Loathing, Litigating & Legislating; Adventures in Piracy & Final Thoughts about 2013 New Music Seminar


This will be my last RECAPTURE-OF-MY-TWEETS post for now – that is, the last RECAPTURE of the 2013 New Music Seminar.  The over-arching theme – that the rapid growth of  technology is a fact of life that those in the music and entertainment industry must confront – continued.  The creators of audio and visual have always benefitted from new technology especially after they loathed, litigated and legislated against it.


1.  3 Trends in Digital Music – Social networks, BitTorrent trends, What drives sales? #nms13

(Trends in digital music were examined from these three (3) perspectives:  Social networks, BitTorrent trends and What Drives Sales.  Fortunately at this event in New York City, accounts of BitTorrent usage were dispassionate and objective unlike in the past, in cities that were not named, “New York,” when speaker after speaker merely railed about the evils of the Internet, technology and BitTorrents.  Surprisingly, railing against the Internet, technology and BitTorrents is still expected and favored  in some circles.)

2.  Percentages FB 58, Twitter 35.5, YouTube 5.4. Most online fans – USA, UK, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia. #nms13

(The three most common means of finding music online were Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and in those percentages:  58%, 35.5% and 5.4%.  The five countries with the largest number of music fans were the USA, UK, Brazil, Canada and Indonesia.  Of course, the social media services and amount and location of online fans is extremely fluid and results will change soon.)

3.  Fans who follow online vs fans who listen online #nms13

(Fans who follow artists online are more passionate than those who are online merely to listen.  The term, “super fan,” is used to describe the former.  Artists prefer superfans as superfans are superspenders.)

4.  BitTorrent trends – more and increasing. Huge growth in movies, film, TV, then Adult (yes, that stuff) #nms13

(That term, “adult,” means something other than a person who is 18 or 21 years of age.  Adult entertainment is more visual than audible.  Adult entertainment is more widespread and of more financial value than the audible/music I prefer.  Again, dispassionate dialog about the facts of Internet usage continued.)

5.  BitTorrent is increasing more in underdeveloped countries. Fastest growth – Brazil. Fastest shrinking – USA #nms13

(Getting intellectual property (IP) for free is extremely common in poor countries and countries that are moving out of poverty and developing a middle class.  The United States was a nation that violated IP laws and agreements dating from the time we were The Colonies, in the same manner as other developing countries do so in 2013.  Accusing developing countries of “piracy” is not new.  Economic conditions of developing nations contribute to lax copyright, patent and trademark enforcement.)

(Someone at #nms13 defined piracy – I regret that I do not remember who said this or exactly how it was said – as the name for practices that have not yet been monetized.  My first adventures in piracy came from using a reel-to-reel tape recorder, then progressed to the lethal videocassette tape recorder (VCR), then to my M A S S I V E L Y large dual cassette boombox tape recorder (this was a Weapon of Mass Destruction that somehow the music industry survived) then my incredibly powerful Apple Macintosh 512K computer with its drive that could read singe-sided floppy-disks that could store an enormous (400K) amount of data (on the one side of the disk that could function) and best of all its ability to copy digit “0” and digit “1” (a computer does “COPY” function best), to better and smaller (and larger) gadgets.

(A great amount of “piracy” becomes “business.”  Technology threatens business as usual until it becomes business as usual.)

6.  Greatest reason for growth in BitTorrent? Fewer legal options available. (Remember Napster?) #nms13

(The importance of legal options cannot be underestimated.  Millions have and will continue to pay for services that are “free” IF the pay services have value and are easy to use.  The best example is bottled water in a country that has significant infrastructure that can deliver water – the United States and every 1st and 2nd world nation, for example.  Water will always be free yet millions pay millions of dollars to buy “free” water.  Millions feel, obviously, that is it worth paying for the convenience and added value of bottled water.)

7.  SoundCloud is fastest growing (more than FB, TW, etc as place to hear music) #nms13

(SoundCloud is extremely popular because it fulfills an important need and does so with such simplicity and clarity.)

8.  Search, file sharing, Global LastFM plays are three most frequent uses of Internet internationally. #nms13

9.  Conclusions: Collecting fans does not necessarily convert to sales. Some BitTorrent users are good customers. #nms13

10.  “I heard myself on the radio and quit singing. My producers were the worst in world.” David Kahne (great dry humor) #nms13

AND THEN CAME THIS important BREAKING NEWS (again relayed by my tweets):

11.  Just filed to ESPN: The Patriots are signing QB Tim Tebow and expect him to be in minicamp tomorrow

12.  I was in Manhattan when Iran kidnapped our diplomats & now in Manhattan wearing a Red Sox polo shirt when Patriots sign Tebow. One’s tragic.

(I meant to leave that silly thought that one of these events is “tragic,” dangling, not quite like a dangling participle but dangling nonetheless.  I looked forward to friends’ and readers’ in-put and put-in they did.  Tim Tebow news seems to be bigger, more important and impactful than even Kardashian news.  But as a Boston sports fan, I knew that this non-important story would rock the sports world and give a great hype boost to the coming NFL season, as if the NFL ever needs more hype.)

(I was on the steps of the legendary Biltmore Hotel in Manhattan on Sunday, November 4, 1979 when I read on the front page of the New York TImes that a mob in Iran had overrun our embassy and taken 53 of our citizens hostage.  That was the beginning of a 444-day long odyssey and an event that made life more complicated and dangerous for our citizens who would ever travel to the Middle East, then and now.  Yes, this was a bigger event than a professional football team signing a 3rd-string born again Christian quarterback.)

And now, BACK TO #nms13 :

13.  Points from this session: 1) Producer has to tell the artist s/he is great. 2) producer must be a psychiatrist #nms13

14.  Producer’s most troublesome distractions? Artist’s manager, artist’s record label. #nms13


For my next post, I want to turn to this short article a friend posted on Facebook:  The 30 Harshest Musician-on-Musician Insults in History as I believe the article missed the greatest, most effective and significant insults, and I am leaving aside even greater vitriol that has taken place in Classical music/art music.


Continue reading “Loathing, Litigating & Legislating; Adventures in Piracy & Final Thoughts about 2013 New Music Seminar”

Managing Music Artists – My Tweets from 2013 NMS


2013 New Music Seminar

M A N A G E R S      M O V E M E N T 

(June 10, 2013)

The second session of the New Music Seminar I attended was the Managers Movement.  The speakers were “Blue” Williams (President, Family Tree Entertainment), Jake Gold (President & CEO, The Management Trust), Lee Trink (President, Dare Might Entertainment), Robert Fernandez (CEO, Famous Artist Music & Management), Dean Raise (Artist Manager, C3 Management), Jason Foster (Owner, We Are Free) and  Steve Rennie (Founder, Renman Music & Business).  I did not look at my program so I did not use their names in my tweets.

What follows are my tweets about the panel.  Text in parentheses were my opinions and not necessarily those of the speakers.  The italicized text that follows some of the tweets below are my comments on specific points of the panel.


1.  Good songwriting panel. If artist works a song hard & will make the song, it’s ok for songwriter to part with 10% publishing #nms13

2.  Linda Ronstadt was an artist content w/being an artist. She didn’t seek part of writer’s publishing. #nms13 Many aren’t this ethical

(Elvis Presley was mentioned as one who would record and expect a piece of the publishing pie in return.  He was forgiven by the panel because “HE’S ELVIS,” and if St. Elvis of Tupelo (not their term for the Deity) records your song, your career has gotten a big bounce.  It was and will always be OK to give Elvis some of your publishing in exchange for the favor of recording one of your songs.)

3.  Songwriters need to work on their weaknesses by seeking out those who can help/instruct them in their weak area. (Yea to education) #nms13

4.  Mali Music is getting tons of praise from many on this panel. #MaliMusic #nms13

(MaliMusic were thrilled that I hashtagged them and started a correspondence with me.)

5.  At Managers discussion – it’s not a new business, it’s still getting clients message out but with many new ways. #nms13

6.  Many more albums are being made but just because they can be made doesn’t mean they should be made. #nms13

7.  Record label functions still need to get done but they can be done by non-record people. #nms13

8.  @Nigeria17 @TeamMaliMusic I look forward to getting to know your music better. Thanks for the mention. #nms13

9.  Band doing it on their own. Should they work with label? Depends on what label can do for them. #nms13

10.  How to get band to “next level?” TOUR nonstop. (That’s simple & ages old advice.) #nms13


11.  Bands have more power as “walls of distribution come down.” Labels’ power has deceased. (Obvious in 2013.) #nms13

12.  Labels look to and respect managers more now. Managers have to work harder, therefore be more select about who to manage. #nms13

13.  Separate deals in each country in order “to keep everyone on their toes.” Management advice in dealing with bands. #nms13

14.  Politics of labels can subjugate bands’ and labels’ interests. (A constant truth) #nms13

15.  Labels should care about a release rather than “take a shot in the dark.” #nms13

16.  One should manage a band one likes b/c one can get money back, but not time. #nms13

(Although perhaps this is “touchy feely” or touchy feely to the extreme, it is sage advice.  Wicked sage as we say in Boston.  One can make money and “get back” money but even with scifi, Google and tech, we still cannot get back time.  Yet.)

17.  Managers need to get fans attentions to do more than just click. How can you get them to spend time & attention? #nms13

18.  90% of band’s & manager’s money comes from live shows & merch. That has been and will always be. (World without end, amen.)

19.  Hip hop world is complete opposite of pop in generating revenue – they can’t do as many live dates. Turn to clothing etc lines. #nms13

20.  Labels are clueless about marketing to those over 30 and have given up (spoken by hip hop manager) #nms13


21.  What are best new means to promote bands? Twitter, social media etc. but it is a struggle with destroying all mystery. #nms13

(The hip hop manager made a great point – that one can overdue and over-share via social media, and that this can turn the artist into an average, everyday uninteresting person.)

22.  Keep mystery of a band. Have good relationships but maintain some mystery and distance. How to have mystery but familiarity? #nms13

23.  Artistry, celebrity and fame have become blurred. As one learns everything about an artist, than the artist becomes just average. #nms13

24.  Many artists more likely to post photos on Instagram than use Twitter. Photos are better, easier and maintain some privacy. #nms13

(Instagram is “instant” (duh) and harder to do wrong than using too many words (ha ha ha) of Twitter.  140 characters have hurt and nearly destroyed careers.  My wild guess, based only on my own work and observations and not any formal study, is that Instagram has not hurt as many artists and celebrities as Twitter, even if a picture tells a thousand words.)

25.  Be very mindful of what you post on social media sites as the social media companies own everything you post. #nms13

(Facebook has one the clearest “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” (SRR) that is tantamount to a terms of service (TOS) or end users license agreement (EULA).  It’s always “fun” to have even more acronyms enter the public discourse, isn’t it?  I expect to see a DWWS (Do What We Say) agreement or from the film, “Shawshank Redemption,” YABTM (Your Ass Belongs To Me) agreement.)

26.  Very good quote of Seth Godin – important to direct email as you own that and better financial results. #nms13

(I have found the study of technology, social media, mobile devices, and communication, as well as the business and legal issues surrounding these nouns, much more helpful in understanding the present state of the music and entertainment industry.  I’ve always believed that outsiders bring more objectivity, creativity and original thinking and actions to a field.  Famously, it took an outsider, Steve Jobs, to show how a digital music market should work.)

27.  Managers want to keep labels from owning artist’s social media. (I hope managers can succeed but artists have messed this up) #nms13

28.  Do not find managers by looking on Facebook. Referrals are good but it is hard to find a manager. Start “working in your scene” #nms13

29.  Artist needs to be patient when trying to find a manager. Build your name by hard work. Book yourself, etc. #nms13

30.  (Be suspicious of manager who seeks out and wants to manage an unknown artist. I see this happen frequently. Had to write this.) #nms13

(This was not discussed but I have seen unscrupulous manager-wannabes, publishers and others go after young, naive artists and bands.)


31.  Don’t solicit a manager by Twitter. Very lazy. (Hip hop manager who hates the laziness and Twitter for this.)

32.  Artists sometimes think the hard work was making the album. But the hard work comes next (touring etc). #nms13

33.  Why should a manager care more about the artist’s career than does the artist? #Lazyisbad. #nms13

34.  “Do you have 10 years of NO in you?” Before you will get recognized? You = The Artist #nms13

35.  Most big artists began playing to empty rooms. (Cream on their first US tour.). #nms13

36.  In music there is very serious ADD. “The Internet is wafer thin.” One needs to play shows & get attention. #nms13

37.  Led Zeppelin never played on TV because their manager knew they wouldn’t be very good on TV. #nms13 #Knowyourstrengths

(Led Zeppelin didn’t look good on television?  Have you ever seen a more unhappy Eric Clapton and Cream on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour?  They are lip and instrument syncing to Anyone For Tennis?, one of their three (3) breakup songs from their farewell “Goodbye” album.  This silly yet horrifying YouTube clip ends just as a few frogs are about to begin croaking the words, “Cream, Cream, Cream.”  Unfortunately the frog croaks have been cut from this upload but I have the original and will attest under oath that even the frogs are unhappy about their croaking performance with Cream on a Sunday night television comedy show.)

38.  Manager needs to be able to leave ego at the door. Carry equipment, keep learning, do every job – this is vital! #nms13

39.  “The Truth shall set you free. By that I mean the truth will get you fired!” (in management, spoken by hip hop manager) #nms13

40.  “We are not dimmer switchers. We are lights on, lights off!” #nms13. Managers’ need to be decisive.


41.  Best artists do not have a backup plan. (Tough advice for many.). #nms13

42.  Kid Rock had his ass kicked for 10 years – lots of failure. “He start at the ass end of it.” – Kid Rock’s manager #nms13

43.  Again, to become a manager, do every task imaginable to learn the nuts and bolts and what needs to be done. #nms13


My next post will be my final comments on 2013 New Music Seminar.  #nms2013

State of the Music Industry – My Tweets from 2013 NMS

twitter-bird-blue-on-white 1

New Music Seminar

S T A T E    O F    T H E    I N D U S T R Y      P A N E L    

(Monday, June 10, 2013)

On Monday, June 10, 2013, I attended the first full day of the 2013 New Music Seminar.  I brought my iPhone 5 and my iPad.  I had not planned on tweeting the event or even one panel but things changed and I started to tweet.  It was not the best environment for tweeting because…

There was no wifi for the audience.  No doubt, that could have been a factor in preventing many from tweeting – why should someone use up valuable metered data just to tweet about an event?  Tweeting is still far from the norm at a music industry conference – by that I mean only a minority of an audience or participants in music industry events tweet about the events at the event.

The first session I attended was the first of the conference – State Of The Industry.  The speakers were Frank Cooper (Global CMO Consumer Engagement, Pepsi Co), John Sykes (President, Clear Channel) and Rio Caraeff (CEO, Vevo).  I did not look at my program so I did not use their names in my tweets.

What follows are my tweets about the panel.  Text in parentheses were my opinions and not necessarily of any of the speakers.  The italicized text that follows some of the tweets below are my comments now on specific points of the panel or additional points of mine.



1.  At #nms13 at the New Yorker Hotel. Much better conf venue than Webster Hall but no still wifi. Little Korea & Hell’s Kitchen, however.

(I speak at every IBS Radio & Webcasting Conference in NYC each year.  One of the benefits is that the NYC IBS conferences are held at the Hotel Pennsylvania which is at the edge of Little Korea.  To me, this means getting to have great bibimbap for lunch.  The New Yorker Hotel is at 34th & 8th, a block or two from Little Korea.  And Hell’s Kitchen includes my favorite NYC Brazilian bar, Brazil Grill, three blocks from where I used to live.)

2.  State of the industry w/speakers from PepsiCo, VEVO and Clear Channel. Frank Cooper of Pepsi not using slides – yea! #nms13

(I have a strong bias toward the non-music companies and how they use and promote music as well as how they better engage with their customers via music, video and mobile.  Music conferences need to have a strong non-music component.  In fact, the non-music companies shouldn’t really be called “non-music,” should they?)

3.  Value comes from connecting w/brands & ppl who’ll add value to fan experience. Pepsi’s aspiration. #nms13

4.  NMS used to take place on the upper East Side? Glad that’s in the past. #nms13

5.  Radio is 3rd to TV & Internet for American consumers time. Radio No. 1 means to discover music – Sykes of Clear Channel #nms13

(My best way to discover music is friends, students and YouTube.  Radio, for me, comes from an app in a mobile device, or from the radio in my Acura.)

6.  #nms13 iHeart apps used soon by 200 million.

7.  85,000 online promotional mentions of Justin Timberlake album. iHeart. #nms13

8.  How to make Justin Timberlake album break out through clutter? iHeartRadio efforts – artist integration program #nms13

9.  Artist ads run for 4 weeks. iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party got 860 million impressions. #nms13

10.  CCE demonstrating extremely successful artist promotion campaigns w/iHeartRadio. Artists noticing other artists as well. #nms13


11.  38 artists now in Artist Integration Program. #CCE #nms13

12.  Q. Where is radio going? A. Digital is small in revenue – that’ll change. Radio will have TV shows. (Of course) #nms13

13.  Mobile ads & sponsorship need to catch up with Mobile music. Mobile shift has been very fast. #nms13

14.  Product brands outside mainstream need to partner with music brands outside mainstream – Pepsi speaker at #nms13   

(Finding the right partner is extremely important – I liken that to having the right opening act for a band at a concert.  The opposite of that has happened (and sometimes been disastrous) when bands opened for seemingly unrelated headliner acts:  Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention opening for The Monkees, Jimi Hendrix Experience opening for The Monkees, King Crimson opening for Al Kooper, etc.)

(Bad brand partnerships?  Tiger Woods with any brand, for a period of time anyway;  Oscar Pistorius and Nike and any brand;  OJ Simpson… you see where this is going!)

15.  NMS and VEVO want to work with unknown and new artists according to Tommy Silverman. #nms13

16.  Lift – most successful new VEVO show, partnering with McDonald’s, to promote new artists. #nms13

17.  Breaking new artists is essential to VEVO – a mission statement of sorts. #nms13

18.  Developing R & D in a company is similar to constantly developing new artists for a music company – Sykes iHeart #nms13

19.  For Pepsi, creating/sponsoring live events is comparable to digital. Very active in international music & events. #nms13

20.  92% of Americans listen to radio every month. (Many more radios than people.) I’m surprised it is not higher. #nms13


21.  Pepsi wants to fill spaces without interrupting listening experiences. #nms13

22.  The experiences “have to be right there.” Immediate and without effort. Pepsi, CCE etc want to fulfill #nms13

(The “immediate and without effort” is often called, “frictionless.”  Yes, frictionless is good buzz word, a cliche but accurate and one’s person cliche is another’s proud moniker.)

23.  Most ppl want to watch, some want to comment, others want to make (video) New experiences give more interactive possibilities. #nms13

(Read Lawrence Lessig’s excellent book, REMIX.  Those that want to remix are not RO – “read only.”  RO is for those who primarily engage in one-way communication.  They read, they view, they listen.  They are of a more traditional culture.  They do not interact or re-author or remix.  Those who remix/re-author, etc. are of the “RW” culture.  RW is “Read (and) Write,” i.e., interact, re-author, repurpose, etc.)

24.  One touch should replace one-click in immediacy and simplicity. #nms13

(I look forward to “one thought,” and involuntary at that, replacing one touch.)

25.  Music subscription – original albums better represent an artist’s legacy than trad sales models #nms13

26.  Give choice to consumers but how are services providing choice and being monetized?  Used to be how do we stop the Internet? #nms13

(The anti-technology people in the “content crowd,” i.e., those who pride themselves on being songwriters who hate the technology, mostly waste their time espousing a knee jerk “sue-the-criminal-bastards” strategy.  Technology and consumers (the market) always win.  Rather than bemoan, litigate and try to legislate, it is better to work together and/or find a business solution.  Study Steve Jobs.)

27.  Choices in digital seriously began with iTunes. In last 3.5 yrs, mobile has provided easy to use ubiquitous choices. #nms13

28.  Networks partnerships/relationships with carriers & their (carriers’) willingness to market music. #nms13

29.  In Norway and other EU countries, bundle with cable. Their 4G is stronger and more available. #nms13

30.  Music adds high value service to telco’s services. Economic benefit partner receives should funnel down to artist. #nms13


31.  Customer base for telcos have not always been music savvy. Push customers creating playlists for better engaging. #nms13

32.  Plans & bundling outside USA can be daily, weekly, monthly. (That’s new to me.) #nms13

(ISP and cable service plans in this country should be much better and less costly.  We have little competition and our government does not in the slightest way assist U.S. customers in their lonely usually fruitless skirmishes with U.S. ISP’s and telecoms.  In more and more countries, Internet access is becoming a basic human right and fast speed Internet connections are becoming mandated by non-USA governments.)

33.  Create new kinds of premium products. Again, more choice is key. #nms13

34.  How will Google and Apple streaming services impact others? Other ideas – partner with Weather Channel, ESPN & non-music. #nms13

(Excellent – there are many ESPN outlets nationally and internationally, and they use a great amount of music.)

35.  How to handle Big Data? That trite term – BIG DATA – will assist in delivering better experience for listener. #nms13

36.  Winners in digital will be “those who can get to scale.” There’ll be consolidation across the industry. #nms13

37.  Investors in these companies are big media companies-gives players “superior access” into other areas. #nms13

38.  Spotify rollout strategy – in 28 countries in 4 yrs. careful to partner with right companies. Pay attention to local music. #nms13

39.  Global and local rollouts simultaneously. #GLO-CAL. #GLOCAL without hyphen. (Great expanding language). #nms13

40.  What needs to happen in US? Mass marketing. Look at how Apple does it. Non-Apple products are not well marketed. #nms13



State of the Music Industry (and then there are data plans)


I just returned to Nashville from New Jersey, New York & New Jersey.  Remember – New Jersey has a few things all visitors should do – spend quantity time at

Brasilia Grill

Laurelwood Arboretum and

Ramapo Mountain State Forest.

Notice I wrote “quantity time.”  All time spent at these three (3) New Jersey places is QUALITY TIME.  That is indisputable.  One never has to defend a choice to visit New York because New York often means New York City and NYC, even to a Bostonian, is crazy-great.  Two of my favorite sayings about NYC are:

“If you don’t love New York, you don’t love life.”

“I’d leave New York for the weekend but I’m afraid I’d miss something.” (spoken by a NYC resident)


 The New Music Seminar ended on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.  NMS took place in New York City (the New Yorker Hotel) and began on Sunday night, June 9, 2013.  (Excuse my impossible-to-break habit of including the year in every date.)  I missed the opening schmooze-athon event as I always do.  It was not so that I could commemorate the

4th anniversary of my Keynote Address at the Copyright Wars Summit (“Law vs. Technology:  Embracing Not Suing New Technologies.”).

(And I don’t do self-commemoration.)  It was because I got to spend time at Laurelwood Arborteum (2).  (Click on that Laurelwood link – it’s an even better photo.).

The New Music Seminar is a conference that attempts to show what’s going on in the present-day music industry – not what certain parties WISH was going on, or LONG FOR what HAD BEEN going on, or pontificate about what SHOULD BE going on.  NMS, like a few other conferences, aspires to SAY or REFLECT what’s going on and where things are likely, or could be, headed.


Here are a few of my thoughts – thirty-two (32) little statements – about the present state of affairs in the music industry.  And because I feel this way, I assume many others do as well.  I’d go so far as to say that these are also a few things that EVERYONE seems to know and some seemed to be saying things like this at 2013 NMS this week.

1.  Sales of CD’s have greatly diminished.

2.  Sales of recorded music have greatly diminished and usually are not central and/or supremely important to a musician’s income.

3.  Access to music is very important.

4.  Access to music (recorded music and live music) is growing in importance.

5.  Access to music means (to a substantial extent) STREAMING.  STREAMING means music is coming out of a complicated device, not the BIG RADIO found in wealthy peoples’ homes in the early 20th century, but small complicated devices that fit in a human’s hand.

6.  Access to music now means mostly digital.

7.  Access to music now means Internet access and…

8.  Access to music means mobile – it must be in your paws.  Soon it will be accessible via the implants somewhere under your skin, or the IP (intellectual property) pills you will ingest.  (And some people have Google Glass.)

9.  It is imperative that we MONETIZE…fill in the blank.  I’ll start:

10.  Monetize access to music via a desktop computer (I’m one of the few who uses these).

11.  Monetize access to music via a laptop computer (I rarely use these).

12.  Monetize access to music via a tablet (I use these everyday.  To me, TABLET = iPad but feel free to disagree.)

13.  Monetize access to music via an even more mobile device, for example a 4 or 5 inch tall, 2, 3 or 4 inch wide, very thin computer-like device filled with shiny, consistently-updated new applications (known as “apps) that also can make old fashioned telephone calls.  Many think of these devices as also being cellular phones.  I think of them as fabulous Apple or Samsung devices that provide app-access and Internet access by means of forcing the user to sleep with/cohabitate with and pay large corporations too much for favors that are very personal and intimate.  These pay-the corporations-too-much models are also known as DATA PLANS.

14.  Social media is extremely important for music artists, their music companies (“music companies” is purposefully vague and potentially very wide in scope) and their fans.

15.  It is essential that music artists as well as some of their team use social media effectively.

16.  It is essential that music artists as well as some of their team use social media to engage and interact with their fans.

17.  It is essential that music artists use social media to do more than simply promote and shout about themselves and their upcoming album, tour, video, film, public appearance, endorsement, marriage, divorce, arrest, lawsuit, settlement, community act, etc.

18.  It is essential that music artists are authentic and true to themselves when using social media as authenticity aka honesty is what 21st century audiences/viewers/readers expect and (usually) receive.  When a music artist is less than authentic, almost everyone detects it immediately.

19.  Social media is not a replacement for writing, recording and performing good and great music.

20.  Social media is not a replacement for playing live.

21.  Social media is not a replacement for touring.

22.  There are far more revenue streams for musicians and creators now than existed 10, 15, 20 or more years ago.  (Read the Future of Music Coalition’s 42 Revenue Streams.)

23.  Musicians are more likely now than ever to have a better-than-poverty level income.

24.  Musicians are more likely now than ever to be able to enter the middle class, even if it might be the lower middle class.

25.  Musicians now have many more tools to assist them in having their music heard.

26.  Musicians now have much greater control over the promotion, marketing and dissemination of music they perform, record and create.  (Musicians, conversely, also have the power to give away/cede their power to control as well.)

27.  It is imperative that U.S. musicians try to have their music performed, disseminated and purchased outside the U.S..

28.  It is much easier to have one’s music performed, disseminated and purchased outside the U.S. than  in the past.

29.  The U.S. is responsible for 25-35% of music performed, disseminated and purchased worldwide.



30.  Technology threatens business as usual until it becomes business as usual.

31.  Music and the arts have always intersected with law, business, technology and communication.  It has always been this way.  It will always be this way. (forever and ever)

32.  The Internet is your friend.  Walk away from those who fear the Internet and technology.  Fear them (no, pity, educate and then ignore them) and not the Internet.


In the next posts, I will discuss some specifics about the 2013 New Music Seminar.  Much of what I will relate will be done via Tweet, in fact, many tweets.  That is simply a statement relating which writing/conveying/a’-talkin’/Internet-ing tools I will use  – a neutral thing and not necessarily good or bad.  I have used Twitter since 2007 and always thought it was an important DESCRIBER of IDEAS and EVENTS.  Twitter is just they way it will be.  (I’ll stop short before I more fully paraphrase Bruce Hornsby.)







Why Would An Artist Re-Record Portions Of Her/His Own Music?


A conversation was begun on Facebook among my friends recently.  It does not seem to still be on Facebook but as I recall, the question was posed  – why do artists re-record music?  Another friend wanted to know my take on this question.  I found it to be something which I had not given much thought but was fascinated as to the reasons why one re-records a work.

This questions brings up many more questions.  Why ask about “re-recording” and not “re-composing?”  Is one much different from the other?  Is there a continuum between re-recording being closely related or not at all related to re-composing?  I want to delve more into “why does someone re-record,” than “why does someone re-compose,” but the two are usually in play simultaneously.

As a composer, I have occasionally revisited works I have written.  Sometimes I want a listener to be able to perceive that a “new” musical idea or entire work is the re-creating of an earlier musical idea or complete work of mine – other times, I have wanted to “hide” the source, i.e., to make any connection un-preceivable.  I hope to give examples of this later and in fun detail.

I want to briefly explore the different means, causes and reasons why music is re-recorded.  As always, I welcome readers’ input.  So far, I have been able to identify more than one dozen reasons to re-record music.  This might be tantamount to saying, “more than one dozen categories of re-recorded music.”  I’m not ready to shout out, “Here is the definitive list of how, why, what, where and when music is re-recorded.”  For now, this is just a beginning and an interesting pursuit into an area of creativity and originality.


A common reason to re-record music is because a composer/songwriter wants to quote music s/he created earlier and place it in new music.  The composer/songwriter wants to re-purpose one of his/her earlier musical expressions from an earlier composition/song.  It can be more than the creator/artist having run short of ideas to express.  It can be that re-recording the music and placing it in a new context can give new meaning to the earlier expression, and that expression can function as part of a new “work of authorship,” to quote the phrase found in the Copyright Law of the United States of America.

The first examples that came to my mind in pop music were Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s Carry On with its substantive quote of Buffalo Springfield’s Questions.  I was a huge fan of Buffalo Springfield and its principal members – Stephen Stills, Neil Young, and Richie Furay, as well as their projects after Buffalo Springfield broke up –

Stephen Stills formed Crosby, Stills & Nash;

Neil Young was a solo artist, then member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young until he resumed his solo career;

Richie Furay formed Poco.

(Young aperiodically returns to Crosby, Stills & Nash in a fashion less predictable than the return of cicadas.)

“Questions” is a Stephen Stills composition on Side 2 of Buffalo Springfield’s 3rd and final album, Last Time Around (1968).  Notice that Neil Young is placed on the right side of the “cracked” album cover looking to the right, while the rest of the band is together on the left side looking in the same direction (left).  This seems to be an unsubtle depiction of Neil Young as the member most likely responsible for breaking up Buffalo Springfield.

From 0.26-1.13 of  QuestionsStephen Stills sings:

“With the questions of a thousand dreams, what you do and what you see, come on lover talk to me, when I was on my own chasing you down, what was it made you run trying to get around, the questions of a thousand dreams what you do and what you see, come on lover talk to me”

And at 1.45-2.16, the song’s final phrases are sung:

“Now that we’ve found each other, where do we go now, I’d like to know what you’re thinking, answer me slowly now, the questions of a thousand dreams what you do and what you see, come on lover talk to me, yeah!”

Stills would use these lyrics but with different music two years later in Carry On, the first song on Déjà Vu (1970), the first Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album (this was the second album featuring CS & N – this time Neil Young was added to the group).

From 2.58-3.13 of Carry OnStephen Stills sings:

“Are the questions of a thousand dreams, what you do and what you see, lover can you talk to me?”

And at 3.27-3.57, the song’s final phrases are sung:

“Girl when I was on my own chasing you down, what was it made you run trying your best just to get around the questions of a thousand dreams, what you do and what you see, lover can you talk to me?”

There is strong similarity between the two as the lyrics have been, for the most part, copied and re-recorded.  The differences between the music of both songs are significant.

I don’t know why significant sections of  Questions were reused.  I just loved the fact that when I bought Déjà Vu on that cold, snowy night, and began to play side 1 on my parents’ stereo, stumbling upon this very familiar Stephen Stills song within a new Stephen Stills song was really exciting.  I felt I was on to a cool secret.  Next, I told my parents of my excitement and started to call friends to tell them as well.  And I called them that winter night using a rotary dial telephone on our kitchen wall.  I wasn’t old enough to have my driver’s license so I couldn’t bring the album to their house.  They’d have to buy their own or wait to see me on the weekend or call local radio stations and beg.  Ah, those old days.  🙂


In the next few weeks, I want to explore other artists who have re-recorded (and re-composed) portions of their own songs.  For this, I emphasize re-recording portions of songs/compositions as opposed to re-recording the entire work or song.  Artists I’ll explore who have re-recorded sections of their earlier works will include The Beach Boys – some of their unreleased songs as well.

Which words work with which music? W. W. W. W. W. M. ?


I may never pose this many questions again.  It starts out with many questions and then morphs into many statements, statements that could have been made by people of different ages, tastes and sensibilities.  I thought it would be illuminating to shift to a series of statements that might have functioned better as questions.  Almost everything in this post, initially, is a question or a statement of uncertainty.  Then they become reactions of people who are positively or negatively inclined towards the music, or neutral, even in times of crisis.  (And you know what is said about those who remain neutral in times of crisis?)

So, why would you read further?  Why would you NOT read further?

Listen to this.  It is very short, so you should probably listen to it several times.  There are also some visuals to keep you more engaged.  Engaged?  No, don’t get so serious that you commit to someone from listening to this.  I meant “engaged” as in busy, occupied or involved.


Up until you heard the singer, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the vocalist, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the soprano, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the mezzo soprano, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the alto, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the female singer, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the male singer, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the boy soprano, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the convict sing, this was a composition.

Up until you found out that this was called, “The Cage,” this was a composition.

Up until you found out that the piano playing you heard was written down (out), this was a composition.

Up until you found out that the piano playing you heard was written, you thought this was an improvisation.

If this composition was written down (out), it represents deliberation and care.

If it’s improvised, than that’s no big deal as you just write stuff that comes to mind without thinking about it and oooomph there it is.  (IMPROVISATION in many circles carries little respect.  IMPROVISATION is considered foreign to CLASSICAL MUSIC and is rarely taught and/or studied in CLASSICAL MUSIC.  IMPROVISATION used to be taught in CLASSICAL MUSIC and was considered an aspect of CLASSICAL MUSIC.)


After you heard the VOCALIST, was this still a COMPOSITION or was it now a SONG?

After you heard the VOCALIST, was this still a COMPOSITION or was it now an ART SONG?

After you heard the VOCALIST, was this still a MUSICAL WORK or was it now an OPUS?

After you heard the VOCALIST, was this still a MUSICAL WORK or was it now a MUSICAL OPUS?




Is this a WORK?


Is this a SONG?

Is this an ART SONG?

Is this an OPUS?


Or, if we want to be LEGAL and invoke LAW – FEDERAL LAW, i.e., the Copyright Law of the United States…



(The answer could be YES it was, but now it’s not.  In my opinion, it constitutes a work of authorship and an original work of authorship even though the Copyright Law of the United States uses the terms, work of authorship and original work of authorship but fails to define these terms.  (It is extremely likely that) the copyright on this composition has, in fact, expired and this original work of authorship is now in the public domain.)


If this is a COMPOSITION, then it is serious and worthy.  It took a higher level of musicality to create and perform this COMPOSITION.  For this to be a COMPOSITION, the music was (likely) “written down” in musical notation.  Those who can WRITE MUSIC using MUSICAL NOTATION are usually more respected in some circles.  Conversely, those who can write music using musical notation can be considered (pejoratively) in some circles as ACADEMIC COMPOSERS or TRAINED COMPOSERS.  They are not SONGWRITERS.  They are not writing (music) from the heart, but instead are writing (music) from the head.  The “from the head” writers are often not welcome in those circles where SONGWRITERS exist.  The SONGWRITERS are often not welcome in circles where the COMPOSERS, the “from the head” writers, exist.

If this is an IMPROVISATION, then it is pretty cool.  It’s dope.  (Maybe) it took a reasonable level of musicality to create and perform this IMPROVISATION.

If this is a SONG, then you need to keep your day job.  This sounds ugly, and do you call that singing?  (It’s great that Starbucks has upped your hours to 21 per week because now you’ll have health care.)

If this is a COMPOSITION, then the composer has no sense of melody, harmony, rhythm, form or taste.  It is unfortunate that the musicians had to learn, rehearse and perform this dreadful “COMPOSITION.”  (Just where did this barbarian “composer” learn his craft?  Somewhere like Yale?  Perhaps this is deep thinking…deep thinking by a disturbed mind.)

Is this jazz?  It starts out sounding like Cecil Taylor.  But Cecil Taylor would start playing a melody above those great chords.  He wouldn’t just play chords for the entire song.  And what’s with the singer?

The song’s too short.

It is an abbreviated composition.

If this was composed for the Special Olympics by one of the Special Olympians, this shows a great deal of creativity.


Words to describe the person who SINGS this composition (or song, art song, work, musical work, etc.) can further define, elevate, d-elevate, or illustrate more about the music, musicians, creator/author/writer, style and genre of music and musicians.

The word SOPRANO is often used in conjunction with CLASSICAL MUSIC or ART MUSIC.  SOPRANO is rarely used with popular music, rock music, jazz, country, urban, R & B and many (or all) other styles of popular music.  SOPRANO can now mean of or affiliated with a New Jersey mob family.

It is even more likely that the term MEZZO-SOPRANO would be used exclusively with CLASSICAL and/or ART MUSIC.  Using the term MEZZO-SOPRANO would indicate that the user knows more about CLASSICAL and/or ART MUSIC and perhaps knows that the term MEZZO-SOPRANO can means a person with a different “sound” than a SOPRANO and a person with a different (and usually lower) “musical range.”  The term MEZZO-SOPRANO places this discussion in a different zone – if the term MEZZO-SOPRANO is used, the discussion now excludes the Grand Ole Opry and other types of popular music.

In the context above, using the terms MEZZO-SOPRANO, ALTO, MALE SINGER, BOY SOPRANO or CONVICT would indicate that one did not read the opening credits in the video, is not aware of the definitions of these words, or  is likely being pejorative by describing the vocalist/singer in this manner.


What of the musicians involved in this YouTube performance?

I’d like this song better if Tim McGraw sang it.

I’d like this song better if Adele sang it.

I’d like this song better if Alicia Keys sang it.

I’d like this song better if John Mayer sang it.

I’d like this song better if Norah Jones sang it.

I’d like this song better if Katy Perry sang it.

I’d like this song better if Eric Clapton sang it.

I’d like this song better if Steven Tyler sang it.

I’d like this song better if Cecilia Bartoli sang it.

I’d like this song better if Mitt Romney sang it.

Tim McGraw couldn’t begin to interpret this composition.

Adele’s magnificent voice would be wasted on something like this.

Alicia Keys would make the melody into something we’d want to hear.

If John Mayer played guitar while he sang this, it might be OK.

Norah Jones would bring subtlety, breathiness and style to this (if the piano didn’t drown her out).

Katy Perry would sound good if she could get Snoop Lion to rap part of it.

Eric Clapton could give it a blues swing and play acoustic guitar – like he did with “Layla” on UNPLUGGED.

If Steven Tyler screamed it, forgot the lyrics and danced, I’d be down with that.

Cecilia Bartoli just needs a more operatic aria to sing.

Mitt Romney wouldn’t sing this as this is music for the 47%.


More words.

The composition unfolded effortlessly  – concise with punctuated chords rising so as to cover the surface with a delicately-veiled, subdued, impressionistic sheen that harkens back to several early 20th-century tone poems by the likes of Debussy, Ravel or even Scriabin.  (That last sentence is an example of critic-speak at its worst.  We’ve managed to leave CRITICS out of it so far – let’s continue to be critic-less.)

I liked it pretty good ’til that woman started singing or talking or whatever she was doing.


How do we react to music based on the WORDS used to describe the style, genre, time period, composer, songwriter, musician, improviser, pianist, keyboardist, singer, soprano, mezzo-soprano, diva, chick singer, etc.

How do we react when we are told little?  Very little?  Nothing?  When we see a video BEFORE we hear the music?  AT THE SAME TIME as we hear the music?  AFTER we  hear the music?

How do we react when we are told what to expect from the music?  From the musical performance?  About the music? About how the music was composed?  Whether the music was composed or improvised?   Whether the composer is young, middle aged or old?  “Trained” or “untrained?” From the European Union?  United States?  Latin America?  (Latin America is Flavor Of The Month in classical/art music in the past few years.)  Asia?  The Subcontinent?

CHARLES IVES composed “The Cage.”