Posts filed under “Digital Media”

For Those About to Rock, We Have Always Low Prices*

Last year, we noted that the Eagles had "Disintermediated the Major Labels" by selling the CD to consumer via Wal-Mart — no label necessary.

How did that work out? Not too shabby: The Eagles’ double disc, “Long Road Out of Eden,” sold 711,000 copies in its first week and three million since, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Ironically, the disc is available used at Amazon ($7.98) or in MP3 format for $10.98 — but if you want a new CD, its Wal-Mart or nothing.

Journey was another big 1970/80s band going the Wal-Mart route, with Fleetwood Mac’s management now also in discussions with the big W.

Up next: Veteran rockers AC/DC. Via the WSJ, we learn:

"Wal-Mart is expected to pull out the stops to promote the AC/DC album, the band’s 16th studio release, which is to come out in the fall and hasn’t yet been titled. Such a push — including prominent displays of CDs in stores and heavy advertising — could yield blockbuster sales, in an environment in which blockbusters are increasingly rare. Columbia Chairman Steve Barnett, reached by telephone, declined to comment. Wal-Mart spokeswoman Melissa O’Brien didn’t respond to requests for comment about AC/DC.

But even as it strikes novel deals with a handful of artists and labels, Wal-Mart is preparing changes in its approach to selling the vast majority of music. It is unclear what the upshot of those changes will be, but one likely scenario involves cuts in the number of music titles the chain carries.

Wal-Mart executives, frustrated by perennially declining CD sales, have been quietly exploring changes in their approach to selling music. The company has described different versions of its potential new strategy to different players in the music industry."

What’s noteworthy about these deals is that they all involve dinosaurs who’s best days are long behind them, going to Wal-Mart for their promotional muscle. Now if Wal-Mart cut a deal with any band that wasn’t cranking out albums in the 1960s, ’70s, or ’80s, I might think there was something very interesting afoot. Say, a Radiohead or a Coldplay or Sarah McLachlan.

But no. The newer bands are going to the internet, rather than WAL-Mart. Their fans skew younger, and are more comfortable on line; Many of them are quite international, and domestic US sales matter less.  Lastly, there is something decidely unhip about Wal-Mart that simply doesn’t call out to Beck.

Sure, I love classic rock. But whgen it comes to music, I guess I am more of a long-tail, Amazon, iTunes Music Store kinda guy . . .



Eagles Disintermediate Major Labels, ITMS  (November 2007)

AC/DC To Wal-Mart

As CDs Decline, Wal-Mart Spins Its Strategy
Chain Signs Latest Exclusive Album — And May Cut Titles
WSJ, June 9, 2008; Page B1

For Some Music, It Has to Be Wal-Mart and Nowhere Else
NYT, June 9, 2008



* For you young ‘uns, the title refers to a 1981 AC/DC album: For Those About to Rock We Salute You

Category: Digital Media, Music, Retail

Friday Evening Jazz: Mocean Worker

Category: Digital Media, Friday Night Jazz, Music

Weezer’s Ode to You Tube

The official video for "Pork and Beans" from Weezer stars quite a few familiar YouTube faces.

New Weezer disc Red Album" out Monday, June 3rd, 2008

Category: Digital Media, Music, Video, Web/Tech

Maybe the CD Is Not Dead Yet

Category: Consumer Spending, Digital Media, Music

♪ Tighten Up ♪

James Brown’s version of Tighten Up   (1968)

And the original Archie Bell and the Drells version

Archie Bell and the Drells


Category: Digital Media, Music, Video

Friday Night Jazz: Gerry Mulligan II

Paraiso_2About 10 years ago, while window shopping in Sag Harbor (the least offensive of the Hamptons), I hear this fabulous music wafting out the door of a small shop.

Turns out it was Gerry Mulligan‘s CD, Paraiso-Jazz Brazil.

It was a real eye opener: This clean, cool recording of lovely Latin melodies, overlaid with a delightfully dry, reedy saxophone that infused everything with a sophisticated  flavor. That was Gerry Mulligan’s sound.


NPR radio described Mulligan as "the most influential baritone saxophonist in jazz."

But Mulligan was more than that — he was a
commanding composer, an innovative musician, someone who pushed boundaries, yet remained accessible and enjoyable to listen to.

His history of playing with other key Jazz greats is rather astounding: He worked with Miles Davis‘ on the historic Birth of the Cool. He created a piano-less ensemble, with trumpeter Chet Baker.

Meets_monkHe cut albums with Thelonius Monk, Paul Desmond, Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz, Lionel Hampton, Ben Webster, Johnny Hodges, Judy Hollidaythe list of sidemen goes on and on.

Mulligan’s light and airy baritone saxophone was the epitome of the the "cool" jazz sound. Yet its amazing how easily he could interact with many other musical styles: Ben Webster’s blustery tenor (the epitome of a "warm" sound); Monk’s percussive, fractured piano rhythms and dissonant tunes; the sweet, subtle tension between Mulligan and Chet Baker.

M_plays_mYou can pretty much grab any random Mulligan album (I put up a decent selection here) and not be disappointed. You will see scattered around a broad selection of different styles, eras, and musical cohorts.

Are you a Brubeck fan? Monk? Chet Baker? Webster? Desmond? Grab anything, sit back — and enjoy.


Mulligan became known for his writing and arranging skills in his teens. He wrote for Johnny Warrington’s radio band in 1944, and for Gene Krupa’s band two years later.

BerlinMulligan hit the big time when he became known for his work (writing, arranging, and soloing) on Miles Davis’ defining album, "Birth of the Cool." Gerry’s compositions for this album included "Jeru," "Godchild," and "Venus de Milo," all songs that would remain in his repertoire long after the initial success of the album had died down. (This album launched and aided several careers of important jazz figures).

Mulligan’s last record came out as one of his most beautiful. Lovely tunes, clever arrangements, and understated fabulous players mark his last recording (John Scofield and
Grover Washington, Jr. play on this).

DragonflySimply timeless music — and perfect for the holiday weekend with friends and family . . .   

Mulligan Discography (massive PDF)

NYT Mulligan Obit

Mulligan Videos after the jump


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Category: Digital Media, Friday Night Jazz, Music

Mapping The Blogosphere

Category: Digital Media, Web/Tech, Weblogs

Visual News Aggregator

Category: Digital Media, Financial Press, Web/Tech


Category: Digital Media, Music

Friday Night Jazz: Thelonious Monk

Thelonious_monk_with_john_coltraneOne of my all time favorites Jazz musicians is Thelonius Monk.

I stumbled across this video via a random click, and it reminded me just how much I have always loved Monk’s work, hence, another Friday Night Jazz featuring Monk.

Our man Monk was a three way genius: As a composer, as a jazz pianist, and as an improvisationist, he was without peer, and shaped the future of Jazz. Some notable discs:

Monks_dreamThelonious Monk with John Coltrane — what more can you add to these two geniuses riffing off of each other? Simply a monst    rous most own.

Monk’s Dream is a great example of Thelonious Monk in a Quartet format, with Monk at the peak of his career peak.

Monk’s Music a classsic compositions & recordings; Bold and inspired, with Coltrane, Blakey and Hawkins. Just fabulous.

Solo Monk a man, a piano, a studio tape recorder. Brilliant. 



Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall accidentally discovered in an unmarked box by a Library of Congress engineer early 2005 (previously mentioned in our year end review). 




Videos after the jump . . . 


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Category: Digital Media, Friday Night Jazz, Music