STILL "THE BOSS" IN 2014
January 24, 2014
"Pessimism and optimism are slammed up against each other in my records, the tension between them is where it's all at, it's what lights the fire."
-- Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen earns his 11th # 1 album on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart this week with the release of his new album, his 18th studio album, 'High Hopes.'
From Billboard, "With the No. 1 debut, Springsteen pulls ahead of Elvis Presley to stand alone as the act with the third-most No. 1s in the history of the Billboard 200. Ahead of both acts on the all-time list are the Beatles (with 19 No. 1s) and Jay Z (with 13)." (See the link below in 'Bonus Tracks' to read more about Bruce's début on the chart)
That's quite a feat for any artist, and in Springsteen's case, it's evidence of his relevance and endurance as one of the country's most best singers/songwriters.
In a world where the antics of "artists" like Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, R. Kelly, and countless others, are shot out of media cannons like confetti to bombard us daily, it is reassuring when a REAL artist like Springsteen can still climb to the top of the mountain -- the charts, that is -- and wave the #1 flag.
I first saw Bruce live for the first time back on the 'Born To Run' tour and before all the mania started when TIME and NEWSWEEK put him on the covers of their magazines.
I wrote an article in the newsletter back in March of 2004 titled' Seeing Is Believing Redux' talking about seeing Bruce that first time and I said, "I still remember that night ... because it was one of those extraordinary events in my life that reaffirmed my belief about what how powerful music can be and how it can affect one on so many levels. Bruce played over four hours that night ... I ended up standing on my chair after his third or fourth encore, screaming for more with others. Screaming so loud, I lost my voice."
Again, it's that connection with the audience that makes it all so important. I think this quote from the late Johnny Cash sums it up: "You've got a song you're singing from your gut, you want that audience to feel it in their gut. And you've got to make them think that you're one of them sitting out there with them, too. They've got to be able to relate to what you're doing."
It's 2014, some 41 years after Bruce release his first album "Greetings From Asbury Park,' and Bruce Springsteen has another #1 album.
It's obvious that based on success of all of Bruce's concert tours, he still engages his audience with the same passion he did in his earliest days, and they relate to what he's doing today.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
A MASTERING ENGINEER SAYS THE VINYL ALBUM PROVIDES BEST HIGH-RESOLUTION FORMAT
CNET's Audiophiliac visits the Masterdisk studio to watch engineer Alex DeTurk at the record cutting lathe.
"Vinyl is the most consumer-friendly high-resolution format around," DeTurk says.
Read why he says that: Mastering engineer says the LP is the most accessible high-resolution music format
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
FROM THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: 5 MUSIC MOGULS REUNITE FOR SOME CHAT
Five legendary label chiefs -- from Atlantic, Island, Warner Bros. and Virgin Records -- share the wisdom behind selling hundreds of millions of albums between them.
It hasn't been a pretty picture for the record companies the past 15 years. In that time, the U.S. music business has shrunk in half, from revenue of $14.6 billion in 1999 to $7.1 billion in 2012, and that's been reflected in job losses, consolidation of seven music giants into three and a general feeling of malaise that says the industry's glory days are an irretrievable thing of the past. Indeed, the landscape is littered with former executives bemoaning the loss of expense accounts and cocaine- and hooker-fueled days, but not these spry veterans, who have survived this brave new digital world to tell their tales.
Read Music Moguls Reunite: 'I Saved My Money. I Didn't Put It Up My Nose'
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
FROM BILLBOARD: THE COVER INTERVIEW WITH HOWARD STERN
When Howard Stern jumped from terrestrial to satellite radio, Sirius had half- million subscribers. Today it has 25.6 million. As he turns 60, Stern looks back at his career and sees radio on the verge of the next step in its evolution.
Just one of things Howard says, "Music saved my life. I wasn't a particularly happy kid. I was a lonely kid. I can remember every album I bought, when I bought it and sitting in my room and listening to it. I remember getting a Band album and the record was warped. I mailed it back to the record company. Music meant everything to me. I wrote a paper in high school about George Harrison and the rest of the Beatles being prophets. To me, that was religion." Read the interview
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
NEIL YOUNG WILL LAUNCH PONO AT SXSW
Noise11 reports that Neil Young plans to launch his new music player PONO at the SXSW music conference in Austin, TX in March.
PONO is a high-end digital music player that plays at studio quality and will be billed as the hi-tech alternative to low-quality MP3 players such as the iPod.
"Being impressed by something, and how cool it is, and how sharp it is, and how snappy it is, is one thing, and that translates into almost any media. But when you're singing something very soulful from your heart, and the echo is perfect and everything's great and you're using maybe an acoustic chamber and everything sounds great. And then you listen to it and you love it, but you hear it somewhere else and it's gone – that's terrible. We don't like that. Not many of us like that; we're not happy about it. So we're trying to change that, and we're trying to make it better," said Neil Young. Read More
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
NOW AMAZON TO START ONLINE TV SERVICE
VentureBeat reports that online retail king, Amazon, is considering launching its own online TV service as a challenge to satellite and cable television service providers.
Rumor has it that Amazon approached three major media companies to include their channels in its new streaming video service. Read More
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
BEWARE OF WHAT COULD HAPPEN TO FACEBOOK'S USER BASE?
With Facebook stock floating in the mid-$50 price range, I'm sure Mr. Zuckerberg and others who have lots of stock in the company, aren't worried too much about tomorrow.
However, "According to new research from Princeton, which compared the "adoption and abandonment dynamics" of social networks by 'drawing analogy to the dynamics that govern the spread of infectious disease,' Facebook is beginning to die out." The report says Facebook could lose 80% of its user base by 2017.
Whether you agree or not (Facebook has responded with a study of their own! They claim, rather hilariously, that "that Princeton will have only half its current enrollment by 2018."), it's worth reading. (Editor's note: I've noticed a BIG trend of media reporting InstaGram posts by people lately instead of Facebook. Being that Facebook bought Instagram, if that trend were to continue the stock should stay healthy)
Read the article about the report
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
* Top 10 Biggest GRAMMY Upsets Of The Past 10 Years
* Grammys Predictions: Who Will Win, Who Should Win
* A Performing Label President – The Wall Street Journal Profiles Don Was
* Read Neil Young's Epic Grammy Speech
* Dylan's Bootleg Series Eyes 'Blood on the Tracks'
* Beyonce, Jay Z Top Billboard's Power 100 List
* Mick Jagger Bringing '20 Feet From Stardom' to TV and Broadway
* Like a Boss: Springsteen Scores His 11th No. 1 Album on Billboard 200
* The Stones Do 'Under My Thumb'
* Protecting Band and Artist Stage Names
* Mike Bloomfield: Rock's Forgotten Guitar Prodigy
* 3 Tips For Getting Bloggers To Write About Your Music
* 6 Actors Who Thought They Had Made a Totally Different Movie
* The best budget 5.1 speaker systems
* Beats Music: So in demand, there's a wait list
* Best portable mini Bluetooth speakers
* Top 5 sci-fi technologies that are real now (video)
* iPhone 6: Two size options, coming this summer?
* The 24 most exciting new gadgets coming soon
* The 14 best gadgets you can buy under $50
* These are the best TVs right now. Period.
* Rethinking Microsoft's tablet: Surface Pro 2 succeeds
Short News Items ...
Jimmy Fallon is starting his new gig off with a bang: U2 will be the talk show host's first musical guests when he takes over 'The Tonight Show' from Jay Leno next month. Fallon's music booker, Jonathan Cohen, announced the news on Twitter last Sunday evening. According to Variety, Will Smith will also join Fallon as he makes his debut in the role on February 17th. The show will air at midnight on NBC, following the Winter Olympics broadcast.
'HUSTLE' WINS SAG:
'American Hustle' took home the top honor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday night, winning the prize for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for its ensemble featuring Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner. The win comes fresh on the heels of the film's award for Best Comedy or Musical Film at the Golden Globes last week, and bodes well for its 10 Oscar nominations.
"THE BOSS" DOES BENEFIT:
Bruce Springsteen walked onstage at the 14th annual Light of Day benefit in Asbury Park, NJ midway through the show. The cries were deafening when Springsteen came out next and launched into a jaw-dropping "Adam Raised a Cain." "Adam Raised A Cain" was one of five songs he played during his 90-minute set from the 'Darkness On The Edge of Town's' sessions, along with the title track, "The Promised Land," "Save My Love" and "Because The Night," which Springsteen began with a long, searing guitar solo.
Madonna sent out an apology on Saturday after sparking off a furor by using a racial slur in the caption of an Instagram photo of her son. As Billboard reports, the singer had posted a photo of her 13-year-old son Rocco Ritchie sparring in a boxing ring on Friday. She captioned the photo, "No one messes with Dirty Soap! Mama said knock you out! #disn---a." Shortly after receiving a flood of criticism for her word choice, Madonna re-posted the photo with a defiant new caption: "Ok let me start this again. #get off my dick haters!"
TechCrunch reports that Rdio will now provide free ad-supported streaming from its website. The company will generate revenue from advertisements for the free version, which will provide users with music, new feature announcements, messages from partner brands, and other content. Read More
MAYBE IT SHOULD BE 'UNGLUED' INSTEAD OF 'UNPLUGGED'?
Believe it or not, Miley Cyrus will perform a set for 'MTV Unplugged 'on 1/29. (Editor's opinion: The show has obviously come along way sine the days when 'Unplugged' was reserved for REAL artists. Ah, hell, it's all about the ratings, right?)
AND OBVIOUSLY HE WAS UNGLUED:
Justin Bieber was arrested for DUI and drag racing in Miami this week. (Editor's note: Justin was probably upset Miley's been getting so much media coverage, he took action)
THESE 25 ARTISTS NEVER WON A GRAMMY:
If Katy Perry, Queens of the Stone Age or Snoop Dogg win a Grammy this year, it would be a first. Between them they've been nominated 23 times. From Brian McKnight to Morrissey, there's a long list of Grammy Susan Luccis -- oft-nominated acts who have never won. Read More
"In all the galaxies of peace and love, Ringo is a giant star," said David Lynch, who presented the drummer the "Lifetime of Peace and Love Award" last night in L.A. Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono sent videos, and Starr discussed his history with transcendental meditation. Read More
One month after the Beatles receive the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys, another institution is honoring them: Vans will be releasing its first-ever footwear collaboration with the Fab Four on March 1st. The collection, which contains four pieces, all feature artwork from the 'Yellow Submarine' album and film and retail between $65 and $75.
DYLAN'S 30TH RE-ISSUED:
In 1992 Columbia Records threw Bob Dylan a 30th anniversary bash at Madison Square Garden with one of the most impressive lineups in the history of rock -- Neil Young, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Johnny Cash, to name a few. A super-deluxe version is coming. Read More
BURNS WILL DO COUNTRY DOC:
American music enthusiast Ken Burns, who has made multi-part documentaries on genres such as the blues and jazz, has begun work on a new PBS series about country music. According to the Associated Press, the series will attempt to answer the question "What is country music?" It will trace the careers of the Carter family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and more. Country fans will have to be patient, though: PBS won't broadcast the series until 2018.
GRAMMY LOOK BACK:
No awards show is more maligned than the Grammys, yet most musicians still dream of winning a golden gramophone. From a vampiric David Bowie to Stevie Wonder helping Bob Dylan read, here are some of the weirdest, coolest moments from the ceremony's distant past. Read More
EJ BLASTS RUSSIA'S HOMOPHOBIA:
Elton John labeled Russia's new anti-gay laws "inhumane" and "isolating" when he played Moscow and Kazan in December, and now that he's back from tour he's taken the time to write a thorough condemnation of the legislation via his website. He was further outraged by President Putin's recent remarks that linked homosexuality to pedophilia. "Vicious homophobia has been legitimatized," he writes, "by this legislation and given extremists the cover to abuse people's basic human rights."
LOVE COULDN'T KEEP THEM TOGETHER?
The National Enquirer is reporting "Captain & Tennille's 39 year marriage is on the rocks. Their longtime fan website disclosed on Jan. 16 that Toni Tennille had "met with a divorce attorney in Phoenix, Ariz."
Quotes of the week
"Incredible. It was Ed Sullivan, and it was a big show, and we didn't know while we were playing that 70 million people were watching, but it was being in America that was so exciting. All the music we loved was in America; it came from America to England. Where we come from, Liverpool, it was great because it was a port, so all of the guys from New York would bring the tracks over. Vinyl in those days, the LPs, and it was just great. I could feel the buzz, even on the plane, it was so exciting. I went, Aaaaah!"
-- Ringo Starr on The Beatles first appearance on 'The Ed Sullivan' show, to Rolling Stone, backstage at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, where he received the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace's "Lifetime of Peace and Love Award"
"I am standing up and I'm telling you. I am Warhol! I am the #1 most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh,"
-- Kanye West this week. (Really, Kanye? So, in 50 years people will be studying you and reading your lyrics out loud in colleges and universities all over the world? LOL!!!)
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Since it's Oscar time again, this had to be my choice for The Onion article of the week!
'12 Years A Slave,' 'Captain Phillips,' 'American Hustle,' 'Wolf Of Wall Street,' 'Blue Jasmine,' 'Dallas Buyers Club,' 'Her,' 'Nebraska,' 'Before Midnight,' And 'Philomena' All Written During Same Continuing Education Screenwriting Class
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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"And the beat goes on, the beat goes on ... drums keep poundin' rhythm to the brain."
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