New Noise Santa Barbara was a great success. Being their first year, nobody was certain how heavily attended the concert component or conference component would be. Both turned out to be a success! People raved about Michael Franti’s Arlington Theatre performance, Jack Johnson’s film screening with last minute acoustic performance as well as many of the sold out club shows.
The New Noise Panels were also well attended and talked and tweeted about all weekend. I was asked to speak on two panels, “The Future Is Unwritten” and “The Green Musician.” Below I’ve written a list of 5 items from each panel that I learned from other panelists.
What I learned from other panelists on “The Future is Unwritten:”
1) Record Labels see themselves as institutions that need restructuring just as the industry is calling for. Much as the American people are separate from the American government, record labels as institutions are separate from their staff. You can actually still find some bright and forward-thinking minds at the majors.
2) Artist should copyright their material, period. It allows artists to recoup legal fees in the event of a law suit, despite songs being ‘protected’ right as they are written.
3) Third party web applications are actually being embraced by the major labels, despite their claims of having in house development teams and the ability to write and release them on their own.
4) Kanye West is a brand, and even though his blog is written by two ghost-writers, his brand is seen by fans as authentic. Perhaps if Kanye himself were to write his blog, the fans would sniff out non-authenticity…
5) People in the audience heard the word ‘monetize’ about a hundred and sixty two times (and secretly liked it). After all, this is the music BUSINESS, isn’t it?
What I learned from other panelists on “The Green Musician:”
1) Recycled packaging for CD or DVD releases is very close to the same price as typical plastic-based options. Visually, options exist these days that do not force the artist to only push hippie-looking goods when going green. Check out Kufala and GrooveHouse.
2) Just because an artist puts Biodiesel into your tour bus does not mean that it was manufactured in a sustainable process. Get the real scoop on biofuels from the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance where you can download a Biodiesel Fueling Questionnaire.
3) Anybody can recycle their old CDs and DVDs, artwork, jewel cases, discs and all at the CD Recycling Center of America. Send a box in large or small today!
4) Independent Artists such as Soul Majestic are able to promote green initiatives on their own, but more effectively when they team up with independent management groups like LoaTree who promotes all things ‘eco-groovy.’
5) Independent Artists can and should vote with their dollars despite green touring infrastructure being in its infancy. The more artists who demand sustainable practices in all sectors of the music industry, the more rapidly change occurs. Vote with your dollars!