Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013

Milwaukee's Yellow Phone Music Conference Looks to Demystify The Music Industry

New this year: Free showcase shows

By Evan Rytlewski
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The organizers of Yellow Phone Music Conference are the first to admit that the business of music isn’t as interesting or rewarding as the actual art of music. Fun or not, though, it is important, especially for musicians looking to get paid for (or even make a living doing) their craft, which is why they founded the Milwaukee music conference three years ago.

“Basically, what we’re trying to do is, if you’re a musician starting out no matter at what level you are at in your career, of if you’re a budding manager or agent, we try to give some of the nuts and bolts, or overviews of the nuts and bolts, that you need in this business,” says Scott Ziel, who co-founded the conference with Doug Johnson and David Silbaugh. “How the managers and management companies work, how entertainment law works, how touring works—we’re trying to provide an overview of all of that.”

Yellow Phone runs from Thursday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 8 this year. It will include panels on intellectual property and social media, and seek to introduce musicians to opportunities that they might not have considered.

“We’ve always been surprised when we have the conference how many bands from Milwaukee and around the Midwest have a good thing going in Europe, so we’ve added an international touring panel to talk about opportunities there,” Ziel says. “There are a lot more of them than artists realize. I know sponsorship is another area that a lot of bands don’t pursue, but there are a lot of them there. We’re trying to help musicians focus their energies on where they’ll have the most impact.”

This year’s conference will be keynoted by Jeff Castelaz, president of Elektra Records. Badges are $149 (or $69 for students) through Thursday, Sept. 5. The schedule is posted on Yellow Phone's website.

The conference will also host artist showcases at five Third Ward venues on Friday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Sept. 7, which will be free to the public. The complete showcase schedule is below.

Friday, Sept. 6

The Irish Pub
124 North Water Street
8:00 PM - The Guilty Wanted (Oshkosh, WI)
9:10 PM - Aktar Aktar (Chicago, IL)
10:15 PM - Todd Kessler & The New Folk (Chicago, IL)

SPIN
233 East Chicago Street
8:30 PM - Jayk (Milwaukee, WI)
9:30 PM - Bennett (Grand Rapids, MI)
10:30 PM - Ryan Powers & The Secret Weapons (Chicago, IL)
11:30 PM - The Traveling Suitcase (Oshkosh, WI)
12:30 AM - I'm Not A Pilot (Milwaukee, WI)

Milwaukee Ale House
233 North Water Street
9:00 PM - Vic & Gab (Milwaukee, WI)
10:15 PM - Stop Light Observations (Mt. Pleasant, SC)
11:30 PM - MODOC (Nashville, TN)
12:45 AM - The Delta Routine (Milwaukee, WI)

Fire on Water
518 North Water Street
8:45 PM - The Noble Thiefs (Manitoba, Canada)
10:00 PM - Kaleido (Detroit, MI)
11:15 PM - Mise En Scene (Manitoba, Canada)
12:30 AM - Communist Daughter (Minneapolis, MN)

Translator VIP Lounge
415 East Menomonee Street
Open to Badge Holders and Showcase Artists Only
8:15 PM - TBA
9:45 PM - Canyon (West Port, CT)
10:45 PM - Joe Neary (Milwaukee, WI)
12:00 AM - TBA

Saturday, Sept. 7


The Irish Pub
124 North Water Street
8:00 PM - Tall Heights (Boston, MA)
9:10 PM - Caroline Rose (Burlington, VT)
10:15 PM - The Championship (Milwaukee, WI)

SPIN
233 East Chicago Street
8:30 PM - Familiar Looking Strangers (Liverpool, United Kingdom)
9:30 PM - Midwestern Charm (Milwaukee, WI)
10:30 PM - Poor Young Things (Ontario, Canada)
11:30 PM - Kelsey Montanez (Chicago, IL)
12:30 AM - Kiings (Milwaukee, WI)

Milwaukee Ale House
233 North Water Street
9:00 PM - Deanna Devore (Ontario, Canada)
10:15 PM - Blah Blah Blah (Nashville, TN)
11:30 PM - The Balconies (Ontario, Canada)
12:45 AM - Ivy Spokes (Milwaukee, WI)

Fire On Water
518 North Water Street
8:45 PM - Blood Red Boots (Chicago, IL)
10:00 PM - Enemy Planes (Minneapolis, MN)
11:15 PM - June Divided (Philadelphia, PA)
12:30 AM - Vinyl Theatre (Milwaukee, WI)

Translator VIP Lounge
415 East Menomonee Street
Open to Badge Holders and Showcase Artists Only
8:15 PM - TBA
9:45 PM - TBA
10:45 PM - TBA
12:00 AM - TBA

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