Category Archives: Media

Empty Houses [Official Music Video]

Official Press Release

Los Angeles singer/songwriter introduces the third music video from her debut CD, “Imaginary Biographies”

Los Angeles singer/songwriter Leerone once again elevates her artistry to rarefied new heights with her shudder-inducing new music video, Empty Houses. Conceived by Leerone and produced by LA videographer/animator Hank Friedmann—the same boy genius who oversaw Leerone’s 2008 video “Care For Some Whiskey?”—Empty Houses masterfully employs fantasy and gothic sensibilities in support of Leerone and Hank’s uncompromising creative ambitions.

The new video imagines Leerone as the sole attendee at an old woman’s funeral. Courtesy of Friedmann and his animated sorcery, viewers are transported away from the graveyard through the spirit-haunted halls of the deceased woman’s mansion, where Leerone glimpses scenes from the woman’s tragic life. These playback images prompt Leerone to reflect on her own life. Eerie, picturesque, and gorgeously realized, Empty Houses makes a poignant visual statement about fate, life, choices and possibilities.

Empty Houses is Leerone’s third foray into music video and short film. Her 2008 debut video “Care For Some Whiskey?” finds the singer sharing the spotlight with a cast of endearingly freakish Claymation friends. Leerone’s subsequent clip “To Fill the Void” was directed by Claire Carré (Brett Dennen, Sia, Rainer Maria), depicting Leerone as a wistful dishwasher at a roadside diner. In all, the three videos serve as a audio-visual complement to Leerone’s 2008 CD, “Imaginary Biographies.”

Leerone’s YouTube: http://www.YouTube.com/LeeroneMusic

On the changing nature of the music industry… 1,000 FREE Downloads

I’m a Featured Artist this week (July 29-August 4) in the Microsoft Windows Sponsored Songs program, a campaign Microsoft is doing to advertise their newest Windows Media Player. What does it mean? 1,000 free mp3 or mp4 downloads by indie artists. My song “here on earth/The Opening” is one of ten songs omnipresent here: Myspace.com/Windows and available for free download. 

 

The Sponsored Songs program was launched by ReverbNation.com, a social networking site created to help musicians turn emerging online technology into marketing tools, fanbase monitors and, ultimately, money makers. In more sugar coated terms, it’s a place where genuine music enthusiasts can easily browse, sample, and discover music from established and emerging artists, and where artists can distribute their music across the web regardless of where people want to go get it.

Sponsored Songs is an opt-in program for select artists that use ReverbNation.com as their online marketing platform. 1,000 out of the site’s 400,000 indie artists were selected to join the pilot program (by pilot, they mean it is a trial run). Artists are paid for each qualified download, and are shown the exact advertisement for their approval prior to the campaign launch.

Who is the sponsor paying these starving artists for their music and giving it away for free? Microsoft Windows. The program is the latest in the trend— large companies using independent music to reach new audiences. The music can lead the brand into new markets, and simultaneously offers bands a new avenue of access to potential fans while earning the band a pittance.

ReverbNation is probably the most artist-friendly social networking site that I have come across and that says a lot as my music is pretty much on every significant music site there is (I’ve done the research!). “We treat Artists like we would want to be treated,” says Lou Plaia, vice president of artist relations at ReverbNation.com.  

The three month campaign will provide reach metrics to the participating brand (in this case, Microsoft Windows) by tracking the songs with a digital watermark as they move through peer-to-peer networks.

According to Jed Carlson, chief operating officer of ReverbNation, “Sponsored Songs aligns the interests of artists, fans, and major brands, creating a win-win-win situation where free music is a shared goal that benefits all parties.” I (want to) believe this statement is true and I’m honored to be included in the program.

Smart & Creative Advertising, Banana Republic’s “City Stories” Campaign

OK GO

“We want this campaign to strike an emotional chord with Banana Republic customers,” said Peter DeLuca, Chief Marketing Officer for Banana Republic. “By tapping into their passion for music, the campaign brings to life Banana Republic’s tradition of city style along with a level of inspiration and optimism that is as refreshing as Spring should be.”

I’m thoroughly impressed with Banana Republic’s “City Stories” Campaign. Cheers to smart and creative advertising! It’s interesting to witness the ways in which the music industry is changing and the increasing role of music in advertisements (and I don’t mean jingles). In this case, it’s not just an exciting new song bringing life to a particular product in a commercial (like Yael Naim’s “New Soul” in the MacBook Air commercial). The musician and their respective image or brand is equally as important in portraying the eclectic side of Banana Republic. 

 The new ads feature nine Grammy-nominated artist/performers (David Garrett, Liz Phair, Chris Carrabba, Tommy Torres, David Sanchez, OK GO, Esperanza Spalding, Ayo and Sara Bareilles), each photographed in BR’s spring and summer 2009 apparel, with New York City as the backdrop.

 City Stories is meant to reflect Banana Republic’s modern look and enduring style while highlighting the vibrant energy of the city. The “eclectic pool of musical talent “who “echo the multicultural richness of the city” share their unique, creative experiences with a city of their choosing. Each artist is featured on the Banana Republic website, with a biography, behind-the-scenes interview, unplugged performance, free music download and streaming music sample. 

iTunes gift cards were given to customers with purchase from February 17 to 26, redeemable for a free compilation of songs by the participating artists. From March 1st through June 31, 2009, Banana Republic’s “City Stories” will be available on RED, Virgin America’s in-flight entertainment system, as the first-ever branded channel.

It’s obviously an incredible opportunity for the artists involved as the exposure is tremendous and potentially expands their target audience into new demographics. OK Go gets to be exposed to financially stable individuals- the Banana Republic customer, the young and self-expressive professional. In turn, Banana Republic seems a little more hip and may appeal to a younger, creative crowd (the type that may not a wear suit to work).

The campaign speaks volumes about the power of music and it’s ability to elicit an emotional reaction/connection. It also shows that the artist or band’s brand is a key factor in cutting through the clutter and competition of mass media and establishing a deeper emotional connection with a target audience.

Check out this great article about music in advertising, the jingle — but one created by a superstar musician: http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/55359750

“Care for some whiskey?” named the winner of the music video category – The 8th Annual Independent Music Awards

ima_logo_winner

“The Independent Music Awards is an influential & effective international program that helps top-ranked indie artists & releases overcome mainstream obstacles and reach millions of Fans, Programmers, Talent Buyers, Film, TV & Gaming Music Supervisors, Press and other industry movers & shakers. It is not a contest or battle of the bands. IMA artists receive yearlong print, online & broadcast promotions plus distribution & performance opportunities. The IMAs represent the diversity of today’s vibrant indie scene and supports artists with previous major label releases as well as artists that have only self-released or appeared on indie labels.”

Congratulations to Hank Friedmann, the director and animator extraordinaire, whose brilliant work deserves the utmost recognition and appreciation.

A 50-person judging panel consisting of influential artists and industry decision makers including Peter Gabriel, Suzanne Vega, Roger Daltrey, George Jones, Buddy Guy, Keith Urban, James “Blood” Ulmer, Butch Walker,
Paquito D’Rivera, Lee Ritenour, and others determined this year’s
Winners in 50+ Music and Design categories.

“Care for some whiskey?” was chosen from thousands of submissions worldwide, including the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Cuba, China, Mongolia, Republic of Guinea, Israel, South Africa, Italy, France and Sweden. 

In case you haven’t seen it…

Two music videos under my belt!!

To Fill the Void [Official Music Video]

Directed by Claire Carré (Brett Dennen, Sia, Rainer Maria), To Fill the Void depicts Leerone as a starry-eyed dishwasher at a roadside diner. The clip culminates with Leerones workaday character earning a chance to accomplish the most modest of dreams. When asked to fill in for the waitress temporarily, Leerone is thrilled to have a moment to shine! The video was conceived by Leerone and Carré, whose résumé includes directors assistant on the award-winning Patty Jenkins film Monster and was filmed in NYC.

Click here to see previous post on the making of the music video.

CREW CREDITS: Zachary Zimmerman (Producer), Stephen Bruckert (Assistant Director), Todd Somodevilla (Director of Photography), Brandon Sumner (Assistant Camera), Chris Heikel (Gaffer), John Dianda (Key Grip), Steven Little (Art Director), Karen Lanyi (Hair & Make-up), Tristan Kneschke (Film Editor), Antoine Blanche(PA), Halavah Sofsky (PA), Kenneth Yagual (PA), Katie Maguire (PA & “Comics fan”).

CAST CREDITS: Sharry Galloway (“Mother”), Jermaine Richards (“Son”), Alberto Lazo (“Break-up Couple”), Steven Camarena (“Kitchen Friend”), Keith McNicholas (extra), Karl Schroder (extra), Edward Webb (“Diner Owner”), Richard Ruperto (“Club Kid”), Danny Boushebel (“Regular”), Armando Tavarez (“Artist”), Shawn Farrell (“Businessman”), Alex Melendez (“Club Kid”), Sara  Courtney (“Break-up Couple”), Janet Gruener (“Waitress”), Timothy Corscadden (“Biker”), Victor (“diner”),  Sarah Cho (“diner”).