Bruce Springsteen Catches On To “Instant Live”

For the past few years, more and more artists have been getting involved in what’s known as “Instant Live”. This occurs for live performances. After a live performance, fans can pick up a copy of the show they just saw on CD. The shows are recorded live every night, and quickly duplicated onto CD’s just as everyone’s walking into the lobby. Artists that have done this include Willie Nelson, KISS, Dickey Betts, Bad Company, and many many more! However, there are many artists, known around the world for their live performances, who have yet to consider doing this. One of them is Bruce Springsteen. Bruce has a satellite radio station dedicated to him, and often, you can hear the station streaming audio from live concerts that has been recorded by people from the audience. Fans have been trading Springsteen bootlegs for years, and only now has “The Boss” figured out that he can use it to his advantage. By using this program, Bruce’s fans can have a high-quality soundboard recording of the show they just walked out of, and Bruce can use this as a way to sell more records. Since many people steal music online now, the high-quality bootlegs that the fans are more than willing to pay for are a great way to boost Bruce’s, and other artists’ record sales. After every Springsteen show, fans immediately want some sort of recording. Now they can literally have it immediately after every Springsteen show.

Bad Company instant live: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_5y7UKfhXo
Bruce Springsteen’s tour opening this year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltpP6anAVVI
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Motley Crue Announces Breakup…Thank God!

Yesterday, Motley Crue announced that they will be breaking up, but not before they do one final tour, for the money…I MEAN…for the fans. Rather than calling it a farewell tour, they decided to call it “The Final Tour”, which they feel is “more honest”, because farewell implies that you might be back. And if there’s anything they didn’t say at the press conference, it’s that they might be back. They wanted everyone to be fully convinced that this is it! They even signed a contract stating that the four original members would not tour as Motley Crue ever again! And, to give fans an extra gift, the special guest on the tour is Alice Cooper! Which, when you think about it, $40 just for Alice is a deal! I’d probably leave after Alice, though, rather than sitting through Vince Neil leaving out half the words to the songs! During the press conference, they ripped on other bands for doing long farewell tours, or coming back after a farewell tour, and they said they would never rip off their fans like that! Immediately, though, everyone started to see right through their plans. The contract CLEARLY STATES that THE FOUR ORIGINAL MEMBERS…I’ll repeat that…THE…FOUR…ORIGINAL…MEMBERS OF MOTLEY CRUE WILL NOT TOUR AS MOTLEY CRUE EVER AGAIN! Since Mick has been in obviously terrible health for years, everyone could see that the motive just might be to start touring WITHOUT Mick after this tour, and continue to call it Motley Crue, since that would not be a breach of contract. Folks, if you truly believe that Motley Crue is honest in saying they won’t be back, I’ve got some ocean front property in Vegas to sell you! They’ll be back. This is purely a quick cash grab. It always is.

The press conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1abuux_mtA
Vince starts off singing half the words to “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”, then gets hit with a water bottle, so he storms off the stage, and sings NONE of the words. Slight improvement, actually! : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpfvwGTEdSw
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Pete Seeger – Gone But Not Forgotten

Just when I thought the music industry couldn’t get any worse: American icon, Pete Seeger, has passed away at age 94. Pete was known as a political activist, and American folk music hero. His cover of the classic Woody Guthrie anthem, “This Land Is Your Land”, has lived through generations, and is still revered to this day. Of course, there were other great Pete Seeger songs everyone knows and loves, such as “Sailing Up, Sailing Down.” One thing I’ve always found odd about Pete Seeger is that some people think of him as a banjo player. Granted, he did play the banjo, but he played in very much a clawhammer style, combined with some basic picking, as opposed to a strictly picking style, that was pioneered by people like Earl Scruggs and J.D. Crowe. Regardless of his choice of instrument, Pete will always be remembered for his anthems of freedom and protest, which propelled many generations through hard times in the world. Regardless of what you think of Pete’s political views, you can’t argue that he changed the folk music game forever. How many people do you know that literally played music at all points possible in their life, for as long as they possibly could? Up until his recent illness, Pete played music and involved himself in many important causes his whole life. He will be missed.

Pete Seeger performance from 2007: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQVYYfGTphc
One of Pete’s last public performances at Farm Aid 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt9jWoXmrLw

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Backing Tracks – Good or Bad?

In today’s world, especially in America’s tough economic times, it’s extremely difficult for artists to afford a band to record and tour with. Because of this, many artists have started doing solo acoustic shows. They say things like “Get up close and personal” or “An intimate evening with”, but it’s really just so they don’t go into debt from having to pay a band. However, some artists have caught on to the way that modern technology can help all of us out: Backing tracks! Rather than have a band touring with you all the time that you have to pay, you can have tracks of a full band and background vocals, and you can play and sing your parts live, with the backing tracks as an accompaniment. Some people want to compare it to karaoke, but it’s far different, if done with quality tracks. With the right equipment, the artists can have the same sound for far less money. For example, I’m a singer and guitarist. I’m not known for being a drummer or a bass player, so if I have drums and bass on backing tracks, it doesn’t take away from what I’m doing at all. It just adds to it, and fills in the unneeded holes from before. Most importantly for a Country Rock N’ Roller…people can dance to it!

Lindsey Buckingham using backing tracks in a solo show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz1uuFBYvt0
A quality ZZ Top backing track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP_25tTOnDg
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Homework Assignment #1

http://www.pollstar.com/news_article.aspx?ID=809039 – I chose this article because it incorporates text, photography, and video to report on the return of Christine McVie to Fleetwood Mac. The text reports about the band’s publicist’s confirmation that the reunion will take place, while the photo shows the current touring lineup of the band, and the video shows a video of a live concert from the band, before Christine McVie left the band, so fans will remember what that lineup sounds like, and also get excited about the reunion.

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/bestmusic2013/2013/12/21/255266029/the-top-10-folk-and-americana-albums-of-2013 – I chose this article because within the list of Top 10 Folk and Americana albums for 2013, there are pictures of each artist, audio clips from each album, and there are comments from readers of the website, who have also contributed hyperlinks and videos to the comments section of the article. With all of these media types, it enables the reader to see a picture of each artist, hear samples of each album, and even see footage of a couple of the artists, giving the average reader a better understanding of each artist and album.