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Archive for January, 2012

The Goldberg Variation: A New Take on the L.A. Music Scene

Posted by dlockeretz on January 20, 2012

Everybody know that the music business sucks–especially in L.A.–but it’s not often that we see someone proposing any kind of solution.  There are those who refuse to play for free or for marginal pay; there are those who jump on those gigs and even buy tickets to their own shows.

In a recent article, L.A. musician Dave Goldberg doesn’t offer any kind of magic solution, but he presents an interesting alternative perspective to the musician/club owner conflict.

The crux of Goldberg’s article is that restaurant managers/talent buyers/etc should see good music as a long-term investment.  Even if a band might not bring enough people for the club to show a profit on a given night, Goldberg argues that restaurants should be willing to spend extra for premium entertainment, just as they do for quality food and decorations.  Patrons who come to see a specific band are following the band and not the venue, Goldberg says.  By establishing themselves as a venue for premier entertainment by booking bands based on musical merit rather than draw, a club or restaurant can help their reputation, just as they can with good food and service.

Will restaurant owners buy it?  Will musicians adapt this new perspective when negotiating gigs?  Only time will tell, but props should be given to Goldberg for providing a different angle.  For more information about Dave Goldberg, click here.

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Men’s Health’s Top 100 Workout Songs

Posted by dlockeretz on January 7, 2012

Note: This is a simulblog, posted on both Positive Music Place and 20,000 Calorie Man.

If you’ve made any kind of fitness-oriented New Year’s Resolution, music might help you achieve it – at least according to a recent article from Men’s Health, which ranks the top 100 workout songs of all time.

This is obviously a matter of opinion, but I like the list.  It’s not that every song would make my own personal playlist, but I appreciate that there’s good variety and that not all choices are obvious.  For example, we all remember Faith No More’s “Epic” (#36 on the list), one of the first metal/rap hybrids, but when was the last time you actually listened to it, in particular during a workout?  The lone Rolling Stones track is the under-appreciated “Bitch” (#76).  Led Zeppelin checks in at #31 with “Immigrant Song” and at #15 with “Kashmir” (whose slow tempo seems to make it an unlikely choice, but maybe I’ve just been over-saturated with it.)

There are some obvious choices, of course.    “Gonna Fly Now” ranks high; as does another song from the “Rocky” franchise, “Eye of the Tiger.”  Uptempo classic rock such as Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” (#28) and Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (#22) populate the list.  Classic rock artists such as AC/DC, Aerosmith, Van Halen and Deep Purple (guess which one of their songs is on the list?  I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with “Choke on the Daughter”) all make appearances.  Hip-hop is also heavily represented; the Beastie Boys ranked at #13 with “Sabotage” and there are some  good classic tracks as well, such as Onyx’s “Slam” (#90) and House of Pain’s “Jump Around” (#53).

Alt-rock, a genre generally not associated with working out, also is well represented: the Offsprings’ “Come Out and Play”, the Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” and Bush’s “Machine Head” all made the list.  There are a few tracks that aren’t easily categorized, such as rock guitar pioneer Link Wray’s “Rumble” (#92).

Obviously, lists are meant to be debated, and I for one would have liked to have seen at least one Beatles track on the list.  If EMF’s “Unbelievable” (#24) and the Killers’ “Somebody Told Me” (#40) are included, surely there could have been some love shown to John, Paul, George and Ringo, perhaps “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Birthday” or “Revolution.”  (To be sure, Guns’n’Roses’s cover of McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” was #47).  As a self-confessed Rush fan, I have to ask, where are “Tom Sawyer”,”Spirit of the Radio” and “Fly By Night”?

But nonetheless, I give Men’s Health props on the list; overall the choices were good, and more importantly, by providing the list, they are encouraging people to make the best possible workout for themselves–thus maximizing their chances of success.

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