Stopping the Music Monopoly: Why Independent Musicians and Music Fans Should Take a Stand

Listen Local First supports talented independent musicians in developing their art form, building their brand and cultivating their fanbase.  It is for these very reasons that we believe a merger that threatens the development of new digital distribution services and the ability of consumers to access new music at an affordable price is one that needs to be stopped.

As an artist or a music consumer, YOU can Help Stop the Music Monopoly!

HERE is a link to an Op Ed we published in the Huffington Post titled “Tell the FTC to STOP the Music Monopoly – Support Music Freedom”  We have highlighted some key points from the article below.

Why the Merger is Bad for the Independent Music Community

  • Universal Music Group/ EMI (UMG) will own 40% of the recorded music market.
  • Sony ATV Publishing will become the largest music publisher in the world with rights to up to 750,000 songs including the Beatles catalog.
  • Digital distribution services have to negotiate licenses with the major labels, and competition is essential for these negotiations. A major label that gains control of 40% of sound recordings would have the power to demand significantly more for its catalog and to choose, for its own purposes, the winners and losers in this market.
  • Without a licensing agreement from the now-largest label, a digital music service would lose traffic and advertising and become unsustainable. If these smaller digital services go under and new ones are prevented from entering the market, these artists will lose additional avenues of exposure and essentially forfeit their bargaining power for higher rates. Higher rates for the services mean smaller payments for independent musicians.
  • A mega label with unchallenged market power could withdraw significant portions of its publishing catalog from performance rights organizations.
  • Individually negotiating for publishing rights with labels would be detrimental to webcasters and streaming music sites. With limited or higher-priced access to playlists, web traffic would stagnate, advertising dollars would dry up, and new programming targeted at local markets that feature independent artists would disappear.
  • Due to higher licensing fees from the labels, music services will be forced to offset those costs by raising prices on the consumer end.
  • Finally, higher prices to legitimately access the digital music market will force consumers to find alternate illegitimate music sites that do not compensate artists.  Those artists that will take the hardest hit will be the independent artist.

 

LISTEN LOCAL FIRST, RYAN HOLLADAY FROM BLUEBRAIN & SASHA LORD CONFIRMED FOR SXSW DEBRIEF PANEL

The Metro Music Source & DC Setlist will be hosting a SXSW debrief panel discussion next Thursday, March 29th at The Dunes as part of their monthly music industry meet-up event. Fresh from their return from Austin, Texas, the Listen Local First team, Ryan Holladay from BLUEBRAIN, and promoter Sasha Lord will be sharing their experiences about SXSW 2012. The evening will feature a performance from Gypsy jazz vocalist and Strathmore Artist In Residence, Mary Alouette.

Listen Local First DC (LLF) is a local music initiative devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for local musicians and venues in order to raise the profile of DC’s local music scene. At the beginning of the year, LLF launched a campaign to get a mobile music venue to SXSW with the aim of showcasing the talent and diversity of the DC area music scene to a wider audience. With money raised from a Kickstarter campaign, Listen Local First (LLF) purchased a van, decked it out with sound equipment, and took to the road. They successfully showcased 15 DC bands/ musicians and hosted upwards of 25 different mobile music venue performances over the course of 3 days. The process, adventure and music were documented via their blog, and soon-to-be-released web series.

Ryan Holladay is one half of the innovative music duo, BLUEBRAIN. They’ve been featured in everything from WIRED Magazine to the New York Times for their work, which blurs the line between art and technology. Their “location-aware album” for The National Mall is the first ever iPhone app to be included in the Washington Post’s Top 10 Albums of the Year awards. Ryan also serves as the new media curator at Artisphere.

Sasha Lord is the booker and promoter for Comet Ping Pong in DC. She co-produced the “DC Does SXSW” event which showcased a diversity of DC artists including Hume, Deleted Scenes, Edie Sedgwick and DJ Baby Alcatraz. In addition Sasha has partnered, promoted or booked with Civilian Art Projects, The Pink Line Project, U Street Music Hall, The Fridge, Gold Leaf Studios/443 Eye St, Albus Cavus, The Hirshhorns Art Lab program & Tranformer.

The evening will end with music from Gypsy jazz vocalist and Strathmore Artist In Residence Mary Alouette. Alouette describes her sound as “Gypsy jazz, post dubstep, beautiful music and dangerous rhythms”. Her core inspiration is the gypsy legend virtuoso guitarist Django Reinhardt, but her musical influences also range from the great Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Edith Piaf through to progressive contemporaries like Grimes, St. Vincent, and Modeselektor. Mary will be previewing tracks from her debut EP Midas, ahead of her CD Release Show on April 25th at the Mansion at Strathmore.

The Metro Music Source (MMS) is proud to have Ryan Holladay, LLF founders Christopher Naoum and René Moffatt, Sasha Lord and Mary Alouette at their March Meet- Up. MMS is an informal monthly music industry meet-up event with the goal of bringing focus to the vibrant DC music scene, encouraging support, collaboration, and knowledge sharing amongst music creators and industry professionals. Past MMS events have brought together local musicians, record label reps, artist managers, publicists, filmmakers, music publishers, producer/engineers, and many others. This month’s event is co-hosted with DC Setlist, a popular music platform which recommends, discovers and discusses all things music in the DC area and beyond.

Event Details:

When: Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Time: 6pm-9pm
Venue: The Dunes, 1402 Meridian Place, NW Washington, DC 20009

Cost: Free!

The event will be hosted by Jem Bahaijoub (Founder, imaginePR. Contributor, IndieAmbassador.com), Dave Mallen (Producer, Innovation Station Music) and Jennifer Vinson (Editor, DC Setlist).

A Thanks to Our Kickstarter Supporters!

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We made it back from Austin and documented one hell of a party!  We captured footage and interviews with over 15 DC bands and held over 25 #MobileMusicVenue performances.

We had an awesome team of videographers, photographers, producers and sound engineers that did an unbelievable job.  Thank you Ally Behnke, Ben Droz, Gordon Daniels, Stuart Dilg and Sam Winter.

Please follow all of our trip updates at:

https://www.facebook.com/ListenLocalFirst

https://listenlocalfirst.wordpress.com/

http://mobilemusicvenue.tumblr.com/

But first we wanted to thank everyone who got us here:

Van Sponsors:

Glen Echo Group 

Indie Match/Marble Road 

Pop-Up Shop Records

Social Studies DC  

The Artists who painted the van: Peter Chang & Brandon Hill from No Kings Creative

Additional Thanks to: Honest Tea and Kind Healthy Snacks

Producers:   

Maura Corbett, Howard Liebers, Tom Naoum, Bob Fine, Carlos Saenz., Denuine, Jacob Marzolf, Kurt Wimmer, Markeata Daniels, Neil Chilson., Shadi Zamer, Sorin Naoum, Janakan Thiagarajah

Rockers:

Jeremy Sigmon, Andrew Naoum, Amy Friedman, Rich Behnke, David Jump, Stacy H, Ben Kessler, Jessica DeSimone, Kate Runde, Rachel Levetin, Sara Liebman, GoodOnes LLC, Doug Beridon, Matt Pollock, Raphael Ruland, Mike Sacks, Curtis Leitner & Amanda Stone, Bryan Friedman, Robert Andary, Tiffany Chao, Harriet Friedman

Groupies:

Brenden Sloan, Julie Samuels, Matthew Brazier, Ben Sheena, Lianne Muldoon, Jem Bahaijoub, Paul Geller, Katie Yocum Mussisi, Herban Lifestyle, Ryan Bailey, Ben Usie, Chell Stephen, Patrick Wixted, Brandon Bloch, George Evans, Lauren Cole, Ra Jah Kelley, Kylie Quinn, Michael Ball, Melanie Boyer, Jay Rogers, Casey Rae Hunter, Ben Carron, Parul Desai, Rebecca Chisholm, Anne McNamara, Lisa Markuson, Audrey Matthais, Brick Barrientos, Charles McEnerney, Brian Franke, Jeff Housman, Maria Amodio, Jodi Barbuto, Ryan Stubbs, Bryon Gyllstrom, Natasha Trifun, Jeff Dantus, ChunkyGlasses.com, Casey Barbuto, Andrew Ujifusa, Madeleine Starkey, May Tabol, Cornelius Luca

Fans:

Ashlea Smith, Allison Kasic, Elena Castellanos, Pat Walsh, Kristine Quinio, Laura Valentino Romero, Crystal Wei, Vegas With Randolph, Hirsch Kravitz, Alex Rosenberg, Chhaya Kapadia, Leah Shalev, Raul Flores, Margot MacDonald, Stephanie Mitesser, John Baker, Sweetbread Jim’s, Karn Dhingra, Dwayne Robinson, Dave Mallen, Amy Henes, Nick Brandfon, Max Lopatnikov, Matt Dreyer, Ann Millspaugh, Kat Basile, Jacob Beier, Melanie Oscher, Belinda Rawlins, Mike Boggs, Ben Legman, Jocelyn Cuchack Lichtin, ERica Lee Schlaikjer, Nate Lewis, Dave Klein, Adrian Krygowski, Ad Hoc, Dwight Rundle, Ryan Holladay, Sylvia Syracuse, Danielle

OUR RECENT PRESS

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-naoum/tell-the-ftc-to-stop-the-_b_1353775.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/06/listen-local-first-dc-van-sxsw-festival_n_1321413.html

http://scoutmob.com/washington-dc/scoutfinds/3387

http://futureofmusic.org/blog/2012/03/08/qa-listen-local-first-co-founder-chris-naoum

http://pinklineproject.com/article/listen-local-first-qa-christopher-naoum

Listen Local First Press Release for SXSW

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Listen Local First Mobile Music Venue at SXSW
Contact- listenlocalfirst@gmail.com
Chris Naoum

March 12: Austin, Texas (or) Washington, DC.  Listen Local First(LLF), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting local music is bringing their message to the national stage this year at the SXSW Music Conference.  SXSW already brings over 2,000 artists performing at over 90 venues: LLF will now add a “Mobile Music Venue” to showcase some of the 30+ bands from the emerging music scene in Washington, DC.

With money raised from a kickstarter campaign, the group purchased a Van and had it painted by local artists.  Sound equipment will make it into a pop-up venue, which will have shows throughout the week.  Listen Local First will be producing an online web series and blog documenting the process, adventure, and music of this epic road-trip.

On Wednesday, March 14, there will be three separate showcases highlighting local, Washington, DC bands, all within a few blocks from each other.  The events are:

DC Does Texas, sponsored by DCist, at Lovejoys at 604 Neches: Noon-6pm
Way Out West, sponsored by Pop Up Shop Records Showcase, at The Bayou 500 E 6th St: Noon- 6pm
Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Showcase at Casa Chapala 101 San Jacinto Blvd: Noon – Midnight

Coverage, which includes video and photography, will be updated live and regularly throughout the week.  It can be found on the blog and through the following:
mobilemusicvenue.tumblr.com
twitter.com/listenlocaldc
#MobileMusicVenue #ListenLocal #SXSWDC
youtube.com/listenlocal
facebook.com/listenlocaldc

March DC Local Music Day, Panel Discussion, and Live Showcase

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MARCH FEATURE ARTISTS

DC Local Music Day – Wednesday March 7th
Parlor Soldiers – http://theparlorsoldiers.bandcamp.com/
Justin Trawick – http://www.justintrawick.com
Dance for the Dyinghttp://danceforthedying.com
Flo Anito – www.floanito.com
We Were Pirates – www.wewerepiratesmusic.com/
yU - http://mellomusicgroup.com/yu.html

PARTICIPATING BUSINESSES
Please Visit – www.listenlocalfirst.com

LISTEN LOCAL FIRST MARCH PANEL & LIVE SHOWCASE

Thursday March 8th at Mellow Mushroom (2436 18th Street NW)

Co-Sponsored by:
Think Local First DC

PANEL DISCUSSION 8pm – 9pm

Covering Local Music: As seen from writers and bloggers themselves

Moderator: Brandon Wetherbee host of You Me Them & Everybody

Panelists:
Jon Fischer – Washington City Paper
Philip Runco – Brightest Young Things
Valerie Paschall – The DCist
Gio Russonello – Editor Capital Bop
Marcus Dowling – Free Lance Journalist
Jon Meyers – The Vinyl District


LIVE SHOWCASE – 9:00 – 12:00am

PARLOR SOLDIERS – http://theparlorsoldiers.bandcamp.com/
DANCE FOR THE DYING – http://danceforthedying.com
FLO ANITO – www.floanito.com
+Special Guests!!!