• Pocket Kid Records - is a unique record company formed in an age when record companies are disappearing.  Moreover it was formed by a band, Dead Sara, to launch its debut album. 

    Interview with Robert Bryan, President

    Bob: Pocket Kid Records is an interesting company. Most people think of it as just Dead Sara’s label, but I have read prior interviews with you where I see it has a much larger aspiration.

    Robert:  Yes, the intention behind Pocket Kid Records from day one was not just to be Dead Sara’s label, but to be a viable indie label on its own. Emily and Siouxsie and Stan were very interested in that aspect from the very beginning.

    Bob: Stan?

    Robert: Stan Medley, the original backer/manager/ and still current business manager of Dead Sara.

    Bob: Of course… Now is the band involved in the day-to-day workings of PKR?

    Robert: No, they are too busy being a rock band to worry about that stuff. Maybe sometime in the future, after they have hit it big time.

    Bob: Pocket Kid is remarkably one of only a few indie record companies to successfully launch a new band. How do you account for that?

    Robert: Well most of that has to do with Dead Sara. When you have talent that good, it is hard not to be successful.  And on top of that we were fortunate enough to assemble a very god team of people.

    Bob: Yes that's true, talent does have a lot to do with it, but there are still many examples of talented "failures". Now Pocket Kid Records has distribution agreements with Ingrooves/Fontana and now EPIC Records and a publishing agreement with PEER publishing. Those are great relationships. How did those relationships come about.

    Robert:  Those relationships were mainly the result of Dead Sara’s attractiveness. There was a two-page article in Billboard about PJ Bloom, Peer and Dead Sara and how that relationship came about. Most of the other things were the result of normal management contacts.

    Bob: Is Pocket Kid or does Pocket Kid plan on developing any other bands?

    Robert: Well, we are working with several acts right now. So yes, those are our plans.

    Bob: Any new acts you can tell us about? I think after setting the standard with Dead Sara, we are all a little curious whom Pocket Kid would come up with next.

    Robert: No, not yet. The first thing a band or entertainer has to do in developing their career, no matter how talented they are, is figure out who they are.  The people we are working with are still in that stage. Dead Sara was a little different. As Stan has said, Emily and Siouxsie knew who they were from day one. And according to Stan, they have matured but never have wavered from that identity.

    Bob: Well that is some good advice for all the would-be-rock-stars reading this.

    Robert: [laughs] We get hundreds of submissions a year, but we are looking for that same level of quality that Dead Sara has.

    Bob:  [laughs] The best female rock vocalist ever? And the best female rock guitarist ever? That is going to be a little hard to match.

    Robert: I guess we will just have to find some equally talented men.

    Bob: That may be hard too.

    Robert: [laughs] Then maybe we will have to switch genres.

    Bob: Yeah, [laughs]. That might work….So does Pocket Kid have a philosophy on how to develop an act?

    Robert: All the management at PKR and ITVI are artists and understand artists. So we try to stay out of the creative process as much as possible, and only give the artist the help that they need and ask for.

    Bob: But what if an artist falls short of the mark? How does your philosophy handle that? Would you release their material anyway?

    Robert: Of course not.  We want to stay out of the artists’ way so that they maintain their integrity.   But at the same time we must maintain our integrity.  We demand that all of our artists are first and foremost prolific. If they have to write fifty songs in order to get us twelve we like, so be it. We are not going to tell our artists how to write those fifty songs. We will leave that up to their integrity. But we also are not going to release twelve songs that we don’t like. That’s a matter of our own integrity. This way we both win and each get to maintain our integrity.

    Bob: Cool. I like that philosophy. So what is next for Dead Sara. Has the album been recorded or completed yet for EPIC?

    Robert: Yes Dead Sara rented a house in Malibu, turned it into a recording studio, lived there for a couple of months and recorded the second album with Noah Shain, the producer of the first album.

    Bob: Great! When can we expect its release or is there some sort of problem? I am hearing rumors about some sort of disagreement with EPIC.

    Robert: Well there is really no problem with EPIC. The problem is with Dead Sara’s prior management, who went to work for EPIC and became Dead Sara’s A&R guy at EPIC, after being let go as management for Dead Sara.

    Bob: That sounds awkward.

    Robert: Yes, indeed. I don’t think I need to say any more about that.

    Bob: So then I assume Dead Sara must have a new manager?

    Robert: Yes, 19 Entertainment, headed by Jason Morey.  Dead Sara signed a contract with them a few weeks ago.

    Bob: Wow! 19 is a huge, huge company!

    Robert: Yes Pocket Kid is pleased with Dead Sara’s new management and looks forward to working with them.

    Bob: Great, Robert. Anything else you can tell us about what to expect from Pocket Kid Records in the near future?

    Robert: Just that I think fans are really going to like Dead Sara’s new album.

    Bob: Cool we are all looking forward to that. And thank you for your time here today Robert, we appreciate your doing this interview today.

    Robert: Thank you, Bob.

  • Superstar musicians dont die, theyre only murdered. Superstar musicians rarely make their own artistic choices, theyre controlled by a higher, sinister power. Just consult any of the mega-conspiracy theories that rule music.

    Conspiracy theories arent unique to music. But music is especially suited to conspiracy theorists.

    Rock has always been fertile ground for the sowing and growing of such myths, Andrew Mueller wrote for theGuardian.And little wonder: The field is disproportionately populated by people who are overendowed with spare time, money, hallucinogenic drugs and delusions of grandeur, and/or correspondingly underequipped with common sense.

    The Internet has provided us with access to the craziest, most concerning and undeniably entertaining conspiracy theories in the world. This is a working list of some of the biggest.

    1. The Illuminati is using hip-hop to create a New World Order.

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  • In Los Angeles hospital, music and art help children cope Mary Plummer

    Araceli Viveros 3-month-old son listens as music therapist Tacy Pillow plays a lullaby on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 in the Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. The hospital uses music to help calm babies in the unit.

    Maya Sugarman/KPCC

  • Right now it's easy to stream any song you want, whenever you want, legally, without paying a penny.

    The big music labels want that to change. Apple says it wants to help them.

    Apple executives have been telling the music industry it can help them roll back the tide of free digital music by relaunching its own subscription streaming service this year. Unlike Spotify and YouTube, Apple's service won't offer a free "tier" of music interspersed with ads after an initial trial period, you'll need to pay to play.

    Apple executives, led by media head Eddy Cue and Beats Music founder Jimmy Iovine, have been arguing that the music business "needs to get behind a paywall, say people who have talked to them.  Apple bought Beats last year, partly to help it gain a foothold on streaming music just as iTunes sales of digital downloads had started to drop.

    Now Apple is negotiating with the music labels for licenses for a revamped version of Beats. Sources say Apple would like to make a splash by getting high-profile artists to distribute their music with Apple before it makes its way to other services.

    And as I've previously reported, Apple wants to lower the $10-a-month price that has become standard for subscription services; $8 a month is a likely target, as 9to5 Mac reported earlier this year.

    Apples anti-free pitch syncs up with public and private comments from top executives at the big music labels in recent months. In November, Sony Music's CFO told reporters the company was rethinking its support for free streaming music; in December, Warner Music Group CEO Stephen Cooper said that free music services need to convert more users to paying subscribers.

    And Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge, who runs the world's biggest music label, has also been the most vocal about getting the industry to focus on paid services instead of free ones. "We want to accelerate paid subscription," Grainge said at the Code/Media conference last month. "Ad-funded on-demand is not going to sustain the entire ecosystem of the creators as well as the investors."

  • If anyone says this to you while youre wearing your earbuds, take note: You are probably endangering your hearing.

    More than one billion teens and young adults are at risk of losing their hearing, according to WHO (thats the World Health Organization, not the rock band).

    Its not just old folks who suffer hearing loss. Just by listening to music at what you probably think is a normal level, or hanging out in loud bars, nightclubs and music and sporting events, you can permanently damage your hearing.

    By analyzing listening habits of 12- to 35-year-olds in wealthier countries around the world, WHO found nearly 50% of those studied listen to unsafe sound levels on personal audio devices and about 40% are exposed to damaging levels of music and noise at entertainment venues.

    It doesnt take much time to damage your hearing at a sports bar or nightclub. According to the WHO, exposure to noise levels of 100 dB, which is typical in such venues, is safe for no more than 15 minutes.

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