I admit: I am not a staunch Taylor Swift fan. To be frank, I have very little respect for her music in general. Numbers, however, are numbers and Taylor Swift swept 2010 like a tornado. An article I read today stated that her album ‘Speak Now’ sold more than 4.4 million albums and her songs were spotted by SoundScan a record 1.128 million times. As if this wasn’t enough, Taylor Swift also holds the distinction of being the most sold artist ever in the digital music world. Although I personally cannot see the reason her music is so popular, the fact that there are so many people out there that are willing to spend money to listen to her music says something about her work and about the industry in general.
Taylor Swift is an integral part of what I like to call the marketplace music movement. I am sure she puts a lot of work into her music and I respect the fact that she writes her own songs; but the fact remains that from the inception of the song to its production to its deployment as albums and digital downloads, the underlying motivation for everything is profit-making. That does not go to say that her music is not well-written or well-produced. It does, however, stay within the boundaries of what music corporate executives feel will sell the most. Going by the numbers alone, I’d say that they’re spot on.
I think music, however, has the potential to do more. It is a canvas on which artists can experiment, push the envelope and excite us. And I think that part of the reason that music like Taylor Swift’s sells so much is because we as consumers demand it. It’s basic economics. My only hope is that some of the break out artists from the world of Indie music and alternative rock whet the public’s appetite for more progressive music. I wish Taylor Swift success, but deeply hope for a day where the best selling hits are of deeper substance.
In the last several years, thousands of Internet users have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America, also known as the RIAA. The charges: copyright infringement. With widespread availability of high speed connections, it has become more and more convenient for people to just download their favorite music, music video or movies. Over the years, this trend has become such a common practice that the film-making and music industries eventually noticed drastic decline in their sales. This observation compelled the RIAA to sue Internet users who had been identified downloading copyrighted materials. Continue reading How YouTube Handles Copyright Infringement »
A small group of young musicians, most of them school students, are redefining the way music is played live. Christening themselves the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana, or LOL for short, a group of seven students set about to change the landscape of music as they know it. They write, produce and, most importantly, play their music almost entirely on digital instruments. Today, the team uses everything from the Nintendo Wii to Apple iPads and Macbooks to video game joysticks. The closet genre that the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana could be classified in would be science-fiction movie scores. Most of their music, however, sounds completely original and otherworldly. Other similar groups have sprung up, such as the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, which is shown in the video below.
Continue reading The Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana »
Country music has been around for a long time; it began at the dawn of the 20th century and since its inception has been on an upward spiral; continuously evolving and changing for the better.
If asked why they love country music, fans and followers of the genre may give you several reasons. What we have compiled below are some of the attributes that characterize country music and that country’s fans have come to love. Continue reading 3 Things We Love About Country Music »
Country music started gaining popularity and making its mark during the start of the century. From humble roots in the United States, country has gained recognition all over the world and evolved to the point where have two basic “sub-genres” of country: classic country and mainstream country music.
The two styles differ dramatically from each other, yet share some basic similarities. The way the music is composed, the rhythm is structured and chords are used are all entirely different. So which one is better—classic country or mainstream country? Continue reading Classic Country Music vs. Mainstream Country Music »
There is nothing quite like being able to travel back in time by listening to radio shows that play old songs. It is like having a trip down memory lane–not just your memory lane, but the whole world’s memory lane; it’s a whole new experience for those who are too young to have heard the music of the past in real life.
Continue reading The Streaming Jukebox: How Internet Radio Keeps the Tradition Alive »
There are some songs that many people don’t realize would fall into the Jazz category. If you aren’t really a fan of jazz, read on…you may find that that some of the songs that you love are actually jazz tunes that have been repurposed, remade or remixed and adopted into other genres.
We’ve compiled a list of great jazz songs that non-jazz music lovers will appreciate, it goes like this: Continue reading Jazz Radio: Our Picks for Top Tracks »