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Thursday, August 02, 2007 

Observations from Hyperactive Music Conference in May

by Michael Jolkovski, PhD

First, I agree that the conference was enormously worthwhile. If you are a musician or a band trying to bring your career up a notch, it's easy to feel that you are out there in the wilderness. The conference was a beehive of activity for bands sharing knowledge and connections, making friends and networking. Industry people were openly scouting talent. The conference organizers did a great job in making it fun and affordable. If you are considering doing something like this, I recommend you download Madalyn's teleconference from about four months ago -- she had the directors of Hyperactive, DFest and Dewey Beach. This gives solid info on how to make the most of the conference, as well as how to get a slot on the program.

It can be intimidating to show up at a conference not knowing anybody, especially if you are solo. It turns out that if you know Madalyn, you're plugged into a network. I didn't eat, drink, or listen to music alone the whole time. Madalyn is the least stuck-up and most open and welcoming person you can imagine. Going from venue to venue with her was the closest I expect to get to going clubbing with David Bowie. Everywhere we went, people were excited to see her, and I met some friendly and interesting folks by virtue of my affiliation with her. The gogirls community clearly reflects Madalyn's positive and open personality.

I saw some impressive performances. Three singer-songwriters I found especially strong were Jodelle, Leslie Kastrop, and Rachael Sage. Jodelle's songs are like little movies, and her melodic gifts make the songs both arresting and emotionally touching. She delivers them with this great shut-up-and-listen authority, in a rich, powerful voice. Leslie Kastrop did an amazing thing. She brought a church-like hush to a busy coffee shop. Her presence was quite inward-looking (though she flashed a brilliant shy smile at the end) and it seemed that she pulled people to rapt attention through the power of her concentration, just her and a guitar perched on a hard stool, jammed uncomfortably into a corner. It is easy to imagine her doing the same thing in a 2000-seat theatre or more, in a pool of light on a big stage. And Rachael Sage commanded the stage with her wit and thousand-watt charm, and her intricately made, almost-too-smart songs. I could envision her easily doing Bobby Short's old gig, holding court at the Carlyle Café on the nights Woody Allen's band isn't playing. She could have the snootiest Manhattan-socialite crowd eating out of her hand.

Not being an industry guy, I was able to just enjoy these performances. It's nice to recognize that there are some gifted individuals in the gogirls community. I didn't doubt this, but it's a different thing to see and hear it.

Madalyn Recommends:

Music Conference Teleseminar Panel
available in the GoGirls Music Store

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    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

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