John Kenneth Muir on After Hours AM!

John Kenneth Muir author of The X-Files FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Global Conspiracy, Aliens, Lazarus Species, and Monsters of the Week, spoke with Joel Sturgis and Eric Olsen about his book and the X-Files TV series! Listen to the podcast below to learn more!

>>LISTEN<<

00124644The X-Files FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Global Conspiracy, Aliens, Lazarus Species, and Monsters of the Week explores Chris Carter’s popular 1990s science-fiction TV series, which aired on Fox for nine seasons and inspired spin-offs, including feature films, TV shows, toys, novels, and comic books. The book explores the series in terms of its historical context and analyzes how many of the episodes tackle the events of their time: the Clinton era. The X-Files FAQ also tallies the episodes that are based on true stories, selects touchstone moments from the almost decade-long run, and organizes the series by its fantastic subject matter – from serial killers to aliens, from prehistoric menaces to ethnic and religious-based horrors.

The X-Files FAQ also features a foreword written by screenwriter Chris Carter who credits John Muir for his impressive and thoughtful musings. In the book you’ll read that the writing on the show, X-Files, was only half what made the show what it is today. The people who worked on the show were working in a visual medium, and as Chris Carter states in the foreword “the show somehow managed to turn that rectangle box we all viewed each week into something special and often unexpected.”

In addition, the book recalls the TV antecedents (Kolchak: The Night Stalker) and descendants (Fringe) of The X-Files, examines the two feature films, and investigates Chris Carter’s other creations, including Millennium, The Lone Gunmen, Harsh Realm, and The After. Featuring numerous stills and the show’s most prominent writers and directors, The X-Files FAQ allows readers to relive the “Mytharc” conspiracy and the unforgettable monsters of the week – from the Fluke Man to the Peacocks. 

Buck ‘Em! with Randy Poe

Buck ‘Em! The Autobiography of Buck Owens is now available in paperback! And, if that weren’t enough, a second two-CD set of Buck’s music has just been released by Omnivore Recordings!  Learn more about both in this video…

00151800Born in Texas and raised in Arizona, Buck Owens eventually found his way to Bakersfield, California. Unlike the vast majority of country singers, songwriters, and musicians who made their fortunes working and living in Nashville, the often rebellious and always independent Owens chose to create his own brand of country music some 2,000 miles away from Music City – racking up a remarkable 21 number-one hits along the way. In the process he helped give birth to a new country sound and did more than any other individual to establish Bakersfield as a country music center.

In the latter half of the 1990s, Buck began working on his autobiography. Over the next few years, he talked into the microphone of a cassette tape machine for nearly one hundred hours, recording the story of his life. With his near-photographic memory, Buck recalled everything from his early days wearing hand-me-down clothes in Texas to his glory years as the biggest country star of the 1960s; from his legendary Carnegie Hall concert to his multiple failed marriages; from his hilarious exploits on the road to the tragic loss of his musical partner and best friend, Don Rich; from his days as the host of a local TV show in Tacoma, Washington, to his co-hosting the network television show Hee Haw; and from his comeback hit, “Streets of Bakersfield,” to his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In these pages, Buck also shows his astute business acumen, having been among the first country artists to create his own music publishing company. He also tells of negotiating the return of all of his Capitol master recordings, his acquisition of numerous radio stations, and of his conceiving and building the Crystal Palace, one of the most venerated musical venues in the country.

Important things to do before shooting a music video!

Steve Gordon, author of The Future of the Music Business, gave a few tips on Digital Music News regarding the legal ins-and-outs of producing a music video. He also gives a brief history of music video followed by a survey of how successful artists have used and continue to use them to launch their careers. Click on the link below to read the entire article!


00123126Part I: History & Continuing Importance of Music Videos.

1. Before Music Videos

Audiovisual presentations of music have existed since the first motion pictures containing sound.  In fact, the first Hollywood “talkie,” released in 1927, was a musical featuring Al Jolson called “The Jazz Singer.”  Before the invention of the video cameras, there were many musical short films featuring the performance of single songs, such as Frank Sinatra’s patriotic “The House I Live In (That’s America To Me).”

These films were sometimes shown before main features at movie theatres.  In the 1960’s, artists like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles started to make short form films of individual songs to promote their albums.  The dawn of what we think of as music videos began in the 1970’s.  For example, in 1975, Queen commissioned the production of a video for their new single, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” to show on Top of the Pops, a popular British TV show showcasing the week’s top hit songs.   In the U.S., Video Concert Hall, launched on November 1, 1979, was the first nationwide video music program on American television, predating MTV by almost three years.

2.  MTV and the Birth of the Era of Music Videos on Television

In 1981, MTV launched by airing “Video Killed the Radio Star,” and this began an era of 24-hour-a-day music videos on television.  The founders of MTV, including Robert Pitman (current chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. (formerly Clear Channel)), convinced record labels to produce more videos and to give them to MTV for free, just as they gave free records to radio stations.  The pitch was that the videos would promote the labels’ records and increase sales.  The only money MTV paid the labels was a relatively small fee to secure exclusive rights to play select videos for a limited period of time.

For instance, MTV paid Sony Music $4 million a year for such rights.  By the mid-1980s, MTV grew to play a central role in marketing pop and rock music.  Many important acts of this period, most notably Madonna, Aerosmith, The Who, Phil Collins, John Mellencamp, Phil Collins and Billy Idol, owe a great deal of their success to the seductive appeal of their videos.  After years of controversy regarding the lack of diversity among artists on the network, MTV aired Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” “Thriller” and other videos, which helped Jackson become the best-selling pop artist of all time.

But by the late 90’s, MTV sharply decreased the number of videos it showed on its airways.  Former MTV president Van Toeffler explained: “Clearly, the novelty of just showing music videos has worn off.  It’s required us to reinvent ourselves to a contemporary audience.”  A decade later, MTV was playing an average of just three hours of music videos per day, preferring cartoons such Beavis and Butt-Head and, later, unscripted reality shows such as Jersey Shore.

MTV continued to play some music videos instead of relegating them exclusively to its sister channels (such as MTV Hits), but around this time, the channel began to air music videos only in the early morning hours and in Total Request Live or TRL, which aired the ten most requested music videos of the day, as voted by viewers via phone or online.  As a result of these programming changes, Justin Timberlake implored MTV to “play more damn videos!” while giving an acceptance speech at the 2007 Video Music Awards.  Despite the challenge from Timberlake, MTV continued to decrease its total rotation time for music videos in 2007 and shut down TRL in 2008.


Click here to read the article in its entirety!

Five Star Music Makeover Team at NAMM!

The Five Star Music Makeover team will be in The NAMM Show this weekend!  Coreen Sheehan, Anika Paris, Bobby Borg, Michael Eames, and Eric Corne have teamed up to create this guide for singers, songwriters, bands, producers, and self-publishers, and will at the Hal Leonard Book on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. to tell you all about it. Check out the video below for more details!

00145992In order to achieve success in today’s music industry, artists must first do a great deal of work on their own. Learning the required skills can take years of real-life experience, and hiring personal coaches, studio professionals, and consultants can be costly. But now, for the first time, there’s an invaluable resource to help you meet these challenges.

Five Star Music Makeover is an engaging all-in-one guide designed specifically for aspiring artists. Written by five experts with over 100 years of collective experience, both on and off the stage, this unique book covers five key skills every musician needs to succeed: (1) improving vocal production/technique; (2) writing memorable and marketable songs; (3) recording your ultimate EP; (4) navigating the publishing world; and (5) promoting music effectively.

Also included is a link to a DVD master class, insiders’ stories and anecdotes, helpful tips, creative exercises, celebrity interviews, and all the practical expertise necessary to develop a successful music career. Five Star Music Makeover is a complete and practical career guide – a resource that transforms artists from good to great.

Mark Clark on Pop Culture Tonight!

Mark Clark, author of Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed the Movies, spoke with Patrick Phillips on Pop Culture Tonight. They talked about the book and the impact that the Star Wars movies has had on pop culture! Click on the link below to hear more and let us know what you think in the comments below!

>>LISTEN<<

00122914In his foreword to Star Wars FAQ Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed the Movies, Alan Dean Foster, critically acclaimed author of more than a hundred science fiction and fantasy novels, sums up what the Star Wars FAQ is all about: “Reading a book like Star Wars FAQ is a bit like strolling the streets of London without a guidebook. You know where Big Ben is, but stumbling across the first public drinking fountain in Britain is apt, in its own more modest way, to be even more enchanting.”
 
Star Wars FAQ offers an original analysis of the series’ enduring appeal and cultural impact. In the process, author Mark Clark tells a story as thrilling and action-packed as the movies themselves, with bold characters facing apparently insurmountable odds.
 
Featuring 38 chapters, such as Echo Base: Homage in Star Wars, New Hope: Assessing Episode IV, and Far, Far Away: Production of Star Wars, Star Wars FAQ introduces the reader to early screenplays drafts that were never filmed and to short biographies of many people who made key contributions to the movies’ success. Star Wars FAQ details every aspect of the original Star Wars Trilogy (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi). Along the way it unearths under-reported stories and illuminating minutiae often skimmed over or completely ignored in other histories of the legendary film series.

Star Wars is a story full of frantic chases, narrow escapes, daring victories, and tragic setbacks, culminating in an unlikely triumph that changed the course of the galaxy. Illustrated with vintage promotional stills, photographs of memorabilia, and other classic artwork Star Wars FAQ explores how Star Wars changed the movies.

Predictions for the music industry: Part 2

Bobby Borg, author of Business Basics for Musicians, is back for Part Two of predictions for the music industry! This time, they focus on artist branding, live performances, and new products that might evolve for musical artists. Check them out below and let us know what you think!


00139915Music isn’t going anywhere – we dance to it, graduate to it, and get married to it. But one thing is for sure, the music industry will continue to change and grow. As we head into the bold new musical landscape, indie musicians must keep their eyes on the future.

1. Shifting demographics mainstreamed (Dan Kimpel, Music Journalist)

In making predictions about the music industry in 2020, I envision that the topography of the music landscape will be much more inclusive of artists who are representative of the shifting population demographics.

I believe that Latin artists, communicating in English, Spanish, and “Spanglish,” will be mainstreamed, and that Asian-American singers, bands and producers will become major creative forces. Songwriters will continue to bond together into “writing camps” and will exert an ever-greater influence as shapers of talent and as arbiters and producers of content. Mixers and remixers will become more dominant, as Electronic Dance Music (EDM) continues to unite the globe through worldwide anthems.

What will never change is the power of motivated, forward-thinking creators to configure music to challenge, change, and inspire the lives of listeners.

2. A focus on exciting music – not the latest technical trends (Mike Gormley, LA Personal Management; former manager of the Bangles, Oingo Boingo, and Danny Elfman)

While the focus in the music business has been on the latest technological trends and delivery platforms, innovative, great music will always be the future and true savior of the industry, whether it be the year 2020 or 2025. When jazz arrived on the scene, it was controversial, exciting, and real – as was rock, rap, and EDM. It propelled the music industry forward and gave it life. But what’s next?

The year 2020 will be marked by a new direction in music that shakes up the world once again and puts the focus back on the art and the talented creators, and not just on technology. Those artists who create something unique will thrive.

3. Extended product lines and stronger brands (Fred Croshal, Croshal Entertainment Group, LLC)

In 2020, music will be consumed virtually everywhere – on platforms that are seen today and others that have not yet been envisioned.

To survive, musicians – more than ever – will have to embrace this technology, but they must also realize that music and the distribution and sales of it will only be a one part of the their revenue pie (and perhaps even the smallest piece).
 
Artists will have to extend far beyond just selling recordings (streams, downloads, CD, vinyl, or whatever new format is discovered), hitting the road, and selling merchandise. Artists will need to grow their product offerings into licensing, sponsorships, production, co-writing, acting, modeling, restaurant franchising, investing, directing, educating, and other new creative ventures unknown today in order to survive and thrive in the new music business.
 
Thus, in 2020, protecting the artist’s true vision, values, integrity, authenticity, and overall brand image is paramount. Those who understand marketing will grow brands stronger than ever – relating to target markets and engaging fans on a far more personal level than they are doing now.  

Long gone are the days of the “mass” broad stroke mentality and narrow mindedness in marketing artists. It’s a new world today and it will continue to evolve in 2020 and beyond. The marketing savvy artist who can grow with it all will thrive.


Read the whole thing over at DiscMakers!

 

Your chance to win The Great British Recording Studios!

Audio Technology Magazine is offering you a chance to win Howard Massey’s book, The Great British Recording Studios. It’s quick and easy, just sign up to AudioTechnology E-News and you could be the lucky winner! Click on the link below to sign up and enter promo code ‘BRITSTUDIO’ to enter the draw. Best of luck!

>>Enter Here<<

00333513In The Great British Recording Studios, Howard Massey tells the story of the iconic British facilities where many of the most important recordings of all time were made. The first comprehensive account of British recording studios ever published, it is endorsed by and was written with the cooperation of the British APRS (Association of Professional Recording Services, headed by Sir George Martin) to document the history of the major British studios of the 1960s and 1970s and to help preserve their legacy.

The Great British Recording Studios surveys the era’s most significant British studios, including Abbey Road, Olympic, and Trident, with complete descriptions of each studio’s physical facilities and layout, along with listings of equipment and key personnel, as well as details about its best-known technical innovations and a discography of the major recordings done there. Seamlessly interweaving narrative text with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from dozens of internationally renowned record producers and a wealth of photographs – many never published before – Massey brings to life the most famous British studios and the people who created magic there. His “Stories from the Studio” take readers behind the scenes of the making of some of the world’s best-loved records, including The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me,” and the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet.

Meticulously researched and organized, The Great British Recording Studios will inform and inspire students of the recording arts, music professionals, casual music fans, and anyone interested in the acoustically pristine facilities, groundbreaking techniques, and innovative artists and technicians that have shaped the course of modern recording.

Laura Wayth on Shakespeare Unlimited!

Laura Wayth, author of The Shakespeare Audition, spoke with Neva Grant about her book and why Shakespeare isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Click on the link below to hear more and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

>>LISTEN<<

00141820Classical auditions, and especially Shakespeare auditions, are a fact of any actor’s life. Theater seasons often call for them, and graduate auditions require them, but that doesn’t make them any less terrifying.

The Shakespeare Audition: How to Get Over Your Fear, Find the Right Piece, and Have a Great Audition by Laura Wayth is here to help! Whether for group auditions or graduate school, every actor needs a good classical piece in his or her arsenal. There have been many books written about acting Shakespeare, but until now there hasn’t been a concise, easy-to-access guide to assist the terrified and time-pressed actor in navigating all the aspects of a classical audition.

In 15 concise chapters, Wayth addresses subjects such as distinguishing poetry and prose in Shakespeare; finding the correct play and character; determining your character’s given circumstances; meter, inflection and images; and much more.

From overcoming the fear of acting Shakespeare to selecting the right material to tips on performing a classical piece – The Shakespeare Audition is the actor’s go-to guide to a successful and compelling audition.

Win The Twilight Zone FAQ!

Once again Applause Books has partnered  with Erie Gay News to give away a copy of one of our books! If you want to win a copy of The Twilight Zone FAQ all you have to do is enter between January 15 to February 5. The contest is open to US residents only. We wish you all the best of luck, enter before it’s too late!

>>Enter Here<<

00130445The Twilight Zone is among the most beloved shows in American television history, a pioneering fantasy behemoth that bridged the cultural gap between the 1950s and 1960s with thought-provoking mystery, mind-boggling theorems, and occasionally outright horror.

The Twilight Zone FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Fifth Dimension and Beyond by Dave Thompson takes the reader back to that era, looking back on the show and its impact as a force for societal change, via reflections on the manifold topics and controversies that the show took on – from the space race to the Red Menace, from paranoia to madness and beyond. Thompson traces the history of the show, from its earliest flowering in the mind of then-unknown Rod Serling through its slow birth, shaky beginning, and breathless five-season run. Along the way, he shows how it became the blueprint for so much of the fantasy television that has followed.

Within The Twilight Zone FAQ, fans will read about the comic books, novels, and many other spin-offs, including the movie, the TV revamps, and even the amusement park ride. In addition, Thompson offers a full guide to every episode, providing details on the cast and music and pinpointing both the best and the worst of the series.

As Thompson writes in his introduction, “Today, as much as ever before, The Twilight Zone is one of the yardsticks by which great television of all eras is measured.” The Twilight Zone FAQ is a brightly opinionated time machine that catapults the reader back to the true golden age of American television.

Andy Babiuk speaks with Music Radar about “Beatles Gear”

Andy Babiuk, author of Beatles Gear – The Ultimate Edition, spoke with Music Radar about his book and how he came about certain instruments.


00333744The original Beatles Gear book was published back in 2001 and, over the past decade-and-a-half, it’s become the go-to bible for anyone with an interest in the extensive equipment the Fab Four dabbled with during their incredible albeit brief career.

The new expanded Ultimate Edition, which has recently hit the shops, provides fascinating new interviews, 650 new and previously unpublished photos and a slew of surprising recent gear-related discoveries that author Andy Babiuk has helped uncover.

One astounding addition to Beatles Gear is the inclusion of John Lennon’s original 1962 Gibson J-160E acoustic, which had been lost for over 50 years. This was the guitar that Lennon wrote many of The Beatles’ early hits on before it was stolen in December 1963 at the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park, London.

“This one happened last summer when a guy contacted me on the phone,” explains Andy, “I get a lot of people calling and emailing with stuff but 99% of the time, it’s nothing or just nonsense.

“Anyway, this guy said, ‘My friend’s got John Lennon’s J-160E’. So I was like, ‘Hey, right, okay… well, send me the picture’ and sure enough, he sends the picture and I’m like, ‘Wow, I’ve got to talk to this guy!’

“The grain looked similar. It belonged to some guy in San Diego who bought it for 175 bucks after he got out of Vietnam in ’69 or something. It was just his personal guitar ever since. When I examined it personally, the grain was an exact match: it was John Lennon’s J-160E.

“No-one knows how it made it out of England and made it to Southern California but that’s just one of the wacky stories that are in this book.” [NB. Since we chatted to Andy, the guitar sold for a staggering $2.4 million at auction.]


Read the entire article over Music Radar!

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