September 30, 2012 |
What's the big deal about going to see live music, anyway? Rather than plunk down a significant portion of this week's paycheck to watch dudes make scrunched-up faces while they play guitar, or rappers grab their crotches to keep their trousers from falling down, wouldn't it be more pleasurable to just digest pre-recorded sounds in the comfort of your own comfy chair? I'm being partly facetious, of course. Thrills are still to be had from revelations found only in live performance, when musicians and their instruments (and machines)
May 16, 2003 |
With the recorded guitar and drum tracks thundering in his headphones for a third time, Ben Weldon pressed into the studio microphones and wailed out another throaty take. Summer time, runnin' free, Sitting basking in the sun, We'll have time, Not a worry in the world. Minutes later, Weldon, 21, was out of the booth at Mad Dragon Records at Drexel University, resting his voice, and critiquing his own vocals for the song "Summertime," by his rock band, Polymer.
September 23, 2003
What would it take to dissuade nearly 60 million Americans from swapping songs over the Internet? Probably a lot more than filing lawsuits against preteen honors students. But a spate of music industry lawsuits against file swappers seems to have been an effective start - even if it won't prompt a majority of them to kick their Kazaa habit. The nation's largest record labels targeted 261 Internet users with music-piracy claims this month, including a 12-year-old middle-school student from New York.
July 18, 2002
POP ICON and oddball Michael Jackson, on the heels of his poor-selling dud "Invincible," claims the music industry is racist and fixed against people of color. Had this come from say, Def Jam head Russell Simmons or J Records executive Clive Davis, this comment would garner some serious consideration. But coming from accused pedophile Michael Jackson, this comment would be laughable if it weren't so sad. Sad because Michael is fading away into the history books of pop culture, becoming more of a footnote with each passing year.
October 11, 2006
TOWER RECORDS HAS has gone the way of the vinyl LP, both victims of technology's unceasing pursuit of change and convenience. Tower, once one of the most powerful retail entities in the music industry, was sold last week to a liquidator for $134.3 million. The price is almost laughable when you consider in the mid 1990s, Tower racked up annual sales of $1 billion. But then the Internet matured. Young listeners found glee in file sharing and digital music. Wal-Mart and other "big box" stores lured customers with discounted-priced CDs. Tower tried to compete, but fumbled and lost.
August 28, 1988 |
Johnny Cash's new LP, Water From the Wells of Home, boasts a major supporting cast: Hank Williams Jr., Paul McCartney, the Everly Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Glen Campbell, Tom T. Hall and Roy Acuff, as well as Cash family members Rosanne, June and John Carter Cash. The album opens with a new rendition of a Cash hit from three decades ago, "Ballad of a Teenage Queen," with Rosanne and the Everlys providing vocal assistance. With Hall, Cash sings a Hall song, "Last of the Drifters.
April 12, 2013 |
Back in 1994, Bill Mallonee and his Athens, Ga., band, Vigilantes of Love, attempted to introduce themselves to a national audience with their fourth album, and their first with major-label distribution. Its title, Welcome to Struggleville , was apt, even prophetic. For Mallonee is a cult artist who's never found a wide audience despite consistent critical acclaim. In 2006, he was ranked the world's 65th best living songwriter by Paste magazine - ahead of Michael Jackson, Merle Haggard, and Allen Toussaint, among others.
March 17, 2007 |
All this week, our music maven Dan DeLuca has been posting dispatches on Philly.com from South by Southwest, the annual music industry confab in Austin, Texas. In this entry, he finds a touch or two of home in the Lone Star State. It's a long way from Broad Street to Sixth Street in this capital city in south-central Texas, but just as the shrinking music industry migrates to the growing South by Southwest Music Festival here every March, so does the Philadelphia music scene.
July 23, 2004 |
'Beat Society," the monthly at Five Spot that thrusts beat-makers to the forefront, will be on fire Sunday. On noncomputer equipment, 9th Wonder, Nicolay, Serious B and Kenwood will compose. (You can catch Nicolay earlier that day at Crimson Moon promoting Connected, the album he recorded with Little Brother's Phonte as Foreign Exchange.) MURS will be in the house to spit verse over the created beats, while Philly native Lizz Fields sprinkles vocals. The multitalented Peanut Butter Wolf had the foresight to raise a flock that includes Madlib, Quasimoto and Lootpack on his Stones Throw Records, a label that has become the Blue Note of hip-hop.
April 15, 2013 |
Friendly and outgoing, Harmonie delights in laughing at a good joke. What the 9-year-old likes most about herself are her dimples, her height (she's tall), and that she knows how to dance. Harmonie is also good at singing and has not ruled out a career in the music industry. Her favorite subjects in school are computer technology and music. She does well academically and has many friends in school and in her neighborhood. Harmonie dreams of being a billionaire some day. On the way to that goal, however, she plans to finish high school, attend college, and then become a teacher.