Indie Band Survival Guide

By JoCo March 12, 2009

Watch as I plug something that I think is good:

The Indie Band Survival Guide is one of those “how to work the music business” books that is actually helpful. These guys did a really great job of dealing with all the new stuff that’s happening in this space. And I say this not only because they interviewed me a lot. Anyone who has questions about how I have been able to turn an interest in robots and monkeys into a career as a musician (it still makes me laugh to say that) while barely ever having to leave my house or even put on pants – chances are the answers are in this book.

And currently, there’s a free eBook version being offered in connection with Eventful, you can get it simply by signing up with your email address at Of course, the book can also be “purchased” if you’re into that sort of thing.


Paul R. Potts says

Thanks, the book is very informative. But it does leave me confused. Let's say that I have this, um, _friend_ who wants to perform at open mics or coffee shops or something. From the guide I get that he is legally able to play originals, and covers of copyrighted songs by, say, Beck or someone.

But let's say I^H my friend wanted to cover songs by a certain internet superstar about hot sex with robot monkeys or something. Said superstar's use of the CC license seems to grant _additional_ rights for non-commercial use of the original recordings -- but does that cover performances by me^H^H said performer if he doesn't get paid?

And what if said performer did get paid, I dunno, five bucks and a free latte or something? Would you then sue him for half his latte? JUST ASKING. Kthxbye!

Javier says

I have this great idea for a song about coconut wielding monkey assassins. Do you think it'll fly? ;-)

JoCo says

@Paul: well, my songs are copyrighted as well, so the CC license doesn't really need to come into play - the same setup that allows you to legally play Beck songs also allows you to legally play Jonathan Coulton songs (your friend to play them I mean). The deal is that the venue is responsible for paying a blanket fee to rights collection agencies (BMI, ASCAP, etc.) which then theoretically gets portioned out to artists based on random samplings at venues of what cover songs are being played. It doesn't matter if you make money or not, the venue is supposed to pay the fee. This is how I understand it anyway.

Paul R. Potts says

Jonathan, thanks for the clarification! I was thinking it would play out something along those lines, but am happy to be sure. Maybe this should go into your FAQ the next time you update it.

everysandwich says

Nice. I was going to do it, but they don't have a link to the privacy policy I must agree to on the sign-up page.

Kristoffer says

Nice i always wondered how the cover business went on with original rights and all that...