My proposal to save the music industry

Warning: This plan does not involve the use of the words units or paradigms or digital content strategy or platform.

1.  The use of mp3s will be for streaming and marketing only.

2.  The default format for the music business will be 88.2/24 bit .wav files or above.

3.  Music listeners will preview all purchases online.

4.  When they want to own a recording, they purchase the files and the files are deposited in their cloud account from the server of their online store.
4a.  Listeners will own those recordings even if they drop their streaming membership.
4b.  Listeners are able to do with those files as they see fit — resale is not permitted.  If some sort of embedded id number is put into the files to track ridiculous anti-artist file sharing, so be it.

5.  There will be a minimal monthly charge to stream and file purchases should be $5-7 per recording.

6.  If music listeners consume more music, the price they pay will drop or the perks they receive will increase.

7.  New bands with new recordings can sell at lower prices and older, more established acts that have paid their dues are free to sell their recordings at higher prices.  Prices for recordings can move up or down as demand moves up or down.  Dynamic pricing will be a part of the music business.

8.  Some sort of equipment subsidy should be adopted so that listeners are listening on equipment that makes their listening experience better, not worse.  Maybe increased consumption entitles listeners to upgraded music gear.

9.  A non-PR oriented music filter should be built into these stores so that new recording artists are able to develop organically.  The filter should not be centered either around paid publicity or fan voting — neither one currently works.

10.  Artists and music labels will put their 88.2 .wav files in one location that all stores will use to move files to customers.  They will received detailed but not invasive information regarding who is streaming/listening to their music and who has purchased it.  They will be able to get enough information to establish relationships with listeners outside of the store.

Listeners will be able to preview music and not be ripped off.
Listeners will be encouraged to consume more music as they consume more music.
Listeners will have a great sounding format that is easy to purchase online.
Listeners will be able to bring back the music business.

You heard it here first.


New music listening Thurs March 29, 2012

@@@ Madonna: MDNA.  I like the production, but the recording engineers have chopped all the low end out of her voice (because she can’t sing) and she sounds 12 years old.  Her songwriting remains focused more on spectacle and shock rather than, well, songs.

@@@  Georgia Ann Muldrew: Seeds.  Dense arrangements dating back to early ’70s soul.  The arrangements surpass the songs.  This music is a Curtis Mayfield thing with a twist of Stevie Wonder but fronted by a woman. I like the loose flow of the tunes, but I think the lyrics are somewhat cliche.  If there were some unique vocal sentiments on this record I would be jumping up and down, but the lyrical average-ness does not take you higher.


New music listening Monday March 26, 2012

Checkin’ out some music from CFUV’s weekly email.

@@@ Lee Fields: Truthful Man.  More emotive than James Brown.  Am I crazy to want some new soul that isn’t so close to the old soul?  There is one interesting section where there are some catchy more modern background vocals, but it’s so authentic I can’t make it through the whole tune.  Maybe something’s wrong with me.

@@@ Nneka: Soul is Heavy.  A little dubbed out, a little rocked out in the chorus, and a lot of female flow on the mic over thick drums.  I prefer Michael Franti’s Yell Fire.  It’s not the same exact formula, but it’s not far off.

@@@ Lee Ranaldo: Between the Time and Tides.  I thought Sonic Youth had its moments (Daydream Nation) but a bit hyped and lacking in songwriting, or uninterested in songs whichever.  This is more tuneful — I like his voice.  I wish the production was a little more stripped down, but I like this more than I thought I would.

New music listening Friday March 23, 2012

No inspirational thoughts about how great the music business is today.

@@@ Duke of Straw has this Neal Casal as his favorite song of the week.  Nothing ground breaking but a strong voice.

@@@ Check out some ambient tape lo-fi from Russia’s Curd Lake over here at Russian Adults.  I dig the third tune, kinda haunting like that Mike Watt answering machine message on Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation.

@@@ Over here at Abeano Music you can read about and check out the band Virginia Wing.  It reminds me of the Mamas and the Papas, I think the chord progression is similar.

@@@ I don’t know why a blog that features acoustic music almost exclusively would be KickKickSnare, but it’s a whacky world.

Here’s a pretty straightforward indie ballad by St. Lucia.  He’s got a good voice, I don’t care that much for the song but check it out.

@@@ We’ll wrap up this week’s listening with a tune off Vijay Iyer‘s new record Accelerando.  I could have sworn I heard a riff from Michael Jackson’s tune ‘Human Nature’ tucked into this tune.  I shit you not.


New music listening Thursday March 22, 2012

@@@ You can hear Joe Walsh‘s new single over here at Rolling Stone.

@@@ Pushing my luck with the Amber Waves of Twang under-appreciated list here.

They have Hotel Lights and this tune on their list.  More Byrds like pop than the country/roots bands they’ve had up there up to this point.  Not exactly my cup of tea, but this sound is pretty popular.

@@@  Over here at Burning Ambulance you can read about Rhode Island trio Pilgrim and their debut Misery Wizard (Metal Blade).  There are some pretty trippy abstract vocals around 2:45 so make sure you don’t miss those.

@@@  Quick Before it Melts has a post up about Little Girls over here with this video.  I don’t like this emerging branch of the indie music tree.

@@@ I always dig how much self-released music Olive Music reviews.  They have a post up over here about Othreim and you can check out their mathy, proggy, nerd metal down below.