Friday, March 27

Center Stage - The Langer's Ball

Meet our new Center Stage band, The Langer's Ball

The Langer’s Ball has been performing since 2007, with their first album release in 2008, they were hailed as "...A Band To Watch" by

And watch people did! Called “The Punk Rock Pogues”, their music has been described as “Straight ahead, no-frills Irish ballads with just a hint of razor blades, safety pins and American rock 'n' roll". 

Their latest album “The Devil or the Barrel” earned them a top spot on virtually every Irish music writer, podcaster & bloggers best of 2012 list. As a reviewer in London says about TLB “Showing no signs of stopping or slowing down…put your best dancing shoes on because The Langer’s Ball are in town and there’s no excuse for sitting down. (TLB) are swigging Jameson’s and writing some of the best Celtic punk you may ever listen

Describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence.

The goal of our music is to have fun and inspire people to party and drink and socialize, we take a direct link from Irish folk music but blend it up with rock, punk, ska and whatever suits us for the particular song we are working on - anything from Russian folk to German and Norwegian Polkas to The Clash and The Who.

What inspires you to make music?

Performance is one of the biggest inspirations. Getting to be the performer is such an honor. Being the catalyst of a memorable evening or festival is awesome.  There can be great connections between the musicians and the audience.  That is also why we draw so much inspiration from seeing other great performers, both in and out of our genre.  When we're in an audience, we can't help but to learn something from every performer
- and it's the really great performers and memorable performances that
inspire us.

What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?

We have been working towards a new album, we have about 85% of the material, and that is very exciting for us.  We are taking our time and not trying to rush the process, even though we are chomping at the bit to get back into the studio.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a musician?

Sometimes the biggest hurdle for us is the fact that we do identify our music with a label like "Irish". That can get us pigeon-holed where bookers say "We don't do "Irish Music". Try the Pub around the corner".
Truth is we can share the stage with punk bands, rockabilly bands, rock bands, country bands, we've even done shows with metal bands where afterwards metal-heads have approached us with delight at seeing their hardcore metal friends try to dance a jig in the mosh pit!  If we can get past the bookers idea of what our music might sound like, the audience is usually pleased and can really get into what we are doing.

What's one of your all-time favorite recordings?

"If I Should Fall From Grace With God" by The Pogues. They have been and
continue to be a big influence on our music. As a band, they opened doors
for the "Irish Punk" genre. On this album in particular, they gave license
to "Irish" bands to branch out and not be tied down to music from one
island in Europe. They blend in Middle Eastern and Spanish Folk Music. Oh,
and didn't lose the Irish or the Punk in doing so.

Name three people who have influenced your music, and tell us why- Living or dead.

The Pogues - Saw them in Chicago in 2008.  On stage were 7 guys in suits in their 50's & 60's, all playing their hearts out on acoustic instruments to 4000 people in a sold out hall with a mosh pit of at least 300 people. It was pure punk rock blended with amazing musicianship & showmanship.

They Might Be Giants - They are brilliant songwriters, amazing performers and are not tied to a genre. They know that accordions are cool and nerds rock. They make you laugh. Then think. Then "Ah ha.."

Billy Bragg - One-man pure punk rock, just four chords and the truth!

Do you have any recent or upcoming projects you'd like to share with us? Tell us about it.

Last August we released a 7 song EP for free download on our Bandcamp page.  It had 7 songs that were recorded live in a session we did on Iowa Public Radio.  They gave us the tracks after the session, and we thought we'd pay that forward.  So go download your EP now at:

What is your ideal or target audience?

Anyone looking for a memorable show and catchy music.  We seem to really appeal to fans of Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys and The Pogues, and it's not too far of a stretch to figure out why, but we really resonate with people who are willing to push their musical boundaries to where good music is just good music and they can get whipped up into the show.

Do you write your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process.

We do write our own music. Michael, the lead singer, writes the songs, but there isn't one process for it. Sometimes it starts with a hook, or a line or a concept.  To date, we have about 15 or 20 original songs, so having a defined process seems a little premature; we're still a work in progress.

What do you like the most about Radio Airplay?
We love the reports and the close connection with the listeners. They can send us messages and share their email with us if they wish, and it's a very democratic system of listening - if they like the music, that's what they hear, if they don't then it doesn't get played.  As an Artist, we can get music out to fans very quickly, and can see almost instantly how people react to the songs.

Do you have a Youtube video you’d like us to include in the feature? Please provide Youtube video link..

Whiskey Chaser:

Please provide any additional links you’d like us to include..

** Optional - Interesting story about you, or anything extra you'd like to add:

The word "Langer" originated in the Irish county of Cork. It has several meanings, depending on context.
1) To be intoxicated
2) Foolish person
3) Eh... look up the 3rd definition for yourself...

Take your music to the next level

Check out this interesting and fun post from Music Think Tank on how to consider ancient philosophy in your music promotion - helping you to create, perform, and take your music to the next level.

Click here:

Performance adaptability: Build your audience

You’re going to encounter performance situations from time to time where you have volume or space constraints; which is why your band should be able to play in a few different configurations. Performance adaptability helps you play more music, earn more money, and build your audience. 

Check out this article posted by our friends over at CDBaby:

Sell More Albums With Social Media

Social media is key to successful promotion for both albums and concerts.  Musicians who know how to engage their fans with today's technology stand the best chance of becoming tomorrow's chart-toppers. 
Music Think Tank recently posted an article with some great tips on using social media to push your music promotion to the next level!

Negotiate Management Contracts

There are many considerations to make when negotiating a management contract, and It’s important to understand whose interests are being protected in every aspect of it. In this recent DIY Musician post, attorney Steve Gordon discusses different types of management contracts and what you should be looking out for.

Thursday, March 12

Get the most out of your gigs

Playing shows, especially on the local level - is one of the best opportunities a band or artist has to showcase musical abilities, reach people on a personal level, and push a bigger music career. But its important to plan and make smart decisions to help get you the best results from each of your shows and tours.

MUSIC THINK TANK recently posted a great, comprehensive article all about planning & promoting gigs, and capitalizing on the rewards that a great performance can bring!

Click here to read more:

How much does it cost to record an album?

Times have certainly changed in the music industry, as have the costs of what it takes to make an album. So how much does it REALLY cost to make a record today? This recent blog post by DIY Musician will give you a good estimate. 

Take a look here:

Protecting your copyright

The Internet is a key component of today’s music industry. Social media, websites, email lists, platforms for music promotion - music has been strongly impacted by the web, in a good way. At the same time, however, the Internet can threaten musicians’ art with online piracy and copyright infringement.

Our friends at CD BABY recently posted a great list of tips for protecting your music and avoiding future legal headaches.

Click here to read more:

SMART Goal Setting

The competitive nature of the music business will cause certain bands to fall between the cracks and never receive the attention they deserve, while a few bands will prosper-at least for a little while.

Creating a plan for the future can make a big impact on the longevity of a band's success. Our friends at MTT discuss the importance of SMART goal-setting, which can be used in the development of a five-year business plan whether you are a solo artist or a 5 piece band.

Click here to read more: