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... thoughts at the speed of music ...

Pandora boss reveals some figures

Posted by Jim Burger on Oct 17, 2012


Here's an interesting article on Pandora radio, and how it is doing for the artists whose music gets airplay. I have to admit, the numbers don't mean all that much to me without being able to compare to other channels. If, as he says, Pandora accounts for 6.53% of all radio listening in the US, that's pretty huge -- considering how many radio stations there are, online and off, I can't imagine that Pandora really takes that large of a share.

His numbers would also suggest that, if Pandora is really paying more than other radio stations, Oscar Peterson's estate is making only about $100k per year from airplay, which seems pretty unfair to me. Or maybe that's just because jazz is never lucrative.

Anyhow, I think what Pandora and Spotify are doing is great, I hope that they can figure out a way to make money without screwing the artists too bad...

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Hear "Doom and Gloom," The Rolling Stones' First New Song in Seven Years

Posted by Jim Burger on Oct 11, 2012


I was riding in my car this morning and I hear them playing a song on the radio, and I'm like, "Hey, that sounds kinda like the Stones... except that if this was the first song they ever made, nobody would ever have heard of them." Naturally, when I get home I find out that it WAS the Stones, who have just released a new tune.

On the one hand, it's good to see these guys still making straight-ahead rock in their 70s. On the other hand, well, it's just not really all that good. Better than nothing? I suppose so, but I'd rather listen to Jumping Jack Flash 20 times before I listen to this again.

Heck, it's still better than I can do, so who am I to complain?

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Neil Young reveals HQ iPod rival

Posted by Jim Burger on Oct 3, 2012


Was Neil Young's new autobiography just a marketing ploy to get people to pay attention to his new digital music player? Whether or not that's the case, Mr. Young has strategically timed his announcement of his new "Pono" player to coincide with his increased publicity. The new player is even mentioned in his book, Waging Heavy peace, where he boasts that it will "save the sound of music".

He was apparently in conversations with Steve Jobs and has even lined up support from some top-rank artists and industry heavyweights. Nonetheless, it's hard to believe that someone like Neil Young will be able to compete seriously against iTunes/MP3 and all of the existing players already out there.

Personally, my guess is that the people who buy the Pono will be the same 0.003% of the market who have kept a reel-to-reel player in their basement because of the unmatched sound quality...

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Fender Aims to Stay Plugged In Amid Changing Music Trends - NYTimes.com

Posted by Jim Burger on Oct 1, 2012


We mentioned a bit about Fender's IPO that got pulled at the last minute a few months ago. Now the company's troubles have become so tough that it's reached the hallowed pages of the New York Times! Check out this interesting article about the challenges facing the world's #1 electric guitar maker. Aside from the general fact of a shrinking industry, it looks like some Wall Street fat cats and industry execs managed to get involved and make things more difficult than they needed to be.

We've always been rooting for Fender, so lets hope that they pull through this tough stretch. To my mind, what we really need is a renaissance of good, guitar-based rock and roll to get everyone rocking again. That's not likely to happen until we can get all the kids away from their computer screens, though, is it?

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/business/fender-aims-to-stay-plugged-in-amid-changing-music-trends.html

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Kirk Hammett's Latest Tour - no guitar, but lots of horror!

Posted by Jim Burger on Sep 20, 2012


I always like it when you learn about the non-guitar-related interests of our favorite guitar heroes. Kirk Hammett's hobby is kind of weird, although not too surprising, if you think about it -- he apparently has a passion for all things relating to horror.

In fact, Kirk has penned a book that details all of his collection of horror memorabilia. It's titled "Too Much Horror Business - The Kirk Hammett Collection". He'll soon be heading out on a book tour in support of his new publication -- probably the easiest ticket you'll get to see Kirk up close!

Anyhow, I'm sure all you Metallica fans will relish the chance to get a look inside the dark mind of this metal master...

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