The Ultimate Underground Experience Presents
“The End Of Summer Music Special “
Featuring Morgan Margolis
CEO/President – Knitting Factory Entertainment
In today’s show, Uncle Earl talks shop the Native New Yorker and
Entertainment Mogul Morgan Margolisabout Music, Life and The Pursuit!
To top it off we span the globe for some of the best indie music in every genre.
This Broadcast Is Dedicated To The Memory Of Super Radio DJ Mr. Bob Bennett!
Musical Artists Play List:
David Riviera (France), Ola Onalube (UK), The Acorn (Canada),
Dream Chief (Indiana),Greg Freeman (South Carolina),
Marshall Cunningham (Nashville), Blaq Sons (South Africa),
Lenny Fontana ft. Paula P’Cay (Berlin), Idem & Koresz (UK),
Alana Yorke (Canada), Princess Century (Canada),
Sam Roberts Band (Canada), DJ Daven (Italy).
CEO/ President Knitting Factory Entertainment (KFE)
From growing up within a dedicated show business household to becoming the CEO
of an ever-expanding entertainment corporation, Morgan Margolis
has been on a long journey that continues to move forward and upward.
Born and raised in New York City, Margolis earned his BA at Stony Brook University.
Margolis produced two critically acclaimed documentaries:
THE WALK, which premiered at Sundance in 2001,
and MODERN WARRIORS, released by Lionsgate in 2002.
At the beginning of 2000, Margolis signed with Knitting Factory Entertainment (KFE)
as Operations Manager at the newly opened Knitting Factory Hollywood.
At the time, KFE’s enterprises included the Hollywood venue,
a well-known Manhattan avant-jazz club and a catalog of independent music
on the Knitting Factory label.
“At Knitting Factory Los Angeles, simultaneously managing three rooms
seven nights a week at three different capacities and variable music genres
really prepared me for anything tossed my direction,” notes Margolis.
“It was a constant state of organized chaos.”
Margolis took over as Vice President of West Coast Operations
as the company expanded to the Pacific Northwest,
where KFE opened concert houses in Boise, Idaho,
and Spokane, Washington, and also produced tours and concerts
at other high-capacity venues throughout the nation.
After successfully running Pacific Northwest operations,
Margolis was promoted in 2007 to Vice President of National Operations.
Within a year, Margolis was named CEO of Knitting Factory Entertainment.
Since then, he has continued to guide the company as it continues to grow
as a record label, a collection of event venues and restaurants, a promotion
and artist management division, a lifestyle and retail apparel line,
and most recently, a filmed entertainment division producing movies,
TV and online programming.
Knitting Factory Co-produced the Tony-Award winning,
Grammy-nominated musical “FELA!”
based on KFE-produced musician and Afrobeat godfather Fela Kuti.
That show became a kernel of KFE’s first theatrical film,
the Oscar-nominated Alex Gibney’s FINDING FELA, which had a theatrical,
digital and DVD/BD release last summer and fall from Kino Lorber Entertainment.
Knitting Factory Entertainment also served as Executive Producer of the TV show
Rock City Los Angeles, which premiered in December 2013;
as a co-producer of the film/DVD documentary NON STOP
featuring gypsy punk stars Gogol Bordello; and several TV/web series in production,
including Drive Time, which takes host Juliette Beavan (lead singer of the band 8MM)
on a ride-along with today’s emerging new artists.
The label has also partnered with Partisan Records, a Brooklyn based indie label
specializing in artists such as Heartless Bastards,Gypsy Kings, Deer Tick, Mountain Man,
Middle Brother, Phox, Sylvan Esso, Wyches, Eagulls. and Sallie Ford and The Outside.
Knitting Factory / Figure 8 Management’s artists include Chop and Quench (the Fela band),
Jose Gonzalez, Junip, The Coup and Wye Oak, as well as up and coming indie artists
ranging from Dana Leong to The Knitts and Prima Donna.
KFE is also partnered with Van Johnson of Van Johnson Company Management,
handling the careers of actors, directors, writers,
producers and newly launched production arm; as well as Life or Death Publicity.
“With venues, touring, label, a marketing and publicity machine at our fingertips,
and the artists coming through our own venues,
it just seemed logical to me to try and create a division
that would take care of the artist and help to move their careers forward
through our system,” says Margolis.
“This division is still expanding and I’m currently looking at
numerous strategic partnerships with other companies.”
In describing the company’s diversification,
“KFE has really had a paradigm shift, Margolis says.
“We’ve moved from essentially a straightforward
brick and mortar venue and touring company
to a multi-layered media company.
All of our assets are intertwined to create a new network
that works for the greater growth of each of the business units.
Sometimes I feel as though we are an eight-headed serpent and
it definitely gets very difficult to rein in all of the areas we’ve expanded to.
But in the long run, our goal is to expand the business to also handle
outside companies and consult on business development and branding,
sponsorship, advertising, construction, promoting and more.
KFE is looking to become a one-stop shop for a multitude of content needs and outlets.”
To that end, Margolis has diversified Knitting Factory Entertainment in many unpredictable
yet undeniably connected ways, such as opening the successful North Hollywood and
Long Beach gastropubs The Federal Bar(s) and the pan-Latin themed restaurant,
Bow & Trussand most recently, downtown Los Angeles’ Regent Theatre
and a new Federal Bar opening in May 2015 in Brooklyn.
KFE is making its first foray into the hotel business by investing into the newly launched
Arrive Hotel brand, which’s opening a hotel—the city’s first ground-up hotel project in
10 years–in November 2015 in Palm Springs. The synergy of these endeavors,
from the recording studio to the stage to Broadway to Brooklyn,
points to a company with the creative leadership to continue to grow
and provide endless high-quality entertainment options.
How does running restaurants fit in with managing a band or promoting an act?
Margolis explains, “There are some direct crossovers as it’s all hospitality in the end.
How do you treat your customer? Dealing with the different personalities and
doing everything you can to put the right product in front of the consumer.
It’s central to our philosophy that management gives the personal touch
and stays up to date with all of the clientele as well as with shifting technology
and social platforms, especially regarding marketing.”
Margolis acknowledges the contributions of his department/divisi
on heads in pushing the KFE brand forward.
Essentially, while each member has deep experience in their key business unit,
we are ‘all hands on deck’ and most team members can and must cross over
to lend a hand in all departments when needed.
Margolis’ key lieutenants include: COO / VP Greg Marchant, CFO Chris Sherman;
Mark Dinerstein, the newly elevated President of Knitting Factory Presents and
Peter Manning, Senior Talent Buyer for KFE’s Knitting Factory Presents;
Ed Levy, Director of West Coast Operations; Mandi Henley, Director of Marketing;
and Label Managers Ian Wheeler and Tim Putman.
“Most of this team has been with me since I took the reins as CEO in 2008.
To say we couldn’t succeed without their individual and
collective contributions would be an understatement.”
“My objective is to push Knitting Factory Entertainment into the future
by strategically placing our company into many different diversified positions
across the entertainment world,” concludes Margolis.
“The music and hospitality industries, like many arts-oriented endeavors,
is in a constant state of flux.
I want KFE shifting with these fluctuations and,
hopefully, staying one step ahead of the curve.”
Radioactive Broadcasting Network, Music Xray, Revitalized Records Holland,
Soul Tracks, Musik & Film, Paper Bag Records, Noisetrade, VIP Ultima,
Musik Lounge, Donald Tyler, Henry Eshelman/Platform Group.
Air Date 9/21/15
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