Story By: David Salidor

Swizz Beatz With Little Steven And Nile Rodgers

Nile Rodgers And Kelly Cutrone

When I helped start the original NMS back in 1980 (with Tom Silverman, Danny Heaps, Marc Josephson, and the late Joel Webber) there was no telling that it would go onto change the face of the music industry. Forget that it originally started simply because we all wanted some credibility within the industry; it more than became the behemoth that the other reigning music event (Billboard) was at the time in very short order. Personally, I only lasted the first three years … I think they went onto about ten sessions, and then closed up shop. Last year, Silverman undertook the task of re-building and re-imagining it and though I thought it was really good, it’s taken several more seminars in different parts of the country, to really get it back on its legs. Last year’s at NYU in New York City was more of all the principals, me included (although only as an observer this time), stretching their legs again and seeing what was up. This year, at Webster Hall, it really picked up steam and came close in certain instances in duplicating some of the best moments of NMS V.1. I have to say that it was good to see some old friends there, most notably producer-John Luongo and promotion whiz Jerry Lembo. Luongo I spied for a quick moment, but let’s face it, was there ever a better producer/remixer than Luongo? I believe he’s relocated back to Boston and I really miss his sense of wonder and talents. Lembo still promotes some of the best records and artists around and his wealth of knowledge knows no limits. I walked in on the session (or, rather 'intensives,' as they call them now) with Michael Doernberg. Reverb Nation is a first class service for artists and their songs and they really (based in North Carolina) do a splendid job. Doernberg gave reasons galore for doing this and doing that, and while I agree, I felt then and still feel now; one has got to identify the right artist and the right material. I think that just has to come first. Liz Leahy gave an impassioned speech regarding rights for writers and artists and the always fabulous Ted Cohen gave a somewhat rambling but interesting speech on the history of the Internet, Napster, Pitchfork, and the evolution of downloaded music. A high point was when he presented a graphic of the very first Sony Walkman (circa 1979). Cohen, who worked for Warner Brothers Records back in the day, interspersed his presentation with several photos of him with the likes of Van Halen. Wonder how many in the assembled crowd even remembered the legendary group? Though Cohen’s presentation was strong on facts and figures, it could not have underscored more the most important fact … that in my humble opinion, all the marketing and promotion in the world won't make a bad record good. My friend Steve Leeds is right once again: It all starts with the song. A ‘good’ song is a ‘good’ song. I also walked through the NMS booths and found some of the usual suspects, SEASAC and MasterDisc among them. I also came across Brian Meece, the co-founder of RocketHub ( whose business exists as an incubator for new artists and music. We had a great talk and I found him to be eager for the challenges above. This was the exact type of current NMS-er: ready to for the challenges ahead … and, believe me, those challenges exist more than ever these days. The music business is in a free fall like never before, although the opportunity for artists and new songs to actually break through are possible like never before. I wasn't able to attend the evening’s music presentation owing to some technical issues, but I heard they were superb. Also seen were Nile Rogers, Kelly Cutrone, Margaret Cho, and Little Steven. As the new tag line for the NMS says, “The revolution starts here.” True, I didn't recognize everyone at this year's Seminar, but they're all committed to doing the best they can; finding the new artists and the best new material. And, you know, in the long run … that’s what it’s all about. Nice job Mr. Silverman. And, special thanks to Dave Lory.