Music writer Ted Gioia remembers one essential bit of advice saxophonist Jimmy Giuffre gave him on organizational theory. "He explained that musicians played better when they were happier. Now that was a word I’d never heard in organizational theory class. Giuffre continued to spell it out for me—surprised that I couldn’t figure this out for myself. Didn’t I know that people are always happier when they were with their friends? So group productivity is an easy problem to solve. In other words, if my three best buddies played bongos, kazoo, and bagpipe, that should be my group."

Different kind of air-guitar
April 19, 2023

Adam Neely: The chaos of flying with musical instruments

A great video by the touring musician Adam Neely who brings out the pain and stress of having to give away a precious instrument to airline workers and just hope it'll come safe and sound to the destination. Neely gives advice on how to try and protect it, and how to talk to flight attendants in order to have the instrument treated as hand luggage.

"We are waving goodbye to the first 100 years of the music business (from music halls, to radio, MTV and download stores) and racing into what will drive the next 100" - Conrad Withey of the indie-artist service Instrumental, writes in his op-ed for the MBW. He also shares 9 ideas a "modern, data-driven record label founder may want to embrace to free them from the shackles of the past:

No more expensive music videos

No more risky deal

Lower music production costs

No more stressful playlist meetings or New Music Friday-obsession

No more wasted, speculative marketing spend

No expensive office space

No more A&R scouts on your payroll

Don’t worry about reviews

You don’t need to offer an artist tour support – and they certainly don’t need to sign a 360 deal"

Ticket prices for the Taylor Swoift and Bruce Springsteen tours caused an outrage as they went into the four digits. However, as it was investigated by the New York Times, you cas easily get those kind of tickets for $200 or much less. You just have to - be patient "If you want tickets to a big, highly promoted arena show, whether it’s Bruce or Beyoncé, set a budget and register for the sale. If there are tickets you can afford, buy them. If not, log off and bide your time. Decent seats may well be available at better prices when the concert date nears. (Demand is usually highest when tickets first go on sale.) If you register, you’ll generally be notified if more tickets go on sale. Or you can simply set a calendar reminder to check availability as the date approaches."

Oldies were newbies
March 13, 2023

How not to lose interest in new music as we age

The Conversation offers a few pieces of advice "if you want to train your musical taste to extend beyond the old favourites of youth:

  1. Cultivate different modes of listening including in formal (concerts), focused (solitary), casual (as an accompaniment to other activity) and social settings
  2. Make listening habitual
  3. Be curious about what you’re listening to. You can help your brain form new patterns by knowing something of the story behind the music
  4. Be patient and persistent. Don’t assume because you don’t immediately like an unfamiliar piece that it’s not worth listening to. The more you listen, the better your brain will be at triggering a pleasure response
  5. Find a friend to give you recommendations. There’s a good chance you’ll listen to music suggested to you by someone you like and admire
  6. Keep listening to the music you love, but be willing to revisit long-held beliefs, particularly if you describe your musical taste in the negative (such as 'I hate jazz'); it’s likely these attitudes will stifle your joy
  7. Don’t feel you have to keep up with new music trends. We’ve 1,000 years of music to explore."

Live and let play live
March 08, 2023

6 practical steps to fix the concert ticketing system

Pitchfork suggests "several approaches that ticketing companies, public policy makers, and the music community could follow to make buying concert tickets a slightly less infuriating experience:

  • Stagger the presales for big tours
  • Abolish surprise fees
  • Unwind Ticketmaster’s merger with Live Nation
  • Keep resellers in check
  • Give artists a choice on dynamic pricing
  • Remember the Bandcamp model, and that small can be beautiful."

"Music is one of the most valuable forms of self-expression out there" - Trapital's Dan Runcie insists in his latest memo. He also shares his thoughts on what the music industry can learn from gaming and monetize its popularity:

  • Do-it-yourself music sampling - make it easier for fans to remix their own versions of songs, separate the stems, upload their versions to the streaming or short-form video platform of their choice, and ensure that the original artists get paid for the underlying work

  • A.I. as a service - I can see software like ChatGPT packaged up as a $10.99 monthly subscription service for songwriters and musicians. Users pay a monthly fee to access their royalty-free music for commercial use

  • In-app purchases in digital environments - 23% of Gen Z gamers (and 16% of all gamers) wish they could purchase music they hear in a game or be able to add it to a playlist

February 22, 2023

How to launch a web radio station

Resident Advisor reached out to five web radio stations across the globe - Dublin Digital Radio (ddr.), Rádio Quântica, Oroko in Accra, Skylab in Melbourne and Threads in London - to provide some tips on how to start your own online radio.

A great new episode of How to Get Good at Music - Adam Neely and Elliott Klein discuss the legitimacy of writing your own solo. "Your ability to communicate an idea is based on your confidence in articulating it, and when you write stuff out ahead of time you fill a lot more confident... When you say things in your voice, you have to have your own way of saying things, and the way you develop that is by practicing and writing it out yourself" - Adam shares his advice. The two music experts also suggest you should sometimes fight to keep the imperfections in music.

... and the Bad Sounds
November 26, 2022

Nick Cave: I don’t love crickets

"Dear, sweet tinnitus — the musician’s curse. Mine is actually pretty manageable most of the time, it comes and goes, and only really kicks off when I am playing live music, which now I come to think of it is most of the time" - Nick Cave answers a fan's question about tinnitus in his Red Hand Files blog. "An ear specialist once told me there was not much I could do other than to ‘love my tinnitus’ — and then charged me three hundred quid" - Cave continue "but, you know, I don’t love my tinnitus, I don’t love my tinnitus at all, it’s a pain in the arse. So, I feel for you, Denise, sitting there in your solitude, with your tinnitus for company, and I don’t really have any advice for you, other than to say, if it is any consolation, that not only my cricket choir is singing, loud and very clear, but Warren’s is too, and Larry’s and Colin’s (Greenwood), and Wendy’s and Janet’s and T Jae’s — all our dreary crickets singing their moronic and endless serenade back to you".

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