Friday, December 18, 2009

More on the Van Halen Mike Anthony Saga

As reported by Blabbermouth:

MICHAEL ANTHONY Says Friendship With SAMMY HAGAR Got Him Booted From VAN HALEN - Dec. 17, 2009

"The major reason why I'm not in VAN HALEN (now) is because I became friends with Sammy again. The Van Halen brothers never got over that. If they hold a grudge, they hold it forever."

Jeez, talk about holding a grudge.

See the rest here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Are Band Members Consumable Goods?

Is one drummer (or singer, guitar player, etc.) as good as any other, or are some musicians so special, they just can't be replaced. Bob Lefsetz thinks the latter, and I agree in some cases. Maybe you can replace the bass player in Bon Jovi, but nobody has ever really replaced John Bonham.

'Flying High Again'
Posted: November 19, 2009
Conventional wisdom is musicians are fungible. If one dies or quits, you just get another. But players are not like cars, which you crash and then replace, they're not like workers on an assembly line, in the best cases they're unique, which is why we love them so, which is why their legends live on long past their deaths, which is why when bands pick up and go on without them, they're oftentimes missing a crucial element.

See the rest of Lefsetz' article here:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chickenfoot Live Video - Where's Van Halen's??

So Chickenfoot, which has had one album and one tour, has a live concert film coming out:

World Premiere Theatrical Event on Tuesday December 1st, 2009

Come experience the very first filmed live show of the new rock collaboration Chickenfoot. Yes, Chickenfoot! In Theatres on December 1st.

CHICKENFOOT LIVE the concert film features Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony formerly of Van Halen, world-class guitarist and band founder Joe Satriani, and the “funk/alternative” drummer Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Don’t miss one of the greatest rock music collaborations of all-time live in Full HD and 5.1 Surround Sound coming to select theatres on December 1st, 2009!

All of this is great for Chickenfoot and for Chickenfoot fans. What's vexing about this is that Anthony and Hagar's former band still hasn't put out the video they paid a ton of money to shoot of the 2007 tour with David Lee Roth.
This isn't the first time they've done this, either. They had some shows filmed back in the Fair Warning days that have never seen the light of day, save for three videos long out of print that used to air on MTv.

C'mon, Eddie and Alex, release some of this stuff, already. Why shoot it and not put it out? The interest is there, but who knows for how much longer? Are you waiting for someone to offer you more money? What is it?

You guys are rock legends, and your fans would love to buy live videos.
Look at the Cult. They were selling just-shot video of their live shows on thumb drives.

Get on the ball while somebody still cares.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is he in, or is he out?

First, I heard that Steven Tyler had quit Aerosmith and the band were considering breaking up.

Hard Rock band Aerosmith are on the verge of splitting up after members revealed they are tossing up whether to call it a day or replace front man .

The singer signalled he is ready to work on solo material, and the rest of the band are considering their options.

Read more:

Then a couple days later, an announcement that he hadn't quit after all.

Which is it? My guess is the boys had some kind of spat that unfortunately went public, but they've made up now.

There was also a pretty ludicrous sounding rumour floating around that he might be touring as the singer of Led Zeppelin next summer. Huh??

Steven Tyler: Aerosmith not breaking up

NEW YORK — Relax, Aerosmith fans: Steven Tyler says he isn't leaving the band.

Tyler made a surprise appearance with guitarist Joe Perry and his band Tuesday night at a New York City venue. Tyler told the crowd: "I am not leaving Aerosmith."

Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines report the two then launched into their song "Walk This Way."

The appearance seemed to put an end to speculation about the band's future.

Perry recently tweeted that Aerosmith was "looking for a new singer to work with" and told the Las Vegas Sun that Tyler had quit, at as far as he could tell.

Musicians - jeesh!

Gibson Raided?

Apparently a Gibson plant near Nashville has been raided in order to investigate whether they're using illegal rosewood.

I can't imagine how much longer these materials will be available. Rosewood only grows in rain forests, and export from a lot of the locations where it grows has already been shut down. Maybe it's time to look for an alternative?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

RIP, Blue Cheer frontman Dickie Peterson

Blue Cheer were arguably one of the first "heavy metal" bands. They had a hit with their cover of "Summertime Blues". While their career was pretty short, they nonetheless played an important part in the birth of heavy music.

Metal Underground reports that singer Dickie Peterson passed away at the age of 61 Monday morning:

Dickie Peterson, the singer and bass player of Blue Cheer, who are considered another one of the first heavy metal bands, sadly passed away this morning in Germany at the age of sixty one. The cause of death has yet to be announced but he had been ill for some time.

Blue Cheer released their first album, "Vincebus Eruptum" in 1968 and released a further five albums until a hiatus. The band returned with a new album in 1984 and released two more albums in 1990 and 1991 before another break. The bands last record was a collection of re-recorded material entitled, "What Doesn't Kill You..." in 2007. Peterson himself had also recorded two solo albums entitled, "Child Of The Darkness" and "Tramp."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What? The world ins't ending in 2012?

Good to know, ans I'm deciding how extravagant to get with decorations for the new studio space:

2012 isn't the end of the world, Mayans insist

In part:

MEXICO CITY – Apolinario Chile Pixtun is tired of being bombarded with frantic questions about the Mayan calendar supposedly "running out" on Dec. 21, 2012. After all, it's not the end of the world.

Or is it?

Definitely not, the Mayan Indian elder insists. "I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff."

Monday, October 12, 2009

And the setup continues

Lots of activity _at_ the studio in the last week. Tree trimmers have been hard at work removing some of the silver maples that were threatening to fall on the house. Lots of activity _in_ the studio too, just not recording activity.
Spent most of my spare time this last week and weekend re-wiring everything for the Pro Tools rig. As mentioned previously, I'm also taking the time to improve some things. I'm re-wiring everything, which gives me an opportunity to re-think some things, and adding some new equipment - compressors mostly, but it means I've got more inputs and dynamics processing than before.

Above is a pic of one end of the room with the Pro Tools desk under construction.

And at this point, I'll mention how much I love and hate computers. I love the super efficient work flow of Pro Tools generally, and it's saved my butt (and some of my customers' butts) more than once. Ever had a band play something 5 times instead of 4, and look at you like you're a god when you delete the extra measure so they don't have to do another take because this was _the_ take?
At the same time, though, computers are fallible, and apparently they don't like being moved to new locations. My trusty old G4 decided it didn't want to mount one of its disk drives when I started it up again after ~2 weeks of inactivity. Phooey. Apple's Disk Utility sasys there's nothing wrong with the drive, but won't mount it. Disk Warrior (can't believe I found that disk) says it has problems but it can't fix them. Hmm. I can always erase the disk and re-format it, but I'd rather not do that. So, I order a copy of Data Rescue. It should get here this week, and I'll be sure and let everybody know whether it's worth the $60 plus shipping.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Setting up in the new space - or why a move can be good

I hate moving. I've always said there's no better way to find out how much crap you have than to try to move it. My initial advice to anyone would have been, if you've lived anywhere more than a couple years, do not move - ever.
That said, I'm actually finding this to be quite liberating. Most studios that have been around a while have patched stuff together as they got new stuff and made compromises to make it all work. One of the things a move does is give you a chance to re-do stuff, and do it right. So as much of a PITA as it is, I think it will turn out to be a plus.
More later.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Good For Dave Letterman - I Guess?

David Letterman revealed on his show last night that he'd had affairs with some of his staffers, and that someone who knew about it tried to extort $2 million from him to keep quiet about it.
David Letterman said on his show on Thursday that he had been the victim of an extortion attempt over charges of sexual affairs with staff members, claims that he conceded were true.

I'm a little conflicted on this. I mean, good for Dave for not playing along with extortion and for admitting his wrong-doing, but I don't really want to congratulate him for the behavior that got him into this mess.

Here's a link to video of him discussing it last night. I'll make it embed later:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And the move continues - how to shoehorn a C7

Eight years ago, we bought a 7'6" Yamaha concert grand without measuring the staircase we thought we were going to use to get it into the studio. Hauer music included delivery and setup with the piano, and A-1 Piano and Organ Movers were the company they sent to deliver the piano. They looked at the back stairs first, because there's an outside door, but quickly rejected that, because there's also a wall in the way about 36" inside the door. We had built the entrance into a kind of box - not our choice, but it's the way the basement was set up.
Next, they looked at the inside stairs, which were a straight shot. Unfortunately, there was an overhang, which meant the keyboard end or "head" of the piano wouldn't clear. Oops. At that point, I thought I was returning a piano.
They went back and looked at the other stairs, and after measuring, determind that there was enough room to squeeze it in - by about 1/4". No, I'm not kidding. It took 4 guys and about 45 minutes of jockeying and see-sawing to get it in, but get it in they did.
After they set it up, I warned them not to go out of business, because when I wanted to move it, I was calling them back out, because hey - they got it in, they could get it out.
Today, I made good on that threat, and get it out they did, although it was not easy. Up was harder than down, but they got it out, and got it relocated into its new home, which was a much easier entry.
If you're in the Cincinnati or Dayton area and need a piano moved, especially into or out of a spot where it doesn't look like it will go, call A-1. I can't recommend them highly enough.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Gibson Hendrix guitar?

This just seems wrong, somehow. A Fender Hendrix Strat, sure. Maybe even a Gibson Hendrix V, but how can you put Jimi's name on something that didn't even exist while he was alive, let alone that he ever played one, even once.

Amidst one of the most controversial product launches of all time, Gibson has posted a blog entitled Live From The Production Line At Gibson USA that seems to indicate that a high-end Jimi Hendrix model is set to join the Authentic Hendrix electric guitar packages announced earlier this week.

The pictures show unfinished instruments awaiting hardware and electronics but it is apparent that they are set neck in construction and appear to be routed for a large locking vibrato system and three single-coil sized pickups.

In addition, the headstock - sporting an Authentic Hendrix logo around the back - sees Gibson's famous 'open book' outline integrated into a reverse Stratocaster-style six-a-side peghead.

Ugh. I know it's the music _business_, and I realize Jimi's sister has no other skills or assets on which to draw, but doesn't this cross some kind of line?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Eddie Van Halen Makes a Guest Appearance

Last night on Two and a Half Men on CBS. A short appearance, but good to see Eddie looking healthy, and I think it went over better than his much weirder appearance as a drifter on Cafe Americain:

And We're Off

Bloodspoint Studio is in the process of moving. Got all the racs torn down and most of the stuff moved to the new location, but that's only part of the process. Putting it all together in the new space will take some time, because I'm not just re-creating the space. I'm going to take the opportunity to re-think some things. I'll take some pics today of everything all piled up, and more as things go back together.
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dokken Wants to Destroy Your Chicken!

Somebody sent me a link to a Norton Internet Security commercial in which 80's metal band Dokken portrays malware, and a chicken plays the role of your hard drive.

A description of the commercial reads as follows: "Imagine that your hard drive is a chicken. '80s heavy metal band DOKKEN is a computer virus that wants to blow up your chicken. Don't allow heavy metal bands to have their way with your chicken. Get PC protection with Norton Internet Security 2010."

As a long time fan of Dokken, I love it. Among other things, Don Dokken seems to have a sense of humor, which a lot of his contemporaries lacked.
See the rest of the article here:

Here's the video:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Phil Collins Drums No More

This is kind of sad. Apparently, Phil Collins can't drum any more. The article doesn't get too specific, but it sounds like a degenerative disease of the spine.
As a guitar player, I know it's likely that my hands will slow me down at some point, but I'd hate to think I wouldn't always be able to play at some level.

Here's an excerpt:


Former Genesis rocker PHIL COLLINS will never play the drums again - after years of performing left him with an agonising spinal injury.
The 58 year old made a name for himself due to his skills on the drums, playing the instrument during his years with Genesis, before releasing solo material, including percussion-heavy hit In The Air Tonight.
But due to his talents, the star has slowly been causing devastating damage to his spinal cord - and admits it is too painful to even pick up the sticks now.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New George Lynch


I loved Dokken back in the day, and bought their latest album last year, but as good as Jon Levin is, I still love George Lynch's playing. Here's a clip from his latest. Hear more at

Ellen DeGeneres Sued by Record Labels

As a performer and composer myself, I understand the legalities of licenses. Still, I think this is a bit much. I wouldn't mind if Ellen danced to one of my songs, and I gotta love her response. In part:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Four of the world's biggest recording companies have sued the producers of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," accusing them of using songs without permission.

On the popular daytime program, which averages about 3 million viewers daily, newly named "American Idol" judge and show host DeGeneres dances to popular tunes selected by a deejay.

In the lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday in federal court in Nashville, Tennessee, the labels said that when they asked why licenses were not obtained for use of the songs, representatives for the show said they "did not roll that way.
See the whole article here:

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Van Halen To Tour in 2010?

Fresh on the heels of the allegations that VH colluded with ticket scalpers on their 2007 tour:

...comes word that the band will be touring again in 2010.

In part:

Van Halen will hit the road in 2010, Ticketmaster Entertainment CEO Irving
Azoff announced during the 2009 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media,
Communications and Entertainment Conference Sept. 9.

Say, does anybody notice that Irving Azoff, CEO of TicketMaster, is also VH's manager? That's gotta be a coincidence, right?


I hope it's a good show, 'cause chances are it won't be cheap if you want decent seats. Whatever happened to sleeping outside the box office for two days and getting front row? Any more, all the good seats are in the hands of "ticket brokers" long before they even go on sale.

The Record Industry is Dead! Long Live the Music!

Those of you who know me know that I am not a big fan of the way the "old system" worked. Memo deals, exclusive contracts, album options, and huge bills, recoupable, of course, out of the artists' pockets.

These days, it's easier and cheaper for artists to record their own music, and charge for it what they want. Bands like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have given entire albums away, or asked that people pay what they think they're worth.

The big advantages of the record companies - the distribution network and airplay - have both been supplanted by internet technologies. Distribution is as easy as offering downloads from your site, or sending your music off to places like TuneCore and CDBaby, and anybody can stream music off their own site or places like MySpace.

I've often felt for a while too, that the album is dead. Who killed it? Napster may have started the ball rolling. Certainly, iTunes and Amazon and Rhapsody share part of the credit/blame, but the record companies helped by charging $18.99 for a CD. Weren't they supposed to be cheaper to make than LP's and cassettes?

The music buying public has returned to a "singles" market, which is the way it was until the mid sixties, when bands like the Beatles and the Stones came along and brought with them the concept of an album.
When was the last time you bought an album and liked all of it. At best, I might dig 40% of what's on a 10-12 song album. Sometimes, I like one song - one. That's a lot of money for one tune.

Anyway, here's some interesting analysis from Rolling Stone a couple of years ago that I think covers it pretty well.

So, what do you think? Are albums and record companies dead, or just waiting for the next Beatles? And what really did kill the record industry? Napster? iTunes? The industry itself?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Auto-Tune App for iPhone?

I use Auto-Tune in the studio all the time (well, when I have to) for correcting vocal pitch, and sometimes as an effect, ala artists like T-Pain. Usually, you'll find Auto-Tune only in recording studios. Now Smule, the company responsible for such iPhone apps as Leaf Trombone and Ocarina, bring you "I Am T-Pain" for iPhone.
The idea? You rap into the iPhone, and it applies the Auto-Tune effect to your voice. Check it out. They have some demo videos that are pretty cool.

I Am T-Pain is HERE

Introducing the first iPhone app to give you Auto-Tune in the palm of your hand. You can sing along to T-Pain's hits or create your own. You can record and share your genius with the world. You'll never look at your iPhone the same way again.

What will they come up with next?
I have to admit, as un-hip as it probably makes me, I don't yet own an iPhone. I'm pretty happy with my Blackberry, and hey - I've got like, eight months left on my contract. No way am I paying full fare for one. Still, with all these cool apps, it gets harder and harder for a gadget freak like me to resist.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Van Halen Jamming in the Studio

From Eddie Van Halen's Twitter page:

"Wolfie , Alex and I rehearsed today and had a blast. We played a bunch of songs that we didn't play on the last tour, like 'Drop Dead Legs', 'Girl Gone Bad' and 'Outta Love Again'! And just jammed a bit. Haven't played these songs for a long time but they sound f'ing amazing!"

Hopefully, this means that Eddie is recovering from his recent hand surgery, and sooner or later, we might get some music out of them from the ten albums' worth of music Eddie claims they have sitting around.

As a VH fan for thirty years, I'm always hopeful, but skeptical.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Shades of Gilmour

Pretty quiet news day today, but I spent some time on a guitar re-wiring project. Anybody who's a guitar player can tell you that the tonal possibilites with a Strat are just about endless. Three pickups, a 5-way switch, and three control knobs? Come on. What Leo Fender came up with is just the start.
One of the weaknesses in the original design (IMO) is that the brightest of the three pickups has no tone control. I never use the tone on the neck pickup, so every one of my Strats has been re-wired so that the first tone controls the middle pickup, and the second one is hooked up to the bridge pickup.
What I did on this guitar goes farther, though. Another weakness of the Strat design is you can't turn all three pickups on at the same time. There are some "super switches" that will allow all kind of crazy combinations, but you can also do it utilizing the stock components. I got this idea from the April, 1995 issue of the now defunct magazine Guitar Shop. It turns the first tone control into a master tone, and uses the second as a blend for the bridge pickup, with just a couple of switched wires. Brilliant!
I recently bought a DiMarzio FS-1 pickup - as used by David Gilmour in his main Black Strat up through the recording of The Wall, and decided this would be the perfect time to try out the blend wiring.
I installed the new pickup with the stock wiring, then followed the diagram above, and bolted it all back together. The result? Sonic bliss, and a lot of tonal possibilities not possible with the stock setup.
Try it if you get the chance. I think you'll like it.
P.S. Sorry for the poor image quality. I scanned it from the original article over ten years ago.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Awful Albums by Awesome Artists

Even the greats stumble once in a while. Here's a list at a site called See if you agree with their choices, and if you can think of any more, let me know.

This one hurt, as I've been a Van Halen fan for years. Even I have to admit, though, I bought III mostly so I wouldn't have a hole in my collection.

8. Van Halen – Van Halen III

After Sammy Hagar quit or got fired or whatever the hell happened to that frizzy headed douche, Van Halen was left searching for a new lead singer. Inconceivably, they settled on former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone.

It gets worse from there. Ouch.

Chinese Guitar Counterfeiters

As a guitar player, this story is near and dear to my heart. The eBay and Craigslist markets have been over-run for the last several years by fake guitars, mostly made in China. For the most part, they seem to have been targeting Gibson and Epiphone and models that appeal to younger players, such as Zakk Wylde Les Pauls.

I saw stores full of these when I was in Beijng in 2006. Gibsons and Fenders, though the Fender copies seemed to be poorer copies. I remember picking up an obviously fake "Les Paul Elite" and when I flipped it over, it very clearly read "MADE IN USA" on the back.
"These are made here, in China, aren't they?", I asked the clerk. "Oh, yes", he replied. "Made in China." The one I was holding was selling for the equivalent of about $300 US, which is less than 10% of the price of an actual Gibson.
It used to be that the fakes were pretty easy to spot, with shady finishes, and incorrect details that were obvious to someone familiar with the real thing, but lately, it seems like the copies have been harder to spot.

I don't necessarily have a problem with copies of guitars, as long as they aren't being sold as the real thing and are clearly marked as such. Players who can afford real Gibsons will buy them, and these cheapies give kids a chance to play a guitar that looks like the real thing, but costs a lot less, and while these guitars are certainly not up to Gibson (or even Epiphone) standards, they beat the hell out of the Hondo II and Teisco stuff that beginners were stuck with when I started playing.

What really bugs me is people selling them as real, genuine US guitars to kids who don't know any better. No legit retailer would touch these guitars, but I see a couple a month on Craigslist, and they pop up on eBay all the time.

Clearly, any real effort to stop the counterfeiting would have to come from the Chinese.
I was delighted to find this on the Music, Inc. Magazine site, in the June 19th issue. MI is a magazine aimed at music retailers, who obviously have a lot at stake in this.

Guitar Counterfeiters Sentenced

Following more than a year of coordination and investigation by Chinese legal authorities, the efforts of the Electric Guitar Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (EGACC) have resulted in a criminal sentence for a major distributor of counterfeit guitars.

Read the whole article here:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Alice in Chains is back!

AiC were one of may favourite bands back in the early nineties. They were labelled "grunge" because they wore flannel and had long hair, but I always thought that was an unfair label. They went through a rough spot when grunge fell out of favour, and especially when frontman Layne Staley died.
I have to admit, I was skeptical a few years ago to hear they were touring with a new frontman - Layne's vocals seemed to be so integral to the sound - but I gotta say, the new guy, William DuVall, and the new single, "Check My Brain" from the upcoming Back Gives Way To Blue sound excellent. I'm looking forward to it when it hits the stores on September 29th.

Listen to it here:

Oh, Come on, Ritchie - Lighten Up

I love Ritchie Blackmore's playing. His style has always seemed to me to be a perfect mix of classical and rock, and often more appropriate for the song than some other "Neo Classical" guitar players.
I've also heard he can be a... challenging person to deal with. He quit Deep Purple - twice - because he couldn't get along with other band members, and Eddie Van Halen has recounted the tale several times of trying to introduce himself to Ritchie after VH's first album came out and being ignored.
Apparently, he doesn't always get along so well with family, either. Here's a bit of an interview with Joe Lynn Turner (one time Rainbow vocalist) in Classic Rock Magazine, about Over the Rainbow, a band he's currently fronting which plays Rainbow material, and which features Ritchie's son, Jurgen Richard Blackmore, on guitars:

"...Ritchie suddenly became very antagonistic. Things got so bad that he insisted Jurgen – his own son – couldn’t use the name ‘Blackmore’. Jurgen’s full name is Jurgen Richard Blackmore – it says so on his birth cerificate."

See the full article here:

A Touchstone of Indie Music Slated for Demolition

For fans of 80's and 90's indie rock, the Uptown Bar in Minneapolis was a special place. It was a place where bands were formed, where local musicians hung out, and where, at one point, you could go and be served food by the mother of Bob and Tommy Stinson of the Replacements.

Now, it has come to my attention that not only is the current owner selling, apparently the new owners think the space would be better used for... retail? I don't think anything has made me this sad since WOXY (BAM! 97x, the future of rock and roll!) left the terrestrial airwaves in 2004, after their owners, Doug and Linda Ballogh, decided they'd had enough. And more recently, they announced the studios for their now web-only station, were relocating to Austin, TX.

Anyway, here's a link to a story on the Uptown:

Friday, August 21, 2009

More on Record Labels

Here's an excellent article on NPR's site that backs up what I was saying in my last post pretty nicely:

Without wanting to get into too much trouble with NPR, I thought this summed it up:

The Posies left Geffen in the late 1990s — not over money, but a lack of promotion. They went back to PopLlama, the small independent label where they'd first recorded an album called Failure, and released one called Success. It was made very cheaply, and Auer estimates it sold about 25,000 copies.

"I actually saw a check for that record that went in my pocket," Auer says. "I never saw a check from the sales of any of the records I've made on the major labels."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Do we Need Record Labels any more?

No, and we haven't for a while.

We are at the dawn of a great age for musicians. An age in which musicians aren't going to be hindered any more by the constraints of how much it costs to record and distribute their music.
Or by the demands of record labels.

What record labels brought to the table was the infrastructure that was needed to record the music, press it, ship it, distribute it, and get it played on the radio. And it was a lopsided and unfair system. Google search for "deal memo", or click here, and you'll find Steve Albini's excellent write up on this terrible system.

Now that recording isn't (or doesn't need to be) as expensive a process, "pressing and distributing it' involves sending a few copies to CD Baby or Tune Core so you can get it on Amazon and iTunes, or just letting people download it from your website, and to the extent that airplay is even necessary, you can do that yourself as well, streaming on places like MySpace, the record companies really don't have a viable business model.

It's not like I invented this idea, either. Artists like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead have been doing their thing for several years now. What's new is that the wave is starting to pick up speed as smaller artists get on the bandwagon.

This is all probably pretty scary stuff if your job is tied to a record label or an ancillary industry, but as a recording engineer and a musician myself, I find it all pretty exciting, and I know I'll be watching to see what happens next.