Yesterday, I finally pulled myself away from “Need for Speed:Undercover” on the XBox. I’m having a terrible time making it past the early levels so that I can see more of the live action footage that I produced for the game. It’s not the game, it’s definitely the player.
I had been asked by the Coalition of Southern California Music Organizations (COSMO), Just Plain Folks (JPF) and the Los Angeles Women in Music (LAWIM) to serve on a couple of panels regarding music and film. I begrudgingly put the game controls down and found it to be an interesting experience, with a couple of nice surprises.
I must admit I’m a bit of a snob with my work in Nashville and our company there, Unconventional South. I always figured that was the only place to be if you’re a serious songwriter. However, I met some very talented writers and musicians at the all day conference held at the Professional Musicians Union, Local 47 on Vine street in Hollywood.
Just like in Nashville, a lot of the musicians wanted to know how to get their music discovered, past the little access of radio. You already know my opinion, the internet, not only websites like Pandora and OurStage, but the simple things like making sure your best stuff is up on a MySpace site, also have your own promotional website. I’m now using my own MySpace site as a place holder so that I can quickly access musicians and songwriters that I like and may want to use for future projects.
On the panels, I talked about developing relationships with upcoming directors and producers. I warned that you may have to do the first project cheap, but if you can develop a long term relationship, it’ll pay off in the end. I also promoted the idea of webisodes and a music web series. I was very impressed to meet Jannel Rap and hear the Country rock sound of her band, Clementine. They’ve just returned from the Squeaky Wheel Tour with a mission to help find missing persons. They have handouts and information to various hotlines and weblinks at each performance and at 411Gina.org. They’ve found over 300 missing persons so far. Jannel’s sister, Regina, went missing after her own concert in 2000. Jannel hasn’t stopped looking.
What I really found impressive was they’ve been putting up episodes of “Finding Gina” on YouTube of the tour. This has generated interest in the cause, the band and the music. It has lead to radio airplay. This is a worthy cause, but it wouldn’t sustain if they didn’t have the music to back it up. Other songwriters and musicians can follow this formula, creating a web series that showcases their music, be it documentary, reality or experimental. This is what Unconventional Media is all about, new ways to get the message and music out there.
Okay, back to the XBox.