Author Archives: Alan Cross

In the Tech Battle Between Walkman and iPhone, the Winner Is…

September 29th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

...the Walkman?

Mind you, this is just a survey of readers of the gadget website.  They take a survey of their readership, tabulate the results, issue a press release and a bunch of media sheep pick it up and report it as gospel, resulting in increased traffic and free publicity.  

It's a clever trick that feeds the media's need for new content and the public's love of lists.  (And, to be honest, this is something that I would certainly stoop to doing for this site.  I know the tricks.  But I digress...)

Some people will exclaim "What?  The Walkman is more important to tech history than the iPod? Blasphemy!"  

But they're wrong

The Wife Says: Musical Mergers

September 29th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

[My real flesh-and-blood wife.  She has opinions on things.  Many things.  Many, MANY things.--AC]

Watched one of those home shows about his stuff and her stuff and a designer tried to come up with what “they” were all about. Tears and anger, paint colours and coffee tables all resolved in twenty-one minutes.

We’ve all gone through this. Some of us (‘fess up, sisters) even adapted what we liked, wore, listened to and believed in to fit the man of the moment.

Flash! Scientists Discover the World’s “Catchiest Pop Song”

September 29th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

What makes a song catchy?  Musical phrasing, the right hook and its overall singalongability.  Done right and everyone--from kids in diapers to teetotalling grandmas at weddings--will get sucked in by the song.

Boffins at Goldsmiths University in London quizzed thousands of people and studied their suggestions.  In the end, it all came down to one song.

More Music from the Inbox

September 28th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Here's another offering of music submissions (see that link in the left-hand column?) that have made through the filters.  

As always, feedback is welcome.  And feel free to email the artists themselves. They like that.

F*CK, YEAH! The Junos FINALLY Add a Metal Category!

September 28th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Praise be.

After years of missing the metal boat, CARAS, the organization that takes care of the Junos (full disclosure: I'm a member) has finally, finally instituted a category focalled Metal/Hard Music.  From the press release:

Toronto, ON (September 28, 2011) – Mark your calendars!  The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced today that submissions for the 2012 JUNO Awards open on October 1, 2011.  A new category will be added to the Awards roster in 2012: Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year, making a total of 41 categories up for grabs.  The 41st annual JUNO Awards will be held in Ottawa, ON, March 26 - April 1, 2012.

Weekly Music Sales Report – 28 September 2011

September 28th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

As labels and retailers begin to throw everything they've got at the all-important fourth quarter, it's no surprise that sales are up 3% over last week.  That's helpful, given that pacing is still less than 1% behind 2010.

And guess what's #1 in Canada again this week?  Points off to anyone who didn't say Adele and 21.  This is the 19th week in 2011 that this record has been in the top spot.  And with a 3% increase in sales over last week, it looks like the album is pushing for a strong finish.  With this week's 21,000 units, 21 has sold more than 550,000 copies in Canada.

A MUST-READ: Using Indie Bands to Sell Cars

September 28th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

From the New York Times.  The Melvins?  Really? Wow.

Over the years, Scion has paid for dozens of indie bands to make recordings and videos, and it has put on hundreds of small events like the Roxy show, which the company said cost about $10,000. In its search for ever more marginal forms of music, it supports heavy metal and garage-rock bands, as well as obscure dance subgenres like dubstep and moombahton (a style loosely related to reggaetón).

The idea, according to Jeri Yoshizu, Scion’s manager of sales promotions and the architect of its cultural strategy, is to build good will through many small actions rather than a few large ones.

Still Searching for the Perfect iPhone Headphones

September 28th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Like a lot of people, I use my mobile phone a lot.  If I leave the house without it, I get this irrational sense of panic.  I also use it when I'm walking the dog, jogging or doing yardwork.

I've tried so many different headphones:  Bose, Seinnheiser, AKG, Beats, B&O and Apple's standard ear buds. all with varying levels of failure.

The in-ear 'phones (Bose, Senneisher, AKG, Beats) sound great but they often become dislodged when I jog.  Besides, most of them are difficult to fit because my right ear canal is apparently substantially bigger than my left.

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