The demo - especially the unsolicited demo - now seems permanently stuck in an earlier era. Back before a promoter, label, or music supervisor could simply stream the track online, and check YouTube, Twitter, BigChampagne, and Facebook for any signs of life. When a band absolutely needed a label, manager, or publisher to get the traction started, much less court broader audiences.
Back when the music in isolation meant something, and was worthy of a guess.
In fact, these days, the stuff coming in is probably far inferior to the stuff out there - where bands are interacting, uploading, playing shows, and doing stuff other than stuffing jiffies or blasting cold emails. Which is why KCRW's latest embrace of the unsolicited demo is an interesting move. On Tuesday, the station opened up 'Malcolm,' an easy, online system for any band to upload and pitch their music. "We're proud to be one of few radio stations that still accepts and listens to demos and unsolicited music," the station emailed Digital Music News.
Awesome, right? Sort of: several years ago at Musexpo, KCRW's Jason Bentley admitted that it's hard to champion an artist with little traction on the outside, even if he's first. And, mathematically, it's statistically impossible to review everything. But perhaps starting the conversation is the ultimate feather in the cap for KCRW.
Which means, there's a place for the unsolicited demo, after all, especially with some modern-day updates. "KCRW has been instrumental in helping start the careers of a wide range of musicians, from Beck to more recent bands such as Fitz and the Tantrums and Quadron," explained KCRW librarian and DJ Eric Lawrence.
The details on Malcolm are pretty simple, so start here. Basically, you'll be creating a profile, linking to your various social networking hubs, and uploading your three best songs. You also need to research the best programming match for your music, which may be the hardest part. After that, you'll hopefully get some positive ratings and traction, and some very, very valuable rotation.
time is $$$ Tuesday, July 24, 2012
So, you are basically paying with labor/time, so that KCRW can build a platform for "free".
This is a pay-to-play setup.
Adam Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Jesus Christ! You would bitch and moan if Jason Bentley wanted to give you a hand job while playing your song on a loop on MBE.
I love this idea, if they actually do find a few artists to champion each quarter.
why so sensitive? Wednesday, July 25, 2012
You seem to be a bit too sensitive about KCRW's business. We are all free to express our opinion on this matter. If you disagree with someone, you don't have to resort to personal insults. It actually makes your side weaker!
Adam Wednesday, July 25, 2012
No. Only tired of the vast majority of negative commenters on this site who complain about everything. That was my point. There was no personal insult in there whatsoever.
Here I am complaining about the complainers. This whole place (DMN) is where a bunch of negative nancy's and gloomy gus's hang out.
roy Wednesday, July 25, 2012
" This whole place (DMN) is where a bunch of negative nancy's and gloomy gus's hang out."
you can say that again...
Really Wednesday, July 25, 2012
You want him to say that again
Visitor Tuesday, July 24, 2012
here you go
chrisdouridas Wednesday, July 25, 2012
we have been accepting unsolicited music at KCRW for over 20 years. i play music i received from unsolicited demos and submissions on every single radio show i host. i can say all of colleagues there do too. this is nothing new for us. what IS new is the self-service digital submission system that we're calling MALCOLM (named after an early rev of our in-house digital music library), that immediately makes an artist's music available to our whole team, for immediate listening, and potential airplay.
this is not a money making venture for KCRW. it's a music delivery/listening/programming tool. i really don't see how an artist, or anyone else, can call this a pay-to-play scenario.
dangude Thursday, July 26, 2012
I admire and appreciate the effort of listening to so much material. I used to work at the Copyright Office and my job was listening to as many "unsolicited" material as could be dumped on my desk. You quickly become a connoisseur of the truly bad.
Leonard Pinth-Garnell is a hero of mine.
pritguru786 Thursday, July 26, 2012