Category - Digest

As I’ve Been Saying All Along…

…The music industry is a $100-billion 21st Century business trapped in a $7-billion 20th Century business model:

That’s according to Marc Geiger, head of William Morris / Endeavor (aka Ari Gold‘s super-agency):

“The recorded music industry can grow to a $100 billion-plus business within the next 15 years – but only if it abandons pushing music ownership and fully embraces the streaming subscription model, said Marc Geiger, WME’s global head of music, during a powerful, deliberately provocative keynote speech on day two of Midem.

“If you still think [the future] is about owning files I will talk to you again in 24 months and you will deny that you ever said it to me,” Geiger stated during a slick 25-minute presentation, which was entitled “20 Years of Pain. No More Fooling Around: The Definitive Future of the Music Business.”

I heard several years ago that the average music “consumer” purchases roughly $40/year of recorded music.  So they’re spending $40 year – less than $3.50/mo – to “purchase” 3 to 4 CDs, maybe 30 to 50 tracks to horde in their own personal private music “library.”

So tell them instead that for a measly $10/mo (your mileage may vary) they can have the entire history of recorded music on a gizmo in their pocket and see what happens.

You know the old expression: “do the math.”

 

 

Unplugged Chili Peppers: Where Is The Outrage??

So the Interwebs are all-a-flutter….

RHCP @ SB LXVIII: plugs and cables optional

RHCP @ SB LXVIII: plugs and cables optional

..because the Red Hot Chili Peppers didn’t bother to plug in their guitars when they busted up Bruno Mars half-time show with their totally self-serving and incongruous shriek-rap whateverthefuck that was – which obvious fact the band has ‘fessed up to on their website.

I could frankly care less whether the RHCP played to a track or not.  The whole thing is a spectacle, light-years detached from anything of serious musical consequence, so who really cares how it’s staged?  If playing to track in a situation like that raises the likelihood that the spectacle will come off without a hitch, fine, whatever.

What surprises me to learn is that neither the Flaming Peppers nor the featured performer whose otherwise enjoyable act they disrupted – that would be Bruno Mars – were paid for their performance. Read More

@PatMetheny, WTF?

Did you really just release HALF a record?

Pat Metheny, 20th Century Man

Pat Metheny, 20th Century Man

I think I have to confess something that a lot of my Vast Legion of readers will take issue with: I get really irritated when fairly major recording artists use manipulative techniques to get me to buy their records.

And I will confess further, likely much to the dismay of anybody who is still trying to make any kind of a living from “selling music,” that I consider the whole concept very “20th century.”

It’s an idea that originated with Edison and Berliner and Johnson in the early 20th Century.

And has been essentially obsolete since the advent of the Internet, MP3s, and Napster.  I live in the era of the Celestial Jukebox now.  I expect it all to be delivered for a single monthly fee.  Kinda like my cable teevee.

But people keep trying to sell me records, and they keep trying to do it with what I regard as onerous promotional methods.

Like releasing only parts of a new CD on Spotify. As Pat Metheny has done with his new album, called Kin.

First of all,  I have been a Pat Metheny fan since early 1980s.  As Falls Witchita, So Falls Witchita Falls (released in 1981 – no Spotify link) is one of my all time album titles, and some of the tracks on Off Ramp (released 1982, also no Spotify link) are repeat-play classics.

And I have been listening to a LOT of Pat Metheny lately, in particular his solo acoustic release from 2003, One Quiet Night (Spotify link)  and 1992’s multi-sonic-dimensional Secret Story (Spotify link). His music offers that rare blend of soothing and soaring, stimulation without distraction, that is ideal for doing other kinds of work like processing photos or, especially, writing (for the most part; some of his music can also be wild and frenetic and “outside” – and that’s OK, too.  That’s what the “skip” buttons are for…)

In fact, I just shelled out something like $150 for two tickets to see Pat Metheny when he plays the Ryman auditorium later this month.  That’s a hell of a lot more money than I’ve paid to almost any artist I can think of in the past year or so (I tend to frequent small, less expensive clubs than the bigger concert halls).

So imagine my perplexion when I went to Spotify and discovered that, yes, like the email said, Kin by Pat Metheny is now available on Spotify… but ONLY 5 OF THE 9 TRACKS ON THE ALBUM.

What the fuck?  C’mon Pat, what’s the fucking point? Do you seriously think that I am going to set aside my 21st Century, stream-it-all model just to hear the other four tracks?  Are you and your management (more likely) so out of touch with how new technology works in the marketplace that you really think that’s going to work on me?

Is the $150 I just put directly into your pocket (apart from whatever onerous “convenience fees” that were part of that sum), not enough to sustain your creative energy? Do you really need the $9 that the full record would cost to download, or, worse, just the $4 to “purchase” the original tracks?

I cannot begin to tell you how antiquated the whole concept sounds to me.  Or how disappointing it is that you’ve attempted to “tease” me with a partial release.

I know that the royalties that streaming services pay are a subject of raging controversy all over the Interwebs.  I know that artists and labels get paid only a fraction of a penny each time a track is streamed over the internet, and that those streams cannibalize the market for potential unit sales.  Or as  friend of mine just put it, “Spotify is great for me and devastating for creators.”

To which I have to respond: if it is great for the user, then the creators will have to adjust, because what works for the customer is always what will prevail in the marketplace (that’s an old law of economics that I just made up).

The advantage of streaming for a creator is, potentially, in the multitude of plays.  When I buy a record, the artist and his label get paid once.  But when I stream a recording over and over again – precisely as I have been doing lately with Pat Metheny – the creators get paid every time.  Yes, the actual numbers may bear some adjusting, but over the long term, and as more people become accustomed to this mode of delivery, the numbers are going to add up.

Because, like Lefsetz keeps saying, the future is streaming.

So please, don’t insult my good intentions and fan-boyhood by withholding half of your new release from the format that I am most inclined to listen to.

Now, all that said, let me hasten to add: there are circumstances when I will purchase CDs, but that is typically when I have gotten excited about some new, emerging artist – somebody who can genuinely benefit from an individual expression of support, both personal and financial. And, as often as not, I will be happy to contribute considerably more than the cost of a single CD to that artist’s crowd-funding campaign if they ask for it.  In the past few years I’ve made a lot more $35 to $50 contributions to such campaigns than I have purchased individual $15 CDs.

Because this is the 21st Century.  Because I want to a “patron,” not a “consumer.”

This new record sounds terrific, what I’ve heard of it, and I will probably listen a lot to those FIVE of the NINE tracks.  And Pat will get a few pennies for the privilege.  And those pennies will add up across the breadth of the considerable following he has amassed over the several decades of his career.

I like Kin so much that I’m going to embed the Spotify player for it right here in this blog post, so you can listen to the tracks that are available now:

But I will NOT go to iTunes and drop even the $4 it would cost me to get the other tracks.  Because iTunes is just not how I listen to (god, how I hate the word “consume”) music any more.

“Selling” discrete units of music – (vinyl, CDs, downloads, whatever the format) is an industrial model, and we don’t live in an industrial economy any more.

If you don’t believe me, then just climb into my time machine, fly about 20 years into the future, and look back on today.

See what I mean?

Haystack Rock – Canon Beach, Oregon

And the end of an era (for me, anyway…)

I was just scrolling through my photo archives in search of something and found this instead —from June, 2003.

Ann’s boys had just moved to Portland, Oregon and this was our first visit out there to see them.

It was about a month later  that I got my first serious digital camera, a Nikon D100, so this one of the last photos I shot with my trusty old Nikon F2 and that mysterious, antiquated substance called “film.”

Computer Desktop Photoart Installation Instructions

Thank you for subscribing to the CohesionArts Weekly Digest.  We hope you find it entertaining and amusing if not profoundly informative.

To download and install the files, please follow these steps: 

1. After you have completed your subscription form, a confirmation request will arrive in your inbox.  Click on the link in that message.  As soon as you confirm your subscription, a new window should open in your default browser with the link to the file download.

2. Click on download link in r browser; If you can, tell the browser which folder you want the filed to download into; if you can’t, it will wind up in your default “downloads” folder.

3.  Find the downloaded file and drag it into the folder where keep you desktops – typically something like /pictures/desktops/.

4.  Double click on the .zip file to open the archive; this will create a new sub-folder; your desktop photos will be in that folder.

Those steps should work for either MacOS or Windows (if you’re using something than those two common operating systems then you’re more advanced than we are – and you’re on your own).

It’s been almost 7 years now since we stopped using Windows/PCs, so we don’t recall precisely how desktop images are installed for Windows, but it must be something like this process on a Mac:

5. Go to the “System Preferences panel.

6. Select “Desktop & Screen Saver” and then highlight the ‘Desktop” tab.

7. Toward the bottom left corner of that panel you’ll see a “+ ” button.  Click that button and a “Finder (Windows=”Explorer”) window will open.  Navigate to the folder where you stashed the files in step 3 above.

8.  That folder will then show up in the list of desktop image folders, and should become the selected folder for your desktop images

9.  Select the image you want to serve as your desktop, then select among the other options like “Change picture” every xx minutes.

10.  If you use the “Spaces” feature of OSX (or the Windows equivalent, I have no idea what it would be called…), you’ll have to set a new desktop for each “Space” that have open.

Trust us, it sounds more difficult than it actually is.

The files that we offer for desktops changes from time to time, but these instructions should work regardless of what files you are downloading.  If you’re still having issues, please contact list man@cohesionarts.com and we’ll try to help you out.

Thanks again for subscribing to The Weekly Digest.

From ‘The Joy of Making Music’ Bonnie Bishop

Bonnie Bishop

Bonnie Bishop

I had the pleasure and privilege of photographing Bonnie Bishop when she performed a showcase at The Rutledge in Nashville back in the winter of 2009.

I’d only learned of Bonnie a few months earlier at the Americana Music Fest. Well, no, not actually at the Americana event, but a week or so later.

I’d sat down to go through some of the printed material from the conference, and then went online to LaLa.com – the site I had been using as my “celestial jukebox” before it was acquired by Apple and shut down in the spring of 2010 – to listen to the recordings of performers whose actual Americana showcases I’d missed. Read More

Looking Forward to the Super Bowl?

I know I am.  Especially the commercials.

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 9.30.05 AMAnd you will be too, after watching this clip from an old The Daily Show with Rob Corddry nailing the essence of “The Big Game:”

“The Super Bowl is the night when the advertising industry takes all of our black, empty yearning and spins it into dreams, finding that sweet spot of consumer desire that can only be accessed with the right balance of poop jokes and misogyny:

I’m really looking forward to watching this year’s game in the company of a hip, young, marketing/design-and-tech crowd.  I can only hope that they show sufficient reverence during the commercials so that we can all revel in the year’s climactic revelation of our “sick consumer society.”

Hike! And pass the Doritos!

– – – – – – – – –
P.S.  Denver.  Peyton. I’m rooting for the “old” guy.

When Business Is Like “Twister”

Michael Lovett and Chris Deline

Nice to see a little “ink” for my friend Michael Lovett and his partner Chris Deline for their online marketing and social media venture, Fairly Trill in David Ross’s new online e-news site, NEKST.biz

“I’ve spent most of my professional life in a contorted game of Twister,” says Michael, in a bit of understatement about life as a creative entrepreneur in the too-often web-disconnected world (where sometimes shit works, and sometimes it doesn’t).

I’ve known Michael for a couple (several?) years now and have come to rely on him as my resident web guru.  Whatever you see on this site or the others I run has been largely due to his behind-the-scenes engineering.  He’s got WordPress pretty well wired, is reliable and dependable, and I recommend him heartily for anybody who is thinking of setting up or needs help maintaining a WordPress installation.

He’s also one of the more interesting and down-to-earth people I’ve met in my (almost) 20 years in Nashville (I think he’s been here for about 3 of them), and somebody I’m proud to consider a good friend.

Nice write-up, Michael and Chris.