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Polar Levine

Some Thoughts on the Digital Music Forum, Part 1

I was walking through Battery Park the other day and there was a very realistic mini-me Statue Of Liberty getting all interactive with a couple of its admirers. I like that. Fifty yards further north there was another Statuette engaged in photo op. Ironically I came upon this very analog interaction on my way to the Digital Music Forum where I gained entry, by way of mediachannel.org, posing as a journalist.

These conferences are potentially excruciating as they are informative. But the reality check they offer on the state of the music industry in which I toil and complain is generally worth having to get functional before noon. Also a compelling element of the conference was a panel on Day 2 of the event that was moderated by my friend, Aydin Caginalp, the smartest and most decent practitioner of the second oldest profession (law).

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Music Industry 2.0

Change happens, and it hurts if you happen to make a living in an obsolete industry. The advent of electricity killed the kerosene lantern industry. Trains, planes, and automobiles reduced horse-and-carriage teams to a quaint niche market. And who needs an 8-track player or a 78-rpm turntable when we have CDs?

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Wendy Vickers

Embracing Encouragement In the Music Community

When I arrived in Nashville two years ago, I hoped to be an encouragement to the music community here in much the same manner as I had done for 18 years in St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN. I had some fear and trepidation about this since I was well aware of the talent level in Nashville. I was afraid that musicians wouldn't get or need the message of encouragement because they all knew they were good and didn't need to be told. Instead, what I found was a music community hungry for support and an affirming message. Some described feeling like "December in July" at times during their pursuit of their musical dreams. In a short time, I've been fortunate to witness the difference an encouraging word can make to struggling singer/songwriters.

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