Dave Grohl's 'Sound City'
February 8, 2013
I love on-demand movies, and this past weekend I was delighted to see that Dave Grohl's "Sound City" documentary about the legendary Sound City Studios in Los Angeles (okay, in Van Nuys) was available. Having read so much about the film in the media, with one click of the remote I ordered it.
It's a terrific documentary, and one that goes well beyond just what made Sound City so great (according to the film, the Neve control board was the key), and just how many great albums were recorded there. Nirvana's "Nevermind" was made there, so was "Buckingham/Nicks," which led to Mick Fleetwood's asking Lindsey Buckingham to join Fleetwood Mac, who would record their legendary "Rumours" album there. You can see a list of all the albums made at Sound City here
It is a passionate look at what happened when digital recording came to be, and how it changed all the dynamics of how great records were made. The collaboration between musicians was lost, and Neil Young, Rick Rubin, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Rick Springfield (who had a very special connection with the studio because its owner, Joe Gottfried, was Rick's manager when "Jessie's Girl" was all the rage and made millions for Rick and the studio), Grohl himself, and others, offer commentary throughout the film.
It's a film that everyone will enjoy, whether in the music industry or not.
It's all about the MUSIC. How it was made, is made, and created in the studio. The common thread that makes it all magical? Passion.
Don't miss this great documentary and you can Read the Billboard cover story on the documentary as well
And...Q&A: Dave Grohl on His 'Sound City' Doc and Taking Risks in Music
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
PARLOPHONE SAYS NO TO GOOGLE'S CLOUD MUSIC SERVICE
The U.K.s Telegraph reports that Parlophone, one of Britain's most prestigious record labels that counts Coldplay and Kylie among its artists, has launched a boycott of Google's new cloud-based music service.
Why? Read about it here
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
UH, IT'S ABOUT THOSE FAKE VEVO VIDEO VIEWS ... YOUTUBE INVOLVED?
From ReadWriteWeb, "Last week, when YouTube thought no one was looking, it apparently removed 156 million views from Lady Gaga's VEVO channel. The removal of the views appears to be part of a broad clean up of "botted" views. Botting is the practice of artificially increasing a video's views on YouTube using automated "bots" – a practice that began in December of last year.
Since the purging of botted views began this month, a man who goes by the alias of "spk" and claims to be a former YouTube employee has come forward to claim he was paid to bot videos for VEVO. This allegation is particularly controversial, as it comes on the heels of Google investing in a minority stake in VEVO."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
FROM BERKLEE MUSIC: A FREE ONLINE CLINIC WITH STEPHEN WEBBER
Join Emmy-winning composer Stephen Webber for a free half-hour online clinic on Tuesday, February 12th at 4PM EST.
Stephen is the author and instructor of two acclaimed production courses from Berklee Online: Music Production Analysis and Music Production: From Pre-Production to Final Audio Master. He is also the Director of Music Technology Innovation for Berklee Valencia.
Stephen's clinic will cover essential topics from his courses and beyond, including secrets for creating instantly better mixes, the world's best microphones for under $400, and more. He'll also answer any questions you have about the music production process. RSVP Now
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
iTUNES PASSES 25 BILLION (!!) SONGS SOLD
All those artists who think "Steve Jobs killed the music business" should be aware that iTunes has now sold 25 billion songs. That means of course that 25 billion LESS songs were stolen, traded, or copied without artists getting any compensation.
From the Apple press release "In a lot of ways, iTunes has leveled the playing field for musicians. Whether you're unsigned, indie, major, whatever -- it's the place most people go to buy digital music," said Wesley Schultz, guitarist and lead vocalist of The Lumineers. "iTunes doesn't exclude any musicians simply because they're not yet established or popular."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
ONLINE RADIO SERVICE TUNEIN GETS WEB REDUX
TechCrunch reports that popular online radio service TuneIn has released its newly designed website. The service has over 40 million monthly active listeners mostly due to its mobile app. Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
FROM ROLLING STONE: ERIC CLAPTON TALKS ABOUT HENDRIX, CREAM, AND GUITARS
"Eric Clapton doesn't sit for interviews too often, but he invited a camera crew to his London home to talk about guitars and test some out. The interview was for the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection, with the guitarist teaming up with Guitar Center to replicate of some of his most famous guitars: "Brownie," the Fender Stratocaster he played throughout the early Seventies, "Lucy," his Gibson Les Paul, and two Martin acoustic guitars to help raise proceeds for the guitarist's Crossroads Centre, an Antigua treatment center. You don't have to be a guitar nut to enjoy these clips."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
FROM CNN: UNSEEN COLOR PHOTOS OF THE BEATLES
Henry Grossman spent four years photographing The Beatles as they did everything from perform in concerts and pose for magazine covers to party late into the night and pour milk with bedhead in the morning.
Grossman recognized their prominence -- it was hard to miss when he had to wear earplugs to block out the screaming beneath the stage at concerts -- but he said he would have been more in awe if they had been opera stars. He just liked the guys, he said. See the photos
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
APPLE STILL #1 PHONE IN U.S.
Though contrary to other findings, Strategy Analytics reports that Apple has surpassed Samsung as the top domestic mobile-phone maker.
In the U.S., Apple sold 17.7 million mobile phones during the fourth quarter -- a 38% increase year-over-year, according to the research firm. "That gave it 34% of the market, topping Samsung, which sold 16.8 million handsets for a 32% market share," Bloomberg writes, citing SA's data.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
SKIP TO THE SONG YOU WANT ... ON YOUR RADIO STATION
Radio station owner Federated Media is beta-testing a technology called the Hammer that allows its online listeners to skip songs they don't want to hear, with another song from the station's playlist being immediately substituted and played in its entirety. Hammer provider Abacast says it will reveal metrics showing increased station ratings once the product launches in the second quarter.
Advertisers will further benefit from the technology because listeners who choose to skip songs are more engaged, the company said.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 11
NETFLIX "BINGE-VIEWING" INCREASES WITH NEW SERIES
The new trend of "binge-viewing" -- watching as many episodes of possible of a TV show, perhaps a whole season, in one seating -- was "in full force" during the first weekend that Netflix's entry into original content, "House of Cards" was available. "According to data from Procera Networks, which found on one broadband network that about one-quarter of those who watched the first episode motored through all 13 episodes," writes Andrew Wallenstein.
"Of course, viewing levels only means so much to a streaming service that doesn't carry advertising," he adds. "What percentage of those watchers are new subs is the most important data point."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 12
New research suggests that Facebook fatigue may be setting in with some users. Twenty-seven percent of Facebook users surveyed in the U.S. plan to spend less time on the site in 2013, compared with only 3% who plan to spend more time, according to a new Pew Research Center' Internet & American Life Project.
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* The half-million-dollar Panasonic TV for the big spender: Proceed with caution. Read about it here
* $12 headphones that sound shockingly good. Though they look a little cheap, the JVC Flats are lightweight, comfortable on-ear headphones. Read more
* Made-in-Brooklyn speakers have handsome design and gorgeous sound. Even by high-end standards, DeVore Fidelity's new Orangutan 0/93 speakers rise above the fray. Read more
* 12 new gadgets CNET recommends now. A fresh BlackBerry delights phone reviewers, a two-faced laptop is odd but awesome, and they fall for a few new music-streaming options. Read more
* New data from eMarketer claims e-commerce sales will next hit $1.3 trillion worldwide in 2013. Read more
* The 128GB iPad hits the Apple Store, starting at $799. It's identical to the fourth-generation iPad that Apple launched last year, except that it doubles what had been the highest amount of storage available. Read more
* Which phone should you buy? Android, iPhone, Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry? CNET breaks down which OS is right for you and why. Read more
* Factoid: Down from 45% in 2012, ABI Research is predicting an annual smartphone growth rate of 44% for 2013. If accurate, 1.4 billion smartphones will be in use around the world by the end of the year. To be more precise, the research group expects 798 million operational Android phones; 294 million phones running Apple's iOS; and 45 million running Windows Phone.
Short News Items ...
PHIL SPECTOR MOVIE TO DEBUT ON HBO IN MARCH:
Al Pacino plays legendary record producer Phil Spector in an HBO movie scheduled to debut on March 24th. The HBO film centers around Spector's murder trial. Helen Mirren co-stars and the trailer is terrific. Watch it here
FOGERTY REVISITS PAST WITH GUESTS:
John Fogerty's upcoming solo album, with guests including Bob Seger and Foo Fighters, will be his first to confront the legacy of Creedence Clearwater Revival. For years, his legally fraught past was painful, but no more: "I wrote all these songs -- they're back home with Daddy." Fogerty will release the long-awaited album "Wrote a Song for Everyone" on May 28th. Others who will duet with him: the Zac Brown Band, My Morning Jacket, Jennifer Hudson and Allen Toussaint. Fogerty's re-recording of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Born on the Bayou" with Kid Rock premiered during the Super Bowl.
DESPERATION CALLS FOR DESPERATE ACTS:
"American Idol" needs all the help it can get (read the next news blip), so Steven Tyler showed up in drag in the series of "Idol" auditions in Oklahoma. He showed up in full drag, from heels to hose to blonde wig and perfectly applied blush, just to say hi. He didn't sing, but his appearance was probably a bigger hit than the latest Aerosmith album.
"IDOL" RATINGS DOWN MORE:
This Wednesday "American Idol" posted a 4.6 rating/13 share in the key 18-49 demographic, a 14% drop from last Wednesday, and drew 14.2 million total viewers.
Sting is joining forces with Bruno Mars and Rihanna for a special performance at the Grammy Awards this Sunday, where Kelly Clarkson will also take the stage. They'll join previously announced performers Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, Jack White, Taylor Swift, Elton John, Mumford & Sons, the Black Keys and more.
AND LEVON HONORED:
The late Levon Helm will be honored at the Grammy Awards with a tribute led by Elton John and Mumford & Sons, with T Bone Burnett, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes and more.
Yes have always thought in big terms, so they aren't just touring around a single album this year. Each show will feature complete performances of three albums: 1971's "The Yes Album," 1972's "Close to the Edge" and 1977's "Going for the One."
GUNS N' ROSES PLAY GOVERNORS BALL:
The Governors Ball, set for New York in June, just booked Guns N' Roses, who will join already confirmed acts including Kanye West, Kings Of Leon, the Avett Brothers and more. It will be the band's first major U.S. gig since their Vegas residency in the fall.
PAUL MCCARTNEY TO ANSWER FANS QUESTIONS:
Every music fan has questions they'd love to ask their favorite musicians and that is why PaulMcCartney.com is giving fans the unique opportunity to get those questions answered by the man himself. In a new website feature titled, "You Gave Me The Answer," fans can submit their questions to PaulMcCartney.com, then once a month and the best one selected will post Paul's answer to it on the website. Fans can send in as many questions as they wish and each month.
Gary Clark Jr.'s major label debut, "Blak and Blu," made plenty of noise last year – landing on Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2012 – and now the Texas bluesman is launching his own music festival in his home state. Maverick Music Festival is set for March 23rd in San Antonio and features Clark Jr. along with the Toadies, Girl in a Coma, Arum Rae and Henry and the Invisibles.
PRINT MAGAZINE SALES PLUNGE:
The Alliance for Audited Media released data showing plummeting sales for newsstand magazines -- down 8.2% in the second half of 2012, compared with just a 0.3% decline in overall magazine sales. Leading the crash were young women's titles and celebrity gossip magazines. Cosmopolitan was down 18.5% on newsstands, Glamour 14.5%, People 12.2%, US Weekly 14.6%, In Touch Weekly 14.8% and Life & Style Weekly 19.1%.
Read the whole story on The New York Times.
Reg Presley, the lead singer for The Troggs, died at his home in Hampshire, U.K., surrounded by family, after a long bout with cancer and a series of recent strokes. He was 71. The Troggs biggest hit of course was "Wild Thing."
Paul Tanner, the last surviving member of the original Glenn Miller Orchestra and developer of the Electro-Theremin, died Tuesday in Carlsbad, California, CNN reports. He was 95. Tanner started out as a trombonist, and later developed the unusual instrument that he played on the Beach Boys songs "Good Vibrations," "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" and "Wild Honey."
Influential jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd passed way on Monday due to causes not yet revealed, Amoeba Records reports. He was 80 years old.
Quotes of the week
"No, Duane's okay. He's working on a fishing boat, deep-sea trawling."
-- Christopher Walken, talking about his self-destructive character in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" to Rolling Stone's Peter Travers
"She just kinda seems dead inside, like there's nothing behind her eyes. Like there's nothing in her boobs anymore!"
-- Dave Grohl, talking about Britney Spears on Chelsea Handler's show (where Grohl is gues- host all week), after the Planet Hollywood casino in Las Vegas passed over Britney Spears for a residency in favor of a hypnotist.
"I went down and sang with him and then drove three blocks, in the Valley, I went from Engelbert to Queens of the Stone Age,"
-- Elton John, talking to Dave Grohl on 'Chelsea Lately' about his recording with Queens Of Stone Age
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
"Entourage" Fans Doubt Film Adaptation Can Capture Nuances Of Book
LOS ANGELES—Longtime fans of "Entourage" expressed uncertainty Thursday following reports that the classic tale of ambition and fraternity will be adapted to the silver screen, with fans conveying their doubts that any film adaptation could possibly do justice to the narrative intricacies and rich characterization of John Updike's acclaimed 1986 novel.
"Given the sheer density of the original book, I honestly don't see how a two-hour movie could even come close to capturing the complex plotting and immense social impact of Updike's cutting show-business satire," said Entourage enthusiast Walter Landon. Read the rest and laugh.
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.
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Smart Marketing Consulting Services has been in business sixteen years, and consults clients in the music, entertainment, attraction, media, and technology industry on branding, marketing, online exploitation, maximizing new media, and more.
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"Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon