Blog Archive

M for Montreal 2011, Day 2: Putting Music In TV Shows

November 18th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

You know how TV shows feature bits of actual songs to help create atmosphere and move along the story? The person responsible for that is called the music supervisor.  It's his/her job to listen to music, suggest songs to the producer and/or director, acquire the necessary licensing, make the appropriate payments and then help create edits so the song fits the scene perfectly.

One of the best music supervisors today is Thomas Golubic.  If you've ever seen Breaking Bad or Six Feet Under, you've heard his work.  Thomas was the keynote speaker at an M for Montreal luncheon yesterday--and he was fascinating.


M for Montreal 2011, Day 2: The Night of the Living Drummers

November 18th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

As I've written before, I really like attending M for Montreal each November because there are always surprises in the line-up.  I always see several performers that pleasantly shock the hell out of me.

Last night, for example, I wanted to see a band called Absolutely Free, descendents of an experimental math-rock collective called DD/MM/YY.  And yes, they were very good, even though this was their very first live gig.  You'll seldom see such intricate rhythms played on live drums.  

The band has two kits onstage and sometimes features two guys bashing at the same time.  No standard 4/4 fare for these dudes.  Very tight, very cool.

But the real surprise came with the first act of the night.


This is Fun: Slayer’s Concert Rider

November 18th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

The concert rider is the part of the contract between performer and promoter that stipulates what needs to be provided before, during and after a gig, including dressing room amenities.  

Some riders make for some of the best reading in rock'n'roll.  For example, this is where the legend of Van Halen's "bowl of M&M's with all the brown ones taken out" demand. They weren't really serious.  This was just a test to see if the promoter was, in fact, reading their rider as he was supposed to.

Greggory sent me this Slayer rider which is most memorable for its demands and request.  They include:


Air Rage

November 18th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

What do the following people have in common: Courtney Love, Ian Brown of the Stone Roses, Liam Gallagher of Oasis, Rob Collins of the Charlatans UK and Peter Buck of REM?  

Answer: they’ve all been arrested for doing dumb things on airplanes.

Ian Brown had an air rage incident on a British Airways flight from Paris and ended up in jail for the better part of a year.  Liam Gallagher is banned from all Cathay Pacific flights after an incident aboard a 747 flying from Hong Kong to Australia in May 1998.


Yes, There’s Too Much Bad Music

November 17th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Here's the final version of an article written for the Sherdian Sun (Sheridan College's newspaper).  And yes, I was interviewed for it.  Good thought-starter, this.

“Blame it on human nature, man’s destiny. Blame it on the greediocracy.” So spews Fat Mike from the band NOFX on the band’s epic track "The Decline." The music industry has lost touch with the artist. Like any art, business has a way of stepping on creativity’s toes. It’s the nature of the beast.


M for Montreal 2011, Day 1: The Wednesday Surprise

November 17th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

One of the reasons I love coming to this festival (3 of the 6 years!) is that I'm always surprised.  Every night, there's always a band I've never heard of (or paid much attention to) that makes me sit up and wonder Helloooooooo....

Last night--the opening night of M--I saw CLAASS, a three-piece electro-something band which can be best described as Interpol strained through a very angry Underworld.  No drummer, just a rhythm track that sounded like an unhinged Roland 808.  Even through I was up in the balcony, the waves of bass off the stage rippled my pantlegs like flags.


A Mandated FM Chip in MP3 Players? Never Gonna Happen

November 17th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Most people aren't aware--and nor do they care--that US broadcasters have been pushing for an FM radio chip to be included in every MP3 player-like device sold in the country.  And yes, that includes all cell phones.

The problem is consumers don't seem to be interested.  The whole reason we carry our music with us is so we can program things for ourselves.  And now that more cloud-based services are coming online, we'll soon be able to take more of our content with us with more ease than ever before.

Read what consultant Mark Ramsay says in his blog today:

 


Achtung Baby Tribute Album Now Available on iTunes with Proceeds to Charity

November 17th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Ǎhk-to͝ong Bāy-Bi Covered What started as a special 25th anniversary adjunct for Britian's Q magazine has now become available to everything through iTunes.  

Good thing, too, because there are some big names doing some clever covers on this record.  

(It's really quite good.  My favourite is NIN's version of "Zoo Station."  Trent actually mellows the song.)  From U2.com:

All proceeds will benefit Concern Worldwide's work in famine-stricken areas of East Africa. (The album will be available on iTunes in the UK on November 28th.)


The Importance of Songs in TV Commercials

November 17th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Twenty-five years ago, it was unthinkable to allow for one of your songs to be used in a TV commercial.

You were branded a sellout and as someone who would corrupt art just for the sake of a few dollars.  But that attitude began to change about a dozen years ago when people realized two things:

(1) The amount of money you could make licensing a song to a TV commercial could be staggering—or at least enough to help your band with a year’s worth of expenses; and (2) Songs in commercials equaled higher music sales.


So About This Google Music Thing…

November 16th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Okay, so it's a year late and Google has to play catch-up to Apple--who, after all, only have an EIGHT YEAR head start.  But at least they're in the music game.

Google Music launched today, something that Android users--folks locked out of using iTunes properly--have been looking forward to.  Android is already that #1 mobile operating system, so will this increase its lead?  

I'll tell you one thing:  if I'm a record label, I'm pleased to see Google Music launched because I'd be thinking that iTunes is getting way too big and way too powerful.

Here's an early summary from TechCrunch as of 6pm ET (the press conference was at 5pm ET, so it's early.)


Rage’s Zack de la Rocha’s Poem for Occupy Wall Street

November 16th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Well, of course he's on the side of the OWS people.  Here's his tribute to them.  Now if we could only get the rest of Rage to help him commit this to music...

The beginning spills through city veins 
Into the arteries 
And under powers poison clouds 
We move like the shadows 
Through the alley ways 
Through nightmares bought and sold as dreams 
Through barren factories 
Through boarded schools 
Through rotting fields 
Through the burning doors of the past 
Through imaginations exploding 
To break the curfews in our minds

 


Female Musicians Never Get Laid

November 16th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

How's that for a headline?  It's the title of a store in Nerve featuring Los Campesinos! bass player, the very fetching Ellen Los Campesinos.

Neko Case recently claimed via Twitter that "Ladies in bands don't get ANY action," and as a female musician with a frustrated libido, I can sympathize. I've been playing bass in a touring band for five years, and I've had intimate relations on the road four times. (I class intimate relations as third-base-plus, but even if I counted kissing and over-the-clothes fumbling, it would still be a pretty low number.) I'm lucky enough to be in a job where I get to tour the world and meet interesting people, but in my experience, musicians —especially females — get a lot less then you'd imagine.

 



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