Geldof’s Hot Water
has been getting a lot of grief over the
concerts he is organizing to raise awareness and money for Africa’s needy. Though he set out to do good work, there have been complaints at every turn. Critics wasted little time pointing out how much white skin is on the line-ups.
The Independent wrote of the controversy
and says anarchist groups that have protested at previous G8 conferences and “are planning similar disruptions in Scotland and plan to hijack Geldof’s ‘long march to freedom’ on 6 July and the Make Poverty History rally on 2 July.”
got a heap of heat for inviting the Pope. Even Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz)
spoke out against the “Anglo-Saxon” Live 8 concerts. “Is this the most effective way to help Africa?” he asked. Albarn, who traveled to Mali and released an excellent album,
, that resulted from the trip, believes Africans should be invited to the party. “It’s insensitive and it also perpetuates this idea that Africa is separated in some way.”
There was at least one good article that stayed away from the Geldof-bashing controversies and looked into artists who perform at the super-concerts.
The NY Times’ Kelefah Sanneh wrote about the G8 shows
in the context of the bands that perform at these types of events and how they can use it to either solidify their megastar status or use it as a career springboard.
Star In Waiting
People in the know are talking about
Jon McLaughlin. He recently charmed label reps at a New York performance with his deft piano playing, lithe voice, and irresistible torch songs. His debut album can be purchased through his website and heard there as well. Some might think of a young Billy Joel, others a Ben Folds with fewer witticisms. It’s definitely worth a listen.
The Future of Sony BMG
Sony BMG head Andrew Lack made headlines a few weeks ago when he pessimistically sounded off about the state of the music industry and announced there would be more cuts at the recently merged music giant. Yesterday
USA Today profiled him
and painted a more optimistic picture of the future and health of the industry. Lack sees Sony BMG diversifying into television and movies because digital music gains are only “substituting for the loss of revenue.” That will include a television series to challenge “American Idol” and forays into movies. “I just have come to believe that entertainment companies like Sony BMG have to broaden their base,” he said.
More Changes at MSN Music
Just as a large promotional campaign kicks in comes word that Microsoft is going to hand over its
to Robbie Bach, the executive in charge of its Xbox division. iTunes doesn’t stand to be challenged in the short term, but deep pockets go a long way and Microsoft’s strategy for a digital living room needs a viable music store for success. An
article at The Wall Street Journal
says according to people close to the matter say Bach “is expected to be given the authority to push for a range of changes, such as setting up a team focused solely on digital music, reorganizing product groups, or acquiring companies.”
Glenn works in the music industry in New York City. He writes about the industry and music in general at his blog,