Tag Archives: music

NME: Now Free Of Charge

It had to happen soon enough and today is the day. NME, the renowned leading music magazine is now free of charge.

It was something that was bound to happen, and rumours had been circling around for a while but today it was announced via Music Week that the music publication will now cost nothing from September 18th 2015.

It is sad to see, the print publications first turning into online sites and now due to the obscene popularity of digital publications, print sales have decreased instantly. Those journalists who haven’t known any better, who sleep and breathe being able to write about their music icons and the latest news; yet now the publication is free will it be able to survive and be as big as it was without the profit income from readers?

I guess we will have to see, but I hope customers will stick behind the publication; the household music news name that has always brought the latest information to music fans eyes. Today is a sad day and a result of the digital era.

Read the news here via Music Week: http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/nme-goes-free/062230

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Is it goodbye for the 1975?

Earlier today The 1975 posted this to their social media accounts and then masked their comments by deleting their entire social media list…. “The hardest part of any relationship is to say goodbye. As much as we might like things to stay the same, change is an inevitable part of life. We can’t simply go on forever – always staying the same, never evolving. So we must leave, with a parting ‘we love you’ – we are already gone.” In my eyes… Yeah that is definitely the end for them then. One album and they are done with. t First it was Blink 182 with that Tom Delonge fiasco – did he – didn’t he – confirmation from Mark and Travis then denial from Tom and it all ended up being true anyways. Now this from the 1975… Do these artists not have respect for their fans? The fans that actually helped them be where they were and truth be told made them a hell of a lot of money and then this is what they do?

Full article here: http://www.nme.com/news/the-1975/85855

Well, let’s see the speculation role in….

UPDATE:

Well that disappearing act didn’t last long. At midnight last night, the social media accounts were reactivated and a new image appeared. Speculation is, is that it was the closing of the first album and the opening of the forthcoming album.

Full article here: http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2015/jun/02/the-1975-their-disappearance-was-a-stunt-yes-but-it-was-brilliant

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Festival Season: The Fall

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The sun is out… well, almost. The shades are on…. well, sometimes and the festival season has begun… Yes, Yes it has!!

It is the most exciting time of year for musicians everywhere. Whether you’re a big named household star or a local band who have been picked to play a slot at their local music festival, artists all around are jumping on the band wagon of music festival season but is it like it used it be?

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I first experienced music festivals in 2011, when I attended my first festival, that being Reading Festival. I do now look back on it and think to myself, I sort of picked the more ‘hardcore’ of festivals to attend as my first one; probably should have tried a smaller one first but hey, it was a great experience. Plus, I have been back every year since, so it didn’t completely terrify me.

The rain that year did fall down quite heavily and I woke up one morning with water in my tent but that’s just festival life. Good old England and its rainy weather. As I write this now, it’s hammering it down with rain… quite fitting.

Anyways, acts are cramming in as many festivals as they can but to what extent are festivals as good as they used to be?

There has been a downfall in ticket sales, many festivals don’t sell out now until a few weeks prior, including Reading Festival which last year saw tickets still on sale a few weeks beforehand. Also, a lot of festivals don’t see as many regulars returning anymore. Not sure if that is just me and people I know but gone are the days of festival junkies I think.

Is this all down to the lack of headline acts available?

Harvey Goldsmith recently confirmed this prediction on music week by stating:

‘Music festivals have probably run their course’

http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/harvey-goldsmith-music-festivals-have-probably-run-their-course/061928

A part of me inside is going ‘Noooooo…. don’t say that’ but I must admit I did see this coming.

There just doesn’t seem to be as big of a hype anymore. One theory of mine is this new age of mixed genre gigs. Reading always used to be a rock festival, Glastonbury an indie festival and V Festival a Pop festival… etc etc… and now Kanye West has received a headline slot at Glastonbury and Mumford and Sons are headlining Reading….

Although it is great for some new attendees to be able to see a mixture of acts, I really don’t think it has bode well for the regular followers festivals use to get, who go intentionally to be able to see the rock/pop/indie acts they love.

I know the festival owners intentions are good… or more, in the eyes of money… they want to gain a wider audience; attract those fans they couldn’t before. However, what they have seemed to have forgotten about is those loyal audiences and attendees that keep coming back each year and it is destroying the festival scene.

Harvey Goldsmith also went on to say this about festivals:

“There’s too many of them and there are not enough big acts to headline them”

“That is a big, big problem in our industry. And we are not producing a new generation of these kind of acts – the likes of The Rolling Stones, Muse, even Arctic Monkeys – that can headline”

I completely agree with him. We aren’t. There are great acts but then there are headline acts and the industry is certainly lacking in them. I wouldn’t have put Mumford and Sons as headline quality, especially not for Reading Festival.

It is a tricky situation and a tactic from the festivals that seems to have gone pear-shaped.

The industry needs to pick up speed in developing and finding those acts that can ‘headline’.

It’s a waiting game and one I’m looking forward to experiencing…

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To Stream Or Not To Stream?

Swift Vs Spotify

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There has been a lot of debate within the music industry recently as to whether music streaming sites like Spotify, should be allowed to use artist’s content when the pay per stream is as limited as $0.006 – $0.084 per stream. In November 2014, Taylor Swift made a drastic decision to remove her backlot of music from the streaming site Spotify and not add her recent album release, 1989 to the sites domain. Why?

Well according to her own personal quotes, this is what she had to say…

“Everybody’s complaining about how music sales are shrinking, but nobody’s changing the way they’re doing things. They keep running towards streaming, which is, for the most part, what has been shrinking the numbers of paid album sales.”

“And that places a perception of value on what I’ve created,” the star explained. “On Spotify, they don’t have any settings, or any kind of qualifications for who gets what music.

“I think that people should feel that there is a value to what musicians have created, and that’s that.”

– Time Magazine (Read the post here)

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So, is it the fact the music isn’t being ‘valued’? In my views, the music is probably being valued a lot more nowadays with the introduction of the online streaming site because since then, there has been a major decrease in music piracy and illegal downloads. Surely streaming sites are controlling the negatives surrounding theft within the music sector?

Ok, yes, the free subscribers don’t pay to listen to the music, but Spotify is very aware that there is a limited amount of income being drawn in from paid subscribers at this early stage of business and henceforth why the free subscribers are bombarded with paid for advertising. This is where the money comes from.

Some of you might be thinking, there is a lot of difference between the amount artists receive from streaming compared to CD sales… But what if streaming wasn’t available, that potential $6 million Swift could’ve earned from her 1989 streams on Spotify in the first week of release, would’ve gone down the drain on illegal downloads and piracy.

The CEO of Spotify took a stand against the issue and had this to say….

“Taylor Swift is absolutely right: music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it. We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it.”

“So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time. Our whole reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work. ”

– Spotify Press (Read the press release here)

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In some ways, I can understand where Taylor Swift is coming from, Spotify do need to make arrangements with artists and discuss where the content is going and who too… I think her biggest criticism was that Spotify was ‘an experiment’ she didn’t want to be a part of. She wants Spotify to allow artists to segregate their music to specific sections, i.e exclusive tracks and new album releases for paid subscribers first before it’s free to everyone.

Yes, there may be improvements to make Spotify more ethical, but they provide enough information for their stakeholders to understand the company is new, it’s growing and it’s making adjustments rapidly. It also states how 70% of it’s revenue is put back into the music industry, so that’s good right?

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What are your thoughts on the subject? Is Music Streaming taking us from an age of illegal downloads to a rise in legal music consumption, which will lead to more net revenue for the music industry? Or do you believe streaming sites take away the right artists have and need to pay artists more for their content?

Let me know what you think on the subject in the comments section below….

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U2: Apple’s Invasion of Privacy

I’ve always been one of those ‘followers’ of Apple, not the obsessive type, no offence, but I do like my iTunes and have a range of their products. However, since I heard in the news recently that Apple have been invading iTunes users privacy, I’m slightly dis-heartened and going to be forever wondering what else they will do or possibly have done already in the past without us knowing.

The news that changed my view was the announcement that Apple have been automatically adding U2’s new album: Songs of Innocence to users around the world, iTunes libraries. The album is already free to download but we should be given and most people thought we’d be given the CHOICE as to whether to download it or not. Do Apple not know how privacy laws work? The fact these automatically downloaded it to all libraries, when people should have a choice and personally decide if they wish to use it, is unbelievable. It just makes you wonder what else they might have done without us knowing…

After hearing the news I looked into my personal account and there it was, the full album, and I had not clicked any button saying I agreed for it to be downloaded to my account.

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It’s quite ironic for the album to have the word ‘innocence’ in the title when Apple and U2 have gone the completely opposite way. Not so innocent anymore, i’d say. However, Bono did issue an official apology today saying they ‘had this beautiful idea and we got carried away with ourselves.’

So it just goes to show that you need to take privacy laws seriously as Apple are lucky they haven’t had some sort of law suit on their back after this unplanned mis-hap.

If they’d followed a strategy plan to the dot, and took into account their stakeholders needs they would know they’re the ones bringing in the profit and if they’re not happy with something, the investors won’t be. It’s just down hill from then on pretty much.

Well, good luck to Apple! Think it’s an apology needed from them next to make this all better. The lack of press releases and public apologises from the company shows their reluctancy of owning up to the issue. I’m still waiting Apple…..

In the mean time, if you don’t want to have the album on your library you can delete it, using the one thing Apple have done, by creating a tool to help you get rid of the album… Just click here:  http://itunes.com/soi-remove

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Bastille: The Rising Battle – Southampton Mo’club

After all the auto-tuning, updating and fixing, every record label undertake when processing an album, It’s normally noticed by many people how ‘fixed’ the record is. For recent rising band ‘Bastille’ I can honestly say this isn’t true. If anything, the album doesn’t give them enough credit for the amount of talent they have.

Dan Smith, lead front man for the band, used ‘Bastille’ as a secret undercover name to be able to put his music out on the internet without people knowing it was specifically him or a band.

“A big part of it was me not wanting to have to front something – which is kind of what it’s ended up being.”

However it looks like he hasn’t been able to keep his identity a secret for long. After playing over 30 festivals last summer; playing a sold out 3 day ‘Triangle’ tour and with the release of their EP Pompeii last month and their debut album only a few days ago on March 4th; the success of the band has reached levels they didn’t believe would happen.

NME:- Bastille: ‘Chart success feels like a joke’

Currently touring with their debut album ‘Bad Blood’ the four piece band played to a sold out crowd at Southampton’s Mo’club last night (7th March 2013). The big fan I am, I jumped at the chance to go see them and have been waiting ever since I purchased the tickets last year. Oh my god – It was worth the wait. The atmosphere surrounding the club was astonishing; as it was a small venue the sound surrounded every inch and exploded into the faces of the many awaiting fans. Personally I prefer gigs in small venues, it feels more personal and it makes it more of an incredible moment when your that close to your favourite band.

Song after song – the excitement amongst the crowd rose and didn’t show any sign of stopping.  It is pretty unbelievable to see four men performing with so much enthusiasm, so much shock in their faces with the crowds screams and full on singing of the words to every song. There were plenty of smiles being thrown back and fourth between every band member. The interaction with the crowd made it all very realistic and as if you were part of the band itself.

They played every track from the debut album as well as their hit singles, Bad Blood and Flaws. It was nice to see the majority of the crowd to know the words to their album songs which have only been released recently; you could see the dedication within the fans.

There was beyond a large amount of passion with last nights performance, that of which I have never seen before in any of band I have seen, who have only just released an album. It was pretty apparent that they are just surprised as I am that they have shot straight to ‘fame’ even before the album was released. However, you could also see the nerves slip through at the start. This was easily changed when they got into the performance. By the reaction of their crowd there was no way it wasn’t going to help the band perform to their best. There’s nothing better than playing to a sold out venue who genuinely want to be there.

NME:- ‘The ‘Bad Blood’ band are battling Stereophonics for top spot’
Read more at http://www.nme.com/news/bastille/69059#1KSeZslub7x3GPLv.99

You have to give it to them they have worked very hard to get where they are; even if Dan isn’t keen on fame, the amount of touring, supporting, festival gigs and promotion work they have done, you can see why most people have at least heard the name.

It is pretty obvious it hasn’t hit them yet that they are actually blasting through the UK charts with the album ‘Bad Blood’ as they seem so shocked at the amount of fans that were waiting outside the Mo’club venue last night when the show finished. Yes, I was one of those stalker-ish fans wearing my original bastille triangle tour tee and queuing for ages just to get a photo and a little chat.

The best thing about them is that they are just normal people, people who want to do something that they love and by george they are doing it! I was stood with a few friends of mine when we finally squeezed our way to Dan Smith. The shocked look on his face that I was presented with made me wonder what I had done. To my relief, he was just shocked I had one of the original Bastille t-shirts on. A few snaps and a chit chat, we then met the rest of the band who were being less harassed by the screaming fans.

In all honesty, they are lovely genuine guys, who love what they do, they’re my favourite band and I feel plenty of success heading their way. By the performance last night they for sure know how to put on a show.

Keep your eyes peeled for this growing band – they are going to go far. There is no doubt about it.

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