Air-Traffic Control and the Future of Music Coalition are institutions that exist to help musicians to play a part in social justice, having assembled a web of people and resources that allow them to more cohesively and effectively collaborate with each other and with other social institutions.
Since 2006, the two organizations have been teaming up for “artist activism” retreats in New Orleans. The retreats give artists—some already known for their activism, such as Tom Morello, Mike Mills of R.E.M., and Boots Riley of the Coup—an opportunity to interact with and directly benefit New Orleans and our people in this post-Katrina and BP oil disaster city.
Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, released letters from a diverse group of organizations voicing their opposition to Republican plans to reverse the FCC’s new net neutrality regulations using a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act.
“I join with these organizations in expressing my opposition to any Republican effort to nullify the FCC’s new rules on net neutrality,” said Rep. Waxman. “These regulations are necessary for not only protecting consumers but also promoting an open and robust internet that can spur technological innovation and economic growth.” read more
The Dear NOLA Benefit Concert, which raises money for the Louisiana nonprofit organizations Sweet Home New Orleans and Gulf Restoration Network, goes down February 17 at Blue Nile in New Orleans. The New Orleans brass band Bonerama will play with guests like Mirah, members of Rogue Wave and DeVotchKa, DJ Spooky, Cody ChesnuTT, Sage Francis, Dead Prez’s M1, and Tsunami’s Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson.
In early January, President Barack Obama signed the Local Community Radio Act of 2010, which is expected to create hundreds, possibly thousands, of noncommercial FM stations. The new law brings into effect much of what Kennard’s FCCset in motion more than a decade ago.
We live in a world of seemingly infinite choices: Press the remote control and you can watch documentaries, cartoons, dramas and talent shows. Click the mouse and you can play video games, listen to music, watch movies or chat with friends. Technology has given us access to many different forms of expression, and entire communities have formed around them. Americans live in a culture of multiple cultures no longer broken down simply by ethnicity, religion or age.
So is there a name for this? Casey Rae-Hunter of the Future of Music Coalition says the academic word for it is disintermediation, “but since that’s a mouthful, ‘fractured culture’ works just fine.” read more
Kembrew McLeod’s youthful interest in 1980s hip-hop became a life-long scholarly pursuit when some of the groups he’d listened to as a teenager were sued in the early 1990s for using samples of previously recorded music.
“The issue—how the law affects sampling—is the entire reason I’m a professor,” says Mr. McLeod, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Iowa. read more
Within the music industry, the response is rather muted. Representatives of independent and unsigned artists want Net Neutrality in place to ensure up and coming artists have just as much access to the Internet as superstar artists backed by major labels. The RIAA supports Net Neutrality so long as the rules don’t prohibit ISPs from taking action against pirated content (should they choose to do so). read more
OK Go have been doing fine without a major label, though, and they’re not alone. Casey Rae Hunter of the Future of Music Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, says there has been an explosion of independent musicians who can now reach their fans without a label or radio.
“In the old days, they would still have to navigate this pretty complex system of bottlenecks and gatekeepers to reach the fan,” Hunter says. “The Internet means that you can develop and cultivate these sort of one-on-one relationships. They can become viral, like as in the case of the amazing OK Go videos that you see on YouTube. Or it can be just a sort of like, ‘Holy crap, I’m talking to my favorite rock star on Twitter.’ “
Ten years ago, no one would have predicted that we’d mostly all be listening to music via MP3 files, CDs would be all but dead, and vinyl record sales would be up. The music industry today is morphing so fast that it’s difficult for anyone—record label owner, musician, fan—to keep up. Casey Rae-Hunter, who speaks on a panel at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson this week, works at the Future of Music Coalition. Mission: “[ensuring] a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want.” He kindly took time out of a vacation to California last week to talk to us about payola, the looming music cloud, and Amanda Palmer.