Glorious Days

As reported by

Weezer’s entry ended the three-week second-place stint of Mariah Carey’s “The Emancipation of Mimi” (Island/Def Jam), which dipped to No. 3 with almost 173,000 copies.

This still doesn’t justify the lackluster dmb album selling twice as many copies as weezer’s album, but at least there is some justice in the world.

Yeah, and they're from Akron, Ohio

Last night seemed to mark the beginning of music season here in Austin. Granted, some will argue SXSW is that tipping point to flag the beginning of better weather and more music. And while I have seen a couple of great shows already (notably Gomez, which I forgot to post about), yesterday evening was overrun with choices in every genre. J5, Word Association, Dr. John, Spillar, the list goes on and would be longer if the Austin Chronicle would allow me to search music listings for last night.

Limited websites aside, I do know who was playing at Emo’s, and that would be the Black Keys. For those unfamiliar, as I was not that long ago, the Black Keys play rock/blues that is just plain dirty and they fill up the sonic spectrum solely with a drum kit and distorted guitar. The stage at Emo’s never felt empty with only the two guys either. The club was packed and the energy was incredible. If you like blues, if you like Hendrix or Cream or early punk, if you like the way any of them did the blues, if you like taking blues and pushing it out the door with rock, if you don’t mind the exclusion of the bass guitar, if you love recordings and performances that might lack high fidelity but just ooze with soul and feeling, I highly recommend you pick up the albums (start with thickfreakness).

If Your Not Going to ACL

Austin is alive this weekend with the third annual Austin City Limits Music Festival. For various reasons, I have made the decision to pass on spending the next three days in the heat, spending five dollars on beer and then standing in line for an hour to use the portopotties. Don’t get me wrong, I’m dissappointed to miss the music all 130 bands (of which I might have seen a third of the acts) but time is money and I was offered the chance to make some time this weekend.

Which leads me to the title of this post. If you are like me and have some spare time this weekend, but aren’t dropping the $72 for tickets check out Yahoo’s Launch. They are airing live feeds from the festival all day long. You might not be spending six dollars on a hot dog, but you just might catch the set from a band you were remiss to be missing.

In Pursuit of Fewer Customers

Good article in Newsweek about the record industry and their refusal to come to their senses regarding online sales of music. Not only have the costs of CD’s not come down since their inception, despite technology costs diving downwards, but the labels now want to charge even more for those 1’s and 0’s that they are selling you.

And to make sure that everyone plays fair, they are still finding online file sharers and taking them to court. Suing your customers, or even potential customers is, at best, an expensive business plan. How about listening to what music fans really want and moving into online sales with a vengence. There are too many opportunities to empty the wallets of people to mandate propping up an aging sales model that is not satisfying anyone except the corporate execs.

Rules of economics state that with rising demand comes lower costs. The record industry is really trying to prove Alfred Marshall and John Maynard Keynes wrong.

Random Net Pieces

Sometimes my morning is just shocked awake with a couple of pieces of news strung together, for instance:

June holds the new release from Chris Robinson, who recently reunited with brother Rich and organist Eddie Harsch to play “Sometimes Salvation,” fueling whispers about one of the greatest rock bands left in the wings.

The Simpson’s voice talent feel that their skills are worth about $60,000 and hour and are ignoring Homer’s advice by striking. As the sage once said, “If you don’t like your job, you don’t strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American Way.”

And finally, another pending album release in June but the new material from Wilco has already been leaked. I might have listened to it, and it might not be mastered and might not be completely mixed, but it’s definitely going to be a great buy in June.

I bypassed my morning Dr. Pepper due to the fact that I had already wiped the sleep from my eyes, just to make sure I read everything right.

Chris Robinson @ Slim's

Mandy and I went to see Chris Robinson with the new band on Sunday night at Slim’s in San Francisco. This was the first solo tour with the entire ensemble plugged in and wailing. He’s put together a pretty strong lineup that enables him to break away and not be a black crowe. It is still a little wierd to see Chris on-stage with a guitar strapped across his chest, though. The Stacey brothers work well together on guit and drums, with Jeremy really letting loose on that poor kit every now and then. George Reiff held it together pretty tight on bass for a good ‘ol boy from Austin, TX. The other George (Laks) on keyboard/organ, was in another world, grinning like a madman. Wherever he was at, the party was happenin’!

The setlist was equal parts new material and eclectic covers: several Grateful Dead / Janis Joplin tunes infused by a trip to Stinson Beach, “Blues Power” from Clapton – down and dirty like rock and roll should be, a Band cover that took “Tears of Rage” to a less painful, tenuous place, Jimmy Rodger’s “T for Texas”, the list goes on and on. It made for a very cool 3+ hours of music, much longer of a show than I was expecting going in.

This was also the first time going to Slim’s. As a venue it is a little loud, earplugs are a must, but I don’t think there is a bad seat in the house. I really dig the size of club that can bring in bigger names and give them an intimate performance space.

A side note: go to rock shows with a short person. You get a lot more pity and leverage when fighting your way up front with them. At a good show where the real communication between the band and fan happens at close range it makes for a much better experience (unless you end up next to the girl that can’t stop singing louder than the band).