They’re going to raise capital to help travel from Juneau to Austin, Texas.
Local artists Radiophonic Jazz, Annie B, Thistle & Myth and Marian Call will perform Friday at the Gold Town Theater to help fundraise for a planned trip later this month to the CDBaby DIY Musician Conference. The three-day conference is intended to be a learning opportunity for independent musicians who want touring and recording to be regular parts of their life.
“I’m going to have my notebook with me, and the whole time I’ll be taking notes,” said Chris Talley, one half of Juneau rap duo Radiophonic Jazz, in an interview.
He scrunched up his face to show focus and mimed taking notes before sincerely expressing appreciation for the chance to learn and grow as a young creator.
“Experience, that’s the No. 1 thing,” Talley said.
The trip is being organized by Alaska Independent Music Initiative, a nonprofit consisting of musicians that supports Alaska music. Juneauites Annie Bartholomew, Arias Hoyle, Guy and Stacy Unzicker, Talley and Call will be part of a 16-person Alaska delegation at the conference.
In addition to being Juneau music scene fixtures, Bartholomew is a special program manager for AKIMI and Call is a program manager for AKIMI.
“We have all kinds of musicians in the state,” Call said in an interview, “and there are a few of those musicians who are interested in making music like full- or part-time or a big part of their lives. One of my passions, and one of AKIMI’s passions is getting tools into the hands of people who have that interest.”
The Rasmuson Foundation and Atwood Foundation are supporting the travel, Call said, but she said it’s important to augment that assistance with independent fundraising.
“They support us because we go out and hustle,” Call said.
Airfare and lodging for all 16 attendees will be roughly $12,000, Call wrote in an email. Attendees are each putting in $300 — $4,800 total — so the hope to fundraise around $7,200.
So Call said the goal for Juneau overall is to raise about $2,000 between the show and through online donations.
All the artists performing Friday in Juneau will be bringing some sort of new material to the stage, Call said.
Non-Juneau members of the 16-person group bound for Austin fundraised in their communities where possible or contributed administrative expertise.
“Everyone’s being asked to contribute pretty heavily,” Call said.
While a lot of modern music exists in a digital space, Call and Bartholomew said it’s still important for young artists to rack up lived experience.
It can be difficult for young artists to navigate recording and touring, said the artists who both have experience in those worlds.
“By taking Alaskan musicians there, it helps everybody level up, and if you want to be bigger than your hometown it takes more than just talent,” Bartholomew said.
At the conference Alaskan musicians will have a chance to attend seminars and lectures, receive one-on-one mentor time and perform as part of an all-Alaskan showcase at Cheer Up Charlie’s, which is a music venue staple for both the South by Southwest and Austin City Limits music festivals.
“Yes, we’re doing a concert, and that’s exciting but that’s the point,” Call said. “The point is to take everyone down to learn what you don’t know you don’t know about lawyers and licensing and touring planning and production.”
It also doubles as a chance bring Alaska art to a place far removed from Alaska.
“It’s a big time ambassador role,” Call said.
Talley said he’s particularly excited for people not inculcated in Southeast culture to hear Hoyle and him rap in Lingít, the Tlingit language.
“In Juneau, it’s like Natives, eh, art, eh, but there it’s going to be a total change of pace,” Talley said.
The Alaska delegation also offers a chance for idea exchange and connections to perform among disparate artists.
Bandmates and spouses Guy and Stacy Unzicker said in an interview that Alaska just seems to inspire art and she’s excited to share space with the other creative people who call the Last Frontier home.
“Especially in Juneau, it’s hard to connect to the other parts of the state,” said Guy Unzicker, one half of the duo Thistle & Myth.
Making a big state slightly smaller for musicians, fostering a sense of community and making a rising tide for all ships are all things AKIMI works to accomplish.
“People know resources, people know people, people know venues, people know history, but it all dies when we’re not sharing it in any formalized way,” Call said. “That’s what AKIMI is for get us all in the same room and get us talking, and to say to Alaskans, ‘Here’s the music from the opposite coast that you’ve never heard before, and you’re going to love it.’”
Know & Go
What: Southeast by Southwest Concert
When: 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2.
Where: Gold Town Theater, 171 Shattuck Way.
Admission: General admission costs $20 or $12 for seniors and students. There is also “Angel Admission” for $45 which offers extra support to local artists.
• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.