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.
In this episode, we dig deep into the “Fair Music: Transparency and Money Flows in the Music Industry” report recently presented by the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE). Joining us for the discussion are Panos Panay (founder of BerkleeICE and SonicBids), David Lowery (songwriter for Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, writer at The Trichordist), Mike Huppe (CEO of SoundExchange), and Jeremy DeVine (founder of Temporary Residence Ltd.).
At the height of the vinyl industry, over a billion units were being pressed per year in the United States. But, after the advent of the cassette and compact disc, vinyl production numbers dipped down into the hundreds of thousands. Now that vinyl “is back”, and production figures are back up in the millions, what does this mean for the music industry, exactly? For major labels, and their high-dollar re-issue box sets, its been a welcome source of “new” revenue, but for many of the independent labels, that kept the format alive throughout the downturn, this vinyl resurgence has resulted in longer wait times and lower quality product — at a time when demand for their product has never been higher.
In this episode, we ask several notable comedians the question, “Is comedy the new punk rock?” Naturally, the answers varied from comedian to comedian, but the discussions were all very insightful and frank when discussing the similarities and differences between the two arts. Amy Miller draws parallels between punk rock shows and stand-up nights, Nathan Brannon talks about taking his politics as a person onstage as a comedian, and Hari Kondabolu talks about the fine line between comedy and political activism, and what people’s expectations are when they buy tickets to see him perform.
A lot of discussion has been had recently about the resurgence of vinyl, but there are other formats that are also increasing in market share within the industry. In this episode, we talk with Anna Bond (Rough Trade Records) and Amanda Brown (Not Not Fun Records) about vinyl, and Shawn and Lee from Burger Records about their success in the cassette world. We also talk to Gavin Godfrey (Creative Loafing) about the mixtape/CD-R culture still very much alive in Atlanta.