Sunday, February 21, 2010

Live Music Capital of the World?

After Echotone dropped this Video B side from the film, it has been off to the races as far as getting the conversation on the topic of what qualifies the title - Live Music Capital of the World. A colleague of mine from Seattle and I had a discussion about this after a panel at Sundance, and he asserted that it was the degree of support from the community because he asserted that a community has voting power, which can influence who is making policy decisions that protect the cultural asset of Live Music.

I share the belief that its a strong community that contributes to what qualifies the title in question, but beyond policy, there is the idea of an engaged support base that promotes locally produced work through social media and word of mouth channels, and a community that believes in buying local: local foods, music, entertainment, and other goods.

Local bars, restaurants, clubs and theaters are the heart of local entertainment and music cultures as they provide a proximate platform and space for the community to gather. When I think of cities with strong buy local cultures, there is usually a strong live music culture, cities like New Orleans, Brooklyn, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Austin immediately, leap to my mind, but I am sure there are many others (another place for your two cents to be shared).

Excited to hear your thoughts on this conversation as well, and definitely curious to see a few top 10 or top 5 live music scenes in the US lists. Be sure to post a comment on or on our You Tube.

- from San Francisco, the ideahed

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Echotone's First B side release: An Experiment in Getting the Conversation Started

As we gear up for a sneak preview at our favorite indie rock festival, which I can not mention the name of in conjunction with the film’s title, we are figuring out ways to market the screening without the film’s primary asset, its title.

Echotone by design is geared to open up a dialogue, not make a punctuated statement of ideological perspective that skews the viewers understanding of the story to that of the filmmakers.  An exercise in restraint, the film is intended to be debated as long as its part of the cultural zeitgeist, and if we have achieved our goals with the project, beyond.

The asset we do have however is Nathan Christ, Echotone’s tireless director, who blogs, tweets, cuts, shoots, and leads an impassioned Q&A.  We are finding creative ways to position the screening around Nathan, and working with Nathan to reach indie rock’s super fans.

As access is the editorial world’s primary currency, we are going to be leaking a clip of the film to these super fans. This clip, and its accompanying content giveaway of some soul stirring live performances, is our Valentines Gift to the world.  With that gift a request will be made to these super fans, one that asks them to share their public opinion on an issue explored in Echotone through their chosen portal, blog, column, facebook, twitter, or all, that also happens to be the linguistic positioning of the film’s secret screening at a never to be named festival.  The goal is to have this conversation around Nathan’s film to cross beyond the super fans.

The New York Times is already covering the issue giving it a national stage, but engaging the Echotone audience and those interested in the subject material of the article below in this dialogue is part of the challenge we must overcome. You can read the NY Times article on the Cactus Cafe closing down here.

Keep your eyes and ears posted as the leak is about to break like a damn, and only the super fans who protect the culture of indie rock will be able to get their hands on it, and the whereabouts of this secret screening of Nathan Christ’s directorial debut.

We just released a few Echotone B sides from the project's vault - get them here!