Blog Archive

Weekly Music Sales Report – 12 October 2011

October 12th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Was it a good week or not?  Well, it all depends on how you spin it.  Yes, there were three debuts in the Top 10 in Canada.  Yes, sales are 8% higher than they were for the same week last year.  But after last week's nice numbers, overall album sales are down 9%.  

All in all, though, the industry is happy that sales are still pacing ahead of last year.  Just by 1%, mind, you, but at least that's in the "plus" column

Canadian Lyrics Site Gets Bought by CBS Interactive

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

The reason publishers, labels, artists and managers have always cracked down on websites that offer song lyrics is because they've long known that there's money in these rhymes.  People--and not just music fans--will pay good money to access lyrics in a proper database.

Vancouver's Metrolyrics is very good at making these databases.  They're all legal and licensed, too.  That's why CBS Interactive just bought them for a big whack of dough.

Katie Moore Wins SOCAN’S 2011 ECHO Songwriting Prize

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

From the press release:

SOCAN today announced that the winner of the English 2011 ECHO Songwriting Prize competition is Katie Moore with her song “Wake Up Like This”. Katie Moore beat Arcade Fire, Austra, Handsome Furs, and PS I Love You to claim the $5,000 cash prize. The results were based on online public votes received from September 1 to 30 on  

A History of Rocktober

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Well, Bart, maybe there is...For me, the month of October will forever be associated with a month-long record sale at a record store chain called Crazy Kelly's in Winnipeg.  Every year, they'd stage their Rocktober sale, slashing prices on virtually everything in the store.  

I'd spend all of my disposal income (and a lot of money that should have gone to things like textbooks) adding to my record collection.

But there was much more to the notion of Rocktober than just a record sale in Winnipeg.  Check this out.

The History of the Term “Rock and Roll,” Part 2

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Late to the party?  Start with Part 1.

"Rock and roll" was originally an Africa-American euphemism for sex.  With the rise of rhythm and blues and jazz in the early 20th century, the term inevitably made its way into music in the 20s, 30s and 40s.

The big breakthrough came when a New Orleans songwriter named Roy Brown wrote something he called "Good Rockin' Tonight," which he then gave to a blues singer named Wynonie Harris.

College Radio Fights Back

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

From USA Today: College radio stations, which have long given a first break to little-known musicians and offered a voice

HMV Cuts Prices and Talks Music Streaming

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

I still shop at HMV a lot.  There are locations convenient to me and I still like to own CDs and DVDs.  Plus it's a good place to grab a new set of earbuds for the iPhone when my dog makes off with the old ones. (I swear there's a tangle pile of them buried in the back yard.)

HMV's struggles are well-known.  They, like virtually every other bricks-and-mortar retailer of entertainment products, are caught up in the disruptions caused by the Internet.  But they're being very pro-active.

On the right side of this page, you'll see an ad for Pure Digital, a very, very good alternative to iTunes. Give it a try if you haven't already.

But even as anyone at iTunes will tell you, the best-before date on selling music in any format is coming up fast.  Evolution must continue.

Nokia Goes Dubstep

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Question:  What song is heard the most around the world ever single day?  Answer:  "The Grande Valse." Your response:  "What?"

Here it is:

Still nothing?  Then try this:

More Music from the Inbox

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

I'm tired of turkey.  Sick of it.  And there's still several pounds of the stuff on a plate in the fridge.  Ugh.

Get your mind off how much weight you gained over the weekend by checking out some of these new tunes.  (Sorted by Jay at ThatsFunkyAwesome.)

Producer Alan Parsons Talks, er, Producing

October 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

From Wired:

Music is a big part of GeekDad and when I recently had the opportunity to interview famed producer and musician Alan Parsons, I jumped at the chance. In particular, I was curious about how someone who had established a certain notoriety for being a music obsessive (reflected in his award-winning work on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, The Beatles’ Abbey Road and his own Alan Parsons Project, among other credits) felt about a number of growing trends in the industry, particularly the ease of access to simplified recording tools on iPads and whether engineering holds the same importance as it once did when so much of the music we listen to today consists of lossy digital tracks played through cheap earbuds.

The Vanishing Album Junket

October 10th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Back in the days when people still bought albums and money flowed like gold-flecked water through the offices of record labels, there was The Junket.  This involved flying in media people from all over the world to interview an artist in the weeks leading up to a new album.  Journalists were picked up in liimos, driven to nice hotels, perhaps offered a dinner or a concert and, of course, time with the singer/band.

I've heard stories about the 80s and 90s.  U2 has a new record coming?  Let's fly everyone to Ireland and put them up at U2's Clarence Hotel.  And before everyone leaves, give 'em all a big bag of swag.  A new REM album? We should schedule the media event for Rio de Janeiro.  It's a little far from Georgia, but so what?  Everyone will have a good time.  And these examples paled in comparison to the bacchanalia that apparently was enjoyed in the 70s and 80s.

Pearl Jam…Beer?

October 9th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Apparently.  Dogfish Head of Delaware–brewers of such creations such as Golden Shower Imperial Pilsner and Bitches Brew–have announced plans to

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