Super Cute: Indie Rock Coloring Book

Super Cute Thursday (unplanned) continues, with an adorable indie rock coloring book. It’s hardly the first. STS9 and recently the lovely Riceboy Sleeps limited edition by Sigur Ros’ Jonsi and Alex came with coloring books. Perhaps inspired by musicians entering parenthood, it’s all the rage. If you can’t be pressured to select just one band for your (or your kids’) coloring pleasure, here’s The Indie Rock Coloring Book, a project of the Yellow Bird Project, which gives to artists’ charities. You get to not only color but solve mazes and connect-the-dots. Hey, with music increasingly intangible in the digital age …

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Pro Tools Essentials and the Big Picture

A young, aspiring musician walks into a consumer electronics store. (Let’s call it Big Buy, and imagine people wearing… red polo shirts.) They wander into the game aisle and muse at the latest music games in the video game section – $60-100 in price. But there’s an endcap with something else: a box of Pro Tools that’ll run on their computer, plus a ready-to-use audio interface, for $99-129. Instead of Guitar Hero, they leave with Pro Tools – a name they already knew. See full details of the new lineup, with photos. This idea is nothing new – for many …

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The New Avid: M-Audio, Sibelius, Digidesign Subsumed into Avid Branding?

Avid, the parent company of music product makers Digidesign, M-Audio, and Sibelius, has decided to assert the brand of its mothership more aggressively. As near as I can tell, that means you won’t see the M-Audio, Digidesign, or Sibelius brand names any more – along with video maker Pinnacle. You’ll see, presumably, Avid Pro Tools? (Right now, you see the Digi site with an Avid banner across the top that says “Digidesign is Avid.” But that was true before, so I don’t really know what this exactly means.) Avid has also unveiled a new logo made, cleverly, to look like …

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Playing Music with Light Pens, Flourescent Bulbs, Brought to You By … Sony?

The urgency of being way behind a single dominant player can make electronics makers do some odd stuff to promote their products. iPod, once an icon of digital cool, has achieved such ubiquity that it doesn’t even try to be hip any more. The thing is being promoted with American Idol, for crying out loud — not exactly indie cred. We saw Microsoft enlisting indie musicians and animators to sell Zune, of course. But here’s where things get surprisingly amazing: Sony is using weird and wonderful Japanese experimental music to promote Walkman. Now we’re talking. And whether or not Walkman …

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Indie Bands: Taco Bell Wants to Feed You Burritos, Promote You on Hot Sauce

Photo: Morgan Tepsic. Does that mean South Korea has Taco Bells? I usually try to steer clear of the marketing crud, but this is too bizarre to pass up. Taco Bell, anxious to jump on this whole “indie music” bandwagon, is using the only currency it has: combinations of refried beans, cheese, rehydrated ground meat, and tortillas. Here’s the plan: they find 100 bands, and give them $500 in Taco Bell food while they’re on tour — just in case the burritos were the one thing breaking your tour budget. (Okay, there is that whole fuel cost and lodging thing, …

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Best (Unofficial) Product Slogan Ever: Minimoog Old School

If you haven’t been reading the ongoing controversy over the Minimoog Voyager Old School, here’s the best part of the comments yet. Original internal slogan for the project: “Got Balls?” I couldn’t let anyone miss that. (Hey, I think it could have worked as an ad campaign.) I’m not going to touch the debate any more; if you don’t like the Voyager OS, you’ll use something else. But I will say, useful as presets and MIDI are, it is possible to make music without them. Hmm, I can come up with a few alternate slogans for other products we saw: …

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We’re Nerdsters; 201 Kit Video; More Projects Wanted 9/27 NYC

Because hipsters love Theremin-y crutches. Okay, music fans: reach the very vanguard of geekiness, and you can become an entirely new demographic — the Nerdster. Or so says direct marketing guru Lauren Bell for DMNews, who much to my surprise reviewed the most recent CDM + Etsy + Make “Handmade Music night in Brooklyn”: Last night, on the not-so-anonymous urging of a PR company that represents Make magazine, I went to “Handmade Music” at Etsy Labs in downtown Brooklyn… On handmade music night, super-nerds, artists, and the edgy, in-the-know, 20-something crowd converge on the Etsy labs, drawn by promises of …

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Meatspace Networking for Musicians: Chicago Demo Swap Party Wrap-up

Ed.: Social networking, online sites (this being one of them), Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace … sometimes it seems like all the connections are being done online. Naturally, the Web’s real power is when you can meet all those virtual personalities you’ve gotten to know offline. Far better than getting demo CDs in the mail or listening to someone’s tracks on MySpace: meeting them at a party over a drink and getting their music from them directly. Such is the genius of Chicago’s Demo Swap. Co-organizer Liz has this wrap-up of what July’s party was like. Non-Chicagoans (heck, fellow New Yorkians), clearly …

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Music Sales Widgets, Everywhere

Widgets are all the rage these days. The idea is, artists create a little miniature music player you can embed anywhere (MySpace, blogs, etc.) with their tracks. Fans buy music via the widget, and the artist gets a cut. Hometracked has an exceptional round-up of widgets with feature comparison. (It’s about time someone took the time to do that!) So far, though, I haven’t been blown away by any of the widgets. Often, an overcrowded market is an indicator that no one technology quite has it right yet. There’s also the small matter of getting enough volume in music track …

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