From Max and The Marginalized - Teflon John:
There's something worth pointing out about this California-based band beyond its music and politics - that is the state-of-the-art model it is using for its self-marketing and distribution.
It brands itself with the tagline, Political Music. One Song Each Week. Indefinitely, and then delivers, giving listeners and fans a reason for returning each Thursday.
With a running spot at the prestigious Huffington Post that certainly drives traffic and blogger awareness, Max announces its raison d'etre:
Max and the Marginalized are a band and a blog. The idea behind it is pretty simple: there is more of a need for political music than ever, but there are fewer political bands than there have ever been. Furthermore, how could a political band write a song about something happening right now and then wait months or years for their album to come out, when the story is long over?
And its monetizing strategy, you ask? A running request for voluntary donations by PayPal - downloads on the "honour system" - to help to pay the stated costs of recording, sixteen studio hours per song at $25.00 per hour.
But if you can't afford to pay, Max tells you:
I must stress: IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO DONATE, PLEASE STILL GO AHEAD AND DOWNLOAD. I know you would if you could. When people donate a little more, what they're doing is buying the songs for you, so please download and thank them.
This financial strategy might or might not make the band immediately rich - but it, and the group's ongoing, newsy musical offerings - could wind up making it famous.
And that, in the vernacular, is what buzz is all about.
Kudos to Max and the Marginalized for getting it right - using everything the Internet now offers to market itself, get its tunes out there, build a following and get on the map.
While major labels will always be the key players promoting the mega-acts - the Britneys and Whitneys of the music world - self-help by social media is now the better way to fly for most newcomers and mere music mortals.
And Max shows you the way to do it.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto