The Independent Manager: A Dying Breed
With record labels downsizing, managers are required to offer more services for their clients. As a result, many independent managers are choosing to partner with larger organizations. Can you stay out on your own and remain competitive? What are the advantages to staying lean? When is it better to become part of a larger entity? Come hear managers of different companies and backgrounds discuss the evolving world of artist management.
Jordan Kurland is the founder and owner of Zeitgeist Artist Management, LTD. Formed in 1999, with offices in San Francisco and New York; Zeitgeist focuses on cultivating long-term careers for independently minded artists. The company’s roster includes Death Cab for Cutie, the Postal Service, She & Him, Bob Mould, New Pornogrpahers, Surfer Blood, Rogue Wave, Say Anything, Kathleen Hanna, Thao with the Getdown Staydown, and Cloud Nothings.
Jordan is a partner in one of the nation’s most respected and long-standing music festivals, Noise Pop. Dubbed ‘its own institution’ by the San Francisco Weekly, Noise Pop has been showcasing the most influential independent national and local artists for the last 20 years. Jordan is also the co-founder of the Treasure Island Music Festival. Launched in 2007, Spin Magazine described the boutique outdoor festival as ‘a full blown love affair.’
Jordan sits on the board of the Stern Grove Festival, the Bay Area Chapter of NARAS, and Air Traffic Control, an organization dedicated to connecting the music community to social action. He spent five years on the board of directors of the Independent On-Line Distribution Alliance (IODA) ending with the company’s partial acquisition by Sony in mid-2009. He also served on the board of Marin Headlands Center for the Arts for three years, from 2009 through 2011.
IAN MONTONE is the founder of the music management company Monotone, Inc. and co-founder of the media and production group LBI Entertainment. Monotone, Inc.’s clients include Jack White, The White Stripes, Foster the People, The Shins, Vampire Weekend, Danger Mouse, James Murphy, The Dead Weather, Ratatat, Broken Bells, The Raconteurs, Cold War Kids, Pete Yorn, among others. Under the aegis of LBI Entertainment, Montone, along with his partner Rick Yorn, manages the careers of Jude Law and Jamie Foxx. Before founding Monotone, Inc., Montone was a partner at the law firm of Davis, Shapiro, Lewit & Hayes, LLP, focusing on music and entertainment.
Throughout his 20 years in the music business, Bruce Flohr has continuously evolved. After running the nationally recognized college radio station KCPR, Bruce joined RCA records as head of Alternative Promotion where he guided the careers of the Stone Roses, The Charlatans, Love and Rockets, and the Cowboy junkies to name a few. He then moved into a dual A&R/Marketing position at RCA and signed Dave Matthews Band in 1992. Bruce also signed Foo Fighters, Lit, Hum, and many others during his time at RCA. Bruce left the label in 2002 to join Dave Matthews Band and Coran Capshaw and become a key member of Red Light Management and ATO records. Since Bruce joined forces with Capshaw, Red Light Management has become one of the most forward thinking companies within the music business. Bruce serves as an A&R resource for both ATO and RLM clients, as well as handling management duties for artists such as Switchfoot, Alberta Cross, Parachute, and others. Bruce is also a founding partner in music media company, GreenLight, which he started with Capshaw. GreenLight works with brands such as AMEX, Gillette, and Hyundai to build exclusive music driven campaigns. Lastly, Bruce works closely with many new technology companies such as Group Me, Square, and others to help them establish traction within the music space.
SCOTT BOOKER is founder and owner of Hellfire Enterprises Ltd., a management and marketing company. In 2003 Booker co-founded World’s Fair Label - a service company that runs record labels for artists, so they can self release their own music. Booker later sold his ownership of World’s Fair to focus more on helping build ACM@UC. Booker continues to work with three-time Grammy winning the Flaming Lips as well as up-and-comers Colourmusic, Stardeath and White Dwarfs.