A guide to turning up the volume in your library.

Friday, September 29, 2006

We Read Rolling Stone Oct 5, 2005

If you caught the Green Day/ U2 project (Green Du squared?) when they opened for the Saints first home game -- well they're releasing a single to benefit New Orleans, "The Saints are Coming." If you didn't catch it, I'd recommend digging around on YouTube. It was rad.

In this issue RS shows us how to stage a righteous comeback, "us" being aging rock stars:

Option One -- Let technology do the work. (See Bob Dylan.)

Before the disc hit shelves, Dylan kicked off a . . . campaign built around an
iTunes TV ad, a video starring (Scarlett) Johansson, the launch of his XM
radio show and even (you lie!) a MySpace page . . .

"For a lot of years, Bob didn't get played on the radio. Now he's one of the most-searched people on the Internet."

Also, it seems that the yuppie market buys their music at Starbucks, because he sold 13,500 albums there.

Option Two -- Hook up with a hot producer. (See Duran Duran.)

Timbaland just finished helping Justin Timberlake get his 'Sexyback', and Duran Duran is really hoping he can help them get their Cool-to-be-caught-listening-to . . . back. The article shows how Timbaland takes an extensive, grueling 40 minutes to write their song for them.

Also . . .

Beck has reinvented the album -- where you can mix a downloadable track yourself and use sticker art to decorate the album cover (or let some teen patrons do it!)

. . . . and Beyonce's album is still number one.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Anybody going to the state Minnesota Library Association conference today? -- look for our Amplified Library poster session. It will have bits from the blog and our article for Beyond the Circulation Desk.

I wanted to have a whole mess o' Pop Rocks for swag, but my business credit card died -- hope to get that straightened out before I leave the Cities.

See you there!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I Have Arrived!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. My last week has been a flurry of training in my replacement, packing boxes, driving cross-country, and consuming much roadside coffee. I am finally in Connecticut, where I will be beginning my new Teen Librarian job shortly. I have no idea what's been going on in the world and haven't touched a music publication in weeks, so I will be of no use to you today information-wise. I will report back when I have something interesting to say.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fair winds to ye’, mateys. Yarrrrr.

Those fey squirrels from Friday-last be placed finally at rest in Davy Jones Locker.

A fair number o’ golden web-links this fine morn on the Good Ship Amplified.

Blimey these be good! Yer little library lads and lassies might enjoy yonder
Anime Music Video (mashups). They be jolly fine stuff.

AMV the First
AMV the Second
AMV the Third
AMV the Best

Warner Music Group and YouTube be mighty cozy bunk-mates these days – sharing theirrrr music videos and splitting the booty.

Meanwhile, MySpace be intending to
keelhaul YouTube and “all it’s bilge-sucking, land-lubbing leeching ways.”

It be
Universal’s plan to pillage them both?

Finally, me hearrrrties, tis’ mighty rum language on this last bitty:

Artists Charge Record Company with Underpayment
Avast! RIAA proffers a Gold Record for Ringtones now? ‘Tis mighty strange times these be..

Well, I be spyin’ one addled sea rat theivin’ books.

So, yo ho ho fellow Buccaneers.
May your scanners stay ever sharp, me mateys, and Godspeed.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sorry for the sparse posting this week. I lost internet access on Wednesday, and the official word is that it won't be up until Monday. (Something about a squirrel . . . I'm serious.)

-- Erika

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Sophie at Pop Goes the Library did a great post today on Tupac Shakur. Check it out. Also check out this book that I just purchased for my library. It has a scrapbook format, so you may want to make it a reserve item, but it is very comprehensive and even comes with an interview CD.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Online Pop Culture Guerrilla Music Theatrics News

DJ Danger Mouse

Why you should know Danger Mouse:
1. He produced the 2nd Gorillaz album.
2. He did the Grey Album.
– a mashup of the Beatles White Album and Jay-Z’s Black Album.
3. The Grey Album had a fabulous music video promoting it.
4. His new group, Gnarls Barkley, did this year’s St Elsewhere album
- Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Lease likely summer success story”
– with “the first UK number-one single based solely on downloads.”
5. Now, St Elsewhere has been mashed up by Sound Advice
- St Elsewhere + Notorious BIG = the very popular “Gnarls Biggie” album

What Danger Mouse did THIS month:
Collaborated with anti-establishment street artist Banksy to punk Paris Hilton’s album debut.

More details

There's even a hugely popular video on YouTube showing them replacing the CDs in person -- but it's slightly NSFW, so ask me about it in the comments if you want the link.

Why you should know Banksy . . .

EMI is mad at everybody. EMI hates mashups. EMI wants your IP addresses if you have downloaded any of the above mashups. Wait, I probably should have put that part first in this entry.

Only Wikipedia can keep up.

Speaking of which:
- Kudos to Wikipedia for vowing to avoid censorship in China.
- In honor of the news, here’s a recent debate between Wikipedia founder and the editor-in-chief of Britannica. It's good stuff.

- Apple has revealed the features of the new Itunes 7!
- There's a new remixing 2.0 music community.
- Tell me THESE won't be annoying at concerts.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

We Read Vibe So You Don't Have To!
(from Vibe: October, 2006)

* Of course, we should start by addressing this scandal: Christina Aguilera was bumped from the cover and replaced by Bobby Brown. No word on if the Christina spread will be in a future issue, but the Bobby Brown article is painfully good in the meantime. You'll know what I mean by "painfully good" if you ever watched Being Bobby Brown. 'Nuff said.

* A new photography book is coming out, in which Stephen Shames documents the history of the Black Panthers. " The book, titled The Black Panthers, will be released by Aperture on October 15th.

* The magazine discusses MP3 aggregators like Hype Machine, which help to alert you when MP3 sites (such as the ones in our links menu...) post songs by your favorite artists. This way, you can save time by not searching every site every day- it is kind of like a del.icio.us for MP3s. And I purposely name-dropped Hype Machine because that site gives you links to purchase the MP3s legally. Now you can sleep better at night (and with good music!).

* Vibe dislikes the new Lionel Richie album and isn't that into Justin's Futuresex/Lovesounds, but really enjoys the new TV on the Radio, a band which they describe with this charming quote:
"Young black males who ain't all crunk-or-die -- banging out music for strippers -- aren't easy to come by these days, especially when they're this geeky and proud."


Thursday, September 07, 2006

"The classic Chinese curse- May you live in interesting times..."

Last night I had an argument with my best friend. It was near epic, and it was on the topic of this post . . . so I’m approaching today's entry with kid gloves.

You may think it's odd to bringing corporate merger news into a teen music services blog. That’s actually what the disagreement was about last night: my friend doesn’t think anything big is going to change anytime soon in the way Americans approach music. (Ok, so maybe I simplified the argument a little . . .)

I, on the other hand, think that:

(1) huge changes are afoot in the music business

(2) news from these last few weeks spotlight symptoms of the oncoming shifts and

(3) the shifts are going to quickly affect the way everyday people buy, share and access music.

However, I can be an idiot at times – particularly when I try to explain what’s crunching away in the magic box of technology and/or commerce. For instance, even the letters DRM give me a headache. But here . . . I'll just let you decide whether these are worth bothering with.

The stories:

Item #1
Corporate giants are starting to consistently prefer online marketing (esp. YouTube and MySpace) to TV marketing. Even TV marketing is prefering social network online marketing.

"Marketing yourself online is 100% cheaper than marketing yourself offline," said Sumant Sridharan, director of product management at LiveDigital.

Item #2
More record labels are jumping on the “Let’s offer our music FREE . . . . (sort of)” bandwagon with SpiralFrog.

I'll be honest I never thought I'd see a time when record companies agreed to give their music away online for free. . . Maybe everyone involved in SpiralFrog believes that it will lead people further and further into legitimate music - and that they'll start wanting to pay for it.

Item #4
MySpace has teamed up with Napster founder Shawn Fanning to offer paid downloads -- in straight-up MP3 format.

Also, MySpace execs say they devised the move deliberately to pull the rug out from under Itunes. Once downloaded, users can transfer, upload, use the files however they want. At .43 a pop, this looks like it will put substantial music promotional power with MySpace. (Much more than they already have, I mean.)

Item #5

Meanwhile, label promoters are abandoning old promotional tactics, pulling every trick out of the bag – ORPGs, viral marketing, etc. trying to keep up.

(Also see "How to sell a smash hit" -- p. 19 in the September 7th Rolling Stone.)

Item #4
And Tower Records is approaching liquidation.

I could very well be wrong, but it sure looks to me as though. . .
there’s some sort of revolution afoot.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New Links!

I just added some new links to the sidebar, namely Brooklyn Vegan, Culture Bully, Gorilla vs. Bear, and Music For Robots. These are popular sites which discuss new indie music and where new bands leak MP3's. Sites like this are what make bands popular these days: just look at the instant fame of Minneapolis band Tapes 'n Tapes. Do yourself a favor and stay one step ahead of patron demand.

We Read Spin So You Don't Have To!
(from Spin: September 2006)

* Finally somebody addressed the issue of smooth music! In "The Rebirth of Uncool," the magazine discusses the resurgence of interest in soft rock, namely The Doobie Brothers, Hall & Oats, and Steely Dan. Ex-Smashing Pumpkins member James Iha quotes:
"Music that was not cool is now considered cool because it's sincere."

Sincerity aside, another factor in this popularity is based on the popularity of Yacht Rock, easily my favorite thing on the Internet ever. I have been quoted as saying "If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, I would tell you that you should watch Yacht Rock today. It is that important."

Anyway, popular bands like Death Cab for Cutie are starting to cover soft rock favorites, so why not stack your bins with the finest in "lame" music and make a display?

* Also in Spin: Sony Pictures Classics is releasing the new movie American Hardcore , all about the formation of the hardcore punk scene. So, in addition to stocking your bins with Hall & Oates, you may want to think about purchasing some Minutemen, Minor Threat, etc.

* I have nothing more to say about Spin this month. Sophie, from Pop Goes the Library fame, and I plan to do a blogging discussion about how the magazine has changed for the worse. It seems that instead of revolving around music, Spin is becoming more Last Night's Party-esque with pictures of drunk clubbers. More on that later.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

We Read Rolling Stone . . .

-- Article on innovative music marketing that talks about . . . ringtones and, oh, ringtones, and product placing of-- wait for it -- ringtones on TV shows.

“When the kids buy a ringtone, they are virally marketing to their friends . . . Placing songs on TV shows has also become a mandatory part of every marketing plan.” Grey’s Anatomy shares a music director with the O.C. – quickly becoming “key destination to place new music.” Sigh, I suppose I better start watching that one too . . . infrequently.

-- Newsbits: Slayer is a teen idol now? (They are seeing younger and younger little mosh-meat at shows.) Bono buys big shares of Forbes magazine. My Chemical Romance injured during a video shoot and canceling shows. Dude, they do their own stunts because being rock stars wasn’t getting them enough chicks.

-- Albums to watch for through the rest of the year: Justin Timberlake, Fergie, Evanescence, John Mayer, Lupe Fiasco, Diddy Jet, Ludacris, Beck, Taylor Hicks, Nas, Young Jeezy, The Game, Lady Sovereign, Snoop Dogg, Incubus, Modest Mouse, Maroon 5, Killers.

-- VMAs breakdown. I’m feeling pretty good because I’ve at least heard of nearly everyone they mention . . . In fact, the longevity of some of these ‘artists’ is kind of embarrassing. (“Slayer? Seriously??”) Confession: I didn’t watch the VMAs! but I’m sure I’ll catch one of the 80,000 reruns. Looking forward to the Ok Go Dance, unedited.

-- Ahh, finally, some clarification on Idlewild. The latest Outkast album is considered BOTH a record and soundtrack. (From the Andre 3000 interview.) That had me confused. But now I see.

-- More buzz about music in Second Life. “3D myspace” – I like that. Bands are doing Second Life pre-releases and more “live” concerts.

-- Longest ever Dylan article. The new album gets a review with one million stars – might be a good week to show No Direction Home if you can get the site rights.

-- Why doesn’t anybody like Jurassic 5’s Feedback album?!? They said my favorite track is the worst of the lot – Future Sound. Maybe I’m just a sucker for Three Dog Night samples.

-- The Harder They Come came out in Ultimate Edition – packaged with the CD soundtrack and more vivid cinematography. Fun.

Big MySpace Music news today. The rumbling you hear could be a oncoming rupture in the foundation of music copyright. We'll look at that possibility in-depth tomorrow.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Rock Music is Good For You

Remember when is was found that classical music helps people perform better in cognitive tests? Researchers have discovered that rock music has a similiar effect. So, the next time that an angry community member questions why you are "wasting" public money on Black Sabbath CDs, you can now legitimately tell him/her that you are purchasing them for educational purposes. Rock on! Full article here.