Post authored by Communications Intern Olivia Brown and Communications Associate Kevin Erickson
Last week, we were dismayed to learn that friend of FMC, singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Franz Nicolay was robbed of his computer, tour cash, and passport while on tour in Paris. Franz has long been generous in sharing his insights on the life of a working musician with Futureblog readers. We encourage residents of Europe to go out and support Franz on his remaining tour dates, and everyone else to consider supporting him with a purchase through his Bandcamp page.
This unfortunate episode underscores a point we’ve been making for some time: as journalist Maura Johnston has memorably quipped, “being on the road doesn’t involve plucking bills from Cash Trees lining the highway.” In reality, touring is relentless hard work, and even for streamlined, no-frills acts, it’s not cheap. Even if they plan frugally, many artists ultimately wind up in the red. And it can be risky: thefts like the one Franz experienced are frustratinglycommon.
[…] “It’s been 10 years since Napster, and now we have some perspective,” says Thomson, of the Future of Music Coalition. She says the industry’s efforts to preserve old rules of the business - by limiting digital copies and pursuing people who downloaded music illegally - have failed.
“They had some success, but they can’t get back to the point where there’s forced scarcity. Before 1999, where could you buy records? You could buy them at the store, and you could hear them on the radio. The Internet changed all that.” […]
With concert giants Live Nation and AEG based in Los Angeles, there’s little room for an independent promoter to maneuver. Yet Mitchell Frank and his Spaceland Productions have managed to thrive.
Putting on shows under the Spaceland brand since March 1995, Frank hosts concerts at just three Silver Lake and Echo Park venues — Spaceland, the Echo and the Echoplex. That would seem to put Frank below the radar of most major operations, but in the wake of the Department of Justice giving the green light, albeit with concessions, to a merger between promoter/venue owner Live Nation and ticketing agency/management firm Ticketmaster Entertainment, Frank suddenly finds himself in the unenviable position of making money for the competitor.
The Washington, D.C.-based Future of Music Coalition, a non-profit education and advocacy group for musicians, does not have a stance on the merger, but director Michael Bracy is encouraging the industry to be vocal. The Department of Justice is currently receiving comments on the ruling, as it will for close to another 60 days.
“This is an important time to get on the record, particularly for those who feel it didnâ€™t go far enough,” Bracy said. “Speak now, or forever hold your peace.” read more