I’ve got a long read over at NPR about the strange case of Bob Seger, who has let over half of his catalog fall out of print physically, while simultaneously releasing just a couple compilations for sale online, and almost nothing at all for on demand streaming. A few folks pointed out that my editor and I missed an obvious headline: “Why Has Bob Serger Taken His Old Records Off The Shelf?”
The piece below was originally published in 2010 on the Rhapsody blog, but I guess some time after I left they changed blogging platforms and didn’t think keeping several years’ worth of entries worth the hassle of shifting them over. As you’ll see if you keep reading, my trip to NOLA as a guest of Air Traffic Control felt pretty profound at the time, and that feeling has only grown since then — to the point where I wound up on ATC’s board, and am now its Treasurer (ATC has since re-branded itself Revolutions Per Minute). I attended another retreat in 2012, and brought along a film crew from Google to document the shenanigans. All pics were taken by retreat attendees, but I’ve lost the original photo credits, so if one is yours, just let me know.
I just spent three of the best days of my life. At a band camp.
Well, technically it was an Artist Activism Retreat, which sounds a lot more lofty, but still doesn’t hint at the transcendent joy of the experience. And it took place in New Orleans, which explains some but not all of that joy.
Explaining the rest of the joy might not be possible. But I am going to try. Continue reading
I’m not entirely sure where this piece written in 2000 originally ran. It might have been on zdnet. It originally had links to all of the no-name bands it mentions on mp3.com, none of which seem to have ANY internet presence at all thirteen years later, which is itself kind of odd. I did, however, find this blog post from 2010 in which someone talks about how the story of Heavy Vegetation’s “No Turkey for Night Ranger” had a longer life than the song itself. Anyway, this is what the online music world looked like when 99% of the music available online was free, and by nobody you’d ever heard of.
The brave new world of downloadable music has been getting a lot of press. It’s also been getting a lot of complaints: most of the legal downloads out there tend to be by bands you’ve never heard of. Mp3.com and other sites offering free music downloads are turning into worldwide, never-ending open mike nights (and there’s just about as much chance of an A&R guy checking out the talent there as there is at your local coffee house). That’s supposed to be the point, of course: the internet offers young bands a new means of sharing their art with the world, unfettered by corporate notions of what’s commercial and yadda yadda yadda. But there’s no getting around a simple fact: a lot of the stuff simply sucks. Continue reading