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Most Alienating Radio Show on WPRK 91.5 FM (

September 10, 2011

I will be a guest today on Most Alienating Airwaves from 3-5 PM. Most Saturdays, I can be heard on Rollins College’s WPRK 91.5 FM or online at

Tune in to hear new and local music as well as topics pertinent to Orlando musicians discussed.

Call 407-646-2915 to participate in the dialogue.

Orlando Musicians: Get your music on WPRK

September 3, 2011

It’s the dream of any aspiring musician to hear his or her music on the radio.  Well, Orlando musicians, you have an incredible local radio station eager to play your tunes.

Recently nominated for an MTV-U Radio Woodie award for Best College Radio Station, WPRK 91.5 FM is the world renowned taste-maker of college radio stations and it’s right here in central Florida.

The Rollins College basement radio station is broadcast locally as far away from Winter Park as UCF or Universal Studios and is also streamed online to global audiences.

The best thing about WPRK is how open it is to playing local music.

So, how do I get my music played on WPRK?

Here’s what Roxanne Bates, WPRK’s Local Music Director, had to say-

“Its pretty easy for local bands to get their CD in rotation. All they need to do is drop me an email ( and send their CD into the station addressed to me with any further information such as upcoming shows etc. We are eager to promote local bands and if artists want to perform on the air we love to set that up too!”

Send your CD and information to:

WPRK 91.5 FM
1000 Holt Avenue #2745
Winter Park, FL 32789

What are you waiting for? Get that music in the mail and on the air!

Orlando Musicians, do you follow these blogs? You should!

August 25, 2011

I know what you’re thinking.  “What local musician has time to read blogs?”  I’ll tell ya who does: successful local musicians.

The following is a list and brief description of both local and international blogs that provide both educational and promotional resources to aspiring musicians.

Top 5 blogs for Orlando musicians to follow:

  1. Blood Orange Orlando Music News – This blog is the epicenter of all local Orlando music buzz.  Created to highlight the musical activities, news, opinion and random gossip of each niche in Orlando’s diverse music scene, Orlando Music News has  been very successful in its efforts to do so.  Edited and founded by Jason Ferguson, former Music Editor of the Orlando Weekly, OMN’s most consistently updateded content includes Artist/Band of the Week, Orlando Concert Listings,  New Music or Videos by local musicians, and the Charts of WPRK and Park Ave CDs. Contact Jason here if you want to  have him list your upcoming show or share you music with his readers.
  2. Great for aspiring musiciansHypeBot – Wondering what’s new in the music industry?  HypeBot keeps readers up to date with news and commentary on the state music and technology in the new music industry.  From Social Media tips, online streaming news, to management and songwriting help, Hypebot continues to be a great resource for aspiring musicians.
  3. Indie on the Move – Going on tour?  Want to find a gig anywhere in the country? Need the contact info for a particular venue? Indie on the Move is the blog for you.  This site has really become a valuable resource for all levels of gigging musicians.  With a massive directory of venues and promoters across the nation, Indie on the Move also has a consistent blog that covers topics ranging from artist Social Media strategy to dealing rejection to personal hygiene tips for touring.  Indie on the Move is my go-to resource for booking gigs out of town and it should be yours too.
  4. ReverbNation – Not only is ReverbNation the most widely used Facebook application for band pages and the social site used by music industry professionals to network and find new talent, but this powerful tool for musicians also has a great, regularly updated blog.  In spite of the fact that most of their posts focus on promoting their products and services, the site has an excellent blog roll with links to other resources.  Additionally, their ebook titled the Indie Band Survival Guide will give you great ideas on how you can take your musical career to the next level.
  5. Orlando Bands – Started around 2003 as a project by Full Sail graduate Ben Gardner. Recently incorporated, this volunteer-based local music industry-focused social network allows artist and industry professionals to come together and build the local music and arts scene.  I personally never got involved in any of the services for bands that OrlandoBands offers, but I do follow the site’s Advice 101 forum and blog.  Also, OrlandoBands’ industry and artist links are a great resource if you want to get an album review or artist interview, find other local bands or get the inside perspectives by players in the Orlando music scene, find a studio or label to record your album or even find a place to rehearse.

Spread the word:

What online resources do you use to get ahead in the music industry?  Did I leave out your favorite local resource?  Share links to your favorite blogs in a comment below to help out your fellow musicians.

Why Your Garage Band Should Play The Red Lion Pub

August 16, 2011

“The best music comes out of my garage and my garage is the Red Lion!” – Rosemarie Ryan of the Red Lion Pub

Unless you grew up in east Winter Park, you’ve probably never heard of the Red Lion Pub.  I’ve lived in east WP, about two miles away from the Pub, for over 2 years and didn’t know it existed until I saw the bar’s name mentioned in an Evan Taylor Jones Band Facebook post 6 months ago.

Intrigued, I plugged the coordinates for Red Lion into my GPS and found myself in a parking lot of a strip mall off Howell Branch road in Winter Park.  The only open establishment was the Red Lion Pub and it was filled to capacity.  There was even a line to get in.

The Red Lion is not a big bar.  Known for its steel darts and pool tables, the one room establishment is divided in two by regulation dart throwing lines. On this night when I saw the ETJ Band, the dart area was transformed into a dance floor.  The setting was more than intimate and the atmosphere was that of a house party, complete with drunk parents and mingling teenagers.

Rosemarie, owner of the Red Lion explained that it was only recently the Pub resumed live local entertainment showcases.

“Once upon a time we had live music every Saturday, some Fridays and occasionally during the week. Then we started having major problems with BMI and Ascap.”

She explained that she did not mind paying royalties, especially for her jukebox, but the licensing companies wanted to charge her by number of TV’s for the commercials.

“The fees were so horrendous, we could never afford them. We went to “original only” and they still wouldn’t leave us alone. They would actually come in the afternoons and threaten my bartenders and were constantly threatening me with lawsuits. We stopped having any music at all.”

It wasn’t until a kid by the name Twisted Trystan asked if he perform a ‘side show‘ act on Tuesday nights that Red Lion started hosting live entertainment again.  Twisted Tuesday evolved into a local showcase of new, original music and carries on to this day.

“I’d like to think of us as the place that helps to create the music of our future,” said Rosemarie.

So, if you’re a local amateur musician ready to present your talent to the masses, the Red Lion is the best bet for your first step. Here’s why:

  1. The Red Lion Pub is actively seeking local original talent to perform as part of Twisted Tuesdays
  2. The Pub has a well established and regular following
  3. You will be in a nurturing and accepting environment
  4. You get paid in free food (and probably drink if you’re of age)
  5. You don’t have to be the center of attention so there is not as much pressure.

Remember local musicians, the Red Lion only allows original music.  You will find this to be the case in many local bars and coffee shops that have live music.  ASCAP and BMI are desperate for revenue and it seems they are willing to put up-and-coming musicians and small venues out of businesses if it provides them with more money…but that’s a topic for a another blog.

For booking inquiries or more information, contact Rosemarie Ryan at

Spread the word

Share your experience at the Red Lion Pub with the readers of this blog by commenting below.  Also, if there is another venue that you think is a better place for budding live local musicians, let us all know by posting a comment!

Five Venues to Play in Orlando

August 6, 2011



There are dozens of Orlando venues happy to book local talent. The trick to getting the gig is to find the venue with the right crowd and atmosphere for your band.

I once made the mistake of jumping at an opportunity to play at the Social without doing any research on the bands with which my band would be performing.  My acoustic alternative folk rock ensemble wound up following a very loud Emo punk band as the second opener for a pop band popular with 16 year old girls.  Surprisingly, it was a great show and the crowd loved us in spite of the initial awkwardness.

That experience taught me that planning a gigging schedule strategically rather than spontaneously produces better results.

Strategically, the booking process is continuous and requires diligent communication. First, it’s always a good idea to talk to your bandmates about dates you’re all available to play. Then discuss the size and type of show that would be best suited for you. Also consider what atmosphere your crowd enjoys.

The next step is to investigate venues and settle on a few top choices. Reach out to them in an informal email because it’s very rare that venues solicit bands.

Here are a few venues of various sizes and types that are worth your interest.

1. Nature Coffee and Tea
12078 Collegiate Way Orlando ,  FL   32817
Wednesday Open Mic nights are perfect for groups or solo artists who are just starting out, trying out new material or promoting an upcoming bigger show. Because of its proximity to UCF, the crowd is always different, large and supportive of all genres of music.

Be advised: venue has very small stage and does not allow cover songs performed.  Also, regularly booked bands are only paid if the bar makes more than its break even quota.

Contact for more info.

2. Austin’s Coffee
929 W Fairbanks Ave Winter Park ,  FL   32789

Also a good choice for new artists and small ensembles.  Tuesday night open mics are fun, with an eclectic crowd. Again, stage is too small and amplification inadequate to accommodate an ensemble of more than 3 or 4 players.

Contact Austin’s on their website for more info.

3. Drake’s
565 W Fairbanks Ave Winter Park ,  FL   32789

This upscale bar has a nice sized stage, quality sound system and pays the musicians they book. However, bands are required to run their own sound. As part of the Boathouse Restaurant, Drake’s large bar room provides the space to cater large crowds and the seating for intimate performances.

Contact for more info.

4. Taste of College Park
717 W. Smith Street , Orlando, FL

This hip tapas bar has an elevated stage in a semi-private concert room. With flexible band payment options and no presale or expected draw requirements, Taste presents you with the opportunity to put on a show of your design.

Be advised: if your payment is a cut of the cover charge, do not invite your fans to come have dinner at taste before you start collecting at the door.

Contact for more info

5. Tastes and Sounds of Downtown (out back of Firestone Live)
578 N Orange Ave Orlando ,  FL   32801

One of the most successful of Firestone Live’s all-local showcases, the outdoor Tastes and Sounds of Downtown offers bands the opportunity to perform on a large stage with quality sound and stage techs. This event happens every Wednesday evening (weather permitting) and is really enjoyable for both bands and those in attendance as food trucks and the OBP beer car provide added entrainment and refreshment.

Contact for more info.

If you’re tired of playing in your garage instead of one of these local clubs, follow my directions and get yourself out there.

Let me know how your gig goes and i’ll give your some free publicity in this blog. Publicity is key, you know.

Get Booked! Mills (Summer) Stock and DeLand Original Music Festival

August 4, 2011

Attention Orlando musicians, two central FL festivals are booking right now!

The Mills Avenue Weekend Music Festival Series is currently in search of local talent.  Running August 17 through 21, Mills Stock’s SummerStock will celebrate Orlando’s extremely diverse culture by bringing together local bands of almost every genre along with alternative small independent business owners, entertainment establishments, artists and culinary entrepreneurs.

Want to perform in Mills Stock?  Send an email to with your band details and availability.  Only performance slots on August 19 and 20 are still open so you better act quickly!  Be sure to put “Booking” and your band’s name in the subject line and include links to recordings/examples of your music, band photos and appropriate contact info.

***Jessica is looking for visual art talent for Aug 18.  Have your artsy friends contact her for more info***

The 11th Annual DeLand Original Music Festival is also in the booking process.  Known as the “largest one-day independent music festival in the south-east,” the DeLand Original Music Festival features over 170 bands on 26 stages throughout the historic downtown district of DeLand. (I know, I didn’t know DeLand had a downtown either until I played this festival last year!)  Scheduled for Saturday, November 5, the festival is organized the Songwriter Showcases of America (SSA).  This is interesting because bands booked to perform are required to purchase an SSA annual membership, which is at a discounted price of $11.99 for a limited time.

However, this up-front booking fee is well worth it.  Bands are given 15-30 presale tickets, priced at $10 each, to be sold at a complete profit for the artist/band (at least that’s how it worked last year).  That means you get to keep all the ticket $!  Additionally, fans have the ability to nominate bands for the SSA Music Awards.  Not exactly sure how the judging works, but my band won “Unique Artist of the Year” last year and we didn’t even know we were nominated.  My theory is that if you rock hard enough, they’ll give you a trophy.

To get your band or acoustic act booked at the 11th Annual DeLand Original Music Festival, email with a link to your music.  It’s that easy.

Your Turn!

If your band, venue, or promotions org is currently booking bands for upcoming shows, please leave a comment with the details and contact info.

Happy booking!

Orlando Musicians, What Are Your Burning Questions?

August 3, 2011

In my quest to provide Orlando musicians with information that will help them succeed in the local music scene, I find myself wondering, “what are the most important questions that to be need answered?”  The problem is, those questions are entirely contingent on where local musicians are in their musical careers.

That’s why I am asking for your input.

Please take a few seconds to answer the poll at the bottom of the page.  I want to know what kind of content you want to see first.

Later this week I will be profiling a local venue perfect for acoustic artists and bands that don’t need a stage to rock out, so stay tuned.  Until then, I hope that you will answer the poll so I can give you the content you deserve.


Welcome to Orlando Musician’s Guide

August 1, 2011

Orlando Musician’s Guide was founded on a simple premise: aspiring local musicians are tired of struggling to navigate the complex and often thankless Orlando music scene all by themselves.  For too long, up and coming bands have wandered blindly throughout Orlando’s diverse and cliquey soundscape without any idea of how to transition themselves from garage to gigging.

As an aspiring local musician myself, I have spent a majority of the past 5 years begging for gigs, peddling presale tickets, building and sharing social media pages and events, practicing, rehearsing, taking private lessons, attending concerts, writing about music and managing local bands.  It has been a labor of love with extreme highs and deep lows and an all-around eye-opening experience.

I created this blog because I know how it feels to be in your shoes and I know what it’s like to feel lost without a guide.  My goal is to prepare you with the resources you will need to bring your musical goals to fruition, no matter your skill level.

In this blog I will:

  • Profile private music instructors
  • Profile local bands and solo artists that are doing it right
  • Analyze Orlando venues detailing the types of bands they book, the usual crowd/scene, booking style and contact info, capacity and payments
  • Interview Orlando music scene thought leaders and people you should get to know
  • Provide and discuss the best on and offline tools and resources for musicians
  • Facilitate discussion on how musicians can and should get paid and how to negotiate a contract
  • Discuss band management, promotion and booking
  • Post available gigs and performance opportunities

I hope that you will find that the Orlando Musician’s Guide has the answers and information you crave.

~Justin Braun

Join my network:

Follow me on Twitter – @justinJBbraun

Email me – Please do not hesitate to send me any feedback on posts, suggestions for content, band profile submissions, or performance opportunities

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