Monday, November 22, 2010

Get your MUSIC GroupON

Another day and yet another way to promote digital distribution of music.  Today's Grouponicous Groupon is pushing a full download of Rihanna's new album, "LOUD", for $5 (50% off).  While the record sales may be losing money from the discount, the very popular daily deal site sends such deals via email to millions of subscribers so in essence that money comes out of the marketing budget (see the $11 million Gap Groupon story).  It will be interesting to see how many more album sales this adds to Rihanna's first week.  A similar price-scheme for Arcade Fire's last album on Amazon led it to be #1 on the charts in its opening week.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Small Bands & Big Concert Growth

"The great power of digital distribution is that it’s much easier to discover and listen to new bands. Back when we had to hunt down physical albums in stores, our rate of new artist discovery was much, much lower. That means a new band can build a widespread following much more efficiently than back-in-the-day, and can therefore do a world tour a lot earlier in their career, whereas huge, popular acts like U2 and Rolling Stones are already big as ever, and won’t benefit from this additional digital distribution." has started to comb through its user-generated database of over 1.8 million concerts to pull out some interesting data.  I've been a big fan and user of the site to keep track of shows that I've gone to and be alerted to shows when they get announced so it's great to see them point out some interesting trends.  I agree with their point that widespread digital distribution makes it more efficient for small bands to develop a following and to put on a world tour...but I'm sure the devil's advocate might say that these bands are more affected by the piracy of digital distribution and need to do more shows in order to make up for that lost revenue.  Related to this idea of efficiency, GigsWiz is a service that generates social media analytics for bands to see where their biggest followings are so that they know exactly what cities to play in.  Conversely, the service can also be used by venues to book bands that are popular in their area.  Interesting idea...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

SETLIST: Kill the Walkman

Sony Kills The Cassette Walkman On The iPod's Birthday  [GIZMODO] - Sony stops making cassette walkmens finally and it turns out to coincide with the iPod's 9th Bday...yeah, I had no idea they were still making cassette anythings.  It was a good 30 years Walkman...I'll never forget you bulky yellow version!

Live Nation to Power Concert Listings, Ticket Sales in iTunes 10 [TECHCRUNCH] - Makes sense that these two massive corporations would get together.  I didn't mention it above but the social network will also have concert listings/recommendations.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We don't need no stinking instruments

What do you do if you all your band's instruments get stolen?  Buy 4 iPhones I guess.  Pretty good song considering the circumstances...

I'm sure they won't be the last to use the iPhone as their instrument but I'm also glad to read about the new Rock Band 3 that's coming out next week and actually teaches people how to play a REAL guitar:
"You're actually playing the real notes, which is amazing in the sense that you can go and play that song after you're done learning it on your console."  [Gizmodo]
Follow the link to watch a video demo of the new 'more than just 5 buttons' guitar.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Belle and Sebastian with the Best Music Promo Ever (so far...)

Inside every copy of Belle and Sebastian’s new album Write About Love is a unique code which you will enter here and then write 300 words about love, in any sense of the word. Why you love. Who you love. What you love. Where you love. Anything. Just write about love.
Then Belle and Sebastian will pick a winner (henceforth referred to as “Lucky”) and Stuart Murdoch will fly out to Lucky’s hometown, hang out with Lucky for an afternoon, and write and record a song about Lucky which will then be released on an exclusive Belle and Sebastian 7″ later in 2011. [Matador Records]
Awesome and creative. I'm sure we'll see more and more bands do things like this to get people to actually buy music.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

How Do You Teach Boy Scouts About Downloading Music? By Pretending It Doesn't Exist

How Do You Teach Boy Scouts About Downloading Music? By Pretending It Doesn't Exist:
"So how can Scouters teach ethical behavior related to music downloading? One way: Set a good example. When you haul around Scouts in your car, for example, only play CDs that you've purchased. If you play CDs that you've burned-even if they're legal-your Scouts may not recognize the difference between those and the pirated CDs friends have given them." [Gizmodo]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Is Video Killing the Concert Vibe? [WSJ]

At most concerts these days, when the houselights go down, the tiny glowing screens go up. As more fans mark the moments with smartphones, cameras and pocket-sized video recorders, a new kind of digital divide is emerging. Music lovers who try to document and share the essence of concerts are squaring off against those who think that just defeats the purpose. The debate is drawing participants from both sides of the stage. [WSJ]

John Jurgensen's recent WSJ article touches on an interesting debate that I've had with myself on a number of occasions.  I love concerts and I love photography, so yes, I'm often one of the 100 people at your show taking pictures and some video of your band up on stage.  Am I the guy that takes a thousand images of the same basic shot?  No.  Am I the guy that takes pictures of himself in front of the band as they play to prove to his friends that he was there?  Definitely not.  Nor am I the guy that takes a picture and then has to show it to all the people around them.  Each of those things is FRIGGIN' annoying...everyone agrees.  But beyond the affect on the people around you, if you are too busy with your camera, you are missing out on enjoying the show.  Mind you, at least in LA, I'd say there are about a good 40+% that aren't there to listen to the band...but that's another post for another time.

In the past, I've found myself so consumed with capturing the moment (for my own memory) that I was no longer enjoying the show for the show itself.  I wasn't living in the moment, I was living in the 10 moments in the future when I'd look at those pictures.  I now realize that's not worth it.  So what I do now...and what I propose to all amateur concert photographers...let's do what the pro's do.  You always see professional photographers for music mags or music blogs (like Sung from LosAnjealous or MySugarSpun) taking their shots for the first 3 songs or so...then they are escorted out of the photographer's pit.  I now limit myself to pics from the first few songs...and maybe 1 video.  Then I put the camera away, and focus on building my own memory of the band, the music and the people and not the aperture of my Canon s90.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Google Instant-ized iTunes

Stephen Ou, a 15-year-old developer from the Bay Area, whipped up iTunes Instant as an alternative, and it's pretty much perfect: streamlined, minimalist iTunes searching and absolutely nothing else.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

SETLIST: iTunes' PING, Google Music Hiring, Ashes

Ping, a Social Network for iTunes  [LA TIMES] - Pretty interesting new edition of iTunes is out today.  Biggest change is its' music-centered social network, PING.  Basically its a Facebook-like feed of your friends and followees music purchases, reviews and recommendations.  Has potential to be a very important new music recommendation service for people and will definitely be huge for Apple as any new music your friend likes, can easily be purchased within iTunes.  One cool feature is a sidebar that aggregates the top songs purchased/liked by people in your "network".  This probably is not good for one of my favorite companies, Last.FM.

[UPDATE:  Scratch that...Ping will die.  Just found out it only takes into account music you purchase via iTunes.  I can easily say that less than 1% of my collection has come via the iTunes Store]

Live Nation to Power Concert Listings, Ticket Sales in iTunes 10 [TECHCRUNCH] - Makes sense that these two massive corporations would get together.  I didn't mention it above but the social network will also have concert listings/recommendations.

Why the Music Business Needs a New iTunes [ALL THINGS DIGITAL] - Universal Music Group saw sales continue to drop in Q2 (-2.8%) despite increasing digital revenues.  Go share some UMG bands with your friends on Ping and make them less sad.

Google Goes Hunting for Music Boss [ALL THINGS DIGITAL] - Oh to have a job combining my love of music and Google.  Too much pressure and too many expectations though...Lets hope they find someone good.  

When Drinking Means You Formed a Band  [HOLIDAY MATINEE] - I have always been a fan of using a half empty beer bottle as a musical instrument...dying to see what this musically demarcated bottles really sound like.  Could be the most amazing or most beautiful night at a bar if every drunkard was harmonizing.

Ashes to Vinyl [GIZMODO] - I now know how I want my remains taken care of when I die.  Not even joking, I am SO doing this.  Great Grandchildren...prepare to listen to OK Computer as heard through my ashes.  (I was going for humor but that actually gave me chills...the good kind)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ticketmaster is trying to make friends...

Looks like Ticketmaster is trying play nice nicer.  Not only are they now BLOGGING (not sure who gets to do that job...or who came up with the blog name, Ticketology) but they have also started a few practices that they are alleging to be "for the people".  First off, those hated TM fees that we all hate will now be included right off the bat in the very first ticket price you see when looking for tickets.  This would lessen the instant hatred that erupts every time we see that ticket price grow as we proceed through the purchase...but its still there!  Additionally, some shows will have an interactive map that allows you to select your exact seat.  That will be nice but only really useful with shows that are slow way would I take my time handpicking a seat to a Radiohead show that would sell out instantly.  The third and last change is rather interesting.  Apparently they are now offering a 3 day window for you to return your tickets (provided its not less than 1 week before the show).  This will be interesting to see how scalpers play with this.  Who knows if any of this will benefit the consumer but at least its a nice change to see them even seem concerned with the audience.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


[NY Times]
It is a debate that has become increasingly common as technology has redefined the notion of what is “urgent.” How soon do people need to get information and respond to it? The believers in the group say the drumbeat of incoming data has created a false sense of urgency that can affect people’s ability to focus.
Matt Richtel raises an interesting question...are we better or worse off today with the deluge of emails, cellphones, and digital everything?  Like every philosophical question, I'm sure the answer is a very complicated yes and no.  I guess two steps forward and one step back is better than no steps forward though, right?  

Related to this, I've wondered how us music lovers are staying afloat among all this "free" music that is so easily accessible.  First off, there has to be more music out there since its easy for just about anyone to create and distribute these days.  That probably just means more crap to wade through.  Then of course the ease of collecting music means my iTunes library is getting increasingly bloated.  I probably currently have 90+ GB's of music and I'm sure a quarter of it I've yet to hear.  But I'm not complaining.  Despite all this noise, I definitely feel more satisfied and totally happy with too many options and too much music.  And the benefit to the artist?  Increased revenue from all these concerts I'm into thanks to world wide webosphere. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

SETLIST: Pitchfork, Live Nation, Azoff Tweets

How Pitchfork Struck a Note in Indie Music [Time]  - I definitely agree that Pitchfork has become a force within the Indie Music scene...yet I hardly ever read any of their stuff.  My outside view is that alot of fans find their reviews either uber-critical or too gushing.  Either way, Taste-makers like Pitchfork are clearly getting more and more important.

Live Nation posts a second quarter loss on sagging ticket sales [LA Times]  - Uhoh,  maybe the revenue from live shows won't save the music industry.  Then again, this is for the quarter leading up to the end of June.  Perhaps the 3Q Summer numbers will be more telling.  I still feel like they should be reporting Shell Oil kinda numbers with all those damn fees they rape us with.

OMG! Ticketmaster head Irving Azoff throws down a Twitter gauntlet [LA Times]  - I love when old people try out new technology and totall embarrass themselves :)  You have to give it up for old Irving.  He's worked hard and built quite a nice little empire there for himself.  Nonetheless, seems like a total a**hole.  If you want to read more about the rise of Irving and behind the scenes of Ticketmaster/Live Nation monster, check out David Segal's article from the NYT, Calling Almost Everyone's Tune.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lifehacker's Streaming Music Roundup

GroovesharkImage via Wikipedia
Very comprehensive article over at Lifehacker giving you all the details of the major music streaming services (Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, MOG, Napster, Grooveshark, Pandora, Last.FM, Slacker Radio).  Their top recommendations?
"The Best Services For:
• Global availability: MOG and Grooveshark
• Pricing per track available: MOG
• Multi-platform availability: Spotify and Pandora
• Offline availability: Spotify and Rdio—though without knowing the limits on Rdio's offline syncing.
• Most offered for free: Grooveshark,, and Slacker Radio
• Ease of use: Pandora"

 Battle of the Streaming Music Services [Lifehacker]
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Friday, August 06, 2010

Double (In) Rainbows

radiohead in rainbows (fake cover art)Image by Rick Rey via Flickr
Bloggers Ordered to Take Down Radiohead Songs That Were Once Free
So can you actually steal something that was once free? In most cases, yes. One commenter summed it up nicely, writing that posting songs that were once available for free but now aren't, is a bit like "a shop giving away a free drink with a sandwich as a special offer one week, and then you go in and shoplift the same drink a week after the promotion has ended."
Read more:
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Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm an American, I want Spotify

Spotify Reboots U.S. Label Negotiations []: Regarding the licensing status, Parks said “We are in fact in a good place with our label negotiations. We’re confident in our U.S. launch later this year.”  This quote comes after news that the company had to restart its negotiations with the US labels.  I have yet to try or even see Spotify in action but I'm eager to test it out.  Will the over-hyped music streaming service disappoint or is this what the future of music looks like?  Think of it as iTunes except you can stream much more than just the 30 second snippets.  I'll be trying out the freemium ad-based version but if its good, I would definitely pay to stream.  While I'm not a fan of Rdio, I do recommend Grooveshark in the interim.  I may even buy a Grooveshark T-shirt (*w/ 1 yr free!).
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Conan O’Brien’s Love/Hate Relationship with the Internet

A poster for Team Conan, created during the To...Image via Wikipedia
Conan O’Brien’s Love/Hate Relationship with the Internet [Techcrunch]:

Nice overview of Conan's SF Sketchfest Tribute and Q&A by Techcrunch.  Conan digs into the shake up of all traditional media thanks in part to the Internet.  As Sarah Lacy writes, "If it hasn’t happened to your industry yet—wait. It will."  Actually, I can't really think of an industry that it has begun to re-invent.

"'Those men behind the curtain—the great and powerful Oz—are scared shitless right now,' O’Brien said, adding that the chaos is so high that anyone in the audience could just as likely be running a major network in a few years. O’Brien opened by saying he was choosing to see opportunity in the volatility in his business, but over the next few hours it was clear that it wasn’t that simple."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Should ISPs Pay for Music Piracy?

Anti-copyright symbolImage via Wikipedia
Should ISPs Pay for Music Piracy?: "if ISPs and broadband providers are going to provide consumers the means to pirate music content—and the problem will only get worse as available bandwidth increases—ISPs need to either curtail piracy by “wising up” their pipes to prevent transfer of illegally distributed content, or “pay a fair price” for the copyrighted material traversing their networks."
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Leaky Music Faucet

How Artists Deal with Music Being Leaked Online - TIME:  "'Even just a few years ago, you had to know where on the Internet to go,' says Eric Garland, founder and CEO of media-analysis company BigChampagne. Whereas would-be downloaders once lurked primarily on peer-to-peer file-sharing programs like Limewire or BitTorrent, 'now,' says Garland, 'it's like, eh, just Google it.'"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood works on new Bryan Ferry album

Bryan Ferry is working on an album with an full lineup of contributors that included Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, and Chic singer Nile Rodgers. Ferry's new album Olympia hits October 25.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Admiral Radley at Hammer

Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, California, USA.....
Looking forward to this Thursday's "Also I Like to Rock" concert at the Hammer Museum in Westwood.   Admiral Radley and The Happy Hallows perform starting at 8pm.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

Thom at Glastonbury 2010 (Harrowdown Hill)

Glad to see Thom expanding his use of the sampler/looper to play some more tracks off Eraser

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ed: Next Radiohead Album Due THIS YEAR

AtEase has notes from Ed's interview on Adam Buxton’s show on BBC 6 Music today.
“We’re in the heart of the record. It’s genuinely exciting. It’s very different from what we did last time. It’s really nice to be doing this. It’s so good to be making music with the band that you feel is still as good as it’s ever been.”
“No, Ideally it would be great if it came out sometime this year. It has got to. I hope so. We’re at the finishing line.... But yeah, hopefully it will be a matter of weeks.”

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Radiohead Covers: Idioteque on a Ukulele

Amanda Palmer (of Dresden Dolls) brings us her first track off her upcoming covers album.  Check it out over at her website:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Regina Spektor covers No Surprises

Hi! On Tuesday April 27th, iTunes will release a cover i did of a Radiohead (i LOVE them, and thank them for donating their proceeds too!!! they are the best!) song "No Surprises". The proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders Emergency Relief Fund.  -Regina

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ticketmaster Joins Live Nation, and an Industry Quakes -

Ticketmaster Joins Live Nation, and an Industry Quakes -
"For a man who sits atop one of the most feared corporations in the music business, Irving Azoff seems surprisingly proud of his middle finger. Images of it, raised high and defiant, are hard to avoid in his home, a 12,000-square-foot mansion in one of the richest neighborhoods in this city."
Long article, but gives good insight into the man behind the monster and the ticket monopoly that continues to dominate.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Movie []

Beck has contributed songs to the upcoming film “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World”, based on the Bryan Lee O’Malley comicbook of the same name. Starring Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman, and Anna Kendrick, Beck’s contributions centered on writing songs to be performed by Pilgrim’s (played by Michael Cera) band, “Sex Bob-Omb.”
Slated for release on August 13, there will also be a soundtrack album featuring the Beck-penned tracks along with other songs by Broken Social Scene, Metric, and Cornelius.

The film is being directed by Edgar Wright and scored by Nigel Godrich.

The Notorious xx–Biggie/The xx Mashup [Losanjelous]

The Notorious xx–Biggie/The xx Mashup: "
notorius xxGrab Wait What’s mashup of Biggie & the xx now for free before a cease & desist kills it.

Wait What
| The Notorious xx

Jonsi Covers MGMT

Jonsi - Time to Pretend [Audio Muffin]

Monday, March 29, 2010

Guest DJ Jonsi Of Sigur Ros

Guest DJ Jonsi Of Sigur Ros on NPR: "
What do Iron Maiden, Billie Holiday and castrato singer Alessandro Moreschi have in common? Answer: Sigur Ros frontman Jon ('Jonsi') Thor Birgisson lists them among his favorite artists. On this edition of All Songs Considered, Jonsi talks about his new solo album, Go, and shares some of the songs that have helped shape his own music.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Catching up...

New Doves off their upcoming Best of...
Oh No Ono covered Radiohead's Weird Fishes/Arpeggi [Stereogum]
New song of upcoming album by The National:  BloodBuzz Ohio [Driftwood]
Meet Admiral Radley...half Earlimart, half Grandaddy...EXCELLENT show the other night at the Bootleg Theater.  This acoustic version from SxSW is even better live with drums.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bootleg of Radiohead for Haiti Show

A lovely bootleg of the show from Ateaser Edgar from the balcony...with lovely cover art courtesy of Ateaser Verity.

01 Faust Arp
02 Fake Plastic Trees
03 Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
04 The National Anthem
05 Nude
06 Karma Police
07 Kid A
08 Morning Bell
09 How To Disappear Completely
10 A Wolf at the Door
11 The Bends
12 Reckoner
13 Lucky
14 Bodysnatchers
15 Dollars & Cents
16 Airbag
17 Exit Music

Encore #1
18 Everything In Its Right Place (Thom)
19 You And Whose Army?
20 Pyramid Song
21 All I Need

Encore #2:
22 Lotus Flower
23 Paranoid Android
24 Street Spirit (fade out)
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