This year Face the Music is only hosting speakers who’ll boldly go where no panel has gone before. We said last time this wasn’t gonna be your regular rodeo. The names in our first speaker’s announcement aren’t just honest observers of the industry in which they work, they’re at the vanguard of it, pushing forward into uncharted territory. They are:
Anthony Fantano, the Internet’s busiest music nerd otherwise known as The Needle Drop. His YouTube reviews championing unheard-of records and challenging the established canon have earned him tens of millions of views, making him arguably the most influential music critic on the planet.
Andrew Jervis, who you might have heard hosting the popular Bandcamp Weekly podcast, but he does so much more. Jervis bought 15 years of experience in A&R to Bandcamp where he now does label and artist outreach – in other words, the reason Bandcamp isn’t just your brother’s grunge demos. Bandcamp now hosts some of the world’s most beloved labels, like Sub Pop, Epitaph, Merge, Mexican Summer – even Milk! Records – and has become a crucial backbone in the careers of emerging and established artists alike.
Ricki Askin, Head of Music Licensing & Archival at VICE Media. All those songs you hear in the background of VICE’s shows? Askin helped get them there. From the Oprah Winfrey Network to MTV to VICE, Askin’s had one hell of a life – ask her about the Snoop Dogg movie she worked on.
Zan Rowe, legendary Australian radio icon, taking triple j listeners into their mornings every weekday for the past eight years. She’s seen it and heard it all as one of the local industry’s most distinct figures.
Kim Ambrosius, Roskilde’s booker-at-large, always on the prowl for the next band to launch at Denmark’s greatest music festival. When she’s not schmoozing with the Next Big Thing, this great Dane is assembling killer mixtapes for the blog Lappland. And yes, she has met Lars von Trier.
And Robert Forster, the Go-Betweens legend whose work over the past 40 years both in bands and solo has moved nations and inspired countless artists. Forster is Australia’s preeminent songsman, and with his latest album, he’s proving that incisive songwriting has no use-by date.
Also joining Face the Music this year:
Taylor Brode [Sacred Bones]
Lorrae McKenna [Remote Control]
Nai Palm [Hiatus Kaiyote]
Ben Marshall [Vivid Sydney]
Woody McDonald [Meredith Music Festival]
Nic Kelly [Night High Records]
Co-programmers Ashley Sambrooks and Zac Abroms, the brains trust behind this year’s Face the Music program, had this to say:
“In 2016 we at Face The Music have instigated a raft of changes to the event format, content and brand with a view towards presenting a more innovative and forward thinking contemporary music summit with an increased focus on fostering interstate and international development, that’s still iconically Melbourne at its heart.”
November 17 and 18. Put it in your diaries. And when you’re done absorbing all that knowledge, get ready for GIGS! GIGS! GIGS! to be held at the Melbourne Music Week Hub! ‘cos this is the inaugural year of live music as part of Face the Music. Featuring some of the most beloved (and some of the yet unknown) talent in Aussie music, from some of the most respected (and some of the soon-to-be worshipped) labels in the country, these showcases will bring your already-faves into contact with your next great obsessions. Make room in your playlists now.
There is still so much left to reveal. This is just to whet your appetite. Now talk amongst yourselves and stay tuned. While you still have the chance, face the music and dance.