Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Marketing Mike Moran: Local...
. . . .

Marketing Mike Moran: Local Songwriter Finds Hustle as Important as the Music

Andy Taylor - July 8th, 2004
Over the past year, Traverse City’s own Mike Moran has been given an education by the roiling tempest known as the music business -- more specifically by the local scene. “Traverse City is a great place to learn how to get rejected and how to take criticism and to learn how to play in front of a crowd,” Moran says when asked about the past year of his career.
Many are the bullets that fill the gun of the business and they are unforgiving according to Moran. He even received interest from record labels that ended up being considerably less than a blessing. “There is always talk of label interest and if it’s serious enough to where they say they are going to fly you out, (it) revs you up. Then it falls through and it can bring you down for a couple weeks,” he states. “So I was going through a lot of that during the winter. I had three or four instances like that where you get calls from major things you read about and they’re talking about you and they want you to come out for a little bit. Then their minds change...”
This spring Moran also put forth a considerable amount of effort, thinking that he could score his band an opening slot as part of the Cherry Festival’s musical activities, but the powers that be did not see things the same way. “We really want to play the Cherry Festival. We won the best new artist award in the Express and we have sold as many CDs as anybody in Traverse City and still for some reason... It’s like, what do you have to do to get up there?”

But no one, including Moran, can deny the positive parts of being directly involved with music, and the past 12 months have also brought good things his way. “My album (“Where Were You?”) came out on June 9 last year. Since then I have handed out like 6,000 free sample CDs to Traverse City alone. I’ve got a web site that is a lot more professional and you can download music off of it,” he says. “As far as gigs go I have just gigged 100% more than what I was doing.”
Moran says the large number of two-song samplers he has given out is the reason why he and his band have been slowly but steadily making their way up.
“I have seen my sales from the CD go up when I put as many sample CDs out as I can. Sales at shows have gone up. With full CD sales we are close to 1,000 up here just in the area,” he states with a grin.
Selling over 1,000 CDs is no small feat for an independent artist on their own record label and Moran is well-aware of this, but he still views the last album as more of a stepping stone to better territory than anything else.
“It was my first album. I’m proud of it being the first legitimate thing that I have gone through and finished... The whole thing is a learning experience,” he says. The album can’t get into the hands of store owners all over the nation at this point but Moran is making the best of things and looking at what he has accomplished instead of what he has not achieved. “We can’t distribute this album nationally but I can at least distribute it locally and learn how to do that kind of thing. It’s gotten the attention of a lot of radio stations in Michigan. I got a band because of that album. It has won over some of Traverse City’s best musicians and they are in my band now. That’s what something like that can do for you.”

Marketing himself has become a focus for the songwriter and bandleader these days. “Getting the marketing strategy and coming up with the actual business plan: that is what I am working on right now,” Moran says. He is attempting to take full advantage of his better-designed web site and has even started advertising in cities all over the country. “I have put classified ads in Denver papers, in Cleveland and stuff like that. If people go to the site I get Internet sales. It’s not as much as I thought I would get but I think that is because the first site that I had, I had a horrible webmaster. We lost 35 CD sales. But I’ve got a great webmaster now. It is certified by PayPal and they take care of our stuff.”
Moran makes sure that he never loses an opportunity to get his music out to listeners, and he is taking strides to make sure that happens.
“I started a street team and I’m looking for interns to help with that and to do things like taking CDs down to Van Andel and Pine Knob and hand them out while people are coming out of concerts. You have to do that kind of stuff first before so people know who you are, because if you go into a club and they are paying you half a grand or a grand and you don’t have anyone there, they aren’t going to invite you back.”

When asked about his goals, Moran states them in a manner that lets the listener know these are things he has thought about and meticulously planned.
“I want to sell the hell out of this album. I want to have another CD out by December. A year from now I want to be on the circuit of the House of Blues, the Hard Rock Cafes, the bigger clubs like Clutch Cargo’s and the Intersection. I would like to have a full-blown show of constant music which doesn’t start falling apart. I would like to have ‘Quarter After’ established to where I would have the resources to hand out CDs and to just do all that kind of stuff constantly. I would like to be touring all over the country, most likely the Midwest but as far as that goes I’m not gonna scatter it because that is just not the way to create a following.”
Having another album out by the end of the year is hardly beyond his reach as Moran says that he has already begun work on it. “Right now I am recording with Jason Kott who is one of the best local musicians. We’re putting together demos and we’re going into the studio in October. It will most likely be a full-length but it also might be an EP,” he says.
Excitement does not hide itself in his voice when Moran talks about his new album. His eyes and smile get just a shade larger when he speaks of it.
“It will be so much more polished and a lot more fun. We’ve got some really cool tunes that just have to be on CD. You can go out and play them in the clubs and people will dance to them even though they don’t know the words. Once you get it one-on-one with somebody, that’s when people can determine if you’re good or not. I think that the listener’s ear is where it will catch on.”
His high expectations do not overshadow his humility though. Moran is a musician who not only knows what he wants and how to get it, but also understands that only through blood, sweat and tears will he achieve it.
“As a band we’ve got some work to do. We’re getting better and better and it’s proven. Our last gig at Union Street was packed and it’s growing within Traverse City. We’ve just got some work to do,” he says.
Although Moran and company will not be appearing on any Cherry Festival stages, they will be performing at area venues during that time. They will be appearing at North Peak Brewery on July 10, and also at Union Street Station on July 8. For current show dates visit www.mikemoranmusic.com.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5