Monday, 25 February 2013

Music Licensing is a Boon for Professionals from the Entertainment Industry

Music is not only an important part of our life but an integral part of our movies, advertisements and TV shows. It not only brings life to the video but also conveys the message that the video is supposed to convey. Music can rouse emotions and help us better understand that has been depicted in the video. This is the reason why music composers and singers are so much in demand. This also opens up a bright career prospect for people trying to make a career in this industry.

Since there is an increased competition in this industry, the possibilities of duplication of music have become more prominent. You should not be surprised if someone copies your music and releases it in the market by his name. This has spoilt the concept of creativity and originality in the music and entertainment industry.

This is the reason why the concept of music licensing came into being. It ensures that compositions are not stolen. Not only does it protect old and popular music from being copied but also protects the work of new talent. With the concept of music licensing composers of original music are paid each and every time someone wishes to use their work. It is a kind of agreement that allows the use of some portions of the composition. But, the purchaser does not have the right to produce more copies than that have been stated in the agreement. Therefore, it goes without saying that the importance of music licensing for composers is immense.

If you are a musician, then every piece of music is dear to you and you will definitely not want them to be used by some other person by his name. That is the last thing you would be wanting as a music composer. Music is an industry that has been facing a lot of piracy in the past. Copying someone’s song and passing it on has been taking place since a long time now. It is not bad when a person uses your songs and compositions. But, the problem arises when it is done without you getting the due credit. This is plagiarism and this is where music licensing comes to your rescue.


Iggy Pop and the Stooges Ready New Album for April Release

Iggy Pop and the Stooges are ready with a new record, Ready to Die, which will mark the first time Pop has worked with guitarist James Williamson and drummer Scott Asheton on a full album since their 1973 classic Raw Power. As he's done since the Stooges' 2003 reunion, Mike Watt will fill in for the late Ron Asheton on bass. It'll be Iggy and the Stooges' first album since 2007's The Weirdness, which was the last to feature Ron Asheton. Ready to Die is due April 30th on Fat Possum Records.

100 Greatest Singers: Iggy Pop

Pop kept busy last year with a self-released album of French pop classics, and guested on Ke$ha's latest release, Warrior. His 1970s collaboration with David Bowie in West Berlin is the subject of the forthcoming biopic Lust for Life.

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Pop singer Jermaine Jackson changes last name to Jacksun

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop singer Jermaine Jackson officially has changed his name to Jermaine Jacksun for "artistic reasons," Los Angeles court officials said on Friday.

The Jackson 5 member and older brother of pop stars Michael and Janet Jackson filed a petition to change his name in Los Angeles Superior Court in November 2012. The change became official on Wednesday after a hearing, a court spokeswoman said.

The 58-year-old singer, who is on tour in Europe with his three surviving brothers, Jackie, Marlon and Tito, did not attend.

"If Prince and P Diddy can do it, why can't and shouldn't Jermaine?" Jacksun's attorney, Bret D. Lewis, said when the petition originally was filed.

Jermaine Jackson unofficially adopted the name Mohammad Abdul Aziz after converting to Islam in 1989.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Paul Simao)
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Madonna crowned top music earner in 2012 due to world tour

(Reuters) - Madonna was named the biggest money maker in music in 2012 on Friday, with a world tour helping her take home up to $34.6 million and highlighting the earning power of live performances as the industry increasingly goes digital.

The 54-year-old Material Girl topped Billboard Magazine's annual list of 40 top money makers for the second time after earning an estimated $32 million - 93.5 percent of her revenue - from her 88-date "MDNA" tour, 2012's biggest tour.

Madonna, who also led the list in 2008 due to tour income, was the only woman in the top 10 with last year's winner, Taylor Swift, who fell to 15th place as she did not tour in 2012.

In second place in the music magazine's list was Bruce Springsteen whose $33.4 million revenue was also primarily driven by touring, playing to sold-out stadiums and arenas.

Springsteen, who also released a No. 1 album, "Wrecking Ball," last year, earned 92 percent of his revenue from live shows where strong merchandise sales also boosted takings.

Roger Waters, founder of Pink Floyd, came a distant third with earnings of $21 million largely from "The Wall Live" tour and Van Halen was fourth with $20 million after touring in support of their album "A Different Kind of Truth".

"When it comes to making the biggest score, the most money always comes from high-paying live performances," Billboard's editorial analyst Glenn Peoples wrote in explaining the list.

"Ironically, the most popular touring artists are usually well past their peaks on the album sales charts."

Country music veteran Kenny Chesney, the Dave Matthews Band, country's Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean, and British band Coldplay came next on the list.

Canadian teen sensation Justin Bieber was 10th, earning almost $16 million of which about $10 million came from his sold-out "Believe" arena tour.

"The entire top 10 averaged 84.2 percent of their income from concerts, and the number would have been higher, if not for Justin Bieber's mere 60.1 percent share at No. 10 dragging down the average," said Billboard.

However touring was not vital for every act on the list such as Swift and Britain's Adele.

Swift earned $12.7 million after selling the most digital tracks in 2012. She sold more than 3 million digital albums and 15.6 million digital tracks driven by her hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together".

Adele took the year out after having a baby but still earned nearly $14 million, putting her 11th in the rankings, due to continuing strong physical and digital sales for her album "21".

Maroon 5, ranked 33rd in the list, took the highest share of streaming revenue which made 3.5 percent of its $7.2 million.

Billboard said streaming music online to paying customers has not caught on with older generations and was small in percentage terms but growing.

"Yet even in the coming years, as streaming services become a more important revenue source, possibly replacing digital downloads and CD sales, one thing is unlikely to change: concerts will have the greatest influence of top earners' overall earnings," said Peoples.

The list was compiled by Billboard editors using data for Boxscore archives of U.S. concert gross figures, Nielsen SoundScan data for sales, YouTube, and Nielsen BDS data.

The full list can be seen at

(Reporting by Elaine Lies, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

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Friday, 22 February 2013

Singer Morrissey will not get meat-free concert in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British vegetarian rock singer Morrissey's concert in Los Angeles next week will be a little more meaty than the former Smiths frontman had initially hoped.

The longtime animal rights activist said earlier this week he had urged the Staples Center arena to close the concessions of fast-food chain McDonald's and to halt the sale of meat by other outlets at the venue for his March 1 performance there.

Morrissey's representatives said in a statement on Monday that Staples Center had agreed to the request, and they added it would the first time that all vendors within and around the Los Angeles venue would be 100 percent vegetarian.

But Staples Center arena operator Anschutz Entertainment Group, or AEG, said on Thursday that meat would still be on menus.

"As of right now, there will be meat options for fans," Staples Center spokeswoman Cara Vanderhook told Reuters.

It was unclear how the apparent confusion arose.

AEG will also roll out a special line of meatless food concessions for fans, including vegan sloppy Joes, vegan sushi, and hummus and pita bread.

The animal rights pressure group PETA recently named Staples Center as the most vegetarian-friendly venue in professional basketball. The National Basketball Association's Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers play their home games at the arena.

Morrissey, 53, who co-wrote The Smiths' 1985 song "Meat Is Murder," postponed a series of concerts on his North America tour last month after being hospitalized for a bleeding ulcer.

The singer is expected to relaunch the tour with a performance on U.S. late-night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" next week.


Monday, 18 February 2013

Universal Music chairman tops Billboard industry power list

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lucian Grainge, chairman of Universal Music Group, beat out "X Factor" host Simon Cowell and the manager for teen pop sensation Justin Bieber as the most powerful person in the music industry, according to a list released by Billboard magazine on Friday.

The second annual list left off music stars such as rapper-mogul Jay-Z, his wife and singer, Beyonce, and Irish rock group U2, all of which placed on the Power 100 list last year.

Billboard put Grainge atop the list in part for Universal Music Group's $1.9 billion acquisition of record label EMI last September and the spinning off of part of that purchase to privately-held Warner Music for $762 million.

The industry magazine called the executive a "tireless advocate for the recorded-music business," who took the top spot from Irving Azoff, the former chairman of ticket sales and concert promoting company Live Nation. Grainge placed third last year.

Coran Capshaw, the manager to pop singer Miley Cyrus and rock group Dave Matthews Band, ranked No. 2 for the second straight year. Capshaw's privately-held Starr Hill Presents has stakes in live music festivals Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo among others.

Behind Capshaw was Martin Bandier, CEO of publisher Sony/ATV Music Publishing, at No. 3, while Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino placed fourth and Doug Morris, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, rounded out the top five.

Cowell, creator of television talent shows "America's Got Talent" and "The X Factor," placed at No. 30, a giant leap from his No. 100 ranking on the inaugural list.

L.A. Reid, a former "X Factor" host and current chairman and CEO of Sony Music's Epic Records, ranked No. 40, while "American Idol" host and TV producer Ryan Seacrest climbed up to No. 59 from No. 64 last year.

Scooter Braun, the manager of teen pop star Justin Bieber and British-Irish boy band The Wanted, was No. 42 on the list. Digital music pioneer Sean Parker, who co-founded music-sharing program Napster and invested in music streaming service Spotify, was No. 71.

This year's list was largely absent of performers, drawing primarily from industry executives, music producers and talent managers.

Last year, country-pop singer Taylor Swift and pop singer Lady Gaga both made the list, but they were excluded this year.

The full list can be viewed at

Universal Music Group is a subsidiary of France's Vivendi SA. "American Idol" and "The X Factor" are broadcast by Fox, which is owned by News Corp.

The top 10 on the list:

1. Lucian Grainge, Chairman, Universal Music Group

2. Coran Capshaw, Founder/Owner, Red Light Management and Starr Hill Presents

3. Martin Bandier, CEO, Sony/ATV Music Publishing

4. Michael Rapino, CEO, Live Nation Entertainment

5. Doug Morris, Chairman/CEO, Sony Music Entertainment

6. Len Blavatnik, Founder/Chairman, Access Industries

7. Rob Light, music head, Creative Artists Agency

8. Tim Leiweke, President/CEO, Anschutz Entertainment Group

9. Marc Geiger, music head, William Morris Endeavor

10. Jimmy Iovine, Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Zakk Wylde: my top 5 not-so-guilty pleasures of all time

As one of the globe's reigning kings of shred guitar, Black Label Society's Zakk Wylde surely must spend his days and nights listening to fellow six-string gods. Turns out, he doesn't. “I don’t listen to a lot of heavy guitar stuff," he says. "There's a time and place for that, but when I'm home or in the car, I like to hear other things."

Wydle is a big fan of Sirius Radio's The Breakfast Club, which features, as the name suggests, a playlist that harkens back to the mid-'80s, when the teenpics of John Hughes bounced to a New Wave/synth pop beat. "They play things like The Plimsouls and Echo & The Bunnymen on that station," says Wylde. "That kind of music has nothing to do with what I do – there's no rippin' solos. I like to get away from my thing sometimes."

As a young teenager, Wylde fell under the spell of rock guitar ("Randy Rhoads, Jimmy Page, Hendrix, Tony Iommi, Eddie Van Halen – I loved all of them"), but before then his tastes were more informed by Top 40 radio – and his parents. "When I was a kid, I liked whatever was on AM radio," he says. "All that mellow '70s stuff was awesome. Simon & Garfunkel doing Bridge Over Troubled Water – how great was that? And there was music on TV. My parents watched Donny & Marie, Sonny & Cher. I saw all of that. It was fine with me."

He chuckles and comes out with a true one-hit wonder: "Remember Player? They had that song [sings] 'Baby come back...' Great tune. There was a bunch of songs like that. You heard them for months, and they stick in your head."

On the following pages, Wylde runs down his not-so-guilty pleasures, five albums devoid of anything remotely shredtastic. "You have to keep an open mind about music," Wylde says. "There's too much good stuff being done. Sometimes it can even rub off on you."

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Musical Modes: A Forgotten Solution to Mental Balance

Musical Modes: A Forgotten Solution to Mental Balance

In todays high pressure society, many seek methods to help with mental balance! There are lots of potential answers in the Personal development marketplace today: Yoga, Meditation, Tai chi, Pilates, NLP etc…

These can work very well, but all require at least some degree of discipline. The need to be learned, and you do need to make time in your hectic routine to practise the techniques.

If only there was a programme you could run for mental balance and inner harmony!

Well, fortunately there is! You can solve the problem simply by listening to, or playing music: not ordinary music, but music of a very special type.

We all know that music affects our emotional states. But there is a power concealed within the maths of the musical scale that has lain unused since pre-biblical times. I mean modal music. You can hear these modes if you listen to ancient songs, dances and carols. Greensleeves, for instance, is modal - (at least, the majority of it is). Another example is Jazz. Most Jazz Modes are, in fact, medieval!

Modal music actually goes back a lot further than medieval times. It persisted into medieval times, and even evolved to form the basis of the Jazz modes. But the ageless therapeutic wisdom has disappeared and the way modal music is composed has altered from the primeval science. So it is not as therapeutically effective as it was in times immemorial.

Pythagoras taught a system, in Ancient Greece, for using modal music to stimulate mental balance. He utilized the same modes as the composers of the (then) future. But he used them in a very specific way, so I shall refer to them as Pythagorean Modes.

An important part of his philosophy was The Four Temperaments (or Humours):

* Phlegmatic
* Choleric
* Sanguine
* Melancholic

Other elements from Pythagoras have also been perpetuated e.g. Pythagoras' Theorem. But his technique of healing music has sadly been consigned to the historical waste-bin.

Pythagoras' technique of healing music works in the following way:

There are eight modes:

1. Dorian
2. Hypodorian
3. Phrygian
4. Hypophrygian
5. Lydian
6. Hypolydian
7. Mixolydian
8. Hypomixolydian

Each mode exacerbates or ameliorates the qualities of one of the Temperaments.

If you went to your physician complaining of lack of resolve in the face of some challenge, he would say that your choleric humour needed strengthening and suggest that you listen to music in the phrygian mode.

Or, if you went to him complaining of feeling irritable, he would most likely inform you it was the result of a heightened choleric humour, and would send you off with instructions to listen to the hypophrygian mode to reduce it.

Each one of the Four Temperaments has two modes connected with it, one of which increases the effect of the humour, and one which decreases it.

In the follow-up article I will reveal a little more about the Four Temperaments and the modes which balance them.

Music Industry Education - Musical Studying and Transfer

You really don't have to have a musical education to appreciate music, but it does generally modify the way in which you listen to it, hopefully enhancing your satisfaction.

Most of us have seasoned some diploma of music education in our lives, and, possibly remarkably, it was not all at school, or with a music teacher. Some of it could have been at house (what radio stations did your mothers and fathers pay attention to?) some at the cinema or at concerts some, and typically rather a good deal, listening to music your friends play or like some simply because you play an instrument and are hooked on music in a big way so hold on seeking to understand.

Quite a few folks are not mindful of their private music education and if you asked them they would very perhaps deny obtaining any at all. Effectively they have, but they are just not conscious of it.

The prevalent definition of transfer is to carry or shift from one area to an additional. A single of our objectives in music education is for college students to come to be experienced about music and to be capable to transfer that information from a person musical setting to a different. As you study this report, view yourself as a father or mother or teacher involving the youngster in constructive and fulfilling musical studying.

The transfer of knowledge and knowledge can take spot as children progress from one stage of understanding to an additional. Refer to the child's prior experience and functionality of the musical things to support the transfer course of action. The way we plan and put into action transfer processes impacts the alternative of music routines. Choose teaching techniques that will supply enough prospect for the children to make musical connections.

Include the kid in finding and exploring the relationship involving the new mastering encounter and his or her recent know-how. For example, understanding that two quarter notes tied jointly equal one particular 50 percent note.

Many many years back, a person of my choral college students, who was musically literate and conversant with examining music notation from simple choral scores, determined to join band. On the student's initial day in band class, the band director was stymied by the student's issues in examining the music from an instrumental score. We uncovered that the student was possessing problems transferring musical information from 1 format to an additional. Consequently, pay out shut attention to the format in which musical notation and info is presented to the students and aid them make the transition from a person format to a different. A easy instance of this might be learning to examine rhythms with syllables or in "stick" notation and then progressing to normal rhythm notation.

College students should practice skills and music behaviors in a variety of configurations. Through repetition and multiple apps of their musical learnings, we are enhancing their skill to transfer these learnings with understanding from 1 musical setting to a different.

We are the engineers of prosperous musical learning for our children through the use of transfer.

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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Dame Shirley Bassey to appear at the Academy Awards

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dame Shirley Bassey, who recorded the theme songs for the James Bond films "Goldfinger," "Diamonds Are Forever" and "Moonraker," will make her first appearance at the Academy Awards this month, the show's producers said on Friday.

Bassey, whose career has spanned more than six decades, will perform at the awards show on February 24 in Los Angeles, along with others including Adele, Norah Jones and Barbra Streisand.

"Her association with film music is world renowned and we are proud that she will be making her first Oscar appearance on our telecast," Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the producers of the show, said in a statement.

The 76-year-old British singer has recorded more than 44 albums, has sold more than 135 million records and has performed in concert halls across the world. Last June, she sang at Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee concert in London.

The Academy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC television and in more than 225 countries worldwide.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Music Has an Inexplicable Power to Shape Behavior And Influence Actions

The music has an inexplicable power to shape behavior and influence actions
Of course the answer is yes. It is very difficult, almost impossible to find a human being who does not like music. It may not even like rhythm or another, but always feel happy to hear some kind of rhythmic sound in any musical style.

We do not know why, but we are sure that the rhythmic sounds directly affect the behavior of humans. Newborn babies already show behavioral changes when exposed to the sound of music, Haitians go into a trance at the sound of African rhythms and military seem to take more aggressive stance on the march to the sound of songs of victory.

 In the Western World music has played specific roles in various human activities such as bedtime children to dance, tell stories, celebrate special events, increase product sales, entertain, heal and pray, announce events, the courage to raise a war, and up to increase productivity in industrial production lines.
In a survey of a large university, many people responded that the music helps create a certain atmosphere that influences mood and feelings, then believe that it is not ignored the power of music on behavior, although few people reflect about it .

 What we want to emphasize here is that music, which most often is seen simply as a fun hobby or something innocent can influence in important decisions. Groups of people or large portions of humanity have been affected by techniques of behavior change that has music as its main tool. Whether the letter is the rhythms and instruments used or the two combined music is not ignored by major marketers.

Can you imagine a commercial for Coca Cola without music?
Can you imagine a romantic scene in a movie without music?

 We will not deal here with legends such as the so-called Mozart effect, which promised to make babies smarter through listening to music of great masters like Mozart effect, moreover, that must have generated big profits for companies that sell CDs with titles like "Build Your baby's brain through the music of Mozart. "
 Our mind has great power to memorize sounds and associate them with moments and past events, look at the vignettes played before some of the novel or the evening news, are always the same, and they know that even before the announcement, which next TV programming.

The 5 Top-Rated Isle Of Wight Your Favourite Music Festivals Regarding 2012

Why this IOW? This amazing narrow, natural green as well as the attractive section has received a very good or excellent reputation of almost all known and then the just about all desired celebrations and also impressive activity. They already have an enjoyable past and day to assist you to 1960's or perhaps later on.

1. The particular V-Dub Island may be the lovely and moreover excellent affair for the whole family unit. It is usually taken out of 2 right up until 6 connected with August, this 2012 in location of Showground County in the role of Northwood. Particularly, the majority of Volkswagen car possessors tend to be welcome. That entertaining comprises some sort of home song DJs. They are doing so play around live. Occurrence has got divertissement doesn't just meant for mature people as well kids of everyone.

Secondly. If you're searching with respect to some thing entertaining, then you must interact the actual personal additionally flavourful live performance. Definitely is Rockin’ the Dock 2012. Day sends exceptional in a live performace music relating to musician Midge Ure then Elkie Brookes towards location of Cowes Luxury yacht Destination. These notorious United kingdom musical artists develop a sort of introduction concerning nice Aberdeen Advantage Administration Cowes Week which can be possessed out of 11th to actually eighteenth August, 2012.

Thirdly. Ventnor famous Fringe Event is a really specialized special occasion considering that it is established as well as run by just a staff for excited younger generation. This amazing show is usually pushed according to the illustrious Edinburgh Edge plus its in other words its own concurrent. The chief motive for the celebration can be to amass many gifted rap artists and also make findings with tunes. This kind of edition collect numerous performances for the IOW.

4. That Rhythmtree is a huge in addition to beautiful occasion inside the uk festival world. This excellent occurring appears by twenty four-twenty six August in just Newport, 2012. Stimulating play repertoire, interesting art work style and design then awesome province essentially get a unusual and furthermore attracting setting for all viewers. Grown people, young children and perhaps little ones can still see almost every to its personal exclusive preferences. DJs should entertain everyone the very total night time here at well-known RhumbaRumBar.

Fifth. Have actually you really observed Bestival? Of course, this is basically the most suitable party- victorious one amongst the big county fair and even festival festivals. It happens to be placed right at the week-end on September coming from 6 towards nine, at the Robin Hill Country Area, next to Newport town, Isle of Wight. It happens to be looked after throughout the identified and lucky BBC Dj Rob Da Bank. Available in this musical laboratory almost certainly have a rich colour scheme among music and songs produced by punk up to pop music. There will be the latest as well as the pure play actions.

Want to have a good time Indian the hot months within the latest style and fashion through process of popular musicians? Go, move, move and view your life so the valuable time. Do not worry in relation to IOW accommodation because you will be provided of the perfect versions.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Sao Paulo - The City Of Love Dance and Music

Sao Paulo Carnival – This annual event held every February is much awaited by the locals. As compared to the carnival in Rio de Janeiro this is much smaller and cheaper. It is celebrated on the Friday and Saturday night of the week of Carnival, as opposed to Rio’s Carnival, which is held on Sunday and Monday night. If traveling on a small budget to Brazil then catch the carnival in Sao Paulo as the best airfares are offered on the flights to Sao Paulo. The highlight of the carnival is the samba schools competing against one another. The colorful parades and floats are a sight to remember. The samba schools select their own themes which are mostly based on historical happenings or some sort of political or cultural movement.

It’s all true Film Festival - This festival takes place simultaneously in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro from March 22 to April 1, 2012. The festival screens almost 100 titles in a competitive program for Brazilians and International short and feature documentaries. Most international film enthusiasts take advantage of the cheap airfares offered by cheap flights to Sao Paulo at this time of the year to visit this film extravensa.

The Natura Nos Festival – The famous Brazilian music show is held annually in May where all the renowned Brazilian groups showcase their music talents for all to enjoy. It is held at the Sao Paulo Jockey Club.

The São Vito (or San Vito) Festival –
This is one of the important festivals of Sao Paulo. Held between May and June every weekend is a party. It is a major festival for the large number of Italians in Sao Paulo. Evening parties every Saturday and Sunday during typical Italian food, dancing and music along Rua Fernandes Silva is the highlight of the festival which is enjoyed by all music and food lovers.

The Spirit of London –
Being a global city the youth look forward to this night held in March. It is one of the biggest electronic music festival in Brazil held at the Sambodromo, Parque Anhembi. International DJ’s host this night club into the early hours of morning.

Gay Pride –
This Brazilian city accepts all with a big heart and hosts the largest gay pride parade in the world held in São Paulo on Avenida Paulista. The event is held in May but the date varies from year to year.

Sao Paulo Fashion Week- High on fashion this city has its own fashion show twice a year in January and June. Originally called Morumbi Fashion Brazil it features many top designer names is yet another popular event which attracts visitors across the globe.

As the year goes on many more festivities are planned with never a dull moment to spare. So get your hands on a good cheap tickets to Sao Paulo and get packing.

Harmonix Music Systems - Now That's How An Angel Deal Should Work

I’ve invested in over 50 angel deals in the past 12 years. Several have been big winners for me, a few have done ok, and some have failed. Many are still active – including several that I did before I started making venture capital investments in 1996.

Recently – a company I invested in 11 years ago – Harmonix Music Systems - was acquired by Viacom / MTV for $175 million. The deal closed last week and the money has been flowing to the Harmonix shareholders. And – it’s plenty – as Harmonix only raised $10 million over the life of the company. The reactions from a few of the angels I helped recruit to the deal included “incredible outcome – I had forgotten I had shares in the company”, “Brad, are you sure you got the decimal point in the right place”, and simply “holy shit.”

I’m extremely proud of Eran Egozy and Alex Rigopulos - the co-founders of Harmonix. Eran is a fraternity brother of mine – although he was more than four years younger than me so we never lived together. Eran remembers approaching me when I was a judge for the MIT $10K competition the year that they entered – Eran recognized my name from our frat and after thinking “Hey – I know of that guy” approached me about getting together. I remember the first time we hung out together and got a really crappy meal in Central Square in Cambridge at one of the omnipresent Indian places. Eran and Alex regaled me of tales of the vision they had for creating musical environments and games for non-musicians. They were incredibility creative, passionate, and infectious about their ideas.

I helped put together an angel round in 1995 for them. It was modest – I think it was a total of about $500k. Over the next few years, they did a couple of small financings - although none of them from traditional VCs – and raised around $10m. Eran, Alex, and team regularly created new products, got key distribution deals with major players, and chipped away at building a business. They sent out an investor letter periodically updating everyone one what was happening. Occasionally I’d get a call from one of the angels that was in the round asking how things were going. Time passed.

In 2005, they released their newest product – Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero 2) – it’s a perfect fit for Viacom / MTV’s latest new media push and their demographic.

I expect to see great things from Eran, Alex, Harmonix, and MTV over the next few years. Congrats guys and nicely done!

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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Pros and Cons of Loud Music

According to the philosophy of a famous reggae artist and hordes of other wailers, music is best enjoyed when played at volumes loud enough to disturb the neighbors. Nearest the speaker box is the best place to be for some dance music fans, which have been known to even sleep inside speakers. Salience among those who disturb their neighbors on a frequent basis regarding the deafening effects of loud music is low.

In spite of neighbors' complaints, these people little realize the harm they are doing to their own hearing. The well being of the community comes first before one's own deafness for law enforcers. Consequently, what has happened is that both the player of the loud music and those within earshot will be without that sense either overnight or over a period of time. Then, there is the truly unfortunate situation that turns into permanent hearing loss, as there are no public education campaigns that would increase awareness of these dangers.

I don't think we have done enough to educate the public about this risk. Occasionally, we are given the opportunity to speak on the topic on the radio. The economy has remained in a slump this past year, making it hard for us to spread the word. Nowadays, louder, undistorted music is channelled with digital technology, which is an even greater threat for hearing.

Then, there is the contribution of frequenting nightclubs. No local research has confirmed the fact touted by British, Canadian, and American campaigns that 85 decibels certainly results in hearing loss. Two out of three youths go to clubs on a regular basis, and of them three out of four of them experience tinnitus afterward, according to a study by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf in Britain and as reported by the Guardian, a British newspaper.

Less than half comprehend that ringing is the body's warning of potential damage, and only two fifths appreciate the fact that this kind of damage cannot be repaired. Fortunately, the ringing disappears within a day in most cases, but continued exposure can end in permanent ringing or even hearing loss. An educational program, "Don't Lose the Music," was launched to inform clubbers and music lovers of these dangers.

Analogous to this program are those run in the US and Canada. Under the American Tinnitus Association, research and campaigns on the effects of loud music are conducted in the US. Canadians also benefit from similar programs. Local experts have treated many cases of hearing loss in young people, in which loud music always shows in their medical histories. Before counting the number of people who suffer from hearing loss related to loud music, this must be proven with experimental studies.

Sting to perform in India in March

After serenading Delhi audience with Desert Rain in 2005, British singer Sting will head to the deserts of Jodhpur to perform at the gardens of Umaid Bhawan Palace.

Sting’s performance will be a part of the Jodhpur One World Retreat 2013, a fundraising event organized by Maharaja of Jodhpur at his residence from March 8 to 10 to bring together “greatest minds and talents to enlighten, energise, celebrate and transform lives.”

Featuring conferences and performances, the three day extravaganza is aimed at raising funds for the Indian Head Injury Foundation, an organisation founded by His Highness Maharaja Gajsingh II of Jodhpur for the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury.

In addition to the private concert by Sting, the event will feature a grand opera on the opening night by Vienna Students Chorus along with the Indian National Youth Orchestra, comprising over 150 musicians from 12 different states in India.

All Sting fans must be jumping with joy at the chance of hearing him live, but there’s a small catch – participation in the Retreat is strictly by invitation from His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Jodhpur. Good luck with that!

Source :

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Arabic Music And Contemporary Pre Western Middle Eastern Music

The music of the Middle East and the Arabic nations dates back thousands of years, and has influenced countless other musical traditions. Contemporary Middle Eastern music combines the traits of traditional Eastern folk music with popular music of the Western hemisphere, including elements of classical music. Ghazal, Qawali, Maghrebi, Kahleeji and Arabic Pop are just a few of the numerous styles of music emanating from Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the Persian Gulf in the musics early modern forms, Middle Eastern composers integrated their folk styles with Western influenced orchestras, though currently the trend has turned back toward smaller ensembles. Pre Western Middle Eastern music utilized smaller ensembles.

The Arabic nations music along with Middle East music dates back thousands of years, and has influenced countless other musical styles during its evolution. Instruments such as the Oud - a pear shaped stringed instrument, Persian Tars - a plucked and strummed instrument, similar to an Oud, with a sound board of stretched skin rather than wood, Neys - wind instrument, Qanouns - horizontal instrument with many strings, resembling a dulcimer and Kamenches and Rebabas - both fiddle like, bowed instruments, still characterize this musical genre. Notable Arabic musicians include Kazem el Saher, Nawal el Zoughbi, Najwa Karam, Assi el Hillani, George Wassouf, and Amro Diab. Middle Eastern rhythms were originally devised in antiquity on frame drums, the Arabic tabla, the dumbek, the darabuka, finger cymbals, and other traditional percussion instruments. Though an authentic Middle Edstern ensemble still contains such instruments, the drum set is often used in modern day Middle Eastern ensembles.

Traditional Middle Eastern rhythms covered a wide array of odd time signatures. However, as a result of Western musics influence, a large portion of contemporary Middle Eastern music is composed in duple or other meters containing even numbers. Thus, the first two following drum set patterns are written in 4/4. Their overall sound and rhythm serve as accurate examples of traditional Middle Eastern music adapted for the drum set. Like the 5/4 time signature, 7/4 meter is relatively easy to count. It's normal to count a song in 7/4 in one of three ways: 1) count all seven beats per measure; 2) count a measure of 4/4 followed by a measure of 3/4; 3) count a measure of 3/4 followed by a measure of 4/4.

Probably the most famous rock song written in 7/4 is Pink Floyd's "Money". As with other styles, there are countless variations and embellished drum grooves to play in 7/4. The tempo range is similar to that of 5/4, with quarter note equal from one hundred to one hundred and thirty two beats per minute. The 5/8 meter is often more difficult to feel than 5/4 or 7/4 because its normally played at a faster tempo. One practical way of counting this meter is to sound out all five eighth notes per measure. However, due to its faster tempo, it may be more practical to break down the meter into two separate groupings, either a 3 plus 2 grouping or a 2 plus 3 grouping. The pulse of 5/8 meter is often brisk, with eighth note equal from one hundred and ninety two to three hundred and twenty beats per minute.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Arhoolie Records set highlights 50 years of roots-music

BOSTON (Reuters) - Chris Strachwitz discovered the first performer for his Arhoolie Records label by quizzing roadside field hands, a prosperous cotton farmer named Mr. Tom Moore, and a man called Peg Leg at a railroad station in Navasota, Texas.

As Strachwitz tells it, Peg Leg identified a highway worker and former tenant farmer who entertained local folks: Mance Lipscomb.

"Mance Lipscomb, Texas Sharecropper and Songster," was recorded in 1960 in the musician's shotgun house, and it launched Lipscomb into the surging U.S. folk-music revival.

It also launched German-born Strachwitz on a half-century career of uncovering and popularizing vernacular "roots music" of the Americas. That includes the blues of black Americans, the Zydeco of Louisiana's Creoles, Mexican norteño and Tejano conjunto music, and other styles that spring from deep cultural wells and get crowds dancing in obscure rooms.

"I probably should have become a detective," Strachwitz told Reuters in a telephone interview. "Meeting all these people was an intriguing adventure. I didn't have to go on a safari, hunting for elephants or something. I hunted musicians."

Some of the performers who Strachwitz tracked down on his back-road and honky-tonk rambles, and others influenced by him and his records, gathered two years ago in Berkeley, California for a 50th anniversary concert run.

The three-night run was released this week as "They All Played for Us," a 4-CD set and photo book that showcases Arhoolie's mosaic of musicians.

"They had confidence in the music that they made," Grammy-winning recording artist Taj Mahal said. "It wasn't predicated on selling a million or millions ... it's what made them happy. Chris - most of his records were about that."

Mahal and fellow roots-music pioneer Ry Cooder joined the performers at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse for the anniversary. Others included the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band, bluegrass master Peter Rowan, norteño stars Los Cenzontles, the Treme Brass Band from New Orleans and The Campbell Brothers, a "sacred-steel" guitar gospel group.


Strachwitz, who said he fell in love with records as a child in pre-war Germany and came of age in southern California, gathered his musical family in several ways. He scoured record stores and listened to regional ethnic radio programs.

Strachwitz learned of bluesman "Black Ace" Turner when he inquired at a street-corner gambling game. Blues legend "Lightning" Hopkins took him to see a cousin, Clifton Chenier, who later rose to acclaim as the "King of Zydeco."

Strachwitz named Arhoolie after a type of work song, a field holler, that had deep roots in African-American musical culture.

He was asked to describe the unique attributes of each musical style he recorded. But instead he cited a common thread.

"I think it's the powerful rhythm," he said. "They were all dance music - real dance music, not this boogaloo shit. And it's sort of honky-tonk music, it's just free flowing, rhythmic, stuff. With some good singing on top of it."

He recorded in his living room, kitchens, beer joints and churches. "I didn't give a damn about acoustics. I'd record in an outhouse if I had to," he said.

He made sure his musicians got their due. Strachwitz recalled giving an appreciative Fred McDowell a royalty check for the Rolling Stones' cover version of "You Gotta Move."

"Fred McDowell enjoyed his life so much just playing for people, and after we got him the money ... from the Rolling Stones, he said. ‘Well, I'm glad them boys enjoyed my music.'"

The 50th anniversary concert and recording were fundraisers for the Arhoolie Foundation, which supports folk culture and is advised by Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and others. Projects include films, instrument donations, and digital transfers of more than 50,000 records and cassettes in the collection Strachwitz donated of Mexican and Mexican-American music.


Arhoolie Records and writer Adam Machado won a Grammy award last year for "Hear Me Howling," an anthology of the Bay Area music scene culled from Strachwitz's recordings.

But Arhoolie, based in El Cerrito, California, is struggling. Strachwitz said. He called himself more of "songcatcher" than businessman.

"I've been trying to survive basically on the publishing royalties. I haven't got a salary from Arhoolie in years and now they can't even afford to pay the rent anymore," he said.

But there will always be songs to catch and backwaters to explore, Mahal said. The folk-music scene is still vibrant and house concerts are supporting a wave of new talent to be discovered, he said.

And the legacy Strachwitz created will endure.

"Deep Americana (music) is a huge force and it has traveled out of our country to people around the world. It is a big source of comfort for a lot of people," Mahal said.

"People like Chris Strachwitz have spent their lives making sure that that is so, and that these people don't get lost in the shuffle, and drop through the cracks."

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