APRIL Venue of the Month: Strange Brew – Lounge Side

At the 33rd Annual Austin Music Awards, one venue took the top spot in a number of categories, including Best Live Music Venue, Best Club Sound and the overall award for Best Music Venue in Austin.

With an unmatched vibe and impeccable sound, Strange Brew – Lounge Side has risen above other Austin venues, offering musicians the perfect atmosphere to showcase their talent, no matter the genre.

strangebrew-loungeside“Although we host a lot of singer- songwriter and American acts, it is our goal to offer a wide variety of musical performances,” said Company President Scott Ward. “Our bookings consist of big bands, rock, pop, blues, jazz, country, folk and many more.”

When asked what genre, if any, can be heard at Strange Brew more so than others, Ward replied, “the good kind.”

Although it started out as just a coffee lounge, Ward had always planned to have music at Strange Brew.

“We had music on the weekend for the first six months of business,” he said. “One day, Guy Forsyth came through the line and I asked him how I could get him to play there. He looked around and said ‘How are you going to pay me? You can’t charge a cover.’”

“At that moment, I decided that I needed a separate room that I could use as a music venue,” Ward said. “The space next door became available and I started to build what is now the Lounge Side as you know it today.”

So, how would Scott Ward describe his venue in one word?

“Extraordinary,” he replied. “Strange Brew – Lounge Side offers a high-quality environment, great equipment, engineers and a friendly staff.”

Of all of the great upcoming music on the schedule this month, Ward recommended Wrenfro, a resident band that plays every Wednesday at 8 p.m.

More information about Strange Brew – Lounge side, as well as a schedule of upcoming events, can be found on their website at http://www.strangebrewloungeside.com.

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MARCH Venue of the Month: Holy Mountain

VOTM-MarchOccupying the once-glittery space at 617 East 7th Street, Holy Mountain took the vintage, dance club vibe of the former Beauty Bar and transformed it into a comfortable, edgy live-music spot, sitting in the midst of the thriving Red River Cultural District.

So, what’s the story behind the name?

“Holy Mountain is a 1973 movie by Alejandro Jodorowsky. It’s also an album by the metal band Sleep,” said General Manager James Taylor. “Both are amazing.”

Since the opening of its doors in October of 2012, Holy Mountain has become a classic among Austin venues. “It has definitely grown, in terms of developing an identity and a reputation as a great room with good character,” Taylor said. “We’ve got some more remodeling plans, post-SXSW, that I think are going to position us to adapt and change with the growth of the Red River Cultural District.”

With a capacity of 230 people, Holy Mountain is a perfect size to host a variety of shows comfortably.


James Taylor                               Photo by Maurice Eagle

“We can host smaller, new local bands who are still trying to cut their teeth, do sold out Red Bull Sound Select, Transmission or C3 shows, or big underplays during SXSW and other festivals,” Taylor said.  “When it’s packed, it’s rowdy and fun, and on a slower night, it doesn’t look painfully empty.”

When asked to describe Holy Mountain in one word, Taylor chose ‘respect.’

“I think bands respect the club and our staff respects the bands,” he said.

Open every night, Holy Mountain hosts a variety of acts, including live music every Tuesday through Sunday and stand-up comedy on Monday nights. Happy Hour is from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and all night on Sunday and Monday.

Coming up this month, on March 21st, Holy Mountain will be hosting a “Best of Austin” SXSW party. The free event will feature all local bands from 12-7 p.m.

Categories: Uncategorized

Panel Recap — Protecting Your Music


Last Wednesday, musicians, band managers and promoters alike gathered together at Soundcheck Studios to garner invaluable advice on topics such as copyrights, band agreements and trademarks at our Protecting Your Music legal panel. Four of Austin’s top entertainment lawyers spoke on the topics: Joe Stallone, Andrea Villareal, Mike Tolleson, and Craig Barker.  They offered their insights and provided great takeaway lessons for anybody trying to educate themselves on the legal side of things. If you missed the panel, not to worry…we took notes.


The biggest lesson we learned from Joe Stallone on trademarks is that your most invaluable asset is your band’s name. It is your identity. You can use your band name to generate other streams of revenue, such as licensing, merchandise, etc. While your band name is technically a “service mark” and not a trademark, people tend to use those terms interchangeably, and it is crucial to protect that. How do you do that? You can search for and register service/trade marks through the US Patent and Trademark Office (http:www.uspto.gov). Before you start selling tickets, albums, and other merch with your band name, check to make sure it is not being used. Nothing can deflate your authenticity like some random band in another state also gaining popularity with the same name.

Band Member Agreements

Mike Tolleson told us something important right off the bat: when you work with your bandmate(s), you sometimes unintentionally enter into a partnership with those people, and without a band agreement, you will jointly own intellectual property and assets. If there is no band contract, there can be confusion as to who owns what. To avoid this misunderstanding, a written agreement is necessary to distinguish how your properties will be divided in the event that the band splits up and members go their separate ways. Tolleson also said that having an LLC as a band is good for investors. It gives them something tangible and more established to “plug into”. If you don’t have a band agreement, you could suffer some pretty hefty consequences. You can be held responsible for the actions of another band member, which can sometimes affect your personal assets. Bottom line — create a band agreement. Anybody who’s worth teaming up with should understand this is a necessary part of the process.


“If you get nothing out of this, the main takeaway is that you should get EVERYTHING in writing”. This was what Andrea Villareal led with as she schooled us on the multifaceted topic of copyrights. She explained that they are a piece of intellectual property, and that in a song there are actually two different copyrights: the musical composition and the master/sound recording. The musical composition copyright is a copyright on the intangible part of the song, such as the melody and lyrics. The master/sound recording copyright covers that particular recording of a song. Most people don’t realize there are two different copyrights in one song. You can register your copyright at http://copyright.gov and when you do so, you are given a “bundle of rights”: The right to reproduce, the right to distribute, the right to publicly perform the work, the right to create derivative works, and the right to display the work in printed form. This bundle of rights can help protect you and your music.


Craig Barker spoke to us about the importance of spending quality time with your budget and told us that money goes into much more than just recording. Even if you have a really great album, the greatness itself doesn’t guarantee success or that you’ll get anywhere with it. Marketing is crucial. Anything from radio promotion to publicity to touring is going to cost you money too, and you might be low on funds after spending your money to create this rockin’ album of yours. This is where investors can be handy. You should choose them wisely, as they are going to want to have a stake in your business. Make sure to have fair and reasonable terms with which you will be repaying them. Accredited investors know that sometimes money doesn’t get paid back in a short amount of time, and it is legally necessary to disclose to unaccredited investors that there is a possibility that will happen.

Needless to say, there was a LOT of information covered! Within the next couple of weeks, we will have an audio recording of the panel from start to finish on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/austinmusicfdn). It will have all of this information PLUS some Q&A with attendees at the end.

If you need more help or have questions, that’s what AMF is here for! Feel free to schedule a consultation by calling our office at (512) 542-0077 or send an email to info@austinmusicfoundation.org.

Categories: Panels

Panel Recap — Rattling The Cage: How to Effectively Promote Your Music


We had such an informative panel last week, thank you all for coming out! If you missed it, we’ve got the recap right here with insights from: Tyler Cannon, Gina Chavez, Carter Delloro, Tommy Blank, Jesse Atwell and AMF’s Executive Director, Kellie Goldstein.

Good promotion takes lead-time

In the beginning stages of your next big single, album, tour, etc., you’ll want to come up with a strategic plan for promotion. The first thing our panelists agreed on was that being flexible with your deadline is important. As excited as you may be that you just recorded a new album, there’s no reason to rush things just to get it out there if you aren’t ready. Putting in your due diligence and doing it right is worth extending the release date, rather than just putting it out there with no promotion (unless you’re Beyoncé).

When pitching, be genuine

Panelist Carter Delloro of Ovrld.com explained how important a good artist bio is, as well as the right way to reach out to bloggers. You have to come across genuinely and thoughtfully to get someone to press play on your music and ultimately, give you favorable press. In terms of your approach, personalization and attention to detail will pay off. Show the person you are pitching that you know who you’re talking to by referencing the ‘about’ section of the outlet or even a recent article they wrote. Sending the same email to 100 bloggers will reap low rewards, so treat different people and outlets differently. Another thing, be sure to follow up regularly. Bloggers are overwhelmed with emails and usually can’t get to them all, but if they recognize your name and notice your tenacity, they’ll eventually get around to listening to what you have to say. A memorable and/or catchy subject line will also help you stand out among hundreds of other emails. If you get press out of it, don’t forget to say thank you!!

Find another artist you admire

In order to really delve into your target market and identify outlets more prone to covering you – find someone with a similar sound to yours that is doing well and imitate their marketing efforts and/or pitch where they get coverage. Another way of identifying the people really digging your music is to simply notice those in the audience coming back again and again to your shows and tapping their feet at your performances. Interact with your fans and take note of the demographic you’re speaking to so you can tailor your message online.

Be smart about where you’re touring

Gina Chavez spoke about the importance of developing new markets wisely. Meaning, don’t tour everywhere just because, but really gain a fan base one market at a time and develop a presence before you move on to the next state. If you plan on taking on a new area, be sure to take note of the places that had a good vibe and good crowd and then go back again and again so you can create a really strong community.

Everywhere, everything, all the time is not a strategy

Just like with touring, you shouldn’t utilize every online marketing tool and social media outlet out there just because it exists. Don’t struggle to keep up with 3 social media outlets or feel pressured to have more than you have time for. Pick those that are doing exceptionally well or are growing and get really good at just a couple to get started. There’s nothing worse than posting just to post. Say something to your fans like you are talking to your friend, meaning post when you’ve got something important to say and be genuine about it. No one wants to follow someone who posts every day at 2pm just because they feel like they have to.

You have to write your own rulebook

Quiet Company’s Tommy Blank expanded upon their free hugs campaign, proving that thinking outside of the box and hitting the pavement usually works. On that note, find what works for you depending on where you are in your career. When asked what they would do if they only had $500 to spend promoting their music, our panelists had different thoughts that were all great. Ideas ranged from hiring someone to write your bio to taking a boom box playing your music to the streets with some flyers.

Don’t hire a publicist if…

If you’re just barely getting shows and struggling to gather a crowd, now is not the time for a publicist. If you are building momentum and getting great feedback, make sure you like the publicist, and that they LOVE your music. If they aren’t excited about it, then don’t give them your money. Trust your gut and talk to a lot of publicists before you choose one. This is your baby and you are the boss. If they don’t reply to your emails then they obviously aren’t that excited to have you. If you do take on a publicist, be ready for interviews and hone in on those communication skills.

When talking to fans, be transparent

Email marketing is a fantastic and sustainable way to speak directly to your fans. You never know when Facebook will become extinct like MySpace, but growing and nurturing a solid email list that you own will never go out of style. The key is to let fans opt-in and use it sparingly. No one likes to be tricked into signing up for a newsletter, so always be upfront. On that note, sweepstakes and giveaways are great ways to grow that email list so long as they have the option to sign up for your newsletter. One newsletter/month is the most we would recommend to avoid unsubscribes.

If you need more help or have questions, that’s what AMF is here for! Feel free to schedule a consultation by calling our office at (512) 542-0077 or send an email to info@austinmusicfoundation.org.

Categories: Panels

Panel Recap: Health Care Reform


This past week, HealthMarkets gave us a very informative look at what Health Care Reform really is, when it will go into effect, when you need to get signed up and much more! All of this information can be found on this Power Point presentation.

In their presentation, HealthMarkets stressed some key points about the Affordable Care Act (ACA): Continue reading

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Panel Recap: Breaking the Sound Barrier


This past week’s sound panel was full of valuable information on how musicians and sound engineers can work more harmoniously together. For those of you who couldn’t attend, or for those who just need a refresher – we’ve got you covered!

To start, we’ll go over the issues musicians and sound engineers typically face. Common complaints musicians have are that the sound guy or girl is always grumpy or always screwing up. For the sound engineer, common complaints are that the musicians are always yelling at them, never giving specific information or not knowing their name.

Sound familiar? If so, the solution is simple: communicate, communicate, communicate. This is a team effort that requires the artist and sound engineer to work together and be nice to one another. Continue reading

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Panel Recap: Planning Ahead


We recently hosted our first panel for the New Year covering the basics of planning ahead and getting your priorities in order. Thank you so much to everyone who came out. For those who couldn’t make it, you’re in luck because we’ve got the highlights!

Now, for those of you starting to write this off as a subject that doesn’t need your attention, think again. No one ever tripped into success. Most of it is preparing, of course with a little bit of luck sprinkled in. Even the bands that you think are not that great on the radio had a great plan (because, well, they’re on the radio). Continue reading

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A Creative State of Mind

Creative tips

As a musician, you are in the business of being creative. However, as we get older, busier and more set in our ways, it can feel as though our creativity is on a continual decline. Each new song, album or music video gets harder and harder to produce, and the blocks to creativity seem to increase. Thankfully, creativity is not just for the young. Creativity declining with age is not a real and present danger, and you are 100% capable of creating fresh and relevant ideas.

Musician or not, we can all benefit from out-of-the-box thinking. Taking different approaches when solving problems or creating art can lead you down a bountiful path into the unknown – and that’s exciting.

To prevent yourself from suffering from a loss of creativity, try out some of our suggestions below: Continue reading

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Best Practices for Going Viral

We get asked all the time if there’s a secret formula for videos going viral – and although such a formula does not yet exist – we can give our best advice for practices that will help get you going in the right direction.

If this hilarious doesn’t convince you just how simple it can be to go viral without spending a dime, nothing will. Austin band, Churchwood, added one of their songs on top of this little gem as a joke! The original video had just 200 likes on YouTube, but once Churchwood added their music to the video and put it on Facebook and YouTube, the views skyrocketed.

So what does this teach us? Continue reading

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Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts To Hold Legal Clinic November 20
To Benefit Arts Organizations And Artists of All Types


On Wednesday, November 20, 2013, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts will host a free legal clinic for artists and arts-related organizations who meet income eligibility guidelines and have legal questions related to the creative sector.

Musicians, artists, and representatives of arts nonprofit organizations will be provided with a short consultation with a legal professional.  This one-on-one legal clinic will give participants the opportunity to gain valuable advice on music and art related issues.  All disciplines are welcome to participate; however, legal issues and questions must be related to work in the creative fields.

To register and request an appointment with an attorney, go to the website at www.talarts.org.

This clinic is being hosted by the Austin Music Foundation at its Creative Media Center, 1901 E. 51st St., Building 4, Austin, TX  78723, with support from the Austin Bar Foundation.

What does the affordable care act mean for you






How To Get Booked At A Music Festival DIGITAL

Brad First (SXSW)
Graham Williams (Transmission Ent.)
Jill McGuckin (McGuckin Entertainment PR)
Huston Powell (C3 Presents)
Kevin Wommack (Playing in Traffic Records)

Stay tuned for blogs and downloads from this panel!




AMF Marketing Panel_Final_Digital (1) recap

Thanks again to all of those who joined us for our last panel on June 19th. We really enjoyed ourselves and we hope you did too! A special thanks to all of our panelists including:

Anthony Erickson of Eye in the Sky Collective

Heather Wagner Reed of Juice Consulting LLC

Hayley Picchini of Google+ Marketing

Veronica Castelo of Social Communications

Patirck Dentler of C3 Presents

Christopher Sivori of Commemorative Brands Inc. and Measure Labs LLC

We had quite the crowd for this panel! Lots of vital information was exchanged that will help any musician increase their reach and impact online. Click here for a full recap of all of the information that was covered!




Austin Music Foundation featured on The Austinot!

Austin Music Foundation was featured on local lifestyle blog The Austinot today! Check out the article they wrote about our services & outreach!



June Panel Recap: Marketing Your Music! (Part 2)

AMF Marketing Panel_Final_Digital (1) recap

Here’s part 2 of the June panel Recap!

Part 2: Additional Effective Online/Offline Marketing


Email is still a great way to connect with your fans. When you’re in their inbox, you’ve made a lasting mark in your fans’ lives. If you aren’t spammy and you send beneficial updates regularly, your emails are a great way to keep fans in the loop about what you’re up to. Email provides the opportunity to create regionalized and segmented categories of fan lists, so you can get the right information to the people in the right place and time.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Search Engine Optimization is a really nice way to say that you want to be the first thing that pops up when a person searches for a certain term (ie: your band name). There are ways to make it easier for people to find you when they’re searching online. This includes making a good website with searchable and shareable media (pictures, video, social network links). If you include things that search engines care about on your website, like biographical information that can be traced to your band, pictures and updates, you’re more likely to be noticed as a credible source of information about yourself.  You’re likely the most credible source on things related to you, so if search engines notice that, your site is more likely to be listed as the first link when people search for you online.

Another great way to get noticed on search engines is by getting noticed by your local media like blogs and press. If a blog writes an article about your band, share it with your friends and family on social networks, comment on the article if allowed, and feature the article on your personal website or blog. The more traffic generated through an article about your band or music, the more likely you’ll get notice on a search engine.

Non-Online Marketing

Your brand is defined by how effectively you market online and offline. How you use social media, online networks, and album and concert promotion all factor into how approachable and accessible your brand will be. Heather Wagner Reed of Juice consulting offered the following tips during the panel:

Brand consistency: make everything match! Be sure that your press kit and electronic press kit are both up to date with links to your music via iTunes, Soundcloud, Youtube, social networks, etc. Any press releases that you include are fair game for bloggers or writers to use to pull information about your music. Lately, many bloggers have been directly pulling press releases from band press kits for their posts & articles, so make sure that any information you choose to include in your press release is exactly what you want to say about your music. Consider the roll-out of your brand, particularly focusing on things like album design and how you will market your brand.

An inauthentic brand is highly noticeable. When you’re authentic and interactive with your audience across the board from song promotion to album design to tour announcements, you can be sure that your audience will be receptive.

Don’t ever forget the tried and true marketing tactics. Flyering and word of mouth will always be a great go-to. Try to play at local events or businesses for free if you’re in the budding stages of your career. If you can afford to provide your fans with free stuff, you should.  Both Patrick Dentler and Heather Wagner Reed highly suggest strategizing your marketing by leveraging your money and time. If there’s extra money in your budget, it should probably go towards publicity for your music and brand. Be creative and be smart about how you use your money when it comes to PR, because there’s lots of inexpensive ways to promote your music. Plan out a reverse timeline for impact dates like single or album releases, show and tour announcements and fan events. When your impact date is set, plan backwards, at least 6 months away from the date to ensure there are no surprises or setbacks as you approach it.

Remember the eight key areas to focus on when marketing your music:

  • Radio
  • Video
  • Publicity/Public Relations
  • Retail
  • Merch
  • Touring
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Social Media

With all publicity, online or off, be realistic about who’s going to pay attention to you. Be a reliable entity online and be responsive to your fans  and their desires while staying true to your music and your vision. Your fans are your best asset as a musician and you can do a lot with a small fanbase and even more as your brand grows.


What does it take for a band to get a sponsorship? Relevancy is key! Make sure that any partnership between your band and a sponsor makes sense with the brand and the image you want to convey. If you’re a metal band, partnering with an insurance company may not be the best partnership for your brand. When approaching  a sponsor or completing a sponsorship deal, it’s important to make sure your partnership is mutually beneficial and that those benefits will trickle down to your fans. Maybe try a local brewery, winery or sandwich shop and see if you can offer their product or service for free for your fans at one of your shows. Seek advice from other bands that have effectively partnered with a product or business and do what works best for your band.

Overall, remember that how effectively you utilize marketing such as social networking and offline promotional tactics will likely determine the broader success of your music and your brand. Keep your fans close because they will come in handy whenever you need someone to sing your praises and garner face-to-face or face-to-screen publicity. If you have any additional tips or suggestions, be sure to let us know in the comment section!



June Panel Recap: Marketing Your Music!

AMF Marketing Panel_Final_Digital (1) recap

We had a great turn-out for our June panel. Our amazing panelists included:

  •  Anthony Erickson of Eye in the Sky Collective
  • Heather Wagner Reed of Juice Consulting LLC
  • Hayley Picchini of Google+ Marketing
  • Veronica Castelo of Social Communications
  • Patirck Dentler of C3 Presents
  • Christopher Sivori of Commemorative Brands Inc. and Measure Labs LLC

There was an enormous amount of great information shared with our audience, so in order to make sure everything’s crystal-clear, this will be a two-part blog with lots of tips on how to improve your musical brand’s online presence through social networking and the internet.

PART 1: Social Networking and Your Music

Use social networks and the internet to the best of your advantage! Here’s a few tips suggested by our panelists on how to increase your presence online in order to successfully market your music in our increasingly screen-focused culture.

A few tips on effective social networking:

  • Keep your social networking accounts active! Dead accounts=bad. Your fans don’t want to see that you haven’t updated your twitter in months. By constantly and consistently feeding your social network, you can better identify your audience and make direct connections and interactions with your fans. Also, keeping multiple active accounts lets your fans know that you’re willing to be wherever they are. Let your fans hear about your updates from multiple sources.
  • A caveat to being everywhere all the time – Fans are smart. Many of them are constantly online, especially on multiple sites at once. They know when you’re using Hootsuite because you’re posting the same exact thing on two or more sites at the same time. This can be a turn off because you lose a level of personality with automated messages. Panelist Christopher Sivori of Measure Labs suggested bufferapp.com to personalize your automated messages on your social networks. Also, don’t overextend your presence on social networks. If you still haven’t mastered your Facebook page, you probably don’t need a Twitter just yet. If you’ve only posted one photo to your Instagram account in 6 months, maybe your online efforts would be better served elsewhere.
  • Many sites, especially Facebook and Google+, have analytics somewhere on the page management section of your page. This is a great and useful tool to track your fan reach and see which types of posts your audience is most interested in. Keep in mind the usefulness of shareable media when posting online. Videos, pictures and posts go viral when it’s something that people want to share with their online network. Many posts that feature an interesting or entertaining picture or video are more likely to be shared online.
  • You wouldn’t believe the impact you make in your fan’s lives by taking the extra time out to reply to their comments and questions online. If you interact with your fans in a truly meaningful way by having fun, being interactive and engaging them across the spectrum of social networks, your brand has a real chance at garnering a credible audience with loyalties to you and your music. A dependable fanbase can go quite a distance when you need publicity online or in real life.
  • When you figure out your most loyal fans, you can often enlist them to help you spread your brand on a larger scale. Consider providing limited access to your social networking accounts or other perks for a few dependable and creative fans so that they can help with the hard job of publicity.

What are the top social networks you should be using to promote your band and your music?

  • Facebook – Literally everyone is on Facebook, from your grandmother to your co-workers to your co-workers’ pets. While there’s a significant debate about the lasting power of Facebook, it’s clear that this site matters when it comes to disseminating information to your audience. The recent addition of hashtags on the site will certainly help your brand if you want to track who’s talking about you.
  • Twitter – Twitter is a great way to get short bursts of info out to your audience quickly. It’s also very fun to instantly interact with your fans and garner attention through retweets and by encouraging your fans to do the heavy lifting of publicity for you by offering incentives for following your account or replying to your tweets.
  • Youtube – Many people are often surprised when they find out that Youtube is one of the most popular search engines around. Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to post and catalog any music videos that you may want to showcase, Youtube is also a great way to post videos related to your music and brand, like vlogs, concert announcements and backstage prep.
  • Google+– Our panelist, Hayley Picchini of Google+ shared a number of insights into how this platform is growing in popularity overall and strengthening fan communities by offering “Circles” to organize groups with similar interests (like your music). Similar to Facebook, Google+ offers a bit more organization and the chance to directly enhance the likelihood of your music being found during a search on the network’s home site.
  • Soundcloud – Soundcloud is one of the best ways to provide access for your fans to stream your music. If you’re an up and coming artist, Soundcloud is great because it’s free for you to post your songs, free for your fans to listen, and it allows fans to post comments at each part of the song, giving you vital feedback about what your fans like about your music, what they may think needs tweaking, and what they’re interested in hearing next.
  • Reverb Nation – Facebook has made it easy for artists to link their page to their Reverb Nation account. By linking the two, artists can easily share their new music on their page and direct fans to the rest of their catalog through the application.
  • Myspace – Don’t be too quick to discredit this fallen giant. Myspace is coming back and in a pretty big way, with a revamped focus on music. This past SXSW saw the reemergence of the site as a competitor, with the highly credible Justin Timberlake backing the new site. In order to get a chance at getting into his secret show during SX, eager fans had to create a new account on the site. Stealthy tactics like that prove that Myspace is serious about getting back into the game.

What other social networks should you consider?

  • Instagram – Instagram is great for a behind-the-scenes look at your band’s life. It’s also easy to see who’s at your shows by checking hashtags related to your band or shows you play.  The new video feature also allows 15 seconds of live footage, with a number of optional  filters. Instagram is solidifying itself as a social network staple
  • Blogging – If you can keep up with it on a regular basis, blogging is a great way to provide insights into your band’s progress at various places in your career. From album updates to tour announcements, blogging helps keep your fans in the loop in a more intimate way than Facebook and provides you the opportunity to say a bit more than either a Facebook or a Twitter post.
  • Linkedin – LinkedIn is good for musicians, but better for music industry professionals who need to know who’s in their local or national network. It’s also a great way to see who’s good at what in the industry, including management, marketing, video production and audio engineering among other skills and talents.
  • Message Boards – Checking in regularly on message boards related to your music or brand is an easy way to connect with your audience and keep tabs on what your fans really think about your music. They also help you keep tabs on which super fans may be available if you plan on rolling out an extensive marketing campaign requiring a knowledgeable street team. Good message boards to keep track of include ones that you may have on your website, Tumblr, Pintrest and Reddit accounts managed by members of your staff or fans, and lyric interpreter sites like Rap Genius or Song Meanings.

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon! Comment if you have any additional tips or suggestions on how to market your music online!


June Panel: Marketing Your Music!

Our next panel will be held on June 19th! We’ll be discussing how to market your music through social networks and your website. Be sure to click the picture to RSVP for this free event!

AMF Marketing Panel_Final_Digital


June Artist of the Month: Cheryl Murdock

Cheryl Murdock profile

A native Texan, Cheryl Murdock has been singing since she was a preschooler, memorizing radio tunes and making up songs, which were proved to be excellent early training for the accomplished vocalist and songwriter. Born and raised in San Marcos, Texas, she started singing in her first band, Permanent Smile, when she was 17. She soon joined the group Second Glance, which played original songs in San Marcos and Austin, including clubs on the famed Sixth Street. Second Glance released two albums and attracted major label attention. After settling in Austin, Cheryl next performed briefly with a local cover band before forming the band Shine. Shine developed a strong following and Cheryl continued to hone the songs that eventually found a permanent home in her first solo CD.

In 2004, Cheryl released her debut solo CD, Starting Fires, which turned the spotlight on her powerful, lush voice and  evocative lyrics. Starting Fires showcases her range with edgy pop, rock, and Texas-flavored melodic singles.  In addition to the title track on the Starting Fires CD, her signature songs include Big Shoes, I’ve Waited So Long, Breathe Again, and On the Inside. Cheryl’s command of different styles garnered her and fellow Austin songwriter Slade Crabtree five nominations covering four musical genres in the Austin Songwriters Group Songwriting Contest, and Honorary Mentions in the CMT/NSAI contest. Expressed through her stirring vocals, their songs won awards in two categories, including first place in pop for the Austin contest.

Cheryl now performs under her own name with talented band back-up. Winning more recognition than ever for her songs and musical ability, Cheryl is poised for continuing growth and an even higher level of solo achievement.  The launch of the new Late Bloomer CD in June 2013 marks Murdock’s second CD, with emotional and fiery tunes, and great melodies that will be popular for a variety of music enthusiasts. Her original songs continue to reflect an emotional honesty appealing to all listeners.  Late Bloomer, Sweet Addiction, and Dog House Flowers are all special tunes that she drew from personal experiences. The CD was produced and recorded in collaboration with Texas Hall of Famer and Austin music icon Kevin McKinney.

Visit Cheryl’s website at www.cherylmurdock.com


Austin Music Foundation featured on The Austinot!

Austin Music Foundation was featured on local lifestyle blog The Austinot today! Check out the article they wrote about our services & outreach!




Latin Music in Austin Panel Recap

A big “muchas gracias” to everyone who came out to our Latin Music in Austin Panel last Wednesday! Our panelists included:

  • Rich Garza, co-founder/co-producer of Pachanga Latino Music Festival
  • Bobby Garza, Como Las Movies/ City of Austin
  • Stephanie Bergara, Austin Convention& Visitors Bureau
  • Ian Morales, Austin Vida and Red River Noise
  • Haydn Vitera, Vitera

There was a great turn-out and lots of enthusiasm. If you weren’t able to attend, here’s a quick recap of a few topics we covered.

Latin Music Community Cohesion

There’s definitely a strong Latin community in Austin, partially due to the number of musicians who identify as Latino or who play Latino music. In order to strengthen the community further, our panelists suggested networking with other Latino artists and businesses in the area who support local music. Here’s a few more tips they passed along:

  • If you’re a Latino artist, embrace the scene and audience that embraces you! Reach out to venues who have made a serious effort to host Latin music nights and/or have an interest in hosting Latino artists.
  • It’s important to self-market your music and brand to whomever you want to reach. Gather contacts with local Latino-geared media outlets, like Univision 62, KTXZ-FM 95.1, KLQB-FM 104.3, Austin Vida to name a few.
  •  Be organized, be a go-getter, and be persistent! Building a community is hard work. Fostering relationships and networks is not an overnight process. If someone doesn’t get back to you right away, or at all, don’t give up. Keep an open mind and an open heart because that’s how awesome community collaborations happen.

Latino-Friendly Venues in Austin

When you think of Austin, you think of live music. Being the live-music capital of the world comes with its benefits and its challenges. The artist and venue market here is saturated.  However, sometimes when you’ve got a specific genre or identity, it can be difficult to nail down a venue that is open to your brand of music. Our panelists and audience have provided a number of venues that have a good reputation for supporting and booking Latino artists and genres. Here’s a few that we took note of:

  • Flamingo Cantina
  • Sahara Lounge
  • Frank
  • Holy Mountain
  • Mohawk
  • Hotel Vegas
  • Swan Dive
  • OK Corral
  • Gypsy Lounge
  • The White Horse
  • Gloria’s
  • El Taquito (Pflugerville)
  • La Placita (Pflugerville)

A few things to keep in mind before and after you play a venue:

  • When searching for any venue, check out their past calendar to see what types of bands they’ve booked in the past. This will be a good indication of what that venue is typically looking for in an artist. Also, the venue’s website should have information on who is their booking agent.
  • If possible, consider playing shows with other artists that you know will bring a great crowd.
  •  Once you’ve booked the show, be sure to do everything you can on your part to promote your show, especially on the internet and through social-media channels. This tells the venue’s management that you’re dedicated to having a successful show.
  •  It’s always a good idea to take the time out to familiarize yourself with the management, their policies and rules and abide by them. Playing nicely with venue owners and management means more resources for you and a wider network for you to pull on in the future.
  •  After your show, talk to the management and staff about how things went to gauge the audience reception and to see if you’ve got a good draw. If your show went well and you can pull a crowd, you’re more likely to get booked at that venue again.

Local Resources

Finally, be sure to use all of your resources! While that includes any other artists, venue managers, industry leaders and people in the loop that you may know, it’s important to utilize the many established resources specifically geared towards helping Austin musicians well-connected, well-informed and well overall. Below are links to 5 organizations in Austin that have dedicated themselves to musicians in Austin.

If you came to the panel and have extra notes or if you have any tips on how to enhance the Latino Music scene here in Austin, please comment!



Join us for a panel discussion on latin music in Austin on Wednesday May, 22. CLICK HERE to RSVP for your free seat today!

AMF Latin Music in Austin Panel (1)


May Artist of the Month: J Ray


J Ray is a one-man-band sporting a Lasonic Ghettoblaster boombox, guitar, and a microphone. Oh, and there’s also Boxman 3000, his cardboard robot companion from outer space who travels and dances alongside J Ray.

J Ray is releasing his debut album, “Some People”, on May 21, 2013. After many hours sitting behind the console, writing, recording and mixing his own songs, it has finally come to a head. At first it was just for fun to entertain himself after creating Beautiful High for the independent feature film, Chameleon Code. Then an interstellar cardboard robot, Boxman 3000, showed up, dancing to his music and forced him to write more songs. Held at blaster-point, J Ray continued to write more songs which eventually became a full album entitled, “Some People”.

Through this process J Ray and Boxman 3000 would often roam the streets of downtown Austin, TX, testing the songs on the public. Some people looked at them in fear and some people embraced the extraterrestrial cardboard robot and demanded photos with Boxman 3000. People often wonder why there is a cardboard robot following J Ray, so, in response, J Ray wrote a comic book, illustrated by James Linares, to give a little insight into why Boxman 3000 is here. The comic book entitled, “J Ray and Boxman 3000: Some People”, will be included in the CD package.

J Ray (and Boxman 3000)


Thanks to everyone who came out to our panel last Wednesday!

And we are so grateful to our moderator Joseph Stallone and all of our wonderful panelists: Edward Fair, Roanna Gillespie, Nigel Finley, and Dominique Preyer. We hope that you were able to get some valuable information from our experts. If you didn’t make it out, or you just want to see someone else’s notes, here are some of mine:


  • Being a music publisher simply means owning the copyright in a musical work. If you wrote a song and have not assigned your rights, then you are a music publisher.
  • Getting the splits of money in writing at the beginning, although it may not be something you want to do, is very important. In the absence of a written agreement, copyright law dictates even splits.
  • Make sure to keep relevant information such as splits, the writer, artist, and track name in metadata of a digital tracks.

Public Performance

  • A “public performance” includes  play on the radio, and plays on TV, in addition to live performances.
  • Performance royalties are divided into the publisher’s share and the writer’s share, and a typical split is 50/5o.
  • If you are earning performance royalties, you must register with a Performing Rights Organization (ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC) in order to collect those royalties.

Movies and TV

  • The director, rather than the music supervisor, is the one who typically has the final say on the music in a film.
  • A sync license is only for the right to synchronize music to video. The right to use the audio by itself, for example in a soundtrack, is a different right, a different revenue stream, and should be in a different license!
  • If you want to have your songs on TV or in a movie, it’s a good idea to have an instrumental version as well, because sometimes that is what they will want.

I’m sure some of you have some notes that I missed. Share some of them in the comments!


Our publishing panel is coming up soon!

Join us on April 24th at 7:00 PM to hear from the publishing experts on our panel.

Publishing ensures you receive payment and protects your music when compositions are used commercially. Learn about publishing contracts, copyrights, licenses, royalties and distribution in the DIY environment of Austin. Any artist interested in getting their music on film and television should check out this expert panel for first hand experience!

Click the poster to reserve your free seat today.

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Our artist of the month for April is Immortal Guardian! Check out their bio below:

Best known for their face melting, mind-blowing, power/progressive/melodic shred… a genre coined as ‘Super Metal’ amongst fans, Immortal Guardian’s extreme live performances have left countless fans in awe with their astounding musicianship, technicality, and energy. The band has received praise from guitar nerds around world due to guitarist/keyboardist Gabriel Guardian’s ability to shred on both instruments SIMULTANEOUSLY. With the recent addition of Brazilian vocal siren Carlos Zema, the band has evolved into a full frontal metal assault of anthemic melodies, technical rhythms, and powerful highflying vocals.

Immortal Guardian made some waves this SXSW as their “Shredding In The Streets” performances, a series of gorilla style non-permitted street shows, made SPIN Magazine’s “50 Best Things We Saw At SXSW2013” and caught the eye of Green Day front man Billy Joe Armstrong while performing on 6th and Red River. The band will be performing at several music festivals, guitar clinics, and one-off shows in Brazil this July in promotion of their new EP as well as laying the groundwork for some big plans related to the 2014 World Cup.

Immortal Guardian’s debut EP “Super Metal” was released back in 2012 with a previous singer and recently re-released with Carlos Zema on vocals as “Super Metal: Edition Z”. The record is currently streaming on ImmortalGuardian.net and set to be released as a free digital download in promotion of the new EP set for a summer release in 2013.


We at AMF want to congratulate all the bands and artists who were recognized at the Austin Music Awards!

We are so proud of the many recognized bands and artists who we’ve worked with here at AMF. Congratulations on a great year of music! Of course, we would also like to thank Margaret Moser so much for all of her work directing the Austin Music Awards.

Check out the 2012-2013 Austin Music Awards here: 2012-2013 Austin Music Awards


Join us Wednesday, April 3rd at 7pm for an expert panel “Shining A Light On The Dark Art Of Mastering”. RSVP by clicking on the image below.

Mastering can help your music sound better, but it can also be a bit confusing. That’s why we are bringing in some mastering experts to discuss why mastering is necessary and to explain some of the techniques they use. They will not only clear up the technical reasons behind mastering, but they will also discuss their own styles mastering. Every budget is welcome, as they will discuss everything from high end professional mastering all the way to DIY. They will even play examples of mastered and unmastered songs. If you’ve been wanting to learn about mastering, now is the time!

AMF Mastering Panel


kathymurrayThe legendary Kathy Murray needs no introduction to Austin’s musical faithful. Murray developed her vision of the blues in the formative days of the Austin blues scene, jamming with luminaries like Stevie Ray Vaughan, W.C. Clark, and members of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. A blues singer and songwriter par excellence, she first burst on the Austin music scene with her early band Kathy and the Kilowatts, wowing audiences with a tremendous live show, and sharing the stage with everyone from Albert Collins to Koko Taylor.

Murray has won the Australian Blues Association’s ‘Chain Award” for Australian Song of the Year with the Kate Meehan Band’s recording of Murray’s original song, “Call Me Mrs. Blues”. Listen/look for soulful Austin singer Toni Price’s recent cover of Murray’s “Bird in the Hand,” a spicy blues with a hypnotic riff.

Murray is currently performing live with two projects, her full electric blues band, Kathy Murray’s Blues Groove, and with her exciting new acoustic act, features Murray on guitar and ukulele, along with her longtime musical compadre Bill Arthur Jones on guitar, ukulele and accordion. Murray and Jones synergistically combine their talents into a one-of-a-kind Texas roots music experience. Her new CD, “Relatively Blue” is getting local airplay and starting to garner some tasty reviews.


You know Austin is a great place to make music, but do you know how the government is working to keep it that way? Do you know the resources they provide to help you thrive as a musician?

Let’s look at the city and state level to see how they can help you, and indeed how they are already working for your benefit.

1. Austin Music Division

Austin Music Division Website

The city of Austin has an entire division devoted to helping musicians in Austin!

They work to build international partnerships to grow strengthen Austin’s ties with the global music scene. They believe that Austin has something to share with the world and also many things to learn!

They have a music ambassadors program through which they send established Austin musicians abroad to engage with other music scenes across the world. They also support another Austin project called “House of Songs,” which connects foreign musicians with Austin musicians so that they can learn from and inspire each other as they collaborate musically.

The Austin Music Division also supports organization like us (thank you!), Austin Music People, Austin Songwriters Group, and Capitol View Arts. If you’ve benefitted from any of those organizations, then you’ve been helped by the Austin Music Division.

Lastly, have you ever been to ACL or Fun Fun Fun Fest? The Austin Music Division serves as a liaison between the event organizers and the city to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Without them, Austin festivals wouldn’t be as awesome as they are.

2. Texas Music Office

Texas Music Office Website

On the state level, the Texas Music Office gives people the information they need about Texas musicians and music businesses. They are an economic development office within the office of the Governor, and they are also the sister agency to the Texas Film Commission.

They have the most comprehensive database of businesses and musicians that call Texas home. If you need that kind of information, they should be the first place you look.

They work to facilitate connections to help the Texas music scene flourish more and more. Keep that in mind when you are looking for a certain kind of music business or musician, because they want to help you find what you need.

Furthermore, when the Texas music industry develops in a significant way, they publicize that to keep everyone up to date. Lastly, they work as a liaison between music businesses and other government entities.

Thank You!

Let’s be thankful that our governments do so much to support musicians and music businesses in Austin, both directly and indirectly. We love what we do, and we’re very grateful for all that you do!


Come out to our panel next Wednesday, February 27! We’re going to discuss the many ways that video can help musicians.

Whether you are planning your music video, planning to record a live recording, or planning to use video to communicate with your fans, you will learn what you need to do to get started. Whatever the size of your budget, we will have helpful information about how you can use video to complement your music.

Reserve your free seat by sending an email to RSVP@austinmusicfoundation.org!

AMF Video Panel


We had our legal panel on Tuesday!

A big thank you to our host Brad Stein and our wonderful panelists: Craig Barker, Mike Tolleson, and Andrea Villarreal. If you didn’t make it out to the event (or if you didn’t take any notes), here are some takeaways from the event. If you have notes other than what I collected here, please share them in the comments!

Recap Legal Issues in the Music Business


  • There are two copyrights for music: one for the musical work (the notes and lyrics), and one for the sound recording (the sound).
  • USA federal government gives copyright owners several exclusive rights, and these rights form the basis for the music industry because others will trade money to buy or license the rights.
  • A copyright comes into existence the moment that a musical work is fixed in tangible form, such as writing down notes and lyrics or recording it.
  • Registration with the USA copyright office provides two important benefits: statutory damages if someone infringes, and the infringer pays your attorney’s fees if you win.
  • If you write a song or record with someone else, unless you sign a written agreement specifying otherwise, you are equal owners of the copyrights!


  • To be sure that everyone in a deal gets what they expect, and to save headaches later, use a written contract from the beginning.
  • Contracts should be clear and include terms, parties, duration, and territory.
  • Bands should have an agreement to define who owns copyrights, who owns the band name, and how to handle member changes and other changes.


  • Concerned with clear identification of the source of works, so that the public will not become confused.
  • Used to protect brands.
  • Federal trademark recommended.
  • Lasts a lifetime, and could be the most valuable thing you have.

Those are some of the notes I took. If you have any takeaways that I didn’t mention, please share them in the comments!


Would you like to be featured on our website? If we’ve helped you in some way, then let us know how. You may end up seeing your name and quote on our website!

You can let us know by sending us an email at info@austinmusicfoundation.org with “AMF Helped Me” in the subject line.

Hope to hear from you soon!


Licensing Panel


nakia-down-in-the-crimson-tideAustin-based, Alabama-raised singer/songwriter Nakia has a heart that beats to the rhythms of Muscle Shoals soul, pumping blood infused with Stax funk to cells lined with Chicago blues grooves. His vocal talent is the kind that instantly turns listeners into fans — among them CeeLo Green, his coach and mentor from Season One of NBCV’s ‘The Voice,’ who invited Nakia to sing on his Muppets Christmas special.

On his new EP, Drown in the Crimson Tide, releasing March 5 on the Something-Music label, Nakia unleashes that voice on six songs he wrote in collaboration with top-tier artists including Barry Goldberg, Bleu, Chris Seefried and Brian West. Three were co-produced by legendary keyboardist Goldberg, whose vast resume includes playing Dylan’s ’65 Newport gig and producing Percy Sledge; and guitarist Johnny Lee Schell, who’s worked with Bonnie Raitt, John Fogerty and Eric Burdon.

You can catch Nakia live at his new residency every Thursday in February at The Sahara Lounge. Nakia is an official artist at SXSW 2013 where he will be performing several showcases during the festival.


You’re an Austin musician, eh? We at Austin Music Foundation have put together a list of four resources to help you do what you do better:

1. Health Alliance For Austin Musicians (HAAM)


HAAM is there for Austin musicians who need access to affordable health care. If you are self-employed and have no access to health insurance or basic health care, then HAAM exists to help you out with medical, dental, hearing, vision, and mental health/addiction recovery services (with partner SIMS Foundation).

2. SIMS Foundation (SIMS)


The SIMS Foundation’s mission is to provide access to and financial support for mental health and addiction recovery services for Austin-area musicians and their families. SIMS’s therapists offer individual and family, group, and couples counseling and have a variety of specialties to meet our clients’ needs. In addition, SIMS provides a full range of addiction recovery services: medical detoxification, inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and sober living.

3. Austin Music People (AMP)


AMP works to preserve and protect the live music economy in Austin. They provide powerful advocacy tools, participate in policy development, and represent live music interests in both public and private forums. They also work to promote a more dynamic and connected live music scene.

4. Austin Music Foundation (AMF)


Lastly, it’s yours truly, AMF. The heart of AMF is working directly with Austin musicians, offering free consulting about how to succeed in the modern music business. In addition, we host monthly events on key music industry topics. Lastly, AMF also works to connect both established and rising leaders in the music business to tackle large scale industry issues. We work to keep Austin one of the most vibrant music scenes in the world.

Well, those are four of the organizations that you need to know about as an Austin musician. Remember, we are here for you as you do what you do best: make music.



AMF Producers Panel

To RSVP, please send an email to rsvp@austinmusicfoundation.org



Leticia Rodriguez_CD_Jacket_5002_PRINT_outline changesHer life is an artistic stage, dedicating herself to performances steeped in family and tradition. In October 2012, Leticia Rodriguez debuts her first musical album, La Americana, a compilation of award winning tribute music filled with meaning and heart.

Leticia Rodriguez is a charismatic Latina performing award winning Latin covers well known in many countries. Rodriguez’ songs span the decades, starting with music from the 1930s through the 1950s and continuing through today’s music. Many of the tunes on La Americana were sung by Rodriguez’ aunt, internationally renowned Eva Garza, who was one of the first Hispanic recording artists from Decca Records (Columbia). Songs sung by Eva Garza and redone by Rodriguez on La Americana are: Tenías Que Ser Tú, Incertidumbre, Un Rato Nomás, A Los Cuatros Vientos, Celosa and Volver.

Inspired by her musically inclined family, and in particular her by her Tía Eva, as a child, Rodriguez often spent days on end listening to her aunt’s LPs. “Eva was vital to my musical education.” Rodriguez said. “Her voice was unmistakable and rich.” FOR MORE INFO ON LETICIA RODRIGUEZ, GO TO http://leticiarodriguezperforms.com/




Thanks to everyone who made it out to the “Radio Austin” panel on Wednesday, November 28th at Soundcheck Studios. It was AMF’s biggest turnout at Soundcheck so far with a lot of great information and advice from Austin’s top radio DJs! We hope that everyone who attended the panel picked up a few good tips and we look forward to seeing you at the next AMF event soon!

A special thanks goes out to the “Radio Austin” panelists (L-R) Toby Ryan/101X, Patrick Davis/Austin After Dark, Eric Raines/KOKE FM, Matt Reilly/KUT, Loris Lowe/KLBJ and of course the infamously honest Andy Langer/KGSR & 101X for masterfully moderating the panel the way only he can. Great job guys!


Check Out The New Video “Austin Live” from The Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau!

“Austin Live: Tick Tock” is the latest video from the Live Music Capital of the World®. Filmed live from the streets of Austin, TX, this one-of-a-kind collaborative video project features some of Austin’s best musical talent — lending their own personal style and creativity to American Blues Legend Jimmie Vaughan’s song “Tick Tock.” Read more about the artists & venues at http://www.austinmusic.org



Thanks to everyone who made it out to AMF’s “Hip Hop Rhymes & Business Minds” on Oct. 24th at Soundcheck Studios! The panel was also a huge success for The Austin Urban Alliance and a very special thanks goes out to moderator/panel producer Tee Double for knocking it out of the park! The vibe was unifyingly positive and due to a great turnout and high demand, AMF plans to host a follow up panel in 2013. Continue to support Hip Hop in Austin and stay tuned to austinmusicfoundation.org!

(L-R): DJ Crash, Smackola, Matt Sonzala, Josh Woodhouse, Steve Savage, MC Overlord & Tee Double



May 8, 2012 (Austin, TX)-Austin Music Foundation (AMF), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen and connect the creative economy through its educational programs and career development resources, announced today that in partnership with the City of Austin they will launch the Leadership Music Austin program and the Austin Music Entrepreneur Accelerator programs.

Click here for more information.

The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2013 and 2014 positions of Texas State Musician, State Poet Laureate, and State Visual Artists 2-D & 3-D.  We invite you to nominate some great Texas artists for this process.

There is no money associated with the title, but it does secure your place in Texas history and provides a great marketing tool. Self-nominations are encouraged and there is no fee to apply. The deadline for nominations is October 15, 2012. This opportunity only comes up every other year.

Complete details and the nomination form are available online at: www.arts.texas.gov/nominate

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