Face the Music is an annual music industry conference held in Melbourne, Australia, bringing together music industry professionals: managers, producers, engineers, authors, and artists, to discuss the state of the industry, clink glasses, and pass around resumes. Honestly, it probably doesn’t have much of an impact on you. Except that they are making their presenters’ speeches available, and that the keynote speaker this year was Steve Albini, owner of Electrical Audio studios in Chicago, engineer for a hefty list of bands (Nirvana, Pixies, Jesus Lizard, Neurosis, etc etc), and shredder for an equally hefty list (Big Black, Shellac, etc etc).
It shouldn’t really take more than “Steve Albini Keynote” to get you to click the below video, but I really can’t stress enough how great this speech is. Albini takes umbrage, as he always has, with many of the proclamations, ideas, and theories about the state of the biz – but he’s not just a voice of dissent, he’s also a clear speaker and resourceful thinker. This talk covers topics including streaming services like Spotify, marketing your band, reaching an audience, and more, and is also one of the better arguments in favor of the Internet as a tool to help grow music, rather than the medium that has screwed the artist forever.
Whether you are a musician, an engineer, a producer, or a manager, Albini’s address is great food for thought.