Album artwork is often a listener’s first impression of a record, so how does an artist successfully represent their music visually? We brought together graphic designers and music people for a panel at Design Week Portland to discuss the creative and conceptual collaborations that go into designing a record. Hear insight from designers Adam R. Garcia (Instrument, The Pressure), Tawfiq Mardini, Lead Designer at Fresh Selects Records, and Joe Stewart (Work & Co.), who’s behind many of Xiu Xiu’s album covers. You’ll also get the perspective of label leaders Aaron Meola (Label Manager at Tender Loving Empire) and Jenny Logan (President of XRAY Records).
Portland, OR is one of many cities that have become known as hubs of creativity. The city’s “maker culture” includes a large community of creators of music gear. In fact, you could put together an entire stage set up and backline just using instruments and gear made in Portland. On this episode, we hear about how some of these businesses got started and how the city’s development has affected their industry. Guests include Philip Graham of microphone company Ear Trumpet Labs, Chris Benson of Benson Amps, and Saul Koll of Koll Guitar Co.
Last year, outlets like the Washington Post lamented the decline of the electric guitar and the supposed absence of American guitar heroes. In September of 2017, She Shreds Magazine published an article called “We Are The 50%: The Truth Behind the Supposed Decline of the Guitar,” pushing back against this narrative. On this episode, we talk with the author of the piece, Natalie Baker, She Shreds Magazine editor-in-chief Fabi Reyna, Alicia Bognanno (Bully), and Trade Up Music manager Alexa Marmon about what’s really going on in the guitar industry.
“Where Are All the Female Producers?” “Why Aren’t There More Women Working in Audio?” Why don’t more women “step up” in music? These are just some of the questions that continue to baffle the mainstream music industry. Yet, there are (and have been) many talented women working in recording. On this episode, we talk to people like Madeleine Campbell (Accessible Recording), Terri Winston (Women’s Audio Mission), and Andrew Jones (The Nest), who are all working toward broader inclusion and accessibility in recording.
These days there’s nothing but data out there — social media statistics, Spotify artist insights, info about who your fans are, where they are, and when they listen to your music. But what do you do with all this data? And who is really benefiting from it? Experts Kevin Erickson (Future of Music Coalition), Erica Sinkovic (CD Baby), Susie Giang (APA), and Zeke Howard (Trailboss) join Portia to discuss how artists can put their data to work.
The stereotype of “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll” is pervasive in music. The music business often fosters an environment where addiction is the norm, but many artists and industry professionals who are in recovery have successfully stayed in the industry. Today, we talk to a few of those people about their experiences, advice for those who are struggling, and resources like MusiCares. We hear from Gene Bowen, founder of Road Recovery, Slim Moon, founder of Kill Rock Stars, and Rob Crow of Pinback.