Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ringo Can’t be Broke, Can He?

I just can't believe it:

Ringo Starr is auctioning off the first ever copy of the The Beatles self-titled 1968 album.

More commonly known as 'The White Album', each unit of the record came with its own serial number stamped on the cover.

Julien's Auctions based in Beverly Hills estimates the LP will sell for up to $60,000 (£40,000) at the December 3-5 auction.

The numbered copy of the LP was rumoured to be John Lennon's who, according to Paul McCartney, "shouted the loudest" for it when the band decided to have the copies numbered.

The first four pressings of the album were all in possession of The Beatles while copy No. 0000005 sold at an auction in 2008 for a little less than $30,000 (£20,000).

All proceeds of the sale will go to the Lotus Foundation, which was founded by Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach.

It's great that he's trying to raise money for his tax shelter I mean his


, but, come on. Doesn't he have a kid who would like to own this? Doesn't he have someone out there who would appreciate owning record number 1 (which, admittedly, probably sounds crappy because they've remastered the

White Album

and fixed whatever was wrong with it in the first place)? Give it to that guy. Don't let some jackass pay too much money for something they'll never appreciate.

I don't want to live in a world where Ringo needs cash. I want to live in a world where Ringo just does his thing.

Did you know he has 17 solo albums?

I can't believe that either.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

This is How You Stop an Artist in Their Tracks

Never sign with a label, and never put your career in the hands of a producer:

A petition has been launched to release Kesha from her record contract.

Over 53,000 people have signed the Care2 petition demanding Sony Music Entertainment release the pop star from her record deal.

Kesha has been locked in a legal battle that has allegedly prevented her from releasing new music since 2013.

The singer filed a lawsuit against Dr Luke for "mental manipulation, emotional abuse and sexual assault" last October. She is looking to be freed from her contract with the producer.

The legal system has to change. No one should be able to lock up an artist and keep them from working. It's completely unfair and it shouldn't be legal to use a contract in this manner. I would think that a percentage payment would be due to the producer in this case if Kesha were to release music on her own and make money, otherwise no one would sign a contract ever again. But to tie her hands and deny her the ability to make a living is wrong.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Beat Farmers

A sad anniversary:

Suddenly on a Wednesday night, November 8th, 1995, while playing drums in Whistler, Brittish Columbia (about one hour out of Vancouver- a BFer strong hold!) the unthinkable happened. Country Dick was struck down by a heart attack during the third song of their show.

The indestructible, fun loving, deep voiced, friendly, extremely humorous giant was gone. There are no words that can describe how any BFer fan felt. Dan McLain AKA Country Dick Montana was a talent that can never be equaled. Sure he wasn't well known but anyone who ever saw a BFer live show could tell you that Dick was at his best- on stage. His presence will never be replaced and I know that the remaining BFers did not want to replace him. Whatever shape the BFers took, it was never be the same without Country Dick Montana. As of 11/11/95, the BFers were no more.

Twenty years! Good Lord.

No, You Can't Go Around in Blackface Anymore

Damn, son. How stupid are you?

Country music star Jason Aldean has caused controversy after allegedly wearing blackface for a Halloween costume.

The Nashville Gab recently published an image which it claims shows Aldean, his wife and friends posing in their Halloween outfits. Aldean appears to be seen wearing black facepaint and a wig of black dreadlocks.

Following criticism and accusations of racism, the singer's publicist confirmed to the Associated Press that Aldean "dressed as rapper Lil Wayne for Halloween" but provided no further explanation or apology.

If you're surrounded by people who refuse to tell you how things really work, you're going to do something stupid. It doesn't matter if you're in country music or Norwegian death metal--you need someone who can be relied upon to make informed commentary on the stupid ideas that surface.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

What Good Would Come of It?

the pro and the con

over whether or not the Stone Roses need to release new material in order to justify a second round of reunion shows. I don't know if I buy the premise anymore because I've thought a great deal about what a new album would represent.

One, albums are few and far between now. The distance between the first and second Roses albums--1989 to 1994--was a paltry five years. Everyone waits at least three years between albums (five or six if you're a major artist or band) and so that gap doesn't seem as Earth-shattering as it used to seem. The consensus opinion was that 

Second Coming

took too long to release and therefore the band squandered their chance to make an impact with it. Looking back at the situation, which was fraught with legal problems and creative differences, five years doesn't seem like a big deal. A third Stone Roses album would arrive at just the right time for them and would be released on their terms. Don't hold your breath for a fourth one.

Two, the business favors other models now. The Roses are slated to play massive shows--that's what they do. They don't go on arena or club tours. They are probably not going to come to the East Coast of America and play to 500 people at the 9:30 club in Washington D.C. like Kasabian did after a top billing show at Glastonbury. And why should they? If there's no tour, why do an album? If you can make a ton of money playing a handful of large shows, what's the harm in doing only that?

Three, this is a band that released an incredibly successful album and has had no control over it since the day it was released. Why deal with that again? Why risk it? Granted, they did sign a record deal and they will have more control. But why go down that road? They can play the thing live and reap huge benefits from only doing that. To enter into the retail music world again is to risk having people enrich the very people who screwed over the Stone Roses. Why line their pockets? Play some shows, collect the cash at the gates, and split it after costs.

Four, sales of a new album are going to be problematic at best because everyone expects music for free. Everyone expects an album to be polished and free. Yeah, the hipsters want their vinyl. The purists want a deluxe edition with outtakes. Alright, fine. But don't blame an artist for not wanting to give something away for nothing.

Anyway, that's what I think. If a new album lands, great. If not, I think we can all deal with it. A new album is absolutely not necessary for a second run of reunion shows. There is no artistic imperative to support new shows with a physical product. In fact, you can hardly blame an artist for thinking that the whole point of playing live is to celebrate older rather than newer material. Let's be honest here--the people are there for a dozen old songs. If you fail to deliver, they'll vote with their feet next time,