Calling All Girls: We always knew Spitzer was obsessed with the music business and he even went on record claiming radio sucked. KOAR posted an article on Spitzer back in October 2006 when he suggested J Lo couldn’t even hum her own tune. Truth is stranger than fiction. His secret relationship involved a female who had big aspirations for the music business. Ladies and gentlemen — meet Ashley Alexandra DuprÃ©. We checked out her song ‘What We Want‘. I don’t know who produced this, but it’s dated club beats. It seems digital retailer, Amie Street, has convinced Ashley Dupre to suspend her myspace so that people can exclusively buy her music through them. More importantly, we have to feel sorry for the girl. Enough with drama!
New NIN Album Generates $1.6M First Week: The online release of the new Nine Inch Nails album “Ghosts I-IV” resulted in just under 800,000 transactions in its first week, totaling $1.6 million in revenue according to the band. NIN will not release traditional sales figures to SoundScan.
Music Industry Proposes a Piracy Surcharge on ISPs: The music biz is considering a file sharing surcharge that internet service providers would collect from users. I don’t know how realistic this is, but I suggest reading the full article that’s filled with different opinions on the topic.
Resigned: XM Satellite Radio’s chief creative officer, Lee Abrams, resigned from the company today in order to accept a position as Chief Innovation Officer for Tribune Company.
A Success Story That’s Not So: Shayan Italia is an Indian-born singer-songwriter and has developed himself with almost no help from a record company, raising Â£500,000 from a group of private investors to shoot a professional video. His Reflection reached No 1 on YouTube’s music video charts last week, with 190,000 plays in the first 24 hours of its placement online.
Italia owns his material, selling 1 per cent shares in the business that controls all his copyrights, plus any tour and other music-related income for Â£12,000 a time. Investors own 40 per cent of all Italia’s future music output. For all his talent, the big break is yet to come and there is not yet any return for the investors.
Times Online says “people get very excited about the death of the record company and about finding clever ways to ward off its demise”.
Other media companies who pretend to play record label like the one above will lose their shirts 99 percent of the time. If you want me to write a check for 500k, you better come out of the box with a song like ‘Welcome to the Jungle’.
Video Hogs Cause Congestion: There has been a rising chorus of alarm about the surging growth in the amount of data flying across the Internet. The threat comes from online communications and entertainment â€” video clips and movies, social networks and multiplayer games. What kind of future awaits the internet? Read the full article here.
New Music: Check out the Nashville, Tennessee act SafetySuit. They recorded the album titled ‘Life Left to Go’ with producer Greg Archilla (Matchbox 20, Collective Soul, Buckcherry) . They just released the track “Someone Like You” on iTunes via Universal.
Kelly Abandons Rock and Goes Back to Pop: Clarkson was never meant to rock out and she knows it. Kelly is working with songwriter and producer Ryan Tedder, the lead singer of OneRepublic according to Spy Digital. Tedder, says that Clarkson’s new songs will feature “big choruses” and “heavy drum programming”. He also revealed that the songs are influenced by nineties electro-rockers Garbage, while one song, a mid-tempo rock ballad, features an experimental bridge inspired by Mozart. Kelly can’t afford to make mistakes on this record.
Live Nation Takes Over the Jersey Shore: The concert promoter, Live Nation will book Asbury Park’s three best-known music venues including the 1,600-seat landmark Paramount Theatre, the 3,600-seat Convention Hall and the 850-capacity Stone Pony.
A Jagged Relationship: Sources say that Alanis Morissette has had a strained relationship with her label, even though “Jagged Little Pill” is one of the best-selling CDs in Warnerâ€™s history. Fox’s Roger Friedman says it took negotiation and persuasion for WMG to agree to release her new album, “Flavors of Entanglement.” They actually said no and rejected it says Friedman. The air has cleared and Warner will plan on releasing Flavors May 20th.
Madonna’s Jagged Visit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Friedman also commented on Madonna’s recent visit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when she picked up her award. “Of course she couldnâ€™t participate in the big jam session finale with actual musicians like John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, Billy Joel and Joan Jett”. During her speech she left out all the important people who made her career by giving her #1 songs including Reggie Lucas who wrote ‘Borderline’, Stephen Bray who wrote the killer dance songs ‘Into the Groove’,’Express Yourself’ and ‘Causing a Commotion’, Tom Kelly and Billy Sternberg (Like a Virgin), and Peter Brown and Robert Rans who wrote the legendary song ‘Material Girl’.
R.E.M. Thinks Outside the Box: R.E.M. will debut their new album on the iLike internet application used on social networking site Facebook. They will release ‘Accelerate’ as a stream available for sharing on March 24 – a week before the album hits shop shelves. They are the first major music act to debut a full album using the iLike application â€“ a widget used widely on Facebook. Frontman Michael Stipe told Billboard that the band made the decision to debut their 14th studio album online because the music industry has changed — Oh! yes it has Mike, yes it has!
Spitzocritical: N.Y. Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned today. Spitzer was obsessed with the music biz particularly for its practices for influencing what songs are heard on the public airwaves.
Signings: New York’s alternative pop artist Charlotte Sometimes signs to Interscope. This is a hit or miss, meaning you will either like it or find her annoying. I’m not personally a fan, but then again I wasn’t a fan of Fiona Apple. I would be interested to see a video for the track
‘How I Could Just Kill A Man‘, maybe it would change my mind.
New Music: Check out the indie pop act Farewell Flight who hails from Pennsylvania. Listen to the track Begin Again. This doesn’t stray to far from Death Cab.
Selling Out: Once upon a time artists refuse to sellout or refused to sacrifice his morals, values or people close to him purely for personal gain. Careers were built by saying NO, not YES to things. Indie rockers prided themselves by railing against the corporate machine. Today, no such thing exists. It’s impossible to sellout. Because of illegal downloading, indie rock group Band of Horses licensed a song for a Wal-Mart online campaign only to reverse their decision after they experienced a fan backlash.
Pop stars now embrace “Nascar-style,” logo-splattering sponsorships and must get used to promoting their favorite boxer briefs to help make up for the industry’s shortfall says Advertising Age. “For new artists, it’s become nearly impossible to develop a major following without a branded tie-in. Many of the major breakout music stars of the past year, from Paramore to Sara Bareilles to Feist, have benefited from corporate tie-ins or licensing of their songs via ads. “All brands have become music-promotion houses,”
Mr. McQuivey said.
Spitzer Has 48 Hours to Leave Town: If music biz nemesis Gov. Eliot Spitzer who cracked down on record labels opts to roll the dice and not resign, state Republican leadership will force him to go all-in and call for his impeachment from office, according to a state Assemblyman.Â The clock is ticking, resign now!
Universal Holds Up Myspace Deal: CEO of Universal, Doug Morris always knows how to crash a party, but sometimes that’s a good thing. MySpace has accelerated discussions with the major music labels about creating an online music service, but Universal Music is holding out, which is insisting that MySpace first resolve a lawsuit that it filed against the site over alleged copyright violation says Financial Times. “One person familiar with the talks said that MySpace was considering launching the service without Universal”.
FCC Chairman Tips Hand On Comcast’s Net Neutrality: FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said that he may find Comcast guilty of violating the agency’s network neutrality principles. Net Neutrality is a principle that says a broadband network must not restrict content, sites, or platforms and where communication is not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams would be considered neutral by most observers.
Martin said that he found it troubling that Comcast had initially denied it was slowing or blocking its broadband Internet customers’ access to a file- sharing peer-to-peer software application.
Both myself and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin are both deeply troubled. We both feel a principle has been violated, except he is talking about net neutrality and I’m talking about illegal filesharing. So where does the rubber meet the road? How can we be friends? He doesn’t want to discriminate against filesharing sites and I don’t want artists’ discriminated against. Maybe Kevin Martin can reach in his deep pockets and pay for the loss of music sales.
Cheapskate: Apple paid a total of $80,000 for master and sync rights for Feist’s “1234” and another 80,000 for Ms. Naim’s song. Some say the exposure is well worth the lower fees.
An ear attuned to sounds of greatness: “In the morning of last monthâ€™s Grammy Awards, Tom Whalley, chief executive of Warner Brothers Records, seemed to have everything going his way. Warner Brothers had just finished 2007 in first place in the US market, the second time it had done so in the last three years. Its holiday album, Josh Grobanâ€™s NoÃ«l, was still topping the charts long after the Christmas lights had come down”. “Yet Mr Whalley, dressed in jeans and a fitted blazer, was hardly celebrating. Such is the mood of record mogul these days.” Check out the full article written by Joshua Chaffin, it’s a must read.
New Music: Who wants to weed through 100,000 new record releases and 200 million videos on Youtube? You donâ€™t, but we will. With that said, check out the video and song titled ‘Morphine‘ from Tupelo Honey which is currently making its rounds at Canadian rock radio. The vocalist belts like Chris Cornell, although his voice is a bit thinner…. That’s ok, he pulls it off nicely. What the heck is Tupelo Honey? Tupelo Honey is an album by singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in 1971. For more information contact here.
Recommened Listening: New Low by Middle Class Rut. Sounds like Refused and Jane’s Addiction. The band’s first major tour was in Fall 2007 with Receiving End Of Sirens and Envy On The Coast. Sacramento’s Live 105 & KWOD have been playing “New Low”.
The Tables Turned: Gov. Eliot Spitzer and music biz nemesis has been implicated in a prostitution ring and caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation.
â€œI have acted in a way that violates my obligation to my family and violates my or any sense of right or wrong,â€ said Mr. Spitzer, who appeared with his wife Silda at his Manhattan office. â€œI apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better.â€
The music biz is very familiar with Eliot Spitzer, the office of Eliot Spitzer served subpoenas against record labels in an investigation into “payola,” the illegal compensation of radio stations for playing certain songs. These subpoenas uncovered deals for disc jockeys to receive gifts from promoters in exchange for playing the songs a certain number of times during the day.
“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
The Rolling Stones Shake It Up: If the Rolling Stones decide to leave EMI, they’ll be taking their catalog with them says the NY Post. Some sources claim they are looking to ink a deal with Live Nation for merchandising and touring, but with Live Nation having limited experience in the record business, some industry executives believe the likeliest outcome is a split-rights deal with Live Nation, and either Universal or EMI.
Social Networking Site Imeem: Why is Imeem getting so much hype? Forbes magazine published an article titled Free Music, Big Money. Imeem provides consumers with free, advertising-supported access to songs over the Internet. I don’t just want to stream songs, I want to own songs via buying a CD or downloading.
MTV Gets Hacked: Computer files with confidential data on about 5,000 employees at MTV Networks was hacked by someone outside the company. The company encouraged the affected employees to place a 90-day fraud alert on their credit files with the three major credit agencies, and offered credit monitoring for two years at company expense.
eMusic: eMusic, the world’s second largest music service after iTunes, announced Monday that its catalog is now more than 3.5 million tracks. eMusic sells its music by subscription, users pay a monthly fee to download a set number of tracks per month, but doesn’t encrypt the music. Everything is sold in high bit-rate MP3 — audio files that can be played back in iTunes, on iPods or using any other music player.
The Creative Drought: Author Susan Jacoby sees a cultural landscape that is, in her words, “defining dumbness downward.” In her new book, The Age of American Unreason, she argues that Americans have grown increasingly passive and uninformed amid a video-driven culture that prizes ‘infotainment,’ celebrates ignorance, and devalues critical thinking. Do you really need to ask yourself why music has become dumbed down?
Recommened Listening: KOAR reader Dallas turned us on to the pop rock band Gillmor. Check out the track Hey which was co-written by Sugarcult front-man Tim Pagnotta and is currently in regular rotation on Sacramento’s KWOD fm radio station.
On the hill: The PRO-IP Act won unanimous approval by the House Judiciary Committee’s intellectual property subcommittee on Thursday. Subcommittee chairman Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., estimated that counterfeiting and piracy cost the U.S. economy at least $225 billion a year. Although Berman is the bill’s primary author, many of the recommendations were developed by the U.S. Chamber off Commerce’s Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy, headed up by NBC Universal executive vp and general counsel Rick Cotton. (hollywoodreporter)
Whaaat?: Clive Davis says too much original material is killing careers (yahoo/reuters)
Legal News: Tanya Andersen, yet another single mother, is filing suit against the RIAA for â€œRICO violations, fraud, invasion of privacy, abuse of process, electronic trespass, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, negligent misrepresentation, the tort of â€˜outrage,â€™ and deceptive business practicesâ€. Ms. Andersen was originally sued by the organization for sharing music online, but was found innocent. (wired)
Continued Radio decline: For all of last year, radio’s grand total revenue was $21,310 billion, a 2% fall from 2006. In Q4, total local & national revenue was down 5% compared to the previous year, with local down 3% and national falling by 11 %. (fmqb.com)
Big Trouble: Following a recent performance in China, Bjork found herself in some hot water. Bjork chanted ‘Tibet!’ after performing her song “Declare Independence,” which she has used in the past to promote independence movements in other places such as Kosovo. Apparently that is against the law. Bjork said it wasn’t her intent to offend but added, “The fact that it has translated to its broadest meaning, the struggle of a suppressed nation, gives me much pleasure. I would like to wish all individuals and nations good luck in their battle for independence.” (yahoo)
Random: Is Huckabee awesome or does the game Rock Band suck? The former Presidential nominee throws an after party complete with lasagne and video rocking (hotlineblog)