The New Music Seminar will bring music-industry executives and representatives from 15 major labels to Cleveland on Saturday, November 1. Power brokers from labels (G-Unit) and festivals (Warped Tour) will speak and greet local musicians at the Crowne Plaza (777 St. Clair Ave.). "The Midwest is a place that's untapped," says festival organizer Carlos "Tone Capone" Acosta, an executive vice president at Universal Motown CMG. "Indiana, Pennsylvania, Cleveland - the kids don't get an opportunity to get a meeting with labels. We didn't want to get a Top-10 market - we wanted to bring the Top 10 to you."
The Cleveland seminar is the production's inaugural event. Its organizers plan to regularly present similar editions around the country. Conference topics include networking and how to place your music in film, TV and video games. Some speakers will be available for one-on-one discussions.
The lineup of speakers includes executives and A&R reps from Universal, MTV, Def Jam, Alloy Access, Zomba Label Group, Jive, Bad Boy, Atlantic, Grass Mountain and Interscope. The guests skew toward hip-hop and urban music, but rockers include Warped Tour founder-producer Kevin Lyman.
Advance registration is $150; VIP badges are $299. It's not cheap, but it's a rare educational opportunity. For more information, visit NewMusicSeminars.com or call 704.222.5353.
"Have your press kit ready," says Acosta. "Bring your bio. Bring your demo with you. Give it out. That's what these guys are here for."
¥ Red Giant returns to the stage with a free show at the Rock Hall (1100 Rock and Roll Blvd.) on Wednesday, November 5. To commemorate the presidential election, the classic-rawk shredders will play a special set peppered with politically themed covers, including the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again." The free show starts at 7 p.m.
The band is finally making progress on its fourth album, which is still attached to Detroit indie label Small Stone. The group is self-producing and recording at guitarist Damien Perry's home studio. "It's a little bit of everything," frontman Alex Perekrest says of the disc. "A rock 'n' roll thing, but some heavier, faster stuff. We're getting away from the Stooges vibe, leaning a little toward Motorhead."
¥ The Ohio Sky will open Red Giant's Rock Hall show. Singer Rob Montague has left that band, in a split the group is reporting as amicable. Guitarist-singer Vinny DiFranco is stepping up as the new frontman. The group temporarily was billing itself as "Formerly Ohio Sky" but now plans to keep the name.
¥ Akron-Cleveland rockers Hate Dies Hard will release a new EP, A Tension, on Friday, October 31, with a Halloween masquerade party at Kent's Robin Hood Inn (503 E. Main St.). The disc includes the band's first acoustic track and a cover of Kenna's "Hell Bent." Take a listen at MySpace.com/HateDiesHard.
¥ The Beachland (15711 Waterloo Rd.) celebrates Halloween with a musical costume party featuring special one-time tribute sets. Hot Rails will perform as the J. Geils Band, Helper T-Cells will play as the Flaming Lips, Good Touch Bad Touch will be the Kinks, Muttering Retreats will perform Beck songs, Josh Jetsy will cover the White Stripes, and Nashville Red will be the Black Keys.