WHOOPS ... NOT SO FAST, KANYE
July 5, 2013
"I made that song because I am a god ... I don't think there's much more explanation."
-- Kanye West, on the meaning behind his new song "I Am God" from his 'Yessuz' album, to W magazine.
It takes a lot of you-know-what to say what Kanye West said.
Whether he said it in all seriousness (my guess), or to garner media attention, it was a dumb move. But Kanye's made a ton of dumb moves, so this shouldn't surprise us.
The fact is that this god's album plummeted 80% in sales in its second week at retail which is "the largest second-week percentage drop for a No. 1-debuting album in over a year. It sold 65,000 in its sophomore frame. A week ago it bowed with 327,000." (Source: Billboard magazine )
And from the same Billboard article, "Comparatively, the average second-week drop for a No. 1-debuting album in 2013 is 69%. (West's last solo album, 2010's No. 1-bowing "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," slid by 78% in its second week.)"
I don't know why Kanye attracts all the attention in the music media whenever he releases a new video or album, his sales certainly don't merit the attention he gets. I guess his being with Kim Kardashian does.
I doubt we'll be listening to any Kanye West oldies in another 10-20 years. (If you disagree, please send me your list)
Next week Jay-Z's new album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail," will blow Kanye's sales off the map. (Yes, a big part of that is the fact that Jay-Z has cut a deal with Samsung. The album is already tracking at #1 in iTunes) It will debut with Platinum sales. (One million-plus)
Not bad for an artist who doesn't declare himself a god, but just goes out and makes his music, and is a savvy businessman.
An 80% drop in week two. I laughed when I first read Kanye's quote above, and then I was reminded of this line from Woody Allen's "Annie Hall."
"Look, there's God coming out of the mens room." -- Woody Allen as Alvy Singer, pointing to the Maharishi guru his date has declared "a god"
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
CHECK OUT THIS GREAT GRAPHIC OF THE PIRATE BAY VS. THE RIAA
From Cracked.com comes this: "The Pirate Bay is the largest torrent website in the world. According to the RIAA, it rates somewhere between Nazi Dinosaurs and The League of Extraordinary Evil on the Global Threat Scale."
One item in the box: "Your average 8-gig iPod can hold about 2,000 songs. According to the RIAA, that's worth $764,705,882 dollars. It is the single most valuable object on this planet."
Check out the great graphic box they have created with other interesting statistics
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
ABOUT THOSE PANDORA ROYALTIES ... THE REAL ANSWER
Pandora has been in an online media war with artists like Pink Floyd regarding the royalties they pay.
DigSin's Jay Frank, and the author of the best-selling book 'Futurehit DNA', has taken the time to detail exactly what the fuss is all about, and how the royalties are calculated. Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
FROM THE WRAP: '8 Tell-Tale Signs That a Movie Could Be a Flop'
Despite big budgets, big action packed sequences, and bid names, Hollywood often ends up with a turkey. ('The Lone Ranger' this weekend being the latest example, ' White House Down' last week)
Read what to avoid if you want to see something good at the theater. Full story at TheWrap.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
FILM REVIEW: '20 FEET FROM STARDOM'
I mentioned "20 Feet From Stardom," the music documentary from veteran Morgan Neville, in the newsletter a few weeks ago.
The film is entirely devoted to the overlooked lives and jobs of backup singers. Everything from the sound and vision to the impeccably selected archive footage to the beautifully shot recording sessions is wonderful. Neville isolates the tracks on well-worn records, forcing us to examine them again.
Not that anyone needs to write any more praise of "Gimme Shelter," but isolating Merry Clayton's vocals is spine-shivering," writes Maggie Lange on Gawker. Check out her review of the film.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
FROM BILLBOARD: LENNON & McCARTNEY CHART MILESTONE
Fifty years ago last week, on the Billboard Hot 100 dated June 29th, 1963, a songwriting team from the United Kingdom made its Billboard chart debut. The two Liverpudlians receiving their first song credit in America were named John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Their credits weren't linked to a single by their own group, the Beatles. The song that brought them to the Hot 100 for the first time was a cover version of the Fab Four's first British No. 1, "From Me to You." The artist was an American, Michigan-born Del Shannon, best known for his 1961 chart-topper, "Runaway." (Now, how many of you trivia buffs knew that?)
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
WIBBITZ COULD CHANGE BROADCAST, VIDEO
In a launch "unlikely to thrill the broadcast industry," since it challenges its domination of online video, Wibbitz offers a "text-to-video service [that] takes any lovingly written article or blog post and turns it presto-magico into a very appealing, 60- to 120-second vignette, complete with images, quotes and animated infographics (and potentially other video in the future) viewable on your iOS device," writes Paul Armstrong.
"Wibbitz has also said it will provide publishers with its technology at some point in the future so that they can incorporate Wibbitz's service into their own apps; the London Telegraph is set to do this next month." The result "could be a gamechanger that brings rich media cheaply to small outlets," writes Armstrong. Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
* Summer Songs Actually About Summer
* Taylor Swift Rules Billboard.com's 2013 Mid-Year Music Awards
* Glastonbury 2013: Rolling Stones, Mumford & Sons, Cat Power Deliver
* Born in the U.S.A.: The Top 50 Artists by State
* The Audiophiliac's Top 10 speakers from $40 to $400
* A slim, simple receiver without frills
* Worst Movies of 2013 (So Far)
* Headphones for those about to rock
* 6 Insane Reasons Formerly Famous People Dropped Off the Map
* At long last, Microsoft launches Xbox Music for the Web
* Read this before buying a phone
* CNET's 11 favorite new gadgets right now
* Don't buy a new PC or Mac before you read this
* 10 Smartphones That Are Actually Worth the Price
* Top 5 soon-to-be obsolete technologies
* Samsung prices curved OLED
Short News Items ...
HE'LL BE BACK:
The Terminator franchise is getting a reboot by Paramount, which is planning a new trilogy of films starting in 2015, The Associated Press reports. The first film is due in June 2015, though there's no word whether Arnold Schwarzenegger will return.
BLACKBERRY STILL IN TROUBLE:
BlackBerry pleads for patience after brutal quarter. One analyst describes BlackBerry's results as a "complete disaster" as the company disappointed on virtually every single financial metric.
POLICE WANT TO LEGALIZE POT?
Most people don't think "cops" when they think about who supports marijuana legalization. But the landscape is changing fast: Members of the non-profit Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) say loosening pot policy won't necessarily condone use, but control it. Read More
BUY BOB'S NEWPORT AXE:
The Fender Stratocaster that Bob Dylan played during his legendary electric set at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival is finally headed to the auction block. The guitar has been in the possession of New Jersey resident Dawn Peterson's family for nearly 50 years, but when she went public with it last year on an episode of the PBS show, "History Detectives," Dylan said he owned the instrument. Peterson recently settled a legal dispute with the musician that will allow her to sell the guitar.
AND SPEAKING OF BOB DYLAN, CHARLIE SEXTON RETURNS:
Blues guitarist Duke Robillard seems to have parted ways with Bob Dylan, just three months after he joined his touring band. There has been no official announcement, but Robillard wasn't onstage this week at AutoZone Park in Memphis, TN. Charlie Sexton, the guitarist that Robillard replaced in Dylan's band in April, was back with the group.
YEAH, AND I'M SURE SHE "WASN'T AWARE" OF HIS POLITICS WHEN SHE GOT PAID:
Jennifer Lopez performed this week for the president of Turkmenistan, a country Human Rights Watch describes as one of the most repressive in the world. According to The Guardian, J. Lo sang "Happy Birthday" to president Gurbanguly Berdymukhaedov during the performance after a last-minute request from the hosts. In a statement sent to The Associated Press, a publicist for Lopez said that the singer would not have performed in Turkmenistan at all if she had known about the human rights issues there. (Really? Then give the money he paid you to charity)
SUE ME, SUE YOU BLUES FOR SCHOLZ:
Boston guitarist Tom Scholz has been ordered to pay $132,000 to the Boston Herald for court fees incurred after Scholz unsuccessfully sued the newspaper, The Associated Press reports. The original lawsuit centered on Scholz's claim that the paper suggested that he was responsible for the 2007 suicide of Boston lead singer Brad Delp.
GAGA GETS OUT AGAIN:
Lady Gaga stepped back into the spotlight last week in a celebratory mood. In the wake of this week's historic Supreme Court rulings in favor of marriage equality, Gaga helped launch New York's Gay Pride Parade by speaking at a kick-off rally at Pier 26 and singing the national anthem.
GET UP THE CASH, DEPT:
Rick Ross has been sued for not paying a bill for three Rolexes he bought last year. Johnny's Custom Jewelry in Texas filed suit against Ross and his Maybach Music Group for skipping out on nearly $90,000 in purchases, claiming the rapper agreed to purchase three Rolexes last August.
SORRY LAURYN, WHEN IT COMES TO TAXES, WE ARE ALL EQUAL:
Lauryn Hill has penned a lengthy open letter on Tumblr, pinning her tax woes with the IRS on historical racism. The rapper and singer, who was sentenced in May to three months in prison for failing to pay taxes on approximately $1.8 million in earnings, began by going after "reverse racism" as "flawed, if not absolutely ridiculous," and tied the history of black enslavement into her opposition to the IRS.
WHITHER GOEST "THE BOSS"?
Fans have been wondering whether Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will return to America after their overseas touring wraps up. Steve Van Zandt clears that up for Rolling Stone: "I really, really don't know," he says. "I haven't been told we're not." Read More
"Rock for the Rising Sun," a DVD of Aerosmith's 2011 tour of Japan, will hit shelves on June 25th. The show mixes big hits like "Love in an Elevator," "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way" with deeper album cuts like "Boogie Man" and "No More No More."
MEDAL OF ARTS HONOREES:
George Lucas, Herb Alpert, Tony Kushner and Elaine May are among the National Medal of Arts honorees to be awarded July 12th in White House ceremonies.
RICHIE WILL REST IN PEACE AT WOODSTOCK:
Richie Havens' ashes will be scattered at the site of Woodstock, the iconic festival he opened in 1969. The folk singer died in April at age 72 from a heart attack.
Miley Cyrus' fast-paced, non-sequitur-packed new video for "We Can't Stop" has already racked up more than 45 million views on YouTube. Brooklyn director Diane Martel says "it's exhibitionistic, and she's absolutely taking the piss out of being in a pop video." Read More
RIAA CHANGES SALES POLICY, HELPS JAY-Z:
One million Samsung users can take advantage of an exclusive opportunity to hear Jay-Z's upcoming album, 'Magna Carta Holy Grail.' The RIAA has just changed its policy so the album will be certified Platinum before it's even on sale. Read More
Amy Winehouse's private life is on display at a new exhibition at the Jewish Museum in London. Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait was created in collaboration with Winehouse's brother, Alex, who hopes the exhibition will show a rarely-seen side of the singer, reports Reuters.
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
New Michael Bay Romantic Comedy To Focus On Love Story Between 2 Explosions
LOS ANGELES—Saying that he's wanted to do something a little more personal for some time now, director Michael Bay, known for such big-budget action films as "Transformers" and "Armageddon," announced Tuesday the start of production on "What Are The Odds?" a quirky romantic comedy about two unlikely explosions who fall in love.
According to Bay, who also wrote the script for the film, the rom-com centers around a type-A helicopter blast who thinks it has it all figured out when a free-spirited diesel truck explosion unexpectedly enters its life and shakes everything up. 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.
"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