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05 Mar 2012 20:57


Music: Michael Jackson’s musical output reportedly stolen by British hackers

  • 50,000 of MJ’s song files reported stolen source
  • » Two British dudes are facing trial over the alleged heist: You have to be a dedicated MJ fan to steal tens of thousands of Michael Jackson songs — including unreleased songs that Sony planned to milk by releasing over 10 albums in the next seven years. James Marks and James McCormick, the suspects in the musical heist, deny having done so, but that may not be enough to sway prosecutors. Sony, by the way, is basically a broken record when it comes to hacking, so this latest incident comes as no surprise.

29 Feb 2012 14:27


Music: Davy Jones, The Monkees’ iconic frontman, dead at 66

  • Goodbye, Davy: The 66-year-old vocalist, according to reports, died after suffering a heart attack at his home in Florida. Jones became a prominent teen idol in the mid-1960’s as a lead vocalist for The Monkees, and long after the group broke up (in conjunction with the end of their eponymous television show, the reason for their formation in the first place) he continued forging a solo music career. He would work consistently for more than thirty years as a singer, as well as a musical artist, even performing in a Broadway production of “Oliver!” (Photo by Rob Bixby) source

27 Jan 2012 16:16


Music: On Spotify and the ethical issues it presents for music listeners

  • Why can’t you listen to “El Camino” on Spotify? There are a lot of reasons why The Black Keys’ discography ends with “Brothers” on the service, and it’s not because “Tighten Up” is the best song they’ve ever done. Really, the problems here are ethical. As an idea, the concept of subscription-based music has been around for years — remember Columbia House? or how about eMusic? — and in a lot of ways, Spotify and MOG and Rdio are merely the latest generation of that. But The Verge’s Paul Miller touches a solid nerve with a single sentence: “I suppose what I really want is some sort of ‘free range’ sticker slapped on my music consumption, so that I know the artist was ethically treated in this transaction.” Here’s a breakdown of the issues involved here.
  • benefits Listeners get to try things without worry of wasting money, and as one label executive notes, most people spend an average of $17 per year on music, meaning consumers could spend more with these services in the long run.
  • problems Big acts who don’t need services like Spotify to gain exposure — notably The Black Keys, Coldplay and Adele — have taken their latest albums off the service, saying labels benefit from the deals more than individual artists. source
  • » But is that actually the case? Small-scale bands probably have less to lose in terms of cannibalization, but in a change from the iTunes era, it’s the biggest bands on the planet, not the ones with legacies to protect, that are protesting the services. One Universal Records exec, Rob Wells, says that the artists have nothing to worry about: “Every single one of those bands has earned more money from its album being on Spotify than it has from being on any other services within a period of time.” But try explaining that to Patrick Carney, the drummer for the Black Keys: “For a band that makes a living selling music, it’s not at a point where it’s feasible for us.” For what it’s worth, Spotify and its ilk are working hard on discovery these days.

28 Dec 2011 11:09


Music: 2011 in music: Adele’s “21” scores biggest album sales since 2004

  • 3% increase in U.S. music sales in 2011 — some welcome news
  • 5.6M number of copies Adele sold of her mega-popular second album, “21,” in the U.S. alone in 2011 — and the second-place album isn’t even close to her
  • 7.9M number of copies R&B crooner Usher sold of his 2004 mega-hit “Confessions” — the last time an album sold more than 5 million copies in a single year
  • 11M number of copies N’Sync sold of its 2000 album “No Strings Attached” — just to give you an idea of how much the industry’s changed in the MP3 era source
  • » A major mark in a new era: What makes Adele’s album sales all the more impressive is that so much has happened since 2004 throughout the music industry. In 2004, CDs were very much the dominant medium, and iTunes was still fairly new, with its mix-and-match nature only starting to make its mark. Now, we have Spotify, Rdio and Mog — services which threaten to get us out of the habit of buying albums altogether. Is it possible that Adele’s mark is a once-in-a-decade thing, or has the industry begun to recover from a decade of bad decisions and splintering at the hands of technology — by focusing on nurturing good artists?

22 Dec 2011 01:13


Music: Rapper Slim Dunkin possibly killed over stolen piece of candy

  • The information we’re getting, it’s unconfirmed, but witnesses are saying this whole thing started over a piece of candy.
  • Atlanta homicide detective David Quinn • Discussing the death of rapper Slim Dunkin, an affiliate of Waka Flocka Flame who was shot and killed during an altercation last week at an Atlanta recording studio. Sources say that Dunkin, born Mario Hamilton, stole a piece of candy from another man, a scene which escalated quickly, leading to the rapper getting shot in the chest. Reportedly over a piece of candy. What a shame. source

07 Nov 2011 23:22


Music: Don’t wait to listen to “Camp”. You’ll be out of the cool loop.

  • Childish Gambino’s “Camp” is streaming already: You should have heard about “rap’s stepfather” by now. Childish Gambino, who you might know better as actor and writer Donald Glover, is releasing his latest album this month. Entitled “Camp,” it’s set to drop on November 15 … but if you’re cool, you can listen to it today. Thanks to NPR’s First Listen, you can listen to the entire album for free. It’s not safe for work due to explicit lyrics, but if we had our way, this would be mandatory listening material in every workplace. Take him seriously, though, as “few hip-hop artists have blurred the boundaries of rap and humor more subversively — or for a more serious end — than Childish Gambino.” source

20 Oct 2011 23:31


Music: The best Scrabble word ever? Coldplay’s Chris Martin on Mylo Xyloto

  • Coldplay’s latest album will be a “love story in a big, dark, scary city.” So, part dream and part nightmare? “So you have a boy and a girl and a group of like-minded people in a sort of George Orwell-type or Kafkaesque world. But it’s hopeful, because it’s about people trying to transcend troubles,” said Chris Martin, regarding Coldplay’s soon-to-be-released album “Mylo Xyloto.” Martin probably hopes it also transcends the pop charts — each of the band’s four albums have sold more than 2 million copies in the U.S., though that number’s been on the decline the past couple of years, matching the music industry at large. Will the fifth buck the trend? source

09 Oct 2011 11:01


Music: Former Weezer bassist dies of suspected drug overdose

Mikey Welsh, the bassist for the band during their comeback period (1998-2001), was found dead in a Chicago hotel room. Welsh left the band after having a nervous breakdown, and later became a painter. source

24 Sep 2011 22:19


Music: Nirvana’s “Nevermind” turns 20: And now you feel really old

  • When Nirvana took to the majors, nobody expected the level of lasting success that “Nevermind” or its lead single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” would quickly attain. (Above is “Lithium,” a classic all its own.) But for many music fans, it proved an entry point — a rare underground-leaning release that rose overground — and unlike fellow flag-bearer Pearl Jam, it’s one that didn’t lose its oomph after the fact. But it caught a few folks off-guard. Former “120 Minutes” host Dave Kendall, who premiered “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on MTV, puts it as such: “I have to say, quite honestly, as soon as I heard that record and saw that video, I had no idea they were going to be as huge as they were, I was very, very impressed. I was moved but I really didn’t have any idea it would explode to the extent it did. There’s the truth.” MTV has some great features on the album that defined the network for a solid couple of years. Forget the overhype; let’s remember them for what they were: A great band in the right place at the right time. source

22 Aug 2011 21:08


Music: A duo of songwriting duos lose half their duo; single unrelated duo left

  • Leiber Jerry Leiber, the Leiber of Leiber & Stoller, died Monday at age 78. He and Mike Stoller wrote such noteworthy songs as “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Yakety Yak.” Elvis Presley recorded many of their songs.
  • Ashford Also Monday, Nick Ashford of Motown duo Ashford & Simpson died at 70. He and Valerie Simpson wrote such hits as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.” Two duos, two deaths, one day. source