Sunday, April 08, 2007

Dick Dale

Dick Dale is the king of the surf guitar. Listen kids, to his advice. He says -- make your own CD's, book your own gigs, don't be afraid to do gigs for free, don't worry about being on the cover of Rolling Stone (or, I will add, a music video in rotation). Just make stuff, don't sign with a label (or create your own label like Fugazi), sell out of the trunk of your car like Johnny Cash.

He has always been one of my guitar heroes, but now I respect him even more.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What Does EMI's DRM Free Songs Mean for Artists?

I am as pleased as anyone else that EMI will begin selling their digital download music as DRM free. Apple's iTunes store will deliver them as 256 kb/s AAC files, which just happens to be the bitrate I use to rip music into iTunes. So....I will finally give iTunes some of my hard-earned cash. really doesn't change the fact that the reason this is happening is that there is a bit challenge facing music companies. I have been thinking about bigbox retailers such as BestBuy -- this is not a good thing for them, as CD sales continue to shrink.

Perhaps the most bone-headed reaction I have heard to this announcement is the comment that all it would do is fuel more piracy. I doubt that things could be worse than they are now -- anyone can rip their CD's into iTunes quite easily. If anything, I think people really want to pay for music. I know that I do. My main gripe these days is the stuff that you can't get on CD -- Lime Spider's "The Cave Comes Alive", Bill Nelson's debut album "Northern Dream". I actually just lost a bid on ebay for that particular album -- which ended at $26.00.

Add to this the dilemma of the working artist. They need a distribution company perhaps for promotion -- but do they really? I think about this as I listen to Edith Frost's demo album, full of sad, bare and beautiful music. It sometime evokes memories of all things "Twin Peaks". It is worth a download. I like the spareness of it, although a little less reverb would have been nice.

I found her through a now-defunct site "Comfort Stand", which was a brave idea -- sort of a "Creative Commons" of music. Some of the content there has found it's way to my iTunes list forever. Okapi -- cinematic music music indeed.

So, sorry to cop out based on the provocative title. I don't know what it means. I think the industry will look a lot different in 20 years, hell it might not even exist as it does now.

Now, go download some free music please, and buy something to support those brave enough to take advantage of the internet.