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July 30, 2006


The Times Online delves into the high prices of concert tickets.

Research in the USA discovered that in 1982, the top 1% of acts snaffled 26% of concert revenue: that had leapt to 56% of revenue by 2003. Many of them are at the stage in their career (the Stones are a prime example) when album sales are negligible and concert revenue represents the biggest part of their income.

In the Chicago Tribune, music critic Greg Kot reviews day one of the Pitchfork Music Festival, hour by hour.

4 p.m.: John Darnielle, the prolific mastermind behind the Mountain Goats, goofs on the possibility that he might cover John Lennon's "Imagine," just because "there's something very intense about people singing a song all at once." But what he has in mind is something a little more sinister. His song "No Children" is the ultimate bad trip. What better way to mock the sunny-day anthem for world peace than by offering a song that offers no hope it all? "I hope I cut myself shaving tomorrow, I hope it bleeds all day long," Darnielle sneers, and the big sing-along chorus is even more irresistible: "I hope you die … I hope we all die."

Singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman talks to the Sunday Times about how his album's nomination for the Mercury Prize last year changed his audience.

“Before the Mercury nomination, we were playing arts centres, to about 150 people, and it was predominantly a folkie-esque audience, with an average age from 40 up to 60. After Mercury, with a bit of radio play and lots of coverage, suddenly the next tour we did was all sold out, and the audience was 16 to 60.”

NPR's All Songs Considered interviews the Drive-By Truckers, and features several in-studio songs from the band.

The San Francisco Chronicle interviews David Johansen of the New York Dolls.

Q: Are you happy Morrissey called you?

A: Oh, yeah. I'm always happy when he calls me. He's a good guy. Do you mean as far as getting into this fine how-do-you-do?

Q: Yes.

A: It's good. It's just a kind of thing that fell together by happenstance, like most of the things I've ever done. It seems to be the natural place to be at this point.

Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos talks to the Sunday Herald about leading a songwriting seminar at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

“The age-group is going to be 14-18, which is great,” he explains, “but I wish there were even younger kids coming along as well. That’s the age where I would particularly love kids to be encouraged to write music . At primary school, you’re told to write a creative story about what you did the day before, but in music you only ever learn to play scales and other people’s music, you’re never encouraged just to make up a little daft tune of your own. I think it’s a shame; something that’s really missing from music education in primary schools. If we could start kids writing music when they’re young then they’d be able to do it much easier when they’re older.”

The Hedrons talk to the Times Online about their use of the internet for publicity.

“MySpace has been amazing for us,” says the Hedrons’ lead singer, Tippi. “We all take care of it, which is quite tricky when you’re out on the road and frantically trying to find a computer in every venue so that we can write our blog and keep people updated with what’s going on.”

For bands like the Hedrons who are just starting out, the effort is worthwhile, reckons the singer. “The internet gives you an avenue to get out there, whether people want to download some free music for their collection or just give it a listen and see what you sound like. "

Mashup of the Week Podcast points out a Peaches vs. Joan Jett vs. Gary Glitter mashup, "I Don't Know the Boys Wanna Be Her."

">Gothamist interviews rocker Andrew WK.

I stopped downloading illegally not because of an ethical conflict, although there was that, but more that I said, "At this point, I'm not enjoying this way of experiencing music." It seemed dissonant to be sitting at my computer. I could burn it onto a CD so I could listen to it on my stereo, but I was unable to shake the connection and context of the song coming from the computer and that it had been completely separated from the person who made it and their intent. There's something about picking up a CD, taking it out of its case, seeing the album title and artwork on the CD, and seeing the album title and artwork in the case. It's very easy to say, "Yeah, that's a small part of it," but it has a very significant place in the listening of music. I don't think it's important, but I don't think it can be discounted as part of the experience.


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