Hey where should I send my band's rekkid?

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Are you DC-based? If you're talking press, I'd start by going for write-ups in papers in areas where you play regularly. Even better if you can do it in advance of a specific show (I'd guess you want to give them at least a few weeks before the show date.) It's generally easier to get a preview-blurb than it is an actually album write-up. Absolutely include good press in your press-pack, especially if it's from the same market as the paper you're sending to - papers are competitive and want to be up on everything their rivals are up on. Alt-weeklies are good. Go straight to the listings/AE sections and don't worry too much about getting album reviews yet - it's still pretty tough to get anything self-released reviewed unless there's some serious buzz.

CD Baby is a good idea until you land distribution/label/whatever - I believe they set you up with iTunes and some internet radio as well.

Otherwise, I dunno, if there's a blog or zine you like, send away. Same for college radio stations. Obviously check out their websites first, see what kind of music they play. See if there's a dj or staffer who would especially dig you. Again, stick to areas you're likely to play in to begin with - if you're an east coast band, a couple of plays on a west coast station are almost worthless if you're not coming out there anytime soon.

Shadowcat (A-Ron Hubbard), Thursday, 15 February 2007 04:58 (fifteen years ago) link

In the episode "Further Instructions," Desmond finds himself naked and disoriented in the jungle a day after using the fail-safe mechanism.

dude kinda sounds like a bro

ZR (teenagequiet), Thursday, 15 February 2007 15:33 (fifteen years ago) link

I thought that CDbaby was the one where you sent them small amounts of finished product and they just brokered it for you and sent you a healthy cut.

Yeah, CDBaby is a distributor - you send them CDs (small or large amounts) and they sell them all over the world for you via their online store. Now, whether or not they give you a "healthy cut" depends on how expensive your CD is, which is a bummer. Rather than give you a percentage, which would seem to make the most sense, they simply take $4 from every sale (which doesn't include shipping - so if your CD is $8, the buyer pays $10 total and you see $4), which I think is kind of lame.

What they are good for, though, is digital distribution. They'll get your stuff in the iTunes store and many other online distributors. In this case, you get 91% of everything you make. This is where I've made almost all of my money from CDBaby, and it's been trickling in pretty steadily. It's pretty cool when people in Australia or Japan or wherever are downloading your stuff - and you can tell because the sales reports are broken down by region. But it will take them many months to get your shit into the store after you send it to them.

That's just mean, nklshs. You know Swan Station doesn't take unsolicited demo's anymore. Just like Morr, and Carpark, and Chocolate Industry, and Mush, and Thrill Jockey, and Merge, and Drag City, and, and, and...

Merge Records does accept demos. So do Sub Pop and Jagjaguwar, off the top of my head.

steve schneeberg (steve go1dberg), Thursday, 15 February 2007 15:50 (fifteen years ago) link

From subpop.com:

What is your demo tape policy? - "Rad Dude"

If you?d like to send us a copy of your band?s demo, you can. We don?t listen to demos every day, but periodically we go through a bunch of them. Please don?t call or email to follow up?if we want to reach you, we will. It is extremely rare that a band gets signed on the strengths of a demo alone so our best advice to you is to keep playing out, build a fan base, tour, and get your name out there?these are the things that will bring label representatives to your shows and this is what will help you get a record deal. Good luck!

Which is pretty much going to hold true for any better-known indie label, though proportions will vary (i.e. it will take less buzz to get on a smaller indie label)

Shadowcat (A-Ron Hubbard), Thursday, 15 February 2007 16:23 (fifteen years ago) link

Right. The language of the other two I mentioned is a little more inviting, though:

Will you listen to my demo?

If you'd like to send us a demo, feel free to send it to:
Merge Records
PO Box 1235
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

We listen to everything people send us but we aren't able to give specific feedback to bands due to lack of time.


We do accept demos at the address above and we do listen to everything we receive.
Due to the amount of time and resources it demands, however, we are not able to respond to every submission personally.
Please include contact information on your demo and we will contact you if we are interested in what you've sent us.

I sent Merge something a year or so ago and I got a (generic) postcard back from them which said they got it and listened to it, which I thought was quite decent of them.

But there are of course many smaller labels you should try, too.

steve schneeberg (steve go1dberg), Thursday, 15 February 2007 16:28 (fifteen years ago) link

Sure, Merge can't hurt, I guess, but it's kind of a hail mary pass. They're not likely to just take a chance on some random bedroom-recording schmo even if his stuff is pretty good.

Jagjaguwar might be slightly more realistic but it's hardly an unknown label. The Sub-Pop thing is right - best to build your base/buzz and bring the labels to you.

Shadowcat (A-Ron Hubbard), Thursday, 15 February 2007 16:34 (fifteen years ago) link

Even if you land a deal on a small indie, they'll be more likely to actually promote your record and give you attention if you've built/are building some buzz on your own.

Shadowcat (A-Ron Hubbard), Thursday, 15 February 2007 16:35 (fifteen years ago) link

famed washington post reviewer mark jenkins says "clearly [my band] is not built for mass appeal" what the hell else kind of buzz would someone need?

ZR (teenagequiet), Thursday, 15 February 2007 16:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Colour me badd. I was being more facetious than serious, but it seems like most indie labels these days have that "closed" sign on their Interwebnet doors.

In order not to lead ZR astray, I went back and checked--Thrill Jockey and Drag City def do not accept demo's. Can't tell with Carpark and Mush, Chocolate Industries does take them. And I didn't get a chance to look long enough to see if Morr does--they have a weird website. Matador doesn't accept them, Mute does. And, uh, that's all I'm doing to atone.

Jubalique die Zitronen (juicefriend), Thursday, 15 February 2007 17:05 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah don't worry about it - we've got a list of places, just wondering if there were any y'all might know about that i hadn't considered. no big deal. hadn't realized that about cdbaby & itunes; that's definitely worth a shot.

ZR (teenagequiet), Thursday, 15 February 2007 17:56 (fifteen years ago) link

famed washington post reviewer mark jenkins says "clearly [my band] is not built for mass appeal" what the hell else kind of buzz would someone need?

I know you're being half-facetious, but one thing I've definitely learned is not to overestimate the power of a single review.

Shadowcat (A-Ron Hubbard), Friday, 16 February 2007 00:44 (fifteen years ago) link

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