And now, a little more about each of our distinguished panelists (in alphabetical order)...
EARS enthusiastically welcomes Martin back once again. His three decades in the music business spans across genre, borders and industries. Having experience in nearly every aspect of record production and promotion has given Martin a unique perspective not only on where the music industry is currently, but where it is going in the future.
After playing drums in a variety of English bands, Martin auditioned for and subsequently joined Johnny Rotten's Public Image Limited in 1979. After touring the world with P.i.L and contributing to several studio albums Martin left the group in 1985. Over the next five years, he played with and managed Killing Joke and toured with Ministry. In 1990, while on tour with Ministry, he formed his own band, Pigface. He also worked with Nine Inch Nails , performing on the Grammy award winning "Wish" and appearing in the "Head Like a Hole" video.
Martin began working on the business side of music in 1988 when he formed Invisible Records and then Mattress Factory Studios in 1996. Over two decades Invisible has released 350 albums and has had placements spanning from the original "Miami Vice" to Showtime's "Queer As Folk" to Robert Altman's "The Company". Atkins wrote his book Tour:Smart in 2007 and has since spoken around the world at major industry conferences, recognized universities, and nonprofit organizations. His distinguished speaking resume includes: SXSW, Warped Tour, CMJ, New Music Seminar, Unconvention, NAMM, By:Larm, Dfest, USC, Drexel, Virginia Commonwealth University, Full Sail, Weiden + Kennedy, Chicago Cultural Center and many more.
Hillel Frankel is an artist manager and entertainment attorney based in Chicago.
Through the Entertainment Law Office he represents music related businesses, record
labels, internet start ups and musical artists in trademark, copyright, and contractual
matters. His clients include Island Def Jam recording artist JeremiH, Ken Vandermark,
Grammy nominated label Raisin Music (Chicago Blues - A Living History), HiStyle
Records, Still Music and production company Silver Wrapper among others.
HIllel is President of NoVo Artists Management and Publicity and his management
clients include Poi Dog Pondering, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound and DJ
Madrid. Resume and client lists can be viewed at www.ent-law.net
In his not so former life as musician 'Frankie Hill', he recorded and toured
internationally as a keyboard/sax player, most recently with P-1, and was an original
member of Grammy nominated Liquid Soul and Heavy Manners.
The founder of Alligator Records, one of the largest and most successful independent labels of the modern era, producer Bruce Iglauer was among the driving forces behind the contemporary blues revival. Born in Cincinnati in 1947, he became obsessed with the blues during the mid-1960s after catching a live performance by Mississippi Fred McDowell; he soon began hosting a blues radio show at his alma mater, Wisconsin's Lawrence College, and made regular pilgrimages to Chicago to hear Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, Otis Rush and Carey Bell. After convincing the college activities committee to book a live performance by Howlin' Wolf, Iglauer became frustrated by the lack of promotional support for the concert; convinced he could do better, he agreed to guarantee the costs of Luther Allison in exchange for complete control over promotional duties. Both of the shows quickly sold out.
Iglauer's tenacious promoting style brought him to the attention of Delmark Records founder Bob Koester, and when Iglauer relocated to Chicago on a permanent basis, he joined the Delmark staff as a shipping clerk, frequently turning up at the studio to look on as label stars like Junior Wells cut new material. When Koester declined Iglauer's advice to sign his favorite band, Hound Dog Taylor & the HouseRockers, he dipped into a $2500 inheritance to record the group himself; thus Alligator was created in 1971, with Taylor's self-titled LP quickly becoming a cult favorite on progressive rock and college radio stations. The label soon became a full-time proposition, although Iglauer barely scraped by at the outset -- with each release essentially funding the production of the next record, the company was able to issue about only one album annually during its early years, among them acclaimed recordings from Big Walter Horton, Son Seals and Fenton Robinson.
Alligator's mainstream breakthrough came with the 1975 release of Koko Taylor's label debut I Got What It Takes, which earned the company the first of its many Grammy nominations. That same year Alligator hired its first paid employee, and in 1976, Hound Dog Taylor's posthumously released Beware of the Dog scored another Grammy nod. In 1978, Iglauer assembled the first in a series of Living Chicago Blues releases, collections designed to spotlight underrecognized Windy City performers; that same year, he also signed Alligator's first non-Chicago act, the internationally renowned Albert Collins. The 1982 release of Clifton Chenier's I'm Here! finally netted Alligator a Grammy award, and in 1984 the label signed Johnny Winter, whose Guitar Slinger became its first release to crack the Billboard Top 200 charts. By the 1990s, Alligator was established as the world's biggest independent contemporary blues label, with hit releases from Charlie Musselwhite, Lonnie Brooks, James Cotton and Buddy Guy.
Since 1990, Kot has been the music critic at the Chicago Tribune, where he has comprehensively covered popular music --- from hip-hop to rock en espanol --- and reported on music-related social, political and business issues (see his daily blog, Turn it Up,
at the chicagotribune.com web site).
With Jim DeRogatis, Kot cohosts Sound Opinions
, "the world's only rock 'n' roll talk show," on national public radio. The show has a worldwide audience via its Web site, soundopinions.org, and is nationally syndicated through its home base at Chicago Public Radio, WBEZ-FM 91.5. The show’s guests have included Radiohead, Yoko Ono, Arcade Fire, Peter Bogdanovich, Mission of Burma, Tom Petty, Anthony Bordain, Laurie Anderson, Jon Brion, John Cale, the Strokes and Cameron Crowe.
Kot’s books include Wilco, “Learning How to Die”
(Broadway Books), “Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music,”
(Scribner) and the forthcoming “I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers and the March up Freedom’s Highway” (Scribner). He also coauthored “The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Rivalry” (Voyageur Press) with DeRogatis.
His music criticism and journalism also has appeared in Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Cash: By the Editors of Rolling Stone,” "Harrison: A Rolling Stone tribute to George Harrison," "The Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock" and "The Rolling Stone Album Guide."
A longtime contributor to Rolling Stone, Kot has written for a dozen national publications, including Details, Blender, Entertainment Weekly, Men's Journal, Guitar World, Vibe and Request. He blames Ira Robbins, Jack Rabid and Greil Marcus for his lifelong obsession with music and music-writing.
GARY "JAGOFF" KUZMINKSI
Gary Kuzminski (aka Sir Real) is one half of JaGoFF, an artist, activist, musician & media collaboration with Detroit artist, MOFO. Sir Real got his start during the desktop publishing revolution in the early 1990's, as the rave scene was crossing the Atlantic. During that time, he was the art director for the landmark youth-culture magazine Reactor, and went on to help pioneer the look of the early rave/techno scene. His artwork has since graced many Fortune 500/100/50 companies. In 2000, he founded TheRecordIndustry.com
as a response to the heavy handed tactics of the RIAA. What began as a fully functioning parody, became a touchstone for hundreds of thousands of independent artists, academics & industry professionals. Gary is a featured speaker on the subjects of interactive & social media, guerrilla marketing, technology & the music industry. He developed and currently teaches the Interactive Advertising course at Columbia College.
Beyond being a practitioner of the visual & gurilla arts, Gary is an accomplished musician and, over the years, has played, written & recorded with Billy Corgan, Tranquility Bass, D-Settlement, Frequency Lab and others. Currently, he is one half of the ulimate in DIY electro-sleaze funk, JaGoFF. By employing the techniques that he has gathered throughout his travels, JaGoFF has been exposed to over 6 million eyes & ears through high profile features on the world's top music sites, P2P networks, etc. JaGoFF has toured for the last 2 seasons with the Vans Warped Tour and has showcased at many a music conference.