2023 Year in Review

My journey this year has paralleled that of many musicians, in that I put forth my all in pursuit of an ideal that only exists in my mind. Not knowing what to expect has surrendered the foreground long ago. My focus and intent is on doing Louisiana’s music community justice. Being completely self-funded,’s greatest challenge has been getting the word out without the benefit of an advertising budget. Just as venues often do, I rely on my members to promote their own appearances on the site, on the blog, on the podcast, and on the Youtube Channel. Word-of-mouth is more powerful than most people realize. And for someone like me, a simple mention means everything. But no matter the amount of exposure, I have always been gifted with the ability to look back on the catalog of work I have generated and be proud. To your friend or family member in a band, I know I am able to add value to their musical efforts. Bringing artists together and introducing opportunity has been the fire that fuels me.

In the back of my mind, I have always gone back and forth between the “I” and the “we”. I’ve never been one to pander to image. And I suppose one could say humility plays a role in this as well. But frequently, the impression one leaves with another can open a few doors down the road. Throughout 2023, I have found myself erasing the “we” in communications online and replacing it with “I”. I have found myself reminding… myself that I am doing these things. That I don’t have a staff. I have myself, a freelance programmer, and the occasional article contributed by those interested. Conversely, I do believe there is always a bit of “we” at play. By that, I mean the musicians, music businesses, and fans that decide to join, the people that read the articles, watch the videos, and listen to the podcasts, and all those who simply mention the site to another, make up this sector. Despite my hours on the phone, on the road to interviews, and behind this keyboard, those supporters may very well be the tipping point for this website’s success. And once again, like a musician, a little bit of blind faith comes into play. At any rate, in an effort to remain transparent as well as hold myself accountable, I have committed to publishing a “year in review” article every year. I do hope this also serves to demonstrate merit and possibly garner the interest (and membership) of more people.

In year two of being in business, I have onboarded forty-nine new members, bringing the total to one-hundred and four. New members included forty-one bands, a music label, two recording studios, an online music magazine, and four fans. Yes, a little-known feature on the site is that fans can register for free as well. Their benefits for joining include store discounts, the ability to list in the classifieds, and the ability to message bands. I published twenty-three podcast episodes, twenty-seven articles, and fifty-four videos. Instead of commercials in the middle of those podcast episodes, I pick a new member, talk about their band, and play the audience a snip of their work. The statistics I see tell me that thousands of people have been exposed to the artists in those features. Fun fact: some of the interview subjects requested the art I generated from their interview promotions. I gladly furnished them the designs and they were able to use it for their own projects. I also added to’s playlists. I have professional accounts on sixteen platforms. Each contains eighteen playlists named by genre. And the number of tracks from my members that I added is literally too many to count. More often than not, I have added their whole catalog. I know that this has lead to more exposure for my members.

Aside from these advances, I also enjoyed a bit of publicity this year. I was a guest on the Getting to Know You podcast where I spoke about my life as a Captain and a president of a music network. I was also a guest on the Music of America podcast. This one was special to me because I was able to select three site members to talk about on that show. I was also able to play their music. And I know this brought them to a new and far-reaching audience. I was featured in an article in The American Press which described what is doing for musicians in Louisiana. And I was also featured in CanvasRebel, an online entrepreneurial magazine. I look back on all these instances with dignity. But what stood out to me was that, in each feature, I described my mission in different ways. They all contained the same message. But all too often you see a mission statement from a company that reads the same across all fronts. Sometimes it makes me question the authenticity of those words. Regardless, my guest appearances, my articles, my videos, and my podcast have all contributed to the traffic that frequents This has been my way of bringing value to the site and its members.

The time I spent interviewing Vinnie Labella was probably the moment that I was closest to someone that had not only performed in front of hundreds of thousands of people, but had honestly revolutionized the world of thrash music. I’ll always say the interview I did with Vinnie was the worst recording of the best interview I’ve done to date. That was the day one of my lav mics decided to start shorting out. And audio editing for that podcast episode became a Macgyver act that even I am surprised I pulled off.  But I felt as though we really connected. And because of that, I was able to bring the most comprehensive look at his life to my audience and his fans. In all his years touring the seven continents and sitting before countless reporters, this had never been done before. Not to mention, it was revealed that Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritual, etc) was actually a member of Exhorder at one point. Which had not been known to anyone. I was the only person he agreed to talk to since his split from Exhorder three years preceding. And he was approached by many distinguished magazines to get that story. It was an important moment in music history.

I think the interview that held the most cultural importance was the one I did with Wayne Kahn. His altruistic intent for the historical audio and video he has come into possession of is reassuring. The contributions to the Smithsonian Folkways and his current plans to immortalize the chronicles of one of America’s founding families in zydeco music is commendable, to say the least. He was able to illustrate the importance of the Carrier family to my audience, regardless of their preference or unawareness of zydeco music. After publishing, I watched the statistics and social interactions on his interview closely. And I was able to connect him with a prominent music documentarian.

The interview that I believe held the most importance for the musical heritage of New Orleans would be the Chris Beary interview. Together, with Grammy Associate Director Reid Wick and a board of national and local influential members of the music community, the Louisiana Music and Heritage Experience will soon become the most important music heritage museum in the state. I was able to bring the news of this massive music museum to my audience. Also, I was able to line up one of my members, Pocket Chocolate, with Chris who then booked them for the Funky Uncle Live 8-Night Jam. They were able to share the stage with musicians like Grammy Award winner Leo Nocentelli, and both Leo and Russel Batiste.

Something else happened that I thought was really cool. Someone I interviewed in 2022 was featured in an article on in 2023. The article contained a video segment of my interview with him. I always feature music from members in my video intros. They are often-times from a member other than the one I am interviewing. I include a full screen credit with album art for the musician whose music I use. So, as a result of that, the musician in the intro got a spot in a prominent website article just for being a member. I did observe traffic and watch-time increase on that video. So, I know his music gained exposure through that inclusion.

Looking ahead into 2024, I hope to continue to onboard musicians and music industry professionals throughout Louisiana to as well as keep pace with my current rate of publications on the podcast, the Youtube Channel, and the blog. I cannot begin to explain how much I have enjoyed meeting and speaking with these people about their lives. I maintain contact with each and every one of them. Not only because of a vested interest on a personal level. But because the very crux of is the network itself. It is what allows me the privilege of bringing opportunity to my members. For this coming year, I will also need to pay more attention to possible avenues of income for while preserving my commitment to always keeping it free to use for everyone. One particular statistic I left out in this year-in-review is the amount of money I spent this year on It’s in the five digits. I’ve been so focused on promoting bands and generating media that I haven’t really given the importance of (at least) breaking even its due. I’ve never cared much for the act of putting a price on one’s passion. But I also never realized the digital age could deliver such hefty bills! Once again, like many musicians out there, 2023 has seen me wince at the price of pursuing one’s passion, as well as things like gasoline and Enfamil. I must admit this will not be an easy task for me. I do have a donation page, but that has been crickets. I understand what it’s like to live hand-to-mouth. So, I’ve not expected much on that front. If anyone knows of any effective grant writers or fund-raising entities that would be a fit, I’m all ears. But in the words of author and educator Marsha Sinetar, “Do what you love and the money will follow.”

PS – If anyone would like to help spread the word, I have postcards and stickers. Send me your address and I’ll get those out to you for free. Thanks!

Author: David Trahan




Start by creating a profile on Be sure to fill in all the blanks and upload a song. With your registration, you can message other bands and businesses in the industry. You can also list on the show calendar and music classifieds. And any tracks you have on the 12 streaming platforms we are a member of will be added to our public playlists on those platforms. Your music presence online has just doubled!

Short Questionnaire

Because you uploaded at least one track, you are e-mailed a questionnaire. This contains questions about your band’s style, inspiration, and history. Once this is returned, you will be featured in our podcast. Instead of commercials half-way through every episode, we shout out our members. We draw our discussion from your questionnaire answers, and then play an example of your work for the audience to hear.

Upload a video

Once you are a member, you are able to upload videos. This would preferably be footage related to your band, and you do this from your profile. Your video is displayed on your profile, as well as our Videos page. And it will appear on our Youtube Channel as well. We will also began promoting your video on social media. You’re one of the family now. We’ve got you!

Inquire about an interview

Contact us via e-mail, social, or by phone and inquire about being interviewed. After we verify that you have a complete account with us, we confirm your eligibility and place you in the interview pool. We choose all our interviews from this group, making sure to cover every genre. Our interviews result in several Youtube videos, an article on our blog, and a podcast episode on our show.

Becoming a member of NOM means many things….

In becoming a member of our growing network of Louisiana musicians, you gain many advantages. This site is not like facebook and other social media sites. It exists strictly for networking purposes. We are onboarding Louisiana bands currently, and will move on to filling Vendor directories soon. These will include venues, sound & light companies, recording studios, and the like from all over the world. Our goal is to empower Louisiana’s talent with tools while remaining exclusive to bands from our state. This is why we only accept bands from Louisiana. Members can message other bands or vendors directly within the site at any time. I created this site and personally keep in touch with its members. Promotional material that our members create is shared constantly on our social. You will begin to see your show announcements shared by us. Promotional material that we create for our interviewees is shared repeatedly on social for months. Any leads on gigs that we generate are sent to members first. We have assisted in filling spots at venues, in movies, and on podcasts. Members’ song plays are tracked through our site and those with the most plays earn placement as Artist of the Month. There are three chosen per month. Those bands are given a spot at the top of our home page with a graphic and link. I look forward to getting to know your band and fulfilling your needs. And remember, I will NEVER ask you for money. I have created a line of merchandise and an account at BuyMeaCoffee to help support my efforts. With enough eyes and ears, I also hope to generate money from Youtube and podcast ads. Any money generated from this site goes right back into it, back into supporting Louisiana’s independent artists.

Author: David Trahan


Do I Need an EPK?

Spiders are born knowing how to spin a web. Fish are born knowing how to swim. Humans, on the other hand, are born only knowing how to suck. And I say that to say this… as musicians, we have no innate knowledge of what it is we need to survive this musical landscape.

In any given situation, communication is king. If you can convey your message without losing your audience’s attention, you win. Sometimes a win just means holding their attention for those few minutes. Because through repetition, they will become familiar. And through familiarity comes a comfort of sorts, which gives way to curiosity. “Oh, I remember seeing something about them. Who are they?” And then you’re in.

Or, you’re up, I should say. Now it’s time to lay out the goods. And you do have the goods, right? Sure! This is your last album, your latest song, your newest merch, etc. But this is all geared toward the consumer. What about the music professional? What “goods” do you have for that person? You can’t lay down consumer goods for this person because they don’t care about any of it. And you can forget a hokey motivational band vision or personal perspective. In comes the EPK, or electronic press kit. Now there are EPK builders out there for free or a fee, and these are just to name a few:,,, But rather than allow mass distributed templates be your guide, I would recommend doing your own research on what exactly it is your target wants or expects to see and hear. I’m going to outline a short list of what many would agree are the industry standards. I might recommend a cover letter just to introduce your band. This is something used in all professions and you can easily look up its inclusions online.

  1. A biography – This will consist of a brief history of the band, as well as a current roster. If your band is new, I’d sub the band history for individual members’ past bands and preferred style of music. But definitely keep this short and focused on notable highlights because this is merely the set-up.
  2. Visual media – Everybody likes some good eye candy, right? Just make sure its high resolution. Low res gives ‘em indigestion, and they’ll surely quit biting. So, a few still photos of the band are in there. And mix it up; maybe one of you all posing, and the rest on stage in your element. If at all possible, be sure to include a video. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a professionally shot music video. Your band performing will suffice in its absence. But please, sub your recorded track for the live audio. Nothings grinds my gears more than a band video submission that sounds like it was shot in a cavernous, echoey wind tunnel.
  3. Stats – No matter the catcher you’re pitching to, these people are bean counters in essence. They need factual verification that your band is worth investing time or money into. So yes, your previous show attendances are important here. You might say, well David, our show attendances are shiyte man! We’re not playing stadiums over here! That’s ok people. Along with those attendance numbers should be club capacity numbers. This will frame things into perspective. Another stat to include is your social media following (boo, hiss). I know. But despite the field being littered with vanity metrics, this number illustrates potential at the very least; the potential of your band to gather ears and eyes, as well as the potential of the social media account holder to DIY. Take, for instance, a promoter’s standpoint. If the band isn’t going to do all they can to draw a crowd, they’re not worth risking the investment. And you can present this proof of work succinctly by making use of your platform profile’s statistics page. I might also point out here that, in constructing this portion of your EPK, you too will see where your band lacks. And this will give focus to your band priorities.
  4. Demo – Now this one may seem like a no brainer. But the manner in which it is presented comes into question. We’re dealing with a completely digital experience. So, your music is going to exhibit your flaws, flawlessly. If you don’t have a quality recording, go make one and revisit this article when you’re done. With that being said, how shall you present this quality piece of audio? You want the professional to hear you, but you don’t want to draw them away from your EPK. So, if you’re going to store your music online and furnish a link in the EPK, make sure it opens up in a new tab on their desktop. This way when they’re finished listening, they won’t have to retrace their steps in the browser to get back to your EPK. If you’re storing your whole EPK online and providing them that EPK’s link in your initial contact, you can embed a player in your EPK. I recommend both. Not only am I the type to cover all bases in preparation for a presentation. But people have mixed preferences for various reasons. Some recipients might not want to blindly click your unfamiliar link, exposing their computer to possible viruses. So, including an emailed link to your whole EPK is out for them. And some may have filters set on their email client to refute html in the body of emails. So, embedding a player within the email itself is out for them. You can attach an Mp3. But understand emails have data limits. So, make sure you can also fit that video in your email along with this Mp3. A third option, and probably your best, is creating a PDF file. This can reduce data issues and group your media into a sweet portfolio. But if you opt not to go that route and run into data issues, complete songs or videos aren’t a necessity. If the talent is there and you’re the right one got the gig, they’ll know before your song is even finished playing.
  5. Press – This one is a favorite of mine, selfishly. Because, in covering the scene, it’s part of what I do here at If you’ve had any album reviews, any show reviews, any interviews… this is their time to shine. In my opinion, the best way to present this is to include a notable quote contained in that review or interview about your band or song. And then be sure to cap that off with the link to that press piece. Because in the court of public opinion, the quote alone is considered here-say. And again, if you’ve led them to your EPK stored online, make sure this opens in a new tab. Keep your captive captivated!
  6. Contact Info – I’d like to dispel a few myths here. Some say a Gmail seems more legit than a Yahoo or other email provider. This, in my eyes, is nonsense. Just make sure you respond, as they say in Acadiana, toot sweet. That means quick, fast, and in a hurry. And hey, SPELL CHECK all correspondences! Another myth is that it’s wise to pose as the manager for your band and include that contact info in place of your own personal info. Maybe that gets you places with some, I really can’t say. I’ve always been of the school of thought to let your work speak for itself. If you conduct yourself in a professional manner, you will be treated like a professional. And being spotted as a fake is perhaps the most unprofessional thing you could do. So, with all of that out the way, just be sure to include multiple forms of contact; email, phone, social media, all of which you monitor religiously.

So, these are the bones of this monster. Now to whom shall we send our Frankenstein? The usual suspects consist of A&Rs, Talent Buyers, and National/ International Press. But these days there’s also playlist curators and bloggers to think about. One character I definitely want to throw in this mix is a Music Supervisor. Because sync licensing is an excellent way to get your music into the ears of people who weren’t even looking for you in the first place. Sync licensing paves the way for your music to be included in film. And this would entail a ton of streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, as well as online destinations like Youtube and Vimeo. So, let’s not forget about sending that guy your EPK as well. The point here is to realize that your EPK must contain utility for not only a record exec., but a music supervisor, someone who books shows, or someone who publishes on playlists or blogs. Its job is to depict your band from multiple angles of utility.

When I was a kid, I kept a binder. In it were my own drawings of men and women; soldiers, if you will. Picture something like G.I. JOE. I gave them as much visual detail as a kid could, complete with weapons. I listed their strengths, weaknesses, and back stories. And it didn’t matter that this binder had no particular use. I thought it was the greatest. Often times we build things the way we see fit. Not understanding that the rest of the world sees things differently. It may take us a long time to build a solid band, a cohesive set list, an image, an EPK, etc. And when we’re done, because of all the hard work we put into this thing, we feel as though it has strength and weight in the world. Our perception is skewed though, by the manifestation of our vision. Suffice it to say that other people have other visions. And that’s to be expected. But within that you cannot discount the importance of industry standard. For many, it is the only known way to operate. And any deviation from this may spell trouble for a band trying to get from one side of Mr. Important’s desk to the other.

BUT! (there’s always a but) As our friend in marketing, Mr. Seth Godin, once said in his famed book The Purple Cow, “The key to success is to find a way to stand out – to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins.” And that’s one big, important rump roast of “but” right there! Because when considering your band for their project, I guarantee you most if not all of the business figures listed above ask themselves, what makes this band different from any of the others I’ve reviewed today?

So, in closing, I’d like to advise you to cover the industry standards as well as encourage you to add just a little bit extra, in substance as well as fashion. Perhaps the cover letter dubs your band “Tragic magic in a bottle…”. Or maybe your demo includes the person’s name you’re pitching to, “HEY SMITH! LISTEN TO THIS!…” I could walk you through the birds and bees when it comes to how to be different and stand out to that desired significant other. But to be honest, we must all find our own way in this game. And I do prefer to reserve strategic guidance for members of my website. Throughout all of this, I want you to realize that like life, your EPK is not over once you write it. It is a constantly moving, growing, living story. And you should be always revising it and adding to it like a diary. I wish you all the best of luck in your journeys. And I thank you for taking the time to read this.   

Author: David Trahan Podcast can be found on these platforms.