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Posts Tagged ‘Dead Prez’

Casey Rae-Hunter and Bryan Calhoun

The Future of Music Coalition is a national nonprofit organization that works to ensure a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want.

Communications Director Casey Rae-Hunter and I got caught up on some music policy and emerging business models before he came with me to the Warp Records showcase. Bryan Calhoun is on their board of directors, but he works at Sound Exchange, the nonprofit that collects royalties for musicians. He has been involved behind the scenes with Kanye West, Dead Prez and many others.

Casey was most excited Wednesday about a panel called The Cloud Vs. The Paradise of Infinite Storage. Really cool stuff, check it out.

More about who Future of Music is, from their site:

Founded in June 2000 by musicians, artist advocates, technologists and legal experts, Future of Music Coalition works to ensure that musicians have a voice in the issues that affect their livelihood. FMC’s work is rooted in the real-world experiences and ambitions of working musicians, whose perspectives are often overlooked in policy debates. Over the years, FMC has provided an important forum for discussion about issues at the intersection of music, technology, policy and law. Guided by a firm conviction that public policy has real impact on the lives of both musicians and fans, FMC advocates for a balanced approach to music in the digital age — one that reflects the interests of all stakeholders, and not just the powerful few. By documenting historic and emerging trends in the music industry, FMC has become a trusted voice in the ongoing dialog about the challenges and opportunities facing today’s musicians. In fighting for a legitimate digital music marketplace and a broadcast media that values local and independent culture, FMC helps establish a healthier music ecosystem.

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Wow. Thanks to everyone who has taken an interest in press freedom, community radio, music outside the mainstream and everything else I’ve posted here in the past couple years. I’ve never been motivated by trying to drive traffic here, thus it took me years to get to 15,000 hits. Been more focused on keeping an archive of my writing, my radio work, aggregated news, and other fun stuff.

The day I got the most traffic (317 hits) was when I broke the news that the student government of Evergreen College was releasing footage (later removed from YouTube) of the infamous Valentine’s Day Riot after Dead Prez played a show on our campus in February of 2008. My friends at 206 Zulu put together a thought-provoking video about that night. So check this out, and please come back to my site again soon!

MYTH: Evergreen students have no respect for authority. FACT: Olympia Police escalated a volatile situation, beat up random people, then fled the scene. (Unfortunately many kids lost control after seeing such an outrageous invasion of our institution by violent cops and sacrificed credibility for cathartic release on a symbol of police oppression, the cruiser. We can discuss whether property destruction is violence at a later date. It’s bigger than hip hop.)

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The second day, Friday, I was up pretty early helping out with Free Speech TV. I ran sound in their amazing and fancy satellite truck. The opening speakers represented a solid mix of viewpoints, with Yolanda Hippensteele, Josh Silver and Robert McChesney (all of Free Press) introducing Adriene Maree Brown from Ruckus Society (who was on Democracy Now! on Friday LISTEN HERE), Lawrence Lessig of Change Congress and Rep. Keith Ellison from here in Minnesota.

In the Free Speech TV lunch room, I had the opportunity to speak with Denis Moynihan and his mom. Last month, he was featured on DN! announcing he was leaving the organization to run FSTV. I spoke with him on mic, and will feature the interview on Digital Crossroads June 13th. I didn’t ask Amy Goodman to do an interview, but she is really excited about Boise Community Radio.

After lunch I kicked it with Erin Gentry at the panel on hip hop community organizing. I hope to play audio from this event on the show, featuring Julie C from 206Zulu and Reclaim the Media, Rosa Clemente from R.E.A.C.HipHop, Shamako Noble (past guest on Crossroads) of Hip Hop Congress, JR Fleming of Coalition to Protect Housing, and Toki Wright of Yo! the Movement from here in Minneapolis.

The next panel I saw was organized by the Future of Music Coalition, looking at new music services and the music industry bottom line. It was hosted by Ann Chaitovitz, the chief at Future of Music, and featured Peter Gordon of Thirsty Ear Records. They both said they would do interviews on an upcoming show. I’m curious to follow up with Peter because he said Sound Exchange, the royalty collection agency, is not as bad as I think.

Bryan Calhoun, who does A&R and new media development for Kanye West and Ludacris talked about widgets and other tools for artist promotion. Plus, Stic.Man of DeadPrez was a surprise guest on the panel and said he was there to learn too, describing his goal as “seeing how to pimp the system even more harder.” He talked about “putting the power in your hands, and no middle man.”

The consensus on the panel is that America needs to preserve network neutrality, because e-commerce shouldn’t be controlled like the physical market. Speaking from the audience, Future of Music’s Michael Bracy said Time Warner’s proposed pay-as-you-use plan could be okay, but the key is protecting the “nondiscriminatory nature” of the web in terms of content.

At this point I went to the packed 24th floor of the Hyatt for a Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting and Institute for Public Accuracy party with free beer. Nobody seemed to have a problem drinking Coors-produced brew as long as somebody else was paying. I talked to Alexandra Peterson from Media Education Foundation and Sam Husseini from Institute for Public Accuracy.

There was an awesome party at a place called The News Room, thrown by Media & Democracy Coalition and others. The free drinks flowed and I met a lot of cool people including Nan Rubin, who is kind of a queen of grassroots radio organizing and Stan Lyles from SEIU United Health Workers West.

After catching some grub at Pancho Villa on Eat Street, I caught up with blogger and video activist Josh Wolf. He talked to me off the record about his thoughts on shield laws and his run for mayor in San Francisco. I’m hoping to interview him this weekend or very soon.

So many business cards to follow up on. Thanks Free Press! This is great!

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Check out this well-thought-out video created by 206 Zulu and Reclaim the Media in response to media coverage of the police-instigated riot after Dead Prez performed at Evergreen.

Respect to Julie-C and everyone else working on this!

-Radioactive Gavin

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There is very important footage to watch that has just been posted online by the Evergreen elected student government. The footage contains key evidence about the actions by Olympia police department following the Dead Prez concert on Valentine’s Day– entering a nonviolent crowd, beating on concert attendees, and then indiscriminately pepper-spraying. There is no audible warning given to disperse, and perhaps most importantly, note the OPD vehicles shortly after leaving the scene as quickly as possible.

Watch part one here and part two here.

I do not condone the destruction of law enforcement property that took place early last Friday morning, however in my opinion Olympia police have some explaining to do.

I want to thank the anonymous source(s) for shooting this footage, and the Geoduck Union for making it public.

Here is their statement, released early this morning:

At yesterday’s Geoduck Student Union meeting, students voiced concern about the lack of information available to the public about the Valentine’s Day riot. They told the Union that it is difficult to talk about solutions when the facts are still unclear. Following yesterday’s forum, a video of the riot was shown to us, and we feel that it is our responsibility to make it available to our fellow students. The administration already has this video, the police already have this video, and the student body must have this video. This is a clip from longer video footage. Our anonymous source has given us permission to circulate it. We are circulating it because we want to promote positive dialog on campus, because we need to heal our community, and if we are going to heal our community everyone needs to know how an act of solidarity turned into an act of violence.

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Journalist, author, publisher, musician and media activist Sander Hicks will be speaking at Last Word Books in downtown Olympia Saturday night February 16th.

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Today on Digital Crossroads, I spoke with him about independent media, the history of Soft Skull Press and controversy about the Bush book and Horns and Halos, the 9/11 truth movement, and his friendship with Dead Prez.

Listen to the entire interview here.

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