Kickstarter feedback; Neil Young on poor quality mp3s, piracy; Lana Del Rey’s new album; Blind Pilot tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:02 pm February 1, 2012

by Tim McMahan,

A few notes on a quiet Wednesday:

I heard back from the two Kickstarter artists I called out in yesterday’s blog entry. Both said they haven’t forgotten me. One is going to come through with some vinyl at O’Leaver’s on Friday. So maybe Kickstarter is the new model, eh? Without the data on the number of artists actually fulfilling their Kickstarter promises, it’s hard to say, though things seem to be pointing in that direction.

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Neil Young and Walt Mossberg.

Neil Young and Walt Mossberg.

Interesting interview with Neil Young at the Dive Into Media conference of All Things D (right here). Neil talks about his mission to “try to rescue the art form that I’ve been practicing for 50 years.” He’s talking about the inferior quality of mp3 files and how he wants to see the quality improved. “You can’t associate poor quality with convenience.”

Young said it’s all about creating a new device that will play high-quality music files, sort of a high-end iPod. And he says he was working on such a device with Steve Jobs, but that not much has happened with the project since Jobs’ death. “Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music,” Young said. “His legacy is tremendous. But when he went home, he listened to vinyl. And you gotta believe that if he lived long enough, he would have eventually done what I’m trying to do.”

As for music piracy, says Young: “I look at the Internet as the new radio. I look at radio as gone … Piracy is the new radio, that’s how music gets around.”

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I listened to the new Lana Del Rey album this morning on Spotify. Her voice lands somewhere between Stevie Nicks, a Perry/Aguilera-esque pop starlett and Lili Von Shtupp of Blazing Saddles (I don’t buy the Nico comparisons). It’s been fun reading the unbridled hate for this young lady throughout the blog-o-review-o-sphere. I guess you could argue that she would have been better served staying under the radar rather than appearing on SNL, but a few million dollars gained from the exposure is a few million dollars, I suppose, especially if you manage to hold on to some of it after your nova-bright star burns out. It’s a shame that her producers allowed her to use her kitty-cat voice so much on songs like “National Anthem.” It’s not so much that you feel embarrassed for her as much as you feel embarrassed for yourself for listening to it. Conversely, the three singles that preceded the full-length release — along with a couple others — are striking. She could have been the next big thing, and she may still be, but after hearing this full length, I doubt it… unless she can pull herself away from the big-label handlers… People seem fixated by her past, which I couldn’t give two shits about. That said, imagine how differently her music would have been perceived if Del Rey was a sexy, dirty, strung-out musician living on the fringes. Imagine if Courtney Love had released a couple of these songs a year or so after Kurt’s death, before she cleaned up…

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Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s up-and-coming Americana indie band Blind Pilot with Midwest Dilemma. $12, 9 p.m.

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Tomorrow: A special announcement about Lazy-i and its future. Don’t miss it!

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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