In an effort to provide local musicians with career resources, the Des Moines Music Coalition has announced the third annual Music University (MU) Conference and Showcase.
MU is a one-day conference and workshop designed to help independent musicians identify goals and give them the tools to succeed in the Midwest music climate. Through a series of workshops, panels and shows, DMMC hopes to facilitate new relationships and ideas between artists and promoters.
This year’s October 17 conference will feature a performance and keynote speech by Andrew W.K., and a rock and roll workshop with legendary rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis of Sound Opinions. Kot and DeRogatis will discuss music marketing, common mistakes of young artists, social media and current industry trends. Maha Music Festival’s Aaron Shaddy will also be featured as a guest speaker.
Christopher Ford, touring musician and DMMC chair, says that the idea of MU is to help musicians benefit from programs focused on the business side of music, which he says some artists tend shy away from. Without a support industry like the ones found in New York, Los Angeles or Nashville, succeeding in the Midwest takes a bit more hustle.
“MU is important because now, more than ever since the dawn of the music business as a real entertainment industry, musicians have the opportunity to be totally in charge of their careers,” says musician and DMMC program manager Christopher Ford. “They are artists and entrepreneurs.”
Ford currently writes and performs as Christopher the Conquered, and as one half of Des Moines pop project Gloom Balloon. He himself has received a noticeable bump in local and national press after giving touring artist Natalie Prass a copy of his forthcoming album, which national producer/songwriter Ryan Adams praised via Twitter.
He explains that though the “white knight” scenario — in which a talented artist is simply discovered and swooped up by an industry type — exists, it is increasingly rare, and far from a sustainable option.
“Instead of betting on it, artists can be their own savior, take their career into their hands, and build something beautiful,” Ford says. “MU seeks to inspire and enable people to do just that.”
MU is open to all who want to attend (in fact, HN gave a presentation at last year’s conference). We encourage any interested Nebraska musician to consider it, as the workshop should provide plenty of insight into industry best practices. We consider DMMC’s mission akin to ours; just last week, we posted a guide to getting covered, which can be read here.
All-access passes are $50 leading up to the conference and $60 on the day-of. Musicians and students can email email@example.com to receive a 20% discount on conference or all-access passes. Visit the Music University website here for more information, including the complete schedule and how to register.
* * *
HN intern Lindsey Yoneda was busy this weekend, Friday night heading to Vega for Lincoln bluegrass band Bud Heavy & the High Lifes, Lincoln indie band I Forgot To Love My Father and Omaha pop band Lot Walks.
Bud Heavy & The High Lifes
I Forgot To Love My Father
photos by Lindsey Yoneda
* * *
Then, Yoneda stopped by Duffy’s Tavern Sunday to catch Ft. Collins, Colo., alt rock band Post Paradise. Lincoln’s Tie These Hands and Floating Opera filled out the bill, the latter of which has been out sparingly this year.
Check out Yoneda’s photos below:
Tie These Hands
photos by Lindsey Yoneda
* * *
It’s Monday, which means add-day for our HN Radio playlist. Lincoln Calling kicks off tomorrow night at Duffy’s Tavern with Thirst Things First and White Buffalo, so we’ve tailored our playlist this week to get you ready for a packed week of music. Featured this week are Head of Femur, the recently reunited indie rock band that will play both Lincoln Calling and O’Leaver’s this weekend. Also find tracks by See Through Dresses, AZP, Lucas Kellison and the Undisco Kids and much more.
Tonight on Hear Nebraska FM, we pack all seven members of I Forgot To Love My Father into the studio for a live performance. This will be the band’s first appearance on our weekly KZUM radio show, and the first live guest for us since changing hosts. Tune in from 8-10 p.m., with live music happening in the second hour.
* * *
As always, head to our statewide calendar at hearnebraska.org/events for a fuller listing of shows. If you do not see your show or one you plan to attend, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or add it yourself. And keep those song submissions, story ideas and news tips coming.