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interview

Andy Weissman

Union Square Ventures

Andy Weissman

Who are you?

Andy Weissman. “Real names be proof”.

Where are you based?

My family has been in New York City for 120 years. “New York, just like I pictured it”.

Where do you work? What do you do?

“Career, career it ain’t never gonna knock.” I am a partner at Union Square Ventures, a thesis driven venture capital firm. We invest in trusted brands that broaden access to knowledge, capital, and well-being by leveraging networks, platforms, and protocols. For example, we are investors in Soundcloud, Splice and Kickstarter.

What are you listening to?

Everything! Seriously, I ascribe to the “the only truth is music” philosophy and will listen to anything at anytime. Lately, meaning this past week, is it the latest from Little Simz, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Garcia Peoples, Mdou Moctar, Lambchop, Tierra Whack, serpentwithfeet, syd, Obnox. It’s all good. Also, I listen to Phish every day.

How do you find new music?

Every day, a group of a few of us post a song to each other on Twitter around 5am, that is my morning music coffee if you will. But also, by being open to finding new music, I can find it anywhere, the signals are all around us. The best for me is music Twitter – a collection of friends, musicians, writers, randos, strangers.

My entry point to the internet in the early 90s from dial up music BBSs – SonicNet being the first one. Then, through tape trading and then CD trading communities. Things like Tape Trees, Blanks and Postage, hard drive exchanges, I trafficked in all those. Traded live Grateful Dead throughout the 80s and 90s. It is much easier now. “I was so much older than, I’m younger than that now”.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?

Streaming mostly for convenience – it is with me all the time. Vinyl occasionally. Can’t recall seeing a CD in a while. Bandcamp is the best, it feels like your local record store, warm and fuzzy and weird.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

Everywhere 🙂 I am native New Yorker, I love the subway, you can get from one part of the city to another in 30 minutes for under $3, I just put my headphones on and go. “So many things I would have done but clouds got in my way”.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?

I am not sure I do 🙂

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?

When the internet or mobile signal goes down in the middle of a track. More nostalgia based, I love liner notes and lyrics. I want to listen to music and then the related expressions of the artist – the album front and back, the order of the tracks, the liner notes, everything. Streaming abstracts away the song as the unit and deprecates all other information. That frustrates me.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

“The trick was to surrender to the flow”.

Discover the #HowWeListen Playlist

Listen to the #HowWeListen 2021 Picks playlist. Curated by this year’s interviewees.

Listen on Spotify

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

Sharing music is one of life’s great pleasures. Whether via email, text, twitter, nothing better than giving, or receiving, “You want to hear something really interesting?” I’m an obsessed playlist maker. Music Twitter is pretty rich, fun, obsessive and deep. That’s the main venue.

Anything you want to “promote”?

Whatever town you are in anywhere in the world, go to a Sofar, it may reaffirm your faith in humanity and the power of music to make us smile.

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