Now that I’ve had a few days to reflect upon my near week in Toronto, I have to say, I took a lot of good stuff away from the people I met and the info I took in. My two favourite panels were: Women in Music and the Future of the Music Industry.
The panel about women in music was hosted by Melissa Auf der Maur. Her panel was an interesting mix of younger women who she has been paying attention to musically – No Joy from Montreal (with Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd) and Alaska B from Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, formerly from Montreal and now in Toronto. And, along with a man who had been doing music reviews in Toronto for longer than not: Ben Rayner. Their perspective was realistic and refreshing. These women don’t take shit from anyone, they make the music they love, and they aren’t letting anyone dictate the fate of their careers. I went to see No Joy later that same night at The Black Box and they also deliver on sound and musicality. Auf der Maur has opened a music/event hall in upper state New York and will have them perform there later in the fall. Don’t miss them if you have a chance to see them.
The Future of the Music Industry Panel was also really interesting. The panel included: Alan Cross, Jake Gold, and Richard Thomas. The moderator was Medina Abdelkader.
A few things that I took away from that panel were:
1) There is a great divide between consumers of music and collectors of music. People still want to own a “thing” – CD – and CD and vinyl sales are still doing okay despite the download and consumer culture where everyone expects artists to give away their work for free.
2) A live show is sex on stage. If you don’t deliver at least that, you aren’t doing your job right. As a follow up to giving away your work for free, people are willing to pay for the experience of the live show since that’s when they connect with you as a musician and wholeheartedly to music. It’s the intimacy on stage and that connection that people crave. Give them what they want, and look like you’re having an awesome time doing it, and you will have fans that will buy into you.
3) Be awesome. Be your artistic self and don’t write for the audience. Write for yourself and let the fans find you. Jake Gold couldn’t stress that enough.
4) It’s all about the song, the song, the song. Alan Cross knows a thing or two about music, and I don’t disagree.
5) Musicians never really ever made money off of music sales, they make it off of touring and merch and etc. It’s hard to believe that someone isn’t making money somewhere… but there you have it.
All in all, two great panels.
I’ll have more on the state of the film and TV industry panels early next week.
Have a great weekend folks. If you’re in Ottawa – be sure to go see The Matinée at Dragon Boat Festival. They played NXNE, and have done two shows in Ottawa in the recent past. They are awesome, in every sense of that word.