Keystone Nominated for a Grammy

This morning it was announced that Dave Douglas' Keystone (Greenleaf Music) was nominated for a Grammy in the Contemporary Jazz category. Wow! Congratulations Dave!


Forum on Independent Labels

I was lucky to be part of a really interesting panel discussion last night sponsored by the Chicago Music Commission. The panel topic was “Forum on Independent Labels


New Monthly Download: Dave Douglas's "Just Another Murder"

Another month, another downloadable track for our subscribers! This time, it's Dave Douglas's "Just Another Murder (Brass Version)", from a new group called Brass Ecstasy. Dave says:

"Just Another Murder" is, for me, a title evocative of the daily violent shenanigans at Keystone Studios. In August 2005 I put together a band to celebrate the memory of the great Lester Bowie. I call it Brass Ecstasy. This track, a "cover" of the Keystone tune, was recorded at our first gig, at The Jazz Standard in New York on August 4, 2005. We also played tunes by Hank Williams, Missy Elliott, Rufus Wainwright, and Otis Redding. More to come from this new band in 2006. Long Live Lester.

If you're a subscriber, log in and start downloading! If you're not a subscriber, think about it -- there are wonderful benefits (besides this fabulous track).


New 2005-2006 Kneebody Tour Dates

Kneebody has added December dates to their tour schedule!

Nov 30: Philadelphia, PA - Fergie's Pub
Dec 01: New York, NY - Tonic (with Jerseyband)
Dec 02: Brooklyn, NY - BAM Cafe
Dec 03: Rock Island, IL - Quad City Brew & View
Dec 07: Chicago, IL - Hothouse (with Jorrit Dykstra's Flatlands Collective)
Dec 09: Denver, CO - Dazzle
Dec 10: Denver, CO - Dazzle
Dec 15: Los Angeles, CA - The Metropole Cafe
Dec 15: Santa Monica, CA - Temple Bar (with MC Abstract Rude and MC Busdriver)

They'll also be in Italy in late February and early March. Go see 'em. They're fun.


Breaking music

This article explains the record industry's futile attempts to stop piracy of compact discs.

The fact that so-called digital rights management might always be a doomed experiment became painfully clear with the fiasco that erupted after Sony BMG Music Entertainment added a technology known as XCP to more than 50 popular CDs.

After it was discovered that XCP opened gaping security holes in users' computers - as did the method Sony BMG offered for removing XCP - Sony BMG was forced to recall the discs this week. Some 4.7 million had been made and 2.1 million sold.

Factor in lawsuits that Sony BMG could face and it's worth wondering whether the costs of XCP and its aftermath might even exceed whatever piracy losses the company would have suffered without it.

That's not even accounting for the huge public relations backlash that hit Sony BMG, the second- largest music label, half-owned by Sony Corp. and half by Bertelsmann AG.

"I think they've set back audio CD protection by years," said Richard M. Smith, an Internet privacy and security consultant. "Nobody will want to pull a 'Sony' now."

It's amazing to me that so many smart people don't seem to get it. Maybe by getting burned this way, they will change their approach and adopt a new attitude towards the digital transfer of music. That said, here's why they probably won't.

[From page 32] In this counterfactual world with 30% less file sharing, the lower 75% of the distribution of sales is shifted further to the left, while the top of the distribution increases its sales. This is what should be expected given the estimates from above. Artists who are unknown, and thus most helped by file sharing, are those artists who sell relatively few albums, whereas artists who are harmed by file sharing and thus gain from its removal, the popular ones, are the artists whose sales are relatively high.


FAQs

Greenleaf Music is still a new business. And it's still a new area of the business. We've had a lot of questions. So, to answer a few of them:

We still make CDs with specially designed jackets called digipacks. They are available by mail order through our store, musicstem.com. We offer them at prices below the chain record stores, and SHIPPING IS FREE in the U.S. They usually arrive (within the U.S.) in a couple of days. We do this because we believe in passing lower prices on to our listeners, and we feel that at this point artists and listeners are best served by a direct relationship, with no middlemen. We count on our listeners to spread the word about their satisfaction with the music and service.

We ALSO offer downloadable music. It's the same music, but it comes directly into your computer instantly. You can get most of the information about the release at our site, but downloadable music does not come with the digipack.

Finally, we have a subscription plan; for a flat fee, subscribers receive a single track every month (a track that is not available any other way). Subscribers also get free CDs, discounts at musicstem.com, and the knowledge that they are helping make this independent model work.

Thank you everyone for your support. And please don't hesitate to contact us with any other questions, comments, or suggestions.

More music coming soon.


Dave Douglas chat transcript

On Thursday, December 8th, we hosted a live chat with our very own Dave Douglas -- read the transcript now!


Wait, you mean we can't keep selling the same music over and over anymore?

A Bloomberg article reports record company executives are finally realizing what normal human beings already know: the step from CD to mp3 isn't just another format bump that requires consumers to purchase The White Album all over again. Many people, instead of rebuying their music collection through iTunes (or whatever), are simply (and legally) converting their CDs into mp3s and transfering them to their iPods (or whatever). Gasp!

Of course, rather than focus on producing quality new content, media companies would rather break our televisions (and related devices), which is roughly analogous to intentionally tripping the girl you have a crush on.


November's subscriber mp3: Kneebody's "Bub"

Well, it's a new month (November, if you haven't been paying attention), so that means a new monthly download for Greenleaf Music subscribers. This month, we're proud to offer "Bub", an unreleased Kneebody track composed by Adam Benjamin and recorded at No Big Whoop Studios in 2004. Intended to be a part of the Kneebody debut album on Greenleaf but left off, it was inspired by a Ben Wendel song called "Hub."

So subscribers, log in and download the mp3 of "Bub" any time you'd like. If you're not a subscriber, well ... if only there was some way you could become one right now ...


Would you like toast on that music?

It seems I've fallen behind on what's cool these days -- I just assumed that toasters were still being used for, well, toast. It turns out that toasters make excellent cases for do-it-yourself music projects like synth boxes, guitar amps ... and something that involves shooting flames.

If nothing else, it's nice to know things in the music world aren't getting stale.

(via createdigitalmusic)


Your ears: right or left-handed?

Diana Deutsch, a psychology professor at the University of California, has studied how left and right-handed people hear sound differently. In this online experiment, a right-handed listener would expect to hear most of the higher-pitched tones in the right ear, even though both channels are exactly the same. Try it, then flip your headphones around and see if the higher pitches switch sides. Iif you're left-handed, you'll probably hear the higher notes on the left. Deutsch suggests, since most people are right-handed, this is why more high-pitched instruments are on the right side of the orchestra.

(via Music Thing)


Dave on Public Radio Exchange

There is a wonderful audio feature on Dave Douglas and the making of Keystone currently running on the Public Radio Exchange. It's called Dave Douglas, Redemption Songs for Fatty. (Free registration required.)