Is Streaming Video/Music Economically Unsustainable?

Jazz critic Ted Gioia has some tweets about how streaming services are “the black hole of the entertainment business.”

I’ve updated my quick and easy guide to streaming economics—the black hole of the entertainment business.https://t.co/7AXsrUgB0E— Ted Gioia (@tedgioia) March 13, 2019

His basic point is that streaming services lose, and continue to lose, a lot of money, and I assume he thinks this won’t change. At the very least, Gioia doesn’t seem to believe that streaming model will be able to support the making of movies, TV shows, and music. Equally dispiriting is the notion that musicians are getting even less revenue from streaming services (less than money they’d get from the traditional recording industry). That really sucks. I really don’t want to pay for a service where the musicians and artists don’t really get far less than they deserve (which, actually seems to have always been the case, but this is going in the wrong direction). Should serious music fans consider purchasing music in a traditional way (e.g., cds, records), and, even better, from the musicians themselves?

Another question: Why can’t artists ever take control of the distribution so that they can receive the majority of the profits?

Albums You Really Like

I’ve been thinking about great albums, or albums that I’ve really like (which is not necessarily the same thing). Some titles have come to mind, and then I can’t remember them. I’m starting this thread to keep track of these titles, and also discuss the albums. We can also discuss the qualities that make a great album or one that you really like.

By the way, I realized that for most of my life a great album was one where I liked most, if not all the songs. The flow of the album from song to song and the way each song worked together to create a cohesive whole weren’t criteria I thought much of, at least not consciously. (Well, I doubt that I did.) As an example, I liked Def Lepard’s Pyromania for this reason. Basically, I thought of a good album similar to a “best of” album.

Continue reading “Albums You Really Like”

Kalapana

I know we started this conversation via text, but since texting is a hassle for me, I’m starting this thread. Mitchell did a poll of the best Kalapana songs (which he’ll hopefully post here). I think choosing one is actually kinda hard. By the way, a song that grew on me over time is “Love ‘Em.” I don’t if it ever received much air time, but I kinda like that one.

Mitchell, you don’t like “Lost Again?” I think that’s one of my favorites.

By the way, Don mentioned “Real Thing.” I remember the first time I heard that, I thought, “Dang, that’s a legitimately good song, as in it could be popular outside of Hawai’i.” I was disappointed to find out that it wasn’t an original.

2018 Year-End Lists

“I love lists. Always have. when I was 14, I wrote down every dirty word I knew on file cards and placed them in alphabetical order. I have a thing about about collections, and a list is a collection with purchase.”

Adam Savage
Wired Magazine
“Step One: Make a List”
October 2012

General Music Thread

I’ve written before that writing or even reading about music isn’t as interesting as writing or reading about books and movies, but I still feel the urge to talk about music I’ve listened to and liked. These efforts, even in optimal circumstances, don’t really lead to interesting discussions. Instead, the value, in ideal situations, is that you find someone else that shares your enthusiasm. (If there is anything more that I find interesting or valuable, nothing really comes to mind right now. I guess, if the other person provides insights that I wasn’t aware of–i.e., I learn new things–that would be valuable as well.) I don’t think there will be a lot of opportunities for that sort of thing for any of us, but the urge is strong enough that this won’t stop me. (Additionally, since this is a general thread, people can write broadly about music, not just the things the music they’re currently enthusiastic about.

Music That Mitchell and I–Could–Both Enjoy

I think I started a thread like this in the previous incarnation of the site, but I thought of starting this again because I’ve been listening to the type of music that I think we’d both enjoy. For example, over the weekend, I watched a documentary on Lowell George, the front man for Little Feat. I’ve heard their music described as “Southern fried rock,” which is apt, although something like “roots rock n’ roll” might be a little more accurate–basically rock n’ roll that draws upon folk, country, bluegrass, and the blues. At times, there’s also a kind of Old Timey sound. Little Feat has this, but they also have a greasier, grungier sound (which I kinda like) compared to a group like the Eagles. Other groups that might fall into this type of music are the Grateful Dead, Poco, The Band, Allman Brothers (although they’re not so rootsy, I guess).

Actually, before I watched the video on George, I stumbled into the music of Lydia Loveless. Her music seemed like something of a modern version of this type of music, with maybe a heavier country sound at times (which can be heard in her vocal style). There’s something about her singing and the band behind her that I liked.

It’s weird because this isn’t a style of music I love. That is, I would listen to this when I’m in the mood for this sort of this, which doesn’t happen all that much. It’s definitely not something that I can see myself listening to regularly. But I do have some appreciation for it. Specifically, I like the way the various styles bleed together, in a way that suggests there are no boundaries; and, like almost every other type of music, I like the soulful, heartful quality that comes through, particularly through the vocals. (I also think Little Feat has some quality songs as well.)

Edit

Lydia Loveless has more of a 90’s alt-rock sound. I keep thinking of 10,000 Maniacs, and Natalie Merchant, but I don’t if there’s any real connection.