Photo and Review by Lynn Orman Weiss
Welcome to CMJ Music Marathon. Chicago Music Magazine made its way to the Kimmel Center at NYU on Thursday only to be swept up into the magic of three days and nights of music, media, social media, ethics, college radio awards, music supervisors sessions and showcases.
The street scene was buzzing with artists, industry professionals, media making their way to a multiple of panels, lounges and the resource center located in the NYU Kimmel Center. Being a first-timer I wanted to attend all the panels – which, of course, is impossible. Today’s top creators and hit makers were there telling an eager audience what it takes to make music and money in today’s market place. This seemed to fit the mission of CMM, connecting the dots from artist to brand, streaming, licensing, the impact of college radio and global social media.
Most impressive was the round table, a break out session in the Silver Boardroom moderated by the marketing team from The Orchard. The two opened a dialogue with a small group of 20 participants from college students to promoters to DIY indie labels wanting to share and generate ideas on how to go viral in the world of ever-changing media platforms. Both experts left, gave their emails, and invited the group to connect in a chat room to continue the conversation.
The most impressive speaker was Elias Roman, CEO and Co-Founder of Songza media, a free streaming music service that has expert made playlists for every occasion, easy access to finding and sharing your playlist. This panel was moderated by entertainment attorney Steve Gordon, author of The Future of Music. The panel was a part of the Entertainment Business Seminar and CMJ. It was a fascinating insight into the ever changing trends in the music industry and unbalanced marketplace. Elias created his first online music company, Aimeestreet.com, in his dorm room at Brown University.
In the resource center I met with Section 101, who create beautiful integrated websites for artists and the music industry as well as the Taiwan contingency representing, Asia in New York. Three groups from Asia performed, including Chemical Monkeys, Da Mouth and 831. Their Taiwanese pop rock ballads, alternative rock and love ballads were trendsetting. Their music is a bridge to cross cultural understanding. Which is exactly what the message was from their Department of Commerce, bringing Asian music to America and American music to Asia.
Showcases at venues from Ludlow Street’s Living Room and Cake Shop to the Highline Ballroom and Brooklyn Bowl kept me hopping the A Train and taxis to catch some of the most talked about emerging artists.
For two nights and one day I was able to put my finger on the pulse of some extraordinary talent including; Adrienne Mack-Davis & Krissy Krissy at Drom, Kink Ador at Arlene’s Grocery, Project E.A.R. at Fontanas, Hannah Winkler at the Rockwood Music Hall, Luyas at Pianos and Daytona at the Village Voice showcase at the CAKE SHOP on Saturday.
College radio is significant to CMJ. As a radio DJ and producer at WNUR & WLUW, Northwestern University and Loyola University radio stations it was no surprise as to why I love working with student radio programming. It is the ember behind the flame of new music. Finding it, playing it, promoting and rallying behind new music is what these stations are all about. The college radio awards gave a nod to the best station of the year, the nominees, CJLO from Montreal, KUOM from Minneapolis, WDBM from Lansing, Michigan and WTBU from Boston. From programming to community resources, the college radio community was there in full force collaborating and socializing with main stream media and industry folk to exchange ideas. I loved it and it gave me a great feeling of optimism knowing that college students still believe in terrestrial radio format.
CMJ offered the best networking, panels, award show, film showcase & festival showcase that I have attended over the past 20 years in this business. The only thing I need to do differently is load my Metro card and carry some Vitamin Water so I don’t have to sleep and I won’t miss any of the new emerging talent on the CMJ festival route.