Building a better musician – POPAsheville via Mountain XPress

Building a better musician
POPAsheville workshops offer practical ideas
by Rebecca Sulock in Vol. 15 / Iss. 25 on 01/14/2009
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Say you want to book an out-of-town gig. Or you need health insurance. Or you’d like to put those melodies in your head down on paper.

“The Daytime Schedule”

Friday, Jan. 16
• 2 p.m. Studio tour/open house @ Altamont Recording Studio (15 Carolina Lane)
• 2 p.m. Studio tour/open house @ Hi-Five Recording Studio (27 Carolina Lane)
Saturday, Jan. 17
Workshops at Echo Mountain Recording (formerly Fletcher School of Dance), 175 Patton Ave.
• 1 p.m. Insurance and the Indie Musician. (Alex Maiolo, Future of Music Coalition)
• 1 p.m. Sound Design: The Relevant Rock Star; Providing composition and recording as a service (William F. Gibbs, performer and sound designer).
• 2 p.m. Rock Criticism and the Artist (Wayne Robins, music writer for Billboard Magazine and others, author of “A Brief History of Rock”)
• 2 p.m. Put Your Songs on Paper: Writing Simple Song Charts (Chuck Lichtenberger, composer and performer)
• 3 p.m. Booking 101: The Do’s and Don’t’s of Getting Gigs (Virginia Prater, Charisma Artist Agency)
• 3 p.m. A Brief History of Rock (Robins)
• 3 p.m. Music Law and the Indie Musican (Joel Tisinger, Tisinger Law Firm)
Sunday, Jan. 18

Speaker and discussion panel @ The Rocket Club
• 1 p.m. Keynote speaker: Dave Allen (founding member of UK post-punk band Gang of Four)
• 1 p.m. Music business discussion panel: “Your future as an indie musician:  What you can do in the next 12 months to advance your career”

How to do it? Come learn at the POPAsheville daytime workshops.

Arty people sometimes need help with, well, more practical matters. Along with POPAsheville’s indie-fabulous music lineup, the festival offers daytime workshops on Saturday, and a panel and keynote speaker on Sunday. And even if you’re not a musician, some of the discussions will be interesting for everyone, said POPAsheville co-organizer Stephanie Morgan.

The schedule includes power players culled from POPAsheville organizers’ industry connections—and some chance encounters. Co-organizer Jessica Tomasin of Echo Mountain Recording nabbed one of the panelists after mistaking him for local songwriter and Hellsayers frontman Wayne Robbins (with two B’s).

Wayne Robins (with one B”), music critic for Billboard, e-mailed Tomasin to say he loved Echo Mountain recording artist Malcom Holcombe’s new record, Gamblin’ House, Tomasin said.

“He got in touch with me last year and said, ‘Hey, I really loved Malcom’s record,’” she said of Robins. “I wrote him back and thought it was the other Wayne Robbins. I said ‘Wayne, I love you, you’re so awesome, I didn’t know you were a music writer.’”

They laughed about the mistake but continued to talk, and Tomasin lured him to Asheville to share his expertise.

Another big name is Dave Allen, one of the founding members of U.K. post-punk band Gang of Four. Allen will speak on Sunday. He and a musician’s panel will talk about changes in the industry and what musicians can do to adapt.
Allen’s in a unique position to talk about change, Tomasin said. Gang of Four had big success in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Last year, they released a new album available only in a digital or vinyl version.

“He’s someone who’s had the best of both worlds,” Thomasin said.

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