Thanks Everyone!!!

Thanks Everyone!!!

Wow it’s not every day you win back to back awards after pretty much working in obscurity for over two years. First of all I’d like to thank all of the bands, musicians, readers and viewers who have supported us these past few years and egged us on, given us ideas and pretty much kept us going day to day.  These awards are nice but it doesn’t beat somebody coming up to you randomly at a concert or club and thanking you for getting them noticed, finding them a band mate or just introducing them to new artists.

What I wanted to do instead of gloating over these awards is thank the people who help make Local Band Review special. All of our volunteers obviously are music lovers and do it for the enjoyment of it, but I wanted to find out how much time they spent in pursuit of this and find out a little more about how they started and why they continue.

Below is a quick summary and a more detailed explanation of each contributors responses to the inquiry. I’d also like everyone to consider donating via Chip-in, or buying a ticket to our annual ADA Fundraiser this year scheduled for May 6th at Illusions dance club in Wolcott, CT. You may also contact us at reviews@localbandreview.com if you are interested in donating prizes for our raffle. Last year we raised over $2,000 for the American Diabetes Association which while a national organization all the funds are distributed locally. This year we have a great lineup of bands and as usual it will be a great party.

While not everyone is mentioned below, especially Greg Flint who helped me start Local Band Review but works more behind the scenes. We also appreciate all the contributions we’ve gotten, these include articles from Susan Mucera Houde and our LA correspondent Lady 3.  Plus all the interactions from people we get on our YouTube Channel and Facebook Fan Page.

Thanks once again
Michael Lawson
Editor/Publisher/Videographer at Local Band Review

Support Live and Local Music!

Michael Lawson

I can honestly say that it is like a part time job. Publishing, researching and editing articles on the blog along with posting links to the Fan Page, answering email, phone calls, text messages etc…  can easily take 20 hours a week.

I think the overwhelming reason I keep putting my time into LBR is that I am continually meeting some great people and seeing them benefit from either something we’ve done for them or contacts they’ve made through us.

Read more from Michael

I jokingly state when people ask me why I started Local Band Review that it was to get into places and free beer, actually it’s a lot more complicated than that. A few years ago I was going through a rough spot in my life, and a friend noticed this, and he introduced me to his friend’s band. This re-ignited in me an interest in live music, which in turn led me to the realization that most of the videos out on YouTube were really bad, when I went searching for new music. So I did some research and bought a camera that I thought might be able to produce a better video. Initially we put them up with no or minimal editing, but we soon added some extra graphics at the beginning and end of the video to advertise ourselves and the bands. We quickly added more cameras, and separate audio to bump the production quality up even more.

While we initially had a blog and website early in 2009 nobody was reading it and I didn’t feel that it was that good either, so we dumped the website and instead started our FaceBook Fan Page. This is where we started micro-blogging and posting links to our videos. A small advertising campaign on Facebook quickly added a substantial fan base and we grew from there. In August 2011 it was obvious we had outgrown Facebook and we needed a site to tie everything together.

We added more people that did photography; weekly features, streaming video, syndicated content and podcasts, and this is where we are today.

So how long does my part take, I can honestly say that it is like a part time job. Publishing, researching and editing articles on the blog along with posting links to the Fan Page, answering email, phone calls, text messages etc… can easily take 20 hours a week. This doesn’t include filming a couple of sets at a club, that takes 4-6 hours filming, and editing a single video can take 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the number of cameras and sound editing. One of the reasons we have been doing more streaming shows is that the exposure is a lot better for the bands and it takes far less time (2-3 hours).

I think the overwhelming reason I keep putting my time into LBR is that I am continually meeting some great people and seeing them benefit from either something we’ve done for them or contacts they’ve made through us. As great as this year has been, we have a lot more planned, so keep reading our blogs, listening to our podcasts and watching our videos.

Lisa Sanchez Gonzalez

Lisa Sanchez Gonzalez

Then there’s Scene Queen…When we do that…scheduling, prepping, and then actual show…another 2 hours. So really, easily 10 hours, on average, a week…but more like 12.

Why do I do this? World peace…No. World domination…No…World peace! Really, I love capturing amazing moments in still frames. Musicians/Performers are my favorite subjects.

Read more from Lisa

How much time do I spend on LBR activities? Well, it depends on the week and what’s going on. I catch and photograph at least one band/performance a week and sometimes 4 or more. So that’s at a minimum 3 hours. Putting together my blog on a “slacker” week is minimum 2 hours but if I have an interview it’s 5. Putting out picture albums, fbing, tweeting, and general promotion, add another 2. Oh and planning and scheduling…Another hour. Then there’s Scene Queen…When we do that…scheduling, prepping, and then actual show…another 2 hours. So really, easily 10 hours, on average, a week…but more like 12.

Why do I do this? World peace…No. World domination…No…World peace! Really, I love capturing amazing moments in still frames. Musicians/Performers are my favorite subjects. Couple that with being able to hear some of the most amazing music and meeting and interviewing incredibly talented people and it’s…Intoxicating…or toxic! I can’t get enough of it. Before I leave this Earth, I want one of my images to be in Rolling Stone. Yeah…Oh and PS…If you didn’t know, I freaking LOVE the CT music scene!

Anne Castellano

Anne Castellano

I probably spend about 2 hours a week updating the concert calendar and about 3 hours writing the blog (some of that is “mental preparation” or walking away from it to come back with a fresh viewpoint).

Why do I do it? Well, I started doing my concert calendar about 7 years ago because I used to get upset that so many people didn’t know what was going on in the area with live music shows.

Read more from Anne

Why do I do it? Well, I started doing my concert calendar about 7 years ago because I used to get upset that so many people didn’t know what was going on in the area with live music shows. I’d go to a really great show (sometimes poorly attended), and afterward, I’d run into a friend and tell them how good it was, and often the person would say they would have gone but they didn’t know about it. This kept happening and most of the local clubs don’t do enough in the way of advertisiing or self-promotion, so I decided to do it myself. I added friends and contacts from my email address book and put together a listing of shows that I thought would be of interest to people I knew. I got great feedback from everyone and continued to do it. The blog is sort of an expansion on that, and the good thing about writing about shows in advance is that I can still do it even if I won’t be able to go to shows because of work schedule conflicts or whatever. I want to get people out to see these bands and support the clubs who are booking them. People who know me know how passionate I am about music, and I enjoy giving recommendations of bands I like and that I know other people will like. I like to think I’ve helped turn people on to good music that they might not otherwise have heard or seen. As a musician it’s especially important to me, and I must admit that I like the attention as well. I do love it when people tell me they like reading my blog. I probably spend about 2 hours a week updating the concert calendar and about 3 hours writing the blog (some of that is “mental preparation” or walking away from it to come back with a fresh viewpoint).

Aim D'Amaro

Aim D'Amaro

So, depending on how much music I see in a given week & how my brain happens to be working that week, I would say I spend 2 to 8 hrs. a week on LBR stuff

Why I do it? For the cold hard cash, damn it. ;0) Hahahaha, someday I may actual put some cash in my pocket doing it, but for now I just love every bit of it.

Read more from Aim

Okay, how much time I spend? That is a tough one. Really hard to say, it seems some weeks I am out for music close to every night & these nights out generally wind up being written about for LBR. The writing process generally doesn’t take me too long, because my brain is always way ahead of everything else, so when I actually have the time to sit & write it, it’s already pretty much been written for a day or more in my head. So, depending on how much music I see in a given week & how my brain happens to be working that week, I would say I spend 2 to 8 hrs. a week on LBR stuff, from the point of checking out the bands to the actual sitting down & writing & sending to Mike.

Other work I do? Booking, promoting, e-mailing, phoning or meeting with bands/managers/venue owners, organizing the eves I book from door time to cover charge to who will play in which time slot, compiling lists of music happenings for the LSP site (which I have been majorly slacking on), videotaping & editing, keeping the FB page updated with as much of the latest news as I can.

Why I do it? For the cold hard cash, damn it. ;0) Hahahaha, someday I may actual put some cash in my pocket doing it, but for now I just love every bit of it. I know this wasn’t the answer you wanted, but it’s the truth. LSP has changed so much from the original concept (which was mainly to just focus on festivals, especially the smaller/lesser known ones)I had when it started. Once I picked up the camera, I basically decided that my musician friends would be my guinea pigs for teaching myself how to work the camera, get the best shots, video editing, etc. When I started doing that, it made me realize how bad most of the musicians I know are at promoting themselves. Some musicians really love the process of booking & promoting, but others just want to get out there & play. Just seemed to me, I had all these videos & was already trying to spread the word about their shows, why shouldn’t I start promoting my friends with the vids too & so the festival idea kind of fell by the wayside(not that I don’t still hope to do that SOME day & I do continue to try to work on that concept too) & videotaping & promoting locally became the thing that I wanted work on. I kind of fell into the booking thing because I was itching to try something new & it seemed the next logical step for me. And I was lucky enough to have my first show at The Space. I owe so much to Steve Rodgers, because really if he hadn’t of made things so easy, I may have just decided to do that one show & left it at that. A musician/producer friend of mine always tells me how crazy I am for throwing myself into the business when I don’t even play an instrument, but as cliché as it sounds, I really think I was born to do it. I love being surrounded by music & in the process of all of this I have met some amazing & talented people & formed a whole lot of new friendships. I definitely feel I’m happiest & at my best when I’m around music or working on vids or putting together the next show. And I would much rather be doing something I love for little or no pay than be stuck in a 9-5 where I may be miserable. Plus, I get to help the ‘struggling’ musicians & it’s always a good feeling to know that I can help others in anyway. So, I guess I do it because it makes me feel good…there is nothing in the world quite like a music high & when I leave a show I always have that; sometimes that high even lasts for days after! And sometimes the money has to come out of my own pocket to make sure the bands get paid or venue costs are met, but it is every bit worth it to me because I seriously do get giddy after a great night of music.

Lee-Ann and Dave Lovelace

Lee-Ann and Dave Lovelace

The editing and uploading takes between 30-60 minutes. Sometimes me and whoever I’m with will do 3-5 songs and all of them are good enough to post.

Why? Because there’s nothing better than a good jam with good people. Performing live is a high, however, stripping a tune down and lighting a candle or two in a room with just a camera opens all kinds of doors.

Read more from Lee-Ann & Dave

Speaking for Dave and myself, making the Wednesday night jam is probably not as time consuming at it seems. Sometimes Dave doesn’t even film it (I just set up a tripod and record sometimes). The editing and uploading takes between 30-60 minutes. Sometimes me and whoever I’m with will do 3-5 songs and all of them are good enough to post. Sometimes we will hammer on 1 tune for 5 takes and still not like any of them… It’s really a matter of how tired we are, what night of the week it is, and where our heads are at… You know?

Why? Because there’s nothing better than a good jam with good people. Performing live is a high, it’s physically grueling (if the stage is big enough and the heels are high enough), and there’s tons of energy to share; however, stripping a tune down and lighting a candle or two in a room with just a camera opens all kinds of doors. You don’t know who will watch it, but you r in this intimate setting while you perform it for a machine. So you just pretend it isn’t there and go to town.

I check in on LBR as often as possible from my phone at work, and everything on it is relevant, new and interesting, and entertaining. Love the articles, love the writers, and love the videos!!

Sean Morse

Sean Morse

I thought to myself I don’t want to become the next YouTube sensation, but I want local to do so. I figured if I could brand what is already put out there in clubs, bars, festivals, and coffee houses I could really feel a sense of giving back to the Connecticut music community.

Read more from Sean

In late 2006 I had been working at the Oakdale Theater for what was then Clear Channel Entertainment. They had been going thru a transition to become Live Nation, the largest promoter in the world. I decided if I was going to continue to work for this company I would need to do something to give back to local musicians. Our office manager at the time was Michael Buckley and he had local cable access show in Wallingford where he could cut on celebrities and Hollywood type events. YouTube was just starting to take off as Google was beginning its purchase of the brand. MySpace was still the “trendy” thing for social networks. Michael Buckley created what was known as “The first scripted YouTube program” which was known “WHAT THE BUCK”. He worked tirelessly 80+ hours a week between Live Nation and his YouTube channel and his career took off for the races.

I thought to myself I don’t want to become the next YouTube sensation, but I want local to do so. I figured if I could brand what is already put out there in clubs, bars, festivals, and coffee houses I could really feel a sense of giving back to the Connecticut music community. Of course this set me up for “can you get my band in Oakdale or the Meadows” and I had to explain that wasn’t my forte and they should go thru the normal channels everyone else does. I would work in a box office selling tickets to shows like James Taylor or Chicago until 9pmish and then run to New Haven and go film a local band such as Article 19. It was an ideal circumstance but what most people don’t realize is it involves an empty wallet the majority of the time. This was a sacrifice I was willing to make in order to deliver local music to the masses.

What I’ve accomplished is taking local Connecticut bands and branding them nationally and in some cases internationally. So when people to say me “Oh you worked for the evil empire of Live Nation” I can have a clear conscience of what I’ve done to give back to the local music community.

David Golden

David Golden

It takes more time than you’d think. A 20-minute podcast is close to three hours of work — selecting tracks, recording voice-overs, playing with the audio so all the segues are just exactly perfect, adding cover art so you can see what you’re listening to, and writing a blog post with links to the artists. I also book local and regional bands on my Sunday Brunch Concert on WPKN 89.5, and sometimes I can be seen MC’ing shows for Lucky Souls and Band Together. I do it because my mission is to introduce artists and listeners to each other.

2 Responsesto “Thanks Everyone!!!”

  1. lsg original says:

    What a group! Sooo haaapppyyy!!! <3