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This Video > You

June 16, 2010

This video is full of win.

LimeWire loses lawsuit

June 16, 2010
“Causing a shift in the downloading habits of millions.”

The Recording Industry Association of America won a huge lawsuit against LimeWire this week.  LimeWire, a file sharing service accounted for 58% of people who said they illegally download music last year.  Something that I think is personally outstanding  is that this software has been downloaded 340,000 times.  And they could get some big money.  In an article on cnet news, LimeWire could face a $150,000 suit for each infringed piece of work.  Read what people are saying about this lawsuit here.

I also found it interesting that this news station didn’t say illegal music downloading is hurting the music industry, but said to basically ‘be more smart about it.’  Despite that fact, this video shows how easy it is for LimeWire users to access each other’s files.

Watch this!

March 30, 2010

Best music video I’ve seen in 2010.

Oh, what a decade…

March 1, 2010

The music industry is constantly changing and keeping up with the demand of artists, listeners, record labels, etc. This decade faced a lot of changes with the decline in CD sales and increase in digital downloads and music piracy.

The RIAA released it’s facts and findings for the decade.  And while some of these made me laugh, they also made me smile (mostly because I remember a time in my life when I thought most of this music was good.)

The highest certified album of the decade was a tye between NSYNC’s “No String Attached” and OutKast’s “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” for the group category; Usher’s “Confessions” and Shania Twain’s “Up” for the artist category.

The male artist with highest certified album sales, digital downloads, ringtones and music video certifications was Michael Jackson with 49.  Female winner was Beyonce with 64.

Just album certifications alone was George Strait with 29 and Britney Spears with 23.  Group that won this was Nickelback with 25.

Other highlights of the year -

January 3, 2000 LeAnn Rimes’ self-titled 1999 Curb album becomes the decade’s first Platinum album.

May 10, 2001 *NSYNC’s 2000 Jive album No Strings Attached is certified the first decade’s Diamond album of the decade.

July 29, 2003 The decade’s top certified artist – Beyonce – receives her very first Gold album award for Dangerously in Love (Columbia, 2003).  The album is currently 4x multi-Platinum.

September 23, 2004 The decade’s highest certified album by a female solo artist – Shania Twain’s Up! –  reaches 11x multi-Platinum.

October 22, 2004 Digital Single award introduced.  45 titles were included in the initial group of certifications, encompassing tracks from each major recording company and representing nearly every genre in music.

October 7, 2005 Interscope artist Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” becomes first digital single to sell one million units.

January 7, 2005 Warner band Linkin Park earns a Diamond award for Hybrid Theory (2000).

February 15, 2005 Norah Jones’ debut Blue Note album Come Away with Me turns Diamond three years after its release.

April 15, 2005 The Beatles earn their 5th Diamond award for 1 (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol, 2000).

November 1, 2006 Capitol Nashville country artist Garth Brooks takes Double Live (2008) 21x multi-Platinum.  Garth Brooks is currently the best-selling solo artist in history having certified more than 128 million units to date.

June 2006 Master Ringtone award introduced.  The Black Eyed Peas, Chamillionaire, D4L, T-Pain earn the RIAA’s first multi-Platinum ringtone certifications.

January 10, 2007 Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” goes double-Platinum to become the RIAA’s first multi-Platinum digital download.

July 27, 2007 The best selling ringtone by a female solo artist, Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable,” certifies 3x multi-Platinum.
2008 RIAA celebrates 50th Anniversary of Gold Record.

November 7, 2008 The decade’s highest certified album by a male solo artist – Usher’s Confessions – reaches 10x multi-Platinum.

May 8, 2009 Flo Rida’s “Low” goes 5x multi-Platinum; is the highest certified digital download in history.

August 21, 2009 Michael Jackson’s legendary album Thriller climbs to 29x multi-Platinum to tie the Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) as the highest certified album in RIAA Gold & Platinum history.

October 12, 2009 The decade’s top recipient of digital download certifications – Taylor Swift – takes her best selling song “Love Story” 4x multi-Platinum.

December 15, 2009 Lil Wayne’s ringtone “Lollipop” becomes the highest certified ringtone ever at 5x multi-Platinum.

Jack’s Mannequin shines in Kansas City

February 22, 2010

Andrew McMahon, lead singer of Jack's Mannequin, played for a packed crowd on Feb. 19 at the Beaumont Club. Photo by Sara Humm.

Sometimes battles bring us strength, make us smile, and restore hope in what we love.

At the same time, those same battles also bring weaknesses.  Weaknesses we can’t sometimes help, or even describe.

As for Andrew McMahon, lead singer of Jack’s Mannequin, his battle was rough—it was leukemia.

But it’s a battle he won.  He’s still here, still making music, still pounding those piano keys with his true passion.  It’s been almost five years.

And I was nervous for him as I was waiting with a packed crowd in line at the Beaumont Club on Friday.

It had been raining all day, and I felt like it really was the perfect weather for this show.  I had the opportunity to catch Jack’s Mannequin’s set at Warped Tour 2008, and in the middle of the song “Dark Blue,” it started raining.

“And today was a day just like any other,” Andrew sung as got comfortable on his piano.   He then looked up and smiled.

I couldn’t help but smile back, because it’s fitting that almost two years later, it really was just like that day in July 2008.  It’s a balance, almost.  It helped settle my nerves.

As the set continued, he too, continued his story. I could feel it and I couldn’t help but be taken aback by it.  His voice, his charm.  (And I can’t forget that piano; it just makes my heart flutter.)

At the same time, I can’t really explain why I felt so nervous.  Maybe because these songs are about his struggles, some of which are hard for me to listen to.

“Holiday From Real,” was my favorite of the night, which I’ve been waiting to hear live since their first CD was released in 2005.  I was not disappointed.

The crowd also made this show enjoyable— I could tell these people felt the same way I did as they were singing back lyrics and jumping all over each other.

Listening to these songs live also made me realize that this is Andrew’s story, almost a vocal documentation of what he’s been though.

As I was thinking this, he said he was ‘glad that this tour was almost over and he could start making ‘real music.’  He also then explained that it’s not like he’s not making real music now, but that he’ll have ‘something else to write about.

For this hour-long set, I was bonded (literally) to these other fans.  I can’t say I know what will come next for Jack’s Mannequin, and for now, I can’t guess.

Friday night, though, I was glad I was a part of his story.  And it’s obvious I’ll be singing along with the next chapter, too.

Finding the ‘bigger picture’

February 9, 2010

Lyrics you can relate to, songs you feel that were written for you.  It’s something about music that makes people believe in something more.  In something bigger.

Non-for-profit organizations in the music industry are becoming even more common.  And with things like music tours, it’s the perfect way to promote what ‘to stand for.’  It’s also one of the reasons I love going to Warped Tour.  When the lineup sucks, there are always the familiar tents and easygoing people that will share their stories with you.

And it’s not necessarily just music organizations that want to get their words across, but companies that are associated with the way music and ‘the need to help’ go together.  It’s the way music can make you feel when times are rough, and the way you can relate to messages.

My favorite organization is To Write Love On Her Arms.  And it’s definitely a small organization that has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years.  I think this is great, because the organization helps those struggling with suicide, depression, self-injury, etc.  This organization uses music and music artists to promote what their ‘message’ is (rescue is possible.)  Through concert tours and artists like Hayley Williams of Paramore and Jon Foreman of Switchfoot backing the company, the message is definitely being spoken clearly.

The purpose of this video/the story for Rolling Stone is that ‘everyone has a story and every story matters.’  Here, you see this photo shoot for Rolling Stone not only become something great, but you also see it as an outlet for those who know someone who has struggled or have struggled themselves.  All of these people, gathering for a cause to show they’re aware.  I think it’s truly an amazing thing. (Fast forward to about 1:30 if you’re looking for actual words/story of the video.)

Other important sites: (music related/go on music tours to promote their causes)
Music Saves Lives

Music For Relief

Invisible Children

Keep A Breast

VH1’s Save The Music

Organizations involved with Warped Tour.

(Of course there are many more, and many others that aren’t music related.)

I just think it’s important to realize that not only can music be something to dance, sing, relate to or play–but that it can also be used as a support system.  It can be something bigger than just ‘lyrics and noise.’

Coco still has my heart

January 25, 2010

The battle between Conan and Jay has been brewing for some time.

I grew up watching Conan and Jay.

Besides Friends and Seinfeld, late night on NBC was really the only time I watched ‘grown ups’ on TV when I was younger.

And while I can quote almost every episode of Friends, I also find myself remembering skits Conan did on his show.   At times, I also find myself pulling on those invisible strings on my legs pretending to be a puppet like he so often did.

It’s not that I didn’t like Jay Leno, it’s that I didn’t remember much about him.  You see, I always remember things about people, or at least I like to, and all I can remember when I was younger is that he was ‘the guy before Conan.’

I’ve been told this is a ‘generation’ thing.  That people my mom’s age prefer Jay, while people my age prefer Conan.  I don’t necessarily think that’s right, but I often thought (and still do think) that sometimes Jay’s comedic style is dated.

When Coco took over at the host of The Tonight Show, I was relieved.  At the same time, I also thought that Jay didn’t need to be on my TV from 9-10pm.  I believe there’s a time when a person needs to let go of what they’re good at and move on.

I believe Jay has reached his time, however, NBC has not.  And because of that, many people have to say goodbye to Conan way before his ‘time.’  But that’s not to say he won’t be back—and with a vengeance.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have exactly one hour to steal every single item in this studio,” Conan said right after the cheers wouldn’t stop during his last show.

Besides Conan being on my TV from 10:35-11:35pm, there’s also nothing better than humor in awkward situations.  For a week, all I heard on MSNBC and CNN was the battle between these two late night bros.  But there’s also nothing better than being mature in awkward situations, too. (No matter how much you may want to laugh and point.)

Once you put all the ‘he said, he said’ drama behind, Conan put on a great last show.  So great, that hardly any clips can be put online (NBC is taking them down.)   I assume this is because they end up looking like the bad guy (which they should.)

And what a cast on the last show; Will Ferrell, Neil Young and Tom Hanks just to name a few.  And while the guests were good, it wasn’t going to dismiss the fact that Conan will no longer be taking up an hour of my life at least a couple times a week.

I hope Coco takes that $45 million and helps Jay buy fans when his ratings end up not being as good.  If I was into wasting electricity, I’d turn all the TV’s on in my dorm to David Letterman (on mute, of course.)

I felt tears surfacing at the closing of the show when Will, ZZ Top, Beck, Ben Harper and Conan closed the show with the song ‘Free Bird.’  At the same time, I also smiled, because I remember all the funny things from when I was a kid.

“Can we watch the red haired guy?  Why is his hair always the same?  Why does he dance like that?”

And now, I have the answer.  Because he’s Conan O’Brien, duh.

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