Well, I must be crazy. At a time when I have a seemingly impossible amount of things to keep up with, and because of which I often times have to take time away from this blog, I’ve become a contributor to yet another blog. The official company blog for my startup, Radical Notion (independent media).

It’s been an extremely long time coming, as I intended (and promised, in fact) to launch the blog over a year ago. Fail. But in any case, now there is an official place where we can share specific news and ideas relating to Radical Notion (independent media), and I don’t have to pull double duty on Producer Notes with posts which don’t always quite fit the context here. Of course, there will still be some spill-over idea/news that will fit the context of Producer Notes, and when appropriate I’ll continue to share.

So I invite you to point your browsers in the direction of the Radical Notion (independent media) blog: radicalnotion.net/blog. We have a specific focus we’re set on there, and would be thrilled to have you join the tribe. The super-easy way is to subscribe to the RSS feed at: feeds.feedburner.com/RadicalNotion

Look forward to talking with some of you over there!

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Posted on 07-02-2010
Filed Under (music business inspiration) by Jon Stinson

Last Wednesday I posted about The Flaming Lips documentary The Fearless Freaks, and in that post I cited a few memories in my life around the time I was first turned onto The Flaming Lips.

Yesterday I came across two pieces of media that featured Terry McBride, CEO of Nettwerk Management. 1) A Be The Media interview, and 2) A YouTube video of Terry’s TEDxVancouver speech. In both of these pieces of media Terry talks about the emotional power of music and its ability to bookmark moments in our lives that we can return to whenever we choose. Immediately I thought about my post from Wednesday, so I had to share:

The Be The Media interview:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/be-the-media/2010/02/03/terry-mcbride-ceo-nettwerk-music-group (kinda long, but worth it-1hr total)

TEDxVancouver speech:

For the last few years, I’ve looked to Terry McBride as a major source of inspiration. The principles upon which I founded Radical Notion (independent media) are very much non-traditional, outside the box ideas. And ever since I founded this company, I’ve been searching for new ideas, finding inspiration everywhere I could, and seeking to better understand what these new ideas and inspiration I have are. This search of knowledge for what the future of the music business looks like is what ultimately led me to Terry McBride and the ideas he shares.

Terry McBride has an understanding of this subject matter which is astonishingly articulate. I hope one day I can understand all of this half as eloquently.

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Posted on 05-02-2010
Filed Under (art and creativity) by Jon Stinson

Having knowledge of the tools-understanding them-is an important part of your artistic process.

The results and character of what you get with pen and paper is certainly different from what you get with keyboards and electrons.

Recording to tape using a collection of vintage tube mics is not going to make your art any more or less compelling. But there is a specific inspiration you get from recording to tape, and another specific inspiration you get from recording to a DAW. And neither one of these is “better” than the other-they’re just different.

Make sure you understand the tools. Don’t ignore one thing because it’s too “new” and another because it’s too “old.”

Utilize a collection of tools throughout all your creative processes, whether recording, writing, taking photos, or anything else creative. You will be pleased with the way it changes your style and character, and the different nuances within the results you get.

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Posted on 04-02-2010
Filed Under (announcements) by Jon Stinson

So yesterday I published my first blog post of 2010, and I’m happy to be posting once again. I believe when I made the announcement that I would need to be taking time away, back in October, I mentioned that I would be getting rid of the regular posting schedule of publishing new posts every Wednesday. Instead, I’m going to simply post whenever I can. And my intention is for posting to happen often.

I think that by doing away with a regular posting schedule, and writing posts relatively on the spot (rather than taking days to prepare a post), I’ll ironically have more freedom to post more often. From best I can tell after running this blog for two and a half years, all the work and thought I was putting into preparing weekly posts was too much of a challenge to balance into my daily work.

In addition to this new posting routine, I’ve diversified the range of topics I’ll be creating a dialogue within (see category descriptions below). I think exploring these new topics will help me learn and become better at my craft (which is one of the main reasons I run this blog), as well as make it easier to come up with content to post, and giving the blog an even more human feel-as I hope my personality tastefully shows through a little more.

New categories:

  • Contemplations-Me learning out loud; working to understand new (to me) perspectives and epiphanies, relevant to record making
  • Inspiration-Things I’m generally inspired by (different from the Music Business Inspiration category)
  • Recollections-Career and autobiographical stories

I hope these changes do indeed serve as an improvement to Producer Notes. I hope it makes you enjoy the blog even more. I hope it brings more value to the blog. I hope it brings more discussion to the blog. And I hope it leads to more learning experiences for both you and me.

I Hope this new year has been good to you so far, and I look forward to the conversation we have on Producer Notes in 2010.

Thanks again for being loyal readers.


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Posted on 03-02-2010
Filed Under (music business inspiration) by Jon Stinson

Since last Friday I’ve been battling a terrible cold, and have not been able to get much sleep. Out of frustration I gave up, and decided to just watch movies on Hulu instead. Last nite I came across The Flaming Lips: The Fearless Freaks, which is obviously a documentary about the band The Flaming Lips.

Although I’ve never collected or listened to a lot of The Flaming Lips music, I’ve always been very interested in and inspired by the band. I remember being turned onto the band by my older sister, who is responsible for turning me onto a lot of the now legendary bands which shaped rock music from the late 80′s through the early 90′s.

I think it was 1994, and my sister was all about this new song hitting the independent radio airwaves-I believe back then there was this really cool station in Nashville called Thunder 94, which played some of the most fantastic underground indie/grunge rock-the song was She Don’t Use Jelly.

She came to me and told me all about it, “You have to hear this song!” She put it on a mix cassette tape, and we would listen to it in the car on the way to school.

Shortly after, I went out and bought the CD, Transmissions from the Satellite Heart. I listened to it, tried to like it, didn’t get it, and ultimately traded it to my sister for The Smashing Pumpkins record Pisces Iscariot. A few years later, when my sister went off to college, I went digging through the CDs she left behind. I was so excited when I found that she had left Transmissions from the Satellite Heart. I listened to the CD from start to finnish, and this time I understood the appeal. I loved the guitar tones, the timbre of the lead vocal, the riffs, and the instrumentation.

Like a lot of bands, though, for some very strange reason I didn’t continue to follow The Flaming Lips, or buy any more of their records. Throughout the years there have been a lot of bands I’ve really enjoyed, but never bought their records. Best I can tell, this all had something to do with my obsession with The Smashing Pumpkins-I was too busy studying their records to pay much attention to anything else.

The Flaming Lips have always held some kind of special inspiration for me, and throughout the years, as the band periodically popped up on my radar-one of the Batman movie soundtracks; when they hit critical mass around 2002 with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots-it’s always stirred an excitement in me that I can’t quite put my finger on.

And watching The Fearless Freaks last nite helped me understand a little bit more about what the excitement and inspiration that comes from The Flaming Lips is. It reminded me of a time in my life when I was first realizing how important music was to me, and it reminded me of specific memories for which the band’s music served as the soundtrack.

The Fearless Freaks served as an intimate window into the lives of The Flaming Lips, and made me realize that through all these years this band has been astonishingly forward-thinking, lead by risk takers who are pure artists, and visionaries-always remaining true to a specific set of ideas.

I’ve always been inspired by The Flaming Lips, but watching The Fearless Freaks I saw that I’m now inspired by the band on another level-an entrepreneurial level-as they more or less have been doing for around 20 years, what I’m attempting to accomplish now. Building something that is remarkable.


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