val's blog  2.20.12


spotlight and mic


The system is working for these 3 artists. They got a break. All have made it to TV.



Was it a case of right place at the right time?




Is their music so good that it sells itself ?



Meet these emerging artists whom I've had my eye on the past few years. 



One performs at my favorite Chicago venue SPACE, one sang in my living room, one granted me her first interview.



What do they have and how do you get it?



Tony Lucca singing

 TONY LUCCA   Contestant The Voice   

     Watch Video       (was a Mouseketeer)

Angel Taylor sing

                                                                            ANGEL TAYLOR   Contestant The Voice

                                                                               Watch Video             (youngest of 6 girls)


Allen Stone sing

 ALLEN STONE  Conan, Live at Daryl's House   

    Watch Video           (loves bright sweaters)




val head shot lean on hand  The system has changed.         -a note by Val

The music industry is in disarray. So the players, their status, their power and their promise for success is rather broken.  When this happens it's every man for himself. Music artists now have tools to deliver their music directly to us. Labels hope we'll still buy CD's. Promoters hope we'll choose to attend their concerts. Managers look for magic tricks to differentiate their artists from the others. 


The one constant is they all want you to hear their music.  


The traditional way was radio. There's controversy in the industry about radio and its power to reach us in the iPod world. That said, I myself still listen to radio, but I use it my way. Terrestrial radio has my favorite local DJ's, Chicago concert information, artist interviews & studio sessions. I can't live without DJ Lin Brehmer (just celebrated 20th anniversary of DJ-dom) of our triple A station WXRT and his gal pal Mary Dixon. I wake up to him every morning and he makes me laugh. His tag lines are "it's great to be alive" and "your best friend in the whole wide world..." and his Lin's Bin Series are the most clever montages of question/answer/music/stories you've ever heard. On the cloud side, XM/Sirius radio helps me discover the newest artists. The Loft and Spectrum's music tastes mesh with mine so when I'm in my car I'm tuned in. When I'm in a flashback mood I've got Classic Rewind, Classic Vinyl and Deep Tracks at my fingertips. As a music fan, I'm happy to listen as long as you don't waste my time with too many commercials and ridiculous banter. 


TV is the new radio.  Prime time and late night shows are onto something.  I'm a night owl so I tune into those too. I can honestly say I'm ultra impressed with the musical guests on Fallon, Leno, Letterman, Kimmel...  They host the newest of the new emerging artists. The ones I promote on Valslist. When the super bowl, awards shows, holiday shows, Obama parties, Rock Center, and the rest of 'em host the same artists over and over (don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about - uh hello, Springsteen, Beyonce, Crow, McCartney, Nicki, Katie, and so on) I stand at my TV and wonder who was in charge there.  B.O.R.I.N.G.   But late night - and SNL - and the smart ad agencies who use new music for their commercials - THIS is where the introduction to emerging artists is. So if you want to meet them, tune in.   (related article)


Back to The System:  The 3 artists listed above have broken through the coffee shops, small venues and back woods fests.  They're now on a main stage with a mic and a spotlight - in front of a vast sea of viewers. They have to take it from here. Music analyst Bob Lefsetz says you can't make people like your music - they will decide on their own. So if the artists listed above have voices that sell themselves - and maybe they even win The Voice, what can their new label do for them? They can hope to sell CDs. But why not guarantee them a spot on television - ad or show - or a film soundtrack?  This would spread their sound further, make it stick, and could be lucrative. Selling CDs in a world that downloads single tracks is tricky business. It's not the artist's fault. It's not the label's fault. The system has simply changed. So roll with the punches and put your artist's best track within earshot of the people...


I read somewhere that the most common question at Starbucks is "what song is that playing?"  Let that be your artist they're asking about.







Val Haller



  This Week's Playlist:    "Looking For a Break       (Listen in iTunes)
Val's Blog:  Read More...   





you need to know about these




Animal Joy   by  SHEARWATER

genre: alternative     (similar vibe =  Peter Gabriel meets Neil Diamond)

listen in iTunes  






Who's Feeling Young Now   by PUNCH BROTHERS
genre:  bluegrass/singer/songwriter    (similar vibe = Mumford & Sons meets Dylan, McCartney with banjo)
          Punch Brothers 




Scars & Stories  by THE FRAY

genre:  pop   (similar vibe =  Hall & Oates meets  U2)

listen in iTunes

The Fray 





genre: alternative    (similar vibe =  Brett Dennen meets Queen meets Lucinda Williams) 

listen in iTunes

heartless bastards 




Which Side Are You On?    by ANI DIFRANCO 

genre: singer/songwriter  (similar =  Joni Mitchell meets A.Winehouse meets M.Ethridge)

listen in iTunes

Ani DiFranco 








Looking For a Break        (every track is brand new!)              


Listen in iTunes

  1. Hold On by Alabama Shakes   
  2. Believing Makes It Easy by Shearwater  
  3. Who's Feeling Young Now? by Punch Brothers  
  4. A Really Long Year by Rosie Thomas  
  5. Part of the Plan by Dan Fogelberg  
  6. Who'll Pay the Bills? by Field Music 
  7. It's Gonna Be Alright by Le'Andria Johnson 
  8. How Long Must I Wait by Dr. Dog 
  9. This Is Not a Song by Islands  
  10. Catch the Wind by Donovan  
  11. Magic Chords by Sharon Van Etten 
  12. Look to the Side by Otis Taylor  
  13. The Arrow Killed the Beast by Heartless Bastards 
  14. All We Want by Jonah Werner
  15. Life Boat by Ani DiFranco 
  16. Tomorrow's Yesterday by Ray Bonneville
  17. The Fighter by The Fray


A boutique music website that helps busy adults keep up with new music. Effortlessly.





Follow us on Twittermyspace iconView our profile on LinkedInFind us on Facebook


Stay in the loop.   Subscribe.