Kudos to the Indiana House for passing the Truth In Music Act and sending it on to the Senate. It's hard enough for acts from this time to get the money they've earned or might have been owed, given the shady dealings many owners, managers, and label heads practiced. Having others appropriate their name now is just adding to the insult.
Besides the merits of the bill, I have to think the legislature was awed by the charm of Sha Na Na's Bowser, who's been lobbying across the country for similar acts. Who knew Chuck Taylors and a low voice could provide an entry into the world of politics?
I'm also getting into the new Erykah Badu album released on Tuesday. It's not just the music that's impressing me here, but the impressive release plan. The CD and digital download of "New Amerykah" is the first stage, with a USB drive release following later that includes video extras and such. It also lets the buyer access the next reound of tracks, due in July. That release also coincides with the second disc and a magazine called "Freq."
The USB drive strikes me as kind of a novelty idea - it seems to occupy the same space as Blu-ray does right now as a different but ultimately obsolete step towards direct digital distribution by network. The magazine will have to stand on its own, although pairing it with a release from a multi-platinum artist isn't a bad way to start a publication run. The physical issue of the magazine, again, may soon be an unnecessary step between the creator and the reader (judging by the amount of digital subscription requests I'm receiving from the folks I already send my magazine dollars to), but that has to play itself out, too. Is it bad form to read your laptop in the dental office?
Finally, it just surprises me that somebody convinced a major label (Universal/Motown, in this case) to release two full LPs so close together, especially considering the artist hasn't released a full album in around 5 years or so. Is it a consideration to the whims of the artist or a desperate move to get anything out there and see if it sells?
I only managed to hear him on the Internet simulcast of a Pittsburgh radio station's Steelers coverage, but the stellar journalist who popularized both the Terrible Towel and the phrase "Immaculate Reception" passed away earlier this week. He was an oasis of personality in a drab, projected-from-the-diaphragm world.
For those of you who purchased or otherwise enjoyed the bass book, I wanted to point out that Nashville-based bassist and model Sharon Koltick's band Kink Ador has been featured on some MusikMafia shows, and that's pretty cool. Check out their site and enjoy the music.
Gabriel Harley is releasing his new album March 15th on all the usual digital suspects, so check for it there. I contributed the bass tracks, unless he went back, erased them, and flew in some didgeridoo or something to replace them. I doubt it, but you never know.
I'm usually okay with weird and bizarre amalgamations of the bass guitar and technology. This, however, just scares me.
The tech side of me says he could have just mapped different commands to the frets using a MIDI-equipped bass.
The pragmatist in me thinks that's just got to hurt hanging from your neck.
The musician in me would probably just like a crack or two at it. And then it would surrender to the tech side and the pragmatist and go get some coffee.
I mentioned in Friday's blog the big event coming up this Friday to support Indy's new community radio station. It's an important cause, as such institutions remain quite valuable to the communities they service.
Yes, even in this downloaded/podcasted/streamed music world, you should still keep the old FM radio around for a few reasons:
- Ease of accessibility - you don't need to beg off of Starbucks or steal somebody's signal to take advantage of it
- Created by and for the local community - more than likely, the volunteers and neighbors know who you are and what you're interested in; even in the infinitely customizable Internet, nothing works better than word-of-mouth and knowing your audience
- Variety of programming - a lot of the talk about the "death of radio" surrounds the use of confining playlists tailored to marketing focus groups and (let's face it in a lot of cases) payola; community radio doesn't deal with that stuff and consequently gives you some interesting stuff to chew on
- The nature of the beast - there's nothing quite like free-form radio; it's kind of like a Grateful Dead jam, except you know when it's going to end and I can stand to listen to it
So there's a few reasons. I really can't emphasize the local character of this kind of broadcasting enough. This represents an entirely new avenue for artists, listeners, and all other concerned folks in the greater Indianapolis area. The thought of having something even approximating stations like WMFU in this area should be thrilling to local listeners (depending on who's on the air, of course).
And this isn't intended as a swipe at the local programming provided by local stations WFYI and WICR - there's a lot of good stuff there, too. There's just always room for more.
So I just came inside from an ice storm. I'll leave that up to you as to whether it'll be deterrent enough to keep you inside this evening. Should you decide to venture out, though, I heartily recommend some of these options:
- Radio Radio helps celebrate Nuvo Newsweekly's 18th publishing anniversary with their "Barely Legal" bash, including performances from Beta Male and Hey Hey Melodica. It's free - arrive early. Saturday, the club showcases Sarah Grain, Tasha Jones and Teresa Reynolds as part of the Vagina Monologues afterparty.
- Sam's Saloon has The Roundups and the Bottoms Up Burlesque girls tonight and Jason Hathaway, Pat Flaherty, and Jethro Easyfields Saturday, and The Adam Faucett Band, William Blackart, and Will Stockwell Sunday night.
- Deano's Vino features all kinds of music Friday and Saturday, but I can never find a schedule.
I also want to give a heads-up on an event coming to Radio Radio next Friday that's pretty spectacular for a couple of reasons. First, there's the lineup from the press release:
Mudkids (hip-hop), Kate Lamont & Blueprintmusic (Americana), The Philosophy (hip-hop), Blackberry Jam featuring Jumbo Shrimp (funk/soul) and Sarah Grain (folk/jazz).
Second, there's the fact that it's a benefit for a new community radio station coming to the Zionsville/Indianapolis area. Even if broadcast radio is seeing a shrinking role in media these days, stations like this still play an important role in the community (and I'll write more next week - slammed for time right now).
So there you go. Have fun this weekend and stay un-frozen.
I also stumbled across this quick interview with George Porter from a Denver publication. The interesting parts of this article include the fact that he's still owed quite a bit of royalty money (please pay up - he made a lot of musical careers possible) and that the jam band folks have adopted the Meters and associated music as their own. On one hand, it's nice to see these acts with large crowds that give them a decent living. On the other hand, please take a shower before you go to the shows, and stop twirling into me.
I was in Borders today for a Reason magazine special and managed to catch one of my books in the wild. Forgive the crappy cell phone picture. It's the same store that I found a couple of the bass books in earlier, but they're gone now, hopefully to kind and loving homes. Time to restock!
It was kind of nice to see actual physical copies, too. Google News Alerts has been taunting me with links to illegal PDF downloads of a few titles, so this gives me a little more hope.