Monday, December 28, 2009

Creating the “Perfect Pitch” - Chapter 2 of Ariel Hyatt's book, “Music Success in Nine Weeks”

“Demimonde Slumber Party sounds like a 60's surf musical starring David Bowie, Sleater-Kinney, & the B-52s’ Fred Schneider as the crazy uncle...”

This is the 'pitch' / 'elevator story' that we created earlier this year for a “Twitter Pitch” contest that Ariel Hyatt ran. Creating a pitch is basically coming up with a short, evocative description that will give people an idea of the unique entity that is your band – and hopefully compel them to check your music out. Creating a pitch is also the topic of Chapter 2 of Ariel's book, "Music Success in Nine Weeks".

The concept of creating a unique 'elevator story' is something I first became familiar with from Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby. It is also something that has been a challenge for us - how do we describe our sound? One reason for our difficulty was the range of songs on our last CD, 'green' - some are more towards pop-punk, while others are very mellow and melodic (you can check out clips of the songs on itunes or cd baby). In fact, one of the reviews of 'green' said:

“Demimonde Slumber Party has proven that it's easy to pack upward of four genres into a nine-track album.”

(Read reviews of 'green' here by clicking on 'Press' at the top of the page: http://www.sonicbids.com/DemimondeSlumberParty)

Partly because of this type of feedback, we'll strive to have our upcoming recordings be a little more cohesive. For example, our soon-to-be-released EP is a collection of higher energy songs. Also, a future EP will showcase the “softer side” of Demimonde Slumber Party.

But back to creating a pitch – doing Ariel's “Twitter Pitch” contest was great for us – we had fun coming up with our current pitch and felt it was a great improvement over previous attempts to describe our band. We also realized that a good pitch can give a fun sense of the band without having to specifically describe the range of styles covered in our songs.

However, this week, while reading Ariel's perfect pitch chapter, I felt it was a good time to review our current pitch. And, although we really like our current pitch, there are a couple of areas where we think it could be improved:

1) Although we have Bowie influences, we don't sound like him (though people love the Bowie covers we play - you can check out our Bowie Medley here by clicking on 'Audio' at the top of the page: http://www.sonicbids.com/DemimondeSlumberParty),

2) The current pitch lacks a 1-2-punch – it isn't something that easily flows off the tongue

We know we want to keep certain elements in our pitch – our 60's influence (garage rock, psychedelic rock, British Invasion, etc.), riot-grrrl/punk influence, and very important, a sense of humor.

Where do surf and the B-52s come in? Because of the humor in some of our songs, and the female lead vocals and mixed-gender backing vocals, several of the songs on our last CD reminded people of the B-52s. Well, the main one that did is also the most popular song on the CD, 'Santa Barbara'.
That song also has a surf theme – so there we have the surf element. And, we are from California, after all.

So while we play around with some ideas for changing our pitch, we'd like your feedback. Below is the current pitch, followed by a few alternative ideas we've come up with so far. Let us know which one you like best – or if you have a different idea you'd like to suggest!

Our current pitch:

Demimonde Slumber Party sounds like a 60's surf musical starring David Bowie, Sleater-Kinney, & the B-52s’ Fred Schneider as the crazy uncle...

Some alternative pitch ideas:

1. Demimonde Slumber Party sounds like a 60's surf musical starring Sleater-Kinney & the B-52s.

2a. Demimonde Slumber Party's music is what you'd get if Sleater-Kinney had to make an album with the cast of Laugh-in....

2b. Demimonde Slumber Party's music is what you'd get if Sleater-Kinney was the house band on Laugh-in....

(And we seriously want to know how many people know what both Sleater-Kinney and Laugh-in are...)

3. Demimonde Slumber Party's music is what you'd get if the B-52's created a remake of “A Hard Day's Night” starring Sleater-Kinney.

3 comments:

Carla Lynne Hall said...

Hey Melissa and DSP!

I'm on Ariel's Music Success judging panel, and wanted to stop by and say hello!

Good luck with the contest!

Carla
http://RockStarLifeLessons.com
http://Twitter.com/carlalynnehall

Melissa said...

Hi Carla - I just saw your comment, and I mentioned you in my latest post!
Thanks for your good wishes!
:-)

ordinary said...

I think there are a little bit too many people in the pitch on the top of your page. I would rather go with your first choice of alternative list: "Demimonde Slumber Party sounds like a 60's surf musical starring Sleater-Kinney & the B-52s."

And I don't know Sleater-Kinney but the B-52s catch my attention ;-)

oh by the way my music is here: Ordinary Pop, and I still have to figure out the pitch. Maybe "Ordinary Pop, it's Coldplay sensitivity with a slice of noisy Muse drama" :D