Out of Time

Panelist Stanley Aronowitz of City College put the crappy deal musicians face in the context of a globalized economy and the shift from major label to indie music production, while Ribot noted the precipitous decline of gigs paying union scale over the last 15 years. The Voice's Greg Tate pointed to the Black Rock Coalition of the early '80s as a model for political activism, while musicians Lianne Smith and Jane Scarpantoni outlined the loss of self-esteem musicians feel at the hands of club owners. David Sheldon of Local 202, American Federation of Musicians, admitted that the traditional union model had little relevance to the Downtown scene, exhorting participants to develop their own strategies. Comments by audience members ranged from the crackpot— lower the drinking age to 15— to a debate-ending observation by NAC supporter Neill Furio: "Without a musician's bill of rights, we're all slaves." You can contact NAC at 212-592-3677. Robert Sietsema

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