|WXPN and Weathervane Music Organization:
A Collaborative Project to Showcase Independent Musicians
February 2, 2010,
Volume 56, No. 20
A new two-year partnership will help artists develop their craft and connect with new audiences. WXPN (www.xpn.org), the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A (Adult Album Alternative) music and a noncommercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, and Weathervane Music Organization, a community-supported non-profit production company, recently announced the launch of Shaking Through.
Shaking Through is an online music and video series that showcases and fosters select independent musicians through the production resources of Weathervane Music and the radio and online distribution and marketing reach of WXPN. Weathervane Music and WXPN celebrated this new project at an event at World Cafe Live at 3025 Walnut Street.
Participating Shaking Through artists will be given the opportunity to make high-end audio and video recordings of their original music with production resources provided by Weathervane Music. These recordings will then be released online at WeathervaneMusic.org and XPN.org and promoted on the radio and in other formats by WXPN including on-air features, live concerts, podcasts and social media promotion.
“There is currently no incentive for record labels to invest in unknown artists because they typically don’t sell records and labels simply cannot make money off of them,” said Brian McTear, Weathervane Music executive director. “What we’ve done at Weathervane is come up with a new model to support and promote independent music by providing high quality production resources to artists that would normally not receive attention from for-profit record labels. We then teamed up with WXPN to expose these artists’ work to a larger audience.”
Over the next two years, 15-20 independent artists will be selected to participate in Shaking Through and will complete a total of 20 projects, which will be released on the third Tuesday of each month. Approximately 70 percent of the artists will be new, emerging or unknown and 30 percent will be previously established or well known. In keeping with Weathervane and WXPN’s commitment to their own local music community, approximately 30 percent of Shaking Through artists will be from the greater Philadelphia region. The first three Shaking Through artists are Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten, Chicago folk-pop group Sonoi and Philadelphia’s own Strapping Field Hands.
“This partnership speaks directly to our mission of connecting artists with audiences and will help further the public’s knowledge and appreciation of new music,” said Roger LaMay, WXPN general manager. “We strongly support Weathervane’s model of fostering independent musicians and helping artists with their first steps in breaking into the music industry, and have made a significant financial and resource commitment to this partnership.”
Shaking Through artists will be chosen by guest curators, acclaimed artists or producers who may also work on the production of the recordings, and an Artist Selection Committee. Guest curators will be responsible for selecting 60 percent of the artists and the Artist Selection Committee will name the remaining 40 percent of artists. The 2010 Shaking Through guest curators include Daniel Smith of Danielson and Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog.
Last week’s launch event included remarks from WXPN and Weathervane representatives and various musicians, the Shaking Through logo was revealed and there was a live performance by Sharon Van Etten. In addition, Weathervane and WXPN revealed the video component of Sharon Van Etten’s Shaking Through project. This event was broadcast online via a live webcast at www.XPN.org and can still be viewed, along with the music video at www.xpn.org/music-artist/shaking-through.
“Shaking Through is another extension of our commitment to community engagement,” said Mr. LaMay. “We look forward to helping artists hone and develop their craft and sharing their work with our established community of listeners and supporters.”