In a surprising move from someone as famous as the lead singer of Big Time Rush, Kendall Schmidt’s new band, Heffron Drive, has released their new single “Parallel” independently!

The single is available worldwide thanks to TuneCore Music Distribution, so you can easily grab the song on iTunes. I don’t foresee any issues with getting the music out there. It just makes you take notice.

You ask yourself, “what’s the future of music distribution?”

If you remember, I wrote about everything that TuneCore can do for an artist. And it’s pretty darn spectacular. So, for an artist/entrepreneur like Schmidt, who can certainly generate headlines in his own right, it makes total sense.

“I couldn’t be more excited to work with TuneCore for the release of ‘Parallel,'” stated Schmidt. “Reflecting my hopeless romantic side, this song is very personal to me – so it’s especially important that I can ‘own’ my work while still getting it out to my fans worldwide. TuneCore lets me do that in a way no label can.”

From both a legal and a sentimental perspective, it sounds like he will retain more rights to the music this way, and he won’t be at the mercy of a record label. (Side note: When someone uses the phrase “at the mercy of the label,” the allure of signing to a major label doesn’t sound too appealing anymore does it?)

You can read the full post and interview, all on the TuneCore blog. You’ll also see Kendall Schmidt’s top 3 tips for an independent artist looking to grow his or her career.

Personally I’m excited to see how well this trend catches on. Obviously labels still make sense for some artists, but it’s great to have other options!

What do you think about independent music distribution these days? Is it the wave of the future? Chime in in the comments below!


This post was created in partnership with eAccountable to spread the latest news from TuneCore. All opinions and musings on the state of the music industry are my own.

If you read last week’s post, you’ll remember TuneCore. Well, here’s a more in-depth look at what’s been going on:


[Click to see the large version.]

Infographic via TuneCore


This post was created in partnership with eAccountable. All opinions are my own.

tunecore site

I remember the days when iTunes was just starting out. Digital music was complicated back then. And it’s only become more diverse and complex today.

If you’re an artist, you have a lot of choices to make. Obviously you want to be on iTunes and Amazon because they are huge. That’s where people are going to buy your tunes. Spotify got real big, real quick; if you want to get some new fans, having your tracks play on Spotify is a big deal. But it can’t be easy to do all that.

Then you have other stores, which might be easier to work with or take less of your money. But you do all the marketing yourself.

With TuneCore, you pay an annual fee (such as $29.99 per album,) and they take care of the rest. You collect all the money.

It’s probably worth a look. At least, check out their blog. It’s full of tips and info like this:

Making money in the music biz, finding new artists, staying healthy, it’s all there!


This post was created in partnership with eAccountable (otherwise I never would have heard about TuneCore.) All opinions are my own.

My Heart to Joy Album Stream at

Posted by Levi | 04.21.2009

Check out My Heart to Joy over at There is a full album stream of their latest album.

After taking a five year break from their last album Keep Your Wig On, FASTBALL are returning with their fifth album Little White Lies on April 14, 2009 via MRI/RED Distribution. “We haven’t released a record since 2004, so I’m excited for our fans to hear the new stuff and the fact that we have a new President also gives me reason to smile,” says vocalist/guitarist Miles Zuniga.

Known for the intricate and very distinctive harmonies of Zuniga and Tony Scalzo (who also adds bass, keyboards, guitar to his band duties) and the Texas-drenched rhythms of drummer Joey Shuffield, Fastball had a massive hit with their Grammy-nominated platinum second album All the Pain Money Can Buy that featured the hits “The Way”, “Fire Escape” and “Out of My Head”. Not a band to rest on their laurels, the band soldiered on and released two critically-hailed follow-ups.

From the propulsive, driving rhythms of the album opener “All I Was Looking For Was You” to the pop sway of the title track to the sultry, heated fandango of “Angelie”, Little White Lies sees Fastball moving forward and becoming almost a whole new band. “Miles and I have really fine-tuned our writing styles to come up with super fun songs that go a little deeper musically than we’ve gone before,” explains Scalzo. “I believe it’s only the tip of the iceberg too. It’s seems to have opened a door to future creativity.”

In the years since their last album, the barometer of celebrity swung from public respect to invasion of privacy, something that doesn’t quite sit well with Zuniga. “It used to be cool to be a celebrity. I used to want to be famous,” he says, recalling their chart-topping history. This opinion of the evolution of pop culture infiltrates many of the songs on Little White Lies, especially the Tejano-spiced “The Malcontent (The Modern World)” in which Scalzo and Zuniga sing “I’m tired of living modern world with pretty boys and plastic girls.” He adds, “It used to be that famous people were famous for a good reason, but that’s not the way now.”

Little White Lies was produced by Miles Zuniga and C.J. Eiriksson (Blue October, Jack’s Mannequin) and mixed by Bob Clearmountain (Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie) and will be released on April 14, 2009.

This holiday season please don’t forget the spirit of giving back to your community and sharing your blessings with those in need.

And what better way to show this spirit then by supporting Shirts for a Cure and help someone fight breast cancer? Take a moment to cruise to their web store ( and choose from one of the nearly 250 shirt designs.

Everyone is doing it – from My Chemical Romance and Rise Against to Dillinger Four and The Bouncing Souls to Killswitch Engage and Darkest Hour… and everyone in between.

All proceeds from the shirt sales go directly to The Syrentha Savio Endowment which helps fight breast cancer in impoverished communities across the country. It’s the perfect gift that gives twice.

Thank you and happy holidays!

Four Year Strong Takes Over Denny’s!

Posted by Levi | 11.12.2008

Four Year Strong takes over Denny’s during a crazy Allnighter party! See the action in these videos:

First, the band decided to play a game of cornhole with some fans during their Denny’s Allnighter after-party in Tempe, AZ.

Then they play musical chairs at their Denny’s Allnighter Afterparty with A Loss For Words and some lucky fans. Hilarity ensues!

Finally, we end with grits and syrup shots, and get to see Four Year Strong play Dave Matthews Band and Semisonic, still at Denny’s!

More on Youtube

Atticus Clothing, in coordination with Epitaph Records, Epiphone Guitars, SJC Custom Drums, Vater Sticks, Sabian Cymbals, and Alternative Press, are proud to bring the “Get Out of The Garage” giveaway to aspiring musicians everywhere.

Filling out a simple registration could lead to a new equipment, endorsements, and the opportunity to head out on a major tour!

The contest runs through December 5th, so get in now…

Contest registration and additional information are located at:

* You don’t have to be in a band to win. Fans can log in and help choose who will win the “Get Out of The Garage” giveaway. Listen and rate the bands, then get entered to win one of three very limited Epiphone-Atticus guitars!

When a band starts out by recording a rock/screamo version of Soulja Boy’s “Crank Dat” called “Crank Dat Cavalry Boy” and posting it on Myspace, you’d expect nothing less than crazy hilarity and awesomeness to follow. Well, that’s exactly what we’re getting from I Set My Friends On Fire.

I Set My Friends On Fire’s debut album, You Can’t Spell Laughter Without Slaughter, is set for release on October 7th, and along with “Crank Dat” making its way onto iTunes, the guys are producing a new web series titled The Chronicles of ISMFOF!

Here’s the trailer:

If you want to see more hilarious videos and keep up to date on the series, check and

Come Around to Sing It Loud’s Debut Album

Posted by Levi | 08.28.2008

sing it loud

Power-pop striplings Sing It Loud will release their debut full-length album, Come Around, on September 23rd via Epitaph Records. The electrifying quintet has made a name for themselves in the classic D.I.Y. way: touring non-stop across the country, bringing their energetic live shows to big cities and small towns alike and selling their self-titled EP at shows and on-line. And with the release of Come Around, all that hard work is finally paying off.

I for one am glad they made a few stops in Altoona, PA during their touring, and I’m definitely excited for this release. Quite a few songs are on their Myspace page, with “Don’t Save Me” being the most recent addition. (Head to to listen in.)

Or better yet, check them out on tour! They are touring with Valencia right now (and if you’re in territory, you’ll be happy to know Sing It Loud and Valencia will be back to Altoona, PA on September 15th!)


Photo: Collin Hughes

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