Posts Tagged ‘Business’

Analysis: Weighing Fair Trade As It Hits Portland Music Scene

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Fair trade music has come to Portland, Oregon. A group of musicians has organized to establish guidelines for paying live musicians and has received some local coverage at the Willamette Week (seen via Nashville Cream, which has a lively comments section on the topic). The 200-plus members of Fair Trade Music seek a uniform basis for determining payments to performers.

The concept of “fair trade” for music has been bandied about in Portland for a couple years, but the movement is now starting discussions with clubs in hopes of setting a fair wage for all performing musicians, whether they be union or non-union workers. Borrowing the fair-trade concept from the practice of paying a certified fair wage to farmers of products such as coffee, Portland’s Fair Trade Music would rate venues and clubs based on their audience capacity and type of liquor license to determine a fair pay scale for musicians.

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Tuned to a musical life

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Q: So, what does Marco Polo do?

A: Marco Polo is my vehicle for several musical services. I tune and repair pianos, and convert vinyl to digital, and do musical outreach and education. I’m the drummer for the Chapparals – I’m always available as a studio musician – and a member of the Portland Music Foundation, and I’m the public information officer for the Maine Songwriters Association.

My wife, Kathy, works with me in all aspects of the business. Her title is executive vice president; she handles the administrative work, including public relations.

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Some retailers give vinyl records a spin

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

This spring, an employee intending to order a special CD-DVD edition of R.E.M.’s latest release “Accelerate” inadvertently entered the “LP” code instead. Soon boxes of the big, vinyl discs showed up at several stores.

Some sent them back. But a handful put them on the shelves, and 20 LPs sold the first day.

The Portland-based company, owned by The Kroger Co., realized the error might not be so bad after all. Fred Meyer is now testing vinyl sales at 60 of its stores in Oregon, California, Washington and Alaska.

Other mainstream retailers are giving vinyl a spin too. Best Buy is testing sales at some stores. And online music giant, which has sold vinyl for most of the 13 years it has been in business online, created a special vinyl-only section last fall.

The best-seller so far at Fred Meyer is The Beatles “Abbey Road” album. But musicians from the White Stripes and the Foo Fighters to Metallica and Pink Floyd are selling well, the company says.

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