The 21st century has been an age of flux and disruption. Industries and technologies are in a constant state of transition. It’s hard to know the lay of the land when the map keeps getting torn up and redrawn. To paraphrase The Firesign Theatre: “Everything you know will soon be obsolete.”
Few industries have been more volatile than the music industry. Thanks to the advent of the digital economy, streaming, and physical formats going on life support, a lot of the commonly held assumptions of “here’s what you need to know about making it in the music business” are dead wrong. For bands wanting to make it, writing a killer song or classic album is no longer enough: You have to educate yourself if you want to get by, let alone thrive. Long gone are the days where well-funded A&R men, publicists, and label reps will do all the work for you.
Lucky for you local musos: Music business school will soon be open for business.
The people behind Psyko Steve Presents and The Rebel Lounge are putting together a new monthly panel discussion series called Make It Loud. Free to attend and open to the public, these talks will feature panel discussions moderated by PSP’s Stephen Chilton and Jeff Taylor. They’ll be interviewing local musicians who’ve managed to carve out a foothold in the business, as well as talking to music industry folks. The series tagline and mission statement: “How to Make It as a New Artist in Today's Music Industry.”
At the beginning of the year, Chilton made a public resolution for Psyko Steve Presents to do more for the local scene. The creation of Make It Loud is part of that outreach effort. “We want to try and do more with the local bands we work with,” Chilton says. “Support them in more ways than just, like, putting them on shows. Trying to actually do things that will help them in a big picture way.”
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PSP and The Rebel Lounge aren’t strangers to the panel discussion format. “We did something similar with a different partner at Rebel Lounge a couple of years ago called Zero To 60,” Chilton says. “It was with a guy out of Nashville. He did a couple here and then stopped doing them, and we thought it was neat and something that we wanted to bring back and make it our own thing.”
Chilton himself also has experience doing music panels — he’s presented talks and been a guest at industry events like CMJ. According to him, the talks will run around an hour, with time left over afterward for audience Q&A. It’s free to attend.
The theme for this month’s debut Make It Loud is “Getting Started.” Joining Chilton and Taylor onstage will be Nicole Laurenne, Chelsey Louise, and Kyle Dehn. Both Laurenne and Louise are musicians: Laurenne is a founding member of The Darts and was also in The Love Me Nots and Zero Zero; Louise fronts the band Fairy Bones. Dehn is the director of marketing at Stateside Events and oversees promotions for The Van Buren, Crescent Ballroom, and Valley Bar.
Make It Loud. 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 30, at The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road; 602-296-7013; therebellounge.com. Free admission.