalyn and Danger Boy

Check out The Locals at

Annette Warner is the Editor and the owner of A. Warner Entertainment, a Live Entertainment Publicity Planning Agency. Annette also runs, along with several other web resource sites for Indie Musicians. She can be reached at



    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

    Madalyn's Sites:
    * Social Networks for Musicians
    contact: madalynsklar(at)


    Get interviewed on this blog for just $50

    HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard

    Learn it all.

    HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard

    Check out my YouTube video:'s items Go to Madalyn's photostream


    Click here if you would like to post articles and information from this blog to your blog or web site.



Madalyn's Blog
P.O. Box 16940
Sugar Land, TX 77496-6940

Copyright © 2000-2009 Madalyn's Music Biz Blog. All rights reserved.

This blog is designed to provide reliable information regarding the subject matter covered.
The authors disclaim any liability that incurs from the use of any information contained in this blog.