Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sam Phillips Center for Independent Music: Where?

I don't know how far they have gotten with the Sam Phillips Center for Independent Music, but my hope is that they will put it in a storefront in a busy and diverse part of Memphis. The website mentions that the Center will be in partnership with the University of Memphis, which is great, as long as they don't bury it on the campus somewhere.

The Highland Strip would be good. It's near the campus but still part of the greater community with lots of foot traffic. If Newby's hadn't expanded into it, the neighborhood movie house would have been an excellent location, since converted neighborhood movie houses have a great history in Memphis music. But certainly there's a place that the Center could use very well on the Strip.

The talented children of Memphis should see the Center, so they can dream. And they should walk in, so they can begin the dream.

It shouldn't be an institution that exists to fundraise and issue press releases. It should be a Center of creation.

Update: cannot establish a connection to Memphis Music! As fearlessvk comments, the links above, which point to the Memphis Music Foundation/Music Commission's website, are unavailable. Their website has been unreachable for 2 days. I called them yesterday to let them know, if they didn't already know, and got an an answering machine. Left a message "uh, your website is down".

A day and a half later it still is. 'Til it becomes available, here's the Google cached copy of the page.

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Blogger fearlessvk said...

i can't seem to follow the link to the music center - my browser keeps timing out. what is this all about? first i've heard of it.

10:07 AM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

fearlessvk, I've updated the post with a link to a cached copy.

10:13 PM  
Blogger fearlessvk said...

thanks gates!! the center sounds intriguing - hope it realizes its potential (unlike, ahem, the web site...)

11:48 PM  
Blogger Preston said...

The Sam Phillips Center is a state of mind.
Seriously though, I too hope that an academic partner institution can successfully function-- paradoxically as it seems-- to encourage independent music. Still, the question remains-- would Sam Phillips have used the Sam Phillips Center if such a thing had existed in 1952?

9:45 AM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

That's a great question, Preston. My answer is that perhaps it doesn't matter if it encourages and inspires someone else. We need many more with the dreams of Sam Phillips and the Center could encourage those dreams.

However, an academic-corporatist hybrid, with attendant hierarchies and executive directors and communications directors and Fellows and branding and marketing wouldn't bode well as a center for creativity or independence. (See the first bullet points for objectives and strategic methods if you think I'm overdoing it)

10:33 AM  
Blogger Preston said...

(See the first bullet points for objectives and strategic methods if you think I'm overdoing it)

Are these on the Center's site? It's still down.

Incidentally, I followed the "Memphis music" tag to your article on the Music commission/ Foundation web presence, and also share your concerns with their organizational model. I felt inert just looking at all of their various boards and boardmembers. That is, back when they had a website one could read the names from!

10:47 AM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

Yeah, you'll have to read from the google cached copy I have in the update above.

It's been nearly a week that I first noticed their site was down and 5 days since I called to let them know. Sheesh!

11:00 AM  
Blogger Preston said...

"Provide a broad array of business support resources to artists, labels and other music professionals at all stages of development."

This I like. If a storefront operation really could offer these services to talented individuals in the community without mucking up their individuality, they would be doing something tremendous.

Problems arise with other goals though. Why does the Center need to market itself as a worldwide destination for music biz aspirants before it's established anything on the ground? And why worry about marketing and distribution deals with national firms via the Center? Don't the other goals necessarily come first?

Simplify this thing, open its doors as a real place, and let's go from there. Patience. None of the city's past successes were of the overnight variety, unless you're talking about FedEx deliveries.

11:21 AM  

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