February 4th, 2011

Rdio :: Raises $17.5 Million

Rdio :: Raises $17.5 Million

Rdio, a music subscription service for the United States and Canada, announced Thursday that it has raised a $17.5 million round of financing from new investor Mangrove Capital Partners with participation from existing investors Janus Friis (Rdio co-founder), Atomico and Skype.

Warner Bros. Records Chairman Rob Cavallo has joined Rdio’s board, which already included Mark Dyne (CEO of Europlay Capital Advisors), co-founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom (the original founders of Skype), and CEO Drew Larner.

Despite what the name might suggest, Rdio is not another Internet radio service like Pandora or Last.fm, where you can’t choose exactly what you want to hear. On Rdio, users pay a monthly subscription fee ($5 for basic or $10 for premium) to gain complete, on-demand access to the service’s library of 100 percent licensed music. All four major labels are on board: EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. (Continue Reading)

January 28th, 2011

Digital Music News :: Is This Working?

Digital Music News :: Is This Working?

[Via - DMN]
Is this strategy screaming for change? We just took a look at the top 100 singles on the iTunes Store (for Friday afternoon), and found that 95 of them were priced at $1.29. The remaining 5 were $0.99, and none were $0.69. Meanwhile, paid downloads are flattening (up just 1% in the US in 2010 last year according to Nielsen Soundscan).

So what happens when you expand the list? Apple actually posts the top 200 singles, so we expanded the count. But even among the top 200, 93.5 percent were $1.29, with just one 69-cent track available.


This is all part of a hard-fought victory by the majors, who wrestled with Apple for years to achieve ‘variable pricing.’ But this obviously isn’t working, and the trajectory suggests that iTunes singles will decline in 2011. “The price increase probably couldn’t have come at a worse time,” Warner Music Group chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. even admitted during a financial review at about this time last year. That implementation happened in 2008, or as Bronfman noted, in “the teeth of the worst recession since the Depression.”

So, why not change the pricing strategy, and save this format? The idea as initially proposed was to hike the price on more popular tracks, while matching lower pricing tiers with catalog songs. Sounds reasonable enough, though it looks that even this game plan has changed. Sources to Digital Music News recently noted that EMI has decided to price everything at $1.29 – new, old, whatever. We called EMI about this, and they declined to answer the question, though an initial examination validates the claims.

The results of our deeper dive are ahead. (Continue Reading)

January 28th, 2011

Spotify Close To A Deal With EMI

Spotify Close To A Deal With EMI

[Via - Ben Sisario - NYT]
Spotify, a digital music service that has been popular in Europe but met roadblocks in its plans to enter the American market, is inching closer to its goal. A week after it signed an arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment for distribution in the United States, the company is very close to closing a deal with EMI Music, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations but was not authorized to discuss them.

If a contract is signed, as is expected soon, it would give Spotify a strong beachhead in America, with two of the four major labels on board. But a deal with Universal Music Group, the largest of the labels, has been elusive, and people with knowledge of those talks say that no agreement is imminent. Universal has about a 31 percent market share of music sales in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan; Sony and EMI combined have about 37 percent. (Continue Reading)

January 3rd, 2011

Music Supervisor Profile :: Thomas Golubic

Music Supervisor Profile :: Thomas Golubic

We are excited to announce a new monthly feature on Rollo & Grady in which we interview the biggest and brightest music supervisors in the film and television business.

This month we spoke with Thomas Golubic, supervisor for The Walking Dead, Rubicon, and my personal favorite: Breaking Bad. Golubic, along with his business partner at the time, Gary Calamar (True Blood), revolutionized the use of indie music in television through his and Calamar’s work on the HBO drama, Six Feet Under. The duo, both DJs at KCRW, placed songs on the show by Thievery Corporation, Wilco, Quantic, Ryan Adams, PJ Harvey, Bob Mould, and Interpol, to name a few.
Music Supervisor Profile :: Thomas Golubic
Thomas next parlayed his talents to work on one of the most exciting dramas on television: Breaking Bad. He continued his streak of quality placements using TV On The Radio, Timber Timbre, Beastie Boys, The Walkmen, Gnarls Barkley, Calexico, and Darondo.

During our conversation, Thomas spoke openly about the challenges music supervisors face today. He also offered excellent advice on how to break into the business. Lastly, he discussed the importance of music blogs and the Hype Machine as key resources for finding new music.
Music Supervisor Profile :: Thomas Golubic

December 16th, 2010



Thank you for visiting Rollo & Grady. We’re an online music publication and music supervision, licensing, management, and production company based in Los Angeles. Our goal is to provide a convenient and efficient way to discover and rediscover quality music. We’re excited to share the music that we listen to. At Rollo & Grady, you’ll find tracks from the past, the present, and everywhere in between, as well as local and national music news, reviews, music videos, and interviews.

Rollo & Grady Productions focuses on placing up-and-coming indie artists in film, television, commercials, and the internet. We’ve served as music consultants for both film and television, working with Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman, and Seth Macfarlane on Season 5, 6, and currently on season 7 of the Fox program American Dad and with Fox Searchlight on the film Cedar Rapids, starring Ed Helms and John C. Reilly, directed by Miguel Arteta (Youth In Revolt, The Good Girl) and produced by Jim Burke and Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways). Rollo & Grady have recently been hired to consult for the war film, Love And Honor, starring Liam Hemsworth and Teresa Palmer.

Rollo & Grady Productions

In addition to consulting, Rollo & Grady Productions handled music supervision duties on the documentary Sing, a film about the 2008 Hotel Cafe tour and the indie comedy, Last Call starring Christopher Lloyd and Tom Arnold, executive produced by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers).

We currently supervise music on Cessna Aircraft’s online commercials for the Mandala Agency and consulting on a Toyota commercial for the Intermark Group.

Rollo & Grady has been featured or linked in the following online publications:

Los Angeles Times, Wired Magazine, The Guardian (UK), New York Times Magazine, Under The Radar Magazine, MTV, NME, Paste, Rolling Stone, Hipster Runoff, Filter, LAist, Village Voice, Current TV, Daily Swarm, Relix Magazine, USA Today, The Daily Chord, Flavorwire, JamBase, Dallas Observer, KXLU 88.9 FM, WXPN.com, Hypebot, and Seth Godin’s Blog.


You can catch Rollo & Grady from time to time DJ’ing on LA radio station KXLU 88.9 FM.

If you are a filmmaker looking for a music supervisor, or an artist looking for song placement in film and television please contact us at rollogradyproductions@gmail.com.

Follow Rollo & Grady on Twitter (Click Here)

December 4th, 2010

Music Industry Needs To Tune Into Blogosphere

Music Industry Needs To Tune Into Blogosphere

[VIA - Mike Osegueda - Fresno Bee]

I don’t discover new music and new artists on the radio or on TV. Hardly ever do I find them in magazines or from iTunes. Most of my new music discoveries come courtesy of music blogs. The music blogosphere has become what radio used to be — a place for fans to hear music from new or emerging artists. Nah Right, Stereogum and Pigeons & Planes (a personal fave) are among the taste-making sites that often vault the careers of new music stars. But last week, something troubling happened. As part of a crackdown titled “Operation in Our Sites,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security seized a number of Web domains that were selling counterfeit purses or DVDs.

Music Industry Needs To Tune Into Blogosphere

But a few were music blogs that mainly push artists and albums via free music downloads — songs that are often sent out by record labels and artists for free. One blog in particular, OnSmash.com, was a popular hub for hip-hop songs and videos. Of local note: One of its bloggers is Fresno State student Mark Iraheta (aka Legend). Make no mistake, the sites that operate on the up and up, like OnSmash, are very much helpful to record labels. They’re not “stealing music”; they’re promoting what the artists and labels send out.

Yet, in a head-scratching move, The Recording Industry Association of America, the music industry’s trade group, applauded the crackdown. It sounds like a case of the legal arm of the record industry not knowing how the promotional arm is operating.

As we all know, the relationship between the music business and the Web has been rocky for a long time. When Napster came along, labels clamored in fear as piracy ran wild. Eventually, Apple came with a new age business model and gave us a compromise — iTunes. Eventually, thousands of music blogs hit the Net, each varying in size and scope (Continue Reading)

November 15th, 2010

CrunchGear :: Will Apple Kill The MP3 Tomorrow?

CrunchGear :: Will Apple Kill The MP3 Tomorrow?

Via – Nicholas Deleon / CrunchGear

“Apple has posted a cryptic message on its Web site, teasing the world about an “exciting” iTunes announcement that’s coming tomorrow. What could it be? I saw that someone had suggested The Beatles were finally coming to iTunes, but really, who cares? If you want The Beatles on your iPhone you can grab the newly remastered albums that came out last year, “rip, mix, burn,” then off you go. Not very exciting, no. What could be exciting, though, is a streaming music service. In an instant, Apple would have killed the MP3 once and for all. You hear that? That’s the sound of the RIAA thanking Apple over and over again.

A streaming music service would make all kinds of sense for Apple, and it wouldn’t be too bad for us consumers either. Streaming services have already seen much success, chiefly with Spotify in Europe and Rdio here in the U.S. But an iTunes Streaming service, probably given a slick name like “iTunes Stream,” would instantly take the idea of streaming from something only techie geeks care about to something the whole family can enjoy.

Think about it. Every song ever (deals with record labels permitting, of course), right there on your iPhone, your iPad, your Apple TV, your MacBook, on-demand and always at the ready. If you can access the Internet (“the Cloud”), then you can listen to your tunes.

And just like that, your MP3s are worthless. Why would you maintain a giant collection of hard drive-eating MP3 and AAC (the file format iTunes uses) files when you can access the same songs from a handy App?

Let’s see… gigabytes upon gigabytes of music files versus a single App that can stream any song with the touch of a button. Well, the touch of a screen, as it were.

It’s a no-brainer, and everybody wins.” Continue Reading

November 4th, 2010

Hypebot :: The Limits Of Delocalized Music Culture

Hypebot :: The Limits Of Delocalized Music Culture

[Via - Kyle Bylin / Hypebot]

“Logic says that if people can get something for nothing, they will. Every day, millions of fans download music and don’t pay for it. Critics are quick to regard this as stealing. Fans are taking songs—without the permission of artists—and doing so without compensating them for their creativity. The primary victims of this act are major label artists. The most heavily marketed of them all. Then, since their sales are lowered, fewer up-and-coming artists get a shot at fame. The highest selling artists pay for the development of new talent. As sales decline, there’re not enough additional funds to warrant additional signings. Thus, labels take less financial risks on less music.

To many, this is a matter of morality. They argue that fans have no ethics, a sense of right and wrong. That if we continue to let this behavior occur that not only they slowly deteriorate the music that they love, but that they will move onto other crimes, such as walking into stores and stealing or other kinds of property theft. They think—that if left unchecked—a generation of criminals will emerge.

Lately, I’ve entertained a different view.
Hypebot :: The Limits Of Delocalized Music Culture

November 3rd, 2010

PC World :: iTunes to Stream 90-Second Samples


File under :: Thanks for nothing.

[Via - Jared Newman, PCWorld]

Apple says it will triple the length of song previews in iTunes from 30 to 90 seconds.

With 90-second clips, iTunes song samples should at least be long enough to hear a chorus and verse.

Digital music distributor Symphonic Distribution broke the news on Tuesday via its blog, and CNet later confirmed. Apple sent a letter out to record labels, informing them that song sample length times will increase for songs over two minutes and 30 seconds long. All labels are required to do is continue to make their content available on the iTunes Store, which will signal their acceptance of the terms (if labels don’t want to participate, they can always leave, which they of course will not because iTunes is huge).

Longer song samples are great, but the real question is this: why won’t Apple let people listen to entire songs on a trial basis? After all, Google and Bing already stream individual songs when you search for them by name, and MySpace lets you create playlists of streaming music.

I can think of a couple reasons. First, I’m guessing Apple would have a harder time negotiating with rights holders for full samples. Apple reportedly hasn’t even finished all negotiations on 90-second samples, but apparently the company feels confident enough to go ahead and announce the longer samples to record labels. Arranging for full song streams might be trickier, because they’d no longer qualify as “clips,” as defined in Apple’s agreement with labels. Continue Reading

November 1st, 2010

DMN :: If Only Lawsuits Could Save Bad Business Models

EMI_logo []

Written by Paul Resnikoff – [Via - DMN]

Investors often fret about the deals they didn’t make, the opportunities missed and billions forsaken. But for Guy Hands, it’s all about one deal he did make – and the amazing avalanche of losses that followed.

But of course, it’s not really his fault. Which is why Terra Firma is suing Citigroup right now, for billions and billions of dollars. Hands was all brilliance and blue-sky when the deal was made, but now accusing partner-in-crime Citi of duplicity.

But it looks like US federal judge Jed Rakoff isn’t buying it. Forensic accounting calculations are getting tossed, as are theoretical what-ifs on damages. It’s all sort of make-believe, as if Terra was an innocent victim in all of this, and led to ruin by the presence of made-up bidders. Looks like the most Terra can claim at this point is $2 billion, that is, at maximum according to one estimate from the Wall Street Journal.

And it could be zero, depending on the outcome. But all this litigation costs endless amounts of money and time. And, it shows a strategic emphasis towards legal retribution, not business innovation. Sure, EMI’s a deadweight in a liquidity meltdown, but this is also a label in desperate need of radical (and painful) innovation. That is, immediately, while there’s still a such thing as a CD.

So what happens next? Unfortunately, Hands can’t return the damaged goods, and this will probably end up a soiled mess. That is, broken up, assets auctioned, EMI no more. >> Continue Reading @ DMN

September 5th, 2010

Hypebot :: Expect Google Music By Christmas

Hypebot :: Expect Google Music By Christmas

“According to multiple sources, Google is in final stage talks with labels to open a download store and a cloud based song locker that would allow mobile users to play songs wherever they are. Google hopes to open its new music service before Christmas. Some label executives believe that Google Music will become the first real competitor to iTunes.
Hypebot :: Expect Google Music By Christmas

“Finally here’s an entity with the reach, resources and wherewithal to take on iTunes as a formidable competitor by tying it into search and Android mobile platform,” a label executive who asked not to be identified told Reuters. “What you’ll have is a very powerful player in the market that’s good for the music business.” Continue Reading

July 17th, 2010

Bob Lefsetz // Camp Bisco – 7/17/2010

Bob Lefsetz // Camp Bisco   7/17/2010

[Via - Bob Lefsetz - Lefsetz Letter, July 10th]

“This is an utterly fascinating story that should be read by bands and concert promoters alike.

I tell everyone that if a genie came out of a bottle and offered me the ability to go to summer camp for the rest of my life, I’d take that deal. That’s where I had my first girlfriends, where I made fast friends, Camp Laurelwood in Madison, Connecticut. (http://www.laurelwood.org/home/)

We didn’t call it Color War, we called it the Olympics. The Big O is coming! The Big O is Coming! A counselor would start this chant in the dining hall and you knew, in only a matter of days, the entire camp would be divided into teams and all other activities would be thrown overboard and for seventy two hours, we’d compete.

Competition was the key element of the baby boomer lifestyle, we’re all about winners and losers. But the younger generation is all about participating, being a member of the group. The so-called social revolution. Social media allows you to stay in touch with your buds, make new ones, 24/7. Which is why Facebook is so exciting. It’s not dead, it’s not genealogy, it’s about bringing all your lifelong contacts together and having a party.

Which is not only the essence of summer camp, but Woodstock. It was about being there as much as the music. Which is why Coachella and Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza are so successful today. Really, the music is secondary to the experience.

The challenge for the promoters of traditional concerts is how to bring this social experience to the arena, the shed, the stadium.

There needs to be a Facebook page for the event. A place at the venue where everybody can connect. There needs to be prizes, there needs to be togetherness.

Been to a gig recently? With the giant Verizon texting screens? I can’t take my eyes off them, even though they’re talking about people I don’t know, I’m fascinated by the fact that these people are here TOGETHER!

You’re not together at a movie. And too often, a concert is a show. It’s about what comes from the stage more than what’s going on in the audience. But if there’s to be a live music renaissance, the attendees must be equal partners. It’s not about ripping them off, but providing an engaging experience that is truly two-way.

It’s hard for boomers to understand. Who grew up with cheap concerts by artists whose music defined the era. We’ll all pay extreme amounts to be close to the fire. But how many acts provide that intense flame today? Maybe GaGa, maybe Swift, but the most successful road acts are almost anti-star. This is the lesson of the Grateful Dead, not free music. It’s about building community. About seeing the same friends at each gig. About needing to be there. If the band plays the same rigid, stultifying set do you really need to go next year? Obviously not. And maybe not even if the price is cheap.

We’re experiencing a social revolution. It’s all based on interconnectedness. Old wave media hates this. The newspaper is used to dictating! Music has always led. Why can’t music get down in the pit with listeners and embrace them?

Sure, the deal has to be fair, fans can’t be abused. But it’s more. You’ve got to get concertgoers INVOLVED! You’ve got to allow them to connect with each other, as well as the band…if you can e-mail a band, why can’t you meet them, especially if you’ve paid an admission price? Why can’t you meet the roadies, tour the stage, not only at VIP prices for Bon Jovi, but for middling or developing acts too! This is where you create the bond. You want fans to come home with summer camp memories. I went every year, and like I said, I’d still be willing to go, those were the best years of my life.

P.S. Camp Bisco may only be 15,000 people this year. But everything good starts small. And blows up when you least expect it. Suddenly, everybody gets the memo and has to participate. And you go from doing 15,000 a night to 150,000.

This is the Phish phenomenon, absent social media/the Internet which can spread the word so much quicker than in the days of yore. Stop telling me you need development money, you need to get on the radio, on television. Phish had none of that and they can do better live business than today’s Top Forty wonders. Focus on music and culture, not marketing.”

Related Posts:
Rollo & Grady interview with Bob Lefsetz (Click Here)

July 8th, 2010

Manager Spotlight // Holland Nix

Holland_Tunnel []

‘Manager Spotlight’ is a recurring feature on Rollo & Grady in which we speak with rising
stars in the music management business. This week we caught up with Holland Nix of Anger Management in Nashville, Tennessee. Her clients include JEFF the Brotherhood and Heavy Cream. In addition to running Anger Management, Holland is also a partner in Infinity Cat Recordings.

JEFF the Brotherhood

R&G: How did you get your start in the music business?

Holland: I had a very mid-90’s intro into the music biz. I moved to Nashville a few years after college without knowing it was “music city.” I needed to find a job immediately, so I interviewed and was hired at the Hard Rock Café. I met many people wanting to break into the biz while working at HRC. That’s when I learned about all the music companies in this town. I went home one night and pulled out my CD collection. After reading every booklet in the stash, I wrote down every studio, management company, record label, booking agency and PR firm that was based in Nashville. I whipped out the phone book and wrote down all the addresses I could find. Then, on my days off from the HRC, I would pound the pavement with good ol’ fashioned typewriter resumes. My last day of footwork and the last company on my list was Vector Management. It so happened that the receptionist had just given his notice and I arrived at the right time. He got Kathi Whitley to come and speak to me and then she handed me over to Ken Levitan. All went well and it looked like I had a job, but the receptionist decided not to leave so I didn’t in the end. Kathi asked me to keep in touch with her just in case something else popped up, so about once a month I’d call her and we’d chat. It took ten months, but eventually that receptionist was promoted. I got the phone call to come on over, and the journey began.

R&G: What advice would you give to aspiring managers?

Holland: That’s a tough one because the landscape of the music industry changes every three minutes. I would have to say: do your homework, learn as much as you can about the things that don’t initially spark your interest, and build your knowledge base beyond what you feel is your capacity. (I’m assuming you’re already obsessed with your passions or you would not be in this crazy industry.) I was a day-to-day manager for seven years before I started my own management company; I learned new things every day, and I still am. What you should not do is assume you know all that you need to in order to manage an Artist. Also focus on building your team; no one can do it alone. It’s amazing what can come together when you have the right people around you. Finally, I’ve had some great mentors who have taught me everything from business philosophy to how to properly bang my head at a live show. To these people I owe everything!

R&G: If I had known then, what I know now, I would….

Holland: …have gotten into management a lot sooner. I started at a management company, but then hopped around to many different types of companies in the music industry. Once I really focused on management I was hooked. I don’t have any regrets, as I learned so much working in all facets of the biz, so perhaps I shouldn’t list this as the answer to your question. How about this: I would have gotten earplugs a lot earlier in my career. Although listening to live shows in front of the “stacks” is quite righteous, the long-term affects far outweigh the short-term buzz.

R&G: How important are social media sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and music blogs in promoting your acts?

Holland: Extremely important. What the fans want most is direct access to Artists. It’s important for the fan to stay engaged and the best way to do this is via Twitter. When bands communicate with their fans, it’s instant gratification. It’s the timeliest medium we have today. I mean, who doesn’t want to know what MC Hammer is doing right now? Facebook is still a very clean tool that not only serves as a direct connect with your favorite Artists, but with your friends as well. Total viral lovin’! MySpace is like the 8-track tape player my grandmother had in her car: it looked cool and had been cutting edge at one time, but was no longer the most efficient way to blast tunes in her ride. I don’t mean to say MySpace is irrelevant; it’s simply no longer the shiny new toy. Music blogs are my favorite reads. There’s no greater way to get the fans’ perspective than through the various blogs. What’s posted isn’t always positive but the bad comes with the good. I learn so much about new Artists, new technologies, and the latest hype reading music blogs. Slightly addicted, party of one!

R&G: Most interesting or humorous situation you’ve dealt with as a manager?

Holland: This is hard for me to narrow down from fifteen years of being in the industry, so I’m going to go with something recent. SXSW 2010 at one of the epic JEFF The Brotherhood showcases: There was a guy talking and eating pizza during the JtB set, so Jake walked over to his table, propped his foot on the edge, and played the entire solo in this guy’s face. It was totally rad. Jake and Jamin really know how to grab the attention of the unsuspecting live show attendee. The best part is, that dude bought a CD at the end of the show. Mission accomplished!

R&G: Blackberry or iPhone?

Holland: Blackberry. Thank you Verizon for not jumping on the iPhone bandwagon and therefore allowing my “wheelie ball” callus to grow and grow.

MP3: Jeff The Brotherhood – U Got The Look
MP3: Jeff The Brotherhood – Bone Jam

Manager Spotlight // Holland Nix

June 28th, 2010

Manager Spotlight // Ian Wheeler

ian []

‘Manager Spotlight’ is a recurring feature on Rollo & Grady in which we speak with rising stars in the music management business. This week we caught up with Ian Wheeler of indie outlaw management in Brooklyn, New York. His clients include Deer Tick, Wye Oak, and MG&V. In addition to running indie outlaw, Ian is also co-owner of Partisan Records, home to Paleo, Mountain Man, Holy Sons, Delorean, JBM, and Deer Tick. Wheeler is also co-president of Knitting Factory Records.

Deer Tick with Brian Wiliamswye_oak-
Deer Tick (l) and Wye Oak (r)

R&G: How did you get your start in the music business?

Ian: I played in a bunch of rockabilly and bluegrass bands as a kid and in college. At a certain point I realized that the musical talents of others were much greater than my own and I naturally developed an interest and passion for helping those folks out. I managed some bands in the South and put out some records through my first label/management company, indie outlaw. Eventually I felt like I wasn’t getting enough first-hand experience and I ‘moved’ to NYC— crashing at a friend’s place. I got a job teaching sailing in NYC and quickly lucked into an internship at Rough Trade Records as it was being sold to World’s Fair. It was myself and one other person, and there was plenty of experience to be had there. From there, I became a publicist for a couple of years before going independent with my management company and also starting Partisan Records with my business partner Tim Putnam— who I am obligated to tell you is the greatest business partner in the world as well as my best friend.

R&G: What advice would you give to aspiring managers?
Ian: The only way to learn how to manage is to actually do it. The majority of the job really comes down to dealing with various personalities, and the only way to learn that is by experience. Pick up a client, learn how to read them. Spend a lot of time with other industry folks; learn how to read them as well.

R&G: If I had known then what I know now, I would….

Ian: I actually ask myself this question a lot after a few glasses of wine and the consistent answer is that I don’t think I’d change a thing. I know it’s a cliché, but I’ve really made a point to learn from every fuck-up that I’ve made… and there have been quite a few. Ultimately I feel like those lessons are the best, because the terrible feelings that come with screwing up badly condition us to never make the same mistake again. Maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but learning from mistakes is something that I hold in high regard. I also really make a point for our staff here to value that. I really want all of us to be improving together every day.
R&G: How important are social media sites like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and music blogs in promoting your acts?

Ian: Extremely. Those sites serve as a direct connection between the bands and the fans, which is increasingly important as the world’s population explodes and the number of bands on this planet does alongside it. Fans increasingly want to feel like they’re part of something, and they need to be treated as such. MySpace has become a wasteland, but Twitter and Facebook are fairly spam-free still and, if handled properly, fans can get a really personal experience— especially Twitter… People can have a very intimate relationship with the artist, all the way down to the minutia of what they’re eating for lunch. As silly as it may seem, fans really enjoy that connection— increasingly so in an atmosphere where the “mainstream” big commercial stuff is becoming more homogenized. The bands that really have lasting power are the ones that have dedicated fans who will buy every record, t-shirt, beer koozie, concert ticket, etc. that they can get their hands on. It takes a lot of work to win a fan over to that degree, and social media is really the only means of achieving that right now. Music blogs have been a major force for a long time. They break indie bands and are really the gatekeepers at this point.

R&G: Most interesting or humorous situation you’ve dealt with as a manager?
Ian: Well, managing Deer Tick, there are quite a few stories… Not too many appropriate for this forum though. Newport Folk Fest was a really big moment. There’s so much history there… That’s where Dylan went electric and where Cash, Dylan, Joan Baez, and Jack Elliot traded tunes in a motel room. There’s a really mythical quality to the thing. George Wein, the original promoter, is still really heavily involved and there was some debate over which stage Deer Tick should play. Newport is local for Deer Tick so we had a feeling that there would be a nice crowd, but it wasn’t worth pissing off George, so we settled on the smaller stage. As soon as Deer Tick started, the tent was way over capacity and the festival had to bring in extra security in a bit of a panic. It was really overwhelming seeing Deer Tick up onstage at Newport with all of this event staff swarming in to try and keep things under control. We all just stood at the side of the stage with our arms folded, beaming with pride. The band didn’t flinch… I think the chaos got them even more fired up to play a great set. Deer Tick also made a “How’s My Driving?” bumper sticker once with my business partner’s cell phone on it, and it was a real treat watching him field all of those calls. Also, the first time I ever saw Wye Oak was really special. My brain couldn’t really comprehend how Andy could play keys and drums at the same time, and seeing Jenn for the first time felt like watching an “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” era Neil Young, but female, of course. I really love the moments when a band steps onstage and just totally takes control of the audience… Everyone leaves the show with the exact same feeling. Jenn and Andy from Wye Oak are masters of it.

R&G: Blackberry or iPhone?

Ian: iPhone. I like pretty things.

Deer Tick – Sink Or Swim
Wye Oak – Siamese