Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Article: Songs Are Getting Shorter and Streaming Is To Blame

If this were really just a matter of a cultural shift, I wouldn’t be bothered.  If it’s purposely a way to game the online music industry then that’s just greedy.  I’m sure the truth is somewhere in the middle, as usual.

Spotify apple music tidal

"Spotify and music streaming are to blame.

Like on the radio, all tracks are paid equally, regardless of length. But unlike radio, for the charts, streams are aggregated to equal sales. Nielsen Soundscan and Billboard count 1,250 premium audio streams, 3,750 ad-supported streams or 3,750 video streams as equal to one album sales.

So, in era of short attention spans and unlimited access to music, the easiest way to get more streams and rise up the charts, is to make each track shorter. Now, when a fan listens to a full album of 20 short songs instead of 12 onger ones, the total number of stream for each album played just jumped 66%.

‘[T]here has never been this kind of financial incentive to make shorter songs,’ tweeted former Pitchfork editor Mark Richardson."

(Via Songs Are Getting Shorter and Streaming Is To Blame - hypebot.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Video Day #tzachill

MARINA is BACK with her new video for Handmade Heaven. Amy Ray is still going strong, releasing her new video for Sure Feels Good Anyway.  Maya de Vitry, one third of The Stray Birds (!!), has put out a new album and this video for My Body Is A Letter.

Bonus:  Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves just released her touching new video for Rainbow.

Thursday: Elise Davis @ Beachland Tavern

I love when Country music when it feels authentic.  Elise Davis has that sound, hailing from Little Rock Arkansas.  Her latest album Hurt has been so good, I’ve started to dig back into her older stuff!  I’m excited that she’ll be in the Tavern!


Opening is Cleveland’s own Sarah Arafat.


Tomorrow: St. Paul & The Broken Bones and Valley Queen @ House of Blues

This show isn’t all about the headliner… St. Paul & the Broken Bones, an American eight-piece soul band based in Birmingham, AL, caught my attention awhile back with their Tiny Desk Concert.  It’s an incredible performance, but to be honest, their coming to the House of Blues wouldn’t have motivated to buy a ticket (maybe Beachland).  


"As much as Young Sick Camellia suggests the band’s terrific energy, Janeway says the albums can’t compare to the live shows.

‘That’s the ticket,’ he says of performing in front of audiences. ‘That’s the magic. That’s where you get instant gratification or instant non-gratification. There’s not a lot of jobs or situations where that happens. That part of it is nice. With any great show I’ve seen, I always like to think that you’re trying to make this moment of connectivity with an audience and with yourself. You get to be the conduit of that kind of thing. It’s pretty great.’"

(Via In Advance of Next Week's Show at House of Blues, St. Paul and the Broken Bones Frontman Talks About the Band's Latest Album | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

When I saw Valley Queen was opening, my draw dropped.  I don’t even remember how I came across them, but several of their songs have been some of my recent favorite.  I’m including their most recent video for Stars Align below, but also check out Gems & Rubies below that - it’s arresting.


Bas (2/13/19)

Bas performed at the Grog Shop to a very excited audience, as you can see by the photo with the crazy amount of phones in the air.  I’ve been listening to his stuff lately, and it’s incredibly good.  I’m not as deep into Rap as I’d like, but this album has easily stood out.  The crowd concurred, as this was the most participatory show I’ve ever been to.  Almost every song had some call and response aspect - and everyone participated in every one.  Incredible show.
Bas  2 13 19
Bas  2 13 19
Bas  2 13 19

Monday, February 11, 2019

Article: Cassette Sales Still On The Rise

I find this entertaining - and it goes along with my theory that introducing new technology does not also signal the death of the old.  We just continue to diversify.

Top 20 cassettes

"Cassettes may never be as big as they were in the late 80s and early 90s, but the numbers revealed by Nielsen show the market for such media is thriving more than it has in recent years. Smaller artists may not move as many units as the acts above, but considering the low cost of duplication, the cassette tape remains a viable merch option for anyone trying to give their fans something they can hold that isn’t a t-shirt or beanie."

(Via Cassette Sales Still On The Rise - hypebot.)

MOCA’s 50th Anniversary Party (2/9/19)

I originally bought tickets to this event because In Training would be DJ’ing, but was happy to see everything else they had on the schedule for this MOCA 50th Anniversary Party: The New Agency.  

MOCA s 50th Anniversary Party  2 9 19

The music was good, but I wish the acoustics could have matched the quality of the music.  Sophie Benn was fantastic.

MOCA s 50th Anniversary Party  2 9 19

The art was very engaging as well.

MOCA s 50th Anniversary Party  2 9 19

MOCA s 50th Anniversary Party  2 9 19

But like I said, it really was all about In Training.  I can’t wait to see them back on a regular performance schedule at Now That’s Class (or anywhere really). 

MOCA s 50th Anniversary Party  2 9 19

MOCA s 50th Anniversary Party  2 9 19

Oliver Hazard House Concert (2/8/19)

After my last house concert (Mike Edel 5/3/18), I was a little concerned I might've set the bar a little too high for myself.  Thankfully I ran across Oliver Hazard, and they were totally down for coming back to Cleveland for a house concert.  Not only are they great guys, but they’re great performers as well.  The songwriting was fun and the harmonies were “intoxicating” (as one of my friends put it). 🙂

They played their latest album, and are working on some great material for the next one.  I’m looking forward to following these guys and seeing what they do next.  I’ll definitely be seeing them again when they come back around.  I’ll keep you posted.

Oliver Hazard House Concert  2 8 19

Oliver Hazard House Concert  2 8 19

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Nakhane scored a collaboration with ANOHNI for their new release New Brighton.  Jessica Hernandez released a retro-fabulous new video for Baby.  Savoir Adore shows what it’s like to Bloom as a drag queen in their new video.

Bonus: Foals put out yet another great, cinematic video - this time for Exits

Boy Harsher (2/7/19)

The second I heard Boy Harsher, I knew this was a show I wanted to see at Now That’s Class.  Those brooding synths felt perfect for that space - and it was.  Check it out.

Boy Harsher  2 7 19

Boy Harsher  2 7 19

Video Day #tzachill

Andrew Bird is (finally) out with a new video for Sisyphus, off his modest new album, My Finest Work Yet (out 3/22). Gus Dapperton gets weird on the lake with his Favorite Fish. Mitski put out a gorgeous animated film for A Pearl. 

Bonus: This new video for ekki hugsa by Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds is incredibly charming, as is the music.

Article: Cleveland's Robust Cover and Tribute Band Scene Remains Thriving, Which is Good News for Fans and Musicians Alike

I don’t really understand the allure of cover and tribute bands - but at least now I know how to distinguish between those labels.


"Tribute and cover bands—and, make no mistake, the terms shouldn't necessarily be used interchangeably—are big business in Northeast Ohio. Head to nearly any outdoor event or festival during the warmer months and, chances are, these groups are providing musical entertainment. Cover and tribute acts permeate the club and bar scene as well, both at long-time usual suspects (Westlake's Time Warp, North Olmsted's Sly Fox Lounge, the Rocksino's Club Velvet) and venues that book a mix of originals and touring acts, such as the Music Box Supper Club and the Winchester.

Northeast Ohio's cover scene is vast and varied. Decade- and genre-specific groups proliferate, from the '90s- and '00s-leaning Top 40 troupe Pop Fiction to hip-hop-centric Old Skool to '80s-heavy 80s proof for new wavers. Fans of '80s hard rock and metal can go see Juke Box Heroes or the long-running troupe Cleveland's Breakfast Club featuring Paul Sidoti, the local native who's been Taylor Swift's lead guitarist since 2007. Even the local original music community gets in on the fun—notably on Halloween, when rock, punk and indie musicians work up elaborate covers sets for an annual show at the Beachland Ballroom."

(Via Cleveland's Robust Cover and Tribute Band Scene Remains Thriving, Which is Good News for Fans and Musicians Alike | News Features | Cleveland | Cleveland Scene.)

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Video Day #tzachill

Rayland Baxter is his usual charming self in this seemingly SUPER FUN video to make for Hey Larocco.  José González is pimpin’ The Sunday Assembly in his new video for Leaf Off / The Cave off his 2015 album (!). Lily & Madeline jumps on this retro-bandwagon with their new video for Can’t Help The Way I Feel.

Jon and Roy, arguably my favorite Canadian folk band, released their new video for Here.