As reported earlier this year. . .
Dancing with the Stars Fires Music Director and Entire Band
By Sheila Cosgrove Baylis

Six-time Tony Award-nominated bandleader and orchestrator Harold Wheeler will no longer appear on Dancing with the Stars – and neither will his 28-member band.

ABC and BBC Worldwide Productions announced the new season will premiere in March without Wheeler, 70, and his group of musicians and singers, USA Today reports.

It is unclear whether Wheeler and his band will be replaced by new musicians or if the show will transition to recorded music.

DWTS executive producer Conrad Green commented in September on the introduction of recorded music to the show.

“We feel that some types of music and types of songs, a lot of modern music particularly, is so produced that it’s impossible for an 18-piece band to replicate that sound,” Green told The Hollywood Reporter. “You get to a point where you’re forcing a band to try and do a sound that they just literally can’t pull off.”


Editor: We’re glad that the producers decided to go with a live band. Got enough musicians out of work and not getting paid for their work now without getting such a slap in the face to live music and on such a huge medium as television.

* * * * *



Sooner or later every band or musical artist will need independent reviews of their music.

Positive reviews can help any act to get better gigs, sell more CDs, and start or add to the act’s buzz. The down-side can be painful and difficult to handle, but even a bad review can be used to a band’s advantage.

So where and how do you get reviews?  There are two basic kinds of reviews: the live performance review and the recorded music review, commonly, a CD or album review.

Live Show Reviews

A live performance review can be anything as easy having people tweet or post positive comments to facebook, or as difficult as getting a professional music reviewer to come to your show and write a review that will be published in a big national glossy magazine.  In between, you have people who review shows for newspapers, weeklies, websites, blogs, and anything else where people can post an opinion.

Anyone can get their friends, relatives, or significant others to post to social media. And when you are starting out, you should! Ask your fans repeatedly to post their opinions online or wherever they can. This will, at the very least, encourage their friends/followers to come to a show, and if they love what they see and hear, you could start a virtual landslide of praise that will lead to all sorts of success. This is grassroots fan building at it’s best. If it fizzles out after a few shows, that may indicate that you need to improve your performance in some way.

Getting the objective third party reviews or even tweets from the big-shots/tastemakers in your region could have far greater impact. To get them to come to your show is a little more complicated. If these people write for a newspaper, magazine, or blog, invite them to a show.  You can do this with a press release or with a simple email. But, for these people you need something more than “We sound great!” (and please God, never use the word “Premiere” when describing yourself or your band to these people. It’s code for we aren’t good enough to get any meaningful praise and we’re too lazy come up with a better phrase. These people are approached by bands every day who claim to be “… the premiere _fill in the blank_ band in the region.”  Most of those bands suck). You need to give them a compelling or newsworthy reason to see your band. Maybe it’s a benefit, maybe your act will perform a stunt of some sort, maybe you’ve hit on some really groundbreaking new kind of music that nobody has ever heard before. Maybe one of your bandmates has a unique gift or overcame a terrible obstacle. Maybe they will come if you offer to buy them drinks and/or dinner. Certainly, you will want to put them on the guest list.  (They will expect that, most of the time.)

Another approach is to get an opening slot for a touring national act and put the reviewer on the guest list so they can come for the bigger act and hopefully write a line or two about your act as well. These people do this because they love the music, but even they would usually rather see a well known national act than a local act they’ve never heard of before.

You may want to try to glad-hand your way into their circle of friends. Just don’t be too obvious about it or it may backfire on you. And for heaven’s sake don’t piss them off or yell at them if they don’t come to your show.

Getting CD or Album Reviews

Getting your album reviewed is usually a little easier, though, possibly more expensive. If your album is available on CD (or some other physical format) you simply send the reviewers a copy and then beg for them to write a review, hoping it will be a positive one. If after one or two follow up attempts they don’t respond. You should stop, or you risk pissing off the reviewer who may then write a scathing review to get back at you for being a pest.

So where do you send it? Send it to places that have published reviews of albums similar to yours. Don’t bother with Rolling Stone until you are signed, or unless you have a personal relationship with the reviewer. Send it in the most conventional format available right now. CDs are fine as this is written, flash drives may be acceptable, depending on the reviewer and his/her willingness to accept them. MP3 files played on well known streaming sites such as Reverbnation, Soundcloud, or Garageband are acceptable, but bear in mind that this doesn’t offer the same opportunity to make an impressive presentation that a physical album provides. If emailing MP3 files are your preference, check to make sure the reviewer will accept them beforehand. Do NOT send MP3s, or any other format of music, without asking first, you risk clogging up the reviewer’s email inbox and pissing them off.

In addition to newspapers, weeklies, and magazines, there are websites out there that will review albums. Simply search for a current list of them. Then, search for regional music sites in your area. Then, search for genre specific sites that might review your work.

Read the rest of the article here. Includes places to “Get a review”!


* * * * *


Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/

The headphones are going bonkers, despite every audiophile in the world castigating them for their bass-heavy frequency response, turns out music is a fashion item and everybody wants to be fashionable. Easier to spend a few hundred dollars on ear cans as opposed to a Rolls-Royce or a NetJet account. Everybody wants to appear rich and a player, even though the truth is the purveyors, the proprietors, the men who pull the strings behind the curtains (and it’s seemingly always men, did you read that Marissa Mayer is gonna start a streaming video service on Yahoo…why not a search engine and a smartphone while she’s at it!) are the ones making all the money, pulling away from the hoi polloi.

Yes, I’m talking about Tim Cook. You know, the guy who said he was bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. when the truth is it’s for the niche Mac Pro while everything else is still being made in China and Apple hoards more cash than it knows what to do with.

But the truth is Mr. Cook has been running on Steve Jobs’s fumes, the same way Al Teller ran on Irving Azoff’s legacy at MCA. Cook has yet to come up with anything new. Meanwhile, Huawei eats smartphone sales on the low end and Samsung is nibbling at every inch of consumer electronics shelf space and iTunes music sales are off.

Yes, it turns out Steve Jobs was wrong. Don’t criticize him, you can’t be right unless you’re willing to be wrong, everybody makes mistakes, and Steve was famous for changing course, delivering what he said he would not before, and the truth is people don’t want to own their music, they want to stream it, and Apple’s got no streaming solution.

Oh, the company has iTunes Radio. But it’s an also-ran in a mature sphere where Pandora dominates. But the truth is YouTube dominates in music, and before Spotify makes any more inroads, Cook has decided to make a deal with the devil, i.e. Jimmy Iovine.

Yes, Jimmy pulls one out of the hat once again.

You really didn’t think Beats Music could survive without a free option, did you? Didn’t Napster prove that you can’t compete with free? Isn’t that the history of the Internet, if people can get it for free, your business model is challenged?

So Beats Music is hemorrhaging money and Apple has a need and an acquisition was made.

However, there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Iovine is ankling his Universal post to start an Apple record label, abandoning Interscope now that John Janick is doing the day to day work. Apple is smarter than to get into music production. Apple is about locking people into their ecosystem, and producing content has nothing to do with that. Distribution is king. Apple doesn’t care whose music you play on their devices, as long as you employ their devices.

That’s what Steve Jobs had right, a foolproof solution, an end to end answer to questions you didn’t know you had, but will uncover in time.

That’s still Apple’s iPhone ace in the hole. Sure, a Samsung Galaxy might make phone calls and display apps, but how easy is it to synch your music and your photos?

But the truth is music synching is passe. Which is why Tim Cook is making this Beats deal.

As for the price?

A cool billion.

Read the rest of the article here: Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/

And one more thing…

YouTube’s streaming music heyday is about to end. As part of the Beats deal, the heads of the three major labels have secretly agreed not to renew their YouTube licenses. You can’t win unless you kill the competition, and Tim Cook has made a preemptive strike.

[Thanks to Steve Garvan, http://www.garvanmanagement.com for contributing this!]

* * * * *



Music fans will get to hear new Michael Jackson music in May, nearly five years after the singer’s death in 2009. Titled “XSCAPE,” the record will arrive on May 13 via Epic Records and in conjunction with Jackson’s estate.

From the Epic Records website:
After mining by the Estate of Jackson’s archives, L.A. Reid was granted unlimited access to the treasures spanning four decades of material on which Jackson had completed his vocals. Reid then teamed up top producers to “contemporize” the songs while retaining Jackson’s essence and integrity, creating the best music you’ve never heard. The list of producers include global hitmakers Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate and John McClain.

According to a press release, “XSCAPE” will feature eight new songs, including the album’s title track.

“Michael was always on the cutting edge and was constantly reaching out to new producers, looking for new sounds,” John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, said in the release. “He was always relevant and current. These tracks, in many ways, capture that spirit. We thank L.A. Reid for his vision.”

That there’s new Jackson music coming is of little surprise. All the way back in 2010, Jenkins revealed that he was working on “unreleased Michael Jackson” songs. In August of 2013, Timbaland revealed he was working on a Jackson song, apparently called “Chicago.” Then in March of this year, Timbaland released a snippet of another Jackson song, this one named “Slave to the Rhythm.”

For more on “XSCAPE,” head to the Epic Records website. Check out the album artwork, released by Epic, on these websites:



Leave a Reply

Close Search Window