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.
When talking about music’s devaluation over the past decade, its nearly impossible to avoid sites like Grooveshark as part of the discussion. Join us this week as we explore how music became free, as we talk to Aram Sinnreich and Stephen Witt about their new books that focus on piracy, bootleggers, and anti-copyright religions. Jim Mahoney and Ari Herstand also take part in the discussion, and talk about the ongoing game of whack-a-mole with the file sharing site, Grooveshark.
On April 13, Congressman Jerrold Nadler introduced the “Fair Play, Fair Act” (H.R. 1733) into congress. The bill itself is designed to create a level performance royalty for artists across all listening platforms, instead of having different amounts paid to artists depending on whether or not the audience chooses to listen on terrestrial radio, satellite radio, or online. In this episode, Portia speaks directly to the congressman about the creation of the bill, and then toggles over to Ted Kalo of musicFIRST to talk about the likelihood of the bill’s passing. Valerie Day of the band Nu Shooz (best known for their 1986 hit “I Can’t Wait”) closes the hour with a frank discussion about how much she’s made from thirty years of radio play in the U.S.
In this episode, Portia discusses the changing nature of scenes with Jon Fine (the author of “Your Band Sucks”), Marnie Stern (8G Band), and Claudia Meza (Explode Into Colors). In the age of the internet, are local, geographically specific music scenes important to artists success anymore? Tune in and find out what these folks have to say on the subject!