Αναρτήσεις

Προβολή αναρτήσεων από Φεβρουάριος, 2009

15 years after the death of Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks was a political comedian, philosopher, musician, entertainer, an undisputed talent!

15 years after his death, his popularity has been growing since then, with numerous comedians globally trying unsuccessfully to immitate him. Relating criticism with black humor, he made his message clear that popular culture is "keeping people apathetic and stupid". Psychedelics (recreational drug use based on his liberal beliefs) affected his later performances, driving storming amounts of energy out of his mouth & his body, leading him at ecstatic revelations about the modern face of the American society & Western civilization in general.

The band TOOL, has also been inspired by his philosophical theories. They dedicated their album "AEnima" (released in 1996) to him.

The question that comes to my mind is if an entertainer should make people laugh only? Certainly not in the case of Bill Hicks, this tragic hero. Trying to entertain people & offer food for thou…

John Lennon discovering "El Topo"!

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This is a short story about one of my favorite ''underground'' films ever, directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, originally coming from Chile. This post is about his cult film "El Topo", which was released back in the 1970's, and how it made it's way up to massive worldwide distribution. Strangely enough, it was the musician John Lennon who found out about this movie. He purchased the rights to promote & distribute it, after watching the film himself & becoming very fond of it.

The titleEl Topo (the mule) is a very descriptive metaphor for the underground cinematography of that period in America. The mule is an animal trying to reach the surface by digging holes in the ground, signifying how these cult films managed to become more popular over time, abandoning the underground states of a limited circle of viewers. The film became a superhit in midnight showings. It has also been said that "El Topo" inspired another famous musician, Peter…

The myth of the royalties?

Through my experience and the practical knowledge that I have gained over the years, I can hardly recall of a single artist or band, even close affiliated musicians, that has received roaylties directly from their company, in a predetermined, scheduled time. I will not refer to intellectual copyright collectors, like the American ASCAP & BMI or GEMA in Germany & JASRAC in Japan. I will try to focus on royalties derived from both physical & digital sales of recordings. 

To make it short, the notorious royalty is usually calculated as a fixed percentage of an album's wholesale price, when a quantity of albums is ordered by various distributors/diffusion channels that are responsible to forward the album in the markets. I should mention that music revenues have been decreasing because of increasing piracy phenomena, but this is another story to be discussed in a future post.

I personally assume that not all labels deliberately strive to screw their artists, since the legal …