Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Forthcoming speaking engagements

I've been invited to speak and offer advice at the following two events. Please comment below or tweet me if you’re planning to attend either of the below events and there’s anything in particular you’d like to hear me speak about. 


Friday 30th April 2010
@ Old Broadcasting House, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds

10.45 - 11.15
Keynote: “Do Anything You Wanna Do” 
(Speaker: Sean Adams) 
How much can you achieve yourself, as a music maker or as a facilitator? Discussing the problem of  identifying your aspirations, the problems with integrating with mainstream expectations and what tools are out there to help you achieve your goals.

13.45 - 14.45 
Reaching The Media 
(Speakers: Sean Adams - DiS/Sunday Times, Tom Goodhand - Leeds Guide / NME, Tom Bellhouse - Brew Records) 
Panel of Journalists, DJs, Bloggers and Labels talk about how best to engage the media, what you can do yourself and how this fits in with achieving your overall aspirations for your music.

15.00 - 16.00 
What Does Social Media Mean To You? 
(Sean Adams, Richard Huxley - Hope & Social, Gareth Dobson - Fear & Records management / Wichita, Tom Bellhouse - Brew Records, Lisa Hibbert - Digital Marketeer) 
Promote, distribute and even fund your music in the ever-burgeoning world of social media. Creating communities on twitter, or selling unique bundles on bandcamp – join the debate on how to get the most out of the internet.

16.30 - 18.00 
Advice Panel 
(Speakers: Sean Adams, David Bates - Sony A&R/DB Music + more TBC) 
General advice from a panel of experts based on what is useful in real life situations – from entering the mainstream music industry, to how to consolidate your position and make the most of what you want to the music you love This session is designed to be about YOU, so please get in touch with us. Send a link to your music with detail of what you are up to and what your aspirations are.

Registration Details: If you wish to attend the Unconference please email with your name, and whether you intend to attend all day, just morning or just afternoon session. Please note, however, the Unconference has a limited capacity, and attendance is on a first come first served basis on the day.


Friday 14th May 2010
@ Pavilion Theatre,  Brighton

Future of Music: Radio Debate
In light of the recent proposed changes at the BBC, what is the state  of play with traditional radio outlets in the UK and is DAB still the way forward? Is traditional music radio still as important in breaking new talent or does the future of music radio now lie on the internet?

Our industry panel discusses this timely topic in what is set to be a keenly anticipated debate. 

Sean Adams - Founder,
Stefan Baumschlager - Head Label Liaison,
Clive Dickens - Chief Operating Officer, Absolute Radio
Matt Everitt - BBC 6 Music
Dave Haynes - VP Business Development, Soundcloud


P.S. If you’re heading to the Great Escape, also check out the Drowned in Sound stage at Revenge on Thursday and Friday, featuring the likes of Blood Red Shoes, Ruby Suns, Rolo Tomassi, Japandroids, Mount Kimbie, Team Ghost (ex-M83) and lots more. Info here:

Friday, 16 April 2010

Some answers to some Qs about gatekeepers, tastemakers and blogging...

My answers to some dissertation questions from Sarah Scouller

 • Whether you think music readers have shifted towards amateurs bloggers for believed 'authenticity'

I personally think it's more for the person-to-person connection, unfiltered by editors or some naïve perceived notion that advertising influences editorial (not that this conspiracy isn't justified in some circles but usually it's trading exclusive traffic-worthy content).

I also believe the main reason for any shift is partly due to the fact music critics/journalists haven't moved on to or included more succinct at-a-glance forms of writing, as bloggers are more like radio deejays, offering a couple of sentences (rather than paragraphs of descriptive theory) and then a link to hear it. Not even wants 'waffle', we get a lot of "too long, didn't read" reactions to things. People who 'read' blogs love the brevity as it means they can be lazy and not 'waste' time reading words - it's all a bit ready meal, buzz-in-a-bag. Twitter and Tumblr have taken the soundbite-bitten, overview-obsessed nature of things to logical conclusions and this ability to have a shallow glimpse, without much sense of a need for a depth of knowledge is frightening.

• Do you feel that there has been a shift in the gatekeepers of music, can anyone be a tastemaker nowadays?

Anyone CAN be anything but it doesn't mean they're any good at it, and for bloggers they are merely one gatekeeper for their small circle of followers with very similar tastes. Admittedly, some circles are more influential than other cogs. So much of what is considered 'tastemaking' is just confirmation of the blogosphere's status quo. It's rare to find a music blog run by someone outside of the current short-lived trends/micro-paradigms - which is partly why I love Hipster Runoff. There's also no real context for recommendations in terms of whether the blogger loves or just vaguely likes something and feels it's relevant, and you don't get much sense of what they don't like, which is often more revealing (especially in a 'showing your workings' kinda way). I fear a lot of stuff is just posted for some google or hype machine traffic.

• How much of an impact is blogging having upon freelance writers?

On the one-side many of our former contributors now write for and/or run most of the music media in the UK from NME's features editor to BBC's record reviews editor. I've scored a column from 'blogging' and Peter from Popjustice has done really well too but I guess this is not very different than the breeding ground of fanzines.

I'm not sure to what extent the migration to the web and therefore smaller revenues has affected freelancers but it would seem logical that it's not as good as it was in past thirty years but probably better than it ever was before that. It is now a lot easier for 'staff' at major publications to rehash content from elsewhere, rather than paying someone else to do it - especially when it comes to 'news'.

• To what extent has digital technology impacted journalism?​

One of my biggest hates is the way magazines have tried to compete with the comprehensive abundance of the web by reducing their editorial to a scattering of tiny flags in everything, rather than focussing on the value of scarcity and the resources they have to make informed filtering decisions, sticking their necks out for music worth believing in and putting it on the map, rather than trying to compete with kids in their bedrooms. The churnover of new 'buzz-worthy' bands is utterly ridiculous and is to the benefit of no-one, least of all the middle-class of acts who haven't broken through releasing their second, third or thirteenth albums.

I also think the reliance on crowd-sourcing has really damaged the media as a whole, as there's no way that data is going to do anything but mislead and direct people toward the agreeable gloop - it's as if MOR is now middle-of-the-superhighway blog-rock. We've somehow gained reactive opinions on everything but most media has lost most of the ability to research and mine for gold, creating the debate and setting the agenda.

Then there's the fact that the influential die-hard clusters of music fans no longer need media and believe they're savvy enough to explore the online world of streamable and downloadable music un-guided, yet they enevitably slide further and further down their own niche, forming ghettos and are rarely  exposed to anything that might truly challenge, excite or inspire them. The weird thing is, most media tries to cater for these sorts of people they've lost long ago, rather than focussing on providing something for the less savvy who appreciate a window in to the things which might appeal to them, with analysis and explanation. It's odd that it now seems to be ads and television series who are the gatekeepers, creating hit acts whilst the media constantly eats itself, following trends or tick box data (R1 playlist is a prime example of this), rather than their guts and minds.

Posted via email from seaninsound

Friday, 2 April 2010

Something for the long weekend...

Just sent out this mailout, if you're not on the mailing list and would like to be, sign-up here:

I N _ S O U N D 


We hope you're enjoying some fish 'n chips in the liquid sunshine on this so-called "good" "Friday". 

If choice paralysis hits and you can't decide what to listen to this weekend or if you want to discover some new (to you) music, check out our year so far, first quarter digest on DiS. Which includes...

SINGLES of the year (SO FAR!)

2010 Q1 in a 101 song playlist

NEWSROUND: The Year So far in News


This week on DiS as a playlist featuring: Weezer, Elliott Smith, Jonsi, Chihei Hatakeyama, Three Trapped Tigers, Kelpe, 65daysofstatic, Owen Pallett, Beach House, Bear In Heaven, The Hidden Cameras, Monsters of Folk, Dum Dum Girls, Titus Andronicus, The Vaselines and Kevin Drumm.

New additions: Jonsi, Elliott Smith, Bear in Heaven, Ikonika, To Rococo Rot, Serena Maneesh, Dark Dark Dark and plenty more...

If you've not seen it yet, check out this little audio-only blog we've set-up

Have a great extended weekend,

DiS xo

Posted via email from seaninsound

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