Called “music’s monetization mystery” by Forbes, on today’s episode we shed light on the “black box” — a complicated phenomenon in the music industry where small and large sums of money don’t make it to an artist. What happens to these unattributed royalties and how can musicians safeguard their income? We ask CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux and CrossBorderWorks’ Vickie Nauman for insight.
How do local music ecosystems affect the economic and cultural health of a city? Portia went to Upstream Music Fest to discuss with leaders from the regional music hubs of Seattle (Kate Becker), Portland (David O.G. ONE Jackson), and Vancouver BC (Alex Grigg). Hear how their groups are changing the game when it comes to protecting and sustaining music culture. Learn how these regional partnerships are impacting our local community, creating opportunities and helping increase the value of music — and our cities.
Merge Records has been behind some of the independent world’s most popular releases from bands like Spoon, Arcade Fire, Neutral Milk Hotel, Waxahatchee, and of course, Superchunk since 1989. We hear about the label’s beginnings from co-founder Laura Ballance (Superchunk), and are joined again by MC Taylor of Merge band Hiss Golden Messenger.
Since 2003, Chicago-based independent record label Numero Group has been celebrating the obscure, the rare, and the long-forgotten through their meticulously crafted reissues and compilations. On this episode, we highlight the label with co-founder Ken Shipley and discuss the ways they’ve creatively adapted to major industry changes, always seeming to stay one step ahead of the game. We also hear from Andre Gibson of disco group Universal Togetherness Band. The prolific act was rediscovered over thirty years after their breakup by Numero Group.
Establishing a reputation and fan base is vital as a musician, but how can a band evolve once they’re known for a sound? On this episode, Portia sits down with Justin Ringle, whose band Horse Feathers just released their sixth album, Appreciation. Justin and longtime producer Skyler Norwood discuss developing the band’s sound while preserving its identity and how they worked to push their boundaries after 12 years. We also hear about the album’s cycle and promotional strategies.
Album artwork is often a listener’s first impression of a record, so how does an artist successfully represent their music visually? We brought together graphic designers and music people for a panel at Design Week Portland to discuss the creative and conceptual collaborations that go into designing a record. Hear insight from designers Adam R. Garcia (Instrument, The Pressure), Tawfiq Mardini, Lead Designer at Fresh Selects Records, and Joe Stewart (Work & Co.), who’s behind many of Xiu Xiu’s album covers. You’ll also get the perspective of label leaders Aaron Meola (Label Manager at Tender Loving Empire) and Jenny Logan (President of XRAY Records).