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Preview: Output Belfast 2020 – The Conference

 
By on Monday, 20th January 2020 at 11:00 am
 

Last week, the full daytime schedule for the highly anticipated 2020 edition of Output Belfast was released. Taking place on the eve of Valentine’s Day, the daytime schedule for this annual event held in the capital of Northern Ireland is chock full of interesting speakers and useful sessions not just for those living in Northern Ireland, but for anyone involved in the music industry. I was kindly invited to this year’s proceedings, so I have come out of ‘retirement’ and am pleased to provide you the following outline on what I plan to sit in on while in attendance there.

The programming is bookended with two fantastic keynotes. The day will begin at 10 AM with The Music Industry in 2020 – Tracks, Trends, Opportunities, a three-person panel starring Paul Pacifico, Chief Executive of the Association of Independent Music (AIM); Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director, Music Venues Trust; and Tom Kiehl, Acting Chief Executive of UK Music. Hang around for the whole day, because from 4 to 5 PM, things finish up with Blurred Lines – When Two Tunes Collide – Who Are You Going to Call?, the closing keynote led by musicologist Peter Oxendale and focussing on the big issue of music copyright infringement, plagiarism and litigation, which has become the one of the biggest elephants in the room in our industry since the dawn of the Internet.

The above paragraph should have convinced you that it’s worth it to stay at the MAC all day for Output. But what will you be doing in the intervening hours? In the 11.30 AM slot, you can learn about the key developments of music usage in the last 2 decades from former Director of Music at advertising firm Grey Josh Rabinowitz. This session, entitled A Biased History of Music in Advertising, will be hosted by Output Belfast’s own Mark Gordon. In the Irish Music Rights Association (IMRO) presentation How to Write a Hit moderated by Mary-Kate “May Kay” Geraghty (ex-Fight Like Apes), we’ll hear from Philip Magee, producer for two bands we love here at TGTF, Kodaline and The Script, and Ross Gautreau, A&R Director of Karma Artists. For some local flavour, attend Branded – Creating And So I Watch You From Afar’s Branding, which will see Rory Friers from the enduring Belfast instrumentalists and graphic designer Tim Farrell chat with Thomas Camblin of Rally. We will no doubt learn about that famous triangle that has become an important part of the band’s identity.

In the 12.40 PM ‘brown bag’ slot, two of the sessions focus squarely on the big bad “B” word of the music industry. Yes, folks, I mean business, and we’ve all heard the horror stories. In Music Industry Contract Essentials – Copyright and Monetising Your IP, lawyers Jonathan Tait (BTO Solicitors) and Pete Bott (Sound Advice Solicitors) will discuss contracts, copyright and music law with Score Draw Music’s Mary Johnston. While the the EU economic situation continues to be a tricky one with the uncertainty of the UK’s Brexit, there is some good news. The Creative Europe-presented Music Moves Europe – Accessing Funding will touch on the funding available to Northern Irish organisations and venues through the EU’s programme to support the cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors. This session will feature Rosie Le Garsmeur of Creative Europe Desk UK, Jess Partridge of In Stereo Group and Keychange and Paul Pacifico (AIM). NB: In the following time slot, there will be the similar but artist-directed Funding Opportunities in Northern Ireland in 2020, presented by PRS Foundation.

There’s more interesting sessions to be had post-lunch at Output Belfast. I had considered several times to start my own record label at TGTF, and the tips to come from The Joy of Running an Independent Label – How to Set Up and Grow Your Own would have come in handy. Rubyworks’ Ceri Dixon, Scruff of the Neck’s Mark Lippmann, and Pizza Pizza Records’ Joey Edwards will be sharing their own experiences in the trenches. And in a session I had never thought I’d see a music conference, there is a religion-themed talk in the form of Praise You – How Worship Music is Hitting the Mainstream. I was not aware that religious music had hit the mainstream, but Doug Ross of Stabal Music and singer/songwriters Lucy Grimble and Steph Macleod (singer/songwriter) will be convincing moderator Paul McNeilly of Fuel Events of this.

In the penultimate slot at 2.45 PM will be the How Did You Manage That? live podcast with Trevor Dietz, manager of Fontaines DC, introduced by Jane Stynes of Music Managers Forum and with moderators Ally McCrae of the BBC and Sophie Paluch of Pouch Music. As one of the most exciting exports from the island of Ireland in the last 12 months, I’m expecting this session to be filled to the gills. If you can’t get in, equally interesting and more likely helpful to an artist’s bottom line is the session entitled Anatomy of an Advertising Placement, where John McCallion (Music Supervisor at Warners Dublin), Dina Coughlan (Planet of Sound), Phil Jones (Park The Van Records and Manager of The Magic Numbers and Yeasayer), Francesca O’Connor (Champion Sound and Quiet Arch), and Mark Gordon (Score Draw Music and Output Belfast) will be put to the test live, given a brief for which they must place a track to the brief by the end of the session. In my early years as a music editor and journo, I tried my hand at some briefs like this. This sounds much easier than it really is. The session will be moderation by Josh Rabinowitz.

Sign up for this year’s edition of Output Belfast, the 13th of February, at the official website. There, you will also find the entire conference schedule. This daytime event will take place at the MAC, 10 Exchange Street, West, and the Oh Yeah Music Centre, 15-21 Gordon Street, Belfast. Information on the free music showcases are set to follow.

 

Love is the end…

 
By on Friday, 5th April 2019 at 11:00 am
 

Header and in-text photo by Abel Maestro Garcia in Andalucia, Spain

A funny thing about change. When you’re the one changing, it can be hard for others to see you as something other than what you have been and what you have been to them.

I knew there would come a time where I would draw the curtains and turn the lights out at There Goes the Fear. After a year as USA Editor and after I took over the reins of TGTF from founder Phil Singer in the summer of 2010, it wasn’t uncommon for me to lose sleep or skip meals to write and work on my photos for my posts. I went through eye strain and posture problems and heard repeated concerns from my doctors that my fatigue was being exacerbated by my overdoing my loyalty to TGTF.

Still, I persisted. I feel proud of the artists we’ve introduced to you before they became household names and award winners, as well as those who didn’t reach such heady heights. I have always felt the two primary pieces to the remit of TGTF were 1) to help artists along in their careers, to the point where they could have self-sustaining careers and 2) to bring them to the attention of you, the readers, who might not otherwise have come across them. I’ve spent a quarter of my life (so far) on something that has become way bigger than a Chinese-American girl from the DC suburbs could ever have imagined. I take great pride in what we have accomplished here.

I will look back at my 10 years of music blogging here at TGTF with much fondness. I interviewed and got to write about so many great musicians and their music. I got to travel and cover music events around the world, some of which where we ran showcases. I had the privilege of working with some wonderful writers, and I thank them all for their contributions here. If you read an article here and stepped away with a new musical love, or you’re in a band or manage one and we helped you be more financially successful, then I’d say we achieved our key goals.

Before my last birthday, nearing the end of November 2018, I heard an avuncular voice say to me in a soothing tone something intriguing. “You have been writing about the lives of so many others. Now is the time to write about your own.” With this invisible nudge from the divine, I will be working on writing up my memoirs of the many experiences I’ve had through TGTF and in my own personal life.

This isn’t goodbye forever. TGTF will still be online but in a dormant state for some time. If, while your visit here now or in the past, you find something useful to you, I’d appreciate it if you could click on an ad or two on the Web site. Just as before, any ad revenue collected will go back into hosting costs. There may be the occasional Tweet to the @tgtf Twitter or post to the TGTF Facebook account. I will still be around and available on @theprintedword if you simply want to say hey.

When I was in university, I used to say to myself that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the music that comforted me in my darkest days. Music is, and will continue to be, the greatest uniting force we have as human beings. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support of me, our writers and of course, the musicians and bands.

 

Video of the Moment #2938: Titus Andronicus

 
By on Thursday, 4th April 2019 at 6:00 pm
 

I have avoided posting lyric videos in the Video of the Moment slot unless they’re done really well. In the case of the newest video from Titus Andronicus, I think the visuals and where they were filmed are appropriate, almost painfully so, for who they are trying to address in the song. One of the first photos I ever saw of the New Jersey band looked like a candid shot of the entire group in front of the seated Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial. If you have ever had the opportunity to visit my hometown of Washington, DC, and be a tourist, you are probably aware that the memorial to our storied 16th president sits on the east side of the Reflecting Pool that was immortalised by the footage and photos from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech in 1963. Further, if you stand in the Lincoln Memorial and look due east, you will see a massive obelisk, better known as the Washington Monument. When I was a kid, I used to call it the Giant Marble Pencil.

In about half of this video for single ‘(I Blame) Society’, frontman and singer/songwriter of Titus Andronicus Patrick Stickles is seen passing off cue cards with the lyrics to another band member. In the other half, he and another man in a hoodie covered with band badges are stood in front of another, lesser-known obelisk (I’d guess probably in Arlington Cemetery?) where the cards continue to be passed off. What do the cards say? While the choice of words is certainly vitriolic, Stickles and co. cover ground on inequality and the death of the American dream that many of us in wish we had a platform like this from which we could say them. Handily enough, their upcoming sixth album is called ‘An Obelisk’, and it follows 2018’s ‘A Productive Cough’. Produced by Bob Mould, it will be released on the 21st of June on Merge Records. Want to read more on Titus Andronicus here on TGTF? Right this way.

 

Video of the Moment #2937: The Twilight Sad

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd April 2019 at 6:00 pm
 

Around the start of this year, The Twilight Sad released their fifth album. ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’, the follow-up to 2014’s ‘Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’, followed Robert Smith’s endorsement of the Scottish band and some impressive slots supporting The Cure. The latest new promo video to be unveiled from the still relatively new long player is the nonsensically titled ‘Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting’, which guitarist Andy Macfarlane has admitted is a bit of a throwaway title chosen from an advertisement for the actor he happened to see flashing on his computer screen.

The song itself is about the negative feelings we have and negatives actions we take after a breakup. For the music video, the group went into another direction entirely. Frontman James Graham found old Super 8 reels from the ‘60s among his grandfather’s belongings; these reels were processed with colours, and the band projected them on the abandoned Govanhill Baths in Glasgow. The overall mixture of untouched film, processed film and the actual baths as they exist today combine for a disorientating experience that matches the glitchy art aesthetic the Twilight Sad were going for on the cover of ‘It Won/t Be Like…’ awfully well. Sonically, the visuals match the energetic song. Watch and listen to ‘Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting’ below. ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’ is out now on fellow Scots Mogwai’s Rock Action Records. Catch up on all our past coverage on The Twilight Sad through this link.

 

Video of the Moment #2936: Middle Kids

 
By on Tuesday, 2nd April 2019 at 6:00 pm
 

While we’re still talking about SXSW, we shouldn’t forget that Australian trio Middle Kids were the buzz kids of SXSW 2017. Last year, they released their debut album ‘Lost Kids’ on Domino Records. Later this year will see the release of their latest new music in the form of a six-track EP. ‘New Sounds For Old Problems’ sounds like something Stuart Murdoch and Belle and Sebastian would cozy up to after ‘How to Solve Our Human Problems’, eh? They’re previewing the upcoming EP with lead single ‘Real Thing’, a full-bodied track welcome as part of their growing oeuvre. Check out the song and its official promo video below. Want more on Middle Kids right here on TGTF? Use this link.

 

Video of the Moment #2935: Lucy Rose

 
By on Wednesday, 27th March 2019 at 6:00 pm
 

Back in January, Lucy Rose previewed her then upcoming next album with the video for ‘Conversation’. (You can watch it in full in this previous post on TGTF.) Last Friday saw the release of ‘No Words Left’, the follow-up to 2017’s ‘Something’s Changing’. This week, we have for you another cut from the album in video form, this time for ‘Treat Me Like a Woman’. Like the promo for ‘Conversation’, this one was filmed in a minimalist way and in black and white, as if to play down Lucy’s trademark blonde hair. Given the inspiration for the song – her reflection on how she has been treated differently from her male peers in the course of her career – the treatment makes total sense. Watch and listen to ‘Treat Me Like a Woman’ below. ‘No Words Left’ is out now on Communion Records (the UK) and Arts & Crafts (North America). Looking for past coverage on Lucy Rose on TGTF? Come through.

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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