posted on January 22, 2010 18:00
MIDEM, the annual global convention for the music industry, takes place this Sunday to Wednesday (24-27 January) in Cannes on the French Riviera. The major players in the business will gather for conferences and workshops on subjects such as digital media, artist management and various aspects of law - you can download the conference programme (pdf, 2 Mo) and list of speakers (pdf, 9 Mo) for more information.
The MIDEM 2010 site also currently features a 2-part video interview with Ed O'Brien of Radiohead which is worth checking out. (Unfortunately, the page title at the very top of the screen calls him 'Dan O'Brien'.)
Music From Ireland, the body that promotes Irish music at such international events, will be in Cannes for MIDEM - they'll be sharing a stand with IMRO and distributing an excellent 20-track CD of Irish music featuring Villagers, Dark Room Notes, Adebisi Shank, Super Extra Bonus Party, O Emperor and more. You can listen to the compilation online at the Music From Ireland website.
If they have time in between conferences and networking, the attendees will also be listening to live music - MIDEM features its own exclusive programme of concerts (pdf, 0.9 Mo).
Were we being sensationalist, we could suppose that these are the anointed acts from which the execs and whizz-kids will cook up the ad soundtracks and corporate tie-ins and carefully-crafted buzzes of 2010. In any case, MIDEM is an ideal showcase for any act with ambitions of world domination, however fleeting. So, who's playing at MIDEM 2010?
Only one Irish artist is on the bill. Lisa Hannigan appears with her band in a showcase at the Carlton Hotel on Monday night. (She doesn't feature on the Music From Ireland compilation CD, though.)
There are several reasons for thinking that she'll be a hit at MIDEM. First, she's very good. Second, the programme notes mention her collaboration with Damien Rice - a ready-made media angle and sales pitch for the execs. ("If you liked Damo, you'll love..." and so forth.) Third and finally, in her photo in the programme (right) she looks stunning. Let's hope MIDEM is the start of a successful 2010 for the Meath lady.
The host country has a few familiar names. All-girl punk-poppers Plastiscines will be hoping to build on their US exposure to date, despite their awful second album. The Gallic retro-pop of Diving With Andy will charm anyone not scared off by the band's appalling name. (Your correspondent may yet run an English For Pop Music workshop at MIDEM 2011.) And we featured Toulouse's PacoVolume a long time ago - one good song ('Cookiemachine', like an acoustic Super Furry Animals track) and little else.
Anyone else you might know? Dreadlocked English singer-songer Newton Faulkner. Swiss chanteuse Sophie Hunger. And that's it for us - unless you follow featured countries Japan, Taiwan and Korea.
There's a MIDEM fringe - local Irish bar Morrison's is hosting a Canadian night on Tuesday 26 January. Fans of the maple-leaf music scene may be familiar with Jason Bajada, Matthew Barber, Danny Fernandes, Jully Black and Plants And Animals. Given the high quality of Canadian music in recent times, the plastic Irish pub looks like the place to be in Cannes this MIDEM-time.
But we're cheering on Lisa Hannigan here: g'wan Oirland! Here she is with a song named after a city at the opposite end of France from Cannes - 'Lille':