Category Archives: Music

I like music.

What They Be Doin’ Now? The Presidents of the United States of America

Welcome to a new piece that I’ve been trying to get started for well over a year now. This is my version of Where Are They Now? It’s called What They Be Doin’ Now? and the premise is one you’ve heard before. It all started when one day I heard a song by a 90s band I hadn’t heard in a long time, and it made me wonder what they were up to now. If they had survived, if they hadn’t. If the members went their separate ways and joined other bands. Because as we all know, especially of those 90s born bands, they were once Kings but are now… eh? …eh?

Sure we know Pearl Jam is still around and kicking, because they’re never going to go anywhere. Green Day is still going strong, for the most part. The Foo Fighters are still, in my opinion, one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and thank the gods above they’re still rocking hard.

But what about the rest of them? I’m sure they got fans out there still wanting to see them play. So are they touring? Recording? No matter the answer, I’m almost always surprised by what I find out, and this one is no different.
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Taylor Swift Is A Big Stupid Head

I should be using this time to do something more productive, like mow my driveway or wash my roof. Instead, I’m caught reading an article as to why Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify.

Let’s get two things straight.

1) I do not use Spotify, so I really don’t give much of a fuck who they play.
2) I don’t listen to Taylor Swift, so I really don’t give much of a fuck where her music is played.

A friend of mine posted that story I just linked to on Facebook and said, “And look there someone finally said it out loud!!!”

Well, actually people have been saying it for quite a while. Jimmy Buffett recently went up against the founder of Spotify and told him he needs to pay out more money to the artists he plays. I wrote an article about it.

Like I said in that article, the labels are the ones who get all the money. If Taylor has an issue with how much Spotify pays, she should take it up with her label, Big Machine.
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Streaming Music And Musician Royalties

In the news today is a story about Jimmy Buffett taking the stand at the inaugural Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit. Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify, one of the internet’s leading music streaming services, was speaking. Buffett wanted to know if his royalties were going to go up anytime soon.

Ek said no.

Buffett argued, and it was a good and legit argument, that newer musicians aren’t making enough from the service to play their music, and that’s one of the reasons they’re struggling.

The argument goes further than that. Of all the money that Spotify makes, most of it, up to $1 billion, will go to the rights holders to the music. 70% in fact, will go to those holders. If a newer musician is tied to a major label, chances are very good that that label is the rights holder, not the musician. So the label is going to get a big chunk of that $1 billion, while the artist is only going to get a fraction of a cent each time one of their songs is played via the service.

Now, here’s where the issues really start to show themselves.

First of all, newer musicians have to read those contracts. Instead they’re told about all of the fame and fortune that awaits them if they just sign the contract, and how the label is going to back them 100%, and how they’re going to be huge stars. They sign, and typically are given a bonus. Let’s say $1 million.

They are expected to do things with that $1 million. Get a nice car, nice bling, nice clothes, new tattoos… and when their album comes out, the money made from that album goes back to the label, to pay back that $1 million. If that album isn’t a hit or a huge hit, and the artist doesn’t make a ton of money from it, if they actually make back that $1 million but not much more, they’re left with the not much more. Suddenly they’re struggling again.
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AC/DC Rides On

For those of you who have been coming here to get your AC/DC news, that’s awesome and, there’s probably a better, more reliable source for it. Even so, my bit RIP AC/DC is still one of my most viewed pages every day, so thanks.

With that said, they’ve been in the news a lot since then, and I thought it might be time to catch up here. I’m sure you already know about it, but here it goes anyway.

Right after news broke of Malcolm’s failing health, Brian Johnson posted on his website that the band is still moving forward with a new album and a new tour to celebrate being around for 40 years. I’d link to it, but his website seems to be down at the moment. If you don’t know it and would like to check it out later, it’s

Unfortunately, Malcolm is out of the band. He’s sick, nobody knows from what, as the band and family have wished to keep the matter private, and good for them. All we can do is wish him well and hope he gets better soon. That said, I’m sure he’s still got a say in what goes on, and his spirit is definitely ingrained in the band, so he’ll never actually be out of AC/DC.

Replacing Malcolm wasn’t too hard, which is to say he can’t really be replaced anyway. I’ve been playing guitar now for a long time and I started because of AC/DC. I once looked at some tab to a few of their songs, and even though they play basic rock cords, in E, on every song, Malcolm has a way of strumming and playing his guitar that is more complex than it really needs to be. But that’s why nobody sounds quite like AC/DC.
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Music Review: Unlocking The Truth

Today is the day I first heard about Unlocking The Truth. If you haven’t heard about them, give it a minute, because they’re going viral all over the place. If you don’t want to wait, here’s what you need to know:

-There’s three of them.
-They play metal.
-They’re 12 years old.

And they’re good. They’re very good. They’re extremely talented young men who quite obviously want to rock your face off. And they do a good job of it. If you do a Youtube search, you’ll discover what I did. A long list of videos of them performing, whether at festivals, or on Time’s Square as people pass by and drop some change into their bucket, or on TV shows. They’re making a name for themselves, and they should. Because in this country, if there’s one thing we love, it’s kids with musical talent.

What’s sad is, not every kid in this country has that talent, or one like it that should be showcased. We celebrate it because it’s not the norm when it should be, at least in my humble opinion. So we celebrate them for what they’ve accomplished, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t, but it’s sad because of why we do.

So this morning as I surfed Youtube and watched more than a few of their videos, this is what I noticed.

For one, let’s be honest, they’re twelve. They haven’t lived yet. They have no life experiences yet. Metal is a serious genre of music, and in order to be taken seriously in it, you’ve got to be serious. I think these kids are going to be huge one day, and by god I hope they are. I hope they can succeed in a world where everyone gets a hit and is forgotten the next day. Because as soon as they’re of age and they’ve made their millions off their hit single, there’s going to be another group of kids, all eleven this time, who are going to be in the spot light.

Because of their age, they’ve got a lot of growing to do. Not just physically and mentally, but as musicians. While they’re extremely talented for their age, they naturally need to work on some things.
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