Long Tail author Chris Anderson on Free Music

Ahead of his new book ‘FREE’ the Wired Editor-in-Chief has been doing a lot of blogging and this set of stats are pretty succinct:

How much of Apple’s iPod $4 billion in annual sales should be credited to the libraries of “free” MP3 that created demand for gigabyte storage devices? How much of MySpace’s $65 billion estimated value is due to the free music bands put there? How much of the $2 billion concert business is driven by P2P file sharing?

The Long Tail blog

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Published in: on August 2, 2008 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Z-Rock: Flight of the Conchords-meets-Spinal Tap

Music and comedy is a tough mix; very few television series and movies about bands are very funny. I don’t know whether this is because rock n roll is, itself, one giant parody or we all take ourselves too seriously.

There are some moments of obvious genius – Spinal Tap is one of the funniest movies of all time, Adult Swim’s heavy metal cartoon Metalocalypse is devilishly amusing and Flight of the Conchords has reinvented the game with its Bowie-songs-versus-radio2-gallows-humour.

However, Z-Rock looks pretty damn funny too. The series, which will air later this year on IFC, follows a band of Sabbath worshipping heavy metal guys who moonlight as a Wiggles-esque Saturday morning kids party act. The party has, in fact, played for the kids of Robert DeNiro and Michael J. Fox.

In the show the band members play fictionalized versions of themselves, exaggerating their actual experiences — including a pitched rivalry with other New York-based children’s musicians — pursuing the recording contract that long eluded them.

“There were always hot moms,” Mr. Cassata, 30, the band’s drummer, said wistfully over a recent lunch of steamed broccoli and seared tuna, alongside his bandmates at a theater district restaurant.

Paulie Z, 28, interjected: “They were all wealthy, good-looking and in shape. I don’t speak for anyone in the band but myself, because I don’t know what skeletons are in their closets. But I definitely took advantage of some of the nannies.”

NY Times

Published in: on July 30, 2008 at 1:11 pm  Comments (1)  
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Depp buys Hunter’s boxes

Hunter S. Thompson was a prolific bastard. The man could write and write and write.

As well as the 15 odd books, campaign portrayals and collections, he wrote a lot of letters. Approximately 800 boxes worth.

Johnny Depp, friend, co-conspirator and theatrical doppelganger, has just bought these archives and plans to employ a team of experts to go through the notes, letters and ramblings and make it all make sense.

Good luck, guys.

Widow Anita Thompson blogged:

Yes, Johnny Depp did recently purchase Hunter’s archive (of aprox 800 boxes). There has been some internal hissing going on about it not going to a University. Listen, it has been made clear to me that eventually the archive will be placed in a University after Johnny’s team has organized the overwhelming amount of archival material. But let me remind you that Johnny is a very dear friend to the family and cares about Hunter’s legacy as much as anyone. So yes, Johnny is now the custodian and owner of the majority of Hunter S. Thompson’s papers.

I won’t get into all the details now, because some are private, and it’s also very late. But suffice it to say that I think Hunter would be pleased that his papers are in the able hands of his dear friend who is in the position to hire experts to organize the archive. Yes, it is important for scholars to have access — and that will happen when the time is right.

Owl Farm Blog

Published in: on July 28, 2008 at 2:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Arthur: LA. is a psychic death hole

Arthur Magazine, the freak folk loving, Thurston Moore adoring title, is moving from Los Angeles to New York.

It’s all about Brooklyn, baby. I hear Williamsburg is wonderful this time of year.

Jay Babcock:

New York is just a more hospitable environment than L.A. ever has been or will be. L.A. is devolving quickly, and I think I got out in the nick of time. The L.A. Times is imploding, our public radio is terrible, the [L.A.] Weekly’s been devolving for years. Local media’s being run into the ground and I don’t think anybody cares. The public’s dumbed down and poorly educated. L.A. is a psychic death hole to me, and I don’t want a part of that. There are so many impending crises — the political structure, the traffic, the educational system. L.A. is failing worse than ever, and I felt that if I can get out, I should. I found a way out. For a long time now I’ve been going back and forth between L.A. and New York, and every time I got off the plane in L.A. I felt dumber.

Culture in L.A. is in a race to the bottom, and all the smart and creative people there are [involved in] new ways to do social networking or figure out what YouTube video is going to get the most views. That isn’t culture, it’s pure pandering.

LA Times

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 1:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Batman? Who the fuck is Batman?

Harvey Weinstein, co-chiarman of the Weinstein Company and co-founder of Miramax Films, is angry that the new Batman movie is pissing all over his indie flicks.

The relaxed and friendly movie mogul (read: Peter Biskind’s Down and Dirty Pictures) is blogging at Portfolio, Conde Nast’s hip new business title.

During a summer of hyped-comic-book heroes turned screen stars, independent film as a whole hasn’t received the attention it’s due. Yesterday, we released a film called Boy A in New York.

There are no starlets and no fluffy story lines in Boy A. One of the messages of Boy A is about giving people a second chance. It is about seeing the potential in the underdog, taking a chance and watching it grow. But, I won’t sugarcoat it–it’s still one of the toughest movies you’ll ever see: There are no happy endings and no easy solutions.

Portfolio

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 1:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Emoniks to be banned

No news has reach us yet of any gas chambers cranking out Glassjaw but…

Last month the State Duma held a hearing on “Government Strategy in the Sphere of Spiritual and Ethical Education”, a piece of legislation aimed at curbing “dangerous teen trends”. There, without a clue in the world, social conservatives lumped “emos” together with skinheads, pushing for heavy regulation of emo websites and the banning of emo and goth fashion from schools and government buildings.

“The point of the bill is so that by 2020, Moscow will have someone to rule its government,” explained Alexander Grishunin, an adviser to bill sponsor Yevgeny Yuryev, apparently without irony. “This is the first step in the public discourse.”

Yuryev and his allies hope to pass the legislation before the end of the year.

[…] The new bill describes “emos” as 12–16 year-olds with black and pink clothing, studded belts, painted fingernails, ear and eyebrow piercings, and black hair with fringes that “cover half the face”. Emo culture’s “negative ideology” may encourage depression, social withdrawal and even suicide, the bill alleges – with young girls being particularly vulnerable.

Guardian

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 12:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Downtown: You’re Going To Be Alright Now

There’s a neat profile of Downtown Records, the label home of Gnarls Barkley, Justice and the Cold War Kids, in today’s LA Times.

It looks at how the label and its publishing subsid co-exist as well as a focus on rcrd lbl, its music-blog-turned-online-arm.

The self-described “major indie” is certainly turning a tidy profit, with gross revenues north of $25 million annually, according to industry sources

In an era when radio airplay is hard to come by — but when the quantity of songs licensed for television and the movies has gone through the roof — Downtown signs every one of its acts to publishing sharing agreements. For now, this lucrative infrastructure remains unique in the industry, insofar as most labels gave up the practice of demanding publishing during the Age of Aquarius.

LA Times

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 10:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Girl Talk says it’s “fair use”

You sample some of the biggest artists in music on this record. How concerned are you about getting sued by one of them?

I feel morally sound that we shouldn’t be sued — I feel like the music’s transformative; it doesn’t negatively impact anyone. And there’s a thing called Fair Use that protects work like that. It’s definitely a concern, especially with the increased level of press this album is getting, but I feel sound about it and I think there’s a whole academic and legal movement supporting more creative and open exchange of culture and ideas.

Source NYmag.com

Doesn’t mean it’s actually a good record tho.

Published in: on July 24, 2008 at 6:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Hype Machine: Not Sold Yet

Viacom, the media conglomerate and MTV owner run by Sumner Redstone, did not attempt to buy music blog aggregator and portal of mp3 joy for $10m .

So says Anthony Volodkin:

It was reported in April that Viacom offered to buy the Hype Machine for $10 million. Volodkin says this isn’t true. (So does Viacom.) But he says people approach him “all the time ” about investing in his company.

But the Hype Machine creator needs outside money to make this happen. He says plenty of other companies would like to buy or merge with his start-up. But he’s not interested. “We’re happy being independent,” Volodkin says.


Fortune:

Published in: on July 24, 2008 at 12:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Robot Chicken Strikes Back

Robot Chicken, the animated series created by Seth Green, is one of the funniest cartoons on television. Some sketches on the Adult Swim show rival Family Guy for incomprehensible brilliance.

The best episode is the Robot Chicken: Star Wars parody special. So we’re well excited that Green has announced plans for a sequel.

Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II is a go. The cable network is moving ahead with a sequel that will premiere Nov. 16.

Many members of the voice cast from the first special, including original Star Wars actors Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams — reprising their roles as Princess Leia and Lando Calrissian, respectively — are back. Also returning are Seth MacFarlane as Emperor Palpatine, Conan O’Brien as Zuckuss, Breckin Meyer as Admiral Ackbar and Boba Fett, and Ahmed Best as Jar Jar Binks. As for the creative direction in the sequel, “we decided to focus on the bounty hunters a bit and explore their stories,” “Robot Chicken” co-creator Matt Senreich said. “It’s a geek-fest for us all.”

Hollywood Reporter

Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 12:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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