Indie bands talk digital music and life without the labels
By Jacqui Cheng
A new era of music
Online music is a complex and constantly-morphing beast, especially from the perspective of the bands and artists who create it. For small indie bands, that beast can be quite a challenge to wrangle. Without a label and a team of execs whose entire job it is to make sure your stuff is everywhere it should be, dealing with all the intricacies of online music sales is just one (or 20) more thing(s) to do—on top of making sure the proceeds from that last show will pay your rent. But times, they are a' changin', and if the artists who've recently shared their digital music industry experiences with us are any indication, indie bands are becoming increasingly savvy at navigating the online music world. From distribution to promotion to actually making money, indie bands are doing more than just getting by without the major labels—they're actually thriving.
It's already widely acknowledged that you don't need a Universal or Sony BMG behind you to enter the online music market, thanks to services like Tunecore. Tunecore enables just about everyone (and we mean everyone) to sell their wares through the big dogs of digital music: iTunes, Amazon MP3, eMusic, and Rhapsody, to name a few. But getting online is just the first (and now, the easiest) step. "The struggle is no longer getting it there, but trying to market and promote once it is there," Panda Riot band manager and guitarist Brian Cook told me.
The other China
Time to remember that there is far more to China, and better, than its regime. A favorite of mine - Tang dynasty poets, as translated by Vikram Seth. Extracts:
In the quiet night, by Li Bai
The floor before my bed is bright
Moonlight - like hoarfrost - in my room
I lift my head and watch the moon
I drop my head and think of home
THE ONUS OF WISDOM
Open-minded and tolerant Melbourne art critic Robert Nelson (Bill Henson’s number one fan) in yesterday’s Age (not available online):
The social role of sport is to provide an outlet for intelligent people to behave like brainless people. Everyone knows there’s no intrinsic point in shifting a leather ball from one post to another, no matter how energetic or invested the contest. Nothing is achieved outside the game; no one is wiser or can add a benefit to the world beyond the fury of the struggle.
if you want to know what we are going to do to Bill in London, try the following link. He gets arrested, he stays arrested. -anonymous
Lancet mathematician Marilyn Shepherd blames “whingers”:
More than two million people have died in Iraq because of you, more than 10,000 died in Northern Ireland, more than a million died in Chile, 80,000 have died in Sri Lanka, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are being slaughtered and disposessed every single day ...
Russian invasion not quite as it seems
Reading most of the coverage on the Georgia-Russia conflict you'd think it was a cut-and-dried case of naked expansionism. But this comic book Good v Evil perspective misses the mark by a fair margin, according to Tim Brunero.-This is a good summation. I had read similar from Keith Suter, but he is generally so wrong about other things, I find it hard to trust his judgement. I suspect the media analysis is weak because we don't have an Obama position and won't get one until the focus groups tell him what is best for his election chances. The problems with founding a democracy is unrelated to history dating back more than 100 years or less than 30 years. It requires rule of law, not fist. Even stable democracies make mistakes. Like electing Obama. -ed.
Costa walks into the firing line ... of a little girl
By Joe Hildebrand
STATE Treasurer Michael Costa took on a squad of firefighters yesterday after the officers ambushed him over his attempts to cut real wages.
As around a dozen officers lay in wait for the Treasurer at WIN stadium in Wollongong, Mr Costa got out of his ministerial car and confronted the protesters.
The firefighters claim Mr Costa was aggressive and tried to intimidate the 12 or so burly men. However union rep Darin Sullivan also admitted Mr Costa was booed and heckled.
"In true Costa style, he got out of the vehicle after doing a lap to avoid us and tried to intimidate the firefighters," he said.
"He was met with boos and much 'frank and open' debate regarding the NSW wages policy, and the threat to close fire stations and sack firefighters. He was quite aggressive, and the firefighters present were just as up front with him. It was quite a spectacle.
"At one point he made a statement, saying NSW firefighters are the best paid firefighters in the country.
"My 10-year-old daughter then said, for all to hear, standing right next to him, 'Excuse me sir, I'm only 10 years old and even I know that is a lie!'
Why weren’t you told this about Iraq?
AND now for some news from the front. Iraq says it’s ready to stand on its own two feet, and the United States is planning a gradual pullout. War over.
Sorry, I should have prepared you for this. I can see you’re shocked. You never saw this coming, did you?
No wonder. The way the media has reported Iraq has been like reporting every Allied setback in World War II - from Dunkirk to the Battle of the Bulge - without mentioning the fact that the Nazis were still, ahem, beaten.
But more on reporter Paul McGeough later. First, the good news.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says Iraq is working out a new accord with the US that he hopes will have a timetable for withdrawing its combat troops. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says Iraq should be able to do without them by as early as 2010.
US President George Bush will consider his own plan for troop withdrawals next month, and a fortnight ago cut tours of duty in Iraq from 15 months to 12.
No wonder they’re confident.
15 seconds of Edwards should have been enough
Even from way over in Australia, just a 15-second glimpse of John Edwards on television was enough to judge him a flake and a fraud. That furrowed-brow sincerity. That head-tilt compassion. Those oh-so-earnest cadences. That sight of a multi-millionaire trial lawyer posing as a champion of the working man simply on the basis that he’d got rich on what he’d charged them.
Or as John Weidner puts it:
When a guy talks populism and green-ism while building the biggest mansion in the county[below], there’s a 99% chance that he’s a sham. When a guy spends minutes in front of a mirror fluffing his hairdo, there’s a 99% chance that he will not resist the sexual temptations available to a celebrity.
Facing the bear
Today we are all Georgians.
Watching Rudd do little
YOU love the man, it seems. Newspoll this week confirmed it, giving Kevin Rudd a solid approval rating of 58 per cent.
No one better to run the country, you say. So I look at this typical week in Rudd’s utterly vacuous rule as Prime Minister and am stunned.
I mean, how in God’s name does this pretender - this Great Watcher - get away with it? What am I missing?
See, if one week could perfectly demonstrate the emptiness of Kevin Rudd, the astonishing Being There nothingness of this “I like to watch” Prime Minister, this week was it.
It ended with FuelWatch, of course, a debacle matched only by his GroceryWatch. But it started, just as typically, with StarWatch.
Greer’s racist excuse
Germaine Greer preaches a doctrine of irresponsibility, that Aboriginal women and children will pay for:
Greer, writing in an essay, On Rage, suggests that loss of land, women, language and culture over the past 200 years has led to a rage among Aboriginal men that helps explain the high levels of violence, suicide and self-destructive behaviour often found in indigenous communities. ”They can’t get over it (the rage) and it’s inhuman to ask them to get over it,” she said on the ABC’s Lateline this week.
Coaching students to lean Left
VICTORIA’S curriculum is left-wing and is pressuring students to conform to the politically correct views held in school texts and by teachers to enhance their chance of academic success, a Melbourne tutor has warned.
Stone Age warming
No doubt the emissions caused by roasting crocodiles caused this climate change, too:
A US-led team of archaeologists said today they had discovered by chance what is believed to be the largest find of Stone Age-era remains ever uncovered in the Sahara Desert. Named Gobero, the site includes remarkably intact human remains as well as the skeletons of fish and crocodiles dating back some 10,000 years to a time when what is now the world’s largest desert was a swampy wetland.