We’re incredibly excited about this upcoming event co-presented by FMC and Pitchfork, which coincides with Pitchfork’s 2008 Music Festival. Here’s the lowdown:
Future of Music Coalition and Pitchfork present “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” A Panel Discussion of Public Enemy’s Seminal Record Thursday, July 17, 2008, 3 pm Chicago Cultural Center
When Public Enemy released It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in 1988, it sounded like nothing else at the time. Frontloaded with sirens, squeals and squawks frontman Chuck D laid his poetically radical rhymes over a dense sound collage of rhythm, noise and the voices of 20th century black leaders. With its pointed socio-political commentary and inventive production, the album represents one of hip-hop’s finest achievements.
On the 20th anniversary of the album’s release, Chuck D, “Bomb Squad” members Hank Shocklee and Keith Shocklee and PE’s “Media Assassin” Harry Allen will discuss how they fashioned their powerful world of sound, in a conversation led by documentary filmmaker Kembrew McLeod (Copyright Criminals: This is a Sampling Sport). The following day, Public Enemy will take to the stage and re-create It Takes a Nation of Millions live at the Pitchfork Fest. Amazing.
Space is limited, so act now! RSVP at rsvp [at] pitchforkmusicfestival [dot] com
While others will be rocking, we’ll be talking. FMC Communications Director Casey Rae-Hunter and Alex Maiolo from our HINT program will be onsite at Pitchfork Festival to talk about FMC’s various campaigns. If you’re planning on being at the Fest be sure to swing by our table and pick up a button or guitar pick, or ask Alex about health insurance stuff. We look forward to meeting you!
Not going to Pitchfork Fest? Remember that you can always schedule a phone appointment to better understand your health insurance options through the HINT website.
On July 3, FMC filed an amici brief (amici means “an adviser to the court who is not a party to the case”) with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on the subject of the FCC’s current indecency policy. The filing, which was co-authored by the Center for Creative Voices in Media (CCV), takes the FCC to task for the vague and arbitrary ways that it deals with so-called “indecent” content on TV and radio, the result of which has been a chilling effect on creativity on the public airwaves.
Press release | Amicus brief | Blog post about the filing
Speaking of radio, FMC also recently released “Change That Tune: A Payola Education Guide for Musicians and Listeners.” The booklet, written by Adam Marcus, provides a clear and concise history of payola, the development of the “indie promoter” system, the investigations by Spitzer and the FCC, and an assessment of the “Rules of Engagement” signed by the four largest radio companies. Finally, we put this all in the context of what it means for musicians and independent labels, and how artists are interacting with radio in the 21st century.
Details | Download Payola Education Guide as a PDF
The Payola Education Guide was also recently submitted to the Federal Communications Commission as an attachment to our reply comments in the FCC’s localism proceedings, in which we make the case for greater diversity on the public airwaves. In our reply comments, we describe concrete ways for stations to make localism a priority and urge the FCC to collect and analyze playlist data to make sure that stations are fulfilling their public interest obligations.
Reply Comments (PDF)
June was busy for FMC staff, with panel appearances, discussions and special events throughout the month.
At the National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis, FMC’s Michael Bracy and Ann Chaitovitz were joined by board member Bryan Calhoun for a panel called “In the Mix: Understanding New Music Services and the Bottom Line.” The room was so packed that we ran out of handouts! FMC also co-hosted a cocktail party with Media and Democracy Coalition and The Media Consortium to preview our upcoming benefit CD, Rock the Net: Musicians for Net Neutrality. You can listen to the NCMR panel discussion here.
That same weekend, Alex Maiolo from FMC’s Health Insurance Navigation Tool (HINT) headed down to New Orleans for PotLuckCon (formerly TapeOp), where he gave health insurance advice to the musicians, engineers and producers in attendance. There’s no footage of Alex in the Big Easy, but the HINT website has a great YouTube clip of him explaining how HINT works. Check it out.
In mid-June, FMC’s Kristin Thomson participated in Ignite: Philly, where each presenter had 5 minutes and 20 powerpoint slides — set to rotate every 15 seconds — to ignite a conversation. Kristin talked about the transition away from music as a physical product, suggesting that the future of music will likely be about access, not ownership. Watch the presentation here.
In June, FMC’s Michael Bracy also appeared at the Campus Progress National Conference in DC, where he spoke on a panel called “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Free Expression: Determining the Future of the Internet,” alongside representatives from Media Alliance, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Center for Social Media and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
Later this month — once we finalize a few more details — FMC will announce three fall events, but we know enough now to tip off our faithful newsletter readers.
In September/October, we’ll be hosting two “What is the Future for Musicians?” seminars, similar to the series of events we organized with the AFM in upstate New York in April.
One will be in New York City in the first week of October. The other will likely be in Chicago, but we’re still working on dates.
We’ll also be presenting “Creative License: A Conversation About Music, Sampling and Law” in New York City, the second in a series of public discussions FMC hopes to organize about the sample license clearance process.
What about those awesome DC Policy Summits we’re known for? Typically we our Policy Summit in the fall, but with a federal election on the horizon, we’re organizing fall ‘08 gatherings while simultaneously planning for next year’s events — including a one-day Policy Day in Washington, DC in February 2009 that will provide a first look at the people and policy priorities of a new administration, and our 8th Future of Music Policy Summit in fall 2009. Stay tuned for more info on all of our events.
As we’ve previously mentioned, FMC is gearing up for the release of the Rock the Net: Musicians for Net Neutrality CD, which features Wilco, Bright Eyes, Aimee Mann, They Might Be Giants, The Wrens, Portastatic, DJ Spooky and more. The press is starting to pick up on the story, even though the album doesn’t come out until July 29.
Listen to this audio segment on NPR’s “All Things Considered”
Ars Technica article about the release
Head to the Rock the Net site to preview the album
You can always contact us at suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org if you have any questions.
Ann Chaitovitz Michael Bracy Walter McDonough Brian Zisk Kristin Thomson Jean Cook Casey Rae-Hunter Nicole Duffey Chhaya Kapadia Alex Maiolo
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