Blog Archive

Where’s a Republican to Get Their Campaign Music?

February 2nd, 2012 | by Alan Cross

It's tough being a campaign organizer for a Republican candidate.  All those issues.  All that travel.  All those volunteers.  All the negative campaign ads.  And then there's the matter of a theme song.

As far as I remember, the first candidate to use rock music as part of their campaign was--wait for it--Ronald Reagan when he kept playing Springsteen's "Born in the USA" at his rallies.  (Yes, the message of the song is totally inappropriate for such use, but that didn't stop him.)

Almost a decade later, Bill Clinton--America's first president of the rock'n'roll era--did very well with Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" as an official fight songs.  Since then, it's been important for every candidate from both sides of the aisle to rock out a little for the faithful.

I Like This: Utter

February 1st, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Interesting stuff from a Portuguese artist. Wonderfully dark in a Radiohead sort of way.  Good video, too

Weekly Music Sales Report: 01 February 2012

February 1st, 2012 | by Alan Cross

It was a good week with overall album sales up 7%, pushing year-to-date pacing to 3% ahead of 2011. Digital sales continue to carry the day (albums up 32% over last year while digital tracks are up 31%) as physical CD sales continue to decline year over over (-11%).

Sorry, kids.  CDs may still be a force in the marketplace, but this death spiral is unstoppable.

Guess what's still at #1?  Yep, it's Adele with 21, the only album in Canada to sell more than 10,000 copies in the last week.  In fact, at 14,000 units sold, that's an increase of 4% of last week.  

That means sometimes in the next five days, 21 will surpass the fabled 1 million mark in Canada.

Can the AM Band Be Saved? Should It?

February 1st, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Back in the 80s, there was real concern that AM radio was going to die.  Listeners had moved to the superior-sounding FM band causing music-based AM stations to wither and die.  

Some country and some oldies did survive, but anything with a contemporary bent disappeared.  

Two things kept AM radio alive:  ethnic stations and talk radio:  conservative talk, news and sports.  Of these three, conservative talk proved to be the most successful, at least in America.  It's not a stretch to say that Rush Limbaugh and his ilk extended the life of AM radio alive.

But AM radio is once again under assault

Alan Lomax Collection Goes Online

February 1st, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Alan Lomax spent years criss-crossing the US South with a primitive recording machine, capturing music that might otherwise have been lost forever.

He encountered jazz players, blues musicians, country artists amd folkies.  He brought attention to Leadbelly, was one of the first to record Muddy Waters and knew Woody Guthrie as a young man.  He's been called the most important musicologist of the 20th century.

These recordings are priceless pieces of history.  But up until now, they've been difficult and tedious to access.  And with more than 17,000 of them, things can get complicated very quickly.

And the Most Depressing Song of All Time Is…

February 1st, 2012 | by Alan Cross

According to a (very scientific, I'm sure) study by theatre producer David King, the most depressing song of all time is "Everybody Hurts" by REM.

He says one in five females "often" begin to cry when they hear the song.  There doesn't seem to be any data for dudes.

Second most depressing?  Elton John's "Candle in the Wind."  (I agree, but I get depressed for different reasons upon hearing it.)  And in third place, Mike and the Mechanics and "The Living Years."

To all of the above, I call "bullshit."

Nothing--and I mean nothing--beats "Gloomy Sunday."

What?  You've never heard of it?  That's probably a good thing because it was banned by the BBC for its blow to morale and its rumoured ability to drive people to suicide.

Steve Jobs, Father of the iPod, Was Actually a Vinyl Freak

February 1st, 2012 | by Alan Cross

That's according to Neil Young, anyway, as part of an interview at the D: Dive tech conference in California.

Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music. His legacy is tremendous.  But when he went home, he listened to vinyl.

Yes, Jobs gave the world iTunes (with its AAC compression), the iPod (which promolgated the need for compressed music files) and even offered up something called iPod Hi Fi.

What?  You don't remember that?  Or Steve's statement "This sounds so good that I'm going to get rid of my stereo."  The date was February 28, 2006.  The iPod Hi Fi was discontinued in September 2007.

More quotes from the Godfather of Grunge (via 9 to 5 Mac):

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