Blog Archive

The Number of People Buying Music Went Up in 2011

March 7th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

I've always maintained that if you give people a chance to purchase music easily at a reasonable price with few (or zero) restrictions, they will choose that route over stealing it.  Yes, there will always be pirates, but I honestly believe that for the vast majority of music fans, it's just too much hassle to go to P2P networks or torrent sites.

Why?  You have to find the right software, locate the sites that may have your stuff, get the download (and sometimes have to seed something in return), make sure whatever you get isn't ridden with viruses, import them into your music player, properly tag the files and transfer them to the devices you want.  

I don't know about you, but I just don't have that kind of time.

Big Wreck FINALLY Releases Their Third Album

March 6th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

It's been eleven years since Big Wreck released an album, but Albatross is out today.  The first single (the title track) is the #1 rock record in Canada for the third week in a row.  And timed with the release of the album is the announcement of a cross-Canada tour.  Dates after the jump.

More Music from the Inbox: 06 March 2012

March 6th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

On any given day, I get several dozen submissions for music reviews.  This, I believe, is a blessing because it gives me a chance to see what's new and exciting below the radar.  I filter through them all and then hand them to special correspondents like Juliette Jagger to write 'em up with a final verdict.  

Here's the latest to make it through this two-stage filtering process.  (And check out Juliette's recent interview with Daniel Lanois here.)

Survey: Canadian Teens Stealing Less Music

March 6th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

A new Ipsos Reid survey suggests that more Canadian teens are choosing to pay for music downloads rather than just grab them free from someplace.  Why?  "[A] combination of stricter policies and a greater appreciation of copyright."

The study showed that 76% of Canadian teens (12-17) have used a legal music download site (like iTunes) to get their music.  Compare that to the 52% who said they downloaded paid music during a survey conducted in 2009.  

Other findings:

And the Most Over-Merchandised Band in the World Is…

March 6th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

It's KISS, of course.  Gene Simmons told me that there have been more than 5,000 different items with the KISS logo on them, which means 5,000 sources of income.  

The list includes both KISS condoms and KISS coffins and cremation urns ("That way," says Gene, "we get you both coming and going."  Blerg.).  There are comics, kids' toys, jewellry made from Swarovski crystal, football jerseys, barware, KISS wine, books, headphones, murals and a host of other things.  

No wonder Gene is so rich. Can't fault him for that, can you?

And KISS will put its name to just about anything--for a price, of course.

Pussy Riot Pisses Off Putin

March 6th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

I love what the Russians are saying about the recent re-election of Vladimir Putin:  "This is the most honest election we've ever had!"  

Protests have broken out across the country as claims of election fraud and vote-rigging take hold.  Many have been arrested.

Among the incarcerated are six members of a band called Pussy Riot who annoyed members of the political elite by staging a loud musical protest against Putin in the square outside a Moscow church last month.

They sang a song that can only be translated at "Holy Shit" in response to the church's apparent support of Putin.

Sony: “50,000 Songs Were Stolen By Hackers”

March 6th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

The other day, Sony admitted that at around the same time their PlayStation user database was hacked last year (77 million accounts were compromised), hackers took the copies of the entire Michael Jackson back catalogue.  

But these weren't the only thefts.  Apparently a total of 50,000 tracks were stolen. 

Not "stolen" in "they aren't there anymore" but "stolen" as in "made unauthorized copies of."  Still, what escaped into the wild was rather interesting.  This included MJ duets with Freddy Mercury which had never been heard.

Broadway Weirdness: Tupac’s Street Cred Killed, BNLs Throw a Toga Party

March 6th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Tupac Shakur grew up in a tough family.  His mother, father, godfather and aunt were members of the Black Panthers. His step-father was on the FBI's Most Wanted List.  Relatives were convicted murderers, cop-killers and the kind of people who knocked over armoured trucks.  These were some bad-ass people.

Tupac's music reflected his upbringing and what he saw on the streets of Harlem and San Francisco.  Such is his street cred that he managed to sell somewhere north of 75 million records--and he's been dead since 1996.

All that cred is about to be flushed away with the imminent arrival of a Tupac-based musical on Broadway. Called Holler If You Hear Me, it's been approved by Tupac's mom, Afeni Shakur. Casting could begin as early as next week.

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