CMT (Country Music Television) is currently running a six-part series about Manitoulin Island's Crystal Shawanda. The show takes you behind the scenes on Shawanda's rise to fame and features interviews with label reps, managers and talent buyers.
I caught a couple of great episodes last week, which featured songwriting sessions, numerous performances and intimate interviews.
MARIA and the Winnipeg Folk Festival present
OPEN MIC NIGHTS at THE FOLK EXCHANGE
Starting February 29, 2008 | 7pm
The Winnipeg Folk Festival is happy to announce the return of Open Mic Nights @ The Folk Exchange (formerly called Folk Club @ The Folk Exchange), this year presented along with MARIA and featuring guest hosts from MARIA’s roster of Manitoba musicians.
On Open Mic Nights, musicians and music-lovers unite to share songs, inspiration and just plain old good times in the casual, intimate atmosphere of the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s Folk Exchange venue, located at 211 Bannatyne Avenue (behind the Festival Music Store @ Albert Street).
Bring your instrument and take your turn on the Folk Exchange stage–or just come to listen (non-players will be charged a $2 cover).
The first Open Mic on February 29 will be hosted by the fabulous banjo man Rob Wrigley of Manitoba bluegrass sensations Stonypoint.
Each MARIA and Winnipeg Folk Festival Open Mic Night will start at 7 pm.
Call the Festival at (204) 231-0096 for more information.
Here are the special guests for the rest of the open mic season. More details about the rest of the Open Mic series...
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: NOON, Thursday, March 6, 2008
MARIA is planning the release of manitobamusic.com - vol. 5, a promotional compilation CD in April of 2008. It will be multi-genre, targeted to music industry professionals working with popular genres (e.g. – rock, punk, pop, roots, hip-hop, etc.). The CD will be distributed widely through various music industry festivals and conferences, as well as directly to key players in the industry. MARIA gets these CDs into the hands of managers, labels, agents, festivals, publishers, campus and club buyers, radio programmers, publicists, music journalists, as well as many others who can help your career.
To have your track included for consideration, please submit:
• Press kit
• CD with track name, number, songwriting and publishing credit, and track length clearly indicated
• 20-word bio
• Contact information: contact name, phone, email, and website
• Completed Grant of Rights form
• Submissions will be rejected if incomplete
N.B. - You must be a MARIA member to be considered for inclusion on this CD. For more information about MARIA membership, visit manitobamusic.com or contact Rachel Stone (975.5190,...
I'm often asked about the barriers that Aboriginal people face when it comes to building careers in the music industry. For me, the barriers are both cultural and economic in nature.
I found an artical online from the Canadian Press that speaks about some of the cultural challenges that Aboriginal artists face in the Country music scene. The article draws on the experiences of rising stars Shane Yellowbird and Crystal Shawanda with additional background from Manitoban legend Ray St. Germain.
The Juno nominees were announced today with Little Hawk, Derek Miller, Sandy Scofield, Fara Palmer and Donny Parenteau in the running for Aboriginal Recording of the Year. This means we got one Manitoban and two nominations for artists signed to a local label- Arbor Records.
Manitoban labels have done quite well in the last couple of years, with Arbor Records garnering nominations for releases by Susan Aglukark in 2007 and Asani in 2006, while Sunshine Records' release of Burnt-Project 1's Hometown won the Juno that same year. Manitoban artists were shutout in 2007, but earned three of the five spots in 2006 with releases by Eagle & Hawk, Burnt-Project 1 and Billy Joe Green.
The Aboriginal category for the Junos is a little different than some its counterparts at other award shows in Canada. It’s based on the music as opposed to the Aboriginal status of the artist/group. In other words, the music needs to have an Aboriginal element in it like a flute, drum, fiddle, chanting, lyrics in an Aboriginal language, etc... in order to qualify.
This categorization has a number of pros and cons and I think it’s worthy of further discussion and a little debate.
I spent the end of January attending MIDEM and its music meets technology conference, the MIDEMNET Forum in fashionable Cannes, France with nearly 10,000 music industry people from over 90 countries. Part of my time there was spent attending the high-level conference panels and conversations where industry leaders in all areas were brought together to discuss the newest trends, most cutting edge technologies and thought-provoking theories.
It seems every year, especially these days while the industry is so desperate to define itself, there is a whole new list of terms and vernacular du jour that one must be familiar with in order to keep up with these industry chats. At times, I found myself with nothing but the old lingo (DRM, the long tail, social networking sites….soooo last year), and I felt the need for an updated wardrobe of words.
I therefore, attempt here to present you with the 2008 Spring Collection of music biz buzzwords, as well as some classics from years past:
The 360 (Madonna) model. Everyone is talking about it…they love it or hate it. Related terms tossed about are 280 model, 350 model, and everything in between a point and a circle. Live Nation and...
The next buzz issue in the digital music copyright conversation might well be "Watermarking." The technology has been around for years, but has recently emerged as a potential issue in the DRM-free downloads and P2P file sharing debates.
According to the Digital Watermarking Alliance:
Digital watermarking can enable content identification and copyright communication on a broad scale and can provide a range of solutions for identifying, securing, managing and tracking digital images, audio, video, and printed materials. These industries use digital watermarking to identify, protect and manage the rights to their content as they embrace innovative distribution or business models and provide consumers with new entertainment experiences, enhanced convenience, and greater portability of their media content. So far, record labels have mostly been using watermarking technology to discourage reviewers from leaking advance copies of discs on the internet. Of course the watermark only works if this way if the person who was originally given the disc is the one who leaks it, as this story about a label calling out an 'innocent' reviewer illustrates.
The Amazon mp3 store is up and running on amazon.com. The site offers completely DRM-Free downloads of music from all four major labels as well as independents. Artists who use CDBaby for digital distribution should start seeing their records on the Amazon store. So far the service is only available on the US version of the site, and only to US customers. Amazon says that the service is going international later this year.
Walking into Paul McGuiness' International Music Managers Forum presentation in MIDEM on Monday afternoon, I was expecting some war stories, some words of wisom from this icon who's managed U2 for over 30 years, leading them to and through sales of over 150 million worldwide. What a stunned packed house got instead were some harsh words and a cold serious focus. Paul McGuiness wants the world to know that he considers filesharing theivery, but he doesn't care much about the end users, he's targeting the individuals and companiers who are raking in the billions and billions of dollars that should be going (at least in part) to the creators and rights holders.
He called out people and companies and named names. ISPs, device makers, and online communities like the telcos across the globe, the nokias, Apples, sony ericssons, the iLikes, facebooks, and yahoos, and the silicon valley smart people were called the "makers of burglary kits" and Paul put out a call to arms, demading that these people share the wealth with the creators.
It was stunning. There were a few hoots and cheers as Paul came to key parts of his presentation entitled ‘The Online Bonanza: Who is making all...
Please note that the next deadline Canada Council's Aboriginal Peoples Music Program is March 1, 2008. This program supports activities that develop professional skills of Aboriginal musicians and groups, strengthen organizations that assist Aboriginal musicians and supports activities that restore, preserve and invigorate Aboriginal music in our communities. This program is open to all forms of music.
Paul McGuinness, manager for U2, delivered a keynote address at MIDEM on Monday which has bloggers and industry pundits buzzing. In a speech that included practical ideas, emotional pleas, and amateur sociology, McGuinness took aim squarely at internet service providers and silicon valley for creating the infrastructure that has allowed music exchanges to become de-monetized.
From the Guardian: U2's manager yesterday called on artists to join him in forcing the "hippy" technology and internet executives he blames for the collapse of the music industry to help save it.
Paul McGuinness, who has plotted the rise of the Irish group over 30 years, said technology gurus in Silicon Valley such as Apple's Steve Jobs and Microsoft's Bill Gates had profited from rampant online piracy without doing anything to stop it.
"I suggest we shift the focus of moral pressure away from the individual P2P [peer to peer] thief and on to the multibillion dollar industries that benefit from these tiny crimes," he said.While his proposal to stick a fee on ISP subscription that would cover the losses of copyright holders in the music industry isn't new (SOCAN Tariff 22 was first proposed like...
So, the future may not be as dark as it sounds. Speaking at MIDEM, Vivendi's Jean-Bernard Levy says industry troubles are exaggerated. As reported by Reuters this morning:
Vivendi Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy has no plans to spin off the music unit Universal and he said on Saturday he believed the gloom surrounding the industry had been over done. Levy said the music industry was going through a huge transition at the moment, with new business models for mobile and Internet services appearing all the time. But he predicted there would still be a viable market for physical products like CDs for many years to come and he said the industry's future lay, as always, in spotting the right creative talent. "I think altogether today there is an exaggeration in the industry," he told the conference.
Responses to Jean-Bernard's comments paint him either as a brave face in the major label world, willing to admit that the doom and gloom message coming from the industry is more propaganda than reality. Or, conversely, as a dinosaur wanting to justify his business' slow response to new music distribution realities.
The Vancouver 2010 Games has a series of music, culture and arts festivals planned for the next three years. The series is dubbed the Cultural Olympiad and it begins with a slate of 300 performances set for February 1 – March 21 of 2008.
The Wailin' Jennys will be participating in this year’s Olympiad. Their performance is set for February 9 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver.
Other notable acts for 2008 include Feist, Ron Sexsmith, Leela Gilday and Sal Ferreras (AMP Camp 2008 instructor).
The Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association (MARIA) is pleased to release the Aboriginal Music Summit Report, which documents the collective wisdom of 24 Aboriginal artists, label owners, producers, managers, and representatives from support organizations, music award shows, funding agencies, and radio stations.
The report is intended to inform and support the development of existing and future resources and programs specific to Aboriginal people working in the music industry.
The report includes 22 main points identified by the 24 delegates at the Aboriginal Music Summit on September 14, 2007. These points fall under the following themes:
• Increased awareness and communication among artists, industry, funders, and support organizations.
• Market research on how to successfully market Aboriginal music to Aboriginal, mainstream domestic, and international audiences.
• Developing excellent and culturally sensitive music industry service providers.
• Professional development for Aboriginal artists and artist managers.
• Flexible support programs, with interaction among agencies and between these agencies and the private sector.
This morning, I attended a press conference at MIDEM for the launch of QTRAX - the world's first legal peer-to-peer (P2P) download service. It boasts an impressive 25-30 million legally licensed songs that will be made available free to the public tonight at midnight EST. Making the announcement was President and CEO of QTRAX, Allan Klepfisz, backed by a panel including Brit songster James Blunt, and what seemed to be most of the Sugar Hill Gang (both of whom played the reception that followed). The champagne was flowing and the mood was definately celebratory.
Th QTRAX model is fully ad-supported through various types of advertising and
sponsorship agreements with multi-nationals such as McDonalds and Nintendo, along with others. Apparently the ads are in the form of banners etc - no more obtrusive than what we already see everyday.
An undisclosed revenue-sharing model has been agreed to by all the major labels, the bigger indies, publishers, and artists. Though the divvying of the cash was left vague, and I imagine varies deal by deal, all the rights holders will get paid, and the public neededn't lay down a credit card, lifeblood, or anything else to get the...
Manitoba Showcase 2008 Call for Applications
Deadline: April 15, 2008
The Manitoba Arts Network represents community arts organizations in rural and northern Manitoba. Our Performing Arts Touring Program assists both presenters and artists/managers to coordinate block-booked tours and one-time performances in community venues throughout Manitoba.
We will be presenting live showcases of performers interested in touring rural and northern Manitoba, at our 2008 Manitoba Showcase in Portage la Prairie, on October 18th, 2007. Representatives of community arts organizations attend this event for the purposes of networking, professional development and selecting performers for their 2009/2010 season.
The showcase performances will take place on a full set stage on Saturday, October 18; there will be display space in the Contact room following each showcase set and scheduled times are available to meet community presenters on a one on one basis.
The fee for applying is $35 and as a BONUS, applicants will be placed into our 2008/09 Performance Touring Directory, FREE of any additional charges. The current 07/08 directory can be viewed online at:...
With the increase in digital downloads, some companies and artists are looking at how they can make digital sales at shows or in stores. One method is download cards. Like gift cards, the consumer pays for the card at the time of purchase and it contains a code that they use to access a digital download when they get back to their computer.
Sony/BMG has a program called Platinum MusicPass which is suppose to debut at five retailers across Canada in late January.
Meanwhile, a bunch of smaller companies are offering this type of service directly to artists and indie labels. One company, Dropcards, now has their digital download sales recognized by Soundscan. Disc Revolt makes the case that the cards are a greener option than CDs. Fizz Kicks lets you print out your own cards.
Thanks to Dylan Cash and Digital Music News for some of this info.
I got an article about Aboriginal hip-hop in Australia from my Google Alerts today. The piece speaks to some of the circumstances that inform this community and shines a light on some of the folks making moves Down Under.
I found it intersting to see that the community looks a lot like its Canadian counterpart. Up here we got acts like Dead Indians, Team Rezofficial, Da Skelpa Squad, Eekwol and Manik conducting business online and logging regular hours on stages throughout the Aboriginal community. Down there, acts like Tjimba & the Yung Warriors, Konect-a-Dot, and Indigenous Intrudaz seem to be at the same level and doing similar things with respect to branding their music.
The latest issue of Wired Magazine features two articles by David Byrne on the future of music. The first is an interview with Radiohead's Thom Yorke about their experiment in pay-what-you-want digital music distribution. The second is an overview of the current state of music distribution and the new spectrum of options available to artists. Byrne outlines six different kinds of deals that artists can strike with labels, marketing companies, and or live promotion companies. Of course the six categories are generalization, but pretty apt I thought. A concise and cogent snapshot of the current state of the music industry.
It's a little joke among my colleagues in the MARIA office that I get a little too excited about copyright. But who could have guessed that 2007 would end with so much buzz about copyright, and already in 2008 copyright stories are back in the media. Here's a couple:
iPod Levy - On Thursday, the Canadian court of appeal struck down a Copyright Board of Canada decision to move ahead with a private copying levy on iPods and other digital music storage devices. This levy is akin to the levy that is paid on blank CDs and cassettes and is designed to compensate copyright owners for the copies that consumers make of songs for their own private use. CRIA opposed the new levy, even though it would provide a whole new bundle of cash for its members (record labels) because it felt that the levy was an acknowledgement that people were using these digital devices to make illegal copies of music. CRIA chose to stand on its ideological position, and continue to pursue copyright reform that would allow them to sue music users who make illegal copies of music, rather than be compensated for private copying.
Michael Giest writes about the levy decision, and its demise. Other recent...
A short Friday night entry for y'all. This new site: www.bandandcrew.com looks like it might become a good resource for people looking for....you guessed it: band and crew. It looks Facebookish and is free to join. It seems pretty US-based, but if you're needing, uh, band or crew, check it out.
Canada's oldest independent record label, True North Records, has been bought by Linus Entertainment. Founder and president Bernie Finkelstein will stay on as chair, and will continue to run his management company, which has long guided the career of Bruce Cockburn, and includes singer-songwriter Stephen Fearing and recent additions The Golden Dogs.
Now Taking Submissions for a MUSEXPO Showcase Opportunity
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 4pm CST Thursday, January 17, 2008
MARIA and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND are planning an exclusive showcase of Manitoba music at MUSEXPO in Los Angeles April 27 – 30, 2008.
MUSEXPO is a music industry conference with extremely limited showcasing opportunities. The audience is captive and includes some of the highest profile and most powerful people in music and entertainment, including heads of A&R, film and television music supervisors, publishers, booking agents/promoters, managers, online and traditional video gaming, telecommunications, and more. Some of the confirmed speakers and delegates include music managers Simon Renshaw (Dixie Chicks) and Robert Reynolds (The Killers), Paul Tollett (Founder/President, Golden Voice/Coachella Music & Arts Festival), Diane Warren (songwriter), Nick Raphael (President, Epic Records, UK), Bob Lefsetz (Author, Lefsetz Letter), Kathleen Carey (Sr. VP International Sony/ATV Music Publishing), Kevin Lyman (founder, Vans Warped Tour), David Massey (President, Mercury Records), Alexandra Patsavas (Music Supervisor, Grey’s Anatomy, Chuck, Rescue Me), Steve...
Another year of unstoppableness has come to a close and the Aboriginal music community in Manitoba has a lot to be proud of. We took to the north in search of new talent, retreated to the Misty Lake Lodge for a week of development, recorded performances with the CBC and NCI, celebrated our culture on the longest day of the year, released three compilation CDs, met with stakeholders to discuss the future, shared our music with the continent during the Manito Ahbee Festival and garnered a slew of nominations and awards for our abilities.
The year began with the launch of the Star Catcher program and a first stop for the traveling show at the Winter Tribal Days in Brandon. The Manito Ahbee Festival produced this province-wide talent contest as a way to identify new Aboriginal singers while promoting the festival to rural and northern communities at the same time. After four stops and a number of solid performances, 12 finalists were crowned and awarded the opportunity to record with a producer and studio in Winnipeg. A final contest was held later in the year, where the top act was picked and offered a spot on national television during the live broadcast of the Aboriginal...
WINNIPEG – The Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association’s (MARIA) Aboriginal Music Program is pleased to announce the list of invited artists for AMP Camp 2008. A total of 45 strong applications were received, making the adjudication process both interesting and difficult.
AMP Camp is made possible by a working partnership between MARIA's Aboriginal Music Program and the Music Section of the Canada Council for the Arts. It will provide each of the participants with the opportunity to develop their understanding of the music industry along with their ability to succeed in it. Each day of the week-long residency will include professional development workshops on business topics and creative development labs to help the artists develop their music.
AMP Camp will be held at the Misty Lake Lodge in Gimli, Manitoba from March 9-14, 2008 and all sessions will be lead by a faculty of established artists and music industry professionals. This year’s faculty includes Kinnie Starr, Heather Bishop, Sal Ferreras, Marty Ballentyne and Doug Cox. A number of other instructors will be added in the upcoming months to provide additional expertise to the group.
Dec. 13, 2007 - Renowned musician, activist, and elder, Floyd Red Crow Westerman passed on to the spirit world at 5:00 a.m. PST this morning at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles after an extended illness and complications from Leukemia as reported today by the Native American Times and News From Indian Country.
Floyd Red Crow Westerman participated and performed in the First Annual Native American Music Awards in 1998, was the recipient of NAMA's Living Legend Award in 2002, and was recently awarded Best Country Recording for his recording, "A Tribute To Johnny Cash" at the Ninth Annual Native American Music Awards in October 2006.
With music as his first love, Westerman left his home on the Lake Traverse reservation in South Dakota with a suitcase and an old guitar as a young man. He traveled across the country playing country music and his own original songs.
In 1969, he signed his first recording contract and released his first album, the highly acclaimed, "Custer Died for Your Sins" which captured the Indian movement's pathos and ethos during its formative years....
Working on behalf of MARIA’s Board of Directors and in consultation with staff, The Marketing Coordinator will coordinate the delivery of the marketing and events undertaken by MARIA and through MARIA’s programs.
The Marketing Coordinator reports to the Executive Director of MARIA and is responsible to MARIA’s Board of Directors and to its membership.
The responsibilities of the Marketing Coordinator will be as follows:
• Coordinate logistics for Market Development events.
• Coordinate Manitoba presence at music conferences and events, which could include:
• Design, logistics, scheduling and staffing of the Manitoba music booths at trade shows, conferences, and awareness events.
• Logistics coordination for Manitoba music showcases
• Managing the invitation lists for Manitoba music events
• Representing MARIA at various industry functions
• Providing support to Manitoba artists and industry at various events.
• Coordinate logistics for MARIA events, including but not limited to: the Annual General Meeting, the MARIA golf tournament, and other...
Working on behalf of MARIA’s Board of Directors, the Office Assistant will assist in the day-to-day functioning of the MARIA office.
The Office Assistant reports to the Executive Director of MARIA and is responsible to MARIA’s Board of Directors and its membership.
The responsibilities of the Office Assistant will be as follows:
- Working at the reception area answering phones, directing calls, and answering general inquiries regarding MARIA
- Coordinating information via fax, email, mail, and courier
- Managing office inventory and supplies
- Maintaining office systems (phone, copier, calendar, filing, etc)
- Preparing program materials such as printing and collating of contracts, course materials, marketing materials
- Assisting with marketing initiatives, member services, and research requirements on an as-needed basis
- Acting as host to visitors to the office
- Preparing facilities for meetings, workshops and other events
- Recording and distributing notes and action items during meetings
- Other duties as assigned.
Sam Baardman, Executive Director of the Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association (MARIA), will go on a one-year leave effective January 1, 2008.
Baardman, who has been in his position for nearly eight years, will continue to work with MARIA as a special program consultant to help create a new multi-year development plan for the Manitoba music industry. Baardman intends to work as a consultant on other projects that will impact on the development of the music industry on a national level.
Baardman has been instrumental in strengthening MARIA, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2007, and diversifying its services and capacity as a strong voice for the Manitoba music industry. He has also been a force for change and cohesion in the national industry, serving as chair of the FACTOR National Advisory Board, president of the Western Canadian Music Alliance, and a director for Folk Alliance Canada during his tenure at MARIA.
“We have achieved nearly everything I could have hoped for when I first sat down in our tiny, cramped office on Arthur Street in May of 2000,” says Baardman, “and I believe that MARIA has become a model for what a great music industry...
There are few songwriters who effect change and make history with their music and on December 7, folks in the MARIA office had the opportunity to learn about the process and thought employed by one such person- Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Sainte-Marie’s visit with MARIA included an afternoon songwriting workshop and a discussion about some of her most influential songs in the evening. The first session provided five Aboriginal songwriters with the opportunity to present songs for feedback from the Oscar winning writer. The songwriters were JC Campbell, Tracy Bone, Raine Morin, Rayne DeLaronde and Dominique Reynolds and the group spent three hours working on lyrics, song structure and composition.
The evening session featured a one-hour interview by NCI FM’s Rosanna Deerchild where Sainte-Marie answered questions about her process, the circumstances that informed songs like “Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee,” her experience in the music biz and the time she spent on Sesame Street. The later discussion offered great insight into Sainte-Marie’s approach to educating the world as she explained her reasons for being on the show and her hopes for future generations of North American...