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Why Classical Music Is Imperiled—sort Of

For Pemberton, which hopes to nab most of B.C.s festival-going audience early next summer with a July 18-20 schedule (the same weekend, it must be said, as the Vancouver Folk Fest and Surreys Fusion Festival). its about making a statement. The resurrected festival is putting all its money on not repeating the errors of 2008, when traffic and other logistical problems overshadowed top notch performances by Jay Z, Coldplay, the Flaming Lips and others. New promoters Huka Entertainment are obviously banking on their lack of connection with Live Nation, who shouldered most of the blame following 2008s event ( the second question on their FAQ page is an obvious jab at the previous organizers ). Their track record running destination festivals like the beach-bound Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama, is a bonus, hinting at a value-added experience. The promise of top shelf talent similar to what Huka have booked via their other properties is also alluring, though none of it has been revealed yet. On the other hand, the Squamish Valley Music Festival has proven it can serve 17,000 fans daily extremely well, and next year it hopes to almost double that number, with capacity being expanded to 35,000 (ironically, the same capacity as the new Pemberton fest). The festival has been branding itself as a destination fest as well, with the dual team of promoters brand.LIVE and Live Nation doing a fine job at growing the event organically over the past four years. Lately, the festival modified its scheduling (it now runs the first weekend of August) to align itself with other major events like Montreals Osheaga, Chicagos Lollapalooza and San Franciscos Outside Lands. The move is critical in attracting bigger acts and expanding to a wider format next year. But you can feel the Pemberton push is making Squamish jittery. Live Nation has been on a bit of a media blitz this week, first boasting about the economic impact the SVMF has had on the region in a press release (with $16 million in revenue generated for the Squamish area since 2010), and announcing the festival had been nominated at the 2013 UK Festival Awards for Best Overseas Festival.

In David Prudhomme’s graphic novel ‘Rebetiko,’ a music revolution

Government shutdown closes Library of Congress -- online too

15, just one year after their critically acclaimed disc The Carpenter reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200. Today, the band is premiering the music video for Another is Waiting, the rollicking first single from their new collection, right here on EW. Scott Avett co-directed the clip, which follows a fresh-faced young ladys journey through a high-pressure modeling world where the beauties are all, in fact, skeletal. Its a biting commentary on the dangers of the chew-you-up-spit-you-out entertainment business (Notice the sign at the entrance of the modeling agency: Pricuf Aim = Price of fame), and it finds the banjo-plucking boys warning the woman, You got to get yourself off that conveyor belt. Does she heed their advice? Find out in the video below. (This clip may not work on some mobile devices.) It turns out, she did get herself off the conveyor belt no skeletal future for her! Nice. (Unfortunately, the magpie at the end of the video wasnt so lucky.) What do you think of the video, readers? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to read our in-depth Q&A with the band from last year.

See The Avett Brothers’ ‘Another Is Waiting’ music video — EXCLUSIVE

Sometimes its known as the Greek blues. The idea, he goes on, is to sing about the pain of exile, the romance of the ports, the swoops and flights of the nighthawks and their ill-starred loves; their failure and their humor. My kind of music, in other words, fueled by hash and booze and a sense that, for the duration of a song, at least, ones daily degradations might be washed away. Political, too, since, as Prudhomme notes, [i]n 1936, the nationalist dictator Metaxas seized power in Athens and decided that these singers on the fringes of society should be brought into line a decision that turned the rebetes into outlaws, and their music into a call to arms. Prudhomme sets Rebetiko in the early days of the Metaxas era and builds it around a loose association of figures, both historical and imagined, including Markos Vamvakiris , considered an early hero of the form. The story, such as it is, is a meandering lament, much like the music it seeks to celebrate, in which Markos is released from jail, reconnects with his friends Stavros and Artemis, performs in a port cafe, and eventually must make a treacherous escape from the law. Theres nothing left but smoke, melancholy, broken plates , Prudhomme writes late in the book. We were only little octopuses from the slums, with bile as black as ink. The larger implication, however, is that such little octopuses can have a bit effect when they tell their stories honestly, creating a space in which an audience can truly recognize itself. To get this across, Prudhomme re-creates the music deftly, using small panels that echo the darkness, the closeness, of the cafes while also filling them with movement, the movement of patrons dancing, or fighting, or being seduced. Because rebetiko is storytelling music, he highlights the lyrics, layering them atop his images, as if they were part of the atmosphere. At times, it can be difficult to parse out the characters there are a lot of them, and they come and go with a kind of fluid serendipity, leaving us uncertain about who is who. But that, I think, is part of the point also, for the culture of the rebetes was communal, which is the sense that we are left with: of a movement as social as it was political, in which the lines are blurred between participant and observer, and experience is most essential when it is shared. In the end, of course, rebetiko was tamed, in part by Mataxas and in part by the vagaries of time. Like the blues, it has become something of a museum music, softened by history, no longer risky (or even dangerous) but quaint.

Music festival battle brewing in B.C. with Squamish, Pemberton vying for top spot

On Sunday, Americans could choose to spend their evening at a concert, a book reading, a lecture, or watching the much-anticipated final episode of Breaking Bad (let alone Sunday Night Football.) By this light, the take-away is how healthy an historic art form is in the 21st century. Classical music isnt in trouble because its a dying industry destined to join the buggy-whip in the dustbin of history. No, the state of classical music is troubled because its a creative industry caught in the upheaval of an emerging digital economy. The traditional classical music business model, less than half a century old, is a failing economy, even as new, more entrepreneurial experimentation is underway. Classical music is being pushed into an uncertain future by the digital maelstrom sweeping popular music, journalism, book publishing and, increasingly, the lecture halls of colleges and universities. In many respects, the consumption of popular music, media, books, and classical music has never been more widespread and democratic, even while profits elude organizations and wages remain under pressure for skilled professionals. The classical music business model isnt working. The dominant model of labor relations in urban symphony orchestras is workers covered by collective bargaining agreements. The signal moment came in 1965, when the Ford Foundation began a significant match grant program for improving the financial lives of professional musicians. The business was growing, management wanted the money, and the effect of the initiative was to turn musician wages and benefits from a variable cost into a fixed one, notes Robert Flanagan , economist at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Adding to future financial uncertainty is decreased support from government and signs that wealthy private philanthropists are less willing to prop up a failing business model. Still, as in other creative industries, heartening signs lie with the rise of the entrepreneurial musician. Famed soprano Dawn Upshaw is recording popular American songs.

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