Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2018 – III – The Year We Have Known Is Gone

Here is the final wrap of 2018. Have a safe break and see ya all in the new year.

Click on the playlist here.

I Am The One
We Got Tonite
Outloud

What can I say, I’m a sucker for melodic rock.

You Can’t Take Me Down
Playing With Fire
Dream Child

Craig Goldy’s little project is doing okay. People are interested, let’s see what comes next.

Lover, Leaver
Greta Van Fleet

They finally dropped an album and its selling, their previous EP is selling and people are listening. The only way is up. It’s up to them.

Self-Inflicted Wounds
Joe Bonamassa

From his “Redemption” album. On each album, there is always a track or two that connects with me.

Oblivion
Stratovarius

Can’t say I’m a fan of the band, but this song is good.

The whole Unheavenly Creatures album.
Coheed and Cambria

Read my review of it here.

Royal Beggars
Hereafter
A Wasted Hymn
Architects

Sometimes the vocal screaming gets to me, but in these three songs it’s a good mix of emotions and musically there is a lot to unpack.

The whole Firesign album.
Dynazty

Check out my review here.

The One You Loved Is Gone
Slash, Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators

Read my review here.

Are You Ready
The Best Ones Lie
Disturbed

These two are the best on the album and ignore the rest.

All The Time In The World
Whitesnake

From the surprise “Unzipped” album.

As I Fall
Afterlife
After Midnight
Andy James

Great instrumental guitar playing.

Hold The Line
Bonfire

From their “Legends” album covering a classic song that I used to cover in bands.

Swallow
I Am Fuel
Panoptical
Sons Of War
The End Will Begin Again
Thieves and Legend
Days Of Jupiter

Every era has a band that sounds similar to a famous band and then end up overtaking the band that influenced them in songwriting and risk taking.

In this case Days Of Jupiter runs rings around Disturbed but Disturbed is the one with the popularity.

Threatening War
Far Below
White Mist
Shed A Light
The Pineapple Thief

From their “Dissolution” album which is their twelfth album. Yep, you read that correct. Album number twelve and I’m hearing about the band for the first time.

It’s the way of our world know and it takes time to rise above the static noise. Just be patient and remember, music is a lifers game.

I’m A Ratt
Stephen Pearcy

From his “View To A Thrill” album. This song sounds like the ratt and roll that Robin Crosby used to bring to RATT.

First Time
Aftermath
Freedom
Long Shot
Royal Tusk

I was taken by surprise by “Tusk II”. It’s more rockier, even metal at certain times and the lyrics are more angrier.

Just Tell Me Something (featuring Danny Worsnop)
All That Remains

From their “Victims Of The New World” album. It’s the first song that stood out to me and demanded I press repeat.

What will happen to the band remains to be seen.

The Messenger
Circles

From “The Last One” album.

They are from Australia and ead this review of the album, as I totally agree with it and feel no need to further elaborate. http://www.heavyblogisheavy.com/2018/08/29/circles-the-last-one/

Life On Titan
Vault Of Heaven
Voices From The Fuselage

Ashe from TesseracT is back with his pre-TesseracT band.

Mayday
Digital Summer

A fully independent band who control their own destiny. They have been releasing singles from a forthcoming album in between jobs as paramedics and raising kids.

The Clincher – Version 103
Chevelle

From their “12 Bloody Spies: B Sides and Rarities” album. The vocal feel hooks me in.

Without You I’m Nothing
Rockin With The Boys
Bronx Boy
Mission To Mars
Ace Frehley

From his “Spaceman” album. Read Deke’s review over at Thunder Bay.

And that’s it. 2018 is a wrap. See ya next year.

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My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Creed II

I paid $106 to watch Creed II last night. 5 tickets plus popcorn, drinks and ice cream cones. And the movie studios wonder why people pirate.

Also I’ve never understood why an adult ticket is $14 and a child ticket $13.

What the fuck does that mean?

You buy three child tickets to save $3.

But the child still takes up a seat and still watches the same movie as an adult. It’s like going to a rock concert and the promoter offering child tickets. It doesn’t make sense as the experience for a child is the same as the adult. They still watch the same show/movie and still occupy a spot/seat.

If they are serious about offering decent family tickets they need a price rethink.

Maybe a family package based on your family dynamic might be more suitable. Like $55 for a family of five. $45 for a family of four and so on.

But its too difficult for Village Roadshow, the MPAA or the movie studios to think up innovative business models and price structures because it’s easier to pump money into the political parties and get laws passed.

To paraphrase Martin Luther King, I dream of a day when these lobbyists and greedy corporations get their due and are totally replaced by Netflix and Amazon who by default will then be the companies charging top dollar and seen as the enemy.

Anyway movie studio rant over and back to “Creed”.

“Creed” is breathing new life into the “Rocky” series.

The story of the children of Creed fighting Drago was going to happen, but how it would be told without being too cliche was open to debate. So the writers could have told a risky original story but instead they decided to chuck in the story of “Rocky III” with the marriage and pregnancy of “Rocky II” and call it “Creed II”.

Imagine if the flick had Adonis Creed as the fighter that wanted to fight Viktor Drago as revenge for Apollo instead of making the flick about Drago wanting to fight Creed as revenge for his fathers defeat at the hands of Rocky. Too risky to paint the Eastern European as the antihero but also predictable.

Even though it borrows a lot from previous “Rocky” movies, it’s still a good flick.

My boys haven’t had a cinematic boxing experience and the sound effects of the punches in the cinema are bone shattering and it never sounds the same and it doesn’t have the same impact in our home cinema. So they loved it. Well the six year old came for the popcorn and fell asleep half way through, after the popcorn was eaten.

And “Creed II” is a movie that deals with the “mind” being ready for what it needs to do and to know why you are doing what you plan on doing.

This is similar to topics I teach as a Youth sport coach. Probably why the movie resonated with my kids, along with a cool visual experience of boxing on the big screen.

But one thing that’s missing for me is the awesome soundtrack music, especially during the training scenes and final fight scenes. That Rocky IV soundtrack is legendary and more influential in music circles than the movie is.

Regardless “Creed II” is a new adventure and it’s risk free, enjoyable movie making.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2018 -II – Feels Like I’ve Been Here Before

Here is the Spotify playlist.

The Day When Legions Burn
Trust
Desolation
Tremonti

Mark Tremonti is a riff master. He just keeps churning out song after song after song. He also knows the modern game is to release frequently and to get people to listen.

“The Day When Legions Burn” is up there as a classic speed metal song and those leads are guitar hero material.

“Trust” has got this groovy and cool intro/verse with a Chorus that would not be out of place in Creed and Alter Bridge. But that slowed down bridge section which reminds me of “Blackbird” is a fuck yeah moment.

And in “Desolation” that section from 2.15 minutes to the end is perfect.

Deja-Vu
Monument

From England and man you can hear their Maiden influences on the “Hellhound” album.

This song is actually a cover of one of my favorite and obscure Maiden songs from their “Somewhere In Time” album.

Monument also have a song called “Death Valley” on the album which has a vocal line similar to “Deja-Vu”.

Feels like I’ve been there before indeed.

Dance Macabre
Ghost

How good is this band?

They just nail it with riffs that remind me of songs from my youth and Tobias Forge is one hell of a lyricist and vocalist. Even if you don’t like his Evil Pope/Cardinal look, there is no denying he’s an excellent artist.

Lover
Artsidir

From Iceland and I have no idea how this pop rock band ended up on my playlist, but the song is catchy and it sounds familiar and it’s a cool listen.

Living In A Hurricane
King Company

From Finland. Another super group project of extreme metal musicians playing songs from their influences and I fucking dig it.

The intro riff is straight from the “Sunset Strip”.

The whole “Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough Album”
The Night Flight Orchestra

Read my review here.

Awaken The Tyrants
Motorjesus

From Germany.

This is the beauty of Spotify. Every artist from any part of the world is available to be found.

I love the sound of this song. It’s classic heavy metal the way I now it.

The whole “For The Love Of Metal” album.
Dee Snider

Read my reviews here and here.

The whole “Long Nights Journey Into Day”
Redemption

Read my review here.

Killing Ourselves To Live
Buzz
Black Vultures
Halestorm

Lzzy Hale gets it. She communicates with her fans via Twitter and she writes lyrics which reflect life. And her topic range is huge from tongue and cheek songs about threesomes and vibrators, to more serious subject matter about internet trolls and taking risks to stand for something.

“Killing Ourselves To Live” to me, is about not being afraid about the pain that the fight for a better life and society will bring ya.

“Buzz” based on the lyrics looks like it’s about a vibrator.

“Black Vultures” to me is about the social media haters (the black vultures) circling and waiting for Lzzy to fail.

Easter – Live at the Royal Albert Hall
Marillion

The lead break here is what hooks me. It hooked me from the first time I heard it and it still hooks me now.

Why Won’t You (Die Motherfucker)
Mile

Any song that starts off with the words “why won’t you die motherfucker it’s time for you to leave” has my attention.

It’s aggressive and energetic and I dig it.

It came across my radar when Spotify added it to one of their playlists which I follow.

And of course they are from Sweden.

Paralyzed
Feel The Way I Feel
Nonpoint

It sounds nothing like the Nonpoint I first heard, but goddamn it, I like it. It’s a risk and they are flying high with it.

Running Out Of Time
Home
Heartline
Ladders For Leaders
Dead Letter Circus

Great Aussie rock band.

“Heartline” and “Ladders For Leaders” are the standout tracks for me.

Check out these lyrics;

Villains created,
Become ladders for leaders
To keep us from asking
Who’s holding the strings
Coming from their backs

Governments defined. Create an enemy and use said enemy to ascend the political wilderness and rise to the top. And behind you, the corporations and their lobbyists are filling you with cash so you bow down to them.

Another Day
Ultraphonix

This album was an interesting experiment from George Lynch and Corey Glover and this song is by far the best.

Body Of Work
Degreed

Degreed are hit and miss with me. On this song, they nail the heavy rock in the verses with a super catchy melodic rock chorus.

And of course they are from Sweden.

Some Thing About Love
Saliva

It’s not Josey Scott on vocals but they still rock. This song could have been on a Good Charlotte album it’s that catchy.

Take Away My Soul
Uriah Heep

They are still rocking it, being led by Mick Box who is the only original member left.

I am not a person willing to buy into this (I’m a free man)
I stand by my own decision I made long ago (I’m a free man)
I am stronger and I go my own way

We believe we are free, but we are tied to a lot of institutions, it’s not even funny.

Plus there is an outro guitar solo that seems to go on forever and I like it..

The whole Persistence album
Kingcrow

From Italy.

Read my review here.

Walk Me Through The Fire
Nordic Union

The Road To Hell
Sunstorm

Nordic Union is a Danish/Swedish Frontiers project featuring Pretty Maids vocalist Ronnie Atkins and guitarist/songwriter/producer Erik Martensson from Eclipse and W.E.T.

Joe Lynn Turner fronts Sunstorm and melodic rock songwriter Alessandro Delvecchio provides keys and songwriting. “Road To Hell” is a song that has a few musical passages reminiscent of “Judas” from Malmsteen.

And I’ve had this feeling for a while that the projects Delvecchio and Martensson are involved in are starting to sound very similar. And Frontiers really needs a rethink here.

Remember this is why hard rock went into cardiac arrest while everyone blamed Grunge. Too much samey equals career suicide.

Stay tuned for 3.

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A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2018 Spotify Stats

I listened to 6,178 different songs and devoted 43,201 minutes to music on Spotify.

So to all the people who say music is finished, remember there are millions of people around the world with similar listening habits. But “we need stronger Copyright”, the RIAA would say.

I started the year listening to “Dream Evil” by Dio and Headstones became the first new band I checked out based on a review by Deke over at ThunderBay.

I spent 34 hours or 2,040 minutes with Machine Head.

My five top artists for 2018 are Machine Head, The Night Flight Orchestra, Def Leppard, The Butterfly Effect and Dee Snider.

As you can see there are no new artists in the list. It’s a lifers game. If you are in it for a quick buck, get into the stock market or deliver Pizzas.

My top five songs for 2018 based on listens are “Monolith” from Thirty Seconds To Mars, “A Love Unreal” from Black Label Society, “Final Conversation” from The Butterfly Effect, “The Peace” from WASP and “This Is War” from Audrey Horne.

Spotify tells me that I listen to non-mainstream artists 73% more than the average listener – so here’s to being different. I’m sure there are a lot of others who are exactly like me.

Here is my Top 100 playlist Spotify put together for me.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, Unsung Heroes

My Spotify Top Artist For 2018 is … Machine Head

Don’t let the bastards grind you down is the catch-cry from Machine Head this year. It pissed some people off and inspire others.

Apart from dropping a new album at the start of the year, Machine Head’s back catalogue features heavily in my life.

And Robb Flynn’s vocals are an acquired taste as he merges aggressive throat breaking barks to soaring melodic passages. It’s a voice built from his lifestyle. No one else can mimic it.

Thanks for the music and even though 2018 ends a bit uncertain for the band with two members leaving, I am sure Robb Flynn will go on and deliver a stellar Machine Head album.

The world is watching. New drummers and guitarists are waiting to join. It’s up to you.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, Unsung Heroes

2018 – Legends Will Rise – Part 1

It’s time to start the year in review.

Here is the playlist for all the songs.

I have over 150 songs saved, and I’ve broken my comments on each song over a few posts.

When Legends Rise
Godsmack

It’s the title track. Generic nu-Metal in the music, but those vocal melodies from Sully Erna are addictive.

Legs are tired
These hands are broken
Alone I tried
With words unspoken
A silent cry
My breath is frozen
With blinded eyes
I fear myself

It’s the mindset that makes it happen. If the mind believes it’s possible, you will find a way to make it possible, even when your body screams stop.

It’s burning down
It’s burning high
When ashes fall
Legends rise

When your backs against the wall, when you have that last play, that last punch, that last kick, that last run left to do, the ones who succeed are the ones who have failed before.

I played it to my kids and they immediately connected with the lyrics.

Eye Of The Storm
Godsmack

In the eye of the storm I make my stand
But I’m not waiting for the walls to close in
I just brace myself for the winds to change their ways

Great analogy about the chaos of life we face everyday.

Forever And A Day
Gathering of Kings

The song is written by Victor Olsson. Actually all of the songs are written by Victor on this album and there is hardly a mention of him in the news, sort of like how Alessandro Delvecchio is the silent partner in Frontiers project.

This project is like a Steely Dan project in Swedish Melodic Rock circles with musicians from The Night Flight Orchestra, Spiritual Beggars, Treat, Eclipse, Corroded, Saffire and Pretty Maids all involved.

What can I say I’m a sucker for tunes like this.

Through
Remember Me
Gioeli Castronovo

Another Frontiers Records project of getting certain people together to deliver a melodic rock album written by Alessandro Delvecchio.

And how cool does the “Heavens On Fire” vocal melody sound over different chords on “Through”.

Sorry
Stryper

One thing about Stryper is they are still in the game, releasing albums and each one has a classic song or two on them with some killer guitar playing.

Like the lead break on this song.

Check it out.

Monolith
Thirty Seconds To Mars

It’s only a minute and thirty seven seconds instrumental, but it’s enough. It couldnt be any longer as it sets a feel and emotion of something big to come.

Great Wide Open
Thirty Seconds To Mars

Into the great wide open
Across a land of blood and dreams

I remember when Dad and my older brother got our first family car, which was a shitty Mitsubishi L300 Van. It just felt like all the borders and city limits evaporated and suddenly we were traveling into the great wide open.

Live Like A Dream
Thirty Seconds To Mars

Live like a dream
Broken but free

Life is tough. It tries to break us, make us obey and it tries to make us fit a mold made by someone else.

Burn
W.E.T

Get ready to be sent back to the mid 80s in another Frontiers Melodic Rock Project.

Calm Before The Storm
Light The Torch

Howard Jones delivers a stellar vocal performance that deals with addiction.

The nights are getting colder
The days are growing long
And you do not know what you’re fighting for
Come back to where you started
Come back where you belong
And I won’t be your calm before the storm

How good is the Chorus vocal melody?

This Is War
Audrevolution
Blackout

Audrey Horne

From Norway.

I’m fuel to the fire
Flame rising higher
This is war
We we’ll never be silent
Or divided
This is war

When I turn to the news pages on the web, there is so much abuse of power.

Bankers are abusing their position, getting rich by selling debt. Politicians are abusing their positions to cater for corporations instead of the people who voted them in. People in power abusing their positions for sexual gratitude and if the victim doesn’t comply, they railroad their career.

So what can the rest of us do?

Do we just stand divided, so focused on our ones and zeroes in our bank accounts or do we get together and make change.

It’s up to us.

Welcome to the Audrevolution
666 our own constitution

I sing the 6-6-6 with drink-drink-drink.

A Love Unreal
Black Label Society

My review of this song is here and that guitar solo.

Luminary
Juno

Tesseract

Progressive rock has come a long way from its 70s explosion. To me a song can be in 4/4 and still be progressive. TesseracT sit someone in between with their off beat polyrhythms, atmospheric guitars or jarring guitars with melodic vocals.

Are you alone, locked inside
That prison in your head?
You walk through the crowd
Lost in the sound
Invisible to every passing eye

It’s a symptom of the times. We are connected socially by digital means but when in public, we put our headphones on, keep to ourselves and get lost in the crowd, with our thoughts to keep us company.

Walls Come Down
Pink Cream 69

A German act.

You never tried to soften your words
Twisted your terms, took us for fools
And all you know is what you’ve been told

Upbringing, family and the social class you keep as you grow are all pivotal in how you understand the world.

If there is a racist in your circle, you will have racist views. If their is a climate change denier in the group, you will have denial views as well.

And when you come across people with views that differ, how do you respond. Do you yell back with your own views?

The Peace
WASP

Blackie can sure write a kick arse ballad. You can read my review here.

Behind A Mask
Machine Head

Another song which I have covered in a separate blog post.

Right Left Wrong
Strange Days

Three Days Grace

So here I go
Left right left
Right left wrong
I don’t know where I’m going
But I just keep moving on
Moving on

So true. Wandering aimlessly without a thought. You know you need to get away but to where.

Raise a glass to the end of it all
Who’s to blame when it’s everyone’s fault?
And we celebrate our way through dangerous times
Strange days are comin’ for us
Say goodbye to the way that it was
And we celebrate our way through dangerous times

The times in a nutshell. We are comfortable and oblivious to all the shit we allow people in positions of power get away with. To raise our voice, to demonstrate, means to be uncomfortable and the majority just want comfort.

No Surrender
Judas Priest

The riff hooks me and then the chorus lyrics seal the deal.

Chasing a dream as I go higher
Playing it mean, my heart’s on fire
Living my life, ain’t no pretender
Ready to fight with no surrender

Yeah it all rhymes and it’s simple and it’s dumb and i fucking dig it.

Next Few Steps
Surrender The Crown

From Germany.

I know for a fact that duty always bounds to love

Duty means a responsibility or a task of action that one is required to perform as part of ones job.

So when Love gets in the way, get ready for duty.

Transition
CrashCarBurn

From South Africa and they’ve been rocking since 2006. They came into my listening headspace back in 2014 because of piracy.

And since then I’ve been a fan on Spotify. This is from the new album “Headlights” and no one even knows about it.

Love Can Only Heal
Myles Kennedy

The feel of this song and the outro is what hooks me.

Nevermind the pain
‘Cause love can only heal
If only you could trade the dark for light it might reveal
That there’s a place inside
Don’t be afraid to feel
‘Cause love can only heal

Sometimes love is not enough especially when you don’t have it around you.

Blues Won’t Leave Me Alone
RSO

Orianthi kills it on this track. Her vocal line delivery is outstanding and her leads on the track is what legends are made off.

On Spotify it’s totally forgotten at 35K streams and on YouTube it’s sitting at 217K views. Still anemic for the quality in this song.

Creatures
Monsters

Shinedown

As they chase the charts with songs that don’t sound like Shinedown, let’s hope they don’t forget why they made the charts in the first place, by playing kick ass rock.

These two songs are how I like Shinedown to sound.

The Void
Chronos
Prey

Parkway Drive

From Australia.

This is the album that connected with me and it’s album number 6 from them.

Musically the riffs are there, bone crushing when they need to be and melodic when they need to be.

No Masters
Bad Wolves

This is a great song with lyrics that connect.

Back on that chain gang, strumming along
Hammering nails so I can sing my song
The devil done this to me
I drive the spikes down, profound
Building the cages that all broke us down
Boy get back down on your knees

As Sebastian Bach from Skid Row belted out, “how can I be king of the world if I’m a slave to the grind”.

So why are we spending our time building someone else’s dream instead of ours?

So take these chains from me
We’ll break these bastards
There’s no masters here

Sounds great on paper but reality is so much different. As much as we said we’re not gonna take it, we did take it and became slaves in the process.

A thousand boots down on the ground
Beating a drum under a marching sound
You better fucking believe
They’re screaming left right, left right
Fist in the air you better pick a side
Against the plutocracy

Plutocracy means government by the wealthy. And god damn it, it’s true. If the politicians are not wealthy, their faceless sponsors are.

Because even though politicians are voted in by the people, they refuse to serve the people, while the bend over for the corporation and their lobbyists.

Stay tuned for the other parts to come..

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Unsung Heroes

Price Reset

All prices have a reset.

The live business greed at the moment is like the record label greed pre-Napster. Releasing albums with two to three good songs and charging too much for it.

If artists allow corporations to keep exploiting their fans in this way, there will be a backlash.

A price reset.

In the same way housing prices and share prices have a reset.

Even the recording business consumer prices have had a reset however the licensing fees the labels charge to services have increased exponentially.

On demand TV has had a price reset because of Netflix. There is a whole new generation who don’t even remember what Cable is.

Artists need to make money, there is no doubt, however just because they release new music it doesn’t mean they are not entitled to make money.

No one has a right to make money from music. Ed Sheeran gave his music away for free and played for free. It was only after Sheeran established his worth in the market that he was able to start making some money.

In other words, just because Ed Sheeran decided to write and produce music, it didn’t mean he had an entitlement to be paid from the start; he had to prove to people that he was worth paying for before people did so.

The internet distribution methods allows everyone to create. There are no gatekeepers. So anything an artist creates is competing with everything released today and in the past.

You have to remember that it’s only a few hundred years, if that much, that artists are working with money. Artists never got money. Artists had a patron, either the leader of the state or the duke of Weimar or somewhere, or the church, the pope. Or they had another job. I have another job. I make films. No one tells me what to do. But I make the money in the wine industry. You work another job and get up at five in the morning and write your script.

This idea of Metallica or some rock n’ roll singer being rich, that’s not necessarily going to happen anymore. Because, as we enter into a new age, maybe art will be free.

Maybe the students are right. They should be able to download music and movies. I’m going to be shot for saying this. But who said art has to cost money? And therefore, who says artists have to make money?

In the old days, 200 years ago, if you were a composer, the only way you could make money was to travel with the orchestra and be the conductor, because then you’d be paid as a musician. There was no recording. There were no record royalties. So I would say, “Try to disconnect the idea of cinema with the idea of making a living and money.” Because there are ways around it.

Francis Ford Coppola on answering a question about how a start up artist can make money in the current P2P 2011 climate.

It’s an old interview from 2011 but Coppola makes some relevant points especially the last line about disconnecting the idea of cinema (and in my view any art in general like music and books) with the idea of making a living or earning money.

And it’s hard for people because we’ve all grown up in an era that showcased the millions movies and bands made.

And there are always different ways around making money. You just need to put the hard work in.

Trent Reznor had some albums released for free on P2P and they proved popular. He released a super deluxe edition afterwards and people purchased this limited edition run and he grossed $700,000.

Amanda Palmer is the crowd funded hero.

Even Protest The Hero was surprised how large their fan base is when they went the crowd funded route after being dropped by their label. For the next release, they did a special Bandcamp release with a 6 month subscription for a song a month. They then released the songs in vinyl and people still purchased them.

I recently did a post about an R&B artist who uses Spotify listening data to organize tours and making some good coin around it.

So what are you waiting for.

You have the tools, it’s time to find the business model that fits.

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