Emily White, an NPR intern, kicked off the discussion early in the week, stating she never made the transition from physical to digital consumption of music.
I never went through the transition from physical to digital. I’m almost 21, and since I first began to love music I’ve been spoiled by the Internet.
I am an avid music listener, concertgoer, and college radio DJ. My world is music-centric. I’ve only bought 15 CDs in my lifetime. Yet, my entire iTunes library exceeds 11,000 songs.
Then, Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker founder, David Lowery, responds with a nearly 3,000 word essay regarding the ethics and philosophy of creating music (or art) and being compensated.
Rather, fairness for musicians is a problem that requires each of us to individually look at our own actions, values and choices and try to anticipate the consequences of our choices. I would suggest to you that, like so many other policies in our society, it is up to us individually to put pressure on our governments and private corporations to act ethically and fairly when it comes to artists rights. Not the other way around. We cannot wait for these entities to act in the myriad little transactions that make up an ethical life. I’d suggest to you that, as a 21-year old adult who wants to work in the music business, it is especially important for you to come to grips with these very personal ethical issues.
But Jonathan Coulton takes the idea further in a different direction, using Legos to speculate what may happen with physical goods if 3D printers proliferated.
Your kid loves Legos. He’s got an X-wing fighter kit that he’s super excited about, and as he’s putting it together, one of the little pointy laser turret pieces on the tips of the wings slips out of his hands and falls down the central air conditioning vent. No problem. You fire up the old internet, and you find www.legowarez.to, the small crazy place where all of the Lego nuts go to obsessively upload and catalog 3D scans of every lego piece that has ever existed. This site is ad supported, and some douchebag in Nigeria is getting rich off it. But you find the file for the piece you need, you download it, and a few minutes later you’ve printed out a replacement piece.
Jay Frank gets curious and uses Google Trends to seek out data about potential piracy.
Google, as the worldwide leader in search results, is a strong indicator of actual file trade demand. In fact, industry watchdog Moses Avalon argued such this week at New Music Seminar. Yet, when I went to look on Google Insights to see the level of demand for free music by David Lowery’s group Camper Van Beethoven, the message I get is, “Not enough search volume to show graphs.”This basically means, from what I can gather, that less than 50 people per monthin the entire world are even showing intent to steal his music. Statisticians basically refer to this as essentially zero.
In the broader sense, creators deserve to be paid for their work, regardless of the medium or method of distribution. The transition to legal, digital services to do this is only a recent development. Upon discovering Spotify, friends marveled, “How is this legal? There’s so much.” But if there’s no demand for an artist’s work, irrelevancy seems a much steeper price despite whatever medium the art is in.
“Bank this off the back booooooaarrrrd”
I love this. Being a Pearl Jam fan, any reference to the band in pop culture is amusing. Jimmy Fallon takes the tune of Jeremy, changes the lyrics to reference Knicks star Jeremy Lin, complete with Eddie Vedder’s Jeremy video look and spooky lighting and does a good job.
Below lists the albums I enjoyed the most in 2011. 2011 overflowed with good music from numerous artists and genres. Hip hop, country and polka are sadly underrepresented on my list.
Sure, you’ve got your summer songs with Katy Perry, Lady Gaga. I’ll raise you one, with Wild Flag, an all girl out fit from Portland.
To get a band to play in your living room, there are several steps to make it happen.
Inspired by two stories posted to Fuel/Friends music blog, by Heather Browne, I pitched the idea to my parents: to put on a show in the living room for my birthday. Reticent to the idea, I strategically, I loaded up the potential band’s music on the kitchen computer and played it for them as I talked about how cool it would be for a 30th birthday experience. Once the soothing, serene harmonies of Seryn filled the kitchen, they began to seem amiable.
“Sure, email the manager, to see if they’ll play.”
A week’s worth of emailing with the band’s manager passed and we worked out a deal. It would cap off a 4 day run of shows for the band. Seryn would play, unplugged, in my living room. I relayed the news to my parents, and they were shocked and impressed, and possibly wondering what they committed themselves to.
Invites were sent, food ordered, the band’s whisky purchased, last minute details cleared up, logistics finalized, poster made, living room cleared, margarita machines stocked, and the dog tranquilized with doggie downers.
People began arriving around 4:30, and the band followed, unloading around 5. They arrived in their bus, a midnight blue shuttle bus, pulling a trailer for their gear. One by one, they entered the house placing an assortment of instruments from a stand up bass, pump organ, tambourines, banjos and xylophone. And in a small world moment, Nathan, the red-bearded guitarist, and my brother, exchanged glances and immediately recognized each other.
“Hey, I know you… from UNT.”
“Yeah, you were in Bruce…”
“… and you had a girlfriend back home…”
“… you did too…”
“… and we’d talk about it all the time… “
“How you been?!”
Everything was fine.
The stage was set, and fajitas were shared, and margaritas and whisky were dispersed for the set. At five after six, a sizable crowd swelled within the confines of the kitchen to the dining room to the stairs. I thanked everyone for coming, and introduced the band.
Trenton spoke, “Hi, we’re Seryn, and we’re happy to be here to play a few songs for you and celebrate Patrick’s birthday.” And they transitioned into Of Ded Meroz.
For an hour Seryn played, switching instruments mid song, applying bows to a banjo and a xylophone during On My Knees, singing in 5 part harmony, jamming out, letting the music ebb and swirl and coalesce into a rousing finale of Here We Are. This is a band you have to see live, for their energy, passion and camaraderie, and you can’t help but feel that and get a sense of something bigger, something hopeful, and joyful.
Friends and family lined up at the makeshift merchandise stand at the dining room table, picking up cds for themselves or others and T-shirts, too.
It was a memorable night. Chelsea, Trenton and Nathan told the story of how they all joined up (fyi, an Explosions in the Sky show is involved); my father helping Andrew, the merch guy, fix the band’s box o’ wares; taking a shot of whisky with Trenton and Nathan, Aaron showing me their spiffy Square credit card processor; my friend Mark collecting autographs with a silver Sharpie; my friend Brad suggesting the addition of a cowbell; the margarita machine drained dry; Chris arriving just in time from a wedding.
All in all, I’m incredibly grateful, humbled and appreciative for all the people who came out to celebrate my 30th.
Collapse Into Now, seems to span soundscapes, melodies and riffs from their 30+ years. The lead song, Discoverer, the lead riff sounds similar to Finest Worksong. Oh My Heart‘s deep guitar strum is reminiscent of Drive. Every Day Is Yours To Win could fit into New Adventures in Hi-Fi, while That Someone Is You bounces around like Radio Free Europe from 1983.
The songs are solid with Michael Stipe’s cryptic lyrics and steadfast delivery. Fast or slow, they remain true to their pop chorus verse chorus structure. Every Day Is Yours To Win feels shimmery with its simple melody and guitar. Closer, Blue, is the most unconventional with no real chorus and feedback laden outro.
Standouts: Uberlin, It Happened Today, Every Day Is Yours To Win
Heather at Fuel/Friends has posted a mix of spring songs, Used Hearts/Fresh Starts. Most of the songs are on the alternative, indie, folk, pop side of the music spectrum, with the occasional deviation, and she has them ready for you to load up into your portable music device.
Arcade Fire closed their Coachella set with the anthemic “Wake Up,” adding some crowd interaction with a couple hundred glow in the dark, multi-colored beach balls.
Graphic designer Kelli Anderson creates a wedding invitation for her friends Mike and Karen that forms a papercraft record player.
The resulting booklet is comprised of a cover, two inner pages, a letterpressed band (with instructions and a tear-off RSVP postcard), and a flexdisc on a screwpost. The recipient bends the second page of the booklet back to create a tented “arm.” With the needle placed, they then carefully spin the flexidisc at 45 RPM (ish) to hear the song.