Tag Archives: Culture

The Contraction Continues: The Looming Arts Crisis in Higher Education

Paul Resnikoff posted this sobering graph at Digital Music News that shows US Department of Labor/Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) statistics from 1999-2011 on music sales and music employment. Needless to say, the picture is not pretty. It seems that despite the RIAA’s extraordinary attempts to curb piracy and file sharing (including suing single moms and storming college […]

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JEN and JAI: The Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Audiences Initiative (or, “They’re just not that into you.”)

In January, I attended the 2012 Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference in Louisville, Kentucky. It was my first time attending this (relatively) new organization’s conference. I had avoided going previously because I was still smarting from the self-inflicted spontaneous combustion of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) in 2008. The JEN conference was similar to […]

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The Answer is Blowing in the BrassWind

The New York Times CityRoom Blog reported that New York City’s iconic percussion store Drummers World is closing as of Dec. 28, 2011. For drummers, this store was indeed a “mecca”–every visit to New York required a stop at Drummers World, if not always to purchase something, then just to commune with fellow enthusiasts and […]

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Brokeback Motown

Part I: The Music I’ve played hundreds, if not thousands, of weddings, holiday get-togethers, corporate parties and other similar events. And I’ve done these types of “gigs” all over North America–Toronto, London, Windsor, New York, Baltimore, Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Toledo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Denver, Boulder, Vail, Aspen, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Calgary, Edmonton, and probably another […]

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Metal and All That Jazz

A friend of mine sent me a New York Times article by Ben Ratliff from 2009 entitled Jazz and Metal, Riffs in Arms. I read it, and told my friend that I found it “strange” to which he responded “what’s strange about this?” Ratliff is a noted jazz writer, critic, and historian, so I was […]

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Can You Tell Me What a Wang Chung is?

Recently, I ran across a British jazz group online called The Quartet and was surprised to find that the guitar player in the ensemble was Jack Hues, lead singer/guitarist from the iconic ’80s band, Wang Chung. Their big hits, Dance Hall Days and Everybody Have Fun Tonight (Everybody Wang Chung Tonight), were great dance tunes, a bit fluffy […]

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Prey for Play?: From ‘Pay for Play’ to ‘Play for Pay’ and now this?

For a few years in the mid-1980s, I played in a pop music cover band in the Windsor/Detroit area. It was a lot of fun, and we actually made a reasonable amount of money. We generally played anywhere from four to seven nights a week, and our weekly take-home per member was about $300. In […]

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Duran Duran, Do Rand Do Rand: All You Need is Ayn?

I’m a big fan of Duran Duran and have been for a long time, but I was shocked when I played a gig at Billy’s Lounge–a popular blues club in Grand Rapids’ delightful EastTown district–with The Hip Pocket a few weeks ago, and the lonely old jukebox against the back wall was plastered with ads […]

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Beggars’ Banquet: New Music Schemes for New Music Dreams

Over the last decade, we’ve heard a lot about new marketing and funding strategies for music and musicians that were emerging in the age of ubiquitous internet coverage and access. Streaming music and video, Youtube, email lists, artist/group websites and blogs, fanzines, Facebook, digital and hardcopy sales, self-publishing, on-demand publishing, and others. As inexpensive and […]

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No Coda for Coda: Another Jazz Club Closes

Coda, a San Francisco jazz club closes, and Yoshi’s Jazz Club, one of the nation’s most famous and longstanding jazz clubs, is now relying “increasingly” on groups* like Mos Def and Public Enemy (while at the same time receiving millions in public funding). [See full story in the Bay Citizen.] I don’t enjoy delivering bad news about the […]

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