Old-industry bootleggers complain about sagging sales

Posted by: admin on January 7, 2010 @ 9:28 am
Filed under: Humor, Music Business News, Music Technology

In a classic case of irony sent on by Greenleaf commenter Mike Grimaldi, “Scorpio” talks about the golden days of smash hit bootlegs and how the Internet has ruined his business.

From NY Mag:
The music industry took another tumble in 2009, with CD sales down 12.7 percent from 2008. But the shadier, shadowy side of the business has been equally decimated. At one time, as many as 75 unofficial bootleg “companies” existed, illegally cranking out LPs and then CDs of hard-to-find studio and soundboard-jacked live recordings by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Phish, Pearl Jam, and other rock icons. Some, like the multidisc Dylan Ten of Swords box, are considered classics. Although it’s impossible to gauge exactly how profitable this quasi-industry was, the four-decade-old bootlegging biz generated millions of dollars globally. But now, this old-school method of illegal music distribution — one of rock’s most illustrious if illicit traditions — is being destroyed right along with the legit CD, all by the new-school method: the Internet.

I remember back in the day paying $40 for a “rare” Pink Floyd bootleg set. Hard to imagine doing that for burned CD-Rs now.

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Kneebody – Grammy Nomination

Posted by: admin on December 4, 2009 @ 2:59 pm
Filed under: Kneebody (Updates), Music, Music Business News

Before we head out for the weekend, CONGRATULATIONS to Kneebody for their Classical Crossover Grammy Nom for 12 Songs By Charles Ives (W&W | Amazon), a collaboration with Theo Bleckmann. Killer record. And to celebrate, their debut is our Record of the Day until Monday morning. Hop on that deal while it’s active.

Happy weekend.

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Artist Revenues

Posted by: admin on December 1, 2009 @ 12:02 pm
Filed under: Music Business News

TimesOnline: “This is the graph the record industry doesn’t want you to see.

“It shows the fate of the three main pillars of music industry revenue – recorded music, live music, and PRS revenues (royalties collected on behalf of artists when their music is played in public) over the last 5 years.

“…two things clear: one, that the growth in live revenue shows no signs of slowing and two, that live is by far and away the most lucrative section of industry revenue for artists themselves, because they retain such a big percentage of the money from ticket sales.”

As Billboard noted here, I’d also like to see a chart like this that excludes the top dogs.

“In 1982, the top 1% of artists took in 26% of concert revenue; in 2003 that figure was 56%. … The top 5% of revenue generators took in 62% of concert revenue in 1982 and 84% in 2003. Surely, this is a market where superstars receive the lion’s share of the income.”

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Newport Archives

Posted by: admin on November 13, 2009 @ 3:19 pm
Filed under: Listening, Music Business News, Music Technology

I just got wind of Wolfgangs Vault opening the flood gates of archived material dating back to the second Newport Festival via Ben Ratliff’s article at the Times.

“…posting free streams of a handful of performances from the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival, at wolfgangsvault.com: the first offerings include Count Basie, Dakota Staton and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. By next Tuesday, when more are added, there will be 27 sets from that year’s jazz festival, including some by Ahmad Jamal, Joe Williams, Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver. The plan is to have hundreds more online in the coming months, from other years of Newport Jazz and from the Newport Folk Festival as well.”

A couple clicks later, I’m listening. And noticing that I can embed some of this tunage into this post. What nice guys over there, understanding word of mouth and all.

Looking forward to hearing more.

Happy weekend.



Posted by: Dave Douglas on August 25, 2009 @ 8:00 am
Filed under: Music Business News, Music Technology

From the NY Times: A Few Dollars at a Time, Patrons Support Artists on the Web. Kickstarter is a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers…

DIY goes mainstream.

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Like The Onion

Posted by: Dave Douglas on August 21, 2009 @ 12:40 pm
Filed under: Music, Music Business News

But True… Pitchfork advances the new Gargantuan Miles Davis Boxed Set…. 71 discs!


Three Links for Monday

Posted by: admin on August 17, 2009 @ 2:37 pm
Filed under: Chicago News, Culture, Listening, Music, Music Business News

A few rock-related links to pass on in case you’re interested…

New Radiohead Tune Leaked – “These Are My Twisted Words?

Jonny from Dead Air Space: So here’s a new song, called ‘These Are My Twisted Words’.

We’ve been recording for a while, and this was one of the first we finished. We’re pretty proud of it.

There’s other stuff in various states of completion, but this is one we’ve been practicing, and which we’ll probably play at this summer’s concerts. Hope you like it.

It seems they actually leaked it. Perhaps a piece of the “great idea” Thom mentioned in a recent interview. Never a dull moment with those guys.

New Jim O’Rourke Album – “The Visitor”

Stream a preview of a track at the new Drag City website. More details to follow, I’m sure.

Bob Dylan mistaken for Hobo

From boingboing.com – New Jersey police detained 68-year old American music star Bob Dylan recently, after a young officer failed to recognize him. A disheveled Dylan was wearing a hoodie, wandering around in the rain looking at a house for sale. The 24-year-old female officer was responding to a phone call from the occupants of a home that had a “For Sale” sign on it. The residents were called in with a report of an “eccentric-looking old man” in their yard .

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New digital formats: CMX and Soundparts

Posted by: admin on August 12, 2009 @ 2:25 pm
Filed under: Culture, Music Business News, Music Technology

Always interested in new formats around here.

CMX was just announced and it looks pretty cool to me, though I haven’t seen any details on sound quality and the like. Here’s what “a label insider” told the Times Online:

“[CMX] will be a file that you click on, it opens and it would have a totally brand-new look, with a launch page and all the different options. When you click on it you’re not just going to get the ten tracks, you’re going to get the artwork, the video and mobile products.”

Here’s hoping that the major labels will start signing bands that can fill up the CMX with 10 good tracks. If not, we’re back at square-one with no one buying albums because there are only 2 tunes they want.

And another new format came to my attention via WFMU’s blog.

Much in the same way itunes dismantled the notion that paying $16 for a cd with 2 good songs on it was a good idea, songparts goes a step further and argues that even $.99 is too much to pay for that one part of a song you really like. Instead why not fork over $.06 for the “Best line in Steely Dan’s ‘Kid Charlemagne’ looped for your convenience” or the “Gluten, gleebun, glauten, globen” intro from Def Leppard.

The majors recently bought a 17% stake in Spotify, the much loved (but Europe only) music subscription service and one can only hope they can get on board with these guys too…. I give the site about a week to live.

Songparts seems like something that won’t catch on, but I’ve been surprised before. I know I wouldn’t want to buy just a piece of a tune. Even if it is the ripping solo from Kid Charlemagne. Wonder how much they’d charge for just the turnaround?


Niches Brew: Musicians Creating a Way Forward

Posted by: Dave Douglas on July 7, 2009 @ 8:54 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts), Music Business News, Music Technology

This is part of the series Jazz in the Digital Age at NPR’s A Blog Supreme.

Niches Brew: Musicians Creating a Way Forward

More and more folks in the music industry are singing the blues these days.

A critic lamented the lack of paid outlets for his writing and sheepishly admitted taking a gig with a jazz festival. A club owner sobbed over attendance and how the music is just not what it used to be (though he was still ornery enough to get snobby with those who did show). A booking agent grumbled that jazz audiences aren’t the same anymore and that he’s dealing with sub-par venues because they’re the only game in town.

If you were only to read the papers it would be easy to think the entire musical culture was about to collapse. True, times are tough, and not just in the arts. The economy’s struggling. Magazines, newspapers, and books: a combination of circumstances is cutting into their primacy. The good things they brought to the culture will be missed.

But looking a little deeper, this is a time of great opportunity. Not to be Pollyanna-ish about it, but new outlets are sprouting everywhere. It’s just that they’re different than the old outlets. They are in development, and many people comfortable with the old system can be impatient and dismissive of this alien intrusion.



Jazz: ‘High Speed And Broadband Ready’

Posted by: admin on June 17, 2009 @ 9:26 am
Filed under: Culture, Dave Douglas (News), Music Business News, Music Technology

Dave first contribution to NPR’s A Blog Supreme was published this morning.  Below is an excerpt.  And here is a direct link to his post.

Jazz: ‘High Speed And Broadband Ready’

Last week I played one of your more curious gigs.

Across high speed internet, thanks to software developed by Chris Chafe at Stanford University, I improvised in real time with musicians in Banff, Canada; San Diego, Calif.; Troy, N.Y.; and Belfast, Northern Ireland. The other musicians, among them Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen, and Pauline Oliveros, were visible only by video iChat (miserably slow compared to the audio).

The remarkable thing was how effortless the improvisation felt. I have played many gigs standing right next to Mark Dresser, so there was instantly a familiar feeling. But I had never played with any of the other musicians. As soon as we were improvising, there were no barriers to the communication. The fluidity of improvisation and jazz makes it 100% ready for these 21st century technologies.

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