Monday, 3 July 2017

The music industry and its on-going war with YouTube

YouTube has more than 1 billion users. It’s the most popular source for music streaming on the internet. It should be good for artists, right? According to YouTube, yes, but artists are saying otherwise.

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Last year, Deadmau6 found a YouTube channel with 400 unauthorized videos containing his songs, album tracks, remixes and live shows. He contacted his lawyer to have it shutdown. The lawyer had to spend 6 hours sitting in his office to send 400 takedowns. After that, the channel shutdown but two days later it popped up again.

Taylor Swift, McCartney, Beck, Kings of Leon and others recently signed a letter to congress calling them for reform on the law that allows YouTube to host millions of unauthorized videos. The artists spend tons of time, money, talents, and effort to produce music. Thousands of others make profit off their hard work.

Album sales have fallen about 60 percent in the past decade, while YouTube has become increasingly important with 98 percent of American internet users from ages 18 to 24 visit the site.

Artists get income off of YouTube from advertisements that “leech” on their videos. But anyone with a slightly above average knowledge in internet usage can create a channel and upload, and make money on, other artists’ videos.

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Mike Eckhardt here. I love music and aspire to be a reporter in the industry someday. Visit my blog to know more.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Guilty Pleasure Hits From The ‘90s

For most millennials,the music of the ‘90s means vintage looks, the reign of MTV, and catchy ditties kept from friends who would probably laugh at you if they knew and call you out for being corny.Until you find out they have the records as well. But for most who grew up in that period, it’s inescapable, really.So here are five unabashedly anthemic hits from the era.


1. Hanson – MMMBop (1997)

How can one say no to these kids? Cute and brotherly and how about those high-pitched adolescent voices?“MMMBop” is the epitome of carefree.

2. Wilson Phillips – Hold On (1990)

No better way to reminisce about the turn of the decade than by indulging the uplifting narrative of this song. Only Corey Hart’s “Never Surrender” could top this, but that came out five years too soon.

3. Billy Ray Cyrus – Achy Breaky Heart (1992)

Way before twerking became a buzzword, dancing to this song by Miley’s dad was all the rage. Not just in Montana, of course.


4. Aqua – Barbie Girl (1997)

Nothing beats crooning “Come On Barbie, let’s go party” in that low, booming voice that’s meant to be Ken’s. Everyone should try jogging with this on. Everyone.

5. Extreme – More than Words (1990)

I mean, how many aspiring Adonises tried to learn the guitar when this became a hit? And learned how to properly use candles during dates?

Mike Eckhardt is an aspiring music journalist whose passion for both the scene and the industry seems taken straight out of the script of the movie Almost Famous. Read more about music journalism 101 by clicking here.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

A debut like no other: Sara Bareilles shines in her own Broadway musical

Sara Bareilles has added another creative hyphen to her artistic resume. From being a singer-songwriter and six-time Grammy nominee, Sara is now a theater actress. Last year, she had her Broadway debut (as a composer) with “Waitress.” “Waitress” has opened a lot of doors for her, including a stint in acting. She plays the lead role of Jenna Hunterson, which was previously brought to life by Jessie Mueller, a Tony Award-winner. 

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While Sara is a Broadway newcomer, she has auditioned for some plays. She has always dreamt of being in the acting spotlight, and now she is living her dream with “Waitress.” 

Sara has consulted a lot of singer-turned-actors for her Broadway debut. She asked for advice from Jennifer Nettles, a singer who played the role of Roxie Hart in “Chicago,” and Josh Groban, who is currently starring in “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.” 

“Waitress” is adapted from an Adrienne Shelly film released in 2007. It's about a waitress who does wonders with baking but is unhappy with her marriage. Sara’s score for the musical has earned her a Tony nomination in 2016. 

Sara became a household name with the release of her 2007 song, “Love Song,” and has had three full-length studio albums and sold out shows worldwide. She also made her writing debut with “Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far).” 

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

All Rise For The Queen: Beyoncé Leads Coachella 2017 Lineup

The rumors are true. Beyoncé will be headlining Coachella 2017. It will only be the second time in the desert festival’s 17-year history that a female act will headline (Björk was the first to do so in 2002 and again in 2007). Thus, even if it this year’s Coachella also marks Kendrick Lamar’s first time to lead the festival or Radiohead’s third, Queen Bey’s appearance is a big deal. As this article perfectly puts in, “Coachella is lucky to have her.” Beyoncé can pretty much fill any stadium she desires. Heck, she even performed in one of the biggest stages – the Super Bowl, so Queen Bey “doesn’t need festivals.” But she is music royalty, and she can pretty much do anything she wants – like headlining Coachella.

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But she is no stranger to the fest. She did a brief cameo when husband Jay-Z headlined in 2010. She again graced Coachella with her presence when little sister Solange performed in 2014.

Although I’m sure the majority of these year’s festival goers would be scrambling for tickets because the Queen will be arriving, music fans have more reasons to look forward to the two weekends of April. Many believe this year’s lineup is probably the best set that Coachella has ever crafted. Kendrick Lamar’s set is expected to be mesmerizing, something that will truly set him apart from today’s rap artists. And Radiohead and new wave legends New Order will supply the nostalgia that Coachella is also known for.

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Other acts that I am looking forward to hearing at Coachella this year? Lorde (and hopefully a new album?), Bon Iver, the xx, Father John Misty, the Avalanches, and Hans Zimmer – yup the Hans Zimmer, film music maestro.

2017 Coachella Music and Arts Festival will take place on April 14 to 16 and April 21 to 23 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.

Are you ready to get in formation for this year’s Coachella? I would love to know your thoughts on this year’s lineup. Find me, Mike Eckhardt, on Facebook.