The Value of Music: Pitchfork weighs in

If you’ve kept up with our blog (I mean why wouldn’t you) you’d know we have a bit of a passing interest in the state of the music industry. With new music streaming platforms revealed every few months or so and the constant specter of declining music sales, the value of music is a mystery, and an ongoing online conversation exists trying to figure out what it really is.

Longtime Pitchfork contributor Marc Hogan has added his voice with an opus of a feature entitled “How Much Is Music Really Worth?“. This piece is essentially a giant economical analysis of the value of music, focused mostly on the shifting value of physical music sales. It includes several interesting infographics such as the one below, analyzing this shift in value.

In addition to his deep analysis of music itself, Hogan also covers topics such as live revenue and music publishing. He does a good job of examining all the facets of music-related income.

However, all of his explication seems to lead him to the inevitable truth that it has become more and more difficult to make a living as a musician. Hogan describes his experience with seeing the band Single Mothers on a tour that wasn’t making them any money, noting that most live revenue goes to a top 1% of performers.

Hogan attempts to end the piece on a positive note, noting that while some may think that music is worthless, worthless is just another word for priceless. He sets the value of music as transcending dollars and cents, which to him is what makes it worth the most. While I agree that music is worth more to me than most things, this seems like a sort of cop out… if the sole value of music is that people enjoy it, how will anybody afford to make it in the future? This is the sort of thing we’ll have to watch play out, I believe.

 

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Filed under Links, Recordings

AU Musical Events: The Antlers with Boon, 4/18

S-A,T-U-R, D-A-Y, hey! What are you doing this Saturday night, readers? Let me tell you exactly what.

You will, if you know what’s up, be attending WVAU’s spring concert! For those who don’t know, WVAU is American University’s very own student-run radio station. They broadcast from MGC and hold awesome campus events like this one. Also, they are the current holder of CMJ (College Music Journal)’s award for #1 student-run, internet-only radio station. Anyways they put on a decent-size concert every semester, highlighting artists from the world of independent music, in a series called “Capitol Punishment.”

This semester’s show features the Antlers, an indie rock band known for their deeply emotional and atmospheric style. Frontman Peter Silberman released solo projects under the name until 2009’s Hospice, the first full-band album by the Antlers, which garnered huge amounts of critical praise and devotion from fans for its intensely sad content and powerful sound. 2011’s sophomore album Burst Apart cooled the emotional jets (just a little) and added some more atmosphere, again very successful. On 2012’s Undersea EP and last year’s third album Familiars, the band have proven themselves to be experts in sonic texture, blending enormous atmospheres of guitar pedals and melancholy brass with beautiful melodies in a sweeping, nearly post-rock style. Their performance is sure to be hypnotic and moving.

Opening for them will be a group of AU students going by Boon (full disclosure: I am in Boon). This four-piece, composed of AU seniors Brendan Principato, Drew Sher, Luke Ramsey and myself, alternates dynamic, energetic tempos with more spacious instrumentals. At least I like to think so. Listen to Boon’s debut EP here!

And with a poster this cool, you know the event is going to rule!

The show begins tomorrow night at 8:30 in the SIS Founder’s room (which surprisingly can sustain a great concert!). It is free with AU ID, closed to the public, so no 30 year-old Tinder dates allowed. But that’s okay, because you will be able to cry out your loneliness in a room filled with feeling friends, all enjoying the beautiful music together in arms. See you there!

P.S. Here’s the facebook event.

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Filed under Events, Pop/Rock

AU Musical Events: The Music of Steve Antosca

Events, events, events! AU’s Dept. of Performing Arts sure knows how to end a semester. This weekend brings several events, which I will further cover this week. The first comes this Friday night: AU Workshop’s Spring Concert. Led by saxophonist and AU musician in residence Noah Getz, AU Workshop is a large ensemble that plays in whatever genre or style they feel like in the moment, often meshing popular music with jazz and avant-garde style.

Titled “The Music of Steve Antosca,” this is the latest in the Workshop’s “Living Composers Series” which highlights, well, living composers. Steve Antosca is a D.C.-based composer who blends live instrumentation with electronic processing to create improvisatory technological soundscapes. According to the facebook page for this event, his work has been described as “spectacular and wonderfully provocative” by the Washington Post. Side note: this guy taught me as an adjunct prof during my first ATEC class here at AU.

Back to the topic at hand, this should be a really exciting event! It’ll be cool to hear the ways that our student musicians adapt to the strange and adventurous compositional style of Antosca’s works.

The event will be this Friday (April 17) at 8pm, in the Abramson Family Recital hall in Katzen. Come to hear the very reverberant walls echo with warped instruments and space sounds!

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Filed under Audio tech, Diversions, Events, Live Performaces, Saxophone

AU Musical Events: A Blast of Brass, 4/11-12

Boy, do I love spring in the AU Department of Performing Arts. It seems as if every new day brings a new performance or event, which means fun and easy blog content! But actually, it is great to walk around Katzen knowing I’ll probably run in on some concert or other. It’s an exciting artistic environment!

As you all know, tonight is our AU Jazz Orchestra’s spring concert, sure to be a wild time, but do you think our performing arts students and faculty will take the weekend off afterwards? No way! Instead, AU’s Chamber Singers are partnering up with the Rockville Brass Band to bring you “A Blast of Brass!” on both Saturday and Sunday.

Led, respectively, by our own Dan Abraham and the appropriately-named Nigel Horne, these two ensembles will join in a rendition of John Rutter’s “Gloria,” as well as traditional British Brass Band works by Eric Ball, Peter Graham and Richard Strauss. What a sturdy trio of names.

The events will occur at 8pm tomorrow and 3pm on Sunday afternoon, both in the Abramson Recital Hall in Katzen. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for AU community members and seniors. RSVP for the facebook event, and find tickets here!

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Filed under Brass, Diversions, Events, Links, Live Performaces

AU Musical Events: Spring Jazz Concert, 4/10

That’s right! AU’s formidable jazz orchestra/ensemble/band is putting on their renowned semesterly show THIS Friday! Led by the musical legend Joshua Bayer, this student/community group will bring their best in a nice (thunderstorm-ridden) spring night of jazz!

The band, including a VERY TALENTED drummer (me), will play through a set full of classic swing and bop tunes, spiced up with a couple of latin and funk numbers, and one student arrangement of a Joe Sample piece. Also playing will be the Frederick Community College Jazz Ensemble, and possibly a combo comprised of AU students as well!

Formally titled the “AU Jazz Orchestra Spring Swing Fling” (what a mouthful!), the event will be at 8pm in the Abramson Family Recital Hall. Tickets are $5 for students and community members, $10 for the general public.

Here’s the facebook event, and you can buy tickets here. Hope to see you there!

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Filed under Events, Funk, Jazz, Latin

New CD Arrivals!

Little did you know that once again we at the music library are sitting on a big ol’ pile of new CD arrivals! These are all hip hop CDs, and will be on reserve for a college writing seminar that focuses on the language of hip hop. Sounds pretty cool…

And the arrivals are:

Queen Latifah – Black Reign – CD 10382

Monie Love – In A Word Or 2 – CD 10383

Fu-Schnickens’ – F.U. “Don’t Take It Personal” – CD 10384

Jungle Brothers – Done By The Forces Of Nature – CD 10385

Common – Resurrection – CD 10386

Queen Latifah – Queen Latifah and the Original Flavor Unit – CD 10387

Chi-Ali – The Fabulous Chi-Ali – CD 10388

Black Sheep – Non-Fiction – CD 10389

Queen Latifah – Nature Of A Sista’ – CD 10390

Fu-Schnickens’ – Nervous Breakdown – CD 10391

Jungle Brothers – Raw Deluxe – CD 10392

Jungle Brothers – J. Beez Wit The Remedy – CD 10393

Monie Love – Down To Earth – CD 10398

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Filed under Hip Hop, New Arrivals, Recordings

Four CD’s of Beauty and Wonder

Howdy loyal patrons, friends, enemies, and all other readers who don’t fall into those categories!

We have four new exciting CD’s in for your perusing benefit!

Intimate Letters – Juilliard String Quartet – CD 10394

Hanson Conducts Hanson – Howard Hanson – CD 10395

Toward the Unknown Region – Vaughan Williams – CD 10396

Sprung Rhythm – Inscape – CD 10397

Come by and check them out!

Also, the Hanson and the Vaughan Williams are on reserve since the AU Symphony Orchestra will be performing selections included on these discs on April 24th and 25th.

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Filed under Classical, Events, Libary News, Live Performaces, New Arrivals, String Quartet, Symphony