These are the little pearls of knowledge I collected in Los Angeles last week during my work convention.
1) Female artists (fronting a band or solo w/guitar) are not going away any time soon- they are more popular in the music industry than ever. What worries me is that gender is often the focus rather than the talent. Just because a girl is hot doesn't mean she needs to put a record out. Also, girl singer/songwriters seem to really like using guitar capos.
2) The L.A. Amoeba DVD staff on the second floor are always remarkably informative, pleasant, and helpful. You say you like primary colors and French films of the 60's? Let me show you this.... The Amoeba music department folks aren't nearly as warm and fuzzy.
3) "Soup to nuts" is the worst industry jargon of all time
4) Employees cannot live on sugar alone. Piles of it are positioned in easy to reach bowls all over the room and then handed out between presentations . There appears to be some wild misinformation that sugar pills digested hourly will keep a crowd fresh and focused. A massive room sized sugar crash is no prettier with kids the day after Halloween than it is with a bunch of people over 30 in the third floor conference room. Seriously you event planner types - look into getting fruit and trail mix...pretty much anything that doesn't come in bright blue and neon green will do.
5) The new Thievery Corporation full length coming late September on ESL is their best record to date and features Femi Kuti, Anoushka Shankar, Chuck Brown (of DC Go-Go fame), Seu Jorge, and more. I heard a lot, I mean A LOT of new music this week but this one blew me away and woke me from my mini M&Ms and gummy squids sugar comma.
6) Consider yourself warned indie labels: any label who wishes to release a new full length album from a key artist to a digital store first can pretty much kiss good-bye any support from the physical music retailers of the world. Even with the exclusive bonus material offered as an olive branch to the indie retailers in CD or LP form...a month long iTunes advantage will have every store but Apple's up in arms. The lesson to be learned, the game of exlusives is a dangerous one.
7) Rob Dickinson of Catherine Wheel fame playing solo with just a guitar and a raspy tired voice (that's what happens when you make an artist play when the sun is still out and they are still recovering from the late night before) sounds unbelievably like early Bevis Frond. Sadly when I asked Rob if he knew Bevis Frond at all, he knew the name but not the music. I promised him that it was a compliment, which to me it really is.
8) Ugly people seriously don't make music anymore. Where have all the ugly rockers gone? Oh right.....metal.
9) Vinyl is the new Mp3
10) This video clip about VP Records (found below) was my favorite visual of the week.