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The Temptations Will Help Me Leave On The Wings Of Love

the-temptations-wings-of-love-411811I’ve been trying to write a piece on The Temptations’ Wings of Love for some time now and have never been able to squeeze in the time to say something profound about it. I can’t say anything super-profound about it now, other than it serves as a cautionary tale to those adhering to critical and commercial consensus as their barometer for what they like. This record is a monster, but Wings of Love was a somewhat famous critical and sales flop, given the level of talent assembled. Funkadelic bassist “Billy Bass” Nelson shows up as do Freddie Stewart and Pat Rizzo from the Family Stone. Producer Jeffrey Bowen guided the Temptations to No. 1 R&B chart success with the serious jam “Shakey Ground” and “Happy People,” and they were looking to capture that again. More »

the-temptations-wings-of-love-411811I’ve been trying to write a piece on The Temptations’ Wings of Love for some time now and have never been able to squeeze in the time to say something profound about it. I can’t say anything super-profound about it now, other than it serves as a cautionary tale to those adhering to critical and commercial consensus as their barometer for what they like. This record is a monster, but Wings of Love was a somewhat famous critical and sales flop, given the level of talent assembled. Funkadelic bassist “Billy Bass” Nelson shows up as do Freddie Stewart and Pat Rizzo from the Family Stone. Producer Jeffrey Bowen guided the Temptations to No. 1 R&B chart success with the serious jam “Shakey Ground” and “Happy People,” and they were looking to capture that again. More »

Prince Makes Bad Photoshop Into A Video


When was the last time that Prince had a good album cover, the reissue of The Black Album? Beats the heck out of me. His purple paisley hippie-dippie outer space Photoshop filter aesthetic was tired ten years ago, and it has only seemed to get worse. Now he’s decided to visualize it in an admittedly well-made video for “Crimson and Clover,” wherein bellydancing women with scarves toss butterfly-light orbs at the screen over Bespin. Meanwhile, Prince jams underneath their silhouettes. More »


When was the last time that Prince had a good album cover, the reissue of The Black Album? Beats the heck out of me. His purple paisley hippie-dippie outer space Photoshop filter aesthetic was tired ten years ago, and it has only seemed to get worse. Now he’s decided to visualize it in an admittedly well-made video for “Crimson and Clover,” wherein bellydancing women with scarves toss butterfly-light orbs at the screen over Bespin. Meanwhile, Prince jams underneath their silhouettes. More »


Music Piracy In 1897

Think music piracy is a product of the internet era? The New York Times archives contain a story–dated June 13, 1897–-with the title “Music Pirates in Canada” (warning: link leads to a .pdf). More than a century ago, our supposedly friendly neighbors to the North were taking our sheet music, copying it, and selling fakes to consumers in the United States looking for a cheap deals on music. The original asking prices ranged from 20 to 40 cents per piece, while the copies were sold for two to five cents. In May of 1897, around 5,000,000 copies were made and sold. What’s strange is that the publishers of these pirated works were Canadian newspapers, who used their PO boxes as covers! American music publishers decided to combat this by attacking through the post office, using the completely harsh treatment of sending back the pirated material. That’ll show ’em! And the consumer doesn’t get their money back afterward. More »

Think music piracy is a product of the internet era? The New York Times archives contain a story–dated June 13, 1897–-with the title “Music Pirates in Canada” (warning: link leads to a .pdf). More than a century ago, our supposedly friendly neighbors to the North were taking our sheet music, copying it, and selling fakes to consumers in the United States looking for a cheap deals on music. The original asking prices ranged from 20 to 40 cents per piece, while the copies were sold for two to five cents. In May of 1897, around 5,000,000 copies were made and sold. What’s strange is that the publishers of these pirated works were Canadian newspapers, who used their PO boxes as covers! American music publishers decided to combat this by attacking through the post office, using the completely harsh treatment of sending back the pirated material. That’ll show ’em! And the consumer doesn’t get their money back afterward. More »

Bob Dylan Has Tampered In Jann’s Domain

togetherthroughlifepromoBoy, who did the Bob Dylan cheese off over at Rolling Stone HQ to lose his Most Favored Artist status? His new album Together Through Life only received four stars from Jann Wenner’s ostensibly rock-and-roll magazine. Usually, they hand out five-star raves to Dylan records like weird versions of Mountain Dew at college radio conventions. Heck, isn’t the “give superstars good ratings even if their records are terrible” rule called “The Dylan Rule”? Did Rolling Stone suddenly grow a conscience about the five stars they gave that Mick Jagger record a few years back and decide to start rating things on a semi-reasonable level? Perhaps, but what does a four-star review from RS even mean? More »

togetherthroughlifepromoBoy, who did the Bob Dylan cheese off over at Rolling Stone HQ to lose his Most Favored Artist status? His new album Together Through Life only received four stars from Jann Wenner’s ostensibly rock-and-roll magazine. Usually, they hand out five-star raves to Dylan records like weird versions of Mountain Dew at college radio conventions. Heck, isn’t the “give superstars good ratings even if their records are terrible” rule called “The Dylan Rule”? Did Rolling Stone suddenly grow a conscience about the five stars they gave that Mick Jagger record a few years back and decide to start rating things on a semi-reasonable level? Perhaps, but what does a four-star review from RS even mean? More »

What Happens To An Album’s Pre-Release Cycle In An Era Of Leaks, Low Sales, And Dead Magazines?

leakenderOne of the main reasons for album leaks is the nature of the traditional press cycle. Press outlets–in particular, print outlets–have what’s called a “lead time,” a reasonable (but sometimes unreasonable) amount of time necessary for them to have the record in order to cover it around its release date. The industry standard is three months, but it can vary based on frequency of publication. And as print media tries to compete with online media for timeliness, some outlets have demanded even longer lead times–which, of course, means more time for a record to be out there, and more time for it to leak. Preventive measures like watermarking can help, but in a big office, it can only take one unscrupulous writer or an intern who didn’t know better to screw the whole thing up. More »

leakenderOne of the main reasons for album leaks is the nature of the traditional press cycle. Press outlets–in particular, print outlets–have what’s called a “lead time,” a reasonable (but sometimes unreasonable) amount of time necessary for them to have the record in order to cover it around its release date. The industry standard is three months, but it can vary based on frequency of publication. And as print media tries to compete with online media for timeliness, some outlets have demanded even longer lead times–which, of course, means more time for a record to be out there, and more time for it to leak. Preventive measures like watermarking can help, but in a big office, it can only take one unscrupulous writer or an intern who didn’t know better to screw the whole thing up. More »


Eminem Gets A Virus That Sends Him To Rehab

picture-1Eminem is not known for timeliness, which is why it’s perhaps unsurprising that he has decided to jump on the viral marketing chain nearly eight years after the whole viral marketing thing went big-time. (Yep, it’s been that long since the AI marketing campaign that was kinda way better than the movie.) At least he started it via Twitter! More »

picture-1Eminem is not known for timeliness, which is why it’s perhaps unsurprising that he has decided to jump on the viral marketing chain nearly eight years after the whole viral marketing thing went big-time. (Yep, it’s been that long since the AI marketing campaign that was kinda way better than the movie.) At least he started it via Twitter! More »

Recession-Proofing Your Band

recession-proof-careerEarlier this week, the Chicago Tribune‘s Greg Kot asked a few Chicago-area musicians about how they were fighting through the tough economy. Some formed cover bands (Led Zeppelin 2… ha!) and went out with stripped-down outfits on the road. Part of me is a little “yeah, duh” about musicians having second jobs, and in the story, Katie Tuten, co-owner of Chicago club the Hideout, notes: “People who play music are better able to handle whatever the economy throws at them because they’re always on a tight budget.” That is very true. We asked a few musicians to offer up what they are doing to recession-proof themselves. More »

recession-proof-careerEarlier this week, the Chicago Tribune‘s Greg Kot asked a few Chicago-area musicians about how they were fighting through the tough economy. Some formed cover bands (Led Zeppelin 2… ha!) and went out with stripped-down outfits on the road. Part of me is a little “yeah, duh” about musicians having second jobs, and in the story, Katie Tuten, co-owner of Chicago club the Hideout, notes: “People who play music are better able to handle whatever the economy throws at them because they’re always on a tight budget.” That is very true. We asked a few musicians to offer up what they are doing to recession-proof themselves. More »

Phoenix Tours A Museum And Films It

For Phoenix’s video for the pretty catchy single “Lizstomania” the band… visited a Franz Lizst museum and filmed it. Then, they performed and filmed it. Um, and then I guess someone edited the footage together. And that’s it. Huh. Excitement, she wrote! They do have this nifty personalized-zeppelin thing they carry around with them, and, like I said, the song is catchy, but reading some of the comments on Vimeo before actually watching the clip had me believing my mind was about to melt. When a tastemaker like El Coronel Blueberry is “completely blown away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”, I take notice. I hate to disagree with Col. Blueberry, but I was only “mildly interested!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Clip after the jump.

More »

For Phoenix’s video for the pretty catchy single “Lizstomania” the band… visited a Franz Lizst museum and filmed it. Then, they performed and filmed it. Um, and then I guess someone edited the footage together. And that’s it. Huh. Excitement, she wrote! They do have this nifty personalized-zeppelin thing they carry around with them, and, like I said, the song is catchy, but reading some of the comments on Vimeo before actually watching the clip had me believing my mind was about to melt. When a tastemaker like El Coronel Blueberry is “completely blown away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”, I take notice. I hate to disagree with Col. Blueberry, but I was only “mildly interested!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Clip after the jump.

More »


Can’t We All Just Get Along?

This past weekend, Dan Deacon played a show at the Masquerade in Atlanta that ended…poorly. The club cut him off mid-set, and mild chaos ensued. Deacon fans were livid at the club, but the DJs who were scheduled afterward said that Deacon and Co. (and the opening band) went over their allotted time. Now you may think that cutting off Dan Deacon for a DJ is a bad idea, but there are schedule times for a reason, and I tend to think that everybody deserves their shot. (That’s why I don’t run a club.) I’d be willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt over the Masquerade’s management, but his Athens show was also two hours late in getting set up as well. You can read a few sides to the story here and here.

Still, slow set-up times are one thing. Show cancellations are another thing altogether.

More »

This past weekend, Dan Deacon played a show at the Masquerade in Atlanta that ended…poorly. The club cut him off mid-set, and mild chaos ensued. Deacon fans were livid at the club, but the DJs who were scheduled afterward said that Deacon and Co. (and the opening band) went over their allotted time. Now you may think that cutting off Dan Deacon for a DJ is a bad idea, but there are schedule times for a reason, and I tend to think that everybody deserves their shot. (That’s why I don’t run a club.) I’d be willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt over the Masquerade’s management, but his Athens show was also two hours late in getting set up as well. You can read a few sides to the story here and here.

Still, slow set-up times are one thing. Show cancellations are another thing altogether.

More »


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