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Why A False Victim Is A Controlling, Evil Person That Will Crush Your Dreams

False Victim Skeleton Cage Feature MEME

You have important choices early on in your career and in your life. You can choose to be responsible for the decisions you make (or don’t make) or you can choose to be the person who’s constantly blaming outside forces for their outcome. This is called a false victim.

False Victim Venting

 

I’m going to tell you a story about a false victim and, admittedly, I’m venting a bit. Follow me here because if you know me I’ll always bring it back around to YOU, the artist.

 

 

 

You may or may not know that I have a love affair with Great Danes. Scooter McGhee is my 3rd Dane. I rescued victim Scooter and Carihim from a Los Angeles pound. When I got Scooter he was full grown, the vet guesstimated about 2 ½ years old. He was emaciated at 106 lbs. (he was starved by his former owner) when his healthy weight is a rock solid 145 pounds.

 

Danes are easy and Scooter McGhee is no exception. He’s so “chill-to-the-next-episode,” man. Very mellow except for when he feels there’s injustice in the world (like when Cari and I fight or any random game of “chase-the-fastest-dog” at any given Dog Park) where he gets upset and tries to remedy the situation. No Joke.

 

Scooter is obedient. Often, during the summer he and Cari’s little dog, Zoe, will be chilling outside on the back Victim Scooter McGhee Chair Chillpatio soaking up the sun or hanging with us while we grill (I always have a marrow bone to throw on the grill so they can participate with us…don’t judge).

 

In past articles I’ve written about all the construction going on in our neighborhood. One of those brand new homes was built in a formerly empty lot right next door to Cari and me.

 

We were excited about the new neighbors because the husband was the father of one of Cari’s childhood friends. Cari has known this guy since she was 6 years old. She has always liked him, describing him as somewhat of a hippie, which is perfect for me.

 

Move in day arrived and Cari and I were out walking 3 miles as we try to do as often as possible. We came upon Victim Scooter Floorthe new neighbor and is wife and we stopped to say hello. We got to meet his new wife (not really “new” as he’s been married to this one for quite some time, but different than who he was married to when Cari was little, so new to her.) and had a nice little chat, welcoming them to the neighborhood.

 

4 days after they move in I get a visit from the country Sheriff.

 

 

I answer the door and the Sheriff asks, “Do y’all have a Great Dane here?” Of course, Scooter McGhee is at the door with me, so….False Victim Policewoman

 

I said, “Well yeah, here he is, meet Scooter McGhee.” Then Scooter proceed to push the door out of the way and stick his head in the Sheriff’s crotch which he always does in an attempt to get a good ear scratching (one of his favorite pleasures in life…literally toe curling for him), he doesn’t discriminate.

 

The Sheriff laughed after I explained what he was up to and told me she knew they were gentle giants, however, one of our neighbors had visited the Sheriff’s department and told them that Scooter McGhee was jumping up on people, knocking people over, and there was a leash law, so he couldn’t be outside without a leash. She knew that Scooter really wasn’t aggressive but explained she had to respond to the complaint.

 

I now have to walk Scooter and Zoe every time they go outside to obey the law. So much freakin’ easier to let them outside in the morning to pee without a leash, but I digress, the law is the law.

 

False Victim Scales Of Justice

We were in the wrong.

 

Cari and I were a little embarrassed about the Sheriff’s visit. Also a little hostile. Who would’ve done this? Scooter doesn’t wander away from the house at all, so we figured it was the neighbor on the other side of us who is nice enough but terrified of Scooter. Mostly because he’s big and black.

 

It’s a black thing, I guess.

 

I erroneously thought (keep in mind my type A personality, now) that as long as Scooter McGhee wasn’t bugging anyone and he was on our property that all would be good. I mean who would be offended by a dog minding its own business in its own yard, right?

 

I thought wrong. The law is the law.

 

False Victim Screaming 2

 

Fast forward to a few days after my visit from the Sheriff and Cari’s oldest daughter Maggie (she’s 12) comes into the house and says the new neighbor lady was screaming at her, “CONTROL YOUR DOG!!!” “YOU HAVE TO CONTROL YOUR DOG ON A LEASH!!!” Maggie also reported to us that there was a younger lady with little kids (elementary school age) screaming as well. She was shouting at her kids telling them to get inside as if Scooter was a 900 lb. Bengal Tiger on the loose.

 

False Victim Tiger

Keep in mind there hasn’t been any kind of an incident here. Scooter has never attacked anyone and didn’t attack our neighbor. Scooter wasn’t in their yard, he was in ours.

 

 

 

 

Scooter was outside without a leash. Both of Cari’s girls had friends over and they were all playing outside. False Victim Attacking DogsScooter was meandering around our yard hanging with the girls when Maggie was getting skewered by the neighbor. So he wasn’t doing anything that could be misconstrued as aggressive other than being outside without a leash.

 

Which is against the law.

 

False Victim the Law

Now, after the neighbor lady and her daughter chastised the 12 year old, we have to walk over and get to the bottom of this. Cari is dumbfounded that our new neighbor, whom she’s known for 33 years didn’t bother to talk to us about whatever problem they were having. They went guns hot and called the Sheriff.

 

Again, no incidents have occurred, OK?

 

We walk over to speak with the lady who answers the door. I think Cari started off the conversation by apologizing that we hadn’t had Scooter on a leash, which is against the law, and then inquired as to what exactlyFalse Victim Panic Jumper happened that would require her to feel she needed to scream at Maggie. Cari added, “It’s clear that you were the one who called the Sheriff now.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The neighbor lady then admitted she had her husband go down to the Sheriff to handle this situation. She proceeded to tell us something like, “I’m sorry, I have panic attacks after my brain surgery (TMI) and I’m terrified of dogs because my husband was attacked by one awhile back.” (He’s nowhere to be found by the way, possibly avoiding any confrontation, letting his wife clean up the mess she’s created, or both). She proceeded to inform us, “There is a leash law you know, and I’m sure your False Victim Don't Panic 2dog is a good dog but animals are animals and they’re unpredictable. You never know what’s going to happen. We have grandchildren and we’re concerned about their safety.”

 

You can’t imagine what’s going through my head right now.

 

She goes on to say, “I’m mostly afraid that our dog (WTF!?!?), who is aggressive because he isn’t fixed, will start a fight with your dog and your dog will win.”False Victim Finger

 

You know that look that a dog gives you when you ask it a question, the one with the tilted head? That’s me now.

 

 

I will honestly tell you that we didn’t go over there to argue the leash law. We were humble, apologetic, empathetic, and False Victim Tilted Dog Headinquisitive to their situation. The law is the law and she has every right to feel safe in her new home. We were just wondering why, when there were 1,000 ways to handle this situation, they went straight for the jugular and called the Sheriff. Especially since there was no incident to speak of.

 

She apologized for calling the cops and told us she was afraid to come over because Scooter might bark and come to the door (which might set off a panic attack). Feeling guilty for behaving like a douchebag and in desperate need of a spontaneous justification (for her own sake), she went on to inform us that she had talked to “every one of the neighbors” as she moved her pointer finger up and down both sides of the street in the entire neighborhood. She said they “all” told her that Scooter was bad and they had problems with him. (None of the neighbors have ever met Scooter).

 

I looked at her directly in utter disbelief. Not dumbfounded disbelief, I just didn’t believe someone who was THIS deeply mortified of dogs, who believes all animals are unpredictable, who just informed us she was afraid to come to our door because our dog might bark and set off a panic attack, had in 4 days-time managed to move in, temporarily overcome her deepest fears in an attempt to discuss Scooter McGhee a dog she hasn’t met, with a dozen or so neighbors she hasn’t met, who also mostly own dogs she has never met. The math just isn’t adding up.False Victim Peeing in my Cheerios

 

At this time, I am fully aware she is pissing in my Cheerios and she’s trying to convince me (and herself) that it’s milk.

 

There was a long, pregnant uncomfortable silence, which looked like Cari and I with our jaws open wide, blinking our eyes like Ren & Stimpy, that was broken by her refining her story admitting now that she just talked to 2 neighbors. Both of whom have dogs that could be unpredictable and both of whom she’d never met before.

 

So she was lying and/or exaggerating in an attempt to justify her crappy behavior.

 

False Victim Panic Peeper

I then informed her that she actually used good judgement here because just like her dog, that’s EXACTLY what Scooter does whenever anyone comes to the door. He barks; so crisis and possible panic attack avoided.

 

They could’ve left a note in our mailbox. They could’ve called his daughter to get Cari’s phone number and texted or called to inform us of her mental issue, they could’ve informed us on our talk when we welcomed them to the neighborhood.  They could’ve sent a letter, sent up smoke signals, had his daughter (Cari’s childhood friend) call us and explain, etc.

 

At this moment, our new neighbor’s daughter (her daughter, not Cari’s friend) comes to the door with a snotty, mean, and VERY aggressive attitude. She introduces herself with her little head tilted sideways and says, “LOOK THERE IS A LEASH LAW AND THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO IT! SO JUST PUT YOUR DOG ON A LEASH”

False Victim Screaming

 

Her mother, now clearly embarrassed tells her daughter that everything is fine and we weren’t there to attack her mom in anyway.

 

 

Cari almost lost it. They didn’t have the maturity to reach out to us and inform us of her admitted “mental instability” (her words), but they certainly had the balls to scream at a 12 year-old. I’d call that move cowardly.

 

Keep in mind had my big black Great Dane actually knocked anyone over, jumped up on anyone, attacked anyone, or been off its own property in any way I would understand the heavy response completely.

False Victim Screaming 3

Scooter never left our yard in both of these occasions. He was, however, without a leash.

 

Here’s the takeaway.

 

Our new neighbor is a false victim.

 

She’s right about the leash law, but that aside, if she was really THAT terrified of animals being spontaneously aggressive, how can she own one? Especially one she admits is aggressive because they’ve chosen not to fix him. She’s full of crap.

 

There are 3 kinds of victims.

False Victim Leash

 

A real victim is defined as someone who has absolutely no control over their situation. The Syrian people, for instance, are completely screwed at this moment in history. If they leave they’re dead by their own government. These are REAL victims. Forced beyond their control to endure a life of oppression put forth by their government, or die.

 

That said, I once did a mortgage for a guy from Eastern Europe (I forget the country, sorry) who was in the same situation and escaped his country in a shipping crate where he was a stowaway for a month with a sleeve of crackers and 1 bottled water to survive. For a month! He risked his life to leave his oppression. He was discovered at sea but luckily they didn’t kill him (which is the common remedy in a stowaway situation). Now he has a better life in Los Angeles. He wanted change and got it. The possible consequences were worth the effort to leave, but again, I digress.

 

False Victim Panic Eyes

 

The 2nd kind of victim are people who were victimized. Anyone who has incurred some kind of unwanted horrible mental or physical attack is a victim. Rape victims, sexual abuse victims, domestic violence victims, car accident victims, robbery victims, random accident victims, Cancer victims, etc.

 

 

These people were victimized, it’s horrible to think about. They definitely become damaged, broken, often times somewhat dysfunctional in their life if they choose to give up.

 

It completely sucks for a human being to be upended by such a tragedy for obvious reasons, but now, if they want to heal, if they want to recover mentally, they have a lot of work to do. A lot of work that they didn’t have to do yesterday.

False Victim Snake Mouse

 

Get it?

 

EXTREME INCONVENIENCE.

 

If and how they get back on their horse will determine the quality of their life moving forward. The power to recover and deal with the new demons that were horribly bestowed upon them is in their control; albeit unfair that they have to deal with them at all.

 

False Victim Devil Face

The 3rd kind of victim is a false victim. That’s our neighbor.

 

That’s also a lot of artists which is why I’m writing this.

 

Now don’t spin out here. I’m not saying she’s a horrible person for hating my dog. She has every right and I fully understand that.

 

But I don’t believe she was trying to protect herself from the dog at all; this was not her agenda.

 

False Victim Blindfolded Panda bear

 

If I suffered from severe panic attacks brought on by unfamiliar dogs and my agenda was to prevent said panic attacks, I might’ve checked the neighborhood to see if there were any scary dogs before I moved in, maybe made may choice of homes that way. I could’ve built a fence around my new property to guarantee that no random animals of any kind would get near me and trigger a bad day.

 

 

She is a false victim.

 

This is her control racket.

 

False Victim Marionette

Photo Credit: Darek Morys https://stock.tookapic.com/photos/8856

 

 

She uses these panic attacks to control those around her including people like Cari and I whom she doesn’t know. This is easier for her than actually communicating like a functional human being.

 

 

 

She clearly wanted Cari and me to excuse her overly aggressive misconduct because she deemed herself a victim with a mental instability. We’re supposed to be compassionate in response to her harsh antagonism because she told us she has a mental issues. She gets to do what she wants because she has panic attacks.

 

It’s very clear from our one conversation that she has her family playing into her drama.

 

False Victim Marionette 2

 

In spite of his prior relationship with my girlfriend the husband went to the Sheriff’s office to report Scooter being off the leash (and lied about aggressive behavior to make it more dramatic even though the off-leash issue was all that was needed to get the response they wanted, FYI).

 

The daughter with her hostile protective tone (You would’ve thought the mother had actually been attacked by my dog) telling us the law is the law. She was in “protect my poor mama” mode.

 

Which is exactly the way mama likes it.

 

Most artists behave like a false victim when it comes to becoming a student of the game in this crazy music business.

False Victim Political Cartoon Photo Rod Waddington

Photo Credit: Rod Waddington

 

It happens with indie artists as well as it happens with major label artists.

 

The result is always the same, the artist gets screwed; with the artist’s permission.

 

Yes, that’s right, if you choose not to learn,  if you choose not to “trust but verify”, then you are allowing yourself to get screwed over. You’re choosing to be a false victim because you can control this dynamic if you want.

 

The artists who truly stand the test of time understand the game from all sides. They’re incredible creatively and they are experts at the business and marketing end as well.

 

False Victim Platinum Record

I know a former major label artist (8 million records sold) who is an amazing creative talent. This artist hates the business end and doesn’t participate in that space whatsoever. Never has.

 

This artist seems happy to me but the quality of life is far less than what it could be if they’d get to know the business. This artist has throngs of stories about being screwed in the Industry (like never making a dime off of 8 million units because the label never “recouped”). This artist (whom I adore by the way) will make a living singing until their last day, I promise you, but has maneuvered into yet another slave like business situation (post major label days) with a management company that really doesn’t know what they’re doing (not music business people). This artist gets a regular salary the management does and makes what they want off the artist’s talent and million dollar brand name.

 

Conversely, I know another post-major-label-artist who excels and enjoys the business just as much as being a False Victim Slave Marketcreative. It’s probably no surprise that this artist sold 13 million units for the major label. Post major label deal, this artist has formed their own record label and is definitely in charge of their own destiny as a result of learning the business side.

 

Y’all think life will be great once you get your deal.

 

You’re wrong.

 

It’s a cop out mentality that allows you to avoid extra, unwanted, inconvenient work.

 

This mentality is always followed by horrible stories of deception and oppression from outside forces that stand in the way of real happiness and success.

 

False Victim Blindfolded Man Feature

 

As if a blindfolded person accused another person of deception because they moved something and the person who chooses to be blindfolded didn’t see it.

 

 

If you don’t want to open your eyes, you’ll always feel deceived. Even from people who aren’t trying to betray you.

 

You have to watch every penny because even though the label is fronting the money, it’s YOUR MONEY.

 

False Victim Barbara Strauss

Here’s a great example. When I was an artist we were managed by Barbara Strauss. Barbara is a straight up genius with bigger balls than any man I know. Barbara also managed Schascle Yochim (pronounced Cha-sell Yo-kum), AKA “Twinkle” as she’s known in Sarasota, FL.

 

 

 

Back in the early 90’s Twinkle got the biggest record deal ever given to an unsigned, unknown artist from Warner Bros. Her voice is like listening to an angel sing, man. In my opinion she blows away Whitney, Mariah, you name it.False Victim Haunted by Real Life

 

 

 

 

 

She’s so good she received a personal phone call from Quincy Jones who invited her to the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. (This is a big freakin’ deal). The travel department of the label booked them 2 first class tickets to Switzerland at a cost of $3,000 for each ticket. Barbara thought enough to call her local small town travel agent in Sarasota, FL to compare prices. Local travel agent said 2 first class tickets to Switzerland would run them $1,500 each. Wow. Big difference.

 

False Victim Ticket ComparisonSee my point?

 

If you’re not watching every aspect of your business, whether you’re independent or on a major label, you’ll never recoup.

 

If you want to be an important artist, then people will have to be exposed to your art in order to be moved by it.

 

This means you better understand marketing.

 

Which means you’re going to have to do more work.

 

False Victim More Work

 

Otherwise you could be a false victim and say you don’t or you can’t and that’s the reason you’re not making a living doing what you love. It’s not your fault, right? If someone else (or lack of someone else) is to blame for your absence of momentum, the pressure is off you.

 

 

How in the hell did Bon Jovi stay relevant beyond the demise of the hair band genre?

 

Because besides being a prolific songwriter and artist, Jon is a badass business man as well. Make no mistake about it.

 

False Victim Jon Bon JoviThink what you want about the art and the artist, but he learned how create great music, and he learned how to sell it to an audience.

 

He chooses to survive.

 

You might argue that there were better artists from that era and you might be right.

 

If you are right, the difference lies in Jon’s business acumen.

 

It’s your job as an artist NOT to be false victim. In fact, I can honestly say that if you continue to be a false victim, you’ll never make a living as an artist. Your future will be one of quiet desperation, bitterness, excuses, and coping with the deep sadness that accompanies a life lived absent the rewards it should receive from the gift God gave you.

 

False Victim Broke Rock Star

 

Maybe you were abused, in an accident, tortured, mentally beat up, physically beat up, or attacked by Bernie thugs at a Trump rally. Whatever the case, you now have more work to do today than you did before you were attacked if you’re to survive and get back to the quality of life you had prior to the attack.

 

You have to deal with it, move on, and live your life because if you don’t…you still have to live your life.

 

So if you’re just coming to the realization that you’re going to have to do more than just be a great artist to make a living at it, then you’re kind of in the same situation, aren’t you?

 

You’re in the same situation as the victims because you just discovered that you now have more work to do today (if you want to make a living as an artist) than you did before the realization.

 

False Victim Blindfold 2Or you can choose to be a false victim ignore the work and blame the world for your inability to make a living doing what you were born to do.

 

Don’t be like my douchebag neighbor living a sad, somewhat pathetic life where the script reads, “Here’s why I get to misbehave and be an asshole and its OK because…”

 

It’s not OK.

 

Whether you have a good excuse for not making a living as an artist or you don’t, the outcome is still the same.

 

You’re not making a living as an artist.

 

The world needs good music. It always has.

 

It sickens and saddens me to watch it dry up because artists don’t want to do the extra work.

False Victim Blindfolded Girl2

 

 

Now there is more work than before, but now you don’t need to wait for anyone to get your music out there.

 

You have to budget for and learn how to market effectively. This is the only way to get your music out there man.

 

Artists who don’t want to excel creatively, work creatively, learn marketing, and excel at marketing are false victims.

 

It’s a lie.

 

A lie perpetuated by the stories you tell yourself about the way you think the music industry used to be.

 

Stop it.

 

Your music is important.

False Victim Scooter NO

 

But it’s only important if someone gets to hear it.

 

Don’t be a false victim. Scooter says, “This is NO”.

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

 

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What Happened To Your Intention? How To Craft Professional Success

Intention Feature Meme

The road to hell is paved with good intention.Intention Road To Hell

 

I would imagine one version of hell would be described as a blissfully unaware artist who is forever trying to grab the brass ring but is nowhere ever near it. The hell would be the dumbfounded frustration that the artist feels because they believe they are doing it  right and can’t imagine why the world won’t catch on. This is preventable with intention.

 

Let me clarify, good intentions are different from your intent to succeed, which is vastly different than working intentionally.

 

Intention Working IntentionallyThink about that.

 

I came up with this as I walked the dogs this morning. There are 3 brand new homes going up in our neighborhood. Two other new homes have just been completed for a total of five new houses being added in the last 6 or so months.

 

I was thinking how smooth the process runs on every level of construction, then staging, then sales.

 

 

Every different subcontractor knows their job description perfectly. They each know their lane and are supposed experts in that lane. The Electricians aren’t trying to be plumbers. The Plumbers aren’t trying to frame doors, and the door framers aren’t trying to pour concrete.

Intention Collage Contruction Process

 

They are all very intentional in their actions. They are all aware of the rules, what has to happen for their craft work to be considered “up to code”, and where they can get away with cutting corners.

 

They are masters of their game.

 

This is the definition of working with intention.

 

Imagine a foreman at a construction site who naively or arrogantly believes that he can do it all. He believes because he has a cement mixer that means he knows how to pour the footers. Of course he CAN pour whatever he wants if he has the equipment but if he’s not an expert at that, the house will be ruined.

 

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

 

Imagine if the foreman, who’s excuse was that he didn’t have enough money to build a proper home, called his step-brothers’ first cousin’s, great aunt who had a neighbor that took an electricity class once back in the 70’s to handle the structural electrical wiring.

Would it work?Intention Monkey Electrical Meme

Would it be up to code?

Would it compete?

Here’s a more important question, would you buy that house?

 

So many artists whose intent is to be a professional artist, are not aware of all the different lanes of creativity that require excellence if the end product is to seriously compete in the marketplace.

 

To think and therefore act like a professional artist, you need to be acutely aware of what you’re good at and where you need assistance.

 

You have to be educated and intentional.

 

Intention Einstein Genius quote

 

Why do so many artists feel compelled to do it all? I can really only think of a few people who are that remarkably gifted. The rest of us need a team and the genius comes in the realization that you need a team (which puts you ahead of all the ignorant do-it-yourself-ers) and who you end up picking.

 

 

Farting around in your home studio working on demos and playing with arrangements to hone your craft is one thing. Putting the recordings out for the world to hear and expecting or hoping it will compete is another.

 

Masterful songs, masterful performances, and masterful records do NOT happen by accident (which is what some of you think is the definition for “organic”).

 

Money is not your problem.

 

Some of you are so dead broke you can’t eat and if you worked smarter, you could up your bank account enough to satisfy your basic needs. MOST of you, however, spend your discretionary income in the wrong places and you are the source of your artistic frustration. (I say it all the time but why not double down on yourself and purchase more books about the new music business, social media, marketing, etc.?)

Intention Studio Team Strengths

 

If you don’t believe in yourself enough to invest it all, then you don’t. Why should anyone else?

 

You need to work intentionally first on defining your audience and looking for a vacuum in the market place. What will your lane be exactly?

 

For instance, a few years ago I worked with an amazing Canadian artist, singer/songwriter named Tanya Marie Harris. At the time she came into my awareness the “angry ex-girlfriend” songs from Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert were getting major spins. The whole “party girl” Gretchen Wilson era was just starting to settle down but still very prominent on country radio. All three of these major label artists are quite amazing and it’s no surprise that they became so popular for these songs.

 

I STILL love “I’m Here for the Party”, “Before He Cheats”, and “Gunpowder and Lead” because these are KILLER songs, I don’t care who you are.

 

Intention Tanya Marie Harris

Tanya loved these as well.  When we began choosing songs she was understandably leaning towards songs like these; it’s what was on the radio. She brought me a drinking party song called “3 Shot Max” which was totally badass. I remember loving it.

 

 

Here’s where the intention comes in.

 

You see Tanya was happily married with an 18 month old beautiful baby girl. This fact begged the question, “Are you a party girl or angry ex? Is that the image you want to sell?”

 

Tanya, like me and the rest of the country music world was seriously enjoying these songs but that didn’t mean it was the right “lane” for her. Right then and there she had an epiphany. She was like, “Oh my God, NO, Johnny! I never thought about it like that.”

 

My intention as a producer was to ensure that whatever art we put out with Tanya was going to be authentic to her and not contrived.

Intention_A_Woman_Scorned

 

Once we crafted this understanding, we made a song choice using one of Brent Baxter’s co-writes called “A Woman Scorned” which scratched my artist’s “powerful woman” itch but cleverly told the story from a third person point of view; as if you watching a movie. This worked for her brand because she was essentially describing the situation, not living it.

 

I also talked Tanya in coming into town 1 day early and set her up with two co-writes telling the writers, “I’m cutting 2 songs tomorrow morning. I have the songs. If you beat one of em today on this write, we’ll cut yours.”

 

Intention Secondhand_Dreams

Tanya and David Norris did exactly that and wrote “Secondhand Dreams” about their fathers (the video currently has 1.8 million views).

 

AUTHENTIC as you can get man. Both these songs got decent radio play in Canada. They were real and competitive.

 

You have to be intentional about creating an amazing song. The blueprint has to be great or the team won’t matter. Sure they’ll be good at putting lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig and it won’t compete.

Intention Lipstick on a Pig

 

Then you need to be deliberate about the recording. Who’s playing the performances, who’s engineering, producing, mixing, etc.?

 

Being resourceful to save money is great as long as it works.

However, when the project suffers, you’ve wasted your money and your time.

 

If it doesn’t compete, then you’ve still spent money but you have nothing that is going to advance your artist brand and career.

 

If you don’t know the difference, you’re in trouble.

 

You have an experiment that while cathartic and healthy for your artistry, is detrimental to your brand and career. This is no good.

 

Intention Uninhabitable

That foreman has to sell that house to make a living. It has to be deemed inhabitable in order to sell it.

 

 

“Inhabitable” is not a subjective term. The city codes will decide what is inhabitable and what is uninhabitable.

 

Too many of you confuse your art and the reality of the business.

 

Art is subjective but it is also objective because it needs to be well done. You can subjectively loathe Brittany Intention William HungSpears but you can’t argue the fact that her records are well done creatively as well as in the marketing space. On the contrary, you can be as nice as you want but there is no subjective soul that actually liked William Hung’s horrible American Idol audition of “She Bangs”. He was a novelty because it was SO horrible which made for good TV.

 

 

 

How do you want to be perceived? Do you want your music to matter to consumers or do you want to be a cocktail party joke?

 

 

Intention Laughing Cocktail Party Joke

Consider this:  If you did not work with intention at your day gig, you wouldn’t be surprised or hurt after being fired.

 

If you weren’t educated on the process necessary for success your employer would either expect you to learn quickly (depending on the gig) or you’d be terminated.

 

 

 

Why then do you proceed, willy-nilly, often like a blissfully ignorant bull in a china shop, with your artist career, working without a plan, without education on the process, without intention, and become artistically mortified that the world doesn’t care about your art?

 

How much time have you wasted?

 

Yes, in an employment scenario you can quickly get on the job training, however if you don’t have access to on the job training for all the facets of your artist career how will you learn? How can you get access?

Intention Crazy Houses

Photo Credit: takmemarehasti.blogfa.com/

 

Imagine the construction subcontractors tried to succeed at their gigs in the same manner most artists try to succeed in theirs; osmosis or divine intervention. I’m just going to keep doing this until I get better but with zero training on plumbing, electrical, how to frame a door, how to pour concrete, etc.

 

Imagine if the subcontractors were still building homes like wannabe artists are posting their demos.

 

Subcontractors are required to LEARN the appropriate methodologies before their allowed to get a freakin’ license.

 

Sometimes I feel like Pro-Tools licenses should be given out with the same requirements.

 

This is what I want you to think about.

 

Artist development is intentional.

 

Intention Crazy Houses

The Beatles were intentional artistically and in the marketplace. They spent thousands of hours in Hamburg performing 8 hour gigs and writing. John Lennon once stated that the first 50-100 songs they wrote were complete crap.

 

They were calculated in their artistic goals to become better writers. They were NOT naïve trying to record and release the first song they wrote out of artistic pride.

 

Once the Beatles got their act together, their wholesome image was painstakingly calculated. Then the market and charts were manipulated to expose them to as much as possible to get people talking. They were good now, they learned. It was time for them to be seen.

 

The Stones were intentional artistically and in the marketplace. Their first 2 records were all blues covers. Their Intention the Rolling Stonesimage was purposefully crafted as the “anti-Beatles”. The Stones image was always constructed to be “dirty” and “dangerous” to separate them from the Beatles in the marketplace ON PURPOSE.

 

None of this happened by accident and neither will your career.

 

It’s not productive, and frankly it’s not OK that you approach your artist career with a serious lack of marketing and recording education floating on top of a truckload of childlike naiveté about how the business works.

 

If you want to succeed, you’re going to have to STEP UP.

 

Intention Chess Feature

 

Whatever you’re doing it isn’t enough.

 

Who can you learn from?

 

 

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

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Why You Need To Make Time For Marketing Your Music

Make Time Feature Meme

Head check time. Take a deep breath.

 Make Time Head CheckI ask the same question of all incoming Daredevil Insiders, “What are you most frustrated with?”

 

Make Time Henry Rollins Quote

 

Most common answer:  “Marketing my music and social media”.

What’s the #1 reason most artists say they are not up to speed on marketing?

 

Most common answer:  They don’t have time.

There is no such thing as spare time.

There is no such thing as free time

There is no such thing as down time.

You only have life time.

                                -Henry Rollins

 

Ponder that one for second.

 

I.

Don’t.

Have.

Time.

 

Make Time You First Baby MEME

I believe in my heart that most of you are not delusional, at least I want to anyway. You are WELL aware that your music will not find an audience by itself, simply through social sharing. If that was the case record labels wouldn’t need marketing departments (yeah, let that one simmer a bit).

 

No, your music will have to be exposed to an audience that is inclined to like it. That audience will have to get to know you and be subsequently persuaded to believe you are worth a damn before they’ll line up behind you and support you.

 

Then you’ll have to further influence them to buy your music.

 

In order to do that, they will have to like YOU first before they open their hearts, heads, and eventually their wallets.

 

Some of this targeted audience will like you.

 

Some won’t.

 

This, you should expect.Make Time Target Connect MEME

 

Here’s the recipe: Target, connect, engage, expose, REPEAT.

 

This is how you build relationships on social media.

 

You have to find strangers that are inclined to liking your music, turn those strangers into friends, and then turn those friends into customers.

 

I’ve got news for you, this is going to take some time.

 

More time than it took you to write, rehearse, and record your songs.

 

Make Time End of your Rope

Are you at the end of your rope?

 

Are you super frustrated because you’re not finding and growing your audience like you want to?

 

Are you broke?

 

Are you panicked?

 

Are you experiencing doubt about your art?

 

“I don’t have time”.Make Time Mr. Hand

 

Let’s dissect that statement for a second. (Why do I feel like Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High right now?)

 

 

Imagine you’re driving along a country road during a super harsh snow storm. The kind of snow that’s heavy Make Time Jeep Snow PICTURE LIGHTSbecause it’s wet and requires your wipers to be on. You come up on a brand new vehicle stranded on the side of the road, hazard lights flashing. As you approach, through the whiteout conditions you see the driver alongside a black 4×4 Jeep.

 

You think to yourself, “How can this dude be stuck when he has the ultimate all-terrain vehicle? He’s clearly not down in a ditch or marooned in a snow bank of any kind.”

 

You see the driver wearing a brownish-orange ski jacket, green hat, off brand snow boots, and he is clearly hostile. He is CURSING the vehicle!

He’s red faced and screaming, “You #$%&#@ piece of crap!” while kicking his own truck.Make Time Red Jacket Snowfall

 

Wow, you’re a little scared to get out of your car at this point because he’s so irate, but your compassion wins and you decide you’re going to try to help him.

 

You open your door and walk over to the driver and ask, “What’s going on, can I help you?”

 

The driver is clearly aggravated, but sensing your genuine concern, he warms up a little bit.

 

Make Time Yelling 1

“This stupid truck won’t work, IT WON’T WORK! I’ve tried everything. I think the dealership guys are a bunch of crooks! They never wanted to give me a truck that was actually functional. Can you BELIEVE THAT? It’s a conspiracy! How can I possibly get to work without this truck? How the hell do they expect me to pay the note when I can’t get to work BECAUSE THEY SOLD ME A LEMON?!?!”

 

Whoa, this guy got screwed!” reverberates in your head.

 

You ask, “Hey man that looks like a nice SUV. What do you think is wrong with it?”

 

He hastily retorts, “They screwed me, happens every time! I’m always trying to get ahead and then they screw me!”

 

You can see on his face that he means it. He really feels this. Empathy surfaces.Make Time Yelling 2

 

 

 

Now you just want to hug him and tell him everything is going to be ok if you’re a girl, and if you’re another guy, you want to help him fix the problem, because that’s what we do.

 

So you begin to ask more questions.

 

“What happened EXACTLY? Did you hear a noise? A thump? Have you had problems before? Did you hit something?”

Make Time Hug

“NO!” He yells, “I JUST BOUGHT THE DAMN THING TODAY!” Then his aggressive tone mellows to a defeated kind of submissive whine like an 8 year old who has finally come to terms with the fact that she has to clean her room, or else. “Maybe I didn’t get a good enough truck. Maybe I should have paid more for the better one. It’s so hard, ya know? The world doesn’t like me. I’m thinking I’m not really supposed to own this truck and this is a sign. I really wanted this Jeep, but I’m just going to go back to driving a crusty, rusted out shit box because that’s all I deserve.”

 

You think to yourself, “Oh my goodness, this poor soul

 

You proclaim, “I’m going to help you!” You hear yourself spout out a little white lie, “I know a little about trucks ya know! Lemme look under the hood.”Make Time Engine

 

You pop the hood and this engine is in showroom condition. He really did just buy this truck today! You check whatever the hell every rookie checks when they are looking for an obvious answer with the engine problem, but come up with nothing.

 

Then you ask, “Is it turning over?”

 

At this point the poor, beaten-down driver musters a feeble tone, “Yes, but it won’t start.”

 

Make Time Car Battery

So it’s not the battery” you surmise silently, which you then satisfactorily qualify remembering the pristine, showroom terminal connections when you examined the engine.

 

You decide to experience the starting issue first hand and after gaining permission, you jump in the driver’s seat and turn the key.

 

Turns over perfectly, but just as your distressed motorist described, she won’t fire up.

 

Then you begin to glance at the gauges.

 

Electrical: CHECK!Make Time EMPTY

 

Oil Pressure: CHECK!

 

Engine Temperature: CHECK!

 

Fuel: EMPTY!

 

Wait, what?

 

You double check by turning the key on again to ensure the gauge needle doesn’t drop to EMPTY when the key is off but it stays at EMPTY.

 

Time What

“Excuse me, buddy, but it looks like you’re out of gas.” You thought to yourself “Wow, it can’t be this easy and why doesn’t this guy know this?

 

He looks at you, dumbfounded, and queries, “What do you mean?”

 

“Yeah, you’re out of gas, brother. I don’t know whether you’ve had a long trip after driving it off the lot or if they just didn’t have that much gas in the tank when you bought it, but you just need to put some fuel in there and she’ll purr like a kitten! Why didn’t you bother to check the fuel level before you started driving in this mess tonight?”

 

“I don’t have time,” he proclaimed. “I have a job, 2 kids, medical bills and my mother in law lives with us who I have to take care of. I’m also an artist, so I have band practice, I write, sometimes I record, and we’re always gigging, AND I have health problems.”Make Time Dog Head

 

Your head turns sideways like a dog when you make a funny noise. “Ruh?”

 

“I’m serious,” he says, “I just don’t have any time.”

 

“Hey man, if you don’t put gas in this vehicle it’s never going to go anywhere, you get that, right?”

Make Time Don't Have Time

 

“Yeah, I know, I just don’t have time”.

 

“OK, I get you’re stressed but it really doesn’t matter. No gas no go. There’s nothing wrong with this truck, it’s not working because you haven’t put gas in it; simple as that. You’re going to have to make time to fuel this beast or suffer the consequences.”

 

He looks down at his feet, now covered in 1/2 inch of snow and kicks a bunch into the wind. “If I could only just meet the right person, someone who could change my situation, I would be in a much better place. I’m totally due, I’m a really good artist, I’m sure it’ll happen, I believe in myself.”Make Time Complain

 

You blink your eyes. “Um, dude…you need gas.”

 

“I need a record deal, or a manager, or a booking agent, THEN I won’t have to worry about gas, this thing will run like a champ!”

 

“WTF” you softly whisper to yourself. “Hey man, I’m not trying to disrespect you, but you are going to have to find the time to put gas in your truck on a consistent basis or it isn’t going to work at all, that’s like a freakin’ law of physics or something.”

 

Make Time Physics

 

Now the conversation and the issue at hand skews to the outer limits of reality as he replies, “Well, the Shell station is having a contest, they’re giving away a year’s worth of gas and I’m pretty confident I can CRUSH that and win!”

 

[Queue The Twilight Zone music: do do do do do do do do]

 

“I hope you win that, I really do, but you’re still going to need to make time to put the free gas in your truck,” you state terrified of the coming response and how much more unreal this conversation could get.Make Time Shell Station

 

“Not if I have a record deal or a manager, or someone who believes in me! I’m awesome, you don’t understand, everybody loves my music.”

 

“OK, God bless. Can I give you a lift to gas station so you can get gas before the snow gets out of hand tonight?”

 

“Naw, I’m good. I’m just about to win that contest and get a deal, all my problems are just about to be over, thanks anyway, I’m going to wait here until some big industry executive stops and discovers me. I have my guitar in the Make Time All Righty Thenback; that should be enough to convince him. A good song always wins, right?”

 

Aaaaaaaaallllllllll RIGHTY THEN

 

And you drive off.

 

Of course, you never heard from him again.

 

Because he didn’t have time.Make Time Time Clock Swirl

 

Get it?

 

Don’t be this tool.

 

If you’re frustrated, it’s because things aren’t working properly.

 

If things aren’t working properly it’s because you don’t know what you’re doing.

 

Make Time Failure MEME

THAT’S FIXABLE.

 

Step one: Stop relying on your inaccurate fantasies about the music industry and find out what you’re doing wrong by learning. There are plenty of books, webinars, paid coaching, and consulting resources available if you find the time. I promise, you’ll feel BETTER after the first influx of good information. Learning RECHARGES your spirit! The truth creates momentum.

 

Step two: Reevaluate what you’re doing wrong and begin tweaking your currently flawed process.

Make Time Empathy

Step three: Witness the miraculous change in your career.

 

All you have to do is find the time.

 

I realize that this story was stupidly predictable. Obviously we need to make time for gassing up the car and even though you’re probably not, you know you need to make time for marketing.

 

However, the real moral of the story is the attitude and mood of the stranded motorist (artist).

 

Can you relate with his mood swings from hostile, to frustrated, to utter defeat, to doubt, and finally delusion?

 

From your point of view as the guide of the story, who intuitively knows that all these raw emotions and stress are silly and preventable with a little gas, you thought the stranded motorist was a simpleton.

 

Make Time SkeletonYou understandably and predictably thought this because the solution was obvious.

 

 

 

Until you take that notion seriously, you’ll be stuck on the side of the road waiting out a never-ending snow storm.

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

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Are You Sure Your Favorite Artists Are Really Organic?

Organic Feature MEME

Watch this BBC Music Moguls documentary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyPJiey6vckOrganic Music Moguls Image

It’s one hour long and worth every second.

“Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd” – P.T. Barnum of Barnum & Bailey Circus

 

Let’s face it, the music business IS a circus whether you like it or not or whether you want to admit it or not.

 

Organic Elvis and Colonel Tom ParketElvis Presley was made into the King by Colonel Parker. It is very interesting that Parker had been a circus huckster with an affinity for luring bystanders into the tent.

Colonel Tom Parker understood showmanship and how to monetize talent.

 

 

Elvis had talent, and without Colonel Parker, we wouldn’t know who Elvis was.

Organic Saturday Evening Post Circus Barker

 

 

Too many artists think the image, artistic lane, and performances of their most beloved iconic artists happened organically, magically, as if the artists were always polished and ready to go just waiting for the audiences to catch on.

 

 

 

Nope. Every artist was developed artistically and in the marketplace.

What does “organic” mean to you exactly?

 

Organic NEMS

 

Brian Epstein owned a siding company. He was a music lover so he also owned a record store called North End Music Stores as a side business, which is how The Beatles came into his awareness.

 

First let’s discuss the Image. The Beatles’ image was not organic if your definition of “organic” means “to happen naturally without preconception or outside guidance”.

 

 

Brian insisted The Fab Four clean up a bit. Yes, they had unusually long hair for early 60’s society but Epstein wanted them trimmed evenly, clean cut, and styled.Organic Brian Epstein

 

When Epstein met the Beatles, they were scruffy, when he was through with the makeover, they were clean shaven.

 

Epstein added the touch of the famous black suits with the ties.

Organic The Beatles

He taught them to bow and thank the audience after completing every song. This gave the Beatles the cutesy, safe, socially acceptable image of 4 boys you could bring home to mom.

 

 

Which is exactly what Epstein wanted.

 

Moreover, The Beatles acquiesced.

 

Which is rare.

Usually artists piss and moan about doing something different or foreign. You’ve heard the conversations before, “I just want to be as organic as possible.”

Organic The Beatles Plane

 

Now let’s talk about how Beatlemania started. Did the Band cut a record, put a couple copies in a few records stores and watch the pandemonium ensue?

No.

 

Did a couple “tastemaker” girls pick up the 45 (this was how they used to sell singles for those of you who are unaware of what a 45 is), freak out and share it with 2 friends who then told 2 friends, who then told 2 friends, and so on, until they became a raging behemoth?

Not exactly.

 

Organic Puppeteer

 

Understanding that people respond to momentum, even if it was perceived momentum (after all, perception is reality), Brian manipulated their market force initially by gaming the British charts. He shrewdly knew that there were 11 record stores around his locality that reported to the chart company. Brian would send out fans/friends with his money to purchase records at these select stores on the day of release. This would get the record immediately charting which got the public and the industry’s ears perked up. This initial momentum behind every single to created a little launching pad, if you will.

 

Did this artificially create a #1?

No.

 

It did give them just enough credibility to get industry and radio people talking. This clever move also made it socially acceptable for consumers to like The Beatles because “everybody else was clearly liking them”.

 

There are the early adopters and then there are the people who think they’re the early adopters because the crowd is small enough to make them look cool and big enough that there was clearly a bandwagon to hop on to.

Organic Totally Natural

Was this organic?

Maybe.

 

My definition of organic is sometimes (usually) vastly different than an artist’s.

 

You see, I believe that all the gaming of the system, all the hustle, marketing, all the payola, and all the MONEY in the world won’t make a crappy or derivative record good.

 

On the contrary, a great, fresh, original, amazingly talented artist remains a “nobody”, doomed to reside in the basement of societal awareness without any of these marketing techniques.

Organic Banana Oatmeal

How are you feeling about the trajectory of your artist career right now?

 

Epstein had lightning in a bottle and he knew what to do with it. He knew how to bring it to society in such a manner that it would get its own legs and create momentum.

 

The Beatles were smart enough to get him and let him do it; having faith and following his instructions IMPLICITLY.

 

So it should come as no surprise that Andrew Loog Oldham, the original manager for the Rolling Stones, started out as Brian Epstein’s assistant.Organic Andrew Loog Oldham

 

Oldham was the executor of many of the techniques that helped to create The Beatles in the marketplace.

Oldham did EXACTLY the same thing with the Stones.

 

 

 

First he applied market awareness to the image of the band. Oldham couldn’t just recreate The Beatles and he knew that. He needed a new artistic lane. The Stones had to be different. He suggested that the Rolling Stones be the “anti-Beatles”.

 

Organic Rolling Stones Live

 

He wanted them scruffy instead of clean cut.

He wanted them wearing leather or hipster mod clothing as opposed to suits.

He wanted them to be dangerous as opposed to some “boys you could take home to mother”.

Was this organic?

I suppose it depends on how you look at it.

 

Talent + Market Awareness + Hustle + Marketing = Your Dream.

 

My favorite quote from this piece:

When God gives you something special, he takes away from other places. If you look at any artist, they’ve all got something missing, and I’m the guy that replaces it.Organic Unknowns Quote MEME

 

So what is your market awareness with regards to your artistic lane?

 

Scott Borchetta immediately knew there were no country artists that were writing and speaking for 9-14 year old kids when he saw Taylor Swift; they created a whole new lane.

No competition means it’s easy to dominate.

 

Get it?

 

How is your artistic lane different from what is already going on?

Do you have the balls to be different?Organic Fruit

 

What are you missing?

 

Are you aware of your “known unknowns”?

 

Are you aware there are “unknown unknowns” which will require you to have faith in someone else?

 

These are the questions a smart artist should be asking.

 

Maybe you need to rethink your definition of “organic”?

 

Stay

In

Tune.

 

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