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New Podcast Looks to Provide Ithaca's Music Scene National Exposure


Key Points

  • Ithaca Is Music is a brand new podcast showcasing Ithaca’s creative artists

  • The podcast is a live production that is filmed at Lot 10 in Ithaca

  • The podcast consists of a Q&A with bands as well as live songs from their setlist

“The stories behind the songs.”

That’s the tagline for the innovative new live podcast, Ithaca Is Music, launched by Ithaca native Jeff Goodmark.

Taking place live at Lot 10 in Ithaca, the live podcast consists of a Q&A interview with local bands along with live recorded tracks.

“Our hope is to create a signature sound with this podcast,” he said.

“We really want to capture exactly what the band is trying to say and do, and we really respect the artists and their sound.”

The Format and Production

The format of the podcasts stay relatively consistent. Each band featured is asked four main questions by the host, Victoria DeBerry (also known as Vee Da Bee).

Vee Da Bee first asks the band members to talk about a song early in the career of the band–perhaps a very first song the band wrote together or one that symbolizes the formation of the band.

The band members are also asked which song they feel is their best work and which one is their most popular. Finally, the audience gets a chance to hear them discuss one of their new songs, which can be a track they premiere or any song the band is currently working on.

The goal with the Q&A is to have the bands explain the stories and creative process behind the four songs they’ve selected.

“I want the songwriters think about where they were at and what the songs mean to them and what they want the world to know about that part of the process,” Goodmark said.

“I know as a songwriter myself… there are certain songs that all of a sudden, there will be inspirations and I will have to sit down and get them out right away. And I can’t wait to hear what other people’s process is like.”

Ithaca Is Music teamed up with local music production company New Vine Media to produce, record, and distribute the show.

In terms of funding the project, CEO of New Vine Media John Carter said his company helps a good amount with the business side of the podcast.

“We’re considered an operational partner, which includes building sponsorship for the project itself,” Carter said. “I’ve been around for 7 years so I have connections in business here in the region, and we’re going to continue to approach people with sponsorship and pricing for it.”

Goodmark continues to look for podcast sponsors as additional episodes will be released in the near future. The goal is to have a season sponsor as well as individual episode sponsors.

Currently there is one pilot epidote, which features Ithaca band The Uncommons, of which Goodmark is a member, to test the waters. Using the pilot as a benchmark on how the rest of the production will go, Goodmark is able to play around with format, production, and more.

The Vision

For Goodmark, the mission goes beyond the money. The goal is for artist exposure.

“Our main goal is to just get the Ithaca music scene to be known by more than just Ithaca and even beyond the Finger Lakes and beyond New York,” he said. “We want to create a vehicle where we can get Ithaca a little national exposure for such a small town. There’s so much talent here, it’s amazing.”

“There [are] other programs, other radio shows, other studio projects that get a ton of national exposure and I watch them and I love them,” said Goodmark, “but I know the bands in this town are equally if not better than any of these bands I’m seeing on these things.”

The fact that the podcast is live is very much a big deal, Goodmark said. He emphasized that this is arguably the most important aspect of the whole thing.

“I really want to capture live performance and the spontaneity of what happens in the moment,” he said. “We can’t fix it, we can’t go back, here we are, we’re out there, we’re laying it on the line, and this is what it’s going to sound like.”

CFO of New Vine Media Tyler Flewelling agreed, citing the rawness of live performance as one of the most important aspects of music remaining today.

“I think for me, you see a lot of cultural things happening right now where people are all about honesty. They want to know what’s real, they want to know what’s actually happening on something,” Flewelling said.

The Uncommons perform at Lot 10 for the “Ithaca Is Music” pilot episode. Photo via Finger Lakes Music Press

“Having live music in a podcast in a form where it’s actually a live event is actually showing people: this is what’s happening. There’s no corrections or anything going on, the band is either that good or they’re not.”

In terms of growing in the future, Goodmark has his standards set high. He’s already planning a second season of the podcast, and hopes to continue to bring new artists to the platform.

Goodmark is looking to expand and try new things like getting touring acts that come to Ithaca to do an episode or by taking the podcast on the road to music festivals.

“There’s a lot of different ways this can grow and be bigger than where we’re starting. Ithaca Is Music can be a format that can be bigger than just being in downtown Ithaca.”

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