A walk around various car-free day festivals in Vancouver, 2008 with unedited soundstream of drum circles, live bands of various sorts (including several numbers by a Grateful Dead inspired band, a free jazz combo, a protesting singer-songwriter, and a Latin-esque outfit…), plus skateboards, slam poets, and a bassoon quartet playing “hockey night theme” among other tunes.
Jason Lloyd came by the Hootsuite office to interview me for CiTR’s Tweets and Tunes, his show that examines the relationship between independent musicians and social media.
Being an active participant and enthusiast of music scenes, i had many topics to riff on, including DIY promo work at HootSuite, the Tracks on Tracks project, and the impact social media has on independent music.
Social media is creating an opportunity for musicians to connect with their audience like never before, allowing everyone to be part of a conversation. The changing dynamics between artist and fan are explored, along with lots of advice and tips for musicians and their social media endeavours.
The show ends with a discussion of the Vancouver music scene, including, bands, venues, and how things have changed and evolved over the years.
After spieling at NXNE 2012 in Toronto with “Social Media in Revolutions and Disasters, I shared some stories and thoughts about social media – specifically for bands and their fans – in a series created by Intel.
The real lowdown on Mp3 downloads – Levelling the Playing Field #2
[Originally published in Menu Magazine in Olympia, Wa, circa 1999]
You’ve likely heard of Mp3, haven’t you? Mp3 is a compression/encoding standard which allows near-CD quality duplication of audio files at a fraction of the size. Because the files are much smaller than regular CD audio files, they are fairly easily transferred over the Internet or burnt onto homemade CDs. Convenient? Yes indeed. Legal? Well that depends.
Before getting into the fun, revolutionary part and the technical portion, we must first look at some historical precedents so we can figure out the legal ramifications of this brave new format.
When I was a kid and there was a song on the radio that I liked, I would cue up an 8-track or cassette tape into the home and wait for the song to come on again. Then, I quickly hit the pause button to start recording, albeit missing the first few seconds. Legal? The courts figured this out when TV broadcasters were complaining about VCRs on the market and Yes you can record a commercial public broadcast for personal use, even if the quality is poor.
On a visit to the hamlet of Pe Ell, Uncle Weed checks in on the emerging super powers of The Numbskulz [MySpace] – Nolan, Seth and Graham. The 3 young rock and roll brothers recently recorded tracks at a studio and are seeking to load up their camouflage RV for a NorthWest summer tour. They discuss the songwriting process, the power of music to inspire others, playing covers vs. originals, promotion tactics for bands, and the importance of demanding knowledge at school.
Photos are an integral part of building a music scene and attracting audience but there’s a chasm between amateur snapshots and pro photos which truly capture the band’s aesthetic. This panel explores how bands and photographers can work together (technically & creativity) to produce images which enhance the artist/fan relationship.
What do photographers want from bands when shooting them?
What can bands do to be better subjects for photographers?
What are characteristics of a great band or concert photo?
How can photographers get great shots at shows with low light and fast action?
What are the differences between shooting for love or money? Does it change your shots?
Who are you shooting for? Yourself, the bands, the fans, the future?
Everyone has a camera of some kind – how does this change the reasons/importance of your photos?
What are rights licensing options for photographers?
How can photographers build an audience by sharing and using Creative Commons?
How can photographers build relationships with promoters/bands/labels?
Moderator Dave Thorvald Olson is a writer, podcaster and documentarian who frequently appears in media from High Times to CBC to BBC discussing counter-culture, art, hockey, and public policy.
I’ve seen hundreds of rock shows, published punk rock fanzines, followed the Grateful Dead plus Elvis died on my 7th birthday. I presented this panel at Northern Voice conference in Vancouver BC – recap with video, slides, photos, reviews and live blog.
Also, I gathered up exceptional Panelists:
Bev Davies photographed most every punk rock band in, or through, Vancouver in the 1977-85 from DOA to Dead Kennedys to The Clash plus “emerging” major acts like U2, Motorhead and Madonna. Her intimate and distinctive B&Ws, which appeared regularly in the alternative press together form a compelling chronicle of Vancouver’s music history.
Kris Krug regularly shoots bands along with fashion shows, tech conferences, Olympic Games and international travel. Known for his cross-processed style, he shares his shots with Creative Commons licensing, regularly organizes photo walks and contributes to conferences including TedX Shanghai, Gnomedex, PopTech, Petcha Kutcha and Northern Voice.
More about Rock N Roll Photography panel:
Photos are a key component of building a music scene or movement as well as engaging audience for a musical act, but there is a huge difference between some snapshots and photos which capture the band’s aesthetic and essence. Plus, photographers shooting for magazines or freelance don’t always want to share the licensing which allows the band to use the shots for their own promo use.
This panel with noted rock n roll photographers explores how bands and photographers can work together to produce images which thrill the band and inspire the fans. Beyond the technical points of photography, moderator Dave Olson will discuss how the manner of working, point of view, and setting are key contributors to quality results and ask the panelists how they find inspiration, develop a unique style, capture atmosphere, and form working relationships with the artists ~ plus technical tips to get in the pit and make a great rock shot.
A long lost friend from years ago in Logan Utah (the poet, now english teacher, Adam Burmingham) sent along this flyer from a band i played in in SLC circa 1990.
The band only lasted a short while as savnat singer/songwriter/guitar Chris Sullivan went to Alaska to fish (dammit). Bass player Dan Tatomer (Allen) is now the front man for Silver Needle, a glam-inspired rock outfit from LA, Brandon Kiggins in a filmmaker and instructor in NYC and the other drummer Eric, who knows … and me, i am just trying to get along.