Archive | September, 2010

Label Of The Week: Mute Records

30 Sep

Last week on twitter, @Roughtradeshops had tweeted ‘Welcome Home Mute’.  For those who didn’t know what that meant, it was a response to the news that Mute had become independent once again.

The label was started in the post punk era of 1978 by Daniel Miller who initially used the imprint to release singles by his band ‘The Normal’.   The DIY attitude of the previous generation was clearly inspiring as ’78 was the also the year that Rough Trade Records, Ace Records and Factory Records were founded.  In 1980, after Miller’s own singles became successful, he decided that Mute would begin to sign other artists.  This move would soon prove to be the right one as Mute would go on to release some of the biggest electro-pop records of the 1980’s.
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RIAA’s anti-downloading campaign: Maybe the old dog has learnt a few tricks.

29 Sep

Last week we wrote a post on why RIAA is an old dog with the lack of a modern trick. Well after discussing this on Music Think Tank I was recently notified of RIAA taking a new direction with this anti-piracy video. It’s actually very good!

Vevo vs. MTV

28 Sep

Vevo has been creeping up on all unsuspecting online music video lovers since launching in 2009, providing an alternative viewing platform to YouTube to generate more revenue for its content owners.  MTV Networks proudly trotted out industry-leading internet audience figures for August, thanks to an advertising alliance with Vevo holdout Warner Music Group.  But Vevo says its music video traffic is bigger – measured apples-to-apples, that is.  Now, Vevo is bringing the heat to an old turf for MTV: the traditional tube.

So grab another bucket of popcorn, because this rivalry keeps getting better.

The initial TV entry point for Vevo will come from set-top boxes and internet-connected devices.  “We’re partnering with the leading manufacturers, and the people who make the boxes that go around them,” Vevo chief Rio Caraeff told the New York Post.  

Ultimately, Vevo is aiming to have a dedicated channel, one that will compete with Fuse, MTV Hits, and others.  So far, carriage deals with cable and satellite providers are not in place – and who knows where negotiations stand – though Caraeff is looking to bring a potent blend of videos, live programming, and archives to whatever stations he lands. 

I don’t think this is a smart idea from Vevo. Maybe its part of the bigger picture – building brand awareness – but MTV and the various other music channels that have come as quickly as they have went are no more for a reason.

Mircosoft’s Zune is coming to Europe

27 Sep


Ok, so I lay down this challenge. How many MP3 players (mobile/cell phones excluded) can you think of? Apple!? Anddd.. Umm… Erghhh. It’s worrying the lack of competition available. hopefully when cloud lockers are a stable part of music’s future Sony will build a streaming-based mp3 player! Chop chop! *Straightens the imaginable tie* Back to Zune:

Microsoft is expanding its Zune music and movie download service to Europe, betting that the continent’s more than 10 million users of the company’s Xbox games console will help it compete with Apple. Aimed at users of Windows computers, Xbox consoles, and smart-phones equipped with the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 operating system, Zune will be available in the U.K., France, Italy, Germany, and Spain this fall.

Editor’s Note: If Sony/PS3 & Microsoft/Xbox as well as Google which will in no doubt partner with Android, Apple’s dominance in the digital music market might finally be under threat. Stocks in Apple!? Might be a good time to sell.

Tracks for the Week | 26-09-10

26 Sep


The Strokes | Heart In A Cage | RCA


Magnetic Man feat Katy B | Perfect Stranger | Sony Music


Delta Spirit | Bushwick Blues | Rounder Records

Katy Perry appearance on Sesame Street pulled by PBS

25 Sep

Today I got an email from fellow G&C contributer Shea asking me to stick up a recent video of Katy Perry appearing on Sesame Street. I initially thought he may have some sick hand-puppet fetish he wanted to share with us, but the clip actually has some relevance!

The video, which shows Katy chasing after Elmo while performing her song Hot N Cold, has been pulled apparently due to Katy’s choice of clothing. The video, however, will still continue to be shown online and from looking at her dress, their reaction may be slightly OTT… Smell a publicity stunt anyone??!!

Miss Perry joins the long list of celebs to appear on the show which includes David Beckham (giving spelling lessons!), R.E.M., Feist, and west coast gangster rapper Ice-T, mainly known for his track ‘Cop Killa’.

She will not however be the only musician whose episode has been removed from circulation as Chris Brown also received the same treatment for notoriously beating up his then girlfriend Rhianna…. Shame he didn’t do the same to Elmo!

Label of the Week – Ninja Tune (and Big Dada)

22 Sep

Every week from now on I’ll be discussing a record label that I feel has contributed something special to the music industry.  Indie label Ninja Tune has recently celebrated their 20th birthday and as I’ve also interned with this company, it would obviously be a good idea to start with these guys.

In the late 80’s Jonathan Moore and Matt Black were churning out the hits by cutting up funk breaks and hip hop and making their own signature style of electronic dance music.  The now legendary duo also known as Coldcut decided to set up Ninja Tune in 1990 and have went on to release some of the most cutting edge music in electronica and hip hop, earning them and Ninja Tune a cult following.
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Why the RIAA needs to be put down.

21 Sep

I agree heavy downloaders and especially uploaders of copyrighted content should be punished. I agree drastic measures need to happen. But the RIAA, with the wonderful aid of the majors, got us in to this mess with no evident progressive steps since.

Its an old governing dog incapable of learning any new tricks. RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is that stereotypical Chinese mother smacking her child round the head every time a hand goes in to that cookie jar. There is one way of educating and one way only. Punishment.

I understand why they have to do this. Music is dependent on money from its intellectual property. Artists need to eat. Royalties put food (and often coke) on the table. It’s how the music industry has always functioned. And it always will be – surely?

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Tracks for the Week | 19-09-10

19 Sep


The Morning Benders | All Day Day Light | Rough Trade Records


Maverick Sabre Feat Footsie | Inside | Mercury Records


Chief | Night & Day | Domino Records

MySpace’s desperate makeover: Project Futura – Oct 15th

18 Sep

It’s no secret MySpace has been going downhill for quite sometime now. In December 2008 MySpace had 125 million unique visitors and 43 billion page views. Today they have 95 million unique worldwide monthly visitors and just 12 billion page views.

The ambitious re-designed MySpace is one last stand at trying to get users excited about MySpace again. Those glory days of some 5 years ago has long been a distant memory which now sees Facebook happily crown itself the dominant social media platform with almost double the amount of users.

Futura, the internal project name, expects to launch October 15 with a completely brand-spanking new interface. Features will include a neater and a more simplistic interface, with a focus on the activity stream – very much like Facebook. Many of the new features will be borrowed from a project Remaking MySpace Project  which got terminated earlier this year after CEO Owen Van Natta left the company.

Is this going to be enough to revive MySpace?

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