My Weekend at Moses Avalon's
Confessions of a Record Producer Workshop

by Polar Levine 10/20/06


For the past three months I've been reupholstering the Polarity/1 website so this posting is tardy but hardly dated.

This past August I finally got to attend a Moses Avalon Confessions of a Record Producer Workshop. I'd already read his book, Confessions of a Record Producer so I had the appalling background info on the share-cropper type legal relationship artists have with record companies.

The two-day seminar is a must for all recording musicians and indie-minded music biz types like managers, lawyers and large guys with baseball bats. Avalon has dedicated lots of eyeball stress and time decoding the legal hieroglyphics of recording contracts and following the money. He's the ideal host. His breadth of knowledge about the music industry's plumbing is awesome. He's smart, funny and combative. He has an edge that can sometimes resemble arrogance; but that impression is quickly dispelled by his willingness to be proven wrong if somebody knows something he doesn't. But you'd best be well prepped. It's clear that his MO is discovery and raising awareness rather than seeking to attract some sort of cult following. One of the best features of the program is the collection of people that Mose draws to his show. They were all smart, talented and intent on building an island of integrity in the industry.

The presentation was PowerPointed with clarity and wit. And Mose has a well-balanced and generous intellectual spirit. There were even tests. I'm number-retarded so the calculations we had to toil over made me sweat and squirm. But the number crunching induced less t-shirt staining than the story the numbers told. Everybody knows that the humans who run the recording industry feel no shame over their exploitation of talent that they themselves can only experience vicariously. But to see how the rape is designed and executed is truly one of those UNTOLD SHOCKING stories that would be a multi-part infotainment treasure for 60 Minutes and other newsMag tv offerings. But, as we also know, the record companies are owned by the same companies that bang out those tv scandal-fests; so you have to catch Mose live.

Though we occasionally spar online, I consider Moses Avalon a vital resource in the service of salvaging what's left of our music culture.

Polar Levine
Yankin' The Food Chain