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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Musicians Fight for Their Worth in the Internet Era

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Suzana Barbosa, on the road from L.A. to Mountain View to tell the world about the predicament of musicians.
  • Suzana Barbosa, on the road from L.A. to Mountain View to tell the world about the predicament of musicians.

Swimming Against the Stream: The cops were getting lots of calls. Drivers were worried. There was a woman walking down the road -- the narrow part of Highway 1, just north of L.A. And she was pushing a baby carriage.

When the cops found her, it turned out she was not a crazy person. She wasn't even a mother.

She was a musician on a mission.

The woman was Suzana Barbosa, a longtime Toronto singer and leader of the band Lumanova, who had lately become fed up with the state of the music industry. She'd had it with the paltry amounts paid to songwriters and performers by streaming services like Spotify. She'd had it with our culture's preference for glamorizing starving artists instead of paying them decently... [continue reading]

Not Dead Yet Fest: The members of bluesy S.F. rock outfit Down and Outlaws refuse to ignore the negative talk about the current tech boom and its effects on the local music scene. Vocalist Peter Danzig pays $400 a month to live in a closet in bandmate Kyle Luck's apartment, just so he can contribute to the dialogue.

"Rent is always going to be expensive for musicians who live in cities. That's nothing new," Danzig says. "Everybody is always going to be a product of the times. It's about figuring it out."

Down and Outlaws haven't completely figured it out, but they're adapting. The band emerged in 2012 from a scene of starry-eyed musicians at San Francisco State University. Each member moved to San Francisco for school and music -- or, rather, they went to school in San Francisco so they could pursue music. "The only [acceptance letter] I cared about was the one from S.F. State, because that meant I could come to San Francisco," says Luck, who's originally from Santa Cruz. "S.F. State allowed me a reason to move out here and pursue my actual goal." [continue reading]

Hidden Agenda: Small shows and events to check out this week.

And we recommend shows:

Sylvan Esso with tUnE-yArDs at the Fillmore on Friday, June 6!

Iamsu! with DJ Mustard at Mezzanine on Sunday, June 8!

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Ian S. Port


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