Author Archives: Alan Cross

Congrats to 54-40

November 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

54-40 has been slugging it out for over 30 years now.  In fact, they’ve been around for a lot longer than just about any other Canadian band you care to mention, including the Tragically Hip.  

And if you want to measure things in terms of continuous recording and performing–and when I say that, I mean a band that has never taken a break from their regular schedule–they’re about the oldest continuously performing band in the country.


Facebook Becomes a Force in Streaming Music

November 10th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

It's only been in effect since September 22, but already Facebook users have shared/streams songs 1.5 billion times using the various integrated apps.  This. Is.  Huge.

From Audio4cast:

Facebook wanted to integrate music sharing and discovery and make it a more meaningful part of the facebook experience. It’s certainly been that for their partner services, which have experienced growth ranging from doubling their active users to increasing their user base 2 – 10 times.

Here’s a list of highlights, pulled from the post, of the growth some of the services have seen:


Metallica: Lulu’s a Stiff. Now What?

November 10th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

After months of hype and teasing, the Metallica/Lou Reed collaboration called Lulu had landed with a splat. The biggest metal band in the world has an even bigger turkey on their hands than St. Anger.  

Usually, any Metallica release is rapturously greeted by the faithful who immediately go out and buy it.  Not this time.  Lulu is a stiff.  In its first week, it sold 13,000 copies in all of America.  A THIRTEEN THOUSAND COPY DEBUT FOR A METALLICA ALBUM!  

Life is no better for them in Canada where the record managed a sickly debut at #26.  I don't have the figures, but from what I know about Canadian album sales, I'm guessing that puts the record in the 2,000 unit range.  Ouch.

So what went wrong?


New Trend in Concert Photos

November 10th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Whenever you go to a show, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of people just like you snapping pictures with cell phones.  

But now the performers are also taking some pretty cool pictures of you.  Some people called them “gigapixel shots,” wide-angle (or even 360 degree panorama) photographs taken of the crowd with super-high resolution cameras.


Weekly Music Sales Report: 09 November 2011

November 9th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

There's a big sea change with the Top Ten this week with six new entries, pushing the numbers up 7% over last week and keeping things 1% ahead of last year.  Barring an economic disaster or an extinction event-sized asteroid (didn't one just zing past yesterday), the Canadian music industry should have a slightly better 2011.


The Wife Says: Can Music Age Gracefully?

November 9th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

"Give Me All Your Love" is the new leaked Madonna track. Supposedly leaked, though I wonder if this is like politicians who float policy trial balloons to test public opinion. In the case of the Madonna song, the online response is good. It’s an 80’s style, Bangle-ish sort of ditty. Catchy enough for a pop tune, but does anyone want to see middle-aged Madge perform this live?

Nostalgia’s one thing. Hearing "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" or "Fight For Your Right to Party" reminds us of when we were young. But seeing the now-wrinkly or overly botoxed artist perform can be off-putting.


Sloan “Bootleg” For Sale

November 9th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Okay, so it's not a real bootleg--the band is behind it 100%--but it began as a real bootleg.

Back on September 20, 1993, a fan recorded a Sloan show in Winnipeg on cassette.  That recording eventually made its way to the band which has decided to issue it as a vinyl record reminiscent of what used to be found under the counter at indie record stores back in the day.  They were reserved for "special" customers.

Jay says:

See, I’ve always been a big fan of the live bootleg LPs that began to appear in hip underground record stores in the 1970’s and into the 1980’s. So, here's our very own (legal) tribute to that tradition.


The Weirdness That Is Record Collecting

November 9th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

While I buy the majority of my music through digital outlets these days (hey, it's unavoidably convenient), I still spend a fair amount on CDs and vinyl, too.  And not all of my purchases are new.  I've long since descended into the obsessive world of record collecting.

The chase is almost as fun as the find because along the way, I inevitably stumble across things I didn't know I needed--like that Japanese 7-inch edit of The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" circa 1971.  

This past weekend, I went to the Downtown Record Show in Toronto.  As is tradition, a group of fellow sad obsessives met for a greasy breakfast at the conclusion of which someone is required to declare "Gentlemen!  Prepare to empty your wallets!"  And we do.


The Revolution in Media Choice

November 9th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Another important piece of advice for traditional broadcasters of all stripes.  In today's world, infinite choice is just a click away.  Read what Seth Godin says that means for those who want people's attention.

In the traditional model, you can only play one program at a time. One radio show or one movie or one show...

Scarcity of spectrum has changed just about every element of our culture. Scarcity of shelf space as well.

There are just a few radio stations in each market, and each station gets precisely one hour to broadcast each hour. Scarcity of spectrum, inflexible consumption (listen now or it's gone forever).


Music With Me: Combining Social Sharing and Discovery

November 9th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

I have an app on my iPhone called Bump that allows me to share my contact information with another iPhone user just by doing a Obama-like fist bump.  I've long thought it would be cool to be able to share music the same way.

I still can't do that, but Android users can. 

Enter Music WithMe (yes, it's spelled like that), a wireless sync application that works with your phone, desktop and friends.  From their website:

Share music with friends, wirelessly sync iTunes between your phone and desktop.

Music WithMe uses ParkVuʼs technology to intelligently sync users iTunes music to their Android device without the need to upload an entire music collection. Music WithMe delivers an unequalled music experience on any device.



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