A Splendid Time Is Guaranteed For All!
July 27, 2012
SIR PAUL McCARTNEY CLOSES THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE OLYMPICS ON JULY 27th
He's Britain's greatest musical export, a living legend and, when the Olympics finally arrive, the man who will say, "Hello, World."
In the meantime, ShortList's Andrew Dickens says, "Hello, Sir Paul."
Read his interview with Paul here: http://tinyurl.com/c4buznf
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
THE MUSIC WE LISTEN TO REALLY IS LOUDER THAN IT USED TO BE, AND MOST OF IT SOUNDS THE SAME
How many times have you heard a song and said, "Gee, haven't I heard this before? It sounds like something else."
Well, you're right. A group of Spanish scientists have figured out that the pop music we listen to really is louder than it was 50 years ago and does all sound the same.
"In order to come to their conclusions, researchers used a huge archive known as the Million Song Dataset, which breaks down audio and lyrical content into data, and studied pop songs from 1955 to 2010, according to Reuters. The Spanish National Research Council team, led by artificial intelligence specialist Joan Serra, ran music through the complex algorithms and found that pop songs have become intrinsically louder and more bland in terms of the chords, melodies and types of sound used."
Read about it here: http://tinyurl.com/d7bvxjw
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
ELTON JOHN, ROBERT PLANT, PETE TOWNSEND SEND ANTI-PIRACY LETTER TO BRITISH PRIME MINISTER
While it's impossible to legislate away the technology that allows people to illegally download copyrighted material (and technology that makes it impossible to even detect when people are doing so via Intranets and darknets), the fight goes on from the music and film industries to try and force ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to assist in fighting piracy via new laws.
In England, Elton John, Pete Townshend, Robert Plant, Simon Cowell, Tinie Tempeh and more have signed a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, published by The Guardian, in hopes that Internet providers, advertisers and search engines, Google in particular, will help crack down on piracy. The authors also urge the British government to implement the antipiracy-focused Digital Economy Act 2010.
Read their letter here: http://tinyurl.com/czmzagy
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
FROM THE U.K. COMES THIS SUGGESTION FROM MUSIC RETAILERS TO LABELS
Record labels are helping to kill the industry by refusing to spread major releases throughout the year, retailers say.
The already troubled music industry is inflicting yet more scars on itself with bitter fighting between record labels and retailers: Shops say they are starved of new albums because producers pack their big releases into a few months of the year.
Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/bskmrj2
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
ROGER WATERS TALKS ABOUT 'THE WALL' TOUR, NOW ONE OF THE BIGGEST MONEYMAKERS EVER
From Billboard: "In stark contrast to the wildly successful tour he began in September 2010, Roger Waters today is a man who has transcended walls, or boundaries of any type. Calling on a travel day before the June 19th Nashville show of The Wall Live, Waters is, as ever, a compelling conversationalist who clearly enjoys the discourse, and there are no walls between subjects, either ... Waters has clearly overcome the demons that once tormented him and were manifested in Pink, the confused protagonist of "The Wall," the landmark 1979 album by British prog-rock group Pink Floyd that was the beginning of the end for that beloved band, but has never left Waters' consciousness."
Read the rest on Billboard here: http://tinyurl.com/d97zzr5
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
AN IN-DEPTH PORTRAIT OF 'THE BOSS' AT 62
If you're a Bruce Springsteen fan, then the 17-page, 15,000-word feature article by David Remnick in The New Yorker is a must-read.
Among other things revealed in the article: Springsteen battled depression and had suicidal thoughts in the early 1980s; Steve Van Zandt and Springsteen had an epic fight over lyrics to 1987's "Ain't Got You," a personal song in which Springsteen addresses his own wealth; Bruce's wife, Patti Scialfa, is sometimes frustrated with her role in the E Street Band; The E Street Band members are not Springsteen's equals. "This is not the Beatles," as Weinberg puts it. They are salaried musicians; how original E-Street drummer Vinnie Lopez was fired; and a whole lot more.
This is one of the most thorough profiles of Springsteen ever published, and you can read it here: http://tinyurl.com/cuxgfrt
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
NEW BEATLES DIGITAL COMPILATION AVAILABLE
A new Beatles compilation titled "Tomorrow Never Knows" was released exclusively on iTunes today. (Of course, if you have all the Beatle albums, you already have these great songs)
The set contains 14 of the Fab Four's "most powerful rock songs," from "Paperback Writer" and "Back in the USSR" to "It's All Too Much" and "Savoy Truffle." A promo film for the track "Hey Bulldog" will also be available to stream for free or download.
Also beginning today, the classic promo film for "Hey Bulldog" is available free to stream or as a purchasable download on the iTunes Store here.
"If it weren't for the Beatles, I would not be a musician," claims Dave Grohl on the occasion of 'Tomorrow Never Knows,' a new iTunes collection of the band's heaviest music. Even a 'minor' song like 'Hey Bulldog' rocks 'like you've finally found something to believe in'."
"Nearly everything my band knows about how to approach recording a song is attached to The Beatles in some way," said Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda. "Directly or indirectly, they've shaped the way every album is recorded, and have changed the world."
Also beginning today, the classic promo film for "Hey Bulldog" is available free to stream or as a purchasable download on the iTunes Store.
Check it out on The Beatles website: http://tinyurl.com/fheg4
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
MARIAH CAREY GETS WHAT J-LO DIDN'T
I told you last week that J-Lo wanted $17 million a year to return to 'American Idol' despite all her spin about leaving the show because she wanted to.
Well, J-Lo didn't get that sum of money, but the producers were more than willing to take out their checkbooks and write out the same amount (or maybe more) for Mariah Carey.
An insider said the $17 million made her the highest-paid judge on a television singing competition, a claim that could not immediately be confirmed. But rumors are Carey might actually receive $18 million with a one-year option for her role on the show, reports Us Weekly.
Read the rest on The Wrap here: http://tinyurl.com/d67ruzs
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
ANOTHER PRINT PUB RUINED BY A PAYWALL
Variety, the 107-year-old publication that once led the pack of Hollywood trades, is on a serious downward swoop, losing ad revenue as well as influence and readership among industry insiders. Valued "at close to $100 million as recently as 2008, [it] is now thought to be worth as little as $40 million," writes the Los Angeles Times' Patrick Goldstein. Now for sale, the pub is eclipsed by competitors Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Wrap.
Variety's "key misstep seems to have come in 2010 -- a year after [Peter] Bart left the top editor's post -- when it put up an online pay wall," according to Goldstein. "That took the paper out of the breaking news game, allowing Deadline, which was already beating the trade to innumerable scoops, to fill the void."
Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/6snj2sn
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
MICROSOFT POSTS ITS FIRST EVER QUARTERLY LOSS AS A PUBLIC COMPANY
Due to its failed aQuantive acquisition, Microsoft posted its first quarterly loss $92 million -- this week.
Still, revenue for the quarter -- $18.06 billion -- was up from $17.41 billion last quarter, and $17.37 billion in the fourth of 2011.
Read more on CNET here: http://tinyurl.com/bvxjygj
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* KISS Unleashes World's First Globally Social Fan Hub through Ortsbo. Engaging with users of every major social network, the KISS Army will converge in one all-inclusive social music destination, making a 40-city tour a worldwide social experience. Read about it here: http://tinyurl.com/cpfe5j7
* Mac OS X 10.8, a.k.a. Mountain Lion, is available today. Should you upgrade? CNET has had its hands on it for a while, so sit back and check out their in-depth testing and analysis to see if it's the right new OS for you: http://tinyurl.com/casm32k
* In "Music Production: From Pre-Production to Final Audio Master," you'll gain insight into both the art and the profession of music production. Develop the necessary skills for producing music according to professional standards, and learn the technical and interpersonal approaches to creating a successful recording. Watch a video of instructor Stephen Webber discussing his new course from Berklee Music here: http://tinyurl.com/cdtx49e
Short News Items ...
ABC's singing competition show, "Duets," hasn't done well in the ratings at all, and it ended its season on a series low, according to preliminary numbers. The season finale, dropped 10% to a series low of 0.9/3 and taking 4.5 million total viewers.
IF YOU STILL HAVE THAT TICKET FROM 33 YEARS AGO:
Anyone out there still holding onto their ticket for the Who at the Providence Civic Center in 1979 is in for an amazing surprise. The Rhode Island venue (now called the Dunkin Donuts Center) will be honoring the tickets when The Who return on February 26th, 2013, during their Quadrophenia tour. The '70s show was cancelled in the aftermath of the tragic stampede before a show in Cincinnati that same year.
BEATZ MAY BE PROSECUTED:
Swizz Beatz may yet find himself a part of the federal case against the file-sharing website Megaupload, for which the producer was listed as a CEO, as Vulture points out.
Five-time Grammy Award winner and noted music industry executive Clive Davis will receive the Spirit of Hope Award at the annual Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Fall Gala on Oct. 27th, in Greenwich.
EJ BACK ON TOP IN U.K.:
Elton John scored his first #1 album in the U.K. for over 20 years, his seventh in total, for "Good Morning To The Night," a collaboration with Australian duo Pnau.
AND GOOD RIDDANCE, TOO:
Sharon Osbourne has tweeted that she will not be returning to "America's Got Talent"' next year. (Let's hope that's true)
GEFFEN ON 'AMERICAN MASTERS':
David Geffen will be the one featured this November 20th for an "American Masters" documentary titled ' Inventing David Geffen.' Steven Spielberg, Barry Diller, Tom Hanks, Arianna Huffington, Rahm Emanuel and the late Nora Ehpron are among the 50-plus who are interviewed for the doc, which includes extensive interview time with Geffen as well.
HE'S BEEN BERRY BERRY GOOD FOR SO LONG:
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will celebrate Chuck Berry with the 17th installment of their American Music Masters Series. The rock trailblazer, who was one of the 10 inaugural inductees to the Hall upon its opening in 1986, will now be honored with "Roll Over Beethoven: The Life and Music of Chuck Berry," a week of panels, interviews, films and other programs culminating in a performance by Berry. The events run from October 22nd to 27th, with Berry's concert featured on the last day.
YOUR NAME ON YOU TUBE:
In an effort to curb crude behavior, YouTube is now urging users to use their full names when they comment on, or upload videos. Google's popular sharing platform is also asking users if it can display the identity they've associated with their Google+ accounts, if any. As Wired reports: "YouTube's move toward real names was foreshadowed last month, when a YouTube product lead told developers at the Google I/O conference that the video service was planning some unspecified changes to its commenting system, widely regarded as a Hellmouth of crude abuse."
In the wake of last weekend's massacre in Aurora, CO, Warner Bros. has pledged a "substantial" donation to charities in support of the victims of the shooting, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The studio has been communicating with the office of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper over the matter and plans to donate a lump sum to a fund that will distribute resources over multiple charities. The amount of the contribution will not be made public.
AND THE WORLD WENT ABOUT ITS BUSINESS AS USUAL, AND NOBODY REALLY CARED (EXCEPT CELEBRITIES GHOST WRITERS):
Twitter went down for about three hours plus on Thursday. The outage started at approximately 8:30a PT, and by noon it was back up and running. For those few hours nobody knew what Kim Kardashian was doing, what Justin Bieber was doing, or if Rob Pattinson would forgive Kristen Stewart for cheating. In other words, we missed absolutely nothing.
Larry Hoppen, one of the co-founders and vocalist-guitarist for the Woodstock-based group Orleans, passed away Tuesday. Hoppen's passing was initially announced on Wednesday in a post on his official Facebook page written by his wife, Patricia.
Tom Davis, the comedy partner of current Minnesota senator Al Franken, passed away last week at his home in Hudson, New York following a bout with throat and neck cancer, his wife Mimi Raleigh told the New York Times. He was 59.
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
"I'd kill myself."
-- David Geffen, in response to the question as to whether he would get into the music business today in Billboard.biz.
"We felt like we had this guy who was telling us what to do all the time. I mean, who the f**k is Rick Rubin? I know he's sold millions of records, but who the f**k is he to tell Crosby, Stills and Nash what to do? Guide us, yes. Make suggestions, fantastic. 'Try it this way', no problem. But don't tell us what to do. You can't."
-- Graham Nash, in an interview with Music Radar, revealing that the recent Crosby, Stills and Nash recording sessions with legendary producer Rick Rubin were "not a great experience."
"But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter whose position is what, because she's the boss."
-- Casper Smart, on what it's like choreographing dance moves for girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, to ABC News. You got that right, Casper, she's the boss and you're merely an employee. As such, just remember you can be "fired" at any moment.
"Bruce Springsteen is a living example of what happens when you never do drugs."
-- E-Streeter Steve Van Zandt, in Rolling Stone
"No one has any job security anymore, including myself. We've always made a point on these shows of changing the shows whenever we think it's necessary ... we just felt that we needed a change."
-- Simon Cowell, talking about the judges jobs on 'X Factor'
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Uncle Ben's To Compete Against Apple With Brand-New Smartphone
HOUSTON-Hoping to boost profits by cutting into the valuable market share currently occupied by Apple's popular iPhone 4S, top American rice manufacturer Uncle Ben's announced plans Tuesday to release its first-ever smartphone.
Uncle Ben's, a company traditionally known for producing white, whole-grain brown, and flavored rices, confirmed a Nov. 23rd launch date for its new "Basmati" phone, a 4G-capable device expected to serve as the brand's flagship product as the company makes its entry into the lucrative mobile technology sector.
"Whether it's instant rice, country-style rice, boil-in-a-bag rice, or smartphones, Uncle Ben's has always been committed to innovation," a statement from the company read in part. "In 1942, we introduced the world to easy-to-cook parboiled rice. Today, we wish to introduce you to a new vision, one in which people can cook up some Uncle Ben's on the stove and, at the same time, be on their Basmati browsing our marketplace for some new apps and texting their friends with our Instant Rice Messenger."
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
A Memory Of John Lennon
I told the story about the night of John's passing, and what my son said that said night, on literally dozens of radio stations the next day that were calling our offices for interviews and commentary about John. I think everyone at the time knew the "Blue Meanies" were the evildoers who stopped the music in Pepperland in the Beatles groundbreaking animated film, Yellow Submarine. If you've never seen the film, you know that now as well.
My many thanks to the examiner.com's resident Beatle expert, Steve Marinucci, for his interview with me this week talking about my memory of John Lennon, about his passing, and my time at Capitol Records.
In any case, for those of you who are Beatles fans, here's the link to the article: http://tinyurl.com/79r4lvu
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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