Posts Tagged ‘ The Guardian

Kill Yr Critics

This article from the Guardian is one of the best comments about music criticism I’ve ever read, despite you know, kinda being one of them.

The crux of the arguement is that we’re all too wishy washy in our opinions – we need to be precise and viscious, good or bad. I kind of agree and I do struggle with the whole “let them down easy” vs. “tear them a new asshole” thing – I want to explain why a record fails, but I also don’t want to get bogged down in explanatory bullshit. However I’ve yet to come up with a definitive solution.

Not this guy though.  His answer? American cartoon characters. He provides several examples, from the Simpsons to Family Guy. Of course the best cartoon culture critics were also the first. Beavis and Butthead on Radiohead’s “Creep

Beavis: “Why don’t they just play the cool part all the way through?”

Butthead: “Well Beavis, if they didn’t have a part of the song that sucked, the other part wouldn’t be so cool.”

God I miss those two…

2008 – Worst Year for CDs. Ever.

03-30-2008ned_30depressiongfc2cc3hs1The Guardian had several music industry related stories posted over the past couple of days. Apparently CD sales for the fourth quarter are expected to be down by a whopping 27%. Last year, sales for the same quarter were down 21%. One of the many reasons for the decline could be the record companies’ insistence on maintaining their position as gatekeeper to music, dictating when we get to hear records everybody knows are finished and just sitting on a shelf somewhere. Why can’t they just release the damn thing, or, as one of the Guardian’s bloggers notes, at least put it up on itunes and other digital sights. Bands like the Raconteurs, Radiohead and Girl Talk have figured it out, so why can’t the labels (My guess? Hubris). If you know it’s out there already (probably posted online via review copies), you’re going to skip the record company and just download it via bittorrent.

But while it looks like the whole industry is circling ’round the edge of the shitter, there is somewhat of a silver lining to the situation. Atlantic Records hit a huge milestone (whether it’s a good or bad one is up for debate), becoming the first record company where revenues from digital sales were greater than those from physical releases. Of course, that’s pretty easy to do when CD sales are down 27%.

And yes, that is a photo of unemployed rock stars lining up for their unemployment insurance. Try and spot Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews Band at the front.

A Tribe Called Quest – “Show Business”

Happy 50th Motown

As I mentioned yesterday, Motown is turning 50 and the Guardian has posted a three part doc on their website in celebration. If you missed parts one and two you can check ’em here and here. Part three went up today – it’s here.

And cause not everything Motown did happened in the 60s…Boyz II Men’s Motownphilly

Motown turns 50

motown1128And to celebrate, the kind folks over at The Guardian have created a 3-part video piece featuring interviews with the likes of Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves and The Contours. I couldn’t figure out how to embed the videos on the blog (it kept coming up with some clip of NFL commentary) but you can check out parts one and two here and here. And if any of you find yourself in Detroit someday, I highly recommend checking out the Motown Museum. They still have the original recording studio there and you can see the worn out floor in the control room where Holland-Dozier-Holland, Smokey and all the other great songwriters who put Hitsville USA on the map. It’s quite something.

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – Tears of a Clown

There’s no word yet as to if there will be some sort of concert celebration similar to the one the company, now a subsidiary of Universal Music, held for it’s 25th anniversary. But then really, how do you top this: