; Tangled Up In Blue: January 2006

Monday, January 30, 2006

E-music changes the world in unexpected ways

Picasso - Three Musicians

Mobile Opportunity: Removing the Middleman, Part 2: Music: Former Chief Competitive Officer and VP of Product Planning at Palm Michael Mace (spotlighted in Day 84 of 100 blogs in 100 days), explains and demystifies what is going on in the music business today - this post is a must read if you have a stake as an artist, producer or music industry mogul... check it out.

Michael asserts:

E-music changes the world in unexpected ways

--I think the biggest change happening in music distribution right now isn't piracy, it's cannibalization of CD albums by e-music singles.

--I can't believe I'm saying this, but despite all the hype, the iTunes music store is actually much more powerful than most people realize. I think it may already be too late for any competitor to stop iTunes from becoming the dominant music store in the US.

--The tipping point at which the record companies will become obsolete may arrive in about two years.

I'm interested in how these E-music channels operate, having been old school back in the eighties with my time at Warners with the rise of the cassette and later, the CD. Now in software distribution and familiarity with eBooks and mobile phone distribution - well trust me, you'll want to read the rest of the of the article. Michael does a masterful job of explaining his due diligence and research. Is the future bright for artists, record companies and/or consumers?

The Economist thinks "The internet will eventually be wonderful for music buyers, but it is still a threat to today's dominant record labels"


Some say when it comes to artist's interests, "Apple calls iTunes "revolutionary" but record companies are using the service to force the same exploitive and unfair business model onto a new medium."

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Why I love Napster

I love Napster because I can rent all the music I care to listen to for $9.95 on three PCs.

And it's a big reason why I don't own a iPod (yet).

I sit at home working on the PC so I can fire up Napster, create playlists and listen away during the day. At night or offsite, I can work on my laptop with the headphones plugged in.

The main reason and I think where the real value comes in with the Napster service is the song lookup. I was watching an old episode of Alias and like most TV shows, there's a song that closes out the episode that ties in all the emotions. Sydney just built a baby crib and Michael, the father is gone... so the background song playing has a key word of "water" - So I fire up Napster, search for "water" and narrow the choice down to "The Water Is Wide" by Karla Bonoff


The water is wide, I can't cross over
and neither I have wings to fly
give me a boat that can carry two
and both shall row - my love and I

Now love is gentle, and love is kind
the sweetest flower when first it's new
but love grows old, and waxes cold
and fades away like morning dew

There is a ship, she sails the sea
she's loaded deep as deep can be
but not as deep as the love I'm in
I know not how I sink or swim

The water is wide, I can't cross over
and neither I have wings to fly
give me a boat that can carry two
and both shall row - my love and I
and both shall row - my love and I

With Napster, I can select all the titles and listen to them all (full length - not a snippet) and toss out the versions I don't care for. (I kept 64 versions of The Water is Wide).

Naspter has allowed me to expand my musical tastes - I may hear a song on Lightning100, note the title and when I get home do a search. I've discovered music by Beth Orton, Dido, Sarah McLachlan, The Sundays while catching up on some new releases from artists that I use to listen to like EmmyLou Harris. There is also a listing of Billboard songs, so Napster is a great resource for oldies, the British Invasion, progressive rock - you will find what you're looking for. For a mere $9.95 a month, the value of having access to a 1.5 million song, mother of all iPods is a good value proposition.

The bummer is that Napster is not available for the Mac...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Kat's Jam-as: The iTunes Meme

How many total songs?
3685 songs, equal to 11.33 days or 14.20 GB.

Sort by song title - first and last?
First: 'From The Earth To The Moon--End Theme'
Last: Zorba The Greek

Sort by time - shortest and longest?
Shortest: "Scotland Is Free" (0:17) Mel Gibson More Music From Braveheart
Longest: "Cryptical Envelopment" (36:29) Grateful Dead Hundred Year Hall

Sort by Album - first and last?
First: "1" by The Beatles
Last: "Zero Effect--Music From The Motion Picture"

Sort by Artist - first and last?
First: 1st Battallion Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders (Bagpipers)
Last: Wynonna Judd

Top five played songs?
"I Will Find You (Love Theme from Last Of The Mohicans)"--Clannad
"Canon In D Major"--Pachelbel
"Raglan Road"--The Cheiftains featuring Roger Daltry

Find the following words. How many songs show up?
Sex: 3
Death: 11
Love: 140
You: 184
Home: 23
Boy: 22
Girl: 13

*Meat Loaf: 90

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wilson Pickett and the birth of Southern Rock

Wilson Pickett died today. Pickett did a lot of recording down in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. In fact, just about anybody who played Rhythm and Blues in the sixties recorded in Muscle Shoals at one time or another. While all of the recording artists were black, all of the session players were white. Not only were they white, but they were very conservative clean cut looking guys.

I was watching a program on CMT the other day called Revolution and it was basically about the history of Southern Rock. According to the guy who ran the studio at that time, Duane Allman got his start in Muscle Shoals as a session player. He showed up at the studio with long hair and funny looking clothes. Most people thought he was just a weird hippie. They didn't give him a job, so Duane just set up a tent outside of the place and eventually they gave in and hired him. One day they all decided to go out and get something to eat. Since it didn't look good in those days to have a black guy or a guy with long hair go out and eat with white guys, Duane and Wilson stayed back in the studio. That's when Duane talked Pickett into covering the Beatles tune "Hey Jude". Not only was the record a hit, but Duane's guitar playing on the record was also a hit. According to the guys on that show, that recording was the birth of Southern Rock. Everyone was so impressed with Duane's playing that they encouraged him to form a band. That band would of course become the Allman Brothers Band.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Finding Mozart

Scientists may have found the skull of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but they're not telling until this Sunday during a special on Mozart commerating his 250th birthday that will be later this month. The skull has been believed to be Mozart's for more than a century but DNA tests always came back inconclusive until now. For those familiar with the life of Mozart, this would be a pretty big discovery. During his life Mozart, unlike many of his now-famous contemporaries, had enough recognized talent to have lived quite finacially well off, however a roaring ego and a wild lifestyle left him penniless by the time of his very early death (which is a good story in and of itself). As a result he was buried with little ceremony and perhaps in the same grave as other bodies leaving his final home a bit of a mystery to those who are interested in that sort of thing.

A few years back I had the opportunity to visit his home (in life) in Salzburg, Austria. A fascinating place to visit and walk through, and mind-blowing when you try to fully comprehend that you are walking across the same floors that such a musical genius walked across a little over 200 years ago. If you get the chance to go I'd recommend it and if you happen to visit the gift shop and see a red silk tie with the music for Eine Kleine Nachtmusik printed on it, I misplaced mine and would be forever grateful for a replacement *wink*.