Saturday, May 31, 2008

Qualcomm and Universal Music team up, Kanye coming to your mobile

You can be my BREW tonight

Qualcomm and Universal Music issued a joint announcement today that they’ve partnered to bring more of Universal’s direct-to-consumer content to your mobile phone. What does that mean, exactly? You’re going to be able to get content like ringtones, video ringones and wallpapers of your favorite Universal artists directly from Universal to your phone without having to deal with those pesky carriers. Universal’s mobile offering will be available through their artist Web and WAP sites, CD packaging and their portal.

Prince vs. Radiohead

Read Full Story >


In a recent interview, Thom Yorke said he heard about Prince’s performance from a text message and thought it was “hilarious.” Yorke laughed when his bandmate, guitarist Ed O’Brien, said the blocking had prevented him from seeing Prince’s version of their song.

“Really? He’s blocked it?” asked Yorke, who figured it was their song to block or not. “Surely we should block it. Hang on a moment.”

Yorke added: “Well, tell him to unblock it. It’s our… song.”

Grateful Dead Converse...Beatles and The Doors shoes are next...


Converse continues its celebration of 100 years with the debut of its Fall 2008 Footwear Collection that celebrates the brand’s iconic presence throughout the last ten decades and undeniable influence on pop culture. Converse pays homage to The Grateful Dead and Kurt Cobain as musicians who have transformed culture and changed the world featuring shoes designed to honor these pioneers of music who have disrupted the status quo.

The Doors:

Yeah, I’m sure there will be some mixed opinions on this. They are Converse Jack Purcells, and we’re doing them during Converse’s 100th Anniversary with their slogan, “First In Sports, First In Rock ‘N Roll.”

There are four artists doing them:

The Beatles
Kurt Cobain
The Grateful Dead
The Doors

I know, I know, we’re ALL sellouts.

But The Doors dug this, they were involved in the design and creation, and we hope you’ll agree they’re very, VERY cool.

Or not.

The Doors have NEVER been artists to shy away from controversy.

We thought long and hard about this, and I gotta say, Converse Jack Purcells and rock go hand-in-hand, and have ever since the mid-sixties.

Labelle Trio Enlists Lenny Kravitz For First Album In More Than Three Decades

Labelle, one of music’s most revolutionary female trios is back and their not holding anything back .

Patti Labelle, Nona Hendryx, and Sarah Dash, R&B’s most original and formidable trio are reuniting via Verve Records to deliver their first full-length studio album in more than 33 years. The new recording, to be completed in June and on course for a global unveiling in the fall of 2008, is being produced by a trio of icons equally up to the task: cutting edge funk rocker Lenny Kravitz and longtime Labelle collaborators and 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Gamble & Huff.

Often cited as a key influence for a new generation of female trailblazers such as Erykah Badu and Christina Aguilera, the new songs crafted by Labelle also reflect the growth, wisdom and healing that exemplifies their individual storied paths after going their separate ways more than 32 years ago.

Braced, as always, by their trademark vocal firepower, the 2008 version of the supergroup still relies on their expansive range, show-stopping sense of theatricality, and as Nona puts it, their innate ability to "pull together as sisters and ‘Labelle-ize’ the music and the vibe and the spiritual side of what we do like nobody else on the planet."

Concocting an energized blend of uptempo songs and heart-wrenching ballads, the new recording includes the mesmerizing "Candlelight," the driving "System," the scorching "Superlover," and the old school/Gamble & Huff-helmed "Living Without You," resulting in an edgy but fan-pleasing album that once again finds Labelle embarking on a riveting musical narrative.

"The thread that always runs through is that we’re sisters and we’ll always be sisters," declares Patti. A connection between the three that may have frayed now and then over the years, but always remained unbreakable "The timing for us getting together was perfect," says Nona. "About a year and a half ago we met in the studio to record a tribute to civil rights icon Rosa Parks and we just felt in our bones it was time to do this." It was Nona who tapped eclectic rocker Lenny Kravitz for initial production duty on the new disc. "We’re friends and admirers of each other’s work. We talked to him about the idea of us getting together and invited him to a session. He showed up that day at 5:00 and we haven’t stopped working since."

Where Kravitz represents the next-generation appeal of the Labelle magic, legendary songwriters/producers Gamble & Huff were part of the Philadelphia/New Jersey nexus that helped launch the careers of the famous trio and give birth to the most popular soul sounds of the 1970s including the O’Jays and Teddy Pendergrass.

Labelle’s long-awaited return to the studio signifies yet another chapter in the historic legacy of the group. But all three members are quick to assert it’s not the final one. There will be a tour. After all, the live component of Labelle has often been cited as their most unforgettable dynamic. "We’re going to bring to the fans everything they’ve been asking for. We haven’t lost our edge," assures Nona. "I feel we’re better because of everything we’ve gone through," seconds Sarah. For a group whose roots indeed go all the way back to opening up for icons such as James Brown and Otis Redding, leave it to Patti to wrap it up — true Labelle style. "I think all you gotta say is ‘we’re here.’ We’re like that caged bird. If you love it, you open the door and let it fly because you know it’s going to come back stronger. Well, we’re back, baby. Anyone that knows Labelle knows we don’t know how to hold anything back."

Jay-Z and Kanye West Tours to Break the $20 Million Barriers!

Arena tours in the past have been mainly reserved for rock bands and larger type shows but that is now changing . Jay-Z and Mary J Blige’s "Heart Of The City" tour is lining up to clear over $20 million dollars. Kanye West’s "Glow In The Dark" tour which also includes Lupe Fiasco, N.E.R.D. and Rihanna, looks like it will also break the $20 mill mark.

A Live Nation executive said “Hip-hop is starting to mature,” continuing “at some point we will reflect back at how important these tours were in the growth of the hip-hop concert business." The touring giant recently signed Jay-Z to a $150 million dollar deal.

Usher Inks Deal With Wizzard Media For Podcasting

R&B singer Usher, who recently signed a deal to be the face of Sony Ericsson’s new Walkman, jumped into the podcasting arena with the debut of his new video podcasting network in partnership with Wizzard Media.

The video podcasting network series set to be distributed through iTunes in addition to will include behind the scenes access to the business of launching an album, producing a video, preparing for a tour, philanthropy, and more.

"The entertainment business is much more than the red carpets and VIP parties. I want to expose viewers to the daily grind of the industry," said Usher. "uCast allows me to share over 10 years of business knowledge with the subscribers, through my eyes, and show them a different world beyond the glitz and glamour. Get ready for a ride!"

In addition to iTunes, Usher’s video podcast will be available on MySpace, Facebook, Wizzard’s streaming channels on Dailymotion and Veoh, and in the world’s leading podcast directories.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mötley Crüe Song Sells More on Xbox Than On iTunes

Can video games save the music industry? Probably not. But video games are emerging as a powerful distribution channel for digital music downloads. Players of Grand Theft Auto IV can buy the songs they hear in the game from Amazon by making their characters dial a number on their cell phones.

Now the rock band Mötley Crüe (yes, they are still alive) is getting in on the action as well. They released a single from their latest album, Saints of Los Angeles, both in the video game Rock Band and as download on iTunes, Amazon and elsewhere. In the first week that the digital single was available for sale (the physical album won’t be released until June 24), it was downloaded 47,000 times on the Xbox alone compared to 10,000 times on iTunes and other digital download stores on the Web.

Maybe people who play Rock Band are just naturally drawn to the Crüe. Or maybe video games are just a better way to sell music. You get to hear the whole song as part of a more immersive experience. And if you just scored high in the game, you are probably more receptive to shelling out some cash for the song that helped you get there. All those feel-good endorphins have to be channeled somewhere.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Live Nation, Facebook team up

Social network to offer concert tickets

Live Nation has linked with Facebook to facilitate the purchase of concert tickets through personal sites on the social network.

Application extends My Live Nation's global concert search engine capabilities onto the Facebook platform.

Users are able to sync their music library with their My Live Nation account, which then allows them to receive concert updates automatically.

Fans register at and can then add My Live Nation to their Facebook profiles.

Usher: 'Cellphones are the future'

DSC_0044Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC) is making a big splash in New York City today with Usher, the Grammy Award-winning artist the mobile-phone maker has picked to market its Sony Ericsson’s Walkman music phones in the U.S., Canada and 20 European countries. “It’s the first big partnership in North America we’ve done,” said Karen Morris, VP of Marketing for Sony Ericsson North America. “Globally, we’ve done things with Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera. But this time, we have aligned it with the [U.S.] portfolio we are bringing to the marketplace, and Usher has such broad appeal.”

Usher discussed details of the partnership and made a surprise announcement this afternoon in New York, following yesterday’s release of Usher’s new album Here I Stand. Sony Ericsson is the title sponsor for Usher’s North American tour later this year, and the partnership will include access to exclusive content on Walkman phones, and contests, such as winning a chance to meet Usher on a video shoot, and getting VIP tickets for a concert. Fans will also be able to vote on what other band Usher will go on tour with, although Usher will have the final say. The content will be limited to one wallpaper on the phone right now, but will include ringtones and full-album downloads later this year, Morris said. Release.

Sony Ericsson had the No. 1 selling GSM handset in the country in March (the Sony Walkman w580), but generally is at a disadvantage in the U.S. since it doesn’t produce any CDMA phones, and among the top carriers, only works directly with AT&T (NYSE: T). Still, Morris said Sony Ericsson will be putting increased emphasis on the North American market, by bringing out a broad portfolio, including different form factors, different colors and a broad range of mid-tier to high-end phones. In August, the company expects to launch the first U.S. 3G Walkman slider called the w760. Around that time, it will also be launching the w350 flip phone, that will come out right in time for back-to-school through AT&T, which will be priced between $30 to $50 with a two-year contract. It probably doesn’t hurt that Usher uses the w350 in the first 20 seconds of his video for his hit single: “Love in This Club.”

Joseph adds: I couldn’t resist hopping over to find out what Usher’s surprise was going to be. It’s not much: basically he’s doing a show at The Apollo, which wasn’t announced until just this afternoon, and then besides that he’s, well, partnering with Sony Ericsson for a year. Content-wise, there’s not much more than what’s above: some exclusive ringtones, wallpapers, pictures, etc. This is the first deal of the sort for Sony Ericsson in North America. So why do the deal, Usher said: “Cellphones are the future… you can’t live life without ‘em.” That sounds about right.

50 Cent joins MTV for mogul search

MTV has pacted with hip-hop star 50 Cent to search for the nation's next street-smart business mogul.

Untitled project is among the cabler's next round of series greenlights, which also include "Buzzin'," a comedic reality series that will chart the rise of music artist Shwayze; "Busted," a half-hour that chronicles kids that break the law; and "Making the Rock Band," a new take on Sean "Diddy" Combs' music reality series. Then there's the docu-series that follows T.I.'s community service and march toward jail (Daily Variety, May 28).

Also in the mix, but not yet ordered to series "Hollarado," which follows the world of skateboarding star William Spencer, and "16 and Pregnant," described as a take on "real-life Junos."

"Our audience expects us to constantly reinvent and evolve," said MTV programming head Tony DiSanto. "That's the challenge at MTV, but also the fun part."

Under development team leader Liz Gateley, MTV has done away with traditional pilot seasons, in some cases ordering shows directly to series. Channel has also focused on adding more hour-long series to its mix, is adding more spin-offs and adding more genres to the mix.

"We didn't like the idea of us gathering ideas and then waiting," DiSanto said of the move away from a traditional development cycle. "We don't want to stop for any idea. If it excites us, we'll move on it."

Ish Entertainment is behind the untitled 50 Cent show, which will center on 16 contestants as they live together and compete in challenges that relate to street savvy and business smarts. Show - kind of a hip-hop 'Apprentice' - will end each week with 50 Cent narrowing his search. Ish's Michael Hirschorn, Stella Stolper and Chris Choun exec produce with 50 Cent and Chris Lighty. Eight episodes have been lined up.

"Buzzin'," from Suretone Ent. and Hoosick Falls Prods., follows Shwayze - nicknamed "the only black kid in Malibu" - as he partners with musician Cisco Adler as they attempt to make it big in the biz. MTV calls it a real-life "Entourage," complete with Suretone Records honcho Jordan Schur in the Ari Gold role.

George Verschoor, Mike Powers and Schur will exec produce. Cabler has ordered eight episodes.

Among the other greenlights, "Making the Rock Band" will twist the "Making the Band" concept by following Combs as he attempts to make it big in an area he's less familiar with - rock music.

"Buzzin'," which won't air in prime, will likely be stripped in other dayparts. Show, which secured a 20 episode pickup, will focus on kids gone wrong from both the POV of law enforcement and the juvenile delinquents.

As for the shows in development, "Hollarado," which will play as a reality half-hour comedy, comes from Liquid Theory. Austin and Julie Reading will exec produce, along with Mike Powers. "16 and Pregnant," which takes its cue both from "Juno" and the recent teen pregnancies of stars like Jamie Lynn Spears, will take a sobering look at young girls who are expecting.

Projects join a hefty crop of upcoming new series including Cris Abrego's "From G's to Gents" (July 15), "My Super Sweet 16" spinoff "Exiled" (August), "Paris Hilton's: My New BFF" (September); and Justin Timberlake's "The Phone."

Other upcoming premieres include "Legally Blonde" (June 2), season two of "America's Best Dance Crew" (June 19), season five of "Run's House" (July 16) and new seasons of "Making the Band" and "The Hills" (August).

DiSanto, meanwhile, dismissed rampant rumors that he might be heading to a new home, such as the CW.

Universal Music moves into classical artist management amid lawsuits claiming criminal conspiracy and theft...

As CD sales figures continue to erode in the United States, one of the biggest players in the classical recording industry is adding a new line of business. Universal Classics and Jazz, the worldwide market leader in classical CD sales, announced on Wednesday the formation of Universal Music Classical Artists Management and Productions.

According to an internal statement the new division is meant to provide management services for and produce live events for prominent classical musicians.

The new operation, based in London, will be run by Jeffrey Vanderveen, whose title is managing director. Mr. Vanderveen recently left his previous job at the IMG Artists management firm, where he was a senior vice president and director of the vocal division in Europe, to move to Universal Classics. Others involved in the new operation are Manfred Seipt, another former IMG executive, and Tom Graham, a music industry veteran who came out of retirement to join the firm.

Reacting to formation of the new company, IMG has filed suit against Mr. Vanderveen, Mr. Seipt, Universal and its president, Chris Roberts, for what it said were improprieties including criminal conspiracy and theft. The case is pending in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

David Cook sets chart records: 11 debuts in Top 100...#3 song on digital sales alone...album due in fall...

Season seven “American Idol” champion David Cook will set a record for debut entries on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Digital Songs tomorrow as 11 titles enter the former, while 14 songs jump on the download tally. The onslaught is led by a No. 3 Hot 100 start for his original recording “The Time of My Life,” which shifts 236,000 downloads to easily take the No. 1 spot on Hot Digital Songs.

E! Online:

The latest American Idol champ officially has a record deal, signing to 19 Recordings/RCA Records, and will be soon laying down tracks for a debut album due this fall, the record company announced today.

“Signing this deal is truly a dream come true,” says Cook. “I am looking forward to the recording process…The support I have received from America has been overwhelming, and I can’t wait to hopefully do right by them.”

The 25-year-old belter will record the album over the summer, in between dates on the American Idols Live tour. The road show kicks off July 1 in Glendale, Ariz., and wraps Sept. 13 in Tulsa, Okla.

Winning Fans: Metallica vs. Nine Inc Nails

Metallica_logo_2 Metallica, who have often been critical of file sharing, are finally joining Music 2.0...soft of. For $25 fans can join their Mission:Metallica fan club as a platinum member and get an mp3 version of the bands new album along with a complex array of other goodies like "fly on the wall" coverage and contests. Add another $8 and they'll send you the CD.

Nin Contrast this to Nine Inch Nails who tells fans, just give me your email address and you're in my club. Then I'll give you some music free, more music in any format you want cheaply, and if you really want to spend some money I've got limited edition stuff to sell you.

If you're a fan, which band wins your loyalty?

ASCAP Partners With Nimbit


ASCAP will now include Nimbit’s direct-to-fan sales & catalog management tools as part of the basic membership package for more than 320,000 ASCAP songwriters and composers. Nimbit will also offer premium packages in connection with ASCAP's member benefits.

In 2003 ASCAP launched Webtools as an umbrella program...

of partner services to help music creators get online. Nimbit's contributions were automated websites and email promotion. Today’s deal reflects the evolution of that relationship with Nimbit delivering a platform for catalog administration, marketing, distribution, and direct-to-fan sales.

"ASCAP is continuing to place an emphasis on career advancement through a variety of initiatives, and our work with Nimbit really goes a long way to providing our members with the new tools to succeed in this ever-changing music environment," says ASCAP Senior Vice President, Marketing Lauren Iossa. "Nimbit's team and technology is fantastic and they completely understand the landscape of the industry, which is key.”

Nimbit CEO, Patrick Faucher, echoed the sentiment. “We’re very proud of our ongoing partnership with ASCAP. They have the best interest of the writer and artist in mind in everything they do and so do we, which is why this has worked out so well.”

US Ranks 8th In Musical Intelligence

Brain_music More than 26,000 respondents from 25 countries took an eMusic sponsored Music Intelligence test designed to determine whether they have a well-rounded music collection. The survey revealed that Icelandics have the highest average national music IQ with a score of 119.

The homeland of Bjork, The Sugar Cubes and Sigur Ros beat Switzerland who came second with 113 points and Ireland with 111 points. Other countries to demonstrate better than average music intelligence...

were The United States (101), France (100) and Sweden (101). The UK came in an equal fourth with Spain. At the other end of the scoreboard Israel, Mexico and Finland couldn’t tell their Kinks from their krunk, only managing 85 points.

The Music Intelligence questionnaire was developed by musicians, industry experts and journalists in conjunction with eMusic. Covering every genre and era of music, the questions ranged from Beethoven to The White Stripes.


  1. Iceland 119
  2. Japan 112
  3. Ireland 107
  4. Spain 106
  5. Great Britain 106
  6. New Zealand 104
  7. Sweden 101
  8. United States 101
  9. France 100
  10. Canada 100

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

High gas prices hit touring bands hard...

Traveling from town to town and playing for an audience is the lifeblood of any musician. It's a calling that has transcended centuries, generations and styles. But it's imperiled by the rising price of gasoline.

"We drove from Omaha to Madison to play a show and it cost us $240," said Matt Maginn, bassist for the Omaha indie-rock band Cursive. "My jaw just about hit the floor. That's double what it cost us before. If you're a new band driving cross-country in a van pulling a trailer of equipment that's getting 6 miles a gallon, and you're getting paid 50 or 75 bucks to play a gig, I don't know how you survive."

With CD sales down 25 percent since 2000, touring income is more essential than ever to bands trying to make a living. The Redwalls' latest album, "The Redwalls," has sold only 6,000 copies, a steep drop from the 40,000 figure reached by their previous release, "De Nova." So the band's primary source of revenue is concerts, but their profit margin has taken a hit.

"It costs the band $100 to fill up their van each time," said the Chicago quartet's manager, Mitch Marlow. "Traveling around the country for shows, that adds up. The Redwalls are lucky that they have a big enough fan base where they can still do it and make money. But plenty of bands are at the threshold where they have to consider whether it's worth doing."

Bands often strive to broaden their audience by playing shows out-of-town for minimal guarantees. Their goal is a modest one: to make enough to pay for fuel to get to the next gig. But with the price of gas topping $4 a gallon, that's becoming more difficult.

Ray Quinn, owner of the Lincoln Avenue club Martyrs, says it's even more prohibitive for overseas bands to tour the U.S.

"It doesn't make [economic] sense for a lot of bands to come over from Europe or Canada because the value of the dollar is so low," Quinn said.

Nick Miller, vice president of Jam Productions, says the summer season is always slow going for clubs, but the staggering economy will have a major impact in the fall, when the clubs are usually busiest.

"It's going to be the good, the bad and the ugly," he said.

Nan Warshaw, owner of Chicago indie label Bloodshot Records, says her bands are feeling the pinch on the road. And the label is facing rising costs for postage even as CD sales are flattening out. She said the label spends $2,000 a month on postage, up 10 percent from last year. The market for vinyl records is increasing, but it costs Bloodshot $4.80 to mail one vinyl record plus an additional 20 cents for a mailer, up 25 percent from last year.

"The industry is in peril," she said. "We're doing fine, but I don't know how much longer it'll continue."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Music 2.0: Will MP3 become obsolete?

The MP3 may have mostly replaced the CD to reign as the standard digital audio format but while its compression makes for small files ideal for downloading, audiophiles say this results in a sound quality that is not strictly high-fidelity, unlike the good old compact disc. Enter MT9 or Music 2.0, as it is being referred to commercially. This format encodes audio in six distinct channels – vocal, chorus, piano, guitar, bass and drum – all of which can be turned on or off at will, depending on what the listener wants to focus on in any given song.

Created by the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI): a government-funded South Korean body, and commercialised by South Korean firm Audizen, the MT9 is looking to challenge MP3 as the digital audio standard.

At the moment, Audizen is selling some albums through its website that have been encoded in this format and according to the Korea Times, older albums from bands including Queen are being converted into this MT9 format, so we will finally be able to get all the bits in Bohemian Rhapsody word perfect.

This file format will have no DRM (digital rights management) and is said to already have interest from LG Electronics, amongst others.

Brand Yourself With a Gydget


Create your own digital mark or brand to show off your music, your business or just yourself. Stars such as Beyonce, Gwen Stefani and Godsmack are using it, why not you. Create your own Gydget with your brand, your name or whatever you want on it.

Automatically add your MySpace information to your Gydget by just entering your MySpace ID. If you're a band you can add your band's MySpace information, events and videos to your Gydget too. Just fill in the form with your own information and create your own personal online Gydget.

Once you create your own Gydget you can add it to your website, blog or social networking site. Other's can add it too. If you find a Gydget of one of your favorite stars, you can add their Gydget to your site too.

Quote of the Week

It's just the industry of recorded music doesn't appeal to me. That dream of getting a record deal and all that is lost. I woke up from it.

Lupe Fiasco

Monday, May 26, 2008

"Band With A Plan" A fresh approach to fan financing

Telling_on_trixie_2NY indie band Telling On Trixie has dubbed itself "A Band With A Plan" and launched to raise $50,000 and involve fans in the decision making process as they record and release a new album and video.

A Band with a Plan differs from other recent crowd-sourcing models. "In some programs, one-third of the money raised<Telling_photo_3 goes to some company that devised the model, and there's nothing left for marketing, much less a video," says lead singer Derek Nicoletto. In this D.I.Y. effort every penny goes to finance the album and video. "And instead of just asking fans to donate, as some artists have done, we're inviting them to hop on board on our 'Little Engine that Could' and go with us on the ride."

"Telling on Trixie fans tend to give us their opinion on everything from our clothes to our set list," according to Nicoletto. "So we thought - let's get their input from the beginning and give them an insider's view of the process. Depending on the level they select, they'll be our label, our sponsors, our A&R and sometimes, guest stars in our video and album."

How It Works

At the first, ten-dollar "Trixie" level, donors will receive digital downloads of Telling on Trixie's second album. At $25, fans get an advance copy of the new CD and become a "Green Room" member. Green Room membership allows fans into the secure areas of the website...

where they will follow the band's progress for the entire twelve months, and participate in decision-making. Interim levels include: Groupie, V.I.P., Manager, Producer, and Rock Star levels, which have prizes that vary from free admission to shows, to merchandise, to recognition in the liner notes. For those willing to make a top-level, $10,000 donation -- what Telling on Trixie brands the "Iconic Living Legend", the band will write and record for the album a song inspired by the fan, about a person or topic the fan chooses. In addition, the fan can star in the band's video, and be a Guest Artist on the album.

Telling on Trixie is a New York rock band whose music was recently described as "soulful, anthemic powerpop" by Cincinnati's City Beat. Their first two videos have played on 37 nationwide programs for millions of viewers, garnering them recognition as "Best of 2007" by MTV LOGO. Their music has been featured on MTV Real World, Road Rules and Gauntlet.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Music News: 5-15-08


PLUS -Qtrax

  • QTrax has signed its fourth major publisher Warner/Chappell. (Listening Post)
  • SpiralFrog is expanding its sales team with the addition of industry vets Jesse Paynter as senior vice president of sales and Paul Rothkopf as senior vice president of sales strategy. (press release)
  • Neal Diamond unseats Madonna to score his first Billboard #1 debut. (FMQB)
  • Singer songwriter Josh Rouse has launched a membership only digital music store. (Glider)
  • Double standard? UMG fights “excessive” infringement damages. (ars

Undergoing MyBlogLog Verification

Hyping Indie Hype

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Music News: 5-14



  • Zune has reached 2 million in sales. Market share is coming from Creative rather than iTunes. (Engadget)
  • Radiohead’s In Rainbows is now on eMusic.
  • Limewire wants to give labels a share of ad revenue. (P2P Blog)
  • RightsFlow, which provides licensing and royalty services, has announced a mechanical licensing agreement with The Harry Fox Agency. (press release)
  • The Clear Channel Radio buyout deal is finally going through. (paidcontent)
  • Here is a pdf of an NPD group study of physical formats for NARM. (pdf)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Music News: 5-13-08



  • Is Hip Hop over? “Hip Hop Is No Longer Cooler Than Me” (Salon)
  • ADA President Andy Allen is coming back from sabbatical to helm all things indie at WMG (Billboard)
  • is powering a web radio service for Lollapooza. (
  • Clear Channel may offer Pandora personalized streams. (DMW)
  • XM posts wider 1st Quarter loss. (press release) Sirius posted slightly narrower losses. (TheStreet)
  • The New York Times has cut respected music industry reporter Jeff Leeds. (Deadline Hollywood)
  • Revelation Theory and The Cab have both signed global co-publishing deals with EMI.
  • A time line of the brilliant NIN run up to their Year Zero album release. (Wikipedia)

More @

Monday, May 12, 2008

Music News: 5-12-08



  • Project Playlist, which is being sued by the major labels, says it will shut down if it can’t make licensing deals. It’s also solicited the help of some heavy hitters including ex-RIAA head Jay Berman. (cNet)
  • Sire Records president Michael Goldstein is exiting the label to start a new one for management giant Q Prime. (FMQB)
  • After less than a year, Michael Bloom has left the Rhapsody America joint venture where he had served as GM. (Billboard)
  • Bertlesmann AG, half of Sony BMG, reported smaller quarterly losses thanks in part to an end to old Napster payouts. (FMQB)
  • Madonna has named Stub Hub her official ticket scalper…I mean re-seller. (WSJ)
  • Check out two available Summer and Fall music industry internships
  • A look inside the $50 million joint venture between Rhino and the Frank Sinatra estate. (FT)
  • is celebrating the 29th Anniversary of The Machine - America’s Top Pink Floyd Tribute with a week of Floyd quotes and videos.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Music News: 5-10-08



  • realRealNetworks shared first quarter financial reporting a decline in profit as operating expenses increased. Revenues for the quarter rose 14% in large part because of a $61M payment on an antitrust settlement from Microsoft. Real also announced plans to spin off and perhaps IPO its games division. (paidcontent)
  • Live Nation reported a $35 million first quarter loss to Wall Street. (Billboard, press release pdf)
  • who signed a deal to power AOL Radio in the US last year is now doing the same in the U.K. France and Germany.
  • This year’s class of music and music industry students are set to join an “industry in turmoil.” (Financial Times)
  • Echonest has launched “Recommend”, an API that helps music services personalize their websites to each visitor’s unique music taste. Any music website - bloggers, social networks, Internet radio or retailers - can access the Recommend API in both free and paid versions. (press release)


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Music News: 5-8-08



  • Video of Neil Young on the release of his archives on Blu-Ray disc and the state of the music industry. (OurDigitalMusic)
  • Backed by a former hedge fund manager, SOS Records has launched at with a business model that gives it away free on the net but sells physical version.
  • A new study from Arbitron and Edison Media Research found that at work radio listeners have jumped from 12% to 20%. (FMQB)
  • TorrentSpy, a torrent tracker that lost a copyright infringement
    suit from the Motion Picture Association of America has been ordered by
    a federal judge to pay 110 million in damages. (DMW)
  • Today, Laurence Trifon will be covering The SanFran MusicTech Summit for Hypebot. The one day event brings together developers in the Music/Technology Space along with the musicians, businesses and organizations who work with them “at the convergence of culture and commerce”.
  • MusicIP adds a board member, former Microsoft corporate vice president, Lindsay Sparks. Scott Lehr has also joined the company as vice president of sales, strategy & business development. (press release)


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

EMI and SonyBMG are using Amazon’s on-demand CD pressing


Amazon has made deals with Sony BMG, EMI and other labels to bring hundreds of out-of-print albums to CD using their CreateSpace “Disc on Demand” system. Titles include the “Hatari Soundtrack” by Henry Mancini, “Earthquake Weather” by Joe Strummer and “Motorcade of Generosity” by Cake as well as albums from Blue Note such as “Telepathy” by Bill Stewart, “Foreign Intrigue” by Tony Williams and “Carryin’ On” by Grant Green. The new CDs will be manufactured on-demand and shipped when customers place an order.

In addition to reviving out-of-print music titles...

labels are also using CreateSpace “Disc on Demand” to exclusively release new titles on, including the next title in the popular KCRW “Sounds Eclectic” series and the Wind-up Records soundtrack to the ESPN program “World’s Strongest Man.”

Labels including Rhino, Wind-up, Vanguard and Naxos are also using CreateSpace “Disc on Demand” to offer a wider selection of music albums on-demand to millions of customers.

Music News: 5-7-08


  • eMusic was forced to yank the Rolling Stones ABKCO catalog.
  • Zune expands its Marketplace and adds more social networking functions. (press release)
  • New EMI hires are being forced to take psychometric tests - a favourite ploy of the boss, which typically includes general intelligence tests along with a paper to determine a candidate’s abilities. (Telegraph UK)
  • Indie distributor IRIS has signed new deals with Alleviated, Labrador, Definitive and +1 plus direct artist deals with She Wants Revenge, Lou Reed, Larry Heard, Claude Von Stroke, and Lawson Rollins. (Billboard)
  • The winners of this year’s Webby Awards have been announced. Music winners is BBC Radio 1 Meet The DJ’s and, an EU music site with a heavy concert emphasis. Here’s a full list of winners.
  • Neil Young is releasing his entire catalog on Blu-Ray disc. (AP)
  • Whole Foods is jumping into the music game supporting select new releases. (Idolator)
  • eMusic has added the entire My Morning Jacket catalog. (eMusic)
More @

Qtrax Inks Deal With Universal for Legal P2P Music

Qtrax, the ambitious free P2P service that took a PR beating in January when it mistakenly announced it had major-label deals in place, seems to be back on track.

The P2P service made public a legitimate deal with Universal Music Group, the world's largest major label, on Tuesday, a month after announcing publishing pacts with EMI and Sony/ATV. Qtrax also has a deal in place with Universal's publishing group, meaning the company can now legally populate its service with Universal music.

A Qtrax spokeswoman said the company will start adding Universal tracks soon. Peter Lofrumento, Universal Music Group's senior vice president of corporate communications, confirmed the new deal.

Qtrax is an ad-supported, Windows-only P2P application based on the Songbird open-source media player. While Qtrax badly fumbled its initial announcement of major label support, now that Universal has signed on, others could follow suit. If the rest of the majors come on board, Qtrax could be on its way to offering more music than iTunes does, for free.

Currently, only songs from TVT Records are available on Qtrax, said the spokeswoman, with the Beggars Banquet Records and Finetunes catalogs set to become available in the next few weeks. Universal songs should go online at Qtrax in approximately a month, she said.

The service lets users share DRM-protected music. The digital rights management is there to help prevent songs from slipping onto unauthorized networks, but also to establish the play counts Qtrax will use to figure out how much to pay artists, labels and publishers. Ads are displayed during the search and download processes, and users have the option to purchase music and merchandise through the service.

The company's goal is to offer every single one of the 25 million or so songs that are available on file-sharing networks, including live, rare and remixed tracks. As the last few months have shown, the licensing issues surrounding such a scheme present significant difficulties.

A Mac version should be ready by May 18, according to Qtrax.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Nine Inch Nails Give Yet Another Album For Free

In a surprise move, Trent Reznor has posted the new, full length Nine Inch Nails album, The Slip, online as a DRM-free digital download.

A companion physical product will be available in July.

Reznor says on NIN's official site, "thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years - this one's on me."

This is the second surprise album released by Reznor since NIN's contract with Interscope expired last fall.

Reznor's been a vocal opponent of corporate music's 'traditional practices'. He's said in the past, "As a reward for being a 'true fan' you get ripped off."

Click here
to get your copy!

Music News

It’s a typical slow Monday on the music news front…


  • Wired’s Listening Post takes a look at programs used to inflate a band’s plays on MySpace.
  • Rumors of a possible $3 million investment by Universal in band services site Nimbit appear to be true.
  • Viacom’s quarterly earnings jumps 33% on strong ratings as MTV and sales of Rock Band video games. (FT)
  • Watch for Hypebot’s exclusive coverage all this week from Digital NARM in San Francisco.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Verizon makes music on the go

Verizon Wireless wants to make music. Or at least it wants to help record labels and artists make music. More importantly, it wants to provide new, innovative ways for them to make money from the music they create.

"Artists are frustrated with the traditional music-producing model, which is broken," said Ed Ruth, director of digital music for Verizon. "They are frustrated that labels aren't innovating. And we think we can help. We think we can bring some innovative approaches to the whole process."

In addition to its music store, V Cast Music, which is designed to sell digital music, including full tracks, ringtones, and ringback tones, that can be played on Verizon mobile phones, Verizon is also sponsoring a new program it calls Mobile Producer in Residence. Essentially, the company has rented a bus outfitted with equipment to make a traveling recording studio. In February it announced it was working with the rapper-turned-music producer Timbaland as the first producer in residence.

The deal is that Timbaland will use the traveling recording studio, which has been paid for by Verizon, to work with artists anywhere in the country. Every month, Timbaland will work with a guest artist to record a new track. As the bus tours through various cities, Verizon will release singles and behind-the-scenes video clips of the recording sessions exclusively through the V Cast music store.

So far Timbaland has already begun working with R&B singer Keri Hilson on the bus. Also on the bus, he produced some of the songs used on Madonna's recently released Hard Candy album.

Verizon showed off the bus in New York at the launch concert for Madonna Wednesday night. Ruth was on hand to give reporters a tour of the bus before the concert at the Roseland Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan.

Ruth said Verizon isn't looking to replace the record labels. But he said he feels the company is in a unique position to bring innovation to the industry.

"We don't want to disintermediate between the artist and the record label," he said. "What we're trying to do is help the label save some money by introducing a more streamlined process. And we can also help the artist market their songs by offering them in a variety of different formats."

Specifically, Ruth said that record labels save money because they don't have to rent expensive studio space or fly artists to a specific city to cut an album. Artists can be touring the country and the mobile music studio can literally go to the artist as opposed to doing it the other way around.

Verizon also believes it can help artists market their albums before they are fully released by using the creative process itself as a promotion tool. It will do this by releasing behind-the-scenes video clips of the recording sessions on its V Cast music store. It can also turn singles into ringtones and ringback tones before the full tracks are released or even release single songs before the entire album is finished.

Verizon also believes it can help the music industry make money by providing multiple ways to sell the same piece of content.

"The big problem that the music industry is facing is that physical sales of music are failing," Ruth said. "And digital music is trying to catch up. But what we offer is a unique ability to offer consumers content in multiple formats."

For example, consumers who really love Madonna's "4 Minutes" single can spend $2.99 for a standard ringtone, $1.99 for a ringback tone, and another $1.99 if they buy the full track using their phone or 99 cents if they download it from their computer. (Verizon also offers a 20 percent discount for subscribers buying the song as both a ringtone and ringback tone.)

This ability to sell the same piece of content in multiple ways is likely the main reason artists and record labels are working with mobile operators like Verizon.

But just as much as the music industry may need Verizon, the carrier also needs the music industry. Music is an important piece of Verizon's overall mobile content strategy. And the company has been racking up deals for the past couple of years with individual artists, such as Prince, John Legend, and Shakira, in an attempt to promote its music store and service.

Verizon claims that V Cast is the second largest music store on the market behind Apple's iTunes, with more than 3 million songs in its library. And in the first quarter of 2008, it sold a total of 34 million "units," which included ringtones, ringback tones and full music tracks, Ruth said.

Mobile music, along with other data services such as mobile Web surfing and e-mail, are important for Verizon as it tries to get its customers to spend more each month on additional services. So far, its efforts seem to be working.

On Monday, the company reported that mobile data, which includes music downloads, accounted for over 20 percent of the company's total wireless revenue in the first quarter of 2008. And it said that customers on average spent nearly $12 a month on data services. These are fees that are above and beyond what customers pay for basic voice minutes.

"Music is a very important piece of our content business," Ruth said. "It not only can be a profitable business for us, but it also attracts a lot of interest, and over the long term, it creates a loyalty lock-in with customers."

While most of Verizon Wireless' music efforts have been focused in the U.S., the Madonna concert was the first time Verizon Wireless collaborated with its European parent company Vodafone. Part of the concert Wednesday evening was simulcast live to Verizon Wireless subscribers in the U.S. and in over a dozen other countries over Vodafone's wireless network. Ruth said that in the future, Verizon Wireless plans to work more closely with Vodafone on more music initiatives, but he wouldn't divulge any specifics. So stay tuned.

Grooveshark Gives Users Free Listening (No Catch) And Profit

Founded in 2006 by three University of Florida students with plans to shake up digital music distribution, Grooveshark is a P2P file sharing service that allows users to upload tunes, easily search and listen to any song in full (unlike and other players in the space), share and receive recommendations and purchase DRM-free music at a fair price, knowing that the copyright holder will be paid.

However, the big punchline is that if a user purchases a song from your library, Grooveshark will give you a portion of the profits (now equal to their share, I might add). Granted the profits are distributed as store credit, but the reward certainly bests no kickback at all. Additionally, members will be compensated with store credits for community participation such as fixing bad song tags, flagging unwanted files, and reviewing concerts.

A little over a week ago, the music-sharing startup launched Grooveshark Lite, which provides access to all the songs in Grooveshark’s library. There is no way to put it lightly: I’m addicted. Grooveshark has given everyone, whether you are registered or not, access to all of the high quality, full-length songs in its library entirely for free in a beautifully designed user interface. You can even queue up songs and create playlists:

Grooveshark’s parent company Escape Media Group has reportedly raised $1.5 million from friend, family, angel, and institutional investors, and has grown a team of forty employees who clearly make a collective effort toward a quality product. Normally I would be concerned about music-sharing giants such as Amie Street (also on a variable pricing model) and, but I believe that Grooveshark has the potential to surpass them. The UI is superior to any other service I have encountered (next to iTunes) and the free-of-cost, DRM-free, full-length listening model with the store credit kickbacks makes for killer combo. The company has been growing the usership at intentionally slow rates, but while you are waiting for the registration confirmation, get a little preview at the lite version.

Record label is spun from KSU class Course teaches music promotion

Students in Kent State University professor Gene Shelton's Record Promotions II class have a single job: They've got to believe in what they're doing to help unsigned artists make it big with every means of marketing, concerts, eye-catching and ear-pleasing at their disposal.

GTB Entertainment -- a student-run, non-profit, independent label and promotional agency that stands for "Got To Believe" -- sprung from that premise. It serves as a teaching tool for those who want to learn the difficult ropes of record promotion.

Record Promotions I first succeeded in attracting students in spring 2007. Shelton said Jeff Fruit, director of KSU's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, approached him to teach the class because of Shelton's experience in record promotion and music media.

And Shelton knows the business well. After graduating from KSU, he worked as a journalist, a career he spun into more than 30 years as a writer, publicist and media relations expert for numerous record companies including Motown, Columbia and Warner Bros. Over time, Shelton helped promote Rick James, Michael Jackson, Barry White, Lionel Richie, Prince, Ray Charles and a who's-who list of the biggest names in soul, hip-hop, rap and R&B.

Shelton, who said he considers himself simply "an advisor" to the students, said the class is "basically focused on the promotion and marketing of recorded music."

But, he warned, it's not that simple.

"People assume because you've made a flyer or sent an e-mail that you've succeeded in promoting. That's not the case. It's a lot about trial by error," he said. "It's persistence. And there's no guarantee just being signed."

Persistence also pays off, and it's the students' job to run the company and do the work, Shelton said.

"Our mission and intention is to record music and create a product," he said. "Those who lead and motive those who follow increase our chances of success."

Shelton chose Ty Kellogg, a senior electronic media production major, as the label's newest president. Not only knowledgeable in the history of music and the local Kent and Northeastern Ohio music scene, Kellogg said one of the keys to success is taking enough time.

"If it doesn't take up your time, you're not doing it right," said Kellogg.

Additional time is spent promoting concerts, talking to labels and media, getting out on the street, helping local acts copyright their work to avoid piracy and cutting promotional compilation CDs. Kellogg also selected a staff from members of the class to specialize in A&R -- the recruitment of artists -- publicity, design and other aspects of record promotion.

Margaret Ormanis, a senior communications studies major, was chosen as the label's director of publicity. She said the GTB's first compilation CD, with 14 tracks by such acts as Chittlin' -- aka Jessica Lea Mayfield, who recently was written up in Rolling Stone magazine -- and The Speedbumps "definitely was trial by error."

But "Ty told me 'This is your role. Go do it,'" she said.

The label's second compilation CD, "A Dedication: Part 2," features Tropidelic, The Speedbumps, Abby Kondas, David Ullman, Winslow, Synphony and others.

"It's the biggest promotional tool for us," Ormanis said.

Two GTB-produced concerts in Kent, this coming Thursday and Saturday, will showcase musicians featured on the compilations. Thursday's show begins at 9 p.m. at The Green Room, 200 S. DePeyster St. Performers will include Ullman, Randy Horvath, Eclyptic and Nate x10. Saturday's show, at The Robin Hood Inn, 503 E. Main St., features Kondas, The Speedbumps, Winslow and Red Sun Rising. That show starts at 9:15 p.m.

Doors open an hour before each show, with admission $5 at the door.

For Shelton and the students, the work all boils down to GTB.

"It's about business, about accountability. The most successful people in life face challenges and deliver the goods," Shelton said. "The long-term goal is to see a GTB act charted. The talent is there."

"We've got to believe in the people we're representing, so they can say at the end of the day 'I could not have done it without GTB Entertainment,'" Kellogg said.

6 months after Radiohead says pay as you can, radical music marketing the norm

Six months after Radiohead shook the music industry by letting fans determine how much their music was worth, and a year after Prince gave away his album as an insert in a Brit newspaper, such radical ways of distribution are now verging on the norm.

British superstars Coldplay offered up a digital download of their new single for free Tuesday, a little more than a week after Metallica - who have been known to demonize file-sharers - mused aloud about their own possible ventures online.

And while Coldplay and Metallica are just the latest big-name acts to flirt with new ways of connecting with fans, they are especially notable for making such pronouncements while tied to big-name record labels, widely regarded as the obstinate holdouts amid an overwhelming tide of unfettered music sharing.

"What we're seeing is the emergence of a new business model for established, superstar acts," music guru Alan Cross said Tuesday of Coldplay's heavily hyped return to the spotlight.

"They realize that they have, already, over years, built up a very tight relationship with their audiences and that they have the power and the infrastructure to reach out to them directly."

Last year's innovators - Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails - each caused waves with digital freebies but they were only made possible by the bands' independence from a record label.

In contrast, Coldplay is still tied to EMI, and perhaps because of that, their harder-edged, Latin-tinged release, "Violet Hill," comes with a weeklong time limit.

"This has got old wave handlers' fingerprints all over it," outspoken music blogger Bob Lefsetz gripes in his Tuesday newsletter. "I laud them for giving the track away, but why the time limit? When it will be available forever via (peer to peer) .... No limits. That's the 'Net mantra."

Cross also complained about the limited availability period, noting that such restrictions are essentially meaningless in the Wild West atmosphere of the 'Net.

"If you're making it available for a week you might as well make it available forever," said Cross, Toronto host of the syndicated radio show "The Ongoing History of New Music."

"Because that's essentially what's going to happen, it's going to be out there. Unless they've got it watermarked in such a way that they'll be able to track it."

Still, Cross called the ploy a savvy marketing move and gave the major labels credit for inching towards the new reality. Coldplay will also release a free seven-inch vinyl version of their single with a B-side in the Brit music weekly NME in May and follow up their album's official June release with free concerts in London and New York.

"The band's been out of sight for a while, they need something to generate some excitement," Cross said, noting that it takes a lot to stand out amid the hundreds of thousands of other music releases.

"They need to shout very loud in a crowded marketplace in a year that there's going to be a lot of rock records."

Coldplay's Internet freebie comes on the heels of an apparent change of heart by Metallica, heavy-metal rockers notorious for their heavy-handed approach to file-sharing fans.

In 2000, the band filed a lawsuit that ultimately helped kill the file-sharing program Napster, but earlier this month drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone magazine the band was eyeing the Internet in a new light as they prepared to release their ninth disc.

Ulrich was quoted by the music publication as saying they've been watching Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and are "looking forward to everything in terms of possibilities with the Internet."

The comments have sent the blogosphere buzzing with anticipation, with several observers pointing out that Metallica has just one more album under their contract with Warner.

Once freed from their label EMI, Radiohead released a digital version of its album, "In Rainbows," last October and invited fans to download it for whatever price they felt was fair. Nine Inch Nails, meanwhile, released multiple versions of its album, "Ghosts," with prices ranging from free to $300.

NIN's latest freebie came last week, with the song "Discipline," posted for download on its website.

Other big acts experimenting with giveaways include Motley Crue, which released a downloadable single for the video game "Rock Band," while rapper/movie star Will Smith recently launched a website to distribute music videos and concerts for free. It's backed by three major record labels.

"We're going to see a number of superstar acts try to outdo each other in terms of cleverness when it comes to marketing," predicted Cross.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Celtic Woman

The Celtic Men are doing pretty well in their quest to win the NBA championship, but the basketball stars' success can't match that of Celtic Woman.

Celtic Woman - a supergroup of four Irish singers and one fiddler, backed by other musicians - is an international juggernaut created by David Downes, musical director of "Riverdance" for the U.S. and European touring companies as well as on Broadway.

It is "Riverdance" without the mind-numbingly repetitive dancing, but it keeps the Irish music that was so much a part of that show's international success.

Just as "Lord of the Dance" capitalized on the success of "Riverdance," Celtic Woman has built on and surpassed Downes'wildest expectations, he said in a phone interview with The Salt Lake Tribune.

Look at the stats:

* The group has released three albums, and they were the No.1-, No. 2- and No. 3-selling albums in Billboard's year-end issue listing the top-selling world-music albums of 2007.

* Since debuting in March 2005, its PBS special has aired more than 3,400 times on 316 PBS stations, and each album has gone gold or platinum. The group's debut album held the No.1 spot on Billboard's World Music chart for more than 90 consecutive weeks.

* Its latest DVD, 2006's "A New Journey: Live From Slane Castle, Ireland," has been certified double platinum. Take that, Kevin Garnett, Larry Bird and Bill Russell.

The idea of Celtic Woman germinated from seeing the music of "Riverdance" connect with American and international audiences, Downes said. (Lynn Hilary, one of the newest members of the group, was a featured soloist in "Riverdance.")

In the three years the show has been around, Downes said he made the latest concert tour "more theatrical" and "more choreographed" than when the women first hit the stage.

"When I go to shows, I want to come out [like] being hit in the head," he said. "In a good way." Hilary, a classically trained soprano from Dublin, joined the other women in the group's successful fall 2007 tour.

The offer to be in the ensemble was "too good to turn down," because Hilary had seen how the group had become so "successful, taking America by storm." (It will take Salt Lake City by storm - a four-night run at Kingsbury Hall, the most of any location during the current tour.)

"Lots of people are of Irish descent, and they like to connect to their roots," Hilary said of the group's success in America. "It's healing music."

Downes said Hilary didn't even need to audition for the show.

"A great voice is a great voice," he said. "The important thing to me is not to have five 'American Idol' singers with big, showy voices. It's more of a classical soprano sound. There are very few of them around, even in Ireland."

What has Downes the most excited about this tour is the opening act, The High Kings, a group of Irish men he recruited to replicate the success of Celtic Woman - only this time with Adam's apples.

"A lot of us had thoughts of old, classic Irish songs [that had been] ruined in Irish bars," Downes said. "Let's look afresh at these songs."

The High Kings are Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden. The group has a great lineage: Clancy is the son of famous Irish singer Bobby Clancy of the Clancy Brothers.

"People are really responding to them," Downes said. After all, behind every High King is a Celtic Woman.