Of course our largest area of discourse will be our polar opposite views on the way in which music creators are being compensated (or not compensated) in the current digital economy...(yours being: stream away and embrace the new era; mine -- fair market value for my content, please).
Sixteen months ago as I was walking across the Wesleyan campus on a college tour with my daughter, my iPhone buzzed. I had told myself I would not be taking business calls on this trip. But this was different.
Steve Rennie is a former record label executive, talent manager, concert promoter, entrepreneur, and not to mention, an incredible golfer. In a recent article, Billboard Magazine ranked Steve No. 1 on their music industry golf leaderboard.
This past weekend -- July 3, 4 and 5 at Soldier Field in Chicago -- the "core four" surviving members of legendary rock band the Grateful Dead played their final three 50th anniversary Fare Thee Well #Dead50 reunion shows, a celebration of longevity, peace, friendship and love.
I've been thinking about the innovation of interactive streaming--how versatile, convenient and instantly gratifying it is. Interactive, however, means that before I take off for a drive to the mall or a run on the beach I have a decision to make: what do I want to listen to?
I often say (and you've probably heard me say it), that when I started out in this business of writing songs I was twenty. Everyone else was twenty. Now I'm fifty-something and everyone else is five. I'm exaggerating about the five, but you know what I mean.
If you've been in the songwriting business for more that a few years, you've undoubtedly seen your royalty statements fizzle so I'm sure this statement will make you crazy: Spotify is worth more than the entire U.S. music industry.
How many club owners would ask Lady Gaga or Keith Jarrett to play for free? None. Why? Because both artists can generate ticket sales and bar receipts that exceed their fees -- a mutually beneficial arrangement for both the club owner and the artist, which is how it must be.
A fairytale ending can certainly happen for an artist in the music business, but it usually comes in the form of having a wise and learned advocate who can point out the dangers that lie ahead in hopes of helping them navigate the landscape.
I've learned from experience, the best way to recharge my brain is to turn it off -- for a half hour at least. When I wake, my synapses will be fresh. The word or the line that eluded me before, will reveal itself voluntarily. And I will feel like a fool for not having seen it sooner.
I took my 17-year-old daughter to see Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, over spring break. Before we went to New York, and in anticipation of the show, I'm happy to say she "pre-acclimated" herself with Ms. King's music and all of its non-Auto-Tuned perfect imperfection.
The number of plays from some music streaming services are now being included with sales results to rank releases in various music industry "charts" -- the standard reference point for success in the commercial music business. What are these new charts actually measuring?
Things happen mysteriously when we're not trying so hard to make them happen. Rain falls. Hits go up charts. Babies are born. Podcast get syndicated. Why does it feel like water boils so much faster when we're not tapping our foot and holding a tea bag.
Hopefully, sometime in the not too distant future, records will be flying off the shelves again. Well, probably not. But who could have predicted CDs? Or iTunes? Or Lady Gaga? It's hard to tell what will come about next.
I went to India to clear my head, to give my songs a different point of view. But the Universe has a way of saying "Ha" all the time. Back in the safety of my Laurel Canyon nest, I couldn't write a word for weeks. In fact, a pop song was the last thing on my mind.
To spend more of our time trying to push people back to buying records is an exercise in futility. The smart ones will find a different way. Spotify could be that way, and if it isn't, it can definitely help transition us into a world where streaming is key, and CDs are just plastic circles.
Last week was a convenient window for Taylor Swift haters to come out. She pulled her songs from Spotify and now has the only debut album of 2014 to go platinum in one week. Is she a music creator advocate or a savvy business woman? Perhaps she is both.