The options out there have really exploded over the last year or so. You have Pandora and Songza dominating the "radio-like" spectrum, both with ad supported free services and both offering (what I view as fairly expensive) ad free options ($3.99/month for Songza, $4.99/month for Pandora if you're not grandfathered in, $3.99/month if you are). Spotify, Rdio, and Beats seem to be the big players in the "Netflix-like" stream-on-demand category, with industry trailbreaker Rhapsody just barely holding on. All offer have plans at about $9.99/month, although Spotify also offers a free, ad supported option, and all seem to have been working hard to expand their curated playlists and algorithm generated playlists in response to competition from the lines of Songza and Pandora.
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A cultural phenomenon of undeniable power:
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Threats and violence initiated by right-wing Jewish settlers has reinvigorated calls to officially label them terrorists.
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For the past 15 years I've been a compulsive music blog surfer. Part of the demise of the record store is the music industries inability to understand that their customers need more than the clack of CD cases when purchasing highly compressed inferior audio products. I still go to the few record stores that are left in Seattle on an a much less frequent basis, perhaps once a month at best. The demise of the majors forced a higher quality independent record store which makes visiting them really gratifying, if you haven't visited a record store lately you should checkout the ones that have managed to survive up to 2013. I also frequent thrift shops which on rare occasions acquire a baby boomer's whole record collection. I found a pristine Duster Bennet album lying between Kiln House and LIVE at Montreux at Goodwill just a few weeks ago.
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Let me state the obvious, the 1970's were rock and roll heaven. I love everything about that decade musically, the disco, the conceptual albums, great soul, the over indulgence of the business and most of all the Rock and Roll check valve that worked perfectly midway through the 70's, Punk.
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2012, like the 10 years that preceded it has become another seemingly benign year for the music industry. Radio stations did manage to have a few new hits the past year and the buying public went Ga Ga, Goyte and Gangnam Style. So what else was out there to listen to? I present my link heavy favorites of 2012 below with a quick description for both posterity and your perusal.
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Madonna might want to avoid any future concerts in Russia. Anti-gay activists in that rigidly conformist nation have sued her for $10.5 million for endorsing gay rights during her concert in St. Petersburg, thereby "insulting their feelings".
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Unsurprisingly, three members of Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, were found guilty of "hooliganism" motivated by "religious hatred" and sentenced to two years in prison. Prosecutors had asked for three years each, while President Putin had weighed in for "leniency".
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After thirty prolific years, Chumbawamba is calling it quits.
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According to our friends at Slashdot, the annual supply of H1-B visas has been depleted much earlier than normal by Foreigners. Normally relatively available until later in the year, the 2013 supply is relatively dried up. This has lead some to call for the increase in the availability of the visas, which are kept at 65,000 yearly. Others say that the program depresses wages for American native IT workers and leads to artificially higher tech sector unemployment.
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Posted to Music on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 06:42:29 PM EST (promoted from Diaries by Acefantastik). RSS.
On March 08, 1977 the eponymous album "Foreigner" was released by one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time. The 5X platinum powerhouse included such standards as Feels Like the First Time, Cold as Ice and Long, Long Way From Home. They would release "Double Vision" the next year, become rock legends for several years, briefly split up and then reassemble due to the healing power of the LA Riots. They remain on tour and have occasionally been the subject of pop culture references in strange adult cartoons.
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Amy Winehouse, the 27-year-old with one of the more distinctive voices in music in addition to addictions to a wide variety of pharmaceuticals, will sing no more. She was found dead in her London flat earlier today.
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Perhaps you didn't know it, but the power that be (and please don't ask me what powers those are) have proclaimed June to be International Surf Music Month. Also unlikely to be among the facts foremost in your memory: I do a show on the local public radio station serving the small town where I live and surf music is among the many genres I enjoy and occasionally program for my show. Last night, in honor of International Surf Music Month, I peppered my playlist with tasty, twangy little nuggets of instrumental goodness, and I thought I'd take this occasion to talk a bit about the genre and then later, in the comments, perhaps about some of the tracks I chose for last night's playlist. It's also my hope that aficionados of the genre will point out their own favorites in this area, as I'm always on the lookout for more good material.
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