Creating a Scene in 2012
Local scenes have always spontaneously sprung up. But is there a formula to creating a relevant scene? The best scenes usually involve hands-on owners that care about the music (and marginal profits) and a group of musicians who are open to influencing and encouraging each other. A scene can be developed when a single venue in any town fosters a group of musicians, encourages experimentation and collaboration, and provides a physical social environment. In 2012, social media has made it much easier to get the word out than in the days of taping up posters, paying for ads in the local paper and passing around cassettes.
Since 1995, I have been creating small independent cafes and bars in New York City. In 1995, I opened one of the first cyber cafes in NYC: alt.coffee. 1998 brought The Library Bar; a beer-and-shot dive bar with an indie-rock oriented jukebox. We opened Cake Shop in 2006, a cafe/bar/record store/venue that helped break bands like MGMT, Vampire Weekend and Dirty Projectors.
I am currently looking to build Cake-Shop.com into more of a media presence. We have developed a "live from Cake Shop" web-series with high quality audio and video; the show will contain live performances and band interviews, in addition to other style pieces. Now looking for investors, if anyone is interested.
James Moody is from New Orleans, has lived in over 15 cities thus far, finally settling in Austin in 2000. He founded the Mohawk in 2006, helping build it to be one of the premier touring destinations for independent bands and emerging artists in the the U.S.
The Mohawk is known for it's careful booking and broad genre interests, proudly hosting everyone from KRS One, Spoon, Sleep, The Melvins, The Decemberists, Ice Cube, Cut Copy, and TV on the Radio to folks like Bon Iver, Youth of Today, Dino Jr, Thurston Moore, MSTRKRFT, Will Oldham, High on Fire, Big Freedia, The Murder City Devils, and more. The Mohawk even hosts an annual Beard and Moustache competition and a very special queso contest.
The growth of the Mohawk eventually spawned the creation of an events agency (Transmission Events) and the growth of a music festival (Fun Fun Fun Fest), both of which Moody helms with friend and co-founder Graham Williams.
Today, Moody is very active in Austins creative community, working as a consultant, helping found a non profit in support of Austin's growing music industry (AMP), working on various committees at City Hall, serving on the board of local arts organizations, and is a proud member of the Austin Facial Hair Club.
As a booker, talent buyer, concert promoter etc., Chris White has helped shape the sound of New York rock since 1995. Starting as longtime talent buyer for beloved rock dive Brownies he moved on to become Showcase Director of the CMJ Music Marathon from 2000 to 2005. From there White went on to work for a bigger concert promotions company, handling the booking duties for Irving Plaza, Gramercy Theatre and Avalon, among others. A short stint with Knitting Factory established the venue as an instant power-player in their new Williamsburg location.
White currently holds the position of Creative Director and Sr. Talent Buyer for The Wick and The Well, two of Brooklyn's most eagerly anticipated new live music venues, combining 25,000 square feet of the historic Hittleman Brewery to create a massive multi-venue, multi-purpose music fortress.
Michael Slaboch is the talent buyer at The Hideout in Chicago, IL.
He is also a part of the reissue label, The Numero Group. It is here that he has had the tremendous opportunity to share rediscovered music, films, and photographs with new audiences around the world.
Additionally, Michael is a historical judge for the Grammy's Chicago Chapter and is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago & Tribeca Flashpoint Academy in their respective recording arts programs.
Georgia native and huge music fan, I have called Athens my home for the past ten years. I spent a summer working at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas in Public Relations. After returning home to finish school I began working at the fabulous 40 Watt Club in 2008. I handle all of the venue's social media and assist in the talent buying. In addition, I work at Velena Vego Management with Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, Campout East, and Campout West.
I had the pleasure spending two years launching the newly renovated Buckhead Theatre (formerly the Roxy) in Atlanta. I was responsible for developing marketing plans as well as the Promoter Rep for over 75 concerts at the theatre.