About a month ago, as I was typing up a final paper during my last week of college, my computer of four years died mid-sentence. I know. Hang in there. This isn't some sad sob story about a soon-to-be graduate's technology woes. Read on.
From being computer-less and therefore, Netflix-and-internet-less, I wondered, "What do I do now?" It was in this moment that my then-roommate, Ashton, who has a logical answer for everything and who I turn to when I need such answers, said something to the effect of, "listen to podcasts. There's an app called Stitcher where you can save all of your favorite podcasts."
Where I once would binge Friends and Supernatural, I now binged CD Baby's DIY Musician Podcast, Music Marketing Manifesto, and many other podcasts directed to musicians. While yes, that seems nerdy, I assure you, I reveled in that music-business nerdiness. I am that person who checked out the College's whole music business section (which included 6 or 7 books total) and kept them all year and read bits and pieces of them in my off time as a busy college senior/guitar instructor/indie-musician-recording-an-EP/performing musician. At Treefort, I went to every music industry panel that was offered. And now, I listen to podcasts about the music industry. While most would say that the words business and artist are oil and water, I love soaking up the advice given in these podcasts and ponder the current challenges of the music industry in hopes to better understand the challenges I might face. I'd rather do it myself and know-how to do it before handing over the reigns. This is music I spend hours and countless tears (literally) creating, why wouldn't I want to manage it from the business side as well? When I ran out of music podcasts to listen to, a friend from Portland recommended a show called the Future of What. The Future of What is hosted by Kill Rock Stars' Portia Sabin, and if there is an ultimate podcasts in music-industry podcasts, I'd say this is it.
Portia seems to ask all the right questions and bring in the right mix of people to talk about the topic at hand during the show. During an episode, she might have an A&R rep from an independent label, a radio DJ, and an independent musician come in to discuss the same topic so as to get at the topic from multiple angles and provide different insights. The questions and discussions are meaningful and thought-provoking. You leave each episode feeling like you have left with a better understanding of the music industry's many quirks. And to top it all off, the interviews/discussions are broken up into segments by music that is spot on. What more could a musician stranded without a laptop want?
Check out the Future of What (do yourself a favor and subscribe to it!)
In addition, here's CD Baby's DIY Musician Podcast hosted by Kevin Breunder, which is also excellent.