Category Archives: Music Industry

Eyes on Youtube: Musicians Seek Major Changes

Remember back in the day when musicians were banding together against services like Pandora and Spotify?

These days the music worlds attention is focused on Youtube, claiming the service doesn’t pay enough royalties. There is a demand to change the law that allows Youtube to operate this way, highlighting the need to track every dollar as listening habits transition to streaming vs. download.

Katy Perry, Billy Joel, Pharrell Williams Bon Jovi and many other big names in the industry have signed letters asking for copyright law modification. Prominent managers like Irving Azoff has also criticized Youtube in multiple instances.

Somehow, despite Youtube’s massive audience, they appear to produce less direct income for musicians than the likes of vinyl record sales – which is a relatively small market. And while Youtube does act as a mechanism to promote music, it is also an ‘easy way out’ – not providing a substantial source of revenue for anybody…but Youtube.

As we speak, major record labels are in the midst of renegotiating their contracts with Youtube. It will be an interesting story to follow. We all know the music industry is behind the times when it comes to keeping up with technology – maybe this is the start of that changing.

Local artist White Hinterland sues Justin Bieber/Skrillex for Copyright Infringement

If you listen to mainstream radio, chances are you have heard Justin Bieber’s latest hit song, “Sorry”. The industry was shocked to learn last night that White Hinterland (a local artist from Scituate, MA) is suing Justin, Skrillex and his producers for infringement.

Casey Dienel (White Hinterland) claims a vocal riff from one of her most popular songs, “Ring the Bell”) was sampled without permission and used in the hit song.  On Thursday evening, Dienel went public: “Like most artists that sample music, Bieber could have licensed my song for use in ‘Sorry’. But he chose not to contact me. After the release of ‘Sorry’ my lawyers sent Bieber a letter regarding the infringement, but Bieber’s team again chose to ignore me. I offered Bieber’s team an opportunity to have a private dialogue about the infringement, but they refused to even acknowledge my claim, despite the obviousness of the sample”.

Overnight the story went viral and fans across the world of both White Hinterland and Bieber picked which side they were on. However on Friday afternoon, Skrillex took to Twitter to claim his innocence. He posted a video featuring a raw track from singer named Julia Michaels and provided a short tutorial as to how he created the vocal riff in question.

Jamaica Plain Porchfest – Saturday, July 9th

Not to be confused with Somerville’s Annual Porchfest (which took place this past weekend) – in early July, Jamaica Plain will hold it’s third annual Porchfest.

In 2015, JP’s Porchfest featured well over 133 musicians (bands/solo performers) – and over 100 other acts featuring spoken word, dance, storytelling and even circus inspired routines. Nearly 70 porches were turned into stages, satisfying an audience of ~10,000 people!

These events are an amazing experience for the creative community- giving artists and musicians of all kinds a unique opportunity to share their passion with those who reside around them. However, with it’s growing popularity, it is safe to assume that it is becoming an event worth traveling to. Folks outside JP, even the city itself are making the trek to be immersed in a cultural experience hard to find elsewhere.

Join in on the fun! Even though registration for performing is all closed up for this year, be sure to head over to Jamaica Plain on July 9th (12pm-6pm) to enjoy the diverse talent! (Check out the “special arts porches” for Dance, Theater, Spoken word and Storytelling performances!)


Local Music News: Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory to Merge

Two of the best music schools in the country are soon to join forces. Berklee College of Music, founded in 1945 and Boston Conservatory, founded in 1967- announced last year that their programs would be merging. Only recently have we come to learn this will be effective in or around June 2016.

Conveniently, the two campuses are just a couple blocks away from each other near Fenway which will undoubtedly aid the students traveling back and forth.  Berklee will retain its name and the Conservatory will become known as the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Separate admissions processes and financial aid will continue for now, but facilities, programs and faculty will be accessible to students from each institution. Students will also be able to transfer between programs and even pursue joint degrees.

Conservatory students will benefit from the new access to performance traditions of other cultures and genres as well as contemporary ‘digital infrastructure’. Currently, Berklee students don’t have access to a music theater program, or a classical music program. While the two schools were never in direct competition, they will be able to attract more musicians and offer a diversified experience to all those who enroll.

Without a doubt, this merger will create a “powerhouse” of sorts for Boston in terms of music, theater and dance.


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