Friday, August 13

The Best Advice You'll Hear All Year

We recently attended the New Music Seminar here in New York and were lucky enough to hear Martin Atkins speak. His speech was the most well received at the seminar and although quite funny seemed to have the best nuggets of real wisdom for all up and coming artists and bands.

Check him out here. Excuse the shaky cam, not our film, and the rough language, but we're sure most of you have heard a few of these words before.


Chris said...

nice clip with beaucoup class. I mean I know it was filmed with an iphone the shakycam, terrible audio, etc isnt bad enough, but the gratuitous expletives in the opening monologue and throughout make this guy seem like a sophomoric comedian reaching a state of desperation on stage.he seems to be telling vicarious anecdotes about people getting laid, are you sure this is the correct clip?
Is this some idea of a joke?
Oh wait, second video, briefly begins to make power-point type presentation.
honestly, I dont know who's more drunk, the dude talking, or the dude filming.
ok: summation of this guys whole presentation: if you tour in the western US you're screwed and use twitter because its new but like faxing and hip and don't be an asshole. This guy btw is a total asshole.
thanks for reminding me that people make entire careers doing nothing but being know-it-all's that know nothing.
Oh crap I had forgotten the goal these days is to seem cooler than everyone else while not actually doing anything original whatsoever. right?

paul said...

^ LMFAO love this comment! Seems these are common since advice that most artist here already know. I think i speak for every artist on jango when i say we need more in depth advice. Most here know how to twitter and use social networks. said...

*Seems this is*

Anonymous said...

what's a "fax"???

Anonymous said...

Mr Atkin is drunk, obnoxious, drunk (waiting for his guy to call back), charming (ha!), drunk (probably shouldn't have taken all those pills), loquacious, drunk, and a sterling example of a true-blue know-it-all know-nothing. Also, he's drunk. Can modern-day hucksters and charlatans get away with being this lazy? I mean, phoning it in would be praise... he's a twit so maybe he's twittering it in.


Anonymous said...

"Best advice I'll hear all year"??? I don't think so, 'cuz I COULDNT HEAR IT THRU ALL THE BACKGROUND TALKERS!!!!

Steve Pasek said...

Atkins actually is quite an accomplished performer and promoter, spent many years on the road with several renowned bands. My guess is that many of you don't know who he is if you're younger than 35.

I saw this presentation last year at the NM seminar in Chicago, and I've also met him at various Chicago events over the years, and he's quite knowledgeable, I assure you, even if he's a bit eccentric. He's got practical experience, and currently promotes a wide variety of bands, including doing a recent compilation of Chinese(!) rock bands.

It's a bit over the top to call this the best advice ever, but when he talks about "data driven decisions" he makes perfect sense. As someone who's planning touring right now, I can verify that it's very easy to lose money despite working a lot of hours if you don't treat it as a business and use every tool you have to determine who your fans are and how you can motivate them to give you their money, preferably in person at live shows. Best to learn from others' mistakes, and the point of the beginning of his presentation "you're fucked!" is that the margin for error is small and likelihood of failure is large. This is why it's important to treat it as a business, not just a way to get laid (a lesson that shouldn't have to be told to adults, but, believe me, unfortunately is necessary).

He's a smart guy, and he's got experience that neither I nor many of you will ever have, so please, have a little respect for what amounts to an elder statesman of the DIY movement, and do a little research to see what he's accomplished -- he knows what he's talking about, even if this video is not the best representation of his schtick.

BTW, it's kind of humorous for someone who's obviously less successful than Atkins to call him a "know it all", especially when that person doesn't have the guts to sign their name to a comment derogating someone who actually teaches at a well-known Chicago institution.

Hmmm, sounds like an ego-driven comment by someone who (heh-heh) thinks they know it all already. Good luck finding success with that attitude.

Anonymous said...

Based on what I've figured out about Jango and some of their brilliant marketing techniques I'm not a bit suprised they poested this video. Trust me their either up to some of their marketing tactics or whoever posted it was drunk.

Anonymous said...

Dont know what you people are used to drinking but it aint alcohol. This guy isn't drunk

Chris said...

Steve, Thanks for your very well articulated reply to my initial post. I followed your link and peeked at the wiki page for Mr Atkins and indeed he does have impressive historical credentials. I still stand by every word of my post though regarding the above video clips. Had I had any pretension as to Mr. Atkins resume before I watched these clips, or had been familiar with his presentation prior to watching these, I may have had a completely sympathetic bias towards him.
Regardless, it's water under the bridge and if there are less schizophrenic video clips of his presentation please link them here so we can give Mr. Atkins a fare shake.
Also, to *last anon* I used the word *drunk* to loosely indicate intoxication. His presentation is clearly being affected by his absurd behavior regardless of what his problem is.
I had no intention of being anonymous in my posting so let's clear that up now:
Chris Cotton
P.O. Box 462
Palo Alto, CA 94302

dela said...

His book Tour Smart is a good read. I think if you read it before watching you'd definitely have a sympathetic bias. Nods to Chris and Steve for being upstanding gents.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! Very good.

Anonymous said...

I am over 35 (poor me) but I haven't heard of this guy either. Forgive me - I don't think swearing is EVER going to build an audience unless you are a Heavy Metal or Rap artist. Swearing is the first resort of the verbally challenged and the last resort of the Creative.

BTW how many bands DO make money from touring? It is usually the record companys' main method of clawing back advances on sales. (That, and hiring unnecessary limo rides, security and intoxicating riders) Its use is promotional and it only works on the back of established artists with similar styles, not the new.

Yep - twitter works - I thought fax was dead?

Posting Anon because of bad language plus too lazy to type my Name and URL in this heat ;)

Anonymous said...

Can only successful people recognize a boorish, ill-prepared, kinda boozy anachronism with a predilection for using "fuck" like a comma when they see one? A thousand apologies, your lordship.

It takes no more courage to sign your name to your 2 cents than it does to post anonymously. Personally, I wouldn't want the angry ranters posting here to know where to mail, phone, or visit me. One thing I do know is that trying to make an issue of another poster's anonymity is changing the subject. It's essentially a personal attack on an entirely bogus non-issue. I know you FEEL that your argument has moral authority, but you have to demonstrate that by debating the issues, not sidestepping them.

Anonymous said...

Calling someone a know-it-all doesn't mean you think YOU know it all.

Anonymous said...

in response to the person asking about touring revenue - touring is generally acknowledged to be the most reliable source of revenue for artists, young and old.

Chris said...

BTW, the best advise I've heard all year is to keep doing what your doing, and don't do it for anyone else.
the best advise I have for anyone in the music biz is that, don't compare yourself to others that are successful unless you are writing a descriptive bio. it's great to dream, but wondering why your not as popular as arcade fire even though you have been doing it forever is a trap.
Many of the things Mr. Atkins says are just simple common sense and if you cant look at a map and figure out that it takes 36 hours to drive from Chicago to San Francisco and it's going to cost you $500 in gas for your van, then you are "fucked." But not musically. Just normally.

Shirley Marie Bradby (JALEBI Music lead singer) said...

Best advice....I will hear ALL year? What advice? So I guess no good news?

Bad video and audio, foul language, and fumbling around on stage have effectively destroyed Mr. Atkins' credibility! Such antics do not...I not inspire me to listen to this person. Yes, I know that one should not judge a book by its cover BUT if this is his way of presenting himself as an expert communicator and DIY consultant I have some serious doubts about his so-called expertise.

Actually if he wants to maintain a good reputation and clear his name.. he should find the person who recorded this video ....and who had the nerve to put it on the Internet.... and sue them for defamation and attempted character assassination! lol

By the way, there is yet another potential crime: the theft of our precious time! Yes, by looking at this entire video precious minutes of our lives would have been stolen! God bless the power of the stop button! Click on sisters and on! ; )

Ben Krahne BMI said...

pretty easy to get jaded at biz when you've been
at it for centurys, I like hanging with younger artists they usually have fresher ideas, and there passion is burning it does rub off, as far as video all I hear is fuck and a negative vibe, if I was in for the money,I might try to listen to old fool loud mouth for advise i'll pass