Resources and Links
By John McKay
Radio-Media.com - Bryan Farrish is a radio promotion specialist who has written numerous articles about how to get your music on radio, both commercial and college. Tons of great info, lots of ideas and things to consider.
Radio-Locator.com - This used to be the MIT List of Radio Stations on the Internet, and is very comprehensive. The database is searchable, and you can also buy their list as a package for $150 (for the college list, $250 for the commercial list). Spend some time here, and you'll find lots of stations to send your CD to.
TheRecordIndustry.com - This site has some good resources, as well as a pretty comprehensive listing of radio stations around the world. The database links to websites for the various stations, so you can get a feel for their playlists, and pertinent info about who to send materials to. Also has a nice listing of labels, majors down to bedroom indies.
FanBridge.com - This is one of the better mail list management solutions I've seen with an angle towards musicians. They give you a simple form to add to your site, and allow you to send messages to fans based on their location, and to schedule messages, so they'll go out automatically. Free starter size list, then they charge a reasonable fee for larger more frequent mailings.
Blogsearch.google.com - If you use this Google site (and others like it) to search for blogs with "new music", you can find some great writers, interested in discovering and sharing new tunes. While they may have very few readers, or very many, it's worth your time to let them know about your stuff. If they're into jazz, don't send them info about your punk band, but I think the future of music writing is right there, in the blogosphere.
AZpunk.com - One of the best music resources around, especially if you're in the AZ area, and into punk/core music. Great listing of shows, bands, studios, etc.
TheOrchard.com - Pretty cool service for getting your record in iTunes, Napster, Emusic, etc. They charge $50, and it takes about 2 months to get online. But hey, how else are you gonna do it?
TuneCore.com - OK, here's another way to do it! This is a one time fee type arrangement, but it's a shade cheaper than The Orchard, and they give you 100% of your earnings. On the downside, you have to pay an annual fee of $8 per album/per year. Also, they are only handling iTunes and Rhapsody at this time.
CDBaby.net - This is the grandaddy of online music merchandising. They handle the mail order for your physical CDs, and also get your tunes on iTunes, Yahoo, etc. They charge $35 per album, and keep 9% of online sales (and $4 per CD they ship). But, all things considered, they are established, well connected, and a good deal.
IndieMerchandiser.com - A newer entry into the fulfillment part of the game. You get your own store, and they ship your CDs, T-shrts, etc.
TheTrunkSpace.com - If you're a punk band looking to play downtown Phoenix, these guys are a great resource. All ages shows, experimental, hard core bands, etc. Also, they are an art space, with some very cool stuff on the walls, and great coffee to boot!
PureVolume.com - Kind of a mishmash of all sorts of bands. No charge to upload your MP3s, although the statistics make it feel like a bit of a popularity contest (what, no listens today?). All in all, a good place to list your band, and to see what's happening around town.
TapeOp.com - Probably my favorite recording-related magazine, it's like the anti-Mix. Great how-to articles, interviews with engineers who've recorded bands you actually like (not the latest Britney Spears catastrophe!) Plus, it's free!
DiskFaktory.com - Ok, these guys are on the Musician's Friend website, but they do a good job, have a pretty quick turnaround, and if you're looking to do small runs of 100 CDs or so, they really are the best deal I've seen. They did the Affirmative Action Figure and Gymkata CDs, and both came out really well, I thought. They also now will add your CD to iTunes, and offer fulfillment and a bunch of related services.
SAEMastering.com - These guys are a local company that's done work for lots of big acts, like Guided By Voices, Bikini Kill, Modest Mouse, Screeching Weesel, etc. While they are absolutely professional, you'll be surprised at how little they charge local bands. If you're not clear about what "mastering" is, read this. Every album or CD should be professionally mastered, even if you recorded it on a boombox!
EuphonicMasters.com - Brad Blackwood is another mastering engineer I recommend, he's done a few projects that I recorded and they came out very nicely.
StickerGuy.com - Still one of the best places to get high quality vinyl stickers at a great price. Just download their template, send them the digital file of your art, and in a few weeks, you've got some really awesome shwag!
ContagiousGraphics.com - A newer screenprinter, but with prices in the same ballpark as stickerguy. They also do t-shirts, I've used them in the past for stickers, they have a very fast turnaround, and good prices.
United Record Pressing - I know there are still people out there listening to vinyl, and if you're interested in pressing your album the old fashioned way, you should visit United's site. They have tons of info, and I've done numerous projects with them, and have always had good results.
4PromoProducts - This company prints t-shirts, but they also print a ton of other interesting promotional items. They are priced pretty fairly, and they do a good job. Check out their site, and let your imagination run wild. Just keep in mind that as cool as they are, your fans might not appreciate a magnifying ruler with your band's logo!