Northside Festival Day 1
BMI Creators Kickoff Event featuring Beast Patrol
June 13, 2013
After covering the New Music Seminar New York Festival, I followed that up with covering the Northside Festival across Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn. And on the first day of Northside, BMI invited journalists (including yours truly), industry folks and others for their BMI Creators Kickoff Event at Mabel’s Smokehouse. Part of the event included a great barbecue lunch with food from Mabel’s Smokehouse, an interview sessions between the Deli NYC’s Editor-in-Chief Paolo De Gregario and Beast Patrol’s Vanessa Bley. who also happens to be a BMI represented songwriter, as well as a short set by three or the four members of Beast Patrol.
But before I go into the piece, I have to offer some background information – and don’t worry, some of this is stuff that I wasn’t familiar with either. Founded in 1939, BMI began by representing artists in then-emerging genres such as jazz, the blues, and country, and protecting the public performance of their work whether through live performances, television, motion picture or radio airplay. or any other means. BMI manages the rights of an artist’s music, advocating for the value of the artist’s work. Although they’re one of many music rights organizations in the States, BMI represents nearly 8 million pieces of music created by over 600,000 artists, helping them make money off their work through various licenses and the like. And with the emergence of the independent musician and the small, independent label, BMI and other rights organizations will become even more essential to the artist’s career. So the next time you hear a song on your favorite TV show, a right’s organization like BMI was involved, ensuring the artist got a fair share for their work.
BMI was excited to launch a campaign to promote their new service BMI Creators – long story short, the service helps artists get paid for live performances of their work, if they play at BMI registered venues. They’ve developed an online platform and smartphone app. Artists can sign on and check their royalties on a regular basis, and check in to BMI registered venues. And as a BMI artists, Vanessa Bley was there to talk about it and other things . . .
During the interview portion, Bley who has had classical and jazz training told a very funny story about how she got into rock – a friend had introduced her to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Led Zeppelinwhile smoking weed. Of course! But she also revealed something that I hadn’t thought of before. When asked if she’d prefer the free services of a publicist or a booking agent, she said that she would prefer having a good booking agent. And if you think about it, it makes sense. As a musician. you’ll probably make the most money and gain the most reputation for live performances, as well as selling merchandise at your shows. Being booked with the right shows at the right venues, can put you in front of future fans who will put their friends on to you or buy merchandise and albums.
This was followed by a sort performance by three or the four members of Beast Patrol performing a short set of material live at Mabel’s. The material they played was atmospheric and possessed haunting melodies. And catching them in such an intimate setting made what they were playing much more haunting.
For these photos and more from this afternoon, check out the Flickr set here: