Links for 12.27.08: Pianocktail maker, 2008 = fail, Springsteen’s Wal-mart embrace…

by Josh Kimball

*Inventions: “The pianocktail is a piano that mixes drinks based on the combination of keys played.” [waxy]

*The T-shirt Economy: The New York Times looks at music and licensing. Well, the article starts out on the licensing front, then talks about 360 deals, jingles, and the various challenges of the music business as a whole.

*Lists: Adweek joins in the list-making herd, with the top five “branded music” initiatives. Will.i.am’s “Yes We Can” for Barack Obama and Chris Brown’s Wrigley jingle make the cut. [largehearted boy]

*Words: More on this year’s buzzwords from the New York TimesThe year of the fail. [kottke]

*Social music: Last.fm co-founder Richard Jones talks about the operational challenges of managing the data the music social network has collected. “It is a huge challenge; the common numbers are something like 300 million different tracks that we’ve recorded (that’s in tons of different spellings), and about 20 million different artists.”

*Money: Bjork is backing a Sustainable Investment Fund. [Tepid swan joke.]

*Retail: Bruce Springsteen will be putting out a greatest hits album that will only be available at Wal-Mart. If things keep going the way they’re going, Wal-mart may soon be the only physical retailer left. [xrrf]

*Local: The St. Paul Winter Carnival will have an indoor blues festival this year. Here’s the schedule. Indoors?

*Twitter: Read these three.

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