Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Live Music Explodes Across Multiple Platforms

There has been a recent flush of new activity surrounding live music capturing , EMI announcing their new arm dedicated to recording shows and making them available afterwards (Pixies), U2, Foo Fighters, Wilco and Shakira offering webcasts of their performances, Universal/Sony creating VEVO, an online video destination, AEG announcing their relationship with a 3D film maker and distributor to release performances from their festivals and recently EMI announced a relationship with Hulu with their artist Norah Jones airing a performance from NYC venue Le Poisson Rouge.

What does all this mean? For the fans of these artists it is a fantastic way to stay connected to your bands. For the labels I think it's a pitch to try to save their businesses and for the artists that are associated with it, please make sure your manager and lawyer haven't made the costs of capturing these events be cross-collateralized against your recoupables as a promotion and marketing cost.

I think these moves are great, I only hope they create the runway for artists that could truly benefit from these platforms. To put it in perspective, Total Live Music's current data base consists of over 77K artists having close to 1.7M events performed in over 125K venues from around the world and we have only just begun!

While I'm glad to see the likes of Dave Matthews and Ben Harper utilizing these platforms, it's the up and coming artists that could truly benefit. Time will tell if that does become the case.

The Dead Weather Book Pacific Rim Dates for Spring

The Dead Weather, featuring Jack White, have announced some upcoming dates in March performing in New Zealand, Australia and Japan. For ticket and show info follow the band link.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

RJD2 to Headline US Club Tour in 2010

RJD2 will be performing in the US in 2010 in 28 cities on the east and midwest. Beginning in Washington DC on Jan. 9 at the famous 9:30 Club the tour will wind around the east and end in Urbana, IL on Feb. 20. For those in New York, he will be in a support slot at Terminal 5 on Nov. 28. Touring and ticketing info can be found here.

Dirty Projectors To Perform With Los Angeles Philharmonic

The Brooklyn band Dirty Projectors are scheduled to perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA on Feb. 27 of next year. Following in the current trend of young upcoming artists playing with a city's Philharmonic, frontman Dave Longstreth will also help choose orchestral pieces for the Philharmonic to perform. Tickets and other info are available via the band link above.

Yo La Tengo Eliminates Ticket Surcharges

Yo La Tengo has taken positive steps by eliminating ticket surcharges on the sale for their upcoming run of dates in middle-America in January. Although sometimes this means "burying the fees" in the overall price, fans will be happy to note most tickets cost $20 or less. For the list of dates and the ability to buy tickets please go here

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wilco: Live from Amsterdam

For those of you who may have missed Wilco perform via webcast from the The Paradiso in Amsterdam today they will have it archived for viewing here

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sights with Sounds: Ben Gibbard/Jay Farrar

Although I find the album a bit sleepy, this recorded performance from the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. on October 27, 2009 is fantastic!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Google's New Music Service

I just returned from a presentation at Capitol Records Studio A announcing the new Google music service with partnerships with MySpace/iLike, Lala, imeem, Rhapsody and Pandora. This is the same room that in the past couple of weeks I had seen Sir George Martin working on reissues and a tribute to my friend Greg Ladanyi where Jackson Browne, Danny Kortchmar, Waddy Wachtel, members of Toto and others perform Warren Zevon (Greg produced Warren's early records) songs as well as their own in Greg's honor. But today the stage was theirs, trying to make claim how they are the future of music. They basically have two assumptions; that by being at the top of the Google search for music and offering the streaming of the tracks from these legit services that it will convert to increased sales and that this will serve as a music discovery mechanism. In regards to the first assumption, it will still be difficult to compete with free but it will increase their streaming costs, a question they avoided from the audience asking if Google was helping offset. In regards to the second, they still have not proven to be the starting point for the discovery of a large amount of artists even though all these services have been around for years. I remain optimistic that we will find an answer yet skeptical that this is it. Anyway, isn't this what Yahoo has been doing for some time now?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Total Live Music, All About Live Music!

I recently had someone from of all places, iTunes, make the following statement on their Twitter account "@totallivemusic but, unfortunately, not live" I have never stated that is a live streaming site of concert events.

As a person who has helped in the production of such events I don't see a business model in this yet. Places like the AT&T Blueroom, Control Room and the upcoming streaming of the U2 show from the Rose Bowl on YouTube may all seem like a very nice thing for fans but unfortunately when the bills get paid for the cost of production and delivery you come out in the negative.

As a bootstrapping business we may in the future get into the delivery of live events once it's proven as a smart business model but for now I'll leave it up to people like Apple to cover the losses of broadcasting "live" with their iPod and iPhone sales, while we here at Total Live Music will continue to be all about live music!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sights with Sounds

Local Natives

Will There Ever Be a Successful Online Music Business?

Here we are 10 years past the launch of Napster and we are still debating viable business models for music on the web (or anywhere else), which to date have been none. Content owners (mainly labels) blame tech companies and consumers, tech companies blame the labels and consumers don't care, although there is a vociferous minority who would have you believe it's all the labels fault. Here's what I believe, it is perfectly within an individuals right to refuse access to anything he or she may own as long as it does not create harm to other people. In other words, No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service. Labels are perfectly within their rights as owners to do whatever they want with the things they claim ownership to. If they do so and the results put them in peril, then so be it. Tech companies on the other hand need to come up with better solutions for content creators (artists) than utilities for marketing their music on the web because it's a fact the return is not covering the costs artists have to bare in the marketplace. Market forces have created generations who believe music should be free. Will we have to wait another 10 years until the content owners and the tech companies either work in tandem or figure out themselves how to have a business around music?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Houston We Have A Problem

Said to me at yesterday's Digital Music Forum West

"Why would you use T-Bone Burnett when you have pro tools available?"

I wasn't going to share it but I can't get it out of my head. I won't comment beyond that.

Data, the new Music Industry

One of the things that I've taken away from the Digital Music Forum: West conference I participated in the past couple of days is that there will be no shortage of data for artists and their representatives. In fact, I would say one growth area in the music industry will be that of data analyst and I suspect if you looked at the job boards for content owners you will find a listing. Not to undermine the importance of data but to say that it is some new phenomenom is just untrue, however now the focus is on data directly related to the interaction between the artist and their fan (as opposed to the traditional data utilized by labels like Soundscan, BDS, etc.). Obviously such data is a benefit to the independent sector or artists that have no label affiliation or team working on their behalf who otherwise didn't have this information available to them. But caution must be taken when trying to quantify the arts. To say you are able to analyze entire segments is to suggest that cultures remain stagnant. Things move, people change and with that so does the music.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hulu Streaming Austin City Limits Music Festival

Hulu, a streaming video site created for television programming, is streaming selected artists from the Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend. They seemed to be stepping in for a void recently created when the AT&T Blueroom recently exited the streaming of festivals. As a person who has direct knowledge of the model I knew it was only a matter of time before AT&T realized they were overpaying for the privilege. Not exactly sure of the model associated with the Hulu stream but based on the level of artists participating it seems to replicate that of of AT&T's, using music as a loss leader to drive end user awareness to the site. Unfortunately not very sustainable once the margins are calculated and even more important, another step backwards for live music online. A model can exist in the online live music world but it takes cooperation by all intellectual property owners, an argument that has been debated far too long and with too much destruction in the music industry as it relates to music in general online.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

R.I.P. Greg Ladanyi

I just heard word that my friend Greg Ladanyi had passed away after sustaining severe head trauma caused by a freak accident while working with artist Anna Vissi in Greece. Greg's resume as a producer and engineer over the years was remarkable, working with Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Fleetwood Mac, Toto, among others. Dying at the age of 57 is too young, especially for someone who took care of himself as Greg did. Such incidents offer a time for reflection on one's own life and just how precious and grateful one needs to be. R.I.P. Greg.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sandy Pearlman Quote

"They say cream rises to the top, or maybe it's just that shit floats..."

Sandy Pearlman speaking at the Transmission Conference yesterday

Monday, September 21, 2009

Spotify, can it survive a Free to Premium (Freemium) Transition?

Spotify, one of the most talked about music services yet to be in the U.S., founder Daniel Ek recently admitted that a little less than 10% of it's users in the U.K. actually have upgraded to the ad-free pay subscription Premium model in an article in The Guardian. A lot of people are trying to look at this in many ways as those types of numbers will not make Spotify profitable based on their current arrangements with the labels, but their capital reserves (venture capital money) will allow them to survive for awhile. But what really is the problem? Again, I haven't had the chance to use Spotify but my instincts tell me stripping away the ads aren't enough for the casual (and largest group) user to pay. Most people see value when they GET something the other group doesn't and NOT getting ads appears isn't enough. Spotify may have backed their way into a corner here if they start offering unique content to subscribers only but until they offer a better business model we may once again see doom for yet another ad-supported music play, regardless of how easy and well laid out it is. Total Live Music is built with the intent of a Free to Premium (Freemium) play, however it's much easier to see that the free content is the aggregated live music media from the web with the Premium content being future shows captured exclusively for Total Live Music's portal, giving the end user a clear distinction to the value of the proposition for upgrading.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sights with Sounds

Bob Dylan

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kanye West hacks Total Live Music!

Oh the humanity of it all!!! When will this guy stop!!! It's one thing to diss on superstar Taylor Swift but we're just a little web site trying to offer some live music to people. Kanye West hacks and disses Total Live Music here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Music Still Dominates YouTube Views

Music videos are the number one type of content viewed on YouTube according to a recent chart released by TubeMogul, an online video analytics company, seen above. Supports my argument from a previous post regarding Vevo.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Scarcity in the Music Industry

Seth Godin, a well followed and innovative marketing expert, offers a very simplistic point of view about about 'free' in a recent blog post here.  As it applies to the music industry, particularly to the recorded music industry, I think his first line says it all

"I think it's dangerous and often fatal to put free on top of an existing business model. Things fall apart."

Unfortunately for the recorded music industry this has already happened, very difficult to put a price on a recording that once it's made available to a small few becomes very abundant to all.  So what really is scarce in the music industry?  Well one we know for sure and will always be is talent.  Artists that for what ever reason make their fans react in ways that from a business standpoint, makes them spend their money on things that are not in abundance (tickets, merch, etc.).   The labels move into tying up all the rights of an artist (360 deals) is just another way of them saying that we can't get a return on just recorded music so we need to get the return on other avenues as well.

But in doing so I think we are beginning to recognize other scarcities as well and until we fill those voids we will continue to see a decline in the number of artists that break through to the masses.  Major label efforts are continuing to be reliant on the fact that radio is the primary place for which people consume their music but recent studies have proven that this is not the case and every day becoming less so.  So now we see the scarcity on the label side being in marketing.  When I worked for a label (which my last employment was 5 years ago) they had at any given time an entire promotion department working a single track by an artist with only one product manager overseeing the marketing efforts.  I know this has changed a bit since then but I believe there is much room for improvement.  The label that steps up and starts offering marketing tools and services that become the focal point of the artist campaigns and do so in a successful way will not only start to see their return much faster but will have a line of artists looking to be a part of a company that can offer services that are so scarce that they can't find the execution anywhere else.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sights with Sounds

Sunday, September 6, 2009

R.I.P. Skip Miller

I awoke to some sad news this morning learning that my friend, Skip Miller had died on Friday of cardiac arrest.  I met Skip under different circumstances than in the business.  We were neighbors and he and his wife would take evening strolls past our house with their dog while I would be out watching the children play.  After many social discussions, my wife said "Did you know Skip used to be the President of Motown?"  I had know idea the Skip that I had met, the one who I talked about street damage, dogs names, children, pressures of living in LA, etc. was the 'Skip Miller'.  What followed was a series of lunches where he opened up to me about his business dealings and most recently the passing of Michael Jackson, whom he had a relationship with and his family.  He was the closest person I knew to the Jackson world and his insight of what was going on offered me a perspective I would not had received anywhere else.  The changes in the business have brought about quite a bit of stress to those who had their footing in the old ways of doing it.  I'm hoping those stresses did not lead to his passing but it's hard not to think they didn't contribute.  Change affects many people and it's not always for the better.  I'll say a prayer today for my friend Skip Miller and his family knowing he's in a better place.  Although are time for knowing each other was short, R.I.P. my friend.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Vevo's $300M valuation

Vevo, the  recent joint venture between Universal and Sony music with YouTube providing backend tech support is currently shopping for money at a $300M valuation.  No doubt online entities such as Hulu, which raised $100M based on a $1B valuation proved there was a market for television content owners when built with an end user ease of use and content to satisfy demand.  But is music in a similar position as television currently?  I have my doubts.  The biggest question is rights; what do the labels have rights to that hasn't currently been exploited on the web already?  With their dwindling front line releases they will have to set their value based on catalog, which is extensive, but seems to be accessible already.  Also, if they continue to diminish their new artists releases they will be dependent on striking deals with new talent, outside of the deals they have with the labels, based on the Vevo experience for which the jury is still out?

One of the reasons I moved to the live experience is that I understood this day would be coming.  One where the only place you will be able to successfully replenish new content to keep fans engaged online enough would be artists offerings of their live media, for which every night there is a performance in which new content can be created.  The argument is who gets the rights to the "live" performances which are being spelled out more and more in contract negotiations and what are you doing with those performances (broadcast, transactional, etc.)

I'm sure Vevo will be successful in a raise despite what the price for the money is.   They certainly have a catalog and a smart team for which to build the business initially.  The big question I'm sure by some of the investors is how do they plan on keeping a sustainable business?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sights with Sounds


Monday, August 31, 2009

Artists Performing Albums Live In Sequence

Steely Dan wrapped up the Los Angeles stay of their tour called "Rent Party" at the Gibson Amphitheatre last week.   Over three nights they performed a different album in sequence (as well as other songs), choosing Aja, Gaucho, The Royal Scam in that order and on the fourth night they took internet requests from their fans.  This is becoming a common occurrence by artists these days and in some ways it seems like a way to play the market more than it should with a different angle. I'm torn as to whether I like this trend of artists performing their albums in sequence at their shows.   Although it offers fans a recall of a listening experience I look at it as more of a stunt on behalf of the band.  It does showcase some songs that may have never made it onto the setlist but on the other hand, I fear it takes away some of the spontaneity that I as a fan expect at a live show.  I think there are debates on both sides but I would love to hear your thoughts.  Do you think more artists should be doing this?  If so why or why not?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"The Death Of The Music Industry"

David McCandless is putting together visual charts at his site Information Is Beautiful. One of them is titled "The Death Of The Music Industry" where he publishes an info graphic he credits to the New York Times illustrated below. A frightening visual reminder of the changes that have occurred to the music industry. Years are to be read left to right (although not clearly defined) from growth to decline with each individual chart representing a format. (Click on image below to enlarge)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sights with Sounds


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Digital Music Forum West

I've been invited to participate on a panel at the Digital Music Forum West, being held at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles October 7-8. I've been on a number of panels before but as a creative label executive. This will be my first one as a digital media entrepeneur. The panel I will be participating on is Social Media with a focus on the social networks and the music industry. I am looking forward to hearing how my fellow panelists as well as the audience interpret and perceive today's climate based on their experiences.

Founder of shares his thoughts on Digital Strategies

An article and interview by Greg Sandoval at CNET News with Michael Robertson, founder of, in which they discuss current digital music models and how Michael feels are flawed based on the current cost structures dictated by the labels can be found here. I agree with Michael on a most of his points, royalty rates that don't support business models, eagerness to be partnered with large corporations on behalf of start-ups, consumers will have the final say, etc. But I think this is more of people trying to hang on to old ways of thought rather than tearing down a business model. The labels have the right to dictate the value of their assets (their recordings) and time will show if they can hang onto that as it appears the value of recorded music gets closer and closer to zero based on market forces created by consumers. On the other hand, a number of these digital start-ups funding by large venture capitalists were contingent on developing a relationship with these labels and access to their catalogs, even knowing that it was a matter of time before the bank goes dry. I addressed attention economics in an earlier post and I truly believe that's where all this is heading but it is difficult to make a business of it until some changes occur by all parties. As they say 'timing is everything' and eventually all the parties that are involved in this game will either adapt or die.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Paper or Follow Thru?

A friend of mine quoted me a saying today "Good on paper, bad on follow-thru" and we both had a chuckle as to how well that seemed to apply to many in not only the music business but other businesses as well.  Often times people are impressed by resumes, online profiles, pedigrees, schooling, etc., etc.  There are a number of measuring devices we try to utilize based on person's history to give us an idea as to how we think this individual stands in regards to how they go about their business.  I truly believe the most over looked of these devices is good old fashion success.  Not the people that had it once because then we can write it off as luck but someone who has over the years demonstrated the ability to continue to achieve success multiple times based on the ability to grasp the task at at hand, diligence, desire to win and of course, a lucky star.  But as they say, the 'harder I work, the luckier I get'.  I am product of the street, a graduate of the Univ. of Iowa with a B.G.S. (Bachelor of General Studies). I moved to Los Angeles with $50 and no car on a Thursday and by Tuesday the following week I was taking the number 3 bus line to the Atlantic Records office as a temp filling in where needed.  As fate would have it, I am proud to say I was personally involved in the signing, developing and navigating artists and their projects that sold well over 40 million records.  I was responsible for making people and my organization $100's of millions and that is something that can never be taken away.  I went out on my own a little over 5 years ago (I hate to say that's when I started to be an entrepreneur as anyone who knows the risks of being an A&R person knows that it carries as much risk as any entrepreneur), raised angel financing and built a business that offered media publishing tools for artists to record and sell their live shows directly to their fans online.  Recognizing the habits of the online live music fan after capturing and marrying it to portals such as the AT&T Blueroom I jumped at an opportunity to benefit talent and their fans even more based around the event experience , tour histories and the media that comes from it, thus I began Total Live Music.  I've sat in meetings with some captains of industry and geniuses of the arts and overall have lived a very blessed life.  Why do I ramble on about such things? Because our country has been going through one of the most difficult times I have ever been a witness to.  Being from Iowa, I had grandparents who would tell stories of the Great Depression while working on the farm.  I also heard stories of heroism and loss by my family during World War II and when my father was called to duty he didn't hesitate.  These were people I revered, hard working, decent people who would stand up for what was right, answered the call of their country and their success was measured by the closeness of the family and their ability to harvest and provide food for those they loved and cared for.  I guess in today's world they "wouldn't look good on paper but had great follow thru".  There are a lot of people in this world right now that need jobs, they didn't all go to an Ivy league school, work for Yahoo/Google/Apple, didn't have the family pedigree that put them in play, etc.  They just happen to have a lot of character, which to me is the measurement of success and the more you have, the more successful you are. I'll take that every time!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sights with Sounds

Music as a Shared Experience

I had a woman approach me after last night's Maxim Ludwig & The Santa Fe Seven show at the Hotel Cafe and say "You're his manager right?" in which I replied "Yes" She then said "Well then he should have played the last song earlier before that important person left" The only response I could muster at the time was something like ok, thanks for your input and I felt very dumbfounded by that remark. At the time I was upset but now after 24 hours of reflection I feel inspired, not because the "important person" left but rather that the last song inspired someone to the point that she was disappointed that individual didn't hear it. That's what music is suppose to do, particularly the live experience. Make you feel that you are witnessing something special and you get disappointed others aren't there to share the experience. I talked to that "important person" today who loved what Maxim did but to me the most important person in the room is the man or woman that gets so inspired by a song that they wish it could be shared to those they feel should hear it. When you're generating that type of response you know you're getting through to people with your music.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sights with Sounds

Elvis Costello live at Amoeba Records. Check out Jim Lauderdale playing guitar and singing back-up. I signed and made a couple of records with Jim during my A&R years at Atlantic Records.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Irving Azoff Quote

"Since 1966, when I started in this business, I've worked in almost every aspect of entertainment. I've been a manager, I've run a record label, I've produced TV shows and movies - pretty much everything. And, still, the most powerful thing I know of in entertainment is the live experience. The performer onstage receiving the adulation of fans - there's nothing like it, and that's never going away"

Irving Azoff, The New Yorker, Aug. 10, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Attention Economics and Music

There has been a lot of discussion for a long time now in regards to the value of recorded music. It certainly doesn't carry the same value it did ten years ago and no matter what the causes that have lead to this erosion in value it doesn't appear it will ever go back to what it once was. However, I agree with the point of view that this is only true in regards to the industrial economy but music still continues to have value within the the attention economy. Brad Burnham, a Partner at Union Square Ventures, explains "attention vs industrial" economics and that of "free" wonderfully in his blog here. The problem with attention economics is that it is not so easily monetized and defined. The most obvious way to monetize attention is advertising, followed by items for upsell and then the data, the information you have gathered on the people whose attention you were able to get. But how do you make money on attention if music becomes a niche play? I guess it is all a matter of where you fit on the food chain. If you're just the distributor you must aggregate the niches to make it as large as possible for a return but for an artist and their partners, you extract more from less fans. Eventually this will balance itself out but for now you have two incredibly big market forces, venture backed technology distributors and content rich artists that have for the past ten or so years trying to build the right models. I have been involved on both sides and I still find the most rewarding that of working with the artists and helping them figure out the answers to their puzzles rather than creating more for myself.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Maxim Ludwig & The Santa Fe Seven

Let me preface this post, I'm biased. I manage this artist, but after 20 years, making close to 100 albums and selling more than 40 million I feel I I've earned a right to my opinion regarding talent. Maxim Ludwig is probably one of the most talented artists I have ever had the privilege to be involved with. After a stunning performance at Stagecoach Festival he has been enjoying a month long residency at the Hotel Cafe here in Los Angeles. Following the first night of his residency, Randy Lewis, music critic of the Los Angeles Times, wrote a review of the show that appeared in the paper titled "Maxim Ludwig tears fearlessly into uncharted territory" . As a true reflection as to where we are in this business Maxim has neither a record or publishing deal, but what he/we does have is a strong team that is building up around him. More importantly, he continues to amaze me with his prolific songwriting, penning at least a song a day as well as a youthful perspective and eagerness, as Randy Lewis states, to go into "uncharted territory" that so many artists and people in the business are scared to venture.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I just heard news that Jim Dickinson has died. We also lost another great in Les Paul. Two musical giants in the same week. R.I.P.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Radio Podcast Link

Here's the direct link to the podcast as I made a guest appearance on the NPR show The Exchange . I appear on the second half hour to talk and take calls on the currrent state of the music business and it takes a while to download so please bear with it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Iowa Public Radio tomorrow

I've been invited as a guest on the program The Exchange which is streamed live and is also available on podcast here. We'll be discussing the ever-evolving music industry and the show begins at 12:00PM EST. Tune in and listen up!

Woodstock Remembered

Total Live Music recognizes both the music and social value that the The Woodstock Festival created. We are celebrating it all week on the Today's Featured Video section located on our Home page from performances from the festival. Such artists as Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Band, etc. will be showcased. Never before had so many people gathered over 3 days to experience music and the joy and love surrounding it. We need to keep understanding the social impact music (and all arts) has on our society and treat it as the treasure it is!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Total Live Music keeps moving on!

It's been awhile since my last post, been busy trying to get the business moving. Total Live Music started out as a dream that with the intent of being much bigger than a portal to share live music media. I recognized while I was capturing shows for Rancid, Toots and The Maytals, Rilo Kiley, Hootie and the Blowfish among others as well as events like Coachella and The Mile High Music Festival that there was a real need for someone to offer services to artists surrounding their live music offerings. Some people have tried but usually it's the technologists who have no real respect for artist's content (it's their expressions of life for christs sake!) and that time and again things were being handled with an alternative agenda. I've sojourned on regardless of financial setbacks and now realize that I have accumulated the largest database of live concert events online at . Although it's an accomplishment to be proud of there is still much work to do. There is still an opportunity for someone to help these artists in capturing their shows and offering them software marketing tools and services so they can reach their fans via computer or cell phone device. No one has found the keys that open the door to this treasure chest and many have tried and quit yet I continue on. We are getting closer to offering the artists, which means you the fans will benefit as well, solutions so we can truly say we are Total Live Music. Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Studio vs. Live Recorded Music

A number of people have approached me recently as to why I would move from studio recorded music to capturing live music. A couple of reasons 1) being that the business has changed since when I first began in the 80's and worked my way as an Artist and Repertoire man. How it once was and how it is today is worth it's own discussion but more importantly 2) I liken it to capturing wildlife in their natural habitat. Where it was once my focus, having being involved in the recording of over a hundred studio albums which is capturing in controlled and often influenced environments (zoo) I now find it more fascinating in dealing with the unexpected, edgier and more realistic capturing of the live stage (the wild). Fans would much rather see the "kill" rather than the "feed" and the ability to move faster, deliver more and separate the great from the good happens more now from the live element than the current manufactured studio experience. There are a great many more technical limitations when capturing the live event but when dealing with a cooperative and competent artist being captured by a team of experienced professionals the benefits to the fans is far greater than the studio album.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Green Day

Green Day continue their successful return to center stage with their recent appearance on SNL as well as club dates to promote the release of their new album 21st Century Breakdown. This is a band that has been around for over 20 years, paying their dues and honing their skills and their hard work has culminated to being one of the biggesst rock bands in the world. Following the success of American Idiot we at Total Live Music salute their accomplishments and look forward to supporting and following their travels on the road.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Soundboard Recordings

This a term I'm sure we have often heard but never really understood and for good reason as each 'soundboard' recording will take on the characteristics of the source (the soundboard) but will also represent the author and/or the publisher as well. What I mean by this is that depending on where the actual recording was lifted, it could represent the live recording engineer's (author) mix of the show to an actual recorder, the monitor mix (that which the band hears on stage) or the channel feeds which in turn were then mixed at a later date and used (publisher). Obviously the quality of these recordings are often times better than those of audience based on equipment and access but if done incorrectly can often not fairly represent the show itself. Many of times the live mixer will accomodate for the room acoustics or submix mutliple channels. The monitor mix can often be a reflection of the individual players needs on stage. And although from a historical and workable format capturing in a multi-channel from the direct feed is the best, one must be aware of the people who end up working on the mix in the studio may end up "stepping" on it too much, thus losing the vibrancy of the performance itself. For examples, take a listen to some of the different sounds taken from Little Feat. From the August 10, 1977 show at Lisner Auditorium at GWU compared to the June 18, 1978 show at The Shrine in Los Angeles. On a side note, the Lisner show was one of two the band recorded and later worked on for the seminal release "Waiting For Columbus".