08 January 2008

Marketing 101

Despite the occasional feature on Willie Nelson or such, I haven't been the Ledger's proper music/entertainment reporter for more than a year. I still get plenty of press releases from "the next sure things" and "up-and-comings," though. Here's some free marketing critiques for those guys, based on real releases that have recently come over my desk.

No offense to the artists themselves, who may (or may not) actually be good.

Example One:
"Ryan Montbleau is on a journey that has led to one undeniable destination: the point of creating music." -- OK, stop. Look at what you just said. He makes music. OK, given the fact that he's go ta CD out, you're right. I can't deny it. But what have I learned about Mr. Montbleau? Then it gets worse, with misdirected metaphors: "Continuously picking up momentum like a blind freight train steaming out songs, the 25-year old singer/songwriter is on track to take the music-listening world by storm." What exactly is a blind freight train? And why would a blind freight train steam out songs?

Example Two:
"Kelsey Wild is a 16-year-old red-headed singer-songwriter with a plenty of punch. Armed with striking lyrics, catchy melodies and rich vocals, her music has a broad appeal. Her songs have a depth of emotion and level of sophistication that belies her age." ... Unless her hair is soylent green, why do I care? And wow, does she ever bring some creative ideas to the table. Striking lyrics? Brilliant idea! Catchy melodies? Who'dda thought of that? Please give us something that we can't just plug into any recording artist's bio, fellas. And wait a second, her homepage says she's actually 17 now.

Example Three:
"Alpha Rev is possibly the most refreshing thing on the Indie Rock music scene in years. Self-described as a mixture of 'Beethoven and Buckley with British sensibility and American rock,' their sound is like picking all of the good parts off of your favorite CDs and blending them to create something even Willy Wonka couldn't fathom." ... Uh, so you're saying the most refreshing thing in indie rock is a mixture of four things we're already over-saturated in? (Especially Buckley. Blech!)

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