Dave Grohl on how to write a hit

February 17, 2011

 

“Most white people dance to the lyrics..” HA! Still, some good tips here from Mr. Grohl.

2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 6 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 72 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 267 posts. There were 27 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 52mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was November 16th with 790 views. The most popular post that day was Abbey Road.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were gearslutz.com, en.wordpress.com, acapella.harmony-central.com, homerecording.com, and facebook.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for abbey road, paul mccartney, the beatles abbey road, beatles abbey road, and iphone 3g.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Abbey Road October 2009
10 comments

2

iPhone use up sharply: video, music needed! June 2009

3

How much do you edit a song to fit the visuals? December 2009
2 comments

4

How to polish your drum loops October 2009

5

Happy Beatles Day! September 2009

The Meaning of Christmas

December 25, 2010

 

I can’t say it any better than Linus! Merry Christmas!

Have a very Elvis Costello Christmas!

December 22, 2010

Elvis himself posted this on YouTube, so I assume he’s totally cool with it. Enjoy!

“Jefferson”

December 19, 2010

Here is a link to a song I just finished up last night. It’s called “Jefferson,” and it’s about the tiny East Texas town that my mother’s family have lived in for several generations. Mom lives there still, in the post-Civil-War house on the hill that I grew up knowing as my Pa-Pa and Boots’ house.  (My grandmother, the legend went, was small enough to fit inside a cowboy boot when she was a baby — thus the nickname).

The song is a piano ballad that contains a series of literal images from visits there in my youth. For you fellow recording nerds out there, I recorded it with Sonar and some software synthesizers by Cakewalk. I used plug-ins by Line 6 and Ik Multimedia, among others.  I used an AT 4047 as my main vocal mic, with a ribbon mic for background vocals, and Line 6 and Hagstrom guitars and my old Epiphone bass (with a “toaster” style pickup in it). Everything went through a gray market “Neve” style preamp.

Hope you enjoy it! You can listen to it as often as you wish at the above link; if you’d rather purchase it, you can do so via iTunes here.

Here are the lyrics:

Jefferson, by Christopher Ave

Hide inside the old clubhouse my Mama’s Daddy made
Fly beside me as I rush to the moss beside the glade
Climb up the narrow stairs that lead to the attic mysteries
Sit down upon the old green rocker and sing your melodies

Oh hear the mournful song
of the lonely midnight train
So near, it won’t be long
till the morning’s sad refrain

So come down with me to my history
With hopes displayed, where outside games were made up, lost and won
Just walk with me on those red brick streets
And see the way my worries were undone
In Jefferson

City kid of eight or nine with glasses on my face
The folks had split and I was fine with changing up my place
The town was where I lost my cares in a southern state of grace
and learned the life away from strife in an ancient, languid pace

Oh hear the mournful song
of the lonely midnight train
So near, it won’t be long
till the morning’s sad refrain

So come down with me to my history
With hopes displayed, where outside games were made up, lost and won
Just walk with me on those red brick streets
And see the way my worries were undone
In Jefferson

(bridge)
In Jefferson
the only time I saw
my paw paw cry
he’d lost his bride

So come down with me to my history
With hopes displayed, where outside games were made up, lost and won
Just walk with me on those red brick streets
And see the way my worries were undone…
In Jefferson

Mourning John

December 8, 2010

Thirty years ago tomorrow morning, my Mom gently knocked on my bedroom door. “I have some terrible news,” she said.

Like everyone else, I was stunned at John Lennon’s murder — stunned, then devastated. I wore my black “All You Need Is Love” t-shirt to school that day. And as events unfolded, I watched with millions of others at the vigil outside the Dakota and the images of that twisted being who robbed the world of one of its greatest musical talents.

So today I am determined to focus not on the crime or its perpetrator, but on Lennon’s music instead. I’ll dial up some of my favs — “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “A Day In The Life” and “Grow Old With Me” among them. I hope you do the same.

Rudolph (You Don’t Have To Put On The Red Light)

December 7, 2010

More holiday fun. Enjoy!

Hallelujah Chorus flash mob

December 3, 2010

Now THIS flash mob gets me into the Christmas season! Awesome display of the power of unexpected — and beautiful — music.

Photo slideshows drive page-views

November 19, 2010

Here is a fascinating article in Columbia Journalism Review about how photo slideshows drive traffic to news websites.

Not mentioned in the article is the key role that appropriate music can play in a successful slideshow. When a slideshow can be “auto-played,” making the changes congruent with the rhythm of the music is an important technique that can enhance story-telling.

And according to the article, the quality of the slideshow will only grow in importance:

But when even bad slideshows succeed economically, where’s the incentive to make them good? That incentive, eventually, will have to come from advertisers, as they tire of the tricks that their editorial friends are playing on them. Earlier, I noted that advertisers don’t care if dozens of page views are coming from the same user, because their ads are still getting shown. But eventually this will reach a point of diminishing returns. Telling the same person about a new movie a dozen times is not as effective of telling a half-dozen people twice.

Advertisers have an easy way to hold sites accountable: rely on unique visitor, rather than page-view, counts. The page-view metric has become diluted by editorial and business tricks like recirculation tools, landing pages, and slideshows. As Gawker Media owner Nick Denton puts it, “Some page views are worth more than others.” That’s why he now judges his staff and sites’ success on a less-manipulated number: how many people come to visit, not how many pages they visit once they’re there. Denton’s reason for the switch is editorial—he wants more exclusives, and he thinks uniques are a good way to incentivize them. Advertisers should follow suit. Their ads will have greater reach if sites know that it’s unique visitors, not page views, that matter most.

And with that change of mentality will come a switch of strategy. No longer will the worst slideshows be as economically viable. Slideshow quality will rise as sites try to create iconic slideshows that bring in new visitors interested in hearing a story told as only the Internet can. Slideshows will no longer have to be a savior in scourge’s clothing.

 

Confirmed: Beatles on iTunes today!

November 16, 2010

It’s true - the Beatles are now on iTunes.

Of course, those of us with the entire catalog on CD – whether it’s the original pressings or the wonderful remastered versions – may never need to purchase them yet again.

But there’s something significant in the Beatles union with iTunes. Nearly 40 years after their breakup, the Beatles still sell more CDs than almost any other band. So fixing iTunes’ biggest gap is a positive move for Apple. And though the Beatles hardly need digital sales to boost their bottom line, the result will be even more Beatles music, all across the universe. And that, my friends, is something to celebrate.

Here’s EMI’s press release:

LONDON and CUPERTINO, California – November 16, 2010 – Apple Corps, EMI and Apple® today announced that the Beatles, the most influential and beloved rock band in music history, are now available for the first time on the iTunes Store® (www.itunes.com). Starting today, the group’s 13 legendary remastered studio albums with iTunes LPs, the two-volume “Past Masters” compilation and the classic “Red” and “Blue” collections are available for purchase and download on iTunes® worldwide as either albums or individual songs. Fans can also get a special digital “Beatles Box Set” featuring the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964″ concert film, a worldwide iTunes exclusive which captures the Beatles’ very first US concert.

“We’re really excited to bring the Beatles’ music to iTunes,” said Sir Paul McCartney. “It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around.”

“I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes,” said Ringo Starr. “At last, if you want it-you can get it now-The Beatles from Liverpool to now! Peace and Love, Ringo.”

“We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “It has been a long and winding road to get here. Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we’ve had since we launched iTunes ten years ago.”

“In the joyful spirit of Give Peace A Chance, I think it is so appropriate that we are doing this on John’s 70th birthday year,” said Yoko Ono Lennon.

“The Beatles on iTunes-Bravo!” said Olivia Harrison.

“The Beatles and iTunes have both been true innovators in their fields,” said EMI Group CEO Roger Faxon. “It’s a privilege for everybody at EMI to work with Steve Jobs and with Apple Corps’ Jeff Jones and their teams in marking a great milestone in the development of digital music.”

Each of the Beatles’ 13 legendary remastered studio albums, including “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Revolver,” “The Beatles [The White Album]” and “Abbey Road” include iTunes LPs, which create an immersive album experience with a beautiful design and expanded visual features including a unique mini-documentary about the creation of each album. The two-volume “Past Masters” compilation and the classic “Red” and “Blue” collections are also available.

Single albums are available for purchase and download for $12.99 each, double albums for $19.99 each and individual songs for $1.29 each.

The special digital “Beatles Box Set” ($149) contains the 13 remastered studio albums with iTunes LPs and all mini-documentaries, “Past Masters,” and the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964″ concert film, a worldwide iTunes exclusive which captures the Beatles’ very first US concert in its entirety. In addition, Beatles fans can stream and view the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964″ concert film from iTunes for free for the remainder of this calendar year.

Apple Corps Ltd. was founded by The Beatles in 1968 to look after the group’s own affairs. The London-based company has administered the catalogue of The Beatles releases of the 1960s that have sold to date more than 600 million records, tapes and CDs. Since the 1990s, Apple has piloted new Beatles projects that have become benchmarks for pioneering accomplishment and which have included The Beatles Anthology projects, the 29-million selling album The Beatles 1, The Beatles LOVE show and CD and the 09/09/09 release of The Beatles Remastered catalogue and The Beatles Rock Band game. Further information on The Beatles’ projects can be found at http://www.thebeatles.com.

 

Here’s the text of the Apple press release:

We are proud to announce that The Beatles are now available for the first time on the iTunes Store.

Starting today, the band’s 13 legendary remastered studio albums with iTunes LPs, the two-volume “Past Masters” compilation and the classic “Red” and “Blue” collections are available for purchase and download on iTunes worldwide as either albums or individual songs. Fans can also get a special digital “Beatles Box Set” featuring the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964” concert film, a worldwide iTunes exclusive which captures the Beatles’ very first US concert.

Beatles fans can stream and view the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964” concert film from iTunes for free for the remainder of this calendar year.

Finally, a cool new video plus some quick commercials can be found here.


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