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The best ringtone ever

I totally want this ringtone.

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Telecomunication giant Rogers has just launched a new agreement with event organizer behemoth Live Nation that provides Rogers customers with no service fee tickets to all Live Nation events in Canada if they purchase them through the wireless box office. The wireless box office is a rather new mobile ticketing service that not only allows you to buy entry to concerts via your cellphone but also to enables customers to use their phone as their ticket – in other words have their phone display the virtual ticket at the gig.

The partnership between Rogers and Live Nation is very new, but this wireless box office thing is already a year old. Wonder how I missed it.

Anyways it’s a pretty neat idea. Here’s the commercial:

Woof

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roadieJames “Tappy” Wright, one of Hendrix’s former roadie claims that his manager, Micheal Jeffrey, confessed to making Jimi swallow sleeping pills in hopes of collecting his client’s life insurance policy.

Whether it be real or not, many conspiracy theories illustrate Jimi’s death, and I for one had often heard of stories concerning his demise related to the relationship he had with his managers.

James Tappy’s book called “Rock Roadie: Backstage and confidential with Hendrix, Elvis, the Animals and Tina” is a collection of anecdotes he collected during his roadie years from the early 60’s to the late 80’s. It looks like a must read. Prologue starts as follows:

Jimi Hendrix was found dead on the morning of September 18th, 1970. The coroners report stated cause of death due to barbiturate intoxication and inhalation of vomit. An open verdict.

1971, and I’m sitting in an old friend’s apartment. We’re working; doing what we are good at; doing what we’ve been doing for over a decade. A collection of glasses and ashtrays are propped up against sweeps of paperwork on the table in front of us. The hours pass by, the details are completed and we talk.
More than thirty years on I can remember that conversation; see, the man I had known for much of my life, his face pale, his hands clutching at his glasses with rage:

“I had to do it. You understand don’t you? I had to”
“What are you talking about?”
“You know damn well what I’m talking about”

And I did, though I didn’t want to believe it. I knew what he was telling me and now I’m going to tell you. Because of all the crazy stories that were about Hendrix’s death, there is one I know to be true. There are secrets I don’t need to keep anymore, and I’m going to tell them all”

Bark.

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[“The Key To Music” is a research project lead by Robert Fontana on the musical formulas that have made up the industry’s pop trends throughout these past decades.]


Introductory post
Part one on the keys of the 50’s
Part two on the keys of the 60’s
Part three on the keys of the 70’s
Part four on the keys of the 80’s
Part four on the keys of the 90’s

You Are What You Listen

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Back when I was in grade school, I remember my teacher made us read Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech out loud. In the most monotone of voices, we each took turns utterly ripping out the heartfelt sincerity in which it was originally delivered. It made me realize how important inflection played a part in communicating to the masses.

Just like there might be certain inflections that rally a group the best, or certain articulations that inspire people more, or particular words that arouse the most interest and passion, I wondered if it translated to music. Could certain notes, melodies, chords, progressions or keys be better at appealing to the masses than others?

Some say there are frequencies that can repair DNA:

Some say certain music can make you smarter:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozart_effect

Some say certain music shapes you. I quote Aristotle…mostly because if you want to sound intelligent, he’s one of the guys to make that happen:

“Emotions of any kind are produced by melody and rhythm; therefore by music a man becomes accustomed to feeling the right emotions; music has thus the power to form character, and the various kinds of music based on the various modes, may be distinguished by their effects on character—one, for example, working in the direction of melancholy, another of effeminacy; one encouraging abandonment, another self-control, another enthusiasm, and so on through the series.”

As I worked on analyzing the keys of the project, I not only thought about these trends that are affecting us, but also how we are affecting the music…and most importantly, how we are so connected to it all. These keys and songs are a reflection of who we are as people.

Relfections

Life is like music.A generation is an opus. A decade is a box set. A year is an album. A month is an EP. A week is a single. A day is a song. An hour is a chorus. A minute is a phrase. A second is a note.

Each day, you get a chance to write a song, so to speak. All we have are the things we say and the things we do. It seems like an easy thing to do: to control these 2 things. But any fool could even tell you it’s not. Sometimes a horribly placed note can ruin a song. But we try to learn from those mistakes. We try to become prolific composers in our own world. We learn how to arrange those notes into coherent phrases. The most memorable part of your day is the chorus. Maybe one hour in your life changed a person’s life or your own. Besides, these are the hooks that shape us.

At the end of the day, you’ve finished your song. Maybe your pet ran away or your car finally quit on you or your girlfriend left you. Yep, you wrote a country song. Maybe you sat around and wasted the day with a bunch of your old college buddies. Yep, you wrote a psychedelic jam song. Maybe you went home with 3 babes in one night and then rode a motorcycle into a fountain. Yep, you wrote a rock song. Maybe you got caught looking at the wiener of the guy who was peeing next to you in the bathroom. Yup, you just covered George Michael. You get the point.

The notes can pass by so quickly. Sometimes there are others that create great harmony with you…sometimes they create dissonance. Hopefully, they always resolve. Take time to notice these notes. Listen to other people’s music. You’re not a one-hit wonder. The analogies can go on forever. I guess this is an aspect I’ve always been attracted to about music. It’s a philosophy I can understand. We all emit these vibrations, like in the song “Good Vibrations” – no, not by The Beach Boys. I mean Marky Mark’s #1 from 1991. He says, “Yeah. Can you feel it, baby? I can, too.” Ha-ha, no, I’m just kidding! No, but really, later in the song, he says, “Making you feel the rhythm is my occupation. So feel the vibration.” That’s what I’m talking about…I think.

Results so far from 2000-present (week of May 30, 3009) – 7 months left in decade

139 keys were identified from the 124 songs of the 00’s
Could be the least number of keys and songs of any decade
Last decade’s trend of songs staying at #1 for longer periods of time continued

Most used key: a minor!
This is the first decade that any minor key was the most used key

Number of different minor keys used: 87
A dramatic 32.7% increase from last decade making minor keys more popular than major
Only 52 major keys used – close to a 2:3 ratio of major vs minor keys

Number of songs that employ a key change: only 12 or nearly 10% of all songs
Another 10% decrease from last decade
Are modulations becoming an endangered species of pop music?

The least used major key: B
Also the least used major key in the 60’s

The most used major key: C Major
Only used 9 times, with 4 other minor keys trumping it

I will be posting one last entry on the total results of all the decades and some final thoughts on the matter. I will also be creating a website for the project, which will include every #1 song from 1955-present, their keys, stats, charts, a Predicto-Key which will forecast the key of the next #1, and a forum for discussion. I will be sure to let out a mruff on here once it’s up and running.

This study is conducted by Robert Fontana. Robert has a BA in Music Education and is an editor at Music Resource Group (MRG), which publishes an annual publication called The Musician’s Atlas as well as its online counterpart, AtlasOnline. The Musician’s Atlas is the ultimate music industry resource & includes contact information and details for every aspect of the business, including music venues, festivals, record labels, studios, radio stations, producers & much more. MRG also produces the Independent Music Awards (IMA’s) where winners are chosen from each of the 50+ music and design categories, and receive year-long print, online & broadcast promotion plus distribution & performance opportunities including an IMA showcase at the CMJ Music Marathon.
www.musiciansatlas.com
www.independentmusicawards.com

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Artist: Blonde Redhead
Location: New York
Allmusic bio: Blonde Redhead’s noisy, dissonant guitars, alternate tunings, and quiet, stilted lyrics have often been compared to early Sonic Youth. After randomly meeting at an Italian restaurant in New York, Japanese art students Kazu Makino and Maki Takahashi and Italian twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace formed the band in 1993. The name was taken from a song by the ’80s no wave band DNA. With Makino and Amedeo on guitars and vocals, Simone on drums, and Takahashi on bass, the band’s chaotic, artistic rock caught the attention of Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, who produced and released the band’s debut album (read more)

Blonde Redhead – Falling Man

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Found this lost in the vast cyber-landscapes of the web: a surround-sound strat where each string has its own output and can therefore be plugged in to a six-input 5.1 amp.

Armed with a cordless drill, a soldering iron, and a Stewart-MacDonald catalog, I proceeded to disembowel a perfectly good Squier Stratocaster,” says Johnson. “With a 1″ bit, I carved a canyon into the body for 12 volume and tone pots. Next, I built six separate one-string pickups. The cylindrical magnets fit perfectly in the drill, so winding them was easy—two minutes each at high speed. Then, I placed each pickup into one of two single-coil covers, using a simple 1951 Fender P-Bass schematic to wire each to a separate output jack.

Interesting possibilities here. You could record each string on a separate track and mix them as you see fit. Play two 5.1 strats together and you could create very unique ambiances.

I haven’t found any other information on this Adam Johnson fellow nor on his creation but would certainly love to hear the result.

mruff

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Yesterday I posted part 1 that covered how D4D Entertainment organize their band’s gigs. Well here’s part 2 folks! In today’s post we’ll see how they:

  • Set-up their bills
  • Apply the right ‘formula’ for the line-up
  • Cope with band work ethics
  • Work out the last details after the show

Enjoy.

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– Setting up the bill for a gig –

After calculating total expenses, and revenue possibilities, we start setting up the bill
Since we are putting out money for this show, sometimes out of our own pockets, we obviously want to make this money back (and hopefully some extra cash as well).  We then discuss what bands fit the genre style for this date and who can bring the maximum number of fans or “heads” through the door.  Since we are one of the biggest promoters of unsigned/underground bands, we also look at what bands have the least number of fans but also who can put on a quality show and is willing to work for it.  For these bands we mix them into a big show so they can get exposed in an effort to assist them and gain new fans.  This approach has allowed some of the garage bands with no fans to become mega stars here in California.  We then ask the bands if they are available and interested in this opportunity.  We always make it clear to the bands that they have to “work” for the show and that it’s not going to be served to them on a silver platter.  An issue I have found with most younger or inexperienced bands.

– Applying the right ‘formula’ for the line-up –

Once we have the bands confirmed, we then work on “the formula” for the show.

  • What time will we start?
  • What are the set times?
  • What is the breakdown time?
  • Setup time?
  • Sound check time?
  • Who opens, who plays 2nd, 3rd, 4th or closes?

Here in California, when a band closes, that means they headline.  Bands, if you are headlining a show, it’s your night to shine! It’s your show so get out there and hustle!  The more work and effort you put into pushing “your” show, the better “your” show will be.  Don’t count on the venue, promoter or other bands to give you fans.  That’s your job!!! And another thing, don’t bitch, complain or talk smack if you have to open or you don’t like your spot.  Be thankful and lucky you are even playing!  For you crybaby bands who whine and complain about your spot, guess what?  You’ll probably never be booked by this promoter or even booked at this venue again.

I will now get off my soapbox and back to the formula.

For example you may have 3 rock bands.  Even though the genre/style can be classified under 1 category, there are variations of the style.  We usually tend to start with the lighter or less heavy band first.  The 2nd band will have a little more heaviness to its music or something different to bring. Then finally we have the hardest, heaviest band perform last.  What you have is a gradual incline or increase in rock or heaviness.  If you could see a graph, the line would start low, then steadily increase upwards to the right.  Sometimes we even try the opposite or mix it with a bell shaped curve (the lighter bands in first and last position with the heaviest bands in the middle).  My personal preference is the first one mentioned.  We will do the same with alternative or hip-hop type music as well.  There is always a formula to our shows and this approach has proven successful.

– An introduction to band work ethics –

Bands have to work?  What did he say?  That’s right kiddies, time to put the video game joystick down and get to cracking!!!  This means, “pushing” your show.  Tell your family and friends, tell people you work with, use the internet to email or myspace.  When the promoter calls you and says OK and the fliers are ready to be picked up,  pick them up, and get them out there!  Don’t just leave them on cars in a parking lot – get out there and hustle.  Go to the nearest sound gear shop and talk to people, introduce yourself, invite them out to your show and put a flier in their hand.  Quality contacts are much more effective than the shotgun approach.  Remember it’s your show.

If tickets must be sold, then sell them. You’re not the sales type person?  Sorry, not an excuse. Someone in your band is – you have to learn from them.  Do everything and anything you can to get the word out on the streets.  Remember, not only will the promoter and venue see which bands bust their ass off, the other bands will see that as well. If you’re trying to network and work alongside other bands, what makes you think they want to share a show with you in the future if you didn’t bring anybody?  Although I can go on for days on these issues, I”ll save them for another topic I’ll entitle “A Band’s Code of Ethics.”  A must read for all bands.

During the show we like to meet with all the bands to give them the run down of the schedule, start/stop times and also any special announcements we need them to plug in while on stage.  We also help load and unload your equipment on stage in order to meet our schedule.  When your on a D4D show, you will be guaranteed that the production will be on time, +/- 5 minutes.

– Working it out after the gig –

After the show is over, we then work with the venue to help clean up, discuss “numbers” towards the end of the night.  We look at total revenue made and see how well we did or didn’t do compared to our expenses.  Based upon how hard the bands worked in bringing heads through the door will help determine if they receive any cash at the end.  It’s also possible the bands may not receive any payout.  However if you look at all of the marketing and advertising including radio commercials etc, what you do walk away with is exposure and hopefully new fans. After this is said and done, we then move on to our next show, next venue.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always run as smooth.  There are issues we run into from time to time such as venues canceling dates on us or bands canceling on the day of the show, even after getting them 1 – 2 weeks worth of airplay on the radio and their bands name is printed all over town… We always try to minimize our risks and keep the drama to a minimum, next to none.

For those bands who actually took the time to read this, considering you didn’t already know all of this, I hope you have a better insight and understanding of the other side.  Working together with the promoter can have desirable results for you and your band.

D4D Entertainment is the biggest and strongest supporters of unsigned, underground music.  We are also your one stop shop for Booking, Promotions, Advertising and Marketing, Radio Commercials, Merchandising, Graphic Design, Printing Services, Music Equipment, Photography, Videos, Studio Recording, CD duplications and the strength of unity for Independent Musicians and bands.  Plus, there’s more.  Our relationships with experts in these various fields allows us to get you the best possible costs.  We are also proud to announce that we are currently working with various sponsors to make all of this a reality. You can visit us at www.myspace.com/d4dentertainment. I”ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.   Also, if you know of a touring band who is passing through California, send them our way.  We are the biggest and hottest spot for live music in between San Francisco and L.A.  Central California Fresno is located just 3hrs south of San Francisco and 3hrs north of Hollywood L.A. Please take a moment to visit my bands site at www.myspace.com/nativeburnlive

Rob Escamilla

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Thanks again Rob!

Bark!

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