Who is Yancey Strickler and why are Chelsea Berry and I so grateful to him?
I met Yancey Strickler in October 2009, when we were on a panel together at the CMJ Music Festival in New York City talking about the future of music. Having been a rock critic for the past 8 years or so, Yancey described himself as the Eeyore of the music business, with gloomy predictions for it’s future. I, on the other hand, was optimistic, pointing out that yes the music business is changing — it’s changed dramatically several times over the past 100 years. But one thing remains constant: people love music. We crave it. Most of us couldn’t even imagine a world without it. If anything, our insatiable appetite for music is on the rise.
Little did I know that Yancey’s ability to channel his pessimism would revolutionize the music business so optimists like me could once again fall in love with new music.
A few months before we met, Yancey had co-founded KickStarter, a funding platform for creative projects that helps artists like Chelsea Berry raise the money she needs to make her new record. This new funding model has revolutionized the music business more than any other development since the dawn of the Internet. Don’t take my word for it, see what cranky music business pundit Bob Lefsetz says about it here.
On Tuesday, something momentous happened: after a tremendous push on her part, Chelsea Berry reached her KickStarter goal (but you can still contribute and get even more good stuff for doing so — just click here). She IS going to make that new record with her new band that all of us really want to hear. Here’s a taste of what to expect:
Perhaps Chelsea doesn’t fully realize that she’s also helping to build a new music world where musicians and fans rule — not the multinational corporations that bought up the labels and killed the intensely creative music business we all grew up with (baby boomers, that is).
Congratulations Chelsea — and thank you!
Don’t you wish you could just go out and see Chelsea and her band tonight? Well you can’t, but you can help the guys in Runaround celebrate some birthdays at The Rhumb Line tonight — that’ll be a rockin’ party.
Indeed, there are nine excellent live music choices tonight. Check out all the live music in Gloucester here.
And, if you’re near a TV at 1:30pm today, catch the multi-talented Brian King on Local Music Seen with Allen Estes. It was supposed to premiere on Wednesday on Cape Ann TV Channel 12, but technical difficulties prevented that. You can also catch it on Sunday at 6pm.