(photos courtesy of Dan Bassini)
As a focal point to their Indie Week the industry bastion to all things indie, A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) held their Libera awards on NYC’s PlayStation theater smack dab in the middle of Time Square. It’s an interesting time for the independent music scene where streaming and digital music has helped even the playing field between them and the money machine of the major labels. At the same time with music being so ubiquitous in our lives the concept of paying for it has fallen out of fashion. However, if anyone has rode the wave it’s the independent music; viewing technology and changing consuming habits as an opportunity to get important and interesting art into people’s ears and this was their night to celebrate.
Hosted by punk auteur Ted Leo it was refreshing to see people behind the scene and partners besides the record label and artists get acknowledged (How many award shows would give bandcamp an award for the hard work they do?). It was a fun and festive night with alcohol flowing and everyone in good cheer. In addition to Nick Lowe (the Independent Icon winner), Talib Kweli, Twin Peaks and Nick Hakim performing the illustrious Ani DiFranco played a set. A winner of the lifetime achievement award she got on stage and thanked everyone in the room for their help through the years for pushing through the odds to get artists and their art heard, music that we should all be thankful for.