iTunes Festival 2013

The iTunes Festival 2013 will take place in London. It will also be a global Webcast live event every evening in the month of September via Apple streaming services.

The festival demonstrates the major bargaining power Apple has with artists, labels and venue.

In September, stream the shows—live or after the performances—for free with the official app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, on your computer with iTunes, or on your big screen with Apple TV.

More information available here: http://www.itunes.com/festival

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Blues Traveler – Milford Oyster Festival

Today is the 39th Annual Milford Oyster Festival in my city, Milford, Ct.  Every year we have a headlining act that plays for free.

Past years that I have attended have included these artists, Kansas, The Marshall Tucker Band, Soul Asylum, The Smithereens, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Mark Farner, and Blue Oyster Cult.

This year’s headline act is Blues Traveler. They are a  massively popular act in Connecticut with a loyal and fervent following (30,000 people came to see them on the New Haven Green a few years back). I’ll be heading over early to check them out and enjoy the food, festivities and see some old friends. The nice part of this festival is that its less than 10 minutes from the house 🙂

Can you feel the excitement?

The latest album by Blues Traveler is Suzie Cracks The Whip. I wonder if the band is signing today?

Music Journalism A-Z – Tim Quirk

Tim Quirk

Tim Quirk spent more than 10 years as the singer and lyricist for the punk-pop band Too Much Joy, then politely eased his way into music journalism. He was a regular contributor to Raygun, The San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Sassy, and Teen. He was Director of Editorial for Listen.com, an online music-service provider which became Rhapsody, and one half of an electro-pop outfit called Wonderlick.

Tim Quirk has been instrumental in analyzing and arguing against the current sampling clearance laws.  Quirk discovered that current copyright law encouraged artists to choose samples based on which can most easily be cleared and not on creative merit.

Tim Quirk has acquired the ideal job that blends technology, music journalism and programming direction.

Tim Quirk now works for Google as head of global content programming for Google Play. He and his team continue to write about music on the blog Magnifier.

The 55th Annual Grammy Awards – Best New Artist, Must See Performances

Every year I look forward to the annual Grammy Awards celebration on the CBS Television Network. It is an opportunity to witness unique music performances and collaborations offered nowhere else. It is a must see broadcast as a music journalist and a lifelong music consumer.

The Best New Artist Award category poses a tough choice in 2013. My head tells me that Frank Ocean is the odds on favorite to receive this award. Frank Ocean had a phenomenal year in music. His début studio recording Channel Orange was chosen as the top recording of 2012 in many Top 10 reader and critic polls. There is typically a correlation between year end music poll and Grammy Award winners.

The music of our heart says something different in me about Best New Artist. The Lumineers are my sentimental favorite to win this year. It helps that I have seen The Lumineers perform live just as their star began to burn brightly. The Lumineers continued their ascension as they carried out an extensive global tour. The Lumineers are more than a “one-hit wonder” with the song, “Ho Hey”. Their début album is repeat play and balanced. If they don’t win the Best New Artist award they are also nominated for the Best Americana album which is more likely with the rise of roots music.

The must see performances I want to witness are dedicated to two musicians who died in 2012. There will be all-star tributes to Levon Helm and Dave Brubeck from fellow musicians who want to share their love for these two musical giants. I miss them both terribly and share in the adoration that will be shown for the music legacies they leave us all.

Music Journalism A-Z – Holly George-Warren

Holly George-Warren

Holly George-Warren personifies the admirable place of music industry subject matter authority. She has the right mix of multifaceted skills that when combined or executed singularly create demand for her ability. According to her biography, Holly George-Warren is an award-winning writer, editor, book packager, producer, and music consultant.  If that’s not enough for you she teaches Arts Journalism at the State University of New York in New Paltz, NY and has lectured at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University. She has guest lectured at Cornell, Penn, MTSU and CUNY, among other universities.

I am especially taken with how she embodies her knowledge when it comes to American cultural fashion. She has served as a consultant, writer, and/​or lecturer on Western wear at several museums, including the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the Autry Museum of the American West, the National Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame, the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum, and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. So its safe to say she looks and acts the part 😉

I learn more readily why she was chosen to co-write the book John Varvatos: Rock In Fashion (with John Varvatos, projected availability September 2013). One of these days I am going to own a John Varvatos ensemble. This book will be invaluable in helping to choose that desired wardrobe item.

2010_7_Varvatos10Anniv.jpg

I am eager for another book Holly George-Warren is now authoring the biography of Alex Chilton, to be published by Viking Press in 2014. I know she will write with diligence and just the right amount of revelation necessary to tell his story to the world.

The Road to Woodstock

I own three of  the many books she has written.  The first book, The Road to Woodstock is an autographed hardcover that Holly George-Warren signed in person at the Morrison Hotel Gallery Woodstock 40th Anniversary Event (The book was also signed that evening by co-writer Micheal Lang, Woodstock co-creator, Henry Diltz, “Official” Woodstock photographer (Founder of Morrison Hotel Gallery) and John B. Sebastian, the performer featured on the cover).

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The First 25 Years is the other book I own by Holly George-Warren.  I use the book as a constant reference along with the companion Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 9 DVD set. We attended the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Garden that same year 2009. We also have the HBO DVD recording of that super star event to help us relive that evening 😉

If I have peaked your interest about Holly George-Warren and you wish to learn more about her story, watch this two- part interview on the Rock Book Show You Tube channel.

I learned from watching the interview that Holly George-Warren was the book packager for the centerpiece title Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey. This is the third book in my library. I loved that blues project which incorporated the 100 year Salute to the Blues at Radio City Music Hall that was captured on film, Lightning In A Bottle. So once again I am educated by Holly George-Warren through this book. We attended the Salute to the Blues event at Radio City Music Hall in 2003. I also watched the entire PBS series The Blues. There has never been such a comprehensive multimedia focused effort for the blues before or since.

 

My WordPress Blog 2012 In Review

I thank my friends, associates, 1,666 followers, and global readers(167 countries!!!) for a bountiful 2012 professional blogging year.

I especially want to thank my loving wife Rosemary for her patience with my daily blogging.

Crunchy

This blog increased its views from 60, 223 views in calendar year 2011 to 138, 809 in 2012. That is a 130% viewing increase in a year. That speaks to the magnetic pull WordPress continues to show and data mine in the InterWeb.

My analysis of these results indicates that the Top 10 blog posts in 2012 were focused on articles from strong reader fan bases such as Santana, The Beach Boys, Jethro Tull, Neil Young, and Donald Fagen (Steely Dan). The blog posts were centered upon concert reviews, album reviews and music art work in advance of product releases (something I hope to do more of in 2013).

The relationship I have struck with Nick Rhodes at Tid.al with SONY Popmarket has helped tremendously. Thank you Nick for contacting me to write more specifically for SONY Popmarket. Last I understood I am the top blogger on the Popmarket site with close to 150 blog posts.

I also want to thank my Santana brothers and sisters at the Moonflower Cafe for their continued readership, interest and support.

My San Francisco music connection with Bill Ortiz, Anna Karney, Steffen Franz, Charles Xavier (XMAN), Chris Buttner (PRThatRocks), Michael Brandvold and Shambhu continues to flourish and grow,  I am very thankful to have them all in the music of our heart.

I liked the concert analogy when it comes to the statistics mentioned below. The Barclays Center is high on my bucket list of new concert venues in my market to experience in 2013.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 140,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

The Queen Extravaganza – Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, Ct

I wanted to see this performance due to an article I had read in Rolling Stone Magazine about The Queen Extravaganza on the Web. I have never watched a single minute of American Idol during its broadcast schedule. I’ll grant you I may watch a YouTube video after the fact to see what all the buzz is about. I have developed a reserved judgement on American Idol and its role, its place in music. I felt American Idol was overhyped. I can safely say after attending last night’s Official Queen Tribute Show a production sanctioned by the surviving members of Queen (Roger Taylor, Brian May and John Deacon)  and American Idol, I can now lift that sanction in my heart and head.It was a very convincing night of solid entertainment.

My wife was surprised we were going to see a Queen “tribute” concert. I can assure you we saw, felt and experienced much more than a tribute to Queen last night.

It was infectious to experience the music through this young ensemble of artist/fans who put their heart and soul into an evening of Queen’s music. My appreciation for these young musical performers who were so in earnest has reawakened a deeper love for Queen inside the music of our heart.

Our major complaint was the sound system was excruciatingly loud, it really hurt our left ear drums, trust me they could have cut back on the loudness factor and still have achieved their stated goal.

The Queen Extravaganza - Rob Sinclair

But aside from the crushing sound the two act performance was a joy to witness. Queen fans were out in force last night. The first act centered on early Queen as the backdrop featured a poster of Queen on a brick wall in a club somewhere in England. That set ended on a high note with Bohemian Rhapsody taking us to intermission.

The second act was more multimedia /visual, using concert footage from Wembley Stadium, official MTV videos (Under Pressure a personal fave). The greater Queen hits such as Another One Bites The Dust, Somebody To Love and Radio Gaga (love that song and Metropolis the sci-fi movie, they showed some great black and white clips from the 1927 classic) appeared in the second act.

The song that rose everyone to their feet first was Fat Bottom Girls. Connecticut concert audiences are sedate and laid back, the Queen Extravaganza performers had to work that much harder to get the Oakdale crowd into the experience. This song did just that.

It was an exciting variable to have four different lead singers represent Freddie Mercury‘s vocals. I think each vocalist was very polished  and vivacious evidencing lots of charisma. Marc Martel was my favorite vocalist and when he sang it felt the closest to Freddie Mercury’s voice and style. The musicians were very capable and enthusiastic. It was a wise choice to have two guitarists to approximate Brian May’s licks and runs. The keyboardist also served as the music director. The drummer was top-notch and handled a vocal lead, with his stellar drumming admirably.

The singers and musicians of "The Queen Experience," which will come to the Oakdale in Wallingford on Saturday, June 9, were hand-picked by Queen drummer Roger Taylor. Photo: Contributed Photo / CT

We want to thank the Queen Extravaganza for pulling out all the stops last night in Wallingford, Ct. You were the champions and to you as the victors we happily shared the spoils of your conquest.

Please have a great rest of the tour everyone! We love you!

Journeys Neil Young

Keeping up with the efforts of Neil Young is happily exhausting. In addition to Neil Young’s appearance at The Book Expo with Patti Smith, it’s been a whirlwind publicity junket for the consummate musician, author, audiophile and film star. Right on the heels of his new recording with CrazyHorse, Americana and advance publicity for his diary, Waging Heavy Peace is a new documentary, Journeys Neil Young a film by Jonathan Demme.

The film will première on Friday June 29th in select cities.

Meat Loaf – Mad, Mad World Summer Tour

Meat LoafMeat Loaf  has announced the first round of dates for his upcoming “MAD, MAD, WORLD” TOUR in connection with his newly released album HELL IN A HANDBASKET (Sony/Legacy). The trek kicks off in the city of Austin, TX on June 22 and runs through August 2, including stops in Los Angeles, Boston and Atlantic City, with more dates expected to be announced shortly.

No Connecticut tour dates yet. I visualize him stopping in to play the MGM Grand Venue at Foxwoods but that’s just my guess…

The new album sounds great, I listened to it last night while I walked the treadmill. I liked the track “Our Love and Our Souls” which features Meat Loaf and Patti Russo together.