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If a Band Rocks, but No One Hears It, Does It Make a Sound?

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 28, 2006 4:34PM

If you’re a local musician and you’re not already taking advantage of the Musicians at Work forums offered through the Chicago Music Commission, Chicagoist recommends you start this Monday with “Marketing Music – Part I: DIY Reaching the Public.” And not just because one of our writers will be speaking there.

Thanks to MySpace, 2006_10_note.gifpodcasts and e-mail, it’s easier and less expensive than ever to market your band. Yet technology is only as good as the people who use it. Random e-mail blasts without links or helpful information, poor-quality sound files, and overly complicated websites are more likely to anger your potential new fans than convert them to your street team.

This Monday at 6 p.m. in the Yates Gallery on the 4th floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, Mark Roth of, moderates a panel composed of four individuals who’ve booked, managed, marketed, promoted and written about bands throughout the city of Chicago. They are:

* Jim Kopeny, Chicagoist
* Jay Prasad, Pure Entertainment
* Micah Taylor, Direction Tour Marketing and Promotion
* Doug LeFrak, Feisty Management

They’ll talk about what works and what doesn’t when you’re trying to expand your audience without a lot of money.

Doug LeFrak currently manages Chicago buzz band The Changes and was formerly the talent buyer at Schuba’s; Jay Prasad spearheaded the recent PureNation house music show; and Micah Taylor has pushed several bands and events both here in Chicago and across the U.S.

And, yes, we’re talking this up, in part, because one of our own is on the panel. Under the guise of Tankboy Productions, Jim Kopeny has been booking and promoting bands for the last decade, in addition to writing about music here and on his own site.

Regardless of our personal interest, we think this will be a valuable discussion. Future panel discussions include “Marketing Music - Part II - Tap the Industry Machine” on November 20, "Producing and Manufacturing an Independent CD" and "The ABC's of Touring and Playing Out-of-Town Shows." Check the CMC website for more details.