Beach Boys Surf Up Music With A New Twist
“For some kids, people like Kurt Schneider and Tyler Ward are people that they trust,” said J Scavo, senior vice president of interactive marketing for Warner Bros. Records. “We took a natural jump into getting our artists in front of a demographic that’s tough to get 100% through traditional means.” Created purely for promotional purposes, music videos evolved into an art form during the early MTV days. Now they’re a force online: The Vevo and Warner Music channels on YouTube each attract about 200 million viewers worldwide each month, according to measurement firm ComScore. Among young adults, ages 18 to 29, music is one of the most sought-after forms of online entertainment, according to new study from Pew Research. Music videos saw the largest growth in viewership over the last four years among all adults online, half of whom now say they watch, Pew found. PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times During filming for “The Hunter Hayes YouTube Orchestra,” Hayes sat on a park bench at YouTube’s Silicon Beach production facility in Playa Vista, strumming his guitar and singing the upbeat country music lament. Then the lanky Mraz strolled into frame, nodded in acknowledgment of Hayes and triggered a three-minute choreographed sprint through the YouTube campus. The duo were then joined by the YouTube stars and other Warner acts as they dashed down hallways, through alcoves, into a darkened recording studio and onto an enormous soundstage. “When I walked in here, I felt like I was in old Hollywood the way it’s portrayed in movies, with people running around in costumes, moving things,” Mraz said. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is what YouTube looks like.
It takes some talented musicians to impress the world-famous Beach Boys. But band member Bruce Johnston said he was just as excited to perform with the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra last Friday night as the students were to hop on stage with the iconic surfer band. It means more to me than you think, to play with these young, great ears for music players, Johnston told Fox News. The Beach Boys coached the orchestra ahead of the big performance, praising them for their hard work. Johnston said the band had been planning the show with the orchestra for a long time and Mike Love added that the performance was well worth the trip to Mississippi. We’ve worked on this for a year to have you here, Johnston told the musicians. You may think we’re the stars, forget it, you guys are! Have a great time tonight, we love it.” And the Beach Boys enthusiasm is justified. This is not your average symphony. “We have students at any given time representing 15 to 20 different countries, explained Dr. Jay Dean, director of orchestral activities for the USM orchestra. Many of these students are recruited from all around the world, including some from Taiwan, Cuba, Peru and Uruguay. They said it is an opportunity of a lifetime to play with the Beach Boys. It means a lot to me because I see my dreams coming true, said student and violinist Ludwing Gonzales.
Telefonica tunes in Rhapsody’s Napster for streaming music
Rhapsody has more than a million paid subscribers globally. Telefonica had 317.3 million customers as of June, across 24 territories. Its main commercial brands are O2 in northern Europe, Movistar in Spain and Latin America, and Vivo in Brazil. Telefonica can earn a minority stake in Rhapsody International as part of the partnership, but the companies wouldn’t specify how large it could be or other financial terms. Related stories Is Spotify unfair to musicians? After Rhapsody bought Napster in 2011, it kept quiet on the former peer-to-peer service that switched to above-board streaming service, until it announced plans to expand into 14 European countries from the UK and Germany in June. Telefonica noted the Napster would help it connect with customers amid rapid growth in smartphones in Latin America, where the devices reach only about 20 percent of the market and are still growing at a quick clip. That compares to a percentage in the high 60s in Europe and the US, and growth is slowing. In addition, the beginning rollout of 4G mobile networks in Latin America means, for Telefonica, the region which can support services such as music streaming. The idea is that as more and more people in the region adopt smartphones, the music streaming service could be a top factor in deciding which carrier to choose. Paul Springer, Rhapsody’s senior vice resident and global head of product, said that in Latin America, about 70 percent of customers named music as one of the top features they require on a phone, versus about 40 percent or 50 percent in the US. “Our understanding is that the Sonora base will place us at the top of all the services on a pure subscriber count, and that does not include other carrier deals we hope to have this year,” he said. The carrier partnership model of expansion has worked for some music streaming services before, including Rhapsody.
Music and the Politics of Resistance
We now need to point it toward direct political action. Powerful songs have always been the engine behind the greatest social movements — it is the marching soundtrack that unites the people and gives them focus and resolve, and it’s not limited to the U.S. In 1970s Nigeria, Fela Kuti invented Afro Beat music as a way to protest the oil company regime of Nigeria. His song “Zombie” became a global hit that railed against Nigeria’s military dictators. In South Africa, the indigenous Mbatanga music helped bring about the end of apartheid and it spread a message of peace and reconciliation in that nation. In Chile, Victor Jara wrote songs about his country’s struggles, sparking the Nueva Cancion (New Songs) movement that caused South Americans to rise up against their military dictatorships and replace them with democracies. In Brazil, the Tropicalia movement was created by songwriters like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and Rita Lee as a form of protest against the Brazilian military junta, which eventually fell from its own corruption and incompetence. In Australia and New Zealand, popular songs written by indigenous and non-ingenious songwriters sparked an indigenous land reclamation movement that is still active today. The reason this works is because music gets people thinking, talking, and doing. I cite all these examples because, frankly, I am very worried about the condition of the United States, and a political system that is rife with corruption, political incompetence, and a rising tide of public apathy. The worst kind of men have slithered into the the ranks of the House and Senate, and other places of government that we cannot see, or are not allowed to see.