The Dear NOLA Benefit Concert, which raises money for the Louisiana nonprofit organizations Sweet Home New Orleans and Gulf Restoration Network, goes down February 17 at Blue Nile in New Orleans. The New Orleans brass band Bonerama will play with guests like Mirah, members of Rogue Wave and DeVotchKa, DJ Spooky, Cody ChesnuTT, Sage Francis, Dead Prez’s M1, and Tsunami’s Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson.
In early January, President Barack Obama signed the Local Community Radio Act of 2010, which is expected to create hundreds, possibly thousands, of noncommercial FM stations. The new law brings into effect much of what Kennard’s FCCset in motion more than a decade ago.
We live in a world of seemingly infinite choices: Press the remote control and you can watch documentaries, cartoons, dramas and talent shows. Click the mouse and you can play video games, listen to music, watch movies or chat with friends. Technology has given us access to many different forms of expression, and entire communities have formed around them. Americans live in a culture of multiple cultures no longer broken down simply by ethnicity, religion or age.
So is there a name for this? Casey Rae-Hunter of the Future of Music Coalition says the academic word for it is disintermediation, “but since that’s a mouthful, ‘fractured culture’ works just fine.” read more
Kembrew McLeod’s youthful interest in 1980s hip-hop became a life-long scholarly pursuit when some of the groups he’d listened to as a teenager were sued in the early 1990s for using samples of previously recorded music.
“The issue—how the law affects sampling—is the entire reason I’m a professor,” says Mr. McLeod, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Iowa. read more
Within the music industry, the response is rather muted. Representatives of independent and unsigned artists want Net Neutrality in place to ensure up and coming artists have just as much access to the Internet as superstar artists backed by major labels. The RIAA supports Net Neutrality so long as the rules don’t prohibit ISPs from taking action against pirated content (should they choose to do so). read more
OK Go have been doing fine without a major label, though, and they’re not alone. Casey Rae Hunter of the Future of Music Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, says there has been an explosion of independent musicians who can now reach their fans without a label or radio.
“In the old days, they would still have to navigate this pretty complex system of bottlenecks and gatekeepers to reach the fan,” Hunter says. “The Internet means that you can develop and cultivate these sort of one-on-one relationships. They can become viral, like as in the case of the amazing OK Go videos that you see on YouTube. Or it can be just a sort of like, ‘Holy crap, I’m talking to my favorite rock star on Twitter.’ “
Ten years ago, no one would have predicted that we’d mostly all be listening to music via MP3 files, CDs would be all but dead, and vinyl record sales would be up. The music industry today is morphing so fast that it’s difficult for anyone—record label owner, musician, fan—to keep up. Casey Rae-Hunter, who speaks on a panel at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson this week, works at the Future of Music Coalition. Mission: “[ensuring] a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want.” He kindly took time out of a vacation to California last week to talk to us about payola, the looming music cloud, and Amanda Palmer.
Earlier this month, Member of Parliment Charlie Angus spoke about his campaign to help the kids of James Bay when he was a featured speaker at the Future of Music Coalition policy symposium in Washington. He was surprised to find himself on the agenda along with musicians like T Bone Burnett, but there he was – the punk rocker turned politician.
Along with speaking about the rights of musicians in the digital age, Mr. Angus said the participants wanted to hear about the plight of youth on James Bay. There was so much interest that later this week he is holding a conference call with the principals of the coalition to see what can be done to help. Although it’s early days they are looking at mentorship programs with American musicians or appearances by U.S. bands. read more
The 10th Annual Future of Music Coalition’s Policy Summit wrapped up in Washington, DC, last Tuesday (it ran Oct. 3-5; official website here) with some insight from OK Go front man Damian Kulash on net neutrality and the changing landscape of the music industry. In conversation with Neda Ulaby of NPR in Lohrfink Auditorium on the campus of Georgetown University, Kulash discussed net neutrality, the role of “gatekeepers,” and his band’s inventive videos. read more