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: (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 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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I just finished reading Seth Godin’s new book Tribes. It’s an extremely motivational book about leadership. It’s also extremely short and to the point. I read the entire book in four hours, and the only reason it took me so long (it didn’t take me long at all!) is because I paused to take time to carry out my daily responsibilities.

This book is practically written for the music industry (Musicians, do you realize that your fans are your tribe?). I recommend every entrepreneur read this book (hint: everyone is an entrepreneur). I think this book should be a requirement for all leaders-and record producers and audio engineers are all leaders (hint: if you are reading this blog, you are a leader). If I were teaching a college course-any college course-I would make it a requirement to read this book, so needless to say I think all college students should read this book immediately.

Go read this book. Don’t waste time coming up with reasons why you can’t read this book, just get it done. We are all busy. We all have way too much stuff to be doing (Yeah, I know you have that presentation to prepare, or that test to study for, or that guitar to record, or that vocal to comp, or that checkbook to balance), but by the time you’re done thinking through all the chores you have to complete, you could be 50 pages in, and halfway to that brilliant epiphany that is going to set new things in motion for you.

Do this: take one week, and plan to work just a tiny bit harder. Put in just a little extra time by forgoing your regular relaxation time, and trade it for just a little time reading Tribes. It’s an extremely small investment for a potentially enormous return. And because you’re a faster reader than me, it won’t even take you four hours. Then you will be a heretic, the term Seth uses in the book to describe a person who does not accept the status quo, but instead evokes change (i.e. a leader). To make it almost effortless, the book is offered in multiple formats (even a free version). When you are finished with the book, give your copy to a friend.

One last thing: look for my buddy, Jonathan Harms, on the inside cover.

I’d love to hear about your epiphanies in the comments!

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Posted on 21-04-2008
Filed Under (music business inspiration) by Jon Stinson

I was away in Florida all weekend for a wedding, so I am a little late to the party about the Walter Yetnikoff interview. If you have not already seen it, you should watch it. [Walter Yetnikoff Interview]

I first learned about Walter Yetnikoff a few years back when I picked up a copy of the book [Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business] by Fredric Dannen.

This interview is awesome. Yetnikoff has some great insight on how major labels are run today as opposed to when he was head of CBS Records. He also rails a bit on Hit Men.

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Posted on 13-03-2008
Filed Under (music business inspiration) by Jon Stinson

NIN Logo

I have been posting a lot more than usual lately. This is party because there is more to talk about, and partly because I’m contemplating increasing the frequency of my posts. It’s kind of a hard decision to make. On one hand I feel that I would be stretching myself way too thin, as I have so much going on right now. On the other hand, I feel that if I stick to my current schedule, which is to post every Monday, that I miss out on talking about a lot of things because they are no longer current. I feel I would be doing my blog and my audience a disservice if I tried to post too often, and the quality of my blog suffered. In any case I wanted to talk about something now, and not wait another four days, as I feel it won’t be as relevant then.

Nine Inch Nails has been coming up with some awesome ideas to connect with their audience. They recently have released a collection titled Ghosts, with different options for downloading or buying physical copies. Now they are taking the Ghosts project and enhancing it by doing a collaboration with their fans through YouTube. It’s really inspiring to me, and I plan to copy some of their ideas. Check out Trent Reznor’s latest blog post []

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