So the biggest of the all you can eat streaming music services has arrived in America. You can read a mountain about Spotify everywhere so I’ll just chime in with my own opinion.
I feel a little old. I like owning my music. I have a giant record, cassette and MP3 library. It’s stupid I know. And now what? Everyone can just have everything for a monthly fee? That’s unfair! But wait do they have everything? What about Scarecrow “Black Door”? I bet they don’t have that. If they do I will probably join. Can anyone verify that for me? I hear the social sharing stuff is good. Although I think it’s pretty easy to post a Youtube link into Facebook these days. On a positive note I do think it’s pretty futury to have access to all the music ever made anywhere you are. Funny that last part should carry a lot of weight with me.
As a musician it seems this is another blow to making income from music sales. I do make some nice “buy a new synth every now and then” money from my iTunes sales. But the streaming services? You really have to have a mega hit for all those fractions of pennies to add up.
So what do you think? Are any of you loving members of Rdio (the Spotify like competitor)?
“The award-winning music service that’s taken Europe by storm has now come to U.S. shores. Millions of tracks ready to play instantly, on your computer and your phone. Any track, anytime, anywhere. And it’s free!” – spotify.com
For more info: spotify.com
I often joke on this blog that the vintage and vintage sounding pro-audio equipment is actually helping me build a time machine to the 80s. While I’m in love with modern times (internet, iPads) I hold the 80s in high regard as the decade man decided to come to the future. The electronic music scene was full of originality. Most of the bands I listened to in 1987 sounded quite different from each other. Of course this must have to do with my age. Or is it something else? Simon Reynolds new book Retromania which will be released on July 19th holds a mirror up to society and asks if we have run out of ideas. Do you think we have?
“We live in a pop age gone loco for retro and crazy for commemoration. Band re-formations and reunion tours, expanded reissues of classic albums and outtake-crammed box sets, remakes and sequels, tribute albums and mash-ups . . . But what happens when we run out of past? Are we heading toward a sort of culturalecological catastrophe where the archival stream of pop history has been exhausted?
Simon Reynolds, one of the finest music writers of his generation, argues that we have indeed reached a tipping point, and that although earlier eras had their own obsessions with antiquity—the Renaissance with its admiration for Roman and Greek classicism, the Gothic movement’s invocations of medievalism—never has there been a society so obsessed with the cultural artifacts of its own immediate past. Retromania is the first book to examine the retro industry and ask the question: Is this retromania a death knell for any originality and distinctiveness of our own?”
For more info: Retromania at Amazon.com
This entry was written by business, music, political and tagged Retromania, Simon Reynolds. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Just watch the first few minutes of this to see Billy Preston dance! Believe it or not I can dance like that. I’m not kidding. I don’t have the yellow outfit though. Keep on watching it’s worth it.
“This documentary explores the reason why so few companies currently control the music played on the radio and for sale at retail stores, and whether corporations really have the power to silence musical innovation.” – talenthouselive.com
Watch direct on Hulu: hulu.com/watch/62945/before-the-music-dies
This entry was written by business and tagged Before the Music Dies, Billy Preston, documentary, music business, Ray Charles. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Here’s the scenario: You release a new album. On day one pirated/illegal download links rank higher than any other result when people search for your music. Muso TNT is a product which I assume helps you get rid of the offending links. I have some questions. Is this service worth $40 – $130 for the first month or two? It seems the main time you would want this service would be during the initial release period. The company is based in London. Do you think that makes any difference in it’s effectiveness in stopping illegal files in the USA or Russia? Do you think it’s a good idea to stop the illegal trade of your music? After all, illegal file trading of your music increases your fame and gigs no? Has anyone used this service? Are there known competitors to Muso TNT that are worth looking at? I know from my “Horrorist” Google alert everything I’ve released is constantly being shared. Some friends of mine spend quite a lot of time working to remove their music from file trading sites. I’ve never attempted to stop it myself. What do you think?
Muso TNT enables you to track and remove every infringing file for your artist or title across millions of sites daily. Muso TNT is an online interface for rights holders to gear your fans towards legal download sites. We empower you to remove ALL pirated files with absolute speed and complete accuracy. We give you the tools to enforce your rights 24/7 and make legal downloads the easy choice for fans. – muso.com
For more info: muso.com
The music and artwork is now finished for my next album Joyless Pleasure. I would like to send out pre-release copies to get reviews in magazines and important websites. I actually think normal people/fan reviews carry more weight but this is the first step. I have two questions to Wire to the Ear readers. 1. What’s the best way today to go about this? 2. Do you have any specific recommendations of places I should try and get the album reviewed? If you have any specific contacts at a media outlet that would be a bonus as sending music off into the abyss makes me cranky.
Thanks for your help!
photo credit: Steven Depolo
This entry was written by business, promotion and tagged album reviews, Joyless Pleasure, marketing, promotion, reviews, The Horrorist. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
The tech industry is going to finally let us store our own music in the cloud. We can then listen on our mobile and web devices from anywhere. Amazon is first out the gate with it’s Cloud Drive and Player. Google and Apple will surely soon follow. Here’s some thoughts. I hope it’s easy to get my massive music collection online. I will be glad to have my collection anywhere I can log-in to the net. I’m glad my music collection will be backed up online. I hope it works over 3g or it’s useless. I wonder if any of these services will allow me to embed a player and share my music. If they do I wonder if it will have massive implications for SoundCloud. I hope there will be some interesting APIs spurring some innovative Apps that use your online locker. Ho hum another bill.
“Amazon’s easy uploading process makes it simple for customers to save their music library to their Cloud Drive. Files can be stored in AAC or MP3 formats and will be uploaded to Cloud Drive in the original bit rate. Customers can hand-pick particular songs, artists, albums or playlists to upload or simply upload their entire music library.” – Amazon.com
photo credit: bixentro
Now that I’ve finished my album I am putting together the same album full of remixes. Instead of paying 20 people to do remixes for me I am trading a remix of my own for one of theirs. This serves three purposes. I don’t have to shell out a bunch of cash. It forces me to work on material that’s not my own which I find a challenge. Lastly, every remix I do for someone else gets promoted by that artist therefore extending my own name into the world. I know this is obvious but maybe this post will trigger you to go trade with your friends, fans and if your lucky music heros. This weekend I am finishing remixes for Haujobb and Steinkind. See how they just got some free press?
“A remixer uses audio mixing to compose an alternate master recording of a song, adding or subtracting elements, or simply changing the equalization, dynamics, pitch, tempo, playing time, or almost any other aspect of the various musical components. Some remixes involve substantial changes to the arrangement of a recorded work, but many are harmonic, such as creating a “vocal up” version of an album cut that emphasizes the lead singer’s voice.” – Wikipedia
For more info: facebook.com/thehorrorist
This entry was written by business, song writing and tagged business, Haujobb, remixes, Steinkind. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
It took me a while but I finally struck a balance between my day job and my music career. Three week day nights and weekends I am in front of knobs, dials, touch screen, API and Ableton. Weekdays as Director of Operations at ENVEN Energy Services I stare at Windows 7 via Bootcamp, Excel tracking sheets, Quickbooks or I am in the field auditing commercial lighting systems in Rockland, Orange and Sullivan Counties. Once and a while live performances as The Horrorist steal a Friday away from ENVEN but since I am a partner in the company it’s a perk I am allowed. Mornings before anything starts thirty minutes goes here to Wire to the Ear and these words. I know balance has found it’s equilibrium because my to do list gets cleared and I am not having those “missing class” nightmares. I admit I struggled to make this work and for a while it cost me some music creating time. The key is I pretend I am far more important than I am. I pretend I am a CEO. I wake up early, eat super healthy and spend 45 minutes on the Elliptical trainer each day. I allow myself one or two planned, scheduled fun short late afternoon meet ups with friends and family per week. I know this all sounds pretentious and needlessly stiff. In between all the positivity there is a blackness. I regularly feel like I am missing something somewhere. I have huge doubts and I feel I’ve become a mouse on a wheel. That said, I am doing my life’s plan and I hope in the end people will have noticed.
“There’s more besides joyrides. Little house in the countryside. Understand, learn to demand, Compromise, sometimes lie. You think you’ve got a hold of it all. You haven’t got a hold at all. When you reach the top, get ready to drop. Prepare yourself for the fall, you’re gonna fall. It’s almost predictable.” – Depeche Mode
For more info: Get the Balance Right, Depeche Mode (iTunes link)
photo credit: Colin Harris
This entry was written by business, political, song writing and tagged balance, career, song writing, work. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I’m back from France and I’m happy to report that the event known as La Nuit Rouge pulled in 7,500 party goers. I spent some talk time with Pet Duo, Alan Fitzpatrick, Mindindustries and DJ Rush (at the airport). Everything from the moment I started my set was golden. Now since this is a tell all blog let’s rewind to my departure to France from JKF Airport.
I arrive at Long Term Parking. I’m a little later than I hoped because there was of course a few hours of traffic for what should be a 20 minute drive. I get on my Delta, KLM, Alitalia flight. I think they do this codeshare crap knowing they need to blame someone for mistakes so they take turns on each other. I’m in my seat. One hour goes by we don’t take off. Two hours go by we don’t take off. We finally get a report from el captino, “There’s a broken clasp in the cargo bay we are manufacturing a new one. Once we get the paperwork from Atlanta we can fly.” We approach three hours and they tell us we have to disembark. I know why they did this. There’s some new rule you can’t leave passengers hostage more than three hours. Now if you thought that was the bad part oh boy you are mistaken.
I had a layover in Rome. I missed that layover by a mile so when I asked when I could get another connecting flight from Rome to Marseille I was delighted to find out the only one would be late Saturday night at 9:30PM. That would get me into Marseille at around Midnight. I had a 1:00AM set time. That also meant that I’d have to spend 9 hours in the Rome airport waiting for that connection. I thought about canceling my show and just going home but I’ve only missed three shows in my entire career.
I was supposed to play the weekend after 9/11 in Stuttgart. I had my apartment robbed a few days before I had a gig. The third show I missed was my fault. Being that I have performed a zillion times since 1992 I think it’s a record worth keeping nice and I am sure promoters know I am reliable (which keeps bookings coming). So I decided to check into the Hilton Hotel Rome at the airport. I got a day rate of 100 Euros and slept myself into superman again. I woke up and took the short flight to Marseille.
I got to the gig and it was the usual war zone. Pet Duo was on stage with 6 CD players, two mixers, booze. On the same 5 foot wide table sat the lighting guy, his controller, the house mixing console and sound guy. I need a few feet of space too and I was on next. So I hovered around the Pets who are luckily my friends. They are also generally happy people so they didn’t mind me crawling around them. I hooked my gear up. They stopped playing. I started playing. I had a wonderful time after the show (this isn’t really a tell all blog!). Life is good and no matter what I go through to get there it’s always worth it!
“one night in new york city ou encore can you hear the sound… olivier chesler, trop bon, même le personnage c’est quelque chose!!! c’est quelqu’un ce mec!!!” – jérémy couvreur (via facebook)
For more info: facebook.com/lanuitrouge
This entry was written by business, live performance, promotion and tagged Alan Fitzpatrick, DJ Rush, La Nuit Rouge, live performance, Mindindustries, Pet Duo, The Horrorist, Things to Come Records. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Over the past three months I’ve been experiencing Chinese Democracy syndrome. Chinese Democracy was the Guns and Roses album that took them a decade to release. They wrote, erased, rewrote, sweated, talked and stressed instead of just letting it out. The truth is I have recorded almost 30 songs for my next album called Joyless Pleasure. I’ve worked harder and I’ve been more inspired while making these songs than ever in my life. Certainly it will be my best effort and about half I consider gems. Yet I still sit wanting to make one more song. One more that will be the one that will take it all over the top. I don’t have any advice in this post. I’m only sharing this strange experience. I am going to let go. I have my last song in Ableton. Maybe I just don’t want to go take the album photos!
“In the music industry, a release is usually a term referring to the creative output from an artist available for sale or distribution.” – Wikipedia
photo credit: Karola Riegler
This entry was written by business, promotion, song writing and tagged album, Guns and Roses, Joyless Pleasure, stress, The Horrorist. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.