Friday, January 24, 2003
posted by Randy on 1:05 PM |
permanent link to this entry
- The Year The Music Dies
Everyone else in the world is linking to this Wired story about the coming death of the music industry, so I might as well jump in on the action. If you haven't read it yet, do yourself a favor and set aside a few moments to take it all in.
- Liquid Audio Gets a Buyer for Its Assets
The New York Times reports that failed net-music format/distributor Liquid Audio is selling some of its assets to Anderson Merchandisers, the largest magazine wholesaler in the United States and the music distributor for retail giant Wal-Mart. What this basically sets the stage for is selling downlaodable tracks through retailer websites, though it will be interesting to see if they can get folks to switch over to Liquid Audio just by sheer strength of the distribution channel. My guess is no, but who knows.
- The New York Times Speaks The Truth On Media Consolidation and Copyright Law
Both William Safire's piece on the danges of media consolidation and this op-ed about the Supreme Court's decision and what it means to copyright law are right on the nose correct. Read 'em and weep-- literally.
- Epicenter of London's Music Scene Up for Sale
London's legendary Marquee Club, which played host to such bands as The Who, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and The Sex Pistols, is up for sale. It can be yours for just $200 million. You won't be getting a piece of rock history, though-- the club has moved locations twice.
- Justin Timberlake Jams With Flaming Lips On 'Top Of The Pops'
Wearing a dolphin head, Justin Timberlake played bass with psychadelic rockers The Flaming Lips during their appearance on "Top Of The Pops". The segment was taped Thursday afternoon and slated to run Friday evening (January 24) in England and will most likely be broadcast on BBC America on Wed, Jan. 29. That's a guesstimate on my part-- the show's website lists broadcast times but not the guests beyond who is appearing on this week's show. I think in the U.S. usually get TOTP a week late, and thus the guesstimate.
- 21 Classic Songs, Albums To Step Into Grammy Hall
The Recording Academy today announced that 21 albums and songs have been inducted into their Hall of Fame.The Grammy Hall Of Fame Award was established by the Recording Academy's National Trustees in 1973 to honor recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old. Here are this years inductees:
-Aja- Steely Dan
-"Blowin' In The Wind"- Peter, Paul & Mary
-Born To Run- Bruce Springsteen
-"Both Sides Now"- Judy Collins
-Chopin: Mazurkas (Complete)- Artur Rubinstein, piano
-"Days Of Wine And Roses"- Henry Mancini
-"Downtown"- Petula Clark
-The Genius Of Modern Music, Vols. 1 & 2- Thelonious Monk
-"Hotel California"- Eagles (but not the album, interestingly enough)
-"I Only Have Eyes For You" - The Flamingos
-"I Shot The Sheriff-"- Eric Clapton
- "It's Too Late"- Carole King (Tapestry as a whole work was inducted in 1998)
-"Lady Marmalade"- Labelle
-"Proud Mary"- Ike & Tina Turner
-Rumours- Fleetwood Mac
-Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 In A Minor, Op. 99- David Oistrakh; Dimitri Mitropoulos cond. New York Philharmonic
-"Stairway To Heaven"- Led Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin IV was inducted as an album in 1999)
-"Still Crazy After All These Years"- Paul Simon
-"Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All The Time)"- Ethel Waters
-"Up-Up And Away"- The 5th Dimension
- Singers Rick James, Teena Marie Hope to Tour Again
Don't call it a comeback! Or wait, maybe you should. I doubt there are too many youngsters out there fiending for the inveitable both-artists-onstage-at-once encore of "Fire and Desire," "I'm Just a Sucker for Your Love." and "Super Freak"-- but those of us of a certain age might get a special kick out of it. the tour at this point is just anidea, though. Both James and Marie have albums coming out-- James' will be done independantly while Marie is signed to Cash Money Records (?!?!?!). Currently in stores, though, are remastered versions of critical 1981 Motown albums for both: Street Songs, James's biggest seller, and Marie's It Must Be Magic
- Vanessa Carlton, Art Garfunkel, India.Arie, LeAnn Rimes To Appear On 'American Dreams'
I've never watched "American Dreams," but I am always intreagued when they used modern day stars to portray artists from the past. On Feb. 9, Vanessa Carlton will portray Dusty Springfield and will sing Springfield's 1964 hit, "Wishin' And Hopin." On Feb. 16, India.Arie will appear as activist-performer Nina Simone and Art Garfunkel will begin his recurring role of Mr. Greenwood, the owner of the Vinyl Crocodile record store. The March 30 episode will find LeAnn Rimes playing Connie Francis and singing "Where The Boys Are."
Thursday, January 23, 2003
posted by Randy on 12:11 PM |
permanent link to this entry
- Record Industry's Top Lobbyist to Quit
At the end of this year, chief R.I.A.A. executive Hillary Rosen will be stepping down from her position. Officailly, she is doing it to spend more time with her family but I've heard some folks that she also has been frustrated by the R.I.A.A.'s member companies inabilty to quickly face the facts about where the music industry truly stands these days.
- The Severance Kings
Rosen is just the latest in a long line of big media executives to get out of the game on their own or to be shown the door by their employers. Tina Brown has an interesting theory in Salon-- these former big media players enjoyed the thrill of making the deal but hate actually running companies. Makes sense to me.
- Copying CDs Will No Longer Be Free, Sony Announces
The headline oversimplifies the news a bit. Sony announced it has begun sales in Japan of CD singles that require users to pay a small fee over the Internet each time they make copies. The CD singles can be copied on a computer once, but after that it is gonna cost ya'. It currently has no plans to use this technology outside of Japan. Uh-huh. We'll see. (Full disclosure-- I work for BSC Engineering, a division of Sony Broadband. I am many many times removed from the comings and going and doings of Sony Music)
- How To Manage A Dream Factory
Nicely done article in The Economist about the challenges of running a business while dealing with creative people. It focuses specifically on HBO, Disney and EMI. Very interesting article-- it's kind of long but still highly reccommended.
- Dan 'The Automator' Plans Busta Rhymes/ LeAnn Rimes Duet, Nabs Iron Chef For LP
Dan "The Automator" Nakamura'S upcoming solo album, Omakase, will feature Maceo from De La Soul, Black Rob, Beenie Man, The Neptunes, Mike Patton, DJ Q-Bert and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, who's making his singing debut. As the headline indicates, he's also trying to line up a Busta Rhymes/ LeAnn Rimes duet, but her label is holding things up. The Automator is also working on another Handsome Boy Modeling School album. If you don't already own HBMS' So...How's Your Girl?, do yourself (and your ears) favor and buy it here.
- Top Hip-Hop Imprints Seeking New Homes
P. Diddy's Bad Boy Records (and its master tapes) is this close to setting up a new home at Universal Records. Meanwhile, Ruff Ryders is parting ways with Interscope (though Eve and Jadakiss will remain) and will set up shop at Virgin.
- Nate Dogg Gathers Eve, Snoop For New Album
Nate Dogg's self -titled fourth album is due in stores on Feb. 25. The 15-track album will include appearances by Redman, Eve, Snoop Dogg, DJ Quik, Warren G, Xzibit and Knoc-Turn'al. You can pre-order Nate Dogg by clicking here.
- Tom The Dancing Bug On Copyright
Excellent comic strip from Tom The Dancing Bug that tackles the recent Supreme Court decision regrading Congress' extention of copyright length. It's funny 'cos it's true, as they say.
- Landmark Theaters' Sale To Onex Called Off
A small victory for those of us who worry about even the slightest bit more of media consolidation. Canada's Onex Corp (owners of movie theatre biggie Loews Cineplex Entertainment). has called off plans to take over Landmark Theaters, which runs runs 290 screens in 67 theaters across the U.S. Landmark says it can survive fine without them, but wants to expand and need the money to do so, so they are still open to other offers.
- Actress Nell Carter Dead At 54
Crappy sitcom aside, she had a hell of singing voice-- which is why I note her passing here. She belted 'em out in musicals like "Hair" and "Ain't Misbehavin'"-- check out her original cast recordings by clicking here.
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
posted by Randy on 12:49 PM |
permanent link to this entry
- Singer R. Kelly Arrested (Again)
The old charges were in Chicago. These new charges come courtsey of the Polk County, Florida Sheriff's Office after they found 12 images featuring an underage girl during a search of R. Kelly's home in Davenport, Fla conducted last June. The truly optimistic among you can pre-order R. Kelly's The Chocolate Factory by clicking here, but me thinks it might be a good long while before it actually hits store shelves-- if ever. It currently is slated for release on February 18, 2003-- but I wouldn't bet my life on that.
- Wherehouse Files for Ch. 11 Protection
They're gonna close 120 of their 370 stores and come back as a more interactive environment, including listening stations and interactive kiosks. Seeing as one of the reasons they cited for going into bankruptcy is the fact that folks get all the listening and interactive-stuff they need at home, it will be intersting to see how they pull this off. IBy the way, in its bankruptcy filing, Wherehouse listed $227.9 million in assets and $222.5 million in debt. If I was in charge, I'd sell off all the assets and consider myself lucky to have escaped the record retailing industry with a few mil in my pocket.
- Hip-Hop 'Woodstock' Planned For April
In Atlanta, which is a good choice because it is pretty neutral territory considering the other options (NY or L.A., basically). Hip-hop entrepeneur Russell Simmons is putting it together, but han't announced any confirmed acts yet. The selection of acts will be of huge imprtance as to if it can be done without a huge riot breaking out. If goes a route featuirng many popular rappers of the day, it will be a two day concert celebrating loose women and material possessions-- not really the "Woodstock" vibe. If he goes the all DefJam route (DMX & The Ruff Ryders Family, Jay-Z & The Roc-A-Fella Family, Ja Rule & The Murder Inc. Family, Redman, Method Man, Foxy Brown, Ghostface Killah, Cam'ron, et. al.) people would charge favoritism and (in my opinion) there'd be a much bigger chance for violance.. An all "peaceful" line-up (OutKast, The Roots, Jurassic 5, Common, et. al.) wouldn't sell enough tickets to make it worth it. Putting together a line-up that won't result in violence or low ricket sales is going to be difficult. Plus, getting insurance for the event will be a fun adventure. Good luck, Russell. Seriously. I have my reservations, but I'd love to see it happen.
- Miami Professor Files Suit Against Popular TV Show
Drew Cummings, a 50-year-old visiting professor of film and television at Miami-Dade Community College, has filed complaints with the state and federal agencies that enforce anti-discrimination laws, claiming that "American Idol" is breaking the law by limiting the age of its contestants. Rules for "American Idol" say you can't be older than 24 (though I could've sworn I saw a few 30-year-olds last night) and Cummings claims that is illegal. The agencies have six months to review the charges. After that, Cummings could file lawsuits.
- Band: 'Bee Gees' Name Died With Gibb
Robin Gibb said he and older brother Barry would no longer use the name The Bee Gees, under which they and their brother Maurice performed for more than 30 years. Really, it is the right thing to do, methinks. Perhaps The Who and The Rolling Stones (among others) should've done the same thing when they had the chance.
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
posted by Randy on 3:08 PM |
permanent link to this entry
- My Best Of 2002
Check it out! Posted at Neumu.com. I'll spoil the suprise-- Missy Elliott's Under Construction got my album of the year nod.
- Verizon Must Reveal Internet Song-Swapper - Judge
U.S. Judge John Bates ordered Verizon Communications on Tuesday to turn over the name of a customer suspected of downloading songs over the Internet, handing a victory to recording companies in their fight against online piracy. Now it's gonna get personal-- the R.I.A.A. and friends seeming have all access to an ISP's customer records-- unless Verizon appeals to The Supreme Court. The entire decision can be read here.
- Aerosmith, Kiss Set To Rock'N'Roll All Night
It's official-- Aerosmith and Kiss will play on a co-headlining North American tour beginning in August and running through October. The tour of approximately 40 dates is expected to play 90% amphitheaters, with arenas and possibly a couple of stadiums also in the mix. Kiss will perform in full makeup and Aerosmith will be touring in support of a forthcoming album of all new blues material.
- Microsoft Introduces CD Copy-Protection 'Fix'
The Windows Media Data Session Toolkit enables music labels to lay songs onto a copy-controlled CD in multiple layers, one that would permit normal playback on a stereo and a PC but would allow the labels to control the kind of copies, if any, a user is allowed to make.
- Missy Elliott, Jay-Z Go 'Back In The Day' For New Video
MTV News drives me crazy with the way they bury the leads deep inside the story. Who the hell cares about her next video with this little nugget buried at the bottom of the story?: Once the clip is shot, Miss E hopes to finalize a summer tour with other women in hip-hop and R&B, to be co-headlined by Mary J. Blige. "We just trying to get it together," Elliott said of the outing, which she described as an "urban Lilith Fair." "Our schedules have kind of clashed, 'cause she was in the studio working on her album when I just had finished mine. I love Mary. She's an icon and I would love to be on a tour with her." Hello? A Mary J. Blige/Missy Elliott tour?!?!? And an "urban Lilith Fair," at that?!?! Where do I sign up for tickets?
- Doubts on Diva's Airplay Numbers
The L.A. Times reports that Island Def Jam Music Group bought radio spots containing 53 seconds of Mariah Carey's new single, "Through the Rain," which fooled the computers that monitor and measure airplay, or "spins," for the recording industry. As a result, the ballad seemed to be building momentum in markets across the country when in fact it was losing steam. In a tricky move to get major market stations to play the song, the commercial was aired only in smaller markets. DefJam, unsurprisingly, denies that is the case-- saying they simply aired the commercials to get folks into stores.
Semi-related trivia-- links to Carey's Charmbracelet on Amazon.com were the most clicked upon on this site last year. Of those 74 folks who clicked over to it, not a single one bought it.
- Dismemberment Plan Announces Split
Following some farewell dates in Feb. and March, emo-rock quartet Dismemberment Planwill call it a day. Although they had written seven or eight songs intended for its fifth studio album, frontman Travis Morrison will instead utilize that material for his first solo set, on which he plans to collaborate with Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla.
- Music Official: Online Piracy Costs Jobs
Missing from this story, of course, is any mention that the record industry is a corrupt, bloated, inefficent dinosaur that isn't needed any more aside from its function as a mega-marketing machine for musicians with expensive tastes, big egos and dubious talent. With that kind of pedagree, they're gonna lose jobs by the ton, digital piracy or not.
- Can XM Put Radio Back Together Again?
Very interesting article by Frank Ahrens in The Washington Post XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc and how their head of programming, Lee Abrams, is basically the man who set in motion the events which caused FM radio to suck in the first place. Long, but highly reccommended reading.
- A Chance to Carry on for 130 Million
Alana Davis covers Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's "Carry On" in an upcoming commercial for Sony camcorders that will debut during the Super Bowl. The closing frames will credit her and give a Web address where viewers can download the song for 99 cents and song will also be available in stores. The reason this has made a big enough stink to land in the pages of The New York Times is that Davis did not just liscence the song to Sony and then make a hit single out of it (see Dirty Vegas's "Days Gone By" for example) but rather the cover was created especially for Sony with the hit single angle already built in.
- Production Issues Kill Mandela's AIDS Benefit
An all-star South African AIDS awareness concert packed that Nelson Mandela had planned to host next month has been canceled because of problems over broadcast rights and sponsorship. U2 lead singer Bono, Macy Gray, Shaggy, Coldplay, Ludacris, Jimmy Cliff, Femi Kuti, Queen and Nelly Furtado were among the artists who were scheduled to appear.
- New Album on Way for Former Spice Girl Halliwell
Apparently, she still sells albums in the U.K. Before you even ask, I'll tell you what else she's been up to: she played the Paula Abdul role in the latest edition of "Popstars"-- U.K. version of "American Idol."
- Where'd The Cheese Go?
Given that this is coming from those stoner-jokers in Ween, I'd take the story with a grain of salt. The songs are funny, though:
"Earlier in 2002 we were hired by the largest advertising firm in the country to write music for a Pizza Hut commercial. Pizza Hut had hired them to come up with a whole new image to promote their new Pizza, "The Insider" which had all the cheese inside the crust. In keeping in line with their new cutting edge image, the agency hired Ween to do the music, and we delivered in a big way. Unfortunately, they didn't like a single piece of the 6 tunes we submitted and they had us rewriting the song every day for a couple of weeks before they hired someone else. In my opinion, it is one of the best tunes we wrote all last year."
| Music Commentary/Reviews
The Nuclear Bunker
You Wearing A Wire?
NY London Paris Munich
The Minor Fall, The Major Lift
Large Hearted Boy
Tiny Mix Tapes
Blog From Esoterica
Slap Dee Barnes
You Can't Wear Nail Polish to a Surgery
Tim O Thompson
The Modern Age
The Motherfucker Blog
The Devil's Radio
No Rock And Roll Fun
Plane To Jakarta
Problem With Music
Do We Need The Music Industry?
And Strange Music
Chuck's Corrupt CDs
War Against Silence
Edison Sound Recording Collection
Song Poem Music Archive
And Tell Music
At Their Worst
Online Hip-Hop News
Standard Time News
Urban Music News