About That Vinyl Growth...
May 31, 2013
"Major labels notoriously blew it in the '90s by killing the single as a format and outrageously overpricing CDs, which of course lead to the downloading revolution and the crippling of an industry. Now that they've been given a chance to redeem themselves with the resurgence of interest in vinyl, not only are they shooting themselves in the foot, but it's the same foot, the same gun, and they're even reusing the bullet!"
-- From Record Collector News comes this column by Colin Tappe titled 'The Rising Cost of New Vinyl.'
Colin is not happy at all about the prices major labels are attaching to vinyl reissues. "People want classic titles, what's new and happening, and the desperately obscure (sometimes all in the same record). However, something that's patently unfun for all parties involved is the increasingly common $30 retail price tag on new titles or reissues," he writes.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
SPOTIFY ROLLS OUT APP FOR NEW MUSIC DISCOVERIES
VentureBeat reports that Spotify has launched a new Discover page for its web-based application, which makes it simple to find and listen to new music.
Spotify's Discover page will include features such as, new personalized suggestions each day according to the music you like, new releases from the artists you follow, music and playlists shared by friends and trendsetters you follow, and more.
And The Verge reports the same. "Spotify has always been great at finding specific tracks, but never took advantage of its now over 24 million monthly users to surface any recommendations," The Verge writes. "Discover aims to change that, focusing entirely on providing new stuff to listen to."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
IN PIRATE CYBERSPACE, 'ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT' IS A HIT
The new episodes are well-watched, but fans aren't necessarily tuning in to Netflix, opting instead to use torrent websites.
The episodes that debuted this weekend on Netflix have quickly become a hot pirated commodity, with TorrentFreak saying it's had more than 175,000 downloads in the past two days. Unsurprisingly, the illegal downloading is brisk in English-speaking countries where Netflix isn't available, such as Australia.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
WHAT? CORD-CUTTERS ARE CUTTING THE INTERNET?
Which cords are the so-called "cord-cutters" cutting?
Well, according to new findings from the Leichtman Research Group, about 1% of U.S. households stopped paying for home Internet subscriptions, and relied on wireless access instead. By contrast, "Just 0.4% of households in the last year canceled their pay-television subscriptions in favor of getting video entertainment over the Internet via services such as Hulu or Netflix," The Wall Street Journal notes.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
THE COMMISSION ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY STARTS LOOKING INTO MALWARE
On behalf of all domestic content owners, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property has submitted a report to Congress, which proposed anti-piracy measures, including the use of "ransomware."
In a report, the Commission details, "how 'IP theft' worth 'hundreds of billions of dollars per year' hurts the US economy, and proposed measures for fighting it -- including the covert installation of spyware," CNET reports.
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* Top 30 Summer Songs
* Unseen Rolling Stones Photos to Go on Display
* Paul McCartney Performs 'Abbey Road' Medley in 1997
* Meet the new champ of desktop speakers: Adam Audio F5
* New Gmail look blings up your inbox with tabs
* The 9 new tech innovations we like best
* The latest iWatch, iPad, and MacBook rumors
* Tablet shipments to surpass all PCs by 2015, IDC says
* The 18 gadgets 2013 hasn't brought us yet
* Linked-In competition coming: In upcoming months, The Wall Street Journal plans to launch a social network to compete with LinkedIn "as a platform for 'like-minded people' to meet online and share ideas," writes David Robertson. Read the whole story
Short News Items ...
RINGO READIES BEATLES PICS:
Ringo Starr will release an e-book next month featuring previously unseen photos of the Beatles at their pinnacle. The drummer has unearthed the photos from his personal collection for the project, which is due on June 12th, Reuters reports. "Photograph," which will be available on Apple's iBookstore, will coincide with a Grammy Museum exhibition dedicated to Starr called "Ringo: Peace & Love."
THE TAXMAN COMETH:
Mary J. Blige is facing a hefty IRS lien for unpaid taxes, which hit the 42-year-old singer and her husband Martin Isaacs with a $3.4 million lien in New Jersey and filed notice on February 7th, according to The Associated Press.
SUE ME, SUE YOU BLUES:
The split between the Stone Temple Pilots and former frontman Scott Weiland has escalated into a legal feud. The Associated Press reports that the band filed a lawsuit accusing Weiland of misusing the band's name in to advance his solo work and asked a judge to block him from using the band's name and their songs.
Nine Inch Nails have signed a new deal with Columbia Records, which will release the group's eighth studio album later this year. The announcement arrives three months after Trent Reznor officially reformed his most high-profile project for an extended tour that will kick off this summer.
Blake Shelton and Usher closed out an all-star benefit for the Oklahoma tornado victims with Michael Buble's "Home" -- fitting, considering Shelton is a state native. Other guests included Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts and Shelton's wife, Miranda Lambert.
DARIUS' HIT CO-WRITTEN BY DYLAN:
Darius Rucker's country #1, "Wagon Wheel," has an unlikely co-writing credit from a guy named Bob Dylan. The song began as an outtake from Dylan's 1973 sessions for "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" and was later fleshed out by Old Crow Medicine Show.
MACCA AT GRACELAND:
Paul McCartney paid his respects to Elvis by leaving a personalized guitar pick on Elvis Presley's grave over the weekend during the former Beatle's first visit to Graceland.
The reissue of Paul McCartney's "Wings Over America" is out. The classic live album has been remastered at Abbey Road Studios and features 28 tracks, including "Yesterday," "Maybe I'm Amazed," "Live And Let Die,' "Band On The Run," and more. The album is available as a 2-CD set, as 3-discs on 180 gram vinyl, digital download, or limited edition box set.
A week after being arrested in Atlanta for disorderly conduct, rapper Chief Keef was been arrested again, this time for driving 110 in a 55 mph zone. Keith Cozart was arrested after blowing past police on the Edens Expressway north of Chicago, according to The Chicago Tribune.
HBO LIBERACE MOVIE GETS BIG RATINGS:
With its first airing Sunday night, HBO's Liberace biopic, "Behind the Candelabra," tracked the most viewers -- 2.4 million -- for an HBO Films premiere in almost 10 years.
John Fogerty celebrated the release of his new album, "Wrote a Song for Everyone," and his 68th birthday this week at the El Rey in L.A. "I'm just about out of the awkward 60s," he joked when his wife and young daughter came onstage with a birthday cake.
YUP, THE CANNIBALIZATION CONTINUES:
On NBC, "The Voice Recap" garnered a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating, down 15% from a 2.0 two weeks ago. "The Voice" scored a Tuesday series low 3.0 down 6% from last week's 3.2 adults 18-49 rating. At "American Idol," the latest run suffered from depressed ratings; the series finale in mid-May drew a 3.6 rating -- an all-time season finale low for the series, and a 44% plunge from the previous season's finale.
Nicki Minaj has followed in Mariah Carey's footsteps and has officially departed from "American Idol" after one season on the judges' panel. (Editor's note: "Departed" is a euphemism here for not being asked to come back)
Beyoncé and Madonna have aligned with activists Gloria Steinem and Bishop Desmond Tutu to reach out to an expected billion people this weekend with a message of empowerment for women at a London benefit concert, Reuters reports. Madonna will be a presenter and Beyoncé will headline "The Sound of Change Live" with Florence and the Machine and Ellie Goulding as part of a concert to be broadcast to more than 150 countries around the globe on June 1st. The concert will air on NBC in the U.S. on June 2nd.
Ed Shaughnessy, who played drums with Doc Severinsen's Tonight Show band for nearly 30 years, died last Friday at the age of 84. The Los Angeles Times reports that the drummer had suffered a heart attack at his home in Calabasas, CA. 'The Tonight Show' work brought Shaughnessy together in performances with a range of rock, pop, soul and country stars including Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard.
Marshall Lytle, whose bass work anchored Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock," died last Saturday at his home in New Port Richie, Florida. He was 79. According to The New York Times, Lytle died of lung cancer.
Clarence Burke Jr., lead singer of the Five Stairsteps, known for their hit "O-o-h Child," died Sunday in Marietta, Georgia, The Associated Press reports, the day after he had turned 64. No cause of death has been announced.
Quotes of the week
"Yeah, we're free from "Free Fallin'." We're free from doing 20 songs that people expect us to play year after year. These shows are a chance to play songs that aren't on that list."
-- Tom Petty's guitarist Mike Campbell, on the Heartbreakers five-night stand at New York's Beacon Theater. (Be carefull, Mr. Campbell, those fans who pay good money come to hear their favorite songs, not yours)
"One day my wife said, kind of out to the clouds, "Why don't you get a bunch of people you really like and sing your songs?" That was such a remarkable idea to me. Wow, I'll get to be with artists I really love, and we'll be in a studio together and we'll come up with arrangements. In other words, we'll make music."
-- John Fogerty, in Rolling Stone, talking about the idea behind returning to songs from his early career on his new album.
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
U.S. Disc Jockey General Urges Americans To Get The Led Out
WASHINGTON—Citing "troubling" statistics revealing that the vast majority of Americans are not receiving all rock all the time, U.S. Disc Jockey General Rich "The Wolf" Haskel urged citizens nationwide Tuesday to get the Led out.
The 43-year-old baritone government official, whose press conference was punctuated at several points by enthusiastic listener call-ins, stressed the importance of listening to Led Zeppelin every Power Play Weekday, and called on all Americans to crank up the classic rock at work, at home, or in the car.
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
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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