Good Thing We Love the Bluegrass Highway

AHA! I found some good news in Liam Boluk’s extremely deep dive into the the biz (redef):

As has been widely reported, declining unit sales led the music industry to refocus its efforts on concert revenues. Artists now spend significantly more time touring than they did in the pre-Napster days (estimates here vary) and command close to 35% more per ticket on an inflation-adjusted basis. As a result, the US concert industry has nearly tripled since 1999 (when recorded music sales peaked). Yet, what’s typically overlooked by this narrative is that the vast majority of this growth – 83% to be exact – has gone to non-Top 100 touring artists. In 2000, the Top 100 tours (which included ‘NSYNC, Metallica and Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre) collected nearly 90% of annual concert revenues. Today, that share has fallen to only 44%. Furthermore, the Top 100 tours have faced stagnant revenues for close to a decade, with both ticket prices and sales largely flat.

REDEF_MusicEconomics_1.3

 

Let’s pick….


Book This Band…


Read It and Weep (Long Read, Wonkish, Not a Pretty Ending)

LESS MONEY, MO’ MUSIC & LOTS OF PROBLEMS: A LOOK AT THE MUSIC BIZ

Brilliant breakdown of the takedown; article is incredibly thorough, lots of charts that look similar to the first one:

chart1

 

..which isn’t very pleasant, if you happen to be in the business. Looks too much like this chart of typewriter sales:

chart2


All styles of music played here:

shams

Monday nights, Sham Rockers! Tiger Room at the Station/Southern Rail, Carrboro, NC. The elusive Hardee FcMarlin sits in with regulars Robert Sledge, Rob Ladd, Clay Buckner, Chris Frank. (Jack Herrick is in far-off Oregon musicalizing “Pericles”)


Water Music

Here’s a piece I did for a video project that never saw the light of day, of some interest (possibly):


A Bit of History: Remember the DOT-COM explosion? We were there…

Been there?  From the Internet Archive, what they call the “Wayback Machine“, with a history of the Internet- I think they started before us, as they have us from the very beginning, if I remember correctly.

Here’s the record of efolkMusic beginning on Oct 9, 1999, and the Wayback Machine has snapshots through the ages! The mission is the same is it ever was, really, same rock to push. Luckily the edges have been worn down through the years and it’s a bit easier to roll.  Depending on the size of the rock, you don’t always “pick it up and carry it on..” as we have been known to say; more often it’s OGS – of good size – and you ROLL it.

The graphic to the left is a month later, Nov 1999, sorry about the missing graphics. Some of these hairpins are kickin’ grass’  as I write, somewhere, I hope. The idea was grand, using “digital delivery” to get and keep the good music in the air, all with a little compressed file called an “MP3″ that flew across borders, from our servers right into your computer, and nearly frictionless (not to mention green).

The market was defined- a large niche of music fans who found no satisfaction listening to most of what they heard on the radio; they also saw their neighborhood record stores close down. Voila, efolkMusic, MP3s by the track, 98 cents.

The artists in our broadly-defined “curated”  folk music family were required to offer a free MP3 to our website visitors. Most didn’t know what an MP3 was, and were afraid to “give it away” even though they had no other practical way to get their music to the fans.

Ah, how times have changed. We became a non-profit in 2003 (May 31st is the first snapshot), and have continued to be a valuable distribution channel for an exceptional roster of too-often overlooked musicians.

MP3.com and MySpace have “gone out”, Facebook and Twitter are having their 15 minutes of fame, Google + is too late to the ballgame- we all “compete” (ha!) for your clicking attention, and golly, we are practically venerable by comparison. Folk music does get some respect, but ask any folkie, if you aren’t in it for the ART, and if you aren’t ready for the LONG HAUL, you don’t last long on the bluegrass highway.

SO here we are today, thanks to your support- you know the difference between real music and empty cowboy hats, that’s why you are here. Help us keep it going, won’t you?


Big John Falstaff straps on his spurs

New recording from the Lone Star Love herd:

More on their Facebook page


“America’s Hidden Austerity Program”

Ouch!

Ezra Klein breaks it down:

I ran the numbers on total government employment after the 1981, 1990, 2001 and 2008 recessions. I made government employment on the eve of the recession equal to “1,” so what you’re seeing is total change in the ensuing 54 months, which is how much time has elapsed since the start of this recession. As you can see, government employment tends to rise during recessions, helping to cushion their impact. But with the exception of a spike when we hired temporary workers for the decennial census, it’s fallen sharply during this recession. Note that a Republican was president after the 1981, 1990 and 2000 recessions. Public-sector austerity looks a lot better to conservatives when they’re out of power than when they’re in it.

The implications are huge:

If state and local governments had followed the pattern of the previous two recessions, they would have added 1.4 million to 1.9 million jobs and overall unemployment would be 7.0 to 7.3 percent instead of 8.2 percent.

http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/


Nothing to worry about…


More crude, self-serving, smug “opinion”

Attack ads slam President Obama with mendacity, not facts (David Horsey / Los Angeles Times /May 24, 2012

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-karl-rove–20120524,0,2192559.story