Backbeat: Topspin CEO Ian Rogers' Haircut Heard 'Round The World @ A2IM MIDEM Party
Backbeat: Topspin CEO Ian Rogers' Haircut Heard 'Round The World @ A2IM MIDEM Party

On Monday, the American Assn. of Independent Music held the second of its three MIDEM cocktail parties at Riviera Hall. Among those in attendance was a figure who prompted double-takes when he took the stage earlier in the day to host MIDEM's Visionary Monday program: Topspin CEO Ian Rogers.

Without long hair.

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From left, TAG Strategic managing partner Ted Cohen, A2IM director of member services Jennifer Masset and Topspin CEO Ian Rogers. (Photo: Louis Hau)

"I've had it long, short -- it was just time," said Rogers, who quickly became the target of good-natured ribbing by fellow A2IM members when a reporter began asking about his newly shorn locks. His streamlined profile will help when he runs the Los Angeles Marathon this spring to help raise funds for Dangerbird Records co-founder/CEO Jeff Castelaz's Pablove Foundation.

"It's the most shocking unshocking thing I've done," Rogers joked about his haircut. "It's not like I got my eyeballs pierced."

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From left: Cellist/composer Zoë Keating and New Zealand singer/songwriter Amorangi. (Photo: Louis Hau)

Also in attendance was cellist/composer Zoë Keating, the happy beneficiary of a MIDEM Hack Day participant's handiwork. After consulting with Keating for a couple hours over the weekend, a developer came up with a batch process that enables the artist to package and upload to SoundCloud the cello samples she creates during her live performances. Fans can then download the sound files and remix them.

"It's great because I have had fans ask me for this for ages," Keating says. "Every music conference should have hackers."

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From left: Alligator Records director of international sales Bill Giardini and A2IM president Rich Bengloff. (Photo: Louis Hau)

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From left: A2IM VP Jim Mahoney; Eva Kiltz, head of German indie label trade group VUT; and A2IM president Rich Bengloff. (Photo: Louis Hau)

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From left, SoundExchange claims department director Scott Berenson and SoundExchange label relations manager Shane German. (Photo: Louis Hau)