Archives for the category ‘News Roundup’

Stay healthy this winter!

November, 29th 2012 16:00

 

Musicians…. Tired of getting sick? Stay well this winter with these basic health tips:

With the temperature plummeting, here are some health tips all musicians should follow, whether your a club DJ or a studio producer, read on… With irregular sleeping patterns, long working hours, and cramped venues, we as musicians are more susceptible to picking up grubby bugs than most. Here is some sensible advice to avoid the illness this winter….

  • Consider the Flu Jab

If like me, you pick up a cold or flu at least once a year, it maybe worth considering a flu jab. Flu can mean no gigs for 10-14 days minimum. This can mean letting down venues, and more importantly your fans.

  • Top up on your vitamins (More specifically:)

Fish Oils (Omega 3) – known to protect joints, so dose up and avoid strumming/drumming/performance related injuries!

Vitamin C – vitally important for keeping away flu’s, cold’s and other viral infections. If like me, you’re not into popping vitamin pills, red peppers, kiwi’s and oranges are a great source of vitamin C, so it may be possible to get your allowance through pizzas and cocktails :) Aim for between 75 – 90 mg per day.

Lutein – This protects your eyes from the harsh studio lights and flashing club strobes!

Vitamin D – let’s be honest, winter sun in the UK is almost un-heard of, so does up on your vitamin D, especially on your long studio days. High levels found naturally in tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines. For any veggie’s or vegans, vitamin D can also be found in eggs, milk and mushrooms.

A multivitamin tablet maybe handy on tours, especially if you are skipping meals, or eating lots of fast food.

  • Keep Hydrated

This will increase both your mental and physical performance. The recommended dose of water is 2 literes a day but try and drink more on performance days. Topping up on the H2o also has many other health and beauty benefits!

  • Catch up on sleep

Again, this may seem obvious, but with long studio days, and gigs, getting in some sleep may prove difficult. Try and get in 6 – 8 hours a night. This will not only help keep you well, but will also help creativity and give you better energy levels.

  • Protect your hearing

As musicians, our ears are our most important asset. Ears are sensitive, and it is probably a good idea to protect them at every gig! Each country has different guidelines as to what is considered a safe level and exposure time, so it can be hard to know what to listen to (Excuse the pun!) I would always advise tailored ear plugs at every gig. Although they are pricey, in my opinion, they are definitely worth it. You can take a quick hearing test here.

  • Take care when lifting

It may be an obvious one, but at the end of a gig, getting home quickly may seem very appealing, but take care when lifting speakers, or equipment, especially if there’s alcohol involved.

So follow this advice and hopefully, all of you will be playing all winter!

Jenna Jones

Jennaj_tweets

 

With thanks to BARRY GARDNER

 

 

Music News Review – 17/02/12

February, 17th 2012 19:06

Indie labels storm the Grammys, and social media goes wild!

Last Sunday (12th February) saw the annual Grammy Awards take place, with a huge social media surge surrounding the event. Facebook and Twitter were amassed with 13 million comments generated by users in the US in the 3 hours before and after, as well as during, the telecast. A new social TV record was also achieved by the awards ceremony, beating the hugely popular Super Bowl event last week.

Independent labels triumphed this year by winning 34 trophies in categories including Best New Artist, Best Album and Best Country Song. According to A2IM (American Association of Independent Music), Bon Ivor won awards for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album, and label winners included Concord Music Group, Rounder Records and Big Machine.

2011 was also the second consecutive year that the independent labels and artists dominated industry nominations, accountable for 194 of the 387 possible nominations.

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Music News Review – 10/02/12

February, 10th 2012 20:24

iLike closed on Facebook, moved to Myspace

This week saw the closure of iLike, once the most popular Facebook music application peaking with 60 million registered members. As reported by Music Week, the online music sharing and download service was snapped up in 2009 by Myspace after its launch, but only three years later their official website redirects you to their Myspace page, bearing the words “We welcome you to Myspace, home of the largest catalog of FREE steaming music on the web!” on its banner.

In the wake of the closure, iLike co-founder Hadi Partovi spoke in an interview with Geek Wire, blaming “radical changes in the Facebook platform” as well as Rupert Murdoch’s failure to take advantage of available tech assets for Facebook under his management. However, the iLike team are still on full form as Partovi has hinted on the new startups they are involved with in Seattle, namely ThinkFuse, Familiar and PaperKarma.

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Music News Review – 03/02/12

February, 3rd 2012 20:04

What happened at MIDEM…

This week saw MIDEM, the annual music industry conference take place in Cannes, France. Among the many announcements made during the four day event, Webdoc.com announced integrations with SoundCloud, Songkick and Topspin, promising to “provide fans and pro users with a range of new opportunities for self expression, sharing and community engagement”, as reported by Music Week. A strategic partnership between Spotify and Coke was also hinted at.

One of the highlights included Hack Day, in which around 30 developers participated in creating new apps to enable fans to discover new music, and to have a deeper involvement with the music by their favourite artists. Hypebot has compiled together a full list of creations from Hack Day, which you can check out here.

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Music News Review – 27/01/12

January, 27th 2012 18:50

IMPALA oppose the purchase of EMI by Universal

IMPALA, the Independent Music Companies Association is in strong opposition of the move by Universal Music for their proposed £1.2billion takeover of one of the music giants, EMI’s recorded music division. As reported by City A.M, IMPALA, who has over 4000 members across Europe in its trade body, are concerned that Universal’s bid for EMI would disregard competition interests.

In a statement published on IMPALA’s website on 26th January, Helen Smith (Executive Chair) said “Neither the USA nor Europe wants to see the music sector become a two-horse race, devoid of competition from any other companies.” As reported by CMU, if EMI are to be taken over by Universal, the sheer size of both Universal/EMI and Sony will overpower that of Warner and will effectively leave just two major labels as the big players in the industry.

The statement also brings to light the fact that independent artists contribute to only 6% of the Top 100 for both airplay and downloads across Europe, despite accounting for 80% of all new releases. Universal, EMI and Sony would also account for 76% of the Top 200, according to a new report by EMO and Eurosonic/Nooderslag. IMPALA also stated that in 2011 an astonishing 94% of airplay and 95% of the top 100 downloads in Europe were releases by the major labels, with Universal and Sony the leaders of the competition by a long way.

If the deal goes ahead, it will mean that artists such as The Beatles, Coldplay and Kylie Minogue, as well as the label’s subsidiaries including Parlophone and Virgin, will be under Universal’s control.

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Music News Review – 20/01/12

January, 20th 2012 13:50

What Artists and Creators think about SOPA…

The topic on everyone’s lips this week – the on-going online piracy saga with SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act). Many internet sites, including Wikipedia, Mozilla and WordPress, showed their protest against this by having a blackout on Wednesday which stopped users being able to see the contents on their website.

The anti-SOPA protest counts actors, authors and musicians among its supporters, and even US President Obama has said that he would not support SOPA. According to Hypebot, the following points were made in an open letter addressed to Washington posted on 17th January, from the point of view of a collective of artists and creators which includes Trent Reznor, MGMT and OK Go among the list of names:

  • They mention their gratitude for the measures put into place by policymakers, to help protect their works from copyright infringement
  • They highlight the importance of social media in reaching and communicating with their fans, and the “benefits of a free and open Internet”
  • They voice their worry that artists and creators will be censored and legitimate services and websites blocked under PIPA and SOPA’s new powers, even though they themselves are legitimate users

It seems as though the takedown of sites has already begun, with sites Megaupload and Megavideo being closed down on Thursday. According to Tech Digest, the US government’s reasoning for this was that they considered the webmasters of the sites to be involved in a “Mega Conspiracy, a worldwide criminal organization whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale.” The Telegraph reported that the operators of Megaupload were accused of ignoring requests to remove pirated material from music and film firms, and charged with criminal copyright infringement. According to the BBC, the site has been accused of costing copyright holders over $500m in lost revenue, in an accusation by federal prosecutors.

In response, internet hacking collective Anonymous launched a DDos (distributed denial-of-service) attack on a list high profile websites, including the websites of the US Department of Justice, the FBI, Universal Music and the Motion Picture Association of America. According to Tech Digest, it is thought that each organisation linked to the targeted sites have supported the anti-piracy bills in the past. Anonymous later tweeted:

They have also since uploaded a map showing the current number of network attacks by geographic region.

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Music Industry News Roundup 9-11-20909

November, 9th 2009 15:19

After a fairly dry week last week we’re kicking things off this Monday with a healthy roundup of news, so, without further ado, here you go…

According to Digital Music News, MySpace has shed 67% of its share of social networking traffic this year and subsequently lost $100 million in advertising revenues due to the falling traffic and an existing deal with Google.

French streaming service Deezer, similar in type to Spotify, has announced a new, two-tier, subscription model for customers adding offline functionality for users paying the top rate ($14.85) as well as a new iPhone App, which will work only for subscribers.

Music Week is reporting that the merger between HMV and digital music retailer 7 Digital will see new functionality built into the HMV website from early next year. Zimbalam customers can sell their music on both platforms already so we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop with all developments.

In other interesting news, The Cribs are premiering their latest single, ‘We Share The Same Skies’ on November 12 through the online magazine of sports radio station ‘Talk Sport’. This is interesting as they are taking an alternative approach to promotion, releasing that, not only do sports fans buy music, there is far less competition in the arena to worry about. This is a very interesting approach and one, we would suggest, that is worth considering in the promotion of your own music. Why not think outside the (penalty) box (sorry!) yourselves…

Finally, the Rock Sound Readers Poll voting is open so head on over to Rock Sound to cast your votes, there’s also a posh music phone and some subscriptions up for grabs to people who vote so get stuck in…

As always, send any news tips to suggestion@zimbalam.com and check back tomorrow for more!

Music Industry News Roundup 4-11-2009

November, 4th 2009 13:09

After a couple of quiet days on the news front, we’ve got some interesting stuff for you today centering on piracy (obviously), talent contests and Lady GaGa, read on for more…

There’s an interesting article in The Times today in the wake of the proposal to disconnect persistent file-sharers, discussing whether the Internet can now be considered a human right and therefore, whether the three-strikes proposal is immoral and a breach of said human rights. Read the article here and let us know what you think.

There’s a lovely heart-warming story reported by The Independent about an unsigned band seemingly in the race for a Grammy award. ‘Shakey’s Brother’ from Clitheroe (That’s ooop North) have only been together for around 12 months and all work 9-5 day jobs and their previous biggest success consists of getting to the regional final of the Surface Unsigned Festival (which we mention again later on). I’m not quite sure what the story means, it would appear they’re sort of ‘pre-nominated’ and have become so by signing up with a ‘Grammy specialist’ agent in the US but only time will tell once the official nominations are narrowed down in December. We wish them the best of luck!

Lady GaGa has set a Billboard chart record in the US by achieving four number one singles from her debut album, ‘The Fame’, for the first time in the ‘Pop Song Chart’s’ 17 year history. Quite an achievement, let’s hope one of you chaps has the same success with Zimbalam. Read the full story here

MSN re-launched their music service yesterday, report Music Week magazine, with a new element of the site dedicated to music downloads, the long-term goal appears to be to offer another free streaming store with download links but for now the public can choose from over 1 million tracks mostly provided by major labels with a standard 79p track price and £7.99 album price.

Kit Kat have also announced today a sort of battle of the bands type thing being run in 6 student unions across the country. It’s being judged by Frankmusic (that pop guy) and has a £3000 prize and a free remix from the man himself on offer. This is all well and good but there are definitely some genuinely beneficial contests and showcases out there for unsigned artists, we’d suggest you sign up with Surface Unsigned Festival (where you stand to make £60,000 if you win…) or perhaps register for a chance to play at The Great Escape. However, if you feel like Kit Kat and Frankmusic are worth some of your effort as well, find out more here.

Well that’s all for today and if this has been more to your liking than the previous quiet issue, feed us with your news; send any tips to suggestion@zimbalam.com and we’ll quite possibly never have another quiet day again…

Music Industry News Roundup 3-11-2009

November, 3rd 2009 13:59

Welcome to a new week and more industry news for you, there weren’t many stories floating around yesterday (or indeed today!) so instead we’ve got sort of a ‘bumper’ double-issue for you to peruse (although there’s still not much to say), let’s get started…

Radio presenter George Lamb is leaving his daily radio slot on digital station BBC 6 Music to go to a weekend slot instead, Lamb’s critics are many and they are vocal but he has always played a lot of new music on the show, albeit from larger artists. What do you think about the move? Were you a fan? Find out more about this and the other presenter changes, here.

There has been another study into music piracy and once again it has been revealed that pirates actually buy a lot of music too. What do you think about this? Is it fair to buy some music and steal other music? It might be a little fairer to the artist if that attitude resulted in some, but less, money for both artists rather than none for one and some for the other and who reserves the right to dictate what deserves paying for? However, that said, if this is the attitude we’re all going to adopt, surely subscription models are the future? Let us know your thoughts and find out more about the report here.

In other news, the annual Record of the Day PR & Journalism awards have been announced and you can find out more and cast your votes over at their site.

We told you there wasn’t much to report, help us make sure this doesn’t happen again by sending any tips to suggestion@zimbalam.com and we’ll make sure to keep you up to date with as much relevant industry news as possible.