Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sleeper Inbetweener Single Cover

Sleeper's Inbetweener Single features a fantastic piece of commercial art, and it works on so many levels.

The song, in and of itself, is a novel set to music, and it is so intelligently rendered as to demand the sort of packaging and artwork seen here.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Bloody Valentine Has a New Album

Is this actually happening? It's only been forever since the last My Bloody Valentine album and so, the big question is, will it survive in this new music business world? Will it actually come out?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

One More Dodge From People Who Want Everything to be Free

The "survey" that you will find if you click over continues to push the idea that the people who steal music actually buy more of it than anyone else. This is an idea that has been pushed for the better part of a decade as a way of deflecting criticism from the various sites used to cheat artists out of the money they should be earning.

How is anyone supposed to feel good about the fact that, by the survey's own admission, the average listener has stolen roughly 62% of the songs they "own" or possess? How is anyone going to deny the fact that artists are struggling and that releasing an album today is like handing it away for nothing?

If things were that great, there would be people thriving and cashing in on it and those people would be the artists themselves. In reality, it is the people who steal copyrighted material who continue to thrive. And they thrive by trumpeting surveys that show that people are doing one thing while doing another. Somewhere, a struggling artist is making a decision as to whether or not to keep making music. The only way to do so nowadays is to have a valid plan to play live, get paid, and hope that there are royalties from a recorded piece of music.

There are virtually no other outlets for an artist to get paid anymore. Anyone who thinks that a label is going to front a promising artist $100,000 or more to record an album on a scale similar to that of the 1980s or 1990s is kidding themselves. Artists now have to figure out how to survive when there is almost no possible way to make money from selling pre-recorded music.

If everything that has been said about how "sharing" music through peer-to-peer networks was going to create self-sustaining business models for artists had actually come true, we would not be where we are today. Everything you were told about downloading those free albums was a lie.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Another Dinosaur Falls by the Wayside

The closure of British retail chain HMV has virtually no impact here in the United States, but it does indicate that the bricks-and-mortar approach to actually selling things to people is dying, and it's dying quickly. Is this really the end for them or will a few stay open once they are "reorganized?"

Record stores used to be my favorite thing in the world. Now, I couldn't be bothered to find one of the few that still exist. HMV seems to be more like the Tower Records chain than anything. Who is lamenting the passing of Tower Records? Not me.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Idyllist by Steve Kilbey

The Idyllist (click to purchase)
Artists who are trying to survive the weirdness that is the modern music scene have started to look to different outlets for selling the music that they make. Steve Kilbey is trying to do without music labels and bloodsucking executives and sell his music directly to the people.

The Idyllist is another effort in that vein. Support the artists, or the artists will stop making music. It's that simple.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Simple Minds Waterfront Single

This gorgeously designed single or 12" single (there were probably numerous formats that this was released in throughout the world, as with most singles or EPs) from Simple Minds is worth an extended look.

Coming from their highly successful early 80s period, Waterfront has always been a favorite of mine and it is currently in playlist rotation. If you have ever wanted an excuse to go back and throw some old Simple Minds onto your iPod or whatever you do to gather up tracks and listen to them, let this be the reason to do so.

This looks like it was shot yesterday; I can't get over how much of a high quality version this is. No scratchy, faded, jumpy crap here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

This is How You Do It

In order to get a link so you can download the new track from Suede, you have to follow this link.

The band wants your E-mail address, and nothing more. This is a brilliant way to promote what they're doing now, and while it isn't new or especially innovative, it does speak to how things are done. I'll be curious to see how they do.

Husker Du Flip Your Wig Cover

Well, there aren't many albums that were more special than this one, and I distinctly remember the cool vibe that surrounded it. Husker Du's Flip Your Wig is still as powerful and as neglected as anything I can come up with. It's a shame that this album, and the entire Husker Du catalog, has not been remastered and re-released with live shows and B-sides and all of that. Every time I go to look, I confess I can't find where they've done that or are planning to do that. Husker Du rates a box set and more.

The cover of this album, in particular, is one of my favorites. I've always loved the artwork that the band used on their albums and I think that's why they still stand out to me. Husker Du never did anything in a half-assed way.

Cassette Singles Are Not Coming Back

The British are much better at tracking sales than their American counterparts. A story like this wouldn't get anywhere in America because record companies are more creative about stealing from artists than any of their counterparts in the world (and, let's face it, record companies don't really matter anymore).

Feeder have tried to reach out to their fans, and they have been rewarded with dismal sales. The problem, I suspect, is that people don't own cassette players anymore and they're not being made anymore, either. How do you even manufacture these things anymore?

Don't confuse the cassette with vinyl, by the way. Vinyl is forever.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The House of Love play Christine for a Tepid Crowd

I love everything about this, up to and including the wall of guitar sound and the buttoned up shirts. This was how the kids played music, and they didn't care if you clapped or not.