Secondary Ticketing Needs to Change

As an advocate of the future of Live Music as both a consumer and provider I would like to express my frustration in secondary ticketing. In May of 2014 I remember sitting down at my computer to purchase a ticket to my favorite band, Zac Brown Band at Fenway Park. It was an hour after the tickets went on sale that I went to select “purchase” but soon realized I was an hour too late. 70,000 tickets had been sold within thirty minutes. A ticket that went from a reasonable price of $60 with a decent view, quickly jumped to $170.

The secondary ticket market in 2012 was about a $3 billion to $5 billion business, growing at a rate somewhere between 12 percent and 24 percent. As of 2013, only a few states prohibited reselling tickets or made it unreasonable to do so. The practice is prohibited in Kentucky and Michigan, although Kentucky doesn’t establish any penalties for a violation. Massachusetts limits the markup to $2 but allows a broker to add a service charge to recoup the expense of buying the ticket. Rhode Island and North Carolina both limit the amount charged above face value to $3. New Jersey has a more generous policy that enables brokers to charge up to 150 percent of the ticket’s face value. In Hawaii, Indiana, and Maryland it is currently illegal to resell a ticket for a boxing match at more than its face value (according to the Maryland Code, this law only applies if you are an event “promoter”). Indiana also prohibits the resale of tickets to any sparring or other unarmed combat match for more than face value, while Maryland limits it to boxing, wrestling, and kickboxing. Although, selling a ticket for any other type of event is legal in those three states.

Radiohead have announced a partnership with ethical ticketing company Ticket Trust. The issue of secondary ticketing has become a hot topic, with noise being heard far and near, a number of bands have stepped into the fray. Radiohead’s management issued a statement blasting the practice of secondary ticketing. “Secondary ticketing is wrong on so many levels… the band’s enjoyment of their own shows has been marred by the knowledge that a great many of their fans have been obliged to pay well over face value for their tickets”.

With new ethical ticketing companies such as Ticket Trust there is no reason why artist shouldn’t be protecting themselves. If there is money to be had, then the artist is deserving of it. And as an artist supported by fans of all different economic standing,  one would hope to be represented as an artist that doesn’t rip off their fans. Music is to be enjoyed and accessible to all, not survival of the fittest or… the richest.

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Growing Up, Part I

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but let’s talk about Miley Cyrus.

I don’t need to tell you about her career, but we can talk about her music.

Miley started out as a young singer with a young audience. This is “7 Things” from Breakout in 2008, her first album completely separated from Hannah Montana.

The song is formulaic and predictable, and Miley’s voice is a little whiney. However, she’s already demonstrating strong vocal technique – you can’t fault her there. The content is appropriate for a tween audience, but very mild. It’s not too exciting, but speaks directly to them.

In the next example, “Party in the U.S.A.” (in the 2009 EP The Time of Our Lives), Miley keeps the teeny-bopper style. She grows up in content a little bit, while still remaining within the realm of safe. Take a listen:

Do you how her voice is broadening? She has a fuller sound, and has grown in vocal dexterity since her previous album. This song is, unfortunately, very catchy… I’ve been singing it all afternoon despite my best my musical preferences. I guess that’s good news for Miley, though.

In 2010, Miley needed to stretch the boundaries a little more in order to keep up with her aging fan base. The next song we’ll listen to, “Can’t be Tamed” (featured on an album of the same name), tests the waters for a new artistic direction.

The imagery on the video is darker: less playful and more intense than her previous videos, with more explicit sexual suggestions. Miley’s voice has darkened too, and she finally looses the whiney tinge we’ve been hearing throughout her previous work. Her music has also changed: the percussive elements hit harder, and the instrumental arrangements create a sound that is more sinister than playful (such as we heard in “Party in the U.S.A”).

Miley attempted to grow up with her audience by creating an image of independence and rebellion. Considering that Can’t Be Tamed didn’t make it to #1 (although #3 isn’t bad!), this image didn’t resonate as well with audiences as it could have.

Remember the way Lecrae chose to test-drive a new strategy before committing fully? Miley is testing the waters too: trying to find an image of independence and rebellion that resonates with her growing-up fan base.

Come back in a few days to take a look at the decision Miley went with (though you already know it), and the direction I wish she’d taken!

BioBeats: Changing the Game

Entertainment & Health Care coming together as one in a very cool way.

I’d like to introduce you to BioBeats: an entertainment and health care company that focuses on using technology and adaptive media to positively impact consumers health and wellness. They use experiments in the form of apps that respond to users, collect data, and encourage a healthier lifestyle.

We live in a world where our devices and media reach to us. We believe it should be a conversation. – BioBeats

Two experiments/apps are currently available: (1) Pulse: A mobile application that generates music from the users hearts and (2) BioMuse: A mobile application that enables your body to search for music that fit the users current moods. BioBeats not only focuses on helping us feel better but also on making the journey fun and entertaining. This is simply awesome.

To learn more about BioBeats, visit the company’s website – http://biobeats.com/

“Un Lago de Conciertos” . . . or the final ReAdaptation !

We finally made it! Even though the showcase we had in mind at the beginning of the semester was of a different nature, we managed to have a lovely stage on the water and two great performances by two artists of Disrupción RecordsThe official presentation the Marketing Team discussed some time ago, was definitely gonna take place in a venue far less attractive than the outdoors of the Museo de Ciencias Naturales Príncipe Felipe. Obviously, not everything were advantages, but the overall experience was a big success.

Un lago de conciertos

Berklee College of Music’s Valencia Campus has reached an agreement with the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias to produce Un Lago de Conciertos: a cycle of eight free performances by Berklee students taking place almost every Friday during May and June, closing up on the 4th of July. Jazz, folk, electronic music and many other different styles will make the outdoors of the Museum even more attractive, combining the sites of the pools, good weather and music. Brilliant initiative which had to happen, being Berklee located where it is!

The first concert was to take place on the same day our event was scheduled, so it seamed as a great opportunity to join forces and take advantage of the situation. Obviously, a show being promoted by an entity such as CAC would reach many more people than if we were promoting it. So – even though we were limited in several ways, marketing wise – it was a huge opportunity as everything was planned by locals who actually know the audience’s habits and the best time to program it.

Un Lago de Conciertos

Miranda Inzunza was able to catch everyones attention with her sweet voice during the sunset, and Avila Santo made the beginning of the weekend perfect while everyone enjoyed there first drink on a Friday afternoon.

Avila

I believe we’re all looking forward to continue this experience, as yesterday we began to see the results of the previous weeks.

On the other hand, Instagram gave me a nice surprise the other day! A friend from school posted a photo on Instagram of our artist Stephen McHale performing with Andrea Fraenzel. I think last time I saw Pablo was around 2005… So it’s nice to see lost friends enjoy the amazing creativity of new friends like Stephen or Andrea.

photo6

The Parable of the Tuileries – Pt. 1 The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility

Yesterday in Economics of Entertainment, we were introduced to a concept coined by the (right-winged) French newspaper Le Monde. They released a short animated video clip that aims to support the public funding of Culture through three basic concepts of economics: the law of diminishing marginal utility, the principle of positive externalities, and the multiplier effect. However, one could easily argue that this video was pieced together in a rather simple, if not unintelligent manner that shows elements of syllogism through hasty shortcuts and overly general conclusions.

Have a sit through the video, after which you might find yourself convinced because of how much it ‘makes sense’.

Now, let’s run through the first of the three economic concepts illustrated in the clip. I must warn you though, this is purely an exercise in contradiction,

The first one I’d like to talk about is the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility. It introduces the concept that as an individual increases consumption of one specific product, while keeping the consumption of other goods at a constant, he will experience a decline in the utility or perceived benefits that he or she can draw from the product.
You might want to think of it as gospel if you’re running an ‘all you can eat’ buffet-type restaurant because indeed, each additional plate of food the customer helps himself to will inevitably provide less satisfaction than the previous one. That is due the finite nature of the space available in a human stomach.

It might be a futile attempt for me to try and put this in perspective, but intellectual masturbation never hurt anyone. Le Monde puts it clearly, this law applies to ALL types of goods but one. And how convenient is it that the exception is Culture? It even goes further than that and assumes that in ALL cases, the more you increase your consumption of cultural goods, the more you’ll retrieve exponential satisfaction from it. As if listening to the same Schubert piece for the 40th time were to be more exalting than the second or third. You’d believe that an outer-body experience would occur on the 41st, but anyway…

The video claims that the more you listen to Schubert, the more satisfaction you’ll get from it, and the more eager you are to listen Beethoven, then Brahms etc…
Wait! Some of you might have realised that they’ve just switched from considering the marginal utility of one specific product (lemonade/one Schubert piece), to a whole category of goods (classical composers).
That’s literally comparing apples and pears, no fruit pun intended, but one’s mind is capable of great leaps when it comes to serving a purpose. So I ask, would the benefits perceived from drinking lemonade not turn an individual on to consuming more freshly squeezed juice in general? whether it be orange, apple etc…

Is there even a point in furthering this conversation? Let’s carry on, just for the heck of it…

I could also easily argue that the more I listen Schubert, the more nauseating it gets because Schubert has no emotional resonance with my childhood, or even brings back traumatic experiences of a totalitarian music teacher. Who knows…? Since we’re mixing up categories, I could even argue that the purchase of a Macbook would create incentive for me to purchase an iPhone and then an iPad etc… And trust me, the satisfaction of going on a shopping spree for that kind of products does not diminish with repetition.
Therefore, one could argue that high-tech ecosystemic goods are impermeable to the law of diminishing marginal utility, contradicting the first premise of the video that Culture is the only good to which the concept doesn’t apply. Unless of course I’ve missed the point that Apple products are encompassed in the realm of Culture. In which case, should they too be publicly funded?

Please let me know if you were able to follow some (if not all) of the arguments highlighted here or if I’m just rambling. Probably the latter…

I’m really curious to see if I’ll gather the motivation to write parts two and three of this series…

Here’s a brilliant Snarky Puppy tune, in the Brazilian style of Forró bound to get you rid of the mid-day Thursday blues:

Started From The Bottom….

BV Studio

Started from the bottom…The Berklee Valencia record label practicum has been a quite a memorable experience already!  The first few weeks were spent trying to lay the foundation and the groundwork for Berklee Valencia’s budding student record label.  We are the chosen ones to help build this label from the ground up for future students. (No pressure at all!)

Some of our tasks included brainstorming names for the label, and picking our top 12 artists from all of the SoundCloud submissions for the label.  The amount of talent in this school is unmatched and that was visible when listening to the various tracks that were submitted!

The entire class was able to function as the A&R department throughout this process.  It was fun to listen to the submissions and share our thoughts as we collectively compiled our list of artists to interview for the next round.  This wasn’t an easy task for various reasons—obviously the talent pool was one, but the other was identifying the criteria.  What exactly were we looking for? How do we choose our finalists?  What attributes are important? Are we measuring their potential or what they have to offer at the moment?  These were just a few of the baffling questions that we had to sort out amongst a group of 20+ students with a lot of opinions and expertise.

Organization

Organization was the enemy! We clearly had no template to follow and it was up to us to organize most of it.  We realized in retrospect some things that we could’ve done differently to be more effective—but that’s why it’s a practicum.  We’re definitely learning along the way.  The most important thing that is vital for the sustainability of the label is—communication.  We have to learn how to communicate with one another and how to communicate clearly and directly.  Although we may not agree with one another at times, it is always important to respect each other as people at the end of the day.  An issue that arose was in reference to the deadline for students to submit their material.  There could’ve been more clarity such as a specified time instead of just a date because people were still submitting material on the due date after our class was over. To avoid issues like this in the future, we appointed two points of contact in an attempt to prevent any form of miscommunication or confusion about deadlines and interviews.

Vinyl Records Wall

To simply put it—initially it seemed that there were too many chefs in the kitchen (which could have lead to the ultimate recipe for disaster).  It has been a process of collectively learning how to work together (especially when everyone may not be on the same page) and adapt to dealing with various personality types.  Eventually, we were able to format our game plans and and we are continuing to work towards our common goal…the successful creation of a student operated record label. Up next…auditions will be held for the 12 artists that were previously chosen. I’ll update you soon on the rest…

**Artists to Watch in 2014**

Here’s my prediction for 2014…take a look at 5 different artists/bands that I believe will be successful in the next year.  Feel free to take a peep to see if you agree and to discover some new music to add to your ever-growing collection..Enjoy!

1.  Snarky Puppy
Snarky Puppy

  • The band features a collective of nearly 40 musicians, referred to as “The Fam” on their recordings and tours.
  •  Snarky Puppy was nominated for a Grammy Award in the “Best R&B Performance” category, with their cover of Lalah Hathaway’s song “Somethin”

Watch the video for “Somethin” below..

2.  Hiatus Kaiyote
hiatus_n

  • From Melbourne, Australia
  • Nice blend of soul music with Jazz vocals
  • Currently nominated for a grammy for their song “Nakamarra”–listen to it below

3.  Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas

I absolutely love this artist! Her first album was amazing and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for 2014.

  • Her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? was awarded the title of iTunes Album of The Year 2012.
  • She was nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll
  • Listen to “Elusive” below (one of my favorite records from her debut album)–the video was released this year

4.  Gary Clark Jr.
Gary Clark Jr.

  • Influences:  Blues, jazz, soul, country, hip hop
  •  Clark’s musical trademarks are his extremely fuzzy guitar sound and smooth vocal style.
  • Currently nominated for a Grammy for “Please Come Home”

Listen to his live performance of “Please Come Home”

5.  Lorde

Lorde

Lorde is only 17 years old and her debut album, Pure Heroine has received worldwide critical acclaim…

  • Lorde is nominated for a total of four Grammys, which include ‘Record of the Year’ and ‘Song of the Year’ for “Royals” and ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’ for Pure Heroine.
  • Her musical debut was an EP entitled, whicThe Love Clubh was released in November 2012
  • Her first single, “Royals”, debuted at number one on the New Zealand Top 40, and also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013, making her the first New Zealand solo artist to have a number one song in the United States.

Lorde’s video “Royals”

Music Video Of The Week – Arcane Roots – Habibty

Music:

Arcane Roots are a British three-piece progressive/alternative rock that sound MASSIVE. I’ve had the opportunity to see them live while I was living in the UK, and boy are they good on stage! They might only be a three-piece but they fill-up the room both sonically and energetically. This song, entitled Habibty, is a hectic number. It shows exactly how well Arcane Roots use dynamics to balance-out their tracks. From heavy polyrhythmic riffs to chime-like clean sections, and soaring hooks to murmured melodies, one sure thing is that they know how to convey guts and passion. Vocals harmonies blend and build-up perfectly into half-time beat-downs played on the crunchiest single-coil tone ever; it shouldn’t work, but somehow it does perfectly.

Video:

The music video for this song was produced by Daryl A and Arcane Roots themselves. The camera work is pure energy, it changes from angle to angle and slow-motion to standard frame-rate in a heartbeat. The desaturated tone of the picture is particularly efficient with the light work going on in the background, and adds to the dramatic and emotional message that the song conveys.

NEW Music: Sevyn Streeter “Call Me Crazy, But…” EP

Who is Sevyn Streeter?

Sevyn's Promo Pic

  • American Singer-Songwriter
  • Genres: R&B, Hip Hop, Pop, Dance
  • Label: CBE (Chris Brown’s record label) signed in March 2012
  • Influences: Aaliyah, Brandy, Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Yolanda Adams, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Sevyn has been in the “industry” for many years. I personally remember her being a member of the teenage girl group TG4 (Tom Girl 4) in the early 2000s (associated act of boy band B2K–I was a big fan..don’t judge me LOL). TG4 was a four member group that was one of the opening acts on the “Scream Tour” that was headlined by Bow Wow and B2K, but the group didn’t garner much success and disbanded.  In 2009, Sevyn was a member of another girl group “RichGirl” who eventually disbanded in 2011 due to poor commercial success.  RichGirl was even the opening act for Beyoncé’s I Am…Tour (North American leg). After the group disbanded, Sevyn continued to write songs for other artists (such as Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Ariana Grande, Kelly Rowland, Fantasia) also including Chris Brown (“Yeah-3x”, “Strip”, and “Fine China”–just to name a few) which eventually led to her signing with his CBE record label in March 2012.

Sevyn Promo

Sevyn released her debut single as a solo artist in October of 2012, “I Like It” (not included on her EP).  This record was her breakthrough single and led up to the release of the lead single for her EP “It Won’t Stop” (feat. Chris Brown) (co-produced by Diplo of Mad Decent Records–be sure to check out that post). The video has over 10 million views on YouTube.

Album Cover

Released: December 3, 2013
Track-listing:
1. Come On Over
2. It Won’t Stop (feat. Chris Brown)
3. Sex on the Ceiling
4. Call Me Crazy
5. B.A.N.S.
6. Shattered
7. nEXt

Watch Sevyn’s “It Won’t Stop” video feat. Chris Brown (It’s a nice slow jam, laidback song)

I think this is a solid project for Sevyn. 2014 should be a promising year for Sevyn. She has been working hard for many years and it appears that it’s finally HER time! My favorite tracks include the lead single “It Won’t Stop”, “Shattered” and “nEXt”.  “Shattered” explains how things can fall apart in a relationship and “nEXt” is wanting your EX to be your nEXt boyfriend/girlfriend.  Below is the teaser for her next single “Sex on the Ceiling.”

“Shattered” teaser

  • Follow Sevyn on Twitter @Sevyn for updates or check out her official website.
  • Purchase her album for $5.99 on iTunes! (It’s been in heavy rotation for the past few weeks on my end–hopefully you all will feel the same!)

“Bey Great!”–Beyoncé Releases Surprise Visual Album

beyonce-booklet-main-picThe internet went into a frenzy on midnight, Friday the 13th when music icon Beyoncé Knowles-Carter released an unexpected self-titled, visual album with absolutely NO PROMO OR MARKETING!! Her eager fans (The BeyHive) shut down iTunes while waiting to purchase her album for $15.99 (14 songs/17 music videos).  The digital version was released today, but physical copies (CD/DVD formats) will not be available in stores until December 21st  (Just in time for the holiday season!–A great stocking stuffer for Bey fans!)

It’s amazing that no one caught wind of her project and that it was kept a secret! Beyoncé managed to film 17 videos around the world from Houston to New York City to Paris, and Sydney to Rio de Janeiro, all before the album’s release. Impressive!

beyonce-booklet-19

Track listing:
01 Pretty Hurts
02 Haunted
03 Drunk In Love [ft. Jay Z]
04 Blow
05 No Angel
06 Partition
07 Jealous
08 Rocket
09 Mine [ft. Drake]
10 XO
11Flawless [ft. Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche]
12 Superpower [ft. Frank Ocean]
13 Heaven
14 Blue [ft. Blue Ivy]

Here’s what Bey had to say about her new visual album:

“I see music, it’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to music.”

beyonce-booklet-25

“I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it. I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”–Beyoncé

Check out an more in-depth exclusive video that Bey released in her own words about her new album, as well as previews of ALL of the videos that she has made available to her fans from her official YouTube channel.

Some of my faves so far: “Drunk In Love” ft. Jay-Z, Flawless,” and “Blow”

To get a sneak peep at the album booklet photos click here!
Purchase the album now on iTunes!

Bey Great!