Sunday, January 29, 2012

Grammy 2012..A transatlantic battle

It's a transatlantic battle as British singer Adele and U.S. rapper Kanye West top Grammy nominations list .Kanye West and British singer Adele topped the list as the Grammy 2012 nominations were announced at a ceremony in Los Angeles in December 2011.

Rapper West got a leading seven nominations, while Adele got six, although the 23-year-old singer bagged some of the most prestigious categories, including record, album and song of the year.While the Grammys have a reputation for catering to an older demographic , this year's nominees are notably young, with 34-year-old West looking downright geriatric next to fellow nominees Adele (23), Rihanna (23), Lady Gaga (25) and Bruno Mars (26).

Here’s a taste of who’ll be fighting for the gold at this year’s Grammy Awards:

Album of the Year
» Adele - 21
» Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
» Lady Gaga - Born This Way
» Bruno Mars - Doo-Wops & Hooligans
» Rihanna - Loud

Record of the Year
» Adele - "Rolling In The Deep"
» Bon Iver - "Holocene"
» Bruno Mars - "Grenade"
» Mumford & Sons - "The Cave"
» Katy Perry - "Firework"

Best New Artist
» The Band Perry
» Bon Iver
» J. Cole
» Nicki Minaj
» Skrillex

Song of the Year
» Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi and Fergie - "All of the Lights" » Mumford & Sons - "The Cave"
» Bruno Mars - "Grenade"
» Bon Iver - "Holocene"
» Adele - "Rolling In The Deep"

Best Rock Performance
» Coldplay - "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall"
» The Decemberists - "Down By the Water"
» Foo Fighters - "Walk"
» Mumford & Sons - "The Cave"
» Radiohead - "Lotus Flower"

The 54th annual Grammy Awards will be presented Feb. 12 from Staples Center, Los Angeles. The ceremony will air on CBS.

What do you think of the nominations and who do you think will walk away with the grammys.??. Share your thoughts in the comments!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Blues Are Everywhere

Music is the oldest of all the performing arts. It encompasses the expressions of human joy and pain. It can tell you stories straight from the heart. Listening to Billie Holiday, the great jazz singer with a plaintive, pensive delivery, conjures a certain mood of reflection and introspection. Listening to Begum Akhtar has almost the same effect. The pain in the singing of both these ladies evokes reactions which are amazingly similar, although they came from different parts of the world, sang entirely different genres of music and in all probability were not aware of the other’s music.

There is a certain universality about music, particularly the blues. Music is a language with many dialects. The music called the blues would be, in this analogy, a modern day Latin or Sanskrit, a fount from which its many versions have sprouted. All jazz, swing, boogie woogie, rock & roll, rock and R&B have sprung from the blues. Jazz is its oldest offshoot. Interestingly, rock music has had a slight detour, taking a circuitous route. British musicians influenced by the blues (such as Mick Jagger by Muddy Waters) have evolved their own musical dialect based on their feel of the blues.

The blues structure of harmony and rhythm remains, although substantial stress on accent (aggressive drumming) and other deviations have created a new genre. This sound has preserved the elements and instruments of the blues but also deviates largely as a result of the arrival and now extensive use of electronics in music some 40 years ago.

Jazz musicians are at their peak of expression when they play the blues. They will tell you these blues are not always sad; they can be happy and cheerful as well. Just listen to John Coltrane playing ‘Alabama,’ Ella and Louis singing ‘Summertime’ or Duke Ellington doing ‘Mood Indigo.’ You’ll know what I mean.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Is The Music Business Finally Rebounding New Numbers Say Yes.

Every January, Nielsen SoundScan releases an annual report on the music business for the prior year, and every year in recent memory, the numbers have sung the same sad song: overall music sales are down, again, as piracy and other factors chip away at the industry’s sales numbers.

This year, however, there’s a glimmer of hope. For the first time since 2004, overall music sales are up. It’s an incremental improvement–album sales edged up 1.4% to 330.57 million units from 326.15 million in 2010–but it’s an improvement nonetheless, especially compared to the 13% dip in total album sales from 2009-2010.

 This year’s results can be attributed to a variety of influences, including more aggressive marketing efforts and offers, availability and consumer adoption of legitimate digital commerce models, the power of social media, etc.

British soul singer Adele had the best-selling album, moving 5.82 million copies of her hit 21 in the U.S. alone; without her effort, the industry wide album sales numbers for 2011 would have actually been a tad lower than 2010. Adele’s opus sold more than double the amount of the No. 2 album, Michael Buble’s Christmas, which sold 2.45 million copies. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way rounds out the top three at 2.1 million.

According to Billboard, which had an early look at SoundScan’s full report, CDs continued their downward slide last year, with sales falling by 6%; digital album downloads soared 20% to 103.1 million, up from 86.3 million in 2010 (including 1.8 million for Adele’s 21). Total digital song sales ticked up 8.5% to a record 1.27 billion, up from 1.17 billion last year.

Given this year’s improvement,it will be exciting to see what 2012 has in store as we anticipate new music from established artists and speculate about which stars-in-the-making might be making critical and commercial headlines in the next twelve month.

 I guess like most music lovers i'll just plug on those ear plugs and concentrate on great new music thats in store and leave the stats for the reporter..what say :)...


Monday, January 9, 2012

Behind the music: What mattered in the music industry in 2011

It has been a momentous year for the record business, with EMI being broken up and even Simon Cowell taking a knocking. Here are top stories to remember.

Break-up of the year: EMI
After years of being owned by companies unfamiliar with the workings of the music industry, and after much uncertainty, the last British major label was finally broken up and sold off to the highest bidders. Suddenly Universal, which was already the biggest major, looked like it would end up accounting for almost 50% of the record market, making it pretty much a two-horse race between them and Sony, with Warner trailing way in the back. "Not so fast," said the independent labels, and vowed to prevent any regulatory approval for the acquisition.

Music industry saviour of the year: Adele
Today's major labels are obsessed with market share, so nothing would have annoyed them more than London based record labe XL Recordings swooping in on their territory. At one point, sales of Adele albums alone reportedly represented almost 7% of the entire record market, effectively making Beggars Group – which includes XL – a small major. The girl from north London was responsible for giving the industry respite from a plunging spiral in 2011.

Most debated digital music service: Spotify
The Americans had been complaining about Spotify not launching in the US, many blaming labels and publishers for demanding too much money. But mere months after the service did take off there, the media was flooded with reports of how little artists got paid from their music being streamed. While the major labels and bigger indies kept championing the service, saying it now represented a significant part of their revenue in countries such as Sweden, Coldplay, Adele and the Black Keys were among the acts who chose to withhold their new albums from it (and all other streaming services, for that matter).

Sharpest weapon against piracy: SOPA
The music and film industry chose to redirect their focus from punishing individual citizens to going after rogue websites in their fight against piracy. After going to court, the Moving Pictures Association managed to force Telecommunications companies to deploy filtering technology to prevent its customers accessing Newzbin2, with UK ISP Sky following suit. With the Digital Economy Act proving to be a bit of a damp squib, some UK label executives have told me their setting their hopes on the Stop Online Piracy Act, which is currently being debated in the US Congress.

Leaving the news makers aside,the past year has not been a great year for the music industry in terms revenues and every year in recent memory, the numbers have sung the same sad song: overall music sales are down, again, as piracy and other factors chip away at the industry’s sales numbers.

It will be exciting to see what 2012 has in store as we anticipate new music from established artists and speculate about which stars-in-the-making might be making critical and commercial headlines.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rocker’s New Year’s Resolutions!

It's time to rock n' roll into a new year which leads us to ask - have you made your New Year's resolutions yet? While you ponder your own,  Lets take a look at what some of the musicians have to say about their New Year's resolutions for 2012.  

Kicking it off with the one and only God of Thunder himself.

Gene Simmons from KISS:
“To never forget the sacrifices our Military has made for us. Voluntarily.”

Dave Mustaine from Megadeth
“To always try to do right by my fellow man and to remember to practice tithing, the religious act of giving back, as much as I can.”

Mike Portnoy from Adrenaline Mob (previously from Dream Theater)
“To live the Serenity Prayer each and everyday.”

Izzy Hale from Halestorm
“My fans have enabled me to be the unapologetic me. In turn for that gift I am giving them a record with all sides of me on it. So with that in mind, my resolution for twenty twelve is to not tame my inner beast, but to set her free!”

John Cooper from Skillet
“My new year’s resolutions for 2012: 1. To write a rock album that KILLS and that people cannot live without! 2. To take my wife on an amazing vacation after three years of straight touring!”

Phil Collen from Def Leppard
“I personally don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Nearly all resolutions folks wait a year to say don’t get honored. I usually make a resolution whenever I think of it. Having said that and after enjoying all the vegan chocolate in London that I can, “I’m never going to eat again!”

Michael Paget from Bullet For My Valentine
“My resolution will be to make 2012 an all round better year than 2011 — if that’s at all possible [he smiles]. We will return with a new album and want to wish all our fans a happy new year and say thank you!”

Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater
“After such a dramatic year of events, I resolve to spend more time with those I cherish: family, friends and all my assorted musical gadgets.”

Lita Ford- Solo artist
“For 2012, I want to make sure I eat healthier and work out more to get ready for the release of my next album and for a bunch of shows!”

Andy Biersack from Black Veil Brides
“To stop jumping out of airplanes without a parachute [laughter]. Seriously, I don’t really think about getting injuries onstage, I just sort of do what I do – but I’d like a few less broken bones next year.”

Chris Cerulli from Motionless in White
“To make a new fu–ing record!”

Danny Worsnop from Asking Alexandria
“To have a million dollars in the bank!”

Rome Ramirez from Sublime with Rome
“My New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking cigarettes and I suggest you do the same.”

Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols
“Make one up for me.”

Jared Watson and Dustin Bushnell from the Dirty Heads
“To make less resolutions and just focus on doing things right each and every day of the year.”

Austin Carlile from Of Mice & Men
“I never make resolutions. Instead, I just decide to try and live better each and every day no matter what.”

These sound like pretty practical and possible goals, and I hope that each of these rockers achieves them, as well as all of you!  Have a safe, happy new year.  Rock on!

What do you think of these resolutions?