Music Writer Eric R. Danton Joins Fluence

Fluence builds software for people who share and receive media actively. For fun or business, our platform helps curators, journalists, bloggers, DJs, writers, and other tastemakers manage the media submitted to them, give feedback, and share.

Eric R. Danton is one of the latest people to start using Fluence. He is a prolific contributor and journalist for The Wall Street Journal, Salon, Paste MagazineM Music & Musicians,,, and more. The Fluence team is super-jazzed to feature Eric and share more from him.

Eric R. Danton on Fluence

Eric has contributed to “Schools That Rock: The Rolling Stone College Guide” and American Songwriter, as well as the bygone publications, No Depression, Performing Songwriter, and He was also rock critic at the Hartford Courant in Connecticut from 2002-2012 and regularly appears on the Best New Song of the Week segment on WRSI-FM in Northampton, Mass.

We had the chance to ask Eric a few questions about his career and highly enjoyed his recommendations for finding fresh cultural news and emerging artists. Take a look!

You’re now one of the foremost writers on music and pop culture for, The Wall Street Journal, Salon, and more. During the start of your career, what motivated you to begin writing about music?

I started as a news reporter who wrote about music on the side. It was a way to engage with something I love and have been fascinated with since I was a kid, and it didn’t hurt that it meant getting free CDs, either.

Did you ever receive a piece of inspiring advice from someone early in your career?

When I started as the rock critic at The Hartford Courant in 2002, I asked David Segal, then the critic at the Washington Post, what advice he had for a newbie? His take: “listen to as much music as you can, read as much about it as you can and cover the beat as if you were a foreign correspondent, bringing your readers reports from a place many of them will never go.” Great advice, all of it.

Who are three music writers you deeply respect?

Jon Pareles at The New York Times is the best music writer in the country, period. He has deep knowledge, far-reaching taste and an enviable elegance of style. I also greatly admire the late, great Ellen Willis for her smart criticism and conversational style, and Michael Azerrad, whose book ‘Our Band Could Be Your Life‘ is essential reading.

Do you have any favorite websites or avenues for finding new artists or cultural news?

The best way to find artists is by word of mouth from trusted sources (friends, certain publicists, writers you respect) and by listening to a lot of music, which seemingly shows up of its own accord in substantial quantities.

The New Yorker, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Paste magazine, NPR and Salon are all in regular rotation for cultural news.

What single piece of advice would you give to aspiring or emerging artists?

Don’t be boring.

Follow Eric’s Tumblr here to read some of his outstanding reviews, and check out Listen Dammit to get your rock ’n’ roll fix. You can send media directly to Eric here. Eric doesn’t charge anything to review your media, so don’t be shy! It’s easy and free.

Request a beta account for your own profile here, and we’ll get you set up as we build the system. If you’re looking to get feedback and exposure for your media, send it to curators and experts here on Fluence.

Meet Ali Spagnola on Fluence

Meet Ali Spagnola – ingenious musician, creator of the Power Hour Album, artist behind the Free Paintings Project, and beer-shotgunner extraordinaire:

Ali’s winning and hilarious personality have charmed 1.54+ million people on Twitter alone, and she’s blazed a highly-successful career path worthy of emulation by anyone looking to harness and promote their talents in new ways.

We were beyond excited when Ali joined the Fluence community and gave us the opportunity to ask her a few questions:

In addition to your painting, design, and music composition talents, you’ve built a highly successful music career around the “Power Hour” drinking game concept. How did the whole story start? What gave you the idea?

It started when I was playing boring shows, strumming a guitar in a coffee shop. It was hard to get people excited to hear me as a new artist with new music. I knew I wanted my concert to be more like a party, so I combined the drinking game with my live show and the rest is history.

Do you have a favorite beer?

I really don’t. When I’m drinking beer to taste the beer (as opposed to a “stunt beer” that I’d use for a Power Hour or other games) I like to try craft brews. Most of the time with craft brews, you’re looking to try something new every time. So I guess my favorite beer is whatever new one I’m having next.

Any big news upcoming for your projects in 2014?

I’m working on a new album! This time the songs aren’t all necessarily a minute or necessarily about drinking but they are necessarily awesome. I’ve also been doing my “Most Googled Song” webshow since the beginning of the year. A song and video about one of Google’s trending topics every week!

What are some of your favorite websites and resources?

I loooooove Evernote. I use it all day every day for my multiple projects. I love Evernote so much, I wish I could grind it up and snort it.

What advice would you give to undiscovered and aspiring artists?

Find a way to stand out. The world is full of talented artists screaming to get attention. Make sure you have a reason to deserve that attention above all the rest.


If you’d like to get Ali’s advice and feedback on your music or ideas, you can send them directly to her queue here on Fluence. You can also go here to read a recent success story featuring Ali and other curators on Fluence.

Creators of all kinds can sign up here to submit music, ideas, and videos for free on Fluence. Creators can also send media directly to the queues of specific curators they desire; the cost of doing so is simply the rate at which each selected curator and expert charges for their own time to watch or listen to the submission. Fluence tracks each second someone spends on a submission to give creators a fair, transparent way to receive exposure and feedback.

Curators can learn more here about the tools we’re building to help manage the demand for your time, attention, and expertise by requesting an invitation here.

Next time you throw a party, make the good times better with Ali’s Power Hour, and don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy Ali’s dance moves in ‘Trappy Bird’ from her recent Most Googled Song webshow!

Fluence Music Expert: Claudio Gallo (Bad Panda Records)


Beware The Bad Panda…

We’re proud to welcome Claudio Gallo to our community of curators on Fluence! Claudio is the Founder and Head of Bad Panda Records. Claudio is also a Music Business and Information Strategist at Stereomood.

Bad Panda Records showcases a wide range of electronic-based genres and has a special approach to running a Netlabel. Every Monday they feature a new release for free download under the Creative Commons license. Their goal is to encourage creativity and exposure for the featured artists in the form of downloads, remixes and sharing.

The concept has exploded since its inception in 2009 with over 170 releases and followers reaching well over 150,000 on Soundcloud alone. Bad Panda Records now stands as one of the established champions on the forefront of the Free Music Movement and provides a powerful platform for DIY musicians to broadcast their creations.

We had the honor of connecting with Claudio for an interview to ask him some questions. Here is Bad Panda’s latest mixtape for your listening pleasure as Claudio talks to us about Bad Panda and more:


You’re one of the most successful record labels championing creative commons. How did the whole story start? What gave you the idea?

I developed the idea while realizing that the listening unit was switching from albums to singles and moving from a passive Read-Only culture to a Read/Write one. That’s why Bad Panda cares about Creative Commons licenses and is mostly focused on single releases.

Any big news for upcoming for Bad Panda Records in 2014?

Exciting singles and emerging acts. New albums from Indian Wells and Populous plus a brand new website and platform!

What are your secrets to finding great music?

Listening a lot via different sources like Soundcloud, Hype Machine, Bandcamp, This Is My Jam and 22tracks.

What are some of your favorite websites and blogs?

Excluding the ones mentioned above, Twitter and Songkick.

Among my favorite blogs: The Needle Drop, XLR8R, Nialler9, The Quietus, Drownedinsound, Stadiums & Shrines, iso50.

What advice would you give to undiscovered and aspiring artists?

Be true, be passionate, don’t give up. Research and make your own kind of music.


We are beyond excited to have Claudio join Fluence! You can checkout his profile, and send your tracks for advice, feedback, and consideration here.

Our community on Fluence also includes experts in Filmmaking, Music Licensing, A&R, Journalism, PR & Branding, Music & Film Production, Audio Mastering, Radio Production, Music Writing, Venture Capital, and more.

Join Fluence for free here to start receiving advice and exposure for your creations.

P.S. If you choose not to send your creations to Claudio, we leave you with a message of caution from BPR:

“Beware The Bad Panda…Plotting a creative revolution and pressing beautiful things since ‘09.”


Brian Hazard on Fluence

Fluence Music Expert: Brian Hazard (Color Theory)

Our goal with Fluence is to bring creators and curators together. We’re thrilled every time a new expert joins our community, and wanted to introduce you to the man behind Color Theory.

In case you haven’t heard of it, Color Theory is Brian Hazard’s music project with 9 full-length albums blending a unique combination of new wave and electro synth pop – drawing combined lines of inspiration from Depeche Mode and his roots in classical piano performance. His newest release below is a Pet Shop Boys cover collaboration between Matt Mancid and Heather Alden of Faded Paper Figures.

Color Theory’s music is available here on his website to buy.

Brian also uses his accomplished music engineering skills to run the highly successful Resonance Mastering studio in Huntington Beach, California.

With over 1.1 million Twitter followers, Brian knows how to engage and interact with a large audience. He also publishes his experiences and helpful resources on the blog Passive Promotion, which shares mixing tips along with music promotion strategies.


If you’d like to read more about what Brian’s been up to recently, The Expats’ Post published a recent interview with Brian here.

We are incredibly excited to have Brian join Fluence. His top-notch expertise, passion for promoting, and powerful presence in the music industry are just a few great reasons to get in touch with Brian through Fluence.


Our curator network on Fluence also includes experts in Filmmaking, Music Licensing, A&R, Journalism, PR & Branding, Music & Film Production, Audio Mastering, Radio Production, Music Writing, Venture Capital, and more.

Join Fluence for free here to start receiving advice and exposure for your creations.