Volume 2-2013



Use this link to add your email address to the RARWRITER Publications mailing list for updates on activities associated with www.RARWRITER.com and Revolution Culture Journal.


MINE YOURS & OURS: That Christmas shot above is a far cry from what is presently happening in the streets of Cairo, Greece, and even Sweden. Here is a plea for a global reset narrated against the awful news that has become the soundtrack of our lives. PLEASE PLAY LOUD ENOUGH TO WAKE THE NEIGHBORS.

NO MATTER WHAT SHE SAID: We have this cat, a Snowshoe Siamese, who my wife named "Magnolia Thunder Pussy" after a '60s San Francisco radio spot, and who came to us as a replacement for our dear deceased cat "Gary Gilmore", also named by my wife. (One can imagine the psychological damage or purr enlightenment the children have endured.) Anyway, "Maggie" was a rescue cat, plucked from the Stanford University campus by a student who found her injured, starving, alone; a refugee from God knows what. Maggie grew to the size of a house living in the student's apartment, but upon graduating Maggie's student-savior had to give her up to move wherever Stanford graduates move to, so she put Maggie on Craigslist and my wife brought this fat cat home. She slimmed down, given some room to roam, and is now a much different cat from that which she was when she came to us - accept for her monotonic meow. I have no idea what this cat is saying. It may be "hello"; it may be "there is a tarantula on your head", I don't know, it all sounds the same. I assume her issues in this song. PLEASE PLAY LOUD SO I CAN CLAIM THIS ON MY RESUME AS A BROADCAST PRODUCTION.



Memphis Rock'N Soul Hall of Fame - A plea for good intentions

Tim Ryan - Tool Cool for Just One Band

Amy Lavere - Memphis Upright

8 Days to Amsterdam - Memphis Power Pop

Reba Russell - Memphis Queen Rips up "When Love Came to Town"

Matt Nathansan on the SF Links










Learning from Jimmy Iovine

Interscope Records CEO Jimmy Iovine was featured in a recent piece in Rolling Stone, and it was one of those rare celebrity interviews that actually yield insight and useful information for people interested in music production and engineering. READ MORE...



(Click here)

New Releases on RARadio: "1,000 Leather Tassels" by The Blank Tapes; "We Are All Stone" and "Those Machines" by Outer Minds; "Another Dream" by MMOSS; "Susannah" by Woolen Kits; Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and other dead celebrities / news by A SECRET PARTY; "I Miss the Day" by My Secret Island,  "Carriers of Light" by Brendan James; "The Last Time" by Model Stranger; "Last Call" by Jay; "Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; "Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" from Actress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; "Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio; Apteka "Striking Violet"; Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along"; Dana deChaby's progressive rock




"The Musical Meccas of the World"









Original Musical Compositions and Select Covers

Fiction and Non-Fiction

Special Projects



Artist Management Series
Artist Management Series

This page is dedicated to the "Artist Management" Project, in which RARWRITER.com explores the nuts and bolts of running an artist management agency and an artist's business. The series is housed here, with ongoing installments featured first on the "Artist News" page.

Thank you for your interest in this subject that is central to the professional operations of any business professional engaged in any aspect of "the arts". The series is ongoing but  you may catch up on what has been learned by reading the items below. If you are a manager, agent, or an artist with insight into running a viable business, we would love to have your insights and contributions. You can either send email to Rick@RARWRITER.com or complete our on line questionnaires as they are provided. The artist you save may be your own. - RAR



Artist Management Series

Could DIY Mean the End of the Paternalism that Killed Michael Jackson?




Chris Daniels (pictured left) has been a frontline performer from Colorado for three decades and counting. With his band Chris Daniels & The Kings he has recorded a dozen albums, played with B.B. King, Uncle Cracker, Blues Traveler, The Neville Brothers, Delbert McClinton, Sister Hazel, Sheryl Crow, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal, Al Kooper, Bonnie Raitt, Ziggy Marley, The Fixx, and many others. His previous bands Magic Music and Spoons were also important in Colorado music history.

All of those years of performing and managing his own career have taught Chris a great deal about the music business, which he has parlayed into an assistant professorship at the University of Colorado, where he teaches Music Business classes. Among his acolytes in the classroom have been Colorado band The Fray.

In this edition, Chris Daniels adds important insights to RARWRITER.com's Artist Management Series. Click here to read his article on the new "Do It Yourself" ethos that exists among young music makers. Will their Internet savvy and hands-on approach to career planning change the way musicians do business? And what will it mean to the traditional artist management industry?




This project began with the following letter, which was distributed to AM professionals around the U.S.


As the Publisher of RARWRITER.com, I am writing to ask your input on a story I am developing regarding your profession of artist management.

My interest has to do with this current economy.

I am hoping that you might take a moment or two to talk about how the current economic “crisis” is affecting your business, and what you feel needs to happen for you to experience an improvement in your business affairs. Is there a certain type of promotion that is working? A certain type of artist? Are there insights being gained from living through this particular economic period?

I might be particularly interested in trends or seismic shifts that you are seeing in your markets.

In our business, which is to profile and publicize a wide variety of creative artists, we are committed to providing “service value” to our readers, many of whom are artists themselves or are people involved in creative services. RARWRITER.com serves as a conduit of information between industry professionals with the intent of assisting any party interested in plugging in to the network of contributors. I would really like to include your input to this current survey.

You can, of course, visit www.rarwriter.com and enjoy the information provided regardless of your participation in this current information gathering effort. I am certain that you will find it entertaining and informative, and will see the advantages in publicizing your artists through our ever-expanding site. We are always focused on the “up sides” of involvement in the creative fields, including music, literature and other fine arts. We are also committed to keeping good company, which to us equates to smart people with personal and individualistic visions for what their contributions can mean in a world that needs all the help it can get.

We are finding such folks throughout the world. I think you will find www.rarwriter.com to be a useful, possibly even valuable association, and I hope you will help me with this project. The input will be used in an upcoming edition of www.rarwriter.com.

Please send your responses to Rick@RARWRITER.com and let me know if you have questions or concerns.




Rick Alan Rice (RAR)


Benicia, CA

Office: 707-297-6628



Artist Management Part I


Jackie Greene's "Touring Economy"

Jackie Greene is a bright guy whose experience in and insights into the music industry are chronicled regularly in his MySpace blog at myspace.com/jackiegreene. He posted one recently that provides context for the Artist Management Series running on RARWRITER.com, speaking directly to tough times in the economy, and fundamental changes in the way we, as a society, exchange information and relate to one another in the commercial marketplace. See Jackie's thoughts below.

That wonderful photograph to the right, by the way, is the work of photographer Michael Wilson.

* * *

"I see a merging of the social network phenomenon and the music industry. Many people have seen this for years. Being that I am generally too wrapped up in playing my stupid guitar, I don't catch on to things until a bit later. The future is in blogs (both fortunately and unfortunately). There was a time when I scoffed at blogs. I considered even (what are now) the most highly respected music blogs to be rubbish. They all seemed like some nerdy record collectors evening hobby.

"I stand here today to say that I was completely and utterly wrong. After all, it's the big music blogs and online entertainment sites that are putting Rolling Stone out of business. Not to mention newspapers and other forms of traditional media. (Who would have thought we'd have the term "Traditional Media"?) Newspapers are closing in staggering numbers. Who reads newspapers anymore? I didn't see one person on the plane with a newspaper. Isn't it much easier (not to mention environmentally friendly) to download the Wall Street Journal on your iPhone or Blackberry?

"The music industry I believe is suffering a similar fate. Distribution of product is completely becoming re-invented as we speak. That's the problem. How to get people to pay for something they can just get for free online. It's a towering problem with hundreds of unanswered questions. Do we fundamentally change the business? Does all recorded music become free and we jack up ticket prices for concerts? Do we refuse to make recordings until things settle down? Of course this is out of the question. Any real artist will make music regardless of weather it makes money or not. Even if no one hears it.

"Personally, I don't give a damn if people download my music and never pay for it. I guess it may hurt my feelings a little. But I don't pretend that anyone gives a shit about my friggin' feelings. No, it doesn't really matter. I don't earn a dime off of record sales anyways. Never really have. I suppose I would change my tune if my living was earned by record royalties. But as it stands, I am part of that new generation of artists that has to make a living on the road. The older, established artists are in a way beholden to the Giant Machine. (haha. GM) They need the radio, they need the big box stores, et cetera to make it all work out. Unfortunately for them, there's just not that much pie left to go around. I appreciate it as much as the next small band when someone plays my record on air, but the reality of it is that it doesn't necessarily mean record sales.

"When all of this seems so dire, I take a breath and I realize that I'm not really in it for the money. These days, if you're in the music business for the money, you'll be sorely disappointed. I still live in a one-bedroom apartment. I am unmarried and nearing 29 years old. I have a wonderful collection of vinyl records and books of all sizes. I couldn't be happier. There was a time when being a rock star was something special. A job that everyone knew paid extremely well and had lots of perks. These days, it's about the same as being an office clerk. With no guarantee of a salary."



Stella's Notch with Cleveland Kid Productions












POSTSCRIPT: Jim Jenkins of Cleveland Kid Productions was helpful in discussing his artist management strategies in Part I of the Artist Management series. Here he follows up with information on another of his acts, including their special touring plans. "As additional follow up regarding Cleveland Kid Productions strategies for surviving in tough economic times. I would like to point to our Premier Group Stellas Notch. We understand the entertainment industry is fast evolving from a brick & mortar construct to a world wide market via the Internet. To that end Stellas Notch best exemplifies the new global artist musical group. We understand our clients have to be as relevant and dynamic in Beijing as they do in L.A. Stellas Notch is currently preparing for a Asian Tour in early 2010. Please check out their unique global fusion sound and image in their new video 'Evil Jill' which can be found on their web site (www.stellasnotch.com).



How to Build a Cult-Like Following

By Jeff Wuorio

This article is reprinted from MSN.com's Business On Main Series.

“Sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll” is the stereotypical catchphrase attached to some in the popular-music business.

But “sales, debits and revenue” is a more fitting working philosophy for many more such acts.

Many top names in music didn’t hit it big exclusively through artistic excellence. Some are top-of-the-charts business professionals, displaying insight and moxie that businesses of all sorts can emulate.

Want to hear Pink Floyd’s “Money” with motivation instead of guilt? Make your way close to the stage for five musical icons with standout business acumen.


Even to non-fans, Bob Dylan’s legendary songs are unmistakable. But upon arriving in Greenwich Village in the 1960s, he was just another folk singer with stories to share.

Of course, it turned out he had much more going for him — exceptional composition and performance abilities, for example. But what also set him apart was a keen sense of social networking long before it became a buzzword.

As Sydney Finkelstein, a professor at Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business, writes in his book “Breakout Strategy,” Dylan was tireless in his efforts to meet, learn from and leverage connections with every artist within schmoozing distance. The legwork paid off with gigs at top folk music venues like the Gaslight Café and Gerde's Folk City, a glowing review in the New York Times and, eventually, a record deal.


Some 40 million records sold might represent a sufficiently successful brand for any artist. But rapper Jay-Z has played off that prodigious output by diversifying in any number of directions — always with a fierce, hands-on focus on maintaining the singularity of his brand, be it attached to hotels or a chain of sports bars. As Jay-Z put it in a recent interview, “I’m not a businessman. I’m a business, man.”

That’s not mere vanity. It’s basic business sense — a balanced financial network designed to accommodate the ebb and flow of any one element in an overall business portfolio.

“Sometimes businesses become one-dimensional. If they start to fall
behind in one core area of their work, they lack the support beams to
continue their success and hedge against challenges in other areas,” says Kenneth C. Wisnefski, founder and CEO of Webimax.com, an Internet marketing company. “It’s an important lesson for entrepreneurs and business owners.”


In many performing arts, persona is everything. On stage and in the media, the Grateful Dead cultivated the image of musically gifted free spirits who embraced their audience as family (the term “Deadhead” wasn’t necessarily specific to anatomy). Committing music industry heresy, they even encouraged concertgoers to bring recording devices to shows and freely share the tapes with other fans.

It was a purposeful form of sin. Circulating tapes fostered a fervently loyal fan base built in part on word of mouth. While other artists focused on hawking records, the Dead recognized the marketing power of music that, once you were at a concert, was there for the taking. As a result, audiences packed performance venues, cash in hand.

“They were pioneers in the idea of making money from their live shows and merchandise,” says R. Edward Freeman, a professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. “Maybe it was because they were such a terrible studio band, but they kept control of concert and merchandise revenue. They evolved practices that have become standards today for many bands.”


Cross-dressing at the MTV Video Music Awards. An onstage outfit of flank steak better accented with A.1. than Chanel.

Rumor has it Lady Gaga also sings.

To those few who have never actually heard one of her songs, those sorts of stunts might seem an exercise in distraction. But Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta — the woman who doubles as the product known as Lady Gaga — has no intention of keeping her audience at arm’s length.

“Lady Gaga has leveraged social media as well as anyone. Her fans feel a personal connection to her because she invites them into her world with her personal tweets,” says Brent McFerran, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Most everything Lady Gaga does serves to set herself apart. Whether it’s arriving at the Emmys encased in an egg or flipping a middle finger to a packed baseball stadium, Lady Gaga’s flaunted outrageousness has found an ironic home in the most conventional of music media. “The costumes and crazy performance routines help differentiate her in a big way from other pop artists,” says McFerran. “It gives her followers a feeling of rebellion or uniqueness typically found by listening to artists few have heard of.”


Many artists achieve commercial success alongside critical praise.

Fortunately for Kiss — the makeup-smeared foursome whose anthem, “Rock and Roll All Nite,” is likely on every karaoke playlist in the galaxy — widespread critical panning seemed almost irrelevant. “Few can accomplish the impossible: Acquire a legion of faithful fans with mediocre rock music,” sniffed the New York Daily News in a 2009 feature.

Still, if you want your business “to party every day,” so to speak, you could do worse than examine the business smarts of Kiss frontman Gene Simmons, who’s been the driving force behind Kiss’ business maneuverings. He recognized that the band’s success was centered as much on merchandise as it was on music.

“He made Kiss into a brand before most bands were brands, realizing early on that profits lay in associated merchandising rather than simply album sales,” says Catherine Tucker, an associate professor of marketing at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. “He created the ‘Kiss Army’ of fans, and that army went out and bought Kiss-branded products. Eventually, Kiss licensed its brand name to over 3,000 products.”

Nearly 40 years later, the merchandising beat goes on. Just in time for Mother’s Day, the much-anticipated Kiss “retro figures” were released this April. They are available both in 8- and 12-inch versions, fully posable and, naturally, feature Simmons striking his classic tongue-stuck-out-to-his-Adam’s-apple pose.


TAXI Television

Avoiding Mistakes in Your "Pitch"

Online A&R service TAXI hosts a weekly Internet program to discuss pitching one's music to the recording industry. In this episode, TAXI's CEO discusses pitching to the Film & TV industry.

Video streaming by Ustream






©Rick Alan Rice (RAR), May, 2013