Grammy Blog – Annie B. & the Complication Wed, 10 May 2017 03:01:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 2586 Mon, 28 Mar 2016 20:27:31 +0000 Continue reading «Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 2586»]]> Well, well, well… I have been slacking for almost 3 years!  This year is my year to officially get caught up with everything as well as start building additional streams of income, which I have started working on already:  I am currently enrolled in 4 mentorship programs, one of them is building a career through teaching, another is how to get your music licensed in TV, film, video games, and all the other opportunities out there, another is how to find your SuperFans online which ultimately results in generating income through social media & the internet, and another is a general career mentoring program.  Each of these programs had different prices, & I signed up for them at different times, but I am working on all of them at this time, and hopefully will be working on them continually after the programs are completed, as I see results from my efforts & want those results to grow.

The band recently recruited a new drummer, and a female lead guitarist, and we just asked a female bassist to join the band as well, and we’ll be announcing her as our new bassist once we get closer to playing our first show with her!

I have learned one big thing since I started these mentoring programs:  Work on each of your goals a little bit every day if possible, and you will start to see desired results.  I finally started committing just a few short hours to finding new venues and booking more gigs to ensure that I am working every Friday & Saturday night of every month.  Even if it’s playing a gig with The Complication, which generally does not bring in a lot of money.

The mentoring program about SuperFans and the internet promises that I will generate income form my efforts, or I can get my money back for this program.  I just found this link online taking about using Facebook ads towards this goal:

This link talks about spending $5 per day on Facebook ads, and what those results are.  They are getting 9 new Likes per day, and I don’t know what kind of money they are generating from gaining new Likes or new business from this activity, but I’m not done reading the article yet.  Leveraging the internet through Facebook ads are the crux of the mentoring program, so I will be learning all about how to make this work.

I’ll update as I have more info or news for you, but in the meantime, if you are subscribing to this blog, please share it with your friends, and Follow me on Facebook, and Like The Complication on Facebook!  Thanks!!!!

Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1538: Nashville, Patience, and Doing Your Thing Tue, 14 May 2013 21:40:18 +0000 Continue reading «Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1538: Nashville, Patience, and Doing Your Thing»]]> Post #77 of ANNIE B.’s D.I.Y. MAGAZINE

“I promise to post blogs here, sharing some daily activities & the work I do to achieve my career goals, and especially, to give inspiration to all, whether you are – or are not – an artist yourself! And, when I do win that Grammy, YOU can say you followed me all the way! Enjoy, and SEIZE THE DAY!”

As you may know, I just got back from MUSIC CITY Nashville, TN on Friday!  It was a fantastic experience, my first time there, and I learned a lot about an important concept for musicians & artists: PATIENCE.

NashvilleI met with the wonderful guys from Velocity123 Records, and we wrote some songs and had some great conversation about ABVC.  I have been on the phone with these guys for about 9 months, but never got a chance to get ABVC down to play some shows.  So, I decided it was about time I just went down there to meet these guys myself.  They were all for it, and we had a great week.

I know at this point, that I need to go visit them a lot more before any trigger is gonna be pulled.  We had some great conversations and talked about future plans, but until the time is right, or we write that big hit song, or the right opportunity comes along for the project & the relationship, ABVC is gonna keep doing its thing and show them that we got what they want.  Patience is a virtue, and it certainly is one of the most important things for artists to understand & embrace.

You know those big “overnight sensations” that seem to come out every year?  These bona fide artists (which excludes the manufactured bands, like the Spice Girls) have all been under the radar, in the trenches for years, before the big label pushed them with hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars… and then you first heard about them.  You know what they told Gwen Stefani when they first signed No Doubt?  “You’ll be a big star in 6 years.”  And guess what.  It took them 6 years WITH LABEL SUPPORT to break out with their first #1 mega-hit Don’t Speak, AFTER the initial 4 years the band was making music & actively playing shows.  That’s a total of 10 years, kids.  Also please note: this was BEFORE all the labels did away with developing artists, which they were able to do with No Doubt.  It’s even more of an uphill battle now, and requires even more patience, since us artists need to prove that we can sell thousands of records and get lots people to our shows in more than just our hometowns before attracting such a label deal.

Not too long ago, I was sharing a practice space with a new band around here, and these kids told me they were going to record a new CD and shop it to labels and get a deal and be big rock stars.  I wished them luck!  Pretty sure that band is not around anymore.  The Goo Goo Dolls had 9 years and 5 records under their belt before we all heard their first biggie Name from the A Boy Named Goo LP.  Soul Asylum was together for 11 years and had to put out 5 records before record #6 got them their big hit Runaway Train.  Please realize: that Nirvana is the exception to the rule.  They recorded Bleach for $600 and Sup Pop picked them up and  knew how to push this record and then Nevermind was on a major.  This happens to, my educated guess is, less than 1% of artists who get above the radar.  Most need to be in the trenches for quite some time.

Too many bands break up due to the stress of frustration, of not making money, not getting where they want in too short a time, they start to doubt the project, and the next thing you know, they’re gone.  It’s really sad.  I can’t tell you how many AMAZING “local band” CDs I own from all over the U.S., wishing these bands were still around.  But most of them put out 1, maybe 2 indie records, & that was it.  They gave up.

So, what do we do about it, fellow artists?  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: NEVER GIVE UP.  We just keep making great records and building our fanbases by playing shows and finding joy and happiness in that.  And things will keep rolling forward.  Do you know that there are artists out there grossing $40,000 in ticket sales per show that most of my friends have barely heard of, like Guster… have you heard of them?  Do you think they care?  They just keep doing what they do.  And they have figured out how to reach certain levels of success, while they keep moving forward.  This whole time, they have had PATIENCE (they’ve been around for 20+ years)!!!  They released their 6th record in 2010, which peaked at #22 on the Billboard 200.

I KNOW it can be INCREDIBLY frustrating – this thing called the music business.  But you need to find those areas where you have a little success, and build on THAT.  My band is doing well, but I play a LOT more solo/acoustic shows around the area.  There fore, I always sell more Kiwi Cafe (Annie B solo) CDs than ABVC’s Fancies of a Random Heart, or Let’s Do It (Live).  So, I continue to re-order more, (even though this is a 2010 release) because I know my fans want them.  I have success there, and I build on that.  Next time, when I see a person who bought The Kiwi Cafe from a previous show, I tell them that they should consider buying one of the CDs from my band & come out to see us!  And they often do!!

It’s all about just keeping on keeping on.  Keep on writing.  Keep on playing.  And keep remembering that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1477: Doing What You Love Thu, 14 Mar 2013 17:41:10 +0000 Continue reading «Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1477: Doing What You Love»]]> Post #76 of ANNIE B.’s D.I.Y. MAGAZINE

HeatherHeather Acton is the webmaster of this website, and I started working with Heather about 3 years ago when I first decided I wanted to have a website for Annie B Music.  Heather started out building websites for friends & family mostly for fun, and then started working for strangers for  extra money… but again, mostly because she just loved it, and the little extra money coming in was nice.

Only a few short years later, she is the breadwinner in her home, supporting the family, while her husband’s role is Mr. Mom.  She has several folks working under her now, and has built up a business she calls Helio Intercative Inc., and she LOVES her work.  (Although she didn’t even know she loved it until she started doing it!)

She is an inspiration to us all… she decided to have some fun working on projects she enjoyed, and a few years later, she’s paying all the bills for the family with the business she has built!  Now, she may not yet be a millionaire at this moment, but she gets to wake up every day and knows that when she “goes to work,” she’s really not working at all.  She’s doing something she loves!  I bet she doesn’t look at the clock every day thinking, “Only 2 more hours until that break for lunch…”  She can take a break whenever she wants! (Well, almost… I mean, there are deadlines when you have clients to answer to!)  And all the while, she’s actually enjoying her work!

Heather is very blessed (as am I) to be able to make a living doing something she loves.  I asked her if it would be okay for me to send her some “interview” questions to help me share her story in this blog.  If YOU have the same goal (doing something you love for a living), I hope you find inspiration and motivation in Heather’s comments & her story to take the first few steps in making it happen!

> 1. When and how did you decide to start up your business? What were the catalysts/inspirations for you to GO FOR IT?
Heather:  It all actually happened by accident. I built a family website when I was off of work shortly after having my first child and found that I really enjoyed the process. Then, a couple family friends invited me to build their websites. It didn’t pay much at first but I didn’t care because I liked it so much and it was rewarding. From there, it was like a snowball effect. I kept getting referrals and kept building. 4 years later, I’m doing this full time while my husband is home with the kiddos!

> 2. What were the biggest challenges you faced in those early days?
Heather:  Finding the time to do it all. I was home with my 2 little kids for the first 3 years of doing this. I did a lot of the work on nights and weekends. Again, I enjoyed it so it wasn’t a chore, but sometimes deadlines on projects conflicted with family things going on, or a sick child would slow down progress on a project. But, most people were understanding of the fact that I was an at-home mom doing this, so most times it all worked out just fine.

> 3. What were some of the things you had working FOR you when you first started up?
Heather:  My dedication and willingness to learn, and the support of my family. This field was all new to me, so I had a huge learning curve when I started. From web development to running a business, it was all new. Luckily I enjoyed learning and wasn’t afraid to make some mistakes. And, I had a ton of help from my husband and extended family. My husband took on all of the duties at night and most on the weekends so that I could work, and my family was always there to watch the kids if I needed them. There’s no way I would have been able to build what I did if they didn’t support me in that way.

> 4. Did you feel like giving up? When? How did you deal with those times?
Heather:  Ha! Not until lately as things are more established and I have more on the line have I thought about giving up. It is scary being the sole provider for a family, and having a small business be what we depend on for our food, house, and other necessities. Income is always up and down, and the cost to run a business is exorbitant. It does get tempting to go out and get a “normal” job, but ultimately I love doing what I’m doing, and I really like my boss =)

> 5. What are some of the biggest challenges you face with sustaining your business today?
Heather:  Making money! I know this sounds so simple, but it’s the truth. I cannot believe how expensive it is to run a business, and how much is really working against small business owners. Insurance and taxes are a complete income-suck.

> 6. What are some of your biggest triumphs & things to celebrate?
Heather:  That I’m able to do this at all, and that we help so many businesses meet their goals. This isn’t my background and it’s truly the first time I’ve been successful (in my eyes) in my professional career. I know my company does great work for people, and we volunteer a ton of time too, and that all feels good. But, the best is when a company really meets an important goal due to things WE helped them with. Awesomeness.

> 7. What advice would you give someone thinking about starting up their own business in web development & design / social media / internet marketing?
Heather:  Be prepared to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. To really make a go at this and have a sustainable business, it takes a ton of time to build and run a business like this. Know that you’ll screw up lots of times, but make sure you learn from each of these mistakes. Move forward quickly.

> 8. Any final thoughts?
Heather:  The only additional thing I have to add is regarding the importance of doing what you love, and making sure you know what success means to you. To some it’s money, but that’s not everything. Know what really makes you click, and do all you can to be the best at it. You’ll be successful, no doubt!

Thanks, Heather!!!  Anyone who wants to contact Heather can find her on Facebook, Skype (heatheracton78), and GooglePlus!  Please give her a shout and let her know you read her interview!!

Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,465 Sat, 02 Mar 2013 22:53:31 +0000 Continue reading «Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,465»]]> Post #75 of ANNIE B.’s D.I.Y. MAGAZINE

Mike n Annette 3andahalfx5Too much has happened since my last blog, so I can’t really update you with everything. The most tragic for me is the loss of my boyfriend, and the cause of his death is unknown, making this whole thing even more difficult to cope with. This happened on Jan. 22nd, and I am completely devastated. I think you can understand why I have not been my normal, active self.

I know that he would NOT want my life and my world to stop because of his death, and I am now resolute on being even more active in doing all the things I need to be doing to reach my career goals. It’s been almost 6 weeks of not being able to even get out of bed, and kind of being in a daze during all of my waking hours. I am very blessed that my friends have been totally there for me, helping me through this most difficult time in my life. Without you, my friends, I don’t know how I would have got through these last 5 1/2 weeks.

Mike was always UBER-supportive of my music & my career, although he often felt like he was “#19 on my list,” as he often put it, especially since my parents (now just my mom,) have always come first. I obviously feel incredibly remorseful that he felt that way, and I wish I could go back and change it all.

No matter what, Mike wanted me to chase after my dreams, and he was always very proud of all the things I have been able to accomplish, both before & after we met. My promise to him is to WIN THAT GRAMMY. He would be so proud to be there with me when this happens. And he will be there. He will be there in my heart, walking with me when I approach the stage accepting the award.

So, I thank you, my friends, for helping me to get through this. Please continue with your prayers, as the healing process for myself and Mike’s family is still underway.

God bless you.

Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,391 Tue, 18 Dec 2012 09:12:56 +0000 Continue reading «Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,391»]]> Post #74 of ANNIE B.’s D.I.Y. MAGAZINE

No groundbreaking news to report this week yet.  Although I did meet a guy who helps artists get investors at my show at Bert’s last Saturday.  Hopefully he’s interested and can possibly make something happen!  How cool would that be??

HiJinx in the Heartland is moving forward slowly but surely.  Zoy and his friend John secured a venue for us in St. Paul.  We still need to find the right band for that market.  I’m calling Hotel Foster for our Milwaukee date.  Lots to do with this to secure 9 dates in a row, but I think it can be done if people just start putting their noses to the grindstone.

I still need to finish recording vocals for the new “single” but so far it’s really sounding great.  Don added a guitar solo to the bridge in The Storm and I think it will work well.  This means we have to bring him in again, which will cost extra money… ugh.

We should know who our new guitarist will be by the end of this week!  We really need to get this guy whipped into shape quickly… too much going on for our guitarist to be behind the 8-ball.  Thank goodness Don agreed to do Jan. 5th at Kochanski’s!  But we’ve got to KICK ASS when we’re out there doing the HiJinx tour and this guitarist won’t have a whole lot of time to waste.  April 12th will be here before you know it!!!!

January marks the beginning of everyone locking in their summer acts for festivals and concert series.  Thank goodness Bruce is helping out with that stuff.

I’m also considering doing a sort of DIY online Music Licensing program… here’s the link:  Bruce also wants to help with that… we’re gonna be BUSY these next few months!  And that will only be the beginning of the busy-ness this coming year! (Didn’t I just mention April 12th willbe here before we know it??)

Willie bought me the sweetest Christmas/birthday gift… it’s a Kiwi Cafe metal wall hanging art thingy.  It’s kind of hard to see in this pic, but it’s the front side of a cafe with little tables, chairs, and umbrellas, with windows, an awning and trees.  This piece is propped up on two wooden stools, against a door… you can perhaps see the details better if you click on the image… then hit your “back” button to get back to my blog!  Kendall Polster is going to create “The Kiwi Cafe” sign for me to be placed on the awning… I’m so excited!!!!!!!!!!!  Thanks, Willie!!!!!  What a GREAT gift!!

I was sick in bed for 3 days straight last week, and I’m getting all stuffed up again right now.  I guess I better get some sleep so I can get back into the studio this week to knock out those vocals!!!!!




Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,376 Mon, 03 Dec 2012 19:19:53 +0000 Continue reading «Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,376»]]> Post #73 of ANNIE B.’s D.I.Y. MAGAZINE

I am experiencing lots of drama lately and this week I have decided I need to move out of the house I’ve been living in for the last couple of years.  This is kind of a last-minute thing, and it’s obviously going to take up most of my time this week.

Nonetheless, I am adding people to my MailChimp account, my texting list, and doing all my regular weekly promotional activities.  These include the above 2 tasks, sending out a MailChimp mass e-mail, posting on Facebook & Twitter at least once a day (artists should really post 3x/day, but the posts have to meet a few criteria in order to be effective, like a photo, a link, and it needs to be SHORT, SWEET, and TO THE POINT), and making sure upcoming gigs for the next two weekends have been e-mailed (or snail-mailed) posters so they can promote on THEIR end.  And, of course, adding to my blog; my Grammy Blog (very important now that the 2013 Grammy Awards are coming up soon)!

This would be the BARE MINIMUM of what needs to be done every week.  Are you doing this stuff?

The ONE THING you can do every week to advance your career is making sure you are reaching out to your fans with NEW information.  As long as you are present in their minds, you will have a better chance of getting them to come see you again soon, and perhaps bring a friend next time.  But don’t be a pest.  Reaching out to your fans once a week is the limit.  Unless there is some huge breaking news that warrants an additional e-mail that week… and CAN’T wait until next week.  More than once a week WILL turn people off.  Believe me, I get PLENTY of people unsubscribing every week, and I NEVER send out more than once a week.  But I always get more subscribers than unsubscribers each week.  This is becuase I ACTIVELY go up to people in the bars I play at – every show – and ask them -nicely, not aggressively- if they’d like to be on my mailing/texting lists.  (And I let them know I have CDs available!)  When someone says, “No,” I just SMILE and say… “Ok, but thanks for listening… maybe next time!”

I think most of us are used to getting an e-mail in our in-box once a week from whatever we’re interested in/subscribed to.  And it’s good that people unsubscribe when they do.  Thats means they didn’t really care about you.  And you don’t want those people on your mailing list!  You only want people who CARE.

The key thing here is to present something NEW to your fans with each weekly e-mail.  That’s why my e-mail on any given week will ONLY reach those people who live in the towns where I or ABVC has an upcoming gig in the next 2 weekends.  Unless there’s something that fans everywhere would be interested in, like a big show opening for a huge musical act, a review in Rolling Stone or Revolver Magazine, or a new CD Release.

OK, so you you don’t have new shows to announce every weekend, or any news to report?  Make sure you have SOMETHING to report to ALL of your fans all over the world at least twice a year.  Or you’ll quickly fall off the face of the earth in their minds.  The last time I sent out a Mailchimp to my entire list of 1,690 subscribers (and this grows every week, of course,) was kind of a creative one: It was a call for my fans to partake in Small Business Saturday (which was just a little over a week ago) – reminding them that local artists & musicians are in that Small Business category!  It included links to where folks can purchase ABVC CDs and songs online.  The time before that was when I was up for an award… as a finalist for the Best Female Vocalist for the Shepherd Express.  I believe that my fans everywhere CARE about this stuff.  Or, they never would have signed up to be on my mailing list, right?

What “news” would be considered to be “irrelevant” or not warranting a mass e-mail?  NOTHING.  Because it’s all RELATIVE.  If you’re a new band with not much going on except that right now you’re rehearsing a few new songs to add to your repertiore, that might be the only thing to report, but it’s SOMETHING.  A new song you started working on is news!  (Some artists don’t put out new material for years.)  Would I mention that in my mass e-mail?  No.  It’s already kind of filled up with other things that I feel might be more “newsy” for my fans.  If they come see us a few times, they already know that ABVC is always writing new songs and adding them to the shows.  Getting this great review from Kellie Levans, Milwaukee Rock Music Examiner, is more “newsy” for fans of ABVC:

Get it?  When I first started promoting the very first band I played in, I came up with any excuse to reach out to my fans to get them to care about my music & my band.  And sometimes, it was reaching.  But it worked.  They actually cared!  And I added a lot more humor to the e-mails.  The e-mails had more anectodal stuff.  For instance, you can share the experience you had at your most recent photo shoot… and how the photographer had to handle a special circumstance or situation that made for a challenging photo shoot!  Your fans will be excited to be able to connect with you when they mention that photo shoot when they see you at your next show, and you can tell them a little more about it, genuinely connecting with them.

The anecdotal stuff is always good, because your fans like to know that you’re a real, living, breathing human being that experiences life a certain way.

That’s it for today.  Gotta get back to packing!  Thanks for reading!!

Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,362 Mon, 19 Nov 2012 22:27:05 +0000 Continue reading «Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,362»]]> Post #72 of ANNIE B.’s D.I.Y. MAGAZINE

Guitarists have responded to our ad… that’s a relief!!  We’re trying to hold auditions during the first week of Dec.  I just e-mailed my LinkedIn Music Licensing contact to see if he got the CDs.  Also am e-mailing the Non-COMMvention people this week to follow up on our submission.

I have not had time to go through my songs for that “Best Of” CD I’m trying to release…this kind of has been moved to a back burner for simmering.

I have to admit, I am feeling VERY blessed this week… Saturday’s turnout for my solo/acoustic show at 106 Seeboth was pretty amazing…. thanks to the following people for coming out: Charlie Wimmer, Bill White, Mariannet & Sequanna, Tom Radai, Cookie Dave, Dave Alswager, Mark Weinstock, Lady A, Big O, Minnow, CP, Dennis Dykstra, Gary Hintz, Dimitra & Rick, Mike Caldwell, the guy with the curly moustache, a new friend Nick, and a perhaps few other folks who I am blanking on right now (and for that I would like to apologize)!!!

I have a lot to be thankful for and seeing that Thanksgiving is this week, I am going to make sure that I extend my thanks to all of those people who have been there for me in so many ways.

I still need to find more work… November & December is still very weak… Mitch Cooper is helping out when we can… he hooked me up with a new venue in West Bend last Friday and it went over really well… they will be having me back soon… Thanks, Mitch!!!

Gary and I are working together on a few things… he has been making money writing songs for well-known artists since he was 18.  He and I just had a very interesting conversation about being a struggling artist, which he has never really been… he’s had songs picked up by well-known artists and played on the radio for years.  Must be nice!!!!!!  Congrats, Gary!!!!  Looking foward to working with you on whatever we can put together!!!

Back to the grind.  MailChimp is calling.


Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,352 Fri, 09 Nov 2012 09:31:44 +0000 Continue reading «Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,352»]]> Post #71 of ANNIE B.’s D.I.Y. MAGAZINE

The search for our new guitarist continues.  Ugh.  Do I need to post on Craigslist?  That would be a real pain due to a lot of flakes & wanna-be’s on there.  Don’t get me wrong, I have actually hooked up with some real, legit people from Craigslist ads.  Just one great example: I met the amazing & talented Mitch Cooper from a Craigslist post of mine.  He and I have become friends who work together whenever we can!  Anyhoo.

I connected with a music licensing guy here in Milwaukee on LinkedIn.  Sending him a CD of 16 songs today.  He sent me a message a few days ago asking “where’s the CD?” which is a good sign, I think.  I told him I’d send him a CD last week but I have so much music, I don’t know what to send him & don’t want to send too much.  I’m sending this CD to him today of 16 songs I picked for him to consider.  Hopefully that doesn’t overwhelm him… 16 new songs is a lot for anyone to digest.

I’ve also decided I’m doing an anthology or “Best Of” release of my work from 1997-2010.  Should be fun picking out the songs from all my past releases; there are 2 from my very first band, and 2 from Shut Up Marie, plus at least one unreleased song from Shut Up Marie that never made it to any CD due to my leaving L.A. in 2006.

Scheduling this recording to get The Storm and Julie recorded by ABVC here in Milwaukee has been a real struggle!  Schedules are always difficult to coordinate, but we’ve finally got our date with Paul Kneevers on Tuesday, Nov. 27th!  The guys from Velocity123 are expecting to get something sooner, but we’re doing our best!!!  Next job of mine is to schedule a show for ABVC in Nashville or Clarksville.

Bruce Winter suggested I submit for ABVC to showcase at the NON-COMMvention, which is a great showcase for musical acts who belong on non-commercial radio (AAA format, mostly).  I started putting together a nice-looking package for our submission.

I FINALLY updated our One Sheet.  I got some really good feedback from the girl who manages the Blue Olives (met her at the WAMI FAst Pitch) about how to improve our One Sheet.  That was a bit of work, but I think it looks great now.  I really need to remember to follow up on all those WAMI Fast Pitch People, as well as the people from Yellow Phone.

We were supposed to have a meeting with a new artist/band manager last night… and when I say “new,” I mean it.  She’s only been managing 2 hip-hop artists for about 6 months, and she flaked on our meeting.  (She cancelled 6 minutes before our meeting was to start last night.)  Bruce and I decided to write her off, but I asked her to call me today and we talked for awhile about her situation.  We’re giving her one more chance, so I’ll keep you posted.  We’re supposed to meet on Monday now.  It would be good to have a person on the team who can start working some other angles that I simply can’t work while down here in the trenches, grinding out band posters and e-mails, keeping everyone’s schedules organized, getting these 2 new songs recorded, writing press releases about our Grammy activity and the Metallica Tribute CD, and doing all the other crap I do!!

I also updated our website and worked on the MailChimp which is to go out next week, and my calendar (added 2 new gigs this week, THANK GOODNESS)!  I honestly have no idea what else I worked on today.  All I know is that I worked from about 10am until now.  I also did laundry, ran to Walgreens, & visited my mom for about an hour around 7pm-ish.  What the hell?  I feel like I worked my tail off all day but I don’t know exactly what I accomplished.  I guess I’m blurry.  After all, it’s 3am.  G’night!!

Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,339 Sat, 27 Oct 2012 05:01:53 +0000 Continue reading «Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,339»]]> Post #70 of ANNIE B.’s D.I.Y. MAGAZINE: One More Step Closer to Actually Winning A Grammy!

The last two months brought a few changes, big & small.  We had an incredibly busy summer, and in September, we had 7 shows.  Then in October, things stopped like we hit a brick wall.  Don announced that he had to leave the band in early September, and agreed to play the rest of the shows on our calendar, and then he also agreed to play local shows until we found someone.

Needless to say, we’re looking for a lead guitarist.  Interested?  E-mail me at AnnieBBaby at gmail dot com!

Our last show on the books was Oct. 12th in Door County.  Nothing is scheduled as of right now, as I feel like perhaps we over-saturated our home market over the summer and we need to not have any more local shows until perhaps January.

This week has been particularly busy… Photo shoot on Tuesday, a phone call from Velocity Records, which now has us submitting a demo of our 2 latest songs The Storm, and Julie, & we’ll see if it results in some sort of plan to work together with Velocity.  Recording of the demo has been scheduled with Paul Kneevers for Wednesday, Nov. 7th.  Chris Peppas with The Examiner ( posted his interview with me as well as new photos from our shoot.  Thanks, Chris!!  I spoke with Piet Levy from the Journal Sentinel today for a piece about the show on Nov. 3rd at Best Place with Special Guest Cleemann from Copenhagen.  This piece should appear in print in the Weekend Cue section as well as online on Friday, Nov. 2nd.  Tomorrow morning I’ve got a Skpye interview with Kiva Johns-Adkins, the host of The Butterflies Radio IndieViews Artist Spotlight. The interview will air on Monday night!!  Lastly, the biggest news is that I’ve been asked to sing on a song for a Metallica tribute CD from Versailles Records (Nashville) which will feature lots of famous musicians from Kiss, Megadeath, Alice Cooper, and the like!!!!!  Gene McEwen, the most recent drummer to play for my L.A. band Shut Up Marie, invited me to be on his track.  He was asked to record Blackened and I’ll be singing it!!!  My name will be in the credits alongside these guys!!!!!  YAY!!!!!!!!!  Sooooo excited!!!  Please visit again soon for further updates on this project!!

So, this is a lot of great news but I have a great fear that I’ll have to work a “day job” for a spell in order to catch up with my financial responsibilities… UGH!!!!  Although I DO have many skills.  I sing, write songs, play music, I’m my own P.R. company, booking agency, promoter, errand/delivery boy, blogger, graphic artist, manager, producer, host, bookkeeper, accountant, project manager, guitar tech, roadie, content creator, I do website maintenence, social media, research, statistics, inventory control, comparitive shopping, I write press releases, I create & maintain databases, and I have also found myself acting as a babysitter.

Oh yes, it’s time once again to invite y’all to re-read that one old blog entry I sometimes refer to when I whine about all the crap I do besides my craft… “40 Tasks that Original/Indie Artists Need To Do To Compete in 2011′s Music Arena”  Here it is:

OK, I know you’re now wondering, “How in the hell is Annie One Step Closer to Actually Winning A Grammy?”

For the first time, I have songs that made it to the Nominating Ballot for the Grammys!  That’s How!  I am a voting member of NARAS, and I recieved my Nominating Ballot in the mail a week or two ago, and the submissions that I sent in for ABVC during August (submissions month), appeared in the following categories:

  •   Record of the Year:          Everything
  • Song of the Year: Everything
  • Album of the Year:           Fancies of a Random Heart
  • Best New Artist:               Annie B. & The Vagabond Company
  • Best Rock Performance:    Everything / Over me
  • Best Rock Song:               Everything
  • Best Rock Album:             Fancies of a Random Heart

I voted for myself!  Hope we get the nomination(s)!  It’s pretty much a longshot this year, but next year… I’ll get ’em!!!!!!!

Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,272 Mon, 20 Aug 2012 19:25:09 +0000 Continue reading «Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,272»]]> Post #69 of ANNIE B.’s D.I.Y. MAGAZINE

This week’s progress:
Now have 1600+ people on the ABVC mailing list.
Just about to hit 15,000 views today or tomorrow for the Jennifer Song on YouTube (right now at 14,986 views)
Texting list continues to grow.
Got 4 venue recommendations in Nashville for our showcase for Velocity Records this fall.

Tonight is my interview with WUWM’s Bruce Winter to talk about Indie MKE – the compilation disc created for Artbeat in the Heat!!! Soooo excited about that!!!

My personal life has been pretty crazy the last 2 months, and with the busy performance schedule for the band and myself solo, I have been overwhelmed. Moving my mom to a new place, handling the flooding in my home, and a nasty-looking car accident have kept me very busy for the last 3 weeks.

Back to business. The plan for this fall & winter is to have ABVC playing in Milwaukee every 4-6 weeks, and playing out of town every weekend we’re not playing here. Just booked us at Craky Pat’s in Neenah, WI for the last weekend on Sept, YAY!! Our goal is to be playing Kenosha, Oshkosh, Madision, Chicago, Rockford, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Whitewater, Wausau, Rhinelander, Steven’s Point, and anywhere there’s a decent indie-music venue in WI & No. IL. Venue suggestions are always welcome!!!

This summer I also realized how many, many, many festivals & summer concert series all over the state we should submit to play for next summer. This will be another daunting task which actually starts this fall. Some of these folks are taking submssions starting in the fall… so we need to start communications with those folks next month already!!!

The summer is not over yet, but it’s quickly coming to an end. THANKS to all our friends and fans who have been able to support us this summer. This is only the beginning… our first summer where we were booked every weekend. But momentum-building is an all-year-long thing. Club/bar season is starting. Lots of work to be done!