Tuesday, February 3, 2015


 The Hold Steady at the 2014 NON-COMMvention

My favorite radio and music conference is the annual NON-COMMvention – the central meeting place for folks involved with Triple A music on noncommercial stations. This year’s NON-COMM is May 13-15 in Philadelphia at WXPN and World Cafe Live.

The NON-COMM is a most enjoyable national gathering for a lot of reasons:  There is live music for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night.  The vibe is upbeat, casual and friendly. There are only a few panels and speeches, but they provide valuable information.  Radio and music industry “players” actually attend.

The NON-COMM began in 2000 in Louisville.  Triple A was beginning to emerge as a viable format for public radio stations.  Dan Reed, who was then programming WFPK in Louisville, brought together the known noncommercial Triple A universe – folks from WXPN, WFUV, WYEP and a few others.  Important coordination and buzz came from Dave Cheney, the founder of triplearadio.com – the best source of information about noncommercial Triple A.

The conference bounced between Louisville and Philadelphia in the 2000s.  It moved to Philly for good when Reed joined the staff at WXPN. WXPN opened World Café Live, an exceptional performance and party space.

I’ve attended four NON-COMM’s – two in Louisville and two in Philly.  I loved every one of them.   Oh, and the music I’ve heard: My Morning Jacket, X, Rodney Crowell, Nora Jones, The Blind Boys of Alabama all come to mind right now.

Dan Reed just anounced the first artist showcases: Brandi Carlile, Dr. Dog, The Tallest Man on Earth, Son Little, and Zella Day. There will be many, many more. I’m pleased to see that NPR CEO Jarl Mohn will be there. All of the meetings and live music showcases will be held at World Café Live, adjacent to the XPN studios.

Info about this year’s NON-COMM is at http://www.thetop22.com/non-commvention-2011/

See an excellent video about the NON-COMM at https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLfX3w8UX3BqOM7ZpqcETkYIX06PUsDT3D&x-yt-cl=85114404&x-yt-ts=1422579428&v=xtigjI2gr0Q#t=29

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