You might know Damon Krukowski from his role in the groundbreaking indy band Galaxie 500. Or maybe you’ve listened to his podcast, “Ways of Hearing” or read his excellent newsletter, or his widespread journalism. More recently, however, he’s put on another hat, as an influential rabble rouser for Union of Musicians and Allied Workers. A new group that emerged from the disruptions of Covid, UMAW has worked to change the conversation about everything from streaming and touring to major label contracts. To get a sense of how the organization started—and where it’s going—we spoke with Damon, exploring how the monopolies that control the music industry have begun to force artists to collaborate, and what that newfound solidarity might allow them to accomplish. Come for a new understanding of how the structures of Spotify threaten activism. Hang around for a reconceptualization of the digital factory floor.
This is the first in a mini-series tracing the rise and fall (and rise and fall and rise) of Music Unions in the U.S.--so be sure to stay tuned for more.
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Music: Geoffrey Landers - "Camilla"