the listenerd

optimized for maximum incontinence

Category: digital music

Lil Wayne: digital music distribution pioneer

Sasha Frere-Jones, in the 8.13.07 issue of The New Yorker addresses prolific hip-hop artist Lil Wayne, who has been creating songs at a feverish pace, though has been releasing them for free on the Internet. SF-J:

“Jay-Z, who is actually thirty-seven, is the C.E.O. of Def Jam, a major label that still does business the twentieth-centruy way, selling records in stores. Lil Wayne’s commercial releases are distributed by another major label, Universal, but, by posting his songs for free on the Internet and, in the process, acquiring new fans, he is proving that the established methods of distribution, like the established rappers, no longer rule.”

His third album is forthcoming.

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Tech / Tunes links 8.1.07 – In like a lion

*AC/DC hates Apple, signs with Verizon. Eminem hates Apple, sues them. iTweet loves Apple, launches twitter app for iPhone. I love Apple, so I pass on this rumor: new Nano next week. (Yes, it’s a day of dichotomies. Checks and balances. You know.)
*UK celly users download as many handset games as they do ringtones, music tracks and videos combined. (Really, ringtones, too?) [via]
Top downloads for users of Orange:
Videos: The Simpsons trailer
Music: Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars”
Games: Sonic the Hedgehog, part one
Pic/wallpaper: WWE Girls…

*Somebody on Mahalo put together a big thing about how to download music for free online. Mashable pitches in a “download everything” post. All with the caveat “don’t steal!,” of course.
*According to the Village Voice, Dancepunk 2.0 is the new Hair Metal 2.0. And even though I often write about Music 2.0 stuff, have I mentioned how much I don’t like 2.0s?
*VIP Band Manager is trying to rope in 50,000 people to manage a band. Taking the American Idol concept one step further, managers who sign on will be able to pick the members of the band, etc. – making all decisions via a little process we call democracy. I have signed up, and will be advocating with great vigor for forging a band in the image of the Black Eyed Peas. [via]
*Musick in the Head notes that Facebook has recently gotten skittish about potentially copyright-infringing MP3s floating around.

Sign your name across my heart

From the June / July 2007 (music) issue of The Believer:

“The record industry, like many people, always has to be dragged kicking and screaming into its bliss. If they can mutate and reinvent themselves, basically as holding companies for artists and their interests, they will succeed. If they continue to see themselves in the old manner, the new form just won’t take the old vision.”

–Sananda Maitreya (formerly Terence Trent D’Arby) on the future of the music business

(Despite the seeming right-headedness of the above, there are portions of the interview in which he seems quite nutty.)

Tech / tunes links 7.3.07 – Dead and Risen Edition

*Allofmp3 is dead! All of Mp3Sparks.com is risen – same legal quandary and cheap music, new url!
*mocoNews on “the product”: Don’t say the iPhone sucks, say “reality sets in.” Upsides: super cool. Downsides: recessed headphone jack (a super funny downside), YouTube is spotty, max of 8 browser pages.
*Paradigm shift: “Still not comfortable referring to the iPod as a piece of software,” from Joel Johnson @ Dethroner. I wonder if Lindsey Lohan is thinking the same thing. Meanwhile, GigaOm talks about using the iPhone as a WiFi-enabled music player.
*We are all Daft Punk Now: The Carleton Singing Knights and Kanye.
*“Think Digitally, Broadcast Locally,” a multi-syllabic Chicago Classical music program, will focus on the internet’s influence on classical, jazz and world music. More info here. [via]
*T-Mobile UK is offering new music downloads for mobiles – x-platform it by downloading to your PC later for no additional charge. [via]
*Tunecore will distribute Public Enemy’s next album. They take it to digital outlets, including iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic, and artists keep almost 100% of the download sales. [via]

Fourth speaker?

Fourth Speaker – though it’s been up and running longer than the ListeNerd – is a new-to-me blog that covers the convergence of music and cell phones. (Great timing, considering the much-anticipated roll out of a certain holy and unnameable product!)

One of the bloggers appears to be Steve Safran, a stalwart from one of my favorite video platform-hopping blogs, Lost Remote. What’s interesting: while Lost Remote felt very much like an organic community built up around ideas about the future of television (and please note that I’m NOT that versed in the site’s origins), the feel of Fourth Speaker seems a lot more linked to the “CelleCast Team,” of which Safran is a member. Nothing wrong with being both a corporate citizen and a blogger, but the differences in one user’s perceptions of two websites that address similar subject matter seems notable.

Give or Charge?

Digital Audio Insider has a very well laid out, very real-world debate about the plusses and minuses of making new albums free vs. charging for them given the current climate.

iTunes = #3…but there’s more!

iTunes is now the third largest seller of music, behind Wal-mart and Best Buy (AP).

They’ll probably fall back behind Amazon when their digital store rolls out. Also according to the NPD Group, though: Digital music = less than a quarter of all music sold. Sales of albums down 16% this year. Sales of DIGITAL TRACKS are up 49%.