“Young people [are an] underserved population when it comes to the music industry.” That’s the point our guest Andre Middleton drives home on this week’s episode of The Future of What. In our discussion with Middleton (Friends of Noise, RACC) and Todd Fadel (The Meow Meow), we look at the logistics and pitfalls of starting and sustaining an all ages venue. Like many cities with rising rents and strict liquor laws, Portland has seen a slew of beloved all ages venues close in the last decade. Many people, young and old, still see the value in all ages venues. We talk with Claire Gunville (Semi Ok Collective) and Maya Stoner (Sabonis), both in their early twenties, about building an inclusive all ages community even without venues to turn to. The Vera Project in Seattle is often lauded for their all ages model, and their Talent Buyer Andrea Friedman gives us the low down on how they’ve survived for so long.
You’ve put your music out there and built a solid fan base, but you may still be missing an integral part of your team — a person who could help bring your career to the next level. Band managers play a key role in the trajectory of an act, and by overseeing the business side of the group can allow the artist to put their energy into making music. We talk with three knowledgeable managers about what they do, what it takes to be an effective business partner and what artists can do to maximize their success.
If women and girls are one of the fastest growing markets in the music industry, shouldn’t they be better represented in media? That’s what some, like our guests this week, are striving to do. A greater number of magazines and blogs oriented toward women and girls means that many of these aspiring musicians can finally recognize themselves in the publications they consume. But giving focus to women musicians isn’t just a good cause — it’s a good business investment. This week we host a roundtable to talk media and its portrayal of women musicians. Joining us are online editor of Bitch Media Sarah Mirk, founder of She Shreds Magazine Fabi Reyna, and Mindy Abovitz, founder of Tom Tom Magazine.
Could two multi-million dollar lawsuits be the downfall of one of music’s most popular streaming services? Earlier this year, two class-actions were brought against streaming giant Spotify by musicians David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick. The plaintiffs allege that Spotify knowingly distributes copyrighted material without obtaining the proper licenses. So what do these suits mean for musicians and the industry as a whole? We discuss with lead plaintiff Melissa Ferrick, lawyers Howell O’Rear and Chris Castle, and musician and music lawyer Christiane Kinney.
How do you get your music on the “it” blog or radio station? When should you hire a publicist? What does a publicist even do? These questions are common among young musicians looking for their break. In our second installment of Music 101, we talk to tastemakers Sharlese Metcalf (KEXP) and Brandon Stosuy (Pitchfork) about how they discover new artists, then publicist Nathan Walker (Riot Act Media) gives some advice on promoting your band.
In an industry where it’s difficult to make a living, musicians have had to become more and more creative to survive, especially with shrinking royalties in their pockets. One way some artists have managed to succeed is to tap into — or create — a niche market. Whether it’s inventing a new genre or signing to an obscure label, their stories prove that there’s not just one path to success in the music business. Our guests on this episode share their unique approaches to what they do. We hear from Simon Tam, founder of Asian American dance rock band The Slants, who saw a lucrative opportunity in playing anime conventions. Charmaine Clamor, creator of Jazzipino, a genre combining Filipino folk songs with American jazz and blues, also joins us. Finally we talk with Eric Isaacson, founder of Portland’s enigmatic Mississippi Records.