Monday, January 25, 2010

Buy our CD today from CdBaby and $1 will be donated to Haiti relief efforts:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Endangered Species Chocolate Bar

Some of you may remember a post a while ago where I mention a new song having to do with endangered species. Well, this song is about a chocolate bar made by a company I've been a fan of years - the Endangered Species Chocolate Company. They donate "10% of net profits to help support species, habitat and humanity". That's very inspiring to me - what could be better than a delicious chocolate bar that helps make the world a better place?

Last weekend, the band was working on a video for this song (coming soon! - both the video and the song, which will be on our new CD), and it gave me the occasion to enjoy one of their relatively new flavors, Organic Dark Chocolate with Goji Berry, Pecans and Maca - yummy!!!

I look forward to our record release when I can share this song with all of you! But in the meantime, if you can, check out their chocolate!!!

- Melissa

Growing the Band's Email list - And What To Do With It!

Hi everyone! Wow, what a great weekend Demimonde Slumber Party had! Our out-of-town bassist Tim Romain was here, and we worked on some video in preparation for our upcoming record release! More on that very soon!

This week, I'm going to address two chapters of Ariel's book, Chapters 5 and 6. They are both related, and involve a band's email list. Chapter 5 has suggestions for how to use this list. One of these is surveying your fans as to what they might want from you (such as playing a house concert or selling them official Demimonde Slumber Party pajamas for their next slumber party). She suggests waiting until your list has 1000 members to begin surveying them. Well, since our list is not quite 1000 strong yet, I was eager to also read through the next chapter, which is about growing your email list.

Another topic she addresses in Chapter 5 is the band newsletter. She stresses the importance of staying connected with your fans, and mind you, she isn't suggesting emailing people very often, just once or twice a month. We haven't been emailing our fans very frequently, so starting now, we will begin sending out a newsletter once a month!

And why haven't we been emailing our fans very often? Partly because we haven't been gigging in awhile. And that is because, after our last local bassist moved away, we decided to record a new CD before looking for local bassists again. Luckily for us, we still have our out-of-town bassist, and so we recorded our new CD with him.

Now that the CD is finished, and soon to be released, it is time for the band to rouse completely from its 'Slumber' and start being active again - getting some new local bassists (yeah, I won't settle for less than two this time :-)), gigging, and communicating more consistently with our email list!

As for her suggestions for growing our email list... One that I've been meaning to get to anyway is personally inviting each of our MySpace friends to join our list. That will be my next task here - wish me luck!

- Melissa

p.s. - How can you join our awesome list? Go to our website - or the right hand column of this blog - and click on the big green button that says "free downloads"! And you'll get free songs for joining our list!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chapter 4 of Ariel's Book – or – Bogged Down By Blogs.....

Wow, Chapter 4 of Ariel's book has a lot going on! It takes on the enormous topic of a band's presence in the 2.0 web. There are a lot of great suggestions - however, I did get a bit overwhelmed at a certain point (but not that easily! I have been plugging away at this pretty steadily!), but I am proud to say I just started a 'blogroll' for the blog here (look a ways down the page in the right-hand column).

The part of the chapter I had some difficulty with is a large assignment to find 50 blogs you'd like your music to be reviewed on. She suggests adding them to a blogroll on your blog, as well as reading / commenting on / interacting with them. Well. I got a bit bogged down and boggled looking around the internet at blogs, and realized it will take quite a while to find 50 that might be a good match for my quirky little band. So in the spirit of trying to keep my life in better balance (it's a struggle for me to have time to play music & get enough sleep let alone work and exercise!), I decided to begin with a modest blogroll, and expand it as time goes on.

I started the blog roll with a few music/marketing type blogs I already had on my Google Reader (such as the always great Derek Sivers' blog - and Ariel's blog of course :-)). Then I added a couple of blogs that reviewed our previous CD, 'green' - Collected Sounds and musicdyke. Beyond that, I added a variety of music blogs in a few different categories, from online music sources I've enjoyed (somafm, KEXP), to west coast-based blogs located in areas that I want my band to play or play again soon (Portland Mercury and KZSC Santa Cruz for example) as well as a few others that looked interesting. Please check out the list and feel free to suggest more!

Here are two other things I did that Ariel suggests in the chapter:

- Joined the Podsafe Music Network. This is apparently now called “music alley” from mevio, and I added our song Velveteen.

- Create a Flickr Photostream for the band. I had started a Picasa one a little while ago, but hadn't gotten very far... So, I went ahead and created a Flickr one that has a more pictures, and also joined a few groups there that Ariel suggested.

She also suggests using twitter, which we have already had started doing (Follow us!! :-) ).

Whew! This has all been great, but ok, I'm tired now. Better go play some music, as that is what this is all about in the first place! And - also work on our record release which is coming up very soon!!! Yay!!!

- Melissa

p.s. - My back has been feeling quite a bit better this week, thanks for asking. ;-)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back Pain and Ch. 3 of Ariel Hyatt's book – Optimizing Your Website

Happy New Year everyone!

Chapter 3 in Ariel's book involves optimizing a band website. Many of the things she recommends are consistent with the current version of our band's site. For example, she recommends having a quickly-loading site with no flash intro. Some of the things she suggests we added this summer, inspired by an online presentation by Carla Lynne Hall and Kavit Haria.

Their presentation also influenced our decision to have a very simple site for now, as a transition before we release our new EP. The current site replaced one which was designed to match our last CD's art (both the site and the CD were beautifully designed by the band's drummer Kim Lindquist). Here's a look at the home page of the old site:

Once Kim is finished with the art for the new EP, our band web site will be updated to match it (as well as other places our band is online, as much as they're customizable), which goes along with Ariel's suggestions to have a consistent look and feel.

Ariel also recommends having our elevator story/pitch (see the previous blog post) on our web site. We already had it there (as well as on our facebook, ReverbNation & twitter pages), but there were several other DSP pages online where I added it: cdbaby, myspace (do many people use myspace anymore?), our 'Electronic Press Kit', Garage Band, our Portland Mercury band page, and also this blog! I did not manage, however, to update our Veganica page yet, as I still haven't received an email response for my 'forgotten password'....

And what pitch did we use (those of you who've read the previous blog post may ask)? For now we are sticking with the original 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...”

This alternate one is currently in second place:

“Demimonde Slumber Party sounds like a remake of “A Hard Day's Night” created by the B-52s & starring Sleater-Kinney.”

But it may be good to decide whether or not to change our pitch – and what to change it to – until after our new EP comes out - & see if people compare our sound to completely different artists...

We also made a few changes to our web site to make it more obvious that we are giving away free song downloads if you join our email list!

And oh yeah, one more thing – if you've gotten this far, you may be wondering why the title of this post starts with 'Back Pain'... Well, I've got it. Pretty bad right now. It is definitely something that is fairly incompatible with playing a heavy electric guitar and moving guitar amps. Or even sitting and typing at a computer. Well, luckily the pain meds are working right now!

See you next time,