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October 26, 2022

Why doesn’t commercial music in the U.S. get any financial support outside of, say, fans?

By: Elizabeth McQueen

Austin is home to a thriving music scene, but that scene hasn’t received much financial support outside of fans buying music and going to shows. That’s not uncommon in the U.S. While some art forms like the opera and the symphony get regular public and private investments, commercial music typically gets left to fend for itself. Why is that?

In the first episode of Season 4 of Pause/Play, Hosts Miles Bloxson and Elizabeth McQueen try to answer that question with the help of UT Professor Charles Carson.  They also examine the idea that the best music comes from struggle. And they explore what the city of Austin owes the music scene, and how the city might better support the for-profit music sector.

Charles Carson, an associate professor of music at the University of Texas at Austin, is pictured on campus on Oct. 18, 2022, in Austin. Michael Minasi / KUT News

Episodes

March 13, 2023

Nonprofit aims to reverse Austin’s 1928 master plan and get SXSW money to the BIPOC community

SXSW brings in millions each year, but Black and brown Austinites don’t always benefit from the influx of money. DAWA, a local nonprofit, has put together a series of music shows and panels to elevate and direct resources to Austin’s BIPOC community. Find more information about everything happening during Vision:8291 here.

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March 8, 2023

What Touring is Like Now

Musicians talk about what it’s like to tour on this side of the pandemic.  You’ll hear from Jane Ellen Bryant and Daniel Leopold of Jane Leo,  Eimaral Sol, Blakchyl, Matt the Electrician, Ali Holder, Sean Michael Giddings,  Scott Collins + Janet Weiss and Sam Coomes of the band Quasi.

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February 22, 2023

Black Artists discuss the state of the Austin Music Scene

You’ll hear from four Black musicians – Anastasia Hera, Cam the Tastemaker, Blakchyl, and Brannen Temple – about how they’ve navigated the Austin music scene, and what support they’d like to see.  

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February 1, 2023

All About the Census

In the latest episode, Peter Schwarz from Sound Music Cities about some of the results of the Greater Austin Music Census. You’ll also hear from Jonathan “Chaka” Mahone about why some Black community leaders didn’t feel included in the census.

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January 18, 2023

Austin has a music union? Here’s what it is and how it works.

Learn all about the Austin Federation of Musicians ––  how it works, what benefits it provides for freelance musicians, and why you may not know it exists. Read more about the Musicians Union Check out Tell Tchaikovsky The News      

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December 21, 2022

Meet the Austin non-profit rethinking how record labels work: Spaceflight Records

In the latest episode of Pause/Play we spoke with Brett Orrison, Samara Simpson, and Jonathan Horstman about the non-profit record label Spaceflight Records.

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December 7, 2022

How can people get money into the hands of musicians, outside of being fans and going to shows?

Sonic Guild and DAWA are two Austin based that actually give musicians money. In this episode you’ll learn what they do, how they work, and why they were founded. You’ll hear from Matt Ott, co-founder of Sonic Guild, formerly known as Black Fret, and Jonathan “Chaka” Mahone, founder of DAWA.

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November 23, 2022

Do Musicians Need Corporate Support to Survive in the New Austin?

Miles and Elizabeth explore different forms of corporate support for music, and look at one company that’s making a big investment in Austin music.

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