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Young Voices Tackle The Music Business: Takeaways From Amsterdam's Inaugural FastForward Conference

“If you want to know what’s next, be the one to create what’s next.”

These are words of inspiration that we hear often in the entrepreneurship world at large, and seldom within industries whose potential for innovation is held back by decades-old legal and political institutions. Yet, these are also the words that Sammy Andrews, strategic advisor to the music industry and founder of Sabotage New Media, told an international audience of young music professionals last night, during the final panel at the inaugural FastForward Conference in Amsterdam.


“I Can Deduct The Making Of My CD… Right?”

Every March and April, as he prepares scores of tax returns for musician clients, the question of deducting CD production costs is inevitably raised. Here's some input from CPA/drummer Alan Friedman.

This article explains travel, meal, vehicle, and equipment expenses (for both gigging and studio musicians), and helps you determine whether or not you can deduct them on your tax return.

Manchester Music Hall aims to be something for everyone


Contributing Music Writer - Lexington Herald-Leader

The longer the former home of Buster’s Billiards and Backroom remained vacant on Manchester St., the more Kaelyn Query began formulating ideas about what she would do with the space if given the opportunity.

As founder and president of LexEffect, a Lexington-based events management company, she has overseen public and private happenings around the country, including the locally produced Moontower Festival. But staging events in a set, permanent venue offered an entirely new set of possibilities.

“It was weird, because one day I had jokingly said, ‘I wish someone would buy the Buster’s space because I have all these things I want to do there,’” Query says. “At 5 o’clock that day, I got a message.”

Read on!


What It Takes to Build a Successful Music City

The Music Cities Convention, a global conference on the vital relationship between (you guessed it) cities and music, held its inaugural U.S. event last Sunday in Washington, D.C. The convention brought together policymakers, local entrepreneurs, data analysts, and musicians—all united by a common desire to improve and augment the role of music in our urban environments. Here's the full story from The Atlantic's

A Trumpet in Every Pot

As part of LAMA's ongoing and relentless movement to transform Lexington into a city where music is as common as a certain shade of blue we have a favor to ask: please check your closets, or basement, or attic, or garage or under your bed for that trombone, clarinet, flute or any other band or orchestra instrument you long ago abandoned for something more electric. We've found a home for it:

The future of live music has arrived (according to Pandora)

Pandora acquires TicketFly. This, we're told, bodes well for working bands. Read on...

Bluegrass Music Degree to be Offered

Owensboro Community & Technical College and Brescia University are planning to join forces to offer degrees in bluegrass music. The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports the college is working to create an associate degree program that officials hope to have up and running by spring 2017. Here’s more of this story from the Associated Press.

This is your brain on a piano

Research reveals how piano players' brains are actually different from everybody elses'. Read on!

Of Levees, Lagniappe and Lexington

The winds and rains of Hurricane Katrina scattered New Orleans culture across the American landscape, including Lexington. The results were recently captured in Duane Lundy's Shangri-La studio and play a role in an UnderMain feature by transplanted New Orleanian Lillie Ruschell and including an interview with - and music performed by - fellow N'Awlins native Wayne Lewis. 

The New Making It

We pay attention to creative megastars because they are, well, mega. But they are also often the exception to the new rules of creative revenue, which have more to do with keeping up a diverse and constant hustle and finding an audience — and paying checks — in unexpected places.
From the NYTimes, here are six artists in the Los Angeles area who are cobbling together livelihoods that would have been impossible 15 years ago.

Pitchfork Reviews Ancient Warfare

The band name and album title for Ancient Warfare's The Pale Horse suggests metal—something blackened, possibly from somewhere Scandinavian. But the band turns out to be a quartet based in Lexington, Ky. that trades in cinematic Americana. Focused around the songwriting, singing, and guitar playing of Echo Wilcox, Ancient Warfare take a well-worn form and invest it with some of the mystery of its best practitioners. More on


Of Love, Englishmen and a fellow named Friend

Check out Lillie Ruschell's UnderMain feature on Reva and Andrew English (Small Batch, Italian Beaches and Englishman, respectively.)

David Byrne on Spotify, YouTube and the Music Industry's "Black Box"

This David Byrne OpEd appeared in the Sunday, August 2 edition of the NYTimes

THIS should be the greatest time for music in history — more of it is being found, made, distributed and listened to than ever before. That people are willing to pay for digital streaming is good news. In Sweden, where it was founded, Spotify saved a record industry that piracy had gutted.
Everyone should be celebrating — but many of us who create, perform and record music are not. Read on...



Emerging Bands Showcased

Lexington, KY - The Lexington Youth Arts Council, a youth program of LexArts, will present its annual Lexaroo Music Festival on Saturday, August 8, 5-9PM, at the Fifth Third Pavilion at Cheapside Park in downtown Lexington.
The showcase, free and open to the public, is dedicated to promoting emerging bands from high schools across Fayette County.  Local high school bands scheduled to perform include:
The Bing Boings
The Shameless Nameless
Paranormal Pajama Party
Compliment Sandwich
Grace Mattingly

Performing at 8pm is local favorite and festival headliner, The Big Maracas. In addition to engaging Lexington's creative and musically-inspired youth in a highly visible venue, the showcase will also offer pre- and post-race entertainment to athletes and spectators of A Midsummer Night's Run.

Other entertainment includes live slam poets, face painting and henna body art. Local food trucks will also be on-site providing food and beverage.

Busters Sold - New Venue In Works

The former Buster's music venue on Manchester Street has sold for $1.01 million to a trio of Pikeville businessmen who plan to keep it as an entertainment venue. 

Continue reading this Lexington Herald-Leader article.

"Sessions" Highlights Music+Film Collab

Check out Story Sessions, a unique writing, recording and live event made possible by the partnership of Lexington's Shangri La Productions and Story Magazine.

He Writes, They Play: The Wags

Most music lovers have had this problem: You can't get a song out of your head. But what if the songs happen to be ones you came up with? 
Answer: You get some musically gifted people and make it happen. 
Essentially, that's what the Lexington band The Wags is.

Here's the full story from Blake Hannon on

Read more here:


Austin Music Scene "At Tipping Point"

A first-of-its-kind survey of Austin’s music industry points to emerging fault lines that threaten the city’s status as “Live Music Capital of the World.”

According to the 233-page, city-commissioned survey of nearly 4,000 people who live in Austin and work in the music industry, the biggest problem facing musicians and music venue owners is affording to live and do business in a city that is increasingly becoming unaffordable to the creative class.

Here's the full story from the Austin American~Statesman

More on the study from Texas Monthly


He's b-a-c-k...BoB, that is

The Death of the Artist, the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur

Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it? William Deresciewicz explores the question in The Atlantic.

Aloft Hotel to Host Local Music

Coming to the corner of Nicholasville Road and Malabu Drive: an Aloft Hotel. Earlier this year, Aloft Hotel launched Live At Aloft Hotels, the brand’s signature music series that showcases “local emerging musical talent through live, intimate, acoustic performances and backstage moments at all Aloft Hotels worldwide.” Admission is free. The hotel site says the Lexington location will open in December of 2017.


Sales of Streaming Music Top CDs

The American market for recorded music was flat in 2014, but income from streaming services like Spotify and Pandora has quickly grown to become a major part of the business, eclipsing CD sales for the first time, according to a report released Wednesday by the Recording Industry Association of America. More from the NY Times.

Inspiration from 70-miles to our west

When musicians Heidi Stenson and Chad Graham decided earlier this year to collect band instruments for needy students as part of their Louisville Musician Service Coalition, they thought they might have to look out of town for an experienced partner. As it turns out, they discovered help - and tools for future musicians - right around the corner. Read on...

D.C. Venue Moves to Earlier Hours

Over the years, Black Cat concertgoers have become familiar with a difficult end-of-the-night decision on weekdays: Do you stick around for the headliner's full set and encore, or do you duck out of the show early enough to make sure you catch the last Metro home? More on the story from the Washington Post.

Take our survey on Lexington music venue start times.