RED ALERT! Twitter Scam Targets Musicians!

If you recently received a DM message from a record label A&R person asking you to submit your tracks for sync licensing via MCMA.com, you guessed it, scam. 

 

This is the message I received on Twitter:

Thx #FF! If you’re interested in sending me your music or beats for placement consideration please send it through MCMA .com

It came from this account:

Columbia

 

So, I checked into it. Signed up on the little free account thing. It looked harmless. I even uploaded a song. (Yeah, I know…stupid. But, the song is available all over the internet so I figured I wasn’t risking a whole lot…hopefully). 

For a scam, they didn’t really make it easy. I mean, the site was a b*tch to use. Very tempermental. Alarm bells started going off when I couldn’t get a consistent response from links on the pages. Then, hunting for what it was really going to cost me made me realize I’d almost been had. First the site said, “free trial”, then it said “8/ per month paid annually” then, it said “29.99/month” so you could contact the person who supposedly contacted you. What? 

I shudder to think, had they made it easier, they would already have my money.

So, back to that. 

A simple search on Twitter brought me to the real Teresa Whites:

Therealtlw

Who, by the way, had been graciously tweeting to followers about the scam. No telling how many A&R reps they are misrepresenting. And, who knows how long it will be before this site gets shut down. Please, do a good deed and RT this blog or just let other musicians know not to fall for it. 

And, follow Teresa Whites. She’s good people. 🙂

Tlwtweets

Laura Marie

“Making stupid mistakes so you don’t have to”

 

 

 

HILARIOUS UPDATE:

Hilarious

 

 

Custom websites for musicians! Easier than you think…(nerdblog)

My friend, producer and studio owner Mack Damon (Hollywood Studios), once said something to me that blew my mind. I’m going to paraphrase because the conversation took place a long time ago. But, it went something like this: There’s three things you want anything to be: fast, inexpensive and awesome. Pick two. 🙂

Think about it. You can make something awesome and inexpensive but, chances are it’s going to take you a while. You can have something fast and inexpensive but, I’m pretty sure it won’t be that awesome. And you can have something fast and awesome but it’s gonna cost you. I’ve found this to be true where almost anything is concerned. So, when it came to building my website, I knew I had to give this some thought. 

There’s no doubt that I wanted an awesome website. That’s one. Resources that I could allocate for it’s construction were limited so, it had to be inexpensive. That’s two. So, I was prepared for the fact that it was going to take a while. I either had to wait until I raised more money to hire someone or get to work researching and slowly constructing the website of my dreams. 

Lucky for me, this is where label owner Joe O’Brien (RatPakRecords.com) came in. He said, “Why don’t you try Bandzoogle?” 

Here’s a phrase I rarely use: O M G!

Inexpensive? Why, yes. I compared to other website building platforms for musicians and it’s all that and the bag of gluten-free chips. We’re talking features that include email, stats, fan clubs…plenty of space for music, you can run your own store. It has just about everything. Features: http://bandzoogle.com/features.cfm

Fast? Um…the easiest tools ever mean you can put up a website in no time. Try it. For FREE! Put something basic up and you can expand it later. 

Awesome? See what you think of my site. I did this in less than a week’s time. They have some beautiful templates but I wanted a custom design. So, with a set of professional pictures by my friend and photographer Kimberly Scott and a photo editor for cutting pics to fit my design and creating graphics (I use Photoshop), here she is:  www.lauramariemusic.com

Website

Did I have any complaints?

Well, the Reverbnation site builder is powered by Bandzoogle and I made the mistake of thinking both services would be identical.  They aren’t. If you’re in love with their store feature, you have to sign up directly through Bandzoogle to get it. The site builder through Reverbnation only allows you to use RN’s store widget as your store. On the plus side, if the RN widgets will do for you, going through them will be a snap. 

A complaint I heard from another user was that they wished they could set metatags for individual pages to better optimize the site for search engines. I have to agree with that one. That would be pretty slick. 

So, here you go. They give you 30 days to try it out which, trust me, is plenty of time to see how easy it is. Click the button and 
you get 60 days instead of 30 by using the referral code: 
m6bb6f  

Bandzoogle: band websites that work

And, yes, now that I’m a customer, I also get a discount for referring you. But, spend some time using it and you’ll see why I am referring every indie musician who wants a website upgrade to this site. 

If you can’t afford your own web designer, Bandszoogle looks like the best bet to me.


Here are my favorite things about using it:

1) Easy to integrate with my social networking sites and blogs

2) I LOVE the built in store feature. 

3) I can go totally custom or I can use their templates and choose from a number of fonts. 

4) Customer service is fantastic! They are on it!


Some custom things I added:

1) A share button: http://www.addtoany.com

2) HTML code to feature both my blog feeds with the help of https://feedburner.google.com/

3) An ArtistData calendar 

4) An additional ReverbNation music player for the music page

5) Graphics and spacers (for my custom look) 

All other features were provided by Bandzoogle. Woo-hoo!

 

If you need help adding any of the custom features I added, let me know. I’ll be happy to post a tutorial.

Let me know what you think?  – LM

 

 

 

 

 

Bands with the Same Name (blog)

This  is a quickie blog. I just want to sing the praises of one of the best indie music businesses out there. CDBABY!!!

 

Yes, with services like Bandcamp you can sell your CDs directly to your fans and that is wonderful. But, it also helps to have your stuff on the major download sites like iTunes because a lot of people just prefer buying from a big name. If you are an indie artist, you have to go through a music aggregator to get on iTunes and that’s where CDbaby and services like Tunecore come in. Great for us! But, here’s the problem. What if you or your band have the same name as another artist or band? Confusion in the store! (see pic below) The last thing you want to happen is to have all your hard advertising work go to waste when customers seek you out only to download someone else’s music. It happens! 

I have this issue.

Oneofthese

 

Now, I actually went to the trouble to have my name legally trademarked so, technically, I could start proceedings against the other artist to keep them from both selling CDs and performing under the name “Laura Marie”. But that seems like a bit much, right? I don’t really want it to come to that. But, as it turns out, for this issue, that won’t be necessary. Yay! for both of us. 

Because my music is distributed to iTunes through CDBaby, all I had to do was call them up (just login to your account and hit “contact”). CDBaby customer service, as always, was super helpful and I was told that all they had to do was submit a ticket to have my works separated from the other Laura Marie in the iTunes store. For now, that’s all I really wanted. 

They say I should be hearing from Apple within the week. I’ll let you know how it goes. Just know that if you have the same problem, you have to contact the content provider that submitted your music to iTunes. Here is a list of all those approved by Apple for indie artists: MUSIC AGGREGATORS. They’ll have to log in to your Apple artist account on your behalf and submit a ticket. If you are with CDBaby, just call them up and ask for Patrick. 🙂

Pass it on! This info could really help some artists set themselves apart. 

 

Sweet! – Laura Marie

 

P.S. I have a NEW WEBSITE and it’s awesome. Check it out and let me know what you think. I’ll be blogging about how easy it was to put together very soon…

 

Smiley face… In real time

Everyone is smiling at me today. I’m not exaggerating. I had to keep checking the mirror to make sure I didn’t have something in my teeth, on my face….is my lipstick smeared…again?

And everyone is so chatty. It’s not that I mind. I definitely don’t mind. It’s just… well, when did everyone become so chatty? With me…chatty.

I’m starting to think I’ve just been too buried in work to notice the sweet things happening around me. Today, my son giggled and the whole world seemed right again. I guess I’m waking up… remembering what it’s like to be ‘in the moment’…. smiley faces in real time. 🙂 I’m just gonna go with it.

Gig tonight at Candlelight Coffeehouse
8pm (SA)

Tomorrow, April 9th from 8ish to 12ish, I’ll be at Luna (SA) with Chris Taylor and friends.

See ya there!

Studio: Love You Like Me

I can love you. How can I love you? Like me. Like I would love you. That’s it.

ahem…..

You know, ever since Twitter, I’m having trouble thinking for more than 140 characters at a time. That includes spaces so….yeah.
Let me attempt to break the new threshold.

I’ve been in the studio for the last three days tracking one of three songs for the next CD. I love the people I’m working with. I love the things that come out of their brains. It’s not as messy as it sounds and all that stuff gives this song the life I wanted it to have. We still have a few things to add but it’s heart is beating. The list of people that have been a part of the process so far:


Joe Cortez, IV – Drums deluxe
Jason Ybarbo – Bass and brilliance
Robert Cherry – Electric Guitar and overall good feeling
Wes Harllee – Acoustic Brainstorming
Tommy Medina – Engineering stuff
Anthony Diaz De Leon – Major Engineering stuff
and
Mack Damon – Music Evolutionist

Can you imagine? If you can’t, here are some pictures from the session:

If you are curious about what this is going to sound like, visit my 12 Seconds page for a preview:

12 Seconds of Lovin’

Not just for Valentine’s Day anymore…

I don’t know how many of you all are feeling it but things are changing. I’m not talking about political change, financial change or the like. Those things are changing…have to change…but it’s more than that. I would say, ‘maybe it’s just me’, but that would be denying my senses. I see too much evidence of it outside of me. Hearts are changing. People are less willing to settle for superficial satisfactions…people are more open to loving others as they are. Yeah, I’ll give you the fact that I want to see it that way but, who the hell wouldn’t?!? It’s beautiful.

I would have never called myself a “Christian”. I was raised Catholic and it wasn’t until recently when someone tried to tell me that Catholics aren’t Christian that I had to stop and think about it. Truth told, I sort of thought that way too. The word ‘Christian’ has a lot of negative connotations in our world and, for that matter, so does the word ‘Catholic’. We’ve all heard the good, the bad and the ugly of it. But, here is what I think, people of all religions are just trying to understand and make sense of life and the things that happen and the death they fear. And, actions, decisions, beliefs based on fear are not loving. They just aren’t. When I’m afraid, I get angry at whatever frightens me. I fight and I push and I’m not the least bit loving because of that fear. I don’t think there is an angry person in the world who is not deeply fearful. Why else would you be angry? Why else would you not rest on that beautiful thing that religion is supposed to be about: faith?

Now, I’m not going to define myself in terms of religion. I can’t because I believe, as I’ve always said, in the validity of all faiths or non-faith (however you define it). Your truth is your truth. And I think it’s great that more and more people are less willing to say that all people should believe what one religion or any religion professes as truth. People are recognizing that it’s ridiculous to insist and impossible to enforce just one belief. And, that’s beautiful because it throws the argument aside and lets us approach each other with less fear, more respect and, yes, love love love. Can you feel that? And if we aren’t fighting about the things that have fueled wars for all time, we can stop fighting about things that divide us in communities, in families, in relationships and in ourselves.

John Lennon said, “Imagine [among other things] no religion”. I don’t take that to mean a life without faith, hope and love. But, think about it, maybe that is a life without war. And while I’m dreaming such a beautiful dream, let me dream that a life with religion can be that way too. Imagine that. It’s what we are all pushing towards anyway. We all want peace. We all want love. We want to believe in it and we want to bask in it.

Happy Valentine’s Day people. Be at peace. You are loved.

– Laura Marie

Special Holiday Love Fest!
Matt Barker, D’Fahie and Laura Marie
@ Luna, Thursday Feb, 12th – 9pm
Additional shows here:

Laura%20Marie