Archive for category Music

1 Million free books give away – the music industry should take note

We’re all aware of how the Internet is apparently ripping the life and soul of the music industry. It’s as if every day there is a new news item about how the music rights organisations are chasing the little man for downloading a few copyright tracks from one of the many pirated websites.

I’ve always had a problem with how the main records labels, music rights organisations and lately some famous artists have come out complaining about how downloading music is killing their livelihood. The bottom line is that they don’t want or have the drive to change how the music industry works.

But music isn’t the only industry that is being threatened by the web and the easy nature of spreading copyrighted material through the Internet. With the massive growth in smart phones and other reading devices, it has become pretty much as easy to download illegal copies of some of the bestselling books.

Most people know that the book publishing industry has been pretty much on its knees for many years. Unless you are selling one of the top 10 best selling books, you’ll find it hard to make a fraction of what these so called musicians or record company directors are making. That of course is for a number of factors, but rather than rest on their laurels those in the book publishing industry has decided to make a concerted effort to come up with innovative ideas to help promote their industry.

The latest effort is the co-ordinated plan to offer 1 million free books to a select few people. The idea is simple, 20,000 pationate readers in Ireland and the UK will be given 48 books to give to their friends, family members or anyone they wish.

The idea is that if someone is given a book for free, they will recommend the book on to their peers and in turn this should increase the number of book sales. But the books won’t be any old books and certainly won’t include any books that are out of copyright. All books involved will be books that are still in copyright so that they can maximise the amount of money they can make back from the expected increase of sales.

What a great idea. Let’s transport that to the music industry. We can think of many examples of how the web brought acts such as the Artic Monkeys into mainstream pop. A band that, in fairness would probably never have got a break without the Internet. They’re the type of band that you see everywhere in the world in your local community centre, practising to be the next big thing.

We also have more successful acts such as Kings of Leon, who admit they probably would have been dropped by their record label if they weren’t so successful in the UK. Their success can’t be totally attributed to the web, but it was definitely used as a quicker route to the UK market and in effect kept them going.

I know from my own experience that there are a number of bands I listen to, that don’t ever bother visiting Ireland or the UK because they simply don’t have the following here – yet, I would buy their music. I would never have heard of them if I didn’t have the Internet available. Record companies seem to constantly overlook this fact.

Then of course the way we digest music has greatly changed over the years. I don’t particularly like buying CDs anymore, because the only place I use them is in my car. The first thing I do with any album I buy, is rip it to mp3 files so that I can listen to them on MP3 player, copy it onto my PS3 which I use for my sound system at home and the list goes on.

Yes, we have a number of sites that sell MP3s, but I can’t always find what I’m looking for as my taste is shall we say, a little underground. My only hope of getting my hands on some of the music I listen to is by listening online or ordering from the US.

Record companies seriously need to take a leaf out of the book industries book, if you pardon the pun, and come up with some innovative ideas that will help the “referral” nature of people to increase sales. Stop whinging about what’s going on and start to use your brains – although you probably lost them many years ago while living off your millions that you didn’t have to do to much to acquire.

For more information on the Free 1 million books – visit :

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Skuzzi Port open the Arcadia Afterburner stage at Electric Picnic

One of my ambitions in life is to take a band from obscurity and make them rich and famous. I’m constantly on the look out for a new band that I would be interested in working with to help them and me achieve our dreams. It’s fair to say that I rarely come across a band that I have much faith in, however there are some bands that you just know will do pretty well for themselves. Maybe not to the level I am aiming for, but certainly to a level where they can say they have achieved something.

My ears were opened to a band around this time last year and I have to admit I was very impressed with their sound. From the start, I never felt that this band would be likely to be heard playing on your local radio station, but with a little work they certainly have the potential.

Their sound (at the moment) is not your typical mainstream pop sound, which makes it hard for me to see them making a break without a really catchy tune. One thing is for sure though – if I was going to Electric Picnic (which I decided not to this year) – my first port of call after on Friday evening would be the Arcadia Afterburner stage to see them play.

I’m delighted that Skuzzi Port have been chosen to open the Arcadia Afterburner stage at Electric Picnic. Skuzzi Port are one of Ireland‘s most established and exciting live electro acts. Having been around on the Dublin gigging scene for over 8 years and played slots at festivals all over the country including Life, Mantua, Knockanstockan …….

Skuzzi Port have a live electro performance that brings together a full live band, live vocals and MC, alongside an array of samplers, sequencers and synths – Skuzzi Port provide a unique, high octane sound with influences from rock, reggae, electronica, techno, funk and Hip Hop.

This performance at the Electric Picnic promises to be the band’s biggest and best show to date. You must go and see this Irish band if you are at Electric Picnic this weekend – you will not be let down.

For more information on the band, visit

Or just sit back and enjoy this video of a recent live performance:

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Electric Picnic 09 – Review

Image via Wikipedia

Last weekend I visited the much anticipated Electric Picnic 2009. It was my second Electric Picnic and I was really looking forward to it. In the week building up to it. We probably had some of the heaviest rain of the summer. I didn’t mind this, as the weather for the weekend was supposed to be rain free. Electric Picnic 2008 was one of the best live events I had ever been to, so I was expecting a lot this year.

Friday morning started great, the sun was shining and it was setting up to be a fantastic weekend. That was of course until we hit the traffic in Athy. Lucky for us, we didn’t do as bad as others when we only encountered a 4 hour tail back to Stradbally. The rumours were that there was 18 hour tailbacks to Athy!!

It turned out that the tailbacks were caused by the delay in traffic getting into Electric Picnic itself. When we arrived with our camper-van, we had to be “dragged” (towed wouldn’t be the right word) by a tractor and basically “plopped” into our designated spot for the weekend. It amazes me how they got away with this – there was no way an ambulance would have got to the majority of the camper-van area if an emergency situation occurred. It was clear from the outset that the event organisers simply weren’t prepared for the torrential rain.

But nevermind, we were here to party and hard did we try. I have to admit, it was extremely difficult to have any ounce of motivation to go back and forth to the main arena. Trudging through muck up to your eyes was a struggle. When you eventually arrived at the arena the first thing you wanted to do was find somewhere to plonk your backside. Last year, we would have just sat in the grass and had a laugh between us, but this year, that simply wasn’t an option. Even the tents with entertainment weren’t that appealing as they too were either soaking wet or full of muck.

My first year of experiencing Electric Picnic was fantastic – it simply blew my mind. From the silent disco to the eco-friendly urinals made from hay, there were endless new experiences for my mind to be blown away with. This year however, there seemed to be very little new. Yes there were hot tubs, the camp fires were a lot smaller (which I thought was a terrible idea) – but other than that there was nothing new to see at all. Maybe this was because of the recession that they had to hold back a little on the spending?

There has also been a lot of talk between regular Electric Picnic goers that this year seemed to have a lot of “scumbags” compared to previous years. The definition of what a scumbag is bringing up some great discussions. We encountered 3 occasions of people being unruly or bordering on starting rows with us and these guys were not what we typically class as scumbags, but rugger buggers. It was certainly scumbag behaviour though. We also had one campervan close to us who enjoyed having rows and slagging people off with a loud-hailer.

Don’t get me wrong, I still had a great time at Electric Picnic 2009 – but it was a struggle and there was very little there to make me want to go again next year.

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RIAA win $1.92m from filesharer

Image representing RIAA, Recording Industry As...
Image via CrunchBase

It’s no wonder the RIAA continue to their shameless strategy of targeting small-time illegal filesharers.

When they are making $1.92m from a mother of four who was caught sharing sharing files to a firm working on behalf of the RIAA, there’s certainly no other way of making this sort of money, that easily.

More here –

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Listen to Tom Doyles songs

For the first time in over a year, this blogs most “found for” search for term has been ousted by a new one…

Yes, it’s true – this blog is found most by people searching on Google for… wait for it… “Listen to Tom Doyles Songs”.

Although I must admit that I dreamed as a kid (and well into my adulthood) of becoming a rockstar and selling millions of records, it unfortunately never happened for me. The truth was, we were just never good enough.

So for those visitors coming in their masses to hear the latest tune from Tom Doyle (whoever he is) – I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not the Tom Doyle you are looking for.

But please feel free to listen to the unmixed, non-mastered and very old recordings from my teenage years – I’m sure you won’t be back for more!

1. Believe In Me – Gryn (Bass Guitar)

2. Foreign Bed – Gryn (Bass Guitar & Drums)

3. Breaking The Line – Gryn (Bass Guitar)

4. Revolution – SandBush (Drums – 15 at the time…)

5. Walk – SandBush (Drums)

6. I Never Wanted To Live – SandBush (Drums)

Ah bliss… Childhood Dreams huh? 😀

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