Category Archives: Music

I like music.

Streaming Music And Musician Royalties

In the news today is a story about Jimmy Buffett taking the stand at the inaugural Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit. Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify, one of the internet’s leading music streaming services, was speaking. Buffett wanted to know if his royalties were going to go up anytime soon.

Ek said no.

Buffett argued, and it was a good and legit argument, that newer musicians aren’t making enough from the service to play their music, and that’s one of the reasons they’re struggling.

The argument goes further than that. Of all the money that Spotify makes, most of it, up to $1 billion, will go to the rights holders to the music. 70% in fact, will go to those holders. If a newer musician is tied to a major label, chances are very good that that label is the rights holder, not the musician. So the label is going to get a big chunk of that $1 billion, while the artist is only going to get a fraction of a cent each time one of their songs is played via the service.

Now, here’s where the issues really start to show themselves.

First of all, newer musicians have to read those contracts. Instead they’re told about all of the fame and fortune that awaits them if they just sign the contract, and how the label is going to back them 100%, and how they’re going to be huge stars. They sign, and typically are given a bonus. Let’s say $1 million.

They are expected to do things with that $1 million. Get a nice car, nice bling, nice clothes, new tattoos… and when their album comes out, the money made from that album goes back to the label, to pay back that $1 million. If that album isn’t a hit or a huge hit, and the artist doesn’t make a ton of money from it, if they actually make back that $1 million but not much more, they’re left with the not much more. Suddenly they’re struggling again.
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AC/DC Rides On

For those of you who have been coming here to get your AC/DC news, that’s awesome and, there’s probably a better, more reliable source for it. Even so, my bit RIP AC/DC is still one of my most viewed pages every day, so thanks.

With that said, they’ve been in the news a lot since then, and I thought it might be time to catch up here. I’m sure you already know about it, but here it goes anyway.

Right after news broke of Malcolm’s failing health, Brian Johnson posted on his website that the band is still moving forward with a new album and a new tour to celebrate being around for 40 years. I’d link to it, but his website seems to be down at the moment. If you don’t know it and would like to check it out later, it’s BrianJohnsonRacing.com.

Unfortunately, Malcolm is out of the band. He’s sick, nobody knows from what, as the band and family have wished to keep the matter private, and good for them. All we can do is wish him well and hope he gets better soon. That said, I’m sure he’s still got a say in what goes on, and his spirit is definitely ingrained in the band, so he’ll never actually be out of AC/DC.

Replacing Malcolm wasn’t too hard, which is to say he can’t really be replaced anyway. I’ve been playing guitar now for a long time and I started because of AC/DC. I once looked at some tab to a few of their songs, and even though they play basic rock cords, in E, on every song, Malcolm has a way of strumming and playing his guitar that is more complex than it really needs to be. But that’s why nobody sounds quite like AC/DC.
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Music Review: Unlocking The Truth

Today is the day I first heard about Unlocking The Truth. If you haven’t heard about them, give it a minute, because they’re going viral all over the place. If you don’t want to wait, here’s what you need to know:

-There’s three of them.
-They play metal.
-They’re 12 years old.

And they’re good. They’re very good. They’re extremely talented young men who quite obviously want to rock your face off. And they do a good job of it. If you do a Youtube search, you’ll discover what I did. A long list of videos of them performing, whether at festivals, or on Time’s Square as people pass by and drop some change into their bucket, or on TV shows. They’re making a name for themselves, and they should. Because in this country, if there’s one thing we love, it’s kids with musical talent.

What’s sad is, not every kid in this country has that talent, or one like it that should be showcased. We celebrate it because it’s not the norm when it should be, at least in my humble opinion. So we celebrate them for what they’ve accomplished, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t, but it’s sad because of why we do.

So this morning as I surfed Youtube and watched more than a few of their videos, this is what I noticed.

For one, let’s be honest, they’re twelve. They haven’t lived yet. They have no life experiences yet. Metal is a serious genre of music, and in order to be taken seriously in it, you’ve got to be serious. I think these kids are going to be huge one day, and by god I hope they are. I hope they can succeed in a world where everyone gets a hit and is forgotten the next day. Because as soon as they’re of age and they’ve made their millions off their hit single, there’s going to be another group of kids, all eleven this time, who are going to be in the spot light.

Because of their age, they’ve got a lot of growing to do. Not just physically and mentally, but as musicians. While they’re extremely talented for their age, they naturally need to work on some things.
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Crips, Bloods, And Juggalos

Making its rounds in the news lately, is a story about how the Insane Clown Posse is suing the FBI for labeling their fans, “Juggalos,” a gang. A great piece (much better than the original one I read) about it can be found here, including two Youtube videos of the two members of ICP, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, speaking out against the FBI and this ruling.

Despite what you think of ICP or their fans, this is complete bullshit on every level. Seriously. You can hate them all you want, but it’s like saying if you’re a fan of Green Day or Martina McBride, and you wear one of their shirts out in public, the cops can stop you and add your name to a database that says you’re in a gang. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving to work, or if you’re out with your family enjoying a picnic, or if you’re in the armed forces.

Let’s say you forgot to do laundry one day but you had to run to the store for milk so you could feed your little kids some cereal, and you throw on an ICP shirt because it’s laying around. You bought it back in 1994 at one of their concerts when you were thirteen. Now you’re a 33 year old marine who just came home from a tour overseas and you’re spending your last day at home with your kids before you have to go back. You go to the store to get some milk and BAM! You’re pulled over by the cops, they see your shirt, and now you’re in a database as a gang member. Thanks for fighting for our freedom and having to feed your kids whom you might never see again after today. Fucking gang member. Who are you to listen to music when you were barely a teenager twenty years ago?

ICP Hatchetman. This is a gang symbol. Good job, FBI.

ICP Hatchetman. This is a gang symbol. Good job, FBI.


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Steve Perry And The Eels

I guess technically it’s Steve Perry and Eels, but then you might have expected him swimming in a tank with a bunch of watery snakes wrapped around him. Cause you know, Eels don’t like to be called THE Eels. I guess they have an Eagles chip on their shoulder.

I find it interesting how I just did 25 days of songs and both Eels and Journey were included. Now I see in the news how Steve Perry, legendary singer for Journey, has come out of hiding and sang a couple of songs with Eels in Minnesota.

Sure we’ll probably never see him with Journey again, but that’s okay with me. Arnel is doing a great job there, and even though he’s living a dream now, I’m sure it would still suck to have to give it up, even if it was to Perry.

Anyway, I found this out because of Facebook’s trending thing, and I read the story on Stereogum.

Sure it was recorded with a cell phone, and typically I hate those videos, but this is the only video we have of what would otherwise most likely be just a story and not a video. Check it out below!