November 2010

Nov 16


SFD Review:


The kid named Cudi isn’t afraid to label himself “Mr. Rager”, “Maniac” or more nostalgically [his birth name]: “Scott Mescudi”.


Kid Cudi’s sophomore album Man on the Moon II had a lot to live up to considering previous mega-hits like “Soundtrack to my Life”, “Day N’ Nite”, “Pursuit of Happiness” and “Man on the Moon”. However, on The Legend of Mr. Rager, we’re not only invited into Cudi’s previously rapped-about dreams, but into his daily reality as “Mr. Rager”. The entire album is darker, and more musically adventurous than Man on the Moon - The End of Day (2009); incorporating various syncopation and instrumental elements to diversify his sound. An overall ominous, eerie tone emanates from each track, slowly but steadily ushering us along for the evolution of a “Cudi Revolution”.

The “Cudi Revolution” translates into a solid album, keeping some of the same Cudi-esque trademarks [think oo-oohs, grumbles/growls, and near-wailing sounds] with new insight into the somehow hazy yet focused Cudi state-of-mind. Of course there are multiple stand-outs: “Scott Mescudi vs. The World”, “REVOFEV”, “Marijuana”, “The Mood” and “Maniac”. Those that choose to skip out on the album [mistake!] will appreciate commercial tracks like “Mr. Rager”, “Erase Me”, and “Mojo So Dope”. However, here it is most critical to discuss the tracks that seem to create artistic progress for Cudi on his newest artwork. If nothing else, appreciate something has simple as the song titles. Each are carefully named to aid the listener in the dark journey of Cudi’s evolution.

The album opens up with the upbeat “Scott Mescudi vs. The World” featuring soulful Cee-Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley, proclaiming that “we can meet on the other side, this is our journey into the horizon”. Strategically placed first, the track immediately hooks the listener into Cudi’s lyrically displayed dark psyche, without exposing it fully.

“REVOFEV”, appropriately referring to “Revolution of Evolution”, alerts us to “wake up” and questions: “Where will you be for the Revolution?” For those lyrically- unappreciative folks: sit back and enjoy the passionate build-ups and break-downs, complete with snare drums and violin drama.

Quite possibly the best track on the album, “Marijuana” is not your typical party head-banger or commercial Cudi song. Instead, it gives a fresh new trance-like vibe that engulfs the listener. A dramatic choir element is added throughout, practically placing Cudi’s lyrical Mary Jane anthem on a pedestal; the almost-holy force that brings a man back to earth. As taken from Cudi, the track truly gets “all up in your blood”.

“The Mood”, while not particularly diverse, holds true to the Zone that Cudi so often refers to being lost in: a slightly passive, but deeply intuitive state of mind that instantly captivates anyone if allowed. The steady, pleasantly monotonous beat also has an eerie, ominous overtone.

The final most significant track aptly named “MANIAC” [appropriately in all capitals], is one of the most unique jams on the album: the possessed female voice repeats the same phrase [referring to a black hole!], setting the tone for the highly unusual track. Cudi raps, “I am the maniac - I am the ghoul - I’m in the shadows in the corner of my room” -- fully capitalizing on his self-proclaimed title as a lost, manic soul. “MANIAC” is also expertly produced with a multitude of sounds waffling in the background, slowly luring us in.

Kid Cudi: Man on the Moon II - The Legend of Mr. Rager is a successful documentation of the Cudi mindset. Although some have grown tired of his dreary self-depiction, it can be argued that Cudi has portrayed this dark image under an entirely new light. Avid Cudi fans will not be disappointed.

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Nov 12


I think it’s great that many artists are offering free digital downloads of their music in exchange for an email address, Tweet, Facebook share, etc.  But remember one thing: If people have never heard your band before, they want to hear what you sound like before they download anything

If you’re offering a free download, that’s great.  But on the same page you have your free download widget, put an audio player too.  Many people just want to hear your song first without having to download it to their computer and add it into their iTunes. iTunes libraries are sacred places for a lot of people, and they don’t add any music that they don’t like. (Side Note: should I even reference any other software besides iTunes?  I feel like 99.9% of people use iTunes nowadays. Am I right, or do you still use Windows Media Player?)

Here’s a great example from a wonderful new band called Honeychild....

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Nov 12


This is an exclusive guest post from musican Derek Evans, who is currently using the PledgeMusic platform to crowd-source money for an upcoming album and 3 non-profit organizations.  I asked Derek to write this blog post to share with you his experiences of embarking on a crowd-sourcing project, as I think he has a multitude of valuable insight on the topic. I hope you agree.

Go check out Derek’s PledgeMusic project and say hi to him on Twitter with your questions and comments.

Derek Evans

My name is Derek Evans. I am a musician who started a project called “Music With A Cause.” A project to help raise money for my upcoming album, 3 non-profit organizations, and challenge myself to build a new audience in the process. Here is my story.

Today’s independent musicians have many advantages. Five years ago we did not have active tools such as Fanbridge, Add This, Facebook, ReverbNation, Soundcloud, Kickstarter, PledgeMusic, Band Camp, ArtistData etc. What I mean by “active” tools is that there are various ways you can easily create and maintain a solid business with little, but consistent, effort. At the end of August 2010, I decided that I was going to use PledgeMusic to combine two of my greatest passions: Music and Charity. However, I decided to give myself a challenge. Prior to launching my project, “Music With A Cause”, I spent about 3 months looking at other artists projects. I wanted to see how people were engaging their fans. I wanted to understand why others were featured and why some were left behind. It quickly became clear that the people who were doing well, for the most part, had their business module in effect. What I am talking about here is the modern day artist taking responsibility for the real work involved with a campaign/building a business.

Going into “Music With A Cause” I had the following challenges:

  1. I would not target friends
  2. I would not target family
  3. I would not target people currently on my mailing list
  4. I became ill in June 2010 and eventually had to have a tumor removed in September 2010 (Finally back to health in November 2010 with 13 days remaining as of today)
    • This created a greater challenge because I would be in and out of the hospital
      I did not have the ability to generate new fans from playing live shows
  5. I would be donating the majority of the proceeds to 3 non-profit organizations:
      Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research in memory of my grandfather The funds would go directly to a friend of mine who was recently diagnosed with cancer
  6. Understanding what kind of person I am and how that effects my business

The idea is that if I followed through the steps below accordingly, the project work by itself. Therefore, not having to worry that if I was ill and in the hospital and ultimately seeing if my challenge within the project would work.

Click read more to hear Derek’s steps…

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Nov 11


 Cuts A Few Stations

Author: calia

Music licensing has become stricter and stricter due to the immense amount of untrustworthy and illegal music sharing stations there are across the net. has provided their members with tons of free radio stations with limited listening, as well as offering subscriber-only radio stations such as the Loved Tracks Radio, Playlists, My Neighbourhood, and Personal Tag Radio Now that we all are familiar with and love on our handy dandy scrobblers. Unfortunately, beginning November 17th, has been forced to omit some of these subscriber-only stations in order to direct their “energy on improving our most popular features, developing new and innovative stations, and offering the best music discovery service to our global audience,” says the members at themselves.

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Nov 10


Thank you to MySpace for recognizing Oniracom’s great design and implementation of their new beta profiles!

Jack Johnson has a new album and a new profile to go along with it! One of the best upgrades we’ve seen so far. We’re glad that he volunteered and we didn’t have to get pushy. After watching the featured video he has in the Expandable Marquee we realized he’s not a dude to mess with!

Make sure to check out Jack’s new profile and listen to some new tracks.

Read more here

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Nov 08


The Bandcamp blog had a very candid conversation with John Beeler of Sufjan Steven’s label, Asthmatic Kitty, after the release of Sufjan’s very successful All Delighted People EP release through Bandcamp. It was refreshing to hear someone from Beeler’s position in the industry speak this way. From the interview:

Bandcamp: All of the tracks from this EP can be streamed in their entirety on Bandcamp – no 30 second snippets. Do you think you lost sales because of that?

John Beeler: No way. I think it really helped that people could stream the whole album. My personal theory is that people can stream anything in its entirety anyway; YouTube is essentially a giant on-demand playback setup ala Spotify these days. Type in a song and artist and bam – you’re streaming right away. The question for record labels and musicians is how far the buy button is from that stream.

I have been noticing the importance of clear communication between artist and fan lately. Asthmatic Kitty’s recent mailing list post is another great example of this. In it, they describe in very human terms what Amazon’s very low pricing of Sufjans full length release The Age of Adz means to both fans and the label. I recommend reading it yourself, as it is really the best way to understand the power of the language and tone.

David Bazan is also asking fans to help him make a record. Here is a great example of the kind of language I am talking about.

David is making a new album right now! The songs are all there, recording is underway! We are shooting for a Spring 2011 release. Barsuk gave him dough to pay for dudes to play on the record and some gear upgrades to make it sound great. But in order to focus his full attention on recording (so he doesn’t take three years like he did with “Curse Your Branches”) we need to keep him at home as much as possible until he’s finished recording the album. That’s a little tricky because a significant part of his income comes from touring.

Transparency is a word that gets thrown around lately without much meaning. As an Artist I think you can share as much or as little about your process as fitting for your artistic message. What is important, is that what you do share is clear, direct, and written like a human, not a PR company.

Treat your content with as much respect as your music, they are the same audience after all.

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Nov 05


Beginning tonight is Santa Barbara’s own New Noise, a music conference and festival in its second year.  I feel pretty nerdy when I get more excited about the panels than the music at festivals, but it’s happened again. (Same thing with SXSW!)

Click ‘Read More…’ to check out the panels I’m most excited about seeing (and you should be too)...

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Nov 04


FaceTimeApple has recently release the public beta version of FaceTime for the Mac.  This means that you can connect to iPhones and iPod touch from your Mac and have a face to face conversation.  Here at Oniracom we can benefit from this if we have someone stuck at the airport when they are supposed to be at a meeting in the office etc.  It works pretty smoothly as it gets all of your contacts from your cell phone and they can FaceTime with you using your email address.

FaceTime still requires you to be connected to wifi on your mobile so no meetings from the beach yet.

Download FaceTime for Mac here


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Nov 03


Video: Rogue Wave Live at SXSW 2010

Author: brendan

While attending SXSW 2010 in Austin this past March, I had the privilege of getting to see a number of Oniracom clients who were playing, including a handful of performances by Rogue Wave

I have seen Rogue Wave perform a number of times, but there was something I really liked about this particular set.  It was at one of the day stages inside the Convention Center where the conference trade show and panels take place, and it was on the last day.  It had just started raining outside, everyone was exhausted from the whole week of the conference, but a couple hundred people gather at this day stage to watch The Middle East (another great client of ours) and Rogue Wave play.  Rogue’s set was a little stripped down from what it usually is, with the frontman Zach playing with an acoustic guitar throughout the set rather than electric.  Even with the mellow atmosphere, Rogue Wave was still able to rock it.

Hope you enjoy the video.

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Nov 03


CNN recently featured Jack Johnson and his All At Once community on a segment called “Impact the World.”  Oniracom designed and developed the All At Once community so we are proud to see CNN included a couple screen shots.

Jack Johnson’s foundation “All At Once” promotes local charities on his tour route and encourages fans to get involved.

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Nov 02


Our Very Own Mailing List!

Author: brendan

Oniracom now has its very own mailing list!  We figured why should our clients have all the fun??

Signup for the list to stay informed on the good stuff:
-SFD blog posts
-Music and Technology industry news
-Site launches
-Company updates
-Exciting client news

We even have an option where you can choose how often you want the updates:

    Weekly: Give me the digest of news and site launches every week
    Monthly: Recap the best news and site launches for me every month
    Quarterly: I only want the really important stuff
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Nov 01


Great innovation from Google once again, but this one involves a great use of crowd-sourced marketing.  Google has started a competition that encourages anyone to upload their own creative tech demo of a cool Google feature that many people might not know about, with the hopes that these videos are unique enough and gather enough attention so that tech demos no longer have to be boring and only for geeks.  Watching these is similar to watching an OK Go music video.  The kind that you share with your friends, except now the content manner is intertwined with a cool Google feature, such as Search by Photographing, Personalize Google, Speak a new language, Search by voice, etc.  (Full list is here).

Once contenders upload their creative video, Google picks out two of the best videos, and sets them against each other for the “Slam of the Week” where users watch and vote on which video is the best.

Check out the winners of the first Slam of the Week, giving you an entertaining video that also is a teaser to Google’s Search by Photographing (or “Google Goggles”).

Go check it out, as there as sure to be more great videos coming:

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