Tag Archives: ASCAP

ASCAP Trip Recap

Sheesh, I was congratulating myself over blogging every day about the ASCAP Expo, but I had to split a day early to attend my nephew’s wedding in Tucson, so I was running out of time. By the way, if you ever have to take an early flight out of Burbank airport, the rental car counters don’t open until 6, good luck finding breakfast, things are pretty darn mellow. I was freaking out a little over returning the car, but it only took five minutes to go through security, and they don’t have those full body scanner thingies.

The Expo was beneficial, I got a lot out of it, I wish I could have gone to the whole thing. Since this was my second year, I was more selective about what I wanted to learn, so I wasn’t quite the wide-eyed sponge from the previous year. By the way, have you ever seen a sponge with eyes? I personally haven’t. I propose we ask Nemo for the definitive answer. Well there is of course Sponge Bob Square Pants, but we’re talking reality here. (Right, and I just suggested interrogating Nemo.)

One fun thing was that I got to meet Ariel Hyatt in person! She is the owner of Ariel Publicity and author of “Music Success in Nine Weeks”, which you will know if you go sleuthing around on this blog, I won a 3-month PR campaign by participating in a blog-writing contest.

Once again, she moderated a panel about using social media for fan engagement. It was very useful information. I found out that research indicates that the best times to post to Facebook, send out emails, etc. are 11AM, 3PM, and 8PM. Also, when you send emails at 6AM, it will be sure to show up in the first page of people’s email inbox, (unless one is getting spammed to death). Another tidbit is that anything you post on Facebook or Twitter has about a 30-minute shelf life, so you really can’t over-post status updates because otherwise people just won’t seem them. It makes sense if you think about it. How often do you click on the “Older Posts” link at the bottom of your news feed? It goes against my aversion to annoying people but I’m just going to have to get over it.

I also stopped by the Bandzoogle booth, where they were evaluating people’s websites and giving advice. I had one of the founders of Bandzoogle look at mine and his first reaction was that there was too much information on my home page. It needed less stuff, bigger fonts, more white space, and an obvious focus of the main “call to action” element on the page. My call to action is the email signup widget and do to my tend to be verbose, it got kinda buried on the page. If you’re interested in receiving my newsletter, you can sign up here: http://kellycarpentermusic.fanbridge.com

So the last two days I did another website makeover. The signup widget is clearly displayed, my Passage promo video is right underneath it along with a picture of the Passage Special Edition CD, and I did some menu reorganization. Go check it out at http://kellycarpentermusic.com

Well that’s about it for now. The first picture is of the Renaissance Hotel where the Expo was held in downtown Hollywood. And the picture below is of an auto repair shop that obviously does not want to sell gas. The actual average price of regular in that neck of the woods was anywhere from $4.25 to $4.35 a gallon. Ouch!


Yep, that's $4.85 a gallon.



Filed under Music Career, Music Success in Nine Weeks Blog Challenge

ASCAP Trip Day 2

Well, I’m done with the first day of the ASCAP Music Expo. I’m chillaxing at the picturesque Safari Inn here in beautiful Burbank. Tired, but fun day.

When I booked my motel in Burbank, I didn’t realize how close it is to downtown Hollywood. In fact, it is straight shot with only one turn. Olive becomes Barham, take a left on Cahuenga which then becomes Highland Ave. The event is at the Renaissance hotel at the corner of Highland and Hollywood. The hotel is attached to an outdoor shopping mall and the famed Kodak theatre where they host the Oscars and other big-time events like that. So here I am, at the center of the entertainment industry.

Safari after dark. Ooh I'm scared.

On the way to the hotel, I pass by the NBC headquarters and through the Warner Bros. lots. Walt Disney & Co. is just a block away from my travel route, Universal Studios is a left-hand turn off of Cahuenga, and then there is the Hollywood Bowl on my left after I go over the Cahuenga pass and drop down into Hollywood proper. A lot of history here. A whole other world.

ASCAP stands for American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. They are the largest of the three PROs (performing rights organizations) in the U.S., the other two being BMI and SESAC.

What does a PRO do? Primarily two things: First, they collect “performance” royalties on behalf of their songwriter and publisher members. A “performance” can mean anything from an orchestra performing a song written by a composer, to a bar band playing pop music, to songs played on radio, TV, cable, and film.

The second thing they do is tirelessly advocate for the intellectual property rights of songwriters and publishers in Washington, DC. Never has this been more crucial in protecting our rights and livelihoods than the last 15 years with the advent of internet music consumption. There are many music services on the web that bring in money from subscribers and advertisers in which none of the money makes it to the artists. That means they’re making money of our music and yet we don’t get a share of it. That’s not right.

And we’re not talking about small companies either. We’re talking about Google, who owns YouTube, who tirelessly lobbies for legislation to further strip away the intellectual property rights of writers and publishers. ASCAP is fighting the good fight over internet revenue streams on behalf of its members similar to what they did 15 years ago when they were able to successfully get cable companies to pay royalties for music used on their programs, where prior to that, they paid nothing.

Well enough of my soap boxing. That’s like boxing but using bars of hotel soap instead of gloves.

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Filed under Art, Music Career

ASCAP Trip Day 1

Here I am in beautiful Burbank, California. It’s funny, whenever someone refers to Burbank, it is usually prefaced by “beautiful”, conditioned we all are to a couple decades worth of Ed McMahon announcing the Tonight Show. I am not going to comment on the beauty or lack thereof with regard to any of the cities in the “valley”. I can say this: it’s warm and sunny today and I’ll take that over the dismal spring that has beset us in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

This was day one, in which our main character, specifically me, climbs on a plane and flies to beautiful Burbank, California. See, I did it again, I just can’t quit the qualifier. As usual for a trip, I was up later than I planned finishing up packing, and I didn’t sleep all that much anyway once I got to bed. I did manage a bit of sleep, but I am dragging today. After getting checked into my beautiful luxury motel, I took a power nap with the hopes that I will look somewhat presentable when I attend a networking event this evening.

My wonderful friend and life partner, Merrilyn, dropped me off at the airport at 6:25AM, bless her. Since last I flew, they have installed those high tech full body scanners. It takes about three times longer to get through security now. As required, I pulled my MacBook out of my bag and put it in one of those bins, and while I was snapping the bag closed, the passenger behind me managed to knock the bin containing my computer onto the floor. “Oh, crap”, said the little voice in my head. I also was nervous about letting the computer out of my sight while I went through the scanning machine. Fortunately, the computer was still there and later on had a chance to see if it was damaged from its inaugural swan dive. All is well.

The flight was uneventful, arriving in beautiful Burbank on time. AVIS didn’t have the car I wanted, a Ford Fusion, or anything in that class. They wanted to put me in Mercury Marquis, which is a full size car, and I was like, “not!”. They managed to coax me into an Infiniti GX something or other for an extra $13/day. Check this out: I go to get in the car and start it up, and guess what? It doesn’t have a key! It has a Stop/Start button. How the heck to you start this thing? I tried pushing the button a few times and saw the light cycle between “Acc”, “On” and “Off”. Somehow I got it to start. Later on, after stopping somewhere, probably Starbucks, I tried to start it but couldn’t figure out how to. I finally discovered that I had to have my foot on the brake pedal, and then all it takes is one push of the button. Whew! I was about to call AVIS and ask “wassup with that?”.

Today I had a lot of time to kill. My original lodging plans fell through and I already had my flight booked, so there wasn’t much to do until this evening. And I couldn’t check into my beautiful motel room until after 3. So I went for a drive. Didn’t really know where to go, so I decided to head west on the 101 toward Santa Barbara. Along the way, I stopped at a Starbucks so I could use the free WiFi and determine where I could find an In-n-Out burger and a post office. It looked like there would be a post office somewhat near the next In-n-Out. When I got there, the post office was across the parking lot. Convenient! Got my first batch of pre-release CDs shipped to the early bird purchasers. (Thank you, you know who you are.)

Oh yeah, that's what I'm talkin' bout.

So, I made it as far as Oxnard and found a beach and sat in the sun, the beautiful warm sun, and then it was time to come back and check into my hotel… hrrhmm, I mean motel. Here I am at the plush Safari Motel on Olive St. I didn’t want to fork over a pile of dough on a hotel, so I went cheap–not flophouse cheap. The room is clean, the plumbing works, but it does reek of a stale tobacco odor despite all of the “Natura” products they use to cover up the smell. It is officially a non-smoking room, but I think it spent too many years with people smoking in it. Oh well.

It’s off to the Renaissance Hotel in the heart of Hollywood in a little while to pick up my registration materials and go to a networking event. I’m only committing to an hour of networking, as it is something I need to work up to. I figure if I take it an hour at a time, I might wind up networking through the whole evening. We’ll see. Baby steps. I’ll have more to say about ASCAP: what it is, why I am here, etc., but this post has gotten gigantourous and it’s time to split. Until next time…

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