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.
November 15, 2014 |
THESE DAYS, Hollywood doesn't want to make a big, gooey romance about you unless you're a vampire or live within an hour's drive of Nicholas Sparks. Have we forgotten "The Bodyguard," that corny glam romance about a famous-but-vulnerable pop star and the strong, silent man who protects her? One who has not is Gina Prince-Bythewood, who (14 years ago!) made "Love and Basketball," and now returns with "Beyond the Lights," a bodyguard-ish love story about suicidal singer Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw)
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.
July 12, 2013
IF THE Nobel Peace Prize committee ever decides to hand an award to an app, I'd recommend (half seriously) the newly launched Shazam for iPad. In one pretty little package, this free app holds the power to end bar fights, salvage the music industry - maybe even revitalize the economy. Oh, and it also puts a positive spin on the whole high-tech-surveillance business that's been freaking us out of late. Shazam is the originator and still big daddy of smartphone and tablet apps that can "listen" to and identify music.
December 23, 2001 |
These are tough times for the music business. After a banner 2000, sales of recorded music are down for the first time in years. A souring economy caused fans to think carefully before plunking down $125 to see Janet Jackson, and tour interruptions following Sept. 11 dealt the live-music industry another setback. To make matters worse, as record labels struggled unsuccessfully to combat online file-sharing of individual songs, sales of blank discs soared, thanks to the growing popularity of home-computer CD "burners" able to copy entire albums.
July 23, 1999 |
He came on 15 years ago like the heir apparent, with an international hit album called "Valotte" that evoked strong and favorable comparisons to his late father's most personal and revealing material. Yet follow-up sets failed to match the initial potential, and Julian Lennon eventually gave up the ghosts of the music industry and the father he hardly knew, disappearing from the public eye for seven years. Now he's back with the goods again - a warm and intimate set of Beatles-minded (but personal- demon-exposing)