Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Midweek ebbs and flows

It’s probably the end of the world as some major label executives know it but do they feel fine? At Macworld in San Francisco yesterday, Apple announced that the age of variable pricing and DRM-free downloads at iTunes is coming …

Wed, Jan 7, 2009, 09:34

   

It’s probably the end of the world as some major label executives know it but do they feel fine? At Macworld in San Francisco yesterday, Apple announced that the age of variable pricing and DRM-free downloads at iTunes is coming down the tracks. From April, per John Collins our man in SF, “Apple will introduce a three-tiered pricing plan for iTunes, with labels able to sell songs for $0.69, $0.99 or $1.29″. Apple-dude-who-is-not-Steve-Jobs, Philip Schiller said he expected “many more songs priced at 69 cents than $1.29”. The Register, though, notes that the devil in the detail. All the same, is this enough to tempt people away from eMusic or even Amazon’s new download shizzle? Some great quips from Lefsetz on the back of this news including “getting excited about multiple price points at the iTunes Store is like being thrilled there are three price points at the gas station” and, a knowing nod to fellow grumpy soul brother Dunph, “the iTunes Store is a sideshow but, in this rinky-dink circus, that’s all we’ve got.”

Hey, free music! Hey, really good free music for the price of one of your many email addresses! The folks at 4AD have put together a fantastic compilation to mark a year of great releases for them which means you get boss tunes from TV On The Radio, Bon Iver, Deerhunter, Department of Eagles, Anni Rossi and many more. Dowload it here.

Wire fanboys and girls, this is for you. Dude comes across the abandoned HBO soundstage for the show in a soon-to-be-demolished building in B-More. Dude takes pictures. Dude also takes some red ribbons so they’re probably on eBay as we speak. Ta very much to Damien and Sinead for the tip-off.

No fun: Ron Asheton RIP

School for scoundrels – a couple of lecturers at Hollywood’s Musicians Institute are attempting to teach their classes the fine art of A&R

From the “fancy that” department. The fact that sterling is in the basement at present doesn’t just mean cheap CDs and DVDs from online stores for euro-bearers. It also means a (probably temporary) end to English stag parties taking over Irish city-centres. That lack of English accents around town has been very noticable over the last few weeks, with more tourists from elsewhere wandering around freezing their nuts off and wondering why they didn’t go to Portugal instead.

I have gone on at great length – and will be going on again at probably greater length – about the amazing new album “Merriweather Post Pavilion” from Animal Collective earlier in the week, but I overlooked another amazing new album getting many spins round at On The Record this weather. Antony & The Johnsons release “The Crying Light” on Friday week and it’s an album to fall head over heels in love with. It sees the big man from Donegal by way of Chicester and California aim for the moon and damned if he doesn’t get there. Look out for a fascinating interview with Antony in The Ticket on Friday.

On the back of Santogold licensing nearly three-quarters of her ace debut album for commercials, video games or soundtracks, Jon Parales muses on how linking music to mercenary agendas has become the biggest part of the gameplan for acts after that trinity of traction, tickets and t-shirts.

More from the “fancy that” department. Has anyone else noticed the way all those commuter horror stories which were all the rage a year or so have ago have just disappeared as if they were in a Keith Barry magic trick? The two hour commutes from beyond the exurbs are still going on, but people have stopped fuming about them because they’re probably glad to have a job.

I’ve yet to hear or read a bad word about The 02. Is this a record (no, a record is a round black thing with a hole in the centre)? Or is this down to the fact that most On The Record readers weren’t arsed going to see the Kings Of Leon or Coldplay before Christmas (and who could blame them for blanking those pointless, clueless triumphs of mediocrity)? Nonetheless, it seems to have had a very impressive opening run so far.

And finally, love this tune

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