I don't know if you guys have heard or not, but apparently all the kids are downloading music. Totally putting his neck out there, Sony BMG's President of Global Digital Business & U.S. Sales Thomas Hesse was recently quoted as predicting that digital downloading is, get this, growing. Something tells me that seemingly prestigious title is compensating for something. With 30% of the company's sales coming digitally in the U.S. in 2007, predictions find that number growing by as much as 10% in 2008.
Taking his head out of his ass for a minute, Hesse did have some useful in$ight to share, admitting that digital sales are "not enough to make up for the overall decline in sales." Offering a glimmer of hope for anyone with a soul, he also noted the "flattening of growth" in the sale of ringtones, but continued to remark on the potential of ringback tones, citing a big opportunity in "full track downloads to phone." Apparently, it's huge in Korea. Hooray.
With the focus on digital music, though, Hesse -- the little optimist that he is -- called the "glass half full" and with another breakthrough said that the companies must "make access easier, the offerings more compelling and allowing music to be freely shared on social networks." That, allegedly, "is the future." Fascinating. In other news, I hear these folks at Apple have this device brewing... iRod, or something. You heard it here first. Oh, and these dirty rocker kids -- Chronic Youth, I think they're called -- they really have something going for them. Could be huge.
TMT broke into Ghostface's house and stole his diary in the name of good journalism. The entries date back from July of this year and run all the way through yesterday. In between entries, there were some provocative Polaroids and revealing letters from fans. We hope to sell it all eventually. For now, here are some selected entries:
July 15: ART
Meant to mention that last week I went with the school to this place called the ‘Tate Modern.’ Weird as hell. Meant to be all this ART there – but seemed to be full of piles of bricks and films of men jumping around with no clothes on. My ex non girl friend Cills's eyes were glued to his willie flapping around. Weird smirk on her face made me feel uncomfortable as to what she was thinking. The person taking us round said ‘This is MODERN ART and it shows all sorts of different ways of seeing world and that is why piles of bottles and bricks and things stuck together tell us something different about our surroundings.’ Looked as though he didn't believe a word of it. Personally couldn’t see the difference between that and the bowls that we pissed into in the lavatories myself, but then apparently there was this bloke who did sell lavatory bowls (or is that bowels ha,ha!) as art, as well.
August 1: DOGS
I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who shared an experience she had with her daughter and a pit bull-type dog. Vicki, her husband, and their nine-year-old child were walking through the Renaissance Festival when they came across a dog that looked like a pit bull. Upon seeing the dog, Lisa's husband pointed at it and said to their daughter, "That's the kind of dog you want to stay away from." I witnessed a similar experience at a festival in Northfield, in which a mother said almost exactly the same thing to her young child. Both children in theses instances were animal lovers and wanted to pet the dog. I can understand why both parents said this to their children. Who could blame them? They're looking out for the safety of their children. But I can't help but feel a little sad that instead of evaluating the dogs and asking if they could pet them, both dogs were categorized on body-type and shunned.
August 20: J
Nervous about meeting "J" tonight.
September 14: BREASTS
My breasts ache, which is almost silly because they're so tiny. I'll admit they are bigger than they were last week, and certainly nicer looking. Always hard at the little pink tips. But God they hurt. Mom came in earlier and we actually had a nice talk. I told her I wished she hadn't told Dad about my period, and she apologized but said she only did it because she knew how proud he would be of his little girl's becoming a woman. She changed the water in my heating pad and rubbed my stomach for a long time. We didn't need to say anything to each other for a long while, and still I felt like we were talking. She crawled into bed with me for about an hour after that and let me fall asleep on her shoulder. We shared a soda when I woke up, and for the first time in a long while, I felt like we were really close. I hope I can sleep through the night tonight.
October 9: WU-TANG/SOLO
I know everybody can't wait until the release of 8 Diagrams, but I wonder how many people care about my solo album?? I want to release it the same day, yeah? YEAH!! I shall name it The Big Dough Rehab. It shall be released December 4 on Def Jam. I shall promote it starting today!! OWOOOOOGAH!!!!
Ever the Musicologist, Billy Corgan Supports Creation of a Robert Moog Museum, Secretly Hopes to Gain Leverage in the Eventual Creation of a “Billy Corgan Museum”
Who says Billy Corgan isn’t a compassionate man???
Just because the man can’t seem to go 12 months without firing a bandmate or two, and just because he’s got a larynx like a prepared piano, and just because he’s constantly walking around the world looking like this doesn’t mean the man doesn’t have good qualities somewhere inside that alien skull of his, right?
Possible case in point: the cantankerous Corgan, ever eager to solidify his reputation as some sort of holier-than-you musical guru, is currently taking time out from his presumably full-time fucking job of publicly defending the Zeitgeist (TMT Review) cover art to lend a hand in the preservation of the musical legacy of a REAL musical guru and incredibly influential electronic synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog by supporting the creation of a museum dedicated to his (uh, that’s Moog’s... not Corgan’s) life and work. In fact, the stylish Smashing Pumpkins frontman is currently working with the Bob Moog Foundation to establish the museum and scholarships in his name (again, that’s Moog’s name... not Corgan’s... or at least I damn-well hope so).
No word yet as to whether ol’ High-Horse Willy is actually supporting this museum thing financially or whether he’s simply using that squawk box of his to simply raise a stink and get his pictures in some online zines. But one thing’s for sure: when Corgan raises his shrill, disagreeable, bleating-goat voice, it’s sort of impossible to tune it out. So, lets just get right to it.
"I believe Bob Moog to be one of the great visionaries of our time," said the more-educated-than-thou Corgan, sounding an awful lot like your college roommate. "His ideas far transcend use in just music, and to this day continue to have impact in everything from rock to rap to quantum physics. I strongly believe many people all over the world would benefit from being able to interact with the thoughts, ideas, inventions, and life of Dr Moog." Uh, Billy? It’s getting kind of hard to see you up there on top of all of those soap boxes...
But in all seriousness, folks, when Moog died in 2005, he apparently left his archives in a state of disrepair. At this point, Corgan and the Moog Foundation are fastidiously working to restore and preserve them in the museum, which is, despite Billy Corgan coming off like his usual asshole self, a pretty musically worthwhile endeavor, wouldn’t you say? For further information, feel free to visit Moogfoundation.org. From there, you can read more about Moog’s accomplishments, make a donation, and learn more about the Moog foundation.
Just, kind of, you know, try to ignore that feeling of inferiority that you’ll get knowing that everyman Billy Corgan already beat you there.
Capitol Hill Gets All Up in David Banner’s Grill, Banner Claims America Worships Golden Calf: Arnold Schwarzenegger
In an ongoing effort by Capitol Hill biz-nass suits to kill any opportunity of their ever-earning street cred, the conflict o’ vulgar language in hip-hop continues.
In a late September hearing before the House consumer protection subcommittee, Levell Crump, who goes by David Banner, expressed his discontent over, well, Capitol Hill’s discontent.
He was joined by Percy Miller (Master P), an artist who himself now promotes a move toward less aggressive lyrics, an endeavor that is no doubt frustrating to Banner.
“When it comes down to it, it’s just a song,” said Banner (apparently). “Arnold Schwarzenegger is governor of California, but in his movies he killed half of Cambodia and he went to Mars and blew up Mars... but that’s okay because he’s a white man and he’s an actor.”
Though Representative Bobby Rush (D, Ill.) and record execs have no plan to directly censor artists, a friendly compromise could perhaps come in the form of a pact among artists to release tracks pointing aggression away from women and police and toward:
A hippie gets onto a bus and sits next to a nun in the front seat. The hippie looks over and asks the nun if she would have sex with him.
The nun, surprised by the question, politely declines and gets off at the next stop. When the bus starts again, Busdriver says to the hippie, "If you want, I can tell you how you can get that nun to have sex with you."
The hippie of course says he'd love to know, so Busdriver tells him that every Tuesday evening at midnight the nun goes to the cemetery to pray to the lord. "If you went dressed in robes and some glowing powder," says Busdriver, "you could tell her you were God and command her to have sex with you."
The hippie decides to try this out. That Tuesday, he goes to the cemetery and waits for the nun. Right on schedule; the nun shows up. While she's in the middle of praying, the hippie walks out from hiding, in robes and glowing with a mask of god. "I am God, I have heard your prayers and I will answer them, but you must have sex with me first," he says.
The nun agrees but asks for anal sex so she might keep her virginity. The hippie agrees to this and quickly sets about having sex with the nun.
After the hippie finishes, he rips off his mask and shouts out, "Ha ha, I'm the hippie! "
The nun replies by whipping off her mask and shouting, "Ha ha, I'm Busdriver!"
More funny shit as Busdriver Daedelus, and Antimc tour the U.S.
CAUTION: This bus takes WIDE turns!
I have no idea why they call it AIM*. I suppose the idea is that you “aim” to communicate with your friends by means of a standardized text protocol, lol-ing them into a false sense of security, so that you can rofl their feathers from a distance. Regardless of its unclear etymology, AIM is one of the most popular tools for businesspeople who need to send tiny pictures of winking faces across the world instantaneously. For example
SpencerMorgan: ur 4 hilary rite? ;)
Along with last week’s release of AIM 6.5, AOL (pronounced “owl”) released the plugin AIM Tunes, which allows users to listen to, but not download, music shared by their buddies. It works similarly to iTunes’ shared libraries, but [anywhere on the planet]. No other program is required, however, as the music plays directly through AIM. DRM-infected files, such as those purchased from the iTunes Music Store, will not work with AIM Tunes. But hey, you should have known what you were getting yourself into when you bought those downsampled Fall Out Boy AACs. Enjoy your ringtones.
Using AIM to share music is hardly a new concept. Last May, a developer from AOL Greenhouse released a plugin called Buddy Tunes, which performs the same function as AIM Tunes, but requires users to run iTunes as well. And, years earlier, AIM introduced a far more powerful file-sharing tool called “Get Files.” By allowing users to set up a shared folder, AIM enables its users to download any files, regardless of size, that their buddies are sharing. This shared folder can be any folder on your computer, such as, perhaps, your automatically organized iTunes Music Library. And as you can limit your sharing to people on your Buddy List, there is very little risk of being caught by pesky RIAA agents (just don’t accept messages from the screen name “ReallyIsntAnAcronym”).
How long will it be until someone develops a program in the vein of MyTunes/getTunes/ourTunes that allows you to actually download the music streaming through AIM Tunes? Or does Get Files render AIM Tunes useless? Perhaps the one advantage to AIM Tunes is that it can easily be used to listen to your own music from anywhere, so long as you keep AIM running on your home computer. If you’re a Windows user, you can put AIM Tunes to the test yourself by downloading it here. If you’re a Mac user, I suggest you quietly continue to use Get Files in AIM 4.7 (released in 2004) and hope that AOL continues to forget about you, lol.
* Oh, AOL Instant Messenger. Got it.
John Cage Quotes To Circle Melbourne’s Federation Square October 11-27; TMT Unveils “4.33” (Blog Remix)”
Honda and Sony BMG team up to create world’s most boring news story ever. I also take full liberty with the use of asterisks. I also just kicked ass on my 19th Century American Lit midterm, so you should get me tickets to Art Brut and the Hold Steady in Chicago. I also heard that Emceegreg and Mr P are having unchristian relations*.
This week (the week before Justice plays the Metro -- a show I have yet to score tickets for, hint hint) marks the kickoff of Honda's groundbreaking ad campaign. You ask, what is this new ad campaign? Well, Honda knows their audience and they know their audience loves cutting-edge music. So, they will now be sponsoring online releases of songs and videos via a media player that will feature exclusive Honda branding, original 15-second pre-roll ads and interactive buttons that will direct viewers and listeners seeking more information about the brand to the Honda Web site. What cutting edge artists are they to sponsor? Well, such innovators as Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, Dido, Alicia Keys, The Fray.**
Sony BMG will be distributing this kick-ass media player (say goodbye to Winamp***) to several bijillion similarly kick-ass websites. The content will also be downloadable to a host, nay a deluge of blogs (did someone say BrooklynVegan?).
The campaign marks the first time that Sony BMG has sold an ad package encompassing all of its new music video releases to a single sponsor via its year-old website, Sony BMG Music Box. The campaign also marks the fifteenth thousand time Sony has done something that I don't care about.****
Jenny Howell, manager of interactive marketing actually said this about the new campaign: "[It] helps create the impression that Honda is cutting edge and on the forefront with our youth target." What? So Honda just appears to be cutting edge? Avril Lavigne doesn't suck? I'm so confused.*****
Edmund Purcell, who oversees the Honda account at RPA, Santa Monica, CA (also of Chronicles of Narnia fame), said he wants the Music Box campaign to be an "experience," a really somniferous experience. He also came up with this great whopper in response to our generation's want of music: "They also understand that without sponsors this kind of content is harder to get." Yeah, I'm really cramping to find that X-Tina B-side. PSYCHE!
One sick thing is these ads/videos can be transportable, so you are able to paste them onto people's MySpace pages!******
After the groundbreaking move by Honda, Sony said they are going to most definitely (dewd) let others in to team up on sponsoring videos and kewl shit. AT&T has reportedly signed on for something.*******
* Probably a lie.
** Not a joke.
*** Attempted joke.
**** That is a lie. I actually just put my first down payment on a 2008 Civic Si complete with angsty necktie hanging from the rearview mirror and Bluetooth capabilities.
***** I forget why I put those asterisks there.
****** myspace.com/protestantthighs - leave me lots of photo comments.
******* Sorry this story was lame, I'll blame it on the recovery time needed for the Shitfaced Newsathon.
Famed film director Martin Scorsese has announced he will direct an in-depth documentary about the late George Harrison. News of the film has music fans, who were overcome with excitement thinking about Scorsese’s already completed Rolling Stones movie Shine a Light, creaming their pantaloons in droves. Scorsese made the magnificent The Last Waltz. If that isn’t an achievement in its own right, Rolling Stone placed it atop its “Home Theatre Special: Top 25 Music DVDs” list in its recent issue! You don’t get to the top of any list without being the best! Just ask Billboard’s Number 1 album this week Still Feels Good by Rascal Flatts! And last week’s #1: Reba McEntyre’s Reba Duets! Or the Douchey McDoucherson who topped the nation’s Top 200 chart the week before that! Scorsese also made No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, which made #10 on the same Rolling Stone DVD list. You do NOT get to the ten spot on any list without being awesome! Just ask Number 10 album on Billboard: Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates by Kenny Chesney! Or the #10 album on last week’s chart: Twista’s Adrenaline Rush 2007! Ugh... it never ends.
[It should also be noted that Scorsese made the unlisted Gangs of New York, his biopic which shed light on the intense rivalries and brutal battles between Big Apple street packs Interpol, The Bravery, The Walkmen, Yeah Yeah Yeahs (yeah, yeah...).]
Oh, who am I to snidely sideswipe Scorsese or poke fun at anything? The man is movies and his documentaries have been brilliant. I am nothing and I can’t even spell brilliant (without using Señor Spellcheck). This time around, Scorsese’s subject could not be more deserving of a lifetime look-see; Harrison (click here to see what he looks like) was a quiet enigma who had more layers than an obese onion. He was a wonderfully complex, deep-spirited character and one hell of a talented songwriter and musician who lived as a third-class citizen in the shadows of (arguably) the two most important songwriters and musicians ever.
Scorsese said this of the project in an e-mail press release: “Harrison’s music and his search for spiritual meaning is a story that still resonates today and I’m looking forward to delving deeper.” The project has the blessing from Harrison’s wife Olivia, too. The widow Harrison, who will co-produce the as-yet-untitled film, says, “It would have given George great joy to know that Martin Scorsese has agreed to tell his story.” Needless to say, we can’t wait until it comes out; we haven't heard “When We Was Fab” in ages! November 29 will be the 6th anniversary of Harrison’s death, after succumbing to lung cancer and a brain tumor.
Radiohead Love The Sound Of Radio More Than You Know; Near Radio Quality MP3 Downloads Of In Rainbows Out Now!
Okay, so that headline was a slight exaggeration; we all know that an MP3 file encoded at 160kbps is a better quality recording than that heard on FM radio. But perhaps the question we should be asking is "Why is Radiohead offering their new album in lower resolution audio files on the official launch date?"
According to the official e-mail distributed by the W.A.S.T.E. system, the digital release format for In Rainbows will be a ZIP file containing ten DRM-free 160kbps MP3 files. (Hey, at least they didn't completely screw over Mac/Linux users by offering the dreaded Windows Media Audio files I lovingly avoid like the plague.) Conspiracy theorists believe the 160kbps encoding may have been used to deter file-sharing on torrents/sites which require at least 192kbps.
On a positive note, iTunes offers really shitty, DRM-laced AAC files encoded at roughly the same bitrate for 0.99 cents a track. When you think about it that way, Radiohead's concept is still a step up from the usual horseshit song-and-dance that the music industry attempts to serve its customers on a daily basis. (No, not that puppet master dance that Elijah Wood did on Yo Gabba Gabba, the other horseshit song-and-dance.) Not to mention the fact that the majority of these artists aren't half as interesting as Radiohead.
Anyway, the download has been available for hours now. Happy listening!