Archive for category Music

TuneCore and Amazon Join Forces

I’ve been harping on for sometime about the fact that music industry doesn’t focus enough attention on utilising the web as a means to increase revenues from sales of their recordings. They seem hell-bent on chasing individual music downloaders and ISPs in order to stop them from sharing music illegally.

For the first time ever, we seem to have one innovative idea ready to roll online in a joint venture between one of the Internets leading websites and an indepent record label.

Amazon and TuneCore have got together to offer a CD-Pressing service on demand. What this means is that an artist can create an account on TuneCore.com at a cost of $20 per annum, upload their music at 99 cents per track and instantly have the ability to sell their records online.

Amazon will sell physical copies of the artists music in return for 60% of the sale price.To some not involved in the music industry this sounds like quite a large chunk of revenue gone from the artists pocket. However most newly signed artists would be lucky to get that sort of % deal with a large record company.

I certainly don’t think this is going to solve all the issues with the illegal downloading of music, but at least it’s innovative – a lot more than what the larger record companies and music rights organisations seem to want to do.

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No music videos for UK YouTube users

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Every executive in the music industry should be ashamed of themselves. It seems every day that goes by they get more ridiculous about this new thing – the Internet.

They probably all still sit around a desk with a pile of paper, with not a computer in sight. They’re main aim in life is to fight desperately to hold onto their crumbling piles of money. In the meantime they miss out on the opportunity to use the most powerful medium the world has ever seen to help grow their empire. That medium is the Internet. Yes I know I have said it many times here, but their ignorance to it continues to drive me insane.

I’m a musician and believe it’s only right that people pay for the use of any material I create. However, after working in the Internet industry for more than 10 years, I can see how beneficial the Internet could be to any existing artist or upcoming artist.

New artists dreamed of ways of getting their music in front of the masses for as little money as possible, in the early days, rock legends Metallica used to be happy for their fans to make bootlegged cassette tapes and give it to their friends, as it was a way to promote their music without paying any money. Now however, that is a different story altogether, they don’t like the Internet because it’s eating into record sales. Yet, they and their record industry bosses believe the only way to fight it was to bring lawsuits and prevent people accessing certain websites. For god sake – remember you all thought tape recordings were going to kill the industry???

For me it’s simple, if I could get my work out to millions of users through a FREE medium that promoted my work, I would personally see it as a God sent. The knock on effect to my music career would be immense and set me on a career for life.

Records bosses and bodies such as IRMA and the PRS feel that the only way to tackle the growing number of illegal downloads that is eating away at their bottom line, is to become censors or just be greedy.

In Ireland we have IRMA who have an agreement with Eircom to block any sites they want, which led to the start of the organistation BlackoutIreland.com and now in the UK we have the greedy PRS who want YouTube to pay them an “economically unsustainable” amount of money to be licensed to play their music. So pretty soon those poor souls in the UK won’t be able to view music videos through YouTube.

What a sad sad day…. Please grow up Record Industry and get with the times……

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Top 10 Guitar Solos of ALL Time

LONDON - JULY 24:  (L-R) An original painting ...
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Stairway to Heaven – Led ZepplinWhen was the last time you heard a guitar solo in a song on the radio?
It seems to be a dying art nowadays, kept only for those metal fans that love the swing their hair to the sound of a wailing guitar.

For some a guitar solo is a needless piece of “noise” that adds no value to a song. Well I have to say this is where I completely disagree with them. A decent guitar solo adds a lot to a song. It can bring a new dynamic to a song, lift it more than any other instrument could possibly do.

However, when played badly or in the wrong place, it does just sound like noise for the sake of it. So today I’m calling for the return of the guitar solo! And just to get you in the mood, I’ve put together my list of the top 10 guitar solos of all time.

I haven’t selected all of these guitar solos because of their intricities. Some of these solos are quite simple to play, but I have chosen them for what they bring to a song. Others I have chosen because they define modern guitar playing. So for those guitar playing people… please don’t expect to find Van Halens “Eruption” here, this is not what this is about. We all know how great that was… This is about what a solo brings to a song! Oh and in no particular order!

Led Zepplin – Stairway to Heaven
Apart from the “over played” guitar riff, the solo at the very end is the climax of the song.

Bon Jovi – Wanted Dead or Alive
Another great guitar riff throughout, but my favourite part of this solo is the number of harmonics he plays in his guitar solo. The entrance to his solo is a cliche’d slide, but legendary all the same. Click here to view

The Commodores – Easy Like Sunday Morning
Probably the most basic and easily played song solo on the list. I think it’s the simplicity that I love most about this. Everyone knows this solo!!

Thin Lizzy / Gary Moore – Parisienne Walkways
Just love it….. Let the song speak for itself…..

Queen – I Want to Break Free
What I love most about solo is the innovative sound at the time and how he puts his own take on the melody.

Guns n Roses – Sweet Child of Mine
Like most of the guitar players on this list, I think I could name a lot more than one track that could easily end up on this list. But my favourite of Slash‘s solos has to be Sweet Child o Mine. His solo starts off nice and subtle and launches in the a head banging moment of genius.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – FreeBird
One of the epic guitar solos… but well worth the listen!

The Eagles – Hotel California
I couldn’t put a proper list together without including this song. For anyone that’s ever attempted to play lead guitar, this is surely on the list of one that they’ve tried!!

Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child
Need I say more???

Metallica – Enter Sandman
Probably the most famous epic intro to a song ever – great solo by a great guitar player.

Damn… is that 10 already?? I could have went on all day. Ah well…. probably not the greatest guitar solos of all time but certainly worthy of note in the top 100! Enjoy! :)

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Chris Cornell isn’t selling out… yeah right…

Chris Cornell played a few solo songs from Sou...
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Sorry guys, for all those that continue to insist that Chris Cornell is only taking his career in a new artistic direction seriously need their ears examined.

Here’s a link to Chris Cornells latest tripe, I mean song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Viku5XzpmMg

His smarmy new look and haircut makes him look like he’s walked off the set of an Italian porn movie!

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Music Industry take note… How to increase record sales by 800%

Music is something close to my heart, I studied it in college and always felt my destiny was to work in the Music Industry at some stage of my life. I still have those aspirations, but need to get other things up and running first.

I have to admit though that my respect for Music Industry bosses has diminished since the introduction of the web and the advent of “illegal downloading”. I have yet to see any record company face this head on and be innovative in how they can turn their sales figures around. Record companies seem to think the legal route is the only way they can stop this wave of “Boot Legged” music. But quite frankly, it’s not.

Most people in my age group can remember Boot Leg tapes that were on sale on every corner in Dublin City Centre, but most real music fans, those that bought music, tended not to bother with Boot Leg tapes.

Why? Well for me owning a copied tape was never the same as having the original recording. Others will say it was all about the quality, but that’s not an argument anymore unless you have a really good ear for music as most MP3s sound exactly the same as the original.

The bottom line for me is if I hear an album that I like, I’ll go out and buy it, it’s as simple as that. When was the last time I actually bought an album? Late last year. Why haven’t I bought anything since? Basically, there’s nothing worth buying anymore. The lack of truly great albums on the market is shocking. But that’s another days work altogether.

There are so many ways record companies could increase sales if they embraced it as a marketing tool and not treat it as an enemy. For example, Blip.fm – make sure all you tracks are on sites like this so everyone can hear them. But that’s me thinking for 5 minutes. How much do they pay their marketing guys who are clearly missing this channel.

Sky News had an interesting report this morning about games like Guitar Hero. They suggested that if an artist has their track on one of these games, sales are likely to increase by as much as 800%. The theory around it makes so much sense. With game sales being bigger than record sales now, the tracks are being played to people who generally wouldn’t listen to their genre of music and in turn they are gaining new music fans.

If I think back to when I started using the web for music, there was one band who grew in popularity nearly overnight because of the Internet.

I was playing a game of Unreal Tournament when someone suggested I have a listen to a band called Limp Bizkit. At this time, you couldn’t get their records in Ireland, so I had to go and download a copy of their album. I was instantly hooked.

And guess what? I bought all their albums thereafter. OK bad decision on my behalf in the end, but none-the-less – if it wasn’t for the Internet, I probably would never have heard of them until they were in the mainstream and at that stage, I wouldn’t have been interested in them anyway!

So music industry, it’s time to stop wasting your time trying to ban downloads. Focus your efforts on how you can use the web to promote your acts – it’s the most powerful medium available to us today!

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