Monday, December 29, 2008

"YouTube dispute underscores music labels weak hand"

"The first thing kids do when they hear about a band now is go on YouTube to find out more, according to our focus groups," said an executive at one of the major music labels, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Not just kids, of course.

Read the entire article here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pop Music: Licensing Everything

The notion of "selling out" seems to have completely gone by the wayside, as this article by Jon Pareles from today's New York Times shows. I really like Santogold and I thought she was kinda 'indy,' so I'm just astonished that 3/4 of her album has already been licensed.

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?

Read on:

Songs From the Heart of a Marketing Plan

Monday, December 01, 2008

More photos of the South Bronx, early '80s

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.