Category Archives: music

Streaming Music Refugee Reviews Part One

Since rdio is bankrupt and no longer taking any new customers as of November 23rd of 2015, I decided to take on a trial period subscription with Google. Because I am an owner of their Chromecast dongle, I was able to get a 90 day trial period which led me to consider them as a customer.

I was happy that I got commercial free YouTube access as part of my subscription, but I realized the song library is radically reduced compared to rdio. You are not going to get the new Hurts album Surrender nor Kylie Minogue’s deluxe version of her Christmas album on the streaming site compared to rdio. However not to complain much, Google does have some music that rdio did not carry such as indie musician Matt Fishel.

Also, the website format for Google Play Music All Access is not exactly user friendly or have the quality user interface rdio ever had as well. Its better to use All Access on a tablet or a smart phone.

If Google and any other company wants to fight for rdio’s former customers listen to our pleas so we can become your customers for years to come. If Google does not work out, I will likely review Apple Music in the near future.

Goodbye Rdio, It Was Nice Knowing You

I got into streaming music around four years ago. I have paid 5 bucks a month to enjoy countless music from rdio. Rdio was one of the forerunners who helped innovate the streaming music industry aside from Spotify. Losing two million dollars a month and relying only on venture capital funding can go so far for a company where they realized the business was not quite sustainable.

It seems that streaming music will be a loss leader for companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft where it will be more difficult for companies such as Pandora and Spotify to compete. The costs of licencing the music is one of the biggest costs for a business like this. I do appreciate the opportunity to try out music from different acts. The radio format that plays random tunes actually did lead me to buy some music from various bands as paid downloads which some musicians should understand.

I know streaming music may not pay the money making music used to provide before the era of the mp3 and Napster, but we should be innovative so we can be pro-consumer and pro-producer of the art we enjoy.Perhaps we should do a paid stream where one pays 99 cents to stream a mid tier release and one gets a 1.29 credit to buy the whole release if they end up liking the release within a 24 hour window, and for a high tier release it would be 2.99, and then a 3.29 credit to buy a release such as Adele’s 25. This could be one way that Adele and Taylor Swift could adapt to technology while still getting paid.

I will be trying out Google, Apple and perhaps Spotify in the next few months to find my new home for streaming music.

Economic Stimulus For Ontario

California Jam needs to return and become an annual tradition for my hometown. If the legendary All States Picnic can return after a generations long absence, California Jam needs to stage a comeback.

California Jam was two 1970 era concert festivals at the former Ontario Motor Speedway which later became the Ontario Mills Shopping Mall. However, the Citizen’s Bank Arena which is owned by the City of Ontario while being managed by leading facility manager and concert promoter AEG might be able to help with making things happen.

Of course today we have Stage Coach and Coachella, in the Palm Springs area. However who wants to invest over 500 dollars for food, shelter, tickets and transportation costs when we could have a simple one day festival that would only cannibalize one thirds or less of that amount.

I was thinking of a festival that would appeal to a broad audience where they could listen to over 8 hours plus worth of music for the price of a ticket to see an act such as U2 or The Killers. If the ticket was like $69 at the low end and $129 at the high end, it might be a success.

But if we have a festival we want people to have choice. So maybe having the event at the Ontario Convention center and the arena might be a better idea.  We could have acts that traditionally play at the Glass House, the Echo and other leading concert venues play there with the exhibition halls, while the major acts would play at the citizens bank arena.

Think of this as a mix between South by Southwest and Coachella.

EMusic, the good times will likely have to end.

It seems whenever Emusic, the internet music download store changes their policies their consumers or members get the raw end of the deal.

With their new change in policy today (November 18, 2010), you end up getting less and end up paying much more.

This month’s batch of music I got was

Royksopp, Senior

Chromeo, Business Casual

and Fish, 13th Star

That eats up 29 credits out of the 30 I received before they did the changeover of their download system.

From the pro-rated credits I got for the 1 track I did not download, I got 0.50. But when the new refresh starts in December I would only get $13.99 which is quite less than pro-rated credit I received for that 1 credit.

Continue reading EMusic, the good times will likely have to end.

Live Nation Advocates for Murder Music

Unfortunately the concert promoter firm Live Nation has booked Buju Banton for a nationwide tour as reported by the Gay Liberation Network. Buju Banton is notorious for his advocacy for the murder of lesbians and gays in the lyrics of his music. House of Blues under the ownership of Live Nation has previously faced criticism for sponsoring previous concerts of murder music performers, but it seems contradictory to their motto “Unity and Diversity” and “Help Ever, Hurt Never”.

Would a concert promoter hire a performer to advocate the murder of black people or the raping of women? I guess not, it seems the LGBT community is one of the last groups acceptable to discriminate or advocate violence to. LGBT civil rights groups called for Live Nation to ask for Reggae Dance Hall musicians who advocate the murder of gays to renounce their past advocacy in response to the sale of House of Blues to Live Nation. Banton first signed an agreement in order to perform, then repudiated later.

Banton’s nation of Jamaica is known for their inhospitable treatment of its gay and lesbian citizens due to the fact that Banton and his fellow reggae dance hall performer’s popular music help poison the culture by advocating the murder of gays. Would a corporation sponsor a performer that asks for gays to be murdered by an Uzi to the head in Buju Banton’s song "Boom, Bye Bye".

All that civil rights groups are asking for is for Live Nation to have some corporate responsibility and pull Buju Banton out of performing in your venues and return back to the tradition of “Unity and Diversity” and “Help Ever, Hurt Never”. I bet there are musicians that are from Jamaica that can unify people of all ethnicities, sexualities and religions. Live Nation should do their best as a corporation to make sure we can unify our communities instead of dividing them up and spreading the hate around.

If Live Nation fails to pull Buju Banton, concerned activists are encouraged to protest his concerts across the United States. And if you are a regular concert attendee who attends shows at Live Nation venues, feel free to contact Live Nation. 

The Next Big Thing in MUSIC

I recently got a nasty sunburn on my shoulders and I want to divert myself away from politics so I want to talk about MUSIC. The Noisettes is a band that will have their sophomore breakout album “Wild Young Hearts” in August. Their #2 single in the UK, Don’t Upset The Rhythm is pretty good. Great vocalist with a good backing band.

Then if we are looking for electropop we should look at Dragonette with their new song Fixin to Thrill. This is their first single for their upcoming second album. Plus they did a song with Jean Paul Gautier and Martin Solving called Boys & Girls which is pretty good as well, sadly the song will likely not be released by Dragonette.

 

If anyone has any other good related music suggestions, or some suggestions to ease the pain from my sunburn. Please let me know!

The Death of a Cultural Icon

It is not fun to hear about someone’s death even the demise of Michael Jackson. Maybe with his passing he can finally rest in peace without his mortal body giving out on him.

The King of Pop was indeed talented, but his broken childhood and personal issues made him a broken man. May we forever remember his artistic accomplishments and try to make the world a better place for you and for me and the entire human race.

Emusic.com, not really a value.

Emusic.com decided to enter in negotiations to attain the Sony catalogue of songs older than 2 years to their website. In order to pay for the new music they had to cut the number of downloads members can get with their monthly subscriptions. For the 9.99/11.99 subscribers you are not receiving 30 or 40 downloads you are receiving 24 or 30 now, and if you are having any of their expensive plans they got neutered big time which is making many of their big customers who pay for 90 downloads last month and now getting 50 downloads making them reconsider if they should follow thru with renewing their month to month plans.

If you have a yearly plan you will likely be grandfathered until your subscription runs out, then you will get the new pricing afterwards.

Hmmm… I am being downgraded from 40 to 30 downloads now. Will it be worth it?

I used emusic in the past to get into bands such as The Presets and Sparks which helped me get into following these bands by buying their latest releases or attending their shows. However since Emusic decided to increase their prices, it will be naturally up to the consumer to find other quality alternatives to stretch their entertainment dollar. People will not be eager to take risks in new and unheard music acts, which made emusic known for independent music if there is not an incentive for people to take a gamble on these new on the scene or unheard musicians.

I just ran out of downloads and I am looking towards alternatives, amiestreet has a interesting pricing system stuff thats new will be dirt cheap, then cap out to 9.99 or 11.99 based on how many people download the music, so if you buy it when it is just released you will save money in the long run.

Just consider your options, and maybe if emusic encoded their music at 256 instead of 192, maybe the grumbling would subsdie from the customer base.