Recent Posts in industry

March 27, 2015

photo: Mortuary Drape at MDF 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Mortuary Drape

Returning for its fourth year, Signature Riff and Metal Kingdom's Martyrdoom festival is set to go down November 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 at Saint Vitus.

The lineup includes Necrophobic, Lvcifyre, Kommandant, Paroxsihzem and Vorde on night 1; Ride For Revenge, Nightbringer, Gonkulator, Blood Incantation, Sabbath Assembly and Spectral Voice on night 2; Mortuary Drape, Demonomancy, Black Anvil, Phobocosm and Sangus on night 3; Mortuary Drape (again), Omnizide, Kill, the Howling Wind and Discordia on night 4; and finally Bombers, Malthusian, Bell Witch and Luminous Vault on night 5. Tickets for all five nights are on sale now.

After Stardust, this is the second multi-night metal festival happening at Saint Vitus to be announced this week.

March 25, 2015

Haim waiting on a plane (via @Haimtheband)
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Elevators don't really use "elevator music" anymore but you can still hear bland, instrumental muzak when you board or deplane on various airlines. Not so now on American Airlines who, in October 2014, switched to a "surprisingly edgy mix of indie music" like Real Estate, Bon Iver, The xx, and, uh, Haim. It appears to be a welcome change, according to an article in one of American Airlines' employee newsletters:

The decision to change to the lesser-known indie music was a reaction to customers' complaints, which included boredom. Since the switch, complaints about our cabin music have decreased, and compliments have increased, according to a social media analysis.
Still, AA's criteria for the edgy mix they play is songs that are "upbeat yet not distracting" and "helps American stand out from the competition and appeals to younger generations." Other artists on their playlist include Lykke Li, Washed Out, Future Islands, Foster the People, Hozier, and Moby.

In related news, Nick Cave wrote his new book on the backs of airline barf bags while flying on tour.

March 19, 2015

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The American market for recorded music was flat in 2014, but income from streaming services like Spotify and Pandora has quickly grown to become a major part of the business, eclipsing CD sales for the first time, according to a report released Wednesday by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The association, a trade group that represents the major record companies, said that recorded music generated $6.97 billion in 2014, down less than 0.5 percent from the year before, when revenue was slightly more than $7 billion. - [NY Times]

Vinyl sales, by the way, are up 50%. This report comes one day after news that online record store Insound is reportedly closing shop.

February 23, 2015

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A six second drum break from The Winstons' "Amen, Brother" (the b-side to their 1969 hit "Color Him Father") is arguably the most famous "break" ever. The "Amen Break" has been sampled on countless hip hop records (famously on NWA's "Straight Outa Compton") and, sped up and chopped up, basically became the backbone of every jungle/drum and bass record ever. If you're still scratching your head, or are just curious to know more, Nate Harrison's terrific 2004 short documentary on the "amen break" is required viewing. Watch it below.

Despite the sample's place in the pop culture lexicon, neither Winstrons drummer G. C. Coleman (who died in 2006), nor frontman Richard L. Spencer (who wrote and arranged the song and owns the copyright) have ever received royalties for the sample. (The Statute of limitations has run out to pursue it legally now.) However, a UK DJ has started a crowdfunding campaign to give money to Richard Spencer and Coleman's family:

if you have ever written or sold any music with the amen break, or even just enjoyed one of the countless hundreds and hundreds of tunes that contain it over various genres and styles of music, please donate towards the good cause of the worldwide music community giving something back to the man behind the legendary breakbeat.
The campaign began five days ago with hopes of raising £1,000 and it's already had £11,000 pledged.

Check out the documentary and a few famous uses of the "amen break," below...

Continue reading "'Amen Break' creators to receive compensation via crowdfund campaign + watch a documentary about the famed breakbeat"

December 5, 2014

Pale Blue's album art
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Mike Simonetti, who founded both Troubleman Unlimited and Italians Do it Better, has started a new musical project, Pale Blue, which is a collaboration with Elizabeth Wight of Silver Hand. Their debut album, The Past We Leave Behind, will be out April 14 -- that's the cover art above -- and you can stream the Italo-y title track below.

The Pale Blue album will also be the first release on new label 2MR which is part of Captured Tracks' Omnian Music umbrella. That's "Two Mikes Records," the other one being C/T domo Mike Sniper.

While Pale Blue haven't broached the subject of live performances yet, Simonetti will be DJing on Thursday (12/11) at Output as part of the Input James Murphy Vs Tim Sweeney night. Tickets are still available.

Pale Blue song stream below...

Continue reading "Mike Simonetti (Italians Do it Better) forms new musical project Pale Blue and new label, 2MR"

November 24, 2014

Bayonet Records logo
Bayonet

Beach Fossils frontman Dustin Payseur and his wife (and former Captured Tracks label manager) Katie Garcia have just launched a new label, Bayonet Records. The Fader talked to Garcia and Payseur about Bayonet:

Since he was young, Payseur's dreamed about running a label. "I found these cassettes from when I was a kid, where I was recording me screaming 'Fuck' into the mic over a drum machine, and I'd put like fake record label names and logos on them," he said. Garcia feels similarly: "I always knew growing up I wanted to work in music," she told FADER. "Once Dustin started talking to me about how he wanted to seriously pursue [the label], it became the natural progression for me to help him manage it, since that's something I already knew how to do."
Beach Fossils will be a part of Bayonet roster, as will Payseur's other band, Laced. The label will also reissue Warehouse's debut, Tesseract, on March 3, the same day as cassettes/digital releases by Red Sea and Flouride. The first vinyl LP to be released by Bayonet will be Jerry Paper's Carousel on March 31.

The rest of the label's lineup includes Frankie Cosmos, Divorce Money and Freelove Fenner. You may have seen Warehouse and Laced play together in NYC back in July.

Beach Fossils, Laced and Jerry Paper are playing one of the final Glasslands shows on 12/17 with PC Worship.

Watch an "Introducing Bayonet Records video and stream a track off Warehouse's Tesseract, below...

Continue reading "Dustin from Beach Fossils starts label, signs Frankie Cosmos, Warehouse, Jerry Paper and more"

October 6, 2014

C3C3C3

The NY Times reports:

Live Nation Entertainment, the concert and ticketing giant, is in advanced talks to buy a majority stake in C3 Presents, the country's largest independent promoter, with a portfolio that includes the popular Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits festivals.

The prospective deal, in negotiations for months but still not completed, would give Live Nation a stake of 51 percent in C3 Presents, and value C3 at around $250 million, according to two people with knowledge of the talks.

A spokeswoman for Live Nation declined to comment, and representatives of C3 did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday afternoon.

C3, based in Austin, Tex., is run by three friends all named Charles or Charlie -- in the music industry, they are widely known as "the Charlies" -- and the company has grown quickly from its founding in 2007.

C3, best known for owning those festivals, is also a major force in the Austin rock club scene. They recently bought the Emo's name (and its new location, Emo's East), and book shows at Stubb's, Lambert's, The Parish and other places. They also had a lot to do with Metallica's Orion Festival (which took place in Atlantic City and then Detroit).

September 16, 2014

Clear Channel

It's been almost nine years since Clear Channel spun off Live Nation (who went on to buy Ticketmaster). Now:

Clear Channel on Tuesday refashioned itself as iHeartMedia, accentuating how the lines between online and AM/FM radio are blurring at the country's biggest company on the broadcast dial.

"It's not a company with a bunch of old radio stations and outdoor [billboards] anymore," Chief Executive Bob Pittman said in an interview. "We've transformed, so let's now take a name that matters."

iHeartRadio is Clear Channel's digital arm, a Pandora-like online service that also hosts the digital streams of the company's 840 traditional radio stations like KIIS FM in Los Angeles. Effective Tuesday, CC Media Holdings Inc. became iHeartMedia Inc. The company's over-the-counter stock ticker symbol will also change, effective Wednesday.

Streaming is the industry's most promising segment of growth, but tech-centered outfits like Pandora -- the Web's biggest radio operator -- and on-demand subscription services like Apple's Beats Music and Spotify tend to attract the most attention as they race to dominate the burgeoning sector. By recasting itself as iHeartMedia, Clear Channel not only recognizes the company itself has changed but also believes it will get due credit in the tech community for its gargantuan scope, Pittman said. [CNET]

August 13, 2014

by Ian Chainey

friday

I put together the weekly Upcoming Metal Releases at Invisible Oranges. Not to get too first-world-complain-y, but it can be a pain. With staggered release dates across the world (UK: Mondays, US: Tuesdays, Black metal: DGAF), my Excel tracking sheet ends up looking like a string board on The Wire. I end up having more corrections than a Prince-written essay on proper grammar.

So the announcement on Billboard that major labels and their partnerships are looking to shift to a global street date occurring weekly on Fridays sounds pretty good on the surface. (Kanye West: Yeah, duh.) The reason for the change is to thwart piracy, which makes sense if you subscribe to the logic that the first receiver is the first leaker. Torrents have made the world smaller and faster, so this gives artists in the laggy US market a chance to pack on some moved units.

Of course, there are downsides. It could further hurt on-the-street retailers and smaller labels. According to Billboard:

While sources say that digital music service providers like the Friday street date, not all physical merchants have given the change their blessing; some indie labels and indie merchants are opposed to having the global street date on Friday. They say they like the concept of having street dates early in the week because they feel it helps sell more CDs -- devout customers of an artist will come in on Tuesday while others will come in on payday, which is usually at the end of the week. Yet, in the end, brick-and-mortar stores and indie labels may not have much say in picking which day of the week functions as the global street date.
That and charts might have to be reconfigured to better track total sales, which is probably causing Casey Kasem to utter a downpour of curses in the afterlife.

Still, this won't happen for a bit. As of now, the biz is eying July 2015 for the change to Friday.

Continue reading "Music industry may move release day to Friday, worldwide"

October 8, 2013

Elbows

Goodbye Elbo.ws...

...With a heavy heart, however, we feel it's time to turn off the bot. It's not an easy decision, but a few factors have proven hard to overcome. We get more DMCA notices these days than ever before (mostly regrading photos, believe it or not) and our advertising has dried up. Google doesn't appreciate our aggregation as it once did.

At this point, we're planning on keeping the lights on until the end of November. After that, we'll probably redirect the domain elsewhere.... [Elbows Blog]

It's been real.

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