January 24, 2012 – NARM, the music business association, and digitalmusic.org, the virtual home of NARM’s digital initiatives, will hand out their prestigious Independent Spirit Award at the Music Biz 2012 convention during the Opening Session on Wednesday, May 9, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. This year, the Award will go to Epitaph Records Founder and Bad Religion guitarist/songwriter Brett Gurewitz.
“Brett personifies the independent spirit, inspiring countless punk and indie bands through his work in Bad Religion and helping many of them reach their full potential at Epitaph Records, including The Offspring, Rancid, and NOFX,” said Jim Donio, President of NARM. “His creative entrepreneurship and commitment to thinking outside the box make him a strong player in today’s music industry. We look forward to seeing what he does next.”
Past recipients of the Independent Spirit Award include Rachelle and Joe Friedman, founders of J&R Music & Computer World in New York; Don Van Cleave, formerly the President of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS); and Tom Silverman, Founder and CEO of Tommy Boy Entertainment.
Gurewitz co-founded seminal punk band Bad Religion in 1979, playing guitar and writing some of the band’s best-known songs, including “Infected” and “21st Century (Digital Boy).” The band’s albums How Could Hell Be Any Worse? and Suffer are widely considered to be among the best punk albums of all time, and their Atlantic Records release Stranger Than Fiction has been certified Gold. The band continues to record and release albums, with their most recent, 2010’s The Dissent of Man, reaching #35 on the Billboard 200 chart.
In 1987, Gurewitz established Epitaph Records, envisioning it as an artist-friendly label in which bands would maintain complete control over their music. The label was soon selling more than 1 million records a year, but really took off in 1994 with the release of The Offspring’s Smash, which has sold more than 11 million copies, followed by Rancid’s Out Come The Wolves which was certified platinum as well as gold records by Pennywise and NOFX. These successes established Epitaph as one of the most prominent independent rock labels in the U.S. The label has since branched out with imprint Anti-Records, created by Gurewitz in 1999 to host a more eclectic and less classically punk roster, and has released Grammy-winning albums from influential musicians such as Booker T. Jones, Mavis Staples, Solomon Burke and Tom Waits.
Established in 1958, NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) is the trade association for the business of music, providing the central platform for the discussion of industry‐wide concerns, spearheading the implementation of initiatives to promote music commerce, and advocating for common interests. Members include companies and individuals from all aspects of music distribution, including physical, digital, and mobile outlets as well as gaming, applications, merchandise, video and more. NARM members have access to a variety of conferences, virtual seminars, networking opportunities, information and education resources. NARM is a nonprofit organization based in Marlton, New Jersey. Visit us at www.narm.com.
NARM and digitalmusic.org’s Music Biz 2012, one of the most important events in the industry’s calendar, will be May 7-10 at the Los Angeles Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.
digitalmusic.org (DMO) is the home for the digital initiatives of NARM, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, the trade association for the business of music. NARM provides the central platform for the discussion of industry‐wide concerns and spearheading the implementation of initiatives to advance the business. While primarily focused on physical formats for much of its history, NARM has expanded its mission in the past ten years to include all facets of music commerce. This includes physical, digital, and mobile commerce partners as well as gaming, applications, and other emerging revenue models. DMO is governed under the by‐laws of NARM, by NARM President Jim Donio, the NARM Board Of Directors, and directly by digitalmusic.org Co‐chairs Christina Calio (Microsoft Entrainment), David Levin (Sony Music Entertainment) and Bill Wilson, NARM VP of Digital Strategy & Business Development. Topics and actions for each individual work groups are determined by the individual work group leaders.