Posts filed under “Digital Media”

Top 20 Biggest Music Industry Screw Ups

Blender has released their Top 20 Biggest Music Industry Screw Ups, and we have a new chart topper!

Previously, the biggest  music industry gaffe was Dick Rowe’s billion-dollar screw up in passing on The Beatles. That has now been surpassed. The new winner in terms of biggest music industry snafus: The Industry turning its back on the internet has moved into the #1 spot with a bullet.

Here’s the top 20:

 20. As grunge dawns, one label bets on hair metal
19. The industry kills the single—and
begins its own slow demise

18. BMG dumps Clive Davis, begs him to
return

17. Thomas Edison disses jazz, industry
standards

16. Warner pays for Wilco record twice
15.
MCA’s teen-pop calamity
14. Stax Records unintentionally gives away the store
13. One label’s big spending
single-handedly ends “alt-rock” boom

12. Geffen pumps millions into (the
nonexistent) Chinese Democracy

11. Geffen sues Neil Young for making
“unrepresentative” music

10. Columbia Records loses Alicia Keys,
drops 50 Cent

9. “Digital-rights management” backfires
even more badly than usual
8.
Warner junks Interscope
7.
Music publisher gives away Bob
Dylan

6. Casablanca rides strong sales straight
to the poorhouse
5. The RIAA sues a struggling single mom for
digital piracy

4.
Indie
promoters take the major labels to the cleaners

3. Motown sells for a pittance
2. Decca Records A&R exec tells Fab
Four, “No, thanks”
1.
Major labels squash Napster

Notably missing: When John Fogerty left Creedence Clearwater Revival to begin his recording solo, his record company sued him, claiming the songwriter had plagiarized himself.
The entire tale is sordid and ugly and makes the labels look even worse
than they really are, which is kinda hard to do. (See this:  Fogerty’s Fabled Fantasy Fight).   

Any other notable omissions?

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Sources:
20 Biggest Record Company Screw-Ups of All Time   
Jon Dolan, Josh Eells, Fred Goodman
Blender March 11 2008
http://www.blender.com/20BiggestRecordCompanyScrewUps/articles/18696.aspx

War against Web tops music biz "screw-ups" list   
Reuters, Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:24pm EDT
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1151953920080312

Category: Digital Media, Music, Web/Tech

Apple iTunes to Sell Beatles Songs?

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