• Metro invited musicians to audition for its Art In Transit program, allowing them to perform at station entrances– but without receiving tips (WMATA has a strict “no busking” rule). Listen Local First took issue with the program; the Washington CityPaper and DCist both report.
• Jazz profile: Giovanni Russonello on Tarus Mateen [CapitalBop].
The big event this weekend is the chickfactor 20th anniversary show at Artisphere in Rosslyn. The shows are tonight and tomorrow night, and full information, including tickets, can be found here. Lots of press to round up on this event!
• The Washington CityPaper has a huge article on the zine chickfactor.
• Interview: Stephen M Deusner talks to Frankie Rose [Express], who’s performing tonight.
• Interview: David Malitz talks to Black Tambourine, who performs tomorrow night.
• Overview: The Vinyl District also recommends the show.
• Listen local: Jonathan L Fischer writes an excellent piece on whether being local makes something good (or worth listening to) [Washington CityPaper]. All the same, as someone who values a Washington whose cultural life is both distinct and worldly, I’m nervous about this sort of genre-agnostic focus on what area code artists happen to live in. Those who advocate for eating local make an environmental pitch that has to do with carbon footprints. Proponents of shopping local make an economic argument that has to do with the influence and labor practices of large corporations and the diversity of shopping opportunities. But in consuming culture, I’ve never felt “local” to be an inherent plus. Not exactly. What matters, or ought to matter, is whether something is interesting, forward-thinking, vibrant—and mostly importantly, good.
• Venue news: The Hamilton is no longer open 24 hours a day, reports DC.Eater.com. The Penn Quarter venue/restaurant will remain open until 1 AM on weekedays and 2 AM on weekends, with the bar open an hour later each day.
: On musical instruments: Roland Flamini on the comparison between a Stradivarius and an instrument made by a modern violin makers [Washington Times]. When is a fiddle a violin? One day late last year, 17 experienced violinists gathered in a hotel room in Indianapolis to tackle the question. Each one in turn was blindfolded and played a few bars of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto on six violins — two made by Antonio Stradivari, one by Bartolomeo Guarneri del Gesu and three by modern violin makers. The challenge was to distinguish the three old master violins. According to the results of the experiment published in the January issue of the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, only three of the 17 guessed right.
Happy Monday, everyone! I know I just put out a request for feedback last week on these Music Notes (and thanks to everyone for your encouraging comments!), but I’d like to ask your advice again. There are a few commentators out there who refer to ShowlistDC as “the eye-bleed site”. I can understand their sense of overwhelmment: I set out to make SLDC a comprehensive DC-area listing site, and that means that I’ve collected a huge amount of information for the site. Many of you have sent me notes over the past year and a half with ideas and suggestions for the site (many of which I’ve implemented!), and I’d like to open up the floor: what would you like to see differently on the main listing page (or the venue pages) of ShowlistDC? Would you like me to display the show listings in a different way? Would you like more information, like ticket prices, links to where to buy tickets, concert start times, genre information, or something else? I’ve been working on adding some flags to denote concerts that are new or changed, so that feature is on its way. But if there’s anything else you would like me to do to make SLDC an easier-to-navigate site, please do let me know! Leave a comment here or send me an email at email@example.com, and know that I’m always excited to talk about ways to make SLDC better.
JUST ANNOUNCED: Radiohead with Caribou at the Verizon Center on June 3. Tickets ($69.50 plus fees) on sale Saturday, March 10th.
Today, about 1,400 streaming music services in the United States send SoundExchange a list of recordings they’ve played and royalty payments each month. That translates to about 16,000 checks sent to artists and rights owners each quarter.
“Lady Gaga and Katy Perry get decent checks from us,” Huppe said. “But you know what’s even more rewarding? It’s the working class artists who we track down.”
SoundExchange has found and delivered royalties to a rabbi who performs comedy, cash-strapped indie bands and little-known children’s artists, among others. Of the 60,000 payments it made last year, Huppe said about 90 percent were worth less than $5,000.
But the nonprofit has tens of millions of dollars sitting in its coffers waiting to be distributed, Huppe said. Many small artists aren’t familiar with the group, and as one might expect, are skeptical when an organization declares it has their unclaimed money.