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The Kids Are All Streaming

Most people are opting to stream music on portable devices using Pandora and Spotify so says a new CNN article.

Never mind the ads and the terrible quality.  Is an entire generation of music fans being deprived of a stunning audio/musical experience of a great captured performance?  Is the craft of music recording and capturing a performance being tossed aside for a generation who prefers listening to 128K mp3’s?

It is unbelievable how much great music is available.  We like it all.

If you have the chance to listen to great speakers try that stream vs a cd.  Who knows you may be able to hear a little more soul.



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"How Many Ways Can YOU Rock a Beat?"

Check out this awesome article & video about Multimedia Electronic Drumming (ft. FXpansion BFD & Geist) written by and featuring our very own, Glenn Schloss on SonicScoop!

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Music Reality Shows Overload & Fandalism?

With singing/musical competitions like “American Idol,” “The X Factor,” “The Voice,” “America’s Got Talent” (basically), “Platinum HIt,” “The Glee Project,” and “The Sing Off” and musical scripted series like “Glee” and “Smash” already clouding the television atmosphere, can audiences handle a new wave of musical shows? 

Well…whether you’re ready or not the TSUNAMI is coming! NBC is set to debut the new music reality series, “Opening Act” on July 9th @10pm, giving rising YouTube performers the opportunity to take the stagewith an A-List artist including, Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, Brad Paisley, Jason Mraz, and Jason Alden amongst others.

ABC is also preparing to launch its new show “Duets” on May 24th @8pm, where judges Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke set out to find an undiscovered singer to be their duet partner. 

BUT WAIT, there’s more! 

OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) is premiering “Real Life: The Musical” on June 9th @10pm, which gives people the chance to (literally) sing their hearts out to that someone special when they are at a loss for words.

And finally,

Oxygen is releasing “NEXT BIG THING, THE: NY” on June 12th @11pm, where NYC Trapper Felides (NYC performance coach & musical director) will give performers the hard truth and direction to help them prepare for their next career changing audition.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good musical show as much as the next person but…it’s getting hard to keep track of all of them now…

Anyone else feel like this?

On another note, just discovered the website Fandalism today…a space where musicians can meet and discover other (more unknown) musicians. It’s like a bit like creating a Myspace artist page but with more search capabilities (instruments, styles, sex, age, country…) and video uploads. Is this the next platform for hidden talent to rise to the occasion? Let’s check back in a little later…

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Odd Future with a “New Model”: Free Music for Inflated Merch Sales?

     

I’ve heard this suggestion time and time and again, giving away music for free as a promotion for the band’s concert and merchandise. This sounds like a great solution to piracy, so is this the new model that our industry should be exploring more or is it just “selling out?”

Watch this short 5 minute video where the BBC takes a look into the rap band, Odd Future and their new business model. With the creation of hand-made merch, pop up stores and 20+ FREE albums, can this model be replicated throughout the entire music industry or really, should it?

*One thing to note is that one of the reasons why this model works well for Odd Future is because they own all of their tracks. They are the only people that would need to be compensated for their tunes, whereas you have a number of artists who do not write their own songs. In this case, how would the songwriters be paid, a percentage of all merch sales? What proportion of that pie would they take and would it really be fair? If you had multiple writers on every song you’ve ever performed, the breakdown would get extremely complicated…

And the biggest question of all is, if music is completely given away for free will all of the potential CD/music sale revenues cross over to merchandise sales to support the bands?

One would hope so….

                     Please share your thoughts with me here or on:                                                                                     

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                                         The Healing Power of Music! 

Music transforms, music transcends and music heals. Watch Henry, an unresponsive man who’s been in a nursing home for 10 years, come alive when he listens to the songs he grew up with. It’s pretty exciting seeing how giddy he gets over the experience. He truly does come alive!

Music speaks to all of us in different ways but it never ceases to amaze me how much of an impact it can make in one person’s life.

We at G&E Music are so encouraged by this and hope to, along with the rest of you, continue creating, listening to and being a part of a generation that seeks GREAT, QUALITY MUSIC! 

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                                              David Merrill’s Siftables

A little dated, but we are sure glad to have stumbled upon this still developing technology!

"Siftables aims to enable people to interact with information and media in physical, natural ways that approach interactions with physical objects in our everyday lives."

Siftables seem like an amazing interactive learning tool for kids and adults. 

@4:50, Merrill demonstrates how you can create music with Siftables! What a new direction! 

                                    I want to get my hands on some!

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PIRATES BEWARE! Center for Copyright Information (CCI) prepares to launch!

Copyright infringement & piracy have long played a role in the great fall of the music industry. I don’t want to repeat the long history i’ve discussed in past entries, I just want to inform you of the new system that is arising to fight this problem, so moving on…

The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) is starting a program that hopes to educate and inform the public about the laws prohibiting Online Infringement and encourage legal and alternative means of obtaining digital works (film & music). 

As “gatekeepers of the Internet,” ISPs are said to be in the best position to prevent illegal file sharing. They are introducing a graduated-response program (3 strikes protocol, like the HADOPI law used in France) that first sends letters educating the accused on what they have just done (strike #1, a warning). If you choose to continue they will “increase the pressure” and the consequences. Although not stated specifically in the article, if this graduated response program runs anything like the HADOPI Law in France, then the 3rd strike is cutting off your Internet access for a number of months (ekk!).

If you want to read more about it, there’s a pretty lengthy and cool (I think) memo about it here.

              

                                            PIRATES BEWARE!

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SXSW 2012: An Insider’s Guide and Perspective

As an Austin, Texas native and lover of the Austin music scene, it’s always a joy to partake in the bustling, hectic, international, practically weeklong music and film festival known as South by South West (SXSW).  I’m sure you’re wondering, “what makes it so special?” And, “is it even worth trekking across the nation (or world) to go to, given the massive amount of people it now attracts?” The answers to both of these questions are yes. Yes, it is worth your time and I’ll tell you why it’s so successful and will continue to be.

Austin, Texas

Before we get to some important points, SXSW takes place in the city known as the live music capital of the world. The festival always takes place during the perfect time of year – in the middle of March where the weather in Austin isn’t blistering hot.

Now for a secret: you don’t really need a badge, or even a wristband (unless you plan to frequent panels and press-ridden, extremely hyped up nightly showcases.) However, the festival is not exactly “teenage friendly”; it’s much easier and cheaper to go as a 21+ year-old individual. All shows during the day are free to the public whereas the night showcases vary – you can pay a cheap fee as you go to each showcase, enter if 21 and older, or enter for free with a badge or wristband. All that being said, the majority of artists playing in the evening will most likely play a day show throughout the week, so plan to see them (for free!) then.

Aside from the widespread locally-supported eateries and food trucks, strange individuals perpetuating and spreading the “Keep Austin Weird” mantra through their appearance, and the marriage of outdoor and urban vibes the city creates, SXSW is a breeding ground for musical progression. Here’s a list of some things you will most likely encounter:

1)   You’ll likely run into the yuppie band member who is overly ecstatic about their release and/or show that week. Choose wisely which eager, young fellow you decide to lend your time and ears to.

2)   As the festival continues to grow each year, the crowds get larger and the lines get longer as the days turn into nights. So make sure to get to showcases early and stay put!

3)   Showcases will be based on a variety of things: a company or event party, a magazine, music pertaining to specific local and regional areas of the world, a particular genre, etc.

4)   The venues range from large-capacity, popular venues, like tents and outdoor lawns that host big name artists, to small, intimate dive bars and restaurant or store parking lots. However, the amount of concentrated venues lining the expansive downtown area that can house a live show makes it difficult to keep track of who’s playing, and at what time and where.

5)   The fact that there are over 2,000 bands practically guarantees that whatever kind of music lover you consider yourself, you’ll be able to find an artist that satisfies your particular musical palate.

6)   You’ll find an assortment bands and artists: some that are just starting out with solely local exposure, to those with international fame and decades of experience. So, if you’re looking for an up-and-coming artist showcase or something more familiar and predictible, both are available.

7)   Take the live experience with a grain of salt. Bands don’t always play their best at SXSW; they’re constantly on the go with little to no sleep and some are playing more than one show in the span of five days.

The future: It’s always a possibility that a festival becomes too popular and crowded, too commercialized, and too expensive. However, given that it’s a one-of-a-kind event with so many different pricing options and styles of music, it’s doubtful these will become true issues for SXSW. The film section of the festival seems to be the only concern.  Given the growth of the musical aspect of the festival, it’s tough to say if the film aspect will be overshadowed in years to come.

Bands - Oldies and Newbies that played SXSW 2012:
The Shins and Counting Crows played a free, outdoor show at Auditorium Shores.

Jack White played two sets at The Stage on 6th, one set with an all guy band and the other being all girls.

Fiona Apple and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine brought back memories as they drew in dedicated, life-long fans.

Cage the Elephant, a band who signed with Relentless Records at SXSW in 2007, held a live online streaming show sponsored by Vans.

Some NYC and Brooklyn bands at SXSW:
Bear in Heaven, Oberhofer, Hospitality, Grimes, Citizen Cope, and Cymbals Eat Guitars, to name a few.

Austin local artists to check out:
David Ramirez, Bob Schneider, Alpha Rev, and Mother Falcon

Bruce Springsteen made the SXSW keynote speech to an audience of select Badge and Wristband Holders, and a few lucky ticket winners. Check out some footage below:

http://www.latimes.com/videogallery/68856841/Entertainment/We-Take-Care-of-Our-Own

By: Victoria Davis

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        As SOPA & ACTA continue to bring up controversy, Rob Reid, from TED humorously sheds some light on how the entertainment industry seems to be calculating losses due to piracy. With what he calls “Copyright Math,” Reid discusses how some numbers may be highly exaggerated…

      Whatever the case may be, the music industry has taken a huge hit this past decade+ and even if the numbers are slightly skewed upward, the effects are not.

       As we’ve all experienced, the start of the peer-to-peer network, Napster, in 1999 drastically changed the music industry, causing us to suffer tremendous drops in sales of recorded music. Though the launch of the iPod and iTunes turned some things around with a la carte purchases, we’ve never been able to fully recover.

       Although I understand the publicity that pirates claim outweigh the money artist’s would have potentially made in sales, I truly think that some pirates really underestimate the value of a song because creativity, ideas/brainstorming, and the time put into its creation are not things we can physically see. It may not be done purposefully, but things are often overlooked, especially when there’s instant gratification involved, like the song you want on your iPod, right in front of you for the taking. It’s a mix of temptation and the unlikelihood of getting caught that makes it that much more irresistible.

       But, as we all know this debate will go on forever and it’s not about stopping piracy anymore, it’s about moving forward, developing new technologies, initiatives, better content, promotional and marketing tactics and finding the trends to jump on.

                                               What do you think?

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Windows Phone, hit or miss?

             

With “Live Tiles” that let you see live updates of your calls, inbox & social network counts, it seems like the Windows Phone is heading in the right direction.

As Microsoft brings this product out into the market, (smart) phones are not the only industry being challenged. Interestingly enough, Microsoft is planning a strategic move by integrating the lost Zune into their operating system, making it so that every Windows Phone owner will now also own a Zune player, which, they hope, will satisfy the owner’s music cravings.

Depending on the demand,  this could be Microsoft’s way of revitalizing the hype and usage of their poor music player. 

Why is this important?

This brings another contender into the ring! More competition can drive even our most beloved companies/ brands into doing better, being greener & building more products and services we love!

Microsoft will be gearing their phone towards their XBox Live subscribers by adding mobile gaming across all their mobile platforms, a feature and marketing strategy they hope will carry over to the demand for their Zune feature, which is perceived to be a hybrid download and subscription service.

What do you think? 

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