Monday, August 25, 2008

Bandwidth Conference - Alexandra Patsavas

Notable music supervisor breaks down the world of music licensing...

Your music has value...

what is the future of Your music?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

ISP Blanket Licenses

It's been buzzing since SXSW this year. Nick at Penny Distribution has been in my ear with the idea for months. Major music execs are pushing ISPs to kill every person downloading music on P2P networks. Well not the execs themselves because they are not "technologists". Instead they hired a true visonary in the digital music world, Jim Griffin to do the dirty work. Everyone has their price.

Jim has been evangelizing a flat fee rate for music, $5-10. Add it to your cable/internet/phone/wireless bill in the form of a blanket license. Unlimited music downloads via P2P or similar. It's historically inevitable. Whenever technology has made it too difficult to police a class of copyright use, the problem is solved through blanket licenses. Sheet music and publishers, record labels and radio. A great idea in this case: gives consumers the choice and the industry a means to profit. Artists get paid through a collection society. The most downloaded artists get paid the most.

However, the industry has once again messed up a good thing. Instead of acknowledging that it is happening and creating a means of collection, the industry wants to chase down the smallest of the small "criminals" and wreak havoc on the world. The new plan allows for ISPs to monitor your traffic, site visits, lifestyle choices and everything else they do now. When bandwidth is deemed too high, they can assume it is due to illegal downloading and consequently limit your internet connection. Ridiculous. Just tickles my conspiracy bone...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

think more digital or sink with physical

If you didnt have a chance to make it to London last week, then you missed a great MusicTank event with Nettwerk Music Group’s Co-Founder & CEO Terry McBride.

MusicTank commissioned McBride to write a report describing the “millennial” consumers - those people born after 1982 or so. At the event, Terry was able to debate (and agree) with leading music industry veterans and consumers ranging in age of 15-25.

Nettwerk expects its revenue from digital to tip beyond 70 percent this year. That’s massively more than the 25.5 percent eMarketer forecasts the global music business will make from digital this year.

Either learn to build a new boat or go down with the ship...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Daniel Kobialka at home in Asia

Daniel Kobialka enjoys Japan. It mirrors his music. Traditional and modern. Elegant and zen. Two visits this year have produced 2 records. Produced by the master, Marth. Daniel has contributed to Marth's records too. In addition to ample portions of recording, Kobialka has maintained a steady diet of live performenaces and press conferences. Look for his new release Beyond Embracing Dreams in February 2009.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I have a friend moving to Los Angeles from San Francisco. That friendly neighbor to the Bay but most times worlds apart. No need to point out shortcomings and positives of each.
I offered her three bits of advice:
1. Ambition beats talent everyday in LA.
2. Keep your toes in the sand.
3. Don't do porn.

I also told her to support her local hip hop artist:
Evidence "Letyourselfgo"

Cousin Chris Music

Refreshing sound from a local musician: Cousin Chris. He plays every instrument on his new album "Moon Paper" and he is hanging with the right guys: Jay Pellicci (Deerhoof, Xiu Xiu) engineered all sessions and Justin Phelps (Cake, The Mars Volta) mixed most songs.

His sound is subtle, Neil Young twangish, that must only come from living in Boston, then Jamaica and settling in San Francisco. Stripped down production and pure music.
Music supervisors have been calling...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Be Thankful For What You Got

i realized i have been buying vinyl for 20 years. Collection probably hit 15k at one point, but that included doubles, triples and a box of 50 or so of William DeVaughn's "Be Thankful For What You Got" - with that green Roxbury label. Great record. Great mantra. An even better one is offered by DJ Bunny Ears: "Do what you can, with what you have, in the time you have, in the place that you are." I share this meesage with the musicians I consult with each week. Don't wait around for the big break to arrive. Keep doing what you do and find your niche. Music should be used to sell OTHER parts of an artist that can't be duplicated.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Search Inside the Music

Thursday, SanFranMusicTech Summit, Hotel Kabuki. Premier meeting of the minds. The new music industry is rooting in San Francisco + Silicon Valley
-Beni B. from ABB Records - a legend to the beatdiggers and hip hop community in the Bay Area and beyond.
-Ty Roberts, Gracenote - among other things, he mentioned album artwork + liner notes will soon become available with downloads.
-Paul Lemere, Sun Labs - Search Inside the Music presentation
"The goal of the 'Search Inside the Music' project is to explore new methods of categorizing, indexing and organizing large collections of music to allow more effective ways of searching through these collections. This project extends music search to search 'inside the music', that is, to search not just titles, keywords and artists, but to search music by music content and context. We want to help people find and organize their music based on all of of the properties of the music including such properties as acoustic similarity, mood, lyrics, musical theme, melody, tempo, rhythm, and instrumentation."
-Vince Milburn, Jr. - Miles Davis' nephew & 1 of 3 entrusted with Davis' estate. Stays true to the legacy and prestige behind his uncle.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Henry Brant - Great American Composer

It is sad to hear of Henry Brant's recent passing. He was a longtime collaborator of Daniel Kobialka and a great American composer.

His accomplishments:
1955 The Prix Italia (he was the first American composer to win)
1982 The American Music Center’s Letter of Distinction: he was described as “a pioneer of spatial and antiphonal music and a continuing influence on succeeding generations.”
2002 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Ice Field
Two Guggenheim Fellowships
Read more here:

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Industry Rule #4080

I used to work for a label, Real Music. You might confuse the name for something larger or something cooler. Disappointing - like meeting a celebrity for the first time. This label was a mere blip on the radar of notoriety and just a small 3 inches of purchased shelf space at your local Barnes&Noble. I walked away last year knowing the label was not going to survive to see success again.

Its karma is finally reaping the evil it has sowed. For years, musicians have been exploited for their works and treated like enemies, leaving a very small selection to promote. Those signing new deals, get coerced into 4,5,6 albums, and might as well be signing their death certificate. To add humor to this horror, the owner is losing his hearing but still decides what music to release!

So now I have one goal: help artists make a business out of their music while owning their art forever. Jump on board, it doesn't cost a thing.