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Posts Tagged ‘music’

“He who rejects change is the architect of decay”.
Harold Wilson

Ever heard of Joel Tenenbaum? Well I hadn’t really paid any attention to that name until today, and more precisely until I read this article from The Guardian – “How it feels to be sued for $4.5m“. I have always known thousands in the states had been sued for absurd sums for sharing music, everyone’s aware of the RIAA’s sissy-fits, but to read such a testimonial set me aback some. Do read it: it was written by Joel himself, and weather you’re with him or against him, it won’t leave you indifferent to his cause.

I don’t want to go into the details of his story because  it is all written marvelously well in that article. What I’ll say is this: Joel is one of the tens of thousands of people who have got their lives crushed just for sharing music. Joel is not the compulsive file-sharer type who detains tera bytes upon tera bytes of music storages on dozens of 7200 rpm, RAID intertwined hard-drives, he’s just one in 50 million file-sharers who unluckily won the RIAA lottery. His battle started off small, just in for a couple of thousand of dollars. Now he is in for millions because he fought back.

joel tenebaum riaa trialHe finally made it to the trial which started yesterday (most people cave in before reaching that point). Joel’s story struck a chord in many music lovers’ hearts, and he is now backed-up by thousands from all over the world. He has got his proper “Joel Fights Back” twitter account (@joelfightsback), twitter feed (#jfb) and website.

The Guardian’s article holds ten pages full of comments, but the very first one made my day. It was written by a nut who hammers Joel by invoking the “you just shouldn’t steal from people more creative than you. You deserve what’s coming at you” speech. I can take a step back like any other and realize there are laws for a reason, that these laws must be reinforced to maintain order. I am not defending Joel 100% just because it’s easy and comforting to be on the martyr’s side, engaging resistance against corporate fat cats, I’m on Joel’s side because if we succumb to absurdity, we are headed straight for a brick wall, the likes of which mankind has a tendency to bang its head against over and over again.

For such trials to be enacted in this day and age is absurd for the simple reason that there is no balance whatsoever between technological advancements and copyright law anymore. The later has, since its most primitive founding, been intimately linked to the former. They both go hand in hand, and when one changes, the other follows briefly after. The recording industry caved in on many accounts in the past because of ever-evolving music distribution mediums, yet now, the RIAA still won’t accept the change p2p brought to their consumers’ consumption habits. And why are they so aggressive? Because of scalability. Never have the paper-rolls, the radio, the cassette-tapes and so on scaled such a gap between consumers and content owners. So members of the RIAA have litterally been shittin’ their pants these two past decades. Their solution: to frantically sue customers at random for completely absurd sums of money for no reason other than fathering fear and making up for decreasing profits.  I would like to repeat myself here: it is only to engender fear and make money that the RIAA is suing. There is no long-tail humanitarian purpose here, there is no will whatsoever to educate the masses, there is no greater master-plan behind all this grief – just fear and money.

We don’t burn people on stakes anymore just because they refuse to believe in the virgin Mary. Same should apply to file sharing and music in 2009. But apparently, that is still far from being the case.

Accepting change is the key to healthy evolution. The first step would be for major labels to admit their wrongs in terms of serving musical garbage to us all these past 10 years. Economic instability, growing gaming industry, DVDs and Internet- related-entertainment didn’t help them one bit in getting back that entrepreneurial spirit they lost so long ago. Add to that p2p networks, and it all seems so logical that the RIAA affiliates are going down the drain, taking 15% decreasing market blows every year or so.

That is just the ways things have changed, and those who go against what has changed, although it is completely beyond their power to do anything about that change, are fools, plain and simple.

Good Luck Joel. You have my total support.

Mruff

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Apparently, generating music from the brain is a hot topic to be studying in science these days. The video bellow demonstrates what music generated from from fMRI scans (fMRI stands for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) sounds like.

To turn such scans into music, philosopher Dan Lloyd at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, identified regions that become active together and assigned each of these groups a different pitch. He then created software that analyzes a series of scans and generates the notes at these pitches as the corresponding brain areas light up. Each note is played at a volume that corresponds to the intensity of activity. Lloyd measured his brain activity while exercising different activities, like playing a race-car video game and then resting. It goes to show that the musical alterations from one activity to the next are very noticeable. Lloyd, looking for practical uses for his application, turned to people suffering
from schizophrenia and dementia. Along with some other uber-geek scientists, he noticed that it was possible to identify specific parts of the brain where anomalies occurred much better through the scans where the music pointed out unusual variations, then with the eye alone. Amazing indeed.

In the music brain domain there exists other outstanding studies, like using brain waves to generate music that will then be re-fed to the listener for relaxation and concentration purposes. In other words, listening to your own “soundtrack” can have some very beneficial affects on your stress and focus levels. The Dept of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) has begun a study into a form of neurotraining called “Brain Music” that uses music created in advance from listeners’ own brain waves to help them deal with common ailments like insomnia, fatigue, and headaches stemming from stressful environments. Also pretty darn awesome.

Woof.

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indie-artist-x-logo-300x225A set of key music industry peeps, that you could know about (or maybe should) if you are a musician or in a band and that you spend some time online trying to perfect your music 2.0 skills, are getting together to focus on helping an anonymous hard-working indie musician get out of his day-time job and start a full time career. The project is called the Indie Artist X Music Marketing Plan. Bellow are cited its participant:

  • Andrew Goodrich from ArtistsHouse (great and prolific Twitterer – follow him @artistshouse or @VisualAlchemy). Andrew will be overviewing Fan Developpment strategies for ArtistX.
  • Bruce Houghton from the Hypebot (brings us daily music news through his truly inspiring Hypebot blog, and is probably very active in other realms of the music industry – follow Bruce @hypebot). Bruce will be taking care of Commerce.
  • Cameron Mizell from Musicianswages.com (A funky jazz guitarist and a regular writer/contributor on musicianwages.com. Check out his Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/cameronmizel) Cameron is in charge of Awareness
  • David Rose from Knowthemusicbiz.com (a great resource for all musicians. You can follow David on Twitter @dbrose67) David is in charge of the website.
  • Heather MacDonald from the music careers section over at About.com. Check her tweets @mountflorida.
  • Martin Atkins from Revolution Number 3 that I have never heard of but that I am sure are great at what they do. Martin will be taking care of live show and touring strategies.

Here’s the initial pitch for the ArtistX project:

The goal of the Indie Artist X Project is to develop a basic, actionable music marketing plan designed around simple strategy, prioritization of tactics, tools and a reasonable budget that can be implemented by any indie artist who has the inclination to follow it. A group of like minded people (us and the other sponsors) interested in helping foster the success of independent musicians have banded together to create this community based music marketing plan. It’s our hope that any hard working, talented musician can utilize this plan to grow their fan base and help lay the foundation for a sustainable career in music. We will be working with one anonymous artist to design and implement this music marketing plan then track and report the actual results over a four month period. All the details of the plan are publicly available in this document.

“This document” being a Google Spreasheet you can view here.

This artist must stay anonymous so publicity from the project will not skew any potential results.

Seems like a very interesting idea. If I understand correctly, the six influential music industry peeps above will chaperon artistX’s music career for the next 3 month and attempt to determine what the best strategies to leverage it are. Seems like the first market study conducted on an indie musician. Result promise to be intriguing and most certainly up-lifting for the DIY crowds. I’ll keep you updated on their progress.

Woof

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Just found this video out of the blue:

My initial reaction was “is this some kind of joke”, and is goes to show that it isn’t, but that this product is a prototype created by a company called Pilotfish begging for some investor to back it up.

Now since I already started this post and embedded the video and everything, I guess the logical follow-up question here is: “would you use this”.

Well, hmmm, I really don’t know actually. Depends on how good those microphone sticks are. I think the whole party-mixing aspect of it is way to gadgety for that to work, but a portable social mixing device is an interesting concept.

Mruff?

Roar

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The other day I wrote a post called “Where are you hiding your band’s email address“. While browsing through the web in search of bands’ email addresses I realized that many unknown or unsigned bands seem to conceal them in the most awkward places on their Myspaces, Facebook pages and websites, not to mention that most of the time their email addresses just aren’t available anywhere.

For some bands who say that they “want it” (as in “some form of success”) , this can seem pretty paradoxal.

One regular reader of our doggy blog posted a rather interesting comment that we felt would constitute a nice little post that goes along the lines of “How much do bands REALLY want it?”

It’s interesting to me, but sometimes I don’t think bands are even eager for promotion. For a while I was doing interviews for unsigned bands that I liked on an unsigned band website. Curiously, some bands would not respond for weeks to a request for an interview. Similarly, after agreeing, sometimes they would not respond to the questions I email them for perhaps months. Often I’d have to follow up with them to ask if they’d gotten a chance to look at the questions. Sometimes I’d have to email the initial questions again.

Arrogant rock star comes to mind, but I don’t think it’s arrogance. I think they’re just clueless half the time. Heck, they’re unsigned nobodies (albeit talented nobodies imho) if I was trying to get in touch with them. I just think they don’t understand that it’s not always about the music, that there’s a promotional element to getting their name out there.

There’s so much good music out there, and it’s so difficult to be heard above the throngs.

Bark?

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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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