Episode #25: 2015 In Review

Episode #25: 2015 In Review

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What do Justin Bieber and weird punk have in common? Well, not much, but we cover both on our last show of the year, where we celebrate the year in music. We also get into 2015 trends in shoegaze pop, comedy, feminism, top 40, and more. Portia brings in the Kill Rock Stars crew, James Reling and Ben Parrish, to hear their favorite songs of 2015. We then wrap up the year with Kiran Gandhi, activist, musician, and former drummer for M.I.A. to talk about major trends in music and what the phrase “The Future is Female” means to her.

Episode #24: The Re-Issue Revolution

Episode #24: The Re-Issue Revolution

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Independent labels have long been at the forefront of bringing great music to the public, especially lost gems and overlooked greats that went out of print or were never pressed on any other format than vinyl. Today we talk reissues with the labels Yep Roc and Light in the Attic, as well as talking to one of the bands whose output is receiving the reissue treatment: seminal pub rock band Eggs Over Easy. Yep Roc’s General Manager Billy Maupin discusses reissues in general, and Light in the Attic’s Matt Sullivan gives us the scoop on tracking down enigmatic folk musician Sixto Rodriguez, and more!

Episode #23: Subscriber Share

Episode #23: Subscriber Share

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Subscribers pay about $10 a month for most streaming services — with that kind of cash, shouldn’t musicians be making more from these platforms? For their short history, music streaming services have operated by putting all of their subscription revenue into one big pool. The pool is then divided by the total number of plays — this is called the pro rata method. Some people believe that this system is ripping customers off. Why shouldn’t your money go directly to the artists you’re listening to rather than into the big pool? Today on The Future of What, we talk to two of the people championing a new way of streaming called subscriber share, Sharky Laguana and Dick Huey. We also talk with Tim Quirk, formerly of Google Play, who argues against subscriber share.

Episode #22: The Future of Indies

Episode #22: The Future of Indies

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In this episode, Portia moderates a SF Music Tech panel entitled “The Future of Indies,” that was chock full of laughs and indie stalwarts of the past, present and future. Her panelists included: Molly Neuman (A2IM, Lookout! Records, Bratmobile), Bruce Pavitt (Sub Pop, 8Stem), Amy Dietz (INgrooves), Christiane Kinney (LeClairRyan), and Kevin Breuner (CD Baby). The panel discussed their individual introductions to music and the music industry, and provided advice to both musicians and tech entrepreneurs from their unique vantage points inside the industry.

Episode #21: Future of Music Policy Summit

Episode #21: Future of Music Policy Summit

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For the 15th annual Future of Music Summit, we headed to Washington DC for a special taping of The Future What. Portia talked with musician and innovator Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs about her creative process, puppeteering past and more. Then we sat down with Tim Quirk, founder of Freeform Development Inc. and former Google Play exec.

Episode #20: Man vs. Machine

Episode #20: Man vs. Machine

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On the front page of Pandora’s website, there’s a statement that says “It’s a new kind of radio — stations that play only music you like.” How can it be that Pandora knows what you’ll enjoy? Isn’t liking music purely up to personal taste? Pandora, like many other digital music platforms, uses a complex algorithm to predict what their listeners want to hear. Other services employ human beings to curate their music discovery systems. So who’s the more effective tastemaker? Man, or machine? On today’s episode we tackle this question with writer and consultant Jim McDermott, then talk to two people who get paid to listen to music all day: New Music Scout and Artist Relations Manager for Marmoset Brandon Day and Rumblefish’s Senior Music Supervisor William Nix.