CMJ is like this week and, OMG, I forgot to apply to showcase!
Well you will not showcase, but you still are able to show face. Here are a couple things I came up with for you to do and connect with people in the place to be. Don't worry about not playing. Most of the time we spend meeting people and telling them, "Oh you're gonna miss my showcase. " So here are the great things to do this week. These tips go for publicists, managers, and bands.
1. Have memorable business cards:
If you are around, you might as well have something amazing to give somebody. Make it memorable. You should have 10 email addresses on it or a quote from Abraham Lincoln. My card has one email address and a quote from Weird Al Yankovic. If you don't have business cards, have your band fliers with all your show info on it and, if you don't have any shows, just have something with something on it. It's better than…nothing with something on it.
2. Search #cmj on Twitter/Instagram feeds:
You might not be in NYC this week, so be there virtually. While I was on the #goodvibestour this summer I would search up the hashtag after the show. In this case, you can do that and connect in conversations along the way that interest you. You can be from anywhere in the world and do this.
3. Attend smaller shows and stand in the front:
I can't imagine to tell you how awesome it is when random people come to my empty ass shows. CMJ has a plethora of these going on and we would all appreciate it if you would rage out during our set while we wallow in our pain due to a crowd thinning quicker than our hairlines. Standing in the front of shows and participating is just like college classes: the person up there likes you more and appreciates it.
4. Buy merch from foreign/touring bands:
Now that I am typing this, I realize some of you won't be here in NYC. But you can also do this online. Look up cmj.com and check the schedule and head to a weird show at a weird place at a weird time. If someone has merch for sale, go and buy it. Say hey to them on Twitter, and tell them you just ordered merch from them on their site and would love to connect about a show or some publicity or something.
5. Buy someone a drink or, better yet, a bag of chips or some crepes:
You're upstairs at Pianos on Ludlow and you're schmoozing away. You're at the corner of Cake Shop just hangin' out. Let's look to upgrade your social awkwardness and buy this cool writer/ publicist/ band a crepe from across the street. It's 2 am and this, my friends, will be the best 8 dollars that you ever spend. The crepe will be the best thing since the past 8 bands no one can remember but it's the small things that count. Don't buy someone a beer. Buy them some crepe. Buy them salt and vinegar chips.
6. Go to those panels and chat it up. If not there in person, online with others:
Lots of free publicity walking around here and shaking some hands to do. There will also be tweeting from the sessions and speakers as well as a way to check in plus live streaming. Why not come here where everyone is not drunk, get some coffee and meet people in normal time. This is the the best thing to do. I love these things. If you are on line, you can search the names of attendee, panels and peep what is happening. Chime in! If you don't have a badge, sneak in. I think it's a respectable way to handle it and If you can't sneak in, hang outside and shake hands. Plenty of badges are walking around and no one wants.
I have my eyes on a couple good ones like, "How to survive as a musician in 2013." Let's say I found a booker in there, he would feel obliged to pay me well to come to his city, hence I am going there. Obviously, if you are not in the city, find someone else to chat with who is not there and connect with them on that. Hashtag #notatcmj
7. Search the panels/ events on CMJ.com and connect with people on line:
Little did you know, you can find radio programmers, writers and their prospective employers on the schedule of CMJ.com You can chime in on their social media like, hey, how was CMJ Yoga? And they'll be like oh man I was hung over and didn't go…and you can be like…oh you missed out..(even though you didn't really go). This is an easy way to be in the place to be with registered attendees and make sure you are interacting.
So there you have it folks. 7 ways to be at CMJ when you won't even play! For all the talking I'm gonna do...I already know there is more than that reason for why I am coming through. I mean sure I have a showcase at Littlefield in Brooklyn on Wednesday and sure I'm playing late Thursday night at SOB's at like 2 am in the morning (which is really Friday) and sure...I have an album coming out in a few weeks, but it's not like I have to be all over CMJ in order to let you know that.
If you have a project coming out or you are publicist from New Mexico or a manager from Minnesota who can't make it, these 7 things will help.
Go! What are you waiting for? Of course...any other good ones you may have, please leave them in the comment box!