industry

FMQB Triple A Conference Returns to the Fox Theatre

Z2 Entertainment, FMQB and 97.3 KBCO are proud to present the 3rd annual FMQB Triple A Conference to Boulder, Colorado at the Fox Theatre, August 10th – 12th.  Performers include Brett Dennen, Matt Nathanson, DeVotchka, John Butler Trio, Brandi Carlile, NeedToBreathe, Fitz & The Tantrums, Jeff Bridges and Trombone Shorty.  Tickets go on sale Friday, June 17th at noon.

Nonprofit CASH Music previews upcoming release

What Wordpress did for bloggers, we're doing for musicians. CASH Music is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and our mission is to create open source tools and services that benefit artists and music. The goal is to help artists find sustainability and to encourage innovation in the music industry. We're doing this by building world class open source software designed specifically for the new music industry: tools handling promotion, distribution, commerce — creating the connection between artist and audience.

Too many companies have tried to control the music market and instead have stifled real innovation and freedom for artists. An open source solution will allow tools to be built for the community and improved upon as they are used by that community. We can stop reinventing ways to collect email addresses and focus on real innovation in the music tech space. This benefits artists, managers, labels, and even tech startups.

CASH Music began with the vision of Kristin Hersh, Donita Sparks, Robert Fagan, and Billy O'Connell and has since grown into the organization it is today. Led by Jesse von Doom and Anthony Batt, CASH Music is working on solutions that will range from an instant-setup hosted solution for music sites right down to fully customized, host-your-own code. Every line will be released in the open source and built on open standards.

We want to change everything by creating open source software that freely gives musicians total control over the presentation, sharing, and sale of their music — enabling them to make a living off of their art, building strong direct relationships with their audience.

Learn more about CASH Music by visiting their website.

Wanda Jackson to play LP release show at ACM@UCO

The Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma will kick off the 2011 spring semester Jan 28 when Queen of Rockabilly Wanda Jackson comes to the Performance Lab for a free, release week concert celebrating her new Jack White-produced album, 'The Party Ain't Over' (out Jan 25).

It's been an unforgettable 2010 for ACM@UCO. The school hosted master classes and exclusive mentoring sessions with top artists, including Jackson Browne, the Mountain Goats and Local Natives. Many of the artists also performed concerts at the school's brand new music venue, The Performance Lab, which offers students hands-on experience in the world of live music booking, promotion, and production. Additionally, this semester's Industry Link seminar connected students with key industry figures, including high-profile managers and staff from Pitchfork, Sesac, and more.

Since its creation, The Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma has generated worldwide buzz with its innovative, groundbreaking approach to music education - the first of its kind in the United States. The school, which grants a two-year associate's degree in music performance and production, is the U.S. branch of Britain's groundbreaking Academy of Contemporary Music, based in Guildford, England.

Al Bell gets Grammy Trustees Award

The Memphis Music Foundation and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, located at the original site of Stax Records, proudly congratulate Al Bell on receiving the highest honor the music industry offers, the 2011 Grammy Trustees Award, given by the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy. Bell now joins the pantheon of musical icons who have received the prestigious honor, including the Beatles, Walt Disney, George and Ira Gershwin, Berry Gordy, Duke Ellington, and Stax Records’ co-founder Estelle Axton.

For Bell, the honor represents a milestone in his lifetime love of music and work in the industry.

“The phone call I received from Neil Portnow, president of NARAS’ Grammy Foundation, letting me know that I was going to be a recipient of the Trustees Lifetime Achievement Award,” says Bell, “was both humbling and honoring. This is the most meaningful recognition I could have ever hoped to achieve from my industry. I sincerely thank NARAS and the Grammy Foundation for honoring me with their highest award.”

In 1965, a young radio disc jockey from Brinkley, Arkansas named Alvertis Isbell joined a fledging record company in Memphis, Tennessee to help promote the music it was churning out in an old converted movie theater. That small label was Stax Records and Al Bell became known to be one of the driving forces who helped change music history. Decades later, in 2009, he became the chairman of the board of directors of the Memphis Music Foundation (MMF), the main organization charged with promoting the city’s musical legacy, current artists, and future plans.

“This is great news for Al Bell and Memphis Music,” said Dean Deyo, president of the Memphis Music Foundation. “Al started developing young artists during his Stax days over 40 years ago and continues to nurture artist development as chairman of the Memphis Music Foundation.  Memphis music is something very special and one of the main reasons for its success has been Al Bell.  It just may be a bit early to give him a Lifetime Achievement Award, because he is not done yet.  Al Bell is just getting started.”

Kirk Whalum, internationally renowned musician and 12-time Grammy nominee, now CEO for the Soulsville Foundation in Memphis, which includes the Stax Museum, Stax Music Academy and The Soulsville Charter School, explains, “There's a very good reason that the name Al Bell is mentioned, the voice of Al Bell is heard, and the handsome and distinguished face of Al Bell is seen more than any other name, voice, and face in the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. It's because of his body of work. Yes he remains a creative, viable, and avant-garde force in the industry. But who wouldn't give a limb to have all his ‘firsts’ and accomplishments in one’s rearview mirror?”

From 1965 until the company was forced into involuntary bankruptcy in 1975, Bell helped build Stax Records into one of the most influential labels in the world, working with artists such as Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Johnnie Taylor, Sam & Dave, Booker T. & the MGs, the Bar Kays, Richard Pryor, and a host of others. He also produced and wrote such hits as the Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There.”  When Bell owned Stax in the 1970s, it was the second-largest African-American owned business in the United States. After the company’s demise, he went on to serve as president of Motown Records Group, and later started his own Bellmark Records label, releasing Prince’s top-selling song ever, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” and Tag Team’s multi-platinum hit “Whoomp! (There It is),” one of the best-selling rap singles in history. Bell now operates his own web-based music channel, AlBellPresents.com.

For Isbell, given the name Al Bell in 1957 as radio announcer in Little Rock, Arkansas,  whose famous radio sign-on was “This is your 6-feet-4 bundle of joy, 212 pounds of Mrs. Bell’s baby boy, soft as medicated cotton, rich as double-X cream, the women’s pet, the men’s threat, the play boys pride and joy, the baby boy Al Bell,” — the Grammy Award not only marks his lifetime of work in the music industry, but also gives more fuel to what he plans to do now and in the future.

“When Mr. Portnow said ‘Lifetime Achievement Award,” Bell continues, “I didn’t think about my past. It sounded prophetic. Because what has happened to me is that I’ve begun to pursue that which I have learned in life and I’m about the business of achieving it. It’s a beginning for me. With this award and through my role with the Memphis Music Foundation, I am beginning my lifetime evolvement and development in the recorded music industry.”

British Music Embassy Announces SXSW Lineup

In the 1960s, bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones put British popular music firmly on the international map. They were joined in later decades by artists as diverse as Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, The Sex Pistols and Oasis, making British music a distinctive international brand. British Music is thriving, both at home and overseas, because it continually renews itself, fusing cultural commentary, fashion and politics in a heady mix.

Record Industry Vet Named to Lead Eco Group Rock the Earth

Rock the Earth- for the Grateful Web

Denver non-profit, Rock the Earth, has announced that they have selected music industry veteran Shawn Kilmurray to serve as its new Executive Director. Together with the support of Rock the Earth's Board of Directors, he will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the organization as well as raising brand profile, diversifying sources of funding and developing strategic alliances. Mr. Kilmurray joins Rock the Earth after nearly two-decades in the recording industry. He has held senior Marketing, Production and Operations roles at Sony BMG, Universal and Warner Music, and is a voting member of numerous industry professional organizations. Active in the music community, Mr. Kilmurray will seek to expand RtE partnerships with artists and other music-related entities. Kilmurray shared "While the record business is currently undergoing tremendous change, a new day has dawned in this country and people recognize what can be accomplished when we work together. My challenge is to create synergistic opportunities to involve artists and the music industry at-large to increase environmental awareness that educates and inspires fans and artists alike to take action and produce quantifiable results on important values-driven environmental issues that directly impact our lives, our children's lives and their children's lives." On the selection of Mr. Kilmurray as Executive Director, John Fleckenstein, Senior Vice President at BMG Label Group notes, "I've had the pleasure of working with Shawn frequently over the years; he's a passionate music guy with deep contacts in the industry. I cannot think of a better fit for Rock the Earth. I have no doubt he'll prove to be a tremendous asset to them." Having crossed paths with each other last summer while actively involved with the Obama campaign, founder Marc Ross looks forward to the future of the organization with Kilmurray as Executive Director. "All of us in Rock the Earth are very excited about the addition of Shawn Kilmurray as our new Executive Director. It is our belief that given his passion for the environment as well as his management experience and deep connections within the music industry, Shawn will be able to elevate Rock the Earth to the next level in our goal to become the pre-eminent environmental advocacy organization working with the music community." Enthusiastic about the opportunity, Kilmurray explains, "I am delighted to be asked to lead the organization at what is a critical time for the global environment. Whether it's climate change, chemicals in our food, water issues, deforestation, air pollution, extinction of species or the lack of government action, few of us truly take ownership and act on these issues, foolishly believing others will do it for us. Music has the power to open the heart and touch the soul. Artists have always been at the forefront of social change so they understand the importance of taking action. My objective is to develop collaborative alliances with those members of the music community dedicated to the pursuit of environmental solutions."  Supporting renewable energy, reducing dependency on fossil fuels, sustainability, widespread recycling and increased responsiveness, Shawn Kilmurray and Rock the Earth will continue to promote activism that produces clear-cut results. Bill Sondheim, President of Entertainment and Worldwide Distribution at Gaiam, Inc. reflects on his professional relationship with Kilmurray, "I have known Shawn in various music positions over the last fifteen years. During that time he has consistently demonstrated an ability to balance creative integrity with strong fiscal results. At this critical time when our planet is in peril, I rest easier knowing that he will bring that same passion and intelligence to this worthy cause."

ABOUT ROCK THE EARTH Rock the Earth is a Colorado-based, national public interest environmental organization dedicated to protecting and defending America's natural resources through partnerships with the music industry and the worldwide environmental community. The organization has most recently worked with coalitions to oppose increased drilling on the Roan Plateau and to limit motorized boating through the Grand Canyon. Rock the Earth has also received support from the Educational Foundation of America, musicians Jack Johnson and Incubus' Make Yourself Foundation and the Rex Foundation, allowing it to pursue the defense of important natural areas. For more information, go to www.RockTheEarth.org

Tell Congress to reject loan guarantees for the nuclear industry

- for the Grateful Web

The Senate energy bill passed earlier this year includes a highly objectionable provision sought by the nuclear power industry that seeks to provide taxpayer guarantees of repayment on a potential $50-$100 billion in loans to finance the construction of new nuclear power plants. The proposed "loan guarantees" would protect future investors in the debt obligations of new plants (which can cost $3-5 billion apiece) by ensuring that federal taxpayers would repay the loans if the new nuclear power projects go bust, as many of them did 25 years ago during the first big wave of nuclear reactor construction.

 

The Senate provision would greatly increase the number of reactors eligible to obtain such loan guarantees, and strip congressional appropriations committees of their obligation under current law to set annual limits on the Secretary of Energy's authority to issue new guarantees, thereby allowing the secretary at his own discretion to obligate future taxpayers to the potential repayment of billions in bad nuclear debts.

 

Even the Bush administration "strongly opposes" the proposal, noting that the new loan guarantee program "would remove appropriate controls over the size of the program and significantly increase potential taxpayer liability." It also would defeat the original intent of the loan guarantees, which was to spur deployment of "innovative" low-carbon technologies, and instead tilt the energy technology playing field in favor of nuclear power at the expense of truly sustainable renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind power, advanced biofuels and other low-carbon options.

 

Whatever nuclear power's role in our energy future turns out to be, it should be a function of improved reactor performance, improved safety and security, improved plant economics, and a technically credible pathway for long-term nuclear waste isolation - and not the result of a greedy industry power play that seeks to rig the revival of a stagnant nuclear power industry at the expense of truly sustainable energy alternatives.

 

Senators and representatives will decide the fate of this blatantly over-reaching special interest provision during ongoing negotiations to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the energy bill.

 

Tell Congress to reject massive loan guarantees for the nuclear industry.  Take action now at: http://www.nrdconline.org/campaign/nrdcaction_110707

Tell Congress to say "No" to huge subsidies for the coal industry

Say ''NO'' to coal subsidies!- for the Grateful Web

As several energy bills make their way through Congress, the coal industry is pushing for huge subsidies and mandates to transform millions of tons of coal into transportation fuels. The process to make this "liquid coal" is an expensive, inefficient one that produces large amounts of global warming pollution and precludes it from being a sound option to reduce America's dependence on oil.

Relying on liquid coal as an alternative to oil could nearly double global warming pollution per gallon of transportation fuel. For example, using liquid coal fuel in a Honda Civic would produce the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as operating a Hummer H3 on conventional gasoline. Moreover, large-scale use of liquid coal would increase coal mining's devastating effects on communities and ecosystems stretching from Appalachia to the Rocky Mountains, including polluted air and water, ravaged landscapes and a dismal record of worker safety.

Although we can produce cleaner and less expensive alternatives to oil, Congress is nevertheless poised to lavish huge taxpayer subsidies to help get a polluting liquid coal industry off the ground instead of investing that money in options that would put us on a path to a cleaner, more secure energy future.

What to do:
Send a message urging your senators and representative to oppose any legislation that promotes liquid coal fuels.