Category Archives: Music

Is the Music TV Show Dead?

Fox began airing American Idol in June of 2002 and for eight straight years it was the number one rated TV show in America. It so outdrew the competition that the other networks pretty much gave up trying to counter … Continue reading

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EDM Tribes

Last September The New Yorker ran a long piece on the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scene in Las Vegas and noted that the top DJ’s were earning $300,000 a night at the biggest nightclub at The Encore called XS. They … Continue reading

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A True Artist

We lost Jesse Winchester last week. I’m sad because he was the real deal and not enough people knew that. Robbie Robertson “discovered” Jesse in 1969 when I was working as The Band’s tour manager and as I recall Jesse … Continue reading

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Guy Time Running Out

Ben Ratliff’s rumination on the Coachella Music Festival raises an important cultural issue and then just drops it. Ratliff wonders if the audience has become more important than the performers–and who is that audience? One is a young man who … Continue reading

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Rhythms of Life

When I was 20 years old in January of 1969 and a senior at Princeton, I went to work for The Band as their first tour manager. At the time most of the American music that was being played on … Continue reading

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Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

Forty-three years ago I worked for Levon Helm. I was the tour manager for The Band and in my book, Outlaw Blues, I recounted how Levon changed my whole notion of the “cracker”, a name he proudly embraced. The first … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Music | Tagged , , , | 42 Comments

Censorship Con

A profound reversal in attitudes has taken place in the last twenty years. While in the 1960’s the cries of “freedom” and “liberty” came from Progressives, today it is the right that sees liberty under attack. The campaign rhetoric of … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Censorship, Entertainment, Movies, Music | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

Copyleft Bullshit

At USC we have students turn their papers in electronically to a system called Turnitin,com. It automatically checks for plagiarism. So what are we to think about the group of German critics about to award a $20,000 prize to 17 … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Corruption, Entertainment, Movies, Music | Tagged , , | 396 Comments

2009 Music Hits-WTF?

To give you an idea of what a musical Interregnum we’re in, look at the top selling artists of the year (including Digital sales): Michael Jackson Taylor Swift The Beatles Susan Boyle Lady Gaga Andrea Bocelli Michael Buble WTF? A … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Interregnum, Music | Tagged , , , , , , | 71 Comments

The Long Tail is Dead

I don’t mean to pick on Chris Anderson again, but he’s such an obvious cipher for the “Information wants to be free” brigade. Now it turns out that his original “grand theory of everything” called “The Long Tail” is totally … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Business, Entertainment, Movies, Music, Technology | Tagged , , | 242 Comments