30 Minutes - Indie Rock and Roll

Hi. It's Joe.

I like indie rock music. That is, independent rock-n-roll music. Some people spell it "indy" rock. Same thing.

The key word is "independent." It means independent of THE MAN, who has a bad tendency to ruin otherwise good music (and just about everything else).

Just look at what happened to indie rockers Kings of Leon. They recently rose to superstardom thanks to their commercial and relatively lame single "Sex on Fire," but I would posit to you that their best work comes out of their early indie band years.

Stuff like "Molly's Chamber's" and "Red Morning Light," which are musically awesome and sexually raw and uninhibited the way rock-n-roll was meant to be.

"Molly's Chamber's" was used in a car commercial a couple of years ago, but no one knew it was Kings of Leon, so that made it kind of cool. But THE MAN must have figured it out, because now that droning and monotonous song "Sex on Fire" is all anyone ever associates with them, and that means few people will take the initiative to go and seek out the older, kickass material like "Red Morning Light."

Anyhow, I am a member of BROADJAM, a Wisconsin-based service that helps indie musicians place their music in publishing and licensing opportunities. I love it. One of my original songs, "A Romeo and Juliet Thing," recently ranked at 93% (a solid A-minus) for a listing looking for romantic pop rock songs. It is that. To get picked, most songs have to rank at least over 95%, but there is always a chance.

I saw a listing today that requested songs with a sound similar to the Ting Tings.

Yeah, I never heard of them either. So I went to AMAZON and listened to a few previews. They are a decent band, with catchy hooky indie pop rock songs and a unique female front person.

Here's a clip.

I generally don't buy indie rock cds, and the Ting Tings are no exception. CDs are so 20th century. But I do sometimes download MP3s, and I would consider supporting the Ting Tings by downloading one or two of their best songs, once I figure out what those are.

This illustrates a major problem that indie bands have (and my band is no exception), getting fans to PAY FOR their music. Most stuff is obtainable for FREE somewhere, or can be "YouTubed." Video is all the rage these days. People don't have the same devotion to bands that they used to, enough to buy music and support the band. Now you have to have t-shirts and thongs and other cool things. That is why I have taken a unique approach to my band's business model, and I try to get our recorded songs licensed for commercial use via BROADJAM, which can be quite lucrative if a song is selected. That's the rub. You have to find the right opportunities and then have a better song than the competition (including recording and production quality, which tends to be the deciding factor nowadays).

The Ting Tings don't sound much like my band, except for their energetic sound, unsullied by the hands of THE MAN. And that's OK.

I have thought about getting a chick singer to front GUPPY EFFECT. But it is hard to find a hard rocking woman who has her wits about her and a good business vision for a band. At least, I haven't had the fortune to find one. If you are out there perfect female rocker woman, please get ahold of me.


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