Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Certain Songs #1435: Patti Smith – “Beneath The Southern Cross” | Medialoper

Album: Gone Again
Year: 1996

And just like that, it was the mid-1990s. But, of course, it wasn’t “just like that.” After the success of “Because The Night,” and the relatively strong sales of Easter and Wave, it seemed like Patti would ride into the eighties on top of the momentum she had created. So she did the exact opposite.

Instead, she married former MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith, broke up her band, and essentially retired from the rock ‘n’ roll game, releasing only a single album — 1988’s Dream of Life — in the 80s and first half of the 1990s. She kept such a low profile that another Patti Smyth was able to emerge and forever cause confusion.

Then people started dying on her.

Early collaborator Robert Mapplethorpe went in 1989, piano player Richard Sohl in 1990, and in 1994 she was hit by the twin whammies of Fred “Sonic” Smith and her brother Todd. So, with the encouragement of super fan and longtime friend Michael Stipe, she decided to deal with her pain via her art and went back on tour, opening for Bob Dylan in 1995, and headlining in 1996.

By that time, of course, I’d pretty much assumed that I was never going to enjoy Patti Smith more than when I listened to Horses, but because there had been so many reports about how amazing her live show was, I figured that I’d take a flyer, and saw her at the Warfield in San Francisco in March of 1996.

And was totally and utterly blown away.

I won’t go into a whole lot of details — you can check out what I wrote at the time — but suffice to say that it completely rearranged my brain on Patti Smith, to the point when she put out Gone Again a couple of months later, I snapped it up.

As her first album in eight years, and her first album with Lenny Kaye since Wave — drummer Jay Dee Daugherty has been the single constant on her albums — and her first album after the deaths of so many people, Gone Again had a lot of psychic weight attached to it, and more than held up.

While most people point to the long Kurt Cobain tribute, “About a Boy” or the rearrangement of Dylan’s “Wicked Messenger” as the highlights of Gone Again, the song that has long struck me is the hypnotic waltz “Beneath The Southern Cross.” In an interview, Lenny Kaye said that it was the first song they wrote together in the wake of all of the deaths, and that’s definitely a subtext in the lyrics.

The curve of the world
Whose bone scraped
Whose flesh unfurled
Who grieves
Not anyone, gone
To greet lame
The inspired sky
Amazed to stumble
Where gods get lost
Beneath the southern cross

Not as much as a traditional song as a wake, “Beneath The Southern Cross” is one of those songs that finds its pattern and then just sticks everything on “repeat,” forcing you to not just concentrate on the words, but to also notice any time things change. So after a few minutes, there are almost ghostly guitar rumbles, and jagged licks, and then, after the last verse, you hear a soft male voice singing a series of near-wordless wails that may or may not include “flllllllllyyyyy” at the very end. It’s gorgeous and chilling.

And it was Jeff Buckley, who was a huge fan — perhaps he got wind where Patti was recording from mutual friend Tom Verlaine — and basically stuck around the studio until he could record with Patti. After Buckley does his part, Patti sings “cross over, boy!” adding one last chilling irony to a song that was already suffused with transcending death.

“Beneath The Southern Cross”

“Beneath The Southern Cross” solo acoustic, 2017

The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

[from http://bit.ly/2lwcL5j]

Certain Songs #1434: Patti Smith Group – “Dancing Barefoot” | Medialoper

Album: Wave
Year: 1979

Then the weirdest thing happened: in 1978 Patti Smith became a one-hit wonder with her remake / remodel of Bruce Springsteen’s “Because The Night.” That, of course, was the first time I ever heard her in any context, and, I gotta admit, I only thought it was OK. When it came on the radio, I didn’t turn it off, but I didn’t turn it up, either.

That said, “Because The Night” did generate enough buzz that its mothership Easter, and the follow-up, Wave both cracked the top 20, and I even remember her pretty decent cover of The Byrds “So You Wanna Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” got pretty decent airplay on KKDJ.

So maybe radio , I’m not quite sure why “Dancing Barefoot,” perhaps the most natural single Patti Smith ever recorded, totally and completely stiffed. Maybe it was because radio had decided that she was a covers artist, and therefore ignored her originals? In any event, “Dancing Barefoot” didn’t chart anywhere, and I’m pretty sure I heard it more through other people’s versions than her original version. But over the last 30 years, “Dancing Barefoot” has been upgraded from an also-ran single to all-time classic, and has taken its place as probably her most beloved song, give or take a “Gloria.”

And why not? Driven by a sinuous rhythm — bass provided by producer Todd Rundgren — and folk-rock instrumentation, “Dancing Barefoot” has an honest-to-good massively hooky chorus that is equal parts mysterious and obvious. She’s singing about fucking, duh.

I’m dancing barefoot
Heading for a spin
Some strange music draws me in
Makes me come on like some heroine

Later on, Lenny Kaye dives in with a guitar solo that echos the melody line of the verses and backing away while Ivan Kral’s keyboards take over for a few bars until they circle back to the final verse.

After that, Patti chants “Oh god, I fell for you” over and over and over, while counterpointing herself with poetic ruminations on the usual: life, death, love, etc. Anything to distract herself from the fact that she’s fallen for him and all she wants to do is dancing barefoot because of it.

Fan-made video for “Dancing Barefoot”

“Dancing Barefoot” live in Germany, 1979

“Dancing Barefoot” live at CBGBs, 1979

“Dancing Barefoot” live in France, 2004

“Dancing Barefoot” on Jools Holland, 2008

The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

[from http://bit.ly/2lwcL5j]

Why Spotify Is A Win For Artists And Listeners | Music Think Tank

We have been hearing about Spotify and how it’s evil and unfair for a few years now. The thing is, it is the number one used streaming app and my personal belief is that it is simply the best one out there right now. There are a couple of main points that I was to discuss, so let’s get into it.

My personal opinion is that Spotify is a win for listeners and also a win for artists. My reasoning is simple, if you can grow your Spotify following and have success here, you will have success on pretty much every other platform. They are actively making improvements for listeners as well as making improvements to make it easier for unsigned artists to compete in an extremely competitive world. 

Don’t Play This Artist Option (Win For Listeners)

Honestly, I am shocked that they didn’t launch this option a lot earlier. If you browse twitter, you will see people constantly tweeting at them to add a feature like this. I think this is actually a pretty cool feature as you can now block artists that you don’t want to listen to. 

This has come directly at the time of all of the R Kelly stuff coming out, so I find it a perfect time for them to launch something like this. The photo that they use to show the block artists feature is also a picture of him, coincidence? 

How Does This Work

It is very simple. You simply can go under artists now and select, “do not play this artist.” If you are on a playlist and have it on shuffle, it will now skip this artist. The one thing to note here is that if the artist you blocked is featured, but not listed on the certain song, Spotify won’t catch that and will stay play it. For example, you decide to mute Eminem, but he’s featured on a song and now listed. You will still hear the song.

How Will Artists React?

I’m seeing the community already saying they can’t wait to see who the most blocked artists will be. I also wonder, will this change the flow of music in any way if Spotify sees huge blocks on artists they thought people really connected with? 

In a way, I feel bad for artists as I feel like people could be blocking bands that are overplayed, in turn, they’re not liked simply because of that.

Catered Playlists ( Big Win For Listeners)

Spotify specifically caters playlists to your style of music. I have personally found a lot of my favorite bands from these playlists that they make. If you ever in a rut and can’t seem to find bands you dig, try these playlists out. 

You can also search for bands that are smaller and haven’t broken yet on their new playlists. This helps listeners and helps the artists as the artist needs streams and the listener is hungry for new music. 

New Algorithm Changes Designed For Artist Playlisting (Win For Artists)

Spotify recently announced that they have put in place an algorithm the shows how many times each song is saved from playlists and just in general. This allows them to track which songs are connecting with the masses. The higher your download percentage is on a song, the more likely Spotify is to continue feeding it to their radio feature and their playlists. 

I can’t stress the importance of having your friends and families save your songs on Spotify. If you are able to grow organically here, I believe that everything else will fall into place. If you are successful here, labels, producers and anyone else in the industry who matters, will notice.

There are people who watch the playlists and actively look at percent saves on songs. If they see what they like the will continue to follow you as you grow and maybe even start up conversations.

Conclusion

Do I think Spotify is perfect? No. Absolutely not, however, I think they are heading in a good direction and I think there’s only one more thing they can work on and that is royalties. They are making it easier for bands to compete against bigger bands and that is something that is really important.

If they are able to increase their royalties with the music act that passed, I think this would be a win for the industry and artists as artists would come back to the industry.

What are your thoughts on the new Spotify features? Do you think it’s heading in the right direction for artists? 

Why Spotify Is A Win For Artists And Listeners

[from http://bit.ly/1n4oEI8]

Make the Call on Sales Technologies: Experiment, Invest, Maintain, & Divest to Empower Your Digital Sales Team | Forrester

Digital salespeople need new tools to engage more knowledgeable and empowered prospects or risk looking like dolts. In the age of the customer, wooing prospects and crushing quota has never been harder. What new tools help digital salespeople? Which ones are no longer important? The Forrester Tech Tide™: Sales Technologies, Q4 2018 helps enterprises prioritize […] [from http://bit.ly/2leQDNn]

The CMO’s Guide To CES 2019: Customer+Brand+Tech | Forrester

Each thing you see at CES may be wondrous, but after you’ve seen five variations of the same hundred things, the net effect is clutter and confusion Let me help sort things out. I’ve had a week away from mood-lit Alexa-enabled toilets, from fierce ping pong-playing robots, and from the jingle jangle morning of walking […] [from http://bit.ly/2leQDNn]

Napster has a new majority owner, as RealNetworks doubles its stake in a deal worth up to $40 million | Music Business Worldwide


Seattle-based digital media software company RealNetworks has taken control of Napster, doubling its previous stake of around 42% to approximately 84%.

RealNetworks has acquired the debt and equity interests in Napster’s owner Rhapsody International, which operates as Rhapsody Applebee, and which is managed by Columbus Nova Technology Partners (CNTP).

Napster, a Spotify and Apple Music rival, will continue to run as an independent subsidiary of RealNetworks with its own board of directors, strategy, and management team.

Bill Patrizio will continue to be Napster’s CEO, and Rob Glaser will continue as Napster’s Chairman.

In exchange for all of the CNTP-managed equity, debt, and other interests in Napster, RealNetworks has committed to pay $1 million cash up front and an additional $14m over time subject to certain conditions, with additional consideration depending on subsequent events, for a total of up to $40m.

According to an 8-K form filed with the SEC yesterday (January 22), the full $40m will only be paid out in the event that the 42% equity stake is sold within the next five years and the proceeds received by RealNetworks for that sale exceed $60m.

The purchase took place after RealNetworks sought and received special approval from the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to purchase the sanctioned stake in Napster.

“Under Bill Patrizio’s leadership, Napster has delivered five consecutive quarters of positive operating income and generated over $14 million in operating income in the first three quarters of 2018.”

Rob Glaser

Rob Glaser, Chairman and CEO of RealNetworks and Chairman of Napster said: “We are very pleased to have deepened our partnership with Napster.

“Under Bill Patrizio’s leadership, Napster has delivered five consecutive quarters of positive operating income and generated over $14 million in operating income in the first three quarters of 2018.

“This success was achieved by pivoting to a B2B strategy focused on selling the Napster platform as a service. We think Napster’s future is very bright.”

“The unique deal structure is one that we believe will drive significant value for RealNetworks’ shareholders.”

Cary Baker, RealNetworks

Cary Baker, RealNetworks’ CFO, added: “The unique deal structure is one that we believe will drive significant value for RealNetworks’ shareholders.

“The terms and deal structure reflect the unusual circumstances that CNTP has been operating under since a major limited partner of its managed funds – including Applebee – was sanctioned by the US Government in April 2018.

“In spite of these circumstances, Napster continued to execute on its business plan and had a strong 2018 operationally. These circumstances are now a closed chapter for Napster.”

At Midem 2018, Patrizio revealed that Napster ingests 24,000 new tracks on its service every 24 hours.Music Business Worldwide

[from http://bit.ly/2kVf04A]

Downtown Music Publishing signs deal with Faber Music for Cats | Music Business Worldwide


Downtown Music Publishing has signed a publishing administration agreement with Faber Music, which represents composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s complete works for the musical and soon-to-be feature film Cats, based on the poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot.

This multi-year publishing administration, royalty collection, and marketing agreement covers the United States and Canada.

A Tom Hooper-directed feature film adaptation of the sung-through musical is currently in production featuring an all-star cast that includes Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Ian McKellen, Idris Elba, Jason Derulo, Judi Dench, and more and is set to be released in December 2019.

Cats the musical has received multiple awards including seven Tonys including Best Musical and Best Original Score for its original Broadway production and two Laurence Olivier Awards for Best New Musical and Outstanding Achievement in a Musical for its seminal run on London’s West End.

It also earned Eliot a posthumous Tony for Best Book of a Musical, as the lyrics are directly recited from his original text.

Premiering at the New London Theatre in 1981 and the Winter Garden Theatre in New York a year later, the original British production ran for 21 years, ending in 2002, while the American run lasted until 2000 — making it the longest running show in both countries’ histories until 2006.

Today, it remains the fourth-longest-running musical in Broadway history, and the West End’s sixth.

Cats has since been revived on Broadway and the West End sporadically, including a 2014 West End production featuring Nicole Scherzinger as “The Glamour Cat” Grizabella.

It has been translated in over 20 languages with major productions in countries around the world — including the Harvest Rain Theatre Company’s at Australia’s Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in 2014, which featured a record-breaking cast of 700 performers.

“Downtown will continue to protect these legacy songs, whilst providing unparalleled monetization and further exploitation opportunities.”

Roberto Neri, Downtown

“We are honoured and delighted that Faber have entrusted us to represent the musical works from Cats.” said Roberto Neri, Managing Director of Downtown’s London office.

“Downtown will continue to protect these legacy songs, whilst providing unparalleled monetization and further exploitation opportunities.”

“We’ve chosen Downtown Music as our North American partner for Cats because of their cutting edge approach to rights management and creative commitment.”

Richard Paine, Faber Music 

Richard Paine, Faber Music’s Director of Commercial Rights and Business Affairs added: “We’ve chosen Downtown Music as our North American partner for Cats because of their cutting edge approach to rights management and creative commitment.

“Cats is an important title for us, and this is an exciting time for Downtown to start working with it, with Universal’s film of the show now in production.

“We’re delighted to be working with them, and hope that this will be the start of an expanding relationship with Downtown.”

Downtown recently signed worldwide deals with Chris Barnett, aka CBMix, and the Grammy-nominated singer, composer, and pianist Tori Amos.Music Business Worldwide

[from http://bit.ly/2kVf04A]