Music Boulevard

High-tech and rock ‘n’ roll just seem to go together. Maybe that’s why so many software and Internet companies have created house bands that rock away as the money rolls in. And no house band rocks harder than the N2K All-Stars.

N2K Inc. (short for Need to Know) is a leading Web-based music retailer. Its Music Boulevard site ( offers more than 300,000 music titles and generates more than 80 million page views per quarter. The company was founded in 1996 and went public in October 1997.

N2K wants to remake the way that music is marketed, distributed, and purchased. So why not make some music of its own? David Pakman, vice president of business and product development, answered that question by organizing a 10-piece house band. The N2K All-Stars (four of whom are pictured here) include accomplished musicians who have toured with Squeeze, Buddy Miles, and George Thorogood.

Like many house bands, the All-Stars played their first gig at a company holiday party. Now they’re on the verge of going public. Later this year, the All-Stars will play a series at the Knitting Factory, a well-known club in New York City. “It’s nice to be able to show your true colors to the people you work with,” says Pakman. “A lot of us at N2K are musicians first and employees second.”FCS