Posts filed under “Digital Media”
Here’s an interesting name for Friday Night Jazz: Donald Fagen’s The Nightfly.
The WSJ called The Nightfly "one of pop music’s sneakiest masterpieces" and I think that moniker fits well. The key to this is the music’s timeless quality. It was retro back in
1982, and over the years, has never grown to sound tired or even of a specific era. It remains fresh, even 25 years later.
Fagan is better known as the front half of Steely Dan — the other half being Walter Becker. In 1982, with Steely Dan "retired," Fagen released this disc as his solo debut album.
Not only did the CD win critical acclaim amongst the jazz and pop reviewers, but the disc delighted audiophiles of all stripes. You see, The Nightfly was one of the first fully digital recordings of popular music. Add to that the usual crisp, sleek production The Dan were famous for, and you have a recipe for a phenomenal recording.
A colleague who studied acoustics and audio engineering (and presently works as a documentary film director) notes the album is a favorite of touring bands. In each new venue for a concert, the CD used to "tune" the room almost universally is The Nightfly. Not only is the production musically marvelous, but is brilliant technically as well — "it’s not overcompressed, and all frequencies are well-represented. This makes running the sound board way easier."
Despite the critical review, the disc barely sold a million copies. Now, 25 years later, we see that "The Nightfly" is getting a soup-to-nuts anniversary edition in November from Reprise Records.
Except for hard core collectors, however, I cannot see purchasing this box set. All the subsequent releases were victims of The Nightflys greatness. Morph the Cat was rather nondescript, and Kamakiriad was a better effort, but simply didn’t have the same verve or pop as the first disc.
Stick with the single disc of The Nightfly. Its an essential recording . . .
The Nightfly (Wikipedia)
The Nightfly’ Still Lives at 25
ROBERT J. TOTH
WSJ, January 9, 2008; Page D8
I’ve mentioned the Blu Ray/HD quandry in the past, but it seems the fight is drawing to its conclusion. In both the US and Europe, Blu-ray discs are significantly outselling HD DVDs.
But its this MacRumors chart (below) that pretty much sums up the battle:
Its hard to see how HD has a shot.
Now the question becomes how fast the prices drop on both the Blu Ray players and movies, but for now, I am sticking with an upconvert Sony for the big TV.
UPDATE: January 8, 2008 8:21pm
Why would prices go down?
As we previously discussed, I suspect many consumers have been on the sidelines awaiting the winner of the format war between Blu-Ray and HD.
As that fades away, the total number of purchases of the winner — Blu Ray — will go up significantly.
Thus, economies of scale, mass adaptation, and desires for deep market penetration will drive prices lower.
As to the monopoly issue — I doubt its an issue. 1) These are video playback toys, not an essential product or service; and B) There is still legit competition from ordinary DVD players (fer cryin out loud, you can still buy VCRs for $29).
My apologies for failing to explain the intermediate steps in my thinking . . .
He may be the single most recorded of all piano players.
Oscar bridged the swing and bop eras, rooting himself in a style that was at the same time stunningly complex yet soulfully elegant.
Nobody used more notes to swing! Oscar is sometimes dismissed because he wasn’t groundbreaking in the way that many of his contemporaries were. But the range of expression he achieved on the piano along with his technical prowess is hardly rivaled in mainstream jazz.
Many consider his solo recordings of the late 60s and early 70s to be his most outstanding work, but do not overlook his trio recordings both with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen and later with Joe Pass and Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson.
The live album "The Trio" from 1973 (not to be confused with a Verve release of the same title) is a great recording of Oscar with Pass and Pederson and shows Oscar at his most virtuosic. Check out the Brown Thigpen work live here.
compendium of his 1960s work in both trio and solo settings, the
excellent box set "Exclusively for My Friends" will keep you
entertained for years.
I am also partial to A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra.
The 1962 album "Night Train" with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen is also a favorite. It showcases Oscar at his best on both ballads and uptempo numbers and he really shows his blues chops.
Oscar Peterson will be missed . . .
Oscar Peterson’s ‘Jazz Odyssey’
Hear an extended version of Bob Edwards’ interview with Oscar Peterson.
Oscar Peterson, 82, Jazzâs Piano Virtuoso, Dies
NYT, December 25, 2007
A Jazz ‘Behemoth’ Moves On
WSJ, December 28, 2007
Tributes paid to Oscar Peterson
BBC, Tuesday, 25 December 2007, 08:00 GMT http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7159772.stm>
It’s that time of year again! Following our successful outings the past three years, I’m at it again. Here’s our Different Kind of Top 10 Music List for 2007. If you missed prior versions (2006 and 2005 and 2004), here’s the deal: There are a gazillion Best of Lists out there (and one list to…Read More
We have been documenting the slow death of CDs over the past 7 years. This year brought the first slowing sales in that other shiny polycarbonate disc, the DVD.
In a recent report, Alliance Bernstein Research observed that through early December, DVD sales
were down 4.1% YTD, including a 2.1% decline in Q4. Bernstein cited data from Nielsen VideoScan.
DVD sales were flat in 2006,pulling in the same ~$16 billion as 2005. Total home video revenues — including both sales and rentals — looks like they will hit ~$23 billion in 2007. That’s a $ billion shy of 2006 revenues.
These are only minor drops, but what makes them significant is that, no matter how you measure it, 2007 is the first negative year-over-year sales growth since DVDs came to market.
I suspect that the usual attention scarcity — which have been hurting CD sales — are also be impacting DVDs. And DRM certainly isn’t helping (What do you mean I can’t watch this DVD on my iPod?). However, DVD buyers are also wrestling with the additional factor of the latest format war.
Speaking personally, I’ve throttled back on my DVD purchases, as I await the winner of the HD/Blu Ray battle. Whatever DVDs I buy these days are disposable/rental priced (i.e., $5.99). The various HD formats are much pricier, and until that fight gets resolved, I, like many consumers, are buying less (Do I want this in HD? Gee, I better wait). Who wants to get stuck (again) with another extinct format?
There may be other macro factors at play: namely, an over-extended consumer. That showed up in not just DVD and CD sales, but in concert ticket revenue, also.
Despite several big "reunion" tours — the Police, Van Halen and Genesis — the total North American concert industry posted its slowest year since 2004. According to Pollstar, the top 20 tours generated $996 million, down 15.6% percent from 2006 totals. The 2004 total was $951.1 million, when Prince and Madonna were touring. Perhaps a long tail effect is spreading less revenue to more bands.
Here’s the specifics on revenue and ticket prices:
Top 20 Selling Tours of 2007 (Millions)
|1.||The Police||$ 131.9|
|2.||Kenny Chesney||$ 71.1|
|3.||Justin Timberlake||$ 70.6|
|4.||Celine Dion||$ 65.3|
|5.||Van Halen||$ 56.7|
|6.|| Tim McGraw
and Faith Hill
|7.||Rod Stewart||$ 49|
|9.||Josh Groban||$ 43|
|10.||Rascal Flatts||$ 41.5|
|11.||Dave Matthews Band||$ 41.1|
|12.||Billy Joel||$ 39.1|
|13.||Roger Waters||$ 38.3|
|14.|| Bruce Springsteen
& The E Street Band
|15.|| Hanna Montana
/ Miley Cyrus
|16.||Elton John||$ 35.7|
|17.||Jimmy Buffett||$ 35.6|
|18.||Barry Manilow||$ 34.8|
|19.||Toby Keith||$ 34.3|
(Based on total dollar volume of tickets sold)
An interesting side note: The average price of concert tickets (sold through StubHub’s secondary market) in 2007 was $117 — a price decrease of $28 per ticket compared to 2006. Note that these are not face value, but secondary (scalped) tickets.
Highest Average Ticket Price of 2007
|1.||Celine Dion||$ 347|
|2.||Elton John||$ 260|
|3.||Hannah Montana||$ 257|
|4.||Eric Clapton||$ 253|
|5.||Bon Jovi||$ 239|
|6.||Bruce Springsteen||$ 226|
|7.||Van Halen||$ 217|
|9.||The Police||$ 209|
|10.||Michael Buble||$ 195|
(For tours that sold over 3,000 total tickets)
Source: CNN Money, Stubhub
You something unusual is occurring in the economy when consumers pull back on their entertainment spending . . .
CDs Are Dying. Are DVDs Next?
Tech Trader Daily, December 21, 2007, 2:36 pm
Big media sees reversal of fortune
Hollywood Reporter, Dec 11, 2007
NYPost, December 4, 2007
The Police Lock Top 2007 Tours Spot
Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 1:02PM
U.S. concert business slumps despite reunion tours
Reuters, Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:44pm EST
2007 StubHub Concert Ticket Annual Report 2007
December 05, 2007: 06:12 PM EST
The Life Cycle of a CD or DVD