Headlines: NationMaster? Vinyl Nation? Free Alive? Hoshaw tonight?

Category: Blog — @ 6:58 pm February 11, 2009

Here is a handful of notable news from the web:

I was just reading an article in Rolling Stone about how Live Nation was supposed to bring down the cost of tickets — specifically service charges — when they began selling them. Of course they didn’t. And now comes news yesterday that Ticketmaster and Live Nation have proposed a merger. Best line in the AP article: “‘Ticketmaster does not set prices. Live Nation does not set ticket prices. Artists set the prices,’ (Ticketmaster CEO Barry Diller) said, without mentioning the ticket surcharges Ticketmaster relies on for much of its revenue.” Looks like the Justice Dept is going to get involved. The Boss already has, according to this update: “‘The one thing that would make the current ticket situation even worse for the fan than it is now would be Ticketmaster and Live Nation coming up with a single system, thereby returning us to a near-monopoly situation in music ticketing,’ Springsteen said on his Web site.” I’m happy I don’t go to arena shows anymore. Now if we can just keep these thieves out of the clubs.

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For those of you who don’t get the OWH, there was another detailed write-up about vinyl’s increased popularity in the Sunday edition, this time written by Kevin Coffey. The OWH has printed three or four of these stories over the past three or four years, and for my money, they never get old. Interviewed this time were Spencer Munson (DJ Spence), Homer’s Mike Fratt, and Drastic Plastic’s Neil Azevedo. There’s also a companion piece about vinyl fans’ favorite vinyl here. Coffey left out his favorites. My favorite vinyl is anything by Led Zeppelin. While I’ve acquired most of the Zeppelin catalog digitally, there’s just something special about listening to Zeppelin I or III on vinyl. Hmmm, seems like I predicted the return of vinyl in 2007 (along with everyone else). For serious music fans, vinyl is still the best value, especially for new albums because they almost always come with a CDR for downloading.

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Speaking of free stuff, the fine folks at Alive Records have issues a 2009 sampler and they’re giving it away for free digitally at Amazon right here. The sampler includes tracks by Hacienda, Outrageous Cherry, Buffalo Killers and Lincoln’s own Brimstone Howl.

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There’s a notable happening going on tonight but it’s by invitation only, so I don’t know if I can tell you about it or not. It involves Brad Hoshaw and his band and the debut of his new full-length album. Look, if you stumble around Benson long enough tonight you’re bound to find it. Consider it a treasure hunt.

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Tomorrow’s column: A profile of Adam Hawkins.

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