Archive for the ‘Music’ category

Speakers UP! Creaky Boards

December 27, 2008

There are now only four days left to this blog.

I’m in the mood for something triumphant yet melancholic.

This Creaky Boards song fits: The Songs I Didn’t Write.

Amp up your speakers!

Creaky Boards MySpace

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They Keep Trying To Kill The Long Tail

December 22, 2008

Long Tail theory contradicted as study reveals 10m digital music tracks unsold

The internet was supposed to bring vast choice for customers, access to obscure and forgotten products – and a fortune for sellers who focused on niche markets.

But a study of digital music sales has posed the first big challenge to this “long tail” theory: more than 10 million of the 13 million tracks available on the internet failed to find a single buyer last year.

Emphasis added by me.

And:

However, a new study by Will Page, chief economist of the MCPS-PRS Alliance, the not-for-profit royalty collection society, suggests that the niche market is not an untapped goldmine and that online sales success still relies on big hits. They found that, for the online singles market, 80 per cent of all revenue came from around 52,000 tracks. For albums, the figures were even more stark. Of the 1.23 million available, only 173,000 were ever bought, meaning 85 per cent did not sell a single copy all year.

Emphasis added by me.

On the face of it, those figures are devastating and disheartening.

But I wondered: Was any marketing done for the unsold portion? Did anyone know they were there to be had?

And: What services were measured? I’d like someone to do a study of how much music is sold via MySpace and compare those bands against, say, the iTunes Store and Amazon’s MP3 Store.

All this is directly applicable to writers.

Any writer, for example, who direct publishes an eBook and expects people to find out about it without any marketing is just asking for a bagful of disappointment.

Previously here:

The Long Tail: Not Entirely Discredited
Google Book Search: Medialoper FTW
More Long Tail Debate
The Long Tail: A Lie?

Dying Dinosaurs Of Print: CHOOSE!

November 29, 2008

Over at Kung-Fu Monkey, Leverage co-creator/producer John Rogers posted: Streaming Mac to 360: Rivet.

It’s all about how on-demand streaming video via the Net is not the future — it’s right now.

This coincidentally dovetails nicely with my recent DVD epiphany.

And there’s one paragraph that I must quote:

The tone of voice when I talk about these things tend to be a disdainful “Well, sure but how are we supposed to monetize this?” Right question, wrong tone. We. Don’t. Have. A. Choice.

Emphasis added by me.

The music industry has been usurped by technology. Now television has been too. And movies.

The one remaining industry is book publishing.

Google has already stolen all of the historical backlist.

All that’s left is recent and not yet published.

It’s as if the book publishing industry was situated on a giant iceberg — which suddenly cracked apart, leaving publishers on a precarious floe.

Over there in a big rescue ship are eBook readers screaming, “We’ll save you! Just publish eBooks quickly and at reasonable prices!!!”

On the other side are the pirates on a self-built makeshift archipelago in international waters free from all law enforcement. They don’t care what book publishers do. They have worldwide distributed teams with scanners and free proofreaders ready to “set everything free.”

And on the horizon are writers themselves in small boats trying to figure out how to best survive on their own, liberated from the constraints of ink-and-paper publishing.

Book publishing — unlike music, unlike TV, unlike movies — Still. Has. A. Choice.

Will it allow eBook readers to rescue it?

Must Read: Lili Marlene

November 17, 2008

lilimarlenecover

Lili Marlene: The Soldiers’ Song of World War II by Liel Leibovitz and Matthew Miller

“Lili Marlene,” the unlikely anthem of World War II, cut across front lines and ideological divides, uniting soldiers across the globe. This love song, telling the story of a young woman waiting for her lover to return from the battlefield, began as a poem written by a German solider during World War I. The soldier-poet’s words found their way to Berlin’s decadent cabaret scene in the 1930s, where they were set to music by one of Hitler’s favored composers. The song’s singer, however, soon found herself torn between her desire for fame and a personal hatred of the Nazi regime. In a gripping and suspenseful narrative, the three artists’ remarkable stories of arrests and close calls intertwine with the recollections of soldiers on all sides who fought their way through deserts and towns, seeking solace and finding hope in “Lili Marlene.”

I happened to tune into The John Batchelor Show last night on WABC-AM in NYC and heard the authors. It’s an absolutely fascinating story.

This is the direct download link to the MP3 file (right-click Save As…). The interview begins at 1:36:32.

There’s also The Official Lili Marleen Page which has a ton of MP3 versions of the song, including the originals from that time.

Update: In a Comment, the authors reveal there is an entire site for the book. It has a great excerpt plus several versions of the song to stream. Go look!

Barry Gray: Immortal Music

November 16, 2008

The Fireballs – Fireball

The Fireballs theme tune. Originally recorded in 1962 in the UK on the HMV label and played at the end of each episode of the fondly rememebered Gerry Anderson children`s TV show “Fireball XL5”. This is always a popular number at Fireballs gigs.

Forty-six years later, his music is still alive.

He couldn’t have imagined that, doing the closing credits song for a children’s TV series.

Too bad he did not live to see this.

Speakers UP! Barry Gray Pop Music

November 2, 2008

I know the title ascribes this to Captain Scarlet, but that’s incorrect.

The original was done for the White as Snow episode of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, but all anyone has to do is watch that episode on DVD to be greatly disappointed. It’s not the same music and the tempo is shockingly slow too.

This is actually from an episode of UFO (which one, escapes me at the moment). It’s played as incidental background music on, if I recall correctly, a car radio. Barry Gray recycled the music, increasing the tempo and somewhat tinkering with the instrumentation.

The result is this piece, which I must have played into my head several hundred gazillion times. This is best listened to with headphones. Really get into it. It’s one of the best pieces Barry Gray ever did.

captain scarlet pop theme

Speakers UP! Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2008

My final October post. Speakers up to dig this:

Nocturnal Depression – Nostalgia

Just two more months left to this blog.