October 23rd, 2009

The 3 hours lecture format is standard, but is it relevant? In an age when we tweet 140 characters at a time, and communicate through text, is it necessary to spend 3 hours on a single topic? Can you hold an audience for a long period? What if you had less than 3 hours? What if you had 11 minutes?

The challenge is this… what 7 important things would you share with other people? What expertise, or interests can you narrow down to 7 CRITICAL points? And, can you do it in 11 minutes?

At the Tour:Smart Weekend Seminars, that is exactly what happens. In addition to other panels, for 2 hours, speakers share 7 important things in eleven minutes, with a giant clock ticking off the seconds. The speaker picks the topic, the audience frantically tries to absorb the knowledge.

From today’s seminar:
Julie Brewer – www.lunatravel.net – You don’t have to sleep in the van
1.The plan is – there is no plan… follow what you love to do, say ”yes”.
2.“Brick walls are there for a reason. They keep the people who don’t want something badly enough out.”
3.Use all your available resources.
4.Everything is negotiable.
5.Give of yourself.
6.Learn from your mistakes. You are gonna have difficulties.
7.Recharge your batteries…

Paul Natkin – road manager and photographer
1.Treat it as a business and act professional.
2.You need supplies – buy a case of batteries, extra cords, flashlights, etc… Be prepared.
3.Plan everything out from start to finish. Know your details.
4.Advance EVERY show you do.
5.Be nice to everyone you work with.
6.Advance EVERY town you go to. (record stores, stations, colleges, etc…)
7.Eat good food. One show can make or break you. Don’t get sick.

Tim Toomey – Assault Records
1.Have a real website.
2.Google Analytics – use it – track everything
3.Your fans are your best friends. Treat them as such.
4.Push twice as hard to market as to create.
5.There is no silver bullet. (Google Ads will not make you.) Ask people to pay attention and the FOLLOW up with people.
6.Participate in your community.
7.Become the Authority – don’t compete with successful companies, find your own niche.

Michele Daspin – Sex and Family Therapist
A band is like a family – relationship stages
1.Introductory stage – short, high energy, little info exchanged, Leader has tons of authority
2.Forming stage – Family roles develop, emotional roles
Helmsman – unemotional, focused, driven
Hero – first born, perfect one, makes band look good
Scapegoat – in trouble, takes dysfunctional focus off band, and puts it on himself
Lost child – quiet one, doesn’t project or take on emotion
Mascot – youngest one, funny, adds levity
3.Storming stage – worst time, jocky for position, test boundaries, most bands break up here, also most creative time – generally best albums, triangulation develops here
Recapitulation of Family Origin – recreate your child relationships
4.Norming stage – settles down, short time, adopt team spirit over individual
5.Performing stage – things good, can change out members without resetting roles
6.Mourning stage – need safety, redefine roles
7.Adoring Stage – look back with nostalgia, forget the negative and hold on to positive

Jesse Cannon – www.Musformation.com
1.Investigate your decisions. Know what you need and make smart decisions.
2.Be honest about your flaws.
3.Pre-production is KEY! Who can help me get there with the things I don’t have?
4.Identify what makes a great record, work with that
5.Make sure your produce/engineer is up for the job
6.One hit records doesn’t mean that person can do it over and over again!
7.Artists are eccentric – don’t get caught in the middle of someone’s fourth divorce.

Jim Powers – owner of Minty Fresh Records
1.Ask yourself, “Is your music hobby or livelihood? Does your creativity merge with public taste?”
2.Avoid validation through infrastructure…
3.When in doubt, leave it out. It doesn’t matter which high hat… just do it.
4.Remember your manners, and you will go far. “Good manners are free, everyone should have them.”
5.Avoid minimalist t-shirts, merch matters!
6.The time to be aware of your audience is not in the studio, that’s when you focus on the creative process. The time to be aware of your audience is when narrowing down 25 to 12 best songs… Overwriting is good, don’t be precious about it.
7.Good news – everyone can create. Bad news – everyone can create. Pay attention to detail.

Gary Kuzminski – Jagoff Publishing – I own my work -
1.NOBODY cares about you! You should care! You are a band, not a brand. Have a great logo – that is not a photo of your band.
2.Attach yourself to a cause that you believe in.
3.Be prepared for criticism. Believe in what you do.
4.We are the record industry… we have authority. Be what you believe in.
5.Go where the people are to get your message out.
6.I got a pet pig, a computer and a car – what can you take from me?
7.Don’t stop, the story always continues.

Greg Kot – Sound Opinions, Tribune music critic www.gregkot.com
1.Don’t count on anyone to do anything important for you!
2.Everything you do as a creative person is a platform. Make everything an event.
3.Good stuff lasts – it never gets old. People want it cause it’s good.
4.Major labels may be dying, but infrastructure is still important. You can’t do it all yourself. Find a group of like minded people who think about your best interest.
5.Ani DiFranco – “Patron saint of creativity” – “Patience.” This is about the long haul. You are not a fully formed artist in the first few albums. Why do you do this? Because you are insane.
6.Net Neutrality – read up and take a stand. Focus on compensation.
7.Treat your fans a collaborators and co-conspirators.
BONUS POINT: DON’T SUCK! Technology is fine, but first be good.

-Joanna QL (October 24, 2009)