RSS

Category Archives: Amos Lee

Is YouTube Down the Tube?

 

In the on-going battle between media moguls Viacom and YouTube/Google, Viacom has had to take the defensive and quell fears of invasion of privacy of hordes of internet video purusers of the wildly popular YouTube.  It seems that as part of the $1 BILLION dollar copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Viacom against YouTube and its parent, Google, a judge ruled that YouTube must turn over it’s vast database of videos and the usage data along with it.  This data would include user names, IP addresses and profile information that users have included such as hometowns and even names. 

Privacy advocates went ballistic, accusing Viacom of trying to acquire the names of YouTube uploaders and viewers in an attempt to pursue, in the vein of the RIAA’s prosecution of those downloading illegal music.  Viacom suddenly was thrust into a PR nightmare and had to substantially back-pedal and qualify that they only wanted the usage data to either prove or disprove that the majority of YouTube’s content is user established and proprietary to uploaders, rather than copyrighted programming.  As such, YouTube agreed in principle to provide the data “masked” through other naming or numbering to hide the actual user names and information from Viacom.  This may or may not appease the ACLU-types, as masking doesn’t necessarily protect users if they can be tied via a usage pattern to other databases that could provide user data.

It is interesting to me that Viacom had no real issue with YouTube until Google and their deep pockets made the scene.  Perhaps Viacom sees this suit is an easier money maker than, say, providing quality programming that would attract more and better advertisers. 

No, Viacom has chosen to pursue a company that has repeatedly shown that it proactively tries to prohibit copyrighted material from its servers and has always complied with taking down material upon request.  That complies full with the DMCA — the law by which this case is governed.  Confused?  Perhaps this video can shed some light.

In the meantime, there is speculation that Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart will actually be called as witnesses in the case.  Why?  I have no idea.  Perhaps it will be to lament how their pockets are being picked by wanton pirates who are uploading their shows, as well as nefarious viewers who are illegally watching their shows through YouTube instead of on The Comedy Channel, where advertisers pay hordes of money to Colbert and Stewart, by way of Viacom, for viewers to tune in there.

Here is a NEWSFLASH.  Viacom, along with many other media companies have MISSED THE BOAT.  Again.  Instead of joining forces with YouTube to further distribute their programming and broaden their audiences, they are once again, shooting themselves in the foot by trying to cripple or destroy one of the outlets that are actually helping them to sustain viewers.

Go through this with me.  Let’s use The Daily Show for an example.  Now, certainly, there are people who watch The Daily Show every day.  They consider Jon Stewart a god and tune in every day at x:30 to soak up his sardonic witticism and sarcastic political diatribes.  Let’s say that he gets a 10 share or 10% of American TVs were tuned in (a generous number, here).  That leaves 90% of us who are not watching him or maybe not watching anything, for that matter.

Common sense tells us that unless they happen to miss an episode, the loyal 10% are not relying on YouTube to provide their Jon Stewart fix.  So, YouTube is really a big, ole billboard for The Daily Show in that people like me may tune in to a YouTube video linked onto a blog that I read or that someone emails me.  Then, perhaps, Mr. Stewart intrigues or entertains me enough to take a real interest in what he has to say.  Well, I will want to hear him say it at x:30 on the days that he’s on and if I can’t make it, I can always set my DVR to record it.  Regardless, I am going to the source to get my content.

Let’s face it, old movies and TV shows don’t make YouTube until they’ve already been played on TV.  How does this affect my viewership of something like The Daily Show on The Comedy Channel?  They aren’t running every show in re-runs for me to catch up.  Some networks like NBC do provide episodes of their TV programs to watch via their websites, so I can understand their beef.  But, again, isn’t YouTube simply providing trailers for people to find these shows?  Very rarely are you going to find ALL of the episodes of a particular TV program on YouTube.  But, a snippet of one might just cause you to seek out the TV program (on its network), if you are appropriately stimulated to do so.

I also find it interesting that The Daily Show can be found on the front page of Hulu.com, so evidently they are not above having viewers watch their show on a competing network’s vehicle.  (Hulu is owned by NBC/Universal.)  While I understand that they are getting paid, why not try to strike a similar deal with YouTube.  YouTube actually approached Viacom about cutting a deal that would allow them to broadcast Viacom shows and in return, YouTube would build filters (similar to their porn filters) that would block material from Viacom projects from being uploaded without consent.  Viacom views this as strong-arming and has declined.  It just appears a bit hypocritical to me that Viacom agrees to sell its programming to Hulu (a competitor) and won’t work out a deal with YouTube and Google.  Sadly, what they miss is that if they did, they would be viewed as pioneers of progress and amply rewarded by increased viewership. 

While the revenue stream for musicians and writers is more convoluted, they are missing the same boat by not embracing the awareness-building outlet of YouTube to gain exposure for their music.  Some artists “get it” and that’s why you’re starting to see YouTube channels like Radiohead, AliciaKeys, mayermusic, and AmosLeePodcast.  These guys understand that YouTube is a vehicle for distribution.  To engage the viewer/listener.  To evoke enough of an interest to have that viewer buy tracks, seek out concert tickets, and become A FAN.  Once you’ve got fans, then the word of mouth of people like you and me become more precious than diamonds and gold.  The label is not getting the arist the kind of exposure YouTube and other non-traditional on-line outlets, like blogs, are providing.  Again, why not embrace the change instead of trying to eradicate it.  In the annals of history, there is no-one who has ever stopped progress through limiting technology.  Why try something that has been proven to fail every time?

YouTube may have a bit of a rock road to travel, however because of Google’s deep pockets they are here to stay.  IMO.  If not, I’m going to be really pissed.

Here’s some Tubeliciousness that I came across today.  Imagine being deprived of these?

  Astral Weeks, Van Morrison

  Street Corner Preacher, Amos Lee

  It Take Two to Tango, Aretha Franklin & Ray Charles

  Slip Slidin’ Away, Paul Simon (live @ Abbey Road)

 

Tags: ,

Amos Lee: “Last Days” Podcasts

ETA2:  The vids are back with a few extra delicious tidbits (see below).  Don’t mean to pre-empt Colette’s Corner spotlight on David Cook, so make sure to visit the post below this one.

ETA: Sorry folks, Amos evidently pulled these off of YouTube.  Believe me, they WERE really good stuff.  I’ll try to find them elsewhere…

YEAH!

Amos does it again. In anticipation of his coming new CD, Last Days at the Lodge, Amos Lee provides a podcast for most of the songs on the CD. He gives an explanation of the song and some of the history behind who, what, when and why. Now, some may not be interested in the detail, but as a liner note junkie from way back, I LOVE THIS STUFF.

I like to understand where the artist was coming from when they wrote the song and what they were trying to convey or what the story is behind a key change or rhythmic riff. I know this is a lot of YouTubeness, but each one is only about 2 minutes long and gives some wonderful insight to this CD, that I’m predicting will be even a bigger hit than the first two.

Amos is a very “real” guy who is very transparent in his artistry. No hidden or mysterious innuendos or aloofness, just WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get, for all you post DOS folks). It’s guys (and gals) like these that I truly appreciate. They “make the sausage” and show us all the parts, then let it stand on it’s own for us to enjoy the flavor.

He talks about music influences by Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley and Paul Simon, and the fact that his music comes more out of practice than theory. There are some real nuggets of insight to the artist that Amos Lee is.

So, when you have a little time this weekend, check out the podcasts for Last Days at the Lodge…right here, at Music Maven:

Ease Back

It Started to Rain

Jails & Bombs

Kid

Listen

Street Corner Preacher

Truth

What’s Been Going On?

Won’t Let Me Go

Superb.

Don’t forget to pre-order your CD at Amazon or to download the tracks from iTunes on June 24th. You will not regret it.

Here are a couple of “hot off the press” vids done expressly for YouTube by Amos, IN HIS LIVING ROOM!  I love this guy….noice couch.

  Baby I Want You

  Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight

Notice the invitation to respond to Amos via a song “cover” and his acknowledgement that he listens to the heartfelt covers that people do of his songs on YouTube.  That, is making a kun-NECK-shun. 

 

 
 

“The Last Days” of Amos Lee

Amos Lee’s third CD is scheduled for release on June 24th. All indications are that this third effort will be as enjoyable as Amos’ self-titled debut CD, Amos Lee, and his follow-up CD, Supply & Demand.

Last Days is produced by Don Was, and is accompanied by a star-studded musical cast including, the formidable Doyle Bramhall, Jr who plays with the great Eric Clapton on guitar, legendary keyboarder Spooner Oldham who has backed Neil Young and Aretha Franklin, bassman Pino Palladino of The Who and The John Mayer Trio and drummer James Gadson, known for his work with Bill Withers.

From the tracks I’ve heard, Amos once again delivers an original, soulful, playful yet serious CD that exemplifies the depth of his talent. I have long been impressed with Amos and was fascinated by some of the techniques he used to promote Supply & Demand. Like his series of podcasts (here and here) that explored who he is as an artist and the process of his songwriting, delving into the stories behind some of the songs. As a fan, I eat that stuff up.

And with this effort, Amos is using subtle promotion like providing a video of a live performance of his new single, Listen, on the pre-order page for Amazon. He’s also already listing snippets of the songs before the actual release, way before. When you’ve got something good, it pays to put it out there and let people sample it.

However, through my deft navigation of the internets, I’ve managed to find full tracks of a few tracks for you to preview. Of course, I encourage you to pre-order to get your very own copy of Last Days at the Lodge.

The first single, Listen, is certainly similar to previous Amos conviction songs such as Shout Out Loud and Freedom, off of Supply & Demand, but there’s a confidence now about Amos that’s evident in his sound.

He also includes a re-vamped version of Truth, which is one of my favorite tracks off of Supply & Demand. I would like to know the reason why he’s including this song on two CDs back to back.

Truth (from both Supply & Demand AND Last Days at the Lodge)

But Amos is no one-trick pony as evidenced with the exquisite Ease Back. Enriched by some awesome BANJO, Ease Back, is a relaxing and introspective tune that hearkens Woody Guthrie and one of the few songs today that is on par with the brilliant folk songs of the ’60s.

I find the lyrics of Ease Back quite compelling and a testament to Amos’ ability to present a song that is starkly self-evident.  A great song about friends who may not have been on the best terms lately.

Hello. It’s good to see you comin’ back again.
It’s been a long time since I sat with you, my friend.
I’ll lend an ear. It’s not that’s so severe.
Time has killed the pain and dried up every tear.

And now, I’m thinking ‘bout what went down.
All the heartache, I laughed away just like a clown.
And now, you sit around and talkin’
Drink some wine. I’m really glad you stopped in.
To spend some time, you sit around and talkin’,
Thinking ‘bout the past, it’s funny how it lingers
But nothin’s meant to last.

And my Maw, she’d like to say hello.
But she’s a little scared that I can’t let it go.
So let on ease back, brother and let it slip away.
I’m tired of hanging on to the pains of yesterday.
Once again, the money is so thick.
It makes your heart go numb, it makes your mind get sick.

So, come on by, we’ll sit and talk about it,
Drink some wine, I’m really glad you stopped in, brother of mine.
We’ll sit around and talk it, drink some wine and maybe by the morning,
Everything is fine.
Everything is fine.
Ease back, brother, let this clear your mind.

Come on by and drink yourself a good time.
Have some wine, think about each other.
Sister, am I fine?
Yes, I’ve been alright now.
Take it lightly, step on out the front door.
I see you want some time.

Perhaps my most favorite track of those I’ve heard and previewed so far, however, is the Southern Rock-infused Street Corner Preacher. Like the refreshing Sweet Pea, from Supply & Demand, Street Corner Preacher gives us a great beat and an atypical subject, but it’s one of those contagious tunes that gets played over and over again until the intricate lyrics are committed to memory. One has to wonder how a Philly boy has such a Delta vibe.

Based on these few tracks alone, I give the CD an A+. Amos Lee is one of the great new artists of this generation who beautifully uses influences like Bill Withers, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan to create a sound that is undeniably soulful and thoroughly enjoyable.  While critically acclaimed in many circles, Amos has sold less than 500,000 CDs of both of his releases COMBINED.  That, my friends, is a stark statement regarding music today.  However, while Amos is not a household name, he does quite well touring…at least enough to keep making great music.

Amos will be touring the U.S. this summer, doing what an artist should do — giving fans live performances to assist in the sales of his new release.

Click here for a listing of tour dates.

Amos Lee MySpace Page

 
8 Comments

Posted by on May 31, 2008 in Amos Lee, music dudes

 

Listen…Amos Lee

A little fresh Amos to start the week…

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 3, 2008 in Amos Lee

 

YouTube-Fu Smorgashbord

Some favorites I’ve found recently while “diving”. Yes, I’ve become bored with the hinter lands of cable TV….on to the Internets.

Otis Redding, I’ve Been Loving You
From the Monterrey Blues Festival. One of my Top 10 Favorite songs.

Marc Broussard, jammin’ on the tour bus.

Ray LaMontagne, Your the Best Thing
At The Beacon in NYC.

Sam Cooke, Bring it on Home to Me
Another all-time favorite of mine….there’s just something about this music…

Joss Stone & Rod Stewart, Hot Legs

Amos Lee, Soul Suckers

Taylor Hicks, Long Train Running
A dedication to Corn Hole in Kentucky?

Stevie Wonder, Yester Me, Yester You
Yet another all-time favorite.

Barbra Streisand & Judy Garland, Happy Days/Get Happy
Two of the BEST voices of the 20th century.

Patsy Cline, Crazy
No matter how many times I hear this song, I never tire of it.

The Yardbirds, Louise
A young Eric Clapton on lead guitar.

Here’s the last one…ok, this is not music, but it is HILARIOUS….Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you PooPoo Broussard.

Lemons

Big Teeth

 
8 Comments

Posted by on July 15, 2007 in Amos Lee, Artists, Taylor, YouTube

 

Live from Abbey Road

240px-abbey_road_studio_2.jpg
Studio 2, Abbey Road

One of the advantages of being tethered to my big screen TV, complete with every premium cable channel, On Demand and DVR capabilities and the fact that it’s my right foot that’s broken and not my right hand or all important right thumb, has allowed me to peruse the nether regions of cable television — both “real time” and tape delayed.

In my quest, I found that the On Demand Sundance Channel has begun cataloging the Live from Abbey Road series. Highlighting various artists via performances and interviews, the Abbey Road Studios remain alive, 75 years after it’s inception. In 1958, Cliff Richard and The Shadows recorded Move It at Abbey Road — a song considered the first “rock & roll” from Europe, and thus it began.

Of course, The Beatles made the studios immortal, but groups such as The Hollies, Manfred Mann, Pink Floyd, and others also utilized the famous location. As we all know, The Beatles final album was titled Abbey Road and provided the now famous picture of the intersection of St. John’s Wood.

260px-beatles_-_abbey_road.jpg

So, now Channel 4 in England is broadcasting a star-studded line-up of recording artists that highlights three performances, with interviews interspersed. The Sundance Channel is featuring these performances every Thursday night at 10pm EDT, 9pm CDT. Additionally, Sundance is cataloging these performances on their On Demand channel, for your convenient viewing pleasure. Many of these performances have already made their debuts on YouTube.

Last week’s episode featured Richard Ashcroft, John Mayer and Norah Jones. Here’s John Mayer talking specifically about Gravity, and the “openness” and “simpleness” of it.

 

Norah cough**Mrs. Taylor Hicks**cough Jones gets into the complexities of writing on guitar vs. piano:

 

Tonight’s episode will feature Snow Patrol, Madeline Peyroux, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

 

You can check out the episode listing here, and here are a few “previews” of those to come:

Truth, Amos Lee

Bartender, Dave Matthews

Jolene, Ray LaMontagne

Put Your Records On, Corrine Bailey Rae

Blues in the Night, Dr. John

Slip Slidin’ Away, Paul Simon

Transformer, Gnarls Barkley

Volcano, Damien Rice

By the way, all you Feist haters….1-2-3-4 was used in a promo for My Boys on TBS. Toldya I’ve been in the nether regions of cable….

 

 

 

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on June 28, 2007 in Amos Lee, Artists, John Mayer, Music Today

 

The Book of Amos

amos-lee.jpg

One of the magic musical gifts that I received this past year from Gray Charles was Amos Lee. Amos is a very interesting musician and artist. Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, he attended the University of South Carolina (Go Cocks!), where he dabbled in acoustical music outside of school. He returned to Philly to teach school, but decided to pursue his musical career. He ended up opening for the divine Ms. Norah Jones. Her n’er-do-well boyfriend/bass player, Lee Alexander actually produced Amos’ first, self-titled CD.

(Still holding out faint hope that Lee will eventually fade from the picture and Norah will hook up with Taylor Hicks and produce many Soul Chirren. I mean, Ravi Shankar was the grandfather of Taylor’s kids – how cool would that be?)

Anywho…Amos reminds me a lot of his self-proclaimed influences: James Taylor, Bill Withers, John Prine, and Neil Young. He’s easy to listen to a few songs are just addictive. Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight literally became an anthem for me last summer. His entire first release is good. Here’s the playlist and few YouTubes of songs:

  1. “Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight” – 3:08 *
  2. “Seen It All Before” – 4:15 *
  3. “Arms of a Woman” – 4:11*
  4. “Give It Up” – 2:38 *
  5. “Dreamin’” – 2:54*
  6. “Soul Suckers” – 2:49*
  7. “Colors” – 2:40
  8. “Bottom of the Barrel” – 2:00*
  9. “Black River” – 3:31
  10. “Lies Of A Lonely Friend” – 3:23
  11. “All My Friends” – 4:18*

*Denotes Music Maven favorites.
Arms of a Woman

Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight (Live at Abbey Road Studios)

Soul Suckers at the Stone Pony (Note: One of the best lyrics I’ve heard: “Nothing is more powerful than beauty in a wicked world.”
All My Friends & Colors

Today’s Trivia: Colors has been featured on House, Grey’s Anatomy and in the feature motion picture, Just Like Heaven starring Mark Rafalo and Reese Witherspoon.>

Just when I thought it couldn’t get better, Amos released Supply & Demand. Similar to the first CD but with more “seasoning” and confidence.

  1. Shout Out Loud*
  2. Sympathize
  3. Freedom*
  4. Careless
  5. Skipping Stone*
  6. Supply and Demand*
  7. Sweet Pea*
  8. Night Train
  9. Southern Girl*
  10. The Wind
  11. Long Line of Pain*
  12. I’m Not Myself


Here’s the video for Shout Out Loud.

As part of this release, Amos did a 12 part Podcast on iTunes regarding the making of the CD. It’s a really great look at how an album is cut. I thought that it might be cool to post it and discuss some of the issues he addresses. So, today we’ll start with the first three and I’ll put the others up in parts later.This first podcast talks specifically about the single Shout Out Loud and the start of the making of the album. The next two address some of the ins and outs of making the album and the shooting of the video. Again, very interesting insight into the making of a CD.

Amos Lee Podcast Part 1 Amos Lee Podcast Part 2

Amos Lee Podcast Part 3
My friend, NOLAGirl, had the opportunity to catch an Amos show at the House of Blues in New Orleans in December and here’s what she had to say:

Amos is what I like to call a “stand there.” He just stands there on the stage, with his guitar, in front of his mic stand. I suppose that could be boring, but with the soul in that boy’s voice, no way.He covered nearly all of his 2 albums, even the very slow, somber–ish tunes like “Black River.” That surprised me. I thought that would be way too slow to do live, but he pulled it off.

He opened with “Skipping Stone.” He added a trumpet player as the “oomph” in “Sweet Pea,” which was definitely sweet. They only “jammed” on one song (it escapes me now – sorry, that was December!), but it was a nice jam — a little improv, a little “life,” you know? He didn’t do “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which he had done in other cities, so I’m not gonna lie – that was disappointing!The crowd was mostly college aged and a little older, but there were couples in their 40s and 50s as well. Packed house.Oh, and in between 2 songs, a girl in the front row on the floor asked Amos to sign something for her because it was her birthday (no, I’m not making this up). He handled it well though, and said, “Right now? I’m kinda performing right now!”

 
10 Comments

Posted by on April 5, 2007 in Amos Lee, music, Uncategorized

 
 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.