Steve Albini on the State of the Music Industry

Steve Albini recently gave the keynote address at Melbourne’s Face the Music Conference about the state of the music industry. Steve Albini, unlike many prognosticators who long for the old days of record company dominance, sings the praises of our modern internet model. Here’s an excerpt from his speech from The Guardian.

I work every day with music and with bands and I have for more than 30 years. I’ve made a couple thousand records for independent bands and rock stars, for big labels and small ones. I made a record two days ago and I’ll be making one on Monday when I get off the plane. So I believe this puts me in a pretty good position to evaluate the state of the music scene today, as it relates to how it used to be and how it has been.

We’re all here to talk about the state of the music scene and the health of the music community. I’ll start by saying that I’m both satisfied and optimistic about the state of the music scene. And I welcome the social and technological changes that have influenced it. I hope my remarks today will start a conversation and through that conversation we can invoke an appreciation of how resilient the music community is, how supportive it can be and how welcoming it should be.

It is definitely worth reading the speech in its entirety. Albini makes some valid points, most of which I agreee. (Except for his bashing of Prince!)

More on George Harrison and the Beatles: Something

In a recent post, I linked to some studio audio showing the creative process of George Harrison and the Beatles composing “Something.” As an added treat, here’s an excellent video with the isolated vocals of the final product. It’s really quite telling to hear the lush sounding vocals of Mr. Harrison along with Paul McCartney. Knowing this recording was made in days before autotune and modern studio trickery, makes it all the more impressive.

Hat Tip to the always excellent Bobby Owsinski’s Big Picture blog. If you are interested in recording and music production, you need to check his blog out!

Spam Spam Spam Spam

We interrupt your musical programming for this brief rant about Spam.

Since I use WordPress for this blog and my regular website, I use the Spam catching plugin called Askimet. It works wonderfully weeding out all of the spam comments that most websites have to deal with on a daily basis. With Askimet, I can simply delete all of the spam with a simple flush click. This is useful, considering how much spam I get. For example, at the moment, I have 381 spam comments current held by Askimet. (That is a 3 day accumulation!)

Sometimes I like to check out the contents of the spam comments before I delete them. I did this today and found some very strange comments. I suspect there are some issues with these spamsters with their English translation. Here are a few examples of the strange posts I find in my spam filter:

Someone from “Cheap Uggs” (WTF is an Ugg?) wrote the following messages:

It might appear a little bit of unfamiliar getting hold of your new my father big boy pants to have dad’s Day.

I studied the first magnetic generator somebody decided on.

Columbia used to sell large sweatpants which is need favourable rates, and yet that doesn’t look like leading them to presently,

Talking about waxing poetic, eh?

Someone named “Gospel” added:

F*ckin’ amazing things here. I am very satisfied to peer your post. Thank you a lot and i am taking a look forward to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?


your dog’s first football casino shoe, the entire chat the superstar, was already released with 1917, although the man about your great outcomes Charles H Taylor was to enter the image a long time newer.


Anyway, you get the point. Thank goodness for Askiment!

End of Rant!

George Harrison, The Beatles: “Something” Songwriting Process

As a songwriter and a Beatles fan, I have always been curious about their songwriting process. The above audio file gives us a glimpse into the magic of writing “Something,” one of my favorite George Harrison compositions. Imagine showing your new song ideas to band mates like John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Hat Tip to Tape Op’s Facebook page for this gem.

“Curves, Contours and Body Horns” – A Fender Stratocaster Documentary

Here’s an excellent documentary about the legendary Fender Stratocaster and its influence on modern music. From the early days and the brilliance of Leo Fender, to the all-star list of players who testify to the prowess of the instrument, this Grenada TV documentary shows us why people love this style of guitar. On a side note, I am not sure why the YouTube description reads. “Mark Knopfler Curves, Contours and Body Horns.” Mr. Knopfler is featured in the program – but so are many other great players.

H/T Drew Dundon

Video: The Crossroads Legend – Search for Robert Johnson

We’re approaching the dog days of summer and my posts have been infrequent at best. I have been busy working on different projects and playing music with my friends. At least that is my excuse at the moment.

Summertime always gets me thinking about the blues and when we talk about blues, there’s the one and only Robert Johnson. Here’s a documentary I stumbled across that may be of interest for blues aficionados. The video examines the life and influences of the legendary guitar player.

10/7/14 Edited: Changed Video Source from YouTube to (YouTube toasted the original video.)

Video: Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World

Here’s a cool video about that great guitar innovation – the Wah Wah pedal. I first took notice of the Cry Baby Wah Wah when I heard Jimi Hendrix’s amazing “Still Raining, Still Dreaming.” In my opinion, that’s the greatest Wah Wah song ever. Incidentally, I still have my original Thomas Organ Cry Baby Wah Wah, which I purchased brand new in the late 1970’s from Sabol’s Music Store in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World from Joey Tosi on Vimeo.

As a bonus, please listen to Mr. Hendrix blistering rendition of “Still Raining, Still Dreaming.”

Video: Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue

I came across this video while browsing Dangerous Minds, one of my favorite websites. This is an incredible video that examines Miles Davis and his “Electric Period.” I found the program very informative, especially hearing from the musicians who knew and played with Miles. For musicians, there are many important lessons to be learned in this excellent video. To cap it all off, the 2nd half of the program (around the 43 minute mark) features Miles’ historic performance at the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival. Enjoy!

Hat Tip Dangerous Minds

Daniel Lanois & Pharrell Williams at Home in the Studio

Here is an excellent video with Pharrell Williams interviewing Daniel Lanois. Lanois talks about his vast musical history and gives us a glimpse into his personal studio. Highlights to look for: Lanois gives us an demonstration of his pedal steel playing and shows us some cool vintage gear. It is definitely worth the taking the time to watch the entire program.