Bob Lefsetz Rages Against the Machine: The industry music critic tells the Washtington Post that he really isn’t making money. He sometimes gets checks from Celebtrity Access and Yahoo! which reprints some of his screeds. “I live on a no-cash basis,” he says. “I live in a rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica. . . . I don’t have kids or all these other expenses people have. If I’m going to dinner, somebody else is picking up the tab.” No doubt, Lefsetz knows how to strike a chord among his readers whether right or wrong. “I’m not angry; I’m just passionate about music and trying to speak the truth about it” says Lefsetz. Read the full article here.
Clear Channel Drama: Buyout firms Bain Capital and THL Partners sued a cadre of giant Wall Street banks yesterday to force them to finance the $27 billion takeover of radio company Clear Channel Communications according to the NY Post.
Reznor vs. Radiohead: Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have been taking turns giving the music industry the finger. Both bands are coming up with innovative ideas and both are receiving major press. Trent recently sucker punched Radiohead calling their promotional strategy insincere. Who is really the better innovator? Read the full commentary here.
#2 Digital Retailer: Amazon is sitting right behind iTunes as the #2 digital retailer, and a total 239 million digital tracks have been sold this year. Amazon’s Baltaxe says the best defense against piracy is a good offense. “Songs sold without DRM, at high quality, with album art, that’s the best way to get people to buy music instead of stealing it.
Where are the new superstars? I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but here we are in 2008 and we still don’t have any new artists seriously breaking through. Look at the radio charts and you will find support acts, no headliners. Music is in third place behind movies and video games because it still cannot gain the public’s attention. The best remedy for the ailing music biz is a slew of artists popping through the pile of mediocrity, let me rephrase, the pile of shit. I agree with Clive Davis that artists need to start teaming up with good songwriters. Artists today are no doubt different than yesterday, meaning newer acts just can’t lock down great songs, let alone dress themselves. Please don’t tell me that I’m searching in the wrong places and that you found the Ark of the Covenant, it’s all bullcrap. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your myspace.
Fleetwood Mac surprised by Sheryl Crow claim: Sheryl Crow’s recent claim that she would be working with Fleetwood Mac surprised a lot of people — including the members of the classic rock group according to Reuters. Crow told Spinner.com that she and the band “definitely have plans for collaborating in the future, and we’ll see what happens.” “I think we were all a little surprised (Crow) was announcing that to the world with such certainty,” Fleetwood Mac principal Lindsey Buckingham said with a laugh. Sheryl Crow has turned into a fame junkie always trying to claw her way into the press and back on the radio charts. She even tried to barge herself into the White House. Her new music is void of emotion and soul, I wonder how she sells a record these days…
The True American Idol: Forget about Underwood or Daughtry, it’s Simon Cowell who roars up in his $1million supercar to view his $8million mansion. A total rockstar to say the least..
Its Time: 3 Doors Down new single ‘It’s Not My Time’ has become the fastest moving song at Active Rock radio in the past five years. ‘The early radio success of ‘It’s Not My Time’ is an incredible indication of more great things to come from this band and this album,’ stated Monte Lipman, President & CEO of Universal Republic Records.
Clear Channel Buyout Collapsing: A flurry of reports now suggest that the near-$20 billion acquisition is edging towards collapse, thanks to tightening credit markets and reluctant lenders says Digital Music News.
Corgan Speaks Out On Pumpkins Suit: Corgan says he has been feuding for years with Virgin over the handling of the Pumpkins’ back catalog, but that the Pepsi/Amazon.com promotion crosses the Rubicon. Corgan insists the group has veto power over such deals and has turned them down several times in the past. I believe the Pumpkins surrounded themselves with money hungry lawyers that convinced them they could squeeze out some money from Virgin.
Sony BMG plans online music subscription service: Sony plans to launch a subscription plan to give clients unlimited access to its digital catalogue, chief executive Rolf Schmidt-Holtz said. ‘The simplest option would be a flat rate under which a monthly payment would provide access to our entire music catalogue for all digital players, including Apple’s Ipod,’ he added.
New Music: Listen to “Where’d All The Scene Girls Go” by
The Crash Moderns. The NYC band is influenced by The Kinks, The Clash, Kiss, Squeeze and have been been featured on Fearless Music TV (Fox) and in Time Out NY.
Major Music Labels Near Deal with Myspace: MySpace’s plan to launch a digital-music joint venture with the major record companies is quickly becoming a reality according to the NY Post. Once again, the deal is all about advertising dollars. The labels are trading content rights in exchange for minority equity stakes in MySpace Music and the chance to capitalize in the advertising revenues that myspace hopes to generate from the service.
Connecting with Fans: Check out the article that comes from the Canadian Press titled ‘Musicians seek extra ways to connect with fans, build market‘. “As this business has gone through tremendous change in the last five or six years, it’s simply the way it has to happen,” Arts and Crafts executive Kieran Roy says of the many ways artists are squeezing marketable material out of their musical exploits. “It’s not enough to go and record 10 tracks and call it an album and call it a day. There has to be live content, B-sides, covers, EPK footage, web shorts, videos, podcasts, audiocasts, videocasts, you name it – everything and anything under the sun. And these are all ways for artists to further develop a relationship and loyalty with their fan base.”
The Smashing Pumpkins Sue Virgin: The Smashing Pumpkins are suing Virgin Records, saying the record label has illegally used their name and music in promotional deals that hurt the band’s credibility with fans. The Pumpkins said they have “worked hard for over two decades to accumulate a considerable amount of goodwill in the eyes of the public,” and that Virgin’s use of the band in a “Pepsi Stuff” promotion with Amazon.com and Pepsi Co. threatens their reputation for “artistic integrity” according to AP.
Honestly, I thought the integrity began its downward spiral when Billy Corgan announced a reunion tour in 2006, allowing fans to believe it was the original line up with guitarist James Iha and bassist D’arcy. Is this lawsuit about true artist integrity or the lining of pockets?
Penny Smart: Pennywise’s new album has been downloaded over 500,000 times through clever marketing promotion and part of an ad-supported promotion, according to Digital Music News.
Merging Satellites – SiriusXM: Not everyone is excited of the approved merger of Sirius and XM. “We are astonished that the Justice Department would propose granting a monopoly to two companies that systematically broke FCC rules for more than a decade,” National Association of Broadcasters spokesman Dennis Wharton said. “To hinge approval of this monopoly on XM and Sirius’ refusal to deliver on a promise of interoperable radios is nothing short of breathtaking.”
New Music: Check out the track Crazy Beautiful from the christian rock alternative act Chasen. OMG Records signed the band and their first single quickly became a hit on top 40 christian radio. â€œItâ€™s amazing to see how quickly radio has embraced â€˜Crazy Beautiful,â€™â€ said Gene Krcelic, founding partner at OMG. â€œI donâ€™t know that we could have asked for a better setup leading into the launch of the full project in 2008.â€ The new single ‘If It Comes Down’ can be heard here.
Kings of A&R: We want to hear new music. Send us a link to your myspace and let us know what song we should be listening too. Email email@example.com. We are in a high energetic mood right now, no sappy music please.
The Justice Department approved Sirius Satellite Radio’s $5 billion buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio on Monday, saying the deal was unlikely to hurt competition or consumers.
The deal was approved despite opposition from consumer groups and an intense lobbying campaign by the land-based radio industry.
Sources say the merger will save hundreds of millions of dollars in operating costsâ€”savings that will ultimately benefit their customers.
XM Satellite shares rose $1.97, or 16.5 percent, to $13.90 in afternoon trading after the government’s announcement while Sirius shares rose 28 cents, or almost 10 percent, to $3.18.
Game On! Warner Music has re-signed Lyor Cohen for a five-year contract, and upped the executive to chairman and CEO of recorded music for North America from chairman and CEO of U.S. recorded music according to Billboard. Cohen will get a raise to $3 million from the previous $1.5 million annual salary level. In addition, his bonus is to range from a minimum of $1.5 million to $5 million. The contract also awards Cohen 1,500,000 stock options and 1,750,000 performance-based restricted shares of WMGâ€˜s common stock.
Black Velvet: Great bands always seem to have short shelf life. Apparently Velvet Revolver broke up. Scott Weiland stunned fans at last night’s (Thursday, March 20) VR concert in Glasgow, Scotland, UK by dropping a huge hint the band’s time may be up. He told the sell- out crowd: “You’re watching something special… the last tour by Velvet Revolver.
Dolly Parton Invests in Herself: She has self-released the disc on her own label, Dolly Records, and hired a seven-member promotions team. The album reached No. 2 on Billboard in its second week.
Signings: Philadelphia rock act The Scenic have signed to Victory Records. The band has shared the stage with Saves The Day, All Time Low, Dashboard Confessional, Men Women & Children, and Houston Calls.
New Music: Cash Cash formerly The Consequence has posted new music on their myspace. The band will be releasing their debut in late summer through Universal Republic .
Name That Tune: Check out the article in the Washington Post titled ‘Who Will Emerge as The Future of Radio? The reality looks a lot more like hit radio. The top artists on Last.fm the other week were Radiohead, the Beatles and Red Hot Chili Peppers — not exactly acts unknown to FM radio. Del Colliano believes only Apple could produce the next radio — something providing the serendipity of radio delivered through an infrastructure that already enjoys mass acceptance.
Playlists Are the New Albums? The Washington post posted a column how consumers love to customize and express themselves through playlists. Also, Imeem founder Dalton Caldwell said the music industry has been slow to change. I don’t think these people know how fast technology moves.
For the Love of Money – Now Pierced with Sorrows: Plagued by decades of bad fiscal decisions, the Jackson family is broke. They have fallen far from their days as sequin-studded stage stars who could rake in seven-figure paydays for a single performance says the New York Post.
Recommended Listening: Alternative act There For Tomorrow recorded there debut EP with producer James Paul Wisner (Underoath, Dashboard Confessional) and released the record in 2007. The band has shared the stage with AFI, Taking Back Sunday, Angels and Airwaves, and Buckcherry. Listen to the track Pages.