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  • Benjamin Collins

Dogs, Music, and Congress.

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

I never thought photographing animals would seep into my work in the music industry.

I can tell you though... Robot was much more willing to participate than my own dog, Reef.

Robot and his owner, Ryan Cohen, are the owners of Robot Dog Studio. Robot Dog is a full service music studio in Williston, Vermont. Their bread and butter is recording, mixing, mastering, and filming music. But, because of coronavirus and the closure of music venues, they have recently begun livestreaming as well.

The place definitely looked different than the last time I had been there. A disco ball hung from the ceiling flashing string lights around the room. Neon bar lights from local breweries sponsored the walls.

Each night, local artists come into the studio to livestream on behalf of local venues. The quality that came from an artists livestreaming from their phone in their bedroom just wasn't cutting it anymore.

Ryan told me all about his need to adapt and pick up the proper equipment. His team worked overtime to get ready for the different beast that is livestreaming.

It's no secret that the music industry is at a severe rough spot. As venues have closed down across the country, many wont open again. Ryan is part of a group of people fighting to keep live music alive. Musicians and producers trying to keep live music relevant.

You can support Ryan and Robot by joining their Patreon page.

Another group of people is the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).

From their website, NIVA says their mission is "to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live music venues and promoters throughout the United States." NIVA has support from the Foo Fighters, Billy Joel, and countless other famous bands and artists. Brands such as Spoitfy have joined in as well. NIVA is calling for congress to support independent venues during this time.

I encourage you to go pledge your support for NIVA. It only takes one moment. If independent venues close down, millions will lose their jobs. Historic venues will close forever. Artists will have no where to play. The music industry would crumble before our eyes.

Please, take the couple moments and visit their website here.

By Ben M. Collins

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