The business of music continues to evolve

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The Spirit of the Season music festival rocked Boxing Day at the Vu Night Spot. Several local bands performed, including Elly May, Coldrift, and Boozehound. Admission included a food donation for the Agape Centre. Pictured from the line-up is Justin Andre.

From one extreme to the next, whether you were Stylin’ Gangnam or totally blown away by Heart’s version of the Led Zeppelin classic, Stairway to Heaven, at the recent Kennedy Centre Honors, music and the business of music continues to evolve.

With so many CD releases, locally, including my own, this past year, I started doing some research about the business side of music and I have to say that it’s been quite an eye opener. Here is a note from a correspondent, a musician, who offered up his assessment of what some are saying is a dying art.

“The music business is tough. There are no rules now. In the old days, an artist could make a living off of selling records. That is no longer the case. The live show is your bread and butter. Recordings are simply merchandise that you sell at the show or it is part of how you promote your show. Paradoxically, you have to give away your recordings to get people to come to your live show. You also better be able to perform a couple of solid sets that really match what you've recorded. All that said, you may be totally into the art of recording and you want to build and audience of audiophiles who are willing to pay for recordings. Good luck with that. Then maybe you are into making videos. There you might have hope because you can create a YouTube channel and post a song a week for a while and see if you gain an audience that way. Bottom line in all of this is audience. You have to have an audience. One way to start building an audience is through sharing your music on Sound Cloud. SOCAN is a great professional resource too.”  -  Kimberly Smith

Discussing SOCAN is certainly a whole nother column.

History enthusiast and blogger, Charles Scott Kimball, (The Xenohistorian Weblog) says in his piece “Nine Things That Will Die in Our Lifetime,”  - along with the post office, cheques and books -  that the music industry is dying a slow death.

“This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. Not just because of illegal downloading. It’s because innovative new music isn’t being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is “catalog items,” meaning traditional music that the public has heard for years, from older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit.”

For a more in depth look on what Kimball calls a disturbing and fascinating topic, he recommends the book, “Appetite for Self-Destruction” by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, “Before the Music Dies.”

Never know to be quitter, let me try to sell some local music…. Well-known in the city, guitar stylist and gentleman, Robert Cote, has recently recorded a CD of original compositions. The collection, Road to Now, features songs with jazz blues and rock influences, which tell the evolving story of Cote’s decades in music. Visit

From Kanata, Steve Gardiner’s Absence Makes the Heart Beat Faster, is a very good modern rock album made even more interesting by just a touch of 80s influence, with a couple of movement-inspiring club mixes added on at the end.

Back by popular request, The Kealey-Greer All Star Band (featuring Tyler Kealey, Graham Greer, Dave Kalil, Todd Huckabone and Steph McAlear) will be performing at the annual  Italian Night supporting the MS Society, on January 18,  at the Royal Canadian Legion on Second Street West. Tickets are $20 and include a delicious Italian buffet. Tickets are available at the Royal Canadian Legion, RONA Home Centre and the MS Society Office. For further information call 613-938-6777.

If you’re into a little show music, the Seaway Valley Theatre Company will open their production of Chicago on Feb. 8. You can purchase tickets at the Cornwall Square Administration Office. Call 613-938-2118.

Don’t forget that every Monday night is Open Mic Night at the Glengarrian… Happy New Year! Here’s my offering

Organizations: Led Zeppelin, Kennedy Centre Honors, Music Dies All Star Seaway Valley Theatre Company Cornwall Square Administration Office

Geographic location: Chicago

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