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This Week’s Top 11 Playlist: 10 February 2012

February 11th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

So I'm in New York this weekend, guiding a friend through a milestone birthday.  Actually, my real job is to act as a sherpa for my wife and my friend as they add to the American GDP by buying up all the shoes they can find. Perfect.

But I left, though, I was able to come up with another Top 11 playlist (a full accounting of the songs after the jump.)  You can listen right now through the player below or anytime by using the link on the right-hand side of the page.  And yes, all past playlists are archived.  Thanks, as always, to Mediazoic for the assistance.

Now THIS Is How You Do Online Music and Video!

February 10th, 2012 | by Alan Cross


There's no shortage of places to find music video on the web:  YouTube, Vimeo, AOL and a host of other sites.  The problem is that this music video is on YouTube, Vimeo, AOL and a host of other sites. 

What if there was one place you could go to find all the Internet's music videos in one place?  What if that place allowed searching for video by artist, source and even date?  And what if it offered additional artist-specific material like a compendum of news involving that performer?

Yesterday, I got a demonstration of an absolutely freakin' remarkable site called RockPeaks.  The tag line is "Music Video Done Right"--and believe me, they've got it right.

Is This the Anti-iTunes?

February 10th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Browsing through iTunes can be a pretty intimidating thing, especially when it comes to trying to discover new music.  I

Canadians Rule the International Concert Industry

February 10th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Yes, Americans know that we export a lot of comedians.  They're also familiar with our musical exports (Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Nickelback, Justin Bieber--OKAY!  WE'RE SORRY!).  But they probably have no idea that Canadians pretty much run the global touring business.

There's Arthur Foegel, a former manager of Martha and the Muffins.  In his role at Live Nation, he was instrumental in planning, constructing and executing U2's 360 Tour as well as world jaunts by the Police, Neil Young, Madonna and Lady Gaga.

There's Michael Rapino, a Thunder Bay boy, who has risen to the postion of president and CEO of Live Nation.  Also in his office is Joey Vendetta, whom Toronto fans will remember from Q107 in Toronto.

And then there's Elliott Lefko, a guy who spent countless hours in dark smokey Toronto clubs shepherding gigs by indie bands.  

This is Promising: Hope for Cooperation in Licensing Songs

February 9th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

If there's one thing that's been holding back innovation in the online music space, it's the issue of licesning music for things like streaming and downloading.  Want to know why we don't have Pandora?  Why is Spotify not here yet?  Why can't Canadian-based online streaming stations offer all the songs listeners want?

In a word, licensing.

It's not enough just to rip something and stick it in a player.  The music has to be sourced from, well, the source. Buying it off iTunes won't work, either, because under the current streaming rules, the music has to be tagged with all sorts of specialized metadata. It's been so frustrating for me and some of the projects that I'm involved in that I've almost gnawed off an arm.

POTUS’s New iPod Playlist

February 9th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

So what does the leader of the free world chill out to when he's listening to his iPod?  This, according to Politico, is what you'll currently find on Barack Obama's playlists.  (And yeah, there's some Al Green here.)

“Different People” - No Doubt
“Got to Get You Into My Life” - Earth, Wind & Fire
"Green Onions” - Booker T & The MG’s
“I Got You” - Wilco
“Keep on Pushing” - The Impressions
“Keep Reachin' Up” - Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators
“Love You I Do?” - Jennifer Hudson“No Nostalgia” - AgesAndAges
“Raise Up” - Ledisi
“Stand Up” - Sugarland
“This” - Darius Rucker
“We Used To Wait” - Arcade Fire
“You've Got the Love” - Florence and the Machine

Paul McCartney Webcast Tonight

February 9th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

I remember trying to watch a live webcast back in 1999.  Paul McCartney had returned to the fabled Cavern Club in Liverpool and wanted the whole world to be able to watch.  This relatively new thing called "the Internet" seemed to be the way to do it.

So on December 14, 1999, they turned on the cameras and the encoder and tried to make it happen.

It was awful.  The video was murky, choppy and intermittent.  Compression and resolution issues reduced the picture size to something I could almost cover with my thumb.  The audio was in mono and below lo-fi. But at least the attempt proved that it could be done.  Maybe there were possibilities involving the merging of live performances this Information Superhighway.

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