StreetcredMusic...This blog has followed a quote I heard many years ago..."Sometimes you must leap first, and build your wings on the way down". From nothing it has become a blog containing dozens of Indie artists. Follow me as I introduce you to them, from the place where they breed, New York City! ....and come with us as we document it on film!!

COVER: 'Sistas'



Visit the Movie Page::
https://www.facebook.com/pages/StreetcredMusic-the-Documentary-Film/236369733150822










Friday

StreetcredMusic: From The New York Times: Touring Can't Save Musicians In The Age Of Spotify


Every couple of months, I see another post in my Facebook feed about a band that was cut off by an 18-wheeler or skidded on a patch of black ice and rolled their van into a ditch. Some members are injured, and they’re launching a Kickstarter campaign to pay for medical bills and to get back on their feet.


My heart (and often, money) goes out to them. But if you need to crowdfund your hospital costs, you were never on your feet to begin with. After many years as a touring artist myself, I’m honestly surprised that the person in that ditch has never been me.
Touring is, of course, the most ancient business model available to artists — and in many ways, it remains a vital part of their livelihood, even while the surrounding industry undergoes major upheaval to accommodate the new paradigm of streaming music. In response to the shift in revenue sources, standard recording contracts now intrude into the numerous nonrecording aspects of an artist’s career. But the advice given to the creative generators of this multibillion dollar industry is still one that would be recognizable to a medieval troubadour: Go on tour.

 And yet from a business standpoint, it’s hard to find a model more unsustainable than one that relies on a single human body. This is why we have vice presidents, relief pitchers and sixth men. When applied to music’s seemingly limitless streaming future, the only scarce resource left is the artists themselves. You would think the industry would protect such an important piece of its business model, but in fact, the opposite is true.



 The contribution of live touring to the music industry’s bottom line is enormous, and the number is only growing. Consider Taylor Swift: According to Billboard, her live show grossed $30 million in 2013, with another $10 million in merchandise sold. And depending on whom you believe, she made anywhere from $500,000 to $6 million from her catalog on Spotify that year. While she is certainly making money in retail sales and digital downloads, both of those metrics are spiraling downward as people migrate away from the concept of owning music at all. Nielsen recently released numbers indicating substantial drops in both CD and digital-track sales, which are down almost $100 million year over year from 2014; streaming music continues to grow, but the revenue it generates isn’t close to making up the difference, yet.


 This means that the bulk of Swift’s income rides on her ability to get to venues safely and perform. It also makes her much-examined decision to pull her 2014 release “1989” from Spotify the financial equivalent of her taking a few months off. Regardless how you look at it, the health of her singing voice is far and away the single most important aspect of her business.

 Record labels have followed the money and addressed these changes in the contracts they offer to recording artists. In the predigital era, labels profited only from the physical recordings they funded, but as that income began dwindling, a new logic was applied to the artist-label relationship. Labels argued that by promoting the recordings they owned, they were also promoting the artist’s career as a whole, and were entitled to profit from the full spectrum of artist’s revenue streams — the “360 deal,” named for the totality of its coverage.

 But labels do not take on the additional risks associated with their additional profits. Instead of protecting the health of their revenue-generating engine, they simply point to an artist’s independent-contractor status, which releases them from any liability they would be on the hook for if artists were labeled employees.

  
Rather than sparking a labor dispute, these 360 deals quickly became the new normal. As a result, administrators, support staff and office spaces are insured against the risks of doing business, while the company’s income generators — the creators of their master recordings — are on their own.

 Artists today are not only touring more to make up for their own lost recording-sales revenue; they’re also being compelled to by the labels that also stand to profit. This makes it a great time to be a fan of live music: From the rise of electronic dance music to the regular resurrections of the Grateful Dead, a major musical event is never far away. But the physical price that artists pay for this easy access is steep. Last summer, Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl was forced to cancel shows when he fell from a stage in Sweden and broke his leg. Other artists with 2015 tour-date cancellations on account of injuries, surgeries and other health issues included Sam Smith, Miranda Lambert, Steve Aoki, Little Big Town, Meghan Trainor, Nickelback, the Black Keys and Kelly Clarkson.

 That’s a lot of injuries — and millions of dollars lost. The European shows canceled by Foo Fighters alone, including a headlining slot at the Glastonbury Music Festival, cost the band nearly $10 million in fees and travel expenses.) And of all the instruments on a given tour, the vocal cords are the most vulnerable to the harsh environment the road virtually guarantees; basically anything that inconveniences the ordinary traveler becomes a business risk for the singer. Regardless of the circumstances, the singer has to call on this small, unprotected instrument to deliver on a daily itinerary that can extend from a morning drive-time radio show to the meet-and-greet after the performance.


 From royalty rates to basic safeguards against the standard hazards of doing business, recording artists begin the negotiating process with a deck that is stacked against them. This lopsided balance of power allows labels to treat all artists as replaceable until proven otherwise, and both sides know that there is always a long line of hopefuls outside auditions for “The Voice” or “America’s Got Talent” to undercut a young artist’s bargaining power.

 The question of why recording artists have been unable to organize and collectively bargain the way other artists have — actors and screenwriters, for example — is one that has dogged them since the dawn of the record deal. Musicians do have a union, the American Federation of Musicians, but it’s not a particularly strong one; it primarily represents members of symphonies, and it hasn’t been on a national strike in 70 years. Recording artists are not really considered core members, because their tenures within the union tend to be shorter than those of lifelong pit musicians and orchestra members. Music is also a traditionally decentralized, live art form with an ingrained renegade spirit. Hollywood, by contrast, has a single dominant hub.

Perhaps musicians’ renegade spirit is what ultimately will save the next generation of recording artists, who are increasingly forgoing record deals altogether and going it alone. As true independents, they work the margin between the technology that makes recordings cheaper to create and a public that is steadily buying fewer of them. Without a label taking a bite out of multiple revenue sources, the numbers can actually work. Others are coming together in groups centered on advocacy and pressing for changes to the laws that dictate royalty payments in the new streaming economy — something that could mean all the difference when injury, accident or age brings a touring musician’s career to a halt. But in the meantime, the vans and buses roll on.



 Follow me::Pete Carma

Wednesday

StreetcredMusic: Songstresses, "Why I Left New York City" Pt 3

 So many of the creative and talented women friends I gained through this blog, doing shows, making videos and a film, are now gone. Like in, they left NYC. In most cases priced out, by the cost of housing.

I asked a few of them if they would like to write about it here.
Some do, and I will be posting their words. Some will post their name, others want to do it anonymously, here's the third in a series...
Morgan, is a woman I never had the pleasure of meeting in person. But I love her music. She's a vocalist in the Reggae genre.
I missed the boat Pete. Many ships come and go in NYC every day, I was never able to afford the fare. Since I arrived in 2012 I put all I had into, writing, creating, producing and of course recording all I could. I never went 'on the cheap'. I put in my money and just as important my TIME, because after all this was my shot.  


I was never going to be the woman who works 3 jobs and squeezes her music in. I worked one job 25 hrs a week, Monday through Thursday, days. I lived with my sister. I was never going to be a wedding singer, or a writer of songs and split a couple of thousand dollars with 5 or 6 others, on an occasional hit.

So I left in 2016. My half of the rent in LIC, went up to 1k from $650, in eighteen months. My day job was fine, but as a business, and music is a business, a big business, it was not working.
So many other girls I knew were making money but most not in NYC. They were going everywhere, in some cases the best money they made was abroad. And of course they were paying a COMPETENT agent.


I am in Colorado now, and have been part of a band, and BTW not to many Reggae Bands here, Ha!
We play for the ski crowd in winter and vacationers in summer. All my bills are paid from our gigs.
Every once in a while we go to Cali for the ski season and we have made some good contacts to travel when we want. Not personal #It'sonlybusiness.

I don't miss the subway, the rats therein, Starbucks, free gigs, or garbage bags stacked up every night.
I'm 29 now, and I feel like I'm on that boat. The Love Boat, I love where I'm at. xo Morgan.

Read parts 1 & 2 HERE!

Follow me:: Pete Carma

StreetcredMusic: Songstresses, "Why I Left New York City" Pt 2.

 So many of the creative and talented women friends I gained through this blog, doing shows, making videos and a film, are now gone. Like in, they left NYC. In most cases priced out, by the cost of housing.

I asked a few of them if they would like to write about it here.
Some do, and I will be posting their words. Some will post their name, others want to do it anonymously, here's the second in a series...

Sarah, a songwriter, pianists and mom...
Pete, It’s been 19 months since I lived in New York City. I lived there for eight years. It would have been a decade this month, which means that if I’d never left I would be, officially, a real New Yorker soon. Instead, I became the person people roll their eyes at. I moved to Vancouver, Washington, with my baby and my boyfriend. Now Brooklyn becomes this weird blip, the place I spent my 20s. Leaving felt like getting out of a bad marriage, like I was “choosing happiness.” Like many New Yorker's, I spent years fantasizing about other lives, and months on different Zip Codes in real-estate apps. We had the Vermont phase, the upstate New York phase, the looking into visas in Berlin phase. What would it be like, to be an adult in not–New York? 


My music career? I was writing songs hoping they would be 'placed' and playing weddings and gigs for the corporations I disliked for making every business a cut throat campaign. I made my rent and then a bit more doing that. That's not a music life, it's a struggling existence. One of the last live gigs I had was packed, my tip jar paid me $83, a net loss of $200 for me, $200 was one ninth of my rent.

As it turns out, living elsewhere is exceedingly comfortable. Years spent in New York made it seem like a bad thing to choose ease. A weakness, a personality flaw. After all, if an easy life were something I was after, why had I spent so much goddamned time in a railroad apartment near the BQE? Had I internalized the values of the people around me, assimilated so much I’d forgotten what I actually cared about? 

  Living in New York was never a dream of mine like it is for some people. New York made realizing so many of my dreams possible: writing, love, and a child. Maybe once I got everything I wanted out of the city I was ready to leave. Maybe I made my contacts, got my contracts, memorized the subway lines, and then I was done. 


For more than a year I didn’t miss it at all. When images of the city flashed in my mind, it was like a montage of car exhaust, putrefying garbage, and hauling my ass up subway steps at the end of a long day. The word that came to mind was misery. And then it shifted. It was almost like my brain missed using all my particular to New York knowledge. I fantasized about walking certain pathways across town. I got butterflies thinking about that section of Rivington that doesn’t quite connect when you cross Bowery, or sliding into a table at a crowded coffee shop, right as it empties.
So I went to New York by myself, for four days.

I landed in JFK, giddy to be in an airport that felt like a spaceship, I ran off to find the subway, my subway.

“I don’t know how you do it,” I said to my friends at dinner that night — my old, dear friends who make me laugh like no other. What I mean to say is Why. But there was a bite to my comment, a bitterness. When I saw other women with babies strapped to their chest in carriers I got a flash of anger, like, No, I have a baby, or What are you trying to prove? It took me a few days to realize that my friends and these women were doing what I couldn’t, or wouldn’t — do. They were hacking it in New York. 

 I woke up the next morning at 6 a.m. — windows open, no air-conditioning, on an air mattress in the office of my dear friend’s Bushwick apartment — to the sounds of construction. It was that comically loud New York sound where someone is basically dropping a ton of cement onto something really clangy. The kind that makes you jump and laugh and scream.

 I can’t do it anymore. I’ve gone soft. What that means is that I’ll be forever living in not–New York, in a second-rate place with an in-unit washer and dryer. And that’s the cost — knowing that there will always be a city that has everything but that I can no longer take. There will always be a city to contend with, to compare to. It’s incredibly annoying, but hey, that’s New York....Sarah.

see part 1 HERE!   ... Follow me: Pete Carma




 

Friday

StreetcredMusic; Songstresses, "Why I Left New York City"

So many of the creative and talented women friends I gained through this blog, doing shows, making videos and a film, are now gone. Like in, they left NYC. In most cases priced out, by the cost of housing... Enough from me.

I asked a few of them if they would like to write about it here.
Some do, and I will be posting their words. Some will post their name, others want to do it anonymously, as this first of many will be. I chose this one to be first because it reminds me of me, especially when she speaks of her behavior after she knew she was leaving, Enjoy!!
...."Anonymous" She is a songwriter, vocalist, and plays a mean flute.


Pete: Why did I leave?... because I forgot. I realized it when I started to question if I still wanted those same things I fantasized about having as a child. (Yes, that may even involve the cliché white-picket-fence scenario.) And that realization scared the shit out of me. Because I knew deep down, I did.

 I moved to New York because I wanted that feeling of independence forced upon me. Living in New York makes you fiercely self-sufficient, like you don’t really need anyone else. It’s very easy to forget that relying on others is not always the worst thing, and there's a lot more to life than just trying to build yourself up all on your own.

 I didn’t want to leave New York. Did it help that every time I told someone I was moving from New York to Ohio they'd just stare at me blankly?  I’d been making excuses ranging from “I’ll be bored” to “I hate Junior League” for not returning to my hometown since graduating high school. The truth is, after my mom died, I never thought I could ever be truly happy there again.


As far as my career in music, NYC only helped me to learn to struggle, and compete. I wasted so much time chasing things, my creativity suffered. But I did play lots, for not much money. Being on stage and thinking about your rent, sucks. There were some really fun times though.

Days leading up to my departure from New York, I noticed a huge shift in my behavior. I didn’t pedal as fast as I possibly could on my Citi Bike to make the light on West Broadway and Houston, since missing it means you have to wait at least five minutes.




For once, I wasn’t in a rush. I wanted to relish every single second of being in New York, a city that had become one of my true loves; I needed time to stand still just for a minute.   
   ..Did it take me leaving the city to finally feel calm in it? Maybe. And maybe that says it all. 

 It’s an entirely different decision to leave something you really love and feel grateful towards it. I have no idea if Ohio is my finish line -- but I know it’s the closest I’ve felt to it.

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(Just to add what I know, her rent was increased $300, and she still had a one hour commute to the city. She didn't have an adequate kitchen, which didn't sit well, since she eats healthy all the time)
 This is the first of a long series, I hope....

See Part 2::HERE!

Follow me: Pete Carma

StreetcredMusic: Raffaella Daino, Pivirama, And A Closed Frontier.

I have been friends with Raffaella Daino for several years now. She lives in Palermo, Italy (birthplace of my Dad)  She is a marvelous musician and vocalist, and front woman for the band Pivirama


 Pivirama, a very creative and artistic group, you have seen their videos on my 'video of the week' several times in the past.

Raffaella is also a reporter. I have been following her work there as well as her music.
Reporting in Southern Italy and other parts of Europe puts her at ground zero for the decade long refugee crisis. She has posted footage and seen first hand the death and suffering. It has enlightened me, especially since the coverage here in the US of A is as non existent as our actions to help.

Raffaella in Syria
Pivirama released a music video that includes some of the footage.

Raffaella:
 "London, I’m calling. Is anybody there? I’m sending you a postcard, please answer me. Don’t look away. Listen to me. I’m begging you”.

These are some of messages written on the walls in Calais, France, near the border with Belgium, where thousands of migrants and refugees try to survive, whole families with very small babies, living inside tents in the middle of nowhere, in the snow and in the mud, hoping to get to Great Britain and join their friends and relatives, brothers and parents who managed to cross the Channel. But walls and boundaries are in their path. 

This is what I’ve seen in the displaced camps in the middle of Europe and it inspired me to write a new song and create a new video, I made it by myself for my new upcoming 4’ Pivirama album.
The video:: "Jungle, Frontiere Chiuse" (frontier closed)  
View Video HERE: 

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"because they're all afraid of me" it's an adult question, it wasn't the thought of this Syrian girl who carried with her a suitcase bigger than her around the refugee camp, dragging it between mud, earth and snow, Telling everyone that "she went to England"... taking this 4-minute trip, you will discover that even in Hell you can dream, smile, and above all survive.
When I saw them, I didn't understand how they did it.


 Everlasting thanks to Raffaella for exposing the inhumanity that is everywhere, in this horrifying time. 
...The new album from Pivirama is available; HERE NOW

Follow me: Pete Carma


Wednesday

StreetcredMusic: Songs For Summer, June Swoon.

Summer is the hottest of the four temperate seasons, falling between spring and autumn. At the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day-length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice. The date of the beginning of summer varies according to climate, tradition and culture.

Summer in the City: Video HERE

From 1966
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Video: "I Got You"

Le Meow
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 "It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside." 

Video: 'Afrikan Eyes'









Laura Falcinelli


Follow me: Pete Carma

Monday

StreetcredMusic; New Album, 'Speechless' by Champian Fulton

One of the most missed used phrases from when I covered sports was "an overnight sensation".
Another was, that performance put that person "on the map"
When in reality that 'person' was doing great things for years. (in Champian's case vocals and piano)
Therefore I submit this about:
Champian Fulton's 'Speechless'

Champian Fulton
'Speechless'
...Is her third album in the last 3 years. The two previous works, 'After Dark' & 'Champian Sings and Swings'  leaped into the Top Ten jazz releases as soon as they were available.
Both solidified her place as a leading vocalist, pianists and defender of The American Songbook.
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In the culture of criticism that jazz has always been, in the eyes of many Champian has now become and overnight sensation, Ha!
Kidding aside though, this album has put her on the map, and will wash away any false doubts about her as a musician and composer. Speechless is filled with great charts.

Get it ::HERE!
'Speechless' is 10 original tunes, 50 minutes of pure joy, and takes Champian to a place where not many women have gone, not only making a mark as a brilliant vocalist but musician and composer as well. The album features the piano skills of Champian, with Adi Meyerson, bass and Ben Zweig on drums. Produced by, Marc Free.

Champian & me NYC
 'Speechless' is filled with solo's that are succinct, and all fit so well with the original chart, cause you know me, I don't want to get lost in a solo when a musician decides to reinvent the wheel. These original tunes express to me what I have seen in Champian over the years...A true love of what she is doing, and getting her message out with fun and love.

Champian is one of those performers who entertains by default. When you see her live she exhibits a joy and an atmosphere that makes the music come alive. So much fun to see her live, so GET OUT!

I'll be playing the entire album on my radio show, to the world, Thursday, April 27th & Thursday, May 4th. You can listen, 4pm, ET and 9pm, UK; HERE


 Follow me::Pete Carma                 


Friday

StreetcredMusic: Songs For Summer, The Beach.

Summer 2017, far from North Korea, there are beaches, peaceful beaches with music.
....for instance California, The "Island" of Kalen

Enjoy the Video:: "Island"


Kalen web site
....and Italy, the Mediterranean Sea, Ahhh, I'm In Love, by Greta Panettieri
Enjoy the Video: "I'm In Love" 


The 'Diva' Greta Panettieri
...and of course still further away, Brazil, 7,400 miles of beaches.
Where the Maestra of love lives...Ivete Sangalo
Enjoy the Video:: 'Dengo de Amor'

 About: Ivete Sangalo














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> "In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other. Out of school, everything was on pause and yet happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible."

Follow me:: Pete Carma