I have been accused before of being too nice. I work hard for everything I have and have achieved and maybe you think I am touchy or sensitive, but I do get upset when people try free loading off of my work. I have a post today about someone who submitted music, with a GIF on it, there was about 20 comments when I checked and 75 likes, and one of them was from someone who hosts some podcast i never heard of telling artists how to submit music to his show. Now I have been known to give help to other stations, tips to DJ’s and other things, and I certainly will not stand in the way of any artist getting their music heard, but its a fine line how you do this.
This is all about reaching the most people for the analytics and for Twitter numbers. If he attaches to these tweets his impressions go up, and it makes him look better. Does he have the potential to reach out to more artists, why of course because of doing it through my tweets. But in the big scheme of things, the numbers he shares saying look at this, are inflated based on phony stats. To me this would lead me to think that any listener numbers he touts are also going to be inflated. There are still benefits every time an artist can get their music played or heard I am sure. But I run into this kind of thing a lot. I had a song tweet, that a dj follower liked and retweeted. An indie artist than liked his comment, and replied to that with a huge banner promoting their appearance on his radio program. My immediate reaction is WTF?
Lets look at this as if it was me working with an artist. I am representing the band “Bob” and have played their song. They like this and I reply to this on Twitter with a giant poster advising people that the band “Joe” is going to be on the Station tonight. Its a bullshit approach. If I want to promote this band, it either gets its own tweet or attach it to a song by that band, not to another band, unrelated.
Have you seen the new commercial for McDonalds. Check out the brand new Big Mac. It is a totally new burger, all beef patty, the same burger in many ways, but more meat, and more flavor. At the end, is a picture of Taco Bell. It just doesn’t happen.
The other thing i wonder about is consideration. Am i taking it too seriously. There was a tweet from someone please check out this music, and they had attached the YouTube video for me to look at. As many of you know we just don’t have time to do it that way, and I have a blog about submitting music to all 4 stations. We don’t have prerequisites about doing it, you don’t have to read it, and all it does is maybe make the process a bit smoother for everyone involved. At first I wanted to laugh at the irony of someone attaching their video to a pinned tweet about submitting music. But the more I thought about it the angrier I got. It would take the same time to read the blog, you know the same time they expected me to spend listening to the music. The difference is of course they are but one person, and I am not sure how many submissions they made but if they did them like that they must have spent almost 10 or 15 minutes. Each week we spend 30 hours or more combined reviewing new music. That’s just one weeks worth of new music.
That is in no way a complaint, and if that person hadn’t attached that video they would have been listened to this week, instead I just blocked them. If someone is just too damn lazy to do that, I don’t have the extra time for them. I will add, that this is an account for a 10 year old that is handled by her parents. I feel no guilt in dealing with parents who are promoting a child. Plus, I am sure the music sounds just like that, of a 10 year old singing.
A problem that has come up on more than one occasion and drives me nuts is something I can never tell if its just people being, “dense” for lack of a better term or are they trying to take advantage of me. We deal with hundreds and really thousands of different people or artists in this case and their music with submissions to the radio station. So I guess let me lay out a scenario which isn’t unusual because there are at least 3 that i can think of going on right now with different artists.
When I have talked about music submissions, sometimes of course there is music that just cant be played on one of our stations. This can be due to a number of reasons, and I really like to tell someone when they submit when I can why I won’t be playing their song. I don’t always do this, so don’t count on it, but if you send in a Rap song we will let you know we don’t play Rap music in the reply email. I also like to be tactful whenever possible because my goal isn’t to insult anyone or hurt someones feelings. We get a lot of songs that come in and the quality is so bad that it just can’t be played on the air.
I have had many discussions with an artist about the quality of music, and the sound of stations, after the compression from the station, things like MP3 usage over WAV files and other factors all can affect the sound quality that is broadcast, so when they start, sounding like they were recorded with two tin cans and a string, there is no improvements coming if we were to broadcast that music.
I have always felt its not my place to say to artists with recording like these hey, I can’t play your music because it sounds bad. I am only speaking for what I will do with my stations, because while I am helping promote Independent musicians and artists, I am also promoting and running 4 radio stations. My goal is when you put on any one of my stations you will hear consistent sound quality and great music. I will admit its not 100% yet but I will keep working, and will not take a step backward playing music that doesn’t fit or sound good. I operate it like a business, the same as so many of the musicians/artists I deal with do.
When it comes to today’s email, I guess it is not the 3rd time, it is actually the 4th. It is the 3rd email, but the artist sent me a message on Twitter in which I responded and reminded them I had already received and replied to their music submission for that particular song. It was when I was reviewing music today that I discovered they ignored that tweet and message and sent it again.
So if this is you, and you recognize this story I am intentionally not mentioning any names. But what was the intention of the email? Hoping that if you sent it enough times I would eventually give in and play the song? If not that, than what? My immediate reaction is to shake my head and grumble. As much as I have said time and time again that I was going to get tougher, I haven’t just ignored this silliness and not even bothered to reply. Instead I find myself writing a diplomatic email and being frustrated, eventually just stopping my work for the night.
Wouldn’t it be so much better if I was just a total jerk with this person and completely ignored them or blocked them. Its not like we are short of music, and why do I need to keep dealing with this. One of the other artists I have doing the same kind of thing, has been doing this off and on for more than a year. Their music sounds like its been recorded in a church basement, one microphone in front of a piano and the other for vocals. Right channel and left.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do get nasty at times, and I am sure one person reading this was laughing in disbelief about my diplomacy. I was diplomatic with them too, don’t worry. LOL We all have breaking points, but why do we need to get there. Why do we even need to go through the first couple of times?
So what is the point of all of this. Over the history of KB Radio I have had a good time, had a fire take me down and nearly out, but built back up. Had some threats knock me off for about 6 months, and here I am back again, and fighting just as hard or harder. Each time I came back I came back bigger and stronger, and I am going to keep going and fighting for those artists that want to work with me. But there are only so many hours in a day and only so much to give, so the fact that people are starting to frustrate me tells me, I need to follow through on what I promised when I came back January 1st. I am not going to put up with the people who just seem to be trying to yank my chain or screw with me. I am and will be diplomatic, and will do what I can, until I can’t with someone anymore. At that point, they can work with other stations. I don’t need the headaches. Life is too short for so much drama.
I guess what I can say in closing is that I try to work on and with a consistent set of standards and treat everybody the same way. I give what I get, and with that said, I will work my ass off to help someone or shut someone down so fast but it isn’t based on me, it is on them. The world is a crazy murky place, I think personally its pretty screwed up, and people’s ideas in a lot of ways are just as messed up. But the human spirit in general thrives, and most people understand the difference between good and bad. There are usually simple ways to tell which side of the line you fall on. If you are reading this and are going, what kind of an asshole is this, good and bad, the world is screwed up, than you might not like me telling you the side you are on. Nothing in life is free, and yet people keep taking from each other without hesitation.
Think about all these things the next time you tag me on Twitter, even though we don’t follow each other, and tag 10 others as well, just because you want to promote your new song. Think about it when you are too damn cheap to pay 99 cents for music. We used to pay $20 for a new album when it was released. That’s not one of those back when I was younger moments, because even though it wasn’t as easy there still were ways to copy and steal the music. We just didn’t do it the same as people do now, of course we spent $1000 on a great stereo system to hear that album not on a phone that you will throw away in a year.
You call it advancements….