By David Farrell
Sunrise Records has re-opened 16 of its 85 stores. The locations are predominantly in Alberta, but a smattering of others now doing business can be found in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Reduced hours, staff wearing PPE, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices, and maximums of 10 people allowed in a store at any one time (including staff) are part of a package of regs explicitly designed for reopens. The chain has also re-launched its online store. Store avails here, and website orders here
– Taking a page from the restaurant industry’s #TakeOutWednesday, and the charity community’s #GivingTuesday, a group of musicians from Canada, the US and France, along with a tipple of music biz types, has teamed up to create #BuyMusicFriday to encourage listeners to buy (instead of stream) music on Fridays. ” Music makers have been too long divided and conquered, forced into competition with each other for meagre income,” organizers stated in a release Thursday. “Supporting them in this time and into the future will lead to a much stronger arts community, which in turn feeds our global community.”
–Revolution Recording in Toronto is starting to come out of quarantine and get back to the business of bookings at its high-end Beaches East complex that has been home to a marquee of homegrown and international acts. The facility, co-owned by João Carvalho, Kim Cooke and Joe Dunphy, sports 3 rooms with Studio A as its centrepiece with 2,000 square-feet accommodating a full orchestra.
Separately, the US-based Recording Academy has just released a set of technical guidelines for studio reopenings as state-by-state relaxations of self-quarantine laws are relaxed.
– One of the nasty kickers for musicians unable to tour is the fixed reality that income from recordings has for a great many evaporated with the advent of streaming. With ‘live’ accounting for as much as half of $50B annual global music industry gross earnings, the ability to make 2 plus 2 equal 4 has somehow become an impossible equation to square unless you just happen to be a record company with a catalogue that keeps on earning.
Laura Slattery in The Irish Times waves a pointed stick at this problem in a feature that simply must be read, and Stefan Hall offers guidance and facts in a feature entitled, This Is How Covid-19 is affecting the Music Industry. One can find it on the World Economic Forum website.
– An update for Canadian Heritage grants and contributions during the pandemic has been issued and can be found here.
– Think your business is immune from paying music royalties? Last March, 15 copyright infringements were filed against bars and restaurants. Games have even been yanked off shelves because they didn’t pay the proper music royalties. Music for Productions has a production music library of more than 300K tracks and offers custom scoring and music supervision services for businesses with small budgets. The company has just released a covid-related album on their Impulsion label called Pandemia.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation floats the idea for the creation of a new royalties collective to issue Internet licenses for sound recordings on all platforms. It’s a proposal that is likely to be sunk under a weight of paid-for naysayer testimony and PR flak, but its basic idea of redressing the imbalance between what record companies earn, and creators are bullied into accepting is right on. From the said article:
“Artists have long railed against online music distributors like Spotify and Pandora, saying that they receive inadequate compensation for the use of their work. The streaming companies counter by opening their books and showing that they've paid billions in license fees. Can both sides be right?
“Indeed, they can. If almost all of the streaming money is hoarded by the labels who get to arm-twist musicians into one-sided contracts, it's entirely possible for Spotify and Pandora to spend billions to license music while the musicians get next to nothing… “
Our Backpages: Commercials featuring pop stars
Snap, crackle & pop with the Rolling Stones
In 1964, Brian Jones teamed up with J. Walter Thomson ad agency for the creation of a Rice Krispies TV spot, performed by the Rolling Stones. (Thanks to Larry LeBlanc for spotting this).
The 2008 ad spot has him shilling something he actually likes slathering on his toast with jam. Lydon has also said that the money he made as Country Life's spokesperson enabled him to put PiL back together after a 17-year hiatus.
Here’s Tommy Chong’s spoofing Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln car ad
Chong’s spoof appeared online a year after McConaughey’s 2014 Lincoln ad with the bull, but the comedic actor Chong isn’t pitching the car but wipes that supposedly remove the smell of marijuana. And well stoned, he turns to Suri to find out where he is. The Daily Mail has the story.
And Bob Dylan’s bizarre Victoria’s Secret spot from 2004
Starting with a clip from a 1965 press conference with a reporter asking Dylan what he'd sell out for, and Dylan responding back, "ladies’ garments”. Almost four decades later, Dylan’s Love Sick plays over a parade of underdressed women with random shots of Dylan.