Posts filed under “Digital Media”

Apple iTunes to Sell Beatles Songs?

Marketwatch reported earlier today:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) may have finally reached a deal to sell the songs of the Beatles through the iTunes Music Store. The London Evening Standard newspaper reported on Saturday that Paul McCartney has agreed to make the Beatles catalog available on iTunes for an estimated $400 million. The deal would reportedly result in royalties from the sale of Beatles songs to be paid to McCartney, Ringo Starr and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison. Michael Jackson and record labels EMI and Sony Corp. (SNE) would also reportedly receive payments because of various ownership agreements involving Beatles songs. Apple spokespeople didn’t immediately return calls for comment

Billboard noted:

Reports on Friday suggested that unnamed sources "close to Sir Paul McCartney" had confirmed that the Beatles catalog would be available online though iTunes and other legal services "within months." However, the claim has been met with a string of "no comments" from the Beatles’ own label Apple Corps, and EMI…

Efforts to clear the Beatles’ music for digital distribution were long delayed by a trademark dispute between Apple Inc. and Apple Corps., which was finally resolved in February 2007. Speculation about the catalog’s arrival online increased following a Billboard interview with McCartney in May 2007, in which he said that the deal to release it was "virtually settled."

Here’s my little Beatles secret: I have been posting a new Beatles video every Sunday for the past few years at the essays & effluvia blog …

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Sources:
Apple Inc. Downplays Beatles ‘Speculation’
Tom Ferguson, London
Billboard, March 10, 2008, 10:15 AM ET
http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003722487

Apple reportedly near deal to sell Beatles songs on iTunes
Rex Crum
MarketWatch, 1:14 p.m. EDT March 10, 2008
http://tinyurl.com/2w2uqr

Category: Digital Media, Music

Friday Night Jazz: Miles Davis

MilesTonite’s Jazz selection comes to us via Hale Stewart (aka Bonddad). Take it a way, Hale:

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Until his death in 1991, Miles Davis was one of the longest and strongest personal currents running through jazz music. There were well over 100 albums issued over the course of his career. He played with — and developed – some of the greatest talent jazz has seen. Band alumni include, Philly Joe Jones, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJonette, Branford Marsalis, John Scofield, Mike Stern, and well –- a ton of other great players. Basically, Miles was, is and will continue to be a personification of jazz.

Miles’ style embodied warmth, sophistication, romance and a deep sense of melody. Miles could strip a musical line down to its barest elements and phrase it in manner that was unforgettable. He also had an uncanny ability to use silence; Miles may be perhaps best remembered for what he didn’t play as what he did. His playing reminds me of a great piece of advice given to me: “never pass up an opportunity to shut the hell up.” In addition, Miles was always looking for something new. He tired of the old way of doing things quickly and wanted to hear new sounds. As a result, he was usually surrounded by young musicians who challenged him and forced him into new directions.

SteaminBefore I look at some albums, there is a great book on Miles called, well, Miles. It’s a great read. Miles talked to the writer for a long time, and it shows. The author covers pretty much Miles’ whole life up until when the book was written. There’s some great information on the birth of jazz, and all of Miles’ great line-ups. I am a big fan of oral history, and this book is a great example of why. It is well worth the read. (If you like this, also check out Dizzy Gillespie’s To Be or Not to Bop).

As I mentioned above, Miles put out over 100 albums. I’m not going to look at them all.  In fact, I’m going to talk about albums that aren’t the most popular Miles albums like Sketches of Spain, Birth of Cool and Kind of Blue. Don’t get me wrong – these are great albums. However, I usually make a little fun of these albums because yuppies have them as their “jazz section usully next to Kenny G. (which unfortunately gets more play). Instead, I’m going to focus on albums that are a bit less popular because there is a ton of great music on them.

WorkinSo, let’s start with a collection of three albums that contain a ton of standards: Steamin’, Workin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet and Relaxin’ With Miles. These albums stand out for several reasons. First, they offer a great overview of how Miles and his groups approached standards like If I Were A Bell, Woddy’N You, In Your Own Sweet Way, Salt Peanuts and Well, You Needn’t. These are all part of the jazz language and Mile’s take is very interesting. 

Secondly – this is a classic rhythm section of Philly Joe Jones, Red Garland and Paul Chambers. But perhaps most importantly, John Coltrane is playing tenor sax and even on these early albums you can hear his style – bold and fluid -– emerging. 

Relaxin In the mid-1960s Miles put together one of the greatest jazz Quintets of all time. Wayne Shorter was on tenor sax, Herbie Hancock was on piano, Tony Williams was on drums Ron Carter was on bass and Miles was on trumpet. They played and wrote some of the most evocative acoustic jazz ever. Hancock and Shorter emerged as premiere composers whose work significantly stretched the language of jazz. And the interaction between the musicians was phenomenal. 

There is a boxed set titled “Miles Davis Quintet” 1965-1968” which has six discs of incredible music. This is the outer limits of acoustic jazz and it is amazing listening.

Miles is credited with ushering in the electric age in jazz with the album Bitches’ Brew.  However, my personal favorite electric album is Decoy, issued in 1984. It contains far more realized compositions and crisper production. Once again Miles surrounds himself with a group to then much younger musicians such as Al Foster, Darryl Jones, Branford Marsalis and John Scofied. This is considered Miles’ comeback album.

Miles_in_paris
Finally, is my favorite live album: Miles Davis Paris France. This was issued on Moon Records – a European label.  The concert occurred on October 1, 1964.  The album starts with applause (because the French actually appreciate jazz in large numbers) followed by silence.  Then Herbie starts with some wonderful chords that move up the register. This is followed by more silence. Then Miles hits  one of his patented scaler runs and the band comes in. The song is Stella by Starlight and the band is in amazing form. They move through Stella with incredible skill.  And that’s just the opener. It gets better from there. 

That’s about it. I have really only scratched the surface of Miles’ recorded legacy. There are a ton of great albums I haven’t mentioned. But hopefully it will give you a place to start for looking a bit deeper into Miles’ discography.

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Thanks, Hale, great job. videos after the jump . . .

Miles Davis Discography

Official Site
http://www.milesdavis.com/

Miles Davis Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_Davis

Miles Ahead: A Miles Davis Website
http://www.plosin.com/milesAhead/

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Category: Digital Media, Music

Why Can’t I Rip DVDs to My iPod?

Simpsons_movLegally, that is.

This is my annoyance of the moment: Why are DVDs a DRM-locked proprietary platform? When I purchase one, why can’t I use this on a convenient, portable device such as my iPod?

What a pain in the arse it is to rip a DVD: Frist, you need to use several products (MP4
Converter
, Handbrake, Ripper); 2nd, it takes forever. 3rd, and its illegal to do so.

What brought this about recently was The Simpson’s Movie — actually, more  of an extended 90 minute episode. I saw it with my nephews (with me snoozing thru parts of it).

However, going through the extras, I started listening to producer/writer commentary. Unbelievably entertaining stuff, like a terrific radio show with several very funny people cracking each other up. I would have liked to put on the iPod for the train, but no such luck.

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I can rip the basic movie, but not the special audio commentary. Anyone have a clue how to do that?

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Sources:

The Complete Guide to Converting DVDs to iPod Format
Jerrod Hofferth
iLounge, November 21, 2005
http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/the-complete-guide-to-converting-dvds-to-ipod-format-mac/

Rip DVDs To Your Mac To View On AppleTV And iPod.
Alexis Kayhill
Mac360, Friday, April 13, 2007
http://mac360.com/index.php/mac360/comments/rip_dvds_to_your_mac_to_view_on_appletv_and_ipod/

Category: Digital Media, Film, Technology, Television, Video

Teenagers Shun CDs

Category: Consumer Spending, Digital Media, Music

UK House Price Crash

Category: Digital Media, Real Estate

Ridiculous Price: 7.2MP Digital Camera

Category: Digital Media, Web/Tech

Bloomberg Podcasts on ther Economy

Category: Digital Media, Economy, Financial Press

Wicked Cool Info-Graphic: Box Office Revenue

Category: Digital Media, Film, Technical Analysis

Friday Night Jazz: Open Thread

When it comes to music, I normally try to do the heavy lifting around here — writing about and recommending a new or beloved artist, or discussing whatever it is I happen to be listening to at the moment.

Tonite, something a little different.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU GUYS — What’s new and interesting? What old favorites have been replaying? What are you listening to right now? What concerts are you going to — or hoping to see?

What say ye?

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UPDATE: Februrary 22, 2008 9:42am

Wow, thats quite a list!

TBP readers are quite an eclectic bunch; 
All of the various FNJ recs readers made can be found here;

Most of the discs mentioned are linked to via Amazon or MySpace or some other site (after the jump):

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Category: Digital Media, Friday Night Jazz, Music

Friday Night Jazz: Billie Holiday

All_or_nothing_at_allBy now, you should have some feel for my taste in music, and the wide ranging and eclectic flavors that live on my iPod. But unless you are a fool or a wizened old pro, any attempt at doing a Friday Night Jazz on Billie Holiday is likely to fall flat on its face.

Lucky for us, Nat Hentoff — formerly the Music critic of the Village Voice, and now the Jazz columnist  of the WSJ is just such an old pro. In this week’s WSJ, he looked at a few new reissues of Lady Day’s music:

"Billie must have come from another world," said Roy
Eldridge, often heard accompanying her on trumpet, "because nobody had
the effect on people she had. I’ve seen her make them cry and make them
happy." Lady Day, as tenor saxophonist Lester Young named Billie
Holiday, still has that effect through the many reissues of her
recordings, including the recently released "Lady Day: The Master Takes
and Singles" of the 1933-44 sessions (Columbia/Legacy, available on
Amazon) that established her in the jazz pantheon.

Rare_live_recordings_19341959I grew up listening to those sides, which infectiously
demonstrated — as pianist Bobby Tucker, her longtime pianist, noted –
that "she could swing the hardest in any tempo, even if it was like a
dirge . . . wherever it was, she could float on top of it." But none of
the previous reissues, as imperishable as they are, have as intense a
presence of Lady as in the truly historic new five-disc set "Billie Holiday: Rare Live Recordings, 1934-1959" on Bernard Stollman’s ESP-Disk label.

This is a model for future retrospectives of classic
jazz artists of any era because researcher and compiler Michael
Anderson, in his extensive liner notes, provides a timeline of her jazz
life — describing the circumstances of each performance in the context
of her evolving career. One example: a live radio remote from Harlem’s
Savoy Ballroom in 1937 when the 22-year-old singer "began a special
association with her comrade, ‘The Prez,’ Lester Young" — grooving
with the Count Basie band in "Swing Brother Swing."

Complete_billie_holiday_on_columbiaHow could I possibly hope to improve on that?

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For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Lady Day, a great place  is NPR Billie Holiday: ‘Lady Sings the Blues’ special. There’s a 54 minute radio broadcast discussing her history and music.

As far as albums go, there are lots of choices, but they pretty much come down to a) Boxed Sets; 2) Early work; 3) Later years.

If you want to start with something basic, go for A Musical Romance -  agreat duet with Holiday and her long time friend and msucial collaborator, Lester Young. You can also go to the 2 disc All or Nothing at All. The 2 CD Complete Decca Recordings is also quite good.

Complete_billie_holiday_on_verve_19For the more ambitious, the boxed sets are the way to go:

Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia (1933-1944)

The Complete Billie Holiday On Verve, 1945-1959   

The set Hentoff refers to above is the 5 disc set  Rare Live Recordings, 1934-1959   

Students of her latter work will be interested in:

Lady in Satin 

Lady in Autumn

Lady_in_satin

 

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Videos after the jump . . . 

 

 

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Category: Digital Media, Friday Night Jazz, Music