Amy Winehouse, 1982-2011, R.I.P
July 29, 2011
"Amy paved the way for artists like me and made people excited about British music again whilst being fearlessly hilarious and blase about the whole thing. I don't think she ever realized just how brilliant she was and how important she is, but that just makes her even more charming."-- Adele
"Amy changed pop music forever, I remember knowing there was hope, and feeling not alone because of her. She lived jazz, she lived the blues."-- Lady GaGa
Yes, she was a very troubled soul.
Her shining moment was her "Back To Black" album. She won 2008 Grammy Awards in the categories of Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performanc' for the single "Rehab," while the album "Back to Black" was nominated for Album of the Year and won the Best Pop Vocal Album award.
From that point on, all we heard about were the problems that seemed to be ongoing in her personal life with drugs and alcohol that affected so many of her subsequent live performances.
Rather than rehash all that's been said in the media (and far too much has been said without substance), I thought I would just let you know that to celebrate her music and her life, VEVO has created a special playlist of her music videos. If you were a fan, revisit Amy's videos and remember just how good she was for her brief time here.
You can find the playlist here: http://tiny.cc/fnxm6
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
IN DEFENSE OF POP MUSIC
A very interesting article from New York magazine by Nitsuh Abebe.
Read about the chilling fact of music in the 1990s, why genres like rock will never get played on the radio, and insight into today's music scene.
Read it here: http://tiny.cc/2lf84
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
A FEDERAL JUDGE LOWERS THE $1.5 MILLION ILLEGAL FILE-SHARING PENALTY TO $54,000
A federal judge lowered the penalty levied for illegal file sharing from $1.5 million down to $54,000 on Friday, in what was the third trial in the ongoing lawsuit filed by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2007 against Jammie Thomas-Rasset.
The trial presumed that Thomas-Rasset did download the songs from Kazaa, but a penalty of $1.5 million is "so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportionate to the offense and obviously unreasonable," Judge Davis wrote.
Of course, the RIAA vows to fight on and rack up even more legal fees.
Read more here: http://tiny.cc/wa68i
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
SPOTIFY MAKES THE SPLASH
The Spotify streaming-music services lands in the United States, but was it worth the wait? CNET Senior Editor Donald Bell goes hands-on with Spotify.
See what he has to say here: http://tiny.cc/rhufg
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
AND EVEN MORE TROUBLE FOR NETWORK TV
It's no surprise that people are using broadband to watch videos when they're neither at home nor in the office, but now NPD Group has gathered actual data and developed forecasts that prove this is a sharply growing trend. (I haven't seen anybody watching a network TV show on their iPad, laptop or tablet, have you?)
"Broadband Video: On Demand, On the Go, and On the Rise" is the first Inflection Report from Connected Intelligence, a new service from The NPD Group, which analyzes the confluence of connected devices, access, and content.
Read more here: http://tiny.cc/t00xn
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
NETFLIX MIGHT ALREADY BE FEELING THE CONSUMER BLOWBACK FROM NEW PRICING
Netflix on Monday issued a weaker-than-anticipated earnings outlook. Along with what it considers a temporary slowdown in subscriber growth, the (increasingly online) content distributor blamed the outlook on negative consumer reaction to a recent price increase.
"The price adjustment, announced July 12th, takes Netflix's DVD-by-mail service, which was a $2 add-on to its $8-a-month online streaming service, and makes it a separate $8 package," according to The New York Times. "For Netflix, the online streaming service, which remains $8, is growing much faster than DVD-by-mail. But some customers were outraged by what was effectively a 60% price increase for the combined service."
Read the New York Times article here: http://tiny.cc/gs951
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
MOBILE MUSIC WILL BE KEY FACTOR IN MOBILE ENTERTAINMENT GROWTH
Mobile entertainment will see near 20% average compounded growth -- with the bulk of the business coming from music -- by 2014.
Estimates peg its growth to $54 billion in the next three years, driven in large part by mobile music.
Read about it here: http://tiny.cc/mdvlq
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
FORD SAYS BUH-BYE TO IN-DASH CD PLAYERS
Ford is set to ditch its in-dash CD player in future automobiles.
With the decline in CD sales over the past few years, coupled with the fact that there are over 200 million-plus iPods out there, the move seems logical. (I expect other auto makers will follow suit in short time.)
"In-car entertainment technology is moving digital more rapidly than almost any other element of the vehicle experience," said Sheryl Connelly, global trends and futuring manager at Ford Motor Company. "The in-car CD player -- much like pay telephones -- is destined to fade away in the face of exciting new technology."
"Ford will obviously continue to offer CD players while there is demand," said Ford multimedia manager Ralf Brosig. "However, over time we expect customer preferences will lead us quickly into an all-digital approach to in-car audio entertainment."
Read more here: http://tiny.cc/awdhi
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
MUSICNOTES.COM PASSES 10 MILLION DOWNLOAD MARK
Musicnotes.com sold its 10 millionth download since its launch in 1999 after registering 25% growth in 2010.
The company estimates total sales for this year of $15 million, while royalty payments to publishers and songwriters are slated to exceed $5 million.
Read more here: http://tiny.cc/fxbxl
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
INDIE MUSIC RETAILERS NOT HAPPY WITH JAY-Z & KANYE WEST BEST BUY DEAL
From Rolling Stone: "Independent record stores are back lashing against Kanye West and Jay-Z's collaborative album as the Throne. The organizers of Record Store Day have called on independent retailers throughout the U.S. to sign an open letter to the superstar rappers taking them to task for signing a deal with Best Buy that gives the big box chain exclusive rights to sell the deluxe version of the 'Watch the Throne' CD for the first 10 days of its release."
Read the rest on Rolling Stone.com here: http://tiny.cc/kouve
LENNON AUTOGRAPH BRINGS RECORD AMOUNT:
A signed insert poster from the album Double Fantasy sold last week for $40,000, shattering the previous record for a John Lennon autograph. The seller was an engineer for the RKO Radio Network interview that took place on December 8th, 1980. This was John Lennon's last interview and one of the last autographs he ever gave. The buyer was Tracks LTD, the world's leading dealer in Beatles autographs and memorabilia. The signed poster was profiled in the recent book "Starting Over: The Making of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy." The deal was brokered by rock historian and memorabilia expert, Denny Somach. "This is just another example of the value of authentic items related to the Beatles and there individual members," said Somach.
UNDERWOOD TOP IDOL EARNER:
Carrie Underwood landed the No. 1 spot on the Forbes list of "The Top-Earning American Idols" by raking in $20 million this past year. The singer won season 4 of the top-rated Fox singing competition and has since segued into a career as a Platinum-selling country artist. The No 2. and 3 spot features a tie between two contestants who didn't even win "Idol" - rocker Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert. The pair both pulled in $6 million.
TALENTHOUSE & UMG:
Universal Music Group has signed a label-wide deal with Talenthouse, an agency that conducts "crowd sourcing" campaigns to promote artists. In other words, they facilitate competitions on Facebook and other social media platforms for T-shirt designs, cover art, videos and other collaborative projects. Recent examples of Talenthouse's work has been contests in which fans submitted designs for a new Deadmau5 helmet and a dress for a Florence and the Machine gig, and a t-shirt contest for Queen.
BANGLADESH CONCERT NOW AVAILABLE FROM iTUNES:
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of The Concert for Bangladesh, George Harrison's Grammy-winning album made its exclusive digital release debut on the iTunes Store this week, 40 years after the historic concert event on August 1st, 1971. The iTunes edition of The Concert for Bangladesh album includes Harrison's "Bangla Desh" studio single, originally released July 5th, 1971, as an exclusive bonus track. In the altruistic spirit which gave birth to The Concert for Bangladesh, each download will benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF* -- helping to provide immediate emergency relief for children in famine and drought-stricken regions in the Horn of Africa.
After 28 years together, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons and his Playboy Playmate girlfriend Shannon Tweed may finally make it official. On Tuesday's season finale of the couple's A&E reality series, Gene Simmons' Family Jewels, the rocker, 61, got down on bended knee to propose to the mother of his two children.
Rumblefish, the music licensing company that specializes in social media uses, announced that users have licensed four million songs to date, and that its catalog has grown from 35,000 a year ago to more than 400,000 songs following a series of additional content partnerships,
45 YEARS AGO:
On July 25th, 1965, everything changed when Bob Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival, upsetting a whole lot of folk music fans.
QUADROPHENIA ONCE MORE:
According to a post on Pete Townshend's blog, The Who are going to stage another Quadrophenia tour next year.
Dan Peek, one third of '70s folk/pop group, America, died on Sunday at his Farmington, MO, home of undetermined causes. He was 60.
The Music Industry Past, Present & Future, And The Internet I answer questions on EconTalk
I did an interview about the industry and the Internet at EconTalk with host Russ Roberts. Russ is also a professor of economics at George Mason University, blogs at Cafe Hayek, and has written three novels that teach economics. He's also the co-creator of the Keynes-Hayek rap video. (And if your understanding of the economic meltdown that occurred needs to be enlightened, this video will do it)
In the interview we talk about the evolution of the music industry, the impact of the digital revolution, and I give my reasons for believing in the virtues and potential of the Internet in enhancing the music industry. I point out, as I have many times here in the newsletter, that the internet allows numerous artists to make money from their music and it can enhance revenues from live performances by expanding an artist's base. We also discuss the challenges facing record companies and I suggest that the full potential of the Internet as a distribution channel has yet to be fully exploited. There's a lot of ground covered, but based on the comments already posted of those who have tuned in, they've enjoyed it.
Read more about it by clicking here.
Quotes of the week
"When I took in the stories told by Olivia and his friends, studied the images and the interviews, and immersed myself in the music, I could see that he was trying to find a way to simplicity, a way to live truthfully and compassionately. It was never a straight line, but that's not the point. I think he found an understanding: that there's no such thing as 'success,' there's just the path. It's there in the life, and it's felt most deeply in the music -- the songs, the harmonies, the grand soaring passages, the guitar breaks and the solos, like shining jewels."
-- Martin Scorcese, talking about George Harrison and the making of his new documentary "George Harrison: Living in the Material World," which will debut on HBO in two parts in October.
"They're saying I'm single."
-- Marc Anthony, joking with his concert crowd in BogotÃ¡, Colombia, the day after he and wife Jennifer Lopez announced their split. (Translation: J-LO gave me my walking papers, so I'm available again)
"Man I'm not releasing a album i can't believe interscope is this f*cked up right now. I apologize to all my fans."
-- 50 Cent tweeting to fans his unhappiness with Interscope because the label "dropped the ball with me one time to [sic] many." (With all due respect Fiddy, Interscope isn't "f*cked up" at all. They are selling a whole lot of Eminem, Lady GaGa, Bad Meets Evil, and more)
"Do you ever worry about your moment having passed?"
-- ABC news anchor Dan Harris, questioning Paris Hilton just before she walked out of their interview, on Good Morning America. My congratulations to Mr. Harris on asking a question that someone should have asked Ms. Hilton a few years ago.
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Science Confirms Men and Women Never Meant To Be More Than Friends
UPSALA, SWEDEN-In a shocking reversal of thousands of years of thinking on human reproduction, researchers at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences announced Monday that sexual contact is a genetic accident, and men and women originally evolved to just be good buds.
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
The BlogsCheck out Jerry Del Colliano's (the founder of INSIDE RADIO) daily blog, by clicking here: http://www.insidemusicmedia.blogspot.com
Check out attorney Ray Beckerman's website at: http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com where he prints news about the RIAA's ongoing activities
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"And the beat goes on, the beat goes on ... drums keep poundin' rhythm to the brain."
"Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon