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"As a major-label artist, you are tiny part of a vast economic machine that is itself a small part of a massive conglomerate. You are an infinitesimal tick-mark in their quarterly numbers. They don’t have time for your shit!"
——Glickie's message to aspiring artists

GREETINGS FROM PHILADELPHIA

NBA Finals Hasn’t Been The Only Show In Town
In the course of one day, I saw cars adorned with Lakers banners and high-rises sporting hand-lettered “Go Sixers” signs. The trippiness of flying from one end of this contest to the other is severely compounded by lack of sleep.

The NBA Finals have, of course, loomed large during the course of the Philadelphia Music Conference—so much so that bands playing during the games might be forgiven for thinking they’re better than they are. After all, why else would the crowd at Katmandu or the Grape Street Pub be cheering spontaneously in the middle of a song?

Though small in size and stature compared to music confabs like South By Southwest, Philly benefits from a more intimate scope. Even so, there are keynote speeches by biz heavies like Jerry Blair and Chris Lighty, panels featuring folks from all corners of the music world and bands, bands, bands.

HITS’ own Rodel Delfin moderated Thursday’s panel on publishing—potentially a horrifically dry subject that was enlivened by smart, concise testimony from EMI’s Harry Poloner, Universal’s Gary Helsinger, Sony/ATV’s Nate Krenkel and attorney Mike McCoy of Serling, Rooks & Ferrara

On Friday morning, I joined panelists from Capitol, Q and Roadrunner to face a throng of aspiring artists, producers, songwriters and others—all armed with homemade demos. Moderator Michael Laskow of Taxi opted to patrol the crowd with a microphone, keeping up a barrage of questions. But the only question attendees at these panels want answered is, “How do I get signed?” The answer, for most: You probably won’t.

My fellow panelists were generous with their encouragement, but I was simply too groggy and ended up saying things like, “As a major-label artist, you are tiny part of a vast economic machine that is itself a small part of a massive conglomerate. You are an infinitesimal tick-mark in their quarterly numbers. They don’t have time for your shit!” Weirdly enough, several audience members congratulated me afterward for my honesty—then thrust their CDs at me.

Why was I so groggy? Because I’d been going out to see bands like local favorites Townhall (about to close a deal with RCA), a superb jam band composed of very young but amazingly versatile players. The joyous crowd dancing at the lip of the stage during their set was a strong indication of things to come.

Other highlights: rockers Convoy and K-Floor and Wheels & Deals-endorsed 19 Wheels, who closed their set of tight, tasty power-pop with a raucous cover of BTO’s “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.” It was one of those perfect bar-band moments, as the nine or so cocktails kicked in and thirtysomething music types put down their cell phones to play air cowbell.  

Next time: the HITS Hard Rock showcase.

 

HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/3a)
TAYLOR'S TREMENDOUS YEAR
She'd make one helluva CEO. (12/3a)
THEY CALL THE WINDFALL MARIAH (HOLIDAY EDITION)
Ch-chingle bells (12/3a)
SONG REVENUE:
BOWS OF HOLLY
Adele is money. (12/3a)
UTA MUSIC EXPANDS IN NASHVILLE
Reshuffling the deck (12/3a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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