Is FaceNation the new improved MySpace for music?

Mylinks_facebook Mylinks_tunepak

Mylinks_join_mailing_list Mylinks_shows

Thursday, August 25, 2011

7 Things You Need to Know about your Wedding Band (Pt.1)

Hello! This week's blog is something a bit different - a wedding planner I work with has asked me to put together some advice on bands, so here goes:

'I’d love live music at my wedding but don’t know how to


Music is such an important factor in setting the tone and mood of your wedding reception. But musicians are a strange breed aren’t they? How on earth to go about booking a band? Well, after years of singing at weddings of all shapes and sizes (remember the movie ‘The Wedding Singer’? – that was my nickname for quite a while), I’ve put all you need to know in the answers to these following important questions:

1.What kind of a band should I book?

Ideally you want a band that can get Uncle Felix on the dance floor doing the twist but who is also able to play something a bit cooler for the younger things. And of course, you want to love the music too! A professional wedding band will have a huge repertoire of tunes and the experience to change styles and tempos when they need to. You might want some mood music to set the scene – perhaps some jazz or soul – while your guests are sipping cocktails and waiting for you to arrive. When it’s time to get the party started, you need the band to keep all the generations happy with a good mix of danceable songs

Another alternative, if you have the space and budget, is to book multiple entertainers for the event. Some people will hire a string quartet for drinks on the terrace; a pop band for ambience during dinner and to warm up the dancefloor; and then finish the night with a DJ for the more enthusiastic party animals. This arrangement can work well if you are happy to cope with the extra administration and significant additional costs involved, but a band that can do all of these things will not only be easier for you but will add a lovely seamless character to the event.

2. Where do I find a band?

Apart from recommendations from friends (and if you get some, make sure you still check out the band yourself!) the internet will be your most useful tool. Professional bands all have a web presence and you should be able to see live video footage, information on the types of gigs and venues they usually play as well as song lists -  all online so that you know exactly what you get! If you prefer, you can usually ask a band to send you a promotional package in the mail. Make sure it includes a DVD of a live performance. Wedding websites often have a directory of specialist wedding bands or you could simply use Google ie ‘wedding band Sydney’. Find some bands that look promising and ask for a quote. It’s best then to have a chat to them on the phone to see if they sound professional and friendly, and are willing to guide you through all the requirements.

Another option of course is contacting a music agent (yellow pages or Google will help here) – many of whom are event specialists. For a fee on top of the cost of the band, they should be able to show you a selection of bands as well as look after the administration of the booking for you. Of course, venues, photographers and wedding coordinators all have bands they like to work with too – so you could also ask for recommendations from them.  

3. I love the band at my local, can I just go up and book 


Of course if you love a band you’ve seen somewhere , there’s no reason that you can’t ask them to play for you. Keep in mind, however, that if the band is not experienced at playing at weddings, they may need a lot more managing on your part.  Also, the atmosphere at your wedding reception and your local pub may be quite different! You are no doubt putting a lot of effort into creating a certain kind of ambience for your event. Some bands won’t have the repertoire - or the look - that suits. Khe Sanh and mullets work great at 1am on a Saturday morning, but your Great Aunt Maude might not get it!

Next week's Blog: 
4.How much do wedding bands cost? 5.When do I need to book them? 6.Can I choose the songs they play on the night? 7.What else do I need to know about booking a band?

Amanda Easton fronts Function and Wedding band ‘Dance Little Sister’. She has performed at least 150 weddings, great and small, all over Australia and overseas.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Album No. 3 - All a bit Back Arsewards!

Hello there,

Most people I know who release an album, finish all the writing, recording, mixing and mastering and then only quite a time afterwards, agonise over the accompanying artwork and those necessary promotional photos. Well I seem to have put the art before My third album is still a loose bunch of only-just-in-tune demi-demos, but the artwork is done!

I have accepted by now that I am a bit of a ham, the kind of performer who lives for the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd. Of course it is way cooler to be the kind of artist that delivers their music without any consideration of 'image'. But although I love shoes, I have no desire to stand on stage gazing at them. And besides, I have never really been able to master cool. I actually love the theatre and glamour of the 'image' stuff. Soooo, for my next album, the artwork will help inspire the music, rather than the other way around. A 2 minute behind-the-scenes video featuring the resulting new shots, is below - this is a sneak peek as I won't be releasing the photos properly before the actual music is ready!

By the way, to clear the decks for the new release, my first two albums are available for only $5 each (+ postage if you want the physical version) from CD Baby, below. Each track to download is just 49c.
See you next time - and feel free to share any of your past bad hair or bad outfit shots - see below!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Favourite Song Lyrics? (or, What do Ozzy Osborne, Kelly Clarkson and Tom Waits have in common?)

Hello there,

The International Songwriting Competition is open - just passing on the latest official press release below...

But before that - what are some of your favourite lines from songs? Here are some of mine:

1. Goldfrapp's Ride the White Horse
'Now take me dancing
At the Disco When you buy your

2. Fiona Apple's Limp
You fondle my trigger 
Then you blame my gun

3. David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust:
Ziggy really sang
Screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo
Like some cat from Japan

4. Robbie Williams' Kids:
I've been looking 
For serial monogamy
Not some bird 
That looks like Billy Connolly

And I've got to mention just one more in the 'Believe it...or Not Category of Interesting Rhymes':
Des'ree's Life:
I don't want to see a ghost
It's the sight that I fear most
I'd rather have a piece of toast!
(The exclamation point is mine)

ISC Press Release follows: - see you next week!


Tom Waits, Tori Amos, Ozzy Osbourne, My Morning Jacket, Jeff Beck, McCoy Tyner, Duran Duran, And Kelly Clarkson Join Music Industry Executives To Select 2011 ISC Winners

August 9, 2011 - The prestigious International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has assembled a distinguished panel of judges for its 2011 competition. With the most high-profile judging panel of any music competition in the world, ISC offers songwriters and artists the unprecedented opportunity to have their music heard by iconic recording artists, as well as many major and indie record label Presidents, A&R executives, producers, music supervisors, and more.

Now accepting entries for the 2011 competition, ISC gives away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes (shared among the 68 winners) including an overall Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 (US) cash and $20,000 in prizes. Open to all levels of songwriters, ISC offers 22 categories that include all genres of popular music. Past winners have included artists from Grammy winners to hobbyist songwriters and everyone in between.

For information and enter, go to

Winning ISC can be a tremendous career booster. Over the years, many winners have achieved great career success, including getting signed to labels such as Epic, Universal, Motown, and more. Many more winners have secured publishing deals, smaller label deals, licensing deals, and distribution deals in addition to getting more gigs, fans, and recognition.

The complete list of ISC judges includes:
Recording Artists: Tom Waits; Tori Amos; Jeff Beck; Billy Currington; My Morning Jacket; Simon Le Bon & Roger Taylor (Duran Duran); Kelly Clarkson; Keane; McCoy Tyner; Wynonna; Francesca Battistelli; Tegan and Sara; Massive Attack; Michael W. Smith; Alejandro Sanz; Johnny Clegg; Jeremy Camp; Ray Wylie Hubbard; John Mayall; Craig Morgan; Basement Jaxx; James Cotton; Sandra Bernhard; Trombone Shorty; Robert Earl Keen; Black Francis (The Pixies); Mose Allison; Robert Smith (The Cure); Amadou & Mariam; Darryl McDaniels (Run D.M.C.); Toots Hibbert (Toots & The Maytals); Matt Thiessen (Relient K); Chayanne; and more...
Industry Executives: Monte Lipman (President, Universal Republic Records); David Massey (President, Mercury Records); Brian Malouf (VP A&R, Walt Disney Records); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Angel Carrasco (Sr. VP A&R, Latin America, Sony/BMG); Ric Arboit (President, Nettwerk Music Group); Anastasia Brown (Music Supervisor, FORMAT); Allison Jones (VP of A&R, Big Machine Label Group); Steve Lillywhite (Producer); Dan Storper (President, Putamayo World Music Records and Putumayo Kids); Kim Buie (VP A&R, Lost Highway); Douglas C. Cohn (Sr. VP, Music Marketing & Talent, Nickelodeon); Trevor Jerideau (VP of A&R, J Records); Antony Bland (A&R, American Recordings); Steve Smith (VP of A&R, Aware Records); Cory Robbins (Founder/President, Robbins Entertainment); Dr. Demento (Radio Host, The Dr. Demento Show); and more...

ISC Sponsors: Presonus, Lowden Guitars, Sennhaiser, ASCAP, Berklee College of Music, Posse, D'Addario, Thayers,, Online Gigs, The Music Business Registry, Independent Mastering, Indie Venue Bible, George Stein, Esq. Sonicbids, Taxi, and music Submit

Thursday, August 4, 2011

10 songs every cover band should know?

Like many an Aussie musician, I make the majority of my living from singing other people's songs. Lucky for me, I love it. I read a post from recently with the same title as this blog. Now we may have some cultural differences here, but I could agree with only two songs from their list. Just to be clear, we're not talking 10 coolest songs every cover band should know! I'm trying to find those magic songs that seem to work with almost all crowds - generally to get them dancing, at least on the inside.

I'll never forget the time I was hired with a jazz quartet to sing at a wedding. We played some cool tunes man, but noone was dancing. Someone from the bridal party came up and asked us if we could play something they could move to. The band chose a funky jazz number. No one danced. I suggested 'Blame it on the Boogie' to the band who then drilled into my skull with laser beam eyes. After a few further failed hip jazz choices, the band relented and 'Blame it on the Boogie' packed the dancefloor. I never did get asked back by that jazz band again...

Here are my picks for the top 10 songs every cover band should know. Numbers 9 & 10 are the two from's list.

1. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
2. Blame it on the Boogie - Jackson 5
3. Walking on Sunshine - Katrina & the Waves
4. Love is in the Air - John Paul Young
5. Loveshack -  B52s ( I know! I know! But people love to dance to it!)
6. Dancing Queen - ABBA
7. We Are Family - Sister Sledge
8. Lady Marmalade - Labelle
9. Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
10. Brown-Eyed Girl - Van Morrison

What do you think?