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Fan Landers

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fan Landers

How to Avoid Being the "Momager"

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Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 3:36 AM

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Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her - confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame. 

Dear Fan,
As someone who has been working in music since before the great music industry fall of 2008, I have seen folks, including myself, desperately trying to figure out how to keep making a living, and how to spend money wisely. Bands who once could afford a manager, booking agent, licensing, PR, etc, now can only afford one, and try to push the boundaries of their hired help to do as many of those as they can. Part of me wants to help in this way - sure, I'll help you book a show or two. Sure, I'll help you find a photographer. I care about your band and want it to succeed. However, when do you say no without offending anyone that you're trying to help?

Sincerely,
The Publicist

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fan Landers

Getting Post-Tour Stink Out of Your Band's Van

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Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 3:15 AM
fanlanders_headerrrrr.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her - confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
The new band I joined just got back from a quick tour to SXSW and since we got back home the van reeks like hangover sweat and stinky feet. This is my first tour with these guys but it's my van that's our tour vehicle and I can't deal. What do I do? Can I make a rule that everyone has to keep their shoes on?
Sammy

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fan Landers

How To Spend That $30 Your Band Just Made

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Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 3:45 AM
fanlanders_headerrrrr.jpg

Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her - confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame. 

Fan,
My question is more of a means to avoid drama and mistakes than to recover from them, so it might not be worth your time for the column, but I thought I would ask anyway. Are there any books or other resources you could recommend for a band that manages itself? Areas of particular interest are finances and booking, but since I don't know what I don't know, I'm sure any list I could present would be far from comprehensive. At age 30, we're a little old for beginners, and there aren't a lot of people doing what we're trying to do in our area that we could turn to for expertise. What are your suggestions for managing income if and when there is any? Should we start a bank account? Are there unexpected costs that we might encounter or things we should have money on hand for over the course of playing shows? Pessimist question: If we split the cost of equipment like a PA, should we discuss what will happen to it when the band ceases to exist?
-Andrew

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fan Landers

What To Do About Your Band's Too-Stoned Singer

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Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 3:15 AM
fanlanders_header.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her - confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame. 

Fan,
Recently, a music writer called my band "sellouts," when he clearly has no knowledge of our actual situations. He seems to particularly have it in for us. I don't want to write off his behavior as 'old jaded guy versus young enthusiastic happy people,' because I do want to take the time to understand what's happening here. But no matter how much I try, I can't figure it out. Why's he being so mean? What's in it for him? Why does he care what other people enjoy or even promote?
Confused in New York

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fan Landers

What to Do When Your Shocking Band Has Lost Its Shock Value

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Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 3:30 AM

fanlanders_headerrrrr.jpg

Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her - confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan, 

I'm in a well established "noise" band. We've built a reputation over the years of being quite terrifying, getting ourselves banned from "art" spaces and underground venues alike coast-to-coast, with even fringe interests finding us appalling and reprehensible. As more people "get it" we have had to raise the bar with increasingly "offensive" material and unpredictable antics...this has involved more self-harm, equipment destruction and hostile, violent audience engagement, to the point where we don't know where the "parody" begins and ends. We are running out of ways to push people away! Please help us get our "street cred" back before we literally kill ourselves (or others) on stage.

-"Lost" in irony

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fan Landers

What To Do When A Label Approaches Your Band

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Tue, Dec 31, 2013 at 4:00 AM

fanlanders_headerrrrr.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,

I've been playing in bands pretty much all my life. They've all been pretty terrible to say the least, but it's been a learning process, so I think it's been worth it. However, in the past year I decided to take music into my own hands and learn how to write my own songs. Since then, I have released a ton of music and toured a good amount. This is all in one year. Recently, a reputable label has said they have some interest in the band. We have been wined and dined, etc. Yet, it's been three weeks since they have gotten back to us. What do I do during this process? Do I simply sit back and wait? Or do I take it into my own hands and email or call them back? Are they disinterested? Help!

J

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fan Landers

A Rough Guide to Choosing Your First Bandmates

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Tue, Dec 24, 2013 at 5:00 AM

fanlanders_headerrrrr.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,

I have almost no technical musical capabilities. However, for some reason, I have recently found myself in a situation where a few people are interested in making music with me, I suppose due to my tastes, attitude and general involvement with DIY. This would be purely for fun and I am by no means trying to "make it" beyond creating something that I think is good. I'm trying to decide who to play with. On the one hand, a couple of my best friends want to start a band. On the other hand, a friend who I don't know as well, but with whom I think I have more shared music/art tastes and band-oriented goals, also wants to start something. I know I don't have time for more than one project right now. Would you play with your best friends or the person who seems more musically compatible? 

First World Music Problems in Brooklyn

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fan Landers

Should Your Band Break Up If Your Only Fans Are Your Friends?

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Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 3:15 AM

fanlanders_headerrrrr.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Fan,

I have been in a band for 5.5 years and despite playing shows all around NYC, releasing a record and doing a tour I can honestly say we have 0 fans beyond our friends. I know it isn't because we are terrible; we all majored in music. But we clearly are approaching this whole band thing completely wrong. I'm at the point where I'm ready to give up, but it's my passion, so the thought of that is horrific. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon!

Jenna

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fan Landers

Why Your Band Doesn't Need Merch

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Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 3:00 AM

fanlanders_headerrrrr.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan Landers,

Do we have to sell things to be professional musicians?

-Damon & Naomi

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fan Landers

Is It Ok To Be Your Own Pretend Manager?

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By

Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 3:30 AM

fanlanders_headerrrrr.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Fan,

I am little-known solo artist in the midwest hoping to get a little career happening. After some trouble related to getting answers in booking gigs, I created an email account and a manager personae to see if that would help and listed "him" as my contact on Facebook and my website and my Twitter account too. Is this wrong of me to do? What is the worst thing that could happen if someone figured it out that I am lying?

Sam

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