Monday, December 29, 2008
Not just kids, of course.
Read the entire article here.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Pareles lays out all the reasons why today's musicians are resorting to licensing, and it seems that we, the consumers, who are not buying albums and are doing lots of free downloading, are in part, or largely, to blame.
But is there no limit? Are their corporations that are just beyond the pale? What about Mary J. Blige shilling for CitiBank? Why would she want to align herself with a corporation so up to its neck in the subprime mortgage scandal, and the recipient of largest government bailout in history?
Songs From the Heart of a Marketing Plan
In “Creator,” the rawest track on Santogold’s debut and self-titled album, the singer Santi White boasts, “Me I’m a creator/Thrill is to make it up/The rules I break got me a place up on the radar.” It’s a bohemian manifesto in a sound bite, brash and endearing, or at least it was for me until it showed up in a beer commercial. And a hair-gel commercial too.
It turns out that the insurgent, quirky rule breaker is just another shill. Billboard reported that three-quarters of Santogold’s excellent album has already been licensed for commercials, video games and soundtracks, and Ms. White herself appears in advertisements, singing for sneakers. She has clearly decided that linking her music to other, mostly mercenary agendas is her most direct avenue to that “place up on the radar.”
I know — time for me to get over it. After all, this is the reality of the 21st-century music business. Selling recordings to consumers as inexpensive artworks to be appreciated for their own sake is a much-diminished enterprise now that free copies multiply across the Web.
While people still love music enough to track it down, collect it, argue over it and judge their Facebook friends by it, many see no reason to pay for it. The emerging practical solution is to let music sell something else: a concert, a T-shirt, Web-site pop-up ads or a brand.
Musicians have to eat and want to be heard, and if that means accompanying someone else’s sales pitch or videogame, well, it’s a living. Why wait for album royalties to trickle in, if they ever do, when licensing fees arrive upfront as a lump sum? It’s one part of the system of copyright regulations that hasn’t been ravaged by digital distribution, and there’s little resistance from any quarters; Robert Plant and Alison Krauss croon for J. C. Penney and the avant-rockers Battles are heard accompanying an Australian vodka ad.
The question is: What happens to the music itself when the way to build a career shifts from recording songs that ordinary listeners want to buy to making music that marketers can use? That creates pressure, subtle but genuine, for music to recede: to embrace the element of vacancy that makes a good soundtrack so unobtrusive, to edit a lyric to be less specific or private, to leave blanks for the image or message the music now serves. Perhaps the song will still make that essential, head-turning first impression, but it won’t be as memorable or independent.
Music always had accessory roles: a soundtrack, a jingle, a branding statement, a mating call. But for performers with a public profile, as opposed to composers for hire, the point was to draw attention to the music itself. Once they were noticed, stars could provide their own story arcs of career and music, and songs got a chance to create their own spheres, as sanctuary or spook house or utopia. If enough people cared about the song, payoffs would come from record sales (to performer and songwriter) and radio play (to the songwriter).
When Moby licensed every song on his 1999 album, “Play,” for ads and soundtracks, the move was both startling and cheesy, but it did lead to CD sales; an album that set staticky samples of blues and gospel to dance-floor beats managed to become a million seller. Nearly a decade later, platinum albums are much scarcer.
For all but the biggest names — like AC/DC, which made Wal-Mart the exclusive vendor for CDs of its long-awaited “Black Ice” album, got its own “store within a store” and sold more than a million copies in two weeks — a marketing deal is more likely to be its own reward rather than spawn a career. With telling ambivalence, Brooklyn Vegan, the widely read, indie-loving music blog, recently started a column, “This Week in Music Licensing: It’s Not Selling Out Anymore,” but soon dropped the “selling out” half of the title. There’s no longer a clear dividing line for selling out, if there ever was.
And as music becomes a means to an end — pushing a separate product, whether it’s a concert ticket or a clothing line, a movie scene or a Web ad — a tectonic shift is under way. Record sales channeled the taste of the broad, volatile public into a performer’s paycheck. As music sales dwindle, licensers become a far more influential target audience. Unlike nonprofessional music fans who might immerse themselves in a song or album they love, music licensers want a track that’s attractive but not too distracting — just a tease, not a revelation.
It’s almost enough to make someone miss those former villains of philistinism, the recording companies. Labels had an interest in music that would hold listeners on its own terms; selling it was their meal ticket. Labels, and to some extent radio stations and music television, also had a stake in nurturing stars who would keep fans returning to find out what happened next, allowing their catalogs to be perennially rediscovered. By contrast, licensers have no interest beyond the immediate effect of a certain song, and can save money by dealing with unknowns.
As the influence of major labels erodes, licensers are seizing their chance to be talent scouts. They can be good at it, song by song, turning up little gems like Chairlift’s “Bruises,” heard in an iPod ad. For a band, getting such a break, and being played repeatedly for television viewers, is a windfall, and perhaps an alternate route to radio play or the beginning of a new audience. But how soon will it be before musicians, perhaps unconsciously, start conceiving songs as potential television spots, or energy jolts during video games, or ringtones? Which came first, Madonna’s “Hung Up” or the cell phone ad?
Not wanting to appear too crass, musicians insist that exposure from licensing does build the kind of interest that used to pay off in sales and/or loyalty. Hearing a song on the radio or in a commercial has a psychological component; someone else has already endorsed it. Musicians who don’t expect immediate mass-market radio play — maybe they’re too old, maybe they’re too eccentric — have gotten their music on the air by selling it to advertisers. That can rev up careers, as Apple ads have done for Feist and for this year’s big beneficiary, Yael Naim, whose “New Soul” introduced the MacBook Air. (Sites like findthatsong.net help listeners identify commercial soundtracks.)
The Sri Lankan art-pop-rapper M.I.A. already had all the hipster adoration she could ever want for her song “Paper Planes,” which compares international drug dealing to selling records, and it turns gunshots and a ringing cash register into hooks. But having the song used in the trailer for “Pineapple Express” was probably what propelled the song to a Grammy nomination for record of the year.
(Grammy voters often seize on music from everywhere but the albums they purport to judge; they seem particularly drawn to film soundtracks.) And if the song now conjures images of the movie trailer for many listeners, that’s the tradeoff for recognition.
The old, often legitimate accusation against labels was that they sold entire albums with only one good song or two. Now there’s an incentive for a song to have only 30 seconds of good stuff. It’s already happening: Chris Brown’s hit “Forever” is wrapped around a jingle for chewing gum.
Apparently there’s no going back, structurally, to paying musicians to record music for its own sake. Labels that used to make profits primarily from selling albums have been struggling since the Internet caused them to lose their chokehold on distribution and exposure. Now, in return for investing in recording and promotion, and for supplying their career-building expertise (such as it was), they want a piece of musicians’ whole careers.
Old-fashioned audio recording contracts are increasingly being replaced by so-called 360 deals that also tithe live shows, merchandising, licensing and every other conceivable revenue stream — conceding, in a way, that the labels’ old central role of selling discs for mere listening is obsolescent. Some musicians, like the former record company president Jay-Z, have concurred, but by signing 360 deals not with labels but with the concert-promotion monolith Live Nation.
Maybe such dire thoughts are extreme, since some people are still buying music. The iTunes Music Store has sold more than five billion songs since 2003. But it’s harder and harder to find a song without a tie-in. It took Guns N’ Roses 15 years between albums to complete “Chinese Democracy,” certainly long enough to receive worldwide notice when the album was released this year. But instead of letting the album arrive as an event in itself, the band licensed one of the album’s best songs, “Shackler’s Revenge,” to a video game that came out first. >Metallica fans have complained that the band’s new album, “Death Magnetic,” sounds better in the version made for the “Guitar Hero” video game than on the consumer CD, which is compressed to the point of distortion so it will sound louder on the radio. But they take for granted that the music will end up in the game in the first place. Consumers reinforce the licensers almost perversely: they pay for music as a ringtone, or tap along with it on the iPhone game Tap Tap Revenge, but not as a high-fidelity song.
Perhaps it’s too 20th century to hope that music could stay exempt from multitasking, or that the constant insinuation of marketing into every moment of consciousness would stop when a song begins. But for the moment I’d suggest individual resistance. Put on a song with no commercial attachments. Turn it up. Close your eyes. And listen.
Monday, December 01, 2008
The desolate landscape of hip-hop's ground zero. If you ever get discouraged, just look at these photos and imagine that one of the most vibrant cultural movements of the twentieth century was invented here. Check out the slideshow of Ray Mortenson's South Bronx photos, courtesy the New York Times. At left is one of them.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Here's a version with English translation.
I think this is the song "Maicca":
Sunday, October 19, 2008
"With the stakes high, many studio executives worry that films that focus on African-American themes risk being too narrow in their appeal to justify the investment. Hollywood has nonetheless shown a willingness in recent years to bank more heavily on African-American actors and themes....
But Hollywood’s open-mindedness only goes so far. Studio executives remain hugely skeptical that moviegoers are impartial to race. “The bottom line is that the major studios want assurances that film projects have the potential to attract a significant white audience,” said Joe Pichirallo, a veteran producer whose latest film, “The Secret Life of Bees,” opened Friday."
Read the entire article here.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Notorious B.I.G., "Hypnotize." Biggie goes Bond.
Jay-Z, "Hard Knock Life."
Jay-Z, "Big Pimpin'" (sample: Abdel-Halim Hafez).
Sunday, October 05, 2008
(I guess we can credit Pac for popularizing this ugly style innovation?)
Tupac Shakur's "I Don't Give a Fuck," from 2pacalypse Now, 1991. Unlike much of his later work, the song is strongly anti-racist and critical of police violence.
"Brenda's Got a Baby," from 2pacalypse Now, the poignant story of a 12-year girl who becomes pregnant, in which Tupac expresses tremendous sympathy for his subject.
"Keep Ya Head Up," from Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. (1993), where Tupac expresses his support for stron sistas.
Video for "I Get Around," from Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.. Fun and games, poolside.
"I Get Around"--the sound is better here than on the vid above.
"Holler If Ya Hear Me," from Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.. Thug Life.
"Dear Mama," from Me Against the World (1995). A heartfelt account of Pac's relationship with his mother.
"So Many Tears," from Me Against the World. Pondering mortality.
"Skandalouz," from All Eyez on Me (1996). New levels of thug misogyny?
"California Love," from All Eyez on Me (1996). Hedonism, materialism, in Southern Cali. Gone are the urban blues and the resistance to police repression.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
"Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang," from Dr. Dre's The Chronic (1992), which introduces the world to Snoop Doggy Dogg. And g-funk.
"Let Me Ride," from The Chronic. Cali car culture, g-funk stylee. The video ends with footage of George Clinton's band Parliament, whose "Mothership Connection" and "Swing Down, Sweet Chariot" are extensively sampled in the song.
"Gin and Juice," from Snoop Doggy Dogg's Doggystyle (1993), which gave a boost to Tanqueray and Seagram's sales.
"Who Am I? (What's My Name?)" from Doggystyle. You listen and you think, could g-funk ever have been possible if it weren't for George Clinton?
"For All My Niggaz & Bitches," from Doggystyle, "which turned venomous words for blacks and black women into badges of honor for all (including whites) to claim and wear proudly" (Reeves, 148).
Reeves doesn't mention it, but one of the best g-funk songs ever is Warren G's "Regulate" (1994).
And, "Cop Killer," from Ice-T's side project, thrash metal band Body Count (1992). This caused a major uproar, and prompted major labels to drop a number of hardcore acts. Eventually Ice-T agreed to take the song off the album Body Count. It's basically a punk "revenge fantasy." Listen to it here.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Ice-T, with his first hit, "6 'N the Morning." (The video is nothing special, but at least you can listen to the song.)
The inspiration, the original rap gangsta, Schooly D, with "Signifying Rapper" (1988), off Smoke Some Kill.
NWA, "Straight Outta Compton" (title track from the 1989 album).
N.W.A - Straight Outta Compton by hushhush112
NWA, "Fuck the Police" (Straight Outta Compton).
NWA, "Gangsta Gangsta" (Straight Outta Compton).
The first defector from NWA, Ice Cube. "Endangered Species (Tales from the Darkside)," from 1991's Amerikkka's Most Wanted. (Chuck D, and Hank and Keith Schocklee are co-writers with Cube, and Chuck makes a cameo.)
The Rodney King beating, March 3, 1991.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
The first single, "Public Enemy No. 1"
"Bring the Noise," from It Takes a Nation of Millions.
"Night of the Living Baseheads," the video, from It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988).
"Don't Believe the Hype," from It Takes a Nation of Millions.
"Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos," the video, from It Takes a Nation of Millions.
"Fight the Power," from Fear of a Black Planet (1989).
"Fight the Power," the video, directed by Spike Lee.
From an interview in Dazed Digital:
The pop culture business is monitored all the way round. Look at hip hop – it’s not saying anything any more. Hip hop used to be the voice of people. Who are the stars and what are they really talking about? I’m quite sure Lil Wayne is just as much of a rebel as he wants to be. He’s a rebel in every other aspect of his life – why is he not on record? Jay Z is a big icon, but at the same time, why are his records so safe? There are so many artists I could mention. In their real lives, there’ll be drugs involved, shootings and gun-running and all type of stuff, but the one thing they do manage is to make a safe record. Why don’t we hold up the artists that are talking about something real but got a clean background? If that doesn’t show the music industry is monitored, what does?
These days, Hank is way into dubstep, as you can hear from this mix put together by the Bomb Squad.
A tip of the tarbush to wayne&wax for turning me onto this.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Here, Run DMC perform "Sucker M.C.'s" on the shortlived TV show, "Graffiti Rock," from 1984. It's followed by some freestyling by Run DMC, Kool Moe Dee, and Special K.
Run DMC's "Rock Box," blending hardcore rap and heavy metal guitar. The first rap video ever played on MTV (1984).
Run DMC's "King of Rock," the title track from their platinum album (1985). "I'm the King of Rock, there is none higher/Sucker MCs should call me sire." African-Americans reclaim the mantle of rock'n'roll. View it here.
Hardcore competition to Run-D.M.C.: LL Cool J's "Rock the Bells," from his 1985 album, Radio.
And Eric B & Rakim's "Eric B is President," from the album, Paid in Full (1987).
From Run-D.M.C.'s Raising Hell (1986), which Rolling Stone called "the first true rap album"--"My Adidas," which marked the group as the first rap artists to get a sneaker endorsement deal.
And from the same album, Walk This Way," with Aerosmith.
Original Philly gangsta, Schooly D's "Smoke Some Kill" (1988). View lyrics here.
Friday, September 26, 2008
And here are some vivid images of the South Bronx, from the opening to the 1981 film, Wolfen.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Here's the punchline:
"things have gotten so weird in the music business that high-profile acts are inserting ads into their song lyrics. The next time you hear a brand mentioned in a song, it could be due to a paid product placement. And unlike magazines, songs are not required to point out which words are part of an advertisement."
Thursday, September 18, 2008
One of the best examples of the kind of transgressive punk style, as described and analyzed in Dick Hebdige's Subculture: The Meaning of Style--Siouxsie Sioux, of Siouxsie and the Banshees. As Hebdige observes, punks' use of the swastika was meant to shock the bourgeoisie, not out of any political affinity for Nazism.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
"Black women are everywhere and nowhere in Winehouse's work."
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
I can only recommend it for historical/research purposes; not for any cinematic values.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Another deep source: the Last Poets, "the New-York based poetry group who fused spoken word poetry and African rhythms with the message of black pride, nationhood, and activism" (Reeves, 9). "Niggers Are Scared of Revolution," from their first, self-titled album (1970). Lyrics are here.
One of the most famous original sources of the "break," or the instrumental break, that DJ Kool Herc used to construct his soundtracks, using two turntables, flipping back and forth, "extending a five-second breakdonw into a five'minute loop of fury" (Chang, 79). This is The Incredible Bongo Band's "Apache" (1973).
The first commercially successful rap recording, "Rapper's Delight," released in October 1979.
"Freedom," from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (1980). The star is the DJ, Grandmaster Flash, the first time "non-hip-hoppers heard a hip-hop DJ ply his trade" (Reeves, 29).
But the real tour de force of Grandmaster Flash is this: "Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel" (1981).
Blondie's "Rapture," the first time rap was ever broadcast on MTV. With some lines that no one outside the exclusive downtown New York City scene could decode: "Fab 5 Freddy told me everybody's fly, D.J.'s spinning, I said, 'my, my,' Flas is fast, Flash is cool."
The video for Afrika Bambaata and the Soul Sonic Force's 1982 hit, "Planet Rock," complete with scenes of breakdancers, which ushered in rap's "electrofunk" era. "His crew dressed like a wild cross between a band of New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians and interstellar Afrofuturist prophets" (Chang, Can't Stop Won't Stop, 170-71). The song samples Babe Ruth and Kraftwerk.
"Planet Rock," the longer, 12" version, in full effect.
The video for Afrika Bambaata and the Soul Sonic Force's 1983 release, "Renegades of Funk." Bam & co. align themselves with other renegades like Sitting Bull, Tom Pain, Martin Luther King, and Malxolm X.
This is the cover of the Renegades of Funk 12": Bam and the Soul Sonic Force as superheroes.
The video for Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's "The Message" (1983). According to Jeff Chang, "The song was a home-studio concoction of Sugar Hill songwriter and house band percussionist Ed 'Duke Bootee' Fletcher, featuring a memorable synthesizer hook from Jiggs Chase...Bootee and sugar Hill mogul Sylvia Robinson could not interest Flash in recording it...But Robinson and Bootee recorded the track anyway, peeling off Furious Five rapper Melle Mel to add his last verse from a forgotten version of 'Superappin' [a song released by Grandmaster Flash in 1979, one month after "Rapper's Delight" appeared]...Flash saw where this was going, and he pushed th rest of the Five into the studio to try to rap Bootee's lines. It didn't work...The video appeared, with Flash and the crew lip-synching along to a rap only Mel had helped compose."
The record was the fifth rap single to hit gold.
At the end of the video is a streetside arrest skit that does feature the Furious Five.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I was particularly intrigued by Manjoo's account of what Walker calls "murketing"-- the ad industry's "underground method of selling that depends on our complicit embrace of brands." By way of illustrating, Manjoo recounts Walker's story of Pabst Blue Ribbon, or "PBR," that is so beloved by today's punks. And I quote:
Consider Pabst Blue Ribbon. Beginning in the 1970s, the cheap beer that had long been synonymous with the blue-collar heartland began a steep decline, with sales by 2001 dipping to fewer than a million barrels a year, 90 percent below the beer’s peak. But in 2002, Pabst noticed a sudden sales spike, driven by an unlikely demographic: countercultural types — bike messengers, skaters and their tattooed kin — in hipster redoubts like Portland, Ore., had taken to swilling the stuff. When asked why, they would praise Pabst for its non-image, for the fact that it seemed to care little about selling.
Traditionally, a company that spots a sudden market opportunity responds by gearing ads toward the new customers. But Neal Stewart, Pabst’s marketing whiz, had studied “No Logo,” Naomi Klein’s anti-corporate manifesto, and he understood that overt commercial messages would turn off an audience suspicious of capitalism. Thus the company shunned celebrity endorsements — Kid Rock had been interested — and devoted its budget instead to murketing, sponsoring a series of unlikely gatherings across the country. Like “some kind of small-scale National Endowment for the Arts for young American outsider culture,” Pabst paid the bills at bike messenger contests, skateboarder movie screenings, and art and indie publishing get-togethers. At each of these events, it kept its logo obscure, its corporate goal to “always look and act the underdog,” to be seen as a beer of “social protest,” a “fellow dissenter” against mainstream mores.
Pabst’s campaign was designed to push beer without appearing to push it. To the extent that it conveyed any branding message at all, it was, Hey, we don’t care if you drink the stuff. To people sick of beer companies that did look as if they cared — don’t Super Bowl ads smack of desperation? — Pabst’s attitude seemed refreshing and inspired deep passion in its fans. Many customers did more than just buy the beer. Walker speaks to one who tattooed a foot-square Pabst logo on his back. Pabst’s low-fi marketing is “not insulting you,” the fellow tells Walker....
Walker doesn’t always pin down how much these marketing efforts contribute to the coffers of the companies that employ them. What he makes clear, however, is how thoroughly such campaigns invade the culture, especially youth culture. Members of a hyper-aware generation often hailed for their imperviousness to marketing are actually turning to brands to define themselves. Want to protest a “corporate” beer? Well, get a Pabst tattoo!
In reality, Pabst Blue Ribbon’s anticapitalist ethos is, as Walker puts it, “a sham.” The company long ago closed its Milwaukee brewery and now outsources its operations to Miller. Its entire corporate staff is devoted to marketing and sales, not brewing. “You really couldn’t do much worse in picking a symbol of resistance to phony branding,” Walker writes. But P.B.R.’s fans don’t care. In the new era of murketing, image is everything.
Pretty amazing, eh? Especially if, like me, you've been at punk events where everyone was consuming PBR like mad. Two things I find especially remarkable. First, that Pabst marketing studied Naomi Klein's No Logo to figure out how to sell PBR to the punks and the skaters. And second, that PBR has outsourced its operations to Miller. According to wikipedia, "In 2001, [Pabst] closed its last brewery in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The InBev purchase of Anheuser-Busch in July 2008 prompted Pabst to claim to be the largest American-owned brewer. In fact, it is a 'virtual brewer,' a marketing company whose 85 brands are brewed by either Miller or Lion.""Sham" doesn't begin to describe it...despite what (Frank) Dennis Hopper says in Blue Velvet:
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Rock'n'roll was born from a multiplicity of racial and cultural idioms including r&b, hillbilly country, blues, bluegrass and gospel. Proudly embracing that taboo diversity, it thrust its middle finger into the aghast mug of stilted, button-down propriety. (I speak here of the raw, original item, and not subsequent, commercially-cultivated replicas.)
It acted as a socially-unifying component of the growing Civil Rights movement, and brought people together on the dance floor just as others would unite at polling places.
Not to paint too rosy a picture. It wasn't the entire solution but it did help spark the crucial process. And its service in helping to usher away racial segregation should not be forgotten.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Article to be read alongside Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste.
"Branding for Beginners," by Eve Conant
Chanel Vamp Lip Gloss, Jimmy Choo heels, Gauloises cigarettes, Absolut vodka: they're the kind of brand-name products you'd expect to find in a glossy magazine. But they're popping up with astounding frequency in novels aimed at teen girls, according to a new study by Naomi Johnson, a communications studies professor at Virginia's Longwood University. Johnson looked at six best-selling novels from the "Gossip Girl," "A-List" and "Clique" series, and found that brand names appeared an average of more than once per page: 1,553 references in all. Among them were 65 allusions to brand-name alcohols, cigarettes or prescription drugs. The brand names helped drive plotlines and define characters, says Johnson, who also noticed a degree of snobbery at work: almost all 22 references to Keds served to label the girl wearing them a loser. Other lessons: don't wear Target bikinis; do wear Chanel. (A spokesperson for Alloy Entertainment, a marketing-firm subsidiary that holds the copyright for each line of books, told NEWSWEEK that it does not accept payment for product placement in any of its titles.) "The Judy Blume books I read as a kid were about life lessons and defining yourself," says Johnson. "The life lesson here is that you can buy your identity."
from Dial L for Loser: "Her purple eyelet Betsey Johnson halter dress...and BCBG wedges were way more eye-catching than Alicia's...sarong."
from Gossip Girl #8: Nothing Can Keep Us Together: "A few girls lounged in leather armchairs. Jenny recognized a red-and-white patterned Marc Jacobs top on one of them."
from The A-List: "Taste testing was done...between where Skye's sheer Galliano shirt ended and her low-slung D&G camouflage pants began."
Saturday, January 19, 2008
From "Icky Thump":
What, nothin' better to do?
Why don't you kick yourself out?
You're an immigrant too.
Who's usin' who?
What should we do?
Well you can't be a pimp
And a prostitute too
Watch the video here.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4
Sales [of pop music] began shifting more than a decade ago. In 2000 roughly 68 percent of worldwide sales derived from so-called local repertory — artists working in their native country — up from 58 percent in 1991, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a trade group in London. Though American stars like Beyoncé and the Red Hot Chili Peppers still connect with fans in territories around the world, the ranks and global appeal of major United States acts appear to be waning, many music executives say. In Spain, for instance, only one American album — the soundtrack to “High School Musical 2” — is in the most recent Top 10 chart.