Most of us have heard of the Music Festival that occurs in the city during the hot, sticky month of July. It originated as the Macintosh Music Festival and has evolved into last year's extravaganza with main sponsorship from Intel. Last weekend however, on Saturday, March 6th and Sunday, March 7th at the New Yorker hotel was the 1999 New York Music and Internet Expo. (www.nyrocks.com/expo) For just $15 at the door you too could've seen skinny rockers in tight red leather pants, black furry jackets and cowboy boots and hat mixed in with skinny computer geeks in tight jeans and black t-shirts with clipped haircuts. It was quite a sight! This intersection of Geekdom and Music hippies was swarming with people angling to learn about Nomad or GoodNoise, or hear Richard Gottehrer (The Orchard.com) and Richard Stumpf (MCY) explain about their distribution service companies. Culture City and Discmakers were also distributors on exhibit. Custom CD showcasers included familiar Alley-ers EZCD and CDuctive. Oddest but most useful for audiophiles and joggers was the custom earplug. Similar to how your dentist takes an impression of your mouth for dental work (thank you Dr. Vincent Cali!), brothers Jeff and Steve Stegman (www.customearsets.com) will get an impression of your ear and send back a custom earplug! Best Booth award goes to Ed Furniture.com, a 1950s-styled puppet theater booth complete with recently made 1950-styled movies and a real-live 1950s-styled geek with coke-bottled glasses and a toaster in his arms. I'm still trying to figure out what they do though. Runners-up Spinner.com and EZCD.com had groovy skeletons and South Park Kenny dolls, respectively. Seth Price (who spoke on one of the panels later on Sun.) explained that EZCD was raffling off Kenny.
Musicians and bands played throughout the entire expo, but unlike the Intel fest, everything was in one place. New media lawyer and musician Steve Masur also spoke on the technology panel with Heidi Dangelmaier (hi-d.com) and Michael Dorf (The Knitting Factory/Knit Media). Spinner.com and EZCD.com were represented on the content panel by Scott Epstein and Jeremy Kagan respectively. One thing this expo didn't strike a chord on was timing -- everything was at least 1 hour behind schedule. Michael Robertson (CEO, MP3.com) gave a keynote address and Anthony Laudico (CEO, Muze, Inc.) mused about commonalties in the new media, new technology and new music trends. CD Baby Derek Sivers rounded out his 6 Top Marketing for Music People tips with "be weird." This was coming from a man with shaved head save the 3' long dreads stemming from the base of his skull.