Some music services are more “artist friendly” than others, and some might say that Bandcamp is the penultimate in that regard. Unlike other services that charge artists a per year fee for their services, regardless of units sold, Bandcamp is totally free until you sell a song or album, and then their take is only half of what other services charge artists for distribution. In this episode, we speak with Andrew Jervis and Jennifer Elias of Bandcamp about the company’s history and future, and their different roles within the company. We then toggle over to Christopher Kirkley (Sahel Sounds) and Greta Kline (Frankie Cosmos), to get their impressions as long-time Bandcamp users, as label and artist, respectively. We end our episode with a snippet from our Bandcamp subscriber exclusive segment called, “How Did You Get Into Music,” where we talk to singer-songwriter, Laura Veirs, about her past, present and future!
As the music industry continues to shrink, investors have begun to circle around record labels and holders of large back catalogs, likely in the hopes of acquiring large amounts of publishing and master rights for an artificially low price. What do these investors know? In this episode, we explore this topic at length, and try to figure out why investors are spending a lot of money on a “failing” industry, when artists’ core audiences aren’t.
In our second installment of our “Gatekeepers Roundtable,” we speak with Ali Hedrick of The Billions Corporation about some of the new acts that she’s working with, and how they’ve come to her, or vice versa. Christen Green adds to the conversation by telling us about how she ended up working with The Lumineers, among the other notable acts that are a part of Onto Entertainment. We also have Nate Nelson tell us the story about how he ended up at Stones Throw Records via the leaked Madvillain demos, and how his experience there ultimately led him to start Innovative Leisure. Don’t think for a second that this is a puff piece chock full of “success stories.” We dig in, and ask these folks about who they regret passing on, too! Lots of valuable “what not to do” information in this episode.
In this episode, we explore the historical impact of musical videos by looking at the advent and evolution of MTV, and the explosion of YouTube as a format for music, and music videos. We kick off the hour with Courtney Smith, a former programmer for MTV and MTVU, who gives us a bird’s eye view of how videos were selected for air, and how her days with the station were different than the early days. From there we toggle over to Ed Vetri of Wind-Up Records, who explains the importance of music videos to his label’s growth, and the careers of bands like Evanescence and Creed. After that, we catch up with music video director, Alicia J. Rose, and talk to her about what’s changed since she got into the directing game a decade ago. Rounding out the hour is a discussion with Jack Conte, who’s band Pomplamoose has made videos a priority from the outset of their career, which eventually led him to develop the video subscription/patronage website Patreon.
In this episode, we speak with three different musical gatekeepers about what gets them to lower their guard long enough to allow a band safe passage to the next level in their career. Joining us for the discussion is the founder of Kill Rock Stars, Slim Moon, Ken Cheppaikode of Dirtnap Records and Green Noise record shop, and Theo Craig, a well respected booking agent in Portland. Slim tells us how he was won over by Elliott Smith, Ken Cheppaikode tells us how White Wires ended up on Dirtnap, Theo speaks to the beauty of La Luz, and Portia and Slim co-tell the story of how Thao Nguyen made her way onto Kill Rock Stars.
Brooklyn band “Here We Go Magic” is set to release their fourth album with indie label Secretly Canadian on October 15th, and we wanted to explore the process that the album went through from “farm to table.” First we speak with Michael Bloch, guitarist in the band, who explains how he and song writer Luke Temple tackled their first album as a two piece using only rudimentary tools to create a full band, live, in the studio sound. Next we speak with one of Secretly Canadian’s founders, Ben Swanson, and the man responsible for signing “Here We Go Magic,” who tells us why he loves the band and the label’s role in seeing the record through completion. To discuss one of the final links in the chain, we talk with Ian McKinnon, the head of label relations at one of the oldest music streaming services, Rhapsody.