Not to long ago I talked about the rise and fall of Tower Records and how the vinyl record industry had their days and then essentially died… well get ready because they’re back!
Many of you vinyl aficionados already knew this was happening. The fact that pressed records remain dynamically pure and essentially a great way to archive recorded material, makes the vinyl application a great consideration for recordings of music.
This article from The RollingStone highlights some of the latest sales numbers as they associate with the CD and Vinyl marketplace.
“When vinyl sales started to climb in 2006, some experts saw it as a fad. No longer: Those sales hit a 25-year high last year, and labels are investing in more sophisticated packaging than ever… many artists have taken note; Bruce Springsteen released his latest box set,The Album Collection Vol. 2, 1987-1996, exclusively on vinyl, with no CD option.”
Tenille Townes just released her debut EP on Sony Music Nashville in April, a four-song collection titled Living Room Worktapes. Though the EP wasn’t actually recorded in a living room, the raw way Townes and her co-writers wrote every track — with nothing but a melody and a guitar — is similar to the realness that a setting like that allows.
“I love a living room — it makes me think of my family and the safe spot where we can talk about anything,” Townes tells Billboard.
“Some of that natural reverb gets initiated by the stage sound itself, as things get pretty loud up there. Only Wickens wears in-ear monitors, as the rest of the band opts for Clair R4 sidefills and old-school Showco SRM wedges.”
That’s a quote from the interesting article that talks about the equipment used on Paul McCartney’s late 2017, eight night (3 hour gigs) mini-tour of New York City.
Many of us musicians understand what a good 3 hour show will take out of you… but, to do it eight nights in a row… that’s a damn workout!
Anyway, take a peak at this in-depth review of the type of gear Paul used on this mini-tour and discover some hidden secrets you probably didn’t know about.
“Watching a Paul McCartney concert is a lesson in irony. At their height, the 20-something Beatles played 45-minute sets, but 50-plus years later, at an age when most stars of his era are taking it easy, a Macca show clocks in at three hours.
As if to prove the point, Sir Paul did it over and over in September as he tore through eight sold-out shows around New York City, playing two nights a piece at Madison Square Garden; Brooklyn’s Barclays Center; across the Hudson River at Newark, NJ’s Prudential Center; and on Long Island at the newly refurbished NYCB Live Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.”
Jazz-rock legacy of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin (age 75 at the time of this blog post) is retiring from touring.
Many of us musicians have known John as an esoteric monster on the strings. His departure from mainstream songs to introspective nuance has been instrumental (no pun intended) in providing for insightful creative considerations of arpeggiated themes in playing styles.
The article below mentions some fun highlights of McLaughlin’s final performance in Los Angeles at UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance at Royce Hall in December 2017.
Just finished talking with a tavern owner and supporter of live and live open mics… as a matter of fact if it wasn’t for this venue owner, musicians of this particular local town would need to drive another hour to reach another open mic scene.
Bottom line and a wake up call for us musicians and an insight that marketers have known for many decades… “You do not know what patrons want until you ask them what they want, and then support them with what ‘they’ want!”
Meaning… Don’t think that the venue patrons are attending just to hear your amps cranked, pointing at their ears loud enough to make their conversations turn into a shouting match.
This owner opened up to me ‘big time’! She goes… “Look, I’m happy to open my establishment up to open mic musicians (and of course pay the house band for its backline) for sure, but, when I see over 50% of my potential buyers of food and drink turn immediately around and leave because they can’t hear themselves think, let alone try to talk over the jammers that are trying to prove how bitch-en they are on stage then, unless they come up with a way to turn it down’ or maybe turn their amps toward themselves and ‘not forward’ and stop thinking they are the center of attention, well maybe it’s time to just shut er’ down!”
side bar: Musicians don’t buy enough drinks or food on their own to pay for the doors to be open.
So the question gets turned on its ear… ?- Maybe some new reasoning needs to be created, busting down the old paradigm. Maybe the new is… ‘listen to the patrons’ and stop trying to be the main attraction and become background to their ‘wants’ (and play as your own gig)!… Unless of course, you ‘are’ the center of attention as a big touring act and they’re paying you the big bucks to see you play… and (sorry) that ain’t a cover band btw!
The old saying… “we ain’t done it that way before” needs to be ‘busted’!
It’s a tough one for us prima-donna musicians, thinking we’re the center of attention.
Let’s find some new ways to jam but make the jam to and within ourselves and let the natural bleed of the freqs hit the audience so that they can both, enjoy their conversations during the music and appreciate our delivery.
Now, we all know that the basic 1, 4, 5 note structures (with maybe an additional transition note/chord) can create a complete song… However, when you toss in randomness of notes it might take a little more time to complete the composition.
This video shows a keyboard prodigy that just might blow your mind!
You’ll soon discover how this gifted musician takes four randomly selected notes and compiles a complete symphony beyond what you’d expect on the piano… Very impressive and inspiring.
(Video credit to CBS News 60 Minutes)
“It takes Alma Deutscher just four notes and forty seconds to improvise an impressive short piano sonata right before 60 Minutes cameras. That alone is remarkable — but she’s also just 12 years old…
“While interviewing Alma at her piano, Pelley draws from a hat four cards with musical notes on them: B, A, E flat, G. She announces the four notes’ solfège names and considers them silently. Pelley waits, and the cameras roll.
As a musician you no doubt had a least one Tom Petty album in your library of classic references to straight ahead rock. Unfortunately Tom passed away in Oct of this (2017) year at the very young age of 66. It was a heart attack.
Petty had a way of taking what appeared to be soft folk songs of his own and placing some power behind them to create a unique rock ambience. He just had a way of keeping rock n’ roll alive within its original roots.
He’ll be missed… play a few tribute songs at your next gig… for Tom!
As quoted from Rolling Stone (credit – online magz.)… “In the late 1970s, Petty’s romanticized tales of rebels, outcasts and refugees started climbing the pop charts. When he sang, his voice was filled with a heartfelt drama that perfectly complemented the Heartbreakers’ ragged rock & roll. Songs like “The Waiting,” “You Got Lucky,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Learning to Fly” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”
“Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which came out in 1976. It failed to make an impact at the time – the album’s lead single “Breakdown” didn’t even chart – but they picked up heat after touring England as support for future E Street Band member Nils Lofgren. They soon became headliners on the tour, with the album topping the U.K. chart. ”
This article is a great example of how being a musician is a wonderful reason for getting up in the morning.
Now we all know that eating right and getting a decent amount of exercise can extend our lives, yet, being a musician seems to be another contributing factor of life extension. (albeit, that’s if you don’t get hooked on the alchy and drug spin).
Steve Hideg is a good example of not only extending ones life being a musician, he does so living of the very edge of pure poverty. Now, we understand the poverty scene being a musician, yet, here’s a great example of enhancing ones spiritual drive with music. And to do it in such a classy way!
Jam On! -Ron
(credit given: By Steve lopez | Photography by Francine Orr – via Los Angeles Times)
His rent is roughly $1,000 a month, and his Social Security income is about $900 a month.
“It’s a total miracle how he exists,” says one friend.
The secret is disciplined austerity, occasional help from buddies, and a once-weekly job as a jazz drummer — a job that feeds Hideg’s soul.
Hideg studied the moves of drummers Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, got a job in an electronics factory and joined all three of the company bands. He later became a full-time musician and worked with a circus band for a while, but the songbook wasn’t to his liking and the government deemed Western music the enemy of the people…
“I Can’t Stop Laughing! As of right now, Conan O’Brien is one of the most popular late night talk show hosts in television. It’s almost always guaranteed that when a segment from Conan’s show gets uploaded on youtube that it’ll go viral within minutes. Sure, that’s the case for almost all late night talk show …” Continue reading