The 7th annual San Diego Music Thing came and went, and with it, another great year filled with speakers and performers of the music industry. People turned up for workshops, panels, and of course, the various shows throughout the city.
Friday afternoon found the main speaker, Moby, packing a crowd of people into the main hall. However, due to transportation complications, Moby couldn’t get down to San Diego in time, but managed to hop on Facetime to have a quick chat with the audience regarding the music industry and the way it has evolved through the past decades.
“Everything about the music industry has changed.”
Moby makes note that people still have the same emotional investment and connection to music as they always had. Though he has admitted that the record companies have made themselves bigger than the artists and the audience.
Rising to fame in the 90’s, Moby mentioned how he left EMI in 2007, following a similar path as his friends in Radiohead. His decision to leave was due to him being asked to not play his own music for fears that people would pirate it. He states that the lack of pressure to sell albums in an age where no one buys records anymore is “completely emancipating.” He passes his years of experience on to the audience citing that for those who even want to stand a chance in the current industry, they must “love what [they] do, be strategically open minded and flexible, and take constructive criticism from people who know what they’re talking about.”
Despite a few connection issues, Moby was still humorous and engaging, keeping the audience’s attention as he answered a select few questions. That is, before we lost feed completely.
The next morning, panels included talks with lawyers about legal issues artists face and the ins and out of being a music manager.
Performances for the San Diego Music Thing varied throughout the city, drawing artists from around the country, and some international acts, into select venues. One of the big draws was behind the North Park theatre, where the 91X Next Big Thing stage featured artists that could be heard on the local independent radio. One of the international artists whose 3 month US tour ended with the SDMT, was Sydney based indie band, the Griswolds, whose short set still drew a decent crowd. After them, the Next Big Thing stage presented Meg Myers whose incredible voiced echoed that of PJ Harvey. After her set, the big draw came with the Cults, an experimental band from New York.
Another great year for the San Diego Music Thing, in which proceeds went back into the community to help bring music programs to students from K-12.