Posts filed under “Music”
I smell money!
I’ve been flying all over the world listening to an ever-decreasing number of old farts lamenting the music business ain’t what it used to be. That the kids have stolen all the music, that you just can’t get paid. And then I come to Las Vegas and find out we’re experiencing a renaissance!
Now I know these people. John Boyle of Insomniac for almost twenty years, he’s a core member of the Aspen Live group. And I had an extended dinner with Pasquale Rotella and Jason Bentley in Amsterdam, as well as an evening out into the wee hours to see Hardwell. So when they asked me to come to Vegas, I saw it as more of a bro thing. I’d show up at their two bit conference that gets absolutely no publicity, that I’ve never heard anybody talk about, to do my thing.
And lo and behold the place is PACKED!
Go to the other conferences and no one shows up at the panels. It’s all about networking, the schmooze. Everybody’s too good to learn. And nobody says anything interesting. But here there were seemingly a thousand twentysomethings listening attentively to people doing their best to illuminate what’s going on.
Not that they’re really sure.
Many are lifers. They’ve lived through the ups and downs, from Prodigy to the nadir. And all of a sudden, EDM blew up.
Oh, they’re still bitching about the acronym, as if BMW would do better if they called it Fast Car, Incorporated. Names don’t matter. Never did. Your band can be called anything. It’s always been about the music.
And this is the music of a generation, the millennial generation.
Their parents hate it.
Those in other genres say it’s only about drugs.
Meanwhile, the shows generate the greatest attendance, and the biggest gross.
Skip Paige of Golden Voice said that a questioner was correct, that Calvin Harris had the largest crowd in the history of Coachella.
But Skip said guitars are not dead.
Oh yes they are. Because all the excitement is in computers. You grow up with them, they’re tools, enablers. And anybody who believes in a rock revival is delusional.
Rock is niche.
Unless you consider country rock. Then there’s a genre. But even country is employing electronic music elements these days.
And at that panel, which included a representative of Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa as well as a man from Guggenheim Partners, the question came up…WHAT NEXT?
Boyle said everything that’s available has been bought up. Insomniac just launched an EDM portal. Is the next land grab the penumbra, merch, etc?
Skip said it was all about tickets. But I think that’s myopic. Because for the first time since hip-hop, maybe the first time since classic rock, we’ve got a culture.
Having a hit is one thing, having a belief system, a religion, is another.
Katy Perry is dependent upon hits. She stands for nothing.
Electronic music has its own values. It’s an amalgamation of the Grateful Dead and Kraftwerk all wrapped up in a Disneyland sheen wherein your access point is your mobile phone, and you want to leave home to connect.
Yes, as baby boomers nest in front of Netflix, spending their weekends binge-watching “Orange Is The New Black,” their children, their younger siblings’ children, are doing what they once did…they’re going OUT!
That’s part of the EDM culture. Events. You want to be included. And sure, the acts rise and fall, but the raw building blocks of the sound remain the same.
And if you’re interested in money, Tatiana Simonian, of Nielsen, gave a presentation that would have your head spin.
The brands want in. And all brands want impressionable people. Who are young, who still have not formed brand alliances. Well, it turns out electronic music spikes amongst millennials, and it spikes amongst not only the white males of rock, but Latinos, Native Americans… The bottom line is if you’re young, you like EDM!
For a minute there, it looked like EDM might be a fad. But then its superstars crossed over to pop, they’re the new hitmakers.
And suddenly, we’ve entered a new golden era, one with so much money that Wall Street is interested. Wall Street funded SFX. The aforementioned Yucaipa and Guggenheim are in the house. And if you think ANY of them care about music, you’re wrong, they only care about one thing…money.
And this is a good thing. Because once you involve money, once people can get rich, the best and the brightest gravitate to it. Suddenly, you graduate from the Ivy and you turn down the bank, there are opportunities in music. And the envelope keeps getting pushed further and further.
It’s kind of like “Logan’s Run.” You can count the people over fifty on one hand. The people over forty on a couple. Everybody here is young and involved and they want in, or further in.
This is not UCLA Extension, a bunch of losers groveling to be interns at dying labels. It’s like either you’re on the EDM path, or you’re headed down the road to extinction.
I wanted to call up Cliff Burnstein. All the great rock thinkers. I wanted to tell them to book a flight and get here immediately, BECAUSE THIS IS WHERE IT’S HAPPENING!
I was a monster Pretenders fan back in the day. Their first album, Pretenders, is in the running for the greatest debut album ever. Its great rock and roll, with brilliant songwriting, sly and lovely melodies, ALL belied by the raucous punk production. It was the first album I ever saw that had the words PLAY LOUD on the cover. Now that’s a recording ethos I can get into.
If you have even the slightest doubt that their under-rated melody was the secret sauce of the Pretenders, check out the live acoustic album Isle of View recorded with a string quarter backing the Hynde instead of electric guitars and bass. Its just brilliant.
Yeah, I had a crush on her — I loved her rawness, the way she moaned Hmmmm, how she spat out lyrics, both plaintive (No, I’ll never feel Like a man in a man’s world) and nasty (I shot my mouth off, and you showed me what that hole was for). The power trio behind her was killer, and they could play soft if they wanted to (See Lovers of Today, or their cover of Ray Davie’s Stob Your Sobbing, both on the debut album). Hynde’s voice could range from tough as nails to crushingly vulnerable; her unique phrasing perfectly fit the music she crafted. Musically, everything about The Pretenders just worked.
I’ve always wanted to see a bio pic of the Pretenders, with Gina Gershon cast as Chrissie Hynde. Not me, baby, I’m too precious, I had to fuck off.
Soundcloud has two full songs, plus Chrissie discussing how the album came about (below).
You or No One
Her website is at Chrissiehynde.com
Stream full album at Soundcloud
Review of Stockholm by The Guardian
Chrissie Hynde, Minus the Pretenders (NYT)
Long time readers know I am huge Jack Johnson fan — especially those first three albums – Brushfire Fairytales (2001), On And On (2003) and In Between Dreams (2005). (Start with the first one, and if you like it keep going).
We saw him play MSG in 2010 — and the music got lost in that venue (good photos though). Even though Mrs. Big Picture is a big fan, after the Garden show she had to be talked into going to see him again.
This weekend, he played Jones Beach — and it was phenomenal. We also had great seats (the photo above is from the crappy camera on an iPhone 5). It was just the right vibe for a laid back surfer dude singer songwriter. Open air theater, on the Great South Bay, less than a 1000 yards from the Atlantic Ocean.
If ever a venue and an artist were perfectly matched, this show was it! He should (liek James Taylor does) make this a regular stop on his tours.
If you have never seen a show at Jones Beach, it is highly recommended.
A Different Kind of Top 10 Music List For 2004 (December 24th, 2004)
A Different Kind of Music List: The Anti-”Best of 2005″ (December 29th, 2005)
Jack Johnson: Sleep Through The Static (February 12th, 2008)
Jack Johnson, MSG July 14, 2010 (July 15th, 2010)
Jack Johnson Photos from MSG Show (August 3rd, 2010)
“Why Uber just might be worth it at $18 billion‘ It’s all anybody talks about, other than Airbnb. This exalted status used to be occupied by music. How did this happen? Interestingly, Travis Kalanick, Uber’s majordomo, used to be in the file-trading business, with a company called Scour, you know how that turned out, the…Read More
1. Sales count. They’re almost as irrelevant as the old billboards on the Sunset Strip, they’re a way to stroke the egos of the players involved. It’s no longer whether someone buys your album, but whether they listen to it, that’s the relevant metric that everybody seems to ignore as they trumpet the anemic, irrelevant…Read More
Back when music didn’t require autotune: “In late 1968, Led Zeppelin began pioneering a heavier, more metallic-sounding form of rock geared for FM radio’s new album-oriented stereo format. By combining a slashing electric guitar and wailing vocals with a rhythmic bass and locomotive drums, the band quickly became the darlings of better stereo systems and…Read More
Happy Birthday Bob Dylan! How Bob Dylan’s message in ‘It’s Alright, Ma’ applies to the investment business. Darkness at the break of noon Shadows even the silver spoon The handmade blade, the child’s balloon Eclipses both the sun and moon To understand you know too soon There is no sense in trying…. Old lady…Read More
Spotify playlist Hit play to listen as you read Brian Wilson gets all the respect and Jan Berry’s been forgotten and I’m gonna try to rectify that right now. “THE LITTLE OLD LADY (FROM PASADENA)” Because it’s the one you know. When I first heard this in the summer of ’64 I had no…Read More