February 25, 2011

Recommended Reading: Playback

They say those who don't understand history are doomed to repeat it. The music industry is a place that seems to be particularly inclined to repeating its own history- both with musical trends and fighting new technology. If you want to understand where the music industry has been (which you should if you want to work in it), this is one of the most thorough, and yet still short, options for learning about it. The book is fairly small and an easy read that covers everything from the invention of the printing press up the beginnings of the digital revolution. So, essentially it covers every aspect of the music industry from its start as print based one up to the present day. The music business is definitely one industry where you should understand the past in order to appreciate what is going on now and where it is headed so check this book out. 

Playback: From the Victrola to MP3, 100 Years of Music, Machines, and Money

February 24, 2011

What Do A&R People Do?

If you are at all interested in working in music, A&R was probably one of the first music industry terms you heard. It tends to seem like one of the most glamorous jobs in the industry and many people probably picture jet-setters flying around the country to hang out with celebrities. (Then again, a lot of people also probably think that is what everyone in the music industry does.) For bands, an A&R rep is probably the person they need to attract and impress to get that elusive record deal. So what exactly do these mysterious A&R people do and is it something for you?

Artist and Repertoire
That is both what A&R stands for and a very basic job description for this role. An A&R representative is responsible for finding, signing, and developing new acts. In theory, though this is not entirely true at every label, an A&R rep goes to shows to find new bands, tries to get them to sign a record deal, and then works with them during the album recording process to set the artist up with songwriters and producers and then pick the best songs for the record. An A&R person's career rides on the success of the musicians they discover and they usually earn a very small percent royalty from their artists' record sales.

Late Nights and Shows

February 23, 2011

Preparing For Law School: Choosing The Right Law School For You

So you've taken the LSAT and gotten together your application materials, but you're unsure where you want to spend the next three years?  This final installment on preparing for law school gives some suggestions on how to determine which law school is the right one for you.

Attend A Law School Fair
Law school fairs are a great way to find out about the schools in your area.  Major cities and large colleges generally have one once a year.  Check out the websites of as many of the attending law schools as you can beforehand to figure out which ones you might be interested in and stop by those tables first.  Chat up the representative, pick up some brochures, and ask any questions that came up when you were exploring the school's website.  Then wander over to any tables that catch your eye (or have nice pens!).  Having physical brochures can be helpful because they are often laid out more clearly than the websites and they make it easier to compare schools and programs.

February 22, 2011

Success Stories: Obstacles in your way? Get creative!

In honor of it being Black History Month, I have decided to focus today's Success Story on an African American whose story I find to be particularly inspiring -- Samuel B. Fuller.

Sometimes it seems like the world is against you and even when you do everything right, you're still wrong. Well, hey, at least you're not living in the early 1900s when prejudice was rampant and the country was headed straight into its worst depression to date.

This was the time that that Mr. SB Fuller lived in.

February 15, 2011

Twitter me this! -- What message are you sending in your status updates?

One reason why social sites like facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc are so popular these days it that they allow people to share their thoughts and feelings of the moment anyone and everyone. They are great tools but don't let the instant posting feature get you into trouble. Here are some things you should always keep in mind before you hit that 'share' button.

  1. Who cares? Why are you posting this and who would be interested in reading it? It's important to always have your audience in mind to ensure you're saying something other people will appreciate or you might as well be writing in your diary. Before you post, consider WHY you are posting it and what you would think of someone else with a similar post. If you're having difficulty keeping twitter followers, keeping this in mind could help you recapture their interest or prevent you from losing more.
  2. Who's listening? Always keep in mind who can read what you're writing. You may feel safe with your exclusive friends lists and your lock tight privacy settings but when we're talking about the internet, your potential listeners includes everyone: friends, family, coworkers, potential employers. So I would advise against writing about that night when you got passed-out drunk or trash-talking someone you don't think can see your posts. Your post could always get back to the person through word of mouth or they could find it through a privacy setting loop-hole. Plus, when you complain all the time, you could come across to others as a whiner. It's hard, I know, but try to keep the posts positive!

Katie Hazard | Digital Artist, User Experience Designer
khazard@internlikearockstar.com | @katie_hazard

February 10, 2011

Tech Guide: The Interview

After writing the Tech Guide post on what to wear during interviews, I thought it'd be best to continue on down this vein of discussion, and talk a little bit about interview etiquette for the music techie. The following are some tips for getting ahead in that interview for your dream tech job.

1. Do everything you'd normally do in an interview - Well, you've got the clothes down, what's next? The answer is the same as if you were interviewing for a job in the business world. Make sure you look nice, print out two (or more) copies of your resume to put in a plain folder, take something to write with/on (an 8.5" X 11" notepad and a couple of pens preferably), and get there 15 minutes early. Doing all this might seem like overkill, but it tells your potential future employer "I'm prepared for this job, and I'm gonna get it."

2. You're not applying to be President - Your job is important, but it's not super official. That being said, don't campaign. Your tone of voice when talking to your interviewer should be just like your dress: casual, but not sloppy. Titles like "sir" or "madam" probably will get you laughed at, while titles like "dude" or even worse "yo" will cost you your job. Address the interviewer however he introduces himself to you. As an example, if I were interviewing you, you'd want to call me Alden.

February 09, 2011

Preparing For Law School: The LSAT

So you've decided that you definitely want to go to law school.  Now what?  This second installment in my three part series on preparing for law school focuses on what the LSAT is and how you can prepare (the first on what to do before you apply is here).

The LSAT has 5 multiple choice sections of 35 minutes each: two logical reasoning, one analytical reasoning, one reading comprehension, and one random experimental section that will not count towards your score.  It's important to try to do well on all of the sections because you will not know which section is the experimental one.  If you can't figure out the answer, always guess.  There is no penalty for wrong answers.  There is also an essay section that is not scored, but it is sent to the law schools where you apply and could mean the difference between being accepted or wait listed.

February 08, 2011

Free & Easy Website Builders

Thinking of creating your own resume/portfolio website but don't have the time, artistic inspiration, or coding knowledge to create one from scratch? I've compiled a short list of free site builders that are simple to use.

Weebly - Drag and drop interface, customizable themes, password-protected pages
Google Sites - Themes and templates (based on purpose such as classroom, blog, portfolio, family, etc), easy integration with other Google services (Picasa, Calendar, AdSense)
Moonfruit - Themes and templates based on site purpose, others can become members of your site
Wix - Create an animated Flash site (If you opt for this one, please note that although Flash is shiny and sparkly, it doesn't work on mobile devices or on computers that don't have flash player)
Carbonmade - mostly for creating portfolio sites, friendly interface, supports uploaded images, video, and flash files

With the money you save on building your site, you should seriously consider buying a web domain (eg jsmith.com or smithdesigns.org). Domains are not very expensive and are an easy way to make your website seem more professional.

Katie Hazard | Digital Artist, User Experience Designer
khazard@internlikearockstar.com | @katie_hazard

February 07, 2011

What Not To Do - Don't Forget How Important Developing Relationships Is

Through every stage of your music business career, relationships are going to be one of the most important driving factors of your success - and I don't mean just knowing all of the CEOs of major labels. Here are just a few things to keep in mind when it comes to building business relationships.
  • You never know what the future holds for anyone; treat everyone fairly - Life is funny. Things can change in an instant. The music business is certainly not exempt from that fact. Execs in this industry play musical chairs. When they do so, they clean house a lot of the time, which shifts people around even more. Complicating things on top of that is the general uncertainty of the fate of companies in this industry - companies are being bought and sold, some going bankrupt, some entrepreneurs making breakthroughs ... it's all constantly changing. That being said, the CEO that you sucked up to may be out of a job next week, but give the other intern down the hall a few years and they found a start-up that revolutionizes the industry. And maybe not. But you really don't know where people will end up. Don't be rude to people's assistants or the person that sorts the mail or the opening act at a concert, and only nice to the top execs and the super stars. That mail clerk may be the person making the hiring decision for your dream job 10 years from now. You never know.

February 04, 2011


The GRAMMYs are this month. Test your knowledge of past award shows and winners.

Quiz suggested from Quizz.biz

February 03, 2011

Tech Guide on What to Wear

I've been hearing the question "What should I wear for my interview?" a lot lately. The tech side of the industry works very differently than the business side, so it comes as no surprise that interviews work differently too. There are different aspects of the music tech industry, and they should each be handled differently when deciding what to wear to an interview. In other words, take a look at the type of job you're applying for, and go from there:

Studio work: Generally, if you're going to work for a studio, you need to look nice, but will suffer in business attire. Working at studios involves some lifting, and it's fast pace makes wearing a full suit a hassle. Additionally, it's very likely that whoever is interviewing you will be in casual or business casual attire. Try business casual: a button down shirt, slacks, shoes and belt. If you want to trade for a nice looking sweater, that's fine, but keep the tie out of the equation.

February 02, 2011

What's Your Ambition Level?

This chart is from, and used with permission of, author and management expert Robert Keidel. He uses a lot of sports and geometry and analogies for management and development. Take a look at this chart and honestly evaluate what aspirations level matches
1)Your current attitude at work or school
2)The overall attitude and approach at work or school
3)Your current approach in life
Then keep reading

February 01, 2011

Success Stories - If at first you don't succeed, dream a little bigger!

Some people already know by the age of 5 exactly what they want to be when they grow up. For the rest of us, there's nothing more exciting than that light-bulb moment when we finally uncover our perfect career path. But no matter how motivated, dedicated, and talented you are, that path is going to have some bumps, twists and turns, and flaming hoops (who put those there?).

My inspirational success story today focuses on one of my personal favorite figures - John Lasseter!
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