The Driving Beat of Glenn Frey

19 01 2016

Glenn Frey was a key part of the Eagles sound, and he was able to take that talent out on his own. I believe that his best work was in the 1970’s and 1980’s. He seemed to slow down some, which is fine. We’re all allowed to enjoy our success.

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David Bowie Ahead Of His Time

19 01 2016

David Bowie was, in my mind, an artist ahead of his time. His music always seemed to sound like it was made for a later decade.¬†Yes, it was odd at times, but that’s the charm and the brilliance of it.

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The Curator vs. The Algorithm

3 07 2015

A new battle for how music is distributed is now underway. While there are plenty of changes in the music business, one question is how to get a lot of music listeners without requiring they purchase their music. Generally lumped under the terms “streaming music” or “internet radio”, the idea is to get “music to the masses”. How this ultimately appears has yet to be determined.

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HD Music Wasted On Most Of Us

3 06 2015

A big thing in music right now is “HD music”. This is a combination of music players purportedly built for HD music playback, and music tracks sampled from original master tapes at very high sample rates. Frankly, I think most of this is pointless. Why? Because the extra cost isn’t worth the money, and we aren’t using the right equipment.

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Stompin’ Tom Conners

7 03 2013

Yesterday, Canada lost a legend and a musical icon with the death of Stompin’ Tom Conners. While not a gigantic commercial success, his songs were part of the soundtrack of Canada. Perhaps his most famous song is one of the two unofficial anthems of hockey in Canada, appropriately named The Hockey Song. Most Canadians can quote some lyric or another from one of Stompin’ Tom’s songs, but he never really sought big-time fame.

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Music Innovation Isn’t Just Digital

6 07 2012

I was talking with my oldest son about music the other day, while we were listening to some Daft Punk and Swedish House Mafia in the car. He was a bit surprised that I was listening to this style of music (given my usual genre is 60’s, 70’s and 80’s top-40), and was describing how innovative the artists behind Daft Punk were, and how experimental they were. I pointed out that he would find it surprising how many artists there are that really like to experiment, many whose roots are in music genres you wouldn’t expect to be experimental. He basically asked “so they like to work with computers and synthesizers too”, and I had to point out that experimentation had nothing to do a specific mechanism for producing innovative sounds. Its the ideas and innovations that matter.

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Why The Beatles Are Important

9 05 2012

On a recent episode of Mad Men, the Beatles figured as part of the story line. The show went so far as to have a Beatles song (Tomorrow Never Knows from Revolver) play during the episode. Of course, this once again generated comments from people who either gush over how they are “the best and most important band ever” or dismiss them as relatively insignificant. If you actually look at what happened to rock and popular music, and try to look objectively, I think it becomes clear that the Beatles were supremely important to the advancement and development of rock and pop. They affected the business and the art in many ways, both good and bad. Are they the most important? One could argue that they are, and provide substantial evidence to support that argument. However, to do so would minimize the meaningful contribution of other artists, and to downplay other factors that changed the face of pop music. That being said, they are certainly one of the more important groups, and are one of the most successful.

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