The Digest – March 19, 2013

Express - 2013 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive FestivalSouth by Southwest: Recapping the Music Festival Time

A rundown of the SXSW highlights, from Prince to Justin Timberlake, to Waxahatchee, to Death Grips, to Dave Grohl, it’s all here. Next year I’ll drop some more names.

How the Internet Is Changing Everything (feat. Amanda Palmer on Vocals) Sex, Genes, and Rock

Thirty years ago, says Rob Brooks, if you wanted to listen to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” you had to buy Thriller. Today, if you want to listen to “Gangnam Style.” you need only go to YouTube or download it from iTunes. Or a bit torrent site. Piracy abounds, which has dramatically affected royalty payments to artists and producers alike. Now the question has become “how do we make listeners pay?” Brooks says bands to tour more, and fans to pay to experience music live. And that, he says, completely inverts the way technology changed music in the 20th century.

Twitter Enters the Music Business  SFGate.com

Similar to Pandora, the new Twitter Music app suggests songs to listeners based on the bands they follow. Expect a launch date by the end of March.

So You Want to Play the Piano Available For Preorder Classical Mel’s Piano & Music Education Blog

Concert pianist and piano teacher Melanie Spanswick recently finished her new book, So You Want To Play The Piano?, and it is an excellent guide for anyone thinking about the piano as his or her instrument of choice. Within its pages the novice pianist can find advice on finding the perfect instrument (and teacher), supporting a child who is learning, practicing, and much more. Spanswick’s book is officially on sale April 1, but readers can order So You Want to Play the Piano? in advance from Amazon.

Music Business: Investments Are Not Expenses The Media Online

productionNo one has to tell musicians these days that times are tough, and it really doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran or just starting out. And labels aren’t doing any better, despite the mythology of  them having hoards of cash in their secret underground vaults. So it’s no surprise that artists wince at ponying up mega bucks for things like production, live sound, and branding. But what musicians must realize is that these things aren’t expenses – they’re investments in the artist, his career, and the success of the label.

New Study Finds That Music Piracy Doesn’t Negatively Affect Sales WebProNews Technology

According to the music industry, music piracy will be the death of it. But a new study shows that such is not the case. In fact, most users who are interested in music visited both pirated sites and online music stores. The study went on to claim that pirate sites actually contributed to an increase in clicks on online music stores’ links by up to  2 percent.

The Disconnect Between Musicians and Promoters The Lowry Agency Blog

Opening acts should spend less time whining about a low turnout and more time getting out on the street and promoting the show, says artist management guru David Lowry. In Part 1 he goes on to describe the costs, wheeling, and dealing involved in putting on a show, and offers sage advice to openers: get out and help put butts in seats. Part 2 involves landing a gig as an opening act, and doing that is all about developing a relationship with a promoter. “Business people are looking for persistence, reliability, creativity and hard work,” Lowry explains. “This is a very speculative business, and so promoters are looking for artists that will make sure they deliver and help make sure the show doesn’t operate at a loss.”

Seven Music Career Myths The Musician’s Way Blog

zeusBeing technically proficient with your instrument helps, but it’s not going to make your career all by itself. Nor do managers handle everything for you. (Nor should they. It’s your career!) And rather than rely on winning the Van Cliburn Piano Competition, students can better serve their careers by “performing innovative programs for diverse audiences, [and] growing their fan bases in the process.”

The Digest is a weekly feature of the Sketchbook blog that provides an annotated listing of links to relevant articles about events, trends, people, and things that have a direct impact on us as musicians. If you find The Digest useful, or if you want to suggest improvements, please let me know. Also, if you have content you’d like to see included, please send a message via Twitter or Facebook. And share the love by passing The Digest on via email or social media.

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Image credits: Top – http://www.time.com; Middle – http://www.maketrance.com; Bottom – http://www.cocc.com

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