The Audio Perv @ CMJ Day 1 Review

The Audio Perv is at CMJ this week. If you’re there, send an email to with pics, reviews, videos, rants, moans, etc. The Perv attended Panels from 12:30 to 4:45.

First up was Artist Development: Then and Now.
Panelists: Moderator: Jason Flom
Stephen Ferrera, Executive Vice President, A&R, Island/Mercury Records
Gregg Wattenberg, Chief Creative Officer/Executive Vice President, Wind-Up Records
Jonathan Daniel, Partner, Crush Music Management
James Cruz SRC (Street Records Corporation)

Flom was basically a wiseass and kept talking about McCain and Palin. Cruz mentioned how the term “sell-out” doesn’t apply anymore as bands are brands quite often these days (i.e. 50 Cent with Vitamin Water). Daniel used to be in a hair band on the Strip and now manages a bunch of emo-ish bands like Fall Out Boy and talked about how its important to increase awareness of a band even if it’s not in a purely positive way like “creating ‘Fall Out Boy is for lovers’ shirts as well as ‘Fall Out Boy is for losers’ shirts”. Ferrera talked about how some artists sometimes need to be molded and all the panelists talked about how some artists need two-three records to truly establish an identity, like Katy Perry. Perry was dropped by Columbia and everyone took a few shots at Columbia for giving up on popular artists like Alicia Keys and 50 Cent. Wattenberg talked about this program that Wind Up has for artist development where they sometimes relocate their artists to the NYC area, pay for their apartment, rehearsal space, recording. This reminded me of an article about how Diana Meltzer, head of A&R at Wind Up, hired personal trainers for Amy Lee and Ben Moody in Evanescence as well as paying for acting classes for Amy Lee.

Quote of the panel: Flom: “If eight years of Bush doesn’t make people angry enough to make great music, I don’t know what will.”

Panel 2: Thank God We Got Dropped
Panelists: Moderator: Michael Caplan, Executive Vice President, A&R, Razor and Tie
Ed Harris, Guitarist, Lake Trout
Michael Goldstone, Owner- Mom and Pop Music, Qprime
Jeffrey Epstein, Vice President, Elite Artist Services
Patti Rothberg, The Bogart Trip

Michael Caplan’s really funny. I saw him at CMJ four years ago and he’s still the same guy. Except back then, he had Los Lonely Boys on Or Music and he had sold his label to Sony. Sony then continued to rip him off (like before he started Or Music) and ended up firing him. He’s at Razor and Tie now. Michael Goldstone signed Pearl Jam and Rage Against The Machine to Columbia back in the day. He was working at Sire Records when he decided to leave because the major label routine wasn’t his thing. Now he has his own label called Mom and Pop set up through Q Prime management. He’s a real chill dude. Jeff Epstein at Elite Artist Services helps indy/unsigned bands with funds to help them put out their music. Patti Rothberg was once a buzz artist. Now she’s busy desperately trying to sell her music. Rothberg held up her CD at least 3 times and kept mentioning it throughout the discussion.
Harris’s band Laketrout was stuck on their indy label and couldn’t get out of their contract. It was a long story that you can find out the details on Google. This panel was alright, sorta boring. Quick note: The audience at these panels have the dumbest questions that don’t relate at all to the panel.

Panel 3: Go Cheap or Stay Home: A Cost Effective Touring Symposium
Panelists: Moderator: Ralph Jaccodine, President, Ralph Jaccodine Management
Stephen Brush, President, International Artist Agency
Howard Han, Founder/CEO, GigMaven
Geoff Rickly, Singer, Thursday
Heath Miller, Talent Buyer, Metropolitan Talent Presents

Jaccodine manages a lot of cool, quirky bands like Bang Camaro. Brush books a lot of hip hop bands like Wu Tang Clan. He used to be an assistant at ICM. Howard Han started GigMaven which is a site that allows bands to book shows with venues. Rickly sings for Thursday, emo/screamo band. Miller works at Metropolitan Talent Presents as a talent buyer but also books shows for his own venue School of Rock in Hackensack, NJ. Jaccodine kept talkin about Ellis Paul, this folk dude who will play in your living room for the right price. The panelists talked a lot about playing house/basement shows and trying to live on minimal means. Jaccodine mentioned how one of his bands Bang Camaro (which can have up to 20 members) sneaks in a lot of the bandmates into their 2 hotel rooms after registration. Rickly talked about how each band member on their earlier tours lived off 5 bucks a day. He said that his guitarist would come up with the most disgusting combinations for his meals like barbeque flavored chips with mayonaise and salami. Brush talked about how sometimes promoters might lose money on shows and the artists always refuse to help out the promoter and deflecting blame. Brush said that he has personally refunded the difference to promoters out of his own pocket to ensure that he maintained strong relations with the promoter. Han kept trying to shove GigMaven down our throats and scheduling as many shows as possible in a small area. Miller talked about trying to make sure that your trailer attached to your van is in great shape because it can prevent wear and tear which can cause your van to break down thereby increasing tour costs. Rickly said that they had their van break down once and they contacted a local bar in the area and played a few consecutive nights of residency at the bar to raise money to fix their van.

As far as shows goes, The Perv saw:

Semi Precious Weapons at Arlenes (Fuckin rocked. they’re going to explode)
Shiny Toy Guns at Santos Party House (quality show)
The Gostation at Fontana’s (eh, the mix was awful. the band seems tired of themselves)
Pete and J at The Living Room (sounded great. you can put this on when you make love to your woman, or man, or animal)
The Wheel at Fontana’s (the dude has a great voice. a few of the songs sounded like Foo Fighters acoustic which The Perv loves)

There will be some pics and videos I’ll pull from online later on. Got another panel to go to today before UCB and a bunch of shows and meeting people tonight.

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