SF MusicTech from BAMM.tv on Vimeo.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. SF Music Tech is a word class conference and an indispensable stop for anyone crazy enough to be in the music biz in 2010. On Monday I met one such crazy individual: Benji Rodgers of London, England. From his office in Covent Garden he has built a bustling venture called Pledge Music, a platform that enables unsigned artists to tap their fans for the dosh needed to make records. They are doing something right because 70% of the artists on Pledge make or exceed their financial goal. And while there are several like-minded platforms on the web today Pledge goes them one further by giving part of their proceeds to a charity of the artists’ choosing. It’s a nifty package that has attracted more than a few big artists currently out of a recording contract, namely post-punk legends Gang of Four and Funeral for a Friend, who will be featured on this summer’s Mayhem Tour (Warped Tour for the metal set).

While the overall pie is shrinking there is an astounding amount of innovation and energy in the music ecosystem right now — not just complaining and browbeating either. I’m talking genuine ideas. The good old days, when the road to Gold and Platinum was paved with compact discs, are gone and probably for the better. I’m glad folks like Benji Rodgers and Brian Zisk, who tirelessly produces SF Music Tech twice a year, are alive and well.