Washington is gonna be party central come Inauguration Eve. Chicago venue The Hideout is getting in on the action by bringing a busload of top-notch bands to the Black Cat in D.C. And we’ll be there!
On Monday January 19, Chicago’s Hideout Club and Interchange will host "The Big Shoulders Ball: Chicago Celebrates Change." The show (which is already sold out) features Windy City talent like Andrew Bird, Tortoise, Waco Brothers, Eleventh Dream Day, Jon Langford, Sally Timms, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Ken Vandermark, Freakwater, Icy Demons and Judson Claiborne. There are also some non-Chicago musicians playing - D.C.’s Ted Leo just got added, and FMC Deputy Director Jean Cook will also be sitting in with an act or two.
Proceeds from this amazing show will go to the Chicago Public Schools marching bands program and FMC. If you already bought a ticket, we’ll see you there! If not, well… maybe next inauguration?
We’d also like to take a moment here and recognize how awesome the Hideout is - as a venue and as a group of people. In addition to their regular club shows, they also organize an annual Hideout Block Party that attracts thousands of music lovers to Chicago. The Hideout has played host to FMC’s own events and have actively worked to spread the word about FMC in the Chicago community. We couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments and more excited to party with them in D.C.
Things are really shaping up for our third D.C. Policy Day, which takes place at the National Geographic Music and Radio and National Geographic Live! here in Washington on February 11, 2009. Coming hot on the heels of a new federal administration, the event will shed light on how changes in the policymaking landscape might affect the music community.
We just added some incredible names to an already stellar roster of speakers and panelists - this event is a must-attend event for anyone interested in how policy and copyright law intersects with music and technology.
As always, we have a limited number of musician scholarships available, so get on it!
Keynote speakers from policyland will be added shortly; here’s the list of confirmed participants so far (all panelists subject to change):
Michael Bracy Policy Director, Future of Music Coalition
Bryan Calhoun Vice President, New Media & External Affairs, SoundExchange
Rick Carnes President, Songwriters Guild of America
David Carson General Counsel, US Copyright Office
Parul Desai Associate Director, Media Access Project
Peter Gordon President, Thirsty Ear Recordings
Zahavah Levine Chief Counsel, YouTube
Steve Marks Executive VP and General Counsel, RIAA
Walter McDonough General Counsel, Future of Music Coalition
Sascha Meinrath Research Director, Wireless Future Program, New America Foundation
Michael Petricone Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Consumer Electronics Association
Hal Ponder Director of Government Relations, American Federation of Musicians
Ben Scott Policy Director, Free Press
Hank Shocklee Music Industry Producer, Founder of Public Enemy, President of Shocklee Entertainment
Derek Sivers Founder, CD Baby
Gigi Sohn President, Public Knowledge
Tim Westergren Founder, Pandora
Brian Zisk Technologies Director, Future of Music Coalition
Info | Register | Musician Scholarships | Spread the Word!
As we mentioned in previous newsletters, FMC and realizePhiladelphia have teamed up for web.illish.us — a unique series of events centered on the idea of net neutrality, the principle that protects the open internet. Taking place at Silk City in Philadelphia on the third Wednesday of the month through February 18, web.illish.us pairs top-notch musical talent and guest speakers in themed shows that are also webcast live. The events benefit FMC’s Rock the Net campaign, which raises awareness about net neutrality in the music community and beyond. Check out video archives of the previous events here: http://web.illish.us
The next installment – Kiss my RSS – takes place on January 21, 2009 and includes performances by an amazing group of jazz improv masters:
Jef Lee Johnson a guitarist who has performed with the likes of Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Duke Ellington and has done sessions with Justin Timberlake, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Rachelle Ferrell, Mariah Carey, Jill Scott and Common.
Oscillations Quartet with international jazz musicians Tim Motzer, Ari Hoenig, Anthony Tidd, John Swana.
Doomstone, the brainchild of Grimace Federation.
Speakers include an amazing collection of studio producers and musicians:
Cee Knowledge from the Grammy-winning Digable Planets
Anthony Tidd bass player, composer and arranger
Montez Roberts studio engineer, The Studio (Larry Gold’s studio)
Rich Medina international DJ
Andy Hurwitz Owner of Ropeadope Records
Come on down to Silk City for the show, or watch it webcast live at http://web.illish.us.
On January 7, 2009, FMC Executive Director Ann Chaitovitz had a piece in the Huffington Post about the need for the Public Performance Right on terrestrial radio.
If you’ve followed FMC’s work, you’re probably familiar with our support of this right, which would pay performing artists and sound recording copyright owners for the use of their music on over-the-air broadcasts. You can read our fact sheet on the Performance Right here.
In her article, Ann offers compelling moral and economic reasons for lifting radio’s current exemption. She points out the fact that while webcasters and other online music services pay performing artists, commercial terrestrial radio does not - an imbalance that affords traditional broadcasters a market advantage. But it’s really about the musicians themselves. "The situation can have tragic consequences for older R&B and soul artists, American cultural icons who deserve and need compensation," Ann writes.
Read the full article here.
FMC co-founder and Education Director Kristin Thomson was featured on the January 9 episode of "Weekend America" - a nationally-syndicated Minnesota Public Radio program. (You might be familiar with MPR’s "Prairie Home Companion" and "Sound Opinions.")
Kristin talked spoke briefly about mashup artist Girl Talk and the sample license clearance process, which could very well make GT’s latest, Feed the Animals, illegal. (Check out our earlier blog post for a megaton of information on this hot topic.)
You can listen to and read a transcript of Kristin’s interview with MPR’s John Moe right here.
On December 18, 2008, more than 100 groups, unions, musicians, bloggers, media representatives and technologists sent a letter to President-Elect Barack Obama calling on his administration to appoint leaders who will reform the media and protect the open Internet. Among them was FMC and members of Pearl Jam and R.E.M., as well as recent Artist Activism Camp alumni Jonny 5 of Flobots and Waterflow of the Wageble Band.
The letter calls on Obama to uphold his own campaign pledges to:
• Protect an Open Internet: To "take a backseat to no one in my commitment to Net Neutrality" and "protect the Internet’s traditional openness to innovation and creativity and ensure that it remains a platform for free speech and innovation that will benefit consumers and our democracy."
• Promote Universal, Affordable Broadband: To see that "in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online" by bringing "true broadband to every community in America."
• Diversify Media Ownership: To create "the diverse media environment that federal law requires and the country deserves."
• Renew Public Media: To foster "the next generation of public media," and "support the transition of existing public broadcasting entities and help renew their founding vision in the digital world."
• Economic Growth: To "strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world" and leverage technology "to grow the economy, create jobs, and solve our country’s most pressing problems."
• Open Government: To reverse "policies that favor the few against the public interest," “close the revolving door between government and industry," and achieve "a new level of transparency, accountability and participation for America’s citizens."
Head here [PDF] to read the letter and the full list of signatures.
On January 9-13, FMC organized presentations at the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters conference, this year partnering with FTM Arts Law to present a special copyright/royalties track. This year’s event took place at the Big Apple Sheraton and Hilton Hotels.
FMC’s Ann Chaitovitz and Jean Cook participated in two sessions:
* Media Ownership Matters! + 2008 Copyright Policy Roundup
* Intermediate/Advanced Copyright Issues Roundtable
Head here for more information on the event.
Regular readers will be familiar with FMC’s efforts to help New Orleans musicians, like our annual Artist Activism Camp and Musicians Bringing Musicians Home concert - where artists from around the country come together to talk about positive social change and play a benefit concert for NOLA musicians still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
One such musician, Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, just got great news. As of December 29, the New Orleans R&B and Mardis Gras legend has a new place, courtesy Habitat for Humanity. Al lost everything in Katrina, including his longtime dwelling in the Lower Ninth Ward. Now he can finally come home. Of course, there are still many problems facing New Orleans’ musician residents - click here to see what you can do to help.
This was a long time coming and represents the hard work and generous support of individuals and groups like Sweet Home New Orleans - a non-profit that helps Big Easy artists get back to their neighborhoods and communities.
Congrats to Al on his new place!
Back in October 2007, the Federal Communications Commission opened a one-month licensing window for new non-commercial FM radio stations. FMC leapt into action to assist arts and cultural organizations in applying, with the goal of having more diverse and local programming in communities across the country.
Some approvals are already starting to come in. In November 2008, the FCC awarded a license to free103.9, a "transmission arts" collective based in upstate New York. Freelance journalist Mike Janssen - who worked with FMC on our Full Power project - recently spoke to free103.9’s Tom Roe for an FMC podcast. Check it out here.
FMC co-founder and technologies director Brian Zisk is organizing another installment of the SanFran Music Tech Summit - which brings together the best and brightest developers in the Music/Technology Space, along with the musicians, entrepreneurial business people, press, investors, service providers, and organizations who work with them at the convergence of culture and commerce. The next SFMT takes place at Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco on May 18, 2009. Keep checking SanFranMusicTech.com for emerging details.