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Monthly Archives: September 2016

September 5, 2016

The Most Expensive Vinyl Record Ever

Most expensive vinyl recordVinyl record collectors can really go overboard when it comes to a rare record or a rare edition or version. Just like coin collectors, they especially revel in records with a flaw that were quickly pulled off the market since there’s only a limited number ever printed. So what do you think a classic record marked with a #0000001 stamp would be worth? What if were previously owned by one of the most famous musicians ever? Do you think it would be the most expensive vinyl record ever?

If you’re answer was “Yes,” then you’d be very right. Last December the very first test pressing of The Beatles White Album owned by Ringo Starr was sold at auction for an almost unbelievable $790,000, as reported by NME! The sale was registered by the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest price ever paid for a vinyl record.

To put that into perspective, a similar test pressing stamped #0000005 and previously owned by John Lennon sold for only $30,000 in 2013.

The proceeds from the album sale and 1,300 items belonging to Ringo went to the charity that he and his wife founded called The Lotus Foundation, which is dedicated to helping people with substance abuse problems, cerebral palsy, brain tumors, cancer, battered women and their children and animal abuse. Another high-priced item was the Ludwig drum kit than Ringo used with The Beatles, which went for $2.2 million. All told, the auction raised $10 million and it all went for a great cause.

Even after more than 50 years, The Beatles still remain iconic and don’t seem to be slipping in popularity. Of course, the band’s songwriter is the bar against much music is measured, and goes to show that great songs continue to live long past their artists prime. Of course, crazy collectors factor in every now and then as well.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 9/2/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the music industry news roundup from the week of Sept 2nd, 2016. As it happens just about every week, Spotify is in the news again, but there were lots of other great news articles this week as well. Let’s get into it.

Spotify is making its own records. Yes, it’s commissioning releases from different producers especially for its Chill, Dinner and Focus playlists. Unethical? No different than Netflix creating their own shows. Controversial? You bet, since it controls those playlists and will force legit producers off, and the record labels can’t be happy at this development either.

Playlists are a big deal. They’re how many discover new music and this post looks in depth at them.

Katy Perry takes a hit over exclusives. It looks like she’s been blackballed by Spotify because of her Apple Music exclusive. Of course, it could be that her last release wasn’t that great and this is a convenient excuse.

Is Bandcamp the best online music store? This New York Times article says it is, but from who’s perspective – the company, the investors or the artists?

A look at how much Frank Ocean with make. Here’s some great insight into what a hit artist can make today and the multiple revenue streams it takes to make it. It might be more than you think, or less, depending on how you look at the industry.

Do you know what the “Millennial Whoop” is? It’s the same exact whooping, melodic sequence that’s been showing up in a surprisingly high number of recent pop songs, and this article takes a close look at it.

The VMA’s were down 34% this year. MTV’s Video Music Awards once were a must watch show for not only the United States, but the rest of the world as well. Not so today and viewership is plummeting. The show really took a big hit this year despite a lot of pre-show hype.

Want an example of a hit DIY artist? Look to Jonathan Coulton. A good overview of a geek programmer who left his job to explore his musical passion. The move worked out well, yet so very under the radar.

What blockchain for music really means. Many believe that blockchain technology will be the savior of the music business, making everyone pay for music again. This blockchain expert explains why that could, or could not happen.

That’s the News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.

September 1, 2016

Rap, Rock, Country And EDM Aren’t Considered Real Music In Chicago

Real music venueWhen it comes to the issue of “fine arts,” rap, country, rock and DJ-based music are not considered real music in Chicago, and believe it or not, that’s actually a good thing. Small venues that hold 750 or less in Cook County aren’t subject to a 3% admission fee tax because what goes on in the venues isn’t covered as music under the Fine Arts part of the tax code.

That hasn’t stopped tax officials from demanding back payments of the taxes though, and has only added to the extra pressure that small venues there face in staying open.

New legislation by county commissioner John Fitchy is now being proposed that will hopefully clear up the situation, however. The amendment to the tax law clarifies what qualifies as music, but exempts the genres from the tax code, taking pressure off the venues should it pass. One thing it doesn’t do is exempt venues from back taxes, but the commissioner has sent a letter to the tax board asking tax collectors to stand down from trying to collect any back taxes from the venues.

All over the world, music venues are under siege, especially in the big cities. Although taxes are a part of doing business, an unexpected large tax bill could easily push a venue to close, especially when so many are struggling to survive as it is. Rising real estate prices and sometimes harsh police tactics and building code laws makes you wonder why anyone would even want to open a club these days, and in fact, so many classic venues have closed when up against these new realities.

That said, some large cites (Chicago and London for example) are now recognizing that a thriving music scene is essential for a thriving nightlife, which only bolsters a city’s culture and desirability. Let’s hope that other cities make a similar move to help real music venues not only survive, but flourish.

[Photo: Cantabrigian7 via Wikipedia]