The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

the Future of Music = 1 hit and 12 b-sides?

I was among the select few at the Future of Music in the Triangle talk this afternoon. Too bad we were few, because the panel and discussion were top notch. We were select however with musicians and geeks heavily represented. The panel was taped so it should be made available in a short while.
Rather than summerize, I point you to the tape (once it’s online, probably at the Independent Weekly site). I was caught up in the various takes by Tor of Yep Rock/Redeye, a label/distributor; by plucky punk rocker Dave who does it for love; by Cesar C who wants to be sure that he and his crew are in a position of power when negotiating with labels; by Whitney B who has more experience in the belly of the beast than most anyone around; by Jennifer who can explain why the Creative Commons license is perhaps a stopgap until real copyright change might be made; by Fred who can actually quote the Sampling license; and of course by Fiona who put it all together and asked great questions.

Is iTunes the only thing we have standing between us and being forced to be CD with one hit and 12 b-sides? Or is the album, the LP, which rose from hit collection with filler to concept container (Tommy more than Whitney’s fav Led Zep 2 from the same year — 1969) still a viable form?
69 Love Songs comes closest to anything that brave and experimental in the CD era for me. Few of the extended CD live up to the versions of the vinyl sitting on my shelf.
But no sooner than the talk had ended, Danny Hooley writing in the News and Observer reminded me that the concept album is having a rebirth in releases like Green Day’s American Idiot, but also in the long gestated Brian Wilson Smile.
I was asking Tor what was up with Nonesuch how come it was such a good and interesting label recording all kinds of eclectic stuff. The NYTimes Magazine answered with a long write up on Nonesuch. Turns out that Nonesuch is album/concept/tone oriented as are the bands it signs.


  1. Hey Paul, what was the name of that playlist-sharing software you talked about at the panel?

  2. Mercora is p2p personal radio with shared playlists, listening and friendster-like profiles and connections. it doesn’t run on the Mac so if you grab a copy and get it going on a Win-Doz machine, lemme know what you think.

    I wrote about it at

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