Poor record companies. They get such a lot of stick for having taken so long to adapt to the challenges posed by digital music that they all end up looking like grotesque villains.
Granted, most industry men moved slower than dead people at the onset of the digital era. They failed to do things when they should have done them. They lost money for themselves and for their clients (IE, these artists that we believe in so passionately). But what’s in the past is in the past. There’s no point in keeping on chastising the industry for all its previous errors. It would be much, much better to try and carry on using all the knowledge that was gained as a true point from which to move into the future. And that’s exactly what this young company is here for.
MuseSpring provides people with all the knowledge they could need to succeed in the music industry as we know it right now. The company offers a myriad of different online courses on its site, along with access to business services and corporate support. That should be enough to let any struggling company renew its strength. And those who are planning on launching a company of their very own are even given the chance to secure some funding through MuseSpring.com.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to a simple (and inescapable) fact – the music industry has changed, and the common practices of yesteryear now stands as nothing short of archaic. For companies, it’s time to start moving ahead or be left in the dust. Services like MuseSpring have got what it takes to point the way, and show those who understand the importance of moving with the times take one firm step after the other.
The Blueberries onstage. Left to right: Andrés Jaureguy; Virginia Álvarez, Ernesto Pasarisa and Fede Fromhell.
The Blueberries have just issued their first promotional video. That honor was bestowed on the song “London Eye”, the track which opens their eponymous debut. (Profiled on MusicKO here; free download here.)
The video is shot in and about Montevideo’s Parque Rodó, our national airport (shown at the end) and some locations of unspecified source.
And yes, I’m aware that “some locations of unspecified source” is the most bizarre way of saying you haven’t got the foggiest idea where some place is.
James Taylor Now Offers Free Guitar Lessons On His Official Site
What about learning guitar from a truly renowned performer in the history of American folk music? And what about doing it without having to pay a dime?
That’s exactly what James Taylor’s latest online initiative is all about. The five-time Grammy Award winner has just begun imparting free guitar classes on his own website, www.jamestaylor.com. So far, he has uploaded two different tutorials, and an introductory message. You can watch them here. The idea seems to be offering updates on a weekly basis.
And just to do some brushing up, this is a video of Taylor performing his career-defining song ”Carolina In My Mind” at the BBC.
This is the second and final part of the interview I had the pleasure of conducting with Jason Grunstra from JamCloud. We talk about his musical likes, and lots and lots of underground artists. If you haven’t already done so, read the first part of the interview here.
MUSIC & YOU
When did you become interested in music? What was the first album or single you ever purchased?
I believe that we are all born with a natural interest in music. It’s part of our DNA; just listen to the rhythm of your own heart beat! I’m sure our early ancestors were making music as soon as they were able to bang two sticks together!
Are you in a band yourself, or have you been in a band in the past? Is there a clip on YouTube or elsewhere we could watch?
I once dabbled in recording engineered and recorded a demo tape with a close friend of mine from high school. YouTube didn’t exist back then though. I wish I had registered the domain name though!
Musical likes and dislikes? Favorite artists?
I tend to follow the hip-hop genre most closely, but I’ve also discovered a lot of really great content in other genres by using JamCloud. Recently I tend to gravitate to more underground artists, like Homeboy Sandman or Classified . I think a new artist by the name of Shy B has a lot of potential. My favorite artist of all time would have to be E-40 because if his unique style and overall creativity and hustle.
As far as dislikes… I try to keep an open mind, and one of the popular rooms on JamCloud is “The Music Lounge” which is an anything goes room. Generally I can tolerate most of the music played in that room. But the other day someone played some trance music and I just couldn’t handle it. I have no desire to be in a trance – I prefer to be cognizant. Continue reading →
Today I bring you a really complete interview with Jason Grunstra from JamCloud, the revolutionary service for enjoying music and videos collectively that I profiled last week on MusicKO. I sincerely thank Jason for having taken the time to answer everything so thoroughly. You can read the first part of the interview below; the second part is here.
Full Name: Jason Grunstra
Position: Co-Founder & CEO
Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived?
JamCloud was created as a way to harness the massive amount of media that already exists out in the cloud and collect and organize those items that you love from various content providers into one unified player.
What are its most distinctive features in your opinion? Does JamCloud lend itself to more than listening to music? Who else could benefit from it?
Overall I would say that the most distinctive thing when you first use JamCloud is really the overall app itself in that it is really intuitive, easy to use and just looks great. If I had to choose a specific feature I would probably say the discovery tools that we’ve come up with give people multiple ways to discover some really great music and videos that they may have never otherwise heard of before. Tapping into the collective knowledge of friends and peers really helps bring some hidden talent to the surface.
Music is certainly the first thing that comes to mind when using the app. But when you think about it, JamCloud is actually the perfect app to use for any type of content that is fun to watch with others. Comedy routines is a great example – everyone loves to laugh with friends. Or sports highlights is another example where users can chat in real-time as they watch the same sports clips that are synced up across multiple peoples computers. JamCloud really creates an environment where you can socialize with others about any interest really. Or how about animated short films? We even have a group that shares woodworking videos with each other and get inspiration from others for their own projects. The possibilities are limitless.
So far, in which countries has JamCloud been better-received?
We started with the US audience since that’s where we are based, but we’ve had a really good reception in Canada, Germany and the UK. Many times people outside of the US will see a new music platform spring up one day to only to get shut down a few months later due to the record labels clamping down and I think those people are just plain tired of it. With JamCloud since we aren’t the ones providing the actual content we are able to reach an international audience without any problems. We’re just finishing up work on translations for the application into Spanish, German, French and Japanese. Continue reading →
Restorm is here to answer the prayers of all these bands that have had it with paying exorbitant fees to license their music online. This new platform has been created to put an end to that, and to allow musicians to license (and sell) their music to anybody, paying the lowest possible commission (only 10%).
Registration to this service is free, and bands can have their music and data imported from any other service they might already be using, so a profile is created in a flash. Oh, and the process can be sped up even more since one can sign in using his already existing Facebook profile. Continue reading →
With The Release Of The First “App Album” Ever, Bjork Is Creating A New Way For Musicians To Market Their Art.
It’s great to see that while some musicians waste their time blaming the Internet for their declining album sales, others are actually embracing the latest technology and offering punters whole new ways to experience their music.
Bjork is one such artist. She has come up with the first “app album” in history. This app album is available both for iPhone and iPad, and it is basically made up of ten songs. Each of these songs has an app that goes with it, and which must be purchased individually. That is, you have to get the album itself (we could call it “the mother app”), and then buy the separate apps that go with each individual track.
The album/mother app is named Biophilia, and the first app (“Cosmogony”) is available for free. This is what you get when you launch the mother app:
In general, the apps themselves invite you to play games that relate to the theme of each song on the album (such is the case with “Crystalline”, the first “paid” app that has been released – video attached below), and also to create music of your own using your iPad (“Virus”, the second app that was issued). Which is quite fitting, really – Bjork composed “Biophilia” using one such tablet.
Personally, I think that Bjork must be praised for her inventiveness. And that’s regardless of how enjoyable one really finds this “app album” to be. If anything, she is showing us that the new and the old can blend and mix, without the detriment of either.
And you? What do you think of this new approach to music? Do you think other musicians will follow suit, and release their ver own “app albums”? Who is likelier to do it first?
An application that is available internationally, JamCloud is here to let all of us play music and watch videos with all our friends in real time. No doubt inspired by the concept of Google Plus hangouts, JamCloud enables people in any corner of the world to create and join listening rooms for free. And the people who do convene in any of these rooms can not only listen to the music others are playing, but also communicate among themselves thanks to a built-in messaging tool.
What’s more, the music that is played in any room can be voted both positively and negatively. That should let people who land on any room which is mighty crowded figure out which music is worth a try, and which is not really worth the hassle.
Currently, JamCloud has a database of over 325 million songs and videos.
And support for services like YouTube, SoundCloud and Facebook means that it’s dead simple to have playlists and individual songs imported right into any room you have joined. It’s all done by clicking and dropping what you want to have shared with others into the relevant box
One of the sweetest songs from “Historias de Invierno” gets a guitar-and-voice treatment for this live performance. I actually like this version of “Si Me Pierdo” [If I Get Lost] better than the one on the original album – the brittleness that lies at its core has a much better chance to come through.
This video was recorded live at El Tartamudo, a well-known Uruguayan venue favored by independent and emerging artists. It was recorded and edited by Cecilia Dulce.
No, I'm not stoned. That's an actual screenshot of the site!
And now, your weekly dose of madness on MusicKO…
Quite a curious site, YouTube Free Jazz can take random YouTube videos and use them to create sonic collages. The idea is that these should resemble the kind of music one can listen to when attending any outdoors Jazz concert.
That’s in theory. In practice, the site seems to create an almighty racket and little else. Only sporadically does it sound like Jazz. Hey, and I know what I’m talking about! I reviewed a social network for Jazz lovers recently, so I know what I’m on! And I even interviewed its creator.