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...
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?
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...
Posted by Jim Burger on Sep 18, 2012
If you're a rock star, the traditional standards applying to work ethic apparently don't apply. At least, not in the case of the Stone Temple Pilots, who showed up 2 hours late for their show in British Columbia last night and then decided to cancel tonight's show. Ah well, we waited so long for them to get back together, I guess we can't really fire them.
There has been no official explanation as of yet. Given past history, though, fans seem to think it likely that the tour problems stem from Scott Weiland's unbalanced personality and substance abuse issues. Hard to argue against that...
Anyhow, it would be a shame to see the group lose its momentum. Let's hope things get back on track.
Posted by Jim Burger on Sep 13, 2012
It has long been known that kids who study music perform better in school. Here's an article in the NY Times that goes over a few studies that have analyzed several of the benefits that have been found to early music education.
It's interesting to see that the benefits extend beyond simple academic performance, and also include helping with hearing later in life. I also like the quote that says "If you get a kid who is maybe 3 or 4 years old and you're teaching them to attend, they're not only working on their auditory skills but also working on their attention skills and their memory skills — which can translate into scholastic learning". That kind of sums it up.
They also bring up a good point at the end of the article -- make sure it's fun for the kids. Find a way that they like to pay music, don't force them too hard. Anyhow, it's all food for thought for musical parents out there (and non-musical ones, too!).