Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot (right) of WBEZ's "Sound Opinions" radio show “How many people are in a band here.” Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot asks the crowd. When three quarters of the hands in attendance shoot up, Jim DeRogatis, a fellow music journalist and Kot’s candid co-host on WBEZ’s Sound Opinions, releases an impish grin. “You’ve all already flunked your first test,” DeRogatis said. “Why are there 30 of you guys, and none of you have emailed Greg Kot or Jim DeRogatis to say, ‘I’m so excited for your class. Here’s the link to the website of my band.’” As the bewildered musicians in attendance would soon find out, they still had a lot to learn about being a rock star. The Old Town School of Folk Music was the site of the Sound Opinions-hosted “Everything You Need to Know About the Music Industry in 2014.” Labeled as a “half-day rock-and-roll boot camp,” the conference allowed listeners to soak in the experiences and advice of industry veterans Kot and DeRogatis. The two men have covered everything from the rise of Kurt Cobain to the fall of Napster, and they offered an engaging forum on topics like boosting YouTube views, booking a weekend gig, and separating your band from the million other indie rock wannabes in pursuit of prominence. Kot and DeRogatis began with a brief introduction on how the music industry has changed since the early 2000s. Before the Internet forever changed the way people purchase and share music, there were six major record labels that dictated whose videos would be on MTV and who would be stuck playing at their local coffee shops. Warner Brothers, EMI, Sony, BMG, Universal, Polygram and Clear Channel were the primary gatekeepers to... Sign In to Keep Reading
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