Wayne Kramer Honored by Future of Music Coalition

The Future of Music Coalition is holding its inaugural Future of Music Coalition Honors, to be held Monday, October 28, 2013 at The Hamilton Live in Washington, DC.

Wayne Kramer will receive a well deserved award in recognition of his role as an activist for social change.

Voice of Social Change 
Wayne Kramer, MC5, Co-Founder, Jail Guitar Doors USA

A true music legend, Wayne Kramer is much more than a widely respected sonic innovator, composer and performer. He is also a devoted activist who has channeled his personal journey into a commitment to social change spanning decades. Guided by a deep belief in the power of personal transformation through music, Wayne’s work with the incarcerated through the nonprofit Jail Guitar Doors serves as an inspiration for artists everywhere to use their platforms to make a real difference. Future of Music Honors is thrilled to recognize Wayne’s founding role and ongoing leadership in Jail Guitar Doors USA, as well as his lifelong commitment to creative expression.

Legendary guitarist and songwriter Wayne Kramer and his all-star friends will bring a raucous energy to the occasion with musical performances.


Jail Guitar Doors Benefit Concert featuring Wayne Kramer & Friends

with Brer Rabbit (Flobots), Alec Ounsworth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), Raul Pacheco (Ozomatli), Brendan Canty (Fugazi, Deathfix), Erin McKeown, Ariana Delawari, Jill Sobule, Mark Cisneros (Deathfix), and Wayne Kramer

Two Important Music Conference Events Monday October 28th

There are two important music industry conferences taking place Monday October 28th. These events are instrumental to effect change for the digital music industry. Each event is powerful in scope with a noteworthy cross-section of industry/celebrity presenters and significant topics that are just in time when it comes to the Internet music debate forum.

I wish I could take the day off from teaching and fully plug-in to both cyberspace events. More importantly I wish I could be in person at one of these conclaves but cost restriction and employment are the realities of my life.

I absolutely plan to plug-in via the Web as best I can and follow the proceedings via social media too. I will share how you can do that below if you are inclined to witness and take part. Remember this is your digital music too and your voice is important in the mix. Now is not the time to be a digital music sheeple in play only mode and just let those with industry clout shape our music.

1) The Future of Music Summit 2013, October 28-29

The first event is The Future of Music Summit 2013 taking place in Washington, DC at Georgetown University.

Webcast Information – Be certain to register so you can be reminded of when the Webcast starts etc. 😉

Future of Music Coalition is a national nonprofit organization that works to make sure a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want.

Summit 2013 will cover an incredible amount of ground, including:

  • Presentations and keynotes by government officials, musicians and advocates
  • How proposed changes to copyright law may impact musicians
  • The ins-and-outs of digital business models and revenue generation
  • Data and the artist experience
  • Why public policy matters to local cultural communities around the globe
  • How musicians are advancing positive social change

Granted this event is more about copyright and is far more sociopolitical. But if you thread through the speakers schedule you will find several influential luminaries in the panel discussions and some very meaty topics.

So if you are a digital music wonk like me these two days loom large in understanding what is being discussed, debated and decided about the music ecosystem.

I applaud Tim Quirk from Google Play for participating in this event. I did not see any other major music moguls from Sony Music, Universal Music, Spotify, Apple, Spotify, BeatsAudio etc. taking the time to speak at this very important conclave. Shame on them. My respect increases for Google’s role and commitment.

I am keenly interested in Tim Quirk’s presentation.

Pushing People Up The Pyramid

This presentation highlights the different strategies musicians need to engage different tiers of fans – from the unaware and barely interested to the most die-hard fanatics – and provides insight on how Tim has arranged the editorial and merchandising piece of various services he’s worked for to best reflect that reality.

Tim Quirk Head of Global Content Programming, Google Play

2) Virgin Music – Virgin Disruptors, Has Tech Killed The Music Industry

The second event is sponsored by Virgin Music, Spotify, Vevo and Songkick. Virgin Music is making this part of their 40 year celebration of Virgin Records. The event is Virgin Disruptors, Has Tech Killed The Music Industry.

This event is much more splashy, social media and multimedia branded than The Future of Music . But the intent and purpose is well-intentioned.

The question “has tech killed the music industry” along with many others that surround the relationship between music and technology, will be debated live from the Virgin Records anniversary exhibition in Central London on Monday October 28th at 3:30 pm. EST. The event will feature artists who have been vocal about tech vs music: will.i.amAmanda PalmerScooter BraunImogen Heap and Zoë Keating, alongside leading music platforms SpotifyVevo and Songkick.

Zoe Keating is totally cool intellectual. I plan to write a separate blog post about her soon (I’ve started writing it…)

My browser and Internet viewing will be busied on Monday. I hope I can set aside the time to soak in these two events. No question I will need archive access to best absorb all of this stuff.

Can you say drinking from the end of the fire hose? I knew that you could 😉

Bring it on!


Let’s Work Together

The choice is over. It’s time for Congress to work together with our President.

President Barack Obama addressing a joint session of Congress on Thursday.

Enough of this obstruction, partisan politics and voting against legislation.

C’mon Let’s Work Together!

Love this song by Canned Heat, it underscores the problem polarization has created for us.

Check out Larry “The Mole” Taylor on bass and Bob “The Bear” Hite on outstanding vocal in this 70’s video from  Beat-Club in Germany.

Together we’ll stand
Divided we’ll fall
Come on now people
Let’s get on the ball
And work together
Come on, come on
Let’s work together

© EMI Music Publishing

We Take Care Of Our Own

Bruce Springsteen has played a strategic role in the re-election of President Obama. The song, “We Take Care of Our Own” has become the rallying cry for the next four years.

Bruce Springsteen for Obama:

Last night when President Obama gave his victory speech the song at the end of the event as confetti flew through the air was “We Take Care of Our Own”. I was so proud of President Obama, his family, his campaign team and of the merits of Bruce Springsteen’s song. How fitting and right was the message the song communicated.

Wherever this flag’s flown 
We take care of our own

2012 Bruce Springsteen

Gil Scott-Heron, Bluesologist Joins the Light

Small Talk at 125th and Lenox
Image via Wikipedia

I awoke this morning to learn that Gil Scott-Heron, one of my heroes died yesterday afternoon. I am stunned and feel this incredible sense of loss. His poetry and voice spoke to me on such deep, profound levels.

Chuck D said it best in his tribute Tweet, “RIP GSH..and we do what we do and how we do because of you. And to those that don’t know tip your hat with a hand over your heart & recognize.”

No one told it like it was like Gil Scott-Heron. He expressed much of what we knew to be true. I was 18 in 1970 when Small Talk at 125th and Lennox  was playing on WBAI-FM. I was growing up in a city housing project. Gil Scott-Heron spoke to my soul with accuracy and depth. Gil Scott-Heron epitomized my existence with stark honesty through powerful poems as “Whitey on the Moon”, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, “The Bottle” and “We Beg Your Pardon”.

My favorite line by Gil Scott-Heron is, “We Beg Your Pardon America, Because the Pardon You Gave This Time Was Not Yours to Give.”

God rest your poetic soul Gil Scott-Heron, your legacy lives on in all of us, until we meet you in the light.