Weathervane Music points to a new future

Weathervane Music is a non-profit, community supported production company, making music and video to support and advance the careers of amazing independent musicians. Unlike traditional for-profit production or record companies, the vast majority of proceeds from the recordings of this music go straight to the artists, which Weathervane Music selects. I first heard about them when Brian McTear made this announcement in June, and I’ve been meaning to blog about it ever since:

Hi all,

Long time no speak! I’ve been really busy putting together a new non-profit organization called Weathervane Music. In a nutshell we’re experimenting with a new model for how to fund and promote the work of great independent musicians.

Our main focus to start is something we’re calling the Weathervane Music Project Series. It’s a curated music and music-related video series produced for the web in which selected artists come into the studio (at no cost to them, of course) and record a song. The whole thing is artfully captured in hi-definition video, providing great exposure for the artist, some interesting material for gear enthusiasts, and a general primer for Weathervane’s mission.

Now NPR‘s All Things Considered has beat me to it, six months later as part of The Decade in Music: ’00s. NPR’s extraordinary instinct of going beyond the death and destruction of virtually all the major recording studios in New York City (Recording Studios Face an Uncertain Future) paid off by looking at the dynamics of low-rent Philadelphia (where commercial studios are also struggling), and discovering the diamond-in-the-rough story of an environment providing free recording services to a handful of deserving artists. But the reporting could have gone much further…

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Who (or what) killed rock and roll?

Like the old man in Bring Out Your Dead scene in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, rock and roll continues to protest that it’s not dead yet.  But the number of ingrates willing to club it on the head, toss it on the cart, and wheel it out of town is mind-boggling.  There are so many villains to this story, but I’m going to focus on those that appear in two story lines from last week.

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Freedoms promised in 1976 may finally be realized

A posting on the  WIRED magazine property Epicenter has some pretty exciting news about the Copyright Act of 1976, including the fact that a good-sized catalog of music will revert to the control of artists from the control of record labels.  Unfortunately, the title of the article frames the story as terrible news instead of the good news that it is.  Bands like the Eagles are lining up to take advantage of this part of the copyright bargain coming to pass.  Hopefully they will get what they were promised 35 years ago.  If I were paying a mortgage on a house for 35 years, I would expect that with my final payment, the house would finally accrue to me when the mortgage expired, but the history of the US government and copyright (at least in the past 100 years) has been to consistently change the bargain at the last minute so that those of us who are due rights promised to us in the future never actually see that future arrive.

Will this time be different?  I hope so, because I’d like to see what happens when the artists, not the labels, can act as stewards of the artists’s works.  I think we’ve suffered the monopoly control of the labels for far too long, with far too little good to show for it.

Music Think Tank confirms Miraverse business model

A new blog posting For the fans, by the fans… is yet another validation of the Miraverse business model.  For those keeping track, this adds to Peter Gabriel’s validation, George Massenburg’s validation, and others.

If others are doing this, or thinking about doing this, please get in touch!  The biggest business buzz kill is not competition–it’s lack of experience and poor execution.  Let’s get it right together, and then make it big.

WUNC highlights the creative importance of the Public Domain

WUNC is a fantastic resource for all manner of news and analysis, and I’m not just talking about the excellent NPR programming they carry.

The State of Things is one of North Carolina’s local treasures—valuable because it uncovers daily the local treasures of our state.  Professor Jamie Boyle is one of the great thinkers, writers, and speakers about the topic of copyright, culture, and the Public Domain.  Here’s the blurb for today’s show:

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Why Dissonance is the new Harmony (a lesson in Authenticity)

I’ve always had a soft spot for Youth Radio on NPR, but What’s is the new What? has taken that affection to a whole new level.  The story Dissonance is the new Harmony prompted me to set a bookmark that day and commit to blog it when I had the chance.  Now I have the chance…

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