My name is Jamie Leslie and I do music.
I am a music industry dude from Chicago.
Music Industry dude?
I am currently the Manager of Gangstagrass, a bluegrass/hip-hop band with over 50,000 Facebook Fans. They are best-known as the writers and performers of the Emmy-nominated theme to the hit FX drama Justified. In my junior year of college at The University of Texas at Austin, I went to LA to become a Marketing Intern at Warner Bros. Records. It was an honor to work with people whose names I recognized from liner notes.
While at WBR, I worked on campaigns for such great artists as The Flaming Lips, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, Tim Burton and My Chemical Romance. I later applied what I learned as a WBR Marketing Intern to my next role at ORG Music, WBR's vinyl reissue subsidiary imprint.
Before being gobbled up by Gangstagrass, I spent my off-time hours making promo videos for talent agencies like the Agency for the Performing Arts (APA), Paradigm and Pinnacle Entertainment, as well as for major labels like Triple Crown Records and top music venues like the Majestic Theatre in Madison, WI. I got my first taste in artist management as the Day-To-Day Manager of Star & Micey, who continue to be one of my favorite current acts today.
Why do you have a blog?
There's great music everywhere—from every decade and every genre. I love music and I like to help people discover the best of it. That's what my blog is all about. That being said, my blog also functions as a "digital music rolodex" that I can reference from time to time. What does that mean? It means I want to be able to have a meaningful, multi-dimensional conversation about every sort of music there is. For instance, if I see an esoteric hardcore punk show, I want to be able to reasonably guess that band's influences so I can have an intelligent musical conversation with them after their show. In order to accomplish that goal, I deliberately try to include a diverse selection of music and musicians to write about. In short, this blog is as much for me and my professional experiences as it is for you.
How do you find out about music?
Of course, I listen to the radio and listen to the recommendations of friends. But I also regularly read Rolling Stone and Billboard, as well as the All Music Guide (www.allmusic.com) religiously. Allmusic is a massive database of pretty much every release of any and zero consequence. Its writers are incredibly thorough, objective and fair.
Which city has your favorite music scene?
I have never been to Minneapolis/St. Paul, but I am absolutely obsessed with music from the Twin Cities. Some of my favorite bands include Trip Shakespeare, Prince, Husker Du, The Jayhawks, Spymob, The Suburbs and many others. If it was released on the legendary Twin/Tone record label, chances are I've heard it at least once. If it was released on Secret Stash, I'm trying to listen to as much of it as I can. The city also has some of the finest music venues in the country like First Avenue and 7th Street Entry and The Cabooze. I'd probably be more excited to go to those clubs than to the Taj Mahal!
I'd be lying if I said I listened to Minneapolis Radio often, but every now and then I'll listen to Minneapolis Public Radio's The Current. I've also been known to check out Cities 97 from time to time—though I've probably listened to its awesome samplers more than its actual radio show.