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Grooving to the tunes

As of Dec. 1, I will no longer be the arts and entertainment editor of the Colorado Springs Independent (and the crowd goes wild!). It's been a touching two years at the helm of the entertainment section in a town that is internationally known for its rock scene. The Garden of the Gods is truly spectacular.

The bad news -- for those who would spit in the face of justice, or those in power who believe they can casually sprinkle the salt of the earth on their filet mignons -- is that I will remain on staff as music editor and reporter.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, trannies and other people of heretofore unrecognized genders who consider themselves musicians, MCs, DJs, club owners, promoters or anything else in our booming local music industry: If you want your shows listed, CDs reviewed, or features written about your bands, please allow me to share with you a few really simple tips for maximizing your chance of getting coverage. (My thanks to The Pitch's Andrew Miller in Kansas City for his recent column reminding me of the importance of providing these guidelines to musicians and promoters.)

Tips for tooting your horn

1. Submit a listing.

It's free and easy and you can do it online. Go to www.csindy.com. Right there at the top of the first page there's a big black arrow that says "Submit an Event." Click on that arrow, fill out the form and click "Submit." It's soooo easy! If you don't have a computer, you can fax or mail your listing to us. Our address and fax number are on the masthead, which is usually on page 4 or 5.

Just make sure you include all the information about your event including: Name of your band, what kind of music it is, date and time, where you are playing (name, address and phone number of the venue), how much (if any) cover, if it's all ages or 21+, and a contact phone number for the venue.

Most importantly: Make sure it's submitted by noon on the Thursday before the issue when you want the event to appear. We are a weekly paper. If you send your listing to us on Thursday and your event is the following Wednesday, it's too late.

2. Send us a press kit at least two weeks before your event.

Once you've submitted a listing, you can increase your chances of getting coverage if you send us a physical or digital press kit. If you don't know what a press kit is, it's a packet or digital file that includes: a glossy or high-resolution photo of your band (please: snapshots don't count!), an information sheet that includes all relevant info about your band (see No. 1), a contact phone number in case we might want to interview you, and a CD, demo CD, or links to mp3s so we can listen to your music.

Please note: If we don't get this information two to four weeks before your event, it's highly unlikely that we'll consider writing a feature about your show. Features require time and planning, and they are usually assigned at least two weeks in advance.

If you are a club owner or promoter and you want coverage of an event, make sure the band that's playing gives you a press kit and pass it on to us. Or, make sure the band playing at your venue sends one directly to us. We can't ever guarantee you that we'll cover your band or event, but sending a press kit greatly improves your chances.

3. If you're a local band and you have a new CD you want to promote, we're more likely to write about it in conjunction with a show or event.

As a general policy, we don't review local CDs unless, in our opinion, they are truly exceptional. On the other hand, we gladly consider doing features on local bands and often give special consideration to those holding CD release parties. So, if you have a new CD and are playing a show or having a CD release party, please send us a full press kit (see No. 2) with all the information about your show (see No. 1), and we'll gladly consider it.

-- nblack@csindy.com

  • Grooving to the tunes

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