Music On The Goe

David Goe on music

Follow David's weekly Out & About column ON THE GOE
Page 4 of 35


Grammys Can’t Save Music’s Crumbling Facade

By David Goe
Friday, January 24, 2014

On the eve of the 56th annual Grammy Awards, I have to say that I’m changing my tune regarding Music’s Biggest Night.

In the past, I’ve referred to the Grammys as a promotional hack job to pump album sales, a staunch supporter of mediocrity, and a contrived train-wreck. Not exactly the highest of praise.

I still believe all those things, by the way, only now I better understand where they are coming from.

This year, I can’t fault the Recording Academy for hosting the glossy, star-studded commercial that is the televised broadcast event. After a dismal 2013 campaign that saw digital music sales drop 6 percent and overall album sales drop 8 percent, the music industry needs to drum up income by any means necessary.

My mistake in the past was to consider the Grammys as meaningful awards honoring true artistic achievement, much like the United Kingdom’s Mercury Prize. That’s not the case.

The Grammys, and this year’s in particular, are propaganda to show that the industry isn’t broken. It’s as strong as ever.

In a year when Adele isn’t around to save your butt from historically low record sales, I totally understand nominating Taylor Swift’s “Red” for Album of the Year. Who cares that “Red” came out in 2012? The album is certified platinum four times over, and her tour grossed $110 million!

Swift is a young attractive female, and one of the few bright spots for the industry. I’d hitch my wagon to that cash cow too, if I could.

I can’t blame the Recording Academy for hocking watches. Seriously, they partnered with high-end Italian fashion house Gucci to create a Grammy special edition, $7,900 watch. It’s clear nobody wants to buy albums anymore, so why not get into the jewelry game?

Selling over 600 of these diamond studded, Grammy-logo stamped, rubber-strapped, digital timepieces is essentially the equivalent of a gold album (500,000 copies sold).

I get it. At this point, anything that fills the coffers will do.

Since 1999, it’s been nothing but hardship for the music industry. After totaling $38 billion in 1999, revenues have trended down to the point where the music industry is now collecting less than $16 billion annually. In just 15 years, the industry has lost more than half of its revenue.

Coincidentally, 1999 was also the year Napster, the peer-to-peer file-sharing site, launched and created the digital age of music we currently live in — an age to which the music industry has yet to adjust.

According to the CBS promos, it’s business as usual for the Grammys. Every picture on Grammy.com is of a smiling, happy musician. Don’t be fooled by the glitz and fool’s gold of the Grammy-hype machine. The music industry as we know it is in hospice. Even the positives from 2013 are not welcome tidings.

Music streaming is up 32 percent, the approximate revenue value of 59 million albums sold. That sounds impressive, but when you break down the numbers it’s anything but. Fifty-nine million albums worth of revenue is the equivalent of over 118 billion streams. That’s billion with a “B.” In other words the streaming value per song is worth fractions of a cent.

Music streaming also is cannibalizing digital music sales, which are down for the first year ever.

Vinyl sales are up 33 percent, however that represents only 6 million albums sold, a small fraction of overall music sales. Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories,” another nominee for Album of the Year, was the highest selling LP title, but only moved 49,000 copies.

The industry can spin those numbers however they like and put smiling happy people on television, but they can’t duck reality forever.

The music industry is on its deathbed, and the grim reaper is inching closer and closer.

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KAFM Livens up the Radio Room

By David Goe
Friday, January 10, 2014

For KAFM’s 15th anniversary year, the community radio station is wasting no time getting the celebration started.

Cash Kiser, KAFM’s event and outreach coordinator, is kicking off the banner year with a fantastic rock show featuring Peanut Butter Lovesicle, Bronco Country and Wavebaby. Those are three bands, none of which you would expect to find playing the Radio Room, ready to blow what you think about KAFM out of the water.

“The Radio Room has historically been known as a ‘listening space’ rather than a full on, in your face, base thumping experience,” Kiser said.

In previous years, you’d typically find singer/songwriters and folk guitarist headlining the room, which prides itself in sharp, accurate sound. Rarely did full rock bands play the space.

To achieve a higher level of sound production capable of supporting rock bands, Kiser and co. made several changes to the space. New to the Radio Room in 2014 are a number of cosmetic fixes and upgrades to the sound system. Those upgrades include two larger subs, a 32-channel soundboard, upgraded speakers and additional amps to support low and high-end audio output.

“For something like a rock show, adding energy to the mix with subs and bigger amps while keeping the vocals crisp and clear will really bring the Radio Room experience to a new level. I hope it sets the bar in town for sound quality at a venue,” Kiser said.

The subs and amps are already in place for tonight and the full complement of sound improvements will be installed in time for the Tony Furtado show on Jan. 21.

Ready to test the new space Friday night, Jan. 10, are Grand Junction’s only surf/skate rock duo Wavebaby.

Anyone who has hung around the local music scene should recognize Wavebaby, the new project from former Heavy Drags members and skate bros for life, Gavin Bistodeau and Andrew Watson.

In Heavy Drags, Bistodeau played guitar while Watson assumed the role of lead singer and purveyor of mayhem. In the new band, the roles have been switched. Oh, Watson still brings the mayhem, only now behind a stripped down drum set. It’s Bistodeau who fronts the duo, a role that he is still getting comfortable with.

“I have to admit that I’m still terrified of singing into that mic in front of people,” Bistodeau said. “It’s getting a bit easier but normally it takes a few songs to rid myself of the shakes. By the time I get settled in, it’s already the end of the set and I want to keep going.”

While Bistodeau may deal with a bit of stage fright, it doesn’t show in the band’s live performances. The cohesion between Bistodeau and Watson is obvious and their sets come off just as confident as Heavy Drags’ sets ever did.

“Andrew is like a brother to me,” Bistodeau said. “I’ve looked up to him for a long time and feel lucky to have him as a friend and a band mate.”

“Writing tunes with [Watson] has always come naturally, probably because we’re into the same kind of stuff. You know the little skater punks pumping down the street blasting Misfits and Minor Threat? That was us. We definitely share the same blurry vision that is Wavebaby,” Bistodeau said.

In addition to upgraded sound equipment and more bookings for local rock bands such as Wavebaby and Bronco Country, KAFM also is making an investment in the community’s youth.

Kiser promises that the Radio Room will not alienate its current customer base and will continue to book all genres of music, but it is obvious that several shows — Friday night’s and the upcoming Photo Atlas, Obtuse and CheapArt show, for example — will cater to younger audiences who are likely unfamiliar with KAFM.

“I’ve never been to the Radio Room. I’m interested to see what it’s all about,” Bistodeau said. “Anytime you can get a bunch of our friends together, funky things will happen. As long as the crowd and your friends are having fun, dancing, laughing or whatever, you’re doing something right.”

As we will see Friday night. It looks like KAFM is definitely doing something right. 

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KAFM Livens up the Radio Room

By David Goe
Friday, January 10, 2014

For KAFM’s 15th anniversary year, the community radio station is wasting no time getting the celebration started.

Cash Kiser, KAFM’s event and outreach coordinator, is kicking off the banner year with a fantastic rock show featuring Peanut Butter Lovesicle, Bronco Country and Wavebaby. Those are three bands, none of which you would expect to find playing the Radio Room, ready to blow what you think about KAFM out of the water.

“The Radio Room has historically been known as a ‘listening space’ rather than a full on, in your face, base thumping experience,” Kiser said.

In previous years, you’d typically find singer/songwriters and folk guitarist headlining the room, which prides itself in sharp, accurate sound. Rarely did full rock bands play the space.

To achieve a higher level of sound production capable of supporting rock bands, Kiser and co. made several changes to the space. New to the Radio Room in 2014 are a number of cosmetic fixes and upgrades to the sound system. Those upgrades include two larger subs, a 32-channel soundboard, upgraded speakers and additional amps to support low and high-end audio output.

“For something like a rock show, adding energy to the mix with subs and bigger amps while keeping the vocals crisp and clear will really bring the Radio Room experience to a new level. I hope it sets the bar in town for sound quality at a venue,” Kiser said.

The subs and amps are already in place for tonight and the full complement of sound improvements will be installed in time for the Tony Furtado show on Jan. 21.

Ready to test the new space Friday night, Jan. 10, are Grand Junction’s only surf/skate rock duo Wavebaby.

Anyone who has hung around the local music scene should recognize Wavebaby, the new project from former Heavy Drags members and skate bros for life, Gavin Bistodeau and Andrew Watson.

In Heavy Drags, Bistodeau played guitar while Watson assumed the role of lead singer and purveyor of mayhem. In the new band, the roles have been switched. Oh, Watson still brings the mayhem, only now behind a stripped down drum set. It’s Bistodeau who fronts the duo, a role that he is still getting comfortable with.

“I have to admit that I’m still terrified of singing into that mic in front of people,” Bistodeau said. “It’s getting a bit easier but normally it takes a few songs to rid myself of the shakes. By the time I get settled in, it’s already the end of the set and I want to keep going.”

While Bistodeau may deal with a bit of stage fright, it doesn’t show in the band’s live performances. The cohesion between Bistodeau and Watson is obvious and their sets come off just as confident as Heavy Drags’ sets ever did.

“Andrew is like a brother to me,” Bistodeau said. “I’ve looked up to him for a long time and feel lucky to have him as a friend and a band mate.”

“Writing tunes with [Watson] has always come naturally, probably because we’re into the same kind of stuff. You know the little skater punks pumping down the street blasting Misfits and Minor Threat? That was us. We definitely share the same blurry vision that is Wavebaby,” Bistodeau said.

In addition to upgraded sound equipment and more bookings for local rock bands such as Wavebaby and Bronco Country, KAFM also is making an investment in the community’s youth.

Kiser promises that the Radio Room will not alienate its current customer base and will continue to book all genres of music, but it is obvious that several shows — Friday night’s and the upcoming Photo Atlas, Obtuse and CheapArt show, for example — will cater to younger audiences who are likely unfamiliar with KAFM.

“I’ve never been to the Radio Room. I’m interested to see what it’s all about,” Bistodeau said. “Anytime you can get a bunch of our friends together, funky things will happen. As long as the crowd and your friends are having fun, dancing, laughing or whatever, you’re doing something right.”

As we will see Friday night. It looks like KAFM is definitely doing something right. 

0 comments

Dirtylektric Release New EP

By David Goe
Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's a new year and that means new releases. On a local level, the first new release of 2014 comes from rock trio Dirtylektric. They just dropped a new, six-song EP which is available now from the band. Listen to the album now through Spotify or head over to the band's website

On the new album, Dirtylektric blend classic rock, blues, and stoner riffs together for a Led Zeppelin meets The White Stripes sort of sound. 

Join Dirtylektric at their album release party this Saturday, January 11, at the Mesa Theater and Club, where the band will be playing in the Sky Bar (!) in the main room. 

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What to Look For in 2014

By David Goe
Friday, December 27, 2013

At the end of each year, music journalists tend to go list crazy, compiling articles on the top songs, albums, shows, whatever, of the year. Believe me, it’s easy copy to pump out when you’re distracted by real life problems such as managing your fantasy football team to a championship.

I’ve certainly authored my fair share of “Best Of 2013” lists on Music On The Goe, the online portion of this column, including favorite songs of the year and favorite live shows picked, with help, by various music promoters and venue owners in the area.

I could rehash my thoughts on favorite album of the year (Disclosure’s “Settle”) or my favorite song of the year (Katy Pery’s “Roar”) or favorite live show of the year (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at Colorado Mesa University) or even my favorite after-party of the year (the disappearing bottle of Buffalo Trace party with Tender Loving Empire band’s Radiation City and Brainstorm), but you can get all that content online already

Instead of using the next 450 words or so to talk about all the amazing music and shows that happened this year let’s focus on all the amazing music and shows that will happen next year.

On the national scene, take note of producer Danger Mouse.

Danger Mouse, who made his name mashing up the Beatles’ “White Album” with Jay-Z’s “Black Album” and has worked with everyone from CeeLo Green to Jack White and The Black Keys, has two highly anticipated projects coming out in 2014.

The first project is a new album from Broken Bells, Danger Mouse’s band with the Shins front man James Mercer. Titled “After the Disco,” the first single “Holding On For Life” has a heavy psyched out, nu disco vibe and vocals reminiscent of the Bee Gees. Based on that track alone, the album is sure to be their catchiest yet and is available next month.

More interestingly, Danger Mouse also collaborated with U2 on an untitled new album, which the band plans to officially announce during a Super Bowl commercial in February.

“We’re working with Danger Mouse, who’s a smart guy,” U2 bassist Adam Clayton said in an interview with Billboard Magazine. “He’s on it; he’s excited. It’s a great team and feels very liberating at the moment — anything goes.”

U2 reportedly also spent time recording with Will.i.am, Davie Guetta and RedOne, which is very intriguing. Their album has the makings of massive hit and is going to be a must listen.

Also slated for 2014 are new albums from Adele, the Foo Fighters, Elbow, Bruce Springsteen and Beck, as well as a “lost” album from the 1980s by Johnny Cash called “Out Among the Stars.”

On the local front, look for new recordings from surf duo Wave Baby and power trio Dirtylektric.

Wave Baby is in the studio now finishing up recording and will play the first big show of the new year at the KAFM Radio Room on Jan. 10 with Bronco Country and New York City crew Peanut Butter Lovesicle.

Dirtylektric on the other hand has its new album finished and mastered and it will be available early 2014.

On the venue side of things, it looks like the 4th Door Art and Music Collective is set to reopen early next year. The 4th Door is an all ages, no drugs, no alcohol DIY venue that has hosted a number of shows in the past, including last year’s battle of the bands, and is a much needed option for local musicians.

From the look of things, I think 2014 is going to be a fine year for music, both nationally and locally. I can’t wait.

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Page 4 of 35




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