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January 11, 2007 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-01-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

'LOVE' IS ALL Y
IT'S THE BEATLES PAGE 4B. -

2006'S POP MAESTRO PAGE 4B.

MUSIC COLUMN
Looking
ahead to
2007
Former music executive Bob
Lefsetz has a great e-mail
newsletter (lefsetz.cgm)
that he churns out updates for a
couple times a day. His passionate
rants on the current poor state of
popular music and industry issues
*like copy-protection, pricing and
downloading
are an interest-
ing read for a
casual music
fan or a major
label executive.
Despite his
admittedly
older reader-
ship, recently LLOYD H.
amid his sea of CARGO
nostalgic grum-
blings was a look ahead at the state
of the music industry in 2007 that
included a lot of relevant opinions
on issues that directly effect our
generation.
His first dire prediction is one
most young people are apathetic
toward, and somewhat responsible
for: the continuing downward
slide of CD sales. Well no kidding.
Nobody will continue to buy a
flawed, over-priced medium when
there's a free alternative, so while
an important issue, it's not exactly
a bold forecast. What's more inter-
esting is that Lefsetz says this
' will end up being a good thing. In
a parallel with the film to digital
transformation in photography, the
music industry will begin to phase
out CDs in favor of digital. The
logic behind "People shoot MANY
MORE digital photos than they
ever did film ones. People will own
MUCH more music than they did
in the physical era. This is good"
makes a lot of sense to me.
One of his predictions has
already come true. Lefsetz wrote
that"(Apple) will probably intro-
duce a phone within the next 90
days. They'll continue to have a
stranglehold on per-track downloads
and handheld music players. BUY
STOCK!" and only a week later all
of those ring true. The iPod is still
king (the Zune being a bust), Apple
introduced the iPhone at Macworld
two days ago and their stock jumped
up more than $5 and the iTunes store
has become even more dominant
with the addition of Disney's feature
films. With all these things going for
them, Apple is only going to continue
killing the major labels and increas-
ing its already ubiquitous presence in
our lives.
Similarly prescient are his
remarks on Apple. Lefsetz writes,
"It's 1967, just before under-
ground FM radio started to gain
traction. By 1970 nobody hip was
listening to AM. And by'73, AOR
ruled. In other words, that Sound-
Scan chart with the albums of acts
with hits on the Top Forty??? It's
gonna look completely differ-
ent in the future. That paradigm
won't die, butit will diminish in
domination. It will be about the
outside, the cult, the LESS THAN
HYPED!"
He's right: Popular music is
becomingless and less cool (Tim-
berlake aside), and the music
industry hasn't caught on that the
death of conventional radio and
MTV actually programming music
videos combined with the prolif-
eration of downloading means they
can't keep hurling the same inane
crap at younger consumers and
expect them to pay $18 for it.
But how are we supposed to

know where to dig through the
vast indie wastelands - where the
ratio of good to bad isn't all that dif-
ferent to the popular music world
-to find those "less than hyped,"
cool bands? Lefsetz labels Rolling
Stone "irrelevant" and says pitch-
forkmedia.com "won't become any
more powerful, but some company
See CARGO, page 5B

2006 was the year that hype threatened to overshadow the music itself. Blogs
babbled, publications preached and sometimes it was downright distracting.
Despite the considerable pap, though, Top 40 had its moments - witness
Timberlake's triumphs or T.I.'s coronation. A handful of more underground
artists emerged as true visionaries, releasing albums of both substance and
ambition. From allegorical baroque epics (Joanna Newsom) to icy, doom-
riddled electronica (The Knife) and radiant instrumental hip hop (J Dilla),
2006 was a year of exploration and growth shrouded by a cynical veil.
It turned out that this year was also extremely kind to reissues. Label owners
and music consumers alike chose to dig through their crates of vinyl and revisit
the classics, unearthing forgotten gems along the way. Wire, Talking Heads and
The Cure all received the full reissue treatment, while albums by obscure folk
luminaries like Sandy Bull and Fred Neil finally garnered the attention they deserved.
2006 was a year to rediscover and meditate on the achievements of our past.
MATT KIVEL

By LLOYD H. CARGO and
MATT KIVEL
Daily Arts Writers
The main function of
the reissue in 2006
was to expose music
that didn't get a whole lot
of attention the first time
around. Just about every
album with proven com-

The year of the reissue?
mercial potential is already outtakes and lavish liner ro Group) and modern-day folk-
available (with a few nota- notes. All of this has helped ies (Devendra Banhart).
ble exceptions), so the niche to contextualize current This year provided an embar-
market is thriving. The trends in their respective rassment of riches with the
concept of taking an album genres. reissue of Fred Neil's moody,
that's been out of print and The supposed folk music self-titled second album, Karen
re-releasing it isn't a new revival of the past few years Dalton's In My Own Time and
one, but it's a process that's has lead to the discovery oflong the discovery of Sibylle Baier's
consistently being refined. since forgotten musicians, due Colour Green. Perhaps the most
We've been spoiled, grown in large part to the efforts of overlooked folk-gem of this
to feel entitled to b-sides, smallreissue labels(The Nume- year's reissue crop was a live

Sandy Bull concert from 1969,
titled Still Valentine's Day. The
virtuoso guitarist/oud player
was one of the true pioneers of
world music, seamlessly blend-
ing everything from classical
to eastern raga and American
blues. The concert is a trance-
like experience; Bull'splaying is
rhythmic and unpredictable as
See REISSUES, page 5B

iLIST
Jan. 11 to 14
The Daily Arts
guide to the best
upcoming events
-it's everywhere
you should be this
week and why.

Call them neo-Vaudeville or
alternative folk, but Blanche's style
deserves a label of its own. They per-
formed two years ago at Hill Auditori-
um with Wilco and will return to Ann
Arbor tomorrow night at the Uni-
versity Club in the Michigan Union
at 9 p.m. Dan John Miller's strident
voice is punctuated by the vocal and
instrumental accompaniment of wife
Tracee. Blanche recently released
What This Town Needs with new
extended play. Tickets are $7 to $15.

If you're looking for an easy-ride
comedy skit with dirty one-liners,
Allyn Ball's standup routine isn't for
you. Ballihas been seen on Showtime,
Comedy Central and MTV, to name
a few. His "Punk Rock Grown Up?"
leaves the staple jokes at home and
promises to be a clean, original show
unlike any other (fun for the whole
family, no doubt). He will appear at
the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase
tonight through Saturday. Tickets
are $8 to $13.

ON TH FLOOR
Established in 2000 by five Uni-
versity students, Leim Irish has since
become the largest Irish dance group
on campus. Saturday night their win-
ter performance, "Emerald Nights,"
will open at7:30 p.m. at The Michigan
Theater. The original choreography
is set to traditional and nontradi-
tional Irish music, in addition to pop
music to add a more modern flair. The
group's costumes were designed by
member Lauren Berry. Tickets are $8
or $5 with student ID.

ON SCREEN
A winner of the Rencontres Film
Festival's audience award for best
documentary, "Encounter Point"
tells the personal stories of Israe-
lis and Palestinians overcoming
tragedy and devoting themselves
to global peace. The acclaimed film
has received rave reviews from the
Village Voice, the Jerusalem Post
and New York Times and others.
"Encounter Point" will be showing
tonight at The Michigan Theater at
7:15 p.m.

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