A cozy hollow of musical treats to share


Monday, 16 July 2012

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Changing Tracks

The music industry is changing. No one can dispute that; and yet it is difficult to foresee how the relationship between artists, record labels and gigs will impact the business. 

It is now a cliché to now comment on the problems that mainstream record labels, and indeed artists, are facing. Illegal music downloads are rampant. But there are also positive factors at play, which have turned the industry on its head, and shaken things up for the experienced music fat-cats.

'Internet YouTube sensations', social media self-publicity, and unsigned artists having the ability to sell tracks on iTunes, means there is no longer a monopoly dictating who can make it, and who cannot. Fresh, upcoming artists and talented bands are able to break through and penetrate the business, while the strategically constructed image of squeaky clean solo artists and bands, is no longer dominating the charts and the industry.

So then, what now is the 'industry', in 'music industry'? Where can the money be made? It is surely impossible to prevent illegal downloads, and certainly to prevent the listening. With YouTube, Vevo, Spotify, Deezer, Artists' own websites and other modern means of accessing music, surely soon even the business of legal downloads will start to crumble.

And yet we still want new music to be made. We want artists and groups, old and new, from every genre to aspire to make music. Obviously it is not all about the money, but there must be some sort of business there to satisfy production.

Among the muddle of media, festivals, appearances, and deals, are the performances. The gigs and shows where we can discover, support and enjoy the music at its best. That is perhaps where we should flash the cash. Instead of criticizing the availability of free music at our fingertips, we should embrace it. Going to see artists live, singing your favourite song, cannot be felt fully through your iPod or online. What is more, often it is online that we actually find these artists. Through tweets, blogs and YouTube, we can find music we would never think to listen to before. Our music taste can expand, our knowledge can grow, and instead of paying 99p for an intangible single, our money may be better spent booking tickets and going out to watch them perform. Whether it is at an opera house, an arena stage, a grimey basement, or an old run-down bar, sometimes going to see artists is the best way for you, and them, to get something back.

More innovative still, are the modern applications and platforms, which have seen this change coming. Live music is nothing new. People have been enjoying live music and entertainments for hundreds of years, which tends to suggest it isn't going anywhere. One example of said modern platforms is BandsInTown: a website, smartphone and facebook app, which allows users to type in their favourite artists and effectively 'follow' them for gig dates. When your tracked artists announce dates near your location, BandsInTown notifies you and helps you buy tickets. Furthermore, a 'Concert Cloud' shows users their tracked artists, alongside apparently similar artists, potentially helping users find new bands.

Altogether a simple but clever idea by App creators, CellFish Media, which steers clear of any possible negative impact on the music industry and socially promotes live music and new artists. It is by no means the only app or idea out there, [1] and it is not always perfect in finding every upcoming concert, but it certainly gives us a flavour of things to come.

In ten years time, music and money will still be made. However, it will not be made by the managers, record labels and production companies who are taking a cut out of the music industry; but the artists, venues and modern applications which are the music industry.

[1] http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/05/5-music-apps-scaremiddlemen/


Legend Lyrics: Jessie Ware - Wildest Moments

 From the outside
Everyone must be wondering why we try
Why do we try
Maybe in our wildest moments
We could be the greatest,
Maybe in our wildest moments
We could be the worst of all
Wait on, summer sky
Wherever there’s smoke, there'll soon be fire

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Summer Rain Wave

Pool parties? Sun burn? Outdoor Tennis? ...Not so much. Maybe this will help: