Wake Up People, This Whole Net Neutrality Thing Is Not Good
February 20, 2015
"Net neutrality is just a demonization of big companies. "It's a battle between two fairly large companies. They worked it out, just like happens in business every day.""
-- From 'Mark Cuban Says Net Neutrality Will 'Fuck Everything Up'
Whoever first said "Pay attention to the details." didn't know a thing about the coming net neutrality proposals, but paying close attention is exactly what we, YOU, should be doing, because whether you know it or not, having the FCC oversee the Internet is NOT a good thing.
BIG government stepping onto the digital highway we all love changes everything.
This from Why Can't the Public See Obama's Proposed Internet Regulations? , "Republican senators Mike Lee, Ben Sasse, and Rand Paul have all been high-profile opponents of the Obama Administration's current plan to regulate the Internet -- in particular, Lee has called the regulation a government "takeover" of the Internet and says it amounts to a "a massive tax increase on the middle class, being passed in the dead of night without the American public really being made aware of what is going on."
And when Lee says that the American public isn't aware of what's going on, that is in no way hyperbole. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has emerged as a hero for those opposed to the regulation because Pai has been taking to the airwaves decrying the fact that the public is not allowed to see 332 pages of proposed internet regulation before they are potentially passed."
I would suggest you all read the articles, sign petitions online, contact your political representatives, and tell them NO NET NEUTRALITY.
Do it before we get an Internet run by the same folks who brought you the sticker shock called Obamacare.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
THE BEATLES … 51 YEARS AGO THEY LANDED HERE
My many thanks to those readers who e-mailed me and asked why I didn't include my annual Beatles column in the newsletter last week. Last week, marked the 51st anniversary of The Beatles 'Ed Sullivan Show' appearance.
I've put this column in the newsletter every year for a decade plus now, and the reason I didn't put it in last week? As Steve Martin would say," Two words. I forgot!"
So, here it is, and again, thanks for all of you for e-mailing me!
On February 9th, 1964, Ed Sullivan famously intoned, "Tonight, the whole country is waiting to hear England's Beatles." Eight months later, the band had landed 28 records in Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart (11 in the Top 10), seen 10 albums released worldwide and been introduced to marijuana by Bob Dylan. But the band's voyage from Liverpool to New York City in '64 was filled with far more apprehension and stress than relaxation and glee.
"We were four guys ... I met Paul, I said do you wanna' join the band, ya' know? Then George joined, then Ringo joined ... we were just a band that made it very, very big, that's all." -- John Lennon
Yes ... very big indeed, once the "Lads from Liverpool" hit our shores and nothing was ever the same.
Their first appearance on 'The Ed Sullivan Show,' on February 9th, 1964, was watched by an estimated 74 million people that Sunday night in February 1964 making it one of the biggest events in broadcast history and the crime rate in U.S. cities dropped dramatically during the show's broadcast. It was indeed, as Ed Sullivan used to say, "A really big show!"
Eight months later, the band had landed 28 records in Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart (11 in the Top 100), seen 10 albums released worldwide.
The assault on American radio and charts was equally overwhelming. In the past few decades you've all read about the chart accomplishments of such mega-artists as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Madonna, and others, but they all pale in comparison to this statistic:
For the week ending April 4th, 1964 The Beatles had 11 singles on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 chart, including the first top five slots:
* #1* - Can't Buy Me Love
* #2* - Twist and Shout
* #3* - She Loves You
* #4* - I Want To Hold Your Hand
* #5* - Please, Please Me
* #31* - I Saw Her Standing There
* #41* - From Me To You
* #46* - Do You Want To Know A Secret
* #58* - All My Loving
* #65* - You Can't Do That
* #79* - Thank You Girl
Of course, if you're old enough to remember listening to your favorite radio station back then, you remember hearing all these songs and more as the "British Invasion" started. It's almost impossible to imagine any artist or band being able to monopolize the charts and radio in such fashion today, and I don't think we will ever see it happen like that again. It was a different time.
Just how much The Beatles changed everything in pop culture has been the subject of many articles, books, TV specials, and now they teach courses on them in many colleges. Prior to The Beatles, Top-40 radio didn't play album cuts from best-selling artists ... not even Elvis at his height.
But, when The Beatles released 'Rubber Soul' and made the decision that there would be no single released from the album for radio or retail (much to Capitol's dismay originally), radio programmers simply put "Michelle" on their stations along with "I'm Looking Through You," and about four other tracks from the album. The Beatles ruled at retail and requests, so radio had to respond.
The fact is, NOBODY had ever achieved that kind of airplay (album tracks) at Top 40 radio previously. The Beatles were the first. Of course 'Rubber Soul' wasn't the only album they released without a single for radio/retail. 'Sgt. Pepper' (the first rock "concept" album) didn't have a single and neither did their double-album, 'The White Album.' But it made no difference ... they were all over Top 40 radio. Of course the release of 'Sgt. Pepper' (and subsequent concept albums by the Stones, Who, etc.) gave birth to the notion that the radio audience might want to hear more than just singles and "progressive radio" (the forerunner of all album radio that followed) was born when they started playing nothing but music from albums.
Before The Beatles, there was no such thing as "stadium rock." Nobody had ever played arenas or stadiums before 1964. But The Beatles sold out Shea Stadium, Candlestick Park, and other stadiums around the country in mere hours after tickets went on sale, shocking those in the press and media who predicted the shows by the group ("a fad" as they were called back then) wouldn't sell tickets in those quantities. I saw them at Carnegie Hall, Forest Hills, and at both Shea concerts. The word mania doesn't begin to describe what occurred the minute The Beatles took the stage.
Long before MTV hit the air, The Beatles made a TV film called 'Magical Mystery Tour.' Though the critics in the UK panned it for the most part, in hindsight one can watch it and realize it was merely a long-form video with five separate concept videos to support their new songs. People who now watch the newly remastered 'Magical Mystery Tour' video on DVD realize just how many years ahead of the curve The Beatles were in realizing how music and video could be merged for greater audience.
Another amazing fact: 'Sgt. Pepper' was recorded in four-track. Yup, that's right. Four-track. Listen to it today and you realize what an engineering masterpiece it is, and how many tracks had to be mixed down and on top of each other to make the final recording. Many albums made today use dozens more tracks and updated technology, but sonically, 'Sgt.Pepper' remains a masterpiece.
I could go on and on; I've been a big Beatles fan for these past 51 years. I never imagined that night I watched them on the Ed Sullivan show that within five years I'd be lucky enough to get a job working for Capitol Records, selling Beatles records, and then promoting them to the very radio stations I grew up listening to.
When I worked for Capitol Records in 1970 and 1971 in New York City I was fortunate enough to meet John Lennon. The first time I talked to him I got "mealy mouth," was nervous, and he asked me what was wrong. I mumbled and then said, "I ... I watched you on Ed Sullivan ..." And he said, "Ah ... well, that was The Beatles thing and all that ... I'm just John now ... so tell me what kind of music do you like?" We talked until the wee hours of the morning and I walked back to my apartment on a cold December morning with my mind racing.
The Beatles created the soundtrack for our lives back in the '60s and each song they sang made us feel like the wait wasn't going to be too long, and that sooner rather than later, we'd all be on our way to better lives. Maybe that's been only partly true, but it's what we all wanted to believe because their music made us feel such things. So we sang their songs loud, proud to claim them as "our own." But we should've known they belonged to the whole world and that the world we lived in was moving away from innocence.
John was right ... they were a "band that made it very, very big."
They were all that ... and a whole lot more. A helluva lot more.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
TOO MUCH JIMMY FALLON? READ ON…
From the Daily Banter comes this article by Chez Pazienza, 'Who the F*ck Let Jimmy Fallon Onstage with Prince, Taylor and McCartney at the SNL40 After Party?'
Whether you like Fallon or not, Chez makes some good points.
And from the article, "If you haven't noticed by now, Fallon has a long history of injecting himself into every single bit he does. He can't interview people for shit so he plays games with them, something he of course gets to take part in. He sings and plays with whatever 'Tonight Show' musical guest will let him (as if they have much of a choice). For fuck's sake, when U2 was forced to cancel recently because Bono smashed himself up during a bike ride in Central Park, Fallon's solution for filling the space was — wait for it — to do his Bono impression and sing "Desire" with the Roots backing him up. He's not a rock star but he plays one on TV. Over and over again." Read the rest
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
ALL THAT IS LOST WHEN YOU LISTEN TO COMPRESSED MP3s
Thanks to reader Jon DeLong for sending me this article All the ghostly sounds that are lost when you compress to mp3
"Right now, you're probably listening to music on your computer. The source of that music — whether you're listening to an mp3 file or streaming — is a compressed version of a file that was much more detailed, but way larger. It's worth interrupting your music for a moment and asking: What sounds are you missing?"
BETWEEN THE GROOVES
Mashable reports "Apple has ordered 5-6 million Apple Watches from its Chinese suppliers in preparation for the product's April launch, according to a new report." Read more And more, Apple could sell 20M smartwatches this year, nabbing a quarter of the wearables market, market researcher says. Read more
Who Will Win, Who Should Win and What Will Happen at the Oscars. Steve Pond's Predictions: 'Birdman,' 'Boyhood' and 'Budapest' Come Out on Top in a Baffling Year
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
How Rhapsody Re-Entered The Streaming Player Competition
Watch Taylor Swift Sing 'Shake It Off' Backed By Paul McCartney
Former RCA MTV Execs Near Launch Of CÜR Music Streaming Service
Watch Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Prince & More Jam at 'SNL' Afterparty
Lil Wayne Breaks Silence on Cash Money Lawsuit
5 Important Things From History That No One Can Explain
Eddie Murphy Turned Down Bill Cosby 'SNL' Impression
You Can Now Buy Kurt Cobain's Credit Card
Jimi Hendrix's Early Sideman Recordings Set for Release
The Audiophiliac chats with one of the world's top speaker designers
The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Hollywood
TightTalk RecorderPlugin Reinvents The Cassette Recorder For Modern Use
Appeals Court Weighs Privacy Case Against Pandora
TuneCore Launches Year Long Initiative To Increase Artists Exposure
Apple Watch Production Anticipates Strong Sales
How The Apple Watch Will Work, As Explained By The People Making The Apps
Short News Items ...
Paul McCartney had a Valentine's Day surprise for New York City: a last-minute show at the 1,000-capacity Irving Plaza. For $40, first come, first served, the lucky crowd was treated to a wild, breathless rock & roll show without a hint of a dull moment. Read More
RARE BEATLES GOING UP FOR SALE:
A rare recording of the Beatles performing at a Hamburg, Germany strip club in December 1962 is set to hit the auction block starting February 27th. Auction house Ted Owen & Co. will offer up the original master recording tape of the small Star Club gigs, recorded between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve 1962, with a reserve price of £100,000, or roughly $150,000, the Guardian reports, but they're expected to fetch much higher at auction.
'Saturday Night Live' may not officially turn 40 until October, but the venerable NBC sketch comedy show didn't let that stand in the way of a star-studded, super-sized anniversary special. The biggest surprise was that the stage did not collapse. Read More
JIMMY PAGE WILL DEBUT DELUXE 'PHYSICAL GRAFFITI' ONLINE:
Page is also re-releasing 'Lucifer Rising' and 'Death Wish II' soundtracks as expanded editions Read More
The Songwriters Hall of Fame have announced the diverse group of artists that will be enshrined as their Class of 2015: The Grateful Dead duo of Jerry Garcia and lyricist Robert Hunter, blues legend Willie Dixon, Cyndi Lauper, Linda Perry, Toby Keith and Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Braddock. The Hall of Fame ceremony will take place June 18th at New York's Marriott Marquis. Additional special award honorees will be revealed soon.
Lesley Gore, singer of quintessential breakup song "It's My Party," died Monday in New York after battling cancer, according to media reports. She was 68. Gore, whose hits also included "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" and "You Don't Own Me" died of lung cancer at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York, according to the Associated Press.
Sam Andrew, the guitarist and founding member of Big Brother and the Holding Company who also helped launch the career of Janis Joplin, passed away February 12th, 10 weeks after he suffered a heart attack which was followed by complications from an open-heart surgery. Andrew was 73.
Quotes of the week
Well, in my opinion, whether or not you like Geraldo Rivera, this is a big hooray for saying in public what others might think, but would not say out of fear of media/peer retaliation.
"Hip-hop has done more damage to black and brown people than racism in the last 10 years. When you find the youngster -- a Puerto Rican from the South Bronx or a black kid from Harlem who has succeeded in life other than being the one-tenth of one-tenth of one percent that make it in the music business -- that's been a success in life walking around with his pants around his ass and with visible tattoos...it is this whole ethos."
And with no prompting, Rivera then singled out Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons. "I love Russell Simmons, he's a dear friend of mine. I admire his business acumen," Rivera noted. "At some point, those guys have to cop to the fact that by encouraging this distinctive culture that is removed from the mainstream, they have encouraged people to be so different from the mainstream that they can't participate other than, you know, the racks in the garment center and those entry-level jobs. And I lament it. I really do. I think that it has been very destructive culturally." Geraldo Rivera said during the chat with HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps.
"They've done phenomenally well with music, and they ended up with an enormous share of the pie. And they did phenomenally well with everything else they were able to do with it and around it. There's always been an emotion in Apple around music and around content. You always felt that they had an emotional intelligence around talent. And that's only going to get better."
-- UMG Chief Lucian Grainge, at the Code/Media conference in Dana Point
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Literary Study Finds All Modern Narratives Derived From Classic 'Alien Vs. Predator' Conflict
OXFORD, ENGLAND—Explaining how the timeless clash between the two sides remains among the most elemental forms of storytelling worldwide, a study published Tuesday by researchers at Oxford University has concluded that virtually all modern narratives are re-expressions of the classic Alien Vs. Predator conflict. 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
"When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people becomes an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk: culture-death is a clear possibility." -- Neil Postman