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Comment Archives: stories: Music

Re: “Birdland Jazzista Social Club Eyes an Oakland Nest

I have mixed feelings about Birdland. My wife and I, having heard about the place, we induced to buy an annual membership one week before the joint closed and it left a bitter taste.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Eric Lowin on 03/14/2014 at 6:44 PM

Re: “Beyond Two Turntables and a Microphone

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 03/09/2014 at 4:12 AM

Re: “Where Craigslist Sucks, Will Fandalism Succeed?

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 03/05/2014 at 4:37 PM

Re: “Stories of a Place

I have attended one concert performed by Gautam. I felt the need to clarify that while Gautam has taken carnatic music to an English audience and written lyrics that are his own, the music was not composed by him. So based on this one concert, I disagree with the word 'original' in the statement "only performer of Carnatic music who sings original compositions in English" His songs are not simply 'modeled on different types of carnatic song forms', but in their basic structure/ music are exact renditions of other compositions by documented composers who lived some 200-300 years ago. So essentially the music by original composers is kept, lyrics are swapped to English, similar to the case if one were to sing 'ode to joy' by Beethoven with their own lyrics. The improvisations are his, as they are with other carnatic singers, so it is a little sad that he did not acknowledge the original composers of the music during his concert, nor did the writer here. The article gives the impression that he is a singer-songwriter who writes original English compositions modeled on carnatic music 'structure', but that was not my impression coming out of the concert. The English speaking audience unfamiliar with compositions by the trinity ( and others will never know unless this is disclosed and acknowledged.

Posted by Sangeetha Metlapally on 02/17/2014 at 10:22 AM

Re: “Where Singers Shine

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 01/29/2014 at 12:56 AM

Re: “Forrest Day

Originality? Not much? You're out of your mind, Mark Keresman.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Donna Paggio on 01/27/2014 at 9:50 PM

Re: “Turtle Island Quartet's Genre-Bending Sound Returns to Its Roots

Great to hear these guys are still playing! Thanks for the heads up.

Posted by Mary Eisenhart on 01/16/2014 at 2:00 PM

Re: “Thriftworks: The Bizarre Beat-Maker

Jacob Van Leeuwen's last name is spelled like so. He and Jake Atlas are both Sound Arts graduates of Ex'pression College - Emeryville. I enjoyed reading up on what these graduates have been working on. Thanks.

Posted by Matthew Mann on 01/16/2014 at 11:35 AM

Re: “Thriftworks: The Bizarre Beat-Maker

someone ft.Oriel Poole off the album Deviation is by far my fave. Hard to pick tho when they are all milk.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Matthew Moglia on 01/14/2014 at 9:25 PM

Re: “Can Tech Talent Help New Bands Thrive?

Where do my Band Sign up,need us LSB (510)606-3640 Thanxs!!;-)

Posted by Terry Stanley on 01/12/2014 at 9:31 AM

Re: “Young Musicians Program Still Ensnared in Controversy

Also, one of my wise piano teachers has once said:
It's usually the teachers who teach beginners who are the most important since they are the ones who set a firm foundation for the student to build upon from future teachers.
As a teacher, complaining that you have inexperienced students...
Absolutely unacceptable!

(and in my previous comment: the students got kicked out for drugs and fighting, not the teachers)

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mikhail A. Leonkine on 12/29/2013 at 10:31 PM

Re: “Young Musicians Program Still Ensnared in Controversy

I have been a student in the Young Musicians Program. I have seen a few omitted things I just have to add.

First of all:
The two most popular reasons anyone got "kicked out" from YMP were drugs and fights. As you can see, these two activities have absolutely NOTHING to do with music making. Miss Daisy would never do anything without a reason, and I myself have witnessed many "second chances" that she gave despite the deeds one has done.

I know the student Amy Brodo is referring to as her best student who quit.
The student quit because she simply didn't want to play the cello anymore!
I bet that part of the reason was that Amy Brodo is not a very inspiring teacher, and no wonder she was fired.
I'll give an example: In high school I had an excellent teacher who almost inspired me to quit music for physics. Good thing I stopped in time!

Anyways, YMP was THE BEST music program on the west coast. And it was free for poor students who had talent and the will to learn. But sadly greed rules the world these days, so programs like these have to be shut down. Hopefully YMCO will happen, since there are many poor parents who want their children to have a chance to succeed in life.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mikhail A. Leonkine on 12/29/2013 at 10:18 PM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

The same debate has gone on for almost as long as the first people who realized they could get copies of music WITHOUT PAYING THE ARTISTS WHO CREATED IT started to do so. I wrote my Open Letter about this four years ago (back in 2009), and after mailing it to people around the world, I posted it on my website. (To see my Open Letter, go to my website -- it's on the "Copyright Protection" page.) Nevertheless, even though many of us have taken a stand about our right to control what happens to our music, the problem of unauthorized copying still is prevalent. Most of us are in the rank of the 99% -- we're struggling to get by. The fact that the internet makes piracy easier will never change the fact that decency and morality have not changed. It is STILL fair -- and correct -- to pay someone for their work.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Leigh Harrison on 11/20/2013 at 9:24 PM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

Forget about the internet, forget about everything else that you ever heard. Tune into KALX Berkeley at 90.7 FM

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Vince Rubino on 11/19/2013 at 10:32 PM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

This issue should be a hotbed of controversy. As an artist myself I can appreciate ones desire to make a living creating music. The problem is everyone wants to become filthy rich from a one hit wonder and live happily ever after. That is not reasonable!!!!!!! The general population works hard everyday hacking out a living. Why should artists demand a life of luxury, on the backs of the listening public, in return for their craft. That is so absurd. Why do lawyers charge $350 an hour? Get real! We all contribute an important element to society if we honestly invest genuine effort and passion in what we do.

What makes us artists so special?? Really!!!!!

When others make money off of our art, that is where the boom should fall!

I say let the listening public share freely our creations among themselves in a kind of advertising/promotional sense.

Then hit the TV/Movie/Corporate entities mindblowingly hard! Charge those greedy bastards through the roof.

If we are really gifted as songwriters, then we should practice our craft daily and be prolific and earn a decent living as others in this world doing what we love. If corporations latch on to what we do, then some of us will become wealthy. So be it.

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by James Maher on 11/19/2013 at 12:30 AM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

I've wondered why digital music cannot be programmed to make each successive copy be more degraded, the same way cassette copies get worse with each generation, until eventually the copies are worthless, sound quality wise. I think that would do a lot to stop the massive free sharing of music. I believe a big part of the problem is that once someone posts a digital song on an illegal site, it can be shared forever with no loss of quality.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by joe livoti on 11/18/2013 at 10:27 AM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

Not seeing the big picture of consequences for choices, words and actions results in people wanting cheap and free. I speak to people who have never made the connection between wanting to buy as cheaply as possible and not wanting a wage cut or to see businesses shut down. As a speaker and author I am often asked why I don't speak for free as it "gets my name out there." They have a hard time getting that I don't want my name out there as a free speaker. My writing is also of value so getting paid for it is not unrealistic. We need to educate people to see their free is someone's loss of income.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem on 11/18/2013 at 4:21 AM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

While I broadly support the points made by the film, I don't think they've got a snowflake's chance in hell of changing a damn thing. And while piracy certainly did make a big dent in things during the noughties, it's not the only issue here. A number of factors supported the old model...

1. Restricted supply of music due to high production and distribution costs.

2. Restricted number of musicians able to 'get known' due to limited number of promo channels.

3. No internet. Few computer games (none till 1979) therefore few other distractions or ways for the 'youth' to identify themselves, except through music consumption... and purchase.

4. Limited options for unregulated copying - cassette was real time, each further iteration losing quality.

5. Relatively high profit margins on the product, meaning relatively low sales could generate relatively high income.

ALL those factors have gone, and we've pretty much got the opposite situation. Where we had (relative) scarcity, we now have saturation, most of it of very dubious quality. There are almost no restrictions of any kind, when it comes to production or distribution - even if that means music that 'sounds' good (because the software will get it that way at a low price) even if the writing and performance aren't so good.

The 'middle class' of musicians who survived without being that well known for the period, broadly 1975-2000 - of which I was one - only managed that because they either sold enough of their own DIY CDs (maybe 10-20k sales average) to survive, or manage to persuade a label to fund their work, even though the chances of that label making a profit were slim - something on the order of 94% of ALL records made never made a profit - but the big sellers subsidised the low sellers. This meant low sellers could get an advance - and survive - even if the records didn't get into profit. Now, that won't happen - no label can afford to 'take a punt' on an artist who isn't obviously - very obviously - 'commercially viable'.

These days that middle class of musos need numbers that were pretty difficult to get even in the boom times - at least 100s of 1000s, preferably millions. In an era when getting 'above the noise' needs MASSIVE promo efforts - and budget. Yet their market always was relatively small, even in the old model. You really think they're going to pull the massive numbers they need now ?

It's not going to happen. The gravy train has gone, brothers and sisters. This ISN'T GOING TO CHANGE.

So best of luck out there. Personally, I've just about given up making 'music for the consumer' and releasing it as 'records'. Yes, I've got a Bandcamp site and iTunes distribution for older catalogue, but it's just beer money, at best.

So now I'd better going on with the current work -knocking out music scores for TV. It isn't glamorous, it's not very well paid - but it is some kind of living....

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Tom Green on 11/18/2013 at 2:44 AM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

Until IP creators of one form and another, the world over, come together and begin an intellectually aggressive but legitimate assault, the corporates will continue to exploit. Offence is the best defence.
Jonathan Starkey
US/UK Composer

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jonathan Starkey on 11/18/2013 at 2:25 AM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

Join the STOP WORKING FOR FREE Facebook group... nearly 5000 members in four months!

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Barney Hoskyns on 11/18/2013 at 1:58 AM

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