1/11/15

How to: Email a Music Blogger

I am a music blogger. I receive emails seven days a week for submission to my music blog. It's taken me a few months to prepare my system and dish out reviews independently, and it's with the time it takes to deal with all the bullshit that I've decided to write this. This is for the indie band looking to send their own PR emails and for the PR agencies themselves. Before you email a music blogger, there's some things you should consider.


First, some context. I receive upwards of 20 emails a day on weekdays, and usually no more than seven on weekends (many other music blogs get much, much more than this.) Independent music blogs on the rise will have some delay when getting back to these emails because it's always sudden. I was completely out of it when I started getting regular emails, and it's still a pain. This is why:

If you don't make it blatantly clear you've personalized the email for me, I will have no problem whatsoever deleting it without ever getting back to you.
Yeah, at first I felt kinda bad. I'd always replied to emails and done my best to support artists on the rise, but eventually we start to realize you're just sending mass emails hoping anyone does anything. Occasionally people will leave the marks where changes were supposed to be made. Kinda like: "Hello, <<enter name and title here>>, I've got a great one for you today!" Just, no. Go fuck yourself. And if you're gonna send a mass email, do it right. That includes:

Learning the name of the motherfucking blog you're sending your shit to.
I understand my email was most likely sold to you with hundreds of other music blog emails. Before you send me your music files, check the blog out. You're losing points referring to me/the site as D 4 AM. It'll take you five seconds to read the name of the blog on your web browser's tab, and no more than a couple of minutes to proof read your email to make sure you're not fucking up your own image. If it takes any longer than that to proof read, know that:

I will not even bother reading the email if you've taken the time to make the font unreasonably small and bold.
You fucking assholes.

I will delete the shit out of your email if you don't provide a link or download to the music you so desperately want me to hear.
Occasionally exceptions are made, but hearsay isn't the best way to persuade a blogger.

You need to stop glorifying your biased self-made reviews.
If I enjoyed reading what you wrote about the sound I wouldn't need to write a damn thing, now would I?
And while we're at it:

Don't even bother with vague out-of-context review quotes
It makes you look bad when the music sucks. You know what I mean, it goes something like "If only they put more effort into the production, this song could be

A SPECTACULAR POP TRACK." - Any Indie Review Site.

Comparing what I'm about to hear to The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Metallica, or any founding genre band/artist out there is not smart.
I literally cup my hands together with a smile on my face and get ready to laugh every time. In order to properly define something, you need to understand words, so:

Learn your words.
A song and video about first responders is not "sassy," an album based on another artist's work is not "innovative," and Miley Cyrus is never "outrageous." Your ignorance can delay or prolong the amount of time and effort put into reading your email.

Take a few moments to learn where you're sending your music to.
I will judge the hell out of the presented album cover. Don't expect me to listen to the overweight cowboy on a sunset, or a teenage girl's face shot with flowers and butterflies. But then, I'm nice and I try never to write a negative review. Others relish the opportunity. It's your own funeral.

This all should be enough for most people, but a lot of the people who write music bloggers out there are a real special kind of stupid. For those of you, here's some extra guidelines:

Sending one email every other day will only piss me off.
Fuck off with your deadlines, you're not paying me jack shit. I'll get to you when I do, and if I ignore you it's probably in your best interest to stay out of my radar anyway. You get most of the rewards, if you want this done you work for me so:

Don't ignore my email.
Ignoring my email after I reply with questions won't win you any points. I'll even consider scratching the review entirely. There's plenty of music coming my way for me to be putting up with your bullshit. You aren't that special. And while we're talking about how special you think you are, do us all a favor and:

Don't restrict the music to anybody.
I don't live in any of the 50 states. If you restrict your music to the United States, I can't write jack shit for any audience. This isn't always the artist or the PR company's fault, but a lot of the time it is. I'll probably just delete the email and consider you a douche.

Don't be vague.
Vague email subjects piss me the fuck off. "If X had a baby with Y you'd probably get something like..." My motherfucking fist up your ass, you slimy fuck. Keep it simple, we're gonna hear it anyway. And speaking of email subjects:

Quit putting "RE:" at the beginning of your email.
It's not a reply, it's your first ever email. You're wasting someone else's time and it won't make me like you any better, either.

Do not take your time.
There's a common misconception going around that I'm gonna write about your contents immediately if I like the material, and that you won't have to wait longer than 24 hours to see results. There's a lot of people willing to do this, but a good review takes time. There are smarter agencies and artists out there that send me their material sometimes months in advance. If you think it'll take me anything less than a week to get to you, you're in for some serious disappointment.

This last one is specifically for some PR agencies:

Keep it at one artist per email.
If I like one of your musicians but not the other, I have to look at the other guy's generic shit every time I check the email. On a similar note, a new video from a new album can be coupled into the same email. It's a minor pain in the ass to have to switch back and forth through two emails for something that actually is related.

On a final note:
If you're an artist or band member and some of these slip by you, don't worry. The whole point of any kind of music journalist is to serve you if they see fit. As long as you've got the right attitude, you're bound to get the results you need. Do not be afraid to send an email, it's key to your own digital exposure.

If you work for a PR agency; be very afraid. Be nice, be on your toes, pay attention to as much as you can because one little fuck up and it's not you that pays for it, it's whoever you represent. A lot of you were once music bloggers, and maybe you forgot how annoying it is to talk to a middle man, but that's your problem. Try a little sympathy, try the occasional thank you, and remember to do it for the artist first and the money later.

1/3/15

It used to be Brad Pitt but it kinda changed to Bradley Cooper after the beard thing

So I've been talking to this guy recently and we've been having the most interesting conversations about everything we have to share. It's been great. One of the many things I've learned with this guy has stuck out recently. So there's this cactus that I already knew made a delicious fruit. It's basically a pink (or white), mild kiwi, with a kind of sticky sap that makes your mouth feel like it's been dosed with sugar syrup. It's delicious. I was there asking this guy about its harvest and he interrupted me to let me know that the fruit is actually a flower. I was kinda taken aback because this was an interruption and we usually let each other speak, but this was absolutely necessary at the time. See, he explained that its original flower form mostly changes because of bats. A bat will stop by this cactus and pollinate it, basically. It feeds the cactus for what seems like no reason at all. At least initially. After the bat shows its love the cactus repays the bat by creating a fruit out of its flower, for the bat's consumption. Then humans caught on and fucked the cycle to harvest the delicious fruit, but that's not what's important right now. This was, and continues to be, fascinating to me. It's amazing because it's an act both unselfish and rewarding to both parties. It's not a leech-like system, like I've seen and noticed many other relationships to be.

It's called Pitaya or Dragon Fruit if you're curious
No photo-manipulation necessary
Well, anyway, I don't know which I was. I know that one of us was one of those in our story. One of us was the cactus, and the other the bat. This isn't really a romantic thing, and it's not supposed to be. I couldn't imagine a bat making love to a cactus, I'd really rather keep that image far away from my very active imagination. The point is they were incredibly different and still good for each other. The much more fitting part of that point is that neither the bat nor the cactus ever need each other. The cactus, without the bat (or a human's) help will still be a cactus, and the bat without the cactus can still eat other fruits, nuts, and bugs. It's just that while they work together, there is a very beautiful mutual gain. Other animals find this really difficult, sometimes especially humans; but you and I pulled it off, even if just for a little while a long time ago.

High five.