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TripleARadio NEWS BRIEFS:
After just three months, KINK (101.7) Portland's Marconi Bologna has exited the KINK Morning Show. The heritage Triple A station is actively searching for his replacement as KINK skews a little younger to adjust to the influx of 20-40 year olds arriving in Portland. On KINK's Facebook page PD Chris Mays said in part, "For many of you, the addition of Marconi to the morning show didn't strike the right chord. So we've decided to resume our search for the perfect partner for Sheila Hamilton"......Barsuk Records' Wes Howerton is leaving the label after a decade. He will continue to manage the group, Trails and Ways. Your promo contact at Barsuk is Grant McCallum via email......Acoustic Cafe's Rob Reinhart and crew are celebrating 20 years! The unique weekly two-hour program produced in Ann Arbor airs on 85 commercial and non-comm radio stations - including KCSN LA, WXRV Boston, KXT Dallas, WDET Detroit and WRLT Nashville - and is heard around the world via Voice of America......Congrats to KUNC (91.5) Greeley "Community Radio For Northern Colorado" which just wrapped up its Fall Membership Drive with 2,034 members donating $252,879 in just one day in one of the station's most successful drives ever.
Tracking Triple A: Our Jeff Penfield talks with KCRW LA GM Jennifer Ferro about breaking ground for a new facility, their new Santa Barbara signal and fulltime music channel Eclectic24 in Programming.
CMJ MUSIC MARATHON OPENS IN NEW YORK CITY: OVER 1,300 ARTISTS IN 80 VENUES
WFUV, NPR Present Live Music Broadcasts
(10/20/14) The 34th CMJ Music Marathon opens this week for five days and nights of live music performances in over 80 nightclubs and theaters in Manhattan and Brooklyn. WFUV (90.7) New York, a service of Fordham University, and its online indie music channel, The Alternate Side, return to Rockwood Music Hall on opening day for the third year for a live broadcast on Tuesday, October 21st from 5-9pm.
WFUV PD Rita Houston said, "CMJ continues to be a relevant festival for bands to get noticed, and best of all, it's in our town. There are over 1,300 artists who perform at more than 80 venues. It’s a major source of music discovery, and music discovery is what we are all about.” The live WFUV broadcast will be anchored by WFUV hosts' Russ Borris, Carmel Holt, Alisa Ali and Kara Manning.
NPR Music will again present a multi-genre lineup for its NPR Music Presents showcase during the CMJ Music Marathon. The event on Wednesday, October 22, at 8:30pm presents artists on one stage at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City. Audiences outside of the club's walls can experience the event live via a video webcast at NPR.org/music.
The Music Marathon includes CMJ's daytime conference headquartered on New York University's Greenwich Village campus at the Helen and Martin Kimmel Center on Washington Square Park. Over 100 conference events are set with top speakers and a broad array of panelists that range from artists to indie label executives, and brand mavens to new media specialists. For full schedule, visit CMJ.
BEGGARS LABEL GROUP PROMOTES RISA MATSUKI, HECTOR MONTES AS BRIAN TERRANOVA JOINS REVAMPED RADIO PROMO DEPT.
(10/7/14) The Beggars Group of Labels (4AD, Matador Records, Rough Trade Records, XL Recordings and Young Turks) have expanded and promoted within the radio department. Risa Matsuki has been promoted to VP, Promotions and will continue to run and oversee the Beggars radio department from the New York Offices.
In addition to her new role, Risa has tapped her first hire for the newly structured department as West Coast-based Brien Terranova joins as Sr. Director, Promotions effective October 27. Brien comes to Beggars after 19 years in radio promotion at Capitol/Virgin Records.
Meanwhile, long time staffer Hector Montes has been upped to National Director, Promotions and will be overseeing all aspects of Specialty, College and Non Comm AAA radio out of the New York office.
The Beggars Group is based in London and has multiple offices in Europe, Canada and Asia in addition to their US headquarters in New York City. There is also an office in LA and a Matador office in Austin.
AMY MILLER NAMED APD AT KXT DALLAS
(9/25/14) KXT (91.7) Dallas PD Mark Abuzzahab has announced that veteran Triple A programmer Amy Miller will join the non-comm Triple A station as Assistant Program Director.
Amy served as PD for three years at WTYD (The Tide) Williamsburg, which she helped Tom Davis and Bruce Hornsby launch in 2005. She also has held the positions of Programming Assistant at KFOG San Francisco and started as Promotions Director at non-comm KZSC Santa Cruz. Amy most recently worked in publicity. She also is an accomplished musician (Panic Years).
Amy told TripleARadio.com, "I’m excited to join the KXT team. I look forward to contributing to such a well-respected station, and immersing myself in the North Texas music scene."
She will will be assisting Mark and working with Music Coordinator/host Gini Mascorro, and on-air hosts Joe Kozera, Allen Roberts and Paul Slavens.
Amy begins in her new job at KXT effective October 27.
KCRW LA PLACES ONLINE CHANNEL "ECLECTIC24" ON SANTA BARBARA SIGNAL
(9/22/14) KCRW Santa Monica-LA's new Santa Barbara signal, recently acquired by the Santa Monica College non-comm, has become the new broadcast home for the station's online music stream Eclectic24.
KCRW currently broadcasts on two signals in Santa Barbara and is using its former repeater at 106.9 FM as the first terrestrial outlet for Eclectic24. Since June, the station has also been simulcasting KCRW's programming on 88.7 FM in Santa Barbara, which it acquired earlier this year.
Eclectic24 is curated and hosted in part by former KCRW MD Chris Douridas. Eclectic24 has no hosts and features continuos music with in-studio performances.
Earlier in the year, KCRW purchased Classical KDB-FM Santa Barbara at 93.7 FM. In the frequency swap, Classical KUSC moved to the frequency and transferred its 88.7 FM signal in Santa Barbara to KCRW. KCRW is using the 88.7 frequency as an outlet for its dual format of news and music, with localized content within NPR newsmagazines.
Eclectic24 started streaming music five years ago on the KCRW site. The programming originates from its Santa Monica studios.
AMERICANA MUSIC FEST AND CONFERENCE IN NASHVILLE
Music City fest lineup features over 160 artists in 11 downtown venues
(9/15/14) The Americana Music Association presents the 15th Annual Americanafest this week, Wednesday through Sunday September 17-21 in Nashville. The festival will offer more than 160 official showcases across 11 Music City venues, 40 more performances and five more venues than last year's fest.
The Haden Triplets, Sturgill Simpson, The Devil Makes Three, Leftover Salmon featuring Bill Payne of Little Feat, Angaleena Presley and Cory Chisel's Soul Obscura join already announced artists including The Avett Brothers, Lee Ann Womack, Josh Ritter, Sarah Jarosz and Marty Stuart.
Kicked off by the 13th Annual Honors & Awards show on Wednesday, September 17 at the historic Ryman Auditorium which will honor legends Jackson Browne, Loretta Lynn, Taj Mahal and Flaco Jimenez, the week will host music at venues including 3rd & Lindsley, The Basement, Cannery Ballroom, City Winery, The High Watt, Mercy Lounge, The Rutledge, Station Inn, Third Man Records, The Listening Room, Music City Roots, 5 Spot, Downtown Presbyterian Church and Riverfront Park.
Conference attendees include labels, managers, artists, radio stations, publishers, agents, promoters, retailers, legal and business affairs, executives, merchandisers, and new media. Daytime conference activities and sessions are held at host hotel the Hutton Hotel in Nashville. Evening showcases are held at the various downtown music venues and open to the public.
On August 4th, Americana Music Festival & Conference registration rates will increase from $365 for members and $465 for non-members to $415 and $515 respectively. Conference registrants have priority admission to all daytime panels and workshops, evening festival showcases, special events and parties, a ticket to the Honors & Awards show at the Ryman on September 17 and admission to the Avett Brothers Riverfront show on September 20. A limited number of festival wristbands will go on sale in August. Tickets to the Honors & Awards are reserved for full Festival and Conference registrants only. Info on Festival and Conference registration is available at americanamusic.org.
(Ry Cooder will return to Americanafest)
List of artists added to Americanafest:
The Black Lillies
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
Bobby Bare Jr.
Bradford Lee Folk
Brooke Russell & the Mean Reds
The Bros. Landreth
The Brothers Comatose
Caleb Klauder Country Band
Cory Chisel's "Soul Obscura"
The Devil Makes Three
Grace and Tony
The Haden Triplets
The Hot Nut Riveters
Leftover Salmon feat. Bill Payne of Little Feat
The Mae Trio
Matt the Electrician
Matthew Perryman Jones
Over the Rhine
Peter Bradley Adams
Police Dog Hogan
Parsonsfield (formerly Poor Old Shine)
Promised Land Sound
Sleepy Man Banjo Boys
Sons of Bill
Steep Canyon Rangers
The Stray Birds
Truth & Salvage Co.
List of artists previously announced for AmericanaFest:
The Avett Brothers
The Barefoot Movement
Ben Miller Band
Billy Joe Shaver
Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay
The Cactus Blossoms
Chatham County Line
Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys
Danny & The Champions
The Deadly Gentleman
The Dustbowl Revival
Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo
The Fairfield Four
Green River Ordinance
Gregory Alan Isakov
The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer
J.D. Wilkes & the Dirt Daubers
Jonny Two Bags
Lake Street Dive
Lee Ann Womack
Marah Presents: Mountain Minstrelsy
New Country Rehab
Quebe Sisters Band
Todd Snider & Friends
Tony Joe White
Trigger Hippy (feat. Jackie Greene, Joan Osborne, Steve Gorman, Tom Bukovac & Nick Govrik)
The 15th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference is presented by The Americana Music Association, a professional non-profit trade organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American Roots Music around the world. The Association produces events throughout the year including the annual Americana Music Festival and Conference, presented by Nissan, and the Americana Honors & Awards program.
WXRV BOSTON APD KENDALL STEWART JOINS WUMB BOSTON AS AMD
(9/4/14) WUMB (91.9) Boston PD Jay Moberg has announced that Kendall Stewart is the new Assistant Music Director, effective immediately. Kendall joins the heritage folk-leaning Triple A non-comm from WXRV (92.5 The River) Boston where she was APD. Prior to The River, Kendall was MD and Promo Director at Emerson College's WERS Boston.
Jay told TripleARadio.com, "I'm simply thrilled with the addition of Kendall. She has been in the business for a few years yet she acts and performs like she's been doing it for decades."
Kendall said, "I'm very excited about this new opportunity at WUMB. I grew up in Boston, so I've been a fan of the station forever. This city is so special and I can't wait to get back to business on the non-comm side."
Kendall will be taking over music call responsibilities from Jay with call times on Tuesdays from 12-3pm at 617.287.6193 or she can be reached via email.
Tracking Triple A: Read Jeff Penfield's interview with WUMB PD Jay Moberg in Programming.
CC LAUNCHES NEW SOUTHERN CAL TRIPLE A: KMYT "RADIO 94.5" TEMECULA
(9/2/14) Clear Channel Communications & Entertainment has launched a new mainstream Triple A in Southern California as KMYT (Radio 94.5) Temecula flipped from Smooth Jazz to "World Class Rock" over the weekend. Temecula is a city in southwestern Riverside County bordered to the south by San Diego County.
The new station features local talent with Dwight Arnold in mornings and Josh Healy in afternoons.
Radio 94.5 has been added to our extensive TripleARadio.com Panel of stations. Hear them streaming live at Radio945fm.com.
KXCI TUCSON NEAR GOAL FOR CAPITAL CAMPAIGN SIGNAL AND INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS
Heritage non-comm AAA lead by new PD Cathy Rivers
(8/20/14) KXCI (91.3) Tucson launched a major capital campaign for station improvements last year on the event of the station's 30 year anniversary. KXCI GM Randy Peterson has announced that the heritage Triple A station is rapidly closing in on completing their $750,000. "Amplify KXCI" Capital Campaign to increase signal coverage and make infrastructural upgrades to their historic South 4th Avenue downtown studios. Engineers, electricians, and tower climbers have been busy testing the installation of a new transmitter and antenna that will enable KXCI to better serve suburban NW Tucson, including the Santa Catalina foothills and the growing Oro Valley and the town of Marana.
Once the infrastructure updates are complete, the station plans to offer more live streams and video content and be more active with social media.
KXCI recently promoted afternoon host Cathy Rivers (The Home Stretch) to Program Director. Randy had been serving as KXCI's acting PD, in addition to GM, since Jason Repko left in 2011.
Duncan Hudson remains KXCI Music Director.
The station is hosting another KXCI Fundraiser with Mavis Staples Sept. 5 at the Fox Tucson Theatre.
PUBLIC RADIO PD CONFERENCE (PRPD) SEPT. 9-11 IN PORTLAND: SESSIONS FEATURE BRUCE WARREN, CHUCK SINGLETON, DAVID SAFAR, MARK ABUZZAHAB, MIKE HENRY
(8/18/14) The Annual Public Radio PD Conference (PRPD) is coming Sept. 9-11, 2014 to Portland at the Hilton Portland. The growing conference is multi-format but includes includes a couple of specific Triple A sessions of note.
Paragon Media Strategies' Mike Henry hosts a Tuesday morning, Sept. 9 session with KXT Dallas PD Mark Abuzzahab and The Current Minneapolis MD David Safar as the results of the PRPD Triple-A PD Survey hope to identify the burning questions for PD's: determining what is needed in the way of audience research, and finding out what PD's are seeing in terms of their own station performance, market size, cume AQH, core composition, fundraising, community relations and events, in order to provide an overview of the maturing Triple-Format and to inform the next steps in audience research.
Manager of PPM Client Services, Dave Sullivan moderates a Wednesday session titled Triple A Format Group. WXPN Philadelphia Assist. Station Manager Bruce Warren co-hosts a Thursday session titled Music Stations As Community Collaborators & Conveners. WFUV New York GM Chuck Singleton co-hosts a Thursday afternoon session titled Growing Audience: Tactics and Principles of Meaningful Growth.
View complete Conference Agenda. For more info on registration and hotel info, visit PRPD.org.
MOOKIE NAMED MD AT KPRI SAN DIEGO
(8/8/14) KPRI (102.1) San Diego PD Matt Stone has announced that KXRN (KX 93.5) Laguna Beach MD and market veteran Marc "Mookie" Kaczor has joined the station as Music Director and afternoon host. Prior to working with the high profile coastal Orange County LP community non-comm, Mookie was heard on San Diego's Sophie 103.7, 91X and KBZT. Mookie replaces MD Bryan Schock who exited the station earlier to relocate to Austin. Chris Cantore recently rejoined KPRI for mornings.
WFMU JERSEY CITY OPENS NEW PERFORMANCE SPACE
(7/14/14) WFMU (91.1/90.1) Jersey City-Hudson Valley has opened a performance space in a vacant storefront on the first floor of its building at 43 Montgomery Street in Jersey City. The venue opened Saturday night with a sold-out show featuring various bands. WFMU collected donations from listeners to build the space, referred to by station staff as "Monty Hall."
WFMU Assist. GM Liz Berg told the Village Voice, "We hope to host not only music events, but also films, comedy shows, many live broadcasts, listener meet-ups, and any other creative idea we may come up with in the future. We don't plan on turning the performance space into a bar with shows every night of the week. We just want it to be another tool in our belt for experimenting with new ways of making engaging programming, drawing in the public to experience WFMU in a new way. Ever since Hudson County lost Maxwell's, the area has been hurting for music-centric cultural outlets."
NON-COMM TRIPLE A RADIO PEAKS WHILE COMMERCIAL RADIO GROWTH SLOWS
Non-comm radio and its platforms on top of "Music Discovery"
(7/1/14) So what exactly is the state of the format? The short answer is that Triple A music programming is alive and well on non-commercial radio but experiencing what many see as an inevitable downward slide on the commercial side.
With the arguable exception of a bunch of heritage Triple A stations leading off with WXRT Chicago, KINK Portland, WXPK White Plains or medium to small market community engines like WCNR Charlottesville, KBAC Santa Fe, WNCS/The Point Burlington, WRSI/The River Northampton, KHUM Eureka CA, and KMTN Jackson WY, the format's growth is mostly on the left hand side of the FM band where non-comm's - not commercial radio - are aggressively building gleaming new media facilities complete with state of the art live performance studios, and even cafes! And it is the non-comm stations that are stepping up to offer an evolving myriad of options and platforms for new music on their sites to remain competitive in the digital era.
From a patchwork combination of community stations with various specialty shows tucked away in smaller markets to sprawling communities with multiple statewide translators, contemporary non-comm stations like WXPN Philadelphia, KCMP/The Current Minneapolis, WFUV New York, KCRW Los Angeles, KCSN Los Angeles, KXT Dallas, KTBG Kansas City, KDHX St. Louis, WTMD Baltimore, WYEP Pittsburgh, KEXP Seattle, Radio Milwaukee, KUTX Austin, OPB Music Portland, KRCL Salt Lake City, Open Air/CPR Denver, and WNKU Cincinnati have become cultural icons doing good in their communities, constantly curating music and cultivating loyal listenership, and in turn, reaping listener support through events and membership.
With the death or serious decline of numerous commercial Triple A stations, some ex station staff have gone on to stream online, with the goal to add a land translator and convert to a public radio entity after starting out on the internet. That's what WEZZ Birmingham (Birmingham Mountain Radio) recently did. In Atlanta, former Triple A commercial programmer Margo Chobanian launched the stream of EAV Radio (East Atlanta Village Radio) after commercial Dave-FM went away. And when commercial Triple A WMVY Martha's Vineyard/Newport RI (MVYRadio) lost their primary signal, they reinvented themselves backed by listener support to the tune of $600,000 + and morphed to an online station, then successfully acquired a new terrestrial signal again and were rechristened as a non-commercial station.
Mike Henry, consultant for Paragon Media Strategies and a leading study on the steady growth of public Triple A non-comm, confirmed that commercial rock radio ratings are on the decline. Mike told TripleARadio.com, "Fewer commercial rock formats have allowed non-commercial Triple A stations to grow. Many non-comm Triple A stations are at all time ratings highs."
Mike added that non-comm Triple A is also properly positioned to take advantage of the blowup of streaming new music discovery, and specifically the Music Discovery catch phrase well known to consumers of popular streaming music services. "The growth of the Music Discovery term favors Triple A radio, and non-commercial (or non-commercial acting) stations most, because these stations truly are the local source for Music Discovery. It's not surprising that many Triple A stations have recently adopted 'Music Discovery' or 'New Music Discovery' slogans," citing stations from a list that includes Radio Milwaukee ("Discover New Music") and WFUV ("New York's Music Discovery").
KCRW LOS ANGELES BREAKS GROUND ON NEW FACILITIES
Powerful public Triple A/news station also re-launches web site
(6/16/14) KCRW Santa Monica-Los Angeles officially broke ground on its new state-of-the-art Media Center (6/11). For the past three decades, KCRW has broadcast from a basement below Santa Monica College cafeteria. By early 2016, KCRW will emerge from the basement into a 35,000 square foot space designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects as part of a $48M capital campaign.
Musician Ben Harper was on hand at the groundbreaking ceremony to help celebrate and reflect on his history with the station, which started the year of his first album in 1994. Performing "With My Own Two Hands," Ben thanked the station for "keeping my faith in radio."
"This is an incredibly important moment in KCRW's history. We couldn't be more thankful to our licensee and partner Santa Monica College, Santa Monica voters, and our generous supporters for their vital contributions in bringing the KCRW Media Center to life," said KCRW Pres./GM Jennifer Ferro. "For the first time in our 75-year history we will be able to bring the community into our home and share the incredible performances and discussions that take place on a daily basis."
The station also recently launched a new website at kcrw.org which utilizes a unique new media player among other features.
In February, KCRW purchased a Santa Barbara signal (88.7).
KCRW's terrestrial reach covers Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Orange, Riverside and Ventura counties, as well as parts of San Diego, San Bernardino, and Kern counties and the greater Palm Springs area.
MATT STONE NAMED NEW PD AT KPRI SAN DIEGO, MD POSITION OPEN
(6/9/14) KPRI (102.1) San Diego has chosen Matt Stone as new PD and afternoon voice. Matt, coming from an OM/PD gig at Resonate Hawaii's Kona-Hilo cluster, replaces former PD Haley Jones who has moved on to program KGSR Austin. Matt worked in San Diego as APD/MD of Modern AC KSCF (Sophie 103.7) prior to Hawaii.
Compass Radio Group Co-Owner Robert Hughes said, "Matt Stone caught our attention right away, and not only did he survive every test in a rigorous hiring process, he distinguished himself with humor, creativity, insight, optimism, and energy. The fact that Matt has been in this market as a recent competitor of ours means he knows KPRI and the San Diego market. That gave him an advantage that ultimately tipped this decision in his favor."
14TH ANNUAL NON-COMM RECAP: MODERN CHALLENGES, CLASSIC ISSUES
By Jeff Penfield
(5/19/14) Philadelphia served as a magnificent host city as once again the best and brightest of non-commercial Triple A radio converged upon World Cafe Live for the 2014 NON-COMMvention. Produced by Dan Reed and WXPN, this year's conference focused on issues relating to new media, trends among Triple A stations, and dealing with an aging audience.
Day One kicked off as attendees reconnected while enjoying hors d'ourves provided by Columbia Records. NON-COMM veteran programmers, record promoters, and artists caught up as newcomers introduced themselves.
Following the opening reception, attendees moved downstairs to begin the evening's performances. Stripped down sets led off the night as Iceland's Asgeir captivated the crowd with his soul folk sound, Matt Anderson brought bluesy vocals, and Elbow went acoustic for their set. Grizfolk increased the tempo with their California folk rock before The Afghan Whigs blew the audience away downstairs with a set that took the volume to 11. The Districts represented Philadelphia nicely upstairs leading into The Hold Steady to rock the house with their hits along with new songs from their album Teeth Dreams. A band called No Sinners - who one attendee referred to as "Vancouver Shakes" - finished the night with soulful blues vocals backed by blistering guitar. All in all, Wednesday foreshadowed what would come from the performers on Thursday.
Day Two started with an overview of research never revealed before for non-commercial Triple A stations during the "Mirror Mirror On The Wall" panel. Funded by Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD), Mike Henry of Paragon Media presented the results of the survey taken by over two dozen stations. Radio Milwaukee's Sean Demery, WFPK Louisville's Stacy Owen, and KTBG/The Bridge Kansas City's Jon Hart provided commentary on how the results were reflected at their stations.
The survey showed the broad range of stations in the market with two thirds of respondents being full time stations and a third being part time Triple A. Henry stressed the importance of local content as 80% of programming was locally produced. Musically, stations ranged the gamut with a number of core current and heritage artists along with some playing currents twice a week and others up to 29 times a week.
Henry also highlighted how many stations building broadcast centers have impacted their communities and the increasing use of in-studio performances. Most stations' mission and core values all reflected impacting the community and creating music discovery. Among the themes from the panelists was being bold, taking chances and not sticking with safe calls. The hope is this survey and work with PRPD will lead to increased collaboration among the rising number of influential non-commercial Triple A stations. Read the full results here.
Collaboration was the theme of the day as WXPN GM Roger LaMay helped announce a new venture dubbed Music X. Funded by a generous grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, five stations, including WXPN, KUTX, WFUV, KTBG, and KCRW, along with Mike Henry at Paragon Media and Eric Langner at Public Media Company, will work on the project intended to create a new source for music videos. The plan is to create proprietary streaming video for public radio by public radio.
The primary site will not be branded as public radio specifically, however stations who participate will have "microsites" for their own content to incorporate within their brand. Using the content management system donated by the Wyncote and MacArthur foundations, stations can upload their in-studio performances not only to share on their site, but also shareable nationwide on the Music X platform. Five stations will be the primary founders, however more stations are in discussion to join the partnership and it will be opened up to all stations. The panel discussed the project and some of the questions still remaining, including copyright issues and how the partnership will help all involved. For more information on the project, visit themusicxproject.com.
Thursday's Free At Noon concert featured NON-COMM vet Jessica Lea Mayfield along with the new collaboration between Aimee Mann and Ted Leo called The Both.
The afternoon session "The Tori Dilemma" centered around question all stations face: What to do with new records from core heritage artists. With stations concerned over an aging audience, leaning on newer acts can lead to artists that stations always supported before being left by the wayside. Many issues were raised, including capturing new members while not losing the core membership from the past and the relationship these artists have had with stations. In the end, there really is no overarching answer as each station has their own way to approach the question.
Sharon Van Etten took the upstairs stage to record a performance and interview for World Cafe with David Dye. She discussed her new album and left attendees buzzing about her performance.
The live music started after the dinner period with a special night at the PRX Stage upstairs hosted by Ian McLagan called "Rock's Not Dead". Those Darlins got the room moving, followed by Lee Bains III And The Glory Fires' tight band, the legendary McLagan taking the stage himself, and a rollicking set by the energetic Benjamin Booker. Between their sets, the downstairs stage featured The Felice Brothers (proving yes, you can rock with an accordion), smooth and soulful vocals from Hozier, and a strong set from the Counting Crows, providing their answer to the Tori Dilemma. The duo of Shovels and Rope brought their unique personality and music to the NPR stage to close out another evening of great music.
Day Three on Friday began with a look at how stations use their online media to their advantage during "Digital Doppelgangers". WXPN's Bruce Warren led the panel that discussed using different platforms. Not only has YouTube changed the way stations create content, social media has led to new promotional and marketing opportunities along with other various sites and apps stations can incorporate into their online plan. A running theme was how important understanding each tool was. For example, Facebook continues to change the way brands can interact with followers. With the algorithm for what posts display on news feeds changing regularly, stations need a handle on how to reach their audience. NPR Music's Bob Boilen wondered if a long term trend among stations will be a return to specialization as online tools change and can be difficult to adjust to when wearing a number of hats.
"The Music Call" came next, just when programmers thought they'd get a week off. Of course this wasn't an actual music call as XPN AMD Mike Vasilikos led a general discussion about music calls today. KXT's Mark Abuzzahab and The Current's David Safari gave the radio point of view as Jen Daunt and Jagjaguwar's Hannah Carlen represented promoters. Radio expressed a concern about receiving music on a timely basis as some stations, including WXPN, must go to sources such as iTunes to purchase music in able to air it right away.
Radio promoters highlighted what their concerns were as well, including the best method to deliver music in emails. When Hannah asked what form programmers preferred, the answer was mixed with some preferring either download or a stream. One of the more important parts of conversation in music calls has shifted from charting positions and numbers to touring and stories. Stations plan some adds around touring dates so promoters bring that up as a way to say the audience in the market exists. Promoters pointed out that station calls go beyond adding a record and can include important concert and in-studio information.
Next, the Free At Noon kicked off downstairs, moved inside due to the inclement weather. One man band Chet Faker impressed the crowd with his electro soul sound. The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser took the stage and kept it classy with a string section as he performed songs from his new album.
The final panel once again was the annual rowdy tradition known as the "Music Meeting". Led by the incomparable Sean Coakley, the session included 13 new songs. Sound Opinions' Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis returned as guest critics to lead the discussion. Among the best rated songs were the deep vocals from Sean Rowe, the Adele-like singing from Los Angeles band Kan Wakan, and the latest from Robert Plant's upcoming album with the Sensational Space Shifters. After the session, Melanie Shrawder took the stage for a special presentation to Sean for his upcoming milestone birthday. Presented with a giant card, artwork of his favorite musician Gram Parsons, and a fill in Ponyo player in place of the real one not yet in production, Sean was touched by the gesture from his peers.
More great music was ahead as XPN morning host Micheala Majoun recorded a World Cafe session with Norah Jones' new group Puss N' Boots. With a sound more based in folk and roots music, the all female trio featured new songs and covered Neil Young's "Down By The River".
The final night of music kicked off with more rock on the NPR Stage downstairs. Strand Of Oaks set an energetic tone for the rest of the evening. Paul Birch went solo upstairs at the PRX Stage with his singer-songwriter performance. XPN favorite and New Jersey singer Nicole Atkins shined on stage with a wonderful performance of new songs - and some of the best banter of the conference. Lydia Loveless kept the good vibes going upstairs before Lykke Li hit the NPR stage with her unique electro pop. The energy really ramped up as Parquet Courts brought punk into the mix. Hooray For The Riff Raff, among the bands that really made a name for themselves, showed how you can play fiddle and still rock out. Cheetah Chrome ended the conference that featured heritage favorites and impressive new acts on the rise.
Thank you to conference producer and founder Dan Reed for yet another terrific year of panels, friends old and new, and most importantly of all... great music. Another big thanks to WXPN for hosting at World Cafe Live, especially Roger LaMay, Bruce Warren, and Mike Vasilikos for their work as well. Paul Marszalek's TheTop22 helped to sponsor the event as well so a big thanks to Paul for distributing information online.
For video, audio and additional photos from NON-COMM music performances, visit WXPN.
NON-COMM'S RAMP UP NATIONAL MUSIC DISCOVERY AS CPB FUNDS "MUSIC X PROJECT" ON WFUV, KCRW, WXPN, KTBG, KUTX
(5/15/14) The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has announced a $750,000 grant for a historic collaboration between five public media stations to build a new, national, online music video showcase featuring exclusive live performances of new and emerging bands. Code named the Music X Project, the service plans to launch by the end of the year on the five non-comm stations: KCRW Los Angeles, KTBG Kansas City, KUTX Austin, WFUV New York, and WXPN Philadelphia.
"As the arts and cultural voice of their communities, public media stations have always been discovery channels for emerging talent," said Kansas City Public Television and KTBG CEO Kliff Kuehl, who is the fiscal agent of the CPB grant and a founding partner station of the Music X Project. "By showcasing our local artists on Music X, we can create a continual and curated source of never-before-seen music performances for national audiences."
Music X is a consortium of public media organizations from across the country that film emerging and established artists playing live sets of music in studio and on location. The live performance music videos of local, national and international artists will be aggregated on a national website and mobile app. The member stations will also have their own locally branded and curated video channel, which can be shared with audiences over web, mobile and social media platforms, with some content broadcast on local public television stations. Members upload their in-studio performance videos into the Music X archive and then download from this exclusive database to populate their station's video channel. The national website will be a curated site showcasing the best videos from around the country. The Wyncote and MacArthur Foundations have generously funded the content management system powering the video platform, Channel X.
"The number of stations participating will grow over time," said Erik Langner, managing director of Public Media Company, the organization that is leading the strategic collaboration of Music X. "Together, partner stations will be submitting new videos on a weekly basis, helping music lovers and other stations discover local artists while attracting new and younger audiences to public media programming."
Mike Henry, CEO of Paragon Media Strategies, is senior creative advisor and leading efforts to design the Music X audience experience. The name of the new music discovery service, along with station partnership details, will be announced when the site officially launches later this year. To find out more about the Music X Project and sign up for project updates, visit themusicxproject.com.