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Saturday, July 05, 2014

SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY - R.I.P. The Compact Disc, 1982-2008?

I recently came to work with two large tote bags filled with compact discs and dumped them out on a table in the middle of the office. To me, they were garbage. But for the vultures that are my fellow NPR Music producers, it was like finding a mountain of free money. They shuffled through the pile, grabbing everything that caught their eye. At one point, Stephen Thompson held up my discarded copy of Radiohead's OK Computer and incredulously asked, "Why would you get rid of this?"

For about a year now, I've been slowly purging my once-proud CD collection. Twenty-five years' worth of music, from the first disc I ever bought (Pink Floyd'sThe Wall) in 1984, to more recent releases.

Of course, I'm not really getting rid of them. I'm ripping everything to a massive hard drive hooked up to what has become my stereo: my computer...

But I'm also purging my CDs because I believe they're a dying format. There's never been a more obvious trend. CD sales continue to plummet at a breathless — and, if you're one of the big labels, alarming — rate. Meanwhile, digital download sales continue to climb...

http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2008/04/rip_the_compact_disc_19822008_1.html

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

ENTERTAINMENT - The 9 Most Powerful Lessons Punk Rock Teaches You

“To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It’s freedom.” – Patti Smith

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

ENTERTAINMENT - Sony Walkman at 35: looking back at the most iconicmusic player of all time


What's your first Walkman memory?

The Sony Walkman is 35 today

Today, the Sony Walkman turns 35 years old. The Walkman is, therefore just a year younger than I am, and I certainly feel like we've grown up together...
If you weren't there, it's hard to explain just how much those of us who were lusted after the Walkman.
From Sony's first models, through to that yellow one you could take in the shower, the Walkman range was THE gadget of the 80s and 90s, and we all wanted one like the kids want smartphones today. More, even....
It was a very cool gadget though, and you have to remember that the combination of a ghetto blaster at home, and a Walkman for going out, meant that you could now record your favourite songs off the radio and take them with you. This was life changing for youngsters of the day.
We were the first generation to be able to do this, and it's not overstating the issue to say it changed music, and how people listened to it.
It also scared the willies out of the music industry, which for the first time was facing a threat to revenues from kids with dual-deck home systems making bootleg copies of albums while also recording the Top 40 off the radio to avoid having to buy singles.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

ENTERTAINMENT - On stopping the crisis of world band overpopulation

From the "This American Life" show, "When You Talk About Music"...


Some people do not find it touching or inspiring to see people who love music. In fact, there are people who believe that loving music is a crisis of global proportions.


And the document I hold in my hands is an advertisement, a call to arms really, from Motorbooty, a zine, a pretty great zine. And it's an advertisement for the First Annual Conference on World Band Population, on stopping the crisis of world band overpopulation, specifically.


Says this ad, "According to recent studies, by the year 2001 there will be more people in bands than the global economy can ever hope to support. The US Census Bureau puts the current number of audience members to band members at a ratio of 2:1. The present trends threatened to reverse this relationship, disrupting the delicate balance between performers and normal people. Soon, not only will virtually everyone be in a band, but everyone in a band will be involved in several side projects, creating a glut of virtually indistinguishable groups of guitar-wielding miscreants who, when not performing their so-called music, will be endlessly talking about it to anyone unable to flee."


And then the ad explains what's going to happen at the conference. The seminars dealing with the imminent dangers of band overpopulation, Legal Strategies for Achieving Zero Band Population Growth, Private Sector Initiatives for Ending Band Growth, Strategies for Ending Multiple Band Membership.


Here's some of the things that they suggest can be done to combat this global crisis, let's see, three-strikes-and-you're-out rules; creating stiff criminal penalties for artists who release more than three full-length albums per career; waiting periods for instrument purchasers to allow for mandatory background checks for prior infractions, and a cooling-off period to discourage thoughtless and impulsive band formation; stiff fines for bands that imitate other bands; civil infractions for air bands, and an all-out ban on cover bands.


They also suggest-- let's see-- boycotting labels that refuse to stop signing additional bands as well as cracking down on pointless, local, so-called, indie labels; finally, supporting random band testing by employers, especially in high-risk businesses like coffee shops, copy shops, cafes, bars, and record stores.


Well, given the crisis of global band population explosion, perhaps the only honorable course for all of us is to forget about performing and just put that energy into being members of the audience.


http://ta.fm/31


http://m.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/31/transcript


http://www.tcj.com/motorbooty-the-better-magazine/


http://m.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/31/when-you-talk-about-music



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